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Thread: Pulau Tekong-True Fact

  1. #1
    Member/Tangshooter Redsun's Avatar
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    Default Pulau Tekong-True Fact

    Anyone read thie before?
    Full story Here
    Title: Pulau Tekong True Fact

    It is a well-known fact that Pulau Tekong has a number of ghosts. Some of you readers may have read or heard about the ghost at Charlie Company at the old basic military camp 1. Unfortunately, some versions that I read or heard have been distorted over the years.

    Here, I hope to set the record straight. Instructors and trainees of Charlie Company, Infantry Training Depot during the March-June 1983 period can vouch for my version of the story. It is NOT my intention to revive hurtful memories especially for the bereaved family or to blame anyone, but purely to narrate facts as they had happened.

    The starting point of this true story should be the 16 Km route march about 18 years ago. Before the march, the Officer Commanding of the company asked the trainees whether anyone was sick or not feeling well. No one put up his hand. But there was a trainee among the company, Recruit Tham W.K., who was down with flu but did not put up his hand.

    Then the route march started. The platoons took turns to lead the company after each break during the route march. Sometimes, the pace of the march became too hot for some trainees, who could not keep pace and had to fall out. They became stragglers and had to be picked up by a few instructors walking at the rear of the company. The landrover with the medical orderly was also supposed to be at the rear.

    Somehow, Tham fell out and managed to slip out of view by taking cover in the forest. He was not to be seen alive again.

    During subsequent rest breaks, there were head-counts. He was presumed to be with the medical orderly. It was only in the evening after the route march, when the the rifles were due to be returned to the armoury, that they realised Tham was missing. They went to the medical centre but he was not there. The instructors feared the worst. Overnight, they organised a night-search party for him, re-tracing the 16-Km route taken earlier in the day. They could not find him.

    The next day, the entire Camp I ceased training and batches of instructors and trainees were dispatched to find Tham. It was only about 5 p.m. that his own platoon commander (PC) found his corpse. Near a forest track junction, the PC noticed a half-pictched tent. He called out but there was no response. As he neared the tent, he noticed many flies buzzing around and detected a foul stench. There lay before him his dead trainee, lying with one hand holding his rifle and the other hand outstretched with a water bottle, with its cover opened. The PC broke down in tears and wept openly.

    (A subsequent post-mortem showed that Tham had apparently died of stomach rupture. When his body system was still hot from the heat of the route march, against the advice of instructors, he had apparently gulped down massive amounts of water suddenly. It was like pouring ice cubes into a thin glass of hot water, which can cause the glass to crack. But the post mortem also found puncture marks on his body, which could not be satisfactorily explained to this day.)

    It was left to the Company Sergeant Major and his landrover driver to drive the corpse back to camp for transfer to the mortuary. It was twilight at that time. Inexplicably, the engine could not start. The thought of the two of them spending the night with the corpse unnerved them. But eventually, they somehow had the engine started and returned safely to base.

    The late Tham was promoted to NCO and cremated at Mount Vernon with full military honours. As the company trainees lined the road snaking up to the crematorium to salute our late comrade, it was a heart-breaking sight to see a distraught mother being supported by two daughters following the hearse.

    A few instructors returned to the site where he departed from this world, to offer incense and prayers. One instructor asked the late Tham not to come back and haunt us, but rather to express his last wishes in a dream so that his soul could rest in peace after his wishes were fulfilled.

    But Tham did not listen.

    Incident 1: One of the instructors came to the Platoon 9 bunk to remove his personal effects. When he opened up his metal cupboard, there was a foul stench from inside that could not be explained.

    Incident 2: In the dead of the night, some trainees of Charlie Company heard Tham's voice shouting for the platoon or company to fall in at the common company compound.

    Incident 3 (more scary): One of the platoon 9 section mates woke up in the middle of the night and saw the white figure of Tham's ghost standing in front of his former cupboard ! He bolted to the next double-decker bed, grabbed to share his blanket and said "ghost!" The next morning, the platoon mates could see two trainees pale and ashened by the encounter.

    Incident 4: During one of the subsequent route marches (by Golf Company), the company noticed a figure of a soldier in full battle order standing in the distance among some trees. The OC (a former Commando Captain) dashed forward to take a closer look. He quickly ordered the whole company to double past without slowing down to see what he saw. Subsequent route marches were diverted to avoid that area of sighting.

    It's been a long time since I last set foot on Pulau Tekong in June 1983. But I heard that the bunk in which the late Tham used was converted into a lecture room and subsequently into a store room. The room was installed with padlocked doors for obvious reasons.

    Over the years, generations of trainees who became instructors passed down their version of Tham's story by word of mouth, which unfortunately got distorted in the process.

    May his soul rest in peace.

    (End of Narration)

    Could this be the one? Have I hit the jackpot? There were many factual information given out that wasnít available before. The dead recruit was from Charlie Platoon 9. It occurred in the period from June to September 1983. Mr. Soh even mentioned what I already deduced earlier, that the bunk was converted from a lecture room to a store. ( from those who went to Tekong in late 1990s, they said that the store was converted to an Instructor Bunk)

    But there was a catch. When I emailed him, asking if the bunk 9 has a 3rd door opened because of the recruit death. He replied that he wasnít aware of any 3rd door, and maybe I made a mistake, and that it was another case unrelated to what he said!

    So now we have someone who said that he was there, knew of the recruit death, but didnít know anything about the 3rd door.

    Could it be that the 3rd door was created after his time? Further confirmation came when I chanced upon a Mr Ricky. Mr Ricky (known then as Corporal Chua) was a NCO stationed in the CCO Tekong.. He provided logistic support to Tekong ITD.

    On that fateful night, Mr Corporal Chua said he was the Duty NCO. He said:

    The year was around 1983. I wasnít a sign-on soldier, I was just posted to CCO ITD. I was the duty NCO on that day, and so dispatch the vehicles to search for the missing recruit, together with Charlie Company Officers. I knew he was from Charlie Company, but I donít know which platoon he was from.

    What I know was that after the route march, they did a head count and found they had lost 1 man. They went back and search, but couldnít find him. So on that night everyone was very excited and I also dispatch out my vehicles to help look for the missing recruit. It was about 3am .

    After that they came back after failing to find him. After that, a group of 4 or 5 high ranking officers, whether you believe it or not, went to consult the ĎTai Yong Gongí (a Priest in a nearby temple) to seek for help. The Priest who performed this spiritual rite told them not to waste their time, but to go after a certain time, I think 10amÖ they would be able to find the recruit near the road, and that it would be very easy to find. So they went back to the spot mentioned by the Priest, and as the Priest said, they found the body about 2 meters from the road side.

    That was weird, according to Corporal Chua. They had searched that area with search lights, and the whole camp out in force, he was sure they could have found him, if his body is so near the roadside.

    There were many houseflies around the body, even though it was only found the next day (afew hours, in fact) the recruit had gone missing. The recruit was dead, even though they couldnít find any physical evidence on why he died. He was found lying his ground sheet, with his full pack laid out properly beside him. The recruit was lying in a way as if he was sleeping.

    They brought the body back to Medical Center . I didnít see any of this, but I was told by my driver, who was dispatched by me. He didnít tell me that he had any engine problem. (Corporal Chua believed that this part mentioned in the earlier version may have been exaggerated.)

  2. #2
    Member/Tangshooter Redsun's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pulau Tekong-True Fact

    Corporal Chua

    Corporal Chua then when I asked him, said he was not aware of any 3rd door. He then said that the driver he dispatched out on that fateful night was a Lance Corporal Lee, who happened also to be one of the few Tekong Residents living in Tekong at that time. By now Lance Corporal Lee should be a Warrant Officer or Staff Sergeant.

    And so we seemed to have verified most of the facts mentioned by Mr. Soh, though there are some irregularities. But that is to be expected, as both Corporal Chua and Mr. Soh were speaking from different viewpoint, each experiencing the event from his own level.

    But one important fact still sticks out like a sore thumb. Neither Corporal Chua nor Mr. Soh knew about the 3rd door, even though they knew of the route march tragedy.

    But still the nets are closing in. I knew that people posted to Tekong in 1983, knew of the recruit death, but not the 3rd door. Officer John who was there in 1987, knew of the route march tragedy, and the 3rd door, but didn’t know if they were connected. I, Charles Goh, who was there in 1988, knew of the route march and the 3rd door.

    What I need now was someone who was there between 1986 and 1984.

    As luck would have it. I found such a man.

    He is 1st Sgt Phua, currently from the same platoon as I am, serving as a NSman in 27 SIB. Sgt Phua was a recruit in Bravo Company, in the year 1986.

    He was aware of the 3rd door, but he wasn’t aware of the route march death. Sgt Phua said that he heard that a recruit hung himself in that bunk, and after a bout of strange disturbances, a Priest was called in, who after a ritual declared that a 3rd door have to be made in order for the aggrieved spirit to leave the bunk.

    Sgt Phua thus provided the missing link that I was looking for. Though certain facts could never be ascertained to a high degree of accuracy, we could deduce the following conclusion from our interviews and research.

    Our Conclusion

    1. It is very possible that at the time of the death of the recruit in 1983, the 3rd door was not built yet. That would explain why people I interviewed belonging to that period was not aware of any 3rd door mystery.



    2. It is very possible that there was a transition period in which for reasons as yet unknown; a 3rd door was built in a Charlie bunk. It is possible that supernatural events occurred in that bunk, including a suicide, that led to a Priest being called in, and a 3rd door created. Sgt Phua knew about the suicide in the bunk with the 3rd door.



    3. Over a year or so, someone realise the connection, or created the connection between the route march death and the 3rd door.



    Whatever the final conclusion may be, Pulau Tekong Camp 1, and the famous 3rd door Charlie Bunk is no longer in use, having been replaced by newer and better facilitated camp buildings.

    The last I heard was in 2002, when someone told me that out of the whole Camp 1 barracks, only Charlie Company bunks were doubly sealed with timbers nailed across its doors and windows. Then in 2003, someone told me that in old Camp 1, every other bunk in other companies was still around, except Charlie Companies’. The bunks were demolished to the ground.

    Perhaps you who are there now can tell the answer.

    But for me, there was 1 last thing to do. If the story told by Mr. Soh was accurate, then the ashes of recruit Tham W. H. should still be there in Mount Vernon Crematorium.

    I had to solve this final puzzle to the 3rd door mystery.

    And so I did. I found him. As if Fate had guided my path I found him just as I was about to head home after a fruitless 1 hour search.

    From the date of birth to the time of death on 24th May 1983, Tham W. H. was 19 years of age, the right age for army enlistment.

    And like Mr. Soh, I too prayed that may Mr Tham’s soul rest in peace.

    IN THE HOUSE OF THE LORD YOU WILL DWELL FOREVER

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Pulau Tekong-True Fact

    pulau tekong camp one at the time you stated, i.e. 2003 etc, was still in use. but not by local trainees.

    as per the presence/existence of the third door, it was there.

    a 2wo + 2lt drove a rover to check out the place end 2004, direct account was that it was there. but on their way back, suay suay vehicle stuck in pot hole, got support to tow out.

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    Default Re: Pulau Tekong-True Fact

    Is Camp 1 the one on top of a hill overlooking the sea?

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    Default Re: Pulau Tekong-True Fact

    Great detective work and a very interesting account of the events
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  6. #6

    Default Re: Pulau Tekong-True Fact

    Whether is it really true or not, not many people can proof it.

    By the way, if it is not true, then it is not a fact and if it is a fact, it must be true. So why use "True" and "Fact" together?

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    Default Re: Pulau Tekong-True Fact

    Tekong is a very strange place.

    years back while we were doing guard prowling in Camp 3, we could see the camp dogs barking non-stop at the SOC field as if there is something very disturbing on the SOC field at night ?

    ... but there was no one there on the field

    Last edited by raincool2005; 15th January 2008 at 09:55 AM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Pulau Tekong-True Fact

    Quote Originally Posted by Redsun View Post
    Anyone read thie before?
    Full story Here
    Title: Pulau Tekong True Fact

    It's Charles's own account from his stinct in Tekong, makes an interesting read. Have heard other stories, including my own brother who did night guard duty, hearing faint Malay-wedding-like drummings while at the ammo dump. He was told later on by his sergeants, that several batches have encountered this, so they are quite used to it, only the new batches were caught off-guard.
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  9. #9
    vince123123
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    Default Re: Pulau Tekong-True Fact

    The accounts of the third door or the death on route march can be easily verified; although the other "ghost stories" remain suspect. More often than not, ghosts are believed by people who see them in theirminds.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Pulau Tekong-True Fact

    Quote Originally Posted by vince123123 View Post
    The accounts of the third door or the death on route march can be easily verified; although the other "ghost stories" remain suspect. More often than not, ghosts are believed by people who see them in theirminds.
    perhaps so. but funny thing, my brother doesnt believe in such stuff, he just heard them, he was rather curious than frightened.

    Also the story of the spinning compass at certain point on the island, apparently that's recounted to me by friends (who don't know each other) with similar stories, one is still an instructor as well.

    And the hot spring, heard it's covered up or sealed up now?
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    Default Re: Pulau Tekong-True Fact

    Heh. the north-eastern marshy parts of the island is not a place you want to be.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Pulau Tekong-True Fact

    There's so many "real or true" versions floating out there, and many other stories of Tekong. And furthermore it's a restricted area, makes verifying myths and urban legends even more difficult. As for Charles's story, i know him personally, he's not the kind of "let go big cannon"...so i would take his word. (can see he has put in effort to do research for the Tekong story). For me, im from Nee Soon camp during bmt, so i cant experience the island life myself. hahaha

    Somehow, it does give a sense of "romanticism", that we do have our own urban legends.
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    Default Re: Pulau Tekong-True Fact

    it is indeed a strange place ; the average temperature on Tekong island is higher than the average temperature on mainland Singapore.


  14. #14

    Default Re: Pulau Tekong-True Fact

    Quote Originally Posted by raincool2005 View Post
    it is indeed a strange place ; the average temperature on Tekong island is higher than the average temperature on mainland Singapore.

    nearer to equator? keke
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    Default Re: Pulau Tekong-True Fact

    Quote Originally Posted by sbs99 View Post
    And the hot spring, heard it's covered up or sealed up now?
    Nope. I just went there on an official govt survey around mid-2007. The hot spring is still open though some planks of the boardwalk have rotted thru and some are broken.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yatlapball View Post
    Heh. the north-eastern marshy parts of the island is not a place you want to be.
    Kg Unum mangrove area? Why? That's one of the places where a very rare butterfly species can be found. Went there several times before.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Pulau Tekong-True Fact

    Quote Originally Posted by Papilio View Post
    Nope. I just went there on an official govt survey around mid-2007. The hot spring is still open though some planks of the boardwalk have rotted thru and some are broken.



    Kg Unum mangrove area? Why? That's one of the places where a very rare butterfly species can be found. Went there several times before.
    wah a surveyor!
    i always believed you guys get to see the darnest things, i could even say maybe more than i could as an urban explorer. kaka

    got photos?
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    Default Re: Pulau Tekong-True Fact

    Quote Originally Posted by sbs99 View Post
    wah a surveyor!
    i always believed you guys get to see the darnest things, i could even say maybe more than i could as an urban explorer. kaka

    got photos?
    Lemme check. I know I still have a photo of the hot spring somewhere.

    No, not that type of surveyor. This was a nature biodiversity survey. Walked on foot all around the island and into the forests. Wasn't aware of any ghosts and legends at that time.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Pulau Tekong-True Fact

    oh...haha...thot u were working as some gahmen land surveyor, like those who go bashing into forests and jungle, and checked the land to see if it's suitable for buildings. Usually those surveyors get to go to hard to reach places and see some curiousities. I wonder where would they send stuff if they happen to have strange findings. heh
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    Default Re: Pulau Tekong-True Fact

    Quote Originally Posted by raincool2005 View Post
    it is indeed a strange place ; the average temperature on Tekong island is higher than the average temperature on mainland Singapore.

    That's right..! I rem our instructors telling us that Tekong is about 2degC hotter than mainland..

    Freaky place that isle..
    The very first ngt there, ALL 39 of our alarm clocks went off at the same time..
    Given that each clock has a slight deviance in timing, it's near impossible that it was a sabo by instructors..

    One night my buddy woke me up suddenly saying his bed was trembling wildly.. I stretched my arm over to feel, and YES I grabbed unto a vibrating bed frame.. Scary siah..

    When we did prowler duty, a black dog always walked ahead of us, from check-point to check-point.. But this dog never approached us and never barked, always silent and staring.. Come to think of it, the dog could have been staring past us...

  20. #20

    Default Re: Pulau Tekong-True Fact


    When I was in Tekong Camp I in 1998, Charlie bunks were already demolished. But you could still see the concrete flooring which used to be Charlie bunks.
    When I do right, no one remembers. When I do wrong, no one ever forgets.

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