Rendlesham Forest UFO Incident

Rendlesham Forest UFO Incident

Date: December 26th - 28th, 1980

Location: Royal Air Force Base, Woodbridge, Suffolk, England

The events at Rendlesham Forest have become known by many as the British Roswell.

At around 2:00 a.m., Airman first class John Burroughs was on security patrol at Woodbridge air base with his partner when they saw an odd bright light come from the Rendlesham Forest, which separates Woodbridge from Bentwaters, another air base.

The skies over southern England at this time was experiencing an abnormal amount of natural space debris falling at this time, this was different.

The men went back to call their superior from a nearby post, and they were still able to see the light.

Almost simultaneously, another security patrol arrived and confirmed the lights.

Burroughs and the second team were sent off base to investigate, without their weapons because they were leaving American jurisdiction.

Whatever this object was, it was emitting what they described as an electrical charge in the air which drove any nearby wildlife into a frenzy.

As the nervous men walked into the forest, they could tell that the animals were very upset.

They received a radio transmission that contact was made with Heathrow Tower in London and that an object had been seen over Woodbridge base, then disappeared.

The men soon arrived at the object, which had a bunch of blue strobing lights, then moved up through the trees and into the sky.

Everything felt slower and strange to the men until the object vanished.

For more than 2 hours, the men played an eerie game of cat and mouse with the object.

At times it would get closer to the horizon and closer to them, then fly away.

The events of that night set in motion a chain reaction that would eventually result in the best documented sighting in a American military history.

Although the government has no comment on the incident, several witnesses agreed to an interview to tell what happened that night.

According to the high ranking officer has given over the years, they maneuvered in a way which was impossible for any known aircraft.

5 hours after the sighting, John reported to his post commander about the strange lights, and the commander said that they should try to locate any physical evidence.

When they arrived, they found impressions in the ground, burn marks on the trees and other odd evidence.

John and a police officer went to the area and showed him the physical evidence that was there.

However, the officer dismissed the ground impressions as burrowing forest animals.

Interestingly, the circles measured an equal distance apart and made a perfect equilateral triangle.

Early the next morning, Lieutenant Colonel Charles Hart arrived at Woodbridge security headquarters and he was told about the UFO sightings.

He was very skeptical at first, but as he began to investigate, he was surprised at how authentic the sightings were and still cannot explain them.

That same night, more lights were spotted and flood lights were ordered to be set up in the woods.

At 9:30 p.m., Lieutenant Colonel Hart received word of flood lights malfunctioning and other strange things.

Base security was immediately dispatched to put more flood lights out.

Lieutenant Colonel Hart had a professional photographer come with him to take pictures and try to debunk, but when he arrived, several types of military equipment were malfunctioning, including the flood lights.

Hart and his men went into the woods armed with a tape recorder and other equipment.

Sergeant Robert Ball, one of Hart's team members, located a site where they believed a UFO had landed.

They got an instrument to do readings on the trees when one of the men noticed a red, glowing object about a 1,000' away.

It began zig zagging around the pine trees and winking at them, then as it moved away, the men followed it.

They found a farmhouse that appeared to be glowing, as if it was on fire.

As the red object began moving towards the house, it broke up into 5 white balls and disappeared.

The men began going towards the coast, when they looked to the North and saw 3 objects in the sky that began moving in strange patterns.

The men believe that the objects were trying to communicate or warn them.

Sergeant Ball believed that it looked like a grid search.

Beams of light began shooting out from the objects, and several people at the base also reported the lights.

John Burroughs woke up while this was happening, and he then saw several blue, transparent lights in the sky, and one dove towards them, went through a truck, and then went back in the sky.

At virtually the same moment, Lieutenant Colonel Hart and his men noticed an object in the sky that was coming towards them at a tremendous rate of speed, and a beam of light came down within feet of them.

Then, the light disappeared, and Lieutenant Colonel Hart went from a skeptic to a believer.

The next day, Lieutenant Colonel Hart played the tape to his boss and he agreed with him and told him to write an incident report.

His boss then sent the report, and the tape to a staff meeting and everyone was confused and nobody knew what to do.

Lieutenant Colonel Hart's memo was sent to British military authorities, who did not act on it.

Then in 1983, a private citizen used the freedom of information act to release Hart's memo.

However, many are not convinced.

Some believe that the UFO sightings was really just a meteor shower.

But the people that saw the UFOs are convinced that it was not a meteor shower, or a figment of their imagination.

Lieutenant Colonel Hart found that in January of 1981, and 9 months later, there were more sightings near Woodbridge.

In total, 15 men claim to have seen the unusual activity at Bentwaters and Woodbridge during the first incident.

To this day, nobody can fully explain what really happened in December of 1980 in Rendlesham Forest.

Bentwaters is an American air base located in Southern England.

The 81st tactical fighter wing of the U.S. Air Force works out of Southeast England.

In a unique arrangement, the wing is housed on twin bases, Woodbridge & Bentwaters, that border a 3 mile expanse of farmland and woods known as Rendlesham Forest.

It was an air base used by the United States Air Force during the war until 1993.

James McGahay is an astronomer and noted UFO skeptic and director of 2 observatories.

James does not believe that much evidence was there to prove that the objects seen were UFOs, but he believes that they may have been meteor showers.

However, John Burroughs is certain that what he saw was not a meteor or meteor shower, especially because meteors do not move up and down and do not move in an erratic manner.

James claims that what they saw was all in the mind because they were expecting to see UFOs.

James believes that the red light that Lieutenant Colonel Hart saw was from a lighthouse reflection, but Hart says that that is impossible, because it happened 2 different times in 2 different places and how it moved through the forest.

Interestingly, this event occurred just one day before the Betty Cash & Vickie Landrum UFO sighting in Texas.

Recent updates to this sighting.

Lieutenant Colonel Halt told the BBC he saw unidentified objects at Rendlesham Forest in December 1980.

Given that Halt had served in the Air Force for decades in a number of war zones, it is safe to assume he knew the limits of man made aircraft.

He says he now has statements from radar operators at RAF Bentwaters and nearby RAF Wattisham that an unknown object was tracked at the time.

Lieutenant Colonel Halt claimed it was seen by himself and base security staff.

The 75 year old, who was deputy commander at the Bentwaters base and now lives in the U.S. state of Virginia, said some former service people had not wanted to speak until they retired but had now provided written statements to him.

The Ministry of Defence told the BBC it no longer deals with reports of UFOs.

U.S.A.F. security personnel John Burroughs & Jim Penniston were the first to report sightings of strange lights on December 26, 1980.

Lieutenant Colonel Halt recorded a running commentary into a dictation device of their efforts to find the source of the lights.

Other suggestions as to what was seen at Rendlesham include military project testing, a helicopter carrying a dummy Apollo capsule, light from the Orford Ness lighthouse and pranks by airmen.

In 1983, the News of the World ran a front page story which proclaimed:

UFO Lands in Suffolk,

And that's Official

I have confirmation that Bentwaters radar operators saw the object go across their 60 mile scope in 2 or 3 seconds, thousands of miles an hour, it came back across their scope again, stopped near the water tower, they watched it and observed it go into the forest where we were, said Lieutenant Colonel Halt.

At Wattisham, they picked up what they called a bogie and lost it near Rendlesham Forest.

Whatever was there was clearly under intelligent control.

UFO researcher John Hanson said he found Halt to be a reliable witness and there had been a concerted effort to hide the truth.

He said the evidence of the UFO being picked up by radar seriously undermined the suggestion by the government at the time that the reported phenomena was due to witnesses seeing the light from Orfordness lighthouse and misinterpreting what they saw.

Another veteran U.S. serviceman has broken his silence about witnessing Britain's most famous UFO encounter nearly 50 years ago.

Sergeant Michael Smith, retired, has revealed officially for the first time that he also saw the activity in 1980 in the Suffolk countryside.

Back in 2016 Steve Longero, who was a young U.S.A.F. Security Forces officer working at bases RAF Bentwaters & RAF Woodbridge, came forward about witnessing strange lights while on duty.

Now Mr. Smith, then a 19 year old member of the 81st Airborne Police Squadron at RAF Bentwaters, has come forward to reveal what he says he saw.

In an extraordinary interview he said:

A month before the base was put on alert, and I was called out and I got onto a bunker by one of the gates.

I was having a pee outside when I saw an orange glowing light in the woods, it was a reddish ball.

It stopped right in front of me, it just stayed there and hovered 2' off the ground and I called for reinforcements I was scared to death.

Ever since the incident, theories and rumors have grown.

Only last year there were claims that the Rendlesham Forest Incident was in fact a prank played on the U.S. Air Force by the SAS.

3 men were sent out to investigate where 2 of them encountered a small, triangular shaped craft.

One man, Jim Penniston, got close enough to touch the side of the object.

He and another of the airmen present, John Burroughs, made sketches of the craft for witness statements.

2 nights later Deputy Base Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Charles Halt and his team then encountered the UFO.

He said later:

Here I am, a senior official who routinely denies this sort of thing and diligently works to debunk them, and I'm involved in the middle of something I can't explain.

Despite an MOD investigation the Rendlesham Forest incident remains unexplained.

Dubbed as Britain's Roswell, the reported sightings and contacts with aliens took place over a series of nights in December 1980 and the incident continues to fascinate UFO enthusiasts and conspiracy theorists.

The Ministry of Defence stated at the time that the event posed no threat to national security, and it therefore was never fully investigated.

Skeptics have explained the sightings as a misinterpretation of a series of nocturnal lights, a fireball, the beam from the Orfordness Lighthouse or even bright stars.

Steve Longero has remained tight lipped for more than 3 decades

New interview with military witness to Rendlesham Forest UFO incidents, Michael Stacy Smith’s story.

Important new information has emerged concerning the famous UFO incident at Rendlesham Forest.

Succumbing to curiosity, Penniston touched these glyphs and his mind was flooded with images of binary code.

A military eye witness has reported that scientific data was planted into his mind, the second Rendlesham Forest Incident witness to make such a claim, in this case a formula and associated information concerning antimatter and antigravity.

A revelation bigger than Penniston's alleged binary code.

As crazy as this sounds, it's true.

After 4 decades of silence, Sergeant Michael Stacy Smith, retired, has finally told his story.

During the interview below, for the first time ever Sergeant Smith tells the whole story of what happened to him during an important precursor incident to the Rendlesham Forest Incident, in which he aimed his weapon at a terrifying large glowing spherical object near the East gate at RAF Woodbridge.

This important new military eyewitness testimony was extracted from a late night interview with Smith, a former USAF Security Police Master Sergeant and retired police officer on July 15, 2019.

The evidence contains important new information about UFO events at Rendlesham Forest, as well as corroboration of testimony by other witnesses already in the public domain, including these key points:

1st UFO encounter: redorb behind the back gate, East Gate, at RAF Woodbridge, circa. November 1980.

2nd UFO encounter: large triangular craft over RAF Bentwaters during the Rendlesham Forest Incident, shone beam into the WSA, weapons storage area, as mentioned on Lieutenant Colonel Halt's famous tape, and departed at extremely high speed. December 1980.

Many have assumed that whoever, or whatever, was behind these UFOs were deploying a scanner of some kind.

Smith states on the record for the first time ever, that ever since the 1st encounter he's been troubled by visions that he cannot get out of his mind.

I had a vision of antimatter propulsion systems, a mathematical formula, antigravity and how to propel yourself through space and time.

It tells me that once you learn to produce the antimatter, that is the energy, create enough power for a city.

I ain't never heard of antimatter.

Those things went from 1,000' to 90,000' off our scopes in about 4 seconds, there's no reason why universes should stay together, once you learn how to control it you can go anywhere.

I've carried it with me for years it powers the anti gravity.

After his encounter near RAF Woodbridge's East gate, Sergeant Smith retreated to the fortified bunker at the rear of the nearest hangar, a hardened aircraft shelter, where he sat in a corner, terrified, and cried.

The airman has no recollection of what happened after that.

The next thing he knew/remembered is being naked in the shower back at his barracks, with no recollection of how he got there.

The authors note that other Rendlesham Forest Incident UFO witnesses report similar experiences of lost time and hazy memory, symptoms which have been associated with exposure to UFO radiation according to a secret, now declassified, scientific report by the UK's Ministry of Defence, Project Condign, December 2000.

Executive Summary, Scientific & Technical Memorandum No. 55/2/00. Annex F, Vol. 2. DI55, Defence Intelligence Service, Ministry of Defence, and may also be consistent with abduction type experiences associated with some UFO reports.

From that night onwards, MSS has been plagued by inexplicable information in his head about antimatter and antigravity, 2 separate principles in physics which, incidentally, physicists suspect may be related, and propulsion, along with a mathematical formula that he feels is so dangerous that has only ever revealed it to his own brother, an engineer, who advised him never to share it.

Was important information implanted into his mind by whatever it was that he encountered?

One of Sergeant Smith's colleagues, Sergeant Jim Penniston, recently revealed that he believes a binary code encoding information about all that matters was planted into his mind during his famous encounter nearby.

It was difficult to obtain this information.

Penniston prefers not to discuss the events.

When he finally told his story during a recent interview for an upcoming documentary, he felt unable to reveal the full extent of his ordeal.

These additional details only emerged after lengthy discussions and reassurances from an independent investigator, Anicka Plante.

Sergeant Smith was assigned to the USAF 81st Security Police headquartered at the twin bases in Rendlesham Forest, where his duties included guarding the nuclear weapons storage facility and securing the perimeter of these vast military bases.

Whilst technically not a part of the late December UFO sightings that relate to what we now refer to as the Rendlesham Forest Incident, there is the chilling account provided by Michael Stacy Smith in November - 1980.

The former airman, who gave this interview is very ill with conditions such as rare cancers that his doctors suspect are related to radiation exposure at Rendlesham Forest.

Another colleague and fellow USAF Security Police, John Burroughs, used declassified documents to successfully sue the Department of Defence over exposure to UFO radiation incurred during his encounter with a UFO.

The Rendlesham Forest Incident, is a well documented historical UFO/UAP/AAV event that occurred in December 1980 at the twin base complex comprising RAF Bentwaters and RAF Woodbridge, a USAF facility which secretly harbored a very large stockpile of nuclear weapons at the height of the war.

An orthodox narrative has emerged for the Rendlesham Forest Incident in which the majority of UAP incidents at the bases have been omitted or ridiculed along with the majority of witnesses to these events.

The orthodox, sanitized Rendlesham Forest Incident narrative confirms to a version of events that has been presented to the public by a group of prominent figures in the UFO community, most notably the former head of the UK Ministry of Defence’s UFO investigation office, Nick Pope, the Deputy Commander of Operations at the base during the Rendlesham Forest Incident, Lieutenant Colonel Halt Retired, and the 2 main witnesses to the event at the landing site that was subsequently investigated by Halt.

Within the orthodox Rendlesham Forest Incident narrative, it is extremely challenging to verify basic events and locations, because all key witnesses disagree with each other about fundamental details, and all key witnesses have either changed or added certain details over the years, or have other serious anomalies in their evidence, the allegedly incorrect date on Halt’s classified memo to the MoD.

The twin bases are approximately 10 miles southwest of the Sizewell nuclear power station where fissile material is produced that may be used for low yield nuclear warheads, or enriched for high yield warheads, and geographically close to the North Sea for easy access to anticipated Russian attack/supply routes.

Atomic weapons were held at RAF Bentwaters in the Hot Row of concrete bunkers within the secure Weapons Storage Area in the southwest corner of the base.

We believe that the nuclear arsenal at Bentwaters included missiles or bombs with tactical payloads, presumably including warheads with a neutron bomb physics package.

The weapons were stored in Chubb safes with 2 locks, the dual key system, inside the storage silos, ready for deployment at short notice upon F4 aircraft flown by pilots of the 81st TFW from hardened hangars located nearby.

I’ve heard anecdotal evidence that pilots also trained for special one way missions in modified A10s, from which they would hope to eject and proceed on foot behind enemy lines with the hope to rendezvous with a friendly submarine.

RAF Bentwaters is now in civilian use, while RAF Woodbridge remains an active military base, Woodbridge Rock, operated by a special new engineering unit of the Parachute Regiment with an active MoD runway.

The bases are both eerily well preserved, with all electrical systems still operational, including runway lights, internal lights inside the bunkers, silos and buildings, and the 2 sliding gates to the WSA, a forgotten place where the end of the world would begin.

Additionally, there was some mentions of Men In Black being involved in this story.

In the decades since the incident, the area has attracted the attention of many UFO enthusiasts, who claim that the UK government has suppressed information relating to the 1980 sightings.

And, there is some truth in their claims, with information relating to the incident forced into the public domain in 2002.

One of the released documents was a memorandum written by Lieutenant Colonel Charles Halt, the base deputy commander, to the Ministry of Defence.

In the memo, Halt described how 3 USAF patrolmen reported seeing a strange glowing object in the forest, which was metallic and triangular in shape.

One of the most interesting piece of evidence to come from this was “The Halt Tape” released by Colonel Sam Morgan, who succeeded in taking command of RAF Woodbridge.

This is Halt’s real-time audio recording of his investigation into the woods where the UFO was seen.

One UFO researcher has taken the claims of government conspiracy one step further, claiming that she has personally been a target of the Ministry of Defense's attempts to hush away the controversial incident.

In 1984, Brenda Butler & 2 co-authors wrote a book which questioned why UK authorities tried to conceal the incident.

In the course of writing the book, and additional research in the years since, she believes that she has attracted the attention of Men In Black, suited officials who have tried to intimidate her to stop her research.

Speaking at a UFO conference in 2015, to mark 35 years since the famous sightings, Brenda described how on one occasion, the MoD tried to make her and a fellow investigator sign a contract to silence them over their findings.

Another time, she was supposedly chased by an army jeep down country roads at 80 mph.

Even so, she returned to the forest that same night and captured strange photographic anomalies on camera.

All the while, a police car and police helicopter were observing.

As she left she was told not to come back again.

Brenda also revealed that people had also come to her home and stood in her driveway, trying to intimidate her, and that her phones have been tapped in the past. 

She even stated that her co-authors have received anonymous phone calls, warning them that if they did not stop researching the alleged UFO incident, they may end up at the bottom of the ocean.

In 1984 Suffolk-resident Brenda Butler brought the events of the Rendlesham Forest Incident into the mainstream.

Living near the base and having many friends who were employed at RAF Woodbridge, she had heard from multiple people what had occurred on both nights in 1980.

Along with her friend Dot Street and writer/UFO researcher Jenny Randles, she delved into what exactly happened when aircraft of unknown origin made their presence known.

About a month after Lieutenant Colonel Halt's report to the UK Ministry of Defense, they released Sky Crash.

Allegedly, they received assistance from a mysterious Ufologist named Steve Roberts who guided them through this web of conspiracy filled with shady cover ups and men in black suits.

While one should of course cautiously accept the literalism of their story, there is little doubt the governments of two nations have attempted to cover-up what happened.

There has been no shortage of excuses trotted out as to what really happened in Rendlesham Forest.

The main element of the explanation lies in the Orfordness Lighthouse about 7 miles away.

To the credit of those who push this idea, the timing as to when Lieutenant Colonel Halt and his men had their encounter and when the illumination from the lighthouse would have shone in that direction do match.

But I for one have never seen the point of light from a lighthouse project a secondary beam of light, much less a concentrated one. In the 2000’s the files on the incident from the MoD came public and people were shocked at how little investigating into the incident actually took place. Defense Minister Lord David Trefgarne was dismissive in recommending against an investigation into the event stating “no addition action was required”. Since the UFO encounters at Rendlesham Forrest involved American soldiers it is safe to assume that the US Department of Defense would have files on it. But in the 90’s when, Nick Pope, who investigated UFO sightings for the British government found a dossier on American encounters with unidentified aircrafts overseas. To his surprise in the entire 490 page report, the accounts of the soldiers at RAF Woodbridge were missing.

While both events are very different, what they share in common is that high ranking, logic minded, career military officers have gone on record saying that what they saw was not of this Earth.

While the government they served have put forth official explanations which come off as more far fetched than extraterrestrials.

Despite the British government’s denial that anything happened, the Forestry Commission established a trail covering many landmarks from the event.

Since retiring from the Air Force 30 years ago, Charles I. Halt has consistently held to the story he reported back in the 1980s.

Every account he has given has been clinical, consistent, and grounded as one would expect from a logic minded military officer, and not some layperson hoping for a few minutes of supposed fame.

It is clear that 40 years ago, something unexplainable happened in the 3,700 acres known as Rendlesham Forest.

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