Rendlesham: Analysis> [prev ¦ 1 ¦ 2 ¦ 3 ¦ 4 ¦ 5 ¦ 6 ¦ 7 ¦ 8 ¦ 9 ¦ next]


Despite these attempts to resolve the question of radar tracking, it was not until 1983 - two years after the events - when journalist and astronomer Ian Ridpath confirmed the correct date for the initial sighting with Suffolk Police that the MOD were finally provided with accurate information.

Ridpath wrote to DS8 at Whitehall on 14 November 1983 noting that police from Woodbridge had been called to the scene of the first sighting in Rendlesham forest at 4.11 am on 26 December 1980:

“ They said that all they could see was the the lighthouse [at Orfordness]. They were called out again at 10.30am on Dec 26 to examine the reported landing marks. There seems little doubt that the date of Dec 27 given in Col Halt’s letter is wrong. This also casts doubt on the second date he gives for the later events.”

Ridpath asked for release of the MOD’s file on the case and suggested the whole case required a “re-investigation.” Having received Ridpath’s letter Pam Titchmarsh of DS8 wrote to Squadron Leader Moreland at RAF Bentwaters-Woodbridge asking if he could re-check the dates. Moreland’s reply, dated 25 November 1983 compounded the errors and demonstrated the complete lack of interest the MOD had in the events of 1980:

“Dear Pam
"Thank you for your letter and enclosure concerning the unexplained lights seen at Woodbridge during December 1980. The incident is now almost 3 years old and no one here remembers it clearly. All we have is Lt Col Halts’ letter dated 13 January 1981. A study of this letter shows that the first sighting was at 0300 hrs on 27 Dec 80 and that the second sighting was on the night of 29 Dec 80. I have no knowledge of any local constabulary involvement.
“ Yours Sincerely, Don Moreland, Squadron Leader, RAF.”

Even at this late stage the MOD refused to believe Ridpath, as Moreland continued to maintain that the dates in Halt's memo were correct!


The MOD’s assessment that the UFO events reported to them by Lt Col Halt were of “no defence significance” was flawed because their analysis of radar data was concentrated upon incorrect dates!
When on 2 October 1983, London’s News of the World newspaper splashed the story of Halt's memo across its front page under the headline “UFO LANDS IN SUFFOLK - AND THAT’S OFFICIAL!” the MOD hastily attempted to re-check the radar data. After the passage of two years they found all the relevant tapes had long since been erased. A loose minute to DS8 in the file from an RAF Wing Commander at Ground Environment (1983) makes this point clear:

“Regrettably, the tasking letter from MOD referred to an incident on 29 December 1980, therefore the replies from Neatishead and Eastern Radar are probably worthless. Unit radar recordings are not held for four years, consequently we are back where we started.”

If the Ministry could have been bothered to initiate a field investigation at the time, they could have ascertained the correct date and time from those directly involved in the sighting. Moreland’s letter of 25 November 1983 hardly provides evidence to suggest that an event of world-changing status had occurred at the base just two years earlier. It was such an important event that “no one here remembers it clearly.”

This suggests to us that the file contains evidence for a ‘cock-up’ rather than a conspiracy!

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