By all accounts, a very strange series of events took place in England's Rendlesham Forest during the nights between Christmas and New Years Eve, 1980. The forest is all that separates two airforce bases, Woodbridge and Bentwaters, then under U.S. command. Numerous witnesses, including Lt. Colonel Charles I. Halt, then Woodbridge deputy commander, have described extraordinary UFO activity during that period. One witness, Larry Warren, has just published a book titled "Left at East Gate," describing his own version of events.
The problem with Warren's book, some other researchers say, is that Warren might not have really been there on the crucial nights of UFO activity. There can be no doubt that Warren and co-author Peter Robbins have spent years collecting volumes of other evidence about the case -- but Warren's own story, central to the book, is in doubt. At least, UFO researcher Kevin Randle thinks so.
In an email memo dated April 22, Randle said, "The problem... is that Larry Warren was not physically at Bentwaters for the first two nights of activity. He was in Germany. He invented a third night so that he could plug himself into the events."
Randle pointed out that a famous memo written by Lt. Col. Halt made reference to only two nights of activity, December 27 and December 29. But Warren says some of the most exotic activity, including direct exposure to an alien craft and beings, occurred later on.
Research has established that Halt's memo reported only a fraction of what took place, and it does not directly contradict Warren's story. Still, the degree to which Warren's story fits into the overall picture remains unclear.
In the following text, written in response to Randle's comments, UFO Magazine editor Graham Birdsall summarizes some of the elements that make the Woodbridge/Bentwaters UFO case one of the most complex and important on record. Birdsall writes:
There has always been a considerable amount of confusion relating to the dates of alleged UFO activity in or around RAF Woodbridge in December 1980. (I prefer to give more prominence to RAF Woodbridge as opposed to RAF Bentwaters primarily because Halt was second-in-command at Woodbridge, not Bentwaters.)
This wasn't helped when Halt gave a lecture for us in Leeds, northern England, on 31 July 1995, at which he mentioned a period of unusual aerial activity off-base had first been reported on Christmas Eve.
Things really began happening on 26 December when Halt was called from a Christmas Dinner Dance being held at RAF Woodbridge to check out reports of lights being observed by security personnel off base. Halt was not at all pleased to have to change from his evening dress uniform into battle fatigues to accompany his men (who, incidentally, held him in very high regard).
"The craft was nine feet tall, pyramid-shaped, and had blue lights on the underside and a red light on top," [Halt said].
"Three definite marks were found... these were ten feet apart.... and at a height of twenty-five feet, surrounding pine trees were damaged... The desk Sergeant didn't put that in the log."
Halt also added: " Lieutenant England then noticed a bright object. I thought it looked like the Sun. An oval shape.... winking... It had a black centre and moved horizontally... and danced about. We chased the object for two minutes... it was visible throughout.
"The UFO [his term] appeared to be shedding molten metal... It then exploded... there were five lights... then they vanished."
Halt also claimed that an astrophysicist measured readings 25 times greater than normal background radiation near a farmhouse which appeared to be on fire.
He also stated, and I quote:
"Two rolls of film was also shot, but these didn't come out."
Of course, Halt has added much more testimony through interviews given to several TV documentary features i.e., Strange But True, Unsolved Mysteries, Network First etc, but what I found to be of particular interest in "Left at East Gate" [Warren's book] was this passage in Chapter 11:
"Late in February 1985, I [Larry Warren] received a call from Lee Spiegel, a producer with WNBC radio in New York. Lee got my number from [Larry] Fawcett because he had important information to share with me.
"He was very interested in the Bentwaters story and was investigating it for his network. He had just spoken with Colonel Halt! Lee was calling from Tinker AFB in Oklahoma, where Halt was now stationed. Spiegel said he'd interviewed the officer at his home and that Halt had been very candid about the events of December 1980.
"However, when Lee finally asked him about Colonel Wiliams and the beings, Colonel Halt grew defensive, then asked Lee to have his crew step outside. It was at this point the former deputy base commander made some off-the-record comments.
"According to Spiegel, Halt had told him that beings HAD been observed on the third night of UFO activity and that Gordon Williams had been involved that night. He also said that 'a lot more' happened than people realised. Colonel Halt would only tell what he knew of the whole story if Congress subpoenaed him to testify."
That is but one little "gem" contained in "Left at East Gate" -- there are many, many more, including soil sample analysis which throws up some intriguing surprises. Interestingly, Warren does include several military personnel records in the book while stationed at RAF Bentwaters (assigned to 'D' Flight, 81st Security Police Squadron on 2 Dec 1980; training commenced on 5 Dec 1980. His name appears on other forms which place him with the same unit and location on 15 May 1981.)
The book will obviously come under intense scrutiny when published here in the UK, but my personal feelings are that it does contain valuable and significant revelations which can be put to positive use in the continuing search for clues as to what really transpired within Rendlesham Forest.
On a further note: "Left at East Gate" may result in new witnesses coming forward, especially US and UK military personnel who were stationed at RAF Woodbridge and RAF Bentwaters at the time.
To my certain knowledge, a key-witness has already done so and is currently talking as if there is no tomorrow. This man's name does not feature in any of the known literature, but he has his service files to back up his story.
Despite concerted efforts by sceptics and debunkers alike to rubbish the incident, there can be little doubt that something, possibly resembling the importance of "Roswell," took place in Rendlesham Forest back in December 1980. However, unlike Roswell, the witnesses are by comparison very young (many of the security personnel were in their teens) and alive and well today -- most resident in the United States.
Far be it from [me] to issue a challenge to fellow American researchers, but rather than castigate Larry Warren and Peter Robbins, would it not be far more constructive to locate and isolate some of the individuals whose names appear in their book and invite them to comment?
Graham W. Birdsall [Editor]
Original file name: CNI - Bentwaters.Birdsall
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