BBC: UFO Files Reveal Rendlesham Papers Missing
From: Robert Hastings <ufohastings.nul>
Date: Fri, 4 Mar 2011 19:05:53 -0500 (EST)
Archived: Sat, 05 Mar 2011 07:57:53 -0500
Subject: BBC: UFO Files Reveal Rendlesham Papers Missing
02 March 2011
UFO Files Reveal 'Rendlesham Incident' Papers Missing
By Neil Henderson
Intelligence papers on a reported UFO sighting known as the
"Rendlesham incident" have gone missing, files from the National
The missing files relate to a report of mysterious lights from
US servicemen at RAF Woodbridge in Suffolk in 1980. The
disappearance came to light with the release of 8,000 previously
classified documents on UFOs. Officials found a "huge" gap where
defence intelligence files relating to the case should be, the
This revelation was to be expected, sooner or later, in my view.
While UFO debunkers in the UK, including Dr. David Clarke, have
naively claimed that the British government has been entirely
candid about its knowledge of UFOs, as demonstrated by its
periodic releases of classified files to the public, I have long
maintained that the national security-related files--including
those pertaining to the Rendlesham/Bentwaters/Woodbridge
incidents--continue to be classified at a high level. If the BBC
story above is accurate, apparently some of those key documents
have "gone missing".
My book's chapter on Rendlesham is attached. I've interviewed a
number of ex-USAF Security Policemen who say that a UFO was
observed relatively near the RAF Bentwaters nuclear Weapons
Storage Area (WSA), located adjacent to Rendlesham Forest, in
December 1980, just as the former deputy base commander, now-
retired USAF Col. Charles Halt, first revealed in 1991.
According to Halt, he saw the object direct laser-like beams of
light onto various parts of the base while simultaneously
listening to the radio chatter from security personnel
indicating that some of the beams fell within or near the
weapons complex. None of the former guards I've talked to
actually saw the beams themselves, and one of them says that the
incident never happened, but others report a seeing an unknown
aerial object, spherical in shape, maneuvering near the tactical
nuclear bomb depot. There are also reports of UFO activity at
the site on more than one night that week and, further, reports
of harsh interrogations of some security personnel by OSI agents
following the events.
As my book chapter reveals, in 1994 I interviewed a retired USAF
officer previously involved at a high-level with NATO nuclear
weapons security who confirmed the UFO incident at the
Bentwaters WSA and further told me that two tactical nukes were
subsequently removed from one of the bunkers and shipped to
Kirtland AFB, New Mexico, for inspection. No additional details
were provided to me.
This 1980 incident aside, credible eyewitness reports suggest
other UFO activity in 2004 at the Atomic Weapons Establishment
(AWE) facility--the British equivalent of Los Alamos--as well as
ongoing sightings at the Faslane nuclear submarine base, in
Scotland, where Trident nuclear missile-carrying subs are based.
Some enterprising newspaper reporter or television journalist in
Britain ought to dig into those stories, but that will probably
=46rom the book
UFOs and Nukes: Extraordinary Encounters At Nuclear Weapons Sites
Copyright 2008 Robert L. Hastings. All Rights Reserved.
~ 21 ~
Beams Of Light
One of the most spectacular UFO cases of all time involved a
series of incidents at two neighboring Anglo/American air bases
in Suffolk, England, in December 1980. The bases, RAF Bentwaters
and RAF Woodbridge, were separated by a small forest.
Consequently, the multiple UFO events which occurred there are
collectively known as the Bentwaters-Woodbridge-Rendlesham
Forest Case. However, most people nowadays simply refer to it as
the Bentwaters case.
With the exception of the alleged recovery of a crashed alien
spaceship at Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947, the intriguing events
at Bentwaters have arguably received more media coverage in
recent years than any other UFO incidents. While most of the
publicity has focused on reports of a landed UFO in Rendlesham
Forest, an equally important aspect of the story has usually
been downplayed: another UFO was apparently observed hovering
above the Bentwaters Weapons Storage Area, where tactical nukes
were kept, and reportedly directed laser-like beams of light
down into it!
This dramatic incident has been discussed on occasion over the
years, somewhat reluctantly, by RAF Bentwaters' Deputy Base
Commander at the time, now retired USAF Colonel Charles I. Halt.
Although Halt himself observed the UFO sending down beams of
light into various areas of the base, he was at the time some
miles away, in Rendlesham Forest, and only heard radio chatter
about the incident at the WSA. Nevertheless, I believe that
Halt's remarks regarding the event are important and warrant
further examination. First, however, they must be placed in
Because the Bentwaters UFO sightings have been thoroughly
reported upon and analyzed elsewhere, I will summarize them here
only briefly. On January 13, 1981-some two weeks after the
incidents-Lt. Col. Halt wrote a brief memorandum about them
titled, "Unexplained Lights." It reads:
1. Early in the morning of 27 Dec 80 (approximately 0300L), two
USAF security police patrolmen saw unusual lights outside the
back gate at RAF Woodbridge. Thinking an aircraft might have
crashed or been forced down, they called for permission to go
outside the gate to investigate. The on-duty flight chief
responded and allowed three patrolmen to proceed on foot. The
individuals reported seeing a strange glowing object in the
forest. The object was described as being metallic in appearance
and triangular in shape, approximately two to three meters
across the base and approximately two meters high. It
illuminated the entire forest with a white light. The object
itself had a pulsing red light on top and a bank(s) of blue
lights underneath. The object was hovering or on legs. As the
patrolmen approached the object, it maneuvered through the trees
and disappeared. At this time the animals on a nearby farm went
into a frenzy. The object was briefly sighted approximately an
hour later near the back gate.
2. The next day, three depressions 1 1/2" deep and 7" in
diameter were found where the object had been sighted on the
ground. The following night (29 Dec 80) the area was checked for
radiation. Beta/gamma readings of 0.1 milliroentgens were
recorded with peak readings in the three depressions and near
the center of the triangle formed by the three depressions. A
nearby tree had moderate (.05-.07) readings on the side of the
tree toward the depressions.
3. Later in the night a red sun-like light was seen through the
trees. It moved about and pulsed. At one point it appeared to
throw off glowing particles and then broke into five separate
white objects and then disappeared. Immediately thereafter,
three star-like objects were noticed in the sky, two objects to
the north and one to the south, all of which were about 10-
degrees off the horizon. The objects moved rapidly in sharp
angular movements and displayed red, green and blue lights. The
objects to the north appeared to be elliptical through an 8-12
power lens. They then turned to full circles. The objects in the
north remained in the sky for an hour or more. The object to the
south was visible for two to three hours and beamed down a
stream of light from time to time. Numerous individuals,
including the undersigned, witnessed the activities in
paragraphs 2 and 3.1
Charles I. Halt, Lt.Col. USAF
Deputy Base Commander
Halt reconstructed the UFO incidents from memory, and
inadvertently misstated the dates they had occurred. The first
incident in the forest actually took place around 3 a.m. on
December 26th; the second incident began late on the evening of
December 27th and continued into the early morning hours of the
When this memo was declassified via the Freedom of Information
Act, in 1983, it sparked widespread media interest and public
excitement about the Bentwaters sightings. UFO debunkers, most
notably James McGaha, dismissed the mysterious light in the
woods as the periodic flashing of a nearby lighthouse. Colonel
Halt strenuously objected to this explanation, saying in one
interview, "The lighthouse was visible the whole time...it was
readily apparent, and it was 30 to 40 degrees off to our
In other words, both the lighthouse and the unidentified light
in the woods were observed simultaneously and were clearly
distinguishable as two, widely-separated sources of light.
McGaha, apparently not willing to be confused by the facts,
continues to insist, even now, that the lighthouse beam caused
the all the furor. Unfortunately, a great many people,
scientists and laypersons alike, who are unfamiliar with Colonel
Halt's extensive testimony about the incident have unwittingly
accepted McGaha's untenable "explanation" as the solution to the
Significantly, it will be noted that Halt said nothing about the
UFO incident at the Bentwaters WSA in his first official
statement on the matter. Whatever he may have discussed with his
superiors at the time remains unclear. As far as I am aware,
Halt's first public statement about the incident at the WSA did
not occur until 1991.
Understandably, the WSA was the most sensitive and heavily-
guarded section of the base. It consisted of a series of
closely-spaced, reinforced concrete bunkers-informally known as
"hot row"-in which lower-yield tactical nuclear bombs were
believed to be stored. Although that fact has never been
officially confirmed by the Pentagon, three of my ex-Air Force
sources-one a retired colonel-say it was so.
During that era, Soviet troops based in Eastern Europe greatly
outnumbered the combined allied armed forces stationed on the
continent. Consequently, in the event of a Soviet invasion of
West Germany, U.S. war plans called for the extensive use of
tactical nuclear weapons to thwart the attack. If war had indeed
erupted in Europe in the early 1980s, the weapons at the
Bentwaters WSA would have undoubtedly been loaded onto nuclear-
capable USAF F-16 fighter-bombers and flown to the front.
During the UFO sighting at the WSA, still-unidentified security
personnel reported observing a luminous object briefly hovering
above the site. Although published reports vary, the UFO
apparently sent laser-like beams of light down near-or directly
onto-the tightly-spaced weapons bunkers! Shortly thereafter, it
reportedly left the vicinity at high velocity.
When Colonel Halt briefly alluded to this startling incident
during a 1991 Unsolved Mysteries television program, he stated,
"We could very clearly see [the UFO]...I noticed other beams of
light coming down from the same object, falling on different
places on the base. My boss was standing in his front yard in
Woodbridge and he could see the beams of light falling down, and
the people in the [Bentwaters] Weapons Storage Area and other
places on the base also reported the lights."
Some six years later, during a May 13, 1997 interview with
journalist A.J.S. Rayl, Halt again spoke of the events at
Bentwaters/Woodbridge, including the incident at the WSA. At the
time of his own sighting, Halt had been trudging through
Rendlesham Forest, leading a team of Air Force Security Police
who were investigating reports of strange lights in the woods.
He described the remarkable anomalous activity witnessed by the
team in his now-famous January 13, 1981 memorandum, but only
briefly. During the much longer interview with Rayl, Halt said:
[After leaving the woods, our search team] crossed the farmer's
field past his house and across the road, stumbled through a
small stream, and went out into a large plowed 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 a similar
object [in the southern sky]. 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
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 [two-way]
Halt further discussed the incident at the WSA during a Sci Fi
Channel television program, UFO Invasion at Rendlesham, which
first aired in December 2003. After some prodding by the show's
host, Bryant Gumble, a reluctant Halt stated, "The object to the
south [of my position in the forest] was actually sending some
beams down near, or into, the Weapons Storage Area. That caused
me a great deal of concern. You know, what was it doing there?
Was it searching for something, was it trying to-who knows what
it was trying to do?"4 For a split second, it seemed as if Halt
would say something like, "Was it trying to zap the nukes?" but
caught himself before the words left his lips.
Given these public statements, I decided to approach Halt, in
the hope that he would elaborate on the nuclear weapons aspect
of the sightings at Bentwaters. Eventually, with the assistance
of a friend who is a retired USAF officer, I was able to contact
him. After sending me a couple of cautious, non-committal e-
mails, Halt finally wrote, "I am agreeable to an interview
provided anything used be cleared with me first. There are some
subjects that I am not able to discuss, especially issues that
relate to [nuclear] weapons."
I quickly responded to Halt, and agreed to his condition of
editorial control. However, I also pointed out, regarding the
incident at the WSA, I would simply be asking him to elaborate
on statements he had already made to others. I further promised
that I would understand and accept a string of "no comment"
responses, if that were the outcome, as long as I could at least
ask my questions.
The telephone interview took place on February 7, 2006. I began
by asking Halt why he continued to grant interviews to
researchers and journalists, some 25 years after the incidents
at Bentwaters. He replied, "Well, I guess the best way to put it
is to get the truth out there. Initially, I wasn't too excited
about talking to anybody about it. If my memo had not been made
public, I would have remained silent. There was never any
attempt to influence what I said [but] at that time, I had no
intention of talking to anybody I didn't have to. It wasn't
exactly a career-enhancing, uh, opportunity when I stumbled into
it. If I had it to do over again, I would have sent somebody
else into the woods."
He emphasized, "I have never been warned not to talk about my
experience. In fact, no one has officially said anything to me
about it, which I find quite interesting. When I left the Air
Force I was debriefed because of my security clearances, but
that particular issue was never brought up. I don't even think
that the people who did the debriefing even knew about it."
I then asked Halt to discuss the incident at the Bentwaters WSA.
He replied, "[While we were in the forest] we heard radio
conversations on the Law Enforcement frequency, the Security
Police frequency, and the Command Network. Now, we were having a
lot of problems with the radio. They were really acting up. We
were getting a lot of interference and static, but we could hear
talk about one of the objects [being] in the vicinity of the
Bentwaters WSA. I heard that some of the beams, or whatever they
were, came down into the WSA. As I recall, the guard in the
[watch]tower at the WSA made that report."
Following the telephone interview, Halt expanded upon these
remarks via email. He wrote, "I never told [Left at East Gate
author] Peter Robbins any structure was penetrated by beams. I
was several miles away. From my view, a beam or more came down
near the WSA. I don't know for a fact that the beams landed
there. I know they were in the area. I was too far away but
relied on the radio chatter which indicated the beams landed
there. The objects in the sky came from the east and moved west,
skirting Woodbridge and approaching Bentwaters. When beams came
down, the objects were closer to the Bentwaters WSA-just to the
north of the facility. Only one object came overhead and briefly
sent down a beam at our feet. The other three objects stayed
just west of us and one or more of them sent down the beams to
the WSA. They were far enough away that we couldn't tell which
one or how many sent down beams. We could see several beams and
members in the WSA went on the radio to report them. Several
airmen present later told me they saw the beams. I don't
remember any names at this point."
During the telephone interview, I asked Halt, "Were you ever
concerned that the UFO was attempting to disable or otherwise
compromise the integrity of the nuclear weapons?" He replied, "I
can't comment on that, the way you worded it." He then paused a
moment and said, "I did have great concern about the purpose of
the beams." I then said, "So you wouldn't rule out the
possibility that the object was trying to disable some of the
weapons?" After another pause, Halt replied softly, "I can't
comment about the weapons." Pressing on, I asked a follow-up
question, "Did you ever hear any rumors about some of the
weapons being removed from the WSA and being shipped back to the
United States for inspection?" Halt replied, "I have no comment
Sensing that Halt would not comment further regarding the UFO
above the WSA, I changed the subject somewhat and asked if he
had ever heard reports of nuclear weapons-related UFO incidents
at other bases. Halt replied that he had been approached over
the years by several former and retired USAF personnel, who
alleged that such incidents had indeed occurred.
"I've had people come forward and tell me about different
cases," he said, "you know, this happened at Malmstrom, this
happened here, this happened there. They told me [warhead]
targeting was changed, weapons were rendered neutral, on and
on." Halt said that while he could not personally verify these
accounts, he found them very interesting.
At this point, I left the subject of nukes altogether, and asked
Halt why he had been somewhat wary of my first contact with him.
He said that after he had spoken publicly about his experiences,
he had been contacted by some "unusual" individuals. "I've
gotten correspondence, occasionally telephone calls-now it's e-
mails-from persons accusing me of everything from participating
in the Second Coming of Christ, to being involved with the
Devil. As you well know, there are a lot of fringe people out
there with vivid imaginations and bizarre thoughts."
Finally, I asked Halt to briefly summarize his experience. He
replied, "We saw objects that were under intelligent control."
He paused, so I asked, "What was the source of the
intelligence?" He replied, "I don't know. It had to be something
beyond [human technology] because of they way the objects moved-
the speeds, the angles they turned, and the things they did.
Could the objects have been remotely-controlled? Certainly." I
asked Halt, "So you're saying that it was a technology beyond
anything any country on Earth would have?" Halt replied, "I
never saw any little green men, but it's possible it was alien
technology. I sure would like to have the answers but don't
think I'll ever get them."
In 1994, well before my interview with Halt, another retired
U.S. Air Force officer told me that following the UFO incident
at the Bentwaters WSA, two of the weapons had been removed from
one of the bunkers for inspection. That individual once worked
for NATO's nuclear weapons security program. I had been
introduced to him by a mutual friend who knew of my longstanding
interest in nukes-related UFO incidents.
I was aware of the retired officer's background, so I hesitantly
asked him if he had ever heard about the Bentwaters/Woodbridge
UFO incidents. After warily staring at me for a few seconds, he
acknowledged that he was familiar with them. Figuring that I had
nothing to lose, I plunged ahead and asked him if he had heard
the rumors about the UFO sighting at the Bentwaters Weapons
Storage Area. Much to my surprise, he confirmed the presence of
a UFO near the WSA, confirmed that it had directed a beam or
beams of light downward into the bunker complex, and-without any
prompting from me-said that he had once read a report stating
that two tactical nuclear bombs had been removed from one of the
bunkers shortly after the incident and shipped by the Air Force
to the U.S. for inspection.
I must admit that I was somewhat taken aback by this
individual's candor. He concluded his remarks by saying that he
was unaware of the findings of this inspection because it had
taken place several years before his tenure with NATO.
Regardless, in light of these comments, it appears that the U.S.
Air Force was sufficiently concerned about the condition of the
two bombs after the UFO incident to remove them from their
bunker for inspection.
Unfortunately, I am not at liberty to reveal the retired
officer's identity. However, his credentials relating to his
previous involvement with the U.S. military's nuclear weapons
security program are a matter of record, and I consider his
statements to be highly credible.
Witnesses at the Weapons Storage Area
Shortly after I spoke with Colonel Halt, he forwarded two emails
he had received from a former radio communications specialist at
Bentwaters, Carl Thompson Jr., who told Halt he had indirect
knowledge of the UFO incidents at the base's Weapons Storage
Area. Yes, incidents, plural. That there had been more than one
sighting at the WSA was news to me so I quickly called Thompson.
He told me,
At the time, I was a Senior Airman with the 2164th
Communications Squadron. I was a Radio Relay Repairman. On the
first night, Christmas night if I'm not mistaken, I was at the
Weapons Storage Area working on a piece of equipment in the
[security] tower, trouble-shooting it. I think it was a motion-
detection component, used for the security of the weapons. At
midnight, the guy who was going to relieve me, ---- -------,
called and said that he would come out to the area. So, I went
back to the wide-band radio shop and finished up some paperwork.
Now, I don't remember how much later it was, but he called me at
the shop and said, 'We just saw a UFO!' He meant himself and the
security guards. He was in the security tower cab at the time he
called. You could plainly tell he was excited and maybe kind of
anxious. He sounded matter-of-fact but also kind of half-scared.
I asked, 'What did it look like?' He said, 'It was so bright
that you couldn't look directly at it.' So I didn't get any
details about its shape, how large it was, any of that. It was
just a really bright light. He said it was hovering there for
just a few seconds, then it went toward Woodbridge so, maybe,
that would be in a southwesterly direction.
So, then I asked him, 'Did everybody see it?' He said that
everyone had. Then he asked me, 'How am I going to report this?'
I said, 'Is anyone else going to report it?' He said, 'No,
they're not going to report it.' So, I said, 'How are you going
to look, if the others who were right there in the area aren't
going to report it? You're going to be on your own. If it were
me, I would let it go.' I was the ranking person on that night,
so I told him, 'I would advise against it, but it's up to you.'
When I saw ---- later that night-he had to order a part for the
tower, so we crossed paths-he told me that he'd decided not to
report the incident. At the time, we didn't know that the other
base was involved. We had no idea that there had been some
security police hunting it down, or whatever, in the woods.
I guess it was two nights later, the part for the equipment in
the tower came in. We got notified about that just as ---- was
coming on shift, at midnight, so he said he would go out and
install it. I stayed at the radio shop. A little while later, it
had to past 12:30 [a.m.] since he had to pick up the part first,
he called, really excited, and told me that he had just seen
another UFO. It had followed the runway, which runs more or less
east and west, then it turned, uh, then it turned again and flew
directly over the Weapons Storage Area. He said it came right at
the tower and was so low that he and the guard hit the deck! He
said it had hovered [nearby] for a few seconds, he couldn't say
how long, then it slowly moved off, over the trees. He said it
was just above them, but then it dropped down into the trees. He
didn't see it come back up, so that's when he called me on the
land line. He said he heard a bunch of chatter on the radio in
the tower-the guard there was talking to someone-and said [the
Security Police] were going to have to report it this time
because it went down into the woods.
The next time I saw ----, he told me that he had to file a
report along with the Security Police, at their headquarters. It
was only, maybe, 300 yards from the Weapons Storage Area. Later
on, it seems like it was a week or so later, he had been called
by our squadron commander, Major Cossa, and told to report for a
briefing. He was gone most of an afternoon but when he came back
he was really agitated. I asked him, 'What's up?' He said,
'We're not to speak about the UFO.' Then he said, really angry,
'I know what I saw!'
He said that during the briefing, someone-he assumed it was the
Office of Special Investigations-told everyone there that night
they hadn't seen anything. I think that upset ---- more than
anything. They called all the police liars, and all that. He
said, 'They told us that we did not see it, and were never to
speak of it.' He was really upset. He said [the OSI agents] had
talked to them as a group and then talked to them individually.
You know, went over their statements with them. He said they
told him he was a liar, that he would never have a career, and
all that. You know, threatening him. But he told me that he
couldn't get into the details. We never talked about it again.
A while later, I tried to ask some of the Security Police about
the incident, when I saw them at the Weapons Storage Area, but
they were fairly tight-lipped about it. They just told me that
when they went into the forest [on the night of December 27/28]
they took Light-Alls with them. They said all of a sudden, the
lights quit working, the vehicle engines quit, and the radios
had a lot of static on them. Then, after a few minutes,
everything just started up again. I didn't know much more than
that until I saw all of the reports from Colonel Halt and the
others on TV. That's about all I can think to tell you.
I asked Thompson, "How do you know the first incident happened
on Christmas night?" He replied, "Well, I'm not positive it did,
but it was definitely during the holidays, the 25th, the 26th,
because ---- and I were working a longer shift on both of those
nights. We were single and [our sergeant] asked us to volunteer
for that, so the married guys could be with their families
during Christmas. In return, we got some days off in January."
I then asked Thompson if ------- had described seeing one or
more beams of light coming from the UFO, down into the WSA, on
either night. He replied, "No, he didn't say anything about
Given this testimony, it appears that a UFO was sighted at the
Bentwaters Weapons Storage Area on at least two different nights
in December 1980, instead of one as previously believed. I have
attempted, unsuccessfully, to locate -------. If he happens to
read this, I would greatly appreciate an email from him, sent to
the address listed in Appendix A.
As mentioned earlier, Colonel Halt told me that he had
eventually spoken with some of the security personnel who had
been at the Weapons Storage Area the night the UFO directed
beams of light into it. "Several airmen present later told me
they saw the beams," he said, "I don't remember any names at
this point." Given this statement, I attempted to locate some of
those individuals, with interesting if not necessarily
Using an online roster of former members of the 81st Security
Police Squadron, which included their dates of service with the
unit, I sent out several emails to persons who would have been
at Bentwaters or Woodbridge in December 1980. In each one, I
explained who I was and the purpose of my inquiry. I wrote that
while I was interested in any information relating to the
multiple UFO incidents during that time-frame, I was especially
interested in the reported events at the Weapons Storage Area.
The responses I received ran the entire gamut: A few former
Security Policemen (SPs) told me that they only had second or
third-hand information to offer but wished me well in my
research nonetheless. Others recommended that I contact certain
individuals who had purportedly been on duty at the WSA and
elsewhere on the nights in question, so I emailed all of them.
Interestingly, most of those persons never responded so, a week
later, I sent a second message to each one, asking whether he
had received my earlier inquiry. This flurry of follow-up emails
also failed to generate any type of acknowledgment, with two
exceptions. One individual finally responded, "I was assigned to
the 81st SPS at RAF Bentwaters/Woodbridge. I was a Law
Enforcement Specialist. I will not give anyone information about
my details or activities from this assignment unless demanded by
an authorized legal authority. Any further inquiry will be
considered 'harassment' Please stop emailing me."
Had this wary individual told me that the first time around, I
never would have mailed him a second time. Still, I had to
wonder what was so important about his "activities" that would
cause him to respond so forcefully. I had merely asked whether
he had any knowledge of the now widely-publicized UFO activity
at the twin bases, which had already been confirmed by many
other security personnel, including the deputy base commander.
Oh well, to each his own. While I would have preferred some
relevant input from this person, I still respect his decision
not to talk to me.
In any case, the second individual who answered my follow-up
email, Tim Egercic, had been a Security Policemen on D Flight at
Bentwaters. He told me, "The night Colonel Halt said he saw a
UFO beam lights down into the Weapons Storage Area, I was on
duty at the alarm monitor's building, which was located between
the double fence that surrounded the WSA. I never saw or heard
about a UFO at the WSA, or beams of light, or anything like
I responded by telling Egercic that Col. Halt had already
acknowledged, during several different interviews he had given
over the years, that he had seen more than one UFO moving over
the base, and at least one of them had directed beams of light
down to the ground. At the same time, he had heard chatter on
his radio to indicate that one or more of those beams had fallen
within the WSA.
At this, Egercic responded, "Well, I had control of the net. All
security transmissions were going though me. Primary Central
Security Control (CSC) had passed responsibility over to me,
which they would usually do for several hours early in the
2300hrs - 0700hrs shift. I had the radio right next to me, and I
never heard that a UFO was at the WSA. I do remember hearing
[someone at the alternate CSC in Building 679] talking with
other SPs and dealing with the strange lights on a different
channel. So they were over the forest, yes, but not at the
Weapons Storage Area. Believe me, I would have known about that,
if it had happened. My responsibility as alarm monitor and
[temporary] primary CSC would have been to up-channel a 'Helping
Hand'-a possible security violation of a priority resource-to
the Wing Command Post had our WSA been breached. Any beams of
lights from an unidentified craft onto our Hot Row might have
constituted a 'Covered Wagon-a definite breach of a priority
To make his point, Egercic later sent me an email in which he
said that the SP positioned in the WSA's watchtower that night
was named Rick Bobo, who had once referred to the phenomenon he
witnessed as "The big light show." Egercic then mentioned that
Bobo had also told the late Georgina Bruni, who wrote, You Can't
Tell the People, what he had seen from his vantage point fifty
feet above the ground. Upon reviewing the pertinent pages from
the book, I found Bruni's interview:
R. Bobo: "I think I was the first to report the sighting that
night. I was on the tower at Bentwaters; you get a good view
from up there. There were several lights and there was this huge
ship over the forest."
G. Bruni: "Can you describe the object?"
R. Bobo: 'I'd say it looked circular but, remember, I was over
at Bentwaters and this was happening over at Woodbridge. I was
instructed to watch it and can tell you that it was up there for
about five hours, just hovering. I would say it was quite low in
G. Bruni: "Were you alone in the tower?"
R. Bobo: "Someone came to the tower and watched it through a
scope. I don't know who he was, he was from a different
department. I wasn't told anything and I didn't get to look
through the scope."
G. Bruni: "Could you hear the radio transmissions from your
location in the Bentwaters tower?"
R. Bobo: "I heard some of the radio transmissions, not all of
them, you understand, because there were different frequencies.
I heard over the radio that London had spotted something on
their radar. I heard some of the radio transmissions from some
of the men who were out there. They were reporting a light going
through the woods, it had bumped into a tree and they were
getting radioactive readings from the area. They were discussing
three impressions and stuff moving through the woods toward
Woodbridge. They kept switching to different frequencies so I
couldn't hear everything. I know there was a colonel with them."
Given this exchange, it appears that although Bobo did admit to
seeing a "huge ship" and "several lights", he described all the
action as having occurred over the woods, and much nearer to RAF
Woodbridge than the Bentwaters WSA.
A few days later, Egercic found Bobo's phone number and, after
getting his approval, forwarded it to me. In the course of a 40-
minute conversation, Bobo confirmed the information he had given
to Bruni and provided many more details, some of which appear
here. He told me: "As you probably know, the night I saw [the
UFOs] I was in the tower at the Bentwaters Weapons Storage Area.
The main object hovered out there for a long, long time. It
never really moved anywhere else. It was kind of hard to see,
but it was slightly oblong, I guess, and I seem to recall it had
bluish and reddish lights on it. Not really lights, like
aircraft lights, just a tint. It wasn't a star or planet, and it
wasn't a lighthouse, as some people claim." I then asked Bobo,
"If you held a dime at arm's length, was it larger than that?"
He quickly said, "Oh yeah, it was larger than that! I would say
it was, maybe, as large as a half-dollar coin held out at arm's
length. But I don't know how far away it was, it was so dark
that night, I could just make out the forest."
Bobo continued, "Anyway, at the same time, I was listening to
all of the radio communications coming from our sister base,
Woodbridge. There was lots of chatter on the radio. I think I
heard that Heathrow [Airport] had it on radar. I'm surprised no
one scrambled a fighter. And, of course, I talked to people too,
at our CSC (Central Security Control). It was my job to keep an
eye on [the UFO] and to report it if anything happened. Tim
[Egercic] had taken [CSC] over before all this started
happening, so I was talking to him. And he let me hear some of
the chatter from Halt's team in the woods. I couldn't switch my
radio frequency over to that, but when I called Tim, I could
hear some of that on the phone. And I think I talked to Charlie
Waters, but I'm not sure about that, but I did talk to our area
supervisor. That was either Sgt. ["Willie"] Williams or Sgt.
[Clarence] George that night. He told me to keep a close watch
on the object."
Bobo continued, "When the object first caught my eye, it was
already stationary, I didn't see it move to where it was and I
didn't see it leave. I never left the tower and I kept a close
eye on the object most of the time, you know, trying to figure
out what it was and what it might do next."
I asked Bobo if he had observed anything resembling beams of
light coming down from the object at any time. He paused a
moment, then said, "No, not beams of light. But after it was
hanging there a long while, I saw things shooting off it,
really, really fast, like little sparks or something. Maybe four
or five of them. Little pieces of light, all leaving within a
minute [of one another] like they were getting out of there. I
hate to say it, but they looked like little ships, like drones
maybe, but I don't know. They were shooting off in all
directions, but up into the sky, not down to the ground. Right
after that, the big object just disappeared. I was watching it,
at least I thought I was, but it was just gone. I don't know
what happened to it."
This description of the UFO breaking up into smaller ones is
almost identical to the one provided by Lt. Col. Halt in his
memorandum of 13 January 1981, when he reported the object he
and his team saw hovering over the farmer's field. It will be
remembered that Halt also told various interviewers that three
of the smaller objects had then flown away, two to the north and
three to the south. The latter group first moved in the
direction of Woodbridge and then on to Bentwaters where,
according to Halt, one or more of the UFOs sent down beams of
light near or into the WSA, based on the radio chatter he heard
at the time.
Given Halt's account, I asked Bobo if he thought it was possible
that he may have been looking in another direction at the moment
one or more beams fell nearby. He said, "I suppose so, but I
would have heard something on the radio, unless those reports
were on another frequency. I had no indication of anything like
that, from what I saw or heard at the WSA."
I asked Bobo how many nights he had been in the WSA tower that
week. He replied, "Only one. When we were on at nights, it ran
from 11 [p.m.] to seven [a.m.]. The night prior to that, we, D-
Flight, were off-duty, on a 24-hour break, and before that, uh,
we were on afternoons earlier that week." [The afternoon or
swing shift was from 4 p.m. to midnight.] I asked Bobo who would
have been in the tower the other nights that week but he said he
didn't know. I then mentioned the statements made to me by Carl
Thompson, of the 2164th Communications Squadron, who reported
his co-worker's frantic calls from the tower at the WSA-on two
different nights, perhaps two days apart-as he excitedly
reported a UFO very near the WSA. In fact, according to
Thompson, on the second night, the UFO reportedly buzzed the
tower, causing ------- and the guard to "hit the deck."
When I mentioned this, Bobo said, laughing, "That sure wasn't
me! There was someone up there with me that night, at least for
awhile. But I never saw the UFO that close, uh, coming over the
tower or anything like that. I had a 360-degree view. I was
looking straight down the row of bunkers when I was looking at
the object over the forest."
I asked Bobo whether he had been debriefed after the incident,
or threatened by OSI agents, and told to keep quiet about the
sighting. He replied, "No one talked to me."
In an effort to obtain more information for me, Tim Egercic also
emailed another former SP on D Flight, Robert "Charlie" Waters,
who had been on duty at the WSA during the week of the UFO
activity. Among other things, Egercic asked Waters if he had
seen the UFO and, if so, whether he remembered how far away it
was from the WSA. Egercic then combined the two emails and
forwarded them to me:
TE: Do remember any such claims of a UFO hovering low or high
over the WSA?
CW: It wasn't hovering over the WSA. It was moving straight down
into the forest.
TE: If so, did you witness any lights being beamed down?
CW: No lights beaming down...
TE: Could you estimate how many miles away the light in the sky
was from the WSA?
CW: Based on the what I have heard about the size of the craft,
it was maybe half-a- mile.
At the conclusion of this email, Egercic wrote, "It does
surprise me that [Charlie] thinks it was a half-mile away. That
would verify Halt's claim of hearing chatter on the radio of
strange lights near the WSA, but it doesn't verify anyone's
claim yet of a UFO beaming lights down [onto] the WSA
A couple of days later, Egercic sent me Waters' contact
information and I called him. He told me, "There was some
commotion in the WSA that night. Someone saw this object, I
don't remember who, and called out to us. I think my ART partner
was Rob Isbell, but I'm not certain. But we looked and saw this
spinning light-a multicolored light, I can't really remember the
colors-anyway, this craft was hovering and then slowly descended
toward the forest. We ran up on one of the berms to get a better
view of it. Then we reported it [to Central Security Control]. I
remember I used a couple of expletives and was warned not to use
profanity on the radio. I think I was talking to a guy named
[Alfred] Coakley, anyway, he's the one I remember talking to
most of the time that night. The next morning, I talked to one
of the operations officers who told me that [a small group of
SPs] had gone out to the woods and had seen some burn marks on
trees, about three feet off the ground. He said it looked like,
whatever it was, had bounced from tree to tree coming down. The
person who told me that wasn't our flight's shift commander. He
was another officer, but I don't remember his name."
I asked Waters if he could remember the timing of his sighting,
relative to the widely-reported events in late December 1980. He
said, "It was definitely that same week, and I think it was a
midnight shift, maybe our last midnight shift [in that group of
three]. Anyway, I never heard about any other UFO sightings that
week. When Tim [Egercic] mentioned that there had been sightings
on four nights that week, that was news to me. I didn't see
anything about all of that until many years later, on TV. But
what struck me most was that the way [Penniston and Burroughs]
described what they saw-the shape of the craft, which they said
was triangular-was nothing like what we saw at the Weapons
Storage Area. Also, I think Colonel Halt said they saw [on
another night] a big round object that broke into smaller
objects. We didn't see that."
I asked Waters to describe the UFO he and his ART partner saw,
using my standard question, "If you held a dime at arm's length,
was it larger than that?" Waters immediately said, "Yes! I would
say it was, when I first saw it, as large as a, uh, cantaloupe
held at arm's length! It was big! It was spinning and, I think,
had a light on the bottom of it, but I'm not sure. I also think
I saw something sticking out on the bottom, uh, like a rod or
something like that." I quickly asked Waters if he ever saw
anything resembling a beam of light coming out of the UFO. "No,
nothing like that, at least what I saw. Nothing coming out and
going down to the ground, or anywhere else."
I asked Waters if the UFO had ever been over the Weapons Storage
Area itself. He replied, "Not that I saw. It never came directly
over our heads. It stayed just over the trees and moved [from
our vantage point] slowly from right to left until it, I think,
disappeared behind them. To be honest, I don't remember where it
went, but it was descending when I saw it. It was pretty
amazing. I didn't immediately think "alien", you know, I was
just perplexed. Also, I remember the animals were going crazy.
There were cows mooing and, uh, farm animal noises in the
distance. It was almost like they were screaming!"
I asked Waters if he could remember who had been in the WSA's
tower that night. He replied, "Not really, it might have been
Rick Bobo but I'm not sure...It could have been Dennis Karnatz."
[When Tim Egercic later called Karnatz, on my behalf, he denied
being in the WSA tower that week, denied witnessing a UFO, but
declined to talk to me.]
Because Bobo said the UFO he had seen from the tower lingered in
the vicinity of the woods for several, perhaps five, hours, I
asked Waters whether he recalled the commotion he saw in the WSA
lasting that long, or whether it had settled down soon after he
saw the UFO leaving the area. He replied, "I don't recall. After
I made my report, I went back to patrolling my area. I figured
other people were handling it. I didn't hear much radio chatter
after it left, but if [the incident] became a law enforcement
[issue, not involving the security police] they would have
discussed it on another channel and I wouldn't have heard that."
When one attempts to collate the accounts by the former SPs who
were on duty at the WSA that holiday week, in an effort to
create some kind of time-line, it quickly becomes obvious that
several key facts are missing, and a number of the available
reports do not mesh.
For example, Charlie Waters cannot recall whether Rick Bobo was
in the tower on the night of his sighting and, further, seems to
remember speaking to an individual at Central Security Control
named Coakley, not Tim Egercic-who Bobo said was working there
the night he reported his own sighting to CSC. Consequently, it
seems unclear whether the incident reported by Waters occurred
on the same night as the one reported by Bobo-especially in view
of the independent report, indirectly provided by Carl Thompson,
of at least two separate sightings at the WSA, on two different
nights that week. Bobo recalls hearing some of Col. Halt's radio
communications from the woods, relayed to him by Egercic, the
night he was in the tower. If so, that convincingly places him
at the WSA on the last night of UFO activity during that week.
For his part, Waters recalls talking to an officer on the
morning following his own sighting, who told him that burn
damage had been found on some of the trees in the woods,
apparently the result of the UFO "bouncing" between them as it
landed. But exactly when did that damage occur? As of now, there
are two possible dates: Either during the early morning hours of
December 26th, when Jim Penniston and Jim Burroughs reported
finding a landed, triangular-shaped UFO in the forest or, on the
other hand, some 48-hours later, when Lt.Col. Halt's team saw a
UFO that looked like "a big eye" moving through the woods.
Neither Bobo nor Waters reports seeing a triangular-shaped UFO,
suggesting that the object each one saw was not the landed craft
reported by Penniston and Burroughs. (One person I interviewed
speculated that the hovering, round UFO may have dropped a
triangular-shape probe into the woods, but we have no eyewitness
reports for such an event.)
However, if both Bobo's and Waters' sightings occurred on the
same night-when Halt was in the forest-why does Bobo remember
speaking to Tim Egercic at CSC, while Waters recalls speaking
"most of the time" to someone there named Coakley, during his
own sighting? Furthermore, if Rick Bobo had a 360-degree view of
the area from the tower, why did he not see the UFO when it was
much closer to the WSA, at which time, according to Waters, its
apparent size was that of a cantaloupe held at arm's length?
Waters said the UFO was moving slowly over the forest, and
visible to him for several seconds, from his much lower position
on the berm. One would think that an object in the sky that
large, moving rather slowly, would have been hard to miss,
especially by someone in the tower!
Considering all of these facts, is it possible that Waters'
sighting occurred on a different night than Bobo's? If so, had
the UFO that Waters saw just buzzed the WSA's tower, seconds
before it caught his eye-as reported by a member of the 2164th
Communications Squadron, who was doing repair work in the tower?
At this point, I simply don't know the answers to these
questions and am obviously speculating.
Having spoken at length with Carl Thompson-the source of the
"tower buzzing" story-I consider him to be a credible source.
Col. Halt reviewed Thompson's verbatim comments to me, and
agrees with my assessment. So how do we reconcile the dramatic
telephone calls Thompson reportedly received from his frightened
co-worker, while he was in the tower at the WSA, with the
statements of Bobo and Waters? Both say that the UFO they saw
was never over the WSA, certainly not buzzing the tower. Before
this particular mystery can be solved it will be necessary to
find out who was manning the tower each night that week, to get
their input on the matter.
Finally, I asked Waters whether he had been debriefed after the
incident, or threatened by anyone, perhaps OSI, to keep quiet
about the sighting. He said simply, "No, nothing like that." It
will be remembered that Rick Bobo had told me the same thing.
So, assuming that there had in fact been a debriefing of
Security Policemen, as reported to Carl Thompson by his very
angry coworker in the 2164th Communications Squadron-during
which he and a number of SPs were allegedly harassed and
threatened-then who were those other individuals? According to
Egercic, Bobo and Waters, they were not debriefed at all. Were
there other SPs on duty at the WSA, or working elsewhere on
either base that week, who were later singled out for an
interrogation and, if so, why was not everyone present for the
various reported sightings debriefed?
And then there is Halt's crucial report of the beams of light
seen falling from a UFO into or near the WSA. If that actually
occurred, as radio chatter seemed to indicate, why did no one in
the WSA, at least the former Security Policemen whom I've
interviewed thus far, actually see any of those beams, or
remember any chatter about them on the radio? As Tim Egercic
correctly noted, beams of light falling on one or more of the
weapons bunkers would have been considered a breach of security
and, presumably, all hell would have broken loose at the WSA.
And yet, according to the three former Security Policemen I've
interviewed, nothing like that ever happened.
That said, however, an obviously credible source, then Lt.Col.
Halt, reports seeing those beams with his own eyes, as well as
hearing on the radio that they had fallen "into or near" the
Weapons Storage Area. Halt even told me that "several airmen" on
duty at the WSA that night had later mentioned seeing the beams.
So who were those individuals, and why didn't Rick Bobo or Tim
Egercic see the beams themselves, or at least hear about them
over the radio, from others who were on duty that night?
In the same vein, another highly credible source, my retired
USAF officer and ex-NATO weapons security specialist, spoke of
reading a report which confirmed that a beam or beams of light
had indeed fallen into the weapons bunker complex, apparently
generating enough concern for, well, someone with command
authority, to order that two of the tactical nukes be removed
from one of the bunkers and flown to Kirtland AFB for
inspection. (As I will mention shortly, another former SP I've
interviewed may have actually witnessed that particular weapons
In any case, I find all of these apparent discrepancies quite
perplexing. Egercic notes that 12 Security Police guarded the
WSA on each shift. I am attempting to identify the others who
would have been present on the night Halt was in the forest, to
attempt to learn if any of them saw anything resembling beams of
light falling onto the nuclear weapons bunkers. Needless to say,
I would also like to hear from any of the other witnesses to the
UFO-related events at the WSA, regardless of the date they
occurred. Once vetted, all information will be kept
confidential, unless I am given permission to publish it.
My own research aside, some of those involved-or, in certain
cases, not involved-with the UFO incidents at Bentwaters and
Woodbridge are themselves concerned that the facts be published
and the false reports be squelched. For example, when I thanked
Tim Egercic for all of his assistance in tracking down others
who had been at the Bentwaters Weapons Storage Area during the
period of UFO activity at the twin bases, he responded, "[Former
SP] Michael Christian has encouraged me throughout the years to
cooperate with researchers to help ensure the truth gets out
there. As I mentioned in a previous email, Michael was
identified on one website as one of the airmen in the WSA tower
observing the UFOs. Since he departed RAF Bentwaters before the
Rendlesham UFO incidents, it goes to show how false rumors can
distort the facts."
Regarding the events in Rendlesham Forest itself, another former
Air Force source, David Winget, told me, "I arrived at
Bentwaters/Woodbridge on the 13th of January 1981 [the same day
Halt wrote his memo about the UFO incidents in the forest]. At
that time, I was an Airman attached to the 81st AGS, Aircraft
Weapons Squadron. My job was Aircraft Weapons Specialist (bomb
loader). Basically, I was responsible for the maintenance and
loading/unloading of the weapons systems on the A-10s. During my
commander's briefing we were all told not venture into those
woods or to ask any questions regarding [what had happened
there] otherwise court martial. The reason was for 'national
The highly sensitive nature of whatever happened in the woods
has also been confirmed by another source. Shortly before this
book was published, I located and interviewed former Air Force
Security Policeman James "J.D." Burris, who had been briefed on
the events of the second encounter. Burris told me,
At the time, December 1980, I was a Senior Airman assigned to
the 81st Security Police Squadron. That particular day, I was
working the day-shift at Central Security Control (CSC). My
flight chief that day was Master Sgt. Raymond Gulyas; the shift
commander was Captain Michael Verano. The day began normally,
but then we got briefed on what went on the night before. We
were told what happened, what they saw, and so on. It definitely
became clear that it was not going to be a normal day.
At first, I thought that [the briefers] were having fun, you
know, their own version of a joke. But it got real clear, real
fast, that it was no joke! The first thing I was told was that
the incident had been left out of the desk blotter and that
Lt.Col. Halt wanted it included, so that had to be done on my
shift. So I was involved in preparing that, which is the only
reason I know anything about the incident. That's when I found
out about the impressions in the ground and, uh, tree branches
were supposed to have been broken, I guess when the object
landed. I never would have known about any of that if I hadn't
been posted at CSC that day.
All I recall during the briefing was being told that something
unexplained happened. Something descended and landed in the
forest. Sgt. Gulyas told me about the photos he tried to take.
He told me about the [landing gear] pod castings that they took.
He told me about the radiation readings, not specifically what
they were, but that they were not normal [background] readings.
About a week later, he told me that the pictures didn't come
out. Gulyas never speculated to me about the object. He just
said that it was an unexplained thing on the ground. He really
didn't want to say a lot.
In fact, it was years later before I knew that there had been
another incident [involving Penniston and Burroughs on December
26th]. I saw that on TV, on Unsolved Mysteries. That's also when
I learned about the lights coming down into the Weapons Storage
Area. As far as I knew, all of the activity took place in the
woods, off the end of the Woodbridge runway. There was never any
mention of [the UFO] passing over Bentwaters, or over the WSA.
If that had come out at the time, Oh, Jesus!
Now, the document that was typed up at CSC that day was
classified, but at a very low level: For Official Use Only. The
base telephone book had the same classification. There were, uh,
six copies of that: the wing commander got one, the deputy wing
commander, the base commander, the deputy base commander, the
chief of Security Police, and one stayed at CSC.
Later that day, we got word that the 'head shed' had said [that
we were] not to discuss the incident. The head shed was what we
called the wing commander's office. So, we understood [there
were to be] no questions asked, and that we were supposed to
keep our mouths shut. In fact, even before we were told that,
unlike any other situation, there was no chatter, no
scuttlebutt. That in itself was unusual.
Master Sgt. [Robert] Ball was still at CSC when I went on shift.
He was supervisor of Delta Flight. I think they were at the
Weapons Storage Area that night, when it happened. The on-duty
flight was responsible for the security of both bases, and that
included the Weapons Storage Area. Anyway, I saw him at Battle
Staff later that day and he wasn't saying anything. Usually, he
had some comment for someone, [because] nothing ever got by him,
but that day he, well, he seemed to have something on his mind.
At this point in the interview, Burris asked me what I knew
about the weapons kept at the Weapons Storage Area. In response,
I summarized what I had been told by various sources over the
years: the bunkers held tactical nuclear bombs; two had
allegedly been removed after the UFO incident and shipped back
to the U.S. for inspection. At that point, Burris interrupted me
and finished my sentence: "=85on a C-5A Galaxy [cargo aircraft]."
He then confirmed that he knew about weapons being flown to the
states shortly after the UFO-related events at the twin bases.
Burris said, "About a week, maybe two, after the [second]
incident in the woods, a C-5A flew in. It...got special
security-top echelon security. Various procedures were
implemented that were only put in place for that one aircraft."
I asked Burris, "So, the only time those procedures were put in
place was during the transfer of nuclear weapons?" He heaved a
sigh and said, "I don't really want to answer that but, uh, yes,
the answer is yes."
Burris continued, "We knew [the aircraft] was coming and before
it arrived we established a security perimeter around the area
[where it would park], posted two guards, and they were there
until the aircraft left the next day. The morning after it
arrived, there was a weapons movement from the Weapons Storage
Area to the aircraft, after which it took off. When we were
briefed about it, we were told it was a 'routine' transfer back
to the states. Well, maybe so, but it was the only weapons
transfer I saw during my three years at the base." (When I sent
Burris' comments to Col. Halt, he responded, "I was not
surprised to hear weapons were sent back to Kirtland AFB for
testing. At the time I couldn't understand why it wasn't done.
It must have been done so low-key that few noticed. We regularly
had C-5s and C-141s moving them so it would probably thought of
Given Burris' statements about the approximate date of the
weapons transfer, relative to the period of UFO activity at the
WSA, it appears as if the information I was given years earlier,
relating to such a transfer, was indeed correct. It will be
recalled that my retired NATO weapons security specialist told
me about that event in 1994. While it's conceivable that the
weapons transfer observed by Burris was indeed routine and had
nothing to do with the reported UFO incident at the Weapons
Storage Area, in my view, its timing suggests a possible link.
I then asked Burris if he had ever attempted to learn more about
the incident later on, by asking others on base about it. He
said, "No, I was trying to forget what I already knew, to tell
you the truth. For me it was, 'Okay, if you say so.' At that
time, I didn't believe in UFOs or anything like that."
As the interview was winding down, Burris unexpectedly said,
Later on, around November 1982, at Woodbridge, I had [a UFO
sighting] experience myself. I had been switched over to the
night crews [earlier that year] because I had been promoted to
Staff Sergeant. It was one of those rare occasions when I had
'base patrol' instead of being 50-feet off the ground [in the
tower] at the Weapons Storage Area. Bobby [Burgeron] and I were
headed down to the East Gate-the back gate of Woodbridge-and we
saw three sets of what appeared to be ball park lights, hanging
over Rendlesham Forest. The three groups were in a straight
line, all at the same altitude, just above the trees. We weren't
scared when we saw that, just curious.
So we decided to pick up SSgt ------- and then hit the Prairie
Track road, on the base perimeter, to make sure that nothing was
next to the fence. Just as we turned off the hard pavement, the
truck shut down. It wouldn't restart-it wouldn't even 'click.'
So SSgt ------- and I walked back to the supervisor's shack to
call and have a new truck sent out to us. As he and I started
walking we could see that the lights were still there. We were
closer to them by then and could see that each group of lights
appeared to curve around the middle of what seemed like a, uh,
football-shaped object-not laying on its side, but set on-end.
There were three of those side by side.
Before we got to the shack, Bobby had gotten the truck started
and came up to us. I asked him, 'How did you get the truck
started?' He said he had just turned the key. At that point, we
both looked over at the woods and saw that the lights over the
trees were gone. We didn't report it.
When I sent Burris' sighting report to Col. Halt, more
unexpected information emerged. He responded, "I know of another
sighting at Woodbridge on Guy Fawkes Night (November 5th) in
1981. Two independent [security] police patrols saw a large
cigar-shaped object float in from the sea and silently loop
around the Woodbridge tower. Neither reported it and I only
found out by chance as they were leaving for a new assignment."
I must admit I was surprised by Halt's disclosure, as well as by
Burris' sighting report. Over the last 25 years, I had only
heard about the UFO activity at Bentwaters and Woodbridge
occurring in December 1980. Now I was suddenly presented with
two new, unrelated reports in rapid succession. This unexpected
turn of events made me wonder whether even more sightings had
occurred at the twin bases around that time. Searching the
Internet, I quickly discovered three additional accounts by
former members of the 81st Security Police Squadron-all
unrelated to the now-famous UFO incursions in December 1980.
Lori Rehfeldt, who was an Airman First Class at the time, wrote,
In February 1980, while on D Flight, I was on patrol with A1C
Keith Duffield. At that time, [Woodbridge's] East Gate was
closed but we had to make checks to ensure [it] was locked. My
patrol pick-up was [behind the East Gate shack] positioned
looking off base...I just finished reviewing the check sheet and
we weren't in any rush. Then we saw a bright white light coming
in from the North Sea (from east to west) in the direction of
At first we thought it was a regular aircraft. I kept looking at
the runway to see if the [landing] lights would go on...they
didn't. Then the light stopped about two football field lengths
away from us and just stayed suspended in the sky. Then it made
some geometric movements, going sharply straight up, straight
down, then left (north), then right (south) and then broke into
three pieces [which] sped off across the runway then straight up
into the night sky at an incredibly fast speed. The entire time
the object did not make any noise or mechanical sound. We didn't
see a shape to the UFO.
Well, I did report it to the Desk Sergeant=85The guys on the radio
gave me a lot of grief and teasing over it, so much so that I
felt pressured to drop the issue. I told Duffield that I wasn't
going to pursue it unless told by my supervisor to do so, and I
strongly sensed that my supervisor was relieved that I didn't
Another former security policeman, Ken Kern, reported two
separate sighting incidents. He prefaced the first by saying,
'As I write this, I am looking at two 3x5 index cards, part of a
larger group of index cards which comprised my diary while at
RAFs Bentwaters and Woodbridge. [Here is] what I wrote back in
June 1980...a half a year before the now famous UFO incidents...
15 June 80-Interesting nite-it's our second mid[night shift] and
Wagner and Campbell have A-2. They sighted a UFO [on] five
different occasions...Described as a red globe 20ft. in
diameter. It hovered at times over aircraft pads/structures.
Labrucherie also sighted this UFO; he had A-1. At one time they
said the UFO glided over the trees to a meadow where it suddenly
disappeared [in] a white flash (pooof!) and then nothing...I
believe this story to be authentic.7
Kern added, "A-2 was the area security patrol and A-1 was the
entry control post to the to the Alpha aircraft parking area at
Kern's second account was more dramatic, and involved him
directly. He prefaced his post by writing that the index card on
which it had originally been summarized was currently
unavailable, adding, "I still have it somewhere and as soon as I
find it I'll update this webpage with the exact date." In other
words, unlike his first report, written down shortly after the
events described in it, the one below is a reconstruction
undertaken many years later. In any case, Kern wrote,
This happened during a midnight shift some months before the now
famous Rendlesham UFO incidents near RAF Woodbridge. I was
assigned to Whiskey [4 or 5] the mobile ART or Area Response
Team in the Bentwaters WSA or Weapons Storage Area. The WSA was
where they stored the nuclear weapons.
I was with Rick Jenkins in a truck during a usual silent and
eventless night. The night's sky was black and starry. All of a
sudden from up high appeared a big green object that came down
and crashed into the forest just outside the WSA double fence
line perimeter. This all happened in the matter of a second. The
object made no noise-absolutely no noise even when it 'crashed'
in the woods. Nothing.
Anyway, I remained silent for seconds, which seemed like an
eternity, looking straight out the truck's windshield. I finally
asked Rick if he saw what I just saw and he replied "Was it big
and green and just came flying out of the sky?" That was the
first and last time Rick and I ever spoke of this. It did not
seem that anyone else saw this object that night. We did not
hear of it from anyone else.8
Ken Kern is now retired from law enforcement, having been a
Special Agent with the Immigration and Naturalization Service
and later a Senior Special Agent with the Department of Homeland
Security. When I called him, he told me, "The whole incident at
the WSA took a split second, maybe not even that long. We were
sitting in the ART truck, looking through the windshield.
Something caught my eye, high up in the sky, like a flash. Then
I saw this big green object, maybe the size of the full moon or
larger, come right down at us. But it appeared to land outside
the WSA-not very far, maybe a hundred yards outside the fence
line. There was no sound, no explosion when it hit, nothing."
I asked Kern if he recalled the timing of this incident,
relative to the UFO activity of December 1980. He replied, "I
wish I still had that particular index card, which had the exact
date, but I would say it occurred several months before
December, but exactly how long before I couldn't say. One thing
that I do recall, which I found a little strange was that
shortly after the green object crashed into the woods, during
the same shift, our squadron commander, Major Ziegler, and our
operations officer, Major Drury, both came into the WSA. I had
never seen the two of them together, making their rounds at
night, either before then or after that. They probably had, but
I never saw them together like that. They came up to our truck
and talked to us, but they didn't ask us anything about the
green object, and we didn't volunteer anything. I guess we
rationalized that since it really did not land in the WSA
itself, it was okay not to mention it. But I do find it strange
that Rick Jenkins and I never discussed the incident among
ourselves after that. I'm not sure why."
Kern continued, "Back then, lots of people were 'snapped'-that's
what we called it-people lost their PRP if they showed any
indication of strange behavior, or whatever. Most of those cases
had to do with other kinds of personal issues, but if you were
snapped, you ended up on sandbag duty, a nobody. People didn't
want to end up like that, so they kept their mouths shut a lot."
Here is yet another example of sighting witnesses who worked at
nuclear weapons sites maintaining silence about their UFO
experiences for fear of losing their Personnel Reliability
Program clearance. As noted elsewhere, several of my former Air
Force missile guard sources have told me of their reluctance to
discuss their sighting with their superiors at the time. Over
the decades, this self-imposed censorship has undoubtedly
resulted in a significant number of UFO incursions at ICBM sites
and Weapons Storage Areas going unreported.
Of course, in many cases, Security Policemen did indeed report
their UFO sightings. Regarding his other posted report,
involving SPs guarding aircraft at Bentwaters, Kern told me, "At
the end of the shift that night, while we were turning in our
weapons at the armory, I heard Wagner talking to our flight
chief. He was very, very upset, almost shaking, like he was
about to fall apart. Later, I asked Wagner, or maybe it was
Campbell, what had happened and that's when I heard their story.
Something very unusual had obviously happened to them."
Given these reports by former security personnel assigned to the
81st Security Police Squadron, it would seem that UFOs made at
least five other appearances at the twin bases in 1980-82, which
have until now escaped widespread public attention. In
particular, the three posted reports mentioned above-two of them
relating to sightings occurring in February and June of 1980;
the third occurring during the same general period-suggest a
prelude of UFO activity at Bentwaters and Woodbridge several
months prior to the big show in December.
The green object sighted at the Weapons Storage Area is
particularly interesting to me. It was certainly not a
naturally-occurring meteorite, or its impact would have resulted
in a deafening noise and huge concussion. If the object sighted
by Kern and Jenkins was in fact a bona fide green fireball-of
the type sighted over the Los Alamos and Sandia nuclear labs, as
well as following various atmospheric atomic tests in Nevada in
the late 1940s and 1950s-then its appearance at the Bentwaters
Weapons Storage Area is especially noteworthy.
The UFO Radar Tracking at Bentwaters
Aside from persons reporting UFO incursions at the Weapons
Storage Area, I have also interviewed the two USAF air traffic
controllers who were on duty during the period of the UFO
activity. James H. Carey and Ivan "Ike" R. Barker, now belatedly
admit to tracking an unidentified target on radar at the
Bentwaters Air Traffic Control Tower one night-sometime between
December 26, 1980, and January 1, 1981-as they worked an
extended holiday schedule.
This is the first time the now-retired controllers' testimony
has been published. Jim Carey told me: "At the time, I was a
tech sergeant, an air traffic controller with the 2164th
Communications Squadron. The other controller was named Ike
Barker. A major named --- ----- was also there. I think the
incident happened between 10 and 12 o'clock, if I remember
right. Ike and I usually worked 6 p.m. to midnight, but it was
during the holidays, when we might have to work eight or nine
hours. But as I recall, it happened before midnight."
Carey continued, "What I remember is seeing was a very fast
object on the radar we had in the tower. The scope was variable-
it had a zoom as far as its [displayed] range, between five and
60-miles radius, but I think it was at set at a 60-miles when
the object appeared. It came in from the east, went straight
west across the scope and disappeared off the left side. It took
maybe four sweeps-each sweep was two or three seconds-to cross
it entirely. So it covered 120-miles in [approximately eight to
twelve] seconds. In the 15 years I was an air traffic
controller, I'd never seen anything travel across the scope that
fast. A few seconds later, it came back on the scope, retracing
its course, west to east, at the same speed. Then-I think it was
maybe half or three-quarters of the way across-it did an
immediate right-angle turn and headed south, off the bottom of
the screen. I mean, it turned just like that, instantly. We
couldn't believe it! I told Ike, 'Okay, that was not one of
Carey concluded, "So, that's all I remember, except for the
chatter on the radio. I think it was on the major's hand-held
radio, which was turned to the Command Post Net. That's who he
always talked to [on other occasions]. I wasn't really listening
to it, so I don't remember any of the details, but I do know
that [the radio] was pretty quiet all night then, all of a
sudden, they're just yakking back and forth. They were kind of
excited but that's all I recall. Besides, if they were going to
discuss UFOs or security problems, or that kind of stuff, they
would have gone to a restricted channel, which they scrambled.
But the chatter did start up a little while after we tracked the
object. Anyway, I only saw the unidentified object on radar, but
Ike told us that he saw something out the window."
I asked Carey to explain why Barker was able to observe an
aerial object out the window, but he was not. He replied, "It
all happened so fast," he said, "Ike said the object was
hovering there for just a moment, then it left really fast. So I
guess I was looking the down at the scope at that time. I
believe Ike when he says he saw [the UFO] but I just can not
remember [seeing] it."
I asked Carey if he and Barker had logged or otherwise reported
the radar tracking and sighting. He replied, "No, we could not
say a lot about this because we were air traffic controllers-a
very serious job. Our bosses could have removed us at any time
if they thought we were acting kind of funny or weird, so to
keep our jobs, we never made a big deal of this. We both loved
our jobs and something like this could be cause for removal from
the career field for good. But [considering the other reports of
UFO activity at Bentwaters] we thought it was funny no one ever
talked with us about what we saw that night."
When I interviewed Ike Barker, he said,
Everything I tell you, well, I would be happy to take a lie
detector test. I was a master sergeant, with the 2164th
Communications Squadron. There were three of us there that
night. I was the tower supervisor, Jim Carey was working for me,
and the Supervisor of Flying was Major --- ------. He wasn't a
controller, he was there for emergencies in the air and that
kind of thing. He assisted the aircraft, if they needed it, but
had nothing to do with air traffic control.
Anyway, that night, it was slow at the time, no aircraft in the
area. We had a radar scope in the tower we called the "Bright 2"
that had a 60-miles radius around the Bentwaters complex itself.
I looked down at the scope and saw a bright streak move across
it. An aircraft always appears as a series of blips, one blip
for each [radar] sweep, moving slowly across the screen. But
this thing almost looked like a straight line, with the blip
leaving a ghostly trail behind it. That's how fast it was
moving. It came in from the northeast, directly over the base,
directly over us, stopped for a few seconds, immediately
reversed course and went back out the way it came in.
After I told Barker that Carey recalled the UFO coming in from
the east-rather than the northeast-he consulted a map of the
twin bases, and said, "Jim was almost right about the inbound
and departure: the thing came in from the southeast, crossed
over Bentwaters to the downward leg-which would have been a mile
to a mile-and-a-half from the [radar] antenna-and then went back
out to the south, or a little bit southeast, probably over
Rendlesham Forest, which was south of Bentwaters. It went
completely off the scope, so it was 60 miles away when we lost
it." However, Barker does not recall the unidentified target
performing a right-angle turn on its way out, as Carey contends.
And there was a visual on it. When it hovered, I saw it out the
window. It was basketball-shaped, and had sort of an orangish
glow. Not bright orange, uh, sort of dim, maybe like the full
moon would look behind a thin layer of clouds. There seemed to
be something across the center of it, lighter-colored shapes
like-don't laugh-like portholes or windows, or even lights, in a
row left to right, across its center. Maybe six or eight of
them. They were stationary, not moving across the object. But it
seemed spherical, not flat like a flying saucer. I couldn't hear
any noise. It wasn't huge, but I think it was bigger than an
airplane. I would say it was maybe twice the size of an F-111.
Now, there's a water tower at Bentwaters. If you were in the air
traffic tower, facing the runway, the tower is almost behind
you. [From my vantage point] the object was directly over top of
the water tower, or just past it. The object [appeared] larger,
maybe twice as large, as the tank on the water tower. It stopped
in mid-air for a few seconds, probably 500-feet, uh, maybe a
1000-feet above the tower, then it left. I didn't see it turn,
uh, rotate or anything like that before leaving.
But what impressed me most was the speed this thing had. I have
never seen anything so fast in my life! It was zoom, gone! I
would say the object was slightly higher than traffic pattern
altitude. As soon as it left, I had Jim get on the phone to the
controllers at the Woodbridge tower. He was patched through by
the GCA (Ground Control Approach) radar unit. A British civilian
at the tower said, 'No, we didn't [track] it. We weren't manning
the scopes. We're in the break room.' That tower was manned by
Air Force controllers too but, like us, had a British civilian
working there. He's the guy Jim spoke with.
In any case, when I told Barker that Carey had said he did not
remember seeing the UFO out the window, Barker replied
Oh, he saw it! They both saw it! But we weren't going to admit
that. Just after I saw the object out the window, I turned to
Jim and --- and said, 'I didn't see that, did you?' One of them
responded, 'No, I didn't see it either.' I don't remember who
answered me, but they both saw it. But we made no log entries on
anything, including the fast-moving target. We didn't really
have a discussion about not telling anyone, because that was
already understood. You may know that there was a deal with the
Air Force-I don't how familiar you are with their procedures and
policies years ago-but if you reported a UFO sighting, you might
be woken up at 3 a.m. for an interrogation. I once went through
that when I was in Japan, earlier, before I was at Bentwaters. I
was in the radar unit there too and we tracked a UFO on Yokota's
long-range radar, short-range radar, and final approach PAR
radar-and the Japanese unit there got it with a height-finder
Plus, there was a visual sighting by three controllers in the
tower. [In spite of all those factors] the Air Force said it was
the reflection of a car on the highway. The controllers were
harassed to the point that they said the object they saw were
only aircraft lights. That taught me a lesson: Never go on the
record. Never open your mouth. So, at Bentwaters, I think we
were all scared to discuss it. I know I was. As I said before,
we didn't even record it in the log.
After the object left, uh, maybe an hour later, we could see
lights, actually a glow, in the direction of Woodbridge, but the
trees blocked our view so we couldn't see what was causing it.
Now that I think about it, I'm not sure if --- was still up [in
the tower] at that time, but I know Jim was. The glow seemed
like it was coming out of the forest; it wasn't like lights in
the air. It could have even been vehicles on the ground, but I
know one damn thing-it wasn't a lighthouse!
Barker laughed heartily at his own jibe. All of my Bentwaters
sources think UFO debunker James McGaha's notorious lighthouse
explanation for the UFO sightings is ridiculous, and have gone
out of their way to tell me so. Now that I have secured the
candid testimony of the two air traffic controllers who were
working in the Bentwaters tower every night that week, I'm
certain McGaha will come up with a false-radar-return theory to
explain away the tracking, as well as some other mumbo jumbo to
explain away the spherical, orange-colored object Barker saw out
the tower's window.
I then asked Barker about the excited radio chatter that Carey
mentioned overhearing that night. He replied,
Yes, the major had a 'brick'-that's what we used to call a hand-
held FM radio. There was so much chatter that, at one point, he
turned down the volume. Something was going on, that was
obvious, but I don't recall hearing what they were saying. A few
weeks later, I did hear some scuttlebutt about the UFO sightings
during the holidays from an OSI agent named ---- ------, who Jim
and I played golf with. I think that was the first time I heard
anyone mention that others on base had seen them too. But I
didn't let on that we had actually tracked one of them and had
seen it over the water tower. ------ was a nice guy, but an OSI
agent was the last person I would have told that to.
Barker then speculated that the agent might have been probing
him, intentionally mentioning the UFO activity, just to see what
kind of response his comments would elicit.
Barker later told me that he or Carey had also called a British
radar unit known as Eastern Radar, to report the tracking.
British researcher Dr. David Clarke has interviewed the RAF
Commander who was at Eastern Radar in 1980-81, Derek Coumbe, who
confirms receiving a call from the Bentwaters tower. According
to Clarke, "[Coumbe] was on duty when the UFO report was
received in the early hours of 28 December. He said he received
a direct call patched through from the Bentwaters tower
reporting a 'flashing light' over Rendlesham Forest." Coumbe
logged the call, noting that although he had the duty controller
attempt to verify the track, "nothing was observed." 9
This account raises a number of questions about the radar
tracking mentioned by Barker and Carey. Both recall it having
occurred sometime before midnight, probably on the night of
December 27th, however, the British log entry about the call was
made on the 28th at 0325 GMT (3:25 a.m.). Further, Coumbe
remembers the caller making reference to a flashing light over
the woods, however, Barker only recalls seeing a round, non-
flashing object near the base water tower, while Carey does not
recall a visual on the object at all.
Are Barker and Carey wrong about the timing of the tracking?
Barker recalls having Carey call the Woodbridge tower
immediately afterward, via a patch from the Ground Control
Approach radar unit, to find out whether the controllers there
also tracked the UFO. According to Barker, the Woodbridge tower
usually closed down each night around midnight, therefore, it
would seem that the radar tracking reported to me had to have
occurred hours earlier than 3:25 a.m. If that was the case, it
appears there was a second tracking at Bentwaters. If so, why do
Barker and Carey not remember it, or recall reporting a flashing
light over the forest? Both recall seeing a glow coming from the
woods, but nothing in the air above them. I asked Barker these
questions but he was as puzzled as I.
Another obvious question is why only one or two UFOs left radar
signatures when Halt reported seeing at least four of them low
in the sky-about "10-degrees" above the horizon-while he was in
the farmer's field. I asked Barker to explain this discrepancy
but he told me he didn't know why there weren't more anomalous
tracks that night, adding, "We would have tracked anything down
to 500-feet [in altitude]."
So, as is the case with the other sighting witnesses at the
Weapons Storage Area, there are lots of unanswered questions
about the events occurring in the Bentwaters Air Traffic Control
Tower during the holiday week of December 1980. I finally asked
Barker for his opinion about the object he tracked. He replied,
"I can tell you that this was no manmade technology. I was very
familiar with all types of aircraft, obviously, and I can tell
you that what I saw was not from any country on Earth. I will
never forget it!"
In summary, the December 1980 incidents at RAF Bentwaters, RAF
Woodbridge and Rendlesham Forest are self-evidently important.
While it may be many more years before all of the facts are
known, they already rank among the most significant of the UFO
cases. Meanwhile, back in the United States, other U.S. Air
Force base commanders had their own nuclear weapons-related UFO
incidents to contend with, as I will now discuss
1. Greenwood, Barry and Fawcett, Lawrence. Clear Intent: The
Government Cover-up of the UFO Experience, Prentice-Hall Inc.,
1984, p. 218
2. Col. Charles Halt to A.J.S. Rayl, recorded interview, May 13,
4. Sci Fi Channel, UFO Invasion at Rendlesham, 2003
5. Bruni, Georgina. You Can't Tell the People. Sidgwick &
Jackson, London, 2000, pp. 243-44.
Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast
These contents above are copyright of the author and
UFO UpDates - Toronto. They may not be reproduced
without the express permission of both parties and
are intended for educational use only.