Dec 30, 2020 I Nick Redfern

The Rendlesham Forest Affair: Grounds for a Lawsuit? Part 2

Part 1of this article began as follows: "This weekend marks the 40th anniversary of the Rendlesham Forest UFO event. There's no doubt that the case is considered to be one of the most important of all. That is, if you believe that the incidents in the woods did have a UFO/alien connection, which I don't." As you may know, earlier this year I wrote a book titled The Rendlesham Forest UFO Conspiracy. It addressed a theory - for the events in that famous forest back in December 1980 - that many don't want to know about. In other words, it's Ufology's elephant in the room: that there were no aliens and no extraterrestrial spacecraft. Just a ruthless experiment that caused physical and psychological damage to more than a few who were out there on those now-famous nights. One of the key figures on site on those nights, and who has recently written his own book on the subject, is John Burroughs. His book:  Weaponization of an Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon: The Rendlesham Forest UAP Incident 40 Years Later. In his book John makes it clear that he was one of the personnel who suffered out there on those nights. And he was far from being alone. This makes me wonder - taking into consideration the number of people affected - if there might be grounds for a lawsuit, even after all those years. We shouldn't rule such a thing happening. We have to focus our attention on a certain facility in the U.K. that is referred to as Porton Down - although, over the years, it has had many titles.

I wrote in Dr. Robert M. Wood’s book, Alien Viruses: "Although work at Porton Down had originally begun in March 1916, it was not until 1940 that the installation became the central hub of British interest in biological warfare. Following the start of the Second World War, a highly secret and independent group – the Biology Department, Porton - was established by the War Cabinet, with a mandate to investigate the reality of biological warfare and to develop a means of retaliation in the event that biological warfare was utilized against the United Kingdom. By 1946, the name of the wartime group had become the Microbiological Research Department. A decade later, the biological warfare research of Porton Down’s staff had become solely defensive in nature; and in 1957 it was re-named the Microbiological Research Establishment.

"By the 1970s it was decided that the MRE should be placed under the aegis of a civil authority, and on 1 April 1979, it became known as the Center for Applied Microbiology and Research. In 1995, the Establishment became part of the Defense Evaluation and Research Agency, and six years later DERA split into two organizations: QinetiQ, a private company, and the Defense Science and Technology Laboratory) which remains an agency of the Ministry of Defense. Today, Porton Down is known by its two facilities: Defense Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), Porton Down, and Public Health England (PHE)."

Porton Down Experimentation

Porton Down’s almost obsessive interest in experimentation involving hallucinogens, and particularly so LSD, dates back to the early years of the 1950s – although, incredibly, this was completely hidden from the people of the U.K. until the early years of the 21st century. Such is the nature of what passes for "Freedom of Information" in the U.K. As the 1950s progressed, however, more and more research was undertaken – on occasion using Porton Down’s very own employees, some of who were willing to gauge the varying effects for themselves. That situation changed significantly in the final days of 1964. That was when one of the most notorious periods in the history of mind-altering experimentation on military personnel occurred. And it all happened across approximately a period of a week. The work was undertaken and overseen by Porton Down scientists. The projects were codenamed Small Change, Moneybags and Recount.

Much of the experimentation was conducted out in fields, woods and forests [italics mine]. Military personnel from 41 Royal Marine Commando were the guinea-pigs; although, they were all – technically-speaking - volunteers. The full and potential extents of the effects, however, were most assuredly not made fully clear to the troops. Not a surprise. On the first day, the men who were involved took part in an operation that was located not at all from Porton Down: woods and fields dominated the environment where the experiment began. No LSD was present that day; this was simply just an exercise to have the soldiers get used to the environment. They performed as one would expect trained military men to perform: perfectly. On the next day, however, things were very different and far from perfect. Dosed with LSD, and wholly against their knowledge, things quickly became chaotic for the troops – and that’s putting it mildly. The whole project turned into a complete Bedlam.

As the BBC note, U.K. military personnel were regularly used in secret mind-altering experiments at Porton Down in the 1950s and 1960s. So, why not use American personnel who were stationed to the United Kingdom in December 1980? The BBC say: "Porton Down was set up in 1916. It was a center designed to test chemical and biological weapons. Nerve gases such as Sarin and CS gas were tested on volunteer servicemen. Servicemen were offered around £2 and three days leave as an incentive to take part in tests. Very few servicemen knew what they were volunteering for and some were even told it was research into the cure for the common cold. In 1953 it is alleged that serviceman Ronald Maddison died after taking part in a Sarin gas experiment. In 1962, one of Porton Down’s own scientists, Geoffrey Bacon died of the plague. Since the end of WWII, 20,000 people have taken part in experiments at Porton Down."

Andy Roberts, in his important book, Albion Dreaming: A Popular History of LSD in Britain, says of those 1964 tests: "Using the term ‘volunteer’ to describe those who took part in LSD experiments at Porton Down is actually a misnomer. None of the participants was told what drug they would be taking, or what its effects might be. In reality the ‘volunteers’ were all dupes, conned into taking a powerful mind-altering chemical in strange and unfamiliar circumstances. Porton Down scientists seem to have chosen to ignore the Nuremberg Code for human experimentation, failing to ensure that the volunteers gave informed consent before the tests."

(Matthew Williams)

Let's now take a look at the parallels between these LSD-based experiments and what happened in December 1980 in Rendlesham Forest. Just like the events in Rendlesham, many of the LSD tests took place in forests and woods. The men were all in the military. They were not informed of exactly what was going down. Some of the tests occurred at night - in woods, too. See what I mean about the similarities between those 1950s/1960s experiments in the woods and those of December 1980? And, on top of that, we know there was a connection between Porton Down and Rendlesham - even though that connection is somewhat unclear in nature.

Now, we come to the matter of lawsuits. In 2006, the U.K.'s Guardian newspaper said: "The Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, has paid thousands of pounds in compensation to servicemen who were fed LSD without their consent in clandestine mind-control experiments in the 1950s. MI6 has agreed an out-of-court settlement with the men, who said they were duped into taking part in the experiments and had waited years to learn the truth. The men experienced vivid hallucinogenic trips when given the drugs. One recalled seeing distorted 'Salvador Dali-style faces and cracks in people's faces.' MI6 is also paying the cost of the men's lawsuit, which alleged assault. Don Webb, a former airman, said yesterday: 'I feel vindicated; this has been a classic cover-up for years. They took a liberty.'"

More data is growing in relation to the Rendlesham Forest-Porton Down issue. We know that compensation payments were made to the guys working with Porton Down in the 1950s. And, there's no doubt that the Rendlesham incidents - as "UFO encounters" - will collapse. The truth - that this was yet another example of many experiments - will surface. When it does, the people who were involved in the events of December 1980 should rightly have their say in court. And get their compensation, too.

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.

Join MU Plus+ and get exclusive shows and extensions & much more! Subscribe Today!