Reports of men in black date back to at least the 1940s. Described as dressing in all-black suits and black hats, these shadowy figures are said to deliver veiled threats to those who dare to discuss publicly the existence of UFOs and aliens. Who there are is a mystery, with speculation ranging from government-backed agencies charged with keeping extraterrestrial secrets out of the hands of ordinary citizens, to extraterrestrials themselves, intent on observing those with connections to alien activity.
Hidden in the depths of Rendlesham Forest, in Suffolk, England is RAF Woodbridge, a small airfield used in the 1940s by distressed aircraft returning from overseas raids. Despite its importance in providing a haven for aircraft needing to make emergency landings in wartime, the airfield is better known in relation to the Rendlesham Forest incident of 1980 and claims of UFO landings.
On the nights of the 26th, 27th and 28th December 1980, United States Air Force personnel stationed at the airbase reported sighting a series of strange lights over the forest. It is said that several spaceships visited the airbase, and that attempts were made by the UK’s Ministry of Defense to suppress files relating to the alleged extraterrestrial visitations.
In 2002, files relating to the incident were released for public inspection. Included in them was a memorandum from the base’s deputy commander, Lieutenant Colonel Charles Halt, to the Ministry of Defence. In the memo, Halt described how three USAF patrolmen “reported seeing a strange glowing object in the forest”, which was “metallic” and “triangular in shape”.
“It illuminated the entire forest with a white light. […] As the patrolmen approached the object, it manoeuvred through the trees and disappeared. […] The object was briefly sighted approximately an hour later near the back gate [of the airbase].”
Two nights later, Halt reported that the object returned, appearing as a “red sun-like light” before breaking into “five separate white objects” and disappearing.
Described as the United Kingdom’s equivalent of Roswell, the Rendlesham Forest incident attracted a following of dedicated researchers in the years after. Despite decades having passed, the interest has only intensified. One such ufologist is Brenda Butler, who, according to a 2002 newspaper article, visited Rendlesham Forest at least twice a week since the controversial UFO landing, hoping to uncover evidence. 1
In 1984, she and two co-authors wrote Sky Crash, a book which questioned why UK authorities tried to conceal the incident. And indeed, Brenda claims to have plenty of evidence of government officials trying to conceal the events of December 1980. Asides from the known suppression of files, Brenda has claimed to have suffered personally, after attracting the attention of men in black, suited officials who have tried to intimidate her to stop her research.
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Speaking at a UFO conference in 2015, to mark thirty-five years since the famous sightings, Brenda described how she and her two co-authors had been hounded by Ministry of Defense officials and police. She claimed that, on one occasion, the MoD tried to make her and a fellow investigator sign a contract to silence them over their findings.
Another time, she was supposedly chased by an “army jeep” down country roads at 80mph. Even so, she returned to the forest that same night and captured strange photographic anomalies on camera. All the while, a police car and police helicopter were observing. As she left she was told not to come back again.
During the conference, Brenda revealed to the audience that people had also come to her home and stood in her driveway, trying to intimidate her. 2
“We have had phone calls, been followed and threatened. The police came to check our car numbers.” 3
Later, during a telephone conversation with a journalist, Brenda claimed that her phone had been tapped in the past, and that her co-authors had received anonymous phone calls, warning them that if they did not stop researching the alleged UFO incident, they may “end up at the bottom of the ocean”.4
For all attempts at intimidation, Brenda resisted the threats, and continued to share her findings. The question remains, why, after more than three decades, is information still being suppressed by “men in black” in regards to the Rendlesham Forest incident?
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