Rendlesham Forest Incident

MsPix

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It's bullshit of a high order, a burning lorry load of fertiliser is easy enough to check on police records and it would have made the local papers, if not the nationals, at the time. Someone would have made the connection years ago!
 

rynner2

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The Mail has this fertiliser story now, pretty much the same as the Telegraph version, with this addition:
Mr Turtill said the wagon's burned-out chassis stood in the forest for 20 years until it was finally removed.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/ ... z0QKFIVKRe
Checkable?

Theft still seems a pretty bizarre reason for burning the lorry - unless that was hookey too.
 

McAvennie

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Why on earth would you wait so long to come clean though? Sounds peculiar and fishy to me. Like how the reports I read in several papers just took it as read though and led with intros like "UFO mystery solved..."
 

rynner2

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UFO tape released after 30-year mystery but fails to explain phenomena
Tape recordings of US military personnel investigating a suspected UFO landing have been released 30 years later.
By Andy Bloxham
Published: 11:22AM GMT 03 Nov 2010

In the dead of the night just after Christmas 1980, the airmen from USAF Bentwaters air base went to investigate an event in Rendlesham Forest near Woodbridge, Suffolk.

The tapes are a vivid account of what they found.

The servicemen were led by Col Charles Halt, second in command at the base.

It is clear that they thought they were witnessing some type of phenomena, with descriptions of "strange" lights in sky and odd damage to pine trees 15ft to 18ft off the ground.

One of the Americans is heard to say: "I hear very strange sounds of farmers - barnyard animals. They're very, very active, making a lot of noise.

"Straight ahead. There it is again. Straight ahead. What is it? A strange small red light.

"It looks maybe half a mile further ahead. Go back to the edge of the clearing, see if we can get a look at it... the animals have gone quiet now... It is deathly calm."

He adds in hushed tones: "There is no doubt about it - it is a strange flashing red light ahead.

"I saw a yellow tinge in it too. Weird. It's coming this way. It's definitely coming this way.

"There is no doubt about it. This is weird."

Despite endless speculation, there has never been a definitive answer to what actually happened that bizarre night.

There are a number of different theories; everything from aliens landing and lights from a lighthouse at nearby Orford to a mishap which was covered up.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstop ... omena.html
 

eburacum

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A transcript and a recording of this tape have been available for a long time now on Ian Ridpath's site (although this is a second generation copy). Ridpath's commentary is very interesting too.
http://www.ianridpath.com/ufo/halttape.htm

Apparently Ridpath is a cousin of someone I went to school with (oh sorry, wrong thread).
 

linesmachine

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good spot Sherbet. I'd love to go but it's just such a long friggin way away. I hate to sound London-centric....but couldn't they have done it in London? I suppose the "coach trip" to the RAF station might take longer than they anticipated!
 

sherbetbizarre

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Rendlesham Forest UFO mystery still leaves questions

Thirty years after claims that UFOs had been spotted in Rendlesham Forest, experts and enthusiasts still can't agree on what happened.

Mysterious craft and lights around the airbases of Woodbridge and Bentwaters in Suffolk were reported around 26/27 December 1980.

BBC Suffolk's Mark Murphy presented a special 30th anniversary radio show from the forest in December 2010.

Mr Murphy promoted his favourite theory, but questions remained.

Theories

Aliens from outer space, beings from another dimension, testing of secret military projects, a helicopter carrying something, light from Orford Ness lighthouse, pranks by airmen - just some of the theories of what happened when the bases were being used by the US Air Force during the Cold War.

The first reports relate to sightings of strange phenomena on 26 December. The second reports relate to lights on 27 December.

Nick Pope used to run the British government's UFO Project and he undertook a review of the incident in 1994.

He said: "The military is an inherently secretive organisation and if anything happens such as these theories about secret classified aircraft or drones, there certainly would have been scope to cover something up and that would have been the default position."

Full BBC article

You can listen again to the Rendlesham Revealed special two-hour broadcast on the BBC iPlayer until 24 December 2010.
 

rynner2

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UFO files reveal 'Rendlesham incident' papers missing
By Neil Henderson, BBC News

Intelligence papers on a reported UFO sighting known as the "Rendlesham incident" have gone missing, files from the National Archives reveal.
The missing files relate to a report of mysterious lights from US servicemen at RAF Woodbridge in Suffolk in 1980.

The disappearance came to light with the release of 8,000 previously classified documents on UFOs.
Officials found a "huge" gap where defence intelligence files relating to the case should be, the papers show.

The documents are the latest MoD files on UFOs released into the National Archives which will be free to access on its website for a month.
Photographs and sketches of UFOs made by members of the public are included, as well as their eyewitness reports.

[...]

The files reveal that key documentation relating to the Rendlesham Forest incident has disappeared.
Some UFO researchers believe the episode, which happened over two nights in 1980 is a classic example of a "close encounter".

The incident took place near the fence of RAF Woodbridge - at that time being used by the US Air Force. A group of servicemen reported seeing strange lights in the trees near the base and after investigating found marks on the ground and damage to vegetation.

The files reveal the MoD received a request for its own records of the incident in 2000, but when officials looked they discovered a "huge" gap where defence intelligence files relating to it should be.

The hunt generated a series of notes, with one official speculating that the files could have been taken home by someone and another remarking that "it could be interpreted to mean that a deliberate attempt had been made to eradicate the records covering this incident".

However, among intelligence papers released in 2009, it was revealed that former Admiral of the Fleet Lord Hill-Norton wrote to the defence secretary about the incident in 1985, speculating that an unauthorised aircraft may have entered and left UK airspace at the time.

But it is not the only gap in the official record. In 2002 the MoD received a request for information from Lord Hill-Norton. He wanted to know about reports of a UFO sighting made by HMS Manchester while on exercise in the 1990s.

It emerged in the file that HMS Manchester's log for one of the periods was lost overboard after "a gust of wind" and the vessel's captain cannot remember anything unusual taking place.

This latest tranche of documents covers not just people who contacted the Ministry of Defence after seeing lights or objects, but also sheds some light on official thinking about this aspect of the paranormal.
Concern about UFOs and what they might be went up to senior level and lasted several years.

Officials were dismayed when in 1977 the then Prime Minister of Grenada Sir Eric Gairy wanted to call for the United Nations to set up a unit to investigate the phenomenon.

The files show how Britain was concerned the idea would drag the UN into disrepute. The premier was persuaded to withdraw his proposal but went on to call for 1978 to be designated "the year of the UFO". He was deposed in a coup the following year.

UFOs have only ever received one debate in Parliament. It came in the House of Lords in 1979, at the height of the "winter of discontent", and the files show how officials laboured to prepare a government position on the topic.

At the end of the discussion the government spokesman Lord Stabolgi summed up what remains the official position now.
"There is nothing to convince Her Majesty's government that there has ever been a single visit by an alien spacecraft. As for telling the public the truth about UFOs, the truth is simple.
"There really are many strange phenomena in the sky, and these are invariably reported by rational people. But there is a wide range of natural explanations to account for such phenomena."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12613690
 

linesmachine

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rynner2 said:
"There really are many strange phenomena in the sky, and these are invariably reported by rational people. But there is a wide range of natural explanations to account for such phenomena."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12613690

That's an annoyingly rational summary. And I must confess, it kind of sums up the direction of my own thoughts regarding this topic. Oh dear, I've become a quiet sceptic... :roll:
 

SHAYBARSABE

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linesmachine said:
Oh dear, I've become a quiet sceptic... :roll:

linesmachine, a good Fortean is a sceptic, just not to the point of ignoring the 10-ton gorilla lounging in the parlor.

UFOs that are alien craft? Well, definitive proof has yet to be offered.
 

eburacum

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For the sake of completeness, I should mention that this week's episode of New Tricks (write the theme tune, sing the theme tune) was fairily obviously based on the Rendlesham case.
Quite amusing, too.
 

taras

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eburacum said:
For the sake of completeness, I should mention that this week's episode of New Tricks (write the theme tune, sing the theme tune) was fairily obviously based on the Rendlesham case.
Quite amusing, too.
It did have a whiff of the less-serious X-Files episodes about it too :)
 

Anome

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So, on the show, did it turn out to be an attempt to get out of a logging contract, then?

No, hang on, that wasn't Rendlesham. That was that one in the States, wasn't it?
 

dannycheveaux1

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How convenient!
First this case and the witnesses are ridiculed, now the files are missing
We are only getting told what suits THEM and whjat THEY WANT us to know!
Dan

UFO files reveal 'Rendlesham incident' papers missing
By Neil Henderson, BBC News

Intelligence papers on a reported UFO sighting known as the "Rendlesham incident" have gone missing, files from the National Archives reveal.
The missing files relate to a report of mysterious lights from US servicemen at RAF Woodbridge in Suffolk in 1980.

The disappearance came to light with the release of 8,000 previously classified documents on UFOs.
Officials found a "huge" gap where defence intelligence files relating to the case should be, the papers show.
 

linesmachine

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It's annoying cause the missing papers are obviously no guarantee that anything UFO related ever happened. It just could be good old MOD file management. Especially since the files were recently made available. they are probably just sitting on someone's desk somewhere.
 

eburacum

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Here's what David Clarke has to say about the matter (he's been after the Rendlesham files for ages)
http://drdavidclarke.co.uk/2011/03/05/172/
Back in 2005 when colleague Joe McGonagle and I revealed the loss of numerous Defence Intelligence files the news was received with virtually no interest or response from UFOlogists. At that time the MoD intended to destroy their entire collection of surviving DI55 UFO files, dating from 1975-2000 because – like many hundreds of thousands of other non-UFO related intelligence files – they had been contaminated by asbestos whilst stored in the basement of the Old War Office building in Whitehall. Eventually, the campaign to save all the contaminated files was successful and substantial amount of public money was spent to scan the papers for eventual release.

But decades before the asbestos contamination was discovered, records officers at the MoD had decided to dispose of dozens of older UFO files. Almost the entire run of Air Intelligence files on the subject, covering the years 1947-67 were lost because government policy – before 1967 – was to destroy all UFO files at five yearly intervals as they were deemed to be of “no historical interest”. Even in 1967, when MoD told MPs it would henceforth preserve UFO files due to increased public interest, desk officers ignored this ministerial commitment. One collection of S4(Air) and DS8 (UFO desk) files, containing papers dating from 1955-1968, went into the incinerator as recently as March 1990. Evidently, desk officers felt the contents were so tedious and mundane that they were not worth preserving.

The new releases show that Defence Intelligence files containing UFO sightings reports covering 1967-1975 (Parts 1-8 ), 1976-78 (Parts 10-20), 1980-82 (parts 26-31) and 1982-83 (Pt 33) were destroyed around the same time. It is simply an accident that the remaining files (parts 24 onwards, or 1984 to present) have survived for release at TNA. Seen in this context, there is no special reason why parts 26/27 – covering the 1980-81 period in the which the Rendlesham sighting occurred – can be said to have been singled out for specific destruction, as part of some conspiracy to hide “the truth.” These were not files specifically about the Rendlesham incident, simply reports received during those years, that may have included papers on the RAF Woodbridge sightings.

Furthermore, as the surviving DI55 files demonstrate, their contents are largely duplicates of the sighting reports found in the Secretariat (Air Staff) ‘UFO desk’ files. The UFO desk was the focal point for UFO reporting at Whitehall and simply copied the reports they received to DIS and RAF. Therefore, it’s unlikely that the lost DI55 files from 1980-81 contained anything substantially different to what has survived in the famous ‘Rendlesham File’ itself, released at TNA last August as DEFE 24/1948/1. Indeed, this file actually contains papers and minutes from DI55 and DI52 officers copied from the “lost” files.

So in actual fact nothing of substance has in fact been lost at all! A big fuss about nothing. If anyone out there wants to make a big deal about the loss of these files, they first need to do some real research and get their facts right.
 

Ringo

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I've just finished re-reading "Open Skies, Closed Minds" by Nick Pope. I know he doesn't carry much weight but he does mention that on the same night as the Rendelsham incident, a similar craft was spotted in the US, accompanied by lots of black helicopters. Several witnesses saw the same thing from different locations.

He draws a vague connection between the two incidents and also mentions radioactivity. Apparently the witnesses to the US incident all showed signs of exposure to radiation and elevated radiation levels were found in the tree and soil samples from Rendelsham.

I'm still undecided on the whole thing.
 

rynner2

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Ringo_ said:
I've just finished re-reading "Open Skies, Closed Minds" by Nick Pope. I know he doesn't carry much weight but he does mention that on the same night as the Rendelsham incident, a similar craft was spotted in the US, accompanied by lots of black helicopters. Several witnesses saw the same thing from different locations.
Yes, one of Ufology's more interesting synchronicities. It's been mentioned on FTMB at least once before.

In fact, we have a whole thread on it!
The Cash/Landrum UFO Case

But for some bizarre reason, the URL comes up "No thread found".

But if you Search the title I've given, you should find the thread.
 

eburacum

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Try this link
Cash Landrum
The presence of helicopters in the Cash-Landrum case seems to imply that the sighting had an Earthly origin, if not necessarily a boring one. I'm kind of fond of the hypothesis that Cash/Landrum had something to do with the Credible Sport project, a hare-brained scheme to rescue the Tehran hostages using a rocket-powered C-130 Hercules.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Credible_Sport

Even though the Cash-Landrum sighting doesn't look very much like a rocket-powered Hercules, perhaps it was an early stage of development for something even weirder and less feasible- the US might have hoped to rescue the hostages in a faked-up flying saucer, or some such shizzle. Since Rendlesham was about the same time, perhaps that was another early test of similar technology.

An earlier attempt to rescue the hostages was a disaster even though rocket-powered C-130s and fake flying saucers were not used.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Eagle_Claw
 

eburacum

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Ringo_ said:
Apparently the witnesses to the US incident all showed signs of exposure to radiation and elevated radiation levels were found in the tree and soil samples from Rendelsham.
Ian Ridpath contacted the manufacturers of the Geiger counter used at Rendlesham, who said that the readings obtained were probably not significant.
see here
http://www.ianridpath.com/ufo/rendlesham4.htm
and here
http://www.ianridpath.com/ufo/SUNlite%2 ... iation.pdf

As far as the Cash/Landrum case goes, no radiation was detected at the scene, and the symptoms persisted far too long to really be radiation poisoning.
http://www.qtm.net/~geibdan/a1999/cash3.htm
 

Ringo

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Thanks for that.
 

Analis

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What has always upset me about this case, is the number of helicopters involved, around 25. As Kevin Randle notes here, it would imply a huge logistics.
http://kevinrandle.blogspot.com/2011/01 ... evals.html

If we suppose that what Cash and Landrum saw was a secret device, could such an aircraft fly at all ? But that's another story.
 

webplodder

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Re: The real Rendlesham story?

Justin_Anstey said:
http://www.magonia.demon.co.uk/news/reviews01.html


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".-J

How could it possibly have been the lighthouse when all that had to be done was observe whether similar optical effects took place at a similar time of year in similar whether conditions on other occasions? Why has not this been done, or has it? Nobody can convince me that the events that took place over those nights were simply commonplace and due to the lighthouse when they were never repeated. All that had to be done was to see if the lighthouse hypothesis could replicate a similar set of optical effects on other nights! Even allowing for 'imagination' on the part of the airmen who were there at the time you could still come to a determination as to whether the lighthouse could have produced the effects reported by conducting 'test' samples on other nights. Also, how could the lighthouse have produced reflections in the nearby farmhouse windows where the reported UFO was supposed to have 'exploded' in a field in front of it? The windows in question were facing away from the lighthouse light and hidden from it!
 

eburacum

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Well, the Rendlesham incident was actually two incidents, a couple of days apart. During the first night two of the witness statements seem to indicate that it was quite easy to mistake the lighthouse for something else;
from here
http://www.ianridpath.com/ufo/rendlesham2a.htm#NightOne
“We got up to a fense (sic) that separated the trees from the open field and you could see the lights down by a farmer’s house”. Col Halt was to describe the same sight two nights later – see points 8 and 10 on this page. Burroughs’ statement continues: “Once we reached the farmer’s house we could see a beacon going around so we went towards it. We followed it for about 2 miles before we could see it was coming from a lighthouse”.

His colleague Ed Cabansag concurred: “We got to a vantage point where we could determine that what we were chasing was only a beacon light off in the distance.”

On the second night we have a sound recording made at the time; it is apparent that the witnesses on the second night (a different lot to those involved on the first night) were using a Starscope light amplifier, which may have amplified the appearance of quite normal lights, stars and planets until they looked otherworldly.
All versions agree that, having reached the eastern edge of the forest, Halt estimated the light was “two to three hundred yards away”. At this stage Halt looked at the flashing light through a Starscope, which is an image intensifier (night vision scope) used by the military for seeing in the dark; specifically, it seems to have been a first-generation device known as an AN/PVS-2. On the tape he says: “It’s like this thing has a hollow centre, a dark centre. It’s a bit like a pupil of an eye looking at you, winking. And the flash is so bright through the starscope that it almost burns your eye.”
I suspect that the Starscope was the cause of the high strangeness of this second event, and it is quite possible that in the thirty-one years since the event the witnesses have largely forgotten that a light-amplifier was used at all.


---------------------
webplodder said:
Also, how could the lighthouse have produced reflections in the nearby farmhouse windows where the reported UFO was supposed to have 'exploded' in a field in front of it? The windows in question were facing away from the lighthouse light and hidden from it!
The reflections seem to be a late addition by Halt, and could be a post-rationalisation.
Following a visit to the site with a TV crew, Halt has finally realized that the lighthouse is not 30 or so degrees off to the right from where he was standing, as he had claimed for so long, but almost in line with the farmhouse in front of him, as my photographs show. So he has now changed his story. What he now says is that the flashing UFO was to the left of the farmhouse and, moreover, that its light was reflecting off the farmhouse windows – a new detail we have not previously heard (see this YouTube clip from a talk he gave in 2009 October).


Unfortunately, this revised position does not match his compass bearing of 110 degrees, which places the flashing UFO firmly to the right of the farmhouse. So Halt’s change of story, an obvious attempt to avoid admitting that his UFO lay in the same direction as the lighthouse, introduces a glaring contradiction with the position of the flashing light he reported at the time.
 

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Always felt as if Rendlesham was more about collective hysteria than anything else. Also thought I read somewhere that some of the confusion may have been due to there being a light ship operating off the coast as well as a lighthouse, or did I just imagine that part?
 

Waylander

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AngelAlice said:
Always felt as if Rendlesham was more about collective hysteria than anything else. Also thought I read somewhere that some of the confusion may have been due to there being a light ship operating off the coast as well as a lighthouse, or did I just imagine that part?

Can anyone clarify? I watched the Discovery Channel Documentary about this again, just last week. In the opening set, one of the main characters in the event, Halt I think, with the glasses? Said he not only touched the object, but also photographed it using his "standard issue camera?". But from then on in the documentary, no photographs were ever mentioned? Not even in any sense of the camera or film/photos being confiscated?

What happened to the camera/film, and why where they not mentioned again.
 

eburacum

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In the opening set, one of the main characters in the event, Halt I think, with the glasses? Said he not only touched the object, but also photographed it using his "standard issue camera?".
That would be Jim Penniston, not Col Halt.
Penniston's original statement, made for Halt a few days after the event, said he did not get closer than 50 metres (160 feet) to the object. He now says he touched it. He must have very long arms...

Penniston maintains that he was under pressure to produce the initial statement- but that seems difficult to believe, since his superior (Halt) was a witness himself, albeit on a different night and to a totally different sequence of events. Why would one witness pressure another witness to lie?
 

eburacum

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AngelAlice said:
Always felt as if Rendlesham was more about collective hysteria than anything else. Also thought I read somewhere that some of the confusion may have been due to there being a light ship operating off the coast as well as a lighthouse, or did I just imagine that part?
Ian Ridpath mentions this here
http://www.ianridpath.com/ufo/rendlesham2a.htm
Why, then, did Halt think the lighthouse was in the southeast? The reason is surprisingly straightforward. Halt’s quarters and office were not at Woodbridge but at neighbouring Bentwaters, 2 miles to the north. From here, the Orford Ness lighthouse does indeed appear in the southeast.
This is perhaps the crux of the whole misidentification issue. Halt was conditioned to seeing the lighthouse in the southeast, so when he saw a flashing light virtually due east he did not think of Orford Ness. Halt’s own words (“the lighthouse was...30 to 35 degrees off to the right...We knew the Orford Ness lighthouse beacon beamed from the southeast”) undermine his claim that he recognized the Orford Ness lighthouse on the night of the sighting and make it more likely, rather than less, that he mistook it for a UFO.
If Halt and his men saw a second light off to the right, this must have been something other than the Orford Ness lighthouse. Most likely it was the Shipwash lightship (now replaced by a buoy), which is more distant and hence fainter. Halt’s tape does confirm that a second light was seen to the right of the main flashing light, although no compass bearing is given and it receives only passing mention. Oddly enough, at no stage does anyone on the tape mention seeing a lighthouse, even though the Orford lighthouse is, by its very nature, the most obvious nocturnal reference point for miles around.
 
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