The UFO UpDates Archive

Rendlesham UFO 'Hoax'

From: Georgina Bruni <>
Date: Sat, 5 Jul 2003 16:46:49 +0100
Fwd Date: Sat, 05 Jul 2003 12:27:41 -0400
Subject: Rendlesham UFO 'Hoax'

Dear List Members

For those of you interested in the Rendlesham Forest incident,
known in the USA as The Bentwater's UFO Case, I have some
interesting updates. But first I would like to address the
testimony of practical joker Kevin Conde.

Over the years sceptics and debunkers have offered various
theories for what could have happened during that week, the
latest being a practical joke allegedly played by the
aforementioned US airman.

Michael Hanlon of the UK Daily Mail interviewed Kevin Conde, who
told the journalist that the famous 1980 Rendlesham Forest UFO
incident was nothing more than a practical joke on his part.

This is quite a statement!

Considering I spent three years investigating the incident,
interviewed hundreds of people involved, and wrote a book about
the case, I was, as I told the journalist, 'Amazed to hear this

We are of course coming up to what is known in media terms as
the 'silly season', and this particular story fits the bill. We
can do without people like Conde who is amongst dozens who know
very little about the case, and as Nick Pope states in the Daily
Mail article, "Frankly, there are a lot of people
retrospectively trying to write themselves into the story."

Conde's story is so full of discrepancies that no serious
researcher would pay attention to it. But then we can't call the
debunkers (those who encouraged Conde to go public), serious
researchers. After all, aren't these the same people who thought
the UFO was a lighthouse until proved wrong? But as usual they
had to find another mundane theory. What was it, a tractor?
Well, now there's yet another theory, a battered car!

In my opinion, claims such as Conde's, should not be taken
seriously without more information to back up their testimony.

Conde's claim to fame is that he drove a battered 1979 Plymouth
Volare standard issue American police car, down the taxiway,
where he stuck the spotlight on, after sticking red and green
lenses on it. He then drove the vehicle around in circles, in
the fog and put on his PA loudspeaker, whilst flashing his car
lights. He claims this was the basis of the famous 1980
Rendlesham Forest UFO incident.

Let's examine Conde's testimony. It doesn't take a genius to see
the flaws.

1. Conde can't recall the date of his alleged prank. If this is
so then how can he claim he was responsible for the 1980

2. Conde says there was fog on the night in question, but there
was no fog during any of the incidents that week.

3. He says he played his loudspeaker, but the UFOs were silent.

4. The car he used for the prank was a 'battered 1979 Plymouth
Volare.' Let us not forget that incident took place in 1980,
which means the so called battered police vehicle would have
been less than a year old at that time.

5. Conde claims he played the prank on the taxiway! The incident
did NOT take place on or near the taxiway, but inside the
forest. And let us not forget that the UFO was first seen
falling into the forest, which prompted those at the East Gate,
John Burroughs and his sergeant, Bud Steffans, to think it was a
downed aircraft. The lights, of course, were not going up into
the sky, but were falling down from the sky.

6. Conde says he was unaware of the Rendlesham mystery until he
looked up his old base on a US military website. If this is the
case then how could he claim that as far as he was aware they
found nothing above background [radiation] levels?

7. USAF personnel usually work in pairs when patrolling the base
in vehicles. I'm assuming he was patrolling the base, and if so
then he most likely would have had a partner that night. Who was
that person and why has Conde failed to mention him?

8. When asked about the metallic spacecraft and [ground]
depressions Conde pointed out that a large helicopter had landed
the previous night, apparently with three landing skids. Conde
obviously hasn't seen the USAF photographs of the landing site
showing the three ground indentations being examined by a
British police officer and USAF Captain Mike Verano. For anybody
interested, these are available in my book on the case entitled
'You Can't Tell The People' available at

Was there really a 'large helicopter' capable of forming three
depressions in a triangular pattern? And if so, then why would
the USAF alert the local constabulary to the landing site.
Surely a USAF captain would know if these indentations were
formed by one of their own helicopters. And why would a 'large'
helicopter land smack in the middle of the forest, and even more
important, how was 'a large helicopter' able to land amongst the

Kevin Conde, a part-time police officer in Sacramento, says, "I
was amazed. I had no idea about all this nonsense."

What nonsense? At least the witnesses testimony is backed up by
ample evidence.

He then goes on to say:

"I hate to be cynical, but when I see people making money out of
this, I have to ask myself if they are not nuts, what are they?"

Does he have any idea how much it costs in time, effort and
money to do investigative work, and furthermore, he has no idea
the sacrifice, stress, frustration and God knows what else, that
the witnesses have had to endure these past twenty three years.
He should be ashamed of himself for acting out of vanity instead
of considering the cost to others. Conde is no doubt enjoying
his fifteen minutes of 'silly season' fame, but if he wants to
stay in the limelight he will need to prove himself. And I for
one am only too pleased to challenge him.

For instance:

Aside from the discrepancies in his story, which are far too
many to dismiss, I have yet to hear from any USAF personnel who
recall Conde serving at the base at the time of the incident. If
any do recall him it will be interesting to see whether they
remember him being a practical joker, let alone recollect any
prank similar to the one he claims to have carried out.

And what proof does Conde offer other than his own verbal

And what about his Air Force records. For somebody who is
claiming to be responsible for such an historical event, I would
want to inspect these records and speak to those who worked
alongside him. And that's just for starters.

A glance at the BBC website INSIDE OUT reveals how most people
feel about Conde's ridiculous claims. BBC Suffolk, which was the
first to feature Conde's outrageous claims, should be critised
for being so naive. For in an attempt to get an exclusive hoax
story, the producers and researchers, having spent money on the
documentary, such as flying Conde from USA etc, have themselves
fallen victim to a real practical joke. For one thing is
certain, Conde's story had nothing to do with the Rendlesham

Regarding the landing site:

For twenty three years people have been searching for the
landing site relating to the initial incident which took place
on the 25 December 1980. This was a landing of a small,
triangular craft (see Colonel Halt's memorandum for
description). The incident involved USAF witnesses Jim
Penniston, John Burroughs and Edward Cabansag.

Brenda Butler, who along with Dot Street, were the first
researchers to learn about the case back in January of 1980, a
few days after the initial incident.

In the past Brenda thought she had discovered the site based on
Colonel Halt's description, but I later pointed out that Jim
Penniston was not in agreement with this, and of course he was
one of the witnesses to the event. Halt's encounter took place
later that week, albeit that he did investigate the initial
landing site.

A couple of years ago forester Vince Thurketle, took me to what
he believed was the original site after viewing the USAF

But a few weeks ago Brenda sent me photographs of an area of the
forest that her partner Peter is absolutely convinced is the
genuine site. Using the USAF photographs, Peter has spent a year
trying to match the location, not an easy task considering the
size of the forest, the fact that it's been twenty three years
since the incident took place, and of course the considerable
damage caused during the storm of 1987.

I have examined the pictures sent by Brenda and Peter and have
to say they are a good match with the USAF photographs. I
haven't personally done any research into these recent
photographs, or visited the site in question, but if Peter has
found the original site, then it tells us that contrary to
popular belief, the trees surrounding the site were not felled
after the incident because in the recent photo they are still

But even more interesting is a close up photograph of one of the
trees, which shows damage on its trunk. Witnesses, including
Colonel Halt, examined the site and recorded details of damage
to the trees. There is a section of Halt's tape where he appears
to be trying to climb the tree to look at damage. This is
interesting because the mark on the tree photographed by Peter,
is quite high on the trunk, which may dismiss the theory that
these marks could have been caused by sap samples taken by

Meanwhile, I have located Captain Mike Verano, who has insisted
that he went out (he is shown in the USAF photograph) and
investigated the site and agrees that he took a British police
officer with him. So the USAF photos are given even more
credibility. Also, it's worth looking closer at the USAF
photographs which depict a scuffed-up area just off centre,
exactly in the same position as described and measured by
Colonel Halt in his tape recording twenty three years ago.

Best wishes

Georgina Bruni