Sep 17, 2020 I Nick Redfern

From Rendlesham Forest to a Man in Black

On a couple of occasions, over the years, I've been asked if there has ever been a Men in Black connection to the events of December 1980 in Rendlesham Forest. Well, yes, there actually is such story. It comes from Jenny Randles, who - with Brenda Butler and Dot Street - was one of the first researchers of the case. It's a genuinely weird story - eerie, even.  The Rendlesham incident has been well documented and is the subject of a number of books. And what perhaps sets this case apart from many others, is the quite stunning amount of evidence that supports the notion that something very weird occurred.  As well as the official documentation and the witness accounts attesting to the presence of UFOs, there is another piece of remarkable evidence: an 18-minute audio-tape-recording made in the forest on the night of one of the encounters. As Jenny Randles states: "A number of sources on base told us that a taped record of some of the activity had been made. We were given a description and knew by early 1983 that it was recorded in the forest during the second night of encounters, featuring officers and men who were seeing various UFOs."

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Rendlesham Forest

Ultimately, this unique piece of evidence did surface into the public domain and did confirm much of the testimony of the first-hand military participants. It was late 1988 when Jenny Randles had a notable encounter with a man who may very well have been one of our mysterious Men in Black. The subject of that strange encounter was the U.S. Air Force’s tape-recording chronicling the UFO events at Suffolk in 1980. Randles was approached by a journalist working on a documentary with the BBC about UFOs that was to be aired in December 1988. Would she consent to an interview? "I agreed," said Randles, "and he arrived with very professional equipment which I recognised as that used by BBC staff, having spent six months making a series of radio documentaries with them myself during 1986." The documentary, she was advised, would be focused around the Rendlesham Forest case and all manner of questions were put to her regarding her opinions and findings on what might have taken place. During the course of the interview, the man (who used the name Tom Adams) turned his attention to the audio-tape recording made by the airmen and insisted that Randles hand it over for use in the BBC’s project.

"Immediately I said no," Randles recalls. Advising Adams that he could certainly have a copy of the tape, Randles informed him that under no circumstances could she give out the original. Adams, however, could not be budged. He needed the original. "I pointed out that my original was not the original," says Randles. "It was obviously copied by the military source that sent it to me, so adding one more generation to the list was not going to make much difference." Despite repeated demands on Adams’s part for the tape, she eventually relented and said that she would grant him access to the original. What Adams did not know, however, was that Randles merely gave him a third generation copy and not her (second generation) copy. Needless to say, the pleased-looking Adams was more than satisfied and left with the evidence.

After a period of several weeks had passed, Randles made checks with the BBC to see when the program was scheduled for broadcast. "What program?" came the reply. No one at the BBC knew anything about a proposed UFO documentary and no one there knew a Tom Adams. "I do find it odd that he should be particularly insistent about needing the original tape," says Randles. "This rather infers some ulterior motive." Perhaps inevitably, Adams did not resurface and he vanished as mysteriously as he had first appeared. And, of course, had Randles not had the keen foresight to merely supply Adams with a copy of the audio-tape, he would have disappeared with what is certainly one of the most important pieces of evidence - concerning the Rendlesham affair - at our disposal.

Nick Redfern

Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.

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