American military men encounter multiple UFOs near an air force base in Bentwaters, England.
Rendlesham Forest, England, is home to America’s Woodridge Air Force base. On December 26, 1980, at around 2 AM, Airman First Class John Burroughs, and his partner, were on routine patrol along the base perimeter. The base was nearly empty. But, according to Sgt. Burroughs, something bright was lighting up the nearby woods:
Burroughs quickly notified his immediate superior. In minutes, another security patrol arrived. They had also seen the strange lights. Burroughs and the second security team went off base to investigate. Sgt. Burroughs said they were ordered to leave their weapons behind because they were moving out of American jurisdiction:
For more than two hours, Sgt. Burroughs said he and the two other men played a game of cat and mouse with the mysterious craft:
When Sgt. Burroughs and his men filed their report, they assumed no one would believe their account. Yet the events of that night resulted in one of the most well-documented sightings of a UFO in history. The next morning, Sgt. Burroughs nervously reported the sighting to his shift commander:
Later that same day, Burroughs and a British police officer explored the site where Burroughs saw the strange object. According to Burroughs, there were circular impressions in the earth directly below the spot where the craft appeared to hover:
The British police officer dismissed the circles as the marks of animals that had been digging there. But he did order his men to measure the distance between the circles.
Rumors of the UFO sighting had spread like wildfire. Later that morning, Col. Charles Halt, deputy base commander, arrived at Woodbridge security headquarters:
That evening, unusual lights were once again spotted in the forest. This time, the base commander ordered large floodlights, devices commonly known as light-alls, to be set up in the woods. At 9:30 PM, Col. Halt received word the lights had mysteriously stopped working. Base security was immediately ordered to set up more floodlights. Col. Halt put together a special investigative team:
When Col. Halt arrived at the site, he said the second set of light-alls had also stopped working. And that’s not all:
Armed with a Geiger counter, a starlight scope to enhance night vision, and a tape recorder to record his first impressions, Col. Halt led his team into the woods. Suddenly, a strange, glowing object appeared. As the object began to move away, Col. Halt said he and his men followed:
The farmhouse appeared to be glowing very brightly, as though it was on fire. Then, according to Col. Halt:
Col. Halt said as the object moved about, it emitted laser-like beams of light:
Staff Sgt. John Burroughs wasn’t on patrol the second night:
At about the same time, just 300 yards away, Col. Halt and his team also had a remarkable close encounter:
Once the object took off, it never returned. The next day, Col. Halt drafted a memo about the incident. It was submitted to British military authorities, who never acted on it. The United States Air Force would not acknowledge the episode either. Then, in 1983, a private citizen used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain Halt’s memo. But not everybody was convinced by what it reported. James McGaha is a noted UFO skeptic and director of two private observatories:
Sgt. Burroughs says, not so:
Col. Halt said what he saw was not a meteor:
James McGaha believes both men were mistaken:
McGaha believes that the glowing red light Col. Halt saw that night was simply a reflection from the revolving beam of a nearby lighthouse. Col. Halt doesn’t think so:
Around the same time, two other unconfirmed sightings were reported in the vicinity of Woodbridge Air Base. At least 15 men, all of them US Air Force personnel, witnessed the strange lights and objects first-hand. The Air Force continues to have no official comment on the entire series of events.