Crash, Bang, Wallop!

Jenny Randles. UFO Crash Landing? Friend or Foe? Blandford, London, 1998.

By her own confession Jenny Randles says she is obsessed by the Rendlesham Forest mystery. What were UFOs and aliens doing there during the Christmas of 1980? Has there been a cover-up? What is being covered up? Who is telling the truth?

Like most aspects of ufology, a fog of confusion surrounds this case. Randles gives most credence to the sightings on the evening of 25 December and early morning of 26 December. Over the same period Cosmos 749 and 1226 re-entered our atmosphere, and were viewed throughout Britain. From this Randles speculates that a project named Cobra Mist, based at Orford Ness, had used some form of electrical beam energy weapon to shoot at these satellites.

Another possibility is that a Soviet satellite's nuclear motor might have been recovered at Rendlesham, or that a secret USAF plane had crash landed. Then again it could have been an extraterrestrial visitor, or some form of natural phenomenon. Randles likes to keep her options open and her conclusions as slippery as a tin of grease!

Such events would necessitate a cover-up, but if one was needed why would USAF officers blab needlessly to personnel at RAF Watton about a UFO landing? More to the point, why did "Steve Roberts" tell Brenda Butler, only a week after the events, that aliens had communicated with USAF personnel through sign language, and were protected by armed guards whilst they repaired their craft? This account is similar to Larry Warren's, yet his testimony is disputed by those who were in Rendlesham Forest at the time in question. Furthermore, Steve Roberts's post on the base was later found to be connected with public affairs.

The actual evidence itself is not that great either. There is Halt's memo that mentions "unexplained lights", the infamous tape recording made during the sightings (which even Randles notes, compares well with sightings of the Orford Ness lighthouse beams), landing marks in the ground and radioactivity. Unfortunately, the site itself was quickly destroyed and its exact location is so confused that Randles wonders if a false landing site was created to put people off the scent. No substantial documentary evidence has been discovered, and the testimony of the eyewitnesses is contradictory or just plain ludicrous.

The whole saga is mainly a great laugh at the gullibility of ufologists running around chasing their own tails/tales. In comparison Roswell seems like a sensible case to believe in. -- Nigel Watson. From Magonia Supplement 13, March 1999.

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