Last modified: Sunday 12-Aug-2012 03:52:48 EEST
Rendlesham UFO case - Suffolk UK, Dec-1980
Above: Sketch of the Rendlesham forest UFO by SSgt Jim Penniston (described as triangular/pyramid) which reportedly landed on 26-Dec-1980 at 3:00AM in Rendlesham forest. Taken from USAF SSgt Jim Penniston's official witness statement in 1980 (declassified in 1998 under the FOIA). "Size: 9ft / 2.8m long, 7-8ft / 2.5m high. Fabric: black, smooth, glass-like. Bluish/white glow underneath the UFO, red blinking light on top. No sound. High electric static filled the air, you could feel it on your skin as we approached the object. Movement didn't feel 'normal', it was as if I was moving in slow motion." Next day, Penniston went back at the site and discovered triangular (2.5m apart) landing indentations on the ground where the UFO was, and made plaster casts.
Transcript of Ret. USAF SSgt James Penniston interview (2002) who says he examined and even touched the landed UFO and took an entire roll of 36 b/w photographs (which were never released to the public), during a period of 45min on the early morning of 26-Dec-1980. He was accompanied by airmen Burroughs and Cabansag, who remained at a distance, to facilitate communications back to the base, as their radios wouldn't work.
Below: Identifying markings (inscription with "hieroglyphic" symbols) measuring 3-inches high, stretched for a length of 2.5-feet, etched or engraved on the craft's hull. Re-created from Jim Penniston's handbook notes. Symbols on UFOs were reported in UFO cases: 1/ Roswell (of purple color hieroglyphics on the "I-beam" seen by Marcel Jr.), 2/ around the bottom of the acorn-shaped Kecksburg PA USA Dec-1965 (replica), 3/ Socorro NM USA 1964 etc.
Aerial Photo - RAF Woodbridge weapons storage area as well as the observation tower.
According to Colonel (USAF Ret.) Charles Halt (Deputy Base Commander at the time of the incident) and the men with him in the field, the UFO fired "pencil thin" beams of light, at least one of them onto "areas of high interest" -nuclear weapon storage areas- (ref: Halt's comments at 01:22min of SciFi's documentary: "UFO Invasion - Rendlesham", at Larry King panel on 9-Nov-2007 and at NPC conference 12-Nov-2007). Larry Warren said the same in his 2001 NPCC testimony.
The declassified report submitted by LtCol Halt a few days after the events. As he explained in later years (ref: 2003 documentary), it was a "sanitized", watered-down version of the events. The Charles Halt Memo. Note: Halt's memo dates are wrong, the events started on 26-Dec-1980.
of the Air Force
Headquarter 81st Combat Support Group (USAFE)
APO NEW YORK DY735
13 Jan 81
Reply to Attn of: CD
Subject: Unexplained Lights
Early in the morning of 27 Dec 80 (approximately 0300L),
two USAF security police patrolmen saw unusual lights
outside the back gate at RAF Woodbridge. Thinking an
aircraft might have crashed or been forced down, they
called for permission to go outside the gate to investigate.
The on-duty flight chief responded and allowed three
patrolmen to proceed on foot. The individuals reported
seeing a strange glowing object in the forest. The object
was described as being metallic in appearance and triangular
in shape, approximately two to three meters across
the base and approximately two meters high. It illuminated
the entire forest with a white light. The object itself
had a pulsing red light on top and a bank(s) of blue
lights underneath. The object was hovering or on legs.
As the patrolmen approached the object, it manoeuvred
though the trees and disappeared. At this time the animals
on a nearby farm went into frenzy. The object was briefly
sighted approximately an hour later near the back gate.
The next day, three depressions 1 1/2" deep and
7" in diameter were found where the object had
been sighted on the ground. The following night (29
Dec 80) the area was checked for radiation. Beta/gamma
readings of 0.1 milliroentgens were recorded with peak
readings in the three depressions and near the center
of the triangle formed by the depressions. A nearby
tree had moderate (.05 - .07) readings on the side of
the tree toward the depressions.
Later in the night a red sun-like light was seen though
the trees. It moved about and pulsed. At one point it
appeared to throw off glowing particles and then broke
into five separate white objects and then disappeared.
Immediately thereafter, three star-like objects were
noticed in the sky, two objects to the north and one
to the south, all of which were about 10 degrees off
the horizon. The objects moved rapidly in sharp angular
movements and displayed red, green and blue lights.
The objects to the north appeared to be elliptical through
an 8-12 power lens. They then turned to full circles.
The objects to the north remained in the sky for an
hour or more. The object to the south was visible for
two or three hours and beamed down a stream of light
from time to time. Numerous individuals, including the
undersigned, witnessed the activities in paragraphs
2 and 3.
Charles I. Halt, Lt. Col. USAF
Deputy Base Commander
In December 1980, the 3 nights after Christmas (26-28 Dec 1980), a series of UFO incidents occurred in the Rendlesham forest area, which lies between the twin RAF/USAF Bentwaters and Woodbridge bases in Suffolk England, which at the time reputedly held the largest stockpile of tactical nuclear weapons in Europe. UFO sightings at two of UK's most sensitive military sites.
Quick intro: clip from "Best Evidence: Top 10 UFO Cases" documentary (2007):
Summary: What is the Rendlesham Forest incident?
Early morning (around 3:00AM) of 26-Dec-1980 in Suffolk England, a two-man USAF security patrol near the East Gate of RAF Woodbridge observed strange coloured lights above the forest in the direction of Orford Ness. Assistance was requested and a security unit was sent out from Bentwaters. The lights were inside the pine wood and three men, Sargeant Jim Penniston, his driver, Airman Ed Cabansag, and one of the two original security officers, airman (later sargeant) John Burroughs, drove down a logging track that led into the forest, proceeding the rest of the way on foot, owing to the frozen terrain.
All three men closed in on an object that resembled an "aircraft on fire", or, as Burroughs described it, a "multiple series of lights." At closer proximity, the lights solidified. Penniston went close enough to see an actual object looming from within the glow (src: Penniston sketch and testimony).
Two nights later (night of 27 - early morning 28 Dec 1980) the bizarre lights were spotted again. A small group of 5 men, headed by the deputy base commander LtCol Charles Halt, left the base to investigate, this time armed with more equipment.
Later on in the night they encountered a red pulsating object apparently navigating between the trees, which after disturbing nearby animals, silently "exploded" in a flash of bright light and separated into smaller brightly lit objects. The objects which had broken off the original object moved rapidly in sharp angular movements and one beamed pencil-thin "laser-like" beams of light down onto the ground. One beam landed right in front of Halt's team, causing them concern "Was it a warning? Was it trying to communicate?". Other beams landed near/at the bases' Weapons Storage Area. The entire event was recorded on audio-tape on Halt's mini-cassette tape recorder as it was unfolding (src: Col. Halt's declassified 13-Jan-1981 memo and tape recording)
Finally, according to airman Larry Warren (who by the way was the original whistleblower for the case, leaking it to the Press using the pseudonym Art Wallace), in a different location, in a field at the edge of the Rendlesham forest, another group of 40 men from the bases, watch a "cloaked" large 30ft across, 20ft high rounded pyramid craft on the ground. The main part was 'pearl-white' with a rainbow colour effect. Warren also says that UFO occupants were seen. (src: Warren's testimony) - Note: other witnesses distance themselves from Larry Warren's version of the events, saying he was "meddled" with drugs and hypnosis by AFOSI.
Note: original witness statements in the days right after the event, are misleading. These same military witnesses later testified that they signed prepared statements, minimizing the events (and in some cases threatened -"bullets are cheap"-).
"The first of these areas concerns the original witness statements made by Penniston, Burroughs, Cabansag and Chandler. James Easton makes much of the fact that these statements are fairly bland, and points out that some of the witnesses seem to have added to their stories over the years. However, based on my own official investigations of other cases I can tell people that this is entirely consistent with the way in which junior military personnel report UFOs. They do so tentatively if at all, as they are unsure on official policy and unclear as to what ramifications there may be for their careers. They will be more forthcoming in telephone conversations and face to face meetings, and much more inclined to speak out once they have left the service. Sadly, a number of sceptics do not seem to understand the way in which the military operate." src -- Nick Pope, former UK MoD UFO Desk (1991-94)
Since the official documents have surfaced in 2001, several important witnesses have come forward.
My opinion: When I initially came across the Rendlesham case, I had never heard of a small triangular UFO before. So I searched around in greek-speaking (Greece and Cyprus) Internet forums, mailing-lists and old BBS archives, looking for anything similar. And indeed, found UFO sightings, of people encountering small triangular UFOs, dating back to 1992-1993, and two of the sighting reports were made by amateur astronomers. One case was over a village in Cyprus, at very close range of a few meters, hovering outside his front door, at about his house's terrace level - he ran upstairs and saw the UFO from above as well.
He described it as a "3m per side triangular craft with a low-pyramid on top, initially the sides of the craft looked like hundreds of very-very small yellow lights, which turned to red before it started to gain altitude and then shot upwards at bullet-like speed".
The description of the craft seen in Cyprus matches quite accurately the Jim Penniston (USAF) drawing of the Rendlesham UFO in his report written in Dec-1980 (but AFAIK de-classified and published AFTER the aforementioned sighting reports in Greece were posted in public, intrigued me to look deeper into J.Penniston's sighting). I'll provide the details in the upcoming page I'm preparing, about UFO sightings and CE3 in Greece and Cyprus.
UFO Invasion - Rendlesham.wmv (220 MB) 1hr30min (2003) SciFi channel documentary, about the classic case of UFOs visiting the nuclear-armed US military base at Bentwaters (Rendlesham forest) Suffolk, UK. UFO activity for several nights, then UFO landing near the base on 26-Dec-1980. Testimony from first-hand witnesses, US airmen serving at the base, including the base deputy commander Charles Halt. The UFO(s) seen at close-range by base personell (base deputy commander, 4 airmen) and even touched by security police officer Jim Penniston: He desribes it as a smallish triangular/pyramid UFO 3m (9ft) per side, 2.5m (8ft) high; craft skin smooth like black glass; "hieroglyphic" symbols engraved on left front (see Penniston testimony at 27'-33').
Unsolved-Mysteries Bentwaters UFO re-creation and testimonies (22min). The SciFi documentary is more recent and complete, as once the official MoD documents were released in 2001 first-hand witnesses felt more like talking.
Larry P. Warren video interview @ UFO Connection (note: very poor sound quality) - Summary: At the age of 19, he was member of the US Air Force Security Police stationed at the base in 1980 and claims to be a first-hand witness of the incident. According to Larry (who suffered eye damage), he stood within 35ft of a large rounded pyramid craft, he saw a "pine cone" object beaming light and also three "occupants of the ship". In fact, it was due to Larry Warren's actions that the documents of the Rendlesham case were brought to the public, via FOIA..
Other witnesses of the case (ref: Col. Halt comments in SciFi 2003 documentary) have said that Larry Warren had been given narcotics and "worked on" by the DS8 / OSI (Office of Special Investigations), i.e. was victim of mind-manipulation, so that real memories will mix and "if he tried to go public, he'd sound silly".
Larry Warren testimony at Disclosure Project Press Conference 2001
"Left at East Gate" a first-hand Account of the Bentwater-Woodbridge UFO Incident, its Cover-up, and Investigation. Re-published 2005 written by Larry Warren. Other witnesses back up Larry Warren's story:
Mike Verrano: "I did drive Williams (Gordon Williams - Base Commander), to an F-16 on the Bentwaters tarmac the AM of the 30th. He had two canisters of 35mm footage with him...He told me directly that it was actual footage of the UFOs on the ground..."
Greg Battram: "I know you were out in that forest 'cause I saw you out there, and we were all on duty with full Personal Reliability Pledge."
Skeptical views (lighthouse theory, Kevin Conde police car practical joke, radio-active rabbits -btw "rabbit holes" claim originated from local forester Vince Thurkettle, who visited the UFO's alleged landing site 6 weeks after the incident- digging triangular holes, satelites or bolides which drop on ground and then take off again etc):
"UFO hunters will continue to believe that an alien spaceship landed in Rendlesham Forest that night. But I know that the first sighting coincided with the burn-up in the atmosphere of an exceptionally bright meteor, and that the airmen who saw the flashing UFO between the pine trees were looking straight at the Orford Ness lighthouse. The rest of the case is a marvellous product of human imagination." -- Ian Ridpath
Georgina Bruni on the Rendlesham UFO "hoax", debunking the "debunkers". Exposes the hoax BBC fed to its audience, i.e. that the Kevin Conde police car practical joke was responsible for the incident (ref: Inside Out). Conde claims he drove a "battered 1979 Plymouth Volare standard issue American police car" into the taxiway, yet the entire incident took place inside the forest. Also keep in mind that Sgt Penniston's team had to leave their military Jeep behind and proceed on foot, because the terrain was frozen.
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