The Rendlesham Forest UFO Incident
The Rendlesham Forest Incident is one of the most famous UFO cases on record. Often called Britain's Roswell because it involved credible military witnesses near military bases as well as physical evidence. It remains one of the most interesting triangular UFO case files today.
On December, 26th 1980 military personal at the Woodbridge and Bentwater air-bases in Suffolk, England reported witnessing over the next couple of days strange lights in the sky and a triangular craft landing in Rendlesham Forest near the bases.
The two bases were being leased to the USAF at the time and were situated right outside of the 5.8 square miles (15 km2) Rendlesham Forest which is owned by the Forestry Commission.
At around 3am on December, 26th two military security patrol personnel saw lights descending into the forest which was about one mile from the east gate of the Woodbridge base. They first thought it may have been a downed aircraft and of course, went to investigate with one other patrolman. They proceeded to scout it out on foot.
When they got close they reported, according to the USAF Halt Memo below, that they saw a "strange glowing object" in the woods. The object was triangular in shape, metallic, and approximately three meters across and two meters in height. The whole forest was a glow with a white light. The UFO itself had a reddish light on top and blue lights on the bottom. It appeared as though it was hovering or possibly standing on landing equipment. As the men moved closer to the object though, it maneuvered away from them. They also reported that nearby farm animals were "in a frenzy".
On the following morning when investigating the sighting in the Rendlesham Forest, landing marks were found in the ground near where the patrol men first spotted the object as well as burn marks on nearby broken trees.
There were three depressions from the landing gear that were one and a half inches deep and seven inches in diameter. Plaster casts were then made of the landing gear depressions, but no one was sure of what they truly were. Some say they could have been made from common animals in the area.
Later beta/gama tests were done to detremine if there was radiation contamination and if there was how much. It was determined that moderate radiation was found away from where the ship had landed at .05-.07 and the highest readings were at the location of the landing.
That night a glowing object was spotted through the tree line pulsing red. It then broke off into five different pieces and seemingly disappeared. Soon after three more objects were spotted two in the north and one in the south all moving at rapid speeds and displaying red, blue and green lights. The lights would randomly shoot white lights towards the ground and remained visible from one to three hours. All witnessed by multiple military men.
Lt. Col. Charles I. Halt Memo
Lt. Col. Charles Halt Tape Recording and Transcript
Lt. Col. Charles Halt, while investigating the UFO, brought a hand-held Lanier micro-cassette recorder that he would often use for note taking. He recorded the investigation on the 28th of December when they were looking for the impressions from the ship and taking radiation readings. Unfortunately you can tell that Sergeant Monroe Nevels has no real training in using a geiger counter, but he was getting readings of radiation. You can listen to it below or read the transcript.
People on the tape are: Bruce Englund who first saw the light and is the guide through the forest, Sergeant Monroe Nevels who is using the geiger counter, Sergeant Bobby Ball, and Lt. Col. Charles I. Halt who is recording.
HALT: 150 feet or more from the initial, or I should say suspected, impact point. Having a little difficulty; can't get the Light-all to work. Seems to be some kind of mechanical problem. Gonna send back and get another Light-all. Meantime we're gonna take some readings with the geiger counter and chase around the area a little bit waiting for another Light-all to come back in. [IAN's NOTE: For more on the geiger counter and a discussion of the significance of the radiation readings, see here.]
GARBLED SECURITY COMMUNICATION AND BACKGROUND VOICES (includes: "Six... Sergeant Bustinza Security Control... that's mark one of the pod... pod number...")
HALT: OK, we're now approaching the area within about 25, 30 feet. What kind of readings are we getting? Anything?
NEVELS: Just minor clicks.
HALT: Minor clicks.
[BACKGROUND VOICE IN THE ROOOM, APPARENTLY HALT'S]
HALT: Where are the impressions? Is that all the bigger they are?
ENGLUND: Well, there's one more well-defined over here.
SECURITY COMMUNICATION: Sergeant Bustinza - Security Control.
HALT: We're still getting clicks.
NEVELS: ...getting clicks...
SECURITY COMMUNICATION (includes "Sergeant Bustinza... We're outta gas...Security-6 boarding...East Gate").
HALT: Can you read that on the scale?
NEVELS: Yes, sir. We're now on the five-tenths scale, and we're reading about third, fourth make [? - perhaps he meant to say "mark"] over...
HALT: OK, we're still comfortably safe here.
RADIO COMMUNICATION (BUSTINZA?): Do you happen to have a Light-all?
GARBLED SECURITY COMMUNICATION (Includes: "East Gate security... Security Six... have a light-all with gas...please.")
HALT: Still minor readings, the second pod indentation...
BACKGROUND SECURITY COMMUNICATION.
HALT: This one's dead. Let's go over to the third one over here.
BACKGROUND SECURITY COMMUNICATION: Sergeant Bustinza...
NEVELS: Yes, now I'm getting some residual.
HALT: I can read it now. The meter's definitely giving a little pulse.
ENGLUND: ... about the centre ...
HALT: I was gonna say let's go to the centre of the area next and see what kind of a reading we get out there. You're reading the clicks, I can't hear the clicks. That about the centre, Bruce?
HALT: OK, let's go to the centre.
NEVELS: Yes, I'm getting more...
HALT: That's the best deflection of the needle I've seen yet. OK, can you give me an estimation. We're on the point five scale...we're getting...have trouble reading...
ENGLUND: At approximately 01.25 hours...
NEVELS: We're getting right at a half of a millirem.
[BURST OF PIANO MUSIC - this is actually Col Halt's daughter playing and is an accidental over-recording]
HALT: ...best point. I don't seen it go any higher.
VOICE (BALL?): It's still flying around.
HALT: OK, we'll go out toward the...
NEVELS: Now it's picking up.
HALT: This is out toward the number one indentation where we first got the strongest reading. Yeah, it's similar to what we got in the centre.
NEVELS: ...right in the pod, it's right near the centre.
ENGLUND: This looks like an area here possibly that could be a blast...it's in the centre of the triangle...
HALT: It's hard to tell... Here take this, my fingers [are] about to freeze.
ENGLUND: ...up towards seven...Just jumped up towards seven tenths.
HALT: Seven tenths? Right there in the centre?
ENGLUND: Uh huh. [IAN'S NOTE: this is the second time they have checked the centre; no 'jump' in the readings was mentioned the first time.]
HALT: We found a small blast - what looks like a blasted or scruffed-up area here. We're getting very positive readings. Let's see, is that near the centre?
ENGLUND: Yes, it is. This is what we would assume would be the dead centre.
NEVELS: Picking up more as you go along - the whole area here now...
A FEW CLICKS ARE AUDIBLE.
HALT: Up to seven tenths? Or seven units, let's call it, on the point five scale. OK, why don't we do this: why don't we make a sweep - here, I've got my gloves on now - let's make a sweep out around the whole area about ten foot out, make a perimeter run around it, starting right back here at the corner, back at the same first corner where we came in, let's go right back here. I'm gonna have to depend on you counting the clicks.
HALT: OK, let's...
NEVELS: I'll tell you as it gets louder...
HALT: ...then I can put the light on it and sweep around it.
HALT: Put it on the ground every once in a while.
ENGLUND: This looks like an abrasion on the tree...
HALT: OK, we'll catch that on the way back, let's go around. Move back. Hit it, then [there?].
ENGLUND: We're getting interest right over here. It looks like an abrasion pointing into the centre of the...
HALT: It is.
ENGLUND: ...landing area.
HALT: It may be old, though - there's some sap marks or something on it. Let's go on back around. All right?
NEVELS: ...give some extension on it...
HALT: Hey, this is an awkward thing to use isn't it?
NEVELS (indistinct): ...carry...about my ears, but this one broke...
HALT: Are we getting anything further? I'm going to shut the recorder off until we find something. [IAN'S NOTE: Another remark to suggest that Halt is still not greatly impressed by what they have found so far. Note that there has been no mention of the UFO which Halt was originally called out to investigate.]
NEVELS: Picking up good.
HALT: Picking up? What are we up to? We're up to two, three units deflection, you're getting in close to one pod.
NEVELS: Picking up some here...picking up.
HALT: OK, it's still not going above three or four units.
NEVELS: Picking up more, though - more frequent. Closer together.
HALT: Yes, you're staying steady up around two to three to four units now.
ENGLUND: Colonel Halt?
ENGLUND: Each one of these trees that face into the blast, what we assume is the landing site, all have an abrasion facing in the same direction, towards the centre, the same...
HALT: That's interesting. Let's go the rest of the way around the circle here. Turn it back down here.
NEVELS: Picking up some...
VOICE (ENGLUND?): ...collection[?]
HALT: Let me see that....that's got a funny...that's... You're right about the abrasion. I've never seen a tree that's er...
VOICE (indistinct): ...small sap marks...
HALT: ... never seen a pine tree that's been damaged react that fast.
NEVELS: ...you got a bottle to put that in.
HALT: You got a sample bottle?
VOICES: (indistinct, includes the word 'soil')
SOUNDS AS THOUGH THEY ARE TAKING SAMPLES HALT: Here, sit yourself down...
VOICE (BALL?): You'll notice they're all at the same height.
The The Halt Affidavit
Later in 2010 Lt. then retired Colonel Charles Halt signed an affidavit giving details of what happened that night about thirty years prior testifying that he believed the craft was in fact extraterrestrial in nature and that the US and UK were covering up the incident.
"I believe the objects that I saw at close quarter were extraterrestrial in origin and that the security services of both the United Kingdom and the United States have attempted both then and now to subvert the significance of what occurred at Rendlesham Forest and RAF Bentwaters by the use of well-practiced methods of disinformation."
Skeptics had said for years that the lights the witnesses saw after the initial sighting were probably nothing more than beams from a nearby lighthouse. Halt claimed though that they could see the lighthouse light and the lights from the UFOs at the same time debunking their claim. Also, mentioning the lights were in different points in the sky.
"While in Rendlesham Forest, our security team observed a light that looked like a large eye, red in colour, moving through the trees. After a few minutes this object began dripping something that looked like molten metal. A short while later it broke into several smaller, white-coloured objects which flew away in all directions. Claims by sceptics that this was merely a sweeping beam from a distant lighthouse are unfounded; we could see the unknown light and the lighthouse simultaneously. The latter was 35 to 40-degrees off where all of this was happening."
Airman First Class John Burroughs Witness Statement
Airman Edward N. Cabansag's Witness Statement
Master-Sergeant J. D. Chandler's Witness Statement
Staff-Sergeant Jim Penniston's Witness Statement
Lieutenant Fred A. Buran's Witness Statement
Rendlesham Forest UFO Newspapers
While we may never truly know what happened there those nights in the Rendlesham Forest, the evidence is surmountable that something strange went on. If they were aliens why were they there? Some postulate that a nearby nuclear storage facility possibly containing nuclear weapons may have been the reason as UFO sightings near weapons of mass destruction are common. One thing is for sure; all of the people involved agree that the UFO witnessed in the woods was extraterrestrial.
If you would like to dig even deeper all of the official declassified Rendlesham Forest UFO Government military documents can be found in our vault for viewing.