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Page 5 Brief Stories
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Oman
I was in the Royal Engineers working in Oman, based at Salalah in 1971, We were warned about these things before we got there.... We had to make sure everyone was in a safe place at night because if anyone had a few beers too many and decided to take a nap in the "Bondu", there was a good chance a camel spider or two would find them and start eating flesh! apparantly these creatures injected an anaesthetic like substance into flesh and started eating that area. Never thought to photograph them... too busy getting shelled and fired on... I did not like them, especially in my boots!

Iraq
At the begining of OIF, we were stationed at an air base. We were a large group of Marines, in the middle of Iraq. But all of that isn't what the story was about. One night, it was around 0130, while reading a book on duty (not on a watch post) I heard and felt a large thump on my desk. I ignored it until the Marine on watch with me stood up and aimed his M16 in my direction, while not speaking, I calmly grabed my 9mm and looked where he was aiming. This large thing was staring at me. After shooting the rat the night before, I didn't have a problem shooting this monster. I didn't have to, thank the Gods. I found out later that they aren't poinous, but can leave a bad infection......... It was worse than encountering the snakes, scorpians and rats and harder to hit with a shovel. It measured around 5 inches across. That was years ago, and a topic always bought up


Jordan Valley
I was a medic in the IDF Armored Corps. Apparently, the corps boot camp is full of these things, but having done basic elsewhere, I had never seen one.... Until my unit was stationed in the Jordan Valley, where they run wild. My medics were concerned that if I saw a full-grown one sharing my sleeping bag with me, I'd take it badly. So they set out to catch one and bring it to me, so that camel spiders (I think they're called "Akraboot" here) and I would have time to get accustomed with each other before we met unintentionally. In truth, when they told me that the base was covered with a thing "half-spider and half-scorpion", I thought they were playing the old "scare the female sgt." game. I didn't believe that they were serious, until two of them brought me a baby one trapped in a mop bucket. Then I believed them.

Somalia
My very first deployment in the Army was to Somalia, Africa on Christmas day 1992. During that deployment my helicopter unit was living at an abandon Russian/US airfield called Balidogal in the interior of the country. We had frequent night time visitors in our tent to include

ants, Emperor Scorpions, and the illusive Camel Spider. The Camel Spiders we found in Somalia were about the size of a tarantula but had a large mass of finger like tentacles around the mandible. (I have a picture at home that I can send) We caught a large Emperor Scorpion, which we named Sinbad, and kept him in a blue bucket.  We liked to catch other critters and throw them in with Sinbad to watch them fight. We tried lizards and ants and other adversaries but Sinbad would not attack much of anything until we caught a Camel Spider.  Apparently Scorpions have an affinity for the taste of camel spiders.  As soon as we threw the camel spider in the bucket Sinbad attacked it by grabbing the spider by its head and abdomen with his large claws. Sinbad would disable the spider by eating the legs like french-fries. First one set of legs then spinning the spider around the other set of legs were devoured. After the legs were gone Sinbad would begin chewing on the abdomen and a milky white fluid would run out as he chewed.  Sinbad was never able to totally consume a whole spider in one sitting and would grow lethargic as he ate the abdomen. In the morning the job would be complete and the Camel Spider would be non existent.  This is a very true story and if you don’t believe me just go to the deserts of Somalia catch an Emperor Scorpion and a Camel Spider and throw them in a bucket together then sit back and enjoy the show. Sincerely, B. Buglehall




Oman
Hey! Being from the Sultanate of Oman and in the capital Muscat I always heard stories about the camel spiders and how it stings can kill you and how it can jump and run really fast and doesnt die if i stepped on the sand plus how big it is. To me those were all old folks tales until one night me and my friend were walking in this dark alley in which my friend was walking slower then me when suddenly i hear him yell (JUMP BACK!!!!!!!!!) so i leaped back luckily with my right leg pulled up when i saw a huge 3 and half inch camel spider(considered a baby) leaping to my right leg and missed it by a couple of cm. I didnt know what I did to piss it off or why it attacked me but what i did know is that i started to run like hell towards the well lighted road since i knew no way in hell i could have killed it as it was big, leaps,fast and the place it attacked me was sandy anyways we ran and jumped at the same time never looking behind until we got into a super market where we could catch our breath even then i thought it was still chasing us. Thats one night i would like to share with all of you to know how scary these spiders are. Muntasir


Saudi Arabia
I am a desert storm vet and had an unfortunate run in with one of these things in 1991. Anyway, this is my short story. . . We were in Saudi Arabia about ˝ an hour from the Iraq border. It was just after the ground war and we were on a forward mission to setup tents for the rest of our company who were still in Iraq. I was sitting on my cot and had moved a box containing food when one of these things scampered out between my legs, just inches from my hand. Having never seen something like this before I overreacted a little bit. I screamed like a little girl, flung back my body, and tumbled head over heals to ground. As the rest of the tent laughed at me, one of my buddies said “there it goes” and it disappeared under the side of the tent. Those little buggers blend in real well with the desert sand. We never saw another one in the area and I was really glad. To my recollection, it was only 8 to 10 inches long, moved quickly, and never made any screaming sounds. I was the one making the screaming sound. It sure did scary the heck out of me but it was just as scared of me as I was of it.

Muscat
While stationed in Muscat for the first Gulf war, I met a very friendly omani citizen whon showed me an actual camel-spider. It was a youngster for it was no larger than the palm of my hand. At that age they are also called something like "silverback-spider" as when young they are covered with white silvery silky hair and I was explained that when they run on the dunes under the full moon they appear like silverbolts as they are very fast. They tend to loose this very shiny aspect as they grow bigger and older. They are said to bite through camel leather to get flesh. You can imagine the size of their tools to go through a very tough skin. If you are bitten by one, you don't feel athing until their natural local anesthetic wears off. Then you feel the pain of having been eaten alive. Sorry I have no more on the little furry thing. I'll try to get a picture of the one I was shawn if I can. It was captured inside a electric shack in the desert and preserved under plastic resin. Best of.


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