English Ministry of Defense documents about Britain?s best documented UFO landing have just been released. The secret papers on the incident at the U.S. Bentwaters base in Suffolk in 1980 were uncovered by the author David Clarke, a researcher at Sheffield University, who is writing a book on the subject.

In what was claimed to be Britain?s first UFO landing, Lieutenant Colonel Charles Halt, commander of the U.S. Bentwaters base near Woodbridge in Suffolk, reported that two of his security patrolmen had seen ?unusual lights? early in the morning of December 27, 1980. Thinking that an aircraft had crashed, they reported seeing ?a strange glowing object in the Rendlesham forest.? The object was described as being ?metallic in appearance and triangular in shape? with a ?pulsing red light on top and bank of blue lights underneath.?

Animals on a nearby farm were said to have gone into a ?frenzy.? The following day three depressions were found as well as traces of radiation, Col. Halt reported. His report was released under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act two years later. What wasn?t disclosed until now was the Ministry of Defense response to it.

The Halt report was sent to the ministry with a cover letter written by Squadron Leader Donald Moreland, an RAF liaison officer, who referred to ?some mysterious sightings.? The ministry?s scientists said they could offer ?no explanation for the phenomena? or the radiation. Radar tapes from the night in question were impounded from nearby RAF bases to see if there was any evidence that British airspace had been invaded. The papers make it clear that the English government was more concerned about protecting the base from unwelcome publicity than about the alleged UFO sightings.

According to the newly-released documents, the report by the deputy commander of a U.S. nuclear base in East Anglia of an unidentified flying object set off panic in the Ministry of Defense. The ministry was worried that rumors might be spread that the ?alien landing? was a cover story for an accident involving nuclear weapons, the crash of a prototype Stealth aircraft, or even the secret recovery of part of a Soviet satellite.

It was also worried that anti-nuclear forces would be alerted to the presence of nuclear bombs at Bentwaters.

But they must be hiding more than that, because 5 documents are still being withheld on the grounds that they contain confidential briefings to ministers, relate to national security, or affect Britain?s relations with the U.S. Dr. Clarke, whose book is due to be published next year, has asked the Ministry of Defense to release them. He says, ?Here we had USAF servicemen at a highly sensitive NATO base chasing UFOs around a forest in the middle of the night. The files raise questions about how easily our defenses could be fooled.?

To read the documents, click here.

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