Rambo in solidarity: saving lives in the Balkan War with an armored Chevrolet Camaro

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Avatar for pandoru1997
2 years ago

Not all heroes wear capes. The protagonist of this story should well be considered a hero: his name is Helge Meyer and he was a Danish "Green Beret" (Jaeger Corps). After serving his country in 1991 in Operation Desert Storm - the recapture of Kuwait by the US and NATO after it had been overrun by Saddam Hussein - he left military service. However, his faith and passion for helping those in need pushed him to become a kind of solidarity Rambo, saving lives in the Balkans aboard an armored Chevrolet Camaro - christened "The Ghost Camaro". This is his story.

During the 1990s, the last major European conflict, the Balkan War, took place. The disintegration of the former Soviet Yugoslavia led to a cruel war, with racial overtones and religious conflicts. A merciless conflict in which the civilian population was the most affected, with hundreds of thousands of refugees. Those who remained in their homes suffered ethnic reprisals, as well as an acute lack of basic foodstuffs or medicine. Bosnia-Herzegovina was possibly the hardest hit region: the Bosnian War was the bloodiest, with the conflict lasting from 1992 to 1995.

Helge was already living in Denmark when an army commander invited him to visit the Rhine Main Air Force Base in Germany. At that time, the Bosnian conflict was in its worst phase, with great suffering of the civilian population. Helge was committed to helping them, but he had renounced violence, leading a life of Christian faith. He made an agreement with the army: he would help Bosnia's neediest with the help of his second-generation Chevrolet Camaro. The car was transformed by air force mechanics into a fast... and undetectable machine.

Its carbureted 5.7 V8 engine developed only 220 hp, but thanks to a nitrous oxide bottle, it was capable of developing up to 440 hp for 13 seconds. Enough time to reach 200 km/h, and leave behind rebels, corrupt police and military convoys. Its rear window and many body panels were covered in Kevlar, and a steel plate was installed as underbody protection, at the back of the seats and on the side windows. A huge reinforced fender occupied the front, in case it was necessary to ram other vehicles, or move obstacles out of the way.

The paint of the car was the same as that of the F-117 Nighthawk, a paint undetectable by infrared rays, and impossible to see in the dark. Almost all the missions of the "War Camaro" or "Ghost Camaro" were carried out under the protection of darkness. On these missions, Helge transported up to 400 kilograms of medicine, supplies and food to conflict-ridden areas. To be able to see in the dark, Meyer wore night vision goggles. In addition to his bulletproof vest, he also wore a thermal signal detector, which saved his life on one occasion.

The Ghost Camaro was the brainchild of a Danish Special Forces officer, Helge Meyer, who was on duty at the Main Rhine Air Force Base when the war in Bosnia began. The amazing thing is that Meyer never carried a weapon during this war, earning him the nickname "Guds Rambo" ("God's Rambo"). His only weapon was the stealth muscle car.

When Helge was encountered by local police or rebel groups in the area, they often didn't believe his story. They thought he was some kind of spy, or a special operations agent. On several occasions he was arrested, beaten up and had his life terminated on many occasions. The armor of his Camaro and his metal helmet saved him from almost certain death. Until his final retirement, he made at least 68 trips to the front, some of them even with a nurse as a companion. As I said at the beginning of the article, not all heroes wear a cape...

Meyer and Camaro's missions were amazing, making deliveries during the night and day. When not on duty, the car was very good at hiding from the police and military. Sure, Meyer was chased in it and the car even took a few bullets, but the damage was never great thanks to Meyer's well-timed nitrous shots, his great knowledge of back roads and the Camaro's ability to be invisible on radar. That's why it was known as the "Ghost Car." One moment it was there, the next...well, it wasn't.

After leaving the army, Helge took his Camaro back to Denmark, where he still has it in perfect working order. Now, 20 years later, the ghost car is still in his garage. The color was changed to orange, but everything else remained the same, including the original 5.7-liter V8 engine. Helge Meyer is now retired and drives his muscle car very often, with over 100,000 km. Congratulations, Meyer!

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