Rendlesham Forest UFO Incident
Bentwaters / Woodbridge UFO aka Britain's Roswell

Rendlesham Forest UFO Incident
Rendlesham Forest, Suffolk, England

The Rendlesham Forest case is undoubtedly one of the best documented and most significant military encounters with a UFO. It is also a very credible incident. The incident spanned four days in 1980.

The Rendlesham Forest Incident is the name given to a series of reported sightings of unexplained lights and the alleged landing of a craft of unknown origin in Rendlesham Forest, Suffolk, England in late December 1980.

Some Ufologists believe it is perhaps the most famous UFO event to have happened in Britain, ranking amongst the best-known UFO events worldwide.

Along with the Berwyn Mountain UFO incident, it has been compared to the Roswell UFO incident in the United States, and is sometimes referred to as "Britain's Roswell".

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) denied that the event posed any threat to national security, and stated that it was therefore never investigated as a security matter.

Later evidence indicated that there was a substantial MoD file on the subject, which led to claims of a cover-up.

Some interpreted this as part of a larger pattern of information suppression concerning the true nature of unidentified flying objects, by both the United States and British governments.

However, when the file was released in 2001 it turned out to consist mostly of internal correspondence and responses to inquiries from the public.

The lack of any in-depth investigation confirmed that the case was never taken seriously by the MoD.

The UFO Incident

Around 3 a.m. on December 26th, 1980 strange lights were reported by a security patrol near the East Gate of RAF Woodbridge. Servicemen initially thought it was a downed aircraft  but, upon entering the forest to investigate, they saw many strange lights moving through the trees, as well as a bright light from an unidentified object.

Shortly after 4 a.m. local police were called to the scene but reported that the only lights they could see were those from the Orford Ness lighthouse, some miles away on the coast. Some reports claim that local farmyard animals had been behaving in a state of fear and panic.

Three servicemen were sent out to investigate and came upon a triangular and brightly lit object silently hovering in the woods several feet off the ground.

It was a conical metallic object, suspended in a yellow mist, hovering over a clearing in the trees, with a pulsating blue and red circle of light above.

One made detailed notes of its features, touched its "warm" surface, and copied the numerous symbols on its body. The object flew away after their brief encounter. One eyewitness claims to have seen triangular landing gear on the object leaving three impressions in the ground that were visible the next day.

The airmen were allegedly debriefed, threatened and ordered to sign documents that vowed silence; one even claimed to have been forced to sign a document claiming the UFO was a lighthouse.

Some reports suggest that they were reportedly ordered to stay quiet, with the warning "bullets are cheap". Lieutenant Colonel Halt, however, claimed in a 2008 interview for U.S. news channel CNN that to this day he has not been debriefed over the incident.

After daybreak on the morning of December 26th, servicemen returned to the small clearing where the conical object had been seen, and found three small impressions in a triangular pattern, as well as burn marks and broken branches on nearby trees.

Plaster casts of the imprints were taken and have been shown in television documentaries. At 10.30 a.m. the local police were called out again, this time to see the impressions on the ground, which they thought could have been made by an animal.

UFO Invasion At Rendlesham

The Rendlesham case is one with explosive implications. Uncovering the truth about what really happened there could finally reveal why UFOs are the most closely guarded secret of the modern age.

The servicemen returned to the site again in the early hours of December 28th, 1980 with radiation detectors, although the significance of the readings they obtained is disputed.

The deputy base commander Lt Col Charles I. Halt  investigated this sighting personally and recorded the events on a micro-cassette recorder.

The site investigated by Halt was near the eastern edge of the forest. It was during this investigation that a flashing light was seen across the field to the east, almost in line with a farmhouse.

Later, starlike lights were seen in the sky to the north and south, the brightest of which seemed to beam down a stream of light from time to time. There are claims that the incident was videoed by the USAF; but, if so, the resulting tape has not been made public.

Rendlesham Forest UFO Incident

Strange But True?

Michael Aspel presents "Strange But True" Rendlesham Forest UFO incident, first shown on ITV Meridian channel on Friday December 9th, 1994.

Strange But True? was a British supernatural documentary television series, presented by Michael Aspel, which explored supernatural phenomena and unexplained mysteries.

It was produced by LWT and broadcast in the United Kingdom on ITV between 1993 and 1997. A pilot episode in May 1993 proved extremely popular, and led to four series, including the third which was given the title of Strange But True? Encounters.

The series explored a number of aspects of unexplained activity, from ghosts and poltergeists, to near death experiences, vampires and aliens. One episode featured an apparent communication from aliens in the year 2109. Other episodes featured phenomena including "phantom hitchhikers" and 11th-century monks in haunted castles. The story consultant for Strange But True? was Jenny Randles.

Rendlesham witnesses, Colonel Charles Halt (left) (USAF-Ret., former deputy base commander of Bentwaters-Woodbridge) and Technical Sergeant Jim Penniston (right) (USAF-Ret., Woodbridge security supervisor)

Rendlesham Forest is owned by the Forestry Commission and consists of about 5.8 square miles (15 km2) of coniferous plantations, interspersed with broadleaved belts, heathland and wetland areas.

It is located in the county of Suffolk, about 8 miles (13 km) east of the town of Ipswich.

The incident occurred in the vicinity of two military bases (now both abandoned by the USAF). These are RAF Bentwaters, which is just to the north of the forest, and RAF Woodbridge which extends into the forest from the west.

At the time, both were being used by the United States Air Force (USAF) and were under the command of wing commander Colonel Gordon E. Williams.

The base commander was Col Ted Conrad, and his deputy was Lieutenant Colonel Charles I. Halt. Halt's memo to the Ministry of Defence on the incident, and his personal involvement in the second night of the sightings, has given the case credibility.

The main events of the incident, including the supposed landing, took place in the forest, almost a mile (1,600 m) to the east of the East Gate of RAF Woodbridge.Orford Ness lighthouse, which skeptics identify as the flashing light seen off to the coast by the airmen, is another 5 miles (8.0 km) further east of this location.

A copy of what became known as the "Halt Tape" fell into the hands of researchers. Unfortunately, because of static and the fact that the tape had been dubbed on an old machine, much of its background conversations could not be discerned. The US SyFy Channel acquired the original recording, which documents Halt and his patrol investigating a UFO sighting in Rendlesham Forest in December 1980.

This tape not only reveals much more of the background conversations but features names that could not be heard on the poor-quality 1984 dub.

This is the cut version of Col. Charles Halt´s tape which he recorded during the UFO incident that took place in Rendlesham Forest and on the US airforce bases Bentwaters and Woodbridge in Dec. 1980.

Col. Charles Halt used the tape recorder to document important moments and details during their investigation that lasted over several hours that night.

Retired Sgt. John Burroughs states that the events took place over three successive nights (pm into am); 25th–26th, 26th–27th and 27th–28th December 1980. One of the key pieces of primary evidence—the "Halt memo", suggests that the first sightings were on the 27th, rather than 26th.

However, the memo was written almost two weeks after the event and its author later agreed that he had probably made a mistake in his recollection of the dates.

This discrepancy in dates has not only confused subsequent researchers but also led to confusion at the time, for example in the MoD's investigation and analysis of contemporaneous radar records.
One of the most prominent believers in the extraterrestrial origin of the Rendlesham UFOs is Nick Pope who worked for the MoD, researching and investigating UFO phenomena between 1991 and 1994.

He discussed the Rendlesham Forest Incident in his various books and in his articles. He has gone on record as saying that "the Rendlesham Forest Incident is bigger than Roswell".

Some of the first people to examine the event in detail were the British Ufologist Jenny Randles in her book "Sky Crash", and Nick Redfern in his books "Cosmic Crashes" and "A Covert Agenda".

UFO Incident at RAF Bentwaters/Woodbridge

Short documentary on the famous UFO encounter at the twin USAF bases in Suffolks Rendlesham Forest, much more information has surfaced in recent years.

Georgina Bruni has researched the subject and in her book You Can't Tell the People publishes a photograph of the supposed landing site taken on the morning after the first sighting.

The late Lord Hill-Norton, (Admiral of the Fleet and former Chief of the Defence Staff of the UK) also believed that a UFO landed at Rendlesham and repeatedly questioned the UK Government on the issue.

Larry Warren who was the source of the original News of the World article has written extensively on the subject and is a firm believer in an extraterrestrial explanation. Warren was certainly a USAF airman at the Woodbridge base, but his own claims that he was a witness to the incident are disputed by others, notably by Col. Halt.

Bruni and Warren do not agree on the details and have clashed publicly over the supposed inaccuracies of their respective accounts. Prominent amongst the sceptics is Ian Ridpath. Much of his research is available on his website, which also includes much of the raw evidence, including the original eyewitness statements.

Jenny Randles, who originally brought the case to prominence, wrote an extensive article in her book with David Clarke and Andy Roberts, (The UFOs That Never Were) entitled "Rendle Shame Forest" where she came to the conclusion that "While some puzzles remain, we can probably say that no unearthly craft were seen in Rendlesham Forest. We can also argue with confidence that the main focus of the events was a series of misperceptions of everyday things encountered in less than everyday circumstances."

Lieutenant Colonel (later Colonel) Charles I Halt, the former Deputy Base Commander of USAF Bentwaters and Woodbridge, who was a major witness to these events, is also a firm believer and contributor to books and documentaries. As stated in his recent affidavit, Halt believes he witnessed an extraterrestrial event that was then covered up.

Halt was also a speaker at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. on September 27th, 2010, one of half a dozen former Air Force officers testifying on the subject of "U.S. Nuclear Weapons Have Been Compromised by Unidentified Aerial Objects."