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The 1980 Rendlesham Forest Incident

Rendlesham Forest Incident 1980

Rendlesham Forest will always be known as the UK's answer to Roswell, being as it is the only other UFO incident that has received official recognition from the government and military in both the UK and the USA. It is the most significant UFO incident ever to have occurred in the UK and one of the most significant anywhere in the world. To date there are a number of very strong witness testimonies from key mulitary personel.

" I have no doubt that something landed at this U.S. Air Force base and I have no doubt that it has got the people concerned in to a considerable state. The Ministry of Defense has doggedly stuck to it's normal line, that nothing of defense interest took place. Either large numbers of people , including the commanding general at Bentwaters, were hallucinating, and for an American Air Force nuclear base , this is extremely dangerous - or what they say did happen."

 - Admiral Lord Hill-Norton
former chief of the British Defense Staff


Text from the HALT audio tape - recorded as the incident occured - now for donload on this site!


In 1980 two air bases owned by the RAF, namely RAF/U.S.A.F Bentwaters and RAF/U.S.A.F Woodbridge were leased to the U.S. Air Force and reputedly held the largest stockpile of tactical nuclear weapons in non-communist Europe.

At approximately 2-00a.m. on the 27th December 1980,an unidentified object was picked up by radar at RAF Watton in Norfolk (UK). The object went off the screen in the area of Rendlesham Forest in Suffolk. RAF/U.S.A.F Bentwaters also tracked the unidentified object - Bentwaters being in the direct vicinity of Rendlesham Forest.

At approximately 3-00a.m. two U.S.A.F security guards observed unusual lights outside the back gate of RAF Woodbridge and three patrolmen were sent to investigate. These three men reported seeing a strange , glowing object seemingly of metallic appearance and of a triangular shape. They reported it being approximately two to three meters across the base and two meters tall, giving off a bright white light which illuminated the entire forest. Also it had a pulsing red light on top and a bank of blue lights underneath - it was hovering but apparently had legs. When the men approached the object it maneuvered through the forest and out of view, to be briefly seen again an hour or so later near the back gate.

The object seen that night left small radiation traces on the ground and nearby trees. It also left indentations in the soft ground and damage to the trees as it manouvered. All this is recorded in the OFFICIAL documentation and on the audio tape.

According to USAF security patrolmen on duty, "the object was described as being metallic in apperance and triangular in shape, approx. 2-3 meters across the base... it illuminated the entire forest with a white light, and had a pulsing red light on top and a bank(s) of blue lights underneath." In November, 2002, the British Ministry of Defense released the "Rendlesham File" of documents related to and confirming the Rendlesham Forest incident.

Lt. Charles Colonel Halt ,Deputy Base Commander at Woodbridge,armed with a tape and a number of other servicemen witnessed the events as they unfolded - a detailed tape recording being made.

click to download the HALT audio tape (.mp3 file - 3.6meg)

click to read the HALT audio transcript

download the HALT audio transcript

Lt. Charles Colonel Halt ,Deputy Base Commander at Woodbridge
A full report dated 13th January 1981 was sent to the British Ministry of Defense by Lt. Colonel Halt. The M.O.D.'s ultimate response was : "The department satisfied itself at the time that there was no reason to consider that the alleged sighting had any defense significance."

Department of the Air Force
Headquarter 81st Combat Support Group (USAFE)

13 Jan 81
Reply to Attn of: CD
Subject: Unexplained Lights


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 and 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 manoeuvred though the trees and disappeared. At this time the animals on a nearby farm went into 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 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 though 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 to the north remained in the sky for an hour or more. The object to the south was visible for two or 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.

Charles I. Halt, Lt. Col. USAF
Deputy Base Commander

click the actual FOIA document (right) for a larger copy
The HALT report - 1980

The UK MOD Rendlesham File

Official UK MoD Documents, UK Ministry of Defence
Official documents relating to the Rendlesham Forest / Bentwaters 1980 UFO incident, released by the UK Ministry of Defence in November, 2002.

download part1(adobe pdf approx. 2.0 meg)
download part2 (adobe pdf approx. 2.0 meg)
download part3 (adobe pdf approx. 2.0 meg)
download part4 (adobe pdf approx. 2.0 meg)
download part5 (adobe pdf approx. 2.0 meg)