by alice | Oct 13, 2016 |

Spooky Suffolk - Myths & Legends: Rendlesham UFO


There are plenty of ghost stories in Suffolk with myths and legends still told today. With Halloween so close we thought it was the time of year to tell a few tales of the strange and peculiar.

Rendlesham Forest UFO

Since the 1950s there have been stories of flying saucers and sightings of unexplained lights in the night sky. Many of these stories were inspired by the Space Race and man’s journey to the stars, but one such event happened in Rendlesham Forest in 1980.

On the 27th December at around 3am in the morning, two security patrolmen from the US Air Force were alarmed to see unusual coloured lights in the forest near RAF Woodbridge. They requested permission for the Chief Duty Officer to go out and investigate further. They discovered a strange glowing object that appeared to be metal, and was triangular in shape. They reported it to be about two meters high and it lit up the forest with a white light. There was a red light at the top of the object and a number of blue lights underneath. The object hovered and began to move away from the patrolmen before shooting off at speed. Later there were reports of farm animals going into a frenzy, and a radar crew at RAF Watton in Norfolk picked up an “uncorrelated target”. News spread about the sighting quickly and the next day airmen were sent out into the forest where they found three depressions in the ground where the object had been sighted as well as burn marks on the nearby trees. Levels of radiation were detected at the site which prompted a continued investigation.

The following night about thirty men went into the forest, taking with them a tape recorder and floodlights. Strangely, once in the forest the lights no longer worked and radios suffered from interference. The men saw a red light through the trees which appeared to move and pulse, before throwing off flecks. Immediately afterwards three star-like objects were seen in the sky which moved rapidly and shone red, green and blue lights. One of the “stars” beamed down a stream of light and the Forestry Commission was called in to cut down the trees - apparently due to radiation. The incident was reported on January 13th 1981 in a memo titled “Unexplained Lights” written by Colonel Holt. Close to the same time an article was published in The Guardian which reported the incident however no one took much interest to begin with. The News of the World ran a story in October 1983 detailing how American airmen discovered a spaceship. The story included an explosion and aliens and rumours began to spread.

Thirteen years later Colonel Holt was interviewed and he stood by the tape, claiming its authenticity and dismissing theories that the lights came from nearby Orfordness Lighthouse or a meteor. The incident continues to be noteworthy due to the number of witnesses involved and what really happened remains a mystery to this day.

There is a UFO Trail in Rendlesham Forest which guides you along the areas where the lights were sighted. With speculation to what the lights might have been, and who knows - maybe the truth is out there . . .

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