Rendlesham Forest Incident

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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.
Such a difficult situation attempting to analyse what might be, from those original statements which themselves are dated almost a week later.

I suspect that if we were able to go back in time and see for ourselves, we would conclude, 'that doesn't match up with what they described'!
 

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The various descriptions...
Good grief... you have just reminded of an incident when daughter, son (both mid-teens at the time) and myself witnessed a spectacular meteor burning up.

We discussed immediately afterwards what we had just been privileged to witness and you couldn't have 3 more completely different recollections of how many lights and their colours. :)
 

Ian Ridpath

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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.
That is correct. See the aerial view at the bottom of that same page where I point out what I term the notch on the horizon through which the lighthouse cold be directly seen.
 

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I've now found the interview with Vince that includes his quotes about the lighthouse:
>>
It took place, he says, in the only part of the forest where it was possible to see the since-dismantled Orfordness Lighthouse.
"It's weird because you've got a slightly sloping patch of Rendlesham Forest. Then, probably a couple of miles, then Gedgrave Hill. And there was a gap in the trees on Gedgrave Hill, then eight miles or whatever to Orfordness Lighthouse.
"UFO believers have talked to lighthouse keepers who said: 'It never beamed towards the land'. And I think: 'Rubbish'.
"I've stood in the beam of the lighthouse. I've looked at it and the forest."
<<
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-suffolk-54649675
 

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Wow, they were definitely behind the barn door when the kit was dished out:

iu


"First-generation passive devices developed in the 1960s, introduced during the Vietnam War, were an adaptation of earlier active GEN 0 technology and relied on ambient light instead of an extra infrared light source. Using an S-20 photocathode, their image intensifiers produced a light amplification of around 1000, but they were quite bulky and required moonlight to function properly."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night-vision_device#Generation_1

"...GEN I systems were large and cumbersome, less reliable, and relatively poor low light imagers. They were also characterized by streaking and distortion."

https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/ground/nvg.htm

maximus otter

This was in reply to:

eburacum said:
According to Ridpath, it was the AN/PVS-2, so even more primitive.
(End)
Merely for information, I have come across a related video:


There's also an online manual available:

www.liberatedmanuals.com/TM-11-5855-203-10.pdf

It might help make further sense of what Halt meant, when he wrote in his official memo:

"The objects to the north appeared to be elliptical through an 8-12 power lens. They then turned to full circles".
 

Ian Ridpath

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"The objects to the north appeared to be elliptical through an 8-12 power lens. They then turned to full circles".
I don't think the AN/PVS-2 magnified that much. No one ever seems to have asked Halt exactly what he was using.
 

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Further up the thread, I have put forward two different hypotheses;
one is that Halt has misremembered how much magnification the AN/PVS-2 gives, and the 8-12 power lens is an error;
the other is that they had a second 'lens', probably a monocular, which they were also using.
At this late stage I doubt that we will ever know.
 

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the other is that they had a second 'lens', probably a monocular, which they were also using.
Halt specifically refers to a 'lens', which is a fair indication he wasn't using the starscope. My guess is he was using a monocular or spotting scope of some kind. I will ask him and see if he remembers.
 

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I don't think the AN/PVS-2 magnified that much.
The video refers to a, '4 power optic' magnification.

Which touches on Halt's recorded comments:

"OK we're looking at the thing, we're probably about 2-3 hundred yards away. It looks like an eye winking at you, it's still moving from side to side and when we put the Starscope on it, it's sort of a hollow center right, a dark center....

It's like the pupil of an eye looking at you, winking .... and the flash is so bright to the Starscope, that err... it almost burns your eye".

Ny understanding is that a hyper-radial or hyperradiant Fresnel lens, as used in the lighthouse at that time is also known as a, 'bulls-eye' lens, with light being directed into the central pupil of the lens.

As you know there were 3 lenses
I presume this could explain the, 'pupil of an eye winking at you'?

How frequently was a 'starscope' used.... seemingly from the outset, with Halt explaining at the Quest 1994 seminar:

We hopped in the Jeep, we drove across Bentwaters base and out the Back Gate of Bentwaters towards the base at Woodbridge, onto the forest service road. We cut down the forest service road, and I could see a lot of activity down there in the forest. I could see some vehicles, I could see there were some people.

We turned in and went down there. They were still playing with some lightalls. They couldn't get the lightalls to work, and they were arguing whether they did or didn’t have fuel, so I verified, yes they had fuel. So I said, it’s simple, send back get another lightall, and we waited there a couple of minutes and got a little bit bored.

In the meantime, Lt. Englund said to me, ‘Take a look through the starlight scope. Look right out there.' So I looked out into the starlight scope and saw there was a dull glow. It was brighter in that area than it was anywhere else. I don’t know if it was significant or not. Anyhow we took a look though the starlight scope for several minutes.

We all took turns to look through it.

We decided one of the four of us should walk toward it. We were getting cold and tired, waiting around for ... [unclear, possibly ‘ten, twelve’]... minutes. So I ask Sgt. Nevels to take a reading with the ANP-27, and he says normal background radiation. He pokes around a little bit. It has a long wire with a probe on it, some thick wire this with a headset.

We drove halfway into the supposed area and I help take a couple more readings, nothing of great significance. We did ...[unclear]... Lt. Englund said, ‘There’s the stake that marks the spot.’, so we didn’t walk all over it. And fine we go and take a look see these indentations".
(End)

This is the lead-up to examining those perceived, 'landing marks and prior to a flashing light then being noticed.

Halt adds:

"When McCabe had seen something, and it's on the tape, said, ‘Look over there.’ or something to that effect. He said a few more words I picked off ...[unclear, possibly ’yeah’]. If you understand those. And there was this bright... The best way I can describe it is when the sun comes up first thing in the morning, and the light is coming through the whole atmosphere. It has a bright glow, first thing in the morning on a clear day. That’s what this object looked like. But it had a black center. And the best way that I can describe it is, sort of oval about like that, and it was closed down a bit so ...[unclear]... disappeared this time. It just closed down ...[unclear]... in the back, about three degrees [? unclear]. It would occasionally go up a little bit, go down a little bit. But generally moving horizontal, occasionally come forward a bit, occasionally it would recede".

There's another interview in which Halt mentions Sgt 'Crash' McCabe being present.
 

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"When McCabe had seen something, and it's on the tape, said, ‘Look over there.’ or something to that effect. He said a few more words I picked off ...
Just for the record, I wonder if what Halt refers to here, is an attriibuton given to Busitinza in Timothy Good's transcript:

LT COLONEL HALT: You saw a light? Slow down. Where, where?

SGT NEVILLES: Right on this position here. Straight ahead in between the trees... [Adrian Bustinza pointed out that someone saw a light going through the trees].
(End)

I can't find any other reference to McCabe, as I thought existed and perhaps Halt is mistaken.

Also, again simply a note in my files and now this has come up.

Your transcript reads:

ENGLUND: Right on this position here. Straight ahead, in between the trees – there it is again. Watch – straight ahead, off my flashlight there, sir. There it is.

However Timothy Good's interpretation is:

SGT NEVILLES: Right on this position here. Straight ahead in between the trees...

LT ENGLUND: There it is again... beginning of the gap... right there

SGT NEVILLES: It throws the hell off my flashlight there.
(End)

I have no idea which is correct, given that ny copy of the tape is so poor - Official, 'UFO Magazine' bootleg!

Certainly Good's features several instances of radio communications attributed to Busitinza (or could that actually have been McCabe instead?) and notably no such thing recorded in respect of, 'beams of light' being reported from either base.
 

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Halt has responded very quickly to my inquiry about the "8-12 power lens". He says:
"I didn't personally have the optics. One of the cops did and I don't recall what type or make. Some kind of binoculars."
That's all he can recall.
 

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Of course, if it wasn't for a chance encounter (my emphasis), none of this would ever have surfaced.

In fact, it was evidently a matter of much hilarity, Halt explaining about his microcassette recording to American Journalist AJS (Salley) Rayl, in 1997:

"The Wing Commander at that time was not present. ...He and I discussed this incident the day after, which was a day or two after which was a Saturday morning. I remember running into him in the hallway of the building we shared a common office building and I told him about it. He knew a little bit, but I told him some details and told him I made the tape and he was very interested and asked to hear the tape. I gave him the tape and played it for him and he said, "May I take this to the Third Air Force, to the staff meeting next Tuesday or Wednesday?" I said, "Certainly." Well, I couldn't tell him, no. And he took it down and played it to the staff and the General looked at the staff and said, "First, the Wing Commander said, 'Is he a credible witness?' and the answer was, 'Yes.' So he turned to the staff and said, "What do we do now?" And nobody knew what to do. So there was some chuckling in the room and I understand the comment was, "Well, it's a British affair. Let's give it to them...

And I was told when he came back, he gave me the tape back and thanked me and said, "Get with Don Moreland. Let the British handle this."

I made a copy for my boss then, Ted Conrad. He wanted a copy of it so I made a copy and when he rotated and was re-assigned, he left it in the desk unbeknownst to me, and Sam Morgan came in to replace him.

Sam Morgan found it and asked me what it was. I played it for him and he thought it was hilarious and he gave a copy to a British solicitor in the UFO community named Harry Harris who, in turn, sold, distributed, gave away, etc., copies until they're all over the world".
(End)


Salley adds:

"Well that was it and the incident was reported to Whitehall, and Halt was given his tape recording back.

He put it in his desk drawer and forgot about it until he was asked for it again. This time it wasn't played for a high command assembly, it was played at a couple of cocktail parties and enjoyed with some merriment".
 
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Ian Ridpath

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Sam Morgan found it and asked me what it was. I played it for him and he thought it was hilarious and he gave a copy to a British solicitor in the UFO community named Harry Harris who, in turn, sold, distributed, gave away, etc., copies until they're all over the world".

And as Morgan told Phil Klass in 1984, he decided that it was ‘just a bunch of guys screwing around in the woods’.
I have always thought that was a fitting epitaph for the Rendlesham Forest UFO case.
 

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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".
So that's another claim that something was sighted on radar and then lost over Rendlesham. It could conceivably have been a genuine black project aircraft and a genuine crash landing -- but not of a UFO. There are so many odd little facts and clues continuing to emerge, if you look past the more dramatic claims and lighthouse misidentifications. Is it possible that the reason a seemingly rational and responsible military man such as Halt continues to insist, despite all your counter evidence, that he and his men had been seeing genuine unidentified objects, is to help cover up the real trigger for the events?
 

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Is it possible that the reason a seemingly rational and responsible military man such as Halt continues to insist, despite all your counter evidence, that he and his men had been seeing genuine unidentified objects, is to help cover up the real trigger for the events?
Not likely, if you see my post #1,424 - which I suspect kinda, 'crosed over' with your own.

There remain enigmas though - one of which is maybe right down your street!

This:

Title: Re-Entry Of 'Cosmos 749' Rocket On 1980 December 25
Authors: Mason, J. & Miles, H.
Journal: Journal of the British Astronomical Association, Vol. 91, P. 561, 1981

http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu//full/1981JBAA...91..561M/0000563.000.html

My archive material indicates the possible association with a light phenomenon occurring and conceivably visible from the twin-base, just prior to our initial observation of unfamiliar lights as witnessed from east gate.

I have recently gone over this case material, Ian Ridpath's analysis and now reading the above, definitive publication, ended up more confused than before!

Perhaps Ian could please help quantify this for us.

There was certainly a remarkable amount of, 'atmospheric occurrences' to filter through and evidently coincidental.

In essence, was there anything therein which could have triggered our inaugural east gate concerns regarding an aircraft or helicopter crash?
 

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As I wrote here
http://www.ianridpath.com/ufo/rendlesham6.html
news reports of the re-entry on national radio that night could have primed the guards to 'think UFO', but there is no evidence that this re-entry had any direct connection with the events that followed the 3am fireball, which was a piece of natural debris.
 

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..news reports of the re-entry on national radio that night could have primed the guards to 'think UFO', but there is no evidence that this re-entry had any direct connection with the events that followed the 3am fireball, which was a piece of natural debris.
Running a related text search, I have, literally, just found this in my archives:

(Start)
As one airman recorded in a letter home, "postmarked 7 January 1981":

"Over Europe and England a bunch of lights were seen - Over London one of the lights broke into about twenty smaller lights - andf flewin all directions. At about three in the morning, a guy I know in D-Flight of Security Police told me he responded to a falling star outside the Weapons Storage Area".
(End)

My reference for this states

'Left at East Gate', by Larry Warren and Peter Robbins, pp 64-65'.

That's all I know, although will obviously have a look into any further insight.

How peculiar, not only allegedly, a 'falling star', also, "outside the Weapons Storage Area"!

I presume this implies the claimed witness was on duty there.
 

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That's all I know, although will obviously have a look into any further insight.
Wow... it's actually claimed to be a letter from Larry Warren to his mother and the overall contents are quite interesting.... more shortly....
 

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...it's actually claimed to be a letter from Larry Warren to his mother
Assuming, 'fair use' re copyright and given it's only a brief extract, I have uploaded the full letter as published:

www.forteanmedia.com/Warren_1.jpg

www.forteanmedia.com/Warren_2.jpg

These are quick, raw camera images from my mobile and hopefully legible. Given their file size and that I don't want to compress same being text, too large for an attachment!

Assuming the letter as published is entirely authentic and considering what we might have a clearer perspective of since the book's publication...

Thoughts?
 

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Assuming the letter as published is entirely authentic and considering what we might have a clearer perspective of since the book's publication...
Warren's letter refers to a significant number of aspects relating to events, allegedly heard about on base and which were publicly unknown until I revealed the contents of those witness statements - after the publication of his book.

So, if that checks out, the possibility a , 'fallen star' was involved as well?

Typical, that it doesn't gel with anything in those statements.

Anything else of note..

Claim of a C-130 arriving later and taking something away in a crate?

Good job I've removed @Carl Grove fron the recipient list...

Other than that...

Thankfully this delightful little enclave of UFO folklore has enough of us to appreciate....

This case is bonkers mad...
 

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And as Morgan told Phil Klass in 1984, he decided that it was ‘just a bunch of guys screwing around in the woods’.
You know how I've suggested this is all so delightfully Fortean crazy...

You reminded that I might once have had a letter from Phil.

If affirmative, I had no recollection of the contents and it would be over 20 years since seen.

However, it should be clear by now that my archives are extensive.

This is insane... :)

IMG_20210607_201459~3_resize_15.jpg
 

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Not likely, if you see my post #1,424 - which I suspect kinda, 'crosed over' with your own.

There remain enigmas though - one of which is maybe right down your street!

This:

Title: Re-Entry Of 'Cosmos 749' Rocket On 1980 December 25
Authors: Mason, J. & Miles, H.
Journal: Journal of the British Astronomical Association, Vol. 91, P. 561, 1981

http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu//full/1981JBAA...91..561M/0000563.000.html

My archive material indicates the possible association with a light phenomenon occurring and conceivably visible from the twin-base, just prior to our initial observation of unfamiliar lights as witnessed from east gate.

I have recently gone over this case material, Ian Ridpath's analysis and now reading the above, definitive publication, ended up more confused than before!

Perhaps Ian could please help quantify this for us.

There was certainly a remarkable amount of, 'atmospheric occurrences' to filter through and evidently coincidental.

In essence, was there anything therein which could have triggered our inaugural east gate concerns regarding an aircraft or helicopter crash?
The rocket trajectory looks to have been very close to our area of interest. I would stick with my basic scenario: US keen to retrieve anything they can from the re-entry, use one of their highly secret black project devices, a 30' triangular craft, it develops major problems and is directed to attempt a landing as close as possible to the Rendlesham bases, seen by a few witnesses including the gamekeeper, and the recovery team manage to sweep up the remains of the device. Then all the subsequent "landings" and alleged alien stuff are quickly simulated. Maybe Burroughs and Penniston see something they shouldn't and get the narcohypnotic treatment to boot. Halt is an unwitting contributor to the UFO myth, maybe he has been notified since to keep pushing the ET. During the rest of the 80s the new triangular objects are brought to perfection and who knows what they can do now? All very speculative of course but I can sense the disinformation running through the events -- odd how so many innocent serviceman, told to keep something deadly secret, told so many people about alien craft landing and top military people chatting to them etc.
 

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I would stick with my basic scenario: US keen to retrieve anything they can from the re-entry, use one of their highly secret black project devices, a 30' triangular craft, it develops major problems and is directed to attempt a landing as close as possible to the Rendlesham bases, seen by a few witnesses including the gamekeeper...
Outwith our longstanding default, prosaic explanation - by a Suffolk country mile - as evidenced by Ian Ridpath, that arguably makes so much sense as anything. :)
 

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Good grief... you have just reminded of an incident when daughter, son (both mid-teens at the time) and myself witnessed a spectacular meteor burning up.

We discussed immediately afterwards what we had just been privileged to witness and you couldn't have 3 more completely different recollections of how many lights and their colours. :)
There's a Russian academic postmortem that I can't recall at the moment about space debris (or a meteor?) that did a great job of this with about a hundred witnesses. You got a span of two hours over which they assigned the incident, many varying descriptions, some very UFO-like and some very boring but not correct either...
I remember a flight of American military planes with their navigation lights synced up that got a lot of NUFORC reports, and it was the same way. The flight, its path, and its timing were all known, but the reported times and positions/directions of travel and descriptions were quite something.
 

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There's a Russian academic postmortem that I can't recall at the moment about space debris (or a meteor?) that did a great job of this with about a hundred witnesses. You got a span of two hours over which they assigned the incident, many varying descriptions, some very UFO-like and some very boring but not correct either...
I remember a flight of American military planes with their navigation lights synced up that got a lot of NUFORC reports, and it was the same way. The flight, its path, and its timing were all known, but the reported times and positions/directions of travel and descriptions were quite something.
The British head of scientific intelligence, R.V. Jones, often quoted the unreliability of shipboard sightings of mines at sea. He found that the only reliable element in such accounts was whether the mine was seen to the port or starboard.
 

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I have always thought that was a fitting epitaph for the Rendlesham Forest UFO case.
I've never had one.

Unti perhaps a few minutes ago, when YouTube suggested something related to previous searches.

At 5:00 into this video...

A few words perfectly sums it up.

 

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There's a Russian academic postmortem that I can't recall at the moment about space debris (or a meteor?) that did a great job of this with about a hundred witnesses. You got a span of two hours over which they assigned the incident, many varying descriptions, some very UFO-like and some very boring but not correct either...
I remember a flight of American military planes with their navigation lights synced up that got a lot of NUFORC reports, and it was the same way. The flight, its path, and its timing were all known, but the reported times and positions/directions of travel and descriptions were quite something.
Sounds like one of James Oberg's analyses. He has done a lot of good work on analysing eyewitness reports of Russian rocket launches.
 
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