Aug 04, 2021 I Nick Redfern

Things About the Rendlesham Forest “UFO Landing” You May Not Know About

Just about everyone has heard of the Rendlesham Forest "UFO landing" of December 1980. There are, however, some aspects of the story you may not have heard of. So, today, I thought I would share with you some of those lesser-known "things."  To understand exactly what occurred in the woods on those fateful nights, it’s important that we go back to the beginning: (a) the events themselves; and (b) a near-legendary memo on the incidents that was carefully prepared by Lieutenant Colonel Charles Halt. At the time, he was the Deputy Base Commander at RAF Bentwaters. On January 13, 1981, Halt prepared the following report; it was sent to the U.K. Ministry of Defense (MoD) for scrutiny. It gives a fairly brief – but certainly detailed – account of what happened. A portion of that memo states the following: "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."

There was, of course, much more to it all than what was just in the memo. Much of it is well-known now. It's the lesser known aspects of the story I'm going to share with you today, though. Here we go with our first story: As Ian Ridpath notes: "At 21.07 on the evening of 1980 December 25 (i.e. a mere six hours before the supposed UFO landing in Rendlesham Forest) the Russian Cosmos 749 rocket re-entered over north-west Europe and was widely reported as a UFO." Were fragments of something of Russian origins secretly retrieved from the forest? Or, near to it? I don't know. But, I do think it would be worth it to have someone look into this particularly eye-opening saga of a Russian angle to Rendlesham. Moving on, there's the matter of the events that occurred in the same time-frame, but not at the Royal Air Force bases of Woodbridge and Benwaters. Rather, this story all went down at Royal Air Force Watton, which is in Norfolk, just one county away from the woods. On October 25, 1988 Squadron Leader E.E. Webster of RAF Watton wrote me the following, after I raised questions about RAF Watton’s claimed connections to the Rendlesham Forest case: "Our log book for the period does indeed say that a UFO was reported to us by RAF Bentwaters at 0325 GMT on 28 December 1980 but that is all the information we have." Apparently, though, it actually wasn’t "all the information we have." Someone – or an agency - was being decidedly economic with the facts, such as those facts were. Apparently, on the very same night that staff at RAF Watton recorded the presence of a UFO (on December 28, 1980), a pair of military dog-handlers were patrolling the facility when something very strange happened. The pair was shocked and baffled to see just outside the perimeter fence a number of figures. No, they were not aliens. They were all too human: they were dressed in NBC (Nuclear, Biological and Chemical) outfits, head-to-foot. Clearly, there's still more to be found about the Watton story.

How about the issue of prison evacuations in relation to the Rendlesham events? Nineteen-Eighty-Six was the year in which the late Graham Birdsall – who ran the popular and successful U.K.-based UFO Magazine – had a notable conversation with a man named George Wild. Back in the eighties, Wild was employed as a prison officer at a facility called Armley Prison. Built in the 19th century, and located in Leeds, England, it is a "Class C" jail, which means the prisoners are considered those who "cannot be trusted in open conditions but who are unlikely to try to escape." George Wild quietly confided in Birdsall something highly disturbing, something that he had learned from a fellow officer: that on the night of December 27, 1980, the U.K. government’s Home Office was hastily readying local law-enforcement personnel to evacuate several prisons in Suffolk. Wild said that he knew for sure one of the prisons was HM [Her Majesty's] Prison Highpoint North. It's situated in the village of Stradishall, Suffolk, which is approximately forty-four miles from Woodbridge. The late Georgina Bruni learned that HM Prison Hollesley  was primed for evacuation, too, when everything got crazy in the woods. Anyone up for focusing their research on the prison story? In all likelihood, there's still a huge story here to be exposed.

Another story concerning the Rendlesham case that many may not know about: In a July 31, 1994 lecture at Leeds, England, Charles Halt (formerly Colonel Charles Halt, USAF, one of those that had witnessed the strange object in Rendlesham Forest) divulged his recollections of what had occurred fourteen-years previously. During the course of his lecture, Halt astounded the audience by revealing something that had been hitherto unknown: an unscheduled C141 transporter aircraft arrived at Woodbridge just hours after the initial encounter, and a group of "special individuals" departed from the aircraft, headed straight out of Woodbridge’s East Gate, and disappeared into the forest. Food for thought, indeed. All of the events I've described in this article are pretty much of a lesser-known nature. It doesn't have to be like that, though. There are plenty of threads in this article that can allow for things to be taken further. It just requires people to realize the story of Rendlesham Forest is nowhere near over. There are plenty of Rendlesham secrets still to be investigated and exposed.

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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