Perhaps this is a case of trained pilots being better at spotting anomalies in the night’s sky, or perhaps it’s simply because visiting aliens want to suss out our planet’s defenses, but either way, it’s not entirely uncommon for UFOs to show up suspiciously close to government facilities.
An unusual UFO sighting in 1980 referred to as “The Rendlesham Forest Incident” took place in the titular forest in Suffolk in England, when a pair of military airmen investigated an unidentified triangular alien spaceship, getting so close as to touch it and make a note of strange hieroglyphics that were present on its outer hull.
While it’s been several decades now since the event took place, The Sun newspaper has released shaky video footage of a senior officer in the Royal Air Force claiming that, in addition to everything else that appeared in the official report on The Rendlesham Forest Incident, it’s also possible that the pair of airmen involved may have been abducted by aliens.
The now-retired Colonel Charles Halt was meeting in the woods with UFO researcher Gary Heseltine, in order to film footage for an ultimately incomplete documentary into the event in 2010, when the video was initially filmed.
Halt discusses the two men, Staff Sgt Jim Penniston and Airman John Burroughs, as well as their superior at the time an otherwise unidentified sergeant “Chandler.” It seems that Chandler attempted to contact Penniston and Burroughs during the incident, but was unable to receive a response for several hours.
According to The Sun’s official transcript of the video, the exchange went as follows:
“HALT: He [John Burroughs] may have been abducted, who knows…. I don’t play that up.
HESELTINE: Well, I don’t think anybody knows. There is…
HALT: You know there is lost time, we know that. They were not on the radio, [inaudible] one, one. Now why Chandler [Sgt Chandler] didn’t send anyone else out?
HESELTINE: Because Chandler challenges him [Sgt Penniston] doesn’t he: ‘Why were you gone three hours? Tell me what happened?’ They can’t believe three hours has gone …
HALT: He’s [Chandler’s] standing there at the back gate [East Gate at RAF Woodbridge], now you put yourself in Chandler’s position. You’ve got men out in the forest that you can’t …. unaccounted for hours, are you going to call for back-up and send them or you out there?”
So what went on here, and how trustworthy is this claim that a pair of soldiers were abducted for several hours?
It’s important to note that, as has been stated before, The Sun is not the UK’s most reliable news source, being primarily famous for featuring softcore pornography in every issue on its inside front page. This isn’t a paper that anyone goes to for hard-hitting journalism, and The Sun is not above printing spurious claims and arguing that they are serious news items.
As for why a pair of military men might want to disappear into the woods and remain incommunicado for several hours, there are many possible explanations, both legal and otherwise-that is, if the absence did actually occur as Halt claims, considering that this information was missing from the official report he issued at the time. It’s possible that this particular element of the story might have become conflated over the years amid speculation, and Halt could be misremembering details.
If there was an actual UFO present at the military base-this isn’t entirely impossible-it’s also a stretch of the imagination to assume that this was due to some kind of alien threat. This incident occurred in the tail end of the Cold War, and there was no shortage of interested terrestrial parties who might have liked an opportunity to spy on British military efforts, and who could have been mistaken for otherworldly visitors.
We have to assume that no spy team, whether human or otherwise, would be dumb enough to flash their lights at their targets while leaving, but supposedly this did happen, which does make it seem as if a simpler explanation is that Penniston and Burroughs met someone in the woods who had access to a flashlight.
We’ll probably never know the specifics of this incident, and some elements will always be mired in controversy and mystery.
One thing is certain, though: Just because The Sun is reporting that aliens have been abducting people it doesn’t make this true.