From: Kevin Conde
Sent: Thursday, April 05, 2001 9:01 AM
Subject: Rendlesham Forest Incident
Dear Mr. Easton:
I’m a retired USAF SMSgt. Last night I had some time on my hands, and was surfing the net looking for Web sites on airbases that I had served on during my USAF career. One of those bases was RAF Bentwaters. I was amazed to find a couple of Web sites describing a UFO incident at Bentwaters during my tour. Shocked actually, when you consider what I know about these so-called incidents! One of the web sites had an article by you.
I was a Security Policeman at RAF Bentwaters/Woodbridge from mid 1978 to mid 1981. I arrived at Bentwaters as a SSgt, and departed as a TSgt. I was a law enforcement specialist. While there I worked as a patrolman, desk sergeant, assistant flight chief, flight chief, training NCO, and QA evaluator.
During the time that of incident I will recount occurred, 1st Lt. Bruce Englund was my Flight Commander. He figures into one of the accounts you investigated. I also remember a Lt Col who was a bit of a cop buff, and used to ride along with the law enforcement patrols on a regular basis. As I remember he was either the Vice Wing Commander, or worked for the Wing Commander. He must be the Lt Col Halt mentioned.
I can provide copies of my APRs (Airman’s Performance Reports) if asked, to validate the dates and positions in which I served at RAF Bentwaters.
Bentwaters was not a large base. An incident such as described in some of the Web sites I found could not have occurred with out the knowledge of a majority of the base population. It certainly could not have happened with out my knowledge – I was a cop on the base at the time! Even if I were not directly involved, I would have known that something happened!
My wife is also a retired SMSgt, and she also remembers no such incident at RAF Bentwaters.
That does not mean that there were no UFO incidents at RAF Bentwaters. There were two that I was personally involved in.
Both incidents occurred on the back gate of Woodbridge. This gate was open during the day, and for brief periods during the night for shift change. Woodbridge was mostly housing, and we would open the gate during shift change so folks could come and go between home and job during shift change.
The gate sits out at the end of the runway at Woodbridge. It is isolated, dark, surrounded by woods, and a little lonely.
One night the guard on the gate saw something in the air off the end of the runway. I don’t remember the guard’s name. He was young, new at the time, and as I remember he can be best described as skinny, goofy, and more than a little bit gullible.
I was the Law Enforcement patrol on Woodbridge, and was sent out to check into what he saw. What I saw was a bright object floating on the horizon off the end of the Woodbridge runway. As best as I can remember that would be to the Southeast. The object appeared to be flashing red-green-white. The object just seemed to float there.
At first I thought it was an aircraft on final approach, as it was in the direction that landing aircraft would come from. We called into the desk and had them check with base operations. Base operations told us that there were no aircraft on final, and no aircraft on radar. We continued to puzzle over it until a pilot driving through the gate stopped and told us that what we were looking at was the planet Mars.
The pilot was an amateur astronomer. At the time we were amused and a little embarrassed. I have also dabbled in amateur astronomy in the last few years, and am absolutely positive that what I saw that night was Mars. The flashing we saw was caused by atmospheric interference between us and what we were looking at. This is same effect that causes stars to appear to twinkle. As for the colors, there’s a reason they call Mars the red planet. On many a clear night I have seen the same twinkling red object, both with the naked eye and my Meade ETX telescope.
So much for the first incident.
Cops have a tendency towards practical jokes. Practical jokes are a tradition in the Security Police that at times approaches the status of high art.
I few nights after the Mars Incident I pulled a rather good one on the same gate guard. It was during an exercise, so I was not alone, as was normal for the Woodbridge Law Enforcement patrol. As I remember there were three of us.
Like I said, the back gate at Woodbridge is out all by itself at the end of the runway. Just before you got to the gate there were a couple of revetments surrounded by high dirt berms. These berms would hide anything in them from the gate guard’s view.
It was dark, and a little foggy. I shut off my headlights and drove my patrol car into one of those revetments. We stuck several military issue flashlights out of the windows, pointing upwards. We simply pointed the flashlights upwards and rolled up the windows to hold them in position. These military flashlights come with several different color lenses in a screw on compartment on the end of the light. These lenses come in red, amber, blue, green and a white opaque color. Most of us carried spare flashlights with us, so we could stick several flashlights out the windows with different colored lenses.
Leaving my headlights off I turned on the overheads lights, which on American cop cars are red and blue. We then proceeded to drive the car in slow circles while making weird noises over the PA system. Remember, there was a light fog, which was the key to the joke’s success, as each light appeared in the fog as a moving beam of light.
The kid on the gate freaked. The response to his call for help was quite gratifying. Since I was the patrolman on Woodbridge at the time, I was detailed to respond to the gate guard’s call. We just shut off the lights, and waited a little while to make the kid think we were coming from the main part of Woodbridge before rolling up to the gate to see what was wrong.
This was one of the more successful and hysterical practical jokes I participated in during my eleven years as a cop. One thing; I frankly don’t remember if we ever told the guy what really happened.
I had no idea this little prank had blown up to this magnitude, and it is logical to assume that this joke was the seed that started the whole thing.
This happened more than 20 years a go, and the more I think of it the more details I remember. For one thing, the original incident might have gone one for a couple of days. In other words, the mysterious flashing light might have been visible for a couple of days before it was identified as Mars.
For another, I although I remember pulling the stunt, it was one of my better ones, so it sticks in my memory, I don’t remember exactly how much trouble my UFO actually caused. In those days the USAF had two different AFSCs (Air Force Specialty Codes) in the Security Police, Law Enforcement (812X0) and Security (811X0). The Law Enforcement and Security functions were in the same squadron, but operated pretty much independently. Law Enforcement had an LE Desk on one part of the base, while Security had two CSCs (Central Security Control), one on Bentwaters, and one on Woodbridge.
Law Enforcement and Security used separate radio frequencies, although all our radios had the ability to switch between all LE and Security radios. It is entirely possible that Security sent an SRT (Security Response Team) out to check on my UFO.
Of the three names mentioned, Burroughs, Cabansag and Penniston, only Cabansag is remotely familiar to me. This would be understandable if they were security troops, as I was not familiar with many of the lower ranking security folks, and I’m terrible with names anyway. The fact that one of these guys was armed with an M-16 is further indication that he was security, as Law Enforcement was armed only with .38 caliber revolvers.
One thing is certain. I was stationed at RAF Bentwaters at the time, and in a position to know any and all weird incidents that may have occurred.
The only UFO incidents that occurred during my tour were ones I participated in. The only alien that landed was Mrs. Conde’s little boy Kevin.
This is the truth, the details are the best I can remember after more than 20 years, and I’ll take a polygraph on that.