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UFO expert disputes colonel's hoax claim

PUBLISHED: 06:00 09 August 2011

UFO hunter Brenda Butler of Leiston.

UFO hunter Brenda Butler of Leiston.

CLAIMS by a senior US airman that the famous UFO incident at Rendlesham Forest could be a hoax have been dismissed as "a load of rubbish" by a leading expert on the sightings.

US Air Force Colonel Ted Conrad, base commander of the twin airfields at Woodbridge and Bentwaters, near Ipswich, at the time of the incident in 1980, has finally broken his silence on the episode.

Sightings of mysterious lights in the woods at Rendlesham over two nights were reported by several airmen, including Col Conrad’s deputy, Lieutenant Colonel Charles Halt. Lt Col Halt filed reports detailing the episode, which have long been disputed, leading Lt Col Halt to accuse the US and UK governments of concocting a cover-up.

Col Conrad said has now provided a series of statements about the sightings to Dr David Clarke, a Sheffield Hallam University academic and the UFO adviser to the National Archives.

He said: “The search for an explanation could go many places including the perpetration of a clever hoax. Natural phenomenon such as the very clear cold air having a theoretical ability to guide and reflect light across great distances or even the presence of an alien spacecraft.

In the statements, Col Conrad said there was no hard evidence to support Lt Col Halt’s claims. Col Conrad added: “He (Halt) should be ashamed and embarrassed by his allegation that his country and England both conspired to deceive their citizens over this issue. He knows better.”

But Brenda Butler, who has written books on the incident and still goes UFO hunting in the woods three times a week, said Col Conrad’s hoax claims were “a load of rubbish”.

Ms Butler, who claims to have witnessed first hand extra-terrestrial beings among the trees, said: “We have had so many people come forward to say what they saw over those nights. Why has he waited over 30 years to come forward and say this? We have sent a lot of stuff recently to Colonel Halt, who still sticks by his words and that it did happen. There obviously is still a big cover-up going on.”

Ms Butler said she had seen “lots of lights” in the sky above Rendlesham over the past two weekends, which coincided with other widely-reported sightings across the UK.

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