Rendlesham Forest Incident

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Assuming Randles was correct, and there could be blue light(s) seen from the Orford Ness military research area...
Jenny noted she had referred to this in her book, 'From Out of the Blue'.

It's arguably a mute point as to how and why the lights were able to be observed from east gate, as it was obviously possible.

However, during local researcher Robert McLean's meticulous investigations in 2000, he illustrated one example in correspondence:

"During the Forestry Commission walk, the Forester showed us an old map with details of the dates sections of the forest were planted. This section of forest was plated in the early 1920's and was nearly 60 years old when felled in January 1981. In 1980, the lighthouse would have been visible well into the forest as the ground slopes gradually up towards the west".

The, UFO was lost from sight not because it took off, merely that the lights would intermittently be visible, depending on the terrain at that precise moment.

If Burroughs could suddenly see the lights again near the farmer's house - where we know Orfordness lighthouse could be seen - it's simply that there was now a line of sight again.

Our UFO did not leap from the clearing, down by the farmer's house at all.

Burroughs could not determine an actual object, as there never was one.

Perceived, 'landing marks' in a triangle, gave rise to a triangular-shaped UFO

It had to be the size of a drone to both match those marks and fit in the clearing.

The reason why it would have been impossible for an object of the size depicted to have maneuvered through the trees, yet seemed to, is further explained.

Like those leapfrogging lights, it never actually happened.

Another factor which might have played a telling role was the ground fog, recorded in the base weather report, obtained by Ian Ridpath.

As we appreciate, this first night's events have often be subject to a conceivable resolution which hits a proverbial stumbling block.

This time though, have they been overcome?

Although every component may not fit perfectly and realistically could never be expected to, I have to presently assess, subject as always to revision if need be, that as Robert commented regarding his determination of the factual landing site, if it looks like a duck and walks like a duck...

As things stand, I would be comfortable ordering an orange sauce.
 

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Another factor which might have played a telling role was the ground fog, recorded in the base weather report, obtained by Ian Ridpath.
I wonder if this was actually a significant factor.

We can imagine them wandering through the trees in the darkness, with distant lights perhaps even spooky and distorted in size.

Is that why we have a yellow loom depicted in Penniston's sketches.

Chandler stated:

"Each time Penniston gave me the indication that he was about to reach the area where the lights were, he would give an extended estimated location".

Of course he would, the lights were phantoms.

All they had to do though each time the lights vanished, was take a few steps backwards and the lights would magically have reappeared again...
 

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OK, I know little on the Rendlesham Forest UFO.

I thought an UFO landed for a little while, people saw it, and it left, and the end of story.

But according to the History Channel’s Ancient Aliens, UFO sightings went on for 3 nights in a row, and maybe more.

On the program Lt. Col. Charles Halt is saying many large UFOs in the sky were doing a grid pattern search of the area with lasers and he told other people on the base that the nuclear weapons had to be checked as light beams were hitting the weapons.

I have never heard about the grid search that went on for some time.

Giorgio Tsoukalos ( big hair ) says his opinion is that the UFOs are looking in the wrong place, but should be scanning RAF Rudloe Manor for secrets.
 

stu neville

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But according to the History Channel’s Ancient Aliens, UFO sightings went on for 3 nights in a row, and maybe more.
Yes. Ancient Aliens says a lot of things, not all of them necessarily accurate.
On the program Lt. Col. Charles Halt is saying many large UFOs in the sky were doing a grid pattern search of the area with lasers and he told other people on the base that the nuclear weapons had to be checked as light beams were hitting the weapons.
And again, Halt's account has grown in forty years from a one page summary to a career. Give him another ten years and by the fiftieth anniversary the whole of Starfleet will have been hovering there. As David Clarke says, you can only restate the same story so many times before it gets boring and then you have to add bits to keep people interested.
 

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Would Halt lie on a TV program seen by a lot of people about the number of UFOs scanning the base ?
 

stu neville

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Would Halt lie on a TV program seen by a lot of people about the number of UFOs scanning the base ?
Yes, because to do otherwise would throw shade on the rest of the story he's busily constructed in the subsequent decades.
 

Comfortably Numb

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But according to the History Channel’s Ancient Aliens, UFO sightings went on for 3 nights in a row, and maybe more.
Yes, according to both Burroughs and Halt there were three nights, beginning with Burroughs, Cabansag and Penniston's investigation of unfamiliar lights, amidst concerns an accident had occurred.

Night three involved Halt, after he had been informed, 'the UFO was back'.

There's seems to be nothing on record about our intervening night.

You do however touch on what may be a determining aspect, the UFO sightings might have continued beyond.

They should have.

Because the lighthouse and associated, deceptive coastal lights, never moved.

As viewed from within the forest and its undulating terrain as you walked through it towards the coast - they absolutely could have appeared to.

If not a case you are entirely familiar with, then don't look into it any further!!! There are so many truly extraordinary, 'red herrings' - false leads.

Put it this way: supposing you had a genuine enigma, which happened to be within a forest where various coastal lights could intermittently be observed, depending on where you were at any particular time.

That's going to cause absolute havoc, isn't it...

Welcome to the nightmare!
 

charliebrown

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This episode of Ancient Aliens claims that strange lights were reported weeks before the actual UFO event by the base personnel.

I agree on a coast line there can be all kinds of lights.

Then Nick Pope joins “big hair “ Tsoukalos and claims the UFOs doing a grid search with lasers conforms to MoD documents on file.

All of this just makes this as clear as mud.
 
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Although Kevin Conde's involvement in the main events of December 1980 seems unlikely, he may have been involved in other similar hoaxes. I note that he claims that he had accomplices on some of his jaunts, so maybe they may have been actively hoaxing on other nights.
(A) few nights after the Mars Incident I pulled a rather good one on the same gate guard. It was during an exercise, so I was not alone, as was normal for the Woodbridge Law Enforcement patrol. As I remember there were three of us.
So maybe some of these strange lights were caused by Conde's accomplices when he was not involved; if any part of his story is true, there may have been a culture of hoaxing and spoofing in that forest in the early 80s.

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

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Wikipedia claims that both the SAS or Special Air Service guys and the Americans were always pranking and fighting with each other badly.

This could be the answer to all of this, one huge prank.
 
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And don't forget that Brenda Butler once said there was a Yeti in the forest.
Whilst ostensibly reasonable grounds to be sceptical here, it would intrinsically be remiss not to mention the following anecdote, from Chuck Dalldorf, previous mentioned in our discussions:

"There is a story about a Rendelsham Forest Monster that attacked an airman while he sat in the cockpit of an F-4 on the filghtline of Woodbridge. I do not know if there is truth to that strange story, But I did see the canapy of that F-4. It had deep scratchs on the outside of the glass'.

Now, we all know that you do not mess with an F-4, especially to that extent, as a prank...

:eek:
 

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"But I did see the canapy of that F-4. It had deep scratches on the outside of the glass".
Brenda Butler didn't fancy the pilot, by any chance?

(Posted on the understanding that should Brenda ever read this, she would have a laugh!).
 

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I had previously mentioned hearing that in her book, 'You Can't Tell the People', Georgina Bruni claimed that following my publication of those original witness statements, for the first time ever, Penniston alleged that his was a bogus fabrication.

Strictly, in her book, Bruni wrote:

"Copies of the statements came directly to me from the old CAUS files in the United States. They are published here in the witness files, and are explained in their entirety for the first time".

Published here for the first time... really?

It's just that we seem to have an extraordinary coincidence.

When I published the statements, I gave each one a specific heading:

Bruni was evidently thinking along the same lines:

The first is Bruni's, the second, my own, which long predates Bruni's book:

Fred Buran (no rank listed)
81st Security Police Squadron
A typed (signed) statement on an official USAF 1169 Statement of Witness form, dated 2 January 1981.

Fred A Buran
81st Security Police Squadron
Typed on USAF form 1169 "Statement of Witness", dated 2 January 1981



Master Sergeant J. D. Chandler
81st Security Police Squadron
A typed (signed) statement on an official USAF 1169 Statement of Witness form, dated 2 January 1981.

Master-Sergeant J. D. Chandler
81st Security Police Squadron
Typed on USAF form 1169 "Statement of Witness", dated 2 January 1981


Airman First Class John F. Burroughs
81st Security Police Squadron
A handwritten statement on plain paper (signed) and undated.

Airman First Class John Burroughs
81st Security Police Squadron
Hand-written and undated



Staff Sergeant Jim Penniston
81st Security Police Squadron
A typed statement on plain paper (unsigned and undated) with a cover page.

Staff-Sergeant Jim Penniston
81st Security Police Squadron
Typed and undated
(End)


Bruni continues:

"Penniston and Cabansag have since denied that they typed their statements. It seems apparent that Halt’s secretary, or anyone from Halt’s office, did not type them either because apart from the bad spelling and typing errors the typewriters used were not as sophisticated as the one used to type out Halt’s memorandum a
week later. This probably means that the statements were not typed in Halt’s office, but were prepared earlier. It must also be noted that the witnesses did not have easy access to these facilities. The typewriter used to type Cabansag’s
statement is also a different one than that used to type Penniston’s. Whoever typed these statements made sure there were enough errors to make it look like the witnesses, who it must be remembered were not adept at using these
machines, did them. In fact, police personnel always used notebooks. However, Chandler’s and Buran’s statements appear to have been typed on the same machine, the only one that was handwritten was Burroughs’.Assuming Penniston’s and Cabansag’s typed statements are bogus, then whoever was responsible for them must have had a good reason for going to all
that trouble. They appear to be a clever combination of fact coupled with a fair amount of disinformation. A typical exercise carried out by covert agencies in
order to confuse the truth? I discussed the matter with Charles Halt, explaining that Penniston and Cabansag deny they were responsible for the statements and
it was imperative that I have his comments. Halt suggested, but could not be certain, that the witnesses may have had the statements with them when they
turned up to see him because they were not typed in his office".


The case presented by Bruni and fed to readers is essentially that which was dealt with in my post #943:

(Start)
"I have discovered related case evidence, which could not be more specific.

This is an exact quote from a lengthy interview Penniston gave to AJS (Salley) Rayl and published in OMNI magazine (1997):

"Also, an Air Force Form 1569, an accident and complaint report, was filled out...".

Not only does Burroughs confirm being familiar with the
statements, he even recalls when they were released.

"As far as the lighthouse goes the statements that everybody made such a big deal about were first made available by Col Halt
during the filming of Unsolved Mysteries".

If those pivotal, original witness statements had not gathered
dust for so many years, this critical breakthrough could have been made long ago".
(End)


Bruni's mandatory 'cover up' assertions go beyond this and
include some hand-written notes on the documents. I have mentioned these annotations before, yet never published them in full as some of the remarks are too personal.

In a public forum posting, Bruni declared to myself:

"For your information Halt had denied he wrote the notes, so much for knowing so much!".

My reply was straightforward:

(Start)
"I know this much... I can prove the notes _were_ in fact written
by Halt.

It's not that difficult to do so and there was a blatant clue which Bruni should perhaps have spotted. It's claimed she also obtained the same file. If so, then it contains a letter dated 23, January 1987, written by Halt and addressed to 'Dear Larry' - 'UFO' researcher Larry Fawcett.

As this letter is hand-written, we can easily verify if the handwriting matches those notes on the statements. The first striking hint is that both are written entirely in capitals. The second, immediate clue is that Halt, in his letter, refers to the names of three witnesses for whom we have statements. As their names are also mentioned in the statement notes, we can therefore make a direct, significant handwriting comparison.

As we would expect, the handwriting does match and other words common to both the letter and statement also exhibit the same, distinctive hand-writing style - see:

handwrt.jpg


Proving this is stating the obvious. The contents of those notes could only conceivably have been written by Halt.

Although John Burroughs believes the testimonies were first made available for 'Unsolved Mysteries', broadcast on 18 September, 1991, much of the CAUS material relates to an earlier documentary about the UFO story - a CNN special feature. As I explained in 'Resolving Rendlesham', the follow-up to 'Rendlesham Unravelled' and published during August 1988:

"On Cabansag's statement, Halt writes that he discussed his
thoughts about Cabansag with Chuck DeCaro of CNN. DeCaro
investigated the case for CNN in early 1985 and this would imply that Halt's comments were not added until then, five years after the event, at the earliest and by which time the 'Rendlesham forest UFO landing' had become something of a celebrated affair".
[End of Extract]

Possibly Halt's copies of the statements were initially provided to CNN.

Aside from expressing his confidence in the reliability of our witnesses, Halt's notes actually maintain the 'UFO' incident was significant and suggest that Buran, Cabansag and Chandler might all 'talk' if approached correctly.

So where was any rationalised 'cover up' supposed to exist in the
first place?

Whether Halt ever denied making these notes, or perhaps there has been some misunderstanding about a question he was asked, or the
answer he gave, I don't know and it's not my concern.

However, as the facts were easily available, we could perhaps have been spared these unnecessary publicised accusations by some
elementary detective work.

If needed, further clues to the statements' authenticity are the covering letter which accompanies Chandler's deposition and the covering page with Penniston's, marked 'FOR LT COL HALT EYES
ONLY'. Penniston also attached a number of sketches.

Additionally, Halt discussed these statements with Salley Rayl and specifically referred to their content.
(END)


As to why Penniston would allegedly deny typing that statement, one can only surmise.

Might his stated admission, "When we got within a 50 meter distance... This is the closest point that I was near the object at any point"... have been somewhat problematic...?

This, therefore, to set the record straight.
 

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Good sleuthing, James. Of course Penniston has never denied making the sketches that accompanied his statement since they were in his own hand...
 

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On the question of what the catalyst was for all which ensued, this might help.

Tidying up old correspondence, I have come across something from John Burroughs which I had missed, because it was sent under a different email address and not within our correspondence archives:

The following is raw and unedited:

"This is what I know. Penniston got permission on the phone for us to go out there at that time no one thought it was a airplane crash for sure. LT Buren sent us out there to see what was going on. One of things he wanted to make sure of that it was not a airplane crash. Also MSgt chandler was not there he came out after they lost radio contact with us. While we were out there the LT came over the radio and stated they had been in contact with eastern radar and Heathrow tower and that they stated they had contact with something and it had dropped off the radar over our area and that's when they thought a plane had went down for sure. As far as Halt goes he stated that US AF went to the British site and took all of the radar tapes. Im not sure where Bawdsey came up all I know was that it was taken from the eastern radar site and Bawdsey was named as that site but that could have been used to throw people off the track!!! It was within minutes of the unfamiliar light's. He was briefed by the LT that mourning. Plus in our debrief the next mourning it was brought up that there was something on radar and that with what we saw had us held over to go back out in the woods to the site".
 

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I have rediscovered more archive case material, this time from the public, 'Primebase' mailing list.

Long time ago, in a faraway, distant clearing, during February, 1999 Ian Ridpath wrote:

Steuart Campbell replied to my previous posting:

"Ian has now thrown me a googly--claiming that Shipwash did not show to landward. If that is true, then of course the light could not be Shipwash."

My info comes from Keith Seaman, the current lighthouse keeper (Trinity House now call them "attendants") at Orford. According to him, the Shipwash lightship (which was replaced by a buoy in 1990) was blanked-off from the shore. Its flash pattern was three flashes over 20 sec: 03. sec flash followed by a 2.2 sec eclipse, repeated, then 0.3 sec flash and 14.7 sec eclipse.

Orford flashes for 0.2 sec every 5 sec. Orford's light is blanked to prevent it shining into the town of Orford itself, but still shines into the forest. Even the lighthouse keeper himself did not realize that until I told him.


"[Ian's] claim that a low ridge would (IAC) obscure Shipwash seems speculative. Has he tested for that?"

It's evident from a visit to the site. The locals have never considered Shipwash as an explanation for the sighting, since Orford is the only dazzling light visible from the forest. Shipwash is simply not a credible alternative for what the airmen saw.

CNN's Chuck de Caro visited the site many years ago and filmed the Orford lighthouse. He played the relevant section of Halt's tape over the images of the flashing light - they matched exactly. To me, this has always been the most impressive demonstration that the two were one and the same.
(End)

Think I might be able to help here.

This is the CNN documentary, with compelling sequence Ian refers to:

 

Ian Ridpath

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Orford's light is blanked to prevent it shining into the town of Orford itself, but still shines into the forest. Even the lighthouse keeper himself did not realize that until I told him.
And he still kept repeating his error even after he had been told... Vince the forester says in an interview somewhere that he is fed up with being told the lighthouse wasn't visible from the forest when he knew that it was because he lived there. The lighthouse keeper, of course, had never been to see for himself.
 

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Vince the forester says in an interview somewhere that he is fed up with being told the lighthouse wasn't visible from the forest when he knew that it was because he lived there.
Introductory to Halt's consequential involvement, have the following been critical in rediscovering seminal, archive documentation?

Chris Armold, on visiting our inaugural, 'landing site clearing', after daylight:

"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)".


Penniston's statement:

"...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".

One fundamental question which I still can't quite resolve to my satisfaction and if could...

Why would the lighthouse beacon, as opposed to its sweeping light, appear to be red and not white?
 

Krepostnoi

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Why would the lighthouse beacon, as opposed to its sweeping light, appear to be red and not white?
Could it have been an aircraft warning light? If I'm reading the regulations correctly, they aren't compulsory for lighthouses in all cases (for fairly obvious reasons), but if the sweeping light was blanked from certain angles on the land side, as earlier posts here suggest, then there might well have been a flashing red warning light. Not least if there were two airfields very nearby.
 

EnolaGaia

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Why would the lighthouse beacon, as opposed to its sweeping light, appear to be red and not white?
It's unclear whether the lighthouse (as of 1980) was or was not equipped with any beacon lamp(s) on its upper structure.

The various descriptions and Penniston's sketch indicate there was a topmost / highest light with red / yellow-ish and blue lights visible below that main light.

According to the photo Ian (Ridpath) posted posted of the lighthouse as seen (telescopically) from the landing site:

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

... only the main lighthouse lamp (the rotating beam) could have been directly visible (as Ian notes).

The lighthouse's sector lights would otherwise be the obvious suspects for the lower lights.

In 1914 a new revolving lens was installed ...

At the same time as this light was installed another light was brought into operation half way up the tower. This is the sector light which is a fixed light showing through red and green windows facing south east and a red window facing north east.​
http://www.photographers-resource.co.uk/a_heritage/lighthouses/LG2_EW/Orfordness.htm

The lighthouse's sector lights' windows were located within the lower of the tower's two red painted bands. This portion of the tower is occluded by a ridge in Ian's photo.

My tentative interpretation of Ian's long-distance photo is that the skyline / occluding ridge represents the surface profile of the land on the eastern bank of the Butley River.

This suggests that any lights observed directly below the lighthouse's main lamp must have been lights in the intermediate distance between the observer's position and the Butley River.

Otherwise, it seems to me the lights would have to be explained in terms of indirect visibility of the light source (e.g., glow or refraction / reflection).
 

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My tentative interpretation of Ian's long-distance photo is that the skyline / occluding ridge represents the surface profile of the land on the eastern bank of the Butley River.
From a 1997 interview Halt gave to Salley Rayl, in which he is quite specific:

"First, the lighthouse was visible the whole time. It was readily apparent, and it was 30 to 40 degrees off to our right. If you were standing in the forest where we stood, at the supposed landing site or whatever you want to call it, you could see the farmer's house directly in front of us.

The lighthouse was 30 to 35 degrees off to the right, and the object was close to the farmer's house and moving from there to the left, through the trees".

It's a claim reaffirmed by Halt in subsequent conference presentations of his evidence, that his enigmatic and purportedly, 'alien' artefact was to the left of our farmer's house.

I have now rediscovered a photograph from local researcher, Robert McLean, taken during 2002:

Screenshot_20210604-150118.jpg


The prerequisite, 'however'...

This is another 2002 photograph from Robert (possibility later on the same day?), illustrating the, 'glowing farmhouse'.

Screenshot_20210604-160614.jpg


The beacon from Orford Ness lighthouse is now to the right-hand side?

Simply the result of a slightly different angle from which this photograph was taken?

Does this help in any way!

Images are © Robert McLean.
 
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