|Rendlesham Forest UFO Incident
Rendlesham Forest, Suffolk, England
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.
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.
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
However, when the file was released in 2001 it turned out to consist
mostly of internal correspondence and responses to inquiries from the
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
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
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
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 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.
Rendlesham witnesses, Colonel Charles
(USAF-Ret., former deputy base commander of Bentwaters-Woodbridge) and Technical Sergeant Jim Penniston (right)
(USAF-Ret., Woodbridge security supervisor)
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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."