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Rendlesham Forest…, A Christmas Story from 1980 - Can We ‘Let it Be’?

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posted on Feb, 5 2014 @ 04:37 PM
Resources for Further Research : Websites and Documents

As promised for those few who are really interested in digging deeper into this case. Here are a number of Rendlesham Resources for those with more interest in the case.


As my knowledge has increased on this case I have found very few websites cover the whole story and many get basic facts wrong.

For a good all round introduction

Some interesting bits and pieces here


Official documents relating to the Rendlesham Forest/Bentwaters 1980 UFO incident, released by the UK Ministry of Defence in November, 2002.

The Rendlesham File - Official UK MoD Documents, Part 1 (PDF)

The Rendlesham File - Official UK MoD Documents, Part 2 (PDF)

The Rendlesham File - Official UK MoD Documents, Part 3 (PDF)

The Rendlesham File - Official UK MoD Documents, Part 4 (PDF)

The Rendlesham File - Official UK MoD Documents, Part 5 (PDF)

Ian Ridpath’s sceptical analysis including witness statements, the Halt Memo and other documents, pictures and video probably deserves one last plug

There used to be an excellent website :

Although it has been gone a few years now the forum has been preserved. It contains some very interesting posts by first hand witnesses Larry Warren, Jim Penniston and John Burroughs as well as a few others who were on the periphery of events.

It’s also archived in PDF form here (Big thanks IsaacKoi for that one)

posted on Feb, 5 2014 @ 04:59 PM
Resources for Further Research : Video


Video files appear and disappear at a rapid rate so I cannot guarantee how long these links will remain live for. If they are dead at the time you are viewing this then it’s always worth a search for the title or something similar.

Bentwaters UFO

The first major documentary where Charles Halt appears - Unsolved Mysteries UFO Files – Bentwaters Episode . Up until about a year a go it was easily viewed on Youtube. But now it’s difficult to find. There is a link to it at Disclose TV

No guarantee how long it may remain available.

There is a DVD set (Unsolved Mysteries: UFOs) available which is well worth getting at the right price.

CNN Special Assignment Bentwaters (CNN 1985)

Here’s an interesting one from 1985 and including local witnesses which has been posted earlier in the thread. Possibly the earliest full documentary made on the case. A number of military witnesses appear along with civilians.

Strange But True (UK TV series 1990s)

Despite a false beginning where Mal Scurrah, the radar operator, is talking about an incident that happened in Nov 1980 (not December - and gives a very false impression of radar tracking and fighters being scrambled), the rest of it is a good introduction to the case. Jim Penniston appears for the first time and is less forthcoming with his notebook than he will be in years to come.

Live Debate :

UFO Invasion at Rendlesham (Sci-Fi Channel Special )

This is also a decent investigation and entertaining. Jim Penniston’s notebook makes its TV debut.

UFO Files - Britain’s Roswell

UFO Files (2005) – In my opinion one of the better documentaries on Rendlesham and it gives all the major players and sceptics a voice.

Alien Mysteries

There’s a lot missing from this in my opinion but it’s one of the most up to date documentaries.

UFOs : The Untold Stories

A better (and unusual for Nat Geo!) but still missing much of the story.Although it finally includes a witness to radar readings of something over the bases.

Other bits and pieces

Ancient Aliens on the Binary Codes

Fact or fiction? You decide.

And Penniston and Burroughs getting a bit of a grilling from the crowd at the 30th Anniversary Meeting (they did donate proceeds to a local charity)

Rendlesham Conference 2010

More of the whole meeting including Larry Warren, Jim Penniston, John Burroughs, Nick Pope, Linda Moulton-Howe, Peter Robbins and a local Suffolk audience.

Gary Heseltine Lecture

Gary Heseltine’s Presentation on Rendlesham UFO – Adds a few bits most people will not have heard of . But not recommended until you know the basic details of the case.

……..While it’s all available of course

posted on Feb, 5 2014 @ 05:04 PM
Resources for Further Research : Audio


Rendlesham Revealed (originally aired by BBC Radio Suffolk in Dec 2010) . A bit jokey but worth a listen.

Behind the Paranormal Radio Specials – includes all the main witnesses and Nick Pope over a series of podcasts. Essential listening if you really get serious about investigating the case. All of the main shows can be found here:

Other interviews.

Jim Penniston and John Burroughs interviews

The Colonel Charles Halt Tape Recording made at Rendlesham

Colonel Halt and John Burroughs interviews

Part 1
Part 2

James Penniston & Mr. John Burroughs in response to BBC Hit Piece on Bentwaters.

Mr. James Penniston. Eyewitness to Bentwaters UFO Incident.

Peter Robbins - The Rendlesham Forest / Bentwaters UFO case

John Burroughs and Peter Robbins

And thanks to Spacevisitor James Whale’s interview with the late Georgina Bruni

There is much more of course…..additions are most welcome.

posted on Feb, 6 2014 @ 04:24 AM

Timeline of the Rendlesham Incident

There is a a fairly comprehensive timeline of the Rendlesham Incident contained on the old bentwaters1980 boards :

Link to original content

Although the author has put a great amount of work into it they don't seem to have contained any details (even a username other than guest)to credit it too. However they have indicated "... here it is to use and share for anybody still interested. "

So I've also copied and pasted it into a pdf document for anyone who wants a more permanent copy.

PDF link

I'll post up some other free information sources in a day or so and then it's probably time to draw this thread towards a conclusion (if that's possible ).

However if anyone wants to add what they think really happened (or didn't happen) or have any further interesting information to offer then please do.

The reference list at the end of this timeline also contains some interesting links.

Especially the interview with Nevels is worth a listen:

posted on Feb, 6 2014 @ 03:27 PM


Timeline of the Rendlesham Incident

There is a a fairly comprehensive time line of the Rendlesham Incident contained on the old bentwaters1980 boards :

PDF link

The reference list at the end of this timeline also contains some interesting links.

Especially the interview with Nevels is worth a listen:

Well Linda Moulton Howe sounds like a 10 year old reading from a cue card and her questions are stilted without any natural flow to them. She is one appalling interviewer. Some people have a face for radio. She has the voice for deaf people.

But what Nevels had to say is very interesting.

This seems to indicate that the top brass were fully aware of what was going on in that in-between period after Burroughs and Penniston's encounter and before Halt and his team's encounter.

It's also notable that Nevels is another witness indicating that Heathrow tower reported a radar track over the bases. Did anyone ever investigate that?

It seems all the radar investigations were concentrated on military radar and I don't recall any report from Heathrow. Although maybe it was checked out and I've missed it?

posted on Feb, 6 2014 @ 04:02 PM
reply to post by Guest101

That is an interesting interview! Thanks, Guest.

Nevels is an Alabama boy. Them 'Bama boys are often pretty sharp and straight up. Especially those from Nevels' era.

If Conrad really did predict that Nevels' photos would be clouded, that in itself is an interesting tidbit.

posted on Feb, 6 2014 @ 05:24 PM
reply to post by mirageman

What Nevels has to say about the events on Halt's night is so wildly at odds with what we know actually happened, i.e. what's on the Halt tape, that it cannot be taken seriously.

As I have said before, the Halt tape is like a "truth test".

Nevels fails.

posted on Feb, 6 2014 @ 05:45 PM

reply to post by mirageman

What Nevels has to say about the events on Halt's night is so wildly at odds with what we know actually happened, i.e. what's on the Halt tape, that it cannot be taken seriously.

As I have said before, the Halt tape is like a "truth test".

Nevels fails.

Quite possibly, as you have studied this as indepth as anyone I imagine. From your perspective anyway. Do you highlight those 'inconsistencies' against the Halt tape on your website?

On a side note:

FireMoon mentions that the area surrounding Rendlesham has a looong and rich history of a decidedly strange record. (FireMoon, I hope you do a thread on that, it will be gangbusters!)

The following article references that, but only details one story which--while interesting--doesn't seem too "strange."

I'd also like to point out that the scientific arm of the intelligence apparatus has seemed to delve into these areas and, further, that some of the better known of these folk have a lifelong interest in Esoterica, PSI, EM, "Psychotronics," Non-Lethal Weaponry, etc. Some of whom site Rendlesham as a "best case." Like Pope and John Alexander, for instance. If you--as I--believe that those folk are "mouthpieces," then what might that infer?

Anyhoo: Possible Strangeness in Orford:

It is truly ironic that many of those who are skeptical of the Rendlesham Forest UFO case of December 1980 are so very often keen to suggest that the airmen who were involved merely mistook the illumination from the nearby Orford Lighthouse for something more exotic. Why? Well, Orford itself is a veritable hotbed of weirdness. And that has not just been the case for the last few years, or even since the events at Rendlesham occurred. Rather, Orford has been what the late John Keel would have termed a ”window area” for no less than centuries.

Consider – as just one example of what actually amounts to far more than a few - the following account of the single-named Ralph, a monk and an abbot of Coggeshall, Essex, England. Recorded way back in the year 1200 in Chronicon Anglicanum, the story describes the remarkable capture in the area of nothing less than a definitive wild man of the woods-style creature:

edit on 6-2-2014 by The GUT because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 6 2014 @ 06:35 PM


On a side note:

FireMoon mentions that the area surrounding Rendlesham has a looong and rich history of a decidedly strange record. (FireMoon, I hope you do a thread on that, it will be gangbusters!)

It will be filled with stories and void of any factual evidence, no doubt. I mentioned a couple of these "high strangeness" cases in another post in this thread. Quite ridiculous claims actually that only hurt this incident if you're truly searching for facts.
More examples of the Rendlesham "strangeness" below:

These include numerous cryptid encounters and even Bigfoot (known in the U.K. as Yeti) sightings, frequent UFO, orb and light events, psychic attacks and numerous presences and strange photographic effects. Several local people have reported spontaneous trances and "binary code downloads" while in the area.
In the company of several local Behind the Paranormal listeners, 1980 UFO eyewitness Larry Warren and author Brenda Butler, Paul & Ben visited Rendlesham Forest for the first time on the night of September 21, 2012. Ben didn't make it to the treeline before he collapsed in a shamanic contact with local entities. He was so shaken that he did not return with Paul and the rest of the group the next day.

posted on Feb, 6 2014 @ 06:59 PM
reply to post by Ectoplasm8

If they're post-Bentwaters then obviously there wouldn't be as much interest on my part. Pre-Bentwaters could be more suggestive and not necessarily contrary to reasonable speculation I might add.

posted on Feb, 7 2014 @ 06:04 PM

reply to post by rigel4

What would be your theory on the blue lights that a number of witness statements reported?

Swamp gas!

posted on Feb, 8 2014 @ 02:28 AM

The GUT Do you highlight those 'inconsistencies' [by Nevels] against the Halt tape on your website?

GUT, if I spent time chasing down every last piece of mythology in this case I'd never get anything else done. And no one would read it.

It's painfully obvious that most believers in this case have never even read my original 1,000-word article published 30 years ago, but they feel qualified to criticize nonetheless.

As Isaac Koi has pointed out, simply establishing the basic facts of the case has proved beyond the UFO community. They seem happy to welcome additions to the mythology without questioning it at all. We're often told that this 'evidence' would stand up in court. In reality, most of it wouldn't even be admitted in the first place.

posted on Feb, 8 2014 @ 07:52 AM
reply to post by ianrid

The first half of Nevels’ story isn’t even on the tape. And that is by far the most interesting half.

Apart from normal memory deviations, the second half of Nevels’ story is very consistent with Halt’s tape and Halt’s memo:


Nevels: “We looked out and saw this object that was sitting over in the farmer’s field about 200 yards away. To me it looked kind of yellowish orange like very hot, and it looked like it was on fire, burning. And every once in a while I would see something shoot off that looked like molten metal.”

Halt memo: “Later in the night a red sun-like light was seen through the trees. It moved about and pulsed. At one point it appeared to throw off glowing particles”

Halt tape:
LT COLONEL HALT: There is no doubt about it, there's some kind of strange flashing red light ahead.
LT ENGLUND: Yeah, It's yellow.
LT COLONEL HALT: I saw a yellow tinge in it too.
SGT BALL: Pieces are shooting off.
LT COLONEL HALT: Pieces of it are shooting off.
LT COLONEL HALT: OK we're looking at the thing, we're probably about two to three hundred yards away. It looks like an eye winking at you, it's still moving from side to side and when you put the starscope on it, it, it's sort of a hollow center right, a dark center


Nevels: “What we saw was so fast, and it disappeared, we were in awe about where did it go and what did it do? We all started looking up and saw the lights – there were three of them. There was very rapid movement, no sound whatsoever. “

Halt memo: “[The red, sun-like object] then broke into five separate white objects and then disappeared. Immediately thereafter, three star-like objects were noticed in the sky, two objects to the north and one to the south, all of which were about 10 degrees off the horizon. The objects moved rapidly in sharp, angular movements”

Halt tape:
LT COLONEL HALT: Three-o-five : At about err... 10 degrees horizon err directly north, we've got two strange objects, err ...half moon shape, dancing about with colored lights on 'em.
LT COLONEL HALT: Three-a.m.-fifteen: Now we've got an object about ten degrees directly south...
LT COLONEL HALT: Ten degrees off the horizon, and the ones to the north are moving, one's moving away from us.
SGT BALL: Movin forward!
SGT NEVELS: It's moving out fast!
LT COLONEL HALT: They're moving out fast.
SGT BALL: This one on the right's heading away too.
LT COLONEL HALT: Yeah, they're both heading north. Ok hey, here he comes from the south, he's coming in toward us now.
SGT BALL: Holy #!


Nevels: “those beams [that came down] looked like very faint laser beams. They were pencil thin – we could see it against the black sky”

Halt memo: “The object to the south was visible for two or three hours and beamed down a stream of light from time to time.”

Halt tape:
LT COLONEL HALT: Now were observing what appears to be a beam coming down to the ground.
SGT BALL: Look at the colours... #
LT COLONEL HALT: This is unreal
LT COLONEL HALT: The object to the sou... the object to the south is still beaming down lights to the ground.
LT COLONEL HALT: Zero four hundred hours: one object still hovering over Woodbridge base at about five to ten degrees off the horizon still moving erratic and similar lights and beaming down as earlier.

Note: Woodbridge base was to their west, so it seems you'll have to find another star...

posted on Feb, 8 2014 @ 08:46 AM
reply to post by ianrid

That's because you have been intellectually dishonest since the word go and you have absolutely no interest in the subject of UFOs past trashing anything , no matter what the facts might be, to suit an agenda. You constantly reference as a colleague, a man who is a proven liar and then fail to divvy up when asked to prove your own qualifications. You are either utterly dumb or you have quite quite deliberately chosen to misinterpret Jenny Randle's words to suit your own agenda and yet you ask to be taken seriously. The facts are Ian, you're as big a bovine waste merchant as the likes of Stephen Greer, only not as camera friendly.
edit on 8-2-2014 by FireMoon because: (no reason given)

edit on 8-2-2014 by FireMoon because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 8 2014 @ 10:36 AM
reply to post by FireMoon

The facts are Ian, you're as big a bovine waste merchant as the likes of Stephen Greer, only not as camera friendly.

out of curiosity, did Ian break up with you recently?

posted on Feb, 8 2014 @ 03:36 PM
Let's look at you intellectual dishonesty Ian. You are touted as an "astronomer" on the documentaries you appear in and yet, you have had weeks to divvy up your relevant job experience and qualifications to prove this and as yet, nothing.

You constantly bleat about "scientific knowledge and method" and yet, at its' most basic, you fail to adhere to your own creed. Science is about precedents and repeatable results. Ergo, when discussing Rendlesham one has to start with the question. "Is there any precedent for this sighting?" and the answer is yes and then some. One of the very few sightings that the Condon Report simply shook it's collective head and said.."Nah mate, haven't a clue on that one"; occurred in the area of Bentwaters in 1956 and there was a similar sighting in the same year at the very same base. These are the incidents that have been reported in public, anyone who has actually asked around of people who served at either base can add a few more anecdotal sightings to those as well. That's leaving out the whole slew of what one might term "general weirdness", that surrounded both airbases, popular pilots suddenly an inexplicably committing suicide, frequent stories of ground crew's reluctance to work in certain hangers after the hours of dark.

So let's look at historical precedence. Ah yes, even in a country rich with mythology and folk tales, this area has a history that stands out. Now, to anyone who actually studies the subject of UFOs that's a key point and something that bares investigating further. You however Ian, try to take everything out of context, which is not only wholly unscientific, it's actually intelectually dishonest. You try to talk about Rendlesham as if it was something that was an isolated incident when it wasn't in fact, it has been clearly shown a similar "UFO" to that people claim they saw at Rendelsham was sighted twice in the weeks leading up to incident. On both occasions, it was in the English Midlands and both times seemingly landed. Even someone with such a tenuous hold on the truth as you Ian, would have problem blaming those sightings on a Lighthouse, given they both occurred about as far from the coast as you can manage in England. You also fail to inform people via you site that, locals in the area, had several multiple witness sightings of UFOs up until and around the same period of the main incident. Locals who are well versed in the comings and going around an airbase, locals who saw something "decidedly strange".

Then there's yet more intellectual dishonesty surrounding the Halt tape. Until it was pointed out by a professional in the recording field, you hadn't even considered the problems with using it for timing and your response was at best laughable, at worst, simply a lie. The truth is Ian,, it fitted your own agenda so you were not about to admit there might be a basic flaw in your argument as there is , still as yet, a genuine unknown factor with regards to Halt's tape. You see Ian, if you really were the "scientist" you purport to be, you'd have made damn sure about your facts and actually called in audio experts to check up on this. Only you're not a scientist, you're a writer, with an agenda, exactly the same as those people you spend half your life criticising and calling "unreliable" for the very same thing. So, intellectually dishonest and a hypocrite.

So let's turn to the little matter of the witnesses to the various happening that Xmas period. In the intervening years not one witness who was present and viewed the happenings, has come out and agreed with your analysis. This is something you scrupulously avoid mentioning anywhere on your site. Why is that Ian? Why is it you are so sure that you know the answer that you are quite obviously afraid to admit this fact? See Ian, those who actually have a true background in the subject rather than, just spout about it, would point to how, in the intervening years, there have been several attempts to "explain it" touted in the national press and yet, on the most cursory of investigations, they all turn out to be bunkum. One of them, from a convicted fraudster, printed in the British national press only weeks after Halt's speech in 97 saying he was convinced it was a non human craft they saw. To the seasoned Ufologist these lame explanations would strongly suggest the following. The Lighthouse explanation simply doesn't stand up, the MOD know it doesn't and they know the actual witnesses who were there, dismiss this explanation to a person. So, when are you going to admit in public that, you are in a club of one with regards to this? That every last witness no matter what they might think the object was or was not, has told you, you are wrong?

Earlier in this thread you made a claim that "The MOD had released all it's files" and in doing so attempted to give people the idea that these files were somehow secret. That's another falsehood, 99% of the MOD files released were marked "confidential" so far, I believe a total of 1 "Secret, for British eyes only" file, has been released. Ergo, the idea you like to foster that "all the files are now available" is not only laughable, it's also another example of your intellectual dishonesty. I have been personally told by two ex military people that, sightings they gave evidence to the MOD about, the files released DO NOT contain the evidence/statements they gave to the MOD. Where are the detailed files pertaining to Operation Mainbrace, not just the isolated sighting over British airspace rather, the whole files covering the complete exercise? From Mick Swiney and Air Commodore before he retired... about a UFO sighting he had... “If it was generally the case that before 1967 all UFO report files were destroyed after five years, how was it that I actually saw and read it in about 1974, some seventeen years later, when serving at the MoD?”. In short, the MOD lies habitually and I am fast coming to the same conclusion about you Ian.

Thurkettle the man you owe almost your whole you explanation to, has since come out and and admitted he was visited by an unknown Male English couple, before Halt had even typed his memo and asked; "Have you seen any strange red lights" in the forest of late? Where are those files then about Rendlesham and as I've shown, I can provide an independent witness from the security services who openly admits they knew about the incident. If Thurkettle is now lying about being visited then surely it follows that his explanation about the lighthouse is also seriously in question and his credibility as any sort of witness to the events is dubious to say the least? Then again, it was you Ian who twisted Jenny Randle's words about "it not being a sighting as we normally know it", to somehow supporting your analysis, when she has said nothing of the sort.

The truth is Ian, if you ever held a paid position as a scientist, its over 30 years ago since you last did, you're a writer and man with some well dodgy colleagues, who has failed time and time again to admit that you alone, although you weren't there, believe they mistook the Lighthouse for a UFO over three nights of activity. I don't profess to know what they saw those nights. Part of me says, it bares all the hallmarks of a deliberate black op exercise and yet, there's those two other sightings , within weeks, from different parts of the country that say, it just might have been something non human.

Be that as it may, I and many like me are frankly, sick and tired of you trotting out the same old lame and flawed methodology and then having the temerity to claim you are the "rationalist". You're anything bar that, you are every much as bit as believer as Billy Meier and every bit as untrustworthy as him as a source of independent and free thinking scientific knowledge. As for your lame excuse avbout "not having time", you really have only ever dealt with ONE UFO incident and you have had 30 years to do so and the truth be told apart from name calling, in those thirty years, you haven't done anything new at all. Mirage Man has done more work on the sighting in six weeks than you've managed in 30 years. It would seem that , in reality Ian, the only thing you don't have time for is, anything that might cast doubt on your glib, flawed methodology and conclusions.

posted on Feb, 8 2014 @ 03:39 PM
Okay, I NEED to know: Are you or are you not an Astronomer, Ian? Is FireMoon feeding us the bailiwick, or making a pertinent point?

posted on Feb, 8 2014 @ 03:50 PM
reply to post by FireMoon

You continue to prove time and time again that your agenda isn't one of challenging facts, but of personally attacking people. That's because you lack anything of substance to add to threads.

ZetaRediculian is right, you sound like a scorned lover.

posted on Feb, 8 2014 @ 04:11 PM

reply to post by FireMoon

You continue to prove time and time again that your agenda isn't one of challenging facts, but of personally attacking people. That's because you lack anything of substance to add to threads.

ZetaRediculian is right, you sound like a scorned lover.

Oh right and Ridpath calling people liars is fine and he's somehow immune from accusations himself? Whilst you are one of the chief people on this site who spends half their time belly aching about anyone who claims to be something they arne't are not a total and utter hypocrite? You and your kind are a total joke you have absolutely nothing to add or say constructively about the subject of UFOs. Would you care to show me one single new thing you a Ridpath and your ilk have added to to canon of knowledge about the Rendlesham incidents, because I can't find a single thing.

I, on the other hand, have added new evidence from 3 different sources to help fill in the general background. I have also brought to people's attention that, the whole area has a long and documented history of strange happening beyond the usual folk lore one might expect to find. When you actually have something to contribute then fine, till then, try quit being such a know it all hypocrite.

posted on Feb, 8 2014 @ 04:48 PM
reply to post by FireMoon

You're bordering on immature junior high school bullying. Instead of pointing fingers and calling people names, you need to add more value to your postings. What you lack in substance, you try to make up for in childish accusatory BS. Too bad you don't recognize that. I'm all for being challenged, you just don't do that.

Add something to this forum instead of taking things away.

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