“Britain’s Roswell” – The Rendlesham Forest UFO Incident

First Published: January 18, 2017 Last updated: February 7th, 2019 Written by: Marcus Lowth Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes Posted in: UFOs

Widely regarded as one of the more credible UFO encounters, the events of December 1980 in Suffolk, England also played out before multiple witnesses. Nicknamed “Britain’s Roswell”, the incident is one of the more well-known of its kind in the world, and appears to be one that still has secrets to divulge.

Respected UFO researcher, Nick Pope, who himself worked for the Ministry of Defense investigating UFO claims for several years, and has undergone a comprehensive “cold case review” of the incident, stated, “This was not some vague lights in the sky sighting – the UFO actually landed!”

The 2014 film, “The Rendlesham UFO Incident” – a found footage style movie that was filmed on location at the forest itself – uses the famous sighting as the backdrop for its plot. While the events of the film are completely fictional, its director, Daniel Simpson, made some interesting discoveries of his own during filming.

He came across several stone hatches while searching out places to film. When they attempted to lift the top from one of these hatches (which is featured in the movie), they made the discovery of a long ladder that led down into a corridor system. Simpson was intrigued to say the least. So much so, that he even went as far as to insist the Forestry Commission sent someone to investigate.

When they did, they assured him that these were simply part of a drainage system, to which, Simpson quipped that it was all “very elaborate” for a simple drainage system. The director stated that it was many people’s belief that these hatches were most likely entry points to an underground complex that links the twin bases (RAF Bentwater and RAF Woodbridge) that sit on either side the forest.

During interviews to promote the movie, Simpson also recalled a story he had been told while filming. As some of the land is now privately owned it is let to various people. When one particular firm who were renting such a unit at the former base arranged for an internet connection to be installed, the engineer stumbled upon cables that were clearly from the early 1980s. However, the engineer was said to have been extremely agitated at the find, simply because the technology that he was inspecting was far beyond what is even available today!

You can check out the trailer of the aforementioned movie below.


The Strange Events Of December 1980

As the Cold War between East and West continued stubbornly into the eighties, various RAF bases around the United Kingdom (and indeed bases around much of Western Europe) were occupied by US troops. The twin bases of RAF Woodbridge and RAF Bentwaters were just two of these.

In the early hours of 26th December 1980 (some sources claim it was the 27th), at a little after 3am, two US patrolmen, John Burroughs and Jim Penniston, while on routine patrol at RAF Woodbridge, witnessed strange lights in the night sky. They appeared to be descending into nearby Rendlesham Forest.

Believing that an aircraft was about to crash land, the two servicemen rushed to where the lights appeared to emanate from and requested permission to investigate. This was given, and a third patrolman was sent to join them.

When they arrived at the source of the light, they were witness to a metallic, glowing, triangular object that had seemingly come to rest in a small clearing in the woodland. The strange craft bathed the entire forest around it in a bright, while light, while from underneath the object came a soft glow of reds and blues.

According to later reports, it remained stationary for several moments, but as they approached, it rose gently into the air, and made its way out of the woodland before disappearing into the night sky.

The following day when a unit was sent to investigate in daylight, three clear indentions in the ground were discovered where the patrolmen had claimed to have seen the strange craft. Radiation levels were also raised somewhat higher than normal. Furthermore, nearby farm animals were reported to have been in a panic in the surrounding farms, and had been since the early hours when the strange lights had first been seen.

The video below features the audio as recorded by Deputy Base Commander Col. Charles Halt on the night in question.

VIDEO: The Rendlesham Forest Incident: The Halt Tape

Communication With Beings From Another Time?

Although the incident was largely reported on by the media at the time, the British government themselves declined to officially investigate the case as it wasn’t seen as a security risk. Several aspects of the events were largely unreported in the official files however, such as a rather bizarre claim from one military servicemen of an encounter with “humanoid figures” on the evening in question.

Perhaps of more interest though, and largely more credible, are the claims made by Penniston in 2010 of seeing strange symbols on the object itself, as well as of information that was passed to him when he reached out a hand to touch the strange craft.

He reported that the ship had strange “hieroglyphic” symbols on its surface, very much like those from Ancient Egypt. When his hand made contact with the metallic surface, Penniston claimed a rush of information entered his mind, a series of 1s and 0s, as if it were being transferred there through the touch of his hand alone.

Penniston drew many of the symbols he claimed he saw. Furthermore, while examining these symbols, he suddenly began to write down the random 1 and 0 digits that had flooded his mind when he touched the craft. He was essentially recalling a binary coded message, although he didn’t know how he could remember it, or what it meant.

The code was later decoded by binary code expert, Joe Luciano, and appeared to be a message from those inside the craft.

According to Luciano’s decoding, the message, in part, read: “Exploration of Humanity 666 8100 – Continuous For Planetary Advan(cement?)….”, before it went on to list the coordinates of such places as the Nazca Lines in Peru, the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Portara at Temple of Apollo in Greece, Tai Shan Qu in China, as well as destinations in Caracci, Belize and Sedona, Arizona.

It also had read the rather cryptic message “Eyes Of Your Eyes” and that the “Origin Year” was 8100 – this made Penniston believe that the occupants of the craft were not from another planet, but from another time.

Check out the video below – a brief ten minute summary of the incident.

VIDEO: UFO Case Review – Rendlesham Forest Incident, 1980

The Aftermath And Legacy Of The Rendlesham Incident

As eager as the key witnesses were to tell of their experience and get to the bottom of exactly what they saw in Rendlesham Forest, it appeared both the US and UK militaries were just as eager to play down the happenings.

All involved were made to sign secrecy oaths which bound them from talking of the events for thirty years. Shortly after the sighting, the twin bases of Woodbridge and Bentwaters were visited by General Gabriel, who at the time was Commander in Chief of the United Stated Air Force in Europe.

Through declassified UK MoD documents, it is known that Gabriel removed “several items” connected to the investigation and is thought to have transferred them to his headquarters in Ramstein, Germany. Exactly what was removed, and where they might be now is not known.

These events only served to make others interested in the case even more suspicious that there was indeed something to cover up. Was the craft that was witnessed simply top secret military technology being tested? If they were alien visitors, or indeed time-travellers from the future, was the military aware of such visits? Each of those scenarios also fits perfectly with the alleged military base that runs under the forest that connects the two military bases, and explains the need for such an underground facility in the first place.

And what is the relevance of the coordinates they had passed to Penniston in binary code. Were these areas of interest for these alleged space or time travellers? Or might these be places where space or time travel is possible? Might there be stargates or portals there that are unknown to us?

Check out the video below – a lecture given by Charles Halt where he talks in depth about the Rendlesham incident.

VIDEO: Army Colonel Discloses Bentwaters UFO Truth


“Missing” Papers and New Evidence

While all witnesses abided by their secrecy oaths for the specified time, Col. Charles Halt, the highest ranking witness to the events, continued to privately investigate and research the case.

In July 2015, Halt stated that he had new evidence and witness statements concerning the events of December 1980. Among these were radar operators who now they had retired, were happy to speak out about what they witnessed. Halt claimed that they confirmed they witnessed an object “go across their sixty mile scope in two or three seconds” and that it must have been travelling at “thousands of miles an hour” in order to do so.

According to Halt, these new witness statements “seriously undermined” the official story that the UFO was in fact the searchlight from the (relatively) nearby Orford Ness lighthouse. For his part, Halt is largely regarded as a very reliable and level-headed witness.

Only six months before Halt’s claims, a video surfaced on You Tube claiming to show a recent UFO sighting over Rendlesham Forest. The footage was recorded by a man walking his dog when he noticed strange lights in the sky overhead. Might it be that although officially abandoned, top secret projects still continue on the grounds? You can check out the footage below and make your own minds up.

VIDEO: UFO Sighting over Rendlesham Forest?

What’s more, in 2011 it was revealed that further files and information relating to the Rendlesham incident had “gone missing” from the National Archives. This revelation only added fuel to an already hotly debated incident. The fact that it appeared no proper authorisation was given to remove or destroy any of the files, only served to raise an eyebrow or two among the UFO and conspiracy communities.

Check out the video below – a “podcast” and an in-depth discussion between Charles Halt and one of the key witnesses to the events, John Burroughs concerning the strange events that took place in Rendlesham Forest.

VIDEO: Col Charles Halt & John Burroughs Hash It Out, Podcast UFO

About Marcus Lowth

Marcus Lowth is a writer with a love for anything interesting, from UFOs, aliens, and the Ancient Astronaut Theory, to the paranormal, general conspiracies and unsolved mysteries. He also has a passion for film, music, and the NFL. Marcus has been Editor-in-Chief at UFO Insight for several years due to his excellent knowledge in these fields. Marcus also regularly appears as an expert on radio talk shows discussing these topics.

You can contact Marcus via email.

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