Sunday, September 16, 2007

Rendelsham Forest

One of the more significant UFO cases took place in Britain over two nights around Christmas, 1980. Rendelsham is a complex narrative, involving not only lights in the night sky, but also a close, physical encounter with some sort of craft.

What sets Rendelsham apart, however, is not so much the narrative, but the narrators. The UFO interacted with a team of security officers from a nearby U. S. Air Force base. The leader of the team, and author of the report that lays out the incident, was the deputy base commander. That base, and those security officers, were in charge of nuclear weapons. Presumably, therefore, they cannot be easily dismissed.

Skeptics have tried to explain the incident by appealing to the sweeping light of a nearby lighthouse. They seem unable to explain, however, why such phenomena weren't seen before and haven't been seen since. Others note that a Soviet satellite re-entered Earth's atmosphere at about that time--but satellites don't take two days to burn up coming home.

Rendelsham Forest seems to come down to the value of credible witnesses who were trained observers used to dealing with high technology. If those witnesses are believed, something needs explained. If the witnesses are suspect-- why were those men in control of nuclear weapons? Looking in from outside, the report seems not to have had an adverse affect on the career of any of the men involved. That may or may not be important, but it is interesting.

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