A new account of alien encounters in Rendlesham has been made public for the first time.

Retired Sergeant Michael Stacy Smith served in the 81st Airborne Police Squadron at the twin bases of RAF Bentwater and RAF Woodbridge at the time of the famous UFO incident in 1980.

It was during the base's Christmas party that US airmen were sent out to investigate strange goings on at the base which have since been nicknamed the UK's Roswell.

Sergeant Smith was only 19 when the events took place and has never spoken publicly about his alien encounter until now. Speaking to website The Analysis, Sgt. Smith spoke of a number of incidents which took place in Suffolk only weeks before the well-known incident.

"In November of 1980 I had my first incident. Our base went on alert, I was called out to the barracks," said Sgt Smith.

"They assigned me to a post behind the east gate on Woodbridge. So they dropped me off and I got into the bunker."

Sgt Smith said that while in the bunker he needed to go to the toilet.

"I was standing on the edge of the bunker, peeing, and I looked off in the forest and you could see an orange, glowing light down in the woods.

"It was an orange - reddish glowing ball.

"Bigger than a beach ball and it had a cats eye in it.

"I thought what the hell is that. At first I thought it was someone with a lantern walking through the woods, looking at our planes.

"It stopped right in front of me. It just stayed there and hovered two feet off the ground."

Sgt. Smith called for reinforcements who couldn't believe what they had seen.

Not long after the encounter, the object disappeared.

"I was scared, I was just a 19-year-old kid," said Sgt Smith.

"I was scared to death."

Sgt Smith said he had little memory of what happened next.

In a separate incident Sgt. Smith recalled seeing strange shapes in the vicinity of RAF Bentwaters.

"You could see coming from the south of Bentwaters... was a triangular shaped craft. It was blueish in the middle and had white around the edges of it. It was just above the tree line of Rendlesham Forrest.

"I don't care what anyone says, it was real."

Nick Pope, the Ministry of Defence's UFO desk officer between 1991 and 1994,said: "These new revelations are fascinating, though difficult to evaluate, especially given that nearly 40 years have passed since these events - 'Interesting, if true', as they say in the intelligence analysis community.

"There's no doubt that many of the people stationed at the twin bases of Bentwaters and Woodbridge in the winter of 1980 experienced weird events that have become collectively known as the Rendlesham Forest incident.

"As this new interview shows, whatever these military witnesses experienced was truly bizarre and had deep and lasting effects - both physical and emotional - on some of the individuals concerned.

"The Rendlesham Forest incident is the most compelling of the approximately 12,000 UFO cases investigated during the lifetime of the MoD's UFO project and it remains unexplained to this day."