BRITISH (!) NATIONAL UFO SKYWATCH -RENDLESHAM FOREST
JULY 14TH 2001 - HOSTED BY STRANGE PHENOMENA INVESTIGATIONS (ENGLAND) BY MALCOLM ROBINSON
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Being involved in UFOlogy can be boring, exciting, interesting, and somewhat tedious. At the end of the day however, one has to accept the fact that UFOlogy also comprises of getting out there, doing the biz as it were, and a big slice of that is taking part in skywatches. Many UFO groups around the country hold regular skywatches in an attempt to perhaps witness something strange, something bizarre, and something which will for them, enforce and enhance their interest in a subject which can sometimes dwell on the ridiculous.
That said, there are numerous accounts by individuals (not only UFO people) but Joe Public as well, who have attended skywatches and have been witness to some strange aerial events.
Rendlesham Forest in Suffolk England is now infamous for a series of UFO events, which occurred near a United States Air Force Base (Woodbridge) back in the winter of 1980. Many USAF personnel were dispatched into Rendlesham forest to find out the cause of strange lights that were seen near the base. Clearly someone felt that these lights warranted a full scale Investigation and a Colonel Charles Halt was also dispatched to find out what was going on. The events of that night (and subsequent nights) has went down in British UFOlogical history as a case of immense proportions, but equally, the case has been ridiculed by sceptics who say that it's nothing more that a combination of the spinning lights of Orfordness Lighthouse, and mating rabbits making holes in the forest floor.
A few books have been written about the events of Rendlesham Forest, the recent one being that by English writer Georgina Bruni (You Can't Tell The People). [Sidwick Jackson]
Incredible as though it may sound, even today people claim that there are still strange 'goings on' in the skies above Rendlesham Forest, so much so, that a number of British UFO Paranormal societies regularly go into the woods in hopes of a sighting. Researcher Brenda Butler was one of the first Investigators to break the story of Rendlesham, along with Dot Street and Jenny Randles. Brenda is still a regular visitor to Rendlesham Forest and was more than keen to get involved with our SPI (England) skywatch.
I decided to organise the skywatch at Rendlesham Forest for two reasons, firstly, it would help bring together all those UFO groups that are scattered throughout the country to meet up and share experiences, get to know one another. Secondly, the skywatch would be a good opportunity for those not in UFOlogy (friends of UFO researchers etc) to come along and enjoy the evening. The organising of Major UFO skywatches would appear not to be a big thing in this country hence I decided to change all that. I wanted to bring all the groups together and give them a sense of purpose whilst having a night out when perhaps nothing would happen at all !
This skywatch will be the first of many National UFO skywatches that I intend to organise throughout the U.K. My intentions are to hold these skywatches in 'UFO Window Areas' or 'Hot Spots' where UFOs have been regularly seen. I intend to hold these skywatches in the Rossendale Valley in Yorkshire, Broadhaven in Dyfed West Wales, Bonnybridge in Stirlingshire Scotland and other UFO 'Hot Spots'.
And so to get the ball rolling so to speak, I decided that Rendlesham Forest in Suffolk would be a good a starting place as any. And so it was on the night of Saturday the 14th of July 2001, myself and my partner Judith Jaafar travelled up to Suffolk from London with UFO witness and author Chris Martin. The following report is what transpired at our skywatch.
THE RENDLESHAM FOREST SKYWATCH.
We arrived at our meeting place the Cherry Tree pub just outside the village of Eyke on a lovely clear night. I was having reservations about the weather prior to Saturday due to all the heavy rain that most of the country had been experiencing, still, the heavens had cleared and it looked like we would have a fine night for it. Looking around, I found that one or two other UFOlogists had assembled. We then all headed outside to the beer garden where I gave a short introduction about why I was holding the skywatch and some general information about SPI (England) I then invited Brenda Butler to step forward and explain about all the recent UFO sightings that had been recorded over the forest (which there had been many !) She also spoke about how we should all respect the forest and abide by the laws set down by the forestry commission, ie, not to smoke in the actual forest itself.
Brenda set the scene well and hearing all these strange recent accounts made one eager to set off straight away to the forest. Brenda had drawn a map of the forest and separated it into sections where she and her colleagues had witnessed things, this proved most interesting and gave one an insight as to those actual areas where things had been seen. I then invited Chris Martin the author of Intruders In The Night and himself a UFO experiencer, to come forward and explain about how he planned to 'vector in' UFO activity. It was one thing to attend a skywatch, but when someone claims that he can make UFOs appear ! Well that's another story. With the introductions over, it was time to head off in convoy in our respective cars to Rendlesham Forest.
Driving through the winding country lanes brought back memories of our SPI skywatches in Scotland where Bonnybridge was the most popular destination. After around 5 minutes we pulled up into a car park near East gate in which we all gathered around and decided that our first port of call would be the actual alleged 'landing site' where the remarkable events of that winter's night back in 1980 transpired. Before we marched off into the forest though, we did a head count, any forest in the pitch dark can be a foreboding and inhospitable place and Rendlesham Forest certainly claimed to be the top notch in this regard. I counted 32 people in all (including myself) which although wasn't too bad, was certainly not as good as I expected.
As we all headed off through the darkened forest, I looked up into the night sky and was pleased to see nothing but stars, there was hardly a cloud in sight, absolutely perfect viewing conditions, (we couldn't have picked a better night). Not only that, but there was no wind, the area was completely still not a breeze or anything. This was a big change from my last visit when I was nearly blown off my feet by the wind! Being in such a controversial UFO 'Hot Spot' area made one feel slightly pensive (well it did me!) knowing that at perhaps any minute something might burst forth and scare the living daylights from me, but again this was part and parcel of the mystique of the place. People are drawn to places such as this, as they are to Avebury, Stonehenge, and the various other strange places throughout Britain.
After a short while we arrived at our first port of call the alleged landing site where Colonel Charles Halt claims to have encountered small grey 'beings'. I wasn't surprised to learn that there are three actual claimed landing sites. One of them being claimed by Larry Warren (one of the original witnesses from 1980), the other site claimed by Author and researcher Georgina Bruni (from her own interviews with witnesses) But what was the real one !!! 32 people crowded together in a small circular clearing around the Colonel Charles Halt site and no doubt were casting their minds back to that eventful winter's night of 1980. I was first to break the silence and said, Isn't this just too small a space for what was claimed to have been seen that night to land here ! Brenda Butler replied that although the area we were now looking at was indeed very small and confined, back in 1980 this area was more open and as such could harbour the device as witnessed.
As I stood in this area I looked around and everyone was silent and thoughtful no doubt trying to make sense of the claimed events of those particular nights. We spent around 15 to 20 minutes at this sight, and later on I learned that some people claimed to have seen at this site, 'flashes of light' in the sky From there we headed off through the dark woods with our torches beaming around and lighting up the darkness behind the many trees which enshourded us. We eventually arrived at another claimed 'UFO landing spot' which Georgina Bruni claims is the 'real one' due to her extensive research and interviews with witnesses to the event (more so Vince Thurnkettle). Again everyone was silent and contemplating what might have occurred at this very spot on that cold winter's night. I looked up at the sky, which was still a blanket of stars, wonderful conditions.
I then began to flash my torch on and off into the night sky as this function had provided other UFO researchers with returned light phenomena, but on this occasion, nothing. Just the stars and the odd satellite met my gaze. It was early days however and we still had the rest of the night.
After spending some time at this site, we then headed off to quite an unusual tree!! Brenda, who was doing a marvelous job of ensuring that everyone remained close together in the woods, then stopped at a tree and asked everyone to look closely at it. It soon became apparent what she was on about, for there as plain as day, was what resembled an alien (more so that loveable character E.T.) I'm sure I've seen a photograph of this 'face' in the tree in one of the UFO magazines.
Of course it was just pure simulacra, but nonetheless it was quite comical! As we walked away from this tree, someone pointed out some luminous worms or insects on the ground, they seemed to charge in the bright torchlight apparently they are quite common to the forest. We then headed off to where USAF Airman Larry Warren, one of the key players in this whole story, claimed the UFO event occurred. A gentleman from the Norwich UFO society then pointed out the Orfordness Lighthouse in the distance, which was casting it's very soft and 'faint' glow around.
This was Capel Green, where Larry Warren claimed the UFO came down, of course there were many more trees around back then, the great storm of 1987 ended the life of many a tree not only at Rendlesham but all over the U.K. as well, so obviously the area that we were looking at was quite different. The gentleman explained what happened here and had a captive audience listening to each and every word under a blanket of stars. Wonderful. After a while we left this area and headed back off deep into the forest.
It was at this point that someone wanted to meditate and tune in and see what, if 'anything' he may get. This was also an opportunity for Chris Martin to try and 'vector in' UFO activity. The whole group (many sitting) sat in silence, each with their own thoughts whilst two men, strangers to each other sent their thoughts skywards. Sceptics of course will no doubt find this quite amusing perhaps so (!) but at the end of the day this type of procedure has, allegedly produced things to happen at various locations throughout the world. After 20 minutes or so, Brenda's dog began to get restless (I think she mentioned that something spooked it !) and Brenda suggested that we move onto another location.
We then headed back off through the dark forest (believe me it was dark) when I realised that I hadn't seen one of our party for quite some time. Being a big party, people were dropping back and talking to one another, getting aquatinted and so on and I thought that this was why I hadn't seen this chap, I won't mention his name as I want to spare his blushes (but how could you get lost!!). I mentioned this to Brenda and the others at a spot called the seat and the realisation that we had lost one of the party sunk in and we began to get concerned, the last thing we wanted was someone lost in the woods, especially after Brenda had been given permission by the forestry commission and the local police for this event to go ahead.
However, soon after this I received a call on my mobile, it was the missing person, he had somehow found his way to a campsite which had a public phone (he didn't believe in mobile phones, he does now though!). Someone was dispatched to pick him up and sheepish individual re-joined the skywatch crew.
Brenda took the party to other various sites of interest in the forest, her extensive memory around the place certainly impressed everyone, it did me, and without Brenda I would have been well and truly lost. Brenda of course, is well used to taking people around the forest and knows the place like the back of her hand. At all the various places we stopped at, I personally never saw a thing, well, apart that is from one area where we all had stopped and a number of us saw a light moving across the sky which flashed once and seemed to disappear, this could have been a satellite though.
Chris Martin failed to materialize any UFOs which was a disappointment considering his success elsewhere. But I think for me, what was the most illuminating thing of the whole night, was when we were walking along one of the forest tracks with people moving their torches this way and that. Someone from the back of our group show their torch to the front of the group above their heads and illuminated 2 telephone cables stretching across the forest. Now when the torch hit these cables, it looked like a bright light streaking across the sky as the torch was moving along the cables. At this point all we could hear was a Woooo from the front of the party thinking they had seen something mysterious, which of course it wasn't. But it was plain to see the power of imagination.
The skywatch for me had been a success and although as far as I was concerned I hadn't seen anything that I would deem mysterious, I had nonetheless enjoyed myself. Speaking to other people afterwards, it was plain to see that they too felt the night had been worthwhile, like minded individuals had met up, each of us sharing a common interest. I mentioned earlier that some people had seen things. Let me now relate what Brenda Butler herself experienced on this skywatch. From a letter, which I received afterwards from Brenda, she had this to say.
BRENDA BUTLER'S STATEMENT.
I felt as thought the night went well, people felt and saw different things as we went around. I knew that we were being watched and followed (eyes in the forest). Everytime we go down there this happens. We have seen (Brenda and Chris) little monk type figures behind us, we have seen shadows and E.T's watching us. Rendlesham Forest holds great mysteries, 'we' are the intruders down there not 'them'. They have a message for us. Soon we will have the knowledge to work it out.
Brenda also mentioned in her letter to me, what she herself had felt/sensed the night we were in the forest, from her notes I take the following.
(1) Colonel Halt's Sighting Place.
Saw a flash of light across the sky. We normally see a flash of light when E.Ts are about when they come from their atmosphere to ours. My dog was fine here.
(2) Georgina Bruni's Place.
Very peaceful. Saw little red lights in and out of the trees behind everyone. This is where Peter and myself have had two and a half-hours of missing time and contact. Several messages have been given here. (Dog fine).
(3) Alien Tree.
Peaceful, spiritual, picked up that we were being watched. Photographs that I have taken around this tree have come out with things on them. John picked up weird things on his camcorder. Something like smoke coming out of the ground, (Friday night, the night before your skywatch). [Dog fine]
(4) Place Where Dog went Missing.
Saw red and blue lights around everyone, everyone seemed to be glowing, something around everyone. Saw a figure, a tall dark figure, although it felt peaceful there is something not quite right here. (My dog didn't like it at all it kept whining and wanting to go). Mark from Norwich also saw a dark figure around everyone. Cold breeze around everyone. (I never saw or felt any of this!)
On entering the clearing behind the seat, several people felt something had happened there. There have been figures seen there, little monk people and lights. Whilst there we all saw a white light travelling across the sky, bright one minute, then dull the next. We see these lights most nights we go down there. A lot of paranormal activity happens around this area. (Dog fine)
(6) The Settlement.
Once again little monk figures have been seen around this area. Felt peaceful here but know we were being watched and followed as alwaysThe above then are the thoughts of researcher and witness Brenda Butler. Some might say that the above is purely fanciful (and they may be correct) but let us not lose sight of the fact that we are dealing with the something which we technically know very little about. That some people the world over are gifted in the sense that they 'see' things which other people don't, is a fascination for sure. They are not all deluded, just because we can't see what they see doesn't mean that it doesn't exist (but then I guess the reader knows that.)
Brenda's friend Peter, who receives communication from 'something' (!) Got the following message whilst we were in the forest. This is what he got, make of it what you will.
Message To Peter.
In and out, two sides of time, our time is different to yours. We have time in which we can return, we need not to change our lives as we are timeless. We live in two time fields where we can keep in touch with your space. We need to feed off the energy of your thought's and auras. We have evolved to live off energy given off by your world. We move around energy waves and come through lots of portals. The writings are of 'our' time, the signs are off 'our' time.
To explain who we are, we appear to you in all forms. We do not need to eat food, we live in a world of energy fields. We come into your world all over the place. Your living keeps us living. We need you, you need us to get into the future, world life will change for you all too.
Well, interesting stuff indeed, but can we put any stock on it !!! Who knows!! Brenda also mentioned to me that they are regularly contacted down at Rendlesham Forest by Sporro and Astrom!! I can't comment on any of this but all I can say is, Who Knows!! Some of the more other interesting things that Brenda and her colleagues have witnessed/experienced in the forest is 'jelly fish' type 'things' appearing above the tree-tops, a strange sound that came over a radio, brown shapes moving in the undergrowth and jumping up trees (!) and 'shape shifters' on track 10. If all this is true (and other people have confirmed this) then there is clearly still something very mysterious operating in Rendlesham Forest.
Joe McGonagle one
of the attendees at our skywatch wrote to me and mentioned that he had enjoyed
our skywatch but never saw anything himself. He felt that the night lost it's
focus on the skywatch due to everyone being shown around all the various areas
of interest and stopping off to 'tune in'. That said he thoroughly enjoyed himself
and is keen to take part in another one.
James MacKenzie (a freelance journalist) also thoroughly enjoyed himself, so much so that he went down the night before the skywatch and stayed two days afterwards !! I remember at one point in the forest where we were all sitting quiet and 'tuning in' James was lying flat out on the forest floor staring intently up through the canopy of trees into the dark starry night sky, it took me some time to get him up as we were moving location. Some of the other people who enjoyed the night were, Jon Saunders, Jon Marsden, Daniel Goss, Mark Wild, Dave Moncur, Terry Lambert, Garry (of the South Wales UFO Group) Rob Boreham, David Morgan, Peter Parish, Glyn and Karen Edwards to name but a few.
As I mentioned at the start of this article, I notified many UFO Paranormal groups here in the U.K. about this National UFO skywatch, somehow a research group from Bulgaria (Bojana) got to hear about it. I received an e-mail from one Vesselin Yakvovov (now there's a name!) who mentioned that his group were keen to take part as well. They were going to turn their clocks to British time and do a skywatch at the same time in Bulgaria (Sofia). He went on to say that it would really be a big success if they detected a UFO over Bulgaria!! He also stated that some of his members lived in Macedonia, Serbia, Greece and Turkey and he would inform them to keep a look out in their respective skies to see if they witnessed anything. Now how's that for corporation!
A few days after the skywatch I received an e-mail from Vesselin he mentioned that their Bulgarian skywatch resulted in no UFO sightings. They saw a lot of satellites and aircraft and two meteors but nothing that could be termed 'anomalous'. Still it was nice of him and his colleagues to cooperate and if more cooperation were shown between UFO groups then I guess all our work would be that much better.
Another attendee of our skywatch was researcher Jac Sheridan (psydenom). Jac submitted his thoughts and feelings in regards to the SPI (England) skywatch and I now present his comments. Some may find the following over the top and hard to believe, but like I said earlier when discussing Brenda and Peter's thoughts, one must keep an open mind for if you don't then you are not being objective.
EVENTS OF THE WEEK (July 14th) by Jac Sheridan.
At approximately 02:30am a vast glowing object traversed the night sky heading East-West from the area of the original (Larry Warren) landing site directly over the former USAF Woodbridge base. The object was similar to a shooting star in attitude and orientation but much bigger and brighter than any shooting star could be. It dragged behind it a trail of light or possibly flame, which rippled like waves upon the atmosphere. The incident lasted about five seconds and was witnessed by several people. Five minutes previously Brenda Butler told us she had just witnessed an object of identical description travelling along a more North-South axis.
Language In Staccato Sounds.
Shortly after this, three of us went into the forest a formed a meditation circle close to Larry Warren's landing site and isolated ourselves deep amoungst the trees. We meditated on and off for about an hour between 03:00 to 04:00 in the pre dawn. Shortly before daylight I was jolted from my meditation by a sharp staccato sound. The noise was rapid and sounded mechanical, yet 'felt' organic like a footballers rattle giving the distinct impression of language or at least, communication as it seemed to fill the forest behind us. As I made my companions aware of this, the same sound came back from the opposite side of the forest as though in answer.
The second member of my team heard the sound quite clearly and claimed he had received psychic impressions of a small Brownish-Grey entity standing behind me, but the third member of our group said she saw and heard nothing! Which seemed impossible as it was all quite loud and clear. I have previously heard recordings made by others in Rendlesham of a sound which although very similar, held a staccato rhythm quite noticeably slower than the sounds we heard on the night of the 14th.
Two days later whilst I was receiving a top up charge from a psychic Chinese medical practitioner, I became suddenly aware of the presence of an alien figure in the ether directly beside where I was lying. He looked and sounded bizarre, striped like some kind of mackerel fish, his face had high gills like mini wings and it's body was a mottled silver and red. My therapist also saw him and also spotted another entity behind us. He then told me that he could see a series of symbols trapped in my aura revolving mostly around variations on the shape of a lightning flash. The 'entities' seemed protective towards me and initially they interfered with his efforts to treat me as though trying to push him away. He said, and I quote;
My energy system seems to be closed down from the inside as though someone or something is protecting a project of their own designEventually we managed to proceed although the two entities remained a strong presence throughout the session.
Saturday 21st July 2001.
I returned to Rendlesham Forest with a friend on Saturday and shortly after 22:00hrs we both clearly witnessed a bright glowing orb of light climb slowly into the air beyond the legendary East-Gate and hover a while before accelerating at extreme speed towards Ipswich. A few moments afterwards, my companion saw the red dotted beam of a laser weapon site pass across the back of my head. Deeply disturbed by this I returned the following day.
Sunday 22nd July 2001.
Accompanied by Ros Reynolds and her boyfriend Danny we moved around in the treeline close to East-Gate and each of us felt decidedly ill at ease, (although I did concede that perhaps anybody would feel this at the thought of being a hair trigger away from taking a fatal bullet.) Danny was very strongly affected by what he was sensing and at certain times he seemed to be physically shaking. When we reached the cars on the East-Gate car park we realised that 'ALL' of the batteries to the cam-corder had run down completely flat. This was very significant because Ros had only bought these batteries brand new whilst enroute to the forest just 30 minutes earlier and the camera had hardly been used. It was about this time we realised something was going horribly wrong in this place on this particular night and we nearly quit but instead we adjourned to the pub for an hour (but consumed only soft drinks)
Something Flies Overhead.
We then returned to the forest at 23:30 by approximately midnight we had taken up position in a location close by the area where my original group had first encountered the staccato sound on the 14th. We settled down to sit very quietly deep inside the treeline. After about 10 or 15 minutes we heard a low droning hum accompanied by a steady pulsating 'whoosh' which passed slowly overhead almost directly above our position and held sufficient physical presence to disturb the overhead branches on the surrounding trees. The object was completely invisible without lights, and although it was almost 'felt' rather than 'seen', it definitely seemed to have mass and a very strong presence.
Time And Energy Loss.
When the three of us reached the car park and checked our watches we appeared to have lost a certain amount of time, although we could not agree exactly how much and opinions varied from 45 to 90 minutes. However we had no trouble agreeing that each of us now shared a collective state of unnatural exhaustion so severe that we each feared we would be unable to safely manage our respective return journeys which were quite lengthy. This extreme fatigue is a phenomenon, which has occurred with some of us on previous occasions. Yet despite my physical depleted state I found upon returning home that my sleep was fitful and deeply disturbed as I lay continually besieged throughout the remainder of the night by terrible nightmares more severe than anything I have ever previously experienced, with each of these dreams revolving around the common theme of energy loss and 'Vampirism'.
Again I follow through with a thorough examination by the same practitioner of Chinese medicine whose professional opinion affirms that on this occasion I have indeed suffered a major inexplicable loss of Meridian energy. So as I summarise this account, I cannot help but wonder if whatever had drained the life out of those cam-corder batteries had tried to do exactly the same with each of us!
Many people come to Rendlesham Forest, each with their own thoughts, feelings and Expectations, there is no denying that the place holds a certain 'something'. Most researchers and authors agree that way beyond the principal Rendlesham Forest Incident, there were many unexplainable events, which occurred there, and, as we have seen above, are still occurring. We have learned however that there are some people who would appear to see things, which other people do not! What does this tell us ! Are their visions real or are they all wishful expectant thinking! Sceptics would suggest the latter.
What we have to bear in mind though is that there is no smoke without fire. Clearly an incident of immense proportions occurred at Rendlesham Forest back in the winter of 1980. As a researcher into strange phenomenon the Rendlesham Forest Incident stands as a major British mystery, admittedly there appears to be a lot of disinformation which surrounds this case was that purposely done to muddy the waters? Was the incident nothing other than a new proto-type aerial object of our own which got into difficulty and overshot the Bentwaters runway crashing into the forest and a UFO cover story put out to take the sting out of what it truly was? Or, as UFOlogists would have us believe, this truly was a craft from somewhere else of which it's purpose is unknown?
At the end of the day the Rendlesham Forest mystery will probably remain just that unless some new major and earth shattering witness testimony comes to light but the UFO subject is never usually that revealing and I can only hope that whatever the truth is that happened at Rendlesham, will see the light of day eventually.
By Malcolm Robinson, SPI (England)
SPI (England) 41 Castlebar Road, Ealing, London, England, W5 2DJ. Tel: 020 8995 2324. (mobile: 07949 178 835) E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Further Suggested Reading:
'You Can't Tell The People' by Georgina Bruni, Sidgwick Jackson 25 Eccleston Place, London, England, SW1 9NF. ISBN: 0 283 06358 0.
'Sky Crash' by Brenda Butler, Dot Street Jenny Randles. (1984) Grafton Books, 8 Grafton Street, London, England, W1X 3LA. ISBN: 0 586 06678 0.
'Left At East Gate' by Larry Warren and Peter Robbins, (1997) Michael O Mara Books Ltd, 9 lion Yard, Tremadoc Road, London, England, SW4 7NQ. ISBN: 1 85479 231 8
2002 NATIONAL SKYWATCHES.
© SPI (England) 2001.