Rendlesham Forest UFO sighting 'new evidence' claim

  • Published
Media caption,

Col Charles Halt saw an unidentified flying object over a Suffolk airbase in 1980

New evidence has been gathered to back up claims a UFO landed near a US airbase in Suffolk, a former deputy commander has claimed.

Col Charles Halt told the BBC he saw unidentified objects at Rendlesham Forest in December 1980.

He says he now has statements from radar operators at RAF Bentwaters and nearby Wattisham airfield that an unknown object was tracked at the time.

Col Halt claimed it was seen by himself and base security staff.

Image caption,
Col Charles Halt gave a talk at Woodbridge Community Centre on Saturday - tickets were £20

The 75-year-old, who was deputy commander at the Bentwaters base and now lives in the US state of Virginia, said some former service people had not wanted to speak until they retired but had now provided written statements to him.

The Ministry of Defence told the BBC it no longer deals with reports of UFOs.

Image source, Science Photo Library

Rendlesham Forest UFO mystery: who, what, where?

  • United States Air Force security personnel John Burroughs and Jim Penniston were the first to report sightings of strange lights on 26 December 1980
  • Col Halt recorded a running commentary into a dictation device of their efforts to find the source of the lights
  • RAF Bentwaters was an airbase used by the United States Air Force during the Cold War until 1993
  • Other suggestions as to what was seen at Rendlesham include military project testing, a helicopter carrying a dummy Apollo capsule, light from the Orford Ness lighthouse and pranks by airmen
  • In 1983, the News of the World ran a front page story which proclaimed: "UFO LANDS IN SUFFOLK, And that's OFFICIAL"

"I have confirmation that (Bentwaters radar operators)... saw the object go across their 60 mile (96km) scope in two or three seconds, thousands of miles an hour, he came back across their scope again, stopped near the water tower, they watched it and observed it go into the forest where we were," said Col Halt.

"At Wattisham, they picked up what they called a 'bogie' and lost it near Rendlesham Forest.

"Whatever was there was clearly under intelligent control."

UFO researcher John Hanson said he found Col Halt to be a reliable witness and there had been a "concerted effort to hide the truth".

He said the evidence of the UFO being picked up by radar seriously undermined the suggestion by the government at the time that the reported phenomena was due to witnesses seeing the light from Orfordness lighthouse and misinterpreting what they saw.

Image source, John Hanson
Image caption,
Col Charles Halt with UFO author John Hanson at the Woodbridge event
Image caption,
Forestry Commission staff at RAF Woodbridge's East Gate where reported sightings were made

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