Talk:Rendlesham Forest incident

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Editing required[edit]

This is article is a mess, especially in the later sections. I have deleted large chunks of unsupported supposition and repetition (including about a dozen references to the book "you can't tell the people" which were doing nothing but promoting the author). I would recommend that most of the later sections be deleted completely - I would do it myself, but there is so much in there that I would rather leave to a more experienced editor--Crais459 13:27, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

This article has some severe problems. The top section is extremely one-sided and gives no sources for rather outrageous claims such as 'small beings with domed heads leaving the spacecraft'. While I wouldn't say a citation is absolutely necessary for each claim, when one claims that news accounts detailed of alien contact and use it in a way to suggest that it is credible, then you have big credibility problems when you can't cite a source. How do we know it wasn't a tabloid that made the claim? I think the readers deserve to know the source so as to determine whether that source is credible or not.

I have no links, but I thought this was found to be a police car with some reflective tape and the lights on...

It does have problems. The story was indeed used in the tabloids. According to the files ( some of the documents received by the MoD were thought to be forgeries and the reference to the "locals" actually means local Forestry Commission (government) officials. The RAF reported that they had been asked to check their radar and their logs showed that nothing was found. In summary it was probably a combination of the lighthouse, forestry commission tree markings and rabbits. I am tempted to alter this despite my wikitroll detector giving off warning signals... Wiki-Ed 12:14, 25 August 2005 (UTC)
I don't believe the issue is whether it was an actual UFO. The issue is what was reported at the time and where it was reported. If, like in Roswell, the newspaper claimed it was a UFO, that should be mentioned along with a reference to the paper with the article. If the story was later recanted, like in Roswell, that should be mentioned as well.Nealparr 4 January 2006
I agree — the article should stick to what was reported and where it appeared, plus documentary evidence. Some of the details seem unlikely even to have been reported. For instance, the mention of a cattle stampede is a bit farfetched. There are not many cattle in Rendlesham — the word "forest" is the clue to this one. The land in that area is really too poor to support cattle: the soil consists of a few millimitres of topsoil, then dry sand. The natural vegetation is gorse, ferns, silver birch, heather and some very poor grass, but not enough for herds of cattle! Bluewave 18:29, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
In the tape I can hear them first report animals being noisy, and then silent, but this article says there were no animals. The article also mentions "rumours with no sources". Now correct me if I'm wrong, but rumours with no sources should be in an encyclopedia. Furthermore this entire article is rather biased right now; "when the file was released it turned out to contain (blablabla) confirming that it was never taken seriously". How does that confirm anything? It just looks like someone's gone through making everything a little less credible. If you listen to the HALT tape, the object described isn't exactly a light house or swamp gas.. (talk) 21:43, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
I take your point that the end of the first para is a non-sequitur. I have re-edited accordingly.Skeptic2 (talk) 01:15, 18 March 2008 (UTC)


to get more info i say there needs to be questions asked to the parties involed that night (i know sci-fi channel did) but maybe they will tell under pressure action should be taken immediatly

^ What in the hell? --^pirate 13:22, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

I was a Security Policeman at Bentwaters/Woodbridge at that time. There was no rumors or scuttlebutt about this incident at all. Considering how boring guard duty is and how much time there we spent together, it is hard for me to put any credence in the story at all.

Then what is this bull crud about incident! Dr. Mahogany

Believers Section[edit]

I deleted a chunk of it and reworded some of the rest. Honestly, I tried to save the content, but it was so ridiculously POV, that the entire mess practically just needs to be completely re-written. There was very little content and about twelve positive adjectives to a sentence describing a particular author's work. I could've deleted some things that were actually worthwhile, but I saw no way to save the section as it was. Feel free to tweak around and salvage the section if anyone wants to (without repeating the constant insertions of positive adjectives every other syllable just to try to puff up the credentials of those supporting your own view). --Jakob Huneycutt 13:52, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

I think the article needs to be updated with the fact that the US Veterans Administration recently awarded John Burroughs compensation because of the radiation he was exposed to during the incident. This seems to be acknowledgment from the US government that something emitting radiation - obviously something unusual - was indeed in the forest.

It's also relevant that Burrough's medical records remain classified to this day.

Ring Giver (talk) 15:04, 25 October 2015 (UTC)

The VA awarded Burroughs compensation for health problems that he claims were a result of his military service. There is no evidence that it was anything to do with Rendlesham, and certainly no acknowledgement that there was anything unusual in the forest. This is usual UFOlogists' fantasy. Skeptic2 (talk) 12:49, 26 October 2015 (UTC)

The VA wouldn't have awarded compensation based merely on Burrough's claims. If that was the case, any veteran with a health problem could claim the problem results from his service and get compensation.

Whatever the source of the exposure was, the government is keeping it secret. This fact is relevant to the story. I'm not a UFOlogist, I'm just someone who wants to include relevant information Ring Giver (talk) 22:09, 27 October 2015 (UTC)


This is really a very conspiracy-theory focussed article. The Porton Down one has similar issues. Rsynnott 00:07, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

Attempt at improvement, 7 April 2006[edit]

I have done quite substantial rewrite of the article which seemed disorganised and not always informative.

  • Some restructuring with some additional headings
  • I have tried to make the first few paragraphs into more of a summary of the remainder of the article
  • More about the location
  • More details about the primary evidence, including the complete transcript of the crucuial Halt memo
  • Taken out some stuff that relates to other UFO incidents but seemed very confused with this one (eg Watton)
  • Taken out "evidence" from works of fiction (eg Nick Pope's book Operation Thunderchild was a novel!)
  • Tried to improve the balance and distinguish the evidence from the speculation

I hope this is an improvement, but if someone else thinks they can make a better fist of it, please go ahead! Bluewave 14:37, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

More reasons to be sceptical[edit]

1) If this phenomina went on for 2-3 hours as is claimed, then why didnt anyone photograph it or (Super8) film it? There were hundreds if not thousands of Americans and their families living on or near the bases, which were not just airfields but also included housing estates for families, and I cannot believe that no photos of films would be taken if it did actually occur.

2) The description of the event is much more elaborate and detailed than descriptions I have heard in past years. It has has been elaborated and added to.

3) I have lived in that area most of my life. In the early seventies I was camping with some teenage friends near the bases. After dark we saw that a fire had broken out in the woods near the bases. It looked like a tree had caught alight. Fires like this are common in the area during the summer. We soon saw the americans were taking a lot of interest in it, flying helicopters near it to look at it and so on. If a UFO had been sighted, then a similar amount of interest would have been shown, yet there are no reports of this.

A large glowing red object the size of a small bedroom, and a thick beam of white light coming straight down to within three feet of where Halt himself was standing, was reported on the transcript tape itself. This is not a case of forest fire. --Chr.K. 19:52, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
Indeed, if you've heard the tape, it doesn't sound like a forest fire or anything else. Multiple people see the object(s), describing it (them) as red and pulsing yellow, moving erratically, being crescent moon shaped with a dark centre, pieces "breaking off" twice, and a beam of light coming down. They also describe heat signatures coming from some trees around the "suspected landing site" as they put it, with a "blast area" in the centre. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:27, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

The comment that the aircraftmen were forced to sign documents that would stop them speaking about the incident makes no sense. As members of the RAF they would have signed the Official Secrets Act at the point of joining the Force and therefore would have made the signing of another document pointless. Given that the comment carries no citation one can assume it is more reliant on someone's imagination than actual fact. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:30, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

As they were members of the USAF and not the RAF I presume they would not have signed the UK Official Secrets Act. (talk) 00:26, 18 September 2012 (UTC)

The law applies to people regardless of whether or not they've "signed" it. The OSA talks about "any person" rather than a specific nationality; it would be thoroughly stupid to have national anti-espionage legislation which gives carte blanche to non-nationals. Not that any of this detail matters, though. What matters is the evidence. bobrayner (talk) 13:06, 18 September 2012 (UTC)

"What matters is the evidence." Which is what exactly? (talk) 21:13, 13 October 2012 (UTC)

Structuring of the article[edit]

I noticed some recent edits by (who may be Ian Ridpath, given the comments added with the edits). Back in April I did some restructuring of what had previously been a very confused article and I am keen that, with controversial material like this, we keep a logical structure (though not necessarily the one I came up with). The danger is that one person writes about what supposedly happened; someone else adds a sceptical explanation to the end of their sentence; someone else adds on a bit more defending the original; and you end up with a verbal spaghetti. I was trying to separate it into:

  • Summary of the article up front without going deeply into the arguments.
  • Setting the scene. When, where etc. This should be fact (though I missed the mistake with the lighthouse!)
  • The story as it is generally told. Difficult, because there are several versions. But at this point I didn't want to introduce all the rationalisations etc.
  • The evidence without comment. eg things like the animal noises were reported (even though I'm personally sceptical - but this is not the part of the article to say so)
  • The main sceptical views of the evidence.
  • A survey of the analysis by different commentators

Given that Ian (if it is indeed him) is actively reviewing the article, this may be a good point in time to review the structure and see if we can improve on it. However, I'm very keen that we separate the evidence from the arguments. Bluewave 09:56, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

>>> Yes, it was me who made some amendments recently. I was impressed by the speed with which you corrected the map which misplaced the Orford lighthouse after I pointed it out. Overall, I think you have done a creditable job of presenting a balanced view of this highly complex case. Dave Clarke, another researcher, may also be making some amendments to the section about the release of official documents. I am happy to answer questions by email. Ian R, 2006 October 6.

Communicating with aliens[edit]

In the 28 December section, it says

It has been rumoured that small beings with domed heads left the craft, and that twin base commander Gordon Williams claimed to have made sign language communication with the aliens. These rumours have no evidence to back them up, and come from unconfirmed reports.

Did Gordon Williams claim this, or is it rumoured that he claimed it? that's the problem with sticking "claimed" and "supposed" everywhere - the original meaning gets lost. Totnesmartin 20:33, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Recent happenings?[edit]

Whats the scenario now? Does the forest still have reports about sightings of unusual creatures/entites? Supposedly the locals have seen all sorts of weird creatures in the forest. Animal hybrids/unidentified creatures? What gives?

To be fair to the locals, I think that very few, if any, of the reports of the incident and its aftermath are attributed to them - certainly none of the more extreme ones. Such reports generally originate from the more gullible people who are unfamiliar with the area, not the locals. Bluewave 08:50, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

Unsourced statement[edit]

Some anon person just added this:

It has been reported that the then-Commander-in-Chief United States Air Forces Europe, General Charles A. Gabriel was present at RAF Bentwaters at the time of the incident and that he was provided two tape recordings of the event.

No source for this statement was given. Totnesmartin 20:52, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

Shipwash lightship[edit]

Can anyone confirm the location of the lightship (which would be a useful addition to the article)? I believe it was replaced by a buoy sometime in the intervening period. A friend of mine with the Admiralty chart gave me a position for the North Shipwash Buoy as 52deg 1.730'N 1deg 38.272'E but I am not certain that this is the buoy that replaced the lightship, nor indeed if the replacement was put in exactly the same place. However, if it is, and it was, that would place the lightship about 10 miles southeast of Orford village (based on sticking those co-ordinates into Google maps). I'll try some other contacts to see if anyone has an older chart that would show the lightship. Any other ideas? Bluewave 15:41, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

My information is that the Shipwash lightship was at 52 deg 02.0' N, 1 deg 42.1' E. It emitted three flashes over 20 seconds (0.3 sec flash, 2.2 sec dark; 0.3 sec flash, 2.2 sec dark; 0.3 sec flash, 14.7 sec dark). Its range was about 24 miles against the 30 miles of Orford. The flash rate of Orford was 0.2 sec every 5 sec. Being some way offshore the Shipwash light would have appeared far less bright to anyone standing in Rendlesham Forest than the Orford light, which is by far the brightest light visible from that location. Ian Ridpath 2007 July 24.

The information I have in writing from Trinity House is that the position of the Shipwash LV (in 1980) was Lat 52 deg 02.03 min North and Long 01 deg 42.05 min East. This was discontinued on 25 Oct 1993. There is now a much less powerful light near to this location, called North Shipwash. According to Trinity House, this is a North Cardinal Lighted Buoy with a quick flashing white light (i.e. 60 flashes per minute). The stated location of this light (in 2000) was Lat 52 deg 01.70 min North and Long 01 deg 36.20 min East. I do not know if it has moved slightly since then to the location you quote.Robertmclean2 00:16, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Sound of a woman screaming[edit]

The article says that Burroughs reported a noise "like a woman was screaming". I went for a walk in Rendlesham forest at the weekend and, like Mr Burroughs, I heard a noise like a woman screaming. She was quickly joined by some other wailing sounds. These were very loud, powerful, an unearthly...and of course were being made by deer. Very scary sound, though! Bluewave 16:55, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

An instructive comment, Bluewave. I never have understood why so much has been made of this 'screaming' business and have always understood deer to be the most likely source (foxes can also make an awful screeching but that tends to happen a couple of months later, in the mating season). Alternatively, I suppose UFOs could now be piloted by ladettes out on the razzle. They would scream a lot, if they are anything like the earthlings around closing time. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Skeptic2 (talkcontribs) 18:48, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
interesting. i've been trying, for years, to figure out a noise i heard here in wisconsin. i hadn't considered deer or fox as a source. frankly, the noise seemed to be from something "larger," but, as i don't know what it was, i suppose that's a silly assumption. i haven't yet looked, but i'm hoping there are videos/recordings of these 'screaming sounds' made by deer and fox. (and truly not trying to be a jerk here.) if you know of any, could you point me in the right direction? i ask because i've tried to find recordings of other animals online (thinking it would be rather easy) but haven't found much (e.g., moose). i've lived here (wisconsin) my whole life, and have never heard this sound before or since, so am quite puzzled. and it's probably why i hadn't considered it could have been a deer or fox, or something common to the area. (because it seems i would have heard it at some other time, then.) anyway, this doesn't fit on this page AT ALL, and i apologize for that, but your 2 comments really jumped out at me.Colbey84 (talk) 08:30, 20 September 2015 (UTC)

Yes, this noise is made by Muntjac deer, also known as Barking deer, and they really do sound like a woman screaming. This was reported in James Easton's "Voyager Newsletter" No 15 in October 2000.Robertmclean2 00:28, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Page move[edit]

Why has this page been moved? Rendlesham Forest Incident is a recognised name for this affair, and is used in many sources, and so is therefore a proper noun. ðarkuncoll 10:45, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

What are these "many sources"? I've gone through the external links and all the online references and only three sites have "Incident" with a capital I: the MOD (sadly they've taken down the content but the title remains), the Suffolk Police (the whole title is in capitals so no assertion can be made about the capital I) and the photos and maps page which uses a capital I in the title out of simple grammatical correctness - note that "Guide" and "Area" in the title also have capitalised first letters, so a specific capital I cannot be supported. Among the ufologists, neither the dedicated website, Nick Pope or Georgina Bruni use a capital I. Therefore the use of a capital I comes down to a single source. Use of Incident as a pronoun in, for example, a book title, would be valid for an article about that book, but not for the subject of the book. The Roswell Incident is an example of this use. I think the move was valid. Totnesmartin (talk) 19:44, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
"Incident" as a pronoun? Have you any idea what you're actually talking about? ðarkuncoll 23:23, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, I meant proper noun :( But yes, I do know what I'm talking about. Totnesmartin (talk) 00:47, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

The huge majority, see for yourself but I estimate at least 2 to 1, of Yahoo search hits for both 'Rendlesham Forest Incident' and 'Rendlesham Forest incident' spell with the capitalized letter.
I won't swear that there isn't a preponderance of one spelling over another in the cites in the material, but looking through them, there was definitely not a clear majority as with the Yahoo search. Of the 49 cites currently on the page, there are actually only about 6 that aren't a different page from the same publisher, e.g. Ridpath, or peripheral 'evidence' pages, e.g. British Deer Society: Muntjac deer. Even the six are inconclusive: Ridpath calls it the "Rendlesham Forest UFO case", Pope uses the capitalized form, the BBC doesn't call it anything, ie " in Rendlesham Forest where there was a famous reported UFO sighting..." I suggest that the only conclusive evidence of any uniform usage at all is in the online search. Anarchangel (talk) 21:38, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

Britain's Roswell[edit]

Ive never heard it referred to as that. Where and when?--Prophesy (talk) 12:11, 25 March 2009 (UTC) Also it adds nothing to the artical. Every incident world wide which involves UFOs are referd to as "the X roswell" and there are several claims to be the british one.--Prophesy (talk) 15:36, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

A quick Google search on "Britain's Roswell" seems to give results that are almost exclusively about Rendlesham (though I certainly didn't check all 2000, or so, hits). Bluewave (talk) 16:50, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
Indeed, there have been TV programmes with this very title. So I'll put it back and hope we can quit arguing. It wasn't even me who put it in there to start with! Skeptic2 (talk) 18:11, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
The main argument I have with it however is that it dose not add any value to the article. Like I say everything that happens to do with UFOs gets compared to Roswell. When I edited the term out of this article I also edited it out of Berwyn Mountain UFO incident. If you look at that list on google you will find several other "British Roswell" including the first hit. Why cant it be an incident in its own right, why dose it have to be compared to a wholly different American incident?--Prophesy (talk) 22:38, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
You need to ask Nick Pope, who regularly makes the comparison - in fact, he promotes it as being better than Roswell, which is fine by me. The term is now quite ingrained and there's no point wishing it away. Skeptic2 (talk) 01:55, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
Like I say I had never heard it before, every UFO incident gets called some veriant of roswell in the same way any scandal gets gate added too it. It dosent add value to the article and its really misleading as there is no talk of a crash or recovery of bodies. --Prophesy (talk) 18:12, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
The National Archives of GB have just released the full file on this incident. They refer to it as "Britain's very own Roswell." Surely this is enough now? Misterloz (talk) 17:55, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Lead section[edit]

I was just reading through the current version and noticed the second sentence of the lead: Some Ufologists believe it is perhaps the most famous UFO event to have happened in Britain, ranking amongst the best-known UFO events worldwide. So, how famous is it: not "most famous" or even "perhaps most famous", but only "believed to be perhaps most famous" and then only by "some ufologists". Is there something more substantial we could say about it: is it, in fact "the most written-about UFO event to have happened in Britain" or is there some similar (but verifiable) statement that we could make about it's notability? By the way, I don't pretend to have the answer to this question (my rather tangential interest in the article is that I often go walking in Rendlesham forest) but surely some of you experts out there can help! Bluewave (talk) 21:36, 29 September 2010 (UTC)


This entire article is complete bollocks! How does Wikipedia expect to be taken seriously when it has articles like this? (talk) 20:15, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

Do you have any specific points in mind? We might be able to improve the article for you. Skeptic2 (talk) 11:10, 23 September 2011 (UTC)
That sounds like an opinion. The inclusion or absence of any given article should not be made on opinion. The article should only note the facts. Whatever anyone thinks, events did take place that lead to police and MoD action, and subsequent media coverage. Bollocks, or not. sugarfish (talk)

Pseudo-intellectual scepticism corrupts Wikipedia from within[edit]

I'm amazed by the arrogant insolence, by which certain internal elements in Wikipedia are trying to interrupt the developement of this article. Now I see the reason for all these incomplete materials on important cultural subjects... It is about who is smarter. It is within Wikipedia, where a form of intelectual infertility, disguised as scientific view (but not particularly deep one), is in charge of the information flow. I will make it clear, mostly for people like bobrayner, so even they can assimilate the simple logic of the situation. The reality is this, whether you like it or not! The people are these, the statements are these (definitely not of your buisness), the phenomenon is in the media since eighties. We are not the Academy of Science, we are the free, public Wikipedia, right? Regardless of the good old instinct for domination among the others, the intelect should be dominant. People have (at least, Bobby) the right to acces all information available. This is the informaton we have. Falling in (as we say in my country) "donkey on a bridge" position is worst scenario possible. My involvement is in the name of better knowledge experience of the people, and not for the sake of bobrayner and company. I don't care about them. Victums of such an illogical behaviour will be the visuality and the diversity of all presented materials. I feel somewhat, shall I say, "dirtified" (if such a word exists). Thank god there is a screen, wich separates me from this. Quite frankly, there is no desire in me whatsoever to waste emotional energy in useless disputes or personal struggles. One could have ended up in the situation of Sisyphus. So, this little jungle is yours to rule...

Utar Sigmal (talk) 05:14, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

What changes are you proposing? What sources would you propose to support these changes? --John (talk) 21:53, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
Look John, first I want to thank you for not swearing me, and not trying to delete my renderings (like others), specifically made for this article. This is a good start. The phrase "people don't take Wikipedia seriously" is a typical sign for lack of self-confidence, which is normal for all wunderkinds across the globe. Not only that people do take seriously Wikipedia, I think it is one of the main pillars of Internet (mainly because of its public usability). Nothing is perfect from its begining. That's why we have the Time - to make things better. What we must do, to release the potential of each subject, is to differentiate the factology and the emotional value of the text, and put them in two separate paths. Every subject has its factology already set. This man claims this, that man claims that. There is such and such report. Facts, facts, facts... The real cool point of view is not in the separation of the scientist's psychic, but when the mind himself is able to keep aside his passions from the subject he studies! There is no place for philosophical disputes in a theme with at least several hard facts. We do not judge or investigate. We provide! The individuals involved in Rendlesham incident are troubled enought with their own human doubts to extra - dishonour them (I have served my short military duty in Bulgarian Air Force - at least I understand the feeling of honor) with disbelief in their experience. The semantics often is the hardest thing to build in a text. In my humble opinion, this article is already good enought. What I wanted to do was to implement an ilustration of the craft itself (based on compilation of all witness testimonies), because I saw that there isn't any (same with the sketch). By the way, I had the oportunity to see UFO myself. No problem to believe these people at all. Utar Sigmal (talk) 09:57, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
I think Utar Sigmal is vexed by this. At first the image was claimed to be based on something drawn by one of the witnesses named in the article. I proposed deleting it for license reasons. Then Utar Sigmal claimed that "The signs themselves are property of extraterrestrial\time traveler beings". Unfortunately we lack evidence of the exterrestrials' stance on intellectual property and copyright law in this case. Then Utar Sigmal claimed that "I made this file entirely (believe me, it took me a while to deploy something unknown to you, called creative process), without any involvement of original sketch at all", in which case it's original research. There have been a number of different explanations (even within a single comment) but in each case I think it's not inappropriate to keep the image in the article. bobrayner (talk) 11:49, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
I'm still not sure if I can see some logic in this man's assaults than clear intention to thwart the completion of this article. You can delete my reconstruction of the symbols, Bobby. You are doing a favor to me, to you, but not to the people who, after all, won't be able to see them in the story they read. I dont think the agression could replace the intelect. This is humanistic organization, not SS squad. Once again, mostly for everyone who is interested in this discussion, the reconstruction of the symbols from the Rendlesham craft I uploaded to Commons is my stylized and proportionalized adaptation of the original sketch. I believe this is alowed, tell me if I'm wrong. It is not modification or vectorisation of the original image, but a completely different graphic, because I though (from artistic point of view) it's the best way to present the symbols alone (although in their native visual context). It could be me who has mistaken. I think everyone (but Bobby) knows who made the sketch itself. Should I explain obvious facts as if I'm talking to 9-year old child? About deleting other people's files, from a certain point of view it could looks like virtual vandalism. Especially when the criteria/motive is not clear enought. Spitting on my work as contributor-illustrator and on my word as gentleman is another not very pleasant aspect of my volunteer work for this site.
Here are several simple steps and I'm done with the battle for the Rendlesham Forest article. Bob, I need you to educate me: is it the USAF sketch in public domain, or not? Honestly, I am not sure. Because I am just a dumb slavic. Straight answer: just yes or no. If you use different words or expand your response, it will become apparent that you are making up wiki rules of your own.
Second: are the symbols themselves somebody's property, when sir Penniston claims, that he didn't just painted them, but copied them from the surface of unknown vehicle? Schrödinger's cat. The absent evidence for something does not counts automatically as evidence in opposite direction. Even in worst case, unless someone succeed to show that Penniston's words are fiction for sure, these are markings of unknown origin. Ergo communi hominum scientiam.
Third: where is the place on my image where I state: "I drew the Rendlesham forest USAF sketch." If there isn't such, what was this all about, Bobby?!
Forth: I want you to prove the reader that you exist. Your probative method should be verified also to be valid, isn't it? I warn you - René Descartes reduced everything to his own thought, which is the subjectivity (the opposite of objectivity, or reliability) as such. The though (as quality) is also undetectable, Bob.
I am open to the possibility that I'm the wrong one, especially about eventual inappropriate naming or tagging of the image. One could never know all the fabricated rules. In this case, my sincere apologies to all readers and authors, including bobrayner, for bringing you down in my foolishness. Utar Sigmal (talk) 00:42, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
  • I think it would be helpful if we all tried to move a few steps up this pyramid. bobrayner (talk) 09:00, 21 September 2012 (UTC)

John Burroughs and James Penniston[edit]


They're back. Hcobb (talk) 00:46, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

Dr Fil’s latest edits (August 2013)[edit]

I have reworded the intro in the light of Dr Fil’s latest criticisms. My explanations are as follows: 1, As far as I am aware it was not an atomic bomber base in 1980 - it was a fighter wing. 2, The fact that the MoD files are consistent with earlier MoD statements is not a matter of opinion, it is clear fact. 3, “Col Halt and others continue to disagree...”. Well of course they do, but this is weasel waffle that attempts to smokescreen the criticism of the case and adds nothing factual. And “principles” should have been “principals”.

Orford Ness versus Orfordness[edit]

From some basic Google seaches I have determined that the location is "Orford Ness" while the lighthouse is "Orfordness Lighthouse". The article makes mention a couple of times of "Orford Ness lighthouse". I wonder if it should be corrected? I don't have an opinion either way. Maybe someone more familiar with the region knows better? sugarfish (talk) 19:58, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

if our article on Orfordness Lighthouse is following the sources, then you are correct and it should be fixed in this article. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 22:08, 1 March 2015 (UTC)


Removal of sourced material regarding Burrough's fight to obtain his classified medical records is vandalism. Removal of sourced quotation from former MOD UFO regarding the irradiation event is again vandalism. Removal of sourced and attributed reporting is always and everywhere vandalism. That is why Wikipedia has no page called "Removal of Sourced Material." — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:10, 5 March 2015 (UTC)

Please see for e.g. 1. The source is given in a reputable publication in a manner which vouches for its authenticity. 2. The source is corroborated by witnesses who go on the record. 3. The source is certified by an authority or official finding. [i.e. the one person in the world uniquely qualified to comment on the declassified MOD UFO material, Nick Pope, who for more than a decade ran the MOD UFO desk.] — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:18, 5 March 2015 (UTC)

Based on what I have heard about the Mirror and some admittedly quick research, I have doubts that it meets our standard for reliable sources. If it's not exactly the National Enquirer, neither is it held in high regard as a reputable newspaper. It's a tabloid paper that has frequently shown a taste for sensationalism, often at the expense of journalistic accuracy. The recent history of the paper as recounted in our own article, did not inspire any particular confidence. I would suggest looking for another and more solid source before attempting to re-add the material in question. -Ad Orientem (talk) 05:26, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
Good grief -- Nick Pope is not "the one person in the world uniquely qualified to comment on the declassified MOD UFO material". He is a self-serving UFO promoter. The National Archives don't use him to comment on the declassified files, and for good reason. Skeptic2 (talk) 01:13, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
Burroughs and Linda Moulton Howe presented the legal struggle for the highly classified medical records on a MUFON conference which can be viewed on Youtube. If you doubt any single source as unreliable, then this whole article is unreliable, since misleading . — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:20, 30 December 2015 (UTC)

Unreadable? Obfuscated?=[edit]

The lede does not explain clearly what happened. Reading the lede, the reader doesn't know what this article is about. It doesn't say WHAT has been seen and by WHO, that would be the most basic information. I think it has been obfuscated on purpose. Don't link me to "do it yourself, it's an open encyclopedia", blah blah, I could care less to rewrite this myself. (talk) 18:49, 1 April 2015 (UTC)

The events are only reported in the unreadable, low-res picture of Halt's report on a typewriter. The events were clear before TheRedPenOfDoom's edit at 02:18, 14 January 2015. The least clear line in the new revision is this: "On 26 December 1980 shortly after 4 a.m. local police were called to the scene and reported that the only lights they could see were those from the Orford Ness lighthouse, some miles away on the coast". The reader doesn't know what lights we are talking about because the context has been removed. (talk) 18:59, 1 April 2015 (UTC)

In late December 1980, there were reports of sightings of unexplained lights near Rendlesham Forest, Suffolk, England, and claimed landings of an unidentified flying object (UFO). The incident is sometimes called the most famous UFO event to have happened in Britain.[1] "Britain's Roswell",[2] and like the Roswell UFO incident, the government's statement that there is no evidence of a UFO has been incorporated into conspiracy theories about a government coverup.

DOES clearly explain "what happened": Some people saw something. Rumors got started that the something was fantastic in nature. It was not. The true believers were undeterred.

The details in the body probably should be fleshed out, but they need to be fleshed out based upon the reliable sources and not the UFOlogists claims. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 20:23, 1 April 2015 (UTC)

Well, I made a string of edits to improve the overall info content and remove various botched edits, but TheRedPenOfDoom simply reverted the lot. I don't think we can get very far while this person acts as gatekeeper. Skeptic2 (talk) 02:48, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
OK, I think RedPen has calmed down now, but if he goes too far then I'm worried that DrFil will jump in again and start weasel-wording the hell out of us. Skeptic2 (talk) 11:55, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
@Skeptic2: your multiple restoration of challenged blog sourced content will again be removed unless you shortly provide appropriate reliable sources as required per policy WP:BURDEN . -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 13:08, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
Oh, for goodness' sake -- your heavy-handed deletions, made without consideration of balance, are making the entry materially worse rather than better. As another contributor said, you act like you own this page. Your inability to discuss, work with others and reach consensus is the kind of behaviour that gets editors banned. If you wish to rewrite go ahead, but please do not simply chop stuff out that you don't happen to like when it is trying to explain the story. Skeptic2 (talk) 14:58, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
Any editor may remove materials that are not reliably sourced, even if someone thinks "it is trying to explain the story." No editor may restore such challenged information without providing a reliable source. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom
It's not even a question of balance. It's that TheRedPenOfDoom's text doesn't make any sense because he removes all the context and he buries the actual events under a mass of trivial information. I could not understand what the article was even about, that's why I started this conversation. (talk) 19:51, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
Agreed. Many of his edits were botched. I spent some hours yesterday fixing them but he reverted the lot without even reading. I don't think he understands what he is doing.Skeptic2 (talk) 21:31, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
That's assuming good faith. But he has over 100k edits so I think that he knows very well what he's doing. (talk) 22:37, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
Given that he is referring to noted authors and academics as "some guy", I doubt that he does know that much. Skeptic2 (talk) 10:51, 4 April 2015 (UTC)


The article inappropriately presents the content as UFOlogist claims based on some blog. A complete re-write is needed (again) to restore a framework based upon what the RELIABLE sources have to say. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 13:01, 3 April 2015 (UTC)

The entry attempts to tell the story, and gives rational explanations for what was seen based on skeptical research. Are you unable to see that? I am beginning to wonder why you are so worked up about this. Skeptic2 (talk) 15:01, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
Are you actually reading the content you are deleting? Sounds not. Skeptic2 (talk) 16:29, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
Are you actually providing a reliable source for the content you keep reinserting? Definitely not. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 18:11, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
The framework should be in English, not the gibberish you employ. The article didn't make any sense after you revised it. I question your ability to write properly in English. (talk) 20:11, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
And blogs are not unreliable if they are written by an expert. "Self-published material may sometimes be acceptable when its author is an established expert whose work in the relevant field has been published by reliable third-party publications." In this case, the source is reliable if Dr. David Clarke is an expert. He has a PhD and published articles in the relevant fields: "my freelance work has appeared in a variety of national and international newspapers, magazines and academic journals including BBC History, Contemporary Legend and Folklore.", cf. (talk) 20:11, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
Clarke is also, of course, a consultant to The National Archives and has written books published by them concerning files they have released on UFOs and similar subjects. It was in fact he who obtained the initial release of the Rendlesham file some years back. But RedPen seems neither to know or care about any of this. He keeps waving Wikipedia rules at anyone who disagrees with him. I think the guy has a personal problem. Skeptic2 (talk) 21:10, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
Hmmm now. Let's see. One of us is basing edits on "the rules" and one is editing by making attacks at other editors - I wonder which one is appropriate? -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 21:37, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
Not an attack but an observation based on your behaviour. I hope you will prove me wrong by modifying your behaviour. Skeptic2 (talk) 10:52, 4 April 2015 (UTC)

Utter biased rubbish[edit]

This whole article is completely biased and totally inaccurate. The book written by Nick Pope (who worked for the MOD investigating UFO sightings) and John Burroughs, entitled Encounter in Rendlesham Forest, has not even been cited. I suggest you also look at the tapes of the Citizens Hearing of April 30th on the Rendlesham Forest incident, where John Burroughs, Jim Penniston and Nick Pope gave evidence to congress on the events surrounding the incident. It should also be mentioned that John Burroughs has just been awarded a medical payout by the veterans association because of health problems caused by radiation he was exposed to during the incident. What is written here is a mish mash of hearsay and unverified and inaccurate information. The whole thing needs to be completely rewritten from start to finish in a much more balanced and unbiased format, and also updated with the latest information. Eiblhin (talk) 00:14, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

yes, lots of people agree the article sucks, thats why there is a "This article needs a complete rewrite to comply with Wikipedia standards" tag on the top. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 00:42, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

Good source[edit]


Per WP:PARITY, this source is practically begging for inclusion.

jps (talk) 14:22, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

without commenting on the content, this is clearly a WP:SPSslef published source and shouldn't be treated as a reliable source.Martinlc (talk) 17:15, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Since the other sources about the incident are pretty poor, it's actually a pretty good compendium per WP:PARITY. After all, most of the content related to this incident is poorly vetted. jps (talk) 17:19, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Removal of reliably sourced material[edit]

@Skeptic2: Your deletion – without further explanation in the talk page – of Mark Murphy's theory under the pretext of it being "unsubstantiated theory" was most unwelcome and unhelpful. A theory doesn't have to be "substantiated" to be mentioned in the "Alternative explanations" section, all it needs is to have made it into the mainstream media and be reliably sourced - which is the case here. What's the point of having an "Alternative explanations" section if editors are prevented from adding material to it by a skeptical watchdog? I am a skeptic myself but I believe that the more popular theories about the Rendlesham case should be accounted for in that section, possibly along with the relevant debunking material when available. --Elnon (talk) 23:18, 3 August 2015 (UTC)

I removed the theory because it does not account for most of the established facts of the sighting and is not taken seriously by most researchers. We could reinstate it as long as you explain why it is wrong, but why introduce red herrings that only confuse the issue? Skeptic2 (talk) 00:31, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
There is no supporting evidence for the statement that "On Christmas Day 1980, the front row of landing lights at Woodbridge were damaged" so I would not regard Murphy's claims as "reliably sourced". Does Murphy have evidence from flight crews and witnesses that helicopters were flying or is it just his speculation and hearsay, as with so much to do with this case? Skeptic2 (talk) 00:42, 4 August 2015 (UTC)

Close encounter witnesses[edit]

Currently, the close encounter testimony is mostly missing from the article. Here are some article below. Need some transcripts of the close encounter testimonies to be most accurate.

  • Why I believe aliens landed in Suffolk forest by ex-Ministry of Defence expert. By Tony Rennell. April 18, 2014. Daily Mail Online. "Airman Burroughs and his immediate superior in 1980, Staff Sergeant Jim Penniston. Both are retired from the military but still troubled by what they experienced. Their memories of the scene in the forest are different. In that clearing suddenly bursting with a strange light, Burroughs was engulfed in a beam and stood motionless. Afterwards, he could remember nothing. But Penniston says he made out a small triangular metallic craft 10ft high, either hovering above the ground or resting on tripod-like legs. It had a bank of blue lights on one side and a bright white light on top. He took photographs (which were fogged when developed) and sketched the craft in his notebook ... he stretched his hand forward to touch its smooth surface. His fingers skimmed across several rows of strange symbols and hieroglyphics etched in the metal..."
  • First time testimony blows lid off famous Bentwaters UFO incident. By Ted Bonnitt on May 8th, 2013. "Testifying publicly for the first time about their ordeal at last week's hearing, Burroughs and Penniston detailed their remarkable encounter. ... The two men continued to examine the craft, at one point looking underneath it to see if the still object was somehow resting on the ground. After 45 minutes, Penniston said the craft brightened again and began to rise through the trees. As it reached tree top level, it took off at 'an impossible' speed and disappeared. Penniston added that when it began to depart he observed that there was no sense of conventional movement. 'When the craft took off there was no air displacement or sound.' ... About 40 personnel from the base's 81st police squadron witnessed the UFO that night, but Penniston and Burroughs were the only two people to get close enough to touch the craft. Burroughs testified that both their watches were 45 minutes off when they returned to base."
  • A Different Perspective: Encounter in Rendlesham Forest - A Review. May 13, 2014. By Kevin Randle. "We get the perspective of the sightings from Burroughs who was first out of the gate and into the forest. Penniston, senior to Burroughs, arrived later. Both moved deeper into the woods, and as Burroughs stopped, away from a structured craft, Penniston walked forward and touched it. ... There is new information found through the detailed memories of Burroughs and Penniston, and the information from Halt."

--Timeshifter (talk) 06:06, 18 September 2015 (UTC)

  • >> The witness testimonies given shortly after the event make no mention of any such encounter, and indeed strongly contradict the idea that any such encounter actually occurred. Stories of an encounter appear to have been made up many years after the event. There is no evidence that anything came down in Rendlesham Forest, either natural or artificial in origin. Skeptic2 (talk) 12:56, 18 September 2015 (UTC)
Penniston and Burroughs have testified to their close encounter. Others have testified to the UFO sightings over 3 days. WP:NPOV requires showing all significant viewpoints. Readers make up their own minds. --Timeshifter (talk) 04:13, 19 September 2015 (UTC)
Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a gossip column. Penniston's fairy tales have no factual support. Skeptic2 (talk) 22:55, 19 September 2015 (UTC)
i just stumbled across this page and have no vested interest. but i think what Timeshifter is trying to point out, is that the FACT is that Pennington and Burroughs have recently "testified" or given sworn statements. so that FACT should be included in the article, preferably along with some explanatory info. (which could be how the more recent testimonies either do or do not agree with both other testimonies and earlier testimonies.) i think the FACT that 2 of the main "characters" have recently come forward and given sworn statements is highly relevant to this article, and should be included in some manner, as was done in the "The Halt affidavit" section.Colbey84 (talk) 08:47, 20 September 2015 (UTC)
And the fact that they were in the military, and in the relevant military base. "Airman Burroughs and his immediate superior in 1980, Staff Sergeant Jim Penniston." --Timeshifter (talk) 05:40, 21 September 2015 (UTC)
The first time they testified publicly to their close encounter was in April 2013. They only told military people before that. From this 2013 article: "Penniston wrote a four page detailed description on a yellow legal pad. Afterwards, the interrogators handed him a half page long sanitized version and ordered him to stick to their version of the story, saying that it was an ongoing investigation. 'This is the official statement you will memorize,' they ordered. The sanitized account placed Penniston far enough away from the craft to make it appear that he was mistaken or 'hallucinating' about what he saw. ... Penniston told the hearing committee that he had drawn a sketch of the glyphs that he saw that night on the skin of the craft and presented it to his OSI interrogators. Oddly, he said, they were not interested in it. ... The two men were reassigned to be 'kept close by' authorities and sworn to secrecy about their experience, which they upheld for years." --Timeshifter (talk) 02:19, 23 September 2015 (UTC)
that is about as far from a reliable source as one could get, so no. we are not going to use anything from there.-- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 06:30, 23 September 2015 (UTC)

Comment. Currently, the article has changing comments from the base commander Colonel Ted Conrad over the years about Penniston, but nothing directly from Penniston's recent testimony. This violates WP:NPOV, since the most significant viewpoint (the recent testimony) is not covered by the article. --Timeshifter (talk) 20:38, 23 September 2015 (UTC)

Change of heart[edit]

this section title/header is....weird. Randle hasn't been mentioned before in the article, so it would be strange to suddenly have a section about HER "change of heart." But if one wanted to note HER change of heart, then it would make sense to have some info about what her opinion (her heart, i guess) was before. or maybe it's that the book that is mentioned here had a different conclusion/thrust/opinion than the Randle quote of the section? at any rate, it's unclear, and i suggest a change of the header, or adding a bit more explanation.Colbey84 (talk) 08:35, 20 September 2015 (UTC)

Deputy commander Halt at Bentwaters now has statements from radar operators[edit]

Col Charles Halt told the BBC he saw unidentified objects at Rendlesham Forest in December 1980. He says he now has statements from radar operators at RAF Bentwaters and nearby Wattisham airfield that an unknown object was tracked at the time. Col Halt claimed it was seen by himself and base security staff. The 75-year-old, who was deputy commander at the Bentwaters base and now lives in the US state of Virginia, said some former service people had not wanted to speak until they retired but had now provided written statements to him.
He said: "I have confirmation that (Bentwaters radar operators)... saw the object go across their 60 mile (96km) scope in two or three seconds, thousands of miles an hour, he came back across their scope again, stopped near the water tower, they watched it and observed it go into the forest where we were.

"At Wattisham, they picked up what they called a 'bogie' and lost it near Rendlesham Forest.

--Timeshifter (talk) 13:26, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
"Radar" is not currently a word found in the article. Maybe someone can add it? I don't have the time for serious editing of the article. I prefer to bring references here for more patient writers. --Timeshifter (talk) 13:35, 30 December 2015 (UTC)

Removal of Maintenance tags[edit]

I added material to provide some counterbalance (to both the lede and Skeptical Analysis section). More could be used as this article has quite an extensive amount of non-critical material, but hopefully it is now at least reasonable. RobP (talk) 23:19, 7 October 2016 (UTC)