bemused & saddened observer
- Apr 7, 2006
- Reaction score
eburacum said:Ian Ridpath mentions this hereAngelAlice 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?
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