Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Nick Pope on "Rendlesham"

It is strange that only this week in a national paper there has not only been an article about the Rendlesham incident but also another local paper reports a ufo sighting in Chudleigh Knighton which is about twelve miles from here in Ashburton. The latest shape being like a boomerang and the size of two houses.
The image was produced by Mat and Zo from Kamloops, British Columbia in Canada for a documentary about the Rendlesham incident! Thank you very much. They also have their own site Ancient Eyes a link is on the left.
The following article is by Nick Pope http://www.nickpope.net/index.html (Former British Government UFO Project Leader) and appeared in a national newspaper on 19th November 2005
On May 21, 1997 a former Prime Minister made an enigmatic comment that seemed to confirm the reality of Britain's most famous ufo incident. The remark hinted at darker secrets and led to much debate among conspiracy theorists. The politician was Baroness Thatcher and the implications of what she said are extraordinary. The comment was made at a charity function. London - based socialite and author Georgina Bruni had been researching the Rendlesham Forest UFO incident, fascinated by hints dropped by diplomatic, military and political friends. Sceptical about the subject of UFO's, she thought it was awash with cultists and crackpots.
But Rendlesham was different so, when she met Baroness Thatcher at a dinner, Bruni put the former PM on the spot. Was there any truth to the rumours about what happened in Suffolk's Rendlesham Forest? What did the Government really know about UFO's? Was it a serious issue or just pie in the sky? Bruni was expecting a bland dismissal of the story. The official Ministry of Defence position was that no evidence existed to suggest UFO's were extraterrestrial in origin. Then the former PM dropped her bombshell."UFO's?" she said. "You can't tell the people." Bruni was astounded and pressed her point. What did she mean? Baroness Thatcher calmly repeated her remark, beforedeparting. From 1991 to 1994, I ran the Government's UFO Project, based at the Ministry of Defence, and Bruni had interviewed me in the course of her research. Still astonished, she called me at 2am to tell me what had happened. I quickly grasped its significance. I went to my study and began to make notes, all the time quizzing Georgina about everynuance of her brief encounter with the former PM. If you take the thousands of UFO sightings investigatedbythe MoD over the years, the Rendlesham Forest incident stood out. We could not ignore it, despite our best efforts to find some conventional explanation. This case was the Holy Grail and Baroness Thatcher's remark put the events into a new light.
So what actually happened at Rendlesham Forest and what makes the event the UK's strangest UFO encounter? As we approach its 25th anniversary, it's time to re-open the MoD's spookiest X-file. Late on Christmas night, 1980, and early on Boxing day, strange lights were seen in the forest. This might not sound particularly significant. When I was running the UFO Project I used to receive up to 300 reports of sightings each year. Most could be explained as misidentifications of aircraft lights, meteors or weather ballons. What made this sighting remarkable was the fact that the witnesses were United States Air Force personnel based at RAF Bentwaters and RAF Woodbridge in Suffolk. Rendlesham Forest lies between the bases and as the Cold War was still decidedlyfrosty, a UFO sighting at two of nations most sensitive military sites was bound to be of interest. Early on December 26th, duty personnel reported lights so bright they feared an aircraft had crashed. They obtained permission to go off-base to investigate. But they didn't find a crashed aircraft - they found a UFO. The three man patrol from the 81st Security Police Squadron - Jim Penniston, John Burroughs and Ed Cabansag - saw a small, metallic craft moving through the trees. At one point, it appeared to land in a small clearing. They approached cautiously and Penniston got close enough to see strange markings on the side, which he likened to Egyptian hieroglyphs. He made some rapid sketches in his notebook.It touched down for only moments and then departed. Later, because of the complicated legal and jurisdictional position of US Air Force bases in the UK, police from Suffolk Constabulary were called to the apparent landing site. They conducted a brief but inconclusive examination. Three indentations were visible in the clearing and, when mapped, theyformed the shape of an equilateral triangle. A gieger counter was used to check the site and the readings peaked markedly in the depressions where the object - possibly on legs of some sort - had cometo Earth. News of the UFO encounter came to the attention of the Deputy Base Commander,Lieutenant Colonel Charles Halt. He was sceptical, but had witnesses write up official reports, including sketches of what they had seen. The following evening, Halt was at a function when a young airman burst in and ran up to him. "Sir," he stammered, "it's back." Halt looked confused. "What?" he retorted. "What's back?" "The UFO, sir - the UFO's back." Halt gathered together a small team and went out into the forest to investigate. He subsequently stated that he had no expectation of seeing anything and that his intention was to "debunk" the whole affair. But he didn't do so because he too encountered the UFO, becoming one of the highest ranking military officers to go on record about such a sighting. As he and his men tracked the UFO, their radios began to malfunction and powerful lamps taken to illuminate the forest mysteriously began to cut out. But a hand-held tape recorder the colonel took to document his investigation did not malfunction.
The tape recording still survives and one can hear the rising tension in Halt's voice and in the voices of his men, as the UFO approaches...(Click the link on the right to hear Halt's recording)......."I see it too...it's back again...it's coming this way...there's no doubt about it...this is weird...it looks like an eye winking at you...it almost burns your eyes...he's coming toward us now...now we're observing what appears to be a beam coming down to the ground... one object still hovering over Woodbridge base...beaming down." At one point the tension in their voices almost seems to become panic as the UFO makes a close approach and fires light beams down on Halt and his men. Halt wrote an official report of the incident. Although somewhat innocuously entitled Unexplained Lights, it described the first night's UFO as being "metallic in appearance and triangular in shape....a pulsing red light on top and a bank of blue lights underneath...the animals on a nearby farm went into a frenzy". He went on to detail the radiation readings taken from the landing site and set out the details of his own sighting. The report was sent to the section of the Ministry of Defence where, a little over ten yearslater, I spent three years researching and investigating UFO sightings. It went to my predecessors, who began an investigation, but they were hampered by a mistake that was to have dire consequences.For whatever reason - and it may have been nothing more than a typographical error - Charles Halt's report gave incorrect dates for the incident. So when the MoD checked the radar tapes, they were looking at the wrong days. Radar evidenceis a critical part of any UFO investigation. Many spectacular UFO sightings over the years have been correlated by radar. MoD files detail several such cases, including ones where RAF pilots encountered UFO's and gave chase. Unsuccessfully, I might add. In the absence of any radar data that might confirm the presnce of the Rendlesham Forest UFOs, the investigation petered out. Yet, as I was to discover years later, the UFO had been tracked after all. I spoke to a former RAF radar operator called Nigel Kerr. He had been stationed at RAF Watton in Norfolk at Christmas 1980 and took a call from RAF Bentwaters asking if there was anything unusual on his radar screen. For three or four sweeps something did show up directly over the base, but it faded away and no official report was ever made. It was only years later that Kerr heard of the Rendlesham Forest incident and realised he might have the missing piece of the puzzle. In apparent absence of radar data to verify the presence of the UFO, arguably the most critical piece of evidence was never followed up. The defence Intelligence Staff had assessed the radiation readings taken at the landing site and judged them "significantly higher than the average background". In fact, they were about seven times what would have been expected. So what are we to make of all this? UFO beleivers are convinced the sightings involved an extraterrestrial spacecraft. They still hold sky watches in the forest and claim to see UFOs regularly. The sceptical theories are almost as bizarre, with suggestions that the highly trained military witnesses actually saw the lights of a police car, or the beam from the local lighthouse. "Lighthouses don't fly," Charles Halt said, incredulously. More rational sceptical theories include the testing of a prototype aircraft, but the bottom line is that, while there are things being developed you won't see at the Farnborough Air Show for10 or 15 years, we know where we fly are own hardware. The "black projects" theory doesn't hold up.
Col Halt's evidence was obtained by American UFO researchers in 1983, under the Freedom ofInformation Act. But it was not until 2001 that the rest of the file came to light, including mostof the details we now know. Georgina Bruni had requested several documents on the incident under the Code of Practice on access to Government Information - the forerunner to Britain's Freedom of Information Act. She had also enlisted the help of former Chief of the Defence Staff Lord Hill-Norton - himself a firm believer in UFOs. Despite the claims of conspiracy theorists, the MoD is committed to open government and was happy to release the file. It can now be viewed in entirety on the MoD website. The MoD and the National Archives are bombarded with requests about UFOs but have a rolling programme of disclosure. These are the real X-files and they are being released. As the 25th anniversary of this UFO encounter appraoches, there is great interest in the incident. Enthusiasts are planning an anniversary vigil. The Forestry Commission - which has created a UFO trail in the forest - is planning an event. Several television documentaries are being made and there's talk of a Hollywood movie. But despite the wealth of documentation to have emerged and the testimony of the witnesses themselves, we are no nearer to knowing what happened in Rendlesham Forest.
The truth is still out there somewhere! Below is the download of Halt's recording courtesy of crowded skies.com
Next Larry Warren who was a security specialist at Bentwaters speaks at the Disclosure Project about what happened at the site!
The Fourteenth Disclosure witness and the Bentwaters incident 4Mins

This Morning Roswell the Truth 8Mins

Above is Nick Pope on This Morning 31st July 2007 - What a profound statement about Roswell!
Ufo report on Rendlesham part 1
Ufo report on Rendlesham Part 2
Andy Bell

These journals continue....Oct 29