Published: 11:56 AM 6/24/2013
By Jasper Copping
Newly released UFO files from the National Archives show that the UK’s most enduringly fascinating sighting remains the Rendlesham Forest incident, in 1980, when US servicemen reported encounters with aliens in Suffolk woodland.
Exactly what occured in Rendlesham Forest has been the subject of fierce debate, but some of the men have since said they saw an alien spacecraft.
Dr David Clarke, who has analysed all the documents, said it was topic that recurred far more than any other in the files.
He said that “almost half” of all UFO correspondence directed at defence officials, relates to request for information, or “tip-offs” about the 33-year-old incident.
“It is the one case that is outstanding, from all the sightings going back 40 or 50 years,” he added.
“There is no way you will be able to get to the truth of what happened because like a snowball rolling down the hill, the stories have been more and more embellished.”
The incident involved a group of American servicemen stationed at military bases in Suffolk who went into the forest to investigate mysterious lights.
Exactly what occured next has been the subject of fierce debate, but some of the men have since said they saw an alien spacecraft, with one of those involved later claiming to have touched it.
Various attempts have been made to explain the incident, with theories ranging from an elaborate hoax, to the men being confused by lights from a nearby lighthouse. However, it remains a source of fascination for Ufologists.
Among the newly released National Archives files is a document - which the MoD says insists is a fraud - which describes aliens encountered in the forest.
The document, on what appears to be official departmental paper, reports that the “entities” were “approximately 1 1/2 meters tall, wearing what appeared to be nylon coated pressure suits, but no helmets”.
They were apparently “hovering above ground level” and were recorded speaking in and “electronically synthesised version of English, with a strong American accent”.
They were said to have had “claw-like hands and with three fingers and an opposable thumb.”
The government’s official position - repeatedly stated in the files - is that the incident was investigated at the time by the MoD and RAF and the conclusion was that there was no indication the UK’s air defences were breached.
Although many subsequent claims have been made about what happened that night, the MoD says that “nothing has emerged over the last quarter of a century which has given us reason to believe that the original assessment made by this Department was incorrect”.
The UK sighting attracting the second most attention is the Cosford Incident, in 1993, when a number of people reported seeing strange lights in the sky.
Researchers have since explained the sightings as being a Russian rocket and a police helicopter, although some remain unconvinced.