The Rendlesham Forest Incident is Britain’s most important UFO case. It has been called the British Roswell; some even believe it is the most important UFO case ever.
The “Incident” was actually a series of incidents spread over a number of days around Christmas time in 1980. The events occurred in Rendlesham Forest, a large pine forest near Ipswich which was situated between two U.S. military bases known as RAF Bentwaters and RAF Woodbridge.
The First Encounter.
It was in the middle of the night, just after Christmas, when guards at the Woodbridge base first noticed a strange light glimmering through the trees. A few men were sent to check it out. The lights came in a number of colours: red, blue and yellow; some were steady and some pulsated, and their source appeared to be moving. The soldiers pursued the object for a time through the woods until it came to rest on the forest floor. It was triangular, about three metres tall, and three metres broad at the base.
One of the men, Staff Sergeant Jim Penniston, approached the object, which he described as “definitely mechanical,” touched it and took photographs of it. Beneath the lights, the object appeared to be black and opaque. Markings, similar to Egyptian hieroglyphs, were etched into the surface. All of the men said that they felt strange in proximity to the object, as if they were moving in slow motion. Suddenly and silently, the object shot up into the sky, manoeuvred through the trees and flew off. The men chased the mysterious lights for a little longer before they disappeared completely. Penniston submitted his photographs to the base laboratory for processing, but never got them back. He was told that they had all come out “fogged.”
The Second Encounter.
A few days later a reception was being held at the base. Amid the celebrations, a guard appeared and notified his commander that “it” had returned. A small party, led by Deputy Base Commander Lt. Colonel Charles Halt, was sent to investigate. Halt took a dictaphone with him and recorded his impressions into it as the events unfolded. The transcript of Halt’s tape and an official memo he wrote some days later can be found easily on the web today. The search party noted that something had sent the local farm animals into a state of frenzy. At one point, the object appeared to send down beams of light to touch the earth, one of which landed close to Lieutenant Colonel Halt.
Eventually, the men caught up with what they were chasing. Whatever it was appeared to have landed in the forest. They described it as being around the size of a small car, triangular in shape, glowing with an ethereal light, red at the top and “with a bank of blue lights underneath.” After a time, it took off and sped away, though mysterious lights, belonging to it and possibly other objects, continued to be spotted for hours afterwards.
Official Reaction and Investigation.
In the cold light of day, some of the soldiers returned to the scene of the encounter. They saw what they believed to be scorch marks on the nearby trees; and three indentations were found in the soil where the craft was believed to have landed. Radiation measurements were taken, and the indentations were found to have levels of radioactivity approximately ten times greater than would normally have been expected.
Halt submitted an official memorandum, describing what he had seen. It is not known precisely what reaction there was, if any, within the US military. It is known that General Gabriel, Commander-in-Chief of all US air forces in Europe, made a visit to the base shortly after the incident occurred. Some believe he took possession of all documents and materials related to the case. A few of the eye-witnesses have complained that they were warned to shut up about what had happened, and subjected to surveillance and harassment over the years. On his retirement from the military, Lieutenant Charles Halt, however, went public with his account, and became active in the field of UFO research.
Rendlesham in Perspective.
What makes the Rendlesham incident special? First, there is the closeness of the contact. Many UFO encounters are nothing more than the sighting of strange lights in the sky. In this case, observers were able to approach within a few feet of the object, touch it, and describe it. Second, there is the persistence of the activity, over hours and even days. Third, there is the number and status of the eye witnesses – these were high-level military professionals, trained observers, who had no reason to make up stories. Indeed, if anything, their career prospects were more likely to be impaired than improved by a claim that they had seen an alien spacecraft. Fourth, there is a substantial record of official documentation, and even a real-time audio recording of a “UFO chase” as it occurred. The tangible evidence at the scene is also significant.
Despite the wealth of evidence and the eye-witness testimony, there are still Rendlesham sceptics out there, even among the ranks of UFO believers. They argue that the strange lights could easily have been those of a nearby lighthouse, a falling meteor, or even debris from a Soviet satellite burning up in the Earth’s atmosphere. The rest they attribute to an overactive imagination on the part of the eye-witnesses. What were described as scorch burns on the trees they insist were nothing more than marks left by the forest workers, and the indentations in the ground, they believe, could well have been made by animals.
There is no doubt that the Rendlesham Forest incident is one of the most intriguing UFO cases ever. And, unlike Roswell, it is not locked in the distant past, meaning that no further substantial investigation can take place. The eye-witnesses are still alive and breathing; many official records pertaining to the incident, from both the British and US governments, have come to public light through freedom of information requests, and can now be found on the internet; and the Forestry Commission, which owns Rendlesham Forest, has even helpfully established a UFO trail so that walkers can visit the scene where the incident occurred. So, if you have an interest in the case, the resources are certainly out there for you to follow it up.
The Larry Warren Testimony.
Lawrence Patrick Warren joined the United States Air Force in July 1980, only months before the Rendlesham Forest Incident would occur. He was only 18 years old. Warren was trained at Lackland AFB, in Texas, and arrived on RAF Bentwaters on the 1 December. I am not certain where Larry Warren lives at the moment, the last I heard was that he had settled down in Liverpool, England, although I cannot confirm this. Warren claims to have been involved in the third night of the Rendlesham Incident. He certainly was not involved in the initial incident (featuring Penniston, Burroughs & Cabansag), infact he was not even on the base at the time of the first incident, he claims. Warren claims that there was a third night to the incident, the third and final night being the most spectacular and significant. While some reports and writings have blown Larry Warren's story out of proportion, I will be examining what Larry Warren actually claims to have witnessed using the updated and expanded version of Left At East Gate as my primary source as well as an interview with Adrian Bustinza to provide a second perspective to the events. In 1997, after countless years of research and work, 'Left At East Gate' was published. Warren later stated that, 'it was a result of eleven years of blood, sweat, and tears...' It truly is a fantastic book, but what can we make of Warren's claims, which have been questioned by researchers from the time he went public?
After a trip to a market in Ipswich, Larry Warren arrived back at RAF Bentwaters at around 8:00PM. Before long, Warren joined with the rest of D-Flight and was subsequently checked for narcotics before being assigned to a post on either RAF Bentwaters or Woodbridge. He was shortly posted to Bentwaters Perimeter Post 18; sometime after 11:15PM. He began hearing abnormal transmissions originating from the RAF Bentwaters Weapons Storage Area observation tower as well as the Woodbridge flight tower. It was Christmas, so one could assume that the nights would have been quiet and non-eventful, but there was something amiss. The conversations discussed reports that had come from Security Police (SPs) who were watching some highly unusual lights literally 'bobbing up and down' over Rendlesham Forest.
The surroundings suddenly felt quiet and eerie. Warren scanned the skies, but saw absolutely nothing. No lights were visible what-so-ever from where he was posted.
A few minutes later a security police pickup truck arrived at Larry's post. Warren says that Sgt. Adrian Bustinza was driving the truck with Lt. Englund in the passenger seat; there were two other security police in the back of the truck. Lt. Englund instructed Warren to contact Central Security Control (CSC) and inform them that he was leaving his post. He did so successfully. Warren climbed into the back of the truck, Bustinza said that they were driving to the Bentwaters motor pool to collect light-alls.
When they arrived at the motor pool a SP captain came over to them and ordered the group to fill up a few light-alls. Bustinza filled up a light-all, although Lt. Englund said that the light-all was not full - Larry says that an argument broke out, albeit Bustinza claims that it was eventually tested and functioned perfectly. Larry asked someone in the motor pool why they had to prepare the light-alls, he was told matter-of-factly that they were simply replacing malfunctioning equipment, either the person he asked had no prior knowledge of the UFO sighting(s) or was not in a position to discuss them.
After attaching the light-all trailer to their truck, the group then drove to the main gate of RAF Bentwaters where they met with other vehicles. Bustinza told Warren that they were heading over to RAF Woodbridge. On the way over to RAF Woodbridge, Bustinza noticed that there were many deer and rabbits all over the roads and was told by Lt. Englund to drive with caution. They moved down the road which runs alongside RAF Woodbridge with Rendlesham Forest on their left. The truck infront of them stopped next to a patrol. The truck's driver shouted out, "where the hell are we meant to be going?", a law enforcement policeman replied, "turn left at east gate".
They did this, it brought them onto what is known as Route 12 (renamed Route 8 - renamed recently) - a wide logging road. Their rifles (M16s) had been taken from them, and locked away in the in-built racks in the trucks. Although Bustinza claims that he still had his side-arm on him at the time (which was illegal on British soil). They carried on driving until they got to a clearing coming up to the end of Route 12 (which is now nonexistent, it has merged into one straight path). At this point they exited their vehicles and began walking in the direction of the field. Another truck pulled over, their squadron commander Major Malcolm Zickler stepped out and to everyones' amusement fell into a deep puddle, he was covered in mud. Warren has said that it was the last time he would laugh that night.
The men were then told to be as quiet as possible, and additionally to maintain radio silence. The men broke up into four-man teams and began making their way up to the edge of Rendlesham Forest. After walking a few hundred yards, Warren and his group arrived at a point where the field could be seen. In the field there was something on the ground which was illuminated. It would brighten, then dim again, and was creating a very mysterious effect.
Apparently the, what Warren supposed was ground-fog, was about one feet off the ground, although it was not hovering. As they entered the field, tearing through a barbed wire fence, Larry could see a few motion picture cameras on the edges filming the bizarre scene, "as we were watching this, there were disaster preparedness officers out here with geiger counters, going in an almost half-clockwise motion around this thing on the ground."
Warren, Bustinza and others joined the other forty men in the field. The field was literally ringed with military and British personnel. There was a house in the distance (is still there today), Larry noticed a light on in the left window of the house (at the end of the field), he thought the inhabitants may be watching from their room.
Warren along with Bustinza claims that there were helicopters present, Bustinza recalls two being scrambled too. A stream of radio activity followed, one can assume it was coming from the helicopters' pilots, "here it comes... Here it comes." As this happened a small red light flew in from the coast. Larry assumed it was an A-10 traveling to RAF Woodbridge, but it moved too swiftly and silently, "it moved in, in a downward arc, so fast. Stopped and hovered about 20 feet off the ground. It was the size of a basketball, American basketball. [It was] self illuminated, not quite red, yet that's the closest I can describe it."
The light flew over the pine trees and hovered about 20 feet above the centre of the field. The ball of light suddenly exploded throwing out a shower of rainbow coloured shards, "ss soon as you can get a fix on it, this thing exploded. Light showered down where Peter is [Peter Robbins - standing where yellow mist was]... I can't tell you how long that happened but my eyes were flashed out."
Some of the people who had been watching had run back into the forest, but Larry couldn't run, he was in shock. He was completely cemented in place. The explosion did not produce any sound or heat energy, only an exceedingly bright flash, which Warren claims damaged his eyes. In place of the red light and the fog was now a large object. It was about 30 feet across, and about 20 feet high, shaped like a smooth pyramid. The main part was 'pearl-white' with a rainbow colour effect. It had a group of blue lights at the base, similar to the object that Jim Penniston claims to have seen earlier on. The craft was covered in strange objects, like tiles and boxes. It also had three 'delta appendages' attached to its hull.
It was missing any markings that any normal aircraft would have, "no windows, no markings, no flag or country of origin. Nothing. You could hardly look at it head on, and if you looked at it through the side of your pephiral vision you'd get a shape of it... and there it was, clear as a bell."
Before being able to make any real sense of the situation, Larry Warren was asked to accompany Adrian Bustinza and instructed to close in on the craft, an officer operating a geiger counter led them walking a few metres ahead. They were now within 10-15 feet from the craft. Their shadows were visible on it, although there was no lighting in the field sufficient to create such an effect (none of the light-alls were working). Warren recalled that the craft 'seemed to be pulling our shadows onto itself'. Every time they stopped walking, their shadows would take another step - as if there was a slight time delay.
After a while, Bustinza and Warren were instructed to return to their original positions. On turning round, Warren noticed a large oak tree, which he used as a landmark. Quite far out, around the edges of the perimeter that the men had formed there were many senior staff. Warren thought they seemed to be following some sort of procedure. Suddenly, a car arrived at the edge of the field. Wing Commander Gordon Williams stepped out, or so Warren thought.
A bluish, gold coloured light appeared from one of the appendages. It moved round to the other side and broke into three separate balls of golden coloured light, they were shaped like cylinders. The lights dimmed slightly, and Warren could see what looked like 'beings' within the light.
"Then a light moved out of the side of the object and split into three. Within the light you could see clearly what looked like eyes, facial features, bright clothing and some other device, but the legs and the lower extremities, I couldn't make out - It was almost as if the light was translucent."
Meanwhile, Gordon Williams began conversing with the other officers (one of them was Donald Moreland, says Warren), stopped and then approached the craft. Williams - who was dressed in plain clothing - looked nervous. One 'being' floated to the front. Williams moved closer and stopped. The 'being' lifted its head to compensate for the height difference (Warren claims that Gordon Williams is exceptionally tall). They just stared at each other, Warren described it as a 'silent-face off'.
"There was no sign language, contrary to editing on American Home Box Office on a BBC interview, there was no handshakes and no exchange of Milkway candy bars." "What happened next was basically a face off. If there was any communication, it was telepathy... who can say, I don't know. I've never said those things [Handshakes, and the like]."
Suddenly there was a loud cracking sound from within the forest, like a large branch being snapped. The 'beings' retreated in a defensive manner. After a short while, they then moved back forward even closer than they had been before, "there was a sound, a sound like a tree braking, I don't know what it was. These things ['beings'] retracted under a delta type of thing, their arms moved up and then after a stand off for a minute - it was very tense - they moved back closer, and I'm standing right there watching - I was about 20-25 feet away." Warren's boss, or shift commander ordered Warren and the other men to return back to their vehicles. The craft was still there when Warren left. Although it seems that Bustinza remained there until the craft departed, he was a Sergeant - is this why he was not ordered to return to base?
Larry Warren and the others walked back to their trucks. Although the landed craft was still in the field, Warren claims that there were other strange lights all around the forest, "there were many strange lights flying through the trees, and beams of light shooting from the night sky to the ground." Warren's truck was the first to leave, during the drive back to RAF Bentwaters pondered whether similar UFOs were being seen all over the world at this time. He returned to Central Security Control with the others around 4:30AM.
Fortunately Sgt. Bustinza's presence allows us to know what happened after Warren had left the scene. Adrian Bustinza says that the craft sat in the field for a few hours.
In an interview with Larry Fawcett (20 April 1984), Adrian Bustinza recalled clearly how the craft departed. The piece of text below was taken from "Left At East Gate".
Fawcett: When it moved, when it took off, did you hear anything or feel anything?
Bustinza: When it took off, it was, like, hovering. It went up and, like, took off at about a forty-five-degree angle, and if you would have blinked, you would have missed it.
Fawcett: That fast?
Bustinza: That fast. And we got a cold draft of air that lasted about a good ten seconds. You know, like when you get a good blow of dust or wind. No noise though; I do remember that.
Some time around 7:30AM the next morning Larry Warren woke up and walked to the mess hall at RAF Bentwaters. Upon entering the mess hall, he noticed that there was a table of ten or so men who all looked uncomfortable and had seemingly separated themselves from the rest of the group. He took some food and sat down at a table with others, most notably Jim Penniston. Steve Longaro leaned over and asked, 'have the last twenty-four hours been a dream?" Warren did not know what to say, before he could respond the questioning began and Warren began answering as openly as he could. Penniston stared at Warren and said, "Hey, Warren, shut the **** up."
Larry left the mess hall and returned to his room. Around 10:00AM a man called "Art Henderson" entered the room with a message for Larry, the message ordered Warren to meet with Major Zickler at the law-enforcement desk.
He arrived to see at least a dozen people, all of which had seen the UFO, standing in a group. Zickler confirmed that the group was going to be debriefed regarding the incident in Rendlesham forest the night before. They entered the law-enforcement office.
A staff sergeant called Jackson from the AFOSI instructed the men to sign the documents which were handed out to them. The would have time to read the documents 'later'.
Within the documents was a two page report explaining that the men had only seen a few odd lights in the trees at Rendlesham forest. It stated nothing more was seen. The men were instructed to sign the documents again, Larry Warren did so reluctantly. They moved to another room, in which three official-looking men were standing; one in a naval officer's uniform. The men were told to sit on the folding metal chairs and co-operate fully with the debrief ers.
Zickler left the room. As this happened the Navy officer introduced himself as Commander Richardson of the Office of Naval Intelligence. He also introduced the other two men, who were in the Armed Forces Security Service. He began explaining how what the men had seen in the forest 'represented technology far advanced to our own', Richardson carried on adding that 'numerous civilizations visit this planet from time to time.'
He continued saying that none of them could discuss the incident with anyone at the bases and added that they were not to discuss the matter over the phone or in letters.
Warren questioned what would happen if they did speak about the UFO, one of the AFSS agents spoke up, "bullets are cheap", he said. They were told to leave the building. Outside they saw Sgt. Adrian Bustinza among others waiting to be debriefed, just as they had. This was obviously the higher-ranking group.
He bumped into A1C Gregory Battram, who had been at the scene before Larry. After a lengthy chat about the UFO, they made their way to the nearest public telephone box on base. Larry immediately called his mother and began telling her about the UFO incident, he knew that he was breaking the rules but managed to tell her most of the story. Suddenly he was cut-off - the phone went dead. Battram told him to call the local operator, he did so; she said that the call had been been disconnected from his end - on the base.
Larry hung up and ran back to his room. At around 3:00PM, Warren received a phone call telling him to report to Captain Colman at the base's communications centre.
Colman explained that he should not have spoken about the UFO incident to anyone, and he had been made aware of this earlier. Larry apologized and agreed to pay a $300 dollar fine in monthly installments, or he would loose his stripes. Larry left the building realising that there was little he could do....
A full account of what Larry Warren experienced can be found in the book : Left at Easy Gate by Larry Warren & Peter Robbins.
Also available is the Charles Holt audio tape.................................................................
Compiled by : Currently Unknown.