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Hiding a Secret Military Test Behind a UFO Legend

A Secret Property is a thinly-veiled, fictional version of what happened at Rendlesham Forest, Suffolk, England in December 1980. It’s author: the late Ralph Noyes who rose to a significant position in the U.K. Ministry of Defense. Consider the following: in Noyes’ story we have a Colonel Hoyt, a military base called Bentbridge, and mysterious action deep in the woods. And, Noyes had the absolute gall to deny that his story was a roman-à-clef. The Grammarist says: “A roman-à-clef is a novel which depicts real-world people and events, with fictional names. Usually, details concerning the people and events are changed in minor ways in order to sustain the pretense of fiction. The amount of fictionalization in a roman-à-clef can vary widely.” In Noyes’ case, the amount was huge. Most important of all, it is not the matter of how much data and material Noyes chose to fictionalize in A Secret Property. Rather, it’s the theme of Noyes’ story that is so important and relevant to us – more than thirty-five years after his book was published. In her 1991 book From Out of the Blue, Jenny Randles said of Noyes’ story that it involved a technology that “produces etheric visions of aliens and spaceships” and that can “effect the real world in various hazardous ways.” We’re talking about the Rendlesham event being a secret experiment undertaken by military personnel, intelligence agencies and more.

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In her third book on the subject of Rendlesham – UFO Crash Landing? – Randles got right to the heart of the matter, pointing out something that has been largely overlooked by so many in Ufology. Jenny said that Noyes’ scenario in A Secret Property brought together “sophisticated computer-controlled technology with the power within human consciousness and the natural forces of the Earth itself. Blending both mind and electronics together, it endeavored to forge a powerful ‘psychic’ weapon.” Just about everything Noyes wrote about in his 1985 novel – and that Randles discussed in relation to Noyes – smacks of classified operations, visionary experiences, and strange technology; all of which are at the heart of the overall “secret experiment” scenario for what happened at Rendlesham Forest more than forty years ago. Randles may not have realized how close she came to penetrating the truth of the matter. I would say she was right on the cusp of one of the most important parts of this overall story. Unfortunately, yet predictably, in the 1990s mainstream Ufology was still way too excited – years after Rendlesham occurred – by tales of aliens and extraterrestrial spaceships. Much of that was prompted by the influence that the hugely popular show The X-Files had on the U.K.’s ufology.

Noyes knew something of what happened in the woods – or, at the very least, he had his suspicions about the genuine scenario. Perhaps, those suspicions came via government sources – possibly, even, from retired colleagues from the MoD, who may have provided a few snippets of information and strategically-placed clues. In all probability, though, Noyes never knew the full story, but learned enough of it to allow him to blend the shocking truth into a readable page-turner. Noyes did us all a service by trying to get the truth of Rendlesham into the open, and without causing himself problems with his old employers at the Ministry of Defense. He was, after all, on a government pension, something that would certainly have led him to tread very carefully.

Ralph Noyes was interviewed by Andy Roberts and Dr. David Clarke, who have both taken an interest in the Rendlesham case. Noyes told the pair: “In the several capacities which brought me into touch with UFO reports during my 28 years in the MoD, I encountered several reports, particularly those from military establishments, which indicated ‘high strangeness.’ I, and military colleagues, had little doubt something had taken place for which we had no explanation.” On the matter of what happened in those woods – or what didn’t happen, depending where you’re coming from – Noyes offered the following to Clarke and Roberts: “There is no doubt at all that the MoD played a thoroughly dishonest game over the Rendlesham affair…The case itself is complex. I have given my own views about it–essentially that Halt and several others came face to face with a striking manifestation of the ‘UFO phenomenon’ whatever that may be, in the December of 1980.”

Noyes also made this highly valid statement: “Unless Lt. Col. Halt was out of his mind, there is clear evidence in his report that British airspace and territory were intruded upon by an unidentified vehicle on two occasions in late December 1980 and that no authority was able to prevent this. If, on the other hand, Halt’s report cannot be believed, there is equally clear evidence of a serious misjudgment of events by USAF personnel at an important base in British territory. Either way, the case can hardly be without defense significance.”

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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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