reply to post by IsaacKoi
At the risk of sharing too large of a quote or wall of text - here is most of Chapter 6: "Special Effects" from "Revelations: Alien Contact and
Human Deception" - that deals with Rendlesham.
A remarkable event took place in late December of 1980. A strange
object was seen on the ground by a security police group at a joint
Royal Air Force/U.S. Air Force base in England called Woodbridge.
The map shows the facility as an elongated zone with a twin
base a few miles away at Bentwaters. Between the two bases is a wooded
area called Rendlesham Forest.
As a guard at Woodbridge Base, an American named Larry Warren
said that he saw a UFO land in the forest. Dozens of other military men
and a few civilians saw it, too. The commanding officer allegedly came
out and interacted with the three occupants of the craft. There is no
doubt, based on the documents in the affair, and on the very extensive
investigation conducted by Jenny Randies, Dot Street, and Brenda
Butler—and published in their book Sky Crash (London: Neville Spearman,
1984)—that an extraordinary event did take place that night. But
far from being an actual UFO, it may simply have marked another step
in the deception.
THE RENDLESHAM CRASH
It should first be realized that the area in question has a long tradition
of being associated with advanced military research. It is in that region
that radar was first deployed in the early years of World War II. The
facilities that can be seen above ground are said to be dwarfed by the
network of shelters and storage areas buried below the East Anglia
The two bases belong to the British but are leased to the United
States under the terms of a NATO agreement. The American 81st
Tactical Fighter Wing flies four squadrons of A-10 antitank aircraft
from Bentwaters and another two from Woodbridge. The latter base,
according to Jenny Randies and her co-authors, also hosts the elite 78th
Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron, specialized in the type of
emergency intervention that would be required should a team of U.S.
astronauts have to make an emergency landing anywhere on the planet.
At the time of the events, Wing Commander Gordon Williams was
the Executive Officer for both bases, and Lieutenant Colonel Charles
Halt was Deputy Base Commander.
Brenda Butler, an independent investigator of strange phenomena
who lives in Suffolk, first heard of the Bentwaters case through an
American friend who was in the Air Force. She managed to find other
witnesses who agreed to talk to her. She quickly recognized that the
exact date of the incident was a matter of some confusion. There were
conflicting rumors of helicopters and other aircraft crashing in the
forest, and of weapons going wrong. Another airman who spoke to
Brenda told her the base had suddenly become active late on December
27; trucks had driven off in convoy toward the forest. At the time, he
was actually told by his superiors that a UFO had just crashed half a
mile from the end of the runway.
This fact should already alert us. In actual UFO cases the attitude
of the military has always been one of denial. Only as a last resort, and
after extensive investigation, does the Air Force admit that a phenomenon
might be "unidentified." Here, on the contrary, the notion of a
crashed UFO was actually planted in the minds of witnesses from the
A forestry worker next came forward with his story. He had found
an area where the tops of the branches were broken and the trees
scorched. He reported it but there was no follow-up.
A fourth man, a civilian electrician, was brought on the base to repair
guiding lights on tall poles at the end of the main runway. He thought
they must have been destroyed by an aircraft making an emergency
landing. What seemed especially strange to him was the fact that
during the whole time of the repairs he was surrounded by extraordinary
Taken together, these reports seemed to substantiate the actual
reality of an encounter between U.S. Air Force officers and a landed
UFO in an English forest.
THE I N V E S T I G A T I ON
The story of the Rendlesham case, which I summarize here from the
book by Butler, Street, and Randies, developed between 1981 and 1984
as the three English investigators explored new leads and obtained data
from new witnesses. An important informant was a civilian radar operator
at Watton in Norfolk, who said that on December 27, 1980, an
unusual object was tracked heading in from the coast, and it was lost
near Rendlesham Forest. Of special interest was the fact that two
intelligence officers from the U.S. Air Force—presumably the now
infamous OSI that employed Richard Doty in New Mexico—visited
this English radar station within two days of the tracking and requested
the recordings for study.
They told the amazed radarmen that they had tracked a metallic
UFO. Again, these normally tight-lipped officers were uncharacteristically
talkative, adding that the mysterious object had been confronted
by military men whose jeep had stalled as they got close to it. They even
volunteered that the object was observed on the ground while it was
being repaired by the alien crew, and that this was seen by high-ranking
officers from the nearby base, with the commanding officer himself
conversing with the occupants.
Although the English investigators kept being rebuffed by the British
Ministry of Defense—the woman in charge of answering queries about
UFOs even denied to their face that any close encounter had ever been
reported to their office!—a breakthrough occurred when a document
that was held back because it was covered by the Official Secrets Act
in Britain was released by the U.S. Air Force on the other side of the
Atlantic under the Freedom of Information Act.
That key document was a memo from Lieutenant Colonel Charles
Halt. While it did not go into all the details that informants had already
leaked to the investigators, it did authenticate the major facts: yes,
unusual lights had approached the base about 3:00 A.M. on December
27, 1980. Yes, security personnel responded and found a strange glowing
object in the forest. It was metallic, triangular, with a pulsing red
light on top and blue lights at the bottom. Yes, depressions and radioactivity
were found the next day. Yes, there was a red light that seemed
to throw off light particles, broke into five white objects, and disappeared.
Armed with this undeniable official memo, the women returned to
the base, interviewed Halt and other officers and filled in many of the
gaps in the record.
One of the security people who had watched the object, the young
man designated as Art Wallace in Sky Crash, who was in fact Larry
Warren, was tracked down in the United States where the Air Force
had reassigned him after the incident. He added many details. Others,
including Halt's teenage son, confirmed the exact location and the
events on the base that surrounded the landing.
These disclosures failed to resolve some of the contradictions in the
story. Did the landing occur on the twenty-seventh, as initially reported,
or on the thirtieth, as indicated by some witnesses? Was there another
event on the twenty-sixth, as some later disclosures seemed to show?
Were there sightings on successive nights? And who was in charge at
the time, Lieutenant Colonel Halt or Wing Commander Gordon Williams?
Finally, were actual aliens seen or only an object with some
lights? Even after extensive investigation it was not possible to answer
these questions with certainty. But it was clear that a systematic attempt
at cover-up had been implemented. Perhaps it is at this level that
the Bentwaters case is most interesting—for what it teaches us about
the nature and the structure of such observations around military bases.
DELUSION OR DECEPTION?
The English investigators have presented convincing evidence that the
various explanations offered to the public for the Bentwaters case—
allegedly caused by the beam of a distant lighthouse and some bright
stars—were utter rubbish. It is tempting to conclude that the military
were indeed confronted with an alien craft and its occupants. This may
well be the solution. But there are intriguing alternatives.
To me the most plausible theory is that the U.S. military has developed
a device or a collection of devices that look like flying saucers, that
they are primarily intended for psychological warfare, and that they are
being actively tested on military personnel. Thus, the persons who
control the experiment can always contain the repercussions if the story
leaks out. In such cases OSI may be used both to calibrate the observers—
hence the visit to the radar men and the collecting of all photographs—
and to cover up the exercise itself.
If the reports leak out, the cover story may be, very simply, that the
object was in fact a UFO. This is the ultimate explanation, the end of
the road: "What do you want us to do? This was an object we could
not identify. You know as much about it as we do . . . ." In other words,
OSI could be actually covering up the fact that such sightings are not
cases of actual UFOs! No wonder amateur ufologists are confused, as
they are confused by the observation of strange disk-shaped lights over
The mechanism of the cover-up seems to be consistent—moving
extremely rapidly, the intelligence agencies sweep all the evidence and,
if necessary, secure the key witnesses. If word of the event leaks out,
the normal military chain of command operates to keep any controver-
sial document out of public hands. If that fails, then the intelligence
agencies go into a confusion mode characterized by three simultaneous
1. They trot out their team of debunkers (astronomers, skeptics or
"rationalists") who seize upon any available explanation; the more absurd
2. They "oversell" the UFO explanation, always emphasizing the
extraterrestrial interpretation. For example, if an object has been seen
on the ground, they will make sure the media give prominence to the
wild-eyed witness or the local contactee cult member who will claim
that he has received a message for mankind, so that the entire affair is
quickly blown out of proportion.
3. They start leaking some correct information to the investigators
but mix it with confusing elements regarding the date, the time, and
the identity of the witnesses.
All these elements are demonstrably present in the Bentwaters case,
and they can be found in other military cases as well.
Is there evidence that Bentwaters was in fact an instance of deception
rather than delusion? I believe the testimony of Larry Warren is
very interesting in that regard.
On a syndicated television program called Dimensions in Parapsychology,
Warren recalled his experience in detail. It had been eight
years since he had served at Bentwaters. He was now engaged in media
work, he said. A lean young fellow with long hair falling over his shirt
collar, he seemed very relaxed, his hands hooked in his belt as he spoke.
He was in the security police at Bentwaters, he said. On the evening
in question he was dispatched to the motor pool to get lighting equipment.
He did not know why. He obtained some "light-alls," loaded
them and drove to a designated point near the forest where the vehicles
were parked. There he was ordered to leave his weapons and he walked
half a mile into the forest with other personnel. They halted behind a
small stone wall. From that position he could see a lot of ground fog
or mist which was illuminated.
There was no UFO in view anywhere, yet an elaborate scene was
being staged. Guards, officers, and other personnel had been assembled,
unarmed in an area where some sort of fog—as in the Pontoise case—
had mysteriously developed. It is difficult not to imagine that they had
been brought there deliberately, not to guard anything, but to witness
a very special phenomenon, and that it was their reactions to the
forthcoming event that were being covertly tested.
Soon there were forty people in Rendlesham Forest. They had motion
picture cameras, video cameras, and still-photography cameras.
Larry Warren wondered why all that technology was being deployed
just to document the luminous fog.
Over the radio he overheard someone ask, "Why are we here?"
Soon afterward a voice said, "Here it comes!"—and a UFO arrived
from the north.
It was only a small red light, a mile or so out toward the North Sea
coast. It moved so fast that Warren had trouble tracking it, and suddenly
it was right there, hovering twenty feet or so above the ground,
glowing red over the fog. Everybody stood up and looked at it.
A silent, controlled explosion took place, and when it was over, the
red light had been replaced by a solid object. In the process the red light
literally blew shards of light in slow motion.
The object was steady, shaped like an arrowhead with a red light on
top and a bank of blue lights at the bottom.
The military units went into action. Two British policemen who had
taken pictures had their cameras confiscated. A disaster preparedness
team announced they were getting strong radiation readings. Base
Commander Colonel Gordon Williams arrived on the scene and approached
three life forms that had spilled out of a glowing light to the
right. Were they part of an alien crew? Or were they part of a staged
Far from being surprised by the sudden appearance of an unidentified
object over their base, the U.S. Air Force had clearly anticipated
and prepared this encounter. A large number of military personnel from
various backgrounds had been assembled to witness the event. Their
weapons had been taken away from them. They were carefully placed
at prearranged locations. Illuminated ground fog and various light effects
had taken place prior to the observation of an actual object. Once
the men had seen whatever they were supposed to see, they were pulled
out and debriefed.
This is not what would happen if a real UFO did land. But it is
exactly the sequence of actions one would expect if the reactions of the
men to a prearranged stimulus were being tested.
BEYOND THE HALL OF MIRRORS
Two questions must be explored in the context of the Deception Theory.
They apply equally well to Pontoise, to UMMO, and to Bentwaters.
First, how could a small military intelligence unit simulate such
complex UFO events? And second (and most importantly), why would
they want to do it?
The first question is surprisingly easy to answer. There would not be
a single trick, but a combination of technical devices used in such a
sequence and in such a psychological context as to lead the observers—
and if necessary, the public—to the unavoidable conclusion that a UFO
had indeed been present.
Although such remotely-piloted vehicles would have been difficult to
produce in the early Fifties, and therefore cannot explain the totality
of the UFO phenomenon, they were already well-developed by the time
of the Vietnam War and easily available during the period covered in
the last three chapters. The devices in question can be equipped with
mechanical, optical, and electronic devices that can be used in sequence
or in combination to produce very spectacular UFO sightings.
The simplest such device is a model of a disk, two to four feet in
diameter. We are not talking here about crude garbage-can covers
equipped with hobby rockets, but exquisitely controlled systems carrying
microprocessors and guided by radio. Miniature television cameras
enable these gadgets to survey their surroundings and to transmit pictures.
They can maneuver in and out of trees. The inventor of such a
device, who developed it for a U.S. intelligence agency in the Sixties,
has told me he could make it fly around a meeting room and out of a
window. It produced no more sound than a whir.
Next in the list of mechanical devices are actual flying saucers of the
type developed by Dr. Moller near Sacramento, California. These vehicles
are highly maneuverable and develop sufficient thrust to carry one
pilot with his equipment. They are being manufactured to serve as
reconnaissance platforms in hostile terrain. Their diameter is on the
order of eight feet. Equipped with lights, they could be indistinguishable
from actual saucers.
More ambitious UFO displays have been deployed, complete with
light projectors, lasers, and sound effects, in support of various media
extravaganzas such as the opening of the Los Angeles Olympic Games
or the concerts of the Electric Light Orchestra. In such cases the UFO
can be of arbitrary size and complexity since it does not have to carry
its own means of propulsion. Instead, it is simply suspended from a
flying crane, suitably screened from the observers by artificial fog.
Some of my associates and I have thought of other ways to fly and
control real flying saucers which could be seen from the ground, photographed,
and tracked on radar by perfectly sincere witnesses.
When such mechanical devices are combined with optical and electronic
displays, the results can be even more astonishing. Perfection
could be reached with devices that could never be proven to be fakes
by scientists on the ground. It has long been realized that all it took was
a powerful slide projector to expose unsuspecting crowds to celestial
wonders, provided there was a cloud or fog bank dense enough to serve
as a screen in the vicinity. Fog machines are easy to obtain from any
movie studio equipment supplier. This method has actually been used
in psychological warfare.
As early as World War I the German military actually used artificial
smoke on which to project an image of the Virgin Mary, her arms
outstretched in a gesture of peace. This was projected over the trenches
in an attempt to confuse the French. (See the catalogue of Special
Effects Services of TRI-ESS Sciences, Inc.)
The problem with slide projections is that they are flat. They may
fool a casual witness, but any sophisticated observer will recognize them
for what they are. The next step is a laser show in which what is
projected is not a two-dimensional image, but an actual sculpture in
midair, like the hologram of Princess Leia in Star Wars.
In all these situations it is useful to keep the observers confused by
bright lights—which have the advantage of blinding those who might
be tempted to look in the direction of the projector—as well as sounds,
conflicting statements, and the suggestion that a paranormal phenomenon
is in progress and that ordinary rules of logic are therefore suspended.
Knowing that the technical means for simulating UFO encounters
are available, the remaining question is: why would the U.S. military use
Here again we find a variety of rational and logical answers. They
have in common the question of personal belief of the percipient, so
I will preface the explanation by posing a simple situation before the
Suppose you are a guard assigned to secure part of the perimeter of
a missile base. You know that an enemy might want to violate the
perimeter in order to steal warheads, to procure nuclear material, to
obtain secret firing codes, or simply to test the defenses.
You suddenly see a helicopter flying low over the electrified fence in
your direction. It has no running lights. What do you do? Presumably,
you do your duty. You raise your machine gun and you start shooting.
Now let us suppose you are a devout Catholic. Drifting over the
fence is not a threatening engine of war with its rotor blades, but a
beautiful image of the Blessed Virgin smiling at you and throwing rose
petals to the ground. What are you going to do now? I don't know many
Catholics who would swing that machine gun and pull the trigger.
Let us go one step further. Presume that the object coming over the
fence is neither a recognizable threat, nor an obvious religious entity like
Our Lady, but a flying saucer surrounded with lights. Perhaps some
alien creature can be seen through the glass dome. If you fire, you might
start an interplanetary war. Most guards will hesitate before that situation
and request further orders. The resulting delay, seconds or minutes
of elapsed time, may be all that is necessary for the invaders to secure
Farfetched? Yes. But antiterrorist exercises in which the attackers
disguised their craft as a flying saucer have actually been run more than
once, and such tests of base security probably explain a fair number of
the UFO sightings around missile silos that are so often advanced as
evidence by the amateur groups and cited by one television documentary
after another as proof that extraterrestrials are surveying our strategic
assets. In most cases the base that is under simulated attack is never
given the actual explanation for what happened, precisely because the
test would be worthless if the target knew about it.
I have received confirmation of the existence of such maneuvers
from men who were trained in the penetration of nuclear plants and
missile bases. But other reasons exist for the use of devices disguised as
flying saucers in psychological warfare. One such reason is, very simply,
the calibration of the judgment of the observers. In such a situation
(where a real enemy might be tempted to use such a disguise), how
would guards react? How would enlisted men, intelligence officers,
pilots, policemen react? Would they still follow orders? What would the
public think? What means could be used to increase, or dispel, the
Last, but not least, the military might even use such devices to find
out if its own scientists are capable of differentiating between real and
simulated UFOs. Just in case real UFOs do exist . . .
The above items all relate to tactical reasons for the simulation of
UFOs in an operational context, as may have been the case in Bentwaters.
Beyond all this the upper echelon of the military in various countries
may have a more important strategic objective. That objective
could explain not only such local exercises as Pontoise, UMMO, and
Bentwaters, but also the systematic disinformation games such as Majestic
12, the games of which people like agent Doty and UFO researcher
Bill Moore were the willing conduits, and of which men like
Dr. Bennewitz, John Lear, Bill Cooper, and Bill English may have been
Once we have entered this maze, there is no turning back. We can
only go deeper into the darkness, accumulating new data with the
uneasy knowledge that much of what we find is distorted and perhaps
deliberately biased to confuse us into an irreversible belief in extraterrestrials.
The only people who could clear up the confusion are the ufologists
themselves. They are the ones with the data, who could notice and
expose the glaring discrepancies between the real UFO phenomenon
and the manufactured simulations. But the community of UFO research
has some problems of its own.
COVER-UPS AND BLIND ALLEYS
The UFO shelf at your local bookstore today bends under the weight
of books that claim to expose the cover-up of the phenomenon by the
government. And well it should. There is no question that the Air Force
has tried to push the whole business under the rug from the beginning.
It has lied, ridiculed witnesses, and even denied before Congress that
some of the most convincing cases had been reported by its own officers.
This is not just covering up—it is blatant perjury. One government
research group, and possibly several, have been in operation since the
In that context, anyone claiming to uncover the truth and to expose
the cover-up finds a ready audience among UFO believers and the
public at large.
But a very curious thing happens. Those who claim to bring us these
amazing revelations are generally linked to the military or to the intelligence
community themselves. What they are exposing is not the real
secret group, but an outer layer of outright lies and deceptions that were
meant to be exposed in the first place. Not only was John Lear a pilot
for a CIA-controlled airline, and Bill Cooper a Naval Intelligence man,
but Bill English served as an information analyst at a listening post
north of London. Bill Moore has admitted that he was an informant
for the Air Force—and possibly for other agencies as well—and his
main contact, Richard Doty, was trained in disinformation and in
By what magic trick did these men manage to convince so many sane
UFO researchers, including some professional scientists, that there was
a hangar full of flying saucers at Area 51 and a cave full of flesh-eating
aliens under New Mexico? One would expect ufologists to be particularly
suspicious of any unverifiable claim coming from such sources.
The answer is sadly simple. Most ufologists are incredibly naive when
it comes to the methods of intelligence. Even the scientists among them
have never taken the trouble to learn the basic rules by which classified
information is controlled, used, and released. And when a real expose
comes to light, they refuse to look at it, unless it happens to match their
In 1979 I published such a series of exposes in Messengers of Deception
. I pointed out that UFO author Major Keyhoe, who had written
such informative books as The UFO Conspiracy in the Fifties, and
created the NICAP organization to expose the Silent Group and to
force the release of UFO information, was actually under the control
of a board of directors replete with psychological warfare experts linked
to the intelligence community. I asserted that other groups were under
American UFO research was not willing to listen to such simple
truth: the book was hastily rejected by the believers.
It took another ten years for the assertions it contained to be vindicated.
As the full text of the 1953 Air Force panel—which gathered
Louis Alvarez and other scientific luminaries—was finally understood,
it became apparent that the real sponsor had been the CIA, and that
one of the secret recommendations targeted the infiltration of the UFO
The deeper lesson, however, has not yet been learned.
It has become a favorite game among ufologists to sue various government
agencies under the Freedom of Information Act and to ponder
the thousands of pages released through this process.
Many of the documents that have come to light in this way during
the Eighties are papers that I remember having read in the Sixties as
Dr. Hynek's associate. How did they find their way into classified files
retrieved under the FOIA?
The answer, once again, is strikingly simple.
Twenty years ago I used to sit in Dr. Hynek's study in Evanston to
read two-page telex messages sent to the Foreign Technology Division
at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. They would originate in such
places as the control tower at Okinawa Air Force Base and would be
directed to FTD and a bewildering series of other addressees that
included CIA, NSA, JCS (Joint Chiefs of Staff), the White House,
State Department, and a dozen other places.
At the very end of the dispatch would be the sighting itself: "Mrs.
Brown has reported a strange light."
I would show the piece of paper to Hynek and I would ask him,
"Allen, why on earth do the White House and the NSA need to know
that Mrs. Brown has seen a light?"
He would laugh and explain to me that the Air Force could not leave
it to some low-ranking telex operator to decide who should receive a
particular piece of information. Anything that originated from the
control tower at Okinawa had to go to that list of addressees. The
machine was programmed that way, and it was up to the addressees to
decide if they wanted to use the message, file it, or throw it away.
Thirty years later some UFO group will sue the NSA under FOIA
and, after much argument in court, it will uncover the amazing fact that
Mrs. Brown once saw a light somewhere in Japan. By then, of course,
the report will have acquired very special significance. It will glow in the
aura of privileged information, extirpated from the bowels of our most
secret agency. The sad reality is that the report, classified or not, is a
piece of garbage.
Although I admire the patience of researchers of UFO history who
are assembling the pieces of the official reaction to the phenomenon,
I am constantly amazed at their naivete.
This childish attitude reaches a peak when it comes to the belief in
crashed saucers and little aliens.
Most ufologists have become so frustrated after years of difficult
research, not to mention the ridicule from friends, colleagues, and
relatives, that they have a deeply rooted need for vindication. This need
is so strong as to exceed even their stated respect for the truth and the
basic standards of validation of elementary facts.
Thus the claims for the existence of MJ-12 have been immediately
accepted by many otherwise sane researchers, and several good people
I know have dropped everything to ponder the meaning of the anatomical
details in some alien pictures that were simply constructed by computer
in Hollywood for the Seligman Cover-Up documentary, also
known as the Strawberry Ice-Cream Show.
The latest revelations of Lear, Cooper, or Lear's alleged informant,
Robert Lazar, about flying saucers at Area 51 have become the major
topic of debate at meetings of UFO researchers, while actual UFO
sightings, which happen by the dozen every month, go on without
anyone seriously studying them or even bothering to go look at the
Someone is using the believers' eagerness to know the horrible truth
about UFOs. Someone has manufactured a story of little aliens, just as
someone has invented UMMO and exploited Pontoise. As we will see
in the third section of this book, the process continues to work, because
it pushes some obvious psychological buttons.
Clever intelligence operations are structured with concentric layers,
like an onion. The data we have already reviewed show that the top level
of the onion is designed around the official assertion that there is no
UFO phenomenon at all. This is the level most skeptics and most
scientists have chosen to believe.
In my opinion the evidence is very strong that a genuine UFO
phenomenon exists, but serious, dedicated, and aggressive research is
required to peel away this first layer and to find the real facts.
The second layer is exemplified by MJ-12. It claims that there is a
large conspiracy to hide the information, but that the government—the
wise white father in the White House—knows the truth. In his kindness
he does not tell us, presumably because he wants to protect his
I have shown that this notion was hard to believe. The UFO phenomenon
is a major challenge to the entire edifice of our physics, and
there is nothing the President can do about it. There may be a lot of
buried data in Washington, there may be a large research project
secretly trying to decipher it, but there is no secret truth! Again, data
is not information. (Similarly, we have all the data in the world about
cancer, but we still do not know precisely what mechanism causes it,
or how to prevent it, in spite of the billions of dollars spent on research
over the last half century.)
The third layer of the onion comes to us courtesy of Messrs. Lear
and Cooper. It claims that the aliens are here and they rule the world.
Perhaps the third layer is ludicrous, but it works. The entire thrust
of American UFO research has been destabilized by this drivel which
would certainly not make it as science-fiction.
The inescapable conclusion is that the people who claim so vocally
to expose the cover-up may be the ones who constitute the cover-up
itself. Somebody is going to a lot of trouble to convince us of the reality
of extraterrestrials, to the exclusion of other, possibly more important
hypotheses about UFOs.
To get closer to the actual truth, as I try to do, we must patiently
continue to peel away the deeper layers of the onion. Even if the process
occasionally brings tears to our eyes.