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

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posted on Jan, 18 2014 @ 05:50 PM
reply to post by LaPlume

Hey Steve. Thank you for everything you have contributed so far. I am truly sorry for the loss of your buddy and that should take precedence over anything else.

I think you've been very open and honest with us and like you I am sure we'd all love to solve this mystery. But don't feel the need to keep updating us on here if things are too difficult at the moment.

posted on Jan, 18 2014 @ 06:08 PM

Just trying to be honest here. but for those who think this case is al B.S. I assure you it effected everyone involved in some manner and mostly in a negative manner. I can not comment on how people have reacted or what they are doing now or their motives. I never got into the whole lime light dog and pony show end of this I have no agenda other than to try to figure out what I saw that night. Good luck with your quest.

All is not BS but getting some code at some future time is, the motives may have been - let's use my encounter to get real $$ decorating the story - that's the key word, decoration, not that some of it did not happen as apparently it did

posted on Jan, 18 2014 @ 06:19 PM
Addition to OP :

Theories on the Rendlesham Case (part 1)

I have to say that whilst delivering newspapers one crisp October Sunday morning in 1983 and saw the News of the World Headline “UFO Lands in Suffolk and That’s Official” I was convinced that we’d finally got to the truth about UFOs.

A decade later we were still waiting for accurate information and being teased with documentaries on this case along with the excitement building around the 50th anniversary of Roswell. The internet hadn’t quite arrived to most of us back then and information was much more difficult to verify.

Alas the case was not as watertight as it seemed. Here I am 3 decades later more confused about the events at Rendlesham 1980 than I was as a schoolboy when the news broke. There is no definitive conclusion to the case despite a number of theories that have been presented over the years. I’ll go through some of them now and more at a later date and then finally add my own thoughts on what might have happened.............

The Burning Fertilizer Truck, Tractor and Police Car Lights theories

Whilst it’s tempting to believe Jim Penniston made contact with a truck full of stolen manure and was somehow given a download to his brain that consisted of a pile of …. well yes, anyway.

Peter Turtill claimed he was driving a truck he’d lent to a friend that was full of stolen fertilizer when it broke down near the forest. He towed it into the forest and set it alight.

Some of the airmen from the base thought it was a multi-coloured cross from out of space, and with the truck tyres popping they were getting a bit edgy.'They had guns and we didn't want to get in their way so we towed the burning vehicle onto the road.

'I admit it probably looked spectacular rolling through the forest but it was hardly a spaceship.'
Mr Turtill said the wagon's burned-out chassis stood in the forest for 20 years until it was finally removed.

Source : Click here

Even Kevin Conde's story of driving his police car onto the runway at the airbase and flashing his lights in the fog as a prank may well have happened but there seems little proof that this kicked off the UFO story. The lights were seen off base for a start. He can’t recall the exact date and he certainly doesn’t explain how he also triggered Halt’s investigations.

As for a tractor with its lights ablaze. Well there may have been a tractor somewhere about but it takes a lot more than that to explain how this triggered a UFO incident.

These are the type of stories often featured in the press with no questions asked of the claimant and show a lack of understanding of even the basic details of the case.

67th ARRS Apollo Recovery Team Accident

BBC Radio Suffolk strongly backed this (already a few years old) theory in their show for the 30th anniversary of the event in December of 2010. Despite the fact that the Apollo rocket had not been used for 8 years the (67th ARRS) Aeroplane Rescue and Recovery Squadron were based at Woodbridge and were responsible for a replica "boilerplate" of the Apollo command capsule.

The story here is that a practical joke went wrong on Christmas night and a helicopter hit the runway lights with the dummy capsule suspended below it. Concerned that the chopper was out of control the capsule was dumped in the forest and a cover story was concocted about UFOs whilst a retrieval operation was put in place.

Here is Radio Suffolk’s slightly light hearted Rendlesham Revealed show from December 2010.

The problem I have with this theory is that, other than the three holes in the ground allegedly matching the measurements of the base of the Apollo capsule, there isn’t much else to substantiate it. No one from the 67th ARRS or elsewhere has come out, as yet, and admitted to the prank. There were supposedly no aircraft in operation over Christmas night at Bentwaters and Woodbridge, so how did this story ever become BBC Suffolk’s most plausible answer to the Rendlesham UFO incident?

It seems Graham Haynes from the Cold War museum at Bentwaters thought it up.

Even if we accept this prank happened and the capsule was dumped in the forest then how come it wasn’t there when the British police and Captain Verrano went out next morning to the alleged landing site where the “three holes in the ground” were marked? This was before Colonel Halt went out into the forest with his team so the capsule must have been retrieved before then. So did it become invisible during daylight?

If of course this wasn’t the landing site and the “capsule” was dumped elsewhere then the three holes in the ground marked up cannot be from the capsule and so the evidence presented to make it the most plausible theory is very thin.

Time permitting I’ll cover more Rendlesham theories in the next few days................

edit on 18/1/14 by mirageman because: added pic of Capt Verran and Suffolk Police visiting landing site

posted on Jan, 18 2014 @ 06:27 PM

reply to post by mirageman

I would like to add something to this thread. It may or may not have significance.

I stated earlier in this thread that myself and 3 others saw the same craft that has been described appearing at Woodbridge Suffolk. We saw this craft on the ground at Hockley Heath Warwickshire on the night of 24th December 1980.

The binary code that has been mentioned i believe has been decoded to a location known as Hy Brasil

If you look at the three locations of , Woodbridge Suffolk, Hockley Heath Warwickshire and Hy Brasil, they all lie on Latitude 52 North.

Does this mean anything? I don't know.

I have over the years toyed with the idea of having regression therapy so i can recall more precisely what i witnessed. Maybe one day i might.

Hi there.... I've sent you a Private message about your sighting . I'd love to know if you are the same person who contacted me via the SHA football forum about this sighting?

You might like to read this wrote some several years ago.....

This all occurred some 27 years ago this week (update, this is now some 33 and a bit years ago), on a night just like this, the sort of night one really only finds in Britain. A cold damp night that chills to the bone.

I had been on business in Newcastle upon Tyne and decided to pocket the hotel and travel expenses and return to London via thumbing a lift. It's nearly 300 miles but i thought, with a bit of luck, i could do it without too much hassle.

I found myself at a service station on the A1, just south of Newcastle, by about 7 o'clock in the evening. I am standing on the exit lane to the main road when a guy approaches me and asks... where I am bound?. I tell him London and he repies that he can take me as far south as Nottingham and will pass me on to a guy who should be around when we arrive there. The price of this generous offer, is that, i buy him tea and wait for him to watch the soap opera "Coronation Street" on TV at the services.

Some 40 minutes later, we set off ensconced i the warmth of his truck. The usual pleasantries are exchanged when the guy suddenly says to me.

"Look i shouldn't have picked you up"..... "If i am caught i will lose my job"...

"You see, the truck I am driving belongs to "Towmaster Trucks" and Towmaster are owned by Bells Whisky and on the back of this truck are crates of it, stacked two high, I am delivering to a Port in Southern England" Plymouth, if memory serves me right, the guys route was certainly commensurate with that destination.

" As such" he continued, " You can imagine that, for security reasons, there is no way we are allowed to have strangers in the cab whilst we are on a delivery"....

He went onto to explain that, the trucks travel in groups of 3 some 10-15 minutes apart and that, they are tracked and kept an eye on by unmarked police cars throughout their journey. Sure enough, not long after, he asked me to duck down in the seat as a saloon pulled alongside us and the driver made some hand signals to the occupant(s) of the car, then flashed his headlights, to let them know, I assume, all was well...

At this point i am thinking.. "Wow the guy really does seem to be risking his job to give me a lift, but there again, it must be mind-numbingly dull spending 10 hours on the road with no company. In the early 80s most British trucks still often came without even a radio and CBs were only just making inroads with the trucking community over here.

I really don't remember how the subject came up but suddenly the trucker says to me...

"I'd like to tell you something that happened to a friend of mine on this run".."Something really rather strange"

As the guys guest, i was only to happy to listen. The story that then unfurled was not one i was expecting at all.

Before the Motorways were built, the main artery from the South West to the Midlands and North east of Britain was and still is, a road called the A38. it cuts diagonally across from the English North Eastern Midlands to the South West, branching off from the main North South route from London, around Nottingham, as already mentioned.

I should point out here, that back in 1980, after about 10 pm at night, even the Motorways of Britain were actually, pretty damn quiet. Apart from the odd truck it was common to go 10-15 miles without seeing another car, post midnight, even on a main artery like the M1.

That said, a smaller road like the A38, at midnight, was a pretty desolate place to be, especially at this time of the year , November. There were then very few lit sections of the road between Nottingham and the Birmingham area, some 40 miles away.

Anyway, the trucker goes on to talk about his friend who, at the time, drove a truck,like him, for the Towmaster fleet. On a particularly dark and empty section of the A38, he had been driving and saw, what he took to be a fire in a field by the roadside. Out of a natural curiosity he had slowed the truck down so he could try and see what was happening. His first thought was that, it could be a farm house on fire, and if so, he was in a strange quandary about what he should do. If it was a building on fire, he surely had to report it, less there be lives at stake. On the other hand, he really wasn't meant to stop and definitely not supposed to leave the vehicle unattended, at all.

These thoughts soon became irrelevant as, as he comes closer to the glow he can see that it wasn't a building on fire at all. By now he could see that the glow was actually, an *object*, seemingly *parked*, in a field alongside the A38. At this point, he has slowed considerably and is wondering what sort of *object* it is. He remembers that it seemed to pulse and might well have pyramidal in shape but he glow is so intense , as it pulses with a red hue that goes from a dull glow to almost blindingly bright, that the shape is hard to make out.

What happened exactly next, to this day i am not totally sure of. The guys face quite clearly showed he was remembering something that really did, *freak him out*, for want of a better phrase. It was at this point i also became aware that, this *friend* the tale was about, was indeed, my trucker host and he was telling me what he saw.

Curiosity got the better of him and he pulled the truck up by the side of the road. He sat and watched the object pulsing dull to bright red for a minute or so before climbing down from the cab with a flash light to investigate. The next thing he remembered was sitting in his cab, in a lay-by, as the lights of another Towmaster truck shining in his wing mirrors dazzled him momentarily, as it pulled up behind him.

The truck is accompanied by a Police car and they quiz him as to where he had been. The upshot being that, the police car monitoring them, was travelling in the opposite direction to the trucks counting the Towmaster trucks off as they passed them. They had counted 1 and then not seen the second for some 20-30 mins. They knew they should have seen 3 in that time and had stopped the third truck and asked, was there a problem?.

The guy in the third truck had said that the second truck, my hosts, had pulled off as he had reached the previous service stop so they must have seen it. So they turn round, begin to backtrack along their route and, lo and behold, there the missing truck is, parked in a lay by. lights off. The trucker who has had the incident makes up some story about feeling a little unwell pulling over to the lay by and turning the lights off. Not feeling well, he had not noticed the police car and had failed to turn his lights on and, as a result, they had missed the truck in the dark. As the guy said. Given the situation what could the police do? He was safe, as was the cargo and what other explanation was there for having missed him?

And that is it. The tale i was told back in November 1980. I've spoken about it on a one to one basis, but till tonight (note, remember this is from 2007) , I have never really had anything to back it up has having any basis in truth. That is until i found this whilst searching for the umpteenth time for anything on Towmaster Trucks. ..scroll down and there is someone talking about Towmasters being part of the group that included Bells Whisky. At long last, i have something that corroborates, at least, part of the guys tale and does tend to suggest that he was being totally truthful about, under no circumstances given the value of his cargo and insurance policies, being allowed to pick up hitch-hikers... I have checked with someone in insurance and they confirmed that, given the value of the goods being carried, they themselves would have insisted on a strict "no hitch-hiker policy" as part of the contract.

Not only that, but i have been aware, this last 27 years, that to go public with this story could endanger a guys career. If, what he told me was true, about the security involved, it wouldn't take a rocket scientist to put two and two together to work out who exactly had, not only broken the rules about stopping , but compounded it by then picking a hitch-hiker up. The guys job would have been kaput. There can't be that many drivers working that route , regularly, for that specific company. However, given the guys age then, i would assume that he might well be retired now, and i haven't seen a Towmaster truck on the road in ages. I am assuming the company no longer exists.

One other thing I could tell from the guys demeanour and voice and the details he gave me, was that, this was something that had happened that month, this wasn't something that had happened the previous year etc...

So there you are. In November 1980 a guy driving a truck spots a strange glowing object in a field and seemingly, him and the truck, vanish for some 10- 20 minutes, only to show up in a lay-by a couple of miles down the road. A police car, specifically looking out for the guy and his truck, having missed them totally in the interim period. All this, on a virtually deserted road that was no more than two trucks wide, in width, at the time, and the Police are looking for a, 10 foot high, 40 ft long, truck and trailer on it, with virtually no other traffic, at all, on the road.

I've always wondered was this just a wind up, a tall tale he liked to tell to his fellow travellers. However the guys face as he told me the details showed me that he was either a damn good actor, or he was genuinely scared and just needed to offload to someone he would never see again about what had what happened to him. To finally find the link, i have posted above, allows me, in good conscience to pass the tale on into the public domain. What brought it to mind tonight was reading some of the Rendlesham accounts. it wasn't for a good few years before the realisation struck me. This tale, which has some similarities to the Rendlesham incident, ie an anomalous object on the ground with a strange pulsing light, happened just over a month BEFORE Rendlesham and that the guy informed me of it before Rendlesham....

Note , sadly I believe the Towmaster link is now dead however, it did confirm that Towmaster were , in effect, Bells Whiskey as well

posted on Jan, 18 2014 @ 09:32 PM

He is the only one of them claiming to have encountered a landed craft in the forest, so that brings it down to a single-witness case. That in itself should be enough to ring alarm bells.

I'll bite....

Now I agree the pedigree for the binary code part of his story is weak. I remember hearing it didn't come out of his memory immediately after the event, but that he was compelled to write it out somewhat later after dreams. Not sure where I heard that thou... Regardless the whole binary code thing doesn't simply wipe out all the other evidence.

Are you saying that because Penniston is the ONLY person claiming to actually 'touch' the craft...and that his testimony has changed over the years that the whole case is destroyed? Others claimed to have witnessed the craft 'land' but did not touch it. Hell they measured the indentations and showed the local police that arrived. On the second night several valid claims of an unknown craft in the forest are present.

Even if Penniston's story is completely removed as fakery this event has a ton of evidence. I'm not sure what your 'ring alarm bells' is referring to I guess. If it's just the binary portion I agree...if it's to more than that then I'd argue that point.

posted on Jan, 19 2014 @ 03:06 AM
reply to post by noeltrotsky

Noeltrotsky: Bad phraseology on my part, I admit - I should have said “this part of the case” (i.e. the close encounter with a landed craft) comes down to a single-witness event. However, there is no good evidence from any source for a landed craft in Rendlesham Forest at any time. All that were seen were lights on at least two and perhaps more nights (another alarm bell: if a UFO reappears at the same place then it is an indication that we are dealing with a fixed object) and some scruffy indentations in the ground that look just like rabbit diggings, and were indeed identified as that by the local police and a local forester.

Over on Robert Sheaffer’s Bad UFOs blog, we have been discussing the so-called ‘UFO Doppelganger effect’, in which UFOs seemingly mimic known stimuli. In the Rendlesham case, we have a bright UFO that appeared to descend into the Forest at the same time that a bright fireball appeared over southern England; a flashing UFO that happened to lie in the same direction as the Orfordness lighthouse and flashed at the same rate (while, of course, cloaking the lighthouse from view); and the “starlike objects” that happened to hover and twinkle like real stars.

Those UFOs just know how to disguise themselves like normal objects, don’t they?

posted on Jan, 19 2014 @ 06:17 AM
reply to post by ianrid

Your analysis is totally flawed as it based wholly on your own prejudices and if you are Ian Ridpath then, I hope you will take this opportunity to once and for all admit that, "The Lighthouse explanation" was not your idea rather, that of Thirkettle and that Thirkettle has openly admitted, on being shown the site of Halt's experience that, it could not have been said Lighthouse. If you are Ian Ridpath and you fail to publicly admit this on this forum and on your own site, then one can only assume that, you have another agenda.
edit on 19-1-2014 by FireMoon because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 19 2014 @ 06:29 AM
@ Steve LaPlume,

Thank you for your response and explanations.

posted on Jan, 19 2014 @ 09:37 AM
Personally I'll accept the testimony of multiple Airforcemen about what they saw. People who put career and personal ridicule on the line to speak about this event. Several say it wasn't the lighthouse and actually laugh at that explanation.

Sounds like the good old 'Swamp Gas' story to me. Throw up enough crazy explanations and hope something sticks a bit. Always welcome to prove the lighthouse theory of course.

posted on Jan, 19 2014 @ 11:44 AM

if you are Ian Ridpath then, I hope you will take this opportunity to once and for all admit that, "The Lighthouse explanation" was not your idea rather, that of Thirkettle and that Thirkettle has openly admitted, on being shown the site of Halt's experience that, it could not have been said Lighthouse. If you are Ian Ridpath and you fail to publicly admit this on this forum and on your own site, then one can only assume that, you have another agenda.

Yes, I am Ian Ridpath — nothing secret about that. You raise an interesting point which it’s worth clearing up. The short answer is that the site you refer to, i.e. the site on the SciFi programme, was not “the site of Halt’s experience”.

As I pointed out in my very first posting here a few days ago
Penniston made up this site, near the western edge of the forest, for the SciFi programme. He has since admitted that that wasn't the site and has instead come up with a third site, back on the eastern side of the forest. But it's still not the Halt site, which was the one the local police were called out to see on the following morning and where Penniston took the plaster casts. In short, you’ve been misled by one of Penniston’s changes of story, although you’re far from alone in that.

Regarding attribution for the lighthouse explanation, I have always given local forester Vince Thurkettle credit for pointing out the lighthouse as the likely source of the flashing light to the east and I am happy to reiterate that.

Vince was the first person I interviewed, back in 1983, and you can see my interview with him here:
See also my original article about the case published in 1985

I hope this is now clear.


edit on 19-1-2014 by ianrid because: clarification

posted on Jan, 19 2014 @ 12:54 PM
reply to post by FireMoon

Thank you for your reply. I have now seen and read your private message you sent to me. Forgive my ignorance but i am not aware what "SHA" is. I also don't post on any football related web forums.

I read the story you related with great interest. It was interesting to see that the lorry driver you referred to said that what he first saw resembled a "fire" This is more or less the same as what we saw initially. That is why our attention was drawn. I can only explain that the light effect the "Craft" gave off kept changing. It was green, then white, then red, then purple, blue. The colours changed very rapidly, one particular colour not lasting for more than a few seconds before it changed to the next.

The height of the "Craft" was about 8 to 10 feet judging by the distance we saw it from ( around 400 - 500 yards). The shape was either a cone or triangle. Because the lighting on the craft was changing so rapidly it was difficult to keep fully focused on it's exact shape.

The craft that appeared at Rendlesham i have seen and heard it both being explained and reconstructed by the eye witnesses. If what we saw was not the same craft then it most certainly had a twin.

posted on Jan, 19 2014 @ 01:08 PM
reply to post by alldaylong

Thank you kindly for replying to my post. Then can i ask you the following was one of your co witnesses to what you saw a Birmingham City fan and did you speak of the experience afterwards amongst each other? The reason I ask is this, a fellow Blues fan reported almost an identical sighting to yours, to me that took place in December 1980 in South Birmingham. They went on to say, that. No -one in the car spoke about the sighting after it happened and to this date, none has ever mentioned the incident to each other again. If you're not one of the other occupants of that same car then, either several people in different cars witnessed the same incident or there were two incidents South of Birmingham of the same/very similar object in December 1980. Either way, that now makes 3 separate reports of an "unknown craft" either landed or hovering almost at floor height, in the space of less than 3 months in England 1980.
edit on 19-1-2014 by FireMoon because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 19 2014 @ 01:13 PM
reply to post by ianrid

Thanks Ian now can you answer the question? I asked about Halt's experience not Penniston's and when you will be making plain on your own site that Thirkettle, when shown the site that Halt had his experience at, said openly and on camera. "Then it can't have been the lighthouse"?

posted on Jan, 19 2014 @ 01:21 PM
reply to post by FireMoon

After reading your reply, you may well be referring to my ex Brother In Law who is or was a Birmingham City supporter. I have not seen or heard from him since my sister and he divorced about 20 years ago.

This is only conjecture on my part and the person you are have in mind may be a different person all together.

posted on Jan, 19 2014 @ 01:59 PM
reply to post by alldaylong

Blimey, that would be some coincidence. Might I ask then, is what he reported to me accurate that, in the immediate aftermath of the sighting none of you spoke about it as you drove home and never spoke about it to each other after? I have to say this of your account and his, in terms of the description of the sighting and the object, they are almost identical.

posted on Jan, 19 2014 @ 02:49 PM

I asked about Halt's experience not Penniston's and when you will be making plain on your own site that Thirkettle, when shown the site that Halt had his experience at, said openly and on camera. "Then it can't have been the lighthouse"?
I thought I had made it perfectly clear (twice, now) that the site shown on the Sci Fi programme was _not_ the Halt site, but another site made up by Penniston which even he now admits was wrong.

The Halt site was about 50-100 yards from the eastern edge of the forest:
This was the site with the supposed landing marks that the police were shown the morning after the initial sighting.

From here the lighthouse can easily be seen across the field, almost in line with the farmhouse - just where Burroughs described seeing the flashing light on the first night and where Halt described seeing his flashing light two nights later.

The police who were called out at 4 am on the first night said the only flashing light they could see was the lighthouse. Fellow USAF security policeman Chris Armold (the man who actually called out the police) went out to the site with Burroughs that first night as well. He reported: “There was absolutely nothing in the woods. We could see lights in the distance and it appeared unusual as it was a sweeping light.” He added: “We did not know about the lighthouse on the coast at the time.”

I hope this is clear now, but anyone who wants to know more about the identification of the lighthouse can see here

posted on Jan, 19 2014 @ 03:59 PM
Addition to OP :

Theories on the Rendlesham Case (part 2)

Satellite Rocket Re-Entry Theory

A large fraction of this theory also forms a part Ian Ridpath’s de-construction of the UFO story. It revolves around the rocket from a Soviet Cosmos 749 satellite .The rocket body from the satellite, re-entered the earth's atmosphere shortly after 9pm on Christmas Day. The fireball broke into several pieces as it decayed and created a spectacular light display in the night sky. It was tracked across southeast England with the final fragment disappearing somewhere over the Thames Estuary. The theory is that this triggered the initial reports of a UFO going down in the forest.

New Scientist Article 1981 : Astronomy Stars At Christmas

The above linked article was printed in the New Scientist of January 8th, 1981 (less than two weeks after the incident) and confirms that 3 shooting stars were seen over England on Christmas night. One was actually the Russian Cosmos rocket (not satellite) appearing over the English Channel 50km south of Brighton at 21:08 hrs. The article states that 6 brilliant white fragments travelled in line until breaking up and disintegrating over the Thames Estuary. Is it possible that the fragments could have alerted staff at the RAF twin bases of Bentwaters and Woodbridge?

The MoD's investigation included an inconclusive search for radar evidence that might have corroborated activity in the air. However the incorrect date on Halt's memo probably didn’t help matters at the time. RAF radar operator Nigel Kerr noticed a blip that stayed for three or four sweeps before disappearing after reports from Bentwaters Tower on Dec 26th around the same time that reports were coming in from the USAF about a UFO. Although doubtful ,could there be any connection here?

The third shooting star or bright comet was reported as "10 times brighter than Sirius" and appearing at 2:45 hrs on Boxing Day. This is close to the time that John Burroughs, Jim Penniston and Ed Cabansag ventured out in the forest. However I am not 100% certain whether lights from the shooting star, comet and the satellite rocket may have been visible at the twin bases or picked up by radar. These celestial events do not completely explain what the various phenomena (including strange blue lights and lightall failures) witnessed by the airbase security patrols on later nights were that led to Colonel Halt getting involved.

Some of the general public were fooled into reporting seeing UFOs. So we have to ask if it also fooled personnel of the United States Air Force?

“Explained Lights”

One of the more detailed, sceptical theories is by an experienced science writer and astronomer, Ian Ridpath. His proposal is that in the clear, cold conditions of the Suffolk winter, a combination of rare celestial events and the light from Orford Ness lighthouse created the appearance of strange activity in the forest.

1. The bright shooting star display (discussed above) over Southern England just before 3am on December 26th 1980 accounts for what appeared as an aircraft descending into the forest and the reason Penniston, Burroughs and Cabansag were sent to investigate.

2. Ripath dismisses the radiation readings recorded by Halt's team as nothing more than background levels and that the lights observed on the second night were simply stars in the sky. Nick Pope (ex-MoD) disputes this and refers to his enquiry to the Defence Radiological Protection service confirming the radiation was significantly higher than background levels (although not dangerous).

Document link

3. The “three marks in the ground” were created by animals. The US airmen believed these to be indentations left by a landed craft of some sort. As discussed earlier, Jim Penniston says he made a plaster cast of each of these in daylight hours of Boxing Day 1980.

4. Later events that Colonel Halt witnessed were simply due to the atmospheric conditions and the beam of the lighthouse sweeping through the forest. That and the excitable mindset of the servicemen who were by now convinced a UFO was in the woods explain much of the story.

Ian can be seen in this short clip along with Colonel Halt and Nick Pope in a debate on Rendlesham from the late 1990s. There is also a discussion about radiation levels in the forest.

The full details are available at Ian Ridpath's website. Unlike other sceptical theories this includes evidence to back up why he believes the incident was down to mistaken observations and unreliable witness testimony.

Whether you agree with his points or not, it provides a number of more down to earth explanations to many of the events reported by the witnesses. Whilst some UFO researchers have now dismissed the case as a UFO event, many still do not accept Ridpath’s explanations. The main witnesses involved strongly dispute that they mistook the Orfordness lighthouse and stars for a UFO.

If you would rather watch Ian’s explanation than read it, then here it is courtesy of Mr. Ridpath himself.

It does not cover the more controversial stories from Larry Warren and Adrian Bustinza of a strange craft setting down and small beings in communication with a senior officer. Although Colonel Halt and John Burroughs were also present on the same night and report nothing of the sort happened.

Extraordinary claims may require extraordinary evidence. But sceptical theories also require some proof. In this case Mr. Ridpath does provide evidence for his claims that nothing extraordinary happened in December 1980 and covers many of the points in the case. Even if some of the them are up for debate.

Many of the airmen who were there still disagree vehemently with his point of view. However they can’t even agree with each other about some of the basics of the case. So you’ll have to make your own mind up on what happened.

There are still another couple of theories I’ll be posting and sources of further information to end with. I am sure that in the meantime Mr. Ridpath and others may wish to continue to comment and/or correct me.

edit on 19/1/14 by mirageman because: Edit and tidy up

posted on Jan, 19 2014 @ 04:22 PM

From here the lighthouse can easily be seen across the field, almost in line with the farmhouse - just where Burroughs described seeing the flashing light on the first night and where Halt described seeing his flashing light two nights later.

Both confirm that it was NOT the lighthouse, but they are military guys in the airforce, what do they know about things moving around in the sky?

The police who were called out at 4 am on the first night said the only flashing light they could see was the lighthouse.

Nobody claimed there was anything in the forest WHEN the police were there. This is a common tactic to provide 'evidence' from a reputable source like the police, when they were NOT even there during the event and arrived hours later when nothing was going on.

Fellow USAF security policeman Chris Armold (the man who actually called out the police) went out to the site with Burroughs that first night as well. He reported: “There was absolutely nothing in the woods. We could see lights in the distance and it appeared unusual as it was a sweeping light.” He added: “We did not know about the lighthouse on the coast at the time.”

One witness claims something different. Is that stronger than the many other witnesses that claim there was a UFO in the forest? No.

Honestly, the whole idea that a bucket full of Airforce personnel would confuse a lighthouse with a UFO is rather irrational. They are well trained compared to the average person on the street with regards to things flying. You are trying to argue that a commander of one of the largest NATO bases in Europe personally led a group of military men into a forest and they all mis-identified a repeating lighthouse flash that they had previously seen every single day they went to work.

Did you listen to the tape of the base commander? Does that sound like a person mistaking a flashing lighthouse mixed in with some 'strange' atmospheric effects???

Silly 'swamp gas' and 'lighthouse' stories are so far from plausible it saddens me that people have spent a lifetime investigating and believing them.

posted on Jan, 19 2014 @ 04:43 PM
reply to post by noeltrotsky

^ This is the skepticism and scoffing I highly dislike - doubting the obvious and what shouldn't be argued - that they did not see swamp gas/the light house as a misidentification/ Chinese lanterns... And some think that they are on the right way cause by nay-saying then this must be the truth..

Why are there two types of people only? Believers and skeptics, the first will either see aliens everywhere, the second will be ridiculous in their explanations just so that it cannot remain unknown... Is there nobody in the middle? I gladly am.

Otherwise, of course I am open for earthly explanations - soviet satellite some say, some other machinery or test object, why not? Could be and maybe is nothing 'alien'

And while I think that some object of some kind has fallen there or flew off.. the binary code sounds a lot like made up. And with no one being able to bring anything good to the table, then it's cold files, not worth the time.

posted on Jan, 19 2014 @ 04:44 PM
Whatever else can be said, the theory that the men mistook the light from the lighthouse for a UFO is surely a non-starter. Anyone based at RAF Bentwaters would have been well aware of the lighthouse...and anyway, why did they only mistake it then, in late December 1980?

Is there any evidence that this lighthouse caused similar UFO sightings prior to this?

And the detailed descriptions of the craft clearly leave no room for this theory.

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