There was an actual bona fide headliner in the otherwise lusterless batch of UFO documents released by the British Ministry of Defence through its National Archives a couple of weeks ago: The files on the controversial 1980 Rendlesham Forest incident had been destroyed. Even the BBC couldn’t ignore it.
While trying to do some ‘real’ research …
By Billy COx
By Billy COx
This well-documented UFO drama unfolded over several nights in late December of that year at an American NATO base housing nuclear weapons. One could assume there were national security issues in play, and several retired USAF veterans shared their eyewitness accounts of it at a press conference last year in Washington.
The researcher who organized that event, UFOs and Nukes author Robert Hastings, wasn’t surprised by the latest news. “The Brits are playing the same game the Pentagon did with the old Blue Book files,” he says from his home in New Mexico. “They’re trying to misdirect everybody by releasing a lot of low-level crap.”
The release reignited a l0ng-running battle between Hastings and David Clarke, the British journo professor who works in concert with the National Archives and introduces each bundled release with a foreword. In his blog, Clarke defended the lapse in transparency. “The conspiracy theorists,” he wrote, “have been making hay with the revelation that some MoD files covering the period of their cause celebre, the Rendlesham UFO incident, have been destroyed.”
Clarke explained the Rendlesham files weren’t specificly targeted for destruction; rather, they were part of a routine purge involving numerous documents. “It’s unlikely that the lost … files from 1980-81 contained anything substantially different to what has survived in the famous ‘Rendlesham File’ itself, released at [the Archives] last August as DEFE 24/1948/1. Indeed, this file actually contains papers and minutes from what … officers copied from the ‘lost’ files.”
Included in Clarke’s sanguine conclusion was a double-dog dare-ya: “So in actual fact nothing of substance has in fact been lost at all! A big fuss about nothing. If anyone out there wants to make a big deal about the loss of these files, they first need to do some real research and get their facts right.”
De Void tried to do some real research and get the facts right by checking out DEFE 24/1948/1 online. But ruh-roh! The Archives says the link is “not currently available,” and that “This document is closed and cannot be viewed or reproduced as a digital or printed copy.” Furthermore, according to the Archives’ access status, DEFE /24/1948/1 won’t be available to the public until Jan. 1, 2033.
We’ll give Hastings the last word:
“Some folks are calling [Clarke] a government-affiliated shill. I won’t go that far. He is just an arrogant, biased academic posturing as an expert in a field about which he knows very little. In short, he is the perfect dupe for the boys at the MoD.”
The good news: Only 22 years to wait before we find out there’s nothing to hide!
More . . . (and with comments from David Clarke) . . .
UFOs, THE MoD AND ME
UFO-Spin in the UK
UFO-Spin in the UK: David Clarke's Rebuttal
The Rendlesham/Bentwaters UFO Case Had a Nuclear Weapons Connection
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