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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1999 > Apr > Apr 7

The Bentwaters and Woodbridge Incidents

From: James Easton <pulsar@compuserve.com>
Date: Tue, 6 Apr 1999 21:28:15 -0400
Fwd Date: Wed, 07 Apr 1999 09:21:04 -0400
Subject: The Bentwaters and Woodbridge Incidents


Pulsar Newsletter - Issue No. 4


Welcome to the latest issue of the newsletter.


CONTENTS

1. The Bentwaters and Woodbridge Incidents.

This newsletter is concerned with only one topic - recent
developments in the RAF Bentwaters/RAF Woodbridge case.


                      O0O~O0O~O0O~O0O~O0O


The Bentwaters and Woodbridge Incidents.

The events which occurred just after Christmas 1980 at the
twin-base complex of RAF Bentwaters and RAF Woodbridge in
Suffolk, England, are one of the UK's most enduring mysteries.

The American bases located on British soil were an important
component of NATO's front-line defences.

At approximately 3 a.m. on the morning of 26 December, 1980, a
security patrol at the 'east gate' sentry point on RAF
Woodbridge, noticed unfamiliar lights in Rendlesham forest,
which adjoined the Woodbridge base.

The ensuing investigation by Staff-Sergeant (SSgt) Jim
Penniston, Airman 1st Class John Burroughs and Airman Ed
Cabansag, all with the 81st Security Police Squadron (SPS),
led to later publicised claims from Burroughs and Penniston
that they had encountered an unidentified object which
manoeuvred through the forest.

During the late evening and early hours of 27th/28th December,
further reports of 'strange lights' resulted in the Deputy
Base Commander, Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Halt, forming a
team to investigate.

Amongst those known to have accompanied Halt were Lieutenant
Bruce Englund, the Duty Flight Lieutenant, Sergeant Monroe
Nevilles from Disaster Preparedness Operations and Master-
Sergeant [MSgt] Bobby Ball, a shift commander from the 81st
SPS.

Also possibly in Halt's party were Major Malcolm Zickler,
Chief of Base Security and Captain Mike Verano, the Day Shift
Commander.

Sometime around 11.00 p.m., they entered Rendlesham forest and
examined the area where Penniston and Burroughs claimed to
have seen the 'strange lights'.

Halt's party took radiation readings from possible 'landing
marks' which had been identified after the first incident,
proceeded through the forest where they saw a 'strange
flashing red light' plus other perceived phenomena, and headed
due east through farmland.

At this point, the most momentous event of that night was
documented on the microcassette recorder which Halt had taken
with him. The recording was later made public and a transcript
reads:

HALT: 3:05. At about ten degrees, horizon, directly north,
we've got two strange objects, er, half moon shape, dancing
about, with colored lights on 'em. At, er, guess to be about
five to ten miles out, maybe less. The half moons have now
turned into full circles as though there was an eclipse or
something there for a minute or two.

HALT: 03:15. Now we've got an object about 10 degrees directly
south, 10 degrees off the horizon. And the ones to the north
are moving. One's moving away from us.

1ST VOICE: Moving out fast.

2ND VOICE: This one on the right's heading away, too.

HALT: They're both heading north. Hey, here he comes from the
south, he's coming toward us now.

HALT: Now we're observing what appears to be a beam coming
down to the ground.

SHOUT IN BACKGROUND: [Unclear - possibly 'colors!' or 'take
cover!']

HALT: This is unreal.


At 0400, Halt's last remarks were, "One object still hovering
over Woodbridge base at about five to ten degrees off the
horizon, still moving erratic and similar lights and beaming
down as earlier".


One possible explanation is that stars were being mistaken for
moving aerial objects. However, it seems clear from the actual
tape that the first and second 'voices' are different and
added to Halt's observations, means that if stars were being
inadvertently assumed to be rapidly moving, then three people
had an identical optical aberration at the same time.

There's also the acute point that one of the 'celestial'
objects was observed and documented at the time to have not
only accelerated from the south, it sent down a beam of light
close to Halt's group.


During 1998, Halt was interviewed by American journalist AJS
(Salley) Rayl and elaborated:

"We've crossed the farmer's field past his house and across
the road, stumbled through a small stream and went out into a
large ploughed field. Somebody noticed several objects in the
sky to the north - three objects clearly visible with
multiple-colored lights on them. The objects appeared
elliptical and then they turned full round, which I thought
was quite interesting. All three doing that. They were
stationary for awhile and then they started to move at high
speed in sharp angular patterns as though they were doing a
grid search. About that same time, somebody noticed the south,
a similar object, it was round - did not change shape - and at
one point it appeared to come toward us at a very high speed.
It stopped overhead and sent down a small pencil-like beam,
sort of like a laser beam. It was an interesting beam in that
it stayed - it was the same size all the way down the beam. It
illuminated the ground about ten feet from us and we just
stood there in awe wondering whether it was a signal, a
warning, or what it was. We really didn't know."

"It clicked off as though someone threw a switch, and the
object receded, back up into the sky".

"Then it moved back toward Bentwaters and continued to send
down beams of light, at one point near the weapons storage
facility. We knew that, because we could hear the chatter on
the radio".

An incredible tale and somewhat disconcerting as the weapons
storage facility has long been rumoured to have housed nuclear
weapons.


The apparent intrusion was never solved by Halt and at a
subsequent staff meeting of the Third Air Force, he was
informed that as the incidents occurred on British soil, it
was a matter for the Ministry of Defence.

In 1993, American researcher Robert Todd, obtained a copy of
Halt's memo to the MoD, under the US Freedom of Information
Act (FOIA).

The Ministry have clarified in writing to myself and others
that they did investigate the affair and found nothing which
was 'of defence significance'. One reason cited is that
considerable time had elapsed between the incidents and
receiving Halt's brief memo.

There seems to be no evidence that Halt's memo resulted in a
thorough enquiry by the Ministry and Halt has expressed his
bewilderment that he didn't even receive an acknowledgement
from them.

Although some witnesses to both night's events have come
forward with their accounts since 1980, missing from the
contemporary evidence was a testimony from anyone who was on
duty in the weapons storage area (WSA) that night.

Until now.


Recently, I was contacted by a member of the 81st SPS who had
come across some lengthy articles I had written in 1998,
following extensive research into the case.

>From the information given, there seems no doubt that the
events he relates took place on the same date as Lt. Col.
(subsequently Colonel) Halt recorded his own experiences on
tape.


The witness is Randy D. Smith, an Honor Graduate from Air
Training Command.

A Security Specialist, Randy's Certificate of Appointment
confirms he was assigned to RAF Bentwaters with the
noncommissioned rank of Sergeant on 1 September, 1980.


Noting that any comments of my own, or clarifications, are
contained in square brackets, this is Sergeant Randy Smith's
story of what happened one night in late December, 1980:

"I was either a SrA.[Senior Airman] or Sgt. at the time. It
was Christmas time 1980. 'D' flight had been working the 3-
11pm shift, while 'C' flight had been working the 11pm-7am
shift.

It was a quiet, clear night. I believe I was working 'Whiskey
5' which was the alarm response team in the weapons storage
area on Bentwaters. I am unsure of my partner that night. I
had free range of one half of the WSA and I was driving a
pickup truck. Clarence George was my area supervisor. Rick
Bobo was the SPCDS [Small Permanent Communications Display
Segment -a 'computerized alarm system'] tower operator in the
WSA.

The next thing I recall, not long after the shift began,
perhaps midnight or so, I heard Bob Ball come over the radio
and request that the aircraft control tower give him
permission to cross the active runway, it saves 15 minutes
driving time, as opposed to driving the perimeter road. At
that point I knew SOMETHING was happening because no-one ever
crossed the active runway unless there was an extreme
emergency. Bob, perhaps logically accompanied by Lt. Bruce
Englund, crossed the runway on Bentwaters, they picked up Lt.
Col. Halt and some equipment and returned by the same route. I
would say that between 30 minutes to an hour had passed since
Bob made his first request to cross. They then proceeded to
recross the runway, and went out the back gate headed toward
RAF Woodbridge. After that, the radio was quiet for a long
time.

It was a very quiet night, no planes, no helicopters flying.
Clarence George came by to talk to me and he said that
everyone in the WSA was in the SPCDS tower watching 'lights'
and did I want to come check it out? So I did. Clarence
thought they were all crazy. It's a small tower and people
were jammed in there body to body, overloading the tower I'm
sure. More people than I've ever seen in the tower at one
time".

Randy's reported observation from the security tower was of
what appeared to be a silent, triangular-shaped craft,
hovering near the twin base complex.

It's an assertion which might be startling on its own.

Randy, however, states there were three of them.

"I asked what everyone was looking at and they pointed out 3
objects that appeared like stars to the naked eye. Binoculars
were being passed around and when I had my turn I saw VERY
CLEAR images of 3 triangular shaped craft that were hovering a
few miles away and above treetop level".

"They were triangular in shape, larger than a fighter jet, but
smaller than a C5. Definitely triangular with lights that were
arranged around the bottom that were perhaps different colors
but unable to distinguish at that distance. I only stayed in
the tower for an hour or so and heard one of the guys with a
turn on the binoculars say, 'Wow, it just took off'. Two of
the craft left at a high rate of speed. The one remaining
craft was still in position when I left the tower".

"Regarding sound-very quiet, no motor sounds whatsoever".

"I also remember hearing the radio traffic regarding the
light-alls [these were gas powered, portable lights which it's
known were being used that night and proved problematic] and
not working, replacing them, they didn't work, then much
later, they all worked fine".

"The following night, I went on duty. At guardmount, Bob Ball
was very serious, he's almost never serious, a very jovial
person. He said, 'I saw something last night, but I'm not at
liberty to discuss it'. And that was the 'end'. I later heard
that the morning we got off our first midnight shift, an A-10
was scrambled and sent to Ramstein, Germany, by Lt. Col.
Halt".


As for the 'beams of light' which Halt claims were being
reported on radio as coming down near the WSA, Randy has no
knowledge of this.

Randy, in fact, can't recall much of what happened afterwards:
"I remember leaving the tower and then I can remember as I was
riding my bicycle home I was thinking that I must have turned
in my weapon because I don't have it with me".

He couldn't think of any significant occurrences in-between.

Except for one thing..

Randy believes that at some point he was, "on top of the
structure near the bunker where you'd go if you were under
attack".

Why he may have thought the WSA was under attack, is something
that poses an enigma and one which Randy would like to
resolve.


In the past it's been claimed that RAF Bentwaters held a
'tactical nuclear weapons' stockpile, a fact not acknowledged
by the respective US and UK governments.

Some 20 years later, there's no obvious reason why that should
remain a vital secret and as one former serviceman was on
record as alleging that Bentwaters held the largest 'NATO
nuclear weapons dump', I asked if this entire issue might now
be clarified.

Randy's wife, Kathy, provided considerable assistance in
obtaining answers to what at times seemed an unreasonable
amount of questions. Fortunately, she fully appreciated it was
necessary to understand the context of this new evidence and
her patience, diligence and knowledge of the issues were
invaluable.

Kathy responded:

"Yes, of course there were small, 'hot', tactical nuclear
weapons at Bentwaters, as used on an F-16, not large as used
on B-52's and B-1's. However, Bentwaters probably had the
least weapons, not the 'largest NATO dump' by any means. The
WSA is the highest security area on the base. In a 'hot'
nuclear area, you employ the two man concept throughout the
entire area, no single person ever allowed around nukes".

"The bunkers would look like small hills. They were covered
with dirt and had grass growing on them sloped front to back.

There were about 10 bunkers total, the two large on the ends
and 8 all within the long middle section. All of these
contained 'hot' nuclear weapons. This was Rand's posted
position that night".

"Use of deadly force was authorized".

"The bunkers on each end were defensive fighting positions.
That was where Randy believes (98% positive) he was when
Tsgt.[Technical-Sergeant] Clarence George, the area
supervisor, approached him and asked if he wanted to go up in
the tower. That was where you would take position if you were
ever under attack, not where you'd ever be under normal
conditions".

"The bunker is the weapon storage facility itself, where the
nukes are stored. It has thick steel, double doors, 2 high
security padlocks, and the Munitions Maintenance Squadron were
the ONLY people authorized to enter these structures. Up on
top, the SP's [Security Police] had a defensive fighting
position - 2 short steel walls, with sandbags in between the
walls. The only time anyone ever went up there was during an
exercise to prepare for an attack. In case of an actual
attack, you would follow the procedures practiced during the
exercise. It was training or it was real, no gray areas.

He knows they weren't training that night.

He has tried to recall why he was there that night but simply
can't".


I pointed out that if his supervisor had found Randy in a
defensive position, rather than inviting him to watch some
'strange lights', wouldn't he first have enquired why Randy
thought the WSA was under attack?

Kathy replied:

"Regarding the inability to recall what happened after Randy
left the tower, and the less than 100% assuredness of being on
the bunker when Tsgt. George invited him to the tower. What if
he isn't sure because it was after he left the tower that he
took that position up on the bunker? Maybe at that point the
area supervisor would have joined him at that location. He
would be the one to be in charge of what actions to take if
the WSA was penetrated".

This was precisely the scenario I had wondered about. If Halt
is correct and those 'beams of light' described on tape were
being directed near the WSA, then it's evident from the timing
documented in Halt's recording and Randy's statement, that
this occurred after Randy had left the observation tower.

Questioned about the exact timings, although realising it was
so long ago, Kathy provided more details:

"He believes he heard the radio traffic re Ball crossing
active, 'around' midnight, could have been as early as 11:30.
He would have begun hearing about the light-alls having
problems around 1:00am. He would have gone up in the tower
between 1:50-2:00am. Stayed until 3:00-3:30, and doesn't
recall anything else, until riding bike home".


We know from Halt's crucial documentation that the most
puzzling 'aerial phenomena' occurred between 0300 and 0330. If
Randy and his colleagues were conceivably observing the same
objects and aware of their evidently sudden, rapid departure,
then during this time - 0300 to 0330 - Randy would have to be
in the tower.

It looks like he possibly was and may have left directly after
that 'excitement' had passed.

Whilst it's impossible to be certain about this, the timings
are at least coincidentally close, perhaps surprisingly so if
there's no relationship.


Assuming Randy's claims are accurate and two of the 'objects'
being observed from the tower departed rapidly or were no
longer visible, then as noted, we have people in the security
tower who are experiencing similar misperceptions at around
the same as Halt's group, who were some two miles away.

It's something which might be further clarified if we had
accounts from the dozen or so others who were in the tower.

Asked for any additional information in this respect, Kathy
cited:

"The tower operator was Sgt. Rick Bobo.

Others that could possibly have been there were: Mike Dahl,
Dan Grogul, Jim Gouge, Jim O'Farrell, Mike Christian, Mike
Smith.

The 15 men with clearance to be in the tower would be a
vehicle searcher from the entry control point, the shift
supervisor, tower operator, 8 in the alert fire team facility,
and two 2-man patrols. The entry controller and the alarm
monitor were the only 2 people in the area that could not
leave their posts, as far as he knows, bringing the total to
17 people within the WSA".

An explanation of what exactly took place within the WSA that
night might lie with these colleagues, most, if not all, of
whom have presumably long since returned to the US.


Could the observations reported by Randy simply have been
misidentified stars, perhaps distorted by the optically
imperfect glass windows of the observation tower, the use of
binoculars and further compounded by mist, haze, fog, ice
particles, etc.

The answer must be affirmative, there are many examples of
stars being misidentified as 'strange objects'.

Where this case notably differs is that Halt's tape recording
provides corroborative evidence that there was at around the
same time a documented observation of 'star-like' objects
which exhibited characteristics that can't easily, if at all,
be equated with stars.

Furthermore, a nearby resident, Gerry Harris, has testified
that earlier on the same night, he observed 'abnormal lights'
moving over the base complex:

"I stood watching them and they were going up and moving about
this way and that way and they were going up, they were coming
down and I watched them for, three quarters of an hour and,
all of a sudden, they disappeared.

But just before they went, before they disappeared, there was
a lot of activity on the base, I could hear vehicles running
about, I could see the flashing lights of vehicles moving
about and I could hear people shouting, it was quiet and the
wind must have been in this direction. I could hear their
voices and then they were calling to each other and then I
could hear the roaring of their vehicles, which at that time
of night was unusual".

It's against this overall background that Randy's account
needs to be placed in perspective.


Any conclusion about what may, or may not, have occurred
during these incidents is hampered by the absence of
testimonies from so many who participated.

Added to all who are identified above, are those that took
part in the first night's incident, when Burroughs, Cabansag
and Penniston pursued the source of 'peculiar lights' through
Rendlesham forest.

At Lt. Col Halt's request, Burroughs, Cabansag and Penniston,
plus the Flight Chief, Master-Sergeant J. D. Chandler and the
Shift Commander, Fred A. Buran [rank unknown], provided
written statements of their involvement in this first
incident.

I obtained copies of these witness affidavits last year and
they served as proof that Burroughs, Cabansag and Penniston
pursued a light through the forest and farm terrain for some
two miles, before realising it was the beacon from nearby
Orfordness lighthouse. This had never previously been
disclosed and confirmed the lighthouse was a factor.

The deceptive lighthouse beacon had been suggested as the
explanation for all that transpired, however, from a
painstaking analysis of the evidence, that seems impossible.

Two of the unidentified lights first observed from 'east gate'
were consistently mentioned in this early documentation as
'red and blue', for example, Burroughs described:

"On the night of 25-26 Dec at around 0300 while on patrol down
at east gate myself and my partner saw lights coming from the
woods due east of the gate. The lights were red and blue the
red one above the blue one and they were flashing on and off".

It's the source of these 'red and blue lights', seen from the
east gate and then reportedly moving through the forest, which
has never been determined.

>From the complete accounts, it seems evident that the 'beacon'
light later seen in the forest and which turned out to be from
Orfordness was a completely separate occurrence, for example,
Burroughs later attested:

"We climbed over the fence and started heading towards the red
and blue lights and they just disappeared. Once we reached the
farmer's house we could see a beacon going around so we went
towards it. We followed it for about 2 miles before we could
see it was coming from a lighthouse2.

Penniston indeed made the distinction, Chandler confirming:

"Each time Penniston gave me the indication that he was about
to reach the area where the lights were, he would give an
extended estimated location. He eventually arrived at a
'beacon light', however, he stated that this was not the light
or lights he had originally observed".

Buran verified:

"SSgt Penniston reported getting near the 'object' and then
all of a sudden said they had gone past it and were looking at
a marker beacon that was in the same general direction as the
other lights. I asked him, through SSgt Coffey, if he could
have been mistaken, to which SSgt Penniston replied that had I
seen the other lights I would know the difference. SSgt
Penniston seemed agitated at this point".

Staff-sergeant Coffey is another who might help our
understanding of this episode.


In Penniston's written testimony to Halt, he makes the
following claim:

"After receiving permission from CSC, we proceeded off base
past east gate, down an old logging road. Left vehicle
proceeded on foot. Burroughs and I were approximately 15-20
meters apart and proceeding on a true east direction from the
logging road. The area in front of us was lighting up a 30
meter area. When we got within a 50 meter distance. The object
was producing red and blue light. The blue light was steady
and projecting under the object. It was lighting up the area
directly under extending a meter or two out.

At this point of positive identification I relayed to CSC,
SSgt Coffey. Positive sighting of object...colour of lights
and that it was definitely mechanical in nature".

An anomaly is that Penniston then immediately added, "This is
the closest point that I was near the object at any point",
which differs markedly from his subsequent public claims to
have examined a triangular-shaped object at close range for
some 10-20 minutes and even touched 'strange symbols' on its
surface.

All of the statements gathered by Lt. Col. Halt seem to
support Penniston's original contention that the source of the
lights was in fact never located.

In later years Burroughs also acknowledged, "I never saw
anything metallic or anything hard".


The articles I published in 1998 specifically highlighted the
clear discrepancies between what was documented at the time
and the more elaborate tales later told. As it was hoped this
might lead to the anomalies being addressed and perhaps even
rationalised, some other aspects were left aside.

Consequently, a fact which is publicly divulged here for the
first time is that in their respective statements, Chandler
and Buran do confirm that Penniston radioed he had seen an
actual object, nor merely illusive lights.

Chandler wrote: "On one occasion, Penniston relayed that he
was close enough to the object to determine that it was
definitely a mechanical object", with Buran agreeing, "at one
point SSgt Penniston stated that it was a definite metallic
object".

Was it, or wasn't it and if so , what was it.

A key testimony is Ed Cabansag's
 and he has never spoken about
the events. I'm not aware that he has ever been located and
asked.


A close colleague of Burroughs and Penniston was Geraldo
Valdes-Sanchez, perhaps better known as Jerry Valdez.

Jerry contacted me in April, 1997 and recounted how he was
part of 'B' flight in the 81st SPS and a member of a patrol
which had been sent to check on Burroughs, Penniston and
Cabansag that first night.

Although I published the essence of Jerry's story, giving him
the pseudonym of 'Tom', that full story has never been told
before now:

"I was assigned to RAF Bentwaters in August of 1980.

I worked with Burroughs and Penniston. What they said was
true. As a matter of fact, the following statements are true
and can be verified by many people.

The acting squadron was the 81st. SPS and 'B' Flight was the
acting security force on duty. Burroughs and Penniston were on
'B' flight.

'A' flight was the day flight, daytime only.

The Guard at East gate was Amn [Airman] Burroughs and Amn
Beachum [it was actually Airman 1st Class John Burroughs and
Staff Sergeant Bud Steffans].

I was stationed on Security - 6 with either Amn Hartman or Sgt
Sauls. We saw the entire thing.

Shift change was from 26th at 2300 hrs till 0700 hrs of the
27th.

The top Flight Sgt on duty was MSgt Fail. Lt. Col. Halt was
not there the first night.

It was a bitterly cold night and clear.

Radio communications were disrupted on and off due to some
type of atmospheric disturbance. The radios weren't working at
all that night. There were 6 channels, called 'Queen', 'Queen
1', 'King 1' and so on. One channel was reserved for Law
Enforcement, one for RAF Bentwaters and the rest were open.

We switched channels all night.

Contact had been lost with Burroughs, Penniston and Beachum
[Steffans remained at 'east gate', the other participant was
Airman Ed Cabansag].

The base had an Alarm Response Team (ART) and a Security
Response Team (SRT).

Codes in use at that time and which have now been declassified
were 'Helping Hand' - a potentially hostile threat - and
'Covered Wagon' - a confirmed hostile threat.

If the first alert status was unresolved after 30 minutes, it
automatically became a confirmed, hostile threat.


The person on the post should have been Burroughs, but he was
missing, the weapons were missing and the phone was off the
hook.

This was around 2:00 a.m. [it's known this must have been
after 3.00 a.m.].

We were carrying weapons and were told to hold our position.
MSgt Fail went out.


I could clearly see the lights from the gate, just outside the
back gate [east gate]. It was next to the road.

They were intermittent lights, very bright, 15-20 feet above
the ground.

They were pulsating and from what I recall there were 3
lights, red green and blue.

It made no noise, but it defied gravity. It was really weird
and scary. We all knew what we were looking at, but no one
really came out and said it.

I saw them, so did Amn Beachum, Amn Hartman, Amn Randy
Hernandez.

Burroughs and Penniston finally showed up. I somehow think
something happened to them. They were acting strange.

We were then told to go back to our posts.


Shift change in the morney for 'B' flight was extremely late.
'A' Flight relieved us at 9:30 am, very late.

When we went out the East gate back to Bentwaters, leaving
Woodbridge, there were many people, including numerous people
in typical lab coats making an analysis of the area. You could
see out the vehicle to the right side, that there were many
people examining the area, searching, looking for something.
Some of these people were in white overcoats, that's why I say
that they looked like typical techs in lab coats.

They were searching the area in front of the forest.

The 'few branches' that were broken off were not a few, it was
a lot, a huge area had been cleared. There were trees missing.

I also saw Bobbys [British Policemen] and little white police
cars.

I was pointing these things out and Hartman says, 'Valdez,
shut up about that [or words to that effect]'.

I was green.


I know that they got pictures and hard evidence of this thing.

Penniston told me he shot a roll of film, but it had been
confiscated.

The base had a problem with 'bird watchers', people who were
suspected to be Russian spies. The base security personnel had
to photograph anyone who showed an interest in the base
activities. Penniston may have had a loaded camera in his
duffel bag.

[Note: it was only last year that Penniston first revealed he
had taken photographs of the perceived 'object' in the forest
- Penniston states he was told the photographs 'didn't come
out', which is likely as they were taken within a dense forest
in the dark of night].


A lot of people staked the place out on the second night. The
crew on duty then was 'C' Flight, 'B' Flight had just finished
its last midnight shift for the cycle. Halt's night was 'C'
shift.

The starlight scope mentioned by Lt. Col. Halt [referred to in
Halt's recording], fits on top of an M16. There were no night
vision binoculars in those days.

There were a large number of light-alls in the forest and I
wondered how they had got them all in there. We always had
problems with them. This was 17 years ago, not today's
technology.

If Charles [Halt] says a beam of light shone down at his feet,
then a beam of light shone down at his feet. You can take that
to the bank.


As far as people that saw or knew about this incident, there
were well over 30 security people who swept the area looking
for Beachum [Cabansag], Burroughs and Penniston, who were
missing.

Everyone involved on the 26th and 27th is listed in the
Security Police Blotter AF Form 53.

Woodbridge security and LE [Law Enforcement] can verify
everything. The Deskblotter AF Form 53 has a complete account
of the entire event.

Also, try and get a hold of the form 'Incident Complaint
Report 1569'.

[Note: I requested these documents under the US FOIA and was
eventually advised they would have been destroyed after 2-3
years per normal procedures].


It happened 17 years ago, but I remember it clearly. Here are
some more details:

Other Security Forces involved in incident were Security
Flight Leader, Msgt Fail, Security One, Col. Schultz, Chief of
Security Police, Buckholst [spelling uncertain] and Central
Security Controller, Chandler [Chandler was the Flight Chief
on 'C' flight].

It happened and a lot of people know about it".


What exactly happened remains the mystery.

The people in 'lab coats' are a singular puzzle. Their
presence is substantiated by another testimony on record,
which refers to them as being from 'environmental health'.

Did the base complex have an environmental health division and
why such a rapid response to a sighting of 'odd lights' - this
was only a few hours after the initial incident and it was
during the holiday period.


Staff Sergeant William A. Kirk Jr., was "NCOIC of the
Telecommunications Facility located next to the Commanders
hut".

Also published for the first time is his account as told to me
of the apparent high-level communications traffic after the
'UFO' incident. He wasn't sure which of the two incidents this
followed, however, it was recalled:

"At the time, I was posted on temporary duty to RAF Bentwaters
from RAF Martlesham Heath.

When I showed for duty, communications was running at a peak,
and stayed that way. Many users complained because of busy
signals or being 'bumped'.

Radio traffic between RAF Bentwaters and RAF Martlesham Heath
was full. Switch Techs at Martlesham complained to me of a
great deal of 'Flash' traffic.

Radio Communications Techs at Bentwaters complained about the
amount of traffic. Bentwaters Switchboard Operators remarked
about how 'busy' it was.

I noted increased personnel traffic into the commanders
office. I naturally assumed that an alert or recall was
possible or starting. NATO seemed to have a great deal of them
over the previous year. Whatever the reason, it was a very
busy day for telecommunications traffic".


I asked William he could clarify the nature of 'flash traffic'
and he helpfully obliged:

"American military telephone traffic (AUTOVON = automatic
voice network) has some small differences to regular telephone
communications. The telephone set is push button (long before
the general public had push buttons). 4 extra buttons are
located to the left of the 1 - 4 - 7 - * buttons. They are
labelled P, I, F, FO (P = priority, and is located next to 1),
(I = immediate, located next to 4), (F = flash, located next
to 7), (FO = flash override, next to *). VERY few people had
access to autovon phones and usually there was about one to
two per office area. Usually they were contained at a desk
with a person of higher rank. EVEN fewer were given the power
to use the buttons. Just because you had them did not mean you
could use them. The more important you were, the higher power
you had to 'bump'.

If you were talking on a normal telephone call, just like if
you were to pick up the telephone right now and call a friend,
and I called you, I would hear a busy tone. Well... if I had
the power, I would hang up, push the P button, touch in the
number again, and BANG, you were disconnected from your
friend, you would get a special ring, and there I would be.
Your friend would be high and dry.... HOWEVER if your friend
had the power to call on an Immediate precedence, he could
"bump" me. If I had flash.... well you get the point by now.
Few people had an autovon telephone, fewer had the use of the
P button, even fewer had the use of the I button, less the F
(usually commanders), and only the President and such had use
of the FO button".

As "only the senior base officials had access to 'Flash',
usually commanders", it appears there was an exceptional
amount of communications traffic using the highest base
priority and also, possibly substantiating this, greater than
normal activity in the 'commanders office'.

Again, it was the holiday period, so what was this all about?

It brings us full circle and poses the question; was any of
this related to the incidents and specifically concerns about
nuclear weapons?


How can Randy be so certain about what he claims to have seen.

It's a question I put to him in a number of ways, querying for
example:

- was there any cloud cover and if so, were the objects ever
covered by cloud or definitely lower than clouds

- if the latter, what was their altitude with respect to the
forest trees and did the altitude noticeably change (it would
have altered if they were stars)

- was it easy to keep the objects centred in the binoculars'
viewfinder (using hand held binoculars and due to inadvertent
body movement, it's extremely difficult to focus steadily on
stars).

He responded:

"In regards to cloud cover, I remember the night as being
clear. If there were clouds, these objects were lower than the
clouds. As you state, clouds would block out stars, these
objects were never blocked out.

It wasn't even the lights that were important. It was the
shape that made us realize what we were looking at.

It's hard to determine how far above the trees these craft
were. Best guess, several hundred feet above the ground. They
weren't 'just above' treetop, but they weren't really that
high either.

They didn't noticeably change altitude while I was looking.
They also didn't appear to be stationary-like a star would
have been. More like viewing say a helicopter that's hovering
very smoothly. i.e. no or very little yaw, and no buck. And
yes, they were always perceived to be the same distance above
the trees while I was viewing. There was only one pair of
binoculars in the tower and not on a tripod. The objects were
steady in the viewfinder and it wasn't really difficult to
keep them centered.

You also ask about the tower's windows. They are not angled
outwards as with an aircraft control tower. The windows aren't
as big as in an aircraft control tower. The window glass is
thick and bullet resistant. However, I don't believe my view
was either impeded nor distorted by this glass. It's designed
to be an OBSERVATION tower, I OBSERVED 3 triangular craft with
lights, my vision was and is perfect, the area of observation
was clear. There is NO DOUBT in my mind whatsoever".


>From lengthy discussions, Randy has provided finite details of
the perceived objects, all of which seemed to be identical,
together with a drawing.

The shape is effectively an upright pyramid, Randy being
uncertain whether it may have been flat-surfaced or conical.
However, he believed the objects were cone-shaped as they
"didn't look to be so flat as an actual pyramid".

The lights underneath, which "created somewhat of a backlit
effect enabling the shape of the crafts to be seen clearly",
were observed to be 8-10 rectangular blocks, arranged in a
circle.


Randy's claim to have perfect vision has substance. He retired
from the services in 1995 and I noticed from his 'Certificate
of Release or Discharge' that he was an expert marksman with
both pistol and rifle.

Subsequent enquiries revealed that during his later service at
Fort Drum between 1992-94, Randy was on the SRT (SWAT) team
for three years.

For eighteen months of that stint, Randy was a sniper.


Asked for her own recollections, specifically if Randy
confided details at the time of what he observed, Kathy
related how Randy was visibly shaken when he returned home and
confirmed, "Yes, he told me the description of the crafts
early in the morning following his shift".

Kathy added, "Randy never considered his information to be all
that important because so many saw the same thing from the
tower and others had more rank and authority".


I forwarded an Ordnance survey map showing both bases and
asked Randy if he would indicate on this where the WSA was,
plus the direction of his observation. He has also provided a
detailed sketch of the WSA, identifying where the objects were
observed.

The three objects were in close proximity, as Kathy explained:

"He said he could estimate the distance to the craft a bit
more accurately if he KNEW how big the craft were up close and
then compare to the apparent size due to distance. He
obviously could not make that comparison. They could very well
have been much closer, perhaps as close as 1-2 miles. It's
very difficult to judge distance due to so many unknown
variables.

He states, 'They weren't real close, and they weren't real far
away'.

They shimmered like large bright stars to the naked eye. Randy
directed the binoculars to the one on the far right, focused,
and could immediately distinguish the triangular shaped craft
with the bank of shimmery lights underneath. He got the
impression of colors shimmering in the silvery white light.
Then scanned slightly left and saw identical 2nd craft,
scanned further left and saw the 3rd identical craft. The 2 on
the right were closer together than the one to the left. No
two could be seen simultaneously. He spent at least 15
minutes scanning back and forth, they seemed to hold their
positions in a 'hover'. Passed the binoculars, next time
around, not sure how much later, on 2nd turn, all 3 craft were
still visible seemingly in the same positions. After several
minutes, passed the binoculars to, perhaps, Rick Bobo, he was
next to Randy, and he may have been the one to say, 'WOW, they
just TOOK OFF!', implying with great speed".

"Not sure what it was hovering over, his best guess would be
the forest. He does not know if they showed up on radar or
not, does not know if Lakenheath or Heathrow were called. Not
aware of anything in the local or base press".


As the three 'objects' were approximately to the south-west of
RAF Bentwaters and two of three documented by Halt were to the
north (the other to the south), then if they were all stars,
there had to be, at least four, if not an astonishing FIVE
separate stars, which gave rise to the misperceptions.

James McGaha, 'technical consultant' for the Committee for
Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP),
suggested that the lights Halt observed - two in the north and
one to the south - were almost certainly, if not
unquestionably, the stars Vega, Deneb and Sirius,
respectively.

Science writer Ian Ridpath, who has a considerable knowledge
of the case history, was asked for his opinion on Randy's
testimony and believes that from the description of their
positions, the right-hand star was Rigel, the one to the left
was Saiph (Kappa Orionis) and to the far left was Sirius.

It's understandable why Ian concludes these three objects were
also stars, however, as noted, there are conversely reasons to
conclude otherwise.

If not stars and they were in fact infinitely closer, possibly
'objects' above the base complex, then there may only have
been three prominent, unfamiliar aerial objects, as reported
by the base observers.

In a separate interview with AJS Rayl from last year, Halt was
asked for his opinion on the idea that some form of
'psychological warfare' may have been involved. He dismissed
this, stating:

"The idea that we or the British would be testing some kind of
psychological warfare just outside one of the most sensitive
NATO bases in Europe, where civilians could possibly be
involved doesn't make any sense either".

"We can do some very interesting things alright, but some of
the men in the weapons storage area saw the objects in the sky
as well as the object that projected the pencil-like beam -
and they were a mile and a half away, maybe two from where we
were, and I question whether or not they could have been
influenced by some kind of projection. I don't think so, not
at that distance".

If other personnel in the WSA did report seeing the same
'objects', it's a significant confirmation of Sergeant Randy
Smith's testimony.


Despite so many intervening years, the truth is proverbially
out there and it's hoped the evidence deliberated here may yet
result in new information coming to light.

If anyone can directly assist in finally answering the many
questions highlighted, or provide contact details for the
personnel mentioned, I would obviously be delighted to hear
from them.



James Easton.
E-mail: pulsar@easynet.co.uk
Web site: http://easyweb.easynet.co.uk/pulsar/

Copyright of James Easton,
5 April, 1999.


Appendix:

The following documents from Sergeant Randy Smith are
available on my web site:

Certificate - Honor Graduate from Air Training Command, 21
April, 1978 - Security Specialist:

http://easyweb.easynet.co.uk/pulsar/graduate.gif


Letter designating the award of Honor Graduate:

http://easyweb.easynet.co.uk/pulsar/graduat2.gif


Certificate of completed training - US Army Marksmanship Unit:

http://easyweb.easynet.co.uk/pulsar/marksman.gif


Certificate of Appointment as a Sergeant, RAF Bentwaters,
1 September, 1980:

http://easyweb.easynet.co.uk/pulsar/appoint.gif


Certificate of Recognition for "Outstanding Contributions" at
RAF Bentwaters:

http://easyweb.easynet.co.uk/pulsar/recogn.jpg


Certificate of Appreciation and Citation from Strategic Air
Command for duties involving "47 Primary Nuclear Airlift Force
missions":

http://easyweb.easynet.co.uk/pulsar/sac.gif


Certificate from 10th Military Police Battalion, Fort Drum in
recognition of "outstanding participation" during a
presidential visit on 15 March, 1994:

http://easyweb.easynet.co.uk/pulsar/10th_mil.gif


Certificate of Release or Discharge - Page 1:

http://easyweb.easynet.co.uk/pulsar/release1.gif

Certificate of Release or Discharge - Page 2:

http://easyweb.easynet.co.uk/pulsar/release2.gif


Detailing drawing of RAF Bentwaters weapons storage area
(WSA), showing the nuclear weapons bunkers, the approximate
direction of reported observations and the defensive
positions:

http://easyweb.easynet.co.uk/pulsar/wsa.jpg


Ordnance Survey (OS) map, showing RAF Bentwaters, RAF
Woodbridge and surrounding area. The weapons storage area and
approximate direction of the reported observations have been
added by Sergeant Smith:

http://easyweb.easynet.co.uk/pulsar/rand_map.jpg

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