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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2011 > Aug > Aug 7

Conrad Speaks Out On Rendlesham

From: Joe McGonagle <joe.mcgonagle.nul>
Date: Sun, 07 Aug 2011 02:15:33 +0100
Archived: Sun, 07 Aug 2011 05:55:48 -0400
Subject: Conrad Speaks Out On Rendlesham

Thanks to Eric Rush for the lead via ufologyinuk.


Source: The Telegraph (UK)


06 Aug 2011

Rendlesham Incident: US Commander Speaks For The First Time
About The 'Suffolk UFO'

By Jasper Copping

The senior US military official who led the investigation into
the supposed landing of a UFO in a Suffolk forest has spoken of
the incident for the first time in three decades.

The incident had been known as Britain's Roswell: a group of
American servicemen stationed in Suffolk go into a forest to
investigate mysterious lights and emerge convinced they have
seen an alien spacecraft.

The sightings, in December 1980, remain unexplained and have
become the country's most tantalising and enduring UFO riddle.

One of those involved even claimed to have touched an alien

Now, the man who led the only investigation into the "Rendlesham
Forest Incident" has spoken about the sightings - but his
decision to end thirty years of silence is unlikely to please
the UFO-believers as he suggests his men could have been hoaxed.

In 1980, US Air Force Col.onel Conrad was base commander of the
twin airfields of Woodbridge and Bentwaters, near Ipswich, which
are understood at the time to have stored nuclear weapons.

Just after Christmas mysterious lights were seen in the sky
above nearby Rendelsham Forest, and after a second night of
reports from his men, Col. Conrad investigated himself.

During the day, he went into the forest himself to a clearing
where the lights had been seen and where markings on trees and
on the ground had been found, indicating a possible landing by a

Col. Conrad said he found them "unremarkable". Nevertheless, he
returned to the base and hand picked a team of his best security
officers and sent them in the forest that evening to

Armed with a Geiger counter, cameras and night vision devices
they staked out the "landing site". After seeing nothing
suspicious, most of the team returned to base late that night. A
handful remained, including his deputy, Lt. Col. Charles Halt,
who stayed in contact with his superior by radio.

It is his account of what happened next which has fuelled
rumours of a UFO landing. Over the radio, he reported seeing
more lights on the ground and in the sky.

At home on the base, the commander and his wife went outside to
look for the lights after hearing about the sighting. Other
senior officers on the base -- and their wives -- did the same.
But despite it being a clear, cloudless night, they saw nothing

Lt. Col. Halt filed a report of the incident to the Ministry of
Defence some days later and has since go on to say the lights he
saw were "extraterrestrial in origin" and accuse the US and UK
security services of a cover-up. Col. Conrad, who had gone home
convinced he had seen nothing unusual, has remained silent.

Now he has provided a series of statements about the sightings
to Dr. David Clarke, a Sheffield Hallam University academic and
the UFO adviser to the National Archives - which this week will
release some Ministry of Defence files relating to the incident.

"We saw nothing that resembled Lt. Col. Halt's descriptions
either in the sky or on the ground," Col. Conrad said.

In a damning indictment of his former deputy, Col. Conrad added:
"We had people in position to validate Halt's narrative, but
none of them could."

He said there was no "hard evidence" of anything suspicious.

The Geiger counter was initially said to have given slightly
elevated readings in the clearance, but that these were later
found to indicate "normal" levels of background radiation.

Col. Conrad is scathing about his former deputy.

"He should be ashamed and embarrassed by his allegation that his
country and England both conspired to deceive their citizens
over this issue. He knows better," he said.

The former base commander also disputes the subsequent testimony
of another serviceman, Sgt Jim Penniston, who had gone into the
woods on the first night of the sightings and has since claimed
he touched an alien spacecraft.

Col. Conrad said he interviewed the officer at the time and
that, while he described seeing strange lights which had moved
off into the distance, he had not mentioned touching a

Although he cannot explain the subsequent accounts of his
subordinates, Col. Conrad said he thinks the incident may have
been a hoax.

This chimes with the theories of some experts who suspect the
lights the men first saw were actually from a fireball or Orford
Ness lighthouse, about five miles away, and that they were
subsequently hoaxed by their colleagues, including some who went
on to hold senior positions in the US military.

Col. Conrad said: "The search for an explanation could go many
places including the perpetration of a clever hoax. Natural
phenomenon such as the very clear cold air having a theoretical
ability to guide and reflect light across great distances or
even the presence of an alien spacecraft.

"If someone had the time, money and technical resources to
determine the exact cause of the reported Rendlesham Forest
lights, I think it could be done. I also think the odds are way
high against there being an ET spacecraft involved, and almost
equally high against it being an intrusion of hostile earthly

Dr. Clarke, who is a sceptic on UFO issues, believes Lt. Col.
Halt saw some form of optical illusion and that his and Sgt
Penniston's claims have become increasingly extreme over the
years, as speculation over the sightings has increased.

"I don't think anyone, least of all Conrad, doubts that Halt and
his men saw "something" in the woods. They had an extraordinary
experience. And that experience would remain extraordinary
regardless of whether ultimately it was a lighthouse or
poacher's lanterns -- which has also been suggested.

"But Col. Conrad is responsible for the only proper
investigation of this incident. He went to look and if there was
anything to be seen, I cannot see how he could not have seen

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