Rendlesham-UFO

Rendlesham UFO: Craft seen could have housed aliens says former MoD investigator

Rendlesham-UFOGetty*Nick Pope

Nick Pope (pictured) is not convinced by a theory that the Rendlesham UFO was man made.

Nick Pope, who investigated the UFO phenomena for the MoD until 1996, has dismissed new claims it was a military test capsule that landed in Rendlesham Forest.

The Rendlesham mystery, dubbed Britain’s Roswell, became legend when three US officers based at RAF Bentwaters claimed a “triangular-shaped craft” landed in neighbouring woods in the early hours of December 26, 1980.

Due to high interest in the case, the British Ministry of Defence (MoD) investigated the case and concluded the lights from Orford Ness lighthouse had been responsible for what was seen over the two nights in terms of lights.

Yesterday, Express.co.uk revealed the theory of UFO researcher Russ Callaghan, who produced an image of a space capsule that was stationed at one of two nearby airbases at the time of the incident.

Rendlesham-UFOIG

The capsule Russ Callaghan claims could be the Rendlesham UFO.

He claimed the strange sighting was actually the 67th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron which was based at RAF Woodbridge at the time of the incident.

Express.co.uk put the theory to Mr Pope, who carried out a cold case review of Rendlesham in 1994.

Mr Pope said the case still mystified him, with no earthly explanations so far.

He said: “The first point to make is that there’s no mention of the 67th ARRS dummy capsule in any of the original United States Air Force or Ministry of Defence documentation on the case.

“It’s inconceivable to me that both the USAF and the MoD officials handling the original investigation would have missed this.

“Despite the claim the 67th ARRS had conducted a flight on Christmas night, I don’t believe this is correct.

“Indeed, according to my information, there was no military flying at the base at all that night.

“Furthermore, if there had been, everybody would have seen and heard the helicopter that was allegedly involved, and yet they didn’t.

“If this had been the explanation, everyone would simply have said so.

“More fundamentally, the theory simply doesn’t fit the facts, when considering what the witnesses actually saw and reported.

“Neither does it fit with the radar data, or the radioactivity levels found at the landing site, which the MoD’s Defence Intelligence Staff assessed as being ‘significantly higher than the average background’.

“In summary, while this is an intriguing theory, it’s one that I’ve heard before and had discounted.”

The Rendlesham legend took place around neighbouring bases RAF Woodbridge and RAF Bentwaters, near Mildenhall, Suffolk, and is much like the mystery at Roswell – a suspected UFO crash said to have taken place outside the town in New Mexico, USA, in July 1947.

The men first noticed lights and then a UFO “on the floor”, and could not account for a 40 minute period while searching in the woods when their communication systems went “off air”.

The three – John Burroughs, Bud Steffens, and James Penniston – later told of feeling “static” as they observed the object’s flashing lights and hieroglyphic-like markings.

In summary, while this is an intriguing theory, it’s one that I’ve heard before and had discounted.

Nick Pope

Former Colonel Charles Halt, 77, the most senior witness, who was base deputy commander at the time, was not present during the first encounter, but was told the next morning and investigated that night after officers shouted: “It’s back, the UFO’s back.”

He went to investigate with a team who found three 1.5inch “impact holes”, damage to the canopies of trees and “higher radiation levels” in the “landing” area.

He said they then saw a mysterious object in a field between the woods and a farmhouse with “a red light moving”.

Mr Callaghan has discovered the 67th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron was based at RAF Woodbridge at the time of the incident.

Speaking at The Outer Limits Magazine’s first ever UFO conference in Hull on Saturday to a stunned audience, he said: “No, it wasn’t the lighthouse in my opinion.”

Rendlesham-UFO Jon Austin

Russ Callaghan giving his theory at the conference.

He revealed the image of the capsule that was actually used at RAF Woodbridge on the night in question.

The ARRS was a separate unit to Mr Halt’s, and would not have to brief them on what it was doing, he said.

This squadron was involved in the recovery of the command module capsules used during the Apollo moon missions and, during the 1980s, the recovery of film sent back to Earth in capsules from spy satellites.

They were recovered by a helicopter once they landed back down, and the ARRS used a mock-up capsule for practice sessions.

Mr Callaghan produced images of the capsule that was actually used at RAF Woodbridge on the night in question.

He said: “There was no Apollo in 1980, but satellite photographs were taken on film that made entry back to Earth on a mini capsule.

“The ARRS practiced on a mock up. This is the one that was at Bentwaters, it is in Florida now. What is interesting is it was on three legs.

“The three airmen who claimed to see the UFO on the first night said the craft was on three legs, and had sketched it as such.”

Mr Callaghan said he discovered the ARRS did a practice run on Christmas Day night 1980, but that it had run into problems, and “the chopper pilot dropped the capsule in Rendlesham Forest”.

He said: “They came back the next night to recover it. This could explain what they men say, but nothing I am saying here is proof positive.”

Mr Callaghan believes the recovery operation could explain the subsequent large military presence in the forest, and that the ARRS would not have had to brief Colonel Halt’s squadron on what happened.

However, the theory does not explain why the MoD investigation report did not offer this up as an explanation for the sighting and just blamed it on the lighthouse.

Questions also remain on why the US Veterans’ Association agreed in 2015 to pay the medical bills of Mr Burroughs who claims exposure to high levels of radiation during the “UFO encounter” left him with heart problems.

Posted on; Express.co.uk>>

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