Rendlesham Forest Incident

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I will come back to this...
Still looking through my archives, however, I have now come across the following, from the aforementioned Mike Jenkins and it might be significant.

"I also remember being on alert for the Poland Issue at Christmas time".

Shall see what else I can find. Thankfully, almost all of my correspondence from that era utilised Microsoft Outlook Express.

All incoming and outgoing emails are held in one enormous .dbx file, which I have managed, eventually, to convert a backup copy of into an ever more enormous Microsoft Word document.

This thankfully enables searching for specific text, such as, 'alert' or 'exercise', etc.

Otherwise, much of what I have been able to, 'piece back together' would have been impossible!
 

EnolaGaia

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As was the case with other civilian witnesses, there was a general inability to pinpoint dates within the span of the classic / canonical Rendlesham storyline.
Let me clarify this, in case there's any perceived ambiguity ...

I do not mean other civilian witnesses could confidently / definitively attribute their sightings to the canonical storyline period (25 - 28 December) but couldn't specify which night.

I mean other civilian witnesses could not confidently / definitively attribute their sightings to the canonical storyline period at all.
 

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Still looking through my archives...
There are assuredly some unresolved questions, particulary re our first night's incident, with Alan Cohen not happy with accepted facts at all!

(Start)
Airman First Class (A1C) John Burroughs was on post at the East Gate of Woodbridge on the night of question by himself. By all accounts I was the Desk Sgt that didn't want to be bothered. On that evening it was somewhat true.

Some background; The base was under alert at the time. This meant that we were on 12 or more hour shifts. I can't recall how long we had been on alert. It was the middle of the night when Burroughs called me via the direct line.

He had probably been at the most
remote post on the base by himself listening to all the noises that the forest could make for around 9 hours.

The reason I remember the alert was mostly because that post would have never been manned in the middle of the night if we had not been in alert status.

I remember that I was extremely busy when the call came in so I brushed him off. There was a story of a German pilot crashing his plane at the East Gate during WWII, and his ghost had haunted that area ever since. I told him that East Gate Charlie was out there not to worry.

A little while later he called back when security showed up and after checking with my supervisor he was told to call security that they could go out and investigate.

Colonel Halt came in the office a short time later where I briefed him. I believe he went directly to the scene. You know what they claimed to have seen so I will skip that.
(End)


Having explained how the situation unfolded, so far as we were aware, Alan responded:

(Start)
Sorry for throwing a wrench into your work but I don't have the same recollections and do not agree with some of this.

Under normal conditions the East Gate was only open during daytime hours. It was there because it was used as a short cut between Bentwaters and Woodbridge. It saved time and miles so they didn't have to drive all away around the front of the bases.

Important.You asked if the gate sould have been manned permanently. It was!! During the alert condition Burroughs spent alot of time posted there. Once the alert conditon was cancelled the hours of the gate went back to normal.

Yes Steffans (Burroughs' partner on patrol - James) could have been on patrol as Police 4 visiting the East Gate without my knowledge. There was no possible way under any alert conditions that CSC would have dispatched any Law Enforcement personnel without going through me. No way!
(End)


Burroughs confirmed to myself that he was not on alert.

However, I discussed this with Kevin Conde, who knew Cohen and Kevin pointed out this anomaly:

"The only time we had multiple folks in an LE patrol was during alerts - exercises".

Although the question went unanswered, I did ask Burroughs:

"The base was apparently on alert because of the 'Solidarity' crisis in Poland.

Is that why patrols were 'doubled up' on the morning of 26 December, i.e., Steffans and yourself, Penniston and Cabansag"?

And that seems to be all I have on this aspect.

Cohen did add though:

"I know nothing about Burroughs claims of being told to shut up about helicopters off base. My question to you is, why would he have been posted there if someone was scared of what he might say or do?

Burroughs story about helicopters makes no sense at all".
 
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This is Burroughs" sketch of the lights:

Burr_3.jpg


I've mentioned before it resembles Kevin Conde's description of the light show he put on during his hoax near east gate.

Is it conceivable that those lights from his stunt could have been reflected, such that they could appear to have come from within the trees, across the road at east gate?
 

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Is it conceivable that those lights from his stunt could have been reflected...
I asked Kevin about Burroughs sketch way and this was his conclusion:

"I looked at the drawing, and what I saw was a sketch of what a patrol car's lights would look like. The colored lights above caused by the upwards pointing spotlight and colored flashlights, the flashing red and blue emergency lights going out to the sides below the spotlights, and the bright white alley lights pointing straight out to the sides and flashing as the car turns in a circle. Again - I don't believe in coincidence, especially not two at the same time. Doesn't happen. I am as certain as I can be that someone saw a patrol car's lights, not a UFO!".

It's just that a remark Alan Cohen made, caught my attention there and has led to bringing this up.
 

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This is Burroughs" sketch of the lights:
View attachment 39728
I've mentioned before it resembles Kevin Conde's description of the light show he put on during his hoax near east gate.
Is it conceivable that those lights from his stunt could have been reflected, such that they could appear to have come from within the trees, across the road at east gate?
Given Conde's own description of his hoaxing location(s) ...

I doubt there's any way Conde's hoax lights could have appeared to be outside the base perimeter / fence among the trees to anyone viewing from the East Gate. If they'd been reflecting off the trees themselves they wouldn't have appeared to be behind / among the trees. Even if they'd reflected / refracted off the ground fog some witnesses mention it wouldn't explain why someone at the East Gate didn't see the hoax-car within plain sight to the southwest / west.

If Conde's hoax ride had occurred during the fabled December timeframe and been observed by someone positioned out in the forest (or any of the roads therein) it's conceivable his lights might have been the ones reported. There are two problems with this latter possibility. First, Conde was never sufficiently precise about the date of his hoaxing to place the event within the canonical timeframe. Second, I'm not sure any descriptions of the multi-light set referred to something seen from out in the forest looking back toward Woodbridge.
 

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Conde was never sufficiently precise about the date of his hoaxing to place the event within the canonical timeframe.
Thank you for the thought provoking reply.

We might be alright with the date, Kevin stating from the outset it was, "just after Christmas'.

The problem was, he had a partner riding with him and this would only have happened during, as he put it, "an alert - exercise" and there would not have been an exercise during the Christmas holiday period.

However, as Burroughs and Penniston both had partners our first night as well... and so on, as highlighted.

It was Cohen mentioning that when Burroughs called him from the direct line at east gate sentry point:

"He had probably been at the most remote post on the base by himself listening to all the noises that the forest could make for around 9 hours".

It immediately reminded of Kevin Conde's comment about the victim of his hoax:

"This particular kid was afraid of the dark, noises, etc".

I presumed coincidental, however, according to Cohen it was Burroughs who happened to be posted at east gate, "75-90% of the time", during that period.

Without going into details, Cohen explained Burroughs had a proclivity for calling in, 'scares' whilst on night duty there.

Kevin recalled:

"That post was not a well liked one, and MSgt Ball did not usually assign his favorite troops to that post.

This particular kid was afraid of the dark, noises, etc. He was constantly calling for the patrol to swing by. That patrolman was
usually me".

To reiterate, it stands as coincidental and some aspects of Kevin's account do not appear to equate, especially that the person they pranked was on guard duty, whereas Burroughs seemingly was not that particular night.

Close enough though, to perhaps merit a modicum of due contemplation for yet another intrigue!

Obviously, if the possibility of, 'lights reflecting', doesn't work in the first place...

Looks like another herring of the reddish variety.
 
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...If they'd been reflecting off the trees themselves they wouldn't have appeared to be behind / among the trees...
Some further overall thoughts.

Given the density of those trees...

Screenshot_20210522-054759~2.jpg


...how could lights situated in, or near the clearing, have been visible from east gate? That's never seemed feasible.

This is a map from James Caston, showing the route taken by BC&P:

Screenshot_20210522-054310.jpg


How to rationalise that they could see the lights from so far distant, back at east gate?
 

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This is a map from James Caston, showing the route taken by BC&P:

View attachment 39730

How to rationalise that they could see the lights from so far distant, back at east gate?
First things first ... One must specify which landing site is being referenced, and the sites' locations haven't been consistently specified over the decades.

Compare this map from Bruni's 2000 book with the Caston map above.

MAP-Bruni(2000).jpg

Now compare either / both those maps with this one (designating the landing sites with asterisks).

Finally ... Compare any / all of these maps with Ian Ridpath's detailed summary at:

http://www.ianridpath.com/ufo/rendlesham2d.html

Now, having pointed out the ambiguities / inconsistencies in nailing down the landing sites' locations ...

Note that the distance from the East Gate to the easternmost landng site (Warren's; the least credible of the bunch) is on the order of 1 mile. It's entirely conceivable lights could be seen (however fleetingly through the trees) from that distance or less. Whether one could make out much detail in the light(s) is another matter.
 

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I'm certainly not confident that this (otherwise unsubstantiated) event occurred at the time described, and in the way described. How long after the event did he relate it?
As you are using the same source of info as I am, Bruni's book, you will know that we can only guess at that. As I know from discussions with two members of Boast's family, he certainly did see the object and presumably at the same time as Collins. The unnamed local lady who was with Boast also saw it, and from his daughter's innocent comment, I suspect she might have as well. So there are a potential four witnesses, which makes your assertion that Collins' story is unsubstantiated less plausible. The family say that Boast was warned to say nothing by the military, and I see that other local witnesses confirm that.
 

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Bruni stated that Collins had not told his story publicly (i.e., to anyone other than a very few acquaintances) prior to her interviewing him.

In her book (published in 2000) she lists her Collins interview as having occurred in 1999.

NOTE: It was Carl Grove (in his timeline) that attributed Collins' sighting to the first night (25 - 26 December). Bruni does not specify a date for Collins' sighting, and she clearly states Collins - like multiple other civilian witnesses - wasn't sure of the date when his sighting occurred. Her account of Collins' experience describes it as being "a usual night out at the Swan" in terms of the evening's setting. His American pals were paged about an alert and left, but Collins stayed at the pub until its closing time. If his experience happened on the 25th (i.e., Xmas) it would mean his pals were paged about an alert hours before any of the primary USAF witnesses claimed there'd even been a first indication of anything strange.

If one rules out the 25th there's nothing in Bruni's report of Collins' statements to demonstrate his sighting had to have occurred at the time of the second night's activities. As was the case with other civilian witnesses, there was a general inability to pinpoint dates within the span of the classic / canonical Rendlesham storyline.
Given that Christmas night would have been a more memorable time frame than others I tend to accept Collins' testimony. As I suggested earlier, his US pals may have been paged precisely because a US black project craft was in trouble and was going to come to Rendlesham for an emergency landing. In the event, whether it was a controlled landing or something went wrong and it crashed, it became necessary to spread disinformation about alleged alien encounters and maybe use narcohypnotics on the unlucky Burroughs and Penniston, and various special lighting effects on Halt's team. Had the latter been able to take the lightalls it might have spoiled the effects so they ended up with the image intensifiers. Stories about landed spaceships making repairs and talking with USAF officers were also thrown in. Given my own studies of disinformation in many UFO cases this scenario makes a certain sense. We shall never know anything for sure, of course.
 

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First things first ... One must specify which landing site is being referenced, and the sites' locations haven't been consistently specified over the decades.

Compare this map from Bruni's 2000 book with the Caston map above.


Now compare either / both those maps with this one (designating the landing sites with asterisks).

Finally ... Compare any / all of these maps with Ian Ridpath's detailed summary at:

http://www.ianridpath.com/ufo/rendlesham2d.html

Now, having pointed out the ambiguities / inconsistencies in nailing down the landing sites' locations ...

Note that the distance from the East Gate to the easternmost landng site (Warren's; the least credible of the bunch) is on the order of 1 mile. It's entirely conceivable lights could be seen (however fleetingly through the trees) from that distance or less. Whether one could make out much detail in the light(s) is another matter.
Very interesting. My guess would be that site 1 might be the one seen by Collins, site 2 the small clearing, and site 3 seems to be part of whatever crazy story was constructed around Warren, but who can say? For sure Boast and his family would have had an excellent view of both 1 and 2.
 

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As I know from discussions with two members of Boast's family, he certainly did see the object and presumably at the same time as Collins. The unnamed local lady who was with Boast also saw it, and from his daughter's innocent comment, I suspect she might have as well.
This is all hearsay, and directly contradicts Bruni's statement that Boast saw nothing.
 

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It would have been particularly memorable if he found a pub open on Christmas night.
Yep - that's been bothering me all along. I hadn't pressed on that point because I'm not familiar enough with UK pub culture to evaluate whether being open Xmas evening was unusual or not. Then there's Collins' (quoted) comment that his sighting occurred following "a usual night out at the Swan." Finally, there's the issue of Collins living with his mother at the time (as I understand it from the Bruni book) and the idea that he'd wander off to a pub on Xmas evening rather than put in some face time with his mum for the holiday.
 

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Certainly a lot going on and a lot of potential for confusion with some of these newly ideentified activities. I did note, however, the key point (to me, anyway) that exercises were not usually done until a couple of days after Christmas.
I hope my postings re this point have helped, although I doubt it!

Here's one for you - what happened to our metal fragments noticed by Caston as being amidst the, 'landing marks'.

I happened to come across the following old email, earlier today.

Could this be the answer - caution, rumour alert!!

"Also, concerning which Lt. was part of Halt's party (in the forest - James), I thought alot about this last night and remember that almost immediately after the incident, one Lt. was shipped out to Tule Greenland.

Rumor had it that he had taken evidence from the scene of the landing (small medal pieces that were said to possibly be from one of the craft).

This Lt. was married to a Brittish National and her brother was some sort of scientist, he was supposed to have given this evidence to him, which disapeared and so did the Lt.

Remember that I heard this through the good old GI grape vine that existed then.

This Lt. did return a year or so after, as I saw him at my going away party in Jan. 82 just before I shipped back to the states".


I received a fair number of emails claiming anyone involved with the UFO incidents had immediately been transferred, e.g.:

"I was at woodbridge in dec 1980 I did not see the ufo but I talked to friends who did... none of them were making up stories this really did happen and the air force made darn sure that everyoneone including the base commander of woodbridge was transfered out of the base as soon as possible".

You may find further intrigue in that the person who wrote this, later corresponded again and naming a specific person, claimed:

"...he worked in 81st transportation was an SP at the time of the landing and was on duty that morning...he was transfered to packing and crating shortly after the incident I question him about it after having vivid dreams about the ufo's and he told me the whole story about them flying right down the flightline and landing at the end of it in the woods....".

I was asked to keep that person's name confidential.

However, the author of our first email enquired if knew contact details for some of his former colleagues.

One of them was the person named by the second correspondent!

I am assuredly unaware of any other mention of a landing at that time originating from RAF Woodbridge. Why wouldn't the control tower have advised re same.
 

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Finally ... Compare any / all of these maps with Ian Ridpath's detailed summary....
Thank you, it's all extremely useful in understanding the issues.

This might help.

I'm not sure if Ian has seen the following. It originates from Robert McLean's painstaking local research, circa 2003.

Remarkably, to my knowledge, this set of three maps provided by Robert has never been published.

The accompanying email, is hopefully self-explanatory:

(Start)
When this image is viewed as a colour negative, you can see something which is not as readily apparent to the eye when it is a positive. When viewed as a negative, in the clearing are three noticeable dark dots, in a triangle formation, separated by about 13 m spacing. Caston said "Measurements between the landing gear pod prints measured approximately15 to 20 feet". As a positive, these three dots are lighter areas. I believe that these dots are a change in the grass cover at these points caused by the plaster that was poured into the indentations and incompletely removed, and which may also have been trampled about. Not all the plaster would have been pulled out of the holes. Much of it would either not have set properly, because of the cold, damp ground. Some must have adhered to the grass.

The main component of plaster is calcium sulfate CaSO4, commonly called gypsum. It is only weakly soluble in water, and would not have been washed away out of the ground for a long time.

And guess what. Dumping plaster on your lawn is a great way to get it to grow! Particularly when the soil is poor. I assure you the soil in this clearing is much like the rest of Rendlesham forest, thin and sandy. Any soil improvement would make a difference.

The 1986 photo is taken in the spring before the grass has started to grow much. When viewed as a positive, the three paler "dots" of grass, are where the grass grew differently (thicker, longer, or maybe even a particular variety of grass was favoured) in the preceding season.

Those three dots are each about 1 m across. There is no way the actual indentations could ever have been resolved on an aerial photo, but thanks to Gulyas, I believe they marked the spot inadvertently with a fertiliser, that still had an effect 6 years later.

Note the only other part of the clearing where there is a significant dark spot is near the north-east corner, which is close to the patch of trees I believe must have held the site that Col Halt investigated. Perhaps they mixed up plaster at this location, and carried it to where it was dumped in the indentations.

As a negative, you can also see more clearly the gap in the trees north-west of the three dark dots, which agrees with Caston's recollection of there being a gap : " I remember there was a small opening just to the left and back from the site as you stood in the middle of the road looking at the
site." As you can see from the photo, if you were standing in the middle of Road 13 where it enters the clearing (south-west "corner" of the clearing), you are in line to look through a gap in the trees along the north side which matches Caston's description.

I appreciate sceptical debate of my theories and nterpretations, as any good theory needs to be tested critically, but there comes a point where if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, you have to admit it's a duck. This clearing is THE clearing where it all happened.
(End)

As these are relatively large files, they have been uploaded:

www.forteanmedia.com/P1986_1.jpg

www.forteanmedia.com/P1986_2.jpg

www.forteanmedia.com/P1986_3.jpg
 
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Note that the distance from the East Gate to the easternmost landng site (Warren's; the least credible of the bunch) is on the order of 1 mile...
Yes and again thank you for highlighting those points.

In a final endeavour to piece the various parts together, I have set out a breakdown of what is accepted evidence from that foundational occurrence.

Beginning with Burroughs' recollections:

* Account #1 *

"We crossed a small open field that led into the trees where the lights were coming from...".

So, there's a small field and they start walking through this, towards the trees where apparently those lights are.

"...whatever it was started moving back towards the open field...".

Now the lights have left the trees? The lights are heading back for this open field?

"All three of us hit the ground and whatever it was started moving back towards the open field... we got up and moved into the open
field".

Although they move into the open field, there are no lights in this field.

"We got up to a fence that separated the trees from the open field...".

Now they have crossed the field and reached a fence at the end of it. The trees are behind this fence.

"...and you could see the lights down by a farmers house".

There are no lights in the trees, the lights are near the farmer's house.

"We climbed over the fence and started heading towards the red and blue lights and they just disappeared".

They go forward towards the lights and lose sight of them.

"Once we reached the farmer's house we could see a beacon going around so we went towards it".

They wonder what the beacon is and head in its direction.

This seems to equate pretty well, with what Burroughs explained to myself in correspondence:

"First of all everybody makes a big deal about the lighthouse...

Well if you read my statement I
described seeing several things before coming to a Farmers House then seeing a beacon mind you a beacon not the lights we saw before. We followed it for 2 miles and could see it was coming from a Lighthouse".

"I guess what im getting at is that to this day im not sure what it was we saw but i do know that it was not the light house".

"What i mean by that is we did follow a light not knowing what it was but we at no time did we feel that it was the object we first saw. We had lost contact with the object we first saw and wanted to see what the flashing light in the distance was".


So, what does the clearing have to do with anything and when/where did the lights, 'lift off'?

Burroughs also elucidates regarding this key aspect:

* Account #2 *

"As far as Penniston goes from the moment it happened he stated to both Cabansag and i that he thought that it was a structured craft not just light's.

One of the first thing's he stated after the light's lifted off and went up into the air and disapeared is we just saw a UFO.

Also all three of us were together when we came up upon the light's in the clearing".

At what point though, did they encounter those lights in a clearing?

There doesn't seem to be any mention of this in Burroughs... l've called it, 'Account #1' to easier distinguish between them.


Penniston's statement helps here:

"Left vehicle proceeded on foot.
Burroughs and I were approximately 15-20 meters apart and proceeding on a true east direction from the logging road. The area in front of us was lighting up a 30 meter area. When we got within a 50 meter distance. The object was producing red and blue light. The blue light was steady and projecting under the object. It was lighting up the area directly under extending a meter or two out.

At this point of positive identification I relayed to CSC, SSgt Coffey. Positive sighting of object... colour of lights and that it was definitely mechanical in nature.

This is the closest point that I was near the object at any point. We then proceeded after it. It moved in a zig-zagging manner back through the woods then lost sight of it".

It seems the clearing could only have been when they first entered the forest and that looks to tie-in with Penniston's sketch - at the bottom he notes, "us".

In Burroughs account, it would apparently be where:

"All three of us hit the ground and whatever it was started moving back towards the open field... we got up and moved into the open
field".

However, Burroughs refers to an open field, not a small clearing and Penniston refers to, "an area in front of us":

Penn_4a.jpg

Penniston recalls an actual tangible object then moving back through the trees, before confirming, as does Burroughs, they simply lost sight if it.

Nothing whatsoever in these initial testimonies about either an object, or lights, rising up and taking off.


Does Cabansag's account assist...

"Due to the terrain we had to go on by foot...While we walked, each one of us could see the lightsu. Blue, red, white and yellow. The beacon light turned out to be the yellow light. We could see them periodically, but not in a specific pattern. As we approached, the lights would seem to be at the edge of the forest. ...As we entered the forest, the blue and red lights were not visible anymore.

Only the beacon light was still blinking.We figured the lights were coming from past the forest, since nothing was visible as we passed through the woody forest. We could see a glowing near the beacon light, but as we got closer we found it to be a lit-up farmhouse. We followed it for about 2 miles before we could see it was coming from a lighthouse".

It's an altogether more mundane tale and as for the reason, one can only speculate.

In essence, both Burroughs and Penniston portray the source of those enigmatic lights as capable of maneuvering through the dense forest and for an object the size of 9 feet on each of its three sides, how was that possible.

We can see from Penniston's sketch that the box-shaped, 'vehicle' depicted is... dare we say, 'boxed-in':

Penn_4b-1.jpg


The alternative scenario... presumably it has to be a misperception of lights, which seemed to move in the darkness, as all three themselves maneuvered through the forest.

Whilst keeping in mind their experience would be challenging to recollect precisely, there remains zero evidence of any vehicle which had landed and which they observed taking off again.

In addition, of course, to the fact it was documented in real time by Buran and Chandler over the radio, plus confirmed by Penniston in his written statement, that he was never closer than 50 meters to an apparent structured object.

When I asked John Burroughs how Penniston's claim of examining a triangular-shaped craft at close quarters might be rationalised, he revealed,

"As far as the part about Penniston saying he examined it at his leisure, I believe that came out when he went under hypnotic regression".

(...)

"Also i feel some of Penniston story is being influenced by him going under hypnosis".

Although as I have previously evidenced that Penniston's later story seems to have existed before his, 'hypnotic regression', this issue also applies to Burroughs, as he further revealed:

"I will also add i to went under Hypnosis way before Penniston did. And in his defense if what came out while i was under is possible it would really shock some people".

Consequently, we face the dillema - which later additions are pre or post 'hypnotic regression'.

Unless categorically evidenced it was beforehand, then it has to be deemed inadmissible.

Was John Burroughs, 'Account #2', influenced... is that why we have such a determinable discrepancy?

I hope the seemingly definitive maps provided by Robert McLean will further help in our understanding of the overall context, even though the sourc(es) of our puzzling lights remains, like the lights themselves, rather illusive.
 
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Note that the distance from the East Gate.. is on the order of 1 mile. It's entirely conceivable lights could be seen (however fleetingly through the trees) from that distance or less. Whether one could make out much detail in the light(s) is another matter
The following two images, uploaded due to their file size, are scans of the actual two pages of sketches which accompanied Penniston's written testimony:

www.forteanmedia.com/Penn_3.jpg

www.forteanmedia.com/Penn_4.jpg

I believe those three drawings of events within the forest, illustrate the sequence.

Beginning with, "DIAGRAM *1", they show the observable lights at each stage, as they came closer to the source:

Penn_3a_compress98.jpg


Penn_4a_compress71.jpg


Penn_4b-1_compress6.jpg


I believe the first and second drawing clarify a critical component, noted in Penniston's statement.

Namely, that directly in view, both within and above the trees was a large area "glowing yellow".

I must now conclude this is directly related to Orford Ness lighthouse.

There are three primary reasons.

Firstly, in Ed Cabansag's testimony he confirms:

"While we walked, each one of us could see the lights. Blue, red, white and yellow. The beacon light turned out to be the yellow light... we got to a vantage point where we could determine that what we were chasing was only a beacon light off in the distance. Our route through the forest and field was a direct one, straight towards the light".

Secondly, is the account of Chris Armold and his description of the clearing, when he accompanied Burroughs back to same, later that morning:

"There was absolutely nothing in the woods. We could see lights in the distance and it appeared unusual as it was a sweeping light, (we did not know about the lighthouse on the coast at the time). We also saw some strange colored lights in the distance but were unable to determine what they were".

This crucially evidences that both the lighthouse and its sweeping beam, were visible from the location.

A white light noted by Cabansag, is also referenced by Burroughs:

"At the road I could see a white light shining onto the trees... I was watching the lights and the white light started coming down the road that led into the forest".

I take this to be the lighthouse beam.

Penniston states:

"Upon arriving at east gate directly to the east about 1.5 miles in a large wooded area. A large yellow glowing light was emitting above the trees (refer diagram). In the center of the lighted area directly in the center ground level, there was a red light blinking on and off 5 to 10 second intervals. And a blue light that was for the most part steady".

Although the blue light remains a mystery, the red light blinking on and off at short intervals, seems self-explanatory.

The third reason is Chuck Dalldorf's following confirmation:

"The light house, when conditions are right can be seen lighting up the all the way to base housing on Woodbridge base".

If relying solely on the original and more trustworthy initial case documentation and disregarding later anecdotes, I see no significant evidence (Penniston is statedly 50 metres away in the darkness - how can his, 'box-like' perception be reliable) why the explanation for the genesis of our entire, 'UFO' scare could not be this straightforward.

As Dalldorf added:

"But the lighthouse to me is the most plausable. That light used to bounce off the low cloud tops and light up the sky".
 
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eburacum

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Back in the earliest pages of this thread, Rynner called this phenomenon the 'loom'; as in 'the light was looming over the treetops'.

noun Loom;
...the dim reflection by cloud or haze of a light which is not directly visible, e.g. from a lighthouse over the horizon.
 

EnolaGaia

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Back in the earliest pages of this thread, Rynner called this phenomenon the 'loom'; as in 'the light was looming over the treetops'.
noun Loom;
...the dim reflection by cloud or haze of a light which is not directly visible, e.g. from a lighthouse over the horizon.
This is consistent with something I've noticed in the various reports. The ones that mention broad or diffuse white(-ish) lighting at any substantial elevation off the ground commonly describe it as light *on* the treetops.
 

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Back in the earliest pages of this thread, Rynner called this phenomenon the 'loom'; as in 'the light was looming over the treetops'.

noun Loom;
...the dim reflection by cloud or haze of a light which is not directly visible, e.g. from a lighthouse over the horizon.
Yes, "loom" is the expression.
Also read the letter from the local police inspector to Georgina Bruni at the end of this file
https://www.suffolk.police.uk/sites/suffolk/files/unusual_lights.pdf
 

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This is all hearsay, and directly contradicts Bruni's statement that Boast saw nothing.
Bruni was wrong, and two members of Boast's family, Jean Boast and Caroline Boast, made that very clear to me. Boast had been warned to keep his mouth shut, and he did, but he confided in his family.
 

Carl Grove

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Yes and again thank you for highlighting those points.

In a final endeavour to piece the various parts together, I have set out a breakdown of what is accepted evidence from that foundational occurrence.

Beginning with Burroughs' recollections:

* Account #1 *

"We crossed a small open field that led into the trees where the lights were coming from...".

So, there's a small field and they start walking through this, towards the trees where apparently those lights are.

"...whatever it was started moving back towards the open field...".

Now the lights have left the trees? The lights are heading back for this open field?

"All three of us hit the ground and whatever it was started moving back towards the open field... we got up and moved into the open
field".

Although they move into the open field, there are no lights in this field.

"We got up to a fence that separated the trees from the open field...".

Now they have crossed the field and reached a fence at the end of it. The trees are behind this fence.

"...and you could see the lights down by a farmers house".

There are no lights in the trees, the lights are near the farmer's house.

"We climbed over the fence and started heading towards the red and blue lights and they just disappeared".

They go forward towards the lights and lose sight of them.

"Once we reached the farmer's house we could see a beacon going around so we went towards it".

They wonder what the beacon is and head in its direction.

This seems to equate pretty well, with what Burroughs explained to myself in correspondence:

"First of all everybody makes a big deal about the lighthouse...

Well if you read my statement I
described seeing several things before coming to a Farmers House then seeing a beacon mind you a beacon not the lights we saw before. We followed it for 2 miles and could see it was coming from a Lighthouse".

"I guess what im getting at is that to this day im not sure what it was we saw but i do know that it was not the light house".

"What i mean by that is we did follow a light not knowing what it was but we at no time did we feel that it was the object we first saw. We had lost contact with the object we first saw and wanted to see what the flashing light in the distance was".


So, what does the clearing have to do with anything and when/where did the lights, 'lift off'?

Burroughs also elucidates regarding this key aspect:

* Account #2 *

"As far as Penniston goes from the moment it happened he stated to both Cabansag and i that he thought that it was a structured craft not just light's.

One of the first thing's he stated after the light's lifted off and went up into the air and disapeared is we just saw a UFO.

Also all three of us were together when we came up upon the light's in the clearing".

At what point though, did they encounter those lights in a clearing?

There doesn't seem to be any mention of this in Burroughs... l've called it, 'Account #1' to easier distinguish between them.


Penniston's statement helps here:

"Left vehicle proceeded on foot.
Burroughs and I were approximately 15-20 meters apart and proceeding on a true east direction from the logging road. The area in front of us was lighting up a 30 meter area. When we got within a 50 meter distance. The object was producing red and blue light. The blue light was steady and projecting under the object. It was lighting up the area directly under extending a meter or two out.

At this point of positive identification I relayed to CSC, SSgt Coffey. Positive sighting of object... colour of lights and that it was definitely mechanical in nature.

This is the closest point that I was near the object at any point. We then proceeded after it. It moved in a zig-zagging manner back through the woods then lost sight of it".

It seems the clearing could only have been when they first entered the forest and that looks to tie-in with Penniston's sketch - at the bottom he notes, "us".

In Burroughs account, it would apparently be where:

"All three of us hit the ground and whatever it was started moving back towards the open field... we got up and moved into the open
field".

However, Burroughs refers to an open field, not a small clearing and Penniston refers to, "an area in front of us":

View attachment 39777
Penniston recalls an actual tangible object then moving back through the trees, before confirming, as does Burroughs, they simply lost sight if it.

Nothing whatsoever in these initial testimonies about either an object, or lights, rising up and taking off.


Does Cabansag's account assist...

"Due to the terrain we had to go on by foot...While we walked, each one of us could see the lightsu. Blue, red, white and yellow. The beacon light turned out to be the yellow light. We could see them periodically, but not in a specific pattern. As we approached, the lights would seem to be at the edge of the forest. ...As we entered the forest, the blue and red lights were not visible anymore.

Only the beacon light was still blinking.We figured the lights were coming from past the forest, since nothing was visible as we passed through the woody forest. We could see a glowing near the beacon light, but as we got closer we found it to be a lit-up farmhouse. We followed it for about 2 miles before we could see it was coming from a lighthouse".

It's an altogether more mundane tale and as for the reason, one can only speculate.

In essence, both Burroughs and Penniston portray the source of those enigmatic lights as capable of maneuvering through the dense forest and for an object the size of 9 feet on each of its three sides, how was that possible.

We can see from Penniston's sketch that the box-shaped, 'vehicle' depicted is... dare we say, 'boxed-in':

View attachment 39779

The alternative scenario... presumably it has to be a misperception of lights, which seemed to move in the darkness, as all three themselves maneuvered through the forest.

Whilst keeping in mind their experience would be challenging to recollect precisely, there remains zero evidence of any vehicle which had landed and which they observed taking off again.

In addition, of course, to the fact it was documented in real time by Buran and Chandler over the radio, plus confirmed by Penniston in his written statement, that he was never closer than 50 meters to an apparent structured object.

When I asked John Burroughs how Penniston's claim of examining a triangular-shaped craft at close quarters might be rationalised, he revealed,

"As far as the part about Penniston saying he examined it at his leisure, I believe that came out when he went under hypnotic regression".

(...)

"Also i feel some of Penniston story is being influenced by him going under hypnosis".

Although as I have previously evidenced that Penniston's later story seems to have existed before his, 'hypnotic regression', this issue also applies to Burroughs, as he further revealed:

"I will also add i to went under Hypnosis way before Penniston did. And in his defense if what came out while i was under is possible it would really shock some people".

Consequently, we face the dillema - which later additions are pre or post 'hypnotic regression'.

Unless categorically evidenced it was beforehand, then it has to be deemed inadmissible.

Was John Burroughs, 'Account #2', influenced... is that why we have such a determinable discrepancy?

I hope the seemingly definitive maps provided by Robert McLean will further help in our understanding of the overall context, even though the sourc(es) of our puzzling lights remains, like the lights themselves, rather illusive.
I'm afraid I regard hypnotic regression at best as a very unreliable technique, and at worst as an opportunity for the hypnotist to implant false memories, which is what clearly happened in this case.
 

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Yep - that's been bothering me all along. I hadn't pressed on that point because I'm not familiar enough with UK pub culture to evaluate whether being open Xmas evening was unusual or not. Then there's Collins' (quoted) comment that his sighting occurred following "a usual night out at the Swan." Finally, there's the issue of Collins living with his mother at the time (as I understand it from the Bruni book) and the idea that he'd wander off to a pub on Xmas evening rather than put in some face time with his mum for the holiday.
I'm afraid pub culture in the UK often overrides family concerns and rational behaviour! Obviously this case has raised so many ambiguities about dates and times that we'll probably never know for sure, but I am pretty certain now that the initial incident occurred prior to both the Burroughs/Penniston incident and the Halt walkabout.
 

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Yes, "loom" is the expression.

I have now located the following, which I had a vague memory of reading, 'somewhere'.

This is an extract from, 'UFO Crash Landing?', by Jenny Randles.

The book covers a number of cases, including naturally this one and Jenny writes:

“I have stood by the east gate several times and have never seen the lighthouse through the trees. The dense tree coverage and the angle of view make it impossible. However, you can see the beam sweeping the sky well above the tree tops.

[...]

Once the men entered the woods on foot and headed towards the clearing, the option that they saw the lighthouse certainly increases in strength. I have stood and watched it several times at night.

[...]

Being inside a forest several miles inland, a lighthouse beacon would not be the first thought to explain a low-level pulsing glow. Because of the way the land slopes, the lighthouse sits on the horizon and appears almost on the ground - just as described on the Halt tape.

[...]

At the site, the lighthouse does pulse like a winking eye, just as Halt explains on the tape. The pulses can even be timed as the beacon rotates (taking about five seconds) and there is a comparison with part of the tape where the men notice that the light briefly disappears and then shout, “There it is again”, as it reappears. This match is quite striking if you judge film of the lighthouse alongside the audio of the tape. Finally, the bearing given by the men for the location of the UFO as they walk toward the coast closely mirrors that of the Orford lighthouse as seen from the landing site.

Frankly, the first time I saw the lighthouse at night I was 80 per cent convinced that this was the explanation. When I first heard the Halt tape this conviction rose to 90 per cent. It only plummeted after talking to eye-witnesses like John Burroughs who were actually out there, although I did have some concern because the lighthouse appears as nothing more than a tiny pulsing light, not a massive red object throwing down beams towards the ground”.
(End)

Regrettably, we can now appreciate that neither John Burroughs, or Jim Penniston, or Col. Halt, ever explained that Jenny hadn’t been told the full story of what happened our first night.

Jenny continues:

“Burroughs (who had lived locally for 18 months and was familiar with the woods) said he saw the lighthouse as well as the UFO that night but never mentioned it because it was, ‘just sitting there as always’”.

Of further note is of course Jenny's confirmation:

"I have stood by the east gate several times and have never seen the lighthouse through the trees. The dense tree coverage and the angle of view make it impossible".

Whist no pun intended, as I suggested, this is a profound barrier to any lights being observable within the forest, other than at relatively close range.

Certainly not, surely, so far distant as the clearing, or even its vicinity.

Thoughts on a conceivable solution are most welcome.

There might be one clue, with Buran noting in his written statement:

"SSgt Penniston requested permission to investigate. After he had been joined by the Security Flight Chief, MSgt Chandler, and turned his weapon over to him, I directed them to go ahead. SSgt Penniston had previously informed me that the lights appeared to be no further than 100 yds from the east road of the runway".

Obviously, statedly closer, although how that might help, I am not so sure at present..

One is experiencing a, 'looming' dispair...
 

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‍Jenny ‍Randles ‍added ‍another ‍telling ‍quote ‍on ‍pp. ‍123–4 ‍of ‍her ‍book ‍‍UFO ‍Crash‍ ‍Landing‍ ‍(1998). ‍She ‍says ‍Halt ‍told ‍her ‍that ‍when ‍he ‍was ‍back ‍at ‍base, ‍‘the ‍objects ‍were ‍still ‍in ‍the ‍sky ‍– ‍however, ‍it ‍was ‍getting ‍light ‍and ‍they ‍were ‍getting ‍faint’. ‍Jenny ‍adds: ‍‘I ‍suspect ‍that ‍this ‍is ‍the ‍final ‍clue ‍that ‍demonstrates ‍that ‍these ‍star-like ‍lights ‍to ‍the ‍north ‍were, ‍indeed, ‍just ‍stars.’
This very morning, I came across a letter written to Jenny during December, 1997, in which I noted:

"I’ve now received and read a review copy of ‘UFO Crash Landing?’, an immensely enjoyable and interesting re-assessment of the evidence accumulated during the past 17 years. It’s a commendable endeavour to make some sense of that evidence and even though I’m familiar with most of the content, the book remains an invaluable update on the background to the case.

I was pleased to see that you conclude the second night’s incidents should be viewed separately and probably did not involve the same ‘UFO’ as reportedly encountered on the first night, if that involved a UFO at all. This was unquestionably my view; they are effectively entirely separate incidents.

You make a compelling case that the ‘star like’ objects recorded by Halt were indeed, simply stars. I concur absolutely and am satisfied that’s resolved".

Well, I was back then!
 

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A large yellow glowing light was emitting above the trees (refer diagram). In the center of the lighted area directly in the center ground level, there was a red light blinking on and off 5 to 10 second intervals. And a blue light that was for the most part steady".

Although the blue light remains a mystery...
I believe the blue light now has a home.

I have come across a letter from Jenny Randles, which was simply forgotten.

in December 1997, after I had sent Jenny a copy of those original witness statements, Jenny replied with her observations.

One referred to the blue light reported, which even at that time I had expressed seemed puzzling.

Jenny explained that if the lighthouse was visible, equally so should be the blue light, which could be seen from the then accepted, 'landing site', writing:

"Inside the forest you could see some blue lights on the NSA research building at Orford Ness".

"The blue lights were as obvious as the lighthouse from the landing site at night... witnesses who saw the lighthouse as a UFO ought to have mentioned the blue lights as well".

Seens like they did so?

As regards Penniston's recollection:

"...directly in the center ground level, there was a red light blinking on and off 5 to 10 second intervals".

I have a letter from Trinity House Lighthouse Service dated 30 September 1998, attaching their copy of an engineer's report regarding Orfordness Lighthouse from, most helpfully, December, 1980.

This confirms a, "single flash every 5 seconds".

Concerning the possibility of observing those lights from east gate, Jenny remarked that it didn't seem likely in 1983, however, she obviously could not comment on the situation 3 years earlier.

Does it all begin to even conceivably make some kind of sense though?
 

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...she obviously could not comment on the situation 3 years earlier.
A thought occureth... did I not read somewhere way back, that trees had been felled just prior to December 1980, such that it was now possible to see further into the forest from east gate, i.e. previously unfamiliar lights had suddenly become visible...

Obviously, I shall try to find anything published and related.
 

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Assuming Randles was correct, and there could be blue light(s) seen from the Orford Ness military research area, said lights would have been visible from the Rendlesham area to lie to the south of the Orford lighthouse. There may well have been red clearance lamps or beacons visible on the BBC broadcast towers at the former Cobra Mist facility north of the lighthouse. From the direction of Rendlesham these would have comprised a set of lights with the red to the observer's left and the blue to the observer's right - exactly the arrangement mentioned in Penniston's and others' descriptions.
 
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