Rendlesham Forest UFO Incident

Eburacum

Senior Member.
Likewise with the Rendlesham Forest case.....a lighthouse on the horizon explains some of the features but just ignores others.
Ian Ridpath's analysis of the event does not ignore any of the features; you are correct to say that the lighthouse does not explain everything, but there are good explanations for every aspect of the case.

Some events appear to have a sequence of fairly unlikely events happening in a relatively period; but such unlikely coincidences do happen with surprising frequency. As Freeman Dyson pointed out, million-to-one coincidences happen to an average person about once a month, so the fact that something is an unlikely coincidence is not extraordinary proof.
 
Likewise with the Rendlesham Forest case.....a lighthouse on the horizon explains some of the features but just ignores others.

It explains the most important feature, the UFO. If there is a lighthouse and not a UFO, then there is no "landing site" with "unusual radiation readings" or "damaged trees" and there is no UFO for Jim Penniston to touch and receive "binary code" from to reveal some 20 years later. As noted above:

Ian Ridpath's analysis of the event does not ignore any of the features; you are correct to say that the lighthouse does not explain everything, but there are good explanations for every aspect of the case.

It's just more classic UFOlogy, keep pushing the jumbled up modern version of the story without really going back and looking at the actual origins.

I just finished going through MUFONs reports on the Stephenville TX case. The one that supposedly involved "dozens" to "100s" of witnesses "all seeing a huge craft" as referenced above:

Reports of the size of the Stephensville object were similar.

Yeah, no. Even MUFON's 77 page super-duper report on Stephenville only mentioned 17 supposed witness statements and then cherry picked 8 of them. Of those, only 1 (singular) from a guy named Steve Allen claimed a massive craft in the air. That same guy told the newspaper and got the story rolling. That same guy appeared on the TV news. That same guy appears in various Discovery Network rehashes of the case to this day. It's one guy driving the story. All the other witnesses, less than a dozen and certainly less than 100s, just saw assorted lights.

The Italian UFO crash in Magenta, same thing. A few mentions in some likely forged documents from the '90s later got embellished to include the Pope, aliens, the US recovery of the craft and other elements that people like David Grusch are talking about today.

Stephenville case: https://www.metabunk.org/threads/stephenville-texas-ufo-2008.13446/page-2#post-314925
 
It explains the most important feature, the UFO.

No, it doesn't. How does the lighthouse 'explain' Halt, in the exact same tape, stating that there was a craft shining down a beam of light at their feet ? That bit seems to get conveniently ignored....

HALT: 03:15. Now we’ve got an object about 10 degrees directly south, 10 degrees off the horizon.

NEVELS: ... to the left...

HALT: And the ones to the north are moving. One’s moving away from us.

BACKGROUND VOICE: (indistinct, but includes ‘moving’)

NEVELS: Moving out fast.

BALL(?): This one on the right’s heading away, too.

HALT: They’re both heading north. Hey, here he comes from the south, he’s coming toward us now.

HALT: Now we’re observing what appears to be a beam coming down to the ground.

SHOUT IN BACKGROUND: Colours! [?]

HALT: This is unreal. [Laughs]

Part of the full transcript which can be found here... http://www.ianridpath.com/ufo/halttape3.html
 
No, it doesn't. How does the lighthouse 'explain' Halt, in the exact same tape, stating that there was a craft shining down a beam of light at their feet ? That bit seems to get conveniently ignored....
We should move discussion of the Rendlesham event to another thread, although that may result in yet another prolonged fruitless discussion.

But Ridpath discusses the later part of Halt's tape in some detail, and it seems quite obvious that Halt is talking about a celestial object here, almost certainly Venus Sirius. At no point does Ridpath ever claim that the lighthouse was the only stimulus for this series of events (which continued over three nights).
 
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No, it doesn't. How does the lighthouse 'explain' Halt, in the exact same tape, stating that there was a craft shining down a beam of light at their feet ? That bit seems to get conveniently ignored....
"Shining a beam of light" is what lighthouses DO, isn't it? And you're asking us to believe the verbatim account of a witness, while you state in your next post, "if witnesses are unreliable then witnesses are unreliable."
 
We should move discussion of the Rendlesham event to another thread, although that may result in yet another prolonged fruitless discussion.
We have no thread on Rendlesham; one can be of the opinion that none is needed because the incident has been so thoroughly debunked, yet ....

@NorCal Dave wrote elsewhere:
I've never heard of there being 80 men with Halt, more like 5-10 if that. Rendlesham is a complicated story, with a meteor and some running around in the woods and mistaking a lighthouse for something else. In fact, the tape recordings help to confirm this, as every time the men mention seeing the light on tape, it syncs up nicely to the turning lighthouse beacon. See here: http://www.ianridpath.com/ufo/rendlesham.html

From Ian Ridpath's site:

Summary and explanation​

Although the overall case is complex, the five main aspects can be summarized as follows:
  1. Security guards saw bright lights apparently descending into Rendlesham Forest around 3 a.m on 1980 December 26. A bright fireball burned up over southern England at the same time. Nothing actually landed in the forest.
  2. The guards went out into the forest and saw a flashing light between the trees, which they followed until they realized it was coming from a lighthouse (Orford Ness).
  3. After daybreak, indentations in the ground and marks on the trees were found in a clearing. Local police and a forester identified these as rabbit scrapings and cuts made by foresters.
  4. Two nights later the deputy base commander, Lt Col Charles Halt, investigated the area. He took radiation readings, which were background levels. He also saw a flashing light in the direction of Orford Ness but was unable to identify it.
  5. Col Halt reported seeing starlike objects that twinkled and hovered for hours, like stars. The brightest of these, which at times appeared to send down beams of light, was in the direction of Sirius, the brightest star in the sky.
At its most basic, the case comes down to the misinterpretation of a series of nocturnal lights – a fireball, a lighthouse, and some stars. Such misidentifications are standard fare for UFOlogy. It is only the concatenation of three different stimuli that makes it exceptional.
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His site backs this up very thoroughly.
 
We have no thread on Rendlesham
An excellent example, then, of how witness memories are unreliable, as I'd have stated with absolute confidence that we did, and that I'd read it!

Apparently I've read about the event somewhere else, and in the intervening time have attached that memory to reading old threads here, which I do from time to time.
 
Oops; Sirius, not Venus (in the Rendlesham sky). I'm sure Ridpath knows the difference; he is an astronomer, after all.
 
"Shining a beam of light" is what lighthouses DO, isn't it?

This is the sort of flippancy that makes me wonder why I bother. When's the last time you saw a lighthouse hovering overhead shining a beam 'down at the ground' ?

And we're back to 'unreliable witnesses' now are we ? A great catch all.
 
This is the sort of flippancy that makes me wonder why I bother. When's the last time you saw a lighthouse hovering overhead shining a beam 'down at the ground' ?

And we're back to 'unreliable witnesses' now are we ? A great catch all.
From @Mendel's quote of Ridpath:

  1. The guards went out into the forest and saw a flashing light between the trees, which they followed until they realized it was coming from a lighthouse (Orford Ness).
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You, of course, were the one I was quoting about the reliability of witnesses.
 
Oops; Sirius, not Venus (in the Rendlesham sky). I'm sure Ridpath knows the difference; he is an astronomer, after all.

He's such a great astronomer that he failed to notice a very close conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter on the night of the Halt incident. Almost twice as bright as Sirius, in the southern sky. If Halt was mistaking astronomical objects for UFOs...surely that would be the object to confuse.

Of course, Ridpath did not have Stellarium when he wrote his article. But to make zero mention that Jupiter and Saturn were bright in the sky less than a degree apart, to the south, shows he can't have investigated the astronomy of that night with all that much rigour.
 
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You, of course, were the one I was quoting about the reliability of witnesses.

No, I was wondering by what process some witnesses suddenly get to be ultra reliable to the extent that their testimony outweighs dozens of others. Mitch Stanley, for example, in the case of the Phoenix lights.

And by what stretch of the imagination ( I mean, sheesh...these people were in charge of nuclear weapons ) does a lighthouse beam get to be a ' beam coming down to the ground'. That is not something one can claim to be embellished over time, or bad memory, its a statement made right there and then.

My simple point all along ( with both Phoenix and Rendlesham ) is that one should be explaining what the witnesses actually claim to have seen...not ignoring bits. After all, the incidents ARE what the witnesses claim to have seen, not what one would like them to have claimed to see. To me this is the actual scientific approach. How do we explain all the claims.
 
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This is the sort of flippancy that makes me wonder why I bother. When's the last time you saw a lighthouse hovering overhead shining a beam 'down at the ground' ?

And we're back to 'unreliable witnesses' now are we ? A great catch all.
1. this is off topic here
2. please be thorough, read Ridpath's site, and then quote what you want to address
 
He's such a great astronomer that he failed to notice a very close conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter on the night of the Halt incident. Almost twice as bright as Sirius, in the southern sky. If Halt was mistaking astronomical objects for UFOs...surely that would be the object to confuse.

Of course, Ridpath did not have Stellarium when he wrote his article. But to make zero mention that Jupiter and Saturn were bright in the sky less than a degree apart, to the south, shows he can't have investigated the astronomy of that night with all that much rigour.
Well, they'd be high up, right?
Article:
In my original investigation, I tentatively identified these three starlike objects as real stars: first-magnitude Deneb and Vega in the north, and Sirius, the brightest star in the sky, in the south. I reached my conclusion before Col Halt’s tape recording of events was released. That tape contains additional information about the positions of these objects which allows us to make a more secure identification.

On the tape, Halt describes the starlike object to the south as ‘hovering over Woodbridge base at about five to ten degrees off the horizon’ at 4 am.

Your turn.
Prove to me how planets can be visible at less than 10 degrees off the southern horizon. You have stellarium screenshots of the date and time?

Please do not criticize a debunk you have not seen. It just wastes everyone's time.
 
Your turn.
Prove to me how planets can be visible at less than 10 degrees off the southern horizon. You have stellarium screenshots of the date and time?

The trouble is that Sirius, at 233 degrees at 4am, was not actually over the base at all...as one can see when I draw a line from Halt's position ( his last known position was in the small field next to the forest and near the farm ) heading at 233 degrees towards Sirius...

I've also added Stellarium for the time in question ( nearest location I could find was Cambridge )....showing Jupiter and Saturn blazing away in the south east. Ridpath makes no mention of this conjunction, yet if Halt was going to mistake a stellar object for a UFO surely it would be that.


Halt.jpg
 

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Please do not criticize a debunk you have not seen. It just wastes everyone's time.

It is surely totally relevant that Ridpath mentions Sirius, Vega, and Deneb.....three stars most amateur astronomers know are in the winter sky, yet completely fails to mention the elephant in the room....a very close conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter, brighter than those other three put together. I quite rightly question whether Ridpath ever actually fully looked at the night sky charts for that specific night as he cannot have failed to notice that conjunction if he did. He may not have had Stellarium, but I have astronomy books going back to 1974 that list the positions of the planets for the next 10 years.

Clearly I can't quote something that isn't in a debunk, when my whole point is that it isn't in it.
 
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Nice. You may have something there.

Jupiter and Saturn in a conjunction would have been quite remarkable objects. They may have been too close to the Moon to be easily visible, but that may just make them stranger objects to the untrained eye. A relatively recent conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn in 2020 was quite an impressive sight - in fact they were too close to be easily distinguishable at one point, although my eyes are not as keen as they once were.

But Halt and his companions had a light-intensifying Starscope - which could easily have ramped up the weirdness factor considerably, as well as creating weird artifacts that may explain the 'beams' of light coming down from the sky.
 
Halt, in the exact same tape
-Following the same path off-topic, but I tend to agree that Rendlesham has been comprehensively debunked.

Although there was no formal criticism as far as we know, Colonel Halt's performance re. the events of December 1980 might be questionable; for example his misinterpretation of Geiger counter readings.

More criticism of Halt's role, more from a legal/ political viewpoint, in the article
"Stomping around, goofing off, Why the US Air Force and the British MoD kept quiet about the Rendlesham Forest Incident",
Peter Brookesmith; an expansion of "Forgive Us Our Trespasses", The Skeptic 17 (2, 3) 2004.

PDF below.
 

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And by what stretch of the imagination ( I mean, sheesh...these people were in charge of nuclear weapons ) does a lighthouse beam get to be a ' beam coming down to the ground'. That is not something one can claim to be embellished over time, or bad memory, its a statement made right there and then.
The Starscope might explain this. It does create strange artifacts that resemble 'beams coming down to the ground'. Most likely caused by internally refracted or reflected moonlight, but a very striking effect.
beam.gif
I should perhaps point out that (if they were caused by moonlight) these 'beam' artifacts would appear to originate from near the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, another reason to think those particular celestial objects were involved.

However, Jupiter and Saturn were in the south east, not quite where Woodbridge was from Halt's location (but not far off).
 
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Jupiter and Saturn in a conjunction would have been quite remarkable objects. They may have been too close to the Moon to be easily visible, but that may just make them stranger objects to the untrained eye. A relatively recent conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn in 2020 was quite an impressive sight - in fact they were too close to be easily distinguishable at one point, although my eyes are not as keen as they once were.

Just checking on Stellarium....because Sirius, Vega, and Deneb were quite low down their magnitude would all have been somewhat reduced by the atmosphere, hence reducing Ridpath's notion of their dazzling brightness.

Sirius....actual magnitude -1.45....but magnitude at 8 degrees at 4am was reduced to just -0.31.
Vega....actual magnitude 0.0....but magnitude at 13 degrees at 4am was reduced to just 0.51
Deneb...actual magnitude 1.25...but magnitude at 10 degrees at 4am was reduced to just 1.95

In other words...none of them would have been dazzlingly bright. On the Other hand....we have

Jupiter....actual magnitude -1.99, but magnitude at 30 degrees at 4am was reduced to -1.73

In other words Jupiter was 1.4 magnitudes...or 3.7 times....brighter than even Sirius. And that would have been added to by magnitude 1 Saturn being so close by.

When Halt says "Hey, here he comes from the south, he’s coming toward us now."......the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn was much closer to 'south' ( about 30 degrees off ) than Sirius was ( almost 55 degrees off ).

And the clincher for me.......go back a few hours to when Halt's party gets going, and the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn is guess where ? Due east......exactly over the lighthouse. It was a cold winter night, with the Moon almost directly above Jupiter and Saturn. Throw in a 'moon pillar' optical effect ( the Moon equivalent of a sun pillar ) and you get a 'beam of light'....coming down from the 'UFO'.

See...no aliens...but to me a far better explanation of the case.
 
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Five of the main participants in the first night of the Rendlesham Forest UFO sighting (i.e. the early hours of 1980 December 26) made written statements for Col Halt in the days following the events. Three of these men (Penniston, Burroughs, and Cabansag) had gone into the forest, while the other two monitored their radio communications (Chandler and Buran). These statements allow us to trace the trio’s route into the forest and to reconstruct what they saw and did while they were there. The statements tell a consistent story of the pursuit of an unknown light which turns out to be more distant than first thought, and is eventually identified as the Orford Ness lighthouse.
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From Ian Ridpath's Rendlesham Forest website, which I strongly recommend.
http://www.ianridpath.com/ufo/rendlesham2b.html

(The original eyewitness accounts are reproduced).

And by what stretch of the imagination ( I mean, sheesh...these people were in charge of nuclear weapons ) does a lighthouse beam get to be a ' beam coming down to the ground'.
The same stretch of imagination that leads some airmen to tentatively identify marks left by landing gear,
which two local coppers (Suffolk Constabulary if memory serves) identified as scrapes made by animals, possibly rabbits,

and which leads to axe-marks on trees being ascribed to an alien (or time-travelling) craft careering through the woods.
(The axe marks were made by local forestry workers indicating trees to be felled).
 
The same stretch of imagination that leads some airmen to tentatively identify marks left by landing gear,
which two local coppers (Suffolk Constabulary if memory serves) identified as scrapes made by animals, possibly rabbits,

To me it makes more sense to argue that Halt did actually see something 'coming down'. We know the Moon was in the sky that night, right above potential 'UFO' of conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter. So possible a Moon pillar. Halt even claimed to see bits coming off the 'UFO'.....gosh....look at all those 'bits' ( Jupiter's moons ) coming off Jupiter...

The conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn would literally have risen right above the lighthouse....so although the lighthouse may have been the start of the 'UFO'....I think Jupiter took over. Using his starscope, Halt would have seen 'bits' coming off the UFO....

Jupiter.jpg
 
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Although there was no formal criticism as far as we know, Colonel Halt's performance re. the events of December 1980 might be questionable; for example his misinterpretation of Geiger counter readings.
This is an interesting aspect of the case.Why would Colonel Halt assume that an extraterrestrial spacecraft would leave behind traces of radioactivity?
 
This is an interesting aspect of the case.Why would Colonel Halt assume that an extraterrestrial spacecraft would leave behind traces of radioactivity?

He wasn't 'looking' for an alien spacecraft. His claim was that he went out to debunk the UFO claims. As the base almost certainly did have nuclear materials, it would have made sense to take a geiger counter along to make sure nobody was pilfering nuclear material.
 
He wasn't 'looking' for an alien spacecraft. His claim was that he went out to debunk the UFO claims. As the base almost certainly did have nuclear materials, it would have made sense to take a geiger counter along to make sure nobody was pilfering nuclear material.
Sorry It's just that as far as I can recall he has subsequently claimed that he believes it was an extraterrestrial event, which makes me think that he was predisposed to the idea. My main point really though is that 'traces of radiation' is a familiar trope in UFO/UAP landings and I question why such traces would provide evidence of ET visitation.
 
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To me it makes more sense to argue that Halt did actually see something 'coming down'.

Oh, you might very well be right- he might have misidentified 'normal' lights in the sky.
But some of the airmen have consistently stated that they misidentified the lighthouse.



As the base almost certainly did have nuclear materials, it would have made sense to take a geiger counter along to make sure nobody was pilfering nuclear material.

I think it's very, very unlikely that Halt would take a Geiger counter with him for that purpose.

If he believed radioactive material was being removed (presumably from weapons) without authorisation, that would be a very serious matter indeed.
It would be handled by specialised NEST teams or their equivalents, not a deputy base commander and whichever USAF security police were on duty.
There would have been a corresponding, larger-scale effort by UK authorities.
They would not be happy with weapons-grade isotopes being lost on their territory, and there would have been political repercussions (which, thank goodness, never happened).

Covertly removing fissile material from the physics package of an assembled device is, I would think, extremely difficult. Not least because many designs (AFAIK) involve a spherical shell of high explosive surrounding a smaller sphere of fissile material, and they are kept in secure storage and under armed guard.

Geiger counters were widely available to US, UK and other NATO military units and establishments in the early 80's; you would expect any major establishment hosting combat units to have them, whether those units had anything to do with nuclear weapons themselves or not.
The working assumption was that forces would continue to function as best they could even if chemical, biological or nuclear strikes were made by the potential enemy.
 
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As we don't have a Rendlesham Forest Case thread, and as we seem to be having one here now, I'd suggest we've reached the point where breaking these posts out into their own thread (perhaps with a summary opening post?) @Mick West
 
And the clincher for me.......go back a few hours to when Halt's party gets going, and the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn is guess where ? Due east......exactly over the lighthouse. It was a cold winter night, with the Moon almost directly above Jupiter and Saturn. Throw in a 'moon pillar' optical effect ( the Moon equivalent of a sun pillar ) and you get a 'beam of light'....coming down from the 'UFO'.

See...no aliens...but to me a far better explanation of the cas

Every attempt to clarify or explain claims is a winner in my book. I think sometimes there is a tendency to find aliens, much like God, in the little gaps.

In this decidedly off topic, case it's known there was a Lighthouse. The guys that went out the first night say what they saw was the lighthouse. Holt's recordings line up with the frequency of the lighthouse. The main culprit was a lighthouse. UFOlogist will point out, as you did, "Yeah but what about the light from above? Even if they sometimes saw a light house, it doesn't account for the light from above. Therefore aliens."

If you have a better explanation, celestially, than Ridpath then that's a bonus.
 
How does the lighthouse 'explain' Halt, in the exact same tape, stating that there was a craft shining down a beam of light at their feet ? That bit seems to get conveniently ignored....
From the transcript that you quote:

HALT: 03:15. Now we’ve got an object about 10 degrees directly south, 10 degrees off the horizon.

NEVELS: ... to the left...

HALT: And the ones to the north are moving. One’s moving away from us.

BACKGROUND VOICE: (indistinct, but includes ‘moving’)

NEVELS: Moving out fast.

BALL(?): This one on the right’s heading away, too.

HALT: They’re both heading north. Hey, here he comes from the south, he’s coming toward us now.

HALT: Now we’re observing what appears to be a beam coming down to the ground.
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They see a light 10° off the horizon, that is, not very high. That's consistent with a lighthouse. But when they see light coming to them, they do NOT say "hovering overhead", and might just have meant "a light coming across the ground to our feet", which is also consistent with a lighthouse beam rotating toward them and the light apparently moving south to north as it turns.
This is the sort of flippancy that makes me wonder why I bother. When's the last time you saw a lighthouse hovering overhead shining a beam 'down at the ground' ?
Don't put words in their mouths that they did not say, please.
 
The trouble is that Sirius, at 233 degrees at 4am, was not actually over the base at all...as one can see when I draw a line from Halt's position ( his last known position was in the small field next to the forest and near the farm ) heading at 233 degrees towards Sirius...

I've also added Stellarium for the time in question ( nearest location I could find was Cambridge )....showing Jupiter and Saturn blazing away in the south east. Ridpath makes no mention of this conjunction, yet if Halt was going to mistake a stellar object for a UFO surely it would be that.


Halt.jpg
From your Stellarium screenshot, base marked (approximate):
Screenshot_20240504-042103_Samsung Internet.jpg
Sirius fits the witness reports, Jupiter does not.
Sirius is ~5⁰ up and approximately in the direction of the base; especially if Halt had wandered further North than your point.
Jupiter is 30⁰ up, and 90⁰ off from the direction to the base.
All eyewitness reports of the lights in the sky, including Halt’s, describe them as hovering low over the forest. No one ever claimed to see them high up.
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I don't know why you refer to Jupiter's direction as "south east", but not to Sirius's direction as "south west". I don't know why you displayed the map image but not the Stellarium screenshot. I don't know why you criticise the choice of Sirius as not being above the base when Jupiter is even further off. I don't know how you determined Halt's position. I don't know how anyone would describe Jupiter as "close to the horizon" and not as "near the moon".

But I do know that your screenshot clearly shows why Ridpath does not mention Jupiter - because it does not fit the witness statement at all. This is completely off base:
I quite rightly question whether Ridpath ever actually fully looked at the night sky charts for that specific night as he cannot have failed to notice that conjunction if he did.
You notice the unusual conjunction and jump to the conclusion that Halt must have mistaken it for a UFO, but Ridpath actually listens to Halt, and it is clear that Jupiter does not fit while Sirius does.
 
Halt even claimed to see bits coming off the 'UFO'.....gosh....look at all those 'bits' ( Jupiter's moons ) coming off Jupiter...
Wrong direction entirely.

From Halt's tape (via http://www.ianridpath.com/ufo/halttape3.html ):
HALT: It’s coming this way. It is definitely coming this way.

VOICE: Pieces of it shooting off...

HALT: Pieces of it are shooting off.

VOICE: At eleven o’clock...
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Diametrically opposite Jupiter.


From the same tape, description of Sirius:
HALT: 03:15. Now we’ve got an object about 10 degrees directly south, 10 degrees off the horizon.
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HALT: 03:30 and the objects are still in the sky, although the one to the south looks like it’s losing a little bit of altitude. We’re turning around and heading back toward the base.
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"Losing altitude" like a star setting in the west.
HALT: 04:00 hours. One object still hovering over Woodbridge base at about five to ten degrees off the horizon, still moving erratic and similar lights and beaming down as earlier.
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The perceived motion would be due to parallax effect, as Halt was on his way back.

Did I mention that you'd waste less time if you'd read Ridpath's site?
 
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HALT: 04:00 hours. One object still hovering over Woodbridge base at about five to ten degrees off the horizon, still moving erratic and similar lights and beaming down as earlier.
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The perceived motion would be due to parallax effect, as Halt was on his way back.
One possibility is that Halt took this note on his way back as he emerged from the forest and had a clear view of the base across the runway. Otherwise, I expect the forest would have prevented him from seeing the base in the first place.

Speculative route:
Halt.jpg
 
My tentative thesis about the 'beams' coming down is that these were artifacts of the Starscope that they were using, a photomultiplier system that can create some beam-like phenomena (as shown in my earlier .gif.) Halt and company were not particularly competent with the Geiger counter, it seems; I suspect that the same is true of the Starscope.

Possibly the beam artifacts that they were observing had their origin in Sirius' light, which was in the general direction of Woodbridge from their position; but the strongest artifacts would probably have come from the Moon, which was waning at half-phase in the south-east, just above Jupiter and Saturn.

Rendlesham seems to have been triggered by at least four different phenomena, starting with a bright meteor on the 26th, emissions from 'beacons' (presumably the lighthouse'), the forester's markings in a random clearing, stars in the northern sky (probably including Deneb and Vega) and stars and planets in the southern sky (probably distorted by the Starscope) on the 28th. I'd add that the strange ground object seen in the forest by Burroughs and Penniston may have been an agricultural vehicle of some sort, although I'm not clear why anyone would be driving a tractor around on Boxing Day morning.
 
The perceived motion would be due to parallax effect, as Halt was on his way back.
I'm fairly sure that bright stars and planets can appear to 'wander' due to contrast effects, even when the observer is relatively motionless. This is probably a kind of autokinesis effect, coupled with the different sensitivities of the rods and cones in the human eye.
 
One possibility is that Halt took this note on his way back as he emerged from the forest and had a clear view of the base across the runway. Otherwise, I expect the forest would have prevented him from seeing the base in the first place.

Speculative route:
Halt.jpg

Well...that's not what Halt himself says. In this short video, at 2.29 ' We went out into the field on the other side....' and that that's where he saw the objects in the sky and the beam of light. At that point he is standing at a ( newly erected ) fence pretty much at the start of your right hand arrow. And he's referring to the field at the end of your right hand arrow. So by Halt's own words my original line is correct, and that means that Sirius was not over the base.

I mean, to all extents and purposes Halt was due east of the base. So how can Ridpath claim that Halt was seeing Sirius south west over the base ?


Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUTw4gMuihU
 
Sirius would have moved further west over time; curiously Halt did the same thing, assuming he eventually returned to Woodbridge at the end of the night.

So the witness, and the star, would both have converged on the base.
 
If he believed radioactive material was being removed (presumably from weapons) without authorisation, that would be a very serious matter indeed.
It would be handled by specialised NEST teams or their equivalents, not a deputy base commander and whichever USAF security police were on duty.
There would have been a corresponding, larger-scale effort by UK authorities.
They would not be happy with weapons-grade isotopes being lost on their territory, and there would have been political repercussions (which, thank goodness, never happened).

But when Halt went out there was already a team in the forest. There are various ( contradictory ) claims as to who was already there. My understanding has always been that Halt was at some dinner party and a junior officer came in and said ' They're back'...meaning the UFOs, and that Halt went out to 'debunk' the UFO claims.

The alleged UFO was not on USAF territory, so USAF police would have had no actual jurisdiction. Indeed, I think I am right in saying that for the original UFO sighting Penniston and Burroughs had to leave their weapons behind at the base precisely for that reason.
 
John J said:
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But some of the airmen have consistently stated that they misidentified the lighthouse.
Scaramanga said:
I thought people were supposed to quote stuff here.
Burroughs said in his original witness statement;
...we could see a beacon going round so we went towards it. We followed it for about 2 miles before we could see it was comming from a lighthouse.
Cabansag said;
We walked and ran for a good 2 miles beyond our vehicle, until we got to a good vantage point where we could determine that what we were chasing was only a beacon light off in the distance.
http://www.ianridpath.com/ufo/rendlesham2c.html
 
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Sirius would have moved further west over time; curiously Halt did the same thing, assuming he eventually returned to Woodbridge at the end of the night.

So the witness, and the star, would both have converged on the base.

Sirius was already a mere 6 degrees above the horizon at 4am ( not the 10 degrees that Ridpath claims ) . In fact Sirius sets completely ( in the south west, not the west ) just a few minutes later.

The scene below is as close as I can get to where Halt was at 4am when the alleged beam came down. One is facing southwest, and to the right in the distance are the trees where Halt took the geiger counter readings and the 'original' UFO landing site is. Right in front of one is the infamous field where Larry Warren claims a 'meeting' took place....and it is this same field Halt has just walked through.

Google Earth shows forests and trees there as far back as 1985....so there's no reason to suppose there were not trees....blocking the view of anything a mere 6 degrees above the horizon.....back in 1980.

Of course, not only did Ridpath not check and find Jupiter was bright in the sky that night....he does not appear to have even gone to the location and checked whether Halt could have actually seen Sirius at 4am, with all those trees in the way.

They don't call this area Rendlesham Forest for nothing....

Rendlesha2.jpg
 
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