WWII And The Religion Of The Great Silver Birds Of Vanuatu Island

In 1942 the people of Tanna in the Vanuatu islands of what is now Melanesia in the South Pacific witnessed a miracle.  Human-like beings with white skin came ashore from gray rafts of immense size and began clearing the land in a long strip with machines that belched smoke and fire and roared like beasts.  When there were done, all was quiet and the birds sang in the trees again and you could hear the surf beating against the shore.

Then, great silver birds came down from the sky and landed on the cleared land, and from their bellies came wonderous things and more white men too.  Huge boxes of wood were unloaded containing meat and other foods in cans.  Then great drums of a brown liquid that burned, a green monster with black, round legs that four men sat on while it moved faster than any man could run.  There were even boxes that spoke and made music. And the strangers were friendly too, they shared food and sweet candy and they had healers that could cure the sick. They lived in houses made of shiny metal or green cloth and they mostly dressed the same in shades of blue or green. They called the boxes, “Cargo.”

Many happy months went by and then one day, the strangers suddenly left and never returned.

To the technologically primitive people of Vanna island, this was what the arrival of U.S. forces on the island during WWII appeared to be, miracles and wonders from these white strangers who came from the sea and the air, like Gods.