By Robert HastingsA few days ago, I posted a short article at The UFO Chronicles titled “UFO-Spin in the UK” in which I questioned British journalism professor Dr. David Clarke’s opinion on the significance of recent UFO document releases by his government. Clarke believes that this voluntary action is indicative of a policy of complete candor regarding UFOs on the part of the Ministry of Defence (MoD). I begged to differ, noting that at least one highly-sensitive case—involving a UFO hovering near a nuclear weapons storage facility at the American-run RAF Bentwaters airbase, in December 1980—has yet to be acknowledged by the British government.
Clarke’s position regarding the MoD’s supposed candor on UFOs is predicated on the recent closure of its “UFO Desk” and the declassification of its files. However, as I noted in my posted article, a similar development in the U.S. turned out to be a clever slight-of-hand: The 1969 closure of the U.S. Air Force’s Project Blue Book—the rough equivalent of the MoD’s UFO Desk—supposedly ended the American military’s involvement in UFO investigations. Only years later, as a result of Freedom of Information requests, did researchers learn that the important, national security-related investigations—including those involving UFO incursions at nuclear weapons sites—were being conducted by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) and other intelligence groups and were “not part of the Blue Book system.”1
Similarly, declassified KGB documents and witness testimony from former Soviet Army personnel now confirm that nukes-related UFO activity also occurred in the U.S.S.R. 2 A large-circulation Russian newspaper recently conducted a new investigation of one of the most dramatic cases, securing new documents and interviewing hitherto unidentified witnesses. 3
Given that the British also have nuclear weapons, is it unreasonable to propose that the same kind of incidents may have taken place in the United Kingdom as well, and that documents relating to those events exist, even if they have not yet been declassified? (Or would the British, unlike the Americans and the Russians, simply choose not to investigate the presence of unknown, disc-shaped aerial craft near their nukes storage depots and staging areas? That doesn’t seem likely, does it?)
In other words, the MoD’s closure of its UFO Desk does not necessarily rule-out the possibility that other, more secretive government groups—whether military or non-military—have been involved in national security-related UFO investigations in the U.K. If this is indeed the case, documents relating to those inquiries remain classified.
While my UFO-Spin article only addressed the December 1980 UFO incident at an American nuclear weapons facility on British soil, and a second one in the nearby forest, two key witnesses have stated that the ensuing investigation involved both American and British government operatives. Surely those British agents wrote things down. Where are the notes, memoranda and reports relating to their inquiry? They certainly weren’t among the documents released by the MoD’s UFO Desk.
Predictably, Dr. Clarke rejected my critique entirely and continues to believe that all, or nearly all, of his government’s UFO documents have now been released to the public.
Nevertheless, according to the former Deputy Base Commander at RAF Bentwaters, now-retired USAF Col. Charles I. Halt, a disc-shaped UFO apparently hovered near the base’s nuclear Weapons Storage Area (WSA) and reportedly directed laser-like beams of light down into it.
At the time, Halt had been trudging through nearby Rendlesham Forest , leading a small team of USAF Security Policemen (SPs), while attempting to locate the source of strange lights in the woods. Halt is on record as saying, “[After leaving the woods, our search team]...went out into a large plowed field. Somebody noticed several objects in the sky to the north, three objects clearly visible with multiple-colored lights on them...About that same time, somebody noticed a similar object [in the southern sky]...and at one point it appeared to come toward us at a very high speed. It stopped overhead and sent down a small pencil-like beam, sort of like a laser beam..[after a few seconds] it clicked-off as though someone threw a switch, and the object receded back up into the sky...Then it moved back toward Bentwaters, and continued to send down beams of light, at one point near the weapons storage facility. We knew that because we could hear the chatter on the [two-way] radio.” 4
Elaborating on this last point, during a different interview, Col. Halt said, “We heard radio conversations on the Law Enforcement frequency, the Security Police frequency, and the Command Network...We could hear talk about one of the objects [being] in the vicinity of the Bentwaters WSA. I heard that some of the beams, or whatever they were, came down into the WSA...[However,] I was several miles away. From my view, a beam or more came down near the WSA. I don’t know for a fact that the beams landed there. I know they were in the area. I was too far away [and so] relied on the radio chatter which indicated the beams landed there. We could see several beams and members in the WSA went on the radio to report them. Several airmen present later told me they saw the beams. I don’t remember any names at this point.” 5
Halt is also on record as saying that various American and British intelligence organizations later conducted a low-profile but diligent inquiry into the incidents at Bentwaters. I emphasize: No document relating to that investigation, from either government, has ever been declassified. It remains unclear whether Dr. Clarke is merely unaware of this important statement by the former Deputy Base Commander or has simply chosen to ignore it because it does not conform with his skeptical interpretation of the case and/or his belief that no British inquiry took place.
Regardless, the following excerpts from David Clarke’s rebuttal to my article are interspersed with my responses:
DC: ...[ Hastings ] says that “I have naively taken the British Government at its word” that no documentation exists concerning a UFO/nuclear-related incident at Rendlesham...If anyone is guilty of being “naïve” then it is Hastings . He says that Col Halt "is on record" as saying he saw a disc-shaped UFO hovering near the WSA. But when did Col Halt go on record to this effect? What Hastings does not mention is that Halt actually made this claim decades later.
RH: This is completely wrong, Dr. Clarke. As noted in my last post (“Hastings’ Response to Clarke—Part One”) Col. Halt first publicly mentioned the UFO’s presence at the Weapons Storage Area in 1991, the very year he retired from the U.S. Air Force and, therefore, the first real opportunity he had to speak openly about the 1980 incident to the media.
In the September 18, 1991 episode of the American television series, Unsolved Mysteries, Halt said, “We could very clearly see [the UFO]...I noticed other beams of light coming down from the same object, falling on different places on the base. My boss [Col. Ted Conrad] was standing in his front yard in Woodbridge and he could see the beams of light falling down, and the people in the [Bentwaters] Weapons Storage Area and other places on the base also reported the lights.” 6
So, despite Halt’s candid revelation in 1991, on a nationally-televised program, Dr. Clarke incorrectly asserts that Halt first mentioned the incident at the WSA only “decades later.” Gee, I wonder what else Clarke has gotten wrong in his, ahem, authoritative summary of the facts?
DC: [Halt’s] original report to the British Ministry of Defence, dated 13 January 1981, makes absolutely no mention of a disc-shaped UFO or any mention of an incident in the Weapons Storage Area.
RH: Halt’s very reasonable explanation for this appears below, in answer to one of the specific questions you’ve posed. As you will see, Halt was intentionally being somewhat vague about the whole affair, fearing that his reporting something as controversial as a UFO sighting would not be “career-enhancing.” He was hoping that the MoD would handle the matter, thereby getting him off the hook, so to speak.
DC: By Halt's own account—not mine—this one page report is the single and only document he ever sent to the Ministry of Defence.
RH: So what? The question at hand is whether or not the British government still has classified files relating to the case. Halt unequivocally states that he was later told of a low-profile but rigorous investigation of the incident, conducted by both U.S. and British intelligence personnel. Even though he was not personally involved in that inquiry—and was not, therefore, required to send reports to anyone, American or British—the fact that such an investigation took place means that reports would have been generated. At the risk of being redundant, no such reports have ever been made public by the Ministry of Defence (or, for that matter, the U.S. Department of Defense).
DC: Also by his own account, not mine, he expected a follow-up from the MoD and never received one. These facts are confirmed by the British Base Commander, Don Moreland, and by Halt's own commanding officer, Col Ted Conrad.
RH: Once again, according to Halt, he eventually learned that groups other than the Security Police unit—including the USAF Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI)—had quickly undertaken an investigation of the UFO incursions at Bentwaters and Rendlesham Forest . Once that development occurred, Halt was no longer “in the loop” for information about the inquiry, which explains his not being contacted by anyone in authority.
If this seems illogical—given Halt’s central involvement in some of the key UFO events at Bentwaters—I can only say that a number of former USAF ICBM squadron members, interviewed by myself over the years, report similar occurrences: Intelligence or counter-intelligence personnel quickly take over the investigations of UFO incursions at nuclear missile sites and freeze-out everyone else who had been involved, even those at the command level.
This appears to be Standard Operational Procedure for these very sensitive cases, including those at Weapons Storage Areas. The security-enhancing technique is designed to create a compartmentalization of information, also known as “need-to-know”, whereby any individual not having that need, regardless of rank, is excluded from learning about the investigators’ findings—and, in some cases, is not even interviewed by them—if the pertinent facts can be obtained elsewhere. Among other benefits, this approach minimizes the number of potential security leaks in a given case by limiting the number of people privy to the ongoing inquiry. (But, as a Folklore specialist, you already know all of this stuff, right Dr. Clarke?)
Although Col. Halt was never interviewed, various Security Policemen at Bentwaters were, including Staff Sgt. Jim Penniston, who reports having actually touched a metallic, triangular-shaped craft as it sat on the ground in the woods. That event occurred during the wee hours of December 26th, two nights prior to Halt’s own foray into Rendlesham Forest .
In an August 18, 2010 email to Halt, Penniston wrote, “As you are most likely aware by now, AFOSI was directing everything. I don't know if the Command element kept you informed on that. But I am convinced the AFOSI did keep [Major Malcolm] Zickler informed, on a limited need-to-know basis, as [he was] the Chief of Security Police...Everything was so compartmentalized. If they wanted secrecy [imposed on a given aspect of the case] they merely said it was classified and no further conversation was allowed, even with other witnesses or men within my chain [of command].”
No record of Penniston’s debriefing has ever been declassified. Significantly, Penniston recalls that two members of the MoD’s Air Staff secretariat DS8 were also in attendance for the session. Referring to the MoD’s recent document releases, Dr. Clarke has noted that, “four of the eight files [made public in May 2008] originate with the MoD Air Staff secretariats DS8 and [its successor] Sec(AS).” 7 That may be so, but none of them related to Penniston’s debriefing. So, did the two DS8 guys present just sit on their hands during the interrogation, taking no notes, writing no reports for their superiors? This seems very unlikely.
DC: These are Halt's own words. If he did not write any follow-up account, and never received a response from the MoD—who we know did not interview Halt or his men—then it is quite reasonable to conclude that no further documents exist other than those already released into the public domain.
RH: Clarke is very selective in his choice of “Halt’s own words” when attempting to support his skeptical position. For example, he completely rejects or ignores the many statements Col. Halt has made about the UFO appearing at the WSA. Regardless, Halt’s notarized affidavit about the incident is now a matter of record.
And, as previously noted, contrary to Clarke’s claim that MoD “did not interview Halt or his men”, former Security Policeman Jim Penniston says that MoD personnel were indeed present for his debriefing at Bentwaters. While their role may have been passive—leaving the questioning to two USAF officers who were not introduced and whom Penniston did not recognize—the mere presence of persons working for DS8 hints at an interest in the events in Rendlesham Forest not reflected in the files declassified by the MoD’s UFO Desk.
Regarding the other groups involved in the investigation, Col. Halt says, “I learned after the fact that, among others, the [AF]OSI was involved. I suspect [ U.S. ] Naval Intelligence from London —they had the overall intelligence responsibility for the area—was involved, but I can't confirm that. I was told a British M agency was involved but I don't know which one...” 8
DC: Conspiracy theories are no replacement for hard facts.
RH: Clarke’s use of the phrase “conspiracy theories” is designed to denigrate the actually very reasonable idea that the U.S. military might choose to cover-up a dramatic incursion by an unknown, vastly-superior aerial craft at one of its nuclear weapons sites, and that the British military might be involved in the secrecy surrounding the event as well. This is not conspiratorial, Dr. Clarke, just sensible military policy.
DC: The Halt memo was unclassified. None of the papers on the case were ever secret or top secret. There is not a shred of evidence that any such paperwork exists either at MoD or at the Department of Defence in the US .
This is confirmed by Halt's boss, Col Ted Conrad, who carried out a brief on-the-spot investigation at the time and concluded—after discussing the events with Gen Gordon Williams—there was no hard evidence to support Halt's story.
Col Conrad was present on base whilst the incidents described by Halt were taking place and remained unconvinced that anything of defence concern took place. He has said, in writing, that “no written report was sent forward from Bentwaters to USAF higher headquarters.” Halt's own report to MoD did not ask the British to take any action either, which explains why none was forthcoming.
RH: As noted earlier, during his 1991 on-camera statement for Unsolved Mysteries, Halt mentioned that his former boss, Col. Conrad, watched one of the UFOs directing beams of light down into various areas of the Bentwaters base, while standing on the front lawn at his home in nearby RAF Woodbridge. The fact that Conrad himself has never publicly admitted his own sighting probably had to do with the subsequent appearance of American and British intelligence agents at Bentwaters and the ensuing cover-up of the events there. The fact that Clarke takes Conrad at his word, when the colonel denied that any UFO-related reports had been sent to USAF higher headquarters, only demonstrates the professor’s naïveté about all of this.
I recently asked Col. Halt in an email, “Has Conrad or [former 81st Tactical Fighter Wing Commander, now-retired Gen. Gordon] Williams ever publicly challenged you or contradicted any of your post-USAF statements about the incident?” Halt responded, “Both have said things from time to time but, at the time, they didn't want to be involved in any way. I would dare either of them to come forward. I am more than willing to confront either publicly. They left me out to dry and know it!” 9
Will someone reading this please forward Halt’s challenge to both Col. Conrad and Gen. Williams? Their almost-guaranteed non-responses will speak volumes.
As noted in my last post, Col. Halt will participate in a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. on September 27th, during which he will again assert his knowledge of the UFO-related incident at the Bentwaters WSA. If he is not telling the truth, this event would be the perfect opportunity for Conrad and/or Williams to confront him, before an assembly of newspaper and television reporters.
DC: So who do we believe? Is Col Conrad lying? Or should we simply believe everything Col Halt says without questioning?
RH: Good question, Dr. Clarke. Conrad now has an upcoming, high-profile public gathering at which he can defend his version of events, in front of Col. Halt and the media. As they say, the ball is in your court, Col. Conrad.
DC: UFOlogists like Hastings will chose the latter option. They then turn around and accuse journalists of naively accepting what the authorities tell us without question. How ironic that statement is.
Hastings says journalists "never get it." But anyone who appreciates even the most basic rules of investigative inquiry will know that primary documents—as the Halt memo is—are far more revealing than statements made 20-30 years after the events they purport to describe, filtered through the distortions of media, spin and UFOlogical legend-making.
RH: Twenty or thirty years? As previously noted, the key witness statements were on record by 1991, less than 11 years later. Dr. Clarke’s apparent ignorance of that fact changes nothing. Moreover, yet again, Clarke automatically assumes that all of the documents relating to the Bentwaters case have been declassified. (Which is how this debate began.) However, Col. Halt and Sgt. Penniston each state that agents from both American and British intelligence groups were on the base shortly after the events in the forest and at the WSA, conducting an investigation. Are Halt and Penniston lying, Dr. Clarke? Or, perhaps, those British agents never wrote anything down, never reported their findings to their superiors. Is that it?
DC: ...I notice from Robert Hastings biography that he is qualified as a photographer and a lab technician. He has no track record or training in investigative questioning, as is evident from his rambling and unfocused account of the events at Rendlesham. If he had any idea of how to ask critical questions then he might not have naively taken Col Halt's statements at face value.
RH:While I have had no formal training, per se, in investigative questioning, I have nevertheless interviewed hundreds of former or retired U.S. military personnel over the past 37 years, regarding their nukes-related UFO experiences. The statements of over a hundred of those persons appear in my book UFOs and Nukes which has been widely praised for its painstakingly thorough, documentated, objective approach. Persons such as former NASA astronaut Dr. Edgar Mitchell and renowned physicist Hal Puthoff have variously referred to it as "stunning" and "a major breaktrhough." Moreover, the quality of my research has resulted in my being invited to speak at over 500 U.S. colleges and universities, including Stanford, since 1981.
I will simply add that Dr. Clarke’s supposed expertise in investigative techniques has nevertheless resulted in his overlooking or misstating a number of key facts, failing to follow-up with key witnesses, and making poor and unfounded assumptions based on incomplete information or information provided by persons who had something to hide. Moreover, throughout his “investigation” of the case, his own anti-UFO biases have remained intact, despite his claims of objectivity on the topic. In short, his alleged abilities in investigative questioning have not saved him from thoroughly misrepresenting the case in public.
DC: Obvious questions [(1) through (4), below] which cry out for an answer include:
(1) Why did [Halt] wait for 2 weeks to make an official report of the incident to the British MoD if he felt there was a genuine threat to the WSA?
DC: (2) If the incident was so important and significant why did he give incorrect dates for both events in his memo to the MoD?
RH: Because Halt initially expected the British military to conduct an investigation into the incident, he waited a few days before writing his memo, reconstructing the UFO incidents from memory, and inadvertently misstating the dates on which they had occurred. He explained the situation to me in a September 21, 2009 email: “The report was delayed because no other member of the senior staff wanted anything to do with the incident. It was brought to the 3rd Air Force Commander’s attention only to have him say it happened off-base so it was a British affair. Reporting a UFO usually ended one's military career. I was just lucky that the incident didn't become public until after I was selected for Colonel and the incident pretty much stayed in England .”
Halt continued, “I was told by [Commander of the 81st Tactical Fighter Wing] Colonel Gordon Williams to get with [the British Base Commander at Bentwaters] Squadron Leader Don Moreland and see what he wanted as far as a report. Moreland was in Wales on holiday so I had to wait almost two weeks. Hence, the delayed report and the typos on the dates. In fact, Moreland had trouble getting anyone in the Ministry of Defence to tell him what they wanted. That's why I wrote the memo the way I did.”
DC: (3) Why did he fail to mention or highlight the alleged incidents in the WSA in the text of his memo to the MOD?
RH: In an August 10, 2010 email to me, Halt wrote: “I put limited details in the memo as I expected a quick British response and investigation. I did not want to put in print ‘the Weapons Storage Area’ or the word ‘UFO’. I just wanted out of the whole thing, as I knew it would tar me for life and I would have to deal with the fringe element and critics like Clarke. When I got the call [in 1983] that 3rd AF had a copy of the memo, and was going to release it, I told the Acting 3rd AF Commander (a personal friend) to burn it [because], if they released it, their and my life would never be the same. How true it turned out to be.”
DC: (4) Why, after pursuing UFOs around the forest for several hours, did he fail to persuade either his superior officer Col Conrad or the RAF to take his reports seriously enough to launch air defence aircraft to investigate further?
RH: As Halt further explains in his August 10, 2010 email, “The [Bentwaters] Command post was involved every step of the way. I even asked [the RAF’s] Eastern Radar, our [air traffic control] tower and the Heathrow Tower to scan for unknowns. It wasn't my place to request airborne investigation.”
Halt then goes on to say, “No senior officer wanted to be associated with this in any way and that included the 3rd AF Commander [General Robert Bazley]...His words were ‘It happened off the base so it's a British problem.’”
In other words, the lack of response, at least initially, was apparently due to the fact that the officers involved had the same fears as Halt—that their military careers would be adversely affected if their names were linked with a “UFO” incident.
Moreover, as I explained in my book, UFOs and Nukes, in a chapter on the Bentwaters WSA case, titled “Beams of Light”, the two USAF air traffic controllers at the base’s tower did indeed track a high-speed, unknown target—and one of them even saw the “basketball-shaped” object out the window—but they decided not to report either the tracking or the sighting to their commanders, due to the same fear Col. Halt had about being associated with something as kooky as a UFO event. The entire chapter has been posted at:
In any case, despite the reluctance of almost everyone involved with the UFO incident to discuss it, eventually, somehow, the gravity of the situation became apparent and—as Col. Halt and Sgt. Penniston have previously stated—members of the U.S. and British intelligence services appeared at the base and conducted a low-profile but diligent inquiry.
DC: If Hastings would like to see how a really effective piece of investigative journalism should be conducted I would recommend that he reads Ian Ridpath's web-pages here:
Neither he nor any of the other UFO spin-doctors have addressed or even attempted to answer any of the key questions raised by Ridpath's investigation which began in 1983.
RH: In the posted synopsis of his “effective” investigation, at the URL above, Ridpath makes this statement: “UFO hunters will continue to believe that an alien spaceship landed in Rendlesham Forest that night. But I know that the first sighting coincided with the burn-up in the atmosphere of an exceptionally bright meteor, and that the airmen who saw the flashing UFO between the pine trees were looking straight at the Orford Ness lighthouse.”
First, Mr. Ridpath, multiple witnesses to the first sighting, including Jim Penniston, have reported a UFO presence in the woods that lasted for hours, not seconds, specifically describing a landed, metallic, triangular-shaped craft that eventually ascended through an opening in the trees, at high velocity, as it left. In short, the bright meteor theory simply does not stand up to scrutiny. Hell, it doesn’t even stand up to a quick glance at the facts!
Furthermore, Col. Halt has this to say about the lighthouse theory: “The lighthouse was visible the whole time [that we were observing the unidentified light through the trees]...it was readily apparent, and it was 30 to 40 degrees off to our right...”
Regarding the first incident, involving Penniston, Ridpath mentions that “indentations in the ground and marks on the trees were found in a clearing [the following day]. Local police and a forester identified these as rabbit scrapings and cuts made by foresters.” In reality, Mr. Ridpath, plaster casts of those indentations—made shortly after the incident by Penniston himself, well before the police and the forester arrived at the site—verify that the impressions in the ground had been made by three hemispherical-shaped objects, presumably landing gear, positioned in an equilateral triangular-configuration. Penniston and Halt each possess one of the casts and have displayed them on various television programs over the years. The whereabouts of the third cast is unknown.
In his synopsis of the case, Ridpath further claims that “Col. Halt reported seeing star-like objects that twinkled and hovered for hours, like stars. The brightest of these, which appeared to send down beams of light, was in the direction of Sirius, the brightest star in the sky.”
“Star-like?” “In the direction of Sirius?” These are is gross misrepresentations of Col. Halt’s statements, Mr. Ridpath, and you probably know that. During his 1997 interview with journalist A.J.S. Rayl, Halt said, “[After leaving the woods, our search team] crossed the farmer’s field past his house and across the road, stumbled through a small stream, and went out into a large plowed field. Somebody noticed several objects in the sky to the north—three objects clearly visible with multiple-colored lights on them. The objects appeared elliptical and then they turned full round, which I thought was quite interesting. All three doing that. They were stationary for awhile and then they started to move at high speed in sharp angular patterns as though they were doing a grid search.”
Halt continued, “About that same time, somebody noticed a similar object [in the southern sky]. It was round—did not change shape—and at one point it appeared to come toward us at a very high speed. It stopped overhead and sent down a small pencil-like beam, sort of like a laser beam. It was an interesting beam in that it stayed—it was the same size all the way down the beam. It illuminated the ground about ten feet from us and we just stood there in awe wondering whether it was a signal, a warning, or what it was. We really didn’t know. It clicked-off as though someone threw a switch, and the object receded, back up into the sky.”
Halt concluded by saying, “Then it moved back toward Bentwaters, and continued to send down beams of light, at one point near the weapons storage facility. We knew that because we could hear the chatter on the [two-way] radio.”
Clearly, Ridpath’s claim that Halt had reported observing “star-like” objects that “hovered for hours” is completely inaccurate. Nevertheless, Dr. Clarke cites Ridpath’s inquiry into the Rendlesham Forest/Bentwaters case as definitive.
As they say, birds of a feather...
Ridpath’s “investigation” has many other flaws but I will not address them here. The fact that Clarke wholeheartedly endorses it amply demonstrates his own ignorance of the facts or, perhaps more likely, his a priori rejection of those facts because they conflict with his own conclusions about the case.
DC: For the record, my own position on the case [as enunciated in a), b) and c) below] is quite simple and straightforward:
a) I am convinced that a number of airmen at RAF Woodbridge, including Col Halt, underwent a real, extraordinary experience on the nights in question. It is possible for a human being to have “a real, extraordinary experience” without the source being of extraterrestrial or supernatural origin.
b) Some of these experiences can be accounted for by the usual explanations found - by long experience—as the source of many UFO sightings, i.e. space debris, celestial objects and misperceptions—both of man-made and natural phenomena. A few experiences remain unexplained. But unexplained does not mean “extraterrestrial.”
RH: The collective testimony of those involved in the incidents at Bentwaters and Rendlesham Forest rule out prosaic explanations, as any unbiased person familiar with the facts would conclude. While the identity of those presumably aboard the “disc-shaped” UFOs observed by Halt and his team remains an open question, the witnesses’ descriptions strongly suggest, if not confirm, the presence of intelligently-controlled craft having vastly superior capabilities, as well as a purposeful interest in Bentwaters’ nuclear weapons cache on the part of their pilots.
Given that the Soviets endured a nearly-identical encounter at the Kapustin Yar missile test facility’s nuclear weapons depot on July 28, 1989, according to the KGB documents referenced in Paragraph 3, and given that the U.S. Air Force experienced similar incursions at its Weapons Storage Areas at Malmstrom, F.E. Warren, Kirtland, Wurtsmith and Loring Air Force bases, between 1975 and 1981, according to various declassified USAF documents and military eyewitness testimony, it would seem that, well, someone was monitoring the Cold Warriors nuclear stockpiles—on both sides of the ocean. (Please note that the Bentwaters incident fell within the six-year period of known UFO incursions at other USAF WSAs.)
But maybe it wasn’t ETs, Dr. Clarke. Maybe those darned Samoans beat the superpowers to the punch and created a fleet of vastly-superior, disc-shaped aerial craft to spy on the saber-rattling Commies and Capitalists during the Cold War era. Maybe that’s the solution to the mystery, eh?
DC: c) All the known facts suggest that no further official documentation, of either UK or US origin, exists relating to this incident, either classified or unclassified. The UK government, at least, has said this on the public record. If they are lying then that lie will be exposed. However, I am 100% confident that no document exists or ever existed that concludes the Rendlesham incident was caused by an ET visitation to the UK .
RH: This statement by Clarke amply demonstrates his unfamiliarity with—or outright rejection of—the testimony of Col. Halt and former SP Jim Penniston, both of whom report a British government presence at Bentwaters following the UFO incidents—a fact not reflected in the MoD’s declassified UFO files.
Clarke also ignores the information I uncovered in 2008, during my interviews with former USAF Security Policemen who were working at the base’s WSA during the period of UFO activity. Interestingly, I forwarded that information to Dr. Clarke in a 2009 email. One would think that a journalist who portrays himself as a something of a UFO expert would have attempted to independently verify my findings, given their dramatic implications. I would have made my sources’ contact information available to Clarke, had he asked for it, but he did not.
Perhaps the testimony of new witnesses was of no interest to Clarke because that testimony did not fit in with his own assessment of the case. He will no doubt reply that such testimony, years after-the-fact, has no real value. Diligent investigators, in any field of inquiry, would disagree. At a minimum, the witnesses’ memories—even if they had faded or become distorted over time—might provide a kernel or two of useful information which would permit the filing of new Freedom of Information requests. Those, in turn, might generate hitherto unknown data.
But, noooooo, Dr. Clarke has Col. Halt’s 13 January 1981 memo and that’s apparently all he needs to explain the December 1980 events at Bentwaters and Rendlesham Forest .
(Nevertheless, I will note here, once again, that a Russian newspaper recently conducted a new investigation of one of the most dramatic Soviet-era nukes-related UFO cases, securing previously classified documents and interviewing hitherto unidentified witnesses. Gee, I wonder if someone in the UK might attempt something similar regarding the Bentwaters case? Naw, that would probably be pointless, wouldn’t it, Dr. Clarke? After all, the MoD is now being “totally open” about its knowledge of UFOs. Right?)
DC: And I challenge Robert Hastings to answer this question:
Can he define the nature of the government evidence he would be willing to accept as conclusive proof that there was no cover-up of an alien visitation at Rendlesham?
RH: Notice how Dr. Clarke frames the question to fit his own biases? Might not that evidence, if it were actually released to the British public, confirm just the opposite?
4. Col. Charles Halt to A.J.S. Rayl, recorded interview, May 13, 1997.
5. Col. Charles Halt to Robert Hastings, personal communication, February 7, 2006.
6. Unsolved Mysteries, “Bentwaters UFO”, September 18, 1991.
8. Col. Charles Halt to Robert Hastings, personal communication, August 18, 2010.