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Jim Penniston discusses the witness statement that was prepared for him by the agents
"Yes there are things that are unraveled with this statement. Lets start with this is not my statement. This was the sanitized version I was given and told to say, after writing my statement to the agents. Some naging[sic] issues with this and points to show I did not write it. Some examples follow:
1) In the centre of the lighted area directly in the centre ground level
2) 30 metre area
3) 15-20 meters
4) metre area Colour of
If I was writing a U.S.A.F witness statement, I would use feet, yards, ect., Also I would not use the UK English to spell metre, Colour, centre. Also all official AF witness statements are on Air Force Witness Statement Forms. In addition, they are ALL signed by the witness, and usually witnessed by another.
Why would my statement be typed on plain paper (it was supposedly an official statement), not signed or dated, or why would I use UK English, spelling on words and also measurements in metrics? And lastly why would all the others statements of people involved would be done correctly on AF witness forms, and dated and signed by the witness. I am the ONLY exception."
"Now what is more interesting it also validate the two agents being discribe[sic] during hypnosis as one American and one British. Credence to the UK English......"
-Jim Penniston, USAF retired
I wonder though, what are the odds of Jim ever having visited that web page, or having read it?
Jim has gotten mixed up a little and will have to withdraw some of those accusations.
....At approximately 03:00 hrs, 26 December 1980, I was on duty at bldg. 679, Central Security Control, when I was notified that A1C Burroughs had sighted some strange lights in the wooded area east of the runway at RAF Woodbridge.....
After he had been joined by the Security Flight Chief, MSgt Chandler, and turned his weapon over to him, I directed them to go ahead. SSgt Penniston had previously informed me that the lights appeared to be no further than 100 yds from the road East Gate of the runway. I monitored their progress (Penniston, Burroughs and Cabansag) as they entered the wooded area.
They appeared to get very close to the lights, and at one point SSgt Penniston stated that it was a definite mechanical object....
At approximately 3:43 hrs, I terminated the investigation and ordered all units back to their normal duties....
..I was the Security Police Shift Commander assigned to "C" Flight the very first night anything out of the ordinary was reported...
I do NOT believe there was ever a UFO involved in the incident. I do believe the witnesses I dispatched to the incident attempted to report factually what they had seen...
I am dismayed that the story seems to have taken on dimensions never initially reported and very often assumes facts not shown by all the investigations....
Skip Buran, Lt Col USAF (Retired)
OK, SSgt Penniston reported seeing what he thought was a mechanical object. He never said what it was. And MSgt J.D. Chandler, who was very close by, never saw or heard anything. And by his own admission, every time SSgt Penniston thought he was getting close to the "object", there was nothing there.
Folks, there was nothing in the forest that night but the lights (which have been explained) and maybe some SPs goofing around....
In the statements furnished, (then) SSgt Penniston appears to have said in his or as reported by MSgt Chandler, that the closest he ever got to anything was 50 meters.
A little different from touching an object...
Yes Skip, that is the unsigned and undated statement from AFOSI. Not my statement. It is AFOSI, cover story and what they ordered.
”Agents then give Penniston a typed statement, which is generic, and is limited on details. For example, observation of a metallic craft, and not getting within 50 yards of it. Penniston is instructed by the Agents that an official investigation is underway, and he is to tell all who asks, the cover story that was provided to him. He reads it several times and then agrees to do so. Penniston, Burroughs, Cabansag, are debriefed at the Deputy Base Commanders office, Colonel Halt. Statements written and then drawings made.
At approximately 3.00hrs, 26 December 1980, while conducting security checks on RAF Bentwaters, I monitored a radio transmission from A1C Burroughs, Law Enforcement patrol at RAF Woodbridge, stating that he was observing strange lights in the wooded area just beyond the access road, leading from the East Gate at RAF Woodbridge. SSgt Penniston, Security Supervisor, was contacted and directed to contact Burroughs at the East Gate. Upon arrival, SSgt Penniston immediately notified CSC that he too was observing these lights and requested to make a closer observation after several minutes, Penniston requested my presence.
I departed RAF Bentwaters through Butley Gate for RAF Woodbridge. When I arrived, SSgt Penniston, A1C Burroughs and Amn Cabansag had entered the wooded area just beyond the clearing at the access road. We set up radio relay between SSgt Penniston,myself and CSC. On one occasion Penniston relayed that he was close enough to the object to determine it was definitely a mechanical object. He stated that he was within 50 metres. He also stated that there was lots of noise in the area which seemed to be animals running around.
Each time Penniston gave me the indication that he was about to reach the area where the lights were he would give an extended estimated location. He eventually arrived at a ‘beacon light’; however, he stated that this was not the light or lights he had originally observed. He was instructed to return...
“Received dispatch from CSC to rendezvous with Police 4 AIC Burroughs, and Police 5 SSgt Steffens at east Gate Woodbridge.
Upon arriving at east gate directly to the east about 1 and a half miles in a large wooded area. A large yellow glowing light was emitting above the trees. In the centre of the lighted area directly in the centre ground level, there was red light blinking on and off 5 to 10 second intervals. And a blue light that was being for the most part steady. After receiving permission from CSC, we proceeded off base pass east gate, down an old logging road.
Left vehicle proceeded on foot. Burroughs and I were approx. 15-20 meters apart and proceeding on a true east direction from logging road. The area in front of us was lighting up a 30 metre area. When we got within a 50 metre distance, the object was producing red and blue light. The blue light was steady and projecting under the object. It was up the area directly extending a metre or two out.
At this point of positive identification I relayed to CSC, SSgt Coffey. Positive sighting of the object…1….Colour of lights and that it was definitely mechanical in nature. This is the closest point that I was near the object at any point. We then proceeded after it. It moved in a zig-zagging manner back through the woods, then lost sight of it. On the way back we encountered a blue streaking light to the left only lasting a few seconds. After 45 min walk, arrived at our vehicle.”
“About 12:02 am – I remember that distinctly – I was dispatched to the East Gate, which was sometimes referred to as the back gate at Woodbridge. There, I was told to contact Police 2, which was Airman First Class John Burroughs and Staff Sgt. Bud Steffans, and that I would be briefed when I got there.”
"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.
“Our radios — the standard Motorola type — were experiencing a dampening effect common with atmospheric conditions. Basically they were breaking up and I was not able to send or recover full transmissions. At that point, I decided to station Airman Cabansag there as a radio link, so he stayed by the Jeep to serve as a communications relay.”
“Shortly after midnight on Christmas night—the early morning of December 26,1980—Staff Sergeant Steffens briefed me that some lights had been seen in Rendlesham Forest, just outside the base.”
“As the three of us got closer to the craft, we started experiencing problems with our radios. I then asked Cabansag to relay radio transmissions back to Central Security Control (CSC), and he stayed back while Burroughs and I proceeded toward the craft.”
“After ten minutes without any apparent aggression, I determined the craft was non-hostile to my team and decided to approach further. Following security protocol, we completed a thorough on-site investigation, including a full physical examination of the craft. After my first walk-around of the craft, astonishment and awe overwhelmed me. All fear was gone. During this process, I took photographs, made notebook entries, and relayed messages through Airman Cabansag to the CSC, following required procedures. The feelings I had during this encounter were like nothing I had ever known before. On one side of the craft were symbols that measured about three inches high and two and a half feet across.”
"The day before [7th October 1983] Brenda had received a call from James Archer. Archer said he was a security officer and had been one of the witnesses to the original event on the night of 27 December 1980 [it was in fact the night of 25/26 December]. He insisted that only he and John Burroughs were involved [Cabansag was involved too, but was left near the vehicle]......
Archer spoke very quietly about that night in 1980. He said it was about 2 A.M when things began to happen. ....Archer and Burroughs...drive out in a jeep...
At the end of the lane leading from the gate they left the jeep .. After walking several hundred feet further they became aware of red and blue lights ahead of them. The radio they had been using to keep in constant touch with base suddenly went dead. The security officer stopped for a moment and had to be urged onwards. He was asked to describe what they saw. He spoke very softly: 'It was a triangular thing. Yes, triangular - and it stood on three legs.'
Archer said the size of the object was about ten by twelve feet, and around eight feet in height. He was asked if he saw any people in it. He paused for long seconds and then replied, 'No - I didn't see any aliens. But there was definitely something inside it. I don't know what. But the shapes did not look human. Maybe they were like robots.' Burroughs went up to it and looked as if he were planning to touch it, he continued. But the craft responded. It drew in its legs, retracting them up into the main body - and then it began to move around the forest just above ground level. It moved slowly. They could follow it by walking, and keep up. It displayed amazing manoeuvrability, dodging in and out of trees. They saw that it had left holes in the ground at the spot where the legs had been lowered.
At closest approach they got within a few feet of it. They had a very good view. It was like nothing man-made. The colour was an off-white and it looked dirty. There was a blue light on top, with red lights and a white light in the middle and a brighter white light coming out of the bottom. Archer and Burroughs followed the craft as it moved from the forest into a small field, the on next to the Boast home. Here it made some cows run around in panic. It then let out a sudden, intense burst of white light and rose to a height of about 200 feet, before shooting away from view at tremendous speed."
“On the night of 25-26 Dec at around 3:00, while on patrol down at East Gate, myself and my partner saw lights coming from the woods due east of the gate. The lights were red and blue, the red one above the blue one, and they were flashing on and off...We asked permission to go and see what it was....
You could see the lights down by a farmer’s house. We climbed over the fence and started walking toward the red and blue lights and they just disappeared. Once we reached the farmer’s house we could see a beacon going around, so we went toward it. We followed it for about 2 miles before we could see it was coming from a lighthouse. We had just passed a creak and were told to come back when we saw a blue light to our left in the trees. It was only there for a minute and just streaked away. After that we didn’t see anything and returned to the truck.”
“I suppose anything is possible with this time discrepancy. I believe it is more than likely that within the affected area around the craft there was a distortion of some kind, which based on the missing time from our watches, indicates this by them running forty-five minutes slow. We were definitely affected by this phenomenon in a physical way”
“The fact is our watches were behind and the shift commander said we were missing for 45 minutes.”
“On 26 Dec 80, SSgt Penningston and I were on Security #6 at Woodbridge Base. ... We notified CSC and we asked permission to investigate further.
They gave us the go-ahead. We left our weapons with SSgt Steffens who remained at the gate. Thus the three of us went out to investigate. We stopped the Security Police vehicle about 100 meters from the gate. Due to the terrain we had to go on by foot. We kept in constant contact with CSC. While we walked, each one of us would see the lights. Blue, red, white, and yellow....When we got about 75-50 meters, MSgt Chandler/Flight Chief, was on the scene. CSC was not reading our transmissions very well, so we used MSgt Chandler as a go-between. He remained back at our vehicle. As we entered the forest, the blue and red lights were not visible anymore. Only the beacon light, was still blinking...
... we ran and walked a good 2 miles past out the vehicle, until we got to a vantage point where we could determine that what we were chasing was only a beacon light off In the distance. Our route through the forest and field was a direct one, straight towards the light. We informed CSC that the light beacon was farther than we thought, so CSC terminated our Investigation...” ~A1C Edward Cabansag
The only thing that I signed was for Colonel Halt. I didn’t type anything out. Maybe someone else did it and asked me to sign it. Besides, I couldn’t type, I had never used a typewriter before. I don’t even remember what I signed. I was so nervous, I just signed it. I don’t remember talking to Halt, I remember sitting in his office in fear of Halt. …….
I remember what I saw; it was to the right of the lighthouse. It was cone-shaped – egg-shaped, with lights running around its belt from left to right. They were blue, white and red lights, flashing, sometimes rapid, sometimes slow. Then we saw flakes of metal coming from it. It is difficult to describe. We were all trying to make sure what we’d seen . . . It wasn’t the lighthouse. I saw the lighthouse, this wasn’t it, it was to the right of the lighthouse.
……I’ve read all that stuff about me being a com-link, but I can’t remember any of that. I remember being with Penniston and Burroughs, there were only three of us, Sergeant Chandler stayed back with the jeep. We all saw something, and I kept thinking this was a joke, but as we got closer and closer we could see a light, and our radio transmissions were cutting out.
A1C Burroughs and I took a road, while SSgt Penningston walked straight back from where we came...after making contact with the PC’s and informing them of what we saw.
I’ve read all that stuff about me being a com-link, but I can’t remember any of that. I remember being with Penniston and Burroughs, there were only three of us, Sergeant Chandler stayed back with the jeep. We all saw something, and I kept thinking this was a joke, but as we got closer and closer we could see a light, and our radio transmissions were cutting out.
“I’m very confused. I may have been with Chandler, but then I can’t remember separating from Burroughs and Penniston. Why do I just recall? – I have a blank. I really don’t remember anything about the thing landing. The next day, or couple of days later, I heard Lt. Englund or someone had gone out with Geiger counters, and some people were saying. ‘How could it get in the small space between the trees?’ But this was all second-hand information. I wasn’t involved in any of the other nights and I didn’t know what else went on. I carried on with work as usual. It was discussed I remember that.”
"1. Early in the morning of 27 Dec 80 (approximately 0300L) two USAF security police patrolmen saw unusual lights outside the back gate at RAF Woodbridge...The object was described as being metallic in appearance and triangular in shape, approximately two to three meters across the base and approximately two meters high. It illuminated the entire forest with a white light. The object itself had a pulsing red light on top and a bank(s) of blue lights underneath. The object was hovering or on legs. ..
2. The next day, three depressions 1.5 inches deep and 7 inches in diameter were found where the object had been sighted on the ground. The following night (29 Dec 80) the area was checked for radiation. ....
Charles I. Halt, Lt Col, USAF
Deputy Base Commander
..... ‘ At 10 30 on that fateful night five Air Force policemen spotted lights from what they thought was a small plane descending into the forest.... Two of the men tracked the object on foot and came upon a large tripod-mounted craft It had no windows but was studded with brilliant red and blue lights.
Each time the men came within 50 yards of the ship it levitated six feet in the air and backed away/ They followed it for almost an hour through the woods and across a field until it took off at a "phenomenal speed '.
Acting on the reports made by his men Colonel Conrad began a brief investigation of the incident in the morning. He went into the forest and located a triangular pattern ostensibly made by the tripod legs. He claims that he never observed any aliens. But he did interview two of the eyewitnesses and concludes
"Those lads saw something but l don’t know what it was”. Conrad’s chat with his men was the only official probe ever mounted and it seems unlikely that we'll ever learn more. But when Dot Street of BUFORA was asked whether she believed this incredible tale she opined. "I'll stick me neck out and say yes ” Street’s colleague BUFORA director Jenny Randles ventured a theory of her own. However the alien spaceship she suggests is just a fiction leaked by the U S Air Force to cover up the crash of a plane carrying nuclear bombs.
“The incident was discovered, investigated, reported and finished all during an eighteen-day period from 27 December…through 13 January 1981 [when Halt’s memo was sent to the Ministry of Defence]. Claims of more sightings at different places and later times are unrelated to the Christmas 1980 event.
“All was normal for the [26 December 1980] security police [hereafter SP] night shift at Woodbridge until the very early hours. At that time the now famous lights were sighted on the ground in Rendlesham Forest. Three security SP’s were dispatched to investigate. They returned after more than an hour and went off duty at their shift change early that morning, at around 0700 [GMT].
“I can only speculate what went on in the SP squadron during the day [that followed, i.e. 26 December]. There must have been some concern over what to do about the sighting in terms of investigation and reporting. I believe the SP’s decided to keep everything low key, this being indicated by a change to the blotter entry concerning that early morning time frame. In any event, no notification or report was made to anyone above Major Malcolm Zickler, SP Squadron Commander, until late that evening.
Jim said right away as we were walking back that he felt it was some kind of object or craft. He was about 5-10 feet closer than I was. His statement also stated how close we got to it.....
I was farther away from it and did not feel it was a craft for sure. The lights around it were very bright and if you look at my statement I drew what the lights looked like.
As far as him touching something he was the closest but I did not see him touch anything. We did split up for a brief period of time but not for 45 min. I do not believe he had a different encounter than the one the 3 of us did.
Jim never brought it up after it happened and as a young airman I really did not know what to say. UFOs back then were something you did not talk about.
I did ask Jim in later years why he did not talk about it and his answer was it was an ongoing investigation because he kept getting called into OSI about it. He also stated he thought I was being called in and he never would talk about things that were in an ongoing investigation.
His story has changed and I am not sure why. He has told me since he went under hypnosis his memory of the event has changed.
“I keep getting these headache when I think about to much . I still have these dreams And try to sort things out and I have so much trouble doing it. ... I go into these trances and just start talking that my wife says she doesn’t understand what I’m saying.”
Cookie: The simple point was, when all this started happening, I thought ‘Bill’ was an officer, I assumed from Woodbridge. But then I couldn’t remember. Did I actually talk to this person, at work, did he call me or on the radio? By the third night I was—I don’t want to say scared—but I was weirded out because then I realised the radio’s not even working, so, was it in my head, and how is it in my head?
Even right now I don’t know. The voice was gentle, it was to the point, it was very professional, “I just a need you to do me a favour. Thanks so much.” So I never thought about not doing what he told me to do.
LMH: And Cookie, what was the favour?
Cookie: Just: “Don’t be scared. Your truck’s going to stop. But there’s a point to all this. You’re needed to be there because people are going to be in the area that need a ride back to motor pool. And when you drop them off at motor pool, they’ll be taken care of.”
[later in interview]
Cookie: ... I was walking around, trying to decide if ‘Bill’ was in my head or not ...