Orfordness lighthouse –
a flasher in the forest

This page from the Engineer-in-chief’s department at Trinity House sets out the statistics for the lighthouse at Orfordness (they write the name as one word) as it was in December 1980, when the Rendlesham Forest UFO sighting occurred. This document was obtained by researcher James Easton, who provided me with the scan.

Technical data on the brightness of Orfordness lighthouse

Confirmation of the above figures comes from a Trinity House list of lighthouses and their characteristics dated March 1981. The lighthouses are listed alphabetically, and Orfordness is number 65. Various figures follow the name. These figures denote, firstly, the four-digit reference number in the Admiralty List of Lights; the years founded (1792) and last altered (1959); and the intensity in millions of candelas (5.0, the third-brightest on the entire list). The notation ‘W.FL 5.0’ denotes a white light flashing every 5 seconds. To download the full list, click on the image.

Technical data on the brightness of Orfordness lighthouse

The scan was kindly provided to me by Gerry Douglas-Sherwood, archivist of the Association of Lighthouse Keepers.

The Orford Ness lighthouse was turned off permanently at the end of June 2013 and was demolished in 2020. Never again will its light fool the unwary in Rendlesham Forest.

© Ian Ridpath. All rights reserved

Content last revised 2021 January