Gone But Not Forgotten
Jul 30, 2001
The real Rendlesham story?


This is from a review of Georgina Bruni's book 'You Can't Tell the People: the cover up of Britain's Roswell.' (Sigwick and Jackson, 2000.). It was written by Peter Rogerson and appeared in Magonia last year.:

"The one message coming from this book is that "it's not the lighthouse, it couldn't be the lighthouse, you mustn't think it was that bloody lighthouse". So someone is very determined that the lighthouse story doesn't come out, and that wild flying saucer stories continue to circulate.

Just think for a moment, if you were the USAF or the British or American governments and you were pushed to into an absolute corner, which story would cause you the most embarrassment in the tabloids: "Drug crazed American servicemen fired on a lighthouse thinking it was an ALIEN SPACESHIP (shock horror), and these are the men guarding the CRUISE MISSILES" (even more shock horror); or, "Brave lightly armed US servicemen confront an ALIEN SPACESHIP, risking all to do their sacred duty and protect their precious charge". No real contest is it? True or not, the first headline invites in all sorts of real investigative journalists, sniffing out tales of sex, drugs and rock'n'roll, and a state of affairs too close to Bilko for comfort. The second invites cranks and makes sure that real journalists stay far away. However you must be careful not to make the UFO story too credible, that might mean serious scientists sniffing around, So if you spread UFO stories, make sure they are not that credible, and keep a good deal of crank stuff in to keep scientists and open minded journalists at bay.

And if the lighthouse story does come out, its all in the context of an incestuous ufologist/debunker debate that no-one else listens to. Would it matter that much now the Cold War is over? Well no one wants to look foolish and its clearly in the interest of those concerned to look their best, especially to a nice attractive lady ufologist. And even now who knows what big bad secrets might come out if there was too much sniffing about. Perhaps long before 1980, these bases held, at least in part, the biggest, baddest secret of them all.

What such a secret might be is anyone's guess, but as a purely fictional, hypothetical example take the following. Have you noticed how many of the real big secrets such as the crashing nuclear bomber and the Lakeneath UFO case come from 1956. Ms Bruni reports another vague story of something nuclear being launched from the Orford Ness area in the August of 1956. There are three stories, unusual activity, nuclear and crash all from the Summer of 1956, the height of the Suez crisis. Suppose they were all reflections, refractions and covers of the real big bad one, the one secret which could never ever be revealed; that some time during the Suez crisis the ill and unbalanced Anthony Eden ordered one or more bombers armed with atomic weapons to nuke Nasser. Someone tipped off the Americans, and when appeals to reason failed, on Eisenhower's personal orders it or they were shot down by American fighters from Lakenheath, Woodbridge or Bentwaters. Just think of the consequences of something like that getting out, and the levels of secrecy and suppression that would be used to make sure it never it."

I thought the latest theory was that it was some old farmer pottering around in his tractor at 3 am, though I'm sure that would have been a familiar sight to the regular guards, and same for the lighthouse.
I haven't read the latest flurry of stuff on the RFI but the most
puzzling thing about it used to be the emergence of a document
in the USA at a time when the incident was regarded as dead.

Suddenly it was news again and no one could see any advantage
to the authorities in the release of the new information.

I gather that UK researcher Jenny Randles has also written a
book debunking the mystery and fallen out with enthusiasts for
the close encounter.

The notion that UFOs are used to deflect press attention has always
seemed weird to me, given that investigative journalism has more
or less bitten the dust. In this case, there was no "Firing at Lighthouse"
story to debunk, so far as I can recall. :confused:
There was an article in ft several issues ago, stating the tractor theory. There was also an exerpt from Bruni's book, with photo's from the police files I think.

I thought some of the bizarre details from the case made it an unlikely cover story, in particular the "molten metal" the witnesses described dripping from the ufo. I think there was radar contact as well. It seems a tad elaborate. Have the military types really that much imagination?
Perhaps they were all tripping their nuts off after all...
I believe Jenny Randles, like any self-respecting hack making a living from the pen, has written books supporting both pro- and anti-ET versions of the Rendlesham incident.

And what's all this about Suez and Eden? A couple of decades out of kilter, surely?
The report still confirms that they saw something strange, which is good enough for me.
It could have been something natural but mysterious, like ball lightning or the Hessdalen lights for example, which is still interesting.
Yeah, but not as big a story as either:

"Drug crazed American servicemen fired on a lighthouse thinking it was an ALIEN SPACESHIP (shock horror), and these are the men guarding the CRUISE MISSILES" (even more shock horror); or, "Brave lightly armed US servicemen confront an ALIEN SPACESHIP, risking all to do their sacred duty and protect their precious charge".

The term "ufo believer" does not instantly translate into "believer in aliens".
Amongst forteans there are people who believe in ufos, but not necessarily alien visitors. I wish saucer-heads would stop hijacking all the reports of, shall we call them UAP's (Unidentified Aerial Phenomena), when there's no real sign of any aliens. I find an exotic energy form as exciting a prospect as little grey men, perhaps even more so. Perhaps I'm just boring.
The term "ufo believer" does not instantly translate into "believer in aliens".

You're quite right, I apologise for the sloppy phrasing. I was going to put "ETH'ers" and then thought that was too obscure, but couldn't think of an alternative.

For what its worth, I think that the 'earthlights' theories are fascinating, and its a shame we don't hear more of them. For instance the correlations between the Mexico UFO flap and the activity of the volcano that I can't spell - Pococatapeal??
I had problems spelling that one too.
I'm sure it's behind most ufo sightings, but like with the Hessdalen lights, they've little funding, but they're getting better equipment on the case.
Take away the media circus and the core phenomena is worth some serious study, you just can't make the best seller-list with a natural, non-ET hypothesis. Jenny Randles cranks a book out every couple of months it seems! Someone put that woman on horse tranquillisers quick!
Tubal Cain said:
you just can't make the best seller-list with a natural, non-ET hypothesis
Yup, it's what people want. Which is why UFOs are always seen by people like that weirdo in Bedhampton, but never by amateur astronomers who are out gazing at the skies every night.
A typical example of 'seeing what you want to see' was reported in UFO magazine a couple of years ago. It was the usual story of a bloke driving his family home late at night after a long day; he was driving along the motorway through Cheshire when he saw three glowing red lights in the sky ahead of him. The whole family got alarmed, they experienced several other things as they drove along, got home, had trouble sleeping (nothing to do with their bedtime cups of coffee, of course). My husband is an ex-trucker, very familiar with the motorways. I asked him about this particular stretch and he told me that ICI have one of their refineries there, with a flare-off pipe that sometimes burns at night. It was in exactly the opposite direction that this bloke had seen the three red lights - but if he had been seeing the flare-off through his back window and reflected in his windscreen, it might well have appeared as 3 lights. Needless to say, at no point had this man pulled onto the hard shoulder, got out of the car and had a good look at these mysterious lights - he had just thought "UFOs!!!!! EEK!!!" and put his foot down.
A psycho-social explanation cannot account for sightings that occur outside of cultural references to aliens. It also can't account for physical traces left behind, like the marks left behind at Rendlesham.
Take the Mekong mystery lights; a folk belief has arisen locally regarding this phenomena (it's a dragon's eggs), but the phenomena can still be witnessed by people not affected by that belief system:


The witnesses in this case assume it is a natural phenomena, not aliens!
Freedom of info act news

Details of a mysterious "glowing" UFO seen close to an RAF base more than 20 years ago have been released under the Freedom of Information Act.
Restrictions on the Ministry of Defence's "Rendlesham File" were dropped as part of an opening-up of the inner workings of Whitehall.

Ministers are attempting to lift the official veil of secrecy by repealing or amending a raft of legislation banning access to information.

From this Sunday government departments will be required to release information on the internal workings of Whitehall, including minutes of meetings of top civil servants.
And from that august organ, Teletext News :

A bizarre alleged sighting of a UFO near RAF Woodbridge more than 20 years ago has been released by the Government under the Freedom of Information Act.

The MoD's restricted "Rendlesham File" was released as part of the opening up of the inner workings of Whitehall.

Over dozens of pages which could have come from a script of the X-Files, a glowing triangular object is described.
RECEIVED: 28/11/2002 17:18:59

Not a lighthouse then...
Mine too: having slogged though "Left at East Gate" I became less and less convinced by the account as the book progressed. Especially when they got to the underground ET base - In the desert of North America: maybe. In East Anglia, below the water table? No. They'd stick an underground base somewhere higher above sea level, IMHO.
Isn't Left at East Gate a load of tosh anyway? I've read in loads of stuff that Larry Warren wasn't at the landing site on the nights in question. Nobody saw him, in fact, many even categorically deny that he was anywhere near.

He sounds to me like the sort of person who knows the best way to make a quick buck in UFOlogy is to go to the extreme, no matter what the truth, and claims like his will only muddy the waters surrounding the likes of Rendlesham.
BBC UFO reporting wires crossed

The BBC have got their wires crossed on the subject of UFO’s.

On the same day Dr. David Whitehouse, online science editor, publishes his view that “All OFO’s are bunk” here

BBC Radio 4 News comes out with a UK Government UFO cover-up 20 years ago here

If its all bunk, David, whats to cover up?

Interesting urban legend there in the comments at the bottom of the BBC Radio 4 News link-
Rumours abound in that part of Suffolk. From the radar tests in WWII to the rumours about nuclear testing in Orford Ness, East Anglia has always had a reputation for being a little odd. What I really want to know though, is after the Rendlesham sighting, did the US Air Force really remove one square mile of topsoil around the area where the UFO was seen? This was the other part of the Rendlesham rumour I heard...
Jamie, Chiswick
Soil? Did they think they were dealing with vampires or something?
It seems to be the case that the 'online science editor' and the 'online political editor', whoever that may be, simply do not work together.

"If its all bunk, David, whats to cover up?"

Former defence minister Peter Kilfoyle said the examples outlined in the report on the Ombudsman's work between May and October were symptomatic of a "culture of secrecy" in the MoD.

Veil of secrecy

"It is one of those departments that have always opposed freedom of information and are not very attuned to what is required in a modern, open and accountable government," he said.

"Other departments and Whitehall as a whole have a problem with openness but the MoD is one of the more incorrigible cases of government by secrecy," he said.

The ET explanation for UFOs is bunk until there is evidence otherwise. There are other possibilities as discussed here.

On the other hand:


Dr David Whitehouse:
"UFOs in the sense of unexplained lights in the sky certainly exist.
But flying saucers, that is, alien spacecraft, never have."

Does he have evidence for this claim?

"Is it not strange that of all the photos and film shot of UFO's are poor and inadequate. You might have thought that at least one of them would be a close-up and in focus."

I doubt that he has seen all of the photos and film shot of UFOs.

"One can talk to researchers, or read their books, and be told that they did have hard evidence, sometimes in the form of alien artefacts."

Which researchers has he spoken to exactly?
Rendlesham memos released

Link is dead. Content not found at the Wayback Machine:
Last edited by a moderator:
And there are five big pdf files for download on the Rense site.

I was lazily hoping for someone to sift them. Is there anything
here for anyone except Rendelsham completists? :confused:
Bump! Rendlesham Threads merged.
rynner, you might as well add this thread to the original Rendlesham thread....
Bump! OK, Justin, newer thread grafted on to original one.
Rendlesham UFO: The Last Word?


UFO lights were 'a prank'

Kevin Conde says he used patrol car lights to fool colleagues
A former US security policeman has said he was responsible for strange lights in a forest which sparked claims of a UFO sighting.
He said a patrol car - and not a UFO - was to blame for strange lights which have sparked two decades

A number of Air Force men said they saw an object in Rendlesham Forest in Suffolk in the early hours of 27 December, 1980.

Reports said the "UFO" was transmitting blue pulsating lights and sending nearby farm animals into a "frenzy".

But more than 20 years later, Kevin Conde has said he and another airman shined patrol car lights through the trees and made noises on the loudspeaker as a prank on a security guard at nearby RAF Woodbridge in Suffolk.

'Very strange place'

Mr Conde said: "It was fertile ground for a practical joke, and practical jokes are a tradition in the security police.

"We just drove through the forest flashing the lights through the fog.

"It wasn't a UFO, it was a 1979 Plymouth Volare."

Kevin Conde thinks people have overreacted to the prank
Mr Conde was stationed elsewhere shortly after the incident, and he had no idea his hoax was responsible for the Rendlesham UFO myth, which led to requests for information from the Ministry of Defence and the US government.

The mystery of the lights has continued for 23 years.

Brenda Butler, a local resident, said: "It was definitely a craft, because we've seen craft down here.

"Rendlesham is a very strange place - it's like a doorway opening from another dimension."

Despite Mr Conde's admission, some witnesses do not believe they saw patrol car lights that night in Rendlesham Forest.

US Air Force Sergeant John Burroughs said: "The blue lights coming down from the sky... I still have never heard of any technology capable of doing what I saw happening."

"The original stuff we saw cannot be taken for a police car. There's no way possible."


Do you chaps buy it?

edit: damn! why didn't i post in the ufology section? Mods: feel free to move it.
edit2: More detailled, older account here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/UFORL/message/657
Duly moved :).

IMHO, no matter what anyone says or does, like a slightly more dilute Roswell this story by now has it's own momentum. Even if incontrovertible proof were furnished one way or the other there will always be those who will believe otherwise.

It's the old skeptic vs. true believer problem: proof of truth to one is proof of delusion to the other - and once again, in the commentary box, the Fortean :D.
Roswell Lite...

I spotted this on the local news on CEEFAX last night, it also was on 'Inside Out' one of the regional news programmes which I unfortunately missed.

Like Stu I think whatever the 'truth' about the story it's taken on a legendary status, and a few inconvenient facts won't stop it.

It can only be a matter of time before someone claims that this Security Guard has been 'got at' (possibly by the MIB) and that this is all part of the cover-up.

Do I believe that the highly trained professionals of the USAF could chase each other round a forest at night, acting like headless chickens and spooking themselves into thinking they'd seen UFOs...well, yes.

Brenda Butler's comment about seeing craft seems to be a case of dragging in an unrelated incident and then retro-fitting this to support the original story. Of course they'd seen craft down there, it was an airforce base.