Colonel Charles Halt Audio Tape Transcription

(Halt transcript from "You Can't Tell The People".)

The following full transcript is of a tape recording that was made by Lt Colonel Halt during his investigation into the Rendlesham Forest incident in December 1980. This was taken from the original copy, which is much clearer than the one in the public domain. It was sent by Colonel Sam Morgan, via General Gordon Williams.


There are background radio conversations throughout the recording; most feature radio transmissions between Sgt Bustinza and Central Security Control. Due to these messages being in the background however, more often than not they are overpowered by Colonel Halt's voice talking into his pocket recorder, so only those that are clear are translated here. Editor comments are in brackets.

LT COLONEL HALT: (Officer in charge) 150 feet or more from the initial, I should say suspected impact point. Having a little difficulty, we can't get the light-all to work. There seems to be some kind of mechanical problem. Let's send back and get another light-all. Meantime, we're gonna take some readings from the Geiger counter, and err, chase around the area a little bit waiting for another light-all to come out again.
SGT BUSTINZA: [on a radio in the background, obviously trying to organize more light-alls] ... to security control... that's mark... 155... number...
LT COLONEL HALT: OK, we're now approaching an area within about 25-30 feet. What kind of readings are we getting... err...
(Break in tape)
SGT NEVILLES: (Geiger Operator) Just minor clicks,
LT. COLONEL HALT: Minor clicks.
(Break in tape)
VOICE OVER: [These voice overs are recorded over the initial recording and are not related to incident. It is the voice of Colonel Conrad, the Base Commander] Do you think it's going to be a nice day today?
VOICE OVER: Yeah, I think so.
LT COLONEL HALT: What are the impressions?
SGT NEVILLES: Just one, but...
LT COLONEL HALT: Is that all the bigger they are?
SGT NEVILLES: Well, there's one more well defined over here.
SGT BUSTINZA: [on a radio] ...Sergeant Bustinza to security control...
LT COLONEL HALT: We're still getting clicks
SGT BUSTINZA: ... Sergeant Bustinza. Well we're outta gas... we're at east gate...east gate, over
LT COLONEL HALT: Can you read that on the scale?
SGT NEVILLES: [examining the area with a Geiger counter] Yes Sir. We're now on a five tenths scale and we're reading, fourth...
LT COLONEL HALT: OK, we're still comfortably safe here?
SGT BUSTINZA: [on a radio] you don't have a light-all or [?] ... or anything... duty security. Can you hear me?... Sergeant... a light all, with gas please.
LT ENGLUND: [the on duty Flight Chief] We're still getting minor readings... we're getting a good indentation.
SGT BUSTINZA: [on radio] ... security D to security.
SGT NEVILLES: This one's dead.
LT ENGLUND: Let's go to the third one over here.
SGT NEVILLES: Sort of, whatever it is.
SGT BUSTINZA: [on radio] ... Sergeant Bustinza ... security...
SGT NEVILLES: Yes, now getting some residual.
LT. COLONEL HALT: How can you read that? The meters definitely giving off pulse.
LT ENGLUND: About the center.
LT COLONEL HALT: Yes, I was gonna say, let's go to the center of the area next, see what kind of reading we get out there. Keep reading the clicks. I can't hear the clicks. Guess you all... is that about center Bruce [asking Lt Bruce Englund].
LT COLONEL HALT: OK let's go to the center.
SGT NEVILLES: Yes I'm getting more...
LT COLONEL HALT: That's about the best deflection of the needle I've seen yet. OK, can you do an estimation? We're on a point five scale, we're getting... having trouble reading the scale.
LT ENGLUND: At err, approximately 0125 hours.
(Break in tape)
NOISE OVER: Deep cough
SGT NEVILLES: We're getting rad at err a half a [sounds like millirem]
UNKNOWN VOICE: Chuck. [This is Colonel Halt's name, Charles, known as Chuck].
(Break in tape)
NOISE OVER: Loud gong noise. [Not connected with the forest recording].
LT COLONEL HALT: ... best point, I haven't seen it go any higher.
LT ENGLUND: Well, it's still flying around.
LT COLONEL HALT: OK we'll go out toward the...
LT ENGLUND: Now it's picking up...
LT COLONEL HALT: This out toward the indentation were we first got the strongest reading. It's similar to what we got in the center.
SGT NEVILLES: Right near the pod. It's right near the center.
LT ENGLUND: This looks like an area here across where there could be a blast. It's in the center.
LT ENGLUND: It jumped up towards seven...
LT ENGLUND: It just jumped towards seven tenths there.
LT COLONEL HALT: Seven tenths, right there in the center?
LT COLONEL HALT: We found a small blast what looks like a blasted or scruffed up area here. We're getting very positive readings. Let's see, is that near the center?
LT ENGLUND: Yes it is.
SGT NEVILLES: Well, we assume it is..
LT ENGLUND: This is right in the center... dead center...
SGT NEVILLES: picking up more as you go along the whole area there now...
LT COLONEL HALT: Up to seven tenths...
SGT BUSTINZA: [on radio, still struggling with the transmissions] ... 55, this is our last call...
LT COLONEL HALT: ... or seven units. It's going on the point five scale.
(Break in tape)
LT COLONEL HALT: OK why don't we do this, why don't we make a sweep now I've got my gloves on now. Let's make a sweep out around the whole area about ten foot out and make a perimeter run around it, starting right back at here at the corner, back at the same first corner where we came in. Let's go right back here... now I'm gonna have to depend upon you counting the clicks.
LT COLONEL HALT: OK, get the light-all on it.
LT ENGLUND: Lets sweep around it.
SGT NEVILLES: It was flying.
(Break in tape)
LT COLONEL HALT: Put it on the ground every once in a while.
BACKGROUND: We have lights nearby...
LT ENGLUND: This looks like an abrasion on the tree...
LT COLONEL HALT: OK, we'll catch that on the way back, let's go around.
LT ENGLUND: We're getting interest right over here. It looks like it's an abrasion pointing into the center...
LT ENGLUND: ... of the landing area.
LT COLONEL HALT: it may be old though. There's some sap marks or something like that. Let's go on back around.
Break in tape
SGT NEVILLES: It also gives some extension on it.
LT COLONEL HALT: Hey, this is an awkward thing to use, isn't it?
SGT NEVILLES: Normally you see I carry it on my... on my ears but this one broke.
LT COLONEL HALT: Are we getting any further? I'm gonna shut this recorder off until we find something.
SGT NEVILLES: Picking up
LT COLONEL HALT: Pickin up. What are we up to? We're up to two-three units deflection. You're getting in close to the pod?
SGT NEVILLES: Picking up something... picking up.
LT COLONEL HALT: OK. It's still not going above three to four units.
SGT NEVILLES: Picking up more though, more frequent.
LT COLONEL HALT: Yes, you're staying - you're staying steady up around two to three to four units now.
SGT BUSTINZA: [still struggling with the radio] 155
LT ENGLUND: Each one of these trees is facing at a blast, what we assume is a landing site, all have abrasion facing in the same direction towards the center. The same...
LT COLONEL HALT: Let's go around a circle here. Turn back down here.
MASTER SGT BALL: Try the other tree.
SGT NEVILLES: Picking up something ...a ...
LT COLONEL HALT: Let me see that. You know I've got a funny ... you're worried about the abrasion. I've never seen a tree that's, err...
MASTER SERGEANT BALL: That's a small sap mark.
LT COLONEL HALT: I've never seen a pine tree that's been damaged, react that fast. [Interference, voices all talking together].
SGT NEVILLES: You got a bottle to put that in?
LT COLONEL HALT: You got a sample bottle?
LT ENGLUND: Yes put out the... that's for the soil sample... [interference].
VOICES: [excited]
LT COLONEL HALT: From now on let's [gap] let's...
LT ENGLUND: You'll notice they're all at the same...
LT COLONEL HALT: Let's, lets, lets identify that as point number one. That stake there. So you all know where it is if we have to sketch it. You got that Sergeant Nevilles?
SGT NEVILLES: Yes Sir. Closest to the Woodbridge...
LT COLONEL HALT: Closest to the Woodbridge base.
SGT NEVILLES: Be point one?
LT COLONEL HALT: Be point one. Let's go clockwise from there.
SGT NEVILLES: Point two?
LT ENGLUND: Go ahead...
LT COLONEL HALT: Point two. So this tree is between two and point three.
MASTER SGT BALL: Burroughs and two other personnel requesting ... riding on a jeep, that err, your location. [Airman John Burroughs arrives with a patrol].
LT COLONEL HALT: Tell them negative at this time. We'll tell them when they can come out here. We don't want them out here right now.
(Break in tape)
LT COLONEL HALT: OK the sample, you gonna want this sample number one? Have em cut it off, include some of that sap and all... is between indentation two and three on a pine tree about err... about five feet away... about three and half feet off the ground.
SGT NEVILLES: ...I'll just put it in there for now, I've got some more...
LT COLONEL HALT: There's a round abrasion on the tree about three and a half, four inches diameter. It looks like it might be old, but er, strange there's a crystalline...pine sap that's come that fast.
SGT FRAIL: [seems in the distance] ... Sergeant Frail...
LT COLONEL HALT: You say there are other trees that are damaged in a similar fashion?
LT of the landing site... [interference].
LT COLONEL HALT: OK, why don't you take a picture of that and remember your picture. Hey, I hope you're writing this down. It's gonna be on the tape.
SGT NEVILLES: You got a tape measure with you?
LT COLONEL HALT: This is your picture, the first picture will be at the first tree, the one between err... mark two and three. Meantime, I'm gonna look at a couple of those trees over here.
(Break in tape)
UNKNOWN VOICE: We are getting some...
(Break in tape)
LT COLONEL HALT: We are getting readings on the tree. You're taking samples from on the side facing the suspected landing site?
LT ENGLUND: Four clicks max.
LT COLONEL HALT: Up to four. Interesting. That's right were you're taking the sample now.
LT COLONEL HALT: That's the strongest point on the tree?
SGT NEVILLES: Yes sir, and if you come to the back, there's no clicks whatsoever.
LT COLONEL HALT: No clicks at all in the back.
SGT NEVILLES: Maybe one or two.
LT COLONEL HALT: It's all on the side facing the... interesting.
LT COLONEL HALT: Looks like it f... twisted as it got... as it sat down on it, looks like something twisted it from side to side.
LT COLONEL HALT: Very strange. We're at the same tree we took a sample of with this, what do you call it... the starscope.
LT ENGLUND: Ah ah, Stargazer
LT COLONEL HALT: Getting a definite heat reflection off the tree, about three to four feet off the ground?
LT ENGLUND: Yes... the same side in...
LT COLONEL HALT: the same place were the
LT ENGLUND: ...we're getting heat directly behind us. I think we got the same thing off to your right.
LT COLONEL HALT: There are three trees in the area immediately adjacent to the site within ten feet of the suspected landing site; we're picking up heat reflection off the trees.
LT ENGLUND: Shine the light on that Bob [Sgt Bob Ball]
LT COLONEL HALT: What's that again?
LT ENGLUND: Well, shine the light on again Bob
LT COLONEL HALT: Why, you having trouble finding it... turn the light on.
LT ENGLUND: ... then when you want em you'll notice the white
[Suddenly there is a very strange humming sound and the men are silent]
LT COLONEL HALT: Hey... [long silent gap apart from humming noise]
LT COLONEL HALT: You're right there's a white streak on the tree.
LT ENGLUND: Indicates er...
LT COLONEL HALT: Let's turn around and look at this tree over here now. Just a second. Watch, because you're right in front of the tree. I can see it. OK, give me a little side light so I can find the tree. OK, ahh...
SGT BUSTINZA: [still on the radio] Alpha 2 security...
LT COLONEL HALT: I've lost the tree.
LT COLONEL HALT: OK stop! Stop! Light off. Hey, this is eerie.
MASTER SGT BALL: Why don't you do the pods spots...
LT COLONEL HALT: This is strange! Hey, does anyone wanna look at the spots on the ground? Whoops! Watch you don't step...
BACKGROUND: Five beeps from a vehicle arriving on the scene.
LT COLONEL HALT: ... you're walking all over them. OK, let's step back and don't walk all over em. Come back here - somebody and put a beam on em. You're gonna have to be back about ten, fifteen feet. You see it ...
LT ENGLUND: OK fine...
LT COLONEL HALT: OK, lights off.
(Break in tape)
VOICE OVER: [Colonel Conrad] He took this long to document...
LT COLONEL HALT: What do you think about the spot?
[Radio interference in background]
(Break in tape)
LT COLONEL HALT: ... ready at the first spot? OK, that's what we'll call spot number three. Let's go in the back corner and get spot number one. Spot number one, here's spot number one right there, spot number one right there. Do you need some light? There it is right here. ... you focused?
LT COLONEL HALT: OK... looking at spot number one through the starlight scope.
LT ENGLUND: Picking up a slight increase in light as I go over it.
LT COLONEL HALT: Slight increase in light in spot number one. Let's go look at spot number two. Spot number two's right over here. Right here, see it?
LT ENGLUND:... Slight increase.
LT COLONEL HALT: OK, get focused on it. Tell me when, OK lights on. Let's see what we get on it.
LT ENGLUND: Slight increase.
LT COLONEL HALT: Just a slight increase?
LT ENGLUND: Try the center.
LT COLONEL HALT: The center spot, not really center, slightly off center. It's right there.
LT ENGLUND: Right here.
LT COLONEL HALT: OK, we're gonna get your reading on it right there.
LT COLONEL HALT: Tell me when you're ready.
LT COLONEL HALT: OK lights on. It's the center spot we're looking at now; almost the center.
LT ENGLUND: Getting a slight increase.
LT COLONEL HALT: Slight increase there. This is slightly off center toward the err... one - two side. It's er... some type of abrasion or something in the ground were the pine needles are pushed back were we get a high radiact... err high reading about a deflection of er, two to three, maybe four, depending on the point of it.
Note: [this abrasion corresponds with the exact same position-just off center in landing site photographs taken by Ray Gulyas]
LT ENGLUND: Someone wanna check it?
(Break in tape)
LT COLONEL HALT: Are you sure there's a positive after effect? SGT NEVILLES: Yes, there is, definitely. That's on the center spot, there is an after effect.
LT ENGLUND: What does that mean?
SGT NEVILLES: It means that when the lights are turned off, once we all focused in, allowed time for the eyes to adjust, we are getting an indication of heat source coming out of that center spot... as err... which will show up on the ...
LT COLONEL HALT: Heat or some form of energy, it's hardly heat at this stage of the game.
SGT NEVILLES: But it is still heat...
(Break in tape)
LT COLONEL HALT: Looking directly overhead, one can see an opening in the trees, plus some freshly broken pine branches on the ground underneath. Looks like some of them came off about fifteen to twenty feet up. Some small branches about inch or less in diameter.
(Break in tape)
LT COLONEL HALT: 01.48. We're hearing some strange sounds out of the farmers...
SGT NEVILLES: Twenty eight... seven...
LT COLONEL HALT: ... barnyard animals. They're very very active and making an awful lot of noise.
SGT NEVILLES: ... definite pigmentation...
LT COLONEL HALT: You saw a light? Slow down. Where, where?
SGT NEVILLES: Right on this position here. Straight ahead in between the trees... [Adrian Bustinza pointed out that someone saw a light going through the trees] LT ENGLUND: There it is again... beginning of the gap... right there
SGT NEVILLES: It throw the hell off my flashlight there.
LT COLONEL HALT: Hey I see it too. What is it?
SGT NEVILLES: We don't know sir.
LT COLONEL HALT: OK, it's a strange small red light, looks to be out maybe a quarter - half mile, maybe further out. I'm gonna switch off for a...
(Break in tape)
LT COLONEL HALT: The light is gone now. It was approximately 120 degrees from the site.
SGT NEVILLES: It's back again.
LT COLONEL HALT: Is it back again?
LT COLONEL HALT: Well douse flashlights then. Let's go back to the edge of the clearing then, so we can get a better look at it. See if you can get the starscope on it. The light's still there and all the barnyard animals have gotten quiet now. We're heading about 110 -120 degrees from the site, out through the clearing now. Still getting a reading on the meter about 2 clicks. Needles jumped 3-4 clicks getting stronger. [Bustinza said that when he returned with the light-all the patrol were in a clearing on the edge of the forest]
SGT NEVILLES: Now it's stopped. Now it's coming up. Hold on, here we go. Now it's coming up about approximately 4 foot off the ground. The compass has 110 degrees.
(Break in tape)
LT COLONEL HALT: Right, I just turned the meter off. Better say that again, about 4 feet off the ground, about a 110 degrees, getting the reading of about 4 clicks.
SERGEANT NEVILLES: Yes sir... [????] Cough; excuse me, now it's died.
LT COLONEL HALT: I ... I think it's something here on the ground. I think it's something... very large...
SGT NEVILLES: ... a tree right over...
(Break in tape)
LT COLONEL HALT: We just bumped into the first light that we've seen. We're about a 150 -200 yards from the site. Everything else is just deathly calm. There's no doubt about it, there's some kind of strange flashing red light ahead.
SGT NEVILLES: Yeah, It's yellow.
LT COLONEL HALT: I saw a yellow tinge in it too. Weird. It appears to be making a little bit this way?
LT COLONEL HALT: It's brighter than it has been...It's coming this way. It's definitely coming this way.
MASTER SERGEANT BALL: Pieces are shooting off.
LT COLONEL HALT: Pieces of it are shooting off.
MASTER SERGEANT BALL: at about 11 o clock... [referring to its position]
LT COLONEL HALT: There's no doubt about it; this is weird.
MASTER SGT BALL: Look to the left
SGT NEVILLES: There's two lights. One light to the right and one light to the left.
LT COLONEL HALT: Keep your flash light off. There's something very very strange. Check the headset out see if it gets any stronger. Give us...
SGT NEVILLES: OK, I have an indication that this is a vague reading too
LT COLONEL HALT: A vague reading?
SGT NEVILLES: The cable has been removed
LT COLONEL HALT: OK... pieces are falling off it again
MASTER SERGEANT BALL: It just moved to the right... went off to the right
LT COLONEL HALT: Yeah ... strange, Auh.
LT ENGLUND: Went off to the right.
LT COLONEL HALT: Strange. Ahhh. One again left. Let's approach the edge of the woods at that point. Can we do without lights? Let's do it carefully, come on.. OK we're looking at the thing, we're probably about 2-3 hundred yards away. It looks like an eye winking at you, it's still moving from side to side and when we put the starscope on it, it's sort of a hollow center right, a dark center, it's...
LT ENGLUND: It's like a pupil...
LT COLONEL HALT: It's like the pupil of an eye looking at you, winking . ... and the flash is so bright to the starscope, that err... it almost burns your eye.
(Break in tape)
Added Note:
[There is now a huge gap and no indication of what happened next]
LT COLONEL HALT: We've passed the farmer's house and are crossing the next field and we now have multiple sightings of up to five lights with a similar shape and all, but they seem steady rather than pulsating a glow with a red flash. We've just crossed the creek...
LT ENGLUND: Here we go...
LT COLONEL HALT: What kinda readings are we getting now? We're getting three good clicks on the meteor and we're seeing strange lights in the sky.
(Break in tape)
LT COLONEL HALT: 2.44: We're at the far side of the farmers, the second farmers field and made sighting again about 110 degrees. This looks clear out to the coast. It's right on the horizon. Moves about a bit and flashes from time to time. Still steady and red in color. Also, after negative readings in the field, we're picking up slight readings 4-5 clicks now on the meter.
(Break in tape)
LT COLONEL HALT: 3.05: We see strange err, strobe like flashes to the err ... almost sporadic, but there's definitely something there, some kind of phenomena. 3.05: At about err... 10 degrees horizon err directly north, we got two strange objects, err ...half moon shape, dancing about with colored lights on them. but err. it has to be about 5-10 miles out, maybe less. The half moons have now turned into full circles as though there was an eclipse or something there for a minute or two.
(Break in tape)
LT COLONEL HALT: 3.15: Now we've got an object about ten degrees directly south...
SGT NEVILLES: There's one to the left.
LT COLONEL HALT: 10 degrees off the horizon, and the ones to the north are moving, one's moving away from us.
SGT NEVILLES: It's moving out fast.
LT COLONEL HALT: They're moving out fast.
MASTER SGT BALL: There's one on the right heading away too.
LT COLONEL HALT: Yeah, they're both heading north. Hey, here he comes from the south; he's coming in toward us now.
LT COLONEL HALT: Now were observing what appears to be a beam coming down to the ground.
[Excited shouting in the background]
MASTER SGT BALL: Look at the colors... shit
LT COLONEL HALT: This is unreal.
Break in tape
LT COLONEL HALT: 3.30: And the objects are still in the sky, although the one to the south looks like it's loosing a little bit of altitude. We're turning around and heading back toward the base. The object to the sou... the object to the south is still beaming down lights to the ground.
(Break in tape)
LT COLONEL HALT: 0:400 Hours one object still hovering over the Woodbridge base at about 5-10 degrees off the horizon. Still moving erratic and similar lights beaming down as earlier.
(End of transcript)