The Rendlesham Forest Incidents 3/3
From: James Easton <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 30 Aug 1997 22:12:24 -0400
Fwd Date: Sat, 30 Aug 1997 23:23:47 -0400
Subject: The Rendlesham Forest Incidents 3/3
A few months ago, I was contacted by someone who had read an article
I had previously written on the case. Expressing relief that the story
was now public knowledge, he later confirmed it was the first time in
almost 17 years that he fully realised this and felt able to tell of
Although his full name and service details are known to me, he remains
wary for the moment of being fully identified other than to his
ex-colleagues. Published for the first time, this is the full account
of his involvement, compiled from correspondence and telephone
conversation with "Tom".
"I worked with Burroughs and Penniston. What they said was true. As
a matter of fact, the following statements are true and can be
verified by many people.
The acting squadron was the 81st. SPS and 'B' flight was the acting
security force on duty. Burroughs and Penniston were on 'B' flight.
'A' flight was the day flight, daytime only.
I was stationed on Security - 6 with either Amn Hartman or Sgt Sauls.
We saw the entire thing.
Shift change was from 26th at 2300 hrs till 0700 hrs of the 27th.
The top Flight Sgt on duty was MSgt Fail. Lt.Col Halt was not there
the first night.
It was a bitterly cold night and clear.
Radio communications were disrupted on and off due to some type of
atmospheric disturbance. The radios weren't working at all that night.
There were 6 channels, called 'Queen', 'Queen 1', 'King 1' and so on.
One channel was reserved for Law Enforcement, one for RAF Bentwaters
and the rest were open.
We switched channels all night.
Contact had been lost with Burroughs, Penniston and Cabansag.
This was on the first night, when the lights were in the woods. The
person on the post should have been Burroughs, but he was missing, the
weapons were missing and the phone was off the hook. This was around
We were carrying weapons and were told to hold our position. MSgt Fail
I could clearly see the lights from the gate, just outside the back
gate (East Gate). It was next to the road. They were intermittent
lights, very bright, 15-20 feet above the ground.
They were pulsating and from what I recall there were 3 lights, red
green and blue.
It made no noise, but it defied gravity. It was really weird and
scary. We all knew what we were looking at, but no one really came out
and said it.
I saw them, so did Amn Beachum, Amn Hartman, Amn Hernandez. To me, it
seemed to have lasted an hour, but they said it was more like 6 hours.
Burroughs and Penniston finally showed up. I somehow think something
happened to them. They were acting strange.
We were then told to go back to our posts.
Shift change in the morney for 'B' flight was extremely late. 'A'
flight relieved us at 9:30 am, very late. When we went out the East
gate back to Bentwaters, leaving Woodbridge, there were many people,
including numerous people in typical lab coats making an analysis of
the area. You could see out the vehicle to the right side, that there
were many people examining the area, searching, looking for something.
Some of these people were in white overcoats, that's why I say that
they looked like typical techs in lab coats.
They were searching the area in front of the forest.
The 'few branches' that were broken off were not a few, it was a lot,
a huge area had been cleared. There were trees missing.
I also saw 'bobbies' [British police] and little white police cars.
I was pointing these things out and Hartman says, "Shut up about
I was green.
I know that they got pictures and hard evidence of this thing.
Penniston told me he shot a roll of film, but it had been confiscated.
The base had a problem with 'bird watchers', people who were suspected
to be Russian spies. The base security personnel had to photograph
anyone who showed an interest in the base activities. Penniston may
have had a loaded camera in his duffel bag.
A lot of people staked the place out on the second night. The crew on
duty then was 'C' Flight, 'B' Flight had just finished its last
midnight shift for the cycle. Halt's night was 'C' shift.
There were a large number of light-alls in the forest and I wondered
how they had got them all in there. We always had problems with them.
This was 17 years ago, not today's technology.
If Charles says a beam of light shone down at his feet, then a beam
of light shone down at his feet. You can take that to the bank.
These were credible witnesses. Penniston and Burroughs were Law
As far as people that saw or knew about this incident, there were well
over 30 security people who swept the area looking for Cabansag,
Burroughs and Penniston, who were missing.
It happened 17 years ago, but I remember it clearly.
It really happened. I am glad to finally see it got out. I had no idea
that it had. They told us to be quiet".
The "special individuals" mentioned by Halt, were perhaps the same
personnel as Tom reportedly witnessed.
Tom obviously disagrees that the light-alls were reliable and that may
come down to individual experiences with them. He took no part in the
second night's activities.
In his interview with Rayl, Penniston also mentions:
"An Air Force form 1569, an accident and complaint report, was filled
out. Later, I learned that that was what stimulated Lt. Col. Halt,
when he reviewed the blotter the next morning and after hearing about
what really had happened, to insist something about it be put into the
Halt has indeed confirmed this.
Tom also brought up this point and suggested, "The Deskblotter AF Form
53 has a complete account of the entire event. It will give you names
that will tell you who was working what nights and where. There will
be two available. One for the Law Enforcement side and one for the
Security Police side. In another words LE Desk Sgt. and Central
Also try to get a hold of Incident Complaint Report 1569".
It was known that, according to Halt, the relevant pages in the log
book - the "blotter" or "jotter" - had disappeared shortly afterwards
and Halt has also indicated that his prime suspect was "one of the
participants". The intention was perhaps to secure some evidence,
rather than destroy it and from what Halt insinuates, this evidence
may be in "safe keeping".
In the event that any such documentation might still exist, I filed
a FOIA request, which passed through various departments of the Air
Force, before a reply was received from the Headquarters United States
Air Forces in Europe.
According to the Deputy Director, Communications and Information, as
perhaps expected, these documents would have been destroyed after 3
It seems that in his quest for answers, Charles Halt is now prepared
to disclose in more detail what he feels permissable. It appears he
will not comment on the question of the base storing weapons with a
He told Rayl, "What we're trying to do now is set the facts straight.
We need to keep them straight or we'll never get the answers".
This remark encompasses the claims of Larry Warren, who had only just
been assigned to the 81st Security Police Squadron at the time of the
incidents. Halt is scathing of the stories told by Warren and
Penniston also contends that Warren simply wasn't present during any
Warren's story, which actually refers to another event, is told in a
recent publication, "Left at East Gate", co-authored by himself and
Peter Robbins. There are some clearly fundamental problems with
Warren's claims and as they only serve to detract from the central
evidence highlighted here, are perhaps best left aside.
There has been no rational explanation which encompasses all of the
events and the best on offer was a combination of several unrelated
Around the date of the first incident, the upper stage rocket of a
Soviet satellite, Cosmos 749, decayed in orbit and burned up in the
atmosphere. It was observed in the south of England and may have been
This would however, hardly seem to offer an explanation for any of the
reported events on that first night.
The second factor was the presence of nearby Orford Ness lighthouse,
and the Shipwash lightship, both of which could have confused Halt's
party in the forest.
Possibly, but again, that doesn't begin to explain the events on that
first night, or the "laser-like" beams of light, or arguably,
Halt acknowledges the interpretations offered and explained to Rayl:
"I've listened intently to many explanations as to what we saw that
second night or what could have transpired, for the simple reason that
I kept reaching out for that one straw that would explain things, but
nothing fits everything".
"There was a Russian satellite that I understand did a re-entry, I
also understand that several of the large, bright planets were aligned
in an interesting way that night. Some have said there was a meteor
shower, and some have said that we mistook the whole night's worth of
activities for the rotating beacon on the closest lighthouse, and the
revolving blue light on top of a police car - as ridiculous as that
is. I actually consider the lighthouse as a possible factor as we were
in the woods that night, but it was not the lighthouse. There's no
doubt in my mind. The lighthouse was clearly visible the whole time
It has also been claimed that no civilians reported seeing or hearing
This has never been the case - there are significant witness reports
in "Skycrash", for example.
One further witness was featured in the "Strange but True?"
Gerry Harris, whose house overlooks the base, recalled that on the
evening of 27 December, 1980, around 11:00 p.m., he saw what were
first thought to be aircraft lights.
He described the scene:
"They were at a nice steady speed and were moving about, so I undone
the front door of the house and walked out into the yard here where
I am now and just stood watching them. It was all quiet and I listened
and I couldn't hear any sounds at all.
I stood watching them and they were going up and moving about this way
and that way and they were going up, they were coming down and I
watched them for, three quarters of an hour and, all of a sudden, they
But just before they went, before they disappeared, there was a lot
of activity on the base, I could hear vehicles running about, I could
see the flashing lights of vehicles moving about and I could hear
people shouting, it was quiet and the wind must have been in this
direction. I could hear their voices and then they were calling to
each other and then I could hear the roaring of their vehicles, which
at that time of night was unusual".
Other explanations offered, and contemplated by Halt, were mass
hallucinations and psychological warfare, perhaps holographic imagery
which unbeknown to himself was being tested.
Being forced to consider such explanations, is tantamount to grasping
The arguments that nothing of remote significance happened at
Rendlesham Forest have always been weak and rarely indicated a
comprehension of all that transpired.
Over the years, there has been much speculation as to whether Halt's
memo was "disinformation", whether there was perhaps the cover-up of
an accident involving radioactive material, or a missile which had
fallen from one of the aircraft taking off or coming in to land.
As the picture becomes clearer, it seems there's no obvious reason not
to consider the evidence at face value.
There are some slight discrepancies in various accounts, Penniston for
example describing the symbols as both three inches and six inches in
height, but we should perhaps allow some latitude in these respects.
There are further aspects to this affair which add to the intrigue.
Shortly after the incidents, a large section of the forest was felled
and in the "Strange but True?" feature, Brenda Butler claimed, "The
tops of the trees were all knocked off, there were burn marks on the
"Very shortly after that, the Forestry Commission came in and knocked
all the trees down, cut all the trees down, really quickly. They told
us it was because of radiation on the trees".
In 1984, Penniston was next assigned to Grissom Air Force Base,
Indiana. By chance, he discovered a small listening device hidden in
the living room and also reports receiving harassing telephone calls.
He states that Burroughs was also "continually harassed" and had his
house broken into. The only items missing were video documentation and
files relating to the case.
Penniston further alleges that Burroughs, Halt and himself have had
their mail tampered with and now take precautions when communicating.
There's more on these assertions in the full interview with Rayl.
And is there yet one final, astounding twist to the story.
Whilst there may be reservations about Larry Warren's account of his
own experiences, there's no question that the discussions between
Warren, his co-author Peter Robbins and Halt, recorded with Halt's
permission, are invaluable evidence and further insight.
The transcripts are published in "Left at East Gate" and at some
points in the conversation, Halt asks for the tape to be stopped in
order that they may talk over some confidential matters.
Warren and Robbins now make a startling allegation.
Warren firstly confirms a claim that he had often made in public. In
"Left at East Gate", [p 393] he states:
"Unknown to many, RAF Bentwaters and Woodbridge secretly housed the
largest stockpile of tactical battlefield nuclear weapons in the whole
of the NATO infrastructure".
Robbins takes this a step further and writes of Halt [pp 412-413]:
"He told us several other things, but not before asking me to turn of
the recorder. I complied with each request. Although he did not say,
'I am telling you this in confidence', that was what I understood him
"In July 1994, Halt returned to England and addressed a conference.
Sometime during that weekend, he was speaking informally with a group
of audience members when one of them asked a question about Larry
Warren. Larry had not been there, came the answer; his account was
"For me, Halt's response was the equivalent of breaking a confidence.
That is why I have decided to break the confidence that was implied
when Halt asked me to turn of my tape recorder.
He told us...
Light beams had penetrated the hardened bunkers of Bentwaters'
I recently had the opportunity to ask both Warren and Robbins if they
could confirm this claim. They were adamant. Halt had told them this
Halt's own confirmation that beams of light were directed near the
weapons storage facility, had not to my knowledge been revealed by
Halt until after the publication of "Left at East Gate".
In the transcript of one taped discussion, Halt makes the comment:
"I intend someday to have my day in court in England, publicly, if I
have the opportunity. I'd like to state for the record what I saw and
they'll be some people that are very embarrassed".
If Halt was given the freedom to do so, we can but wonder what is yet
to be unveiled.
Earlier this week, the Rt Hon George Robertson MP, Secretary of State
for Defence and the Rt Hon Dr John Reid MP, Minister of State for the
Armed Forces, were made aware of these issues and asked if they did
not agree the matter now demanded to be investigated, or explained.
As our new Labour government is committed to introducing a Freedom of
Information Act and was elected on a pledge of being more accountable,
there may be no more opportune time than at present.
It seems inconceivable, that despite the protestations of the previous
administration, all that lies within the Ministry's file is a copy of
I would like to thank, on behalf of many people I'm sure, the efforts
of AJS Rayl and Diana Botsford, the "watchfire" forum manager, in
bringing this new information to light and the help they have given
to me in hopefully putting at least some of the pieces of the puzzle
For the moment, perhaps the last word should be given to Penniston and
As, respectively, they expressed in their interviews with Rayl:
"I am a logical person. Even to this day, I am still trying to
rationalize from previous experience what that craft was, what
happened. But there it is: I mean, I am standing out in the clearing
in the middle of the forest and there is this craft, clearly
triangular in shape, looking like nothing I have ever seen or ever
heard about, and it doesn't make any sound, and it's got lights, and
I walk around it and take pictures of it and I even touch it, and
nobody, no country, is claiming it. I am 99 percent certain of one
thing and that is, this craft was definitely not of USAF origin or at
least not that I know of, and nobody I know has ever heard anything
about a craft like this then or now. And what other country might have
such a craft that has those capabilities of manoeuvring in tight
conditions in the middle of a forest and all with no sound?
That disturbed me then, and it disturbs me now".
"I gave some thought to the possibility that we had an experimental
craft of some type of hovercraft or stealth object in the area, but
keep in mind, this was 1980 and technology has come a long way since
then. Everyone I knew or had connections with, people who work in
certain places with lots of interesting things, all said the same
thing - we don't yet have the technology that can move at those speeds
and manoeuvre the ways those things did and do the things those things
did and all without sound. We had - and have - interesting craft
alright. But nothing like this".
"I'm permanently convinced, the objects we saw were under some type
of intelligent control. Something unexplained happened. To this day,
I don't know what it was".
(c) James Easton
30 August 1997.