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Rendlesham Forest Incident

It was late December of 1980 when unidentified lights were reported around Rendlesham Forest in Suffolk, England. United States Air Force deputy base commander Lieutenant Colonel Charles I. Halt and additional Air Force personnel reported seeing the lights just outside of RAF Woodbridge, used by the Air Force at the time. As one of the most recognized UFO sightings to occur in the United Kingdom, the Rendlesham Forest incident is often referred to as “Britain’s Roswell” for its notoriety and public interest.

What Happened in Rendlesham?

Security patrollers outside of RAF Woodbridge reported seeing lights descending into the nearby Rendlesham Forest. Air Force personnel were sent to investigate, thinking it to be a downed aircraft, but were surprised to discover what they described as a “glowing object, metallic in appearance, with colored lights.” The object shot off through the trees, sending nearby animals into a frenzy. Local police were called to the scene about an hour after the sighting but did not see any unusual lights. The next morning on December 26, three small impressions were found in a clearing in the forest, as well as burn marks and damaged trees, but police disregarded the evidence as being made by animals. Because the UK Ministry of Defence believed the event was non-threatening to national security, it was never investigated as a security matter.

Possible Explanations

As with most sightings, an array of possible explanations came about. Skeptics claimed the light sighting was caused by a lighted farmhouse in the distance, as well as a “misinterpretation of a series of nocturnal lights: a fireball, the Orfordness Lighthouse (which was nearby) and bright stars.” The Halt Memo, an unclassified military report, was published two weeks after the incident, chronicling data that Air Force personnel discovered while investigating the landing site the morning after the sighting, however, most evidence noted was left unexplained, leaving many wondering. With no further reports made on the incident, Halt has gone on record to say that be believes he witnessed an extraterrestrial event that was covered up.

Was It a Hoax?

Of course, there are two passionate sides to the story, claiming the validity and the superfluous events of the incident as their own, but there is little factual evidence to prove what actually happened early that morning. Without a detailed, professional investigation into the incident, the most valid data comes from Lieutenant Halt’s discoveries. His final conclusion is what leaves us curious today… An unidentified flying object was here. But why?

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