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December 2020: When Two Famous UFO Anniversaries Collide

When, shortly before 9:00 p.m. on the night of December 29, 1980, Vickie Landrum, her grandson, Colby, and Betty Cash exited the restaurant where they had just eaten a fine Texan dinner, they couldn’t imagine what was just around the corner. As they headed towards the town of Huffman, Texas, they were terrified by the sudden sight of an unknown object in the sky. Worse, it was descending on a flight-path guaranteed to ensure it landed on the road they were on.  As they got closer, they could see the aerial thing appeared to be in flames and shaped not unlike a diamond. It reached a perilously low level of around twenty-five feet, something which ensured a screeching of brakes and the car brought to a shuddering standstill. The interior temperature of the car suddenly reached intolerable levels. The three jumped out of the vehicle and could only stare in awe and fear. Then, out of the blue, around two dozen, double-rotor helicopters were on the scene, clearly intent on caroling the UFO. Or, perhaps they were escorting it. Cash was sure they were Boeing CH-47 Chinooks. They watched as both the UFO and the helicopters left the area and were finally lost from sight.

Within days, all three fell sick: nausea and vomiting were at the forefront. Betty Cash was the one affected most of all – which may be explainable by the fact that she was the one member of the group who got closest to the object. Her hair started to fall out, her skin was covered with pustules and blisters, and the nausea got worse. Despite attempts to force the US Government to come clean on what went down, there was nothing but denial after denial from the authorities. The case is a puzzling one, with some UFO researchers believing the three encountered a real UFO, while others suspect they were unfortunate enough to cross paths with a top secret, nuclear-powered, prototype aircraft that was in deep trouble and that had to be retrieved as quickly as possible.

Interestingly, this was the same time-frame that things were going down in Rendlesham Forest, England. An official U.S. Air Force document, dated January 13, 1981, states (in part): “Early in the morning of 27 Dec 80 (approximately 0300L) two USAF security police patrolmen saw unusual lights outside the back gate at RAF Woodbridge. Thinking an aircraft might have crashed or been forced down, they called for permission to go outside the gate to investigate. The on-duty flight chief responded and allowed three patrolmen to proceed on foot. The individuals reported seeing a strange glowing object in the forest. The object was described as being metallic in appearance and triangular in shape, approximately two to three meters across the base and approximately two meters high. It illuminated the entire forest with a white light. The object itself had a pulsing red light on top and a bank(s) of blue lights underneath. The object was hovering or on legs. As the patrolmen approached the object, it maneuvered through the trees and disappeared. At this time the animals on a nearby farm went into a frenzy. The object was briefly sighted approximately an hour later near the back gate.”

Also of interest is the following. As Captain John E. Boyle of the U.S. Air Force informed me in 1988: “In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the 67th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron stationed at RAF Woodbridge [provided] standby rescue coverage for the American space flights. Of course, they were never needed to provide emergency rescue actions, but at the time, the unit was trained and available to rescue astronauts with their HH-53 and HC-130 aircraft. In early 1988, the 67th ARRS was re-designated as part of the 39th Special Operations Wing, their primary mission changing from that of rescue to supporting U.S. Special Operations forces. Their secondary mission remains that of search and rescue and they would provide any assistance necessary in future space missions [italics mine].”

It should be noted that RAF Woodbridge stood right next to Rendlesham Forest. Could there have been a connection between the events in Texas and those in the U.K.? If nothing else, it’s an issue worth looking into – and particularly so with the 40th anniversary just a few weeks away.

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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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