What really did happen over those three nights in 1980? What did dozens of US Air Force personnel see? Is "Britain's Roswell" a hoax?
A Close Encounter...
The story was to bring to light encounters had by a number of personnel over, supposedly, a 3 day period in Rendlesham Forest. The encounters happened near two former military bases in the county of Suffolk, England, which were at the time being used by the United States Air Force. It has since become known as the “Rendlesham Forest Incident”, and has been also dubbed "Britain’s Roswell".
It is said that at 3am on December 26th, 1980 (in some accounts Christmas Night, making it the 25th), two airman on security patrol at RAF Woodbridge, the base that extends into Rendlesham Forest, reported strange "multi-coloured" lights near the East Gate. They entered the dense forest after getting clearance, to investigate what they thought was a downed aircraft.
Suddenly the "craft" emitted a blinding light and the two men who had taken cover then observed it taking off at a high speed over the trees.
Both men then left the forest and saw another light, which they identified as a coastal lighthouse 5 miles away. They also noted the time was nearly 5am.
A Repeat Encounter...
Two nights later Deputy Base Commander, Lt Colonel Charles Halt, was alerted by an officer that the craft had returned. Deciding to investigate for himself, Halt assembled a squad to accompany him into the woods, taking with him a tape recorder to record events as they happened. A security perimeter was set up around the woods quickly, and Halt and his team entered to begin their investigation.
All of this was recorded on cassette tape, in what has become known as “The Halt Tape”.
Sceptics are quick to point out that due to static electricity, and what sounds like "animals in a frenzy", not much can be heard on the cassette tape. It was rumoured that day’s later Military officials from the U.S. arrived, and that Colonel Halt was asked to de-brief and interview Penniston and Burroughs, men from his squad and any other witnesses.
Halt detailed what was seen and observed, and added his version of events, which correlated with many of the stories. The interviews, together with a memo briefly describing both events, was given to the Ministry of Defence, and was expected to never be made public.
Hushed Up and Conspiracies...
The event was hushed up until the “News of the World” article 3 years later, in which US airman Larry Warren, posing as "Art Wallace", made sensational claims of an encounter involving aliens and government officials that took place in the forest the same night of Halt's investigation.
However, some of the major witnesses over the years have appeared alone, and sometimes together, in various media outlets, and have given sometimes contradictory re-hashings of what happened over those nights nearly 33 years ago, resulting in many regarding the story as perhaps a hoax or a major embellishment of an actual event.
It is known that Larry Warren was posted at Woodbridge at that time, however many claim he was not a witness to events and made his story up using gossip floating between officers after the investigation.
Sceptics are also quick to point out that both have on occasion asked for tremendous amounts of money for interviews.
Corresponding with the tabloid article that started public interest was the release of the memo Colonel Halt made to his superiors regarding the events. It is vague, confusing and erroneous regarding dates and times. Many sceptics see this as more proof of a hoax. However, many UFO researchers believe something happened at Rendlesham. They are however are confused as to when it occurred.
Did the British Government cover-up an extra-terrestrial encounter in Rendlesham Forest that occurred late in 1980?
Or was it perhaps all a hoax?
Put together by Ashley Hall 2013