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



Several points are apparent from Titchmarsh’s memo and the Defensive Press Line. Firstly, her dismissal of Art Wallace/Larry Warren’s account of travelling into the forest by jeep is based upon a misconception that he was referring to the “first night” (26 December), when in fact he was allegedly describing events that took place on the “second night” (27/28 December), the evening that Lt Col Halt and other USAF personnel witnessed phenomena in the forest.

Secondly, the “sighting from the civil aircraft” described by Titchmarsh was made on the evening of 25 December and reported to West Drayton ATC via Heathrow Airport. The aircraft sighting was in fact confirmed by the Suffolk Police when they checked with Air Traffic Control, following the report they received from RAF Bentwaters in the early hours of 26 December. These UFO reports are observations of the re-entry of the Russian satellite Cosmos 749 that occurred at 9.08pm on 25 December and was witnessed by hundreds of people - including several astronomers - over southeastern England. It appears that rumours of this event were overheard by the USAF personnel at Bentwaters who have interpreted the secondhand information as “confirmation” that a UFO was tracked by radar shortly before the sightings in Rendlesham Forest in the early hours of Boxing Day morning.

Thirdly, Titchmarsh makes it clear that no investigation was made by the USAF authorities because the sighting took place on British territory. They followed procedure and passed Halt’s report to the Ministry of Defence, via Bentwater’s RAF commander.

1983 to Present

The remainder of the MOD file consists of correspondence between various incumbents of Secretariat Air Staff 2A and UFOlogists on the subject of the Rendlesham Forest UFO phenomena. Regular correspondents include Jenny Randles, Dot Street and Brenda Butler, the Lancashire-based group OSEAP, Quest International (now ‘UFO’ Magazine) and a number of US researchers including Raymond Fowler.

Throughout the file the MOD maintain a consistent line that the events of 1980 were assessed at the time as having no defence significance. When in 1984 the former head of DS8, Ralph Noyes, contacted his former colleagues to ask for clarification of their position he had to send two reminders before receiving a reply. This delay helped to convince him that there was indeed a cover-up in respect of the Rendlesham incident. The letter Noyes received from Brian Webster at DS8 assured him that:

“...John Stanley Minister for the Armed Forces confirmed in answer to a written Parliamentary Question from Sir Patrick Wall MP on 24 October last year, that MOD had, indeed, received the USAF report to which you refer. The Department satisfied itself at the time that there was no reason to consider that the alleged sightings had any defence significance. That is not to say, however, that Colonel Halt and the other personnel mentioned in the report were, as you suggest, suffering from hallucinations. Speaking personally, I can accept that people do from time to time see things in the sky which they find difficult to explain. I am sure you will agree that in many cases normal explanations come to light, such as falling meteorites or satellite debris, unusual cloud formations or aircraft lights. If you followed the press articles on the Woodbridge incident last autumn you will have seen the results of a good deal of investigative journalism which turned up rational explanations for what was seen. As I recall, the light from Orfordness lighthouse was one favourite explanation. What the true explanation is I do not know; as I said earlier, MOD does not attempt to investigate reports to the point at which a positive identification is made. I can assure you, however, that there is no evidence of anything having intruded into British airspace and ‘landing’ near RAF Woodbridge.”

A similar response was elicited by a former Under Secretary of State for Defence, Merlyn Rees MP who wrote to the Conservative Defence Minister Michael Heseltine MP on behalf of his constituent, UFOlogist Philip Mantle, following the News of the World story in 1983. Heseltine replied on 3 November that:

“...I can assure you that there is not a grain of truth in the allegation that there has been a ‘cover up’ about alleged UFO sightings. As you will recall from your time as Minister for the Royal Air Force, reports of alleged sightings are examined by operations staff to see whether there is any interest from a defence point of view. No such interest was found in the case of the incident reported in the News of the World of 2 October, or in any of the other sightings reported in the UK. In the News of the World incident there was in fact no question of any contact with ‘alien beings’, nor was any unidentified object seen on radar. My department’s interest remains solely in the implications for the air defence of the UK...”

The most recent MOD briefing on the Rendlesham Forest case, compiled by Nick Pope at Sec (AS) 2a in 1994, repeated Heseltine’s comments that there was no cover-up and added:

“…no evidence was found of any threat to the defence of the United Kingdom and no further investigations were carried further information has come to light which alters our view that the sightings of these lights was of no defence the absence of any hard evidence, the MOD remains open-minded about these sightings.”

Interviewed by Dave Clarke and Andy Roberts in 2001, Nick Pope had abandoned the objective viewpoint he displayed whilst working for the MOD. When asked for his current belief about what happened at Rendlesham he told us:

“As you know, despite the fact that I am a non-conspiracy theorist and a rational guy, you know that I am a believer in the Extra Terrestrial Hypothesis and I will go with the ETH on this one. Am I allowed to give my answer as an extra terrestrial spacecraft? That’s the answer I’m going with on this case.” »

[prev ¦ 1 ¦ 2 ¦ 3 ¦ 4 ¦ 5 ¦ 6 ¦ 7 ¦ 8 ¦ 9 ¦ next]


“Unless stated otherwise the material on this site is owned by the authors and is copyright protected. Material can be used as long as appropriate credit is given. We will vigorously pursue and expose plagiarists.”