Where was the ‘landing site’
that Halt investigated?
ON OTHER PAGES
▪ Read Col Halt’s original memo
▪ Read the transcript of Col Halt’s encounter with the UFOs
▪ Read the accounts of the eyewitnesses on the first night
▪ Was the flashing light really the lighthouse?
▪ What were the other lights seen by Col. Halt?
▪ What caused the landing marks?
▪ Were the radiation readings significant?
▪ What route did the airmen take into the forest?
▪ Why did the airmen think that something had landed in the forest?
▪ Did Jim Penniston touch a landed craft in Rendlesham Forest?
▪ Was the UFO detected on radar?
▪ The re-entry of the Russian Cosmos 749 satellite
The location of the supposed ‘landing site’ of the Rendlesham Forest UFO is determined, where a triangle of marks was discovered in the forest floor that was attributed to the UFO. Separate lines of evidence, dealt with in detail on other pages of this site, confirm that the marks were indistinguishable from rabbit diggings and there was no unusual radiation at the site.
Locating the site
Below is an aerial view identifying the position of the supposed UFO ‘landing site’ at the eastern edge of Rendlesham Forest that Col Halt investigated in the early hours of 1980 December 28. This position has been derived from statements made by Halt in various interviews, and is supported by the testimony of forester Vince Thurkettle who saw the site some time after the event. Its coordinates are close to 52° 05’ 20” N, 1° 26’ 57” E (in the What3Words system it is near the square enthused.prove.sigh) and is about a mile east of Woodbridge East Gate. A photograph of the site taken the morning after the initial sighting, when it was being examined by local police, can be seen here.
Col Halt chases the UFO
While examining the site, which consisted of three small indentations on the ground and apparent burn marks on the nearby trees, Halt’s men drew his attention to a flashing light between the trees, and they moved to the edge of the forest to get a better view. Halt described looking across a field towards a farmhouse, with the flashing light almost in line with it. In an attempt to get closer to the light, he and his men moved out into the field past the farmhouse and then through another field and across a stream, but were never able to reach it. (Read a transcript of what he said on the tape.)
I have labelled all these locations on the image above, along with Butley Abbey which is the group of buildings at right of the picture. Click on the image for an enlargement. You can also see the region on Google Maps (although note that the pin marked ‘Rendlesham Forest UFO landing’ on the Google map refers to the position of a marker placed by the Forestry Commission for tourists, not the actual site).
To show the complete east-to-west line of sight from the forest to the Orford Ness lighthouse, I have constructed strip charts from OS maps and aerial photographs:
Click here for a strip-chart map
Click here for the same area shown in aerial photographs
Col Halt confirms the location
There has in the past been some confusion among other researchers about Halt’s exact position at the time of his sighting, with various books and web sites offering conflicting locations. However, Halt put any uncertainty to rest when he retraced his steps for a programme called The UFO Hunters broadcast on the History Channel in 2008. He took them to the spot where he and his men (the cut-out ‘soldiers’ in the illustration below) crossed into the field in pursuit of the elusive UFO. Thus Halt confirms in his own words that he was indeed within the area from which the lighthouse beam can be seen directly. The witnesses on the first night also saw a flashing light in the same direction from the same spot (see their route into the forest here).
The graphic here is a screen grab from The UFO Hunters programme (the capital H at bottom right is the History Channel logo):
Unfortunately, the programme makers took Halt at his word when he said the lighthouse was 30 degrees off to the right of the farmhouse. As any map will show, it isn’t!
Content last revised: 2023 January
© Ian Ridpath. All rights reserved