Finnish Island Freaks Out During Military 'Invasion'

The 'invasion' was really just a training exercise
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 31, 2016 4:34 PM CDT
Finnish Island Freaks Out During Military 'Invasion'
An armored personnel carrier, or APC, of the Finnish Army, shown in November 2007.   (AP Photo/LEHTIKUVA/Antti Aimo-Koivisto)

There's a goofy Monty Python song called "Finland," and what transpired on one of the Nordic country's islands last week could have been taken right out of one of the comedy troupe's sketch lineups—except local residents weren't laughing. No one gave the people on the island of Kamsholmen a heads-up that a nighttime military training exercise was going to be held there, so when men in uniforms carrying what appeared to be firearms and backpacks started disembarking from a boat and running into the forest, some citizens panicked, a local newspaper reports via the BBC. "Of course I was scared," one man says, noting as soon as the troops had disappeared into the trees, he jumped onto his own boat and fled the island.

It was all just part of the Finnish military's spring training practice, though reports vary as to whether Kamsholmen was an 11th-hour addition to the destination list or a predetermined training ground where residents were mistakenly left out of the loop. At least one Scandinavian company is trying to mitigate the terrifying incident for the locals: The Gevalia coffee company, which usually advocates keeping its hot beverage around for surprise visitors, say it will send free java to anyone who's recently had "unexpected military guests." (Another Finland quirk: Postal workers now mow residents' lawns every Tuesday.)

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