LOCH LEVEN, SCOTLAND — After a passerby mistook a “heavy metal camping trip” for a “suicide cult,” authorities launched a massive rescue effort. Responders then discovered the “cult” was just three adult friends and three kids in their care (along with a dog named Jazz) who’d set up tents to rock out in the open air.
As the campers set sail for a tiny island on Loch Leven, the witness who called the police expressed alarm over the group’s black wardrobes, wild “corpse paint” makeup, and loud music.
From there, the misinterpretations kept snowballing, until this cabal of nature-loving headbangers became the focus of an emergency onslaught of police boats, helicopters, fire engines, ambulances, and specialized officers who stormed the campfire.
After would-be rescuers overwhelmed the dark-hooded, face-painted “cultists,” the suspected death mavens turned out to be:
• David Henderson, a teacher from Glasgow and lead singer of the “dark folk” metal band, Nyctopia
• Panadiotis Filis, an Aberdeen University professor
• Ross Anderson, a civil engineer
• Jude Anderson, Ross’s 10-year-old son
• Natalia Teo, Jude’s 10-year-old friend
• Andrew Vassiliadis, Jude and Natalia’s 7-year-old friend
• Jazz, a dog
David Henderson, upon being confronted and accused of leading some sort of death ritual, said he told the rescuers: “We are just a group of friends who like to go wild camping, drink beer, and listen to heavy metal music!”
— BBC Scotland News (@BBCScotlandNews) April 10, 2018
Henderson said the raid had completely taken them by surprise, stating:
“We were sitting around the fire telling ghost stories, and that’s when we started seeing loads of weird lights in the sky and across the water and then there were more and more of them … We killed the fire because we didn’t know who this was, and our priority was to protect the kids … It was like something out of a movie, like some kind of an ‘X-Files’ episode.”
Responders smashed windows of the campers’ vehicles, Henderson said, “because they thought something sinister was going on, and they were looking for a suicide note.”
Upon being taken back to the mainland, EMTs checked the campers’ vital signs while officers questioned them as to what was going on. Henderson said, “I think there were 22 vehicles there, and about 50 to 70 people. It was bizarre!”
After establishing that no one was in danger, authorities allowed the campers to return to their night out, although they had to sleep in their newly ventilated cars. Henderson said:
“They kind of made us feel as if we did something wrong, but when they realized we were just a bunch of good friends taking our kids on a heavy metal camping trip, that was the end of it.”
Henderson also noted the irony that they were “rescued” from a warm, safe, comfortable place and had to then crouch up in cold cars with broken windows, but he added:
“Apart from all that, it was fun. The kids were calm and are used to wild camping, so it was just another adventure really.”
Recommended For You:
Main photo: Monster with a dagger in hand [iStockPhoto]