Rendlesham Forest Incident

eburacum

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Let's take a look at the Starscope, to see if that gives any clues. The instrument was actually an AN/PVS2 Starlight scope, and Halt didn't know what it was when he first picked it up (this is on the tape). Despite this, he seems to have used it more often than anyone else that night; rank hath its privileges.
The AN/PVS2 scope is a large object, designed for night combat; despite its name, it's not that good at looking at stars, although it gives an advantage to snipers in the dark. Here's one, attached to a rifle
640px-M16A1_PVS-2.JPEG

it is quite a large thing, and would have been tricky to hold steady, even when not attached to a rifle.

-----
These starlight scopes detect infra-red light and project it onto a cathode ray screen inside the scope, so the image you see is completely false. There are strange effects as well, due to the optics and internal reflections; here's a screenshot showing a long, thin, pencil-like lens flare that seems to come directly towards the observer.
starlight scope.png


I suspect that a similar effect is responsible for Halt's pencil-thin rays coming down from the object (s) he observed. Remember he had limited experience with this technology, and either didn't know or forgotten its name. The fact that the Starlight scope also magnifies would have exaggerated the movements of the stars, which movements were almost certainly caused by the hand-held nature of the scope.
 
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Comfortably Numb

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Makes you wonder though!
One wonders no more...

Re the question, was there ever a USAF investigation, the following evidence seems to provide our answer.

It's copy of a letter which exists in, even more, archive material uncovered this morning and was sent to myself for information, many years ago.

This relates to CNN's early (1984) interest in the story:

IMG_20210402_112215~3_resize_22.jpg
 

Comfortably Numb

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With or without hypnotic regression (or any other procedure) having been conducted with him, Penniston's comment emerged circa 13.5 years after the fact.
Absolutely, hence my, 'make your own mind up' disclaimer!

Naturally, the earlier our evidence in any enigmatic Fortean mystery, the more reliable it tends to be.

When did Penniston first speak about the object having symbols... so far as I can trace back, can't recall or locate anything prior to 1994's, 'Strange but True'? broadcast.

He didn't, of course, participate in the prior 'Unsolved Mysteries' feature.

I guess the pont was, whether his heartfelt recollection, or otherwise, it doesn't seem to have originated under, 'hypnotic regression', which at least narrows the possibilities!

I have found a reference to possibly something older within the ParaNet archives and presently trying to locate this.
 

Carl Grove

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Let's take a look at the Starscope, to see if that gives any clues. The instrument was actually an AN/PVS2 Starlight scope, and Halt didn't know what it was when he first picked it up (this is on the tape). Despite this, he seems to have used it more often than anyone else that night; rank hath its privileges.
The AN/PVS2 scope is a large object, designed for night combat; despite its name, it's not that good at looking at stars, although it gives an advantage to snipers in the dark. Here's one, attached to a rifle
640px-M16A1_PVS-2.JPEG

it is quite a large thing, and would have been tricky to hold steady, even when not attached to a rifle.

-----
These starlight scopes detect infra-red light and project it onto a cathode ray screen inside the scope, so the image you see is completely false. There are strange effects as well, due to the optics and internal reflections; here's a screenshot showing a long, thin, pencil-like lens flare that seems to come directly towards the observer.
View attachment 37556

I suspect that a similar effect is responsible for Halt's pencil-thin rays coming down from the object (s) he observed. Remember he had limited experience with this technology, and either didn't know or forgotten its name. The fact that the Starlight scope also magnifies would have exaggerated the movements of the stars, which movements were almost certainly caused by the hand-held nature of the scope.
The question is whether Halt would have been constantly using the image intensifier throughout the night. I would have thought that if bright objects were flying around, and especially when they started sending light beams down to the ground (a) it would hardly be necessary to use such a device, and (b) it might be a bit awkward -- you couldn't keep it stuck to your eye while walking about in woodland/uneven ground. I suspect he would tend to use it only when a distant light seemed worth a closer inspection.
 

Comfortably Numb

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Note he saw it through the trees, and indistinctly. I've put a picture of a 1980-vintage tractor next to it to suggest what may have been the culprit.
Oh Good Lord Almichty...

It's scary...

No, not our seminal UFO case, the amount of related research material I gathered circa late 90s, wrote about and have little recollection of same.

On the subject of a tractor explanation, why not throw in controversies re Nick Pope, my stated displeasure with cover-up and conspiracy theories (no need for them!) and, the hell... just go for it with another potential 'new' (to ourselves, as such) witness to those enigmatic lights in the sky and what she had to say about them.

I had entirely forgotten about
Lori Rehfeldt's correspondence.

There's only one way to do this and that's to upload the entire newsletter:

www.forteanmedia.com/V20.txt

Again, although originally perfectly formatted, the back-up software used had other ideas.

Please enjoy over a :btime:, although perhaps in some cases, a large :beer: may be required after reading Lori's story.

No-one particularly in mind here... :)
 

Comfortably Numb

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The truth is now a miasma.
:)

Your local insight is much appreciated and I wondered if, as a brief aside, you might help to resolve one Fortean occurence within the forest.

When participating in the, 'Network East' documentary, where they brought Kevin Conde across from the States to relate the story of his UFO hoax using the police car's side headlamps to beam up lights, I had time for a leisurely walk alone in the forest.

It was summer, a scorching hot day and such a beautiful place.

I turned around to go back and hovering behind myself at head height was the most enormous - must have been 2 -3 inches long - 'dragonfly' imaginable!

Any idea what that might have been?
 

eburacum

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I would have thought that if bright objects were flying around, and especially when they started sending light beams down to the ground (a) it would hardly be necessary to use such a device
I think we've got this backwards. The 'light beams' were only visible when using the starlight scope, and this image (taken using a 'gen 1' night sight) seems to show just how convincing that would look. In the movie clip you can see the pencil-thin 'light beam' sweep across the field of view, exactly like Halt described - and to be honest, nothing like a laser.

I was wrong about the infra-red though; mea culpa - the AN/PVS2 was an image intensifier, not a thermal camera.
 

Mythopoeika

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:)

Your local insight is much appreciated and I wondered if, as a brief aside, you might help to resolve one Fortean occurence within the forest.

When participating in the, 'Network East' documentary, where they brought Kevin Conde across from the States to relate the story of his UFO hoax using the police car's side headlamps to beam up lights, I had time for a leisurely walk alone in the forest.

It was summer, a scorching hot day and such a beautiful place.

I turned around to go back and hovering behind myself at head height was the most enormous - must have been 2 -3 inches long - 'dragonfly' imaginable!

Any idea what that might have been?
The planet Venus.
 

eburacum

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Here's an animated gif I've just made, showing exactly how a starlight scope could generate a lens flare that looks like a laser beam.
beam.gif

Note this isn't an optical illusion- it is what the observer would actually see.
 

Carl Grove

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Here's an animated gif I've just made, showing exactly how a starlight scope could generate a lens flare that looks like a laser beam. View attachment 37584
Note this isn't an optical illusion- it is what the observer would actually see.
In all honesty it doesn't suggest pencil slim laser-like beams to me -- it's just a blurry collection of lights and reflections. Did Halt actually state that he was using the image intensifier when he saw the beams? You seem very sure that he was.
 

eburacum

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That is the obvious conclusion. Even if he does not remember it that way, the odds are good that he was.
Remember, even for flashbulb memories the accuracy is only 57% (on average).
 

Carl Grove

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Oh Good Lord Almichty...

It's scary...

No, not our seminal UFO case, the amount of related research material I gathered circa late 90s, wrote about and have little recollection of same.

On the subject of a tractor explanation, why not throw in controversies re Nick Pope, my stated displeasure with cover-up and conspiracy theories (no need for them!) and, the hell... just go for it with another potential 'new' (to ourselves, as such) witness to those enigmatic lights in the sky and what she had to say about them.

I had entirely forgotten about
Lori Rehfeldt's correspondence.

There's only one way to do this and that's to upload the entire newsletter:

www.forteanmedia.com/V20.txt

Again, although originally perfectly formatted, the back-up software used had other ideas.

Please enjoy over a :btime:, although perhaps in some cases, a large :beer: may be required after reading Lori's story.

No-one particularly in mind here... :)
Rendlesham now seems to be a huge jigsaw puzzle in which none of the pieces fit. Some things that seemed reliable now seem unreliable, and some things that were once ruled out now seem to be back in the frame. I agree completely about the disclosure project -- there are some patently genuine disclosures but also obvious disinformation that should have been screened out before the disinformers had a chance to present their nonsense in public. The obvious accent on the ETH detracts from its value anyway.
 

Carl Grove

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That is the obvious conclusion. Even if he does not remember it that way, the odds are good that he was.
Remember, even for flashbulb memories the accuracy is only 57% (on average).
No, it's not an obvious conclusion to me -- it is to you, because that's your theory. What I am asking is, has Halt ever explicitly stated that he was using the device constantly, and in particular while observing the beams? I suspect not.
 

feinman

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That's a nice animation, but I don't see how Halt could confuse lens flare for beams of light going down to the ground --he would have seen a lot of lens flare looking at bright things through the device, and seen it shift. He's had a bit of time to think about it and remains firm, afaik. The closest mundane explanation for a thing observed is not always the thing itself. but we must keep the door open for Eburacum's explanation.
 

eburacum

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If he had never looked though one before, or rarely done so, I doubt he would be familiar with the lens flare effects in this instrument, or have time to become familiar with them. Remember, he did not know the name of the scope when he first saw it.

In particular I'm surprised how thin and pencil-like the 'beam' looks; there are lots of different types of lens flare, and this particular effect is one of the thinnest and most beam-like flares I've ever seen.
 

eburacum

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What I am asking is, has Halt ever explicitly stated that he was using the device constantly, and in particular while observing the beams? I suspect not.
Well quite. But his memories cannot be relied upon to be accurate. I have always suspected that these weird phenomena were artefacts of the starlight scope system, and this clip reinforces my suspicions considerably.
 

Carl Grove

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Eventually you have to decide based upon the evidence and most critically, I think, the man who generated the evidence. From everything that I've seen of him, at least on the TV screen, Halt comes across as one of the most plausible UFO witnesses there is, in terms of his general level of competence and intelligence. I can see no sign that he's the kind of person, holding a high rank, who would risk his reputation and standing by sticking with a story that he has told consistently for decades if he was in any doubt about what he witnessed. I'm sure that had he been seeing a lot of distorted flashes and lines through the scope as shown above then he would have stopped using it altogether -- I would.
 

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have always suspected that these weird phenomena were artefacts of the starlight scope system, and this clip reinforces my suspicions considerably.
Why then, only the same star apparently beaming down, and not all of them?
 

eburacum

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If the stars in the north were beaming down towards Bentwaters, then the one in the southwest could have beamed down towards Woodbridge. Were there weapons stores in both locations?
 

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Here's an animated gif I've just made, showing exactly how a starlight scope could generate a lens flare that looks like a laser beam.
That is absolutely amazing evidence!
If the stars in the north were beaming down towards Bentwaters, then the one in the southwest could have beamed down towards Woodbridge. Were there weapons stores in both locations?
Apparently affirmative and you are thinking along the same lines here.

Something I was only aware of recently, via an oblique reference to same.

Might have tracked down the source and just checking this out...
 

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Might have tracked down the source and just checking this out...
Once more, something long forgotten about...

Although maybe not certain whether RAF Woodbridge contained the non-nuclear weopons, as opposed to RAF Bentwaters, which we know most certainly did, it seems probable.

This is one reference from correspondence with Mike Jenkins, where he recalls during November 1980:

I remember the joint exercises with the Territorial's , it was quite fun, I also remember also being on alert for the Poland Issue at Christmas time.

The "Incident" was not the territorial's , because their practice target was the Woodbridge WSA, as I was the NCOIC of the Munitions Maintenance Shop at Woodbridge at that time. I then moved to Bentwaters Missile Maintenance, which is when I believe the Lt. Col. Holt excursion occurred".

From the twin-base magazine:

wargme10.jpg
 

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Once more, something long forgotten about...

Although maybe not certain whether RAF Woodbridge contained the non-nuclear weopons, as opposed to RAF Bentwaters, which we know most certainly did, it seems probable.
Going back through my case material, that would be correct, former SMSgt Kevin Conde writing:

"A little about the terms NMSA and WSA. WSA stands for Weapons Storage Area, while NMSA stands for Non-Nuclear lMunitions Storage Area. Once the F-4's left Bentwaters and the A-10's moved in, Bentwaters had a WSA, while Woodbridge's area reverted to a NMSA. You can infer all you want about whatthe difference in names actually represents".

Kevin's UFO hoax story definitely needs revisiting now and I'm checking through all of the lengthy correspondence, not all of which would have been published.

We also have his seperate account:

I was the Law Enforcement patrol on Woodbridge, and was sent out to check into what he saw. What I saw was a bright object floating on the horizon off the end of the Woodbridge runway. As best as I can remember that wouldb be to the Southeast. The object appeared to be flashing red-green-white.The object just seemed to float there.

At first I thought it was an aircraft on final approach, as it was in the
direction that landing aircraft would come from. We called into the desk and had them check with base operations. Base operations told us that there were no aircraft on final, and no aircraft on radar. We continued to puzzle over it until a pilot driving through the gate stopped and told us that what we were looking at was the planet Mars.

(...)

The flashing we saw was caused by atmospheric interference between us and what we were looking at. This is same effect that causes stars to appear to twinkle".

Although evidently not Mars, if a star instead, I wondered if that points towards an explanation for the one thing which has always been puzzling in particular - what was the source of the enigmatic lights which kicked off the entire UFO episode that first night and resulted in an investigation within the forest.
 
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Carl Grove

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I've been going back to my small collection of Rendlesham books to get some more perspective on this. First thing that seems to be getting totally sidelined in this thread is that quite a few sightings had been made by the general public prior to the investigation by Halt and company. If you add in David Boast (and apparently he wasn't the only person to be warned not to say anything) there are many descriptions of phenomena that definitely are not stars or aircraft. I am not going to say, well, we're considering the Halt episode because he and his men were trained observers, because some people here reject that argument completely. In that case, the evidence of the British public must carry as much weight.

Secondly, from the information given here and in Bruni et al. it is clear that Halt had much more than a handful of people with him. Not only low ranked personnel, but apparently others higher up. Had Halt been wandering along with the image intensifier glued to his eye, and been describing things that would have obviously been artifactual, someone would surely have questioned what he was saying and also the reliability of the device. Had he said "It's sending beams of light at our feet" and the others couldn't see anything of the sort, then it would clearly have been in error. The tape doesn't record anybody at all saying, hold on, sir, there's nothing there!

Thirdly, Bruni picked up on the use of disinformation very early in the aftermath of the investigation, and also the indications of mind control being used on witnesses. The powers that be would hardly have gone to such lengths so quickly had they assessed the evidence of something genuine happening to be worthless. Maybe Penniston's alleged close encounter was generated in this way.
 

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Kevin's UFO hoax story definitely needs revisiting now and I'm checking through all of the lengthy correspondence...
There is nothing therein of profound importance.

Although unquestionably, as Kevin evidenced, it was within that late 1980s timeframe, he has always maintained his UFO "stunt" took place during a base exercise - perhaps the aforementioned one during November 1980?

Of course, as he remarked, a ruse such as his could well have been repeated, however, I can't see any reason not to rule such a thing out entirely.

There's no supporting evidence.

It's perhaps a pity, because having taken place at RAF Woodbridge, it might have explained Halt's claims about beams of light being reported over the radio.

Which leads to a couple of questions.

My primary account from RAF Bentwaters during the second night's events was from Randy Smith.

However, if we are now confident that Halt is referring to the WSA at RAF Woodbridge and not RAF Bentwaters, then I have several testimonies from those at RAF Woodbridge at the time and there is zero mention of any such light beams.

Why, when 'Unsolved Mysteries' interviewed Master Sergeant Robert 'Bobby' Ball, who was with Halt in the forest, did they not ask him about this!

So far as I'm aware, neither Lieutenant Bruce Englund, or Sergeant Monroe Nevilles (who operated the Geiger counter), also with Halt, have ever commented on the night's events.

Secondly, was the beam of light Halt describes as, 'pencil thin' always so?

If affirmative, how could he still observe same when our aeriel artefact was subseqently distant?

'Answers on a postcard, please'... :)

https://www.google.com/amp/s/postca...ostcard-from-rendlesham-forest-ufo-trail/amp/
 
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Secondly, from the information given here and in Bruni et al. it is clear that Halt had much more than a handful of people with him. Not only low ranked personnel, but apparently others higher up.
HALT: This is unreal.

One merely mentions the above, because I have spent some time this morning examining my own case material for this very same thing.

Spooky! :omg:

Can you please let us know who you believe were present?

Does Major Malcolm Zickler feature therein and it so, can you cite the source for believing so?

Apparently he had two titles, Commander of the Security Oolice Squadron and Chief of Security Police. He was the commander of security and law enforcement and thus a seriously important participent, if true.

I have entirely conflicting accounts regarding this.
 

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HALT: This is unreal.

One merely mentions the above, because I have spent some time this morning examining my own case material for this very same thing.

Spooky! :omg:

Can you please let us know who you believe were present?

Does Major Malcolm Zickler feature therein and it so, can you cite the source for believing so?

Apparently he had two titles, Commander of the Security Oolice Squadron and Chief of Security Police. He was the commander of security and law enforcement and thus a seriously important participent, if true.

I have entirely conflicting accounts regarding this.
I will check and see what names I can come up with.
 

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I have always suspected that these weird phenomena were artefacts of the starlight scope system, and this clip reinforces my suspicions considerably.
As in, from Halt's later recollections, 'the farmer's house appearing to be on fire'...?

Goodness knows how to seperate our proverbial, 'wheat from the chaff'...

Leaving that aside, personally I consider your starlight scope demonstration to be crucial new evidence, as regards a potential connection to our 'laser' from above.

Whilst that is duly acknowledged...

If Halt thinks our southerly star has accelerated in his direction and then mistakes a scope 'beam artefact' as descending in his direction, this is presumably a result of Halt looking directly at the star and that laser-like apparition being in his straight line of sight - as demonstrated in your posting.

He subsequently recorded:

HALT: The object to the south is still beaming down lights to the ground.

HALT: 04:00 hours. One object still hovering over Woodbridge base at about five to ten degrees off the horizon, still moving erratic and similar lights and beaming down as earlier.
[END]

As he further observed our star, would the starscope 'laser' not still be seemingly directed straight at him, in his line of sight?
 
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