Finnish man flees 'invasion' in scare caused by unannounced military drill

© Michael Dalder
A resident of a Finnish island was given a scare when he saw soldiers crawling into the woods late at night, armed with what appeared to be rifles. He was so alarmed that he called the police – but the 'invaders' were actually members of Finland's own army.

When Bjarne Winberg saw the troops arrive on Kamsholmen island at 11pm, he was so terrified that he hopped in his boat, fled the island, and called the emergency services.

“Of course I was scared,” Winberg told Ilta-Sanomat newspaper. “I crept into my own boat and got straight off the island, to be on the safe side.”

But Winberg needn't have worried – the troops didn't come from a foreign country hoping to claim Finland as its own, but rather were domestic soldiers taking part in the military's spring training exercises.

And though it may seem like a good idea to inform residents of such an 'invasion,' there was apparently a bit of a mix-up in doing so.

A local report quoted an organizer as saying it didn't occur to them “that someone might get scared.”

However, Ostnyland newspaper quoted a defense spokesman as saying the island wasn't meant to be part of the drills.

There is, though, a silver lining for Winberg and anyone else who may have suffered a fright from the troops' surprise visit. Coffee company Gevalia, whose slogan is 'If you've got an unexpected visit,' has offered to provide free coffee to anyone who, well, received an unexpected visit.

Winberg's reaction is perhaps unsurprising, given the stoked-up scaremongering of an alleged invasion of the Baltic planned by Russia, Finland's eastern neighbor.