The UFO UpDates Archive

The Rendlesham Forest Incidents 2/3

From: James Easton <pulsar@compuserve.com>
Date: Sat, 30 Aug 1997 22:12:08 -0400
Fwd Date: Sat, 30 Aug 1997 23:22:34 -0400
Subject: The Rendlesham Forest Incidents  2/3

Describing the symbols, Penniston continues:

"I got to within 10 feet of the craft and the clearing where it sat.
I estimated it to be about three meters tall and about three meters
wide at the base. No landing gear was apparent, but it seemed like she
was on fixed legs. I moved a little closer. I had already taken all
36 pictures on my roll of film. I walked around the craft, and
finally, I walked right up to the craft. I noticed the fabric of the
shell was more like a smooth, opaque, black glass".

"I was pretty much confused at that point. I kept trying to put this
in some kind of frame of reference, trying to find some logical
explanation as to what this was and what was going on".

"On the smooth exterior shell there was writing of some kind, but I
couldn't quite distinguish it, so I moved up to it. It was three-inch
lettering, rather symbols that stretched for the length of two feet,
maybe a little more. I touched the symbols, and I could feel the
shapes as if they were inscribed or etched or engraved, like a diamond
cut on glass.

At that point, I backed away from the craft, because the light was
starting to get brighter".

"The next thing I knew, I was standing about 20 feet away from the
craft with Burroughs, who I thought I had left back near the tree
line".


The remarkable manoeuvrability of the object is brought home by
Penniston's description of how it silently weaved backwards through
the trees at a speed of less than a foot per second. After "a couple
of minutes", it had distanced itself by 100-150 feet and then rose
above the tree tops, to around 200 feet, before vanishing.


Burroughs and Penniston believed they then saw the same configuration
of lights around half a mile distant and Penniston recalls:.

"We still had no radio contact, which I thought was strange. We
weren't even getting squelch. We went back to the clearing. There,
Airman Burroughs noticed the impression, the indentations in the
ground. We found three of them, all triangular in shape, each about
three meters apart. Then I decided we should head back".

"When we arrived at CSC, we ran into Sgt. Chandler and two or three
other security people. They had negative contact with us for almost
three hours, and they had been concerned. I remember saying to Sgt.
Chandler, 'You're not going to believe tonight'. He said, 'Yeah? If
it has anything to do with what I saw a little while ago, I would
believe you'".


Penniston also now reveals the aftermath of that encounter.

Burroughs and himself were ordered to the shift commander's office,
where the assistant operations officer debrief them. According to
Penniston, the conclusion was straightforward and they were advised:

"Gentlemen, what you say you experienced tonight is no longer able to
be reported through Air Force channels".

They were given some historical background on Project Blue Book and
that it had been terminated in 1969. Penniston adds, "Then he said,
'Some things are best left unsaid'. He asked us to keep quiet about
it, to forget it happened".


There's much more to Rayl's exceptionally informative interview with
Penniston and a full transcript is now available on the world Wide Web
at URL:

http://www.omnimag.com/open_book/bentint.html


Notable is Penniston's dismay that although the camera was of good
quality and used to photograph people on the base perimeter, after he
dropped the 36 exposure film off at the base laboratory, he was later
informed that the photographs "didn't turn out".

On the night of the second incident there were also photographs taken,
which Halt confirms the photographer developed himself and all of
these were "fogged".


Confirmation is also given that following the second night's incident,
which did not involve himself, he was ordered to report to the Office
of Special Investigations (OSI), which had a presence on the base.

A further 90 minute debriefing followed, where Penniston again gave
a general account of the incident.


And there were more debriefing sessions.

In the on-line question and answer session which "watchfire" hosted,
Penniston added:

"Well, during the Wing level debriefings with the Wing Commander, Vice
Wing Commander, Base Commander, Deputy Base Commander, they were all
pretty standard operating procedure-type debriefings. We did
statements. We submitted our notes, did a report. And they were pretty
much standard. The ones that were not as standard were the ones
involving the Office of Special Investigation. They were all taped and
at one point during the investigation they administered sodium
pentothal with my permission to, to debunk any possibilities of
disinformation going out".

Asked if a debriefing by the Wing Commander wasn't "heavyweight
stuff", he replied:

"You bet. Well. He's the number one guy".


Penniston also expanded on touching the object:

"It was warm to the touch. At the time, the air temperature was
probably about 32 degrees [Fahrenheit] and it was very smooth, black,
glass-like in appearance, with some color that was, that would
gradually turn into the opaque blackness. Then, as I ran my hand
toward what I assume was the front of the craft, there was an
inscription or lettering of some sort that was inscribed on the side
of it."

Sketches which he made of the object and the inscription are now
available in the library on the "watchfire" site.

"Those drawings came directly from my notebook that I had that night",
confirmed Penniston.

They are interesting, to say the least and are evidence which was not
previously in the public domain.


For perhaps the first time, we have an insight into the way in which
events unfolded and adding to that knowledge is Charles Halt's
detailed clarification.

In his interview with Rayl, Halt confirms that the Base Commander, Ted
Conrad, and himself intended to follow up on the reports from that
first night.

Before having an opportunity to do so, they found themselves involved
with a further report of activity in the forest.

"Rumours about what Jim Penniston and John Burroughs had seen were
beginning to circulate out of control and I was determined to put an
end to this nonsense", Halt recalls.

Breaking off from his social engagement, he assembled a team of
specialists and headed for the forest. His party also experienced
difficulties with radio communications and he noted, "That was
strange. There were dead spots outside the base, but we knew where
those were and they were never in this area before".

Nearing a fence which bordered a farm, they were disturbed by cries
from the animals there and it was then that they saw an object amongst
the trees.

The reddish coloured orb-like object seemed to Halt to have a dark
centre, but he couldn't determine a definite shape.

It was however moving through the forest, some 100 yards away and
seemingly hovering some 10 to 15 feet above the ground. It appeared
to be heading towards the farmer's house.

Halt confirmed to Rayl that they thought the farmers house had caught
fire and the interior seemed to be engulfed by flames.

"I didn't know what to think. I was quite concerned. In fact, we were
all quite concerned".

It was at this point that, having followed the object, it silently
'exploded' into separate pieces and simply disappeared. They then
realised that the flames were illusory and had presumably been some
kind of reflection from the light.

Checking that there was indeed no fire, Halt satisfied himself that
it wasn't necessary to disturb the occupants. "We were foreigners
there, and I thought it prudent to keep our presence low and under the
circumstances unknown, since all seemed to be okay".


No doubt all thoughts of a relaxed Christmas dinner long since
departed, Halt might have been entitled to some respite, but seemingly
that was not to be.

As noted, the inexplicable beams of light had previously been
confirmed by Halt, however, in his interview with Rayl, he discloses
further details which arguably give rise to concerns about the gravity
of these events.

He confirmed to Rayl:

"We've crossed the farmer's field past his house and across the road,
stumbled through a small stream and went out into a large ploughed
field. Somebody noticed several objects in the sky to the north -
three objects clearly visible with multiple-coloured lights on them.
The objects appeared elliptical and then they turned full round, which
I thought was quite interesting. All three doing that. They were
stationary for awhile and then they started to move at high speed in
sharp angular patterns as though they were doing a grid search. About
that same time, somebody noticed the south, a similar object, it was
round - did not change shape - and at one point it appeared to come
toward us at a very high speed. It stopped overhead and sent down a
small pencil-like beam, sort of like a laser beam. It was an
interesting beam in that it stayed - it was the same size all the way
down the beam. It illuminated the ground about ten feet from us and
we just stood there in awe wondering whether it was a signal, a
warning, or what it was. We really didn't know".

Now, in an astonishing statement, Halt reveals that the security of
the weapons stored on base was conceivably compromised by these
unidentified aerial objects.

Verifying that one of the four objects, "appeared to come toward us
at a very high speed, stopped overhead and sent down a small
pencil-like beam, sort of like a laser beam",  he adds, "then it moved
back towards Bentwaters and continued to send down beams of light, at
one point near the weapons storage facility".

He affirms, "We knew that, because we could hear the chatter on the
radio", and estimates that between 30 and 40 personnel stationed
around the dual base complex witnessed these events.


The objects then disappeared from sight and left Halt with something
of a dilemma.

"The thoughts running through my mind were: 'How am I going to explain
this. Nobody's going to believe this. It's just too ridiculous'. But
it couldn't be ignored, because now too many people were involved".


Halt was fortunate to have supportive superiors and Wing Commander
Gordon Williams brought the subject up at a meeting of the Third Air
Force, where Halt's cassette recording was produced as evidence.

As Halt commented in the "Strange but True" documentary: "I really
didn't know quite how to handle it. I reported it to my superior and
was quite concerned, to be honest with you, what his reaction would
be. But he was very supportive".

At the meeting, it was apparently decided that as the incidents took
place on British soil and within British airspace, the proper channels
of investigation came within the jurisdiction of the British
government and this resulted in Halt's memorandum to the Ministry of
Defence.


But no response was forthcoming and to this day, Halt remains
mystified.

British researcher and author Timothy Good, published details of a
conversation he had with Charles Halt in October 1986, in which Halt
reportedly said:

"There are a lot of things that are not in my memo, but there was no
response from the Ministry of Defence so I didn't go any further with
them".

Substantiating this bewilderment, Halt confirmed in the "Strange but
True?" documentary: "I sent the memo, but I never heard. I kept
checking and asking but I never got a response".

"To this day I'm very puzzled why no-one ever came back and asked for
additional information, asked questions, or even interviewed me. It
doesn't really add up".


There are however indications that someone was very interested in what
had taken place.

In that same documentary, Burroughs and Penniston, respectively,
recalled:

"After the incident happened, there seemed to be some strange activity
going on in the base. I'm really not sure what it was but it wasn't
normal activity".

"At that time, we noticed that there was many unscheduled flights
coming in. They told me I was supposed to keep it quiet and not to
take the issue any further".

Adding some substance to this suggestion, on 31st July 1994, whilst
in the UK to record an interview for the "Strange but True?" program,
Halt agreed to give a lecture at a venue in Leeds. During this, he
mentioned that one puzzling event was the arrival of an unscheduled
C141 Galaxy transporter. Halt claimed to know nothing of its purpose
or why a group of 'special individuals' left the aircraft and headed
immediately out to the East Gate and into the forest.