UFO Sightings - Part 3

Often called “Britain’s Roswell”, this UFO incident has been the subject of continuous discussion and investigation for decades. Taking place over the course of three nights, it was centered within Rendlesham Forest, on the Eastern coast of England, between two former Royal Air Force bases that were, at the time, in use by the US Air Force.

In the early morning hours of December 26, 1980, soldiers conducting a normal security patrol at the edge of RAF Woodbridge, one of the two bases, spotted a strange light in the sky that appeared to descend into the nearby forest. Soldiers Jim Penniston and John Burroughs requested permission to leave the base and investigate, and upon moving into the forest the encountered what they described as a glowing, triangular, metallic craft sitting stationary just above the forest floor. They reported the fabrication of the shell was like a smooth, opaque black glass, and appeared to be covered in hieroglyphs. The As they approached the object, it rose into the air, and silently maneuvered its way through the trees and out of view. Reportedly, as it passed a nearby farm, all the animals there “went into a frenzy”.

The next night, an investigation alongside local police discovered three small depressions in the ground where the object had been sitting, indicating some sort of landing gear. The following night, the Deputy Base Commander, Lt. Colonel Charles Halt, went with a group of USAF personnel to check the area for radiation using Geiger counters, with unusual peaks of radiation found in the depressions as well as on the surrounding trees. Halt’s group also spotted a strange red light that appeared to move through the trees at a distance that threw off sparks before breaking apart into five white lights that disappeared into the sky. They also saw other strange lights in the sky that appeared to move in strange ways and occasionally projected a beam of light straight down to the ground.

The incident remained unknown to the public until a Freedom of Information Act request in 1983 forced the US Government to make public a memo, written by Lt. Colonel Halt two weeks after the incident, describing these events. In 1984, an audio tape recorded by Halt during the third night as they observed the strange lights was also released to the public. The legend surrounding what happened in the forest has continued to grow, but the facts above, as reported by Halt in his memo, appear to be genuine.

Officials have attempted to explain the entire incident as a mis-identification of the light from a nearby lighthouse, but this fails to account for the metallic craft in the forest, the odd movement of the lights witnessed, and other evidence from the site. Some researchers are keen to point out that the US Air Force was reportedly storing nuclear weapons at the nearby bases at the time, and this sighting occurred at the height of the Cold War. However, the British Ministry of Defense declared that the incident posed no threat to national security and subsequently declined to investigate.

On November 17 1986, Japan Air Lines Flight 1628, a Boeing 747 cargo freighter, was making its regularly scheduled trip between Paris and Tokyo, using a polar route. As the aircraft crossed Eastern Alaska cruising at 35,000 feet, the Captain of the plane, Kenju Terauchi, noticed two objects to their left and at a lower altitude. He drew the attention of his copilot and flight engineer to the objects, which appeared to be keeping pace with their 747.

The two unidentified objects were flying parallel, and then suddenly, they rapidly moved between 500 and 1,000 feet in front of their aircraft. As the objects reached their new position, they seemingly fired some sort of “reverse thrust”, causing a bright flare of light and enough heat that Terauchi could feel the warmth from inside the cockpit.

The objects continued to keep pace with them and seemed to be cylindrical with clearly visible nozzles that moved back and forth as the craft maneuvered. Terauchi requested and received permission to take action to avoid the objects, following the Federal Aviation Administration directives to drop 4,000 feet and make turns -- including a 360-degree turn. However, Terauchi claimed they were still being followed.

After a few minutes, the two craft suddenly shot off and disappeared over the horizon. Near the area they vanished, another, much larger object then appeared and made similar maneuvers around the aircraft. Terauchi said that this larger craft was two times bigger than an aircraft carrier. He later made a drawing of how the objects looked, drawing a giant walnut-shaped object with big bulges above and below a wide flattened brim. The encounter ended as JAL 1628 eventually turned to make its expected landing for a refueling stop in Anchorage.

During the entire encounter, the crew of the Boeing were communicating with Air Traffic Control, who attempted to find the strange objects on their radar and confirmed with the US Air Force that they were not military aircraft of any kind. It was later confirmed by the FAA that the object that appeared for a time on both FAA and Air Force radar, for approximately 32 minutes. At the same time and location as the incident, multiple other radar operators also picked up the target at certain points in the sighting.

The incident was the subject of an official investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration. Division Chief of the Accidents and Investigations branch of the FAA, John Callahan, investigated the case. He synchronized the half hour of radar data with all recorded radio transmissions showing a remarkable congruence between the two sets of evidence. This evidence was presented to the CIA, FBI, and President Reagan’s scientific study team. However, the evidence was quickly confiscated, and the CIA instructed all who met for the presentation that it never took place.

The official FAA report concluded that radar returns had been the result of an equipment malfunction, but the visual sightings have never been explained. FAA investigators who questioned the crew in Anchorage concluded in a report that the crew was "normal, professional, rational, {and had} no drug or alcohol involvement."

Captain Ray Bowyer was making a routine flight between the coast of England and Alderney, one of the Channel Islands just off the coast of France, in 2007. The day’s weather was calm, with a high layer of clouds and a low layer of haze near the surface of the ocean. Captain Bowler flew the routine passenger flight over Alderney day for eight years; yet on April 23, 2007 something out of the ordinary occurred.

As flight A-Line 544 climbed to 4,000 ft., rising above the haze, Captain Bowyer had a clear view as he scanned for other aircraft. Suddenly, he spotted a bright object directly ahead. Observing it for more than a minute, Bowyer concluded that it wasn’t a reflection or any of the ground objects he was familiar with along this route, also ruling out any apparitions caused by the reflection of greenhouse gases. Taking out a pair of binoculars, he observed the object wasn’t simply a light, but was oval or disc shaped and colored an extremely bright yellow, with a band of black towards one end. He said he estimated its size to be roughly one mile across.

Bowyer contacted Air Traffic Control, who reported there was no known aircraft in the vicinity of the object but did report that they had a faint return on their radar in that area of something unknown. Bowyer, from his seat directly in front of the passenger cabin of the small aircraft, could hear passengers behind him now seeing and discussing the object. In fact, they were now seeing a pair of objects, as a second craft appeared behind the first. A second pilot from a separate commuter airliner, flying on the other side of the objects near the island of Sark, was also reporting visual contact with the unknown craft to Air Traffic Control.

Becoming concerned with the safety of his aircraft as he continued to approach the objects, he began his decent towards Alderney airport. As the aircraft dropped back down into the haze, Bowyer lost sight of the objects. Flight A-Line 544 made a safe landing, Captain Bowyer had a cup of tea, and upon making the return flight to England, the objects were gone—vanished from the skies above the Channel.

Alternative theories cite the radar traces as those of cargo ferries, although this was easily disproved by the directions of their routes and that they had appeared and disappeared simultaneously. There were also the eyewitness testimonies from not only the two separate craft, but also those of several ground-based sightings from Sark, although some suggest that these apparitions represent natural atmospheric phenomena not yet fully understood by science. To this day, Captain Ray Bowyer urges fellow aircrew to report similar occurrences, whatever they see, as soon as possible and to stand up and be counted.