Rendlesham Forest Incident

AngelAlice

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eburacum said:
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.

Thanks muchly Eb! :). I did a half-assed search for that ref but couldn't find anything and was starting to think I'd imagined it. Once you factor in the light ship, then it all becomes pretty obviously a case of mass hysteria, auto-suggestion and maybe a little plain old fashioned fabrication ;)
 

Analis

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eburacum said:
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?

This would not be surprizing. As the commander of the base, Halt's role would not be to shout the event from the rooftops, but to put the lid on it.
Although this would question his later role as a key witness, but that's a whole different story.
 

rynner2

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Rendlesham Incident: US commander speaks for the first time about the 'Suffolk UFO'
The senior US military official who led the investigation into the supposed landing of a UFO in a Suffolk forest has spoken of the incident for the first time in three decades.
By Jasper Copping
9:00PM BST 06 Aug 2011

The incident had been known as Britain's Roswell: a group of American servicemen stationed in Suffolk go into a forest to investigate mysterious lights and emerge convinced they have seen an alien spacecraft.

The sightings, in December 1980, remain unexplained and have become the country's most tantalising and enduring UFO riddle.
One of those involved even claimed to have touched an alien spacecraft.

Now, the man who led the only investigation into the “Rendlesham Forest Incident” has spoken about the sightings - but his decision to end thirty years of silence is unlikely to please the UFO-believers as he suggests his men could have been hoaxed.

In 1980, US Air Force Colonel Conrad was base commander of the twin airfields of Woodbridge and Bentwaters, near Ipswich, which are understood at the time to have stored nuclear weapons.

Just after Christmas mysterious lights were seen in the sky above nearby Rendelsham Forest, and after a second night of reports from his men, Col Conrad investigated himself.
During the day, he went into the forest himself to a clearing where the lights had been seen and where markings on trees and on the ground had been found, indicating a possible landing by a spacecraft.

Col Conrad said he found them "unremarkable". Nevertheless, he returned to the base and hand picked a team of his best security officers and sent them in the forest that evening to investigate.
Armed with a Geiger counter, cameras and night vision devices they staked out the "landing site". After seeing nothing suspicious, most of the team returned to base late that night. A handful remained, including his deputy, Lt Col Charles Halt, who stayed in contact with his superior by radio.

It is his account of what happened next which has fuelled rumours of a UFO landing. Over the radio, he reported seeing more lights on the ground and in the sky.
At home on the base, the commander and his wife went outside to look for the lights after hearing about the sighting. Other senior officers on the base – and their wives – did the same. But despite it being a clear, cloudless night, they saw nothing suspicious.

Lt Col Halt filed a report of the incident to the Ministry of Defence some days later and has since go[ne] on to say the lights he saw were “extraterrestrial in origin” and accuse the US and UK security services of a cover-up. Col Conrad, who had gone home convinced he had seen nothing unusual, has remained silent.

Now he has provided a series of statements about the sightings to Dr David Clarke, a Sheffield Hallam University academic and the UFO adviser to the National Archives - which this week will release some Ministry of Defence files relating to the incident.

"We saw nothing that resembled Lt Col Halt's descriptions either in the sky or on the ground," Col Conrad said.
In a damning indictment of his former deputy, Col Conrad added: "We had people in position to validate Halt's narrative, but none of them could."
He said there was no "hard evidence" of anything suspicious.

The Geiger counter was initially said to have given slightly elevated readings in the clearance, but that these were later found to indicate "normal" levels of background radiation.

Col Conrad is scathing about his former deputy.
"He should be ashamed and embarrassed by his allegation that his country and England both conspired to deceive their citizens over this issue. He knows better," he said.

The former base commander also disputes the subsequent testimony of another serviceman, Sgt Jim Penniston, who had gone into the woods on the first night of the sightings and has since claimed he touched an alien spacecraft.
Col Conrad said he interviewed the officer at the time and that, while he described seeing strange lights which had moved off into the distance, he had not mentioned touching a spacecraft.

Although he cannot explain the subsequent accounts of his subordinates, Col Conrad said he thinks the incident may have been a hoax.
This chimes with the theories of some experts who suspect the lights the men first saw were actually from a fireball or Orford Ness lighthouse, about five miles away, and that they were subsequently hoaxed by their colleagues, including some who went on to hold senior positions in the US military.

Col Conrad said: "The search for an explanation could go many places including the perpetration of a clever hoax. Natural phenomenon such as the very clear cold air having a theoretical ability to guide and reflect light across great distances or even the presence of an alien spacecraft.

"If someone had the time, money and technical resources to determine the exact cause of the reported Rendlesham Forest lights, I think it could be done. I also think the odds are way high against there being an ET spacecraft involved, and almost equally high against it being an intrusion of hostile earthly craft."

Dr Clarke, who is a sceptic on UFO issues, believes Lt Col Halt saw some form of optical illusion and that his and Sgt Penniston's claims have become increasingly extreme over the years, as speculation over the sightings has increased.
"I don't think anyone, least of all Conrad, doubts that Halt and his men saw "something" in the woods. They had an extraordinary experience. And that experience would remain extraordinary regardless of whether ultimately it was a lighthouse or poacher's lanterns – which has also been suggested.
"But Col Conrad is responsible for the only proper investigation of this incident. He went to look and if there was anything to be seen, I cannot see how he could not have seen it."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstop ... k-UFO.html
 

Waymarker

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Of all the military personnel who supposedly saw something, it strikes me as odd that not one of them carried a camera to photograph it..
 

rynner2

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Waymarker said:
Of all the military personnel who supposedly saw something, it strikes me as odd that not one of them carried a camera to photograph it..
Back in 1980, 'camera' meant a film camera. Digital cameras were just just experiments in research labs.
The first analog electronic camera marketed to consumers may have been the Canon RC-250 Xapshot in 1988.
...
The first true digital camera that recorded images as a computerized file was likely the Fuji DS-1P of 1988, which recorded to a 16 MB internal memory card that used a battery to keep the data in memory. This camera was never marketed in the United States, and has not been confirmed to have shipped even in Japan.

The first commercially available digital camera was the 1990 Dycam Model 1; it also sold as the Logitech Fotoman. It used a CCD image sensor, stored pictures digitally, and connected directly to a computer for download

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of ... al_cameras
Camera phones were even further in the future.

Film is not as sensitive in low light as digital, so after dark you'd need a flash, which was generally an external attachment using flashbulbs, a somewhat clunky arrangement by today's standards, with a poor performance in the outdoors anyway. So, if you're called out on a dark night to investigate something odd, a camera would not have been high on the list of things to take with you!
 

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rynner2 said:
...Film is not as sensitive in low light as digital, so after dark you'd need a flash..

Unless the object was emitting its own light like the Rendlesham object (artists reconstruction below)

rendelsham-ufo.gif
 

rynner2

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Waymarker said:
rynner2 said:
...Film is not as sensitive in low light as digital, so after dark you'd need a flash..
Unless the object was emitting its own light like the Rendlesham object...
It depends how much light it's emitting - film has much more contrast than digital media, so it's harder to get a good compromise on exposure when a scene contains very bright and very dark areas. You could just end up with a picture of an over-exposed blob, with no details visible, in an otherwise black photo.

(Another advantage of digital is that the image can be processed by a picture editing program, which effectively adjusts the exposure after the pic was taken.)
 

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rynner2 said:
...Another advantage of digital is that the image can be processed by a picture editing program, which effectively adjusts the exposure after the pic was taken.

Yes I bought a neat little digicam last year and am amazed at the flexibility of it, it can easily outperform the human eye and even see wavelengths that the eye can't detect which makes such cams ideal for ghost/UFO-hunting.
And subsequently running the images through an enhancement program works wonders as you say..:)

Is there a photography thread here where i can post some of my experimental shots and members can discuss photography in general?
I'm not an expert and especially need advice on focussing, mine is automatic and apparently can't be manually overidden which can be a hassle because it wastes time hunting for the correct focus.

This is it, it cost me £110 and is a nice little job only about 4 inches wide
cam-pic.gif



And here's an experimental moon pic I took with it at 10x zoom and then computer-enhanced, not bad but atmospherics blurred things a bit-
moon1.gif
 

rynner2

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Waymarker said:
Is there a photography thread here where i can post some of my experimental shots and members can discuss photography in general?
We used to have one called, IIRC, "Post a pic", but it disappeared during some technical hoo-ha with the MB. Why not start a new one?
 

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Waymarker said:
Of all the military personnel who supposedly saw something, it strikes me as odd that not one of them carried a camera to photograph it..

Well Waymaker :?

As it turned out according to one doucmentory I saw on the subject, one of the main people involved apparently did have a camera. A standard 35mm SLR camera. Of course no mention of the camera was made again or the photographs that were taken in the documentary I watched. I suppose the camera and film contents were taken from him during the interogation of the incident, they supposedly went through.

Wikepedia Link
"Jim Penniston and John Burroughs went to investigate the craft together. In an interview with Larry King on 9 November 2007, Jim Penniston claimed that he did a 45 minutes full investigation of the craft on the ground, touched the craft and took photos of the craft. John Burroughs apparently contradicts this in a separate interview in Robert Stack's Unsolved Mysteries. "

In the Documentary, Penniston mentions, that he carried the camera, as standard kit for his patrol duties. In case it seemed odd he'd be doing a lichfield while on duty.
 

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Further to the above, about having the camera I found this excerpt from a link from the Wikepedia Page. Right at the bottom the last three paragraphs, from Pennistons statement.

""I had my notebook and camera while I was out there, so I began taking
notes. This is what I wrote:

'Triangular in shape. The top portion is producing mainly white light,
which encompasses most of the upper section of the craft. A small
amount of white light peers out the bottom. At the left side centre
is a bluish light, and on the other side, red. The lights seem to be
moulded as part of the exterior of the structure, smooth, slowly
fading into the rest of the outside of the structure, gradually
moulding into the fabric of the craft'.

"As I was taking notes, I also memorized what was in front of me for
what seemed like hours, but was in fact only minutes. Finally, I
unleashed my camera-case cover and brought the camera up to focus. The
air was electric. It made my hair and skin feel as if I were
surrounded by static electricity or some type of energy. I began
snapping photo after photo. It was still eerily quiet".

So where are these photographs, I think they would help a lot... Oh well...
 

Waymarker

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Waylander28 said:
[re WIKI Penniston quote]"I had my notebook and camera while I was out there, so I began taking notes.....Finally, I unleashed my camera-case cover and brought the camera up to focus. I began
snapping photo after photo".


So where are these photographs, I think they would help a lot... Oh well...

Yeah, and I'm reminded what Judge Judy regularly says-"If something doesn't make sense, it probably isn't true"
I mean, there's the guy allegedly face-to-face with a UFO, but does he immediately whip out his cam and start shooting? Nah, he begins writing notes instead!
That definitely doesn't make much sense..;)
 

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Waymarker said:
Waylander28 said:
[re WIKI Penniston quote]"I had my notebook and camera while I was out there, so I began taking notes.....


I mean, there's the guy allegedly face-to-face with a UFO, but does he immediately whip out his cam and start shooting? Nah, he begins writing notes instead!


I know, I almost spat my coffee over my computer screen when I read the above... I had my camera and note book, so I began taking notes... :p

To scriptually describe what he was seeing... Where would you get it... You got to worry about the people they give guns to, don't you. :)
 

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I re-watched documentary OVNIs, Quand l'armée enquête (UFOs, When the army is investigating) by Patrice de Mazery and Michel Despratx. In an interesting scene, the authors are brought by Ian Ridpath to the site of the sighting, where Halt and his men stood. The lighthouse is clearly seen, it is only a dim light on the horizon. Ridpath tried to justify his explanation by stating that there are more trees now, but trees or not the lighthouse remains a dim light on the horizon. Plus, the audio tapes clearly state that the object was seen moving above the forest, in different directions, sometimes at the opposite. This explanation falls short of the facts.
 

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One factor that would make the lighthouse look more impressive would be the use of a 'starscope', a light intensifier which Halt was using for at least part of the time. I think that the aura of 'high strangeness' and the use of equipment like the radiation detector and starscope, neither of which were suitable for the job, was responsible for much of the bizarre material on Halt's tape.

After all Halt and co went out two days after the initial sighting; are we to expect that the UFO hung around waiting for them to get their act together?
 

Analis

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eburacum said:
One factor that would make the lighthouse look more impressive would be the use of a 'starscope', a light intensifier which Halt was using for at least part of the time. I think that the aura of 'high strangeness' and the use of equipment like the radiation detector and starscope, neither of which were suitable for the job, was responsible for much of the bizarre material on Halt's tape.

So now he had a light intensifier, I had never heard of that, but I suppose he had it permanently, and his men all had some too ? They were probably equiped with some optical illusion system, which explains why they saw the object fly over the forest !

eburacum said:
After all Halt and co went out two days after the initial sighting; are we to expect that the UFO hung around waiting for them to get their act together?

I am confused. What do you mean by "the initial sighting" exactely ? Does this mean they went out after the first sighting, made by Penniston, which would contradict the acknowledged chronology ? Or after their own sighting, one night later ? If so, what is the point ?
 

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Analis said:
So now he had a light intensifier, I had never heard of that...
Yes; Col. Halt's party had a starscope light intensifier, which they used to observe the various lights visible in the forest. I think that inept use of this device probably explains a lot of the stranger aspects of the second event.

see http://www.ianridpath.com/ufo/halttape%20analysis2.htm
Halt says: “OK, we’re looking at the thing, we’re probably about two to three hundred yards away. It looks like an eye winking at you. Still moving from side to side. And when you put the Starscope on it, it sort of has a hollow centre, a dark centre, it’s... like a pupil of an eye looking at you, winking. And the flash is so bright to the Starscope that it almost burns your eye.” This sounds like a pretty good description of a lighthouse. The starscope they were using amplified light by about a thousand times and magnified 4 times, so the light would have been far brighter and larger than to the naked eye. The dark centre is of course caused because the starscope has ‘burned out’ due to the intensity of the light.

-----------------------

Analis said:
I am confused. What do you mean by "the initial sighting" exactly ? Does this mean they went out after the first sighting, made by Penniston, which would contradict the acknowledged chronology ? Or after their own sighting, one night later ?
Let's get the timeline cleared up. Penniston saw something on the night of December 26 1980; he was accompanied by Jim Burroughs, who seems to have seen something completely different.

Two nights later (December 28 1980) Col Halt and a number of other people went out with a radiation detector and a starscope, and saw a number of strange things, which they recorded on a voice tape at the time. The radiation detector was useless for this kind of work, and the starscope would have amplified small lights - possibly the lighthouse, a farmhouse, Sirius, any number of things - into impressive displays.
 

rynner2

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This sounds like a pretty good description of a lighthouse. The starscope they were using amplified light by about a thousand times and magnified 4 times, so the light would have been far brighter and larger than to the naked eye. The dark centre is of course caused because the starscope has ‘burned out’ due to the intensity of the light.
Or the dark centre could be because the LH has a shield to prevent the light shining inland,as mentioned earlier.

In which case, the starscope was just observing the 'loom' of the light, effectively reflections from dust or moisture droplets in the air. This effect is remarkably powerful, and allows the loom of a LH to be seen while the LH itself is still below the horizon. One remarkably clear night in the 70s I was in the middle of the western English Channel, and could see the loom of the Lizard light to the north as well as the loom of one of the big French lights to the south, both over 50 miles away.

So the loom of a light just a few miles away could well appear very brilliant in a starscope.
 

Analis

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eburacum said:
Yes; Col. Halt's party had a starscope light intensifier, which they used to observe the various lights visible in the forest. I think that inept use of this device probably explains a lot of the stranger aspects of the second event.

Halt says: “OK, we’re looking at the thing, we’re probably about two to three hundred yards away. It looks like an eye winking at you. Still moving from side to side. And when you put the Starscope on it, it sort of has a hollow centre, a dark centre, it’s... like a pupil of an eye looking at you, winking. And the flash is so bright to the Starscope that it almost burns your eye.”

So, it appears that they put the Starcope only after they had spotted the object. And no explanation of its movement, of it being in a different direction.

I agree that the use of the Starcope may have had a role in some of the later events of the night, combined with excitement. Nothing to do with hysteria, which has never made anyone "see" anything. But I have always guessed that after their initial sigthing, when they tried to "re-catch" the object, they found a number of mundane sources, notably stars, they mistook with the first object.

eburacum said:
Let's get the timeline cleared up. Penniston saw something on the night of December 26 1980; he was accompanied by Jim Burroughs, who seems to have seen something completely different.

Two nights later (December 28 1980) Col Halt and a number of other people went out with a radiation detector and a starscope, and saw a number of strange things, which they recorded on a voice tape at the time.

Thanks for the clarification. Recently again, contradictory and innacurate descriptions could be found.
 

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The glyphs on the Rendlesham craft (which I suspect can be seen in this earlier picture from Poland): ufoevidence.org/photographs/ ... oto292.htm
Link is dead. The MIA webpage / photo can be accessed via the Wayback Machine:
https://web.archive.org/web/2013040...ce.org/photographs/section/1950s/Photo292.htm

NOTE: No version of this archived webpage up through the date of this post (Jan. 2014) shows anything other than a silhouette of a saucer aloft. There are no glyphs to be seen.


The Rendlesham device was said to look like black glass.
Looked like this:
therendleshamforestincident. ... lyphs.html
Link is dead. The MIA webpage can be accessed via the Wayback Machine:
https://web.archive.org/web/2020111...leshamforestincident.com/Pictoral_Glyphs.html



The Utsuro Bune glyphs:
therendleshamforestincident. ... Cases.html
Link is dead. The MIA webpage (as of the time of this posting) can be accessed at the Wayback Machine:
https://web.archive.org/web/2014122...amforestincident.com/Similar_Glyph_Cases.html


Clearly the same or similar symbols with transcription errors.
 
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eburacum

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Penniston almost certainly did not touch the object, or get close enough to see any glyphs in detail. This is all nonsense. His original statement says he only got as close as 50 metres - about 150 feet; this was corroborated by the statements by Chandler and Burroughs.

Any subsequent statement Penniston has made should be viewed with the deepest suspicion. He now reckons he downloaded telepathic information from the craft during the incident - this is a little difficult to prove on an objective level.
 

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eburacum said:
Penniston almost certainly did not touch the object, or get close enough to see any glyphs in detail. This is all nonsense. His original statement says he only got as close as 50 metres - about 150 feet; this was corroborated by the statements by Chandler and Burroughs.

Any subsequent statement Penniston has made should be viewed with the deepest suspicion. He now reckons he downloaded telepathic information from the craft during the incident - this is a little difficult to prove on an objective level.

Got it. Thanks for the information! The telepathic binary code stuff.. Too bad.
 

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I'd not heard of the Utsuro-bune incident before so thanks for bringing it to my attention. Really interesting stuff...
 

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linesmachine said:
I'd not heard of the Utsuro-bune incident before so thanks for bringing it to my attention. Really interesting stuff...

Isn't that an interesting event? With the odd appearance of the occupant and those symbols..
 

linesmachine

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feinman said:
linesmachine said:
I'd not heard of the Utsuro-bune incident before so thanks for bringing it to my attention. Really interesting stuff...

Isn't that an interesting event? With the odd appearance of the occupant and those symbols..

More than interesting, found it fascinating. Interestingly there seems to be a number of such incidences in Japanese folklore and religion.

Funny how sea borne type UFO's are such a rarity in the rest of the world.
 

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Interesting development this week:

British UFO encounter "gave me heart failure", says US airman after military chiefs agree to pay his medical bills

US Veterans Association pays out for medical treatment of man hit by heart problems he blames on famous Suffolk UFO encounter

An American airman has won a legal bid to force military health chiefs to pay for the treatment of an illness allegedly caused by a UFO encounter in Suffolk.

Airman First Class John Burroughs was involved in an incident in Rendlesham Forest in December 1980 which has become known as "Britain's Roswell".

He was exposed to huge doses of radiation whilst investigating a mysterious craft and claimed this left him in need of "lifesaving" heart surgery.

After decades of being "stonewalled", he has finally persuaded the US Veteran's Association (VA) to pay for his treatment.

His lawyer hailed the dramatic legal about-turn as a "de facto" admission that UFOs exist and can cause "physical injury".

Full story
 

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So...he didn't develop heart problems because he is overweight and over 50?
Interesting that even Senator John McCain was unable to obtain all the medical records.
 
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