This Innocent Scottish Metalhead Campout Turned into a Massive Police Rescue Operation
The locals apparently thought they were some suicidal cult.
Photo of a tent by Flickr user jchapiewsky; photo of police by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
On Sunday, three guys tossed some gear in their car and drove to Loch Leven, Scotland, for a good old-fashioned camping trip with their three pre-teen kids and a dog named Jazz. They hopped in a rowboat, paddled out into the water, and set up camp on a little island, where they built a teepee and cooked up a meal around the fire. It was a beautiful, innocent stint in the great outdoors like any other.
But as far as the police were concerned, it might as well have been the next Jonestown Massacre. It turns out that the men, Panagiotis Filis, Ross Anderson, and David Henderson, are all big-time metal fans and they were decked out alongside their kids in face paint and black clothing like a KISS cover band. Some passerby apparently thought that meant the campers were going out on some sort of suicide pact and alerted the cops, even though they were just looking to spend a little quality time with nature.
"For some reason the police had received a tip that we might be in grave danger and they came to rescue us," Filis, a university lecturer, told the Guardian. “They really did a great job of rescuing us. The only issue is that we didn’t need rescuing."
By nightfall, the campers found themselves at the center of a massive rescue operation, the Scotsman reports. While a chopper swirled overhead, two lifeboats jetted out to the island with their police lights flashing, and cops shattered Anderson's car windows looking for a suicide note. There were about 20 fire trucks, ambulances, and police cars waiting for them on the shore, staffed by roughly 50 emergency services personnel, the Guardian reports.
"The amount of resources they threw at it was just ridiculous,” Anderson told the Guardian. "It felt to me that they were all pumped up and ready to take on something when there was nothing to take on."
Eventually, the cops realized the campers weren't actually some kind of suicidal, Satanist cult, and let them get back to their metalhead vacation. But their time in the great outdoors was pretty much ruined: They'd put out their fire, packed up their tent, and—since the guys had a few beers, and couldn't drive home—decided to spend the night sleeping in their cars, presumably to the tune of Black Flag's "Police Story."
"They rescued us from an environment which was absolutely safe and comfortable," Henderson told the BBC, "to an environment that was freezing cold [with] broken windows on our cars."
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This article originally appeared on VICE US.