Rendlesham Forest

Date: 1980/12/25 - 1980/12/27
Location: Rendlesham Forest, Suffolk, England
Appearance: Metallic; triangular, 2-3 m across the base; black
Classification: CE 2
Sources: Colonel Halt; Jim Penniston; Nick Pope
Summary: Sightings of unexplained lights and landing of a craft of unknown origin. Dozens of USAF personnel witnessed UFO activity over a 3 day period. Ground traces and radioactive anomalies were reported.

Penniston sketch Jim Penniston, the on-duty flight chief for the Woodbridge base, and Jim Penniston, had to investigate some strange lights over the forest. When Penniston got to a distance of 50 meters he saw a metallic shiny black, triangular shaped craft, three meters in width and two high. The surface was smooth almost glass like. White light was emitting from both the top and bottom of the craft. Red and blue lights flashed alternatively on either side.

Penniston placed his hands on the craft, which he said felt warm despite the freezing night. He discovered a series of raised symbols etched onto its left hand side, about three inches high. The craft then lifted off, ascended to tree top level and quickly disappeared. The men found three indentations in the ground where the UFO had been resting. The following day, Penniston returned to the site and made plaster casts of the indentations. Right: sketch made by Penniston

An analysis of the landing site showed indentations in the ground forming the shape of a triangle, scorch marks on the sides of the trees, and radiation levels which scientific staff at the UKís Ministry of Defense (MoD) assessed as being "significantly higher than the average background".

Two nights later the UFO returned. Deputy Base Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Colonel Halt assembled a patrol to investigate the incident. He spotted a glowing red object moving through the forest. Halt had activated a mini tape recorder. The tape was later released to the public. On it you can hear Halt and his men getting closer to the UFO.

"There is no doubt about it, there is some type of strange flashing red light ahead" he states on the tape.
"It's coming this way, it's definitely coming this way. Pieces of it are shooting off. There is no doubt about it this is weird." Halt described the object as circular, like a large eye winking at him.
Later in the tape he says: "He's heading towards us now. Now we are observing what appears to be a beam coming down to the ground. This is unreal."

"I've gone on record saying Rendlesham might be the turning point in history that leads to the explanation of the UFO phenomenon"
- Nick Pope, when working at Min. of Defence
The group saw another object coming in at enormous speed and then hovering over them and sent a laser like beam down to the ground only a few feet from their location. The UFO then moved over the weapons storage area and continued firing beams of light into the storage bunkers.

Colonel Halt wrote a memorandum in January 1981 to the Ministry of Defence. It describes not only Penniston's UFO encounter, but also his own. As a result of the Halt memorandum, the British Ministry of Defense began their own investigation into the incident. This was confirmed when some of their secret files were released to Admiral Lord Hill Norton in 2001. The files also show that Lt. General Charles A. Gabriel, who was then the supreme commander of USAF in Europe, was handed "taped evidence".

In June 2010, retired Colonel Charles Halt signed a notarized affidavit Written statement confirmed by oath or affirmation, for use as evidence in court., in which he summarized what had happened, then stated he believed the event to be extraterrestrial and it had been covered up by both the US and UK:

"I believe the objects that I saw at close quarter were extraterrestrial in origin and that the security services of both the United States and the United Kingdom have attempted - both then and now - to subvert the significance of what occurred at Rendlesham Forest and RAF Bentwaters by the use of well-practiced methods of disinformation."

Lord Hill-Norton was a retired 5-Star Admiral who was a former Chief of the Defense Staff and a former Chairman of NATOís Military Committee. Commenting on the MoDís "no defense significance" line on the Rendlesham Forest incident, he said:

"It seems to me that something physical took place; I have no doubt that something landed (...) either large numbers of people (...) were hallucinating, and for an American Air Force nuclear base this is extremely dangerous, or what they say happened did happen, and in either of those circumstances there can only be one answer, and that is that it was of extreme defence interest."