WHEN I worked as an MoD investigator looking into UFOs it was our most mysterious real-life X File. Nothing has changed.
I travelled to Rendlesham Forest in Suffolk yesterday to reopen the investigation into Britain’s most famous UFO sighting – with the men who saw it 30 years ago.
Former US airmen John Burroughs and Jim Penniston are still angry about what they believe was a cover-up of the most compelling evidence yet of extraterrestrial visitors.
In the early hours of Boxing Day, 1980, the pair were on guard when they spotted strange lights in the forest, between US air bases Bentwaters and Woodbridge.
Thinking an aircraft might have crashed, they went to investigate. In a small clearing they encountered a triangular-shaped UFO. Jim, who got close enough to touch it, described weird symbols like Egyptian hieroglyphs on the craft’s side.
As they watched, the UFO started to rise before shooting off at an incredible rate. Jim wrote in his notebook: “Speed: Impossible.”
It was to be the first of a series of sightings.
Two nights later Lieutenant Colonel Charles Halt, deputy base commander at Bentwaters, was at an awards ceremony when a young officer burst in and told him “It’s back”. He quickly gathered a team and retraced John and Jim’s path to the clearing. There his men used a Geiger counter to take radiation readings. The levels were eight times higher than normal.
As the team continued into the forest, their radios malfunctioned and their powerful searchlights cut out.
Then they saw it. The UFO was back. Lt Col Halt later said: “Here I am, a senior official who routinely denies and debunks this sort of thing, in the middle of something I can’t explain.” He was carrying a hand-held tape player and you can hear the men’s fear: “It’s coming this way… it looks like an eye winking, it almost burns your eyes… he’s coming… ”
At this point the UFO fired a beam of light just feet from the group before firing more beams across the air bases.
Sceptics have since blamed a burning truck of manure, flashing lights of a police car and even a beam from a lighthouse at nearby Orford Ness.
But witnesses insist the claims are part of a government whitewash. There have been allegations of attempts at brainwashing, hypnosis and even “truth serums”.
For John and Jim, the search for evidence continues – but they vow they will uncover the truth.
Jim said: “Thirty years of misinformation must end.”