Ding, Dong Scarily on High: Colonel Halt’s involvement
The then Deputy Base Commander at the Twin Bases – Charles Halt is the most
senior first hand witness. He became involved because on the 27th December 1980 a number of US military personnel were once again out in Rendlesham
Forest looking for a UFO and he wanted to put an end to the nonsense.
Who had given the original permission for them to leave the base is somewhat unclear. After his investigation and expedition out into Rendlesham
forest, Colonel Halt has often repeated the story of strange objects flying around in the skies above and beams of light coming down onto the base.
However his decisions at the time are questionable based on later testimony and given that he was technically in charge of operations. There was a
request from RAF Watton for a radar report at 3:00am. But no major alert was called on the base, nor was a request for air support made. Afterwards,
given the significance he now places on the incident, Halt seemingly procrastinated and did not compose his memo to the British Mod about the incident
until the 13th January 1981.
I posed questions to both Nick Pope (on ATS Live) and Col. John Alexander (who was on AMA) to comment on the apparent seriousness of the incident and
Halt’s decision to not put the bases on any kind of alert.
Nick Pope referred me to a paper trail leading to General Gabriel , who at the time was head of the USAF in Europe. I wouldn’t know where to start
with that. Nick Pope didn’t seem too clear on it himself and despite his “cold case” review in the 1990s he left his answer at that loose end.
Colonel John Alexander’s reply was:
As for going on alert; alert for what reason? Most of the events happened off the base and there was no threat to the base or the weapons stored
I then pressed him and, credit to him, he did respond again
Note they left their weapons behind because they were on UK soil, and SOFA did not allow weapons off base. As for close air support, doubt any was
available nor would it have been useful. That part took Chuck be surprise and happened over a very short period of time. You should ask him about the
This is an intriguing answer and reinforces my view that whilst these events were happening that Lt. Colonel Charles Halt was not that keen to draw
too much attention to events which he later describes as being covered up by the UK and US .
Many a time in interviews he has declared that craft in the sky were beaming what looked like lasers into the weapons storage areas and a number of
other unidentified objects were present in the skies over the Bentwaters and Woodbridge for hours. Halt however seems to have taken very little action
beyond stomping round the forest.
To hear Colonel Halt’s response on his actions (or lack of) I went through some old interviews.
Charles Halt spoke to George Knapp on Nov. 18th 2012 on Coast to Coast AM
At around 19 mins in, George Knapp asks directly if at any time Halt was going to “call in the cavalry….call in some jets?”
Halt says :
“… actually the command post didn’t seem too excited about the whole thing…the reason they stayed silent was other controllers who’d
reported things were de-certified…they weren’t going to say anything…..it was confirmed by two separate radars there was definitely something
Halt sidesteps the question and appears to be placing the responsibility with lower ranked officers on the base without clearly answering the
question. In fact gleaned from his own tape recording Halt, cold and wet from crossing a ditch, eventually just packs in and heads back towards the
base reporting objects are still in the sky and still sending beams of light down. Which all seems rather odd based on his later declarations.
A couple of years earlier in 2010 Tim Eggercic, who was working in the Weapons Storage Area (WSA) at Bentwaters on the night in question, doubted
Halt’s story that beams of light were coming down directly where he was located and confronted Halt directly on a radio show back in 2010.
Original source page of all podcasts : www.behindtheparanormal.com...
The specific one is Show #1: April 11, 2010 part 3 and available directly by clicking this link.
On the show, Halt claims to have a witness confirming something penetrated the airspace above the WSA .Tim Eggercic maintains that he saw nothing to
threaten the security of the area . Later Eggercic does mention that, Rick Bobo, in the observation tower reported a “big huge spaceship in the air
towards Woodbridge hovering for hours…probably directly south from the WSA”.
Eggercic goes on to explain that he feels sure he would have been ordered to alert and recall people from their barracks if an ‘unknown’ had got
anywhere near to the WSA. Halt declares that he had a problem because the command post didn’t want to do anything. Once again seemingly agreeing
with the decision to take no action because you don’t report UFOs.
“…do you think I wanted to initiate it?….it was a public relations disaster and there were about 25 people out in the forest”.
Which brings us on to the next point.
The United States military, technically, had no right to be out in the forest as it fell under direct jurisdiction of the United Kingdom.
Halt and the Sovereignty Question
The United States and United Kingdom were (still are) close allies and part of NATO. It is probably fair to assume that things were reasonably relaxed
over the exact boundaries given that access was also required between the two bases by roads. I also think it is fair to assume that the response by
Burroughs, Cabansag and Penniston was a situation where normal diplomatic protocols could be ignored. Time would be of the essence if an aircraft had
gone down as first thought.
However once Halt and other USAF personnel on duty had ventured off base on subsequent nights , without the permission of Her Majesty’s government,
then they had effectively jumped out from behind the SOFA (Status of Forces
). The text of which is ambiguous when applied to this case. But Halt, and prior to that the other US airmens' trespasses, could
certainly explain some reluctance at the time to escalate matters further.
It could even be that Halt had no intention of calling for more support once he was out in the forest for reasons that he still keeps to himself.
The British and American authorities also seemed quite keen avoid responsibility. It’s a US matter as it involved USAF personnel was the official
line from the MoD. It happened on UK territory so the United States DoD has always maintained it was a matter for the British authorities.
A convenient get out for both government to keep a lid on anything that may have happened.
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