BUFORA
The British UFO Research Association
Investigations & Research since 1962
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Here are a selection of books that have been reviewed by BUFORA.


New book explores military activity at Rendlesham Forest by Tony Eccles


The Rendlesham Forest UFO Incident occurred 40 years ago, and it’s back in the public eye with yet another book on the subject.  This is Nick Redfern’s Rendlesham Forest UFO Conspiracy: A Close Encounter Exposed as a Top Secret Government Experiment, which was published early 2020 by Lisa Hagan Books

Clearly, Redfern’s latest offering is not concerned with extraterrestrial contact but is focused on a more disturbing reality: government military experiments on its personnel, with maybe a few unsuspecting civilians thrown in for good measure.  If Redfern’s allegations are correct then Rendlesham appears to be an authorised experiment conducted on British civilian soil!  Redfern’s book was an enjoyable read.  I found the bait on his hook very appealing, however, all is not what it seems.

One might remember the origins of the Rendlesham mystery as a series of investigative articles that led to the intriguing 1984 publication Sky Crash: A Cosmic Conspiracy.  In late December 1980, key American and British military establishments, such as RAF Bentwaters in Suffolk, were involved in a sequence of bizarre events which remain shrouded in mystery, obfuscated by military intelligence bureaucracy and which has been exposed as a cover-up by both US and British governments.  Despite many given plausible explanations, Rendlesham Forest has become synonymous with the story of an alleged UFO landing and communication with visiting aliens.  It’s unfortunate, or perhaps a beneficial distraction to some, that Rendlesham has been labelled “Britain’s Roswell”.

In those four decades, much has been written on the subject, mostly positing an extraterrestrial perspective.  I find it curious that when extraterrestrials allegedly visit our world, they seem to be breaking down, even crashing with uncanny regularity!  So much for advanced cultures and their incredible technologies!  On the other hand, some researchers have presented more interesting discussions, including Dr. David Clark’s recent debunking of the alleged revenge-prank by SAS soldiers.  Others contend that it was a military experiment.  Yet such down to earth explanations have rarely gone beyond a short discussion in a book chapter, a blog entry or a newspaper article.  Why is that?

 Dr. Jacques Vallee’s 1991 book Revelations: Alien Contact and Human Deception, for example, claims that the alleged UFO crash was deliberately planted in the public’s mind by the military from the outset.  Vallee wasn’t convinced by the crashed spaceship narrative but instead offered the following

“To me the most plausible theory is that the U.S. military has developed a device or a collection of devices that look like flying saucers, that they are primarily intended for psychological warfare, and that they are being actively tested on military personnel...

When such mechanical devices are combined with optical and electronic displays, the results can be even more astonishing.” (Chapter 6: Special Effects pp.153-176)

Vallee sadly didn’t elaborate on the theme of psychological warfare and its suspected technologies.  His conviction I suspect was due to his awareness of the technological capabilities of the time.  Other examples include Jenny Randles’ UFO Crash Landing: Friend of Foe (1998), in which she suggested that Rendlesham could possibly be the result of a crashed stealth aircraft or a Soviet satellite.  Randles also considers specialised equipment used for the purpose of  psychotronic warfare.  In fact, Sky Crash authors Brenda Butler, Jenny Randles and Dot Street cited in their book the important and unresolved Cash-Landrum encounter near Huffman, Texas as an example of secret military testing.  This event took place in the same December month as Rendlesham and seriously affected the health of three innocent US citizens who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.  These three people were the only witnesses to a UFO, which can best be described as a giant flying engine-type, escorted by military helicopters.  Of course, the reality of that event has been officially denied by US authorities!

In discussing these events, Redfern’s book is the first solely dedicated to the Military Experiment Hypothesis.  I know there are those enthusiasts who are going to quickly dismiss this idea.  However, I would advise against this.  It’s a fact that military activity is a common cause of UFO reports, especially in and around top secret facilities.  Therefore, if Redfern’s assertions are accurate, then the public at large should be very concerned about what our leaders and the infinitely-resourced military industrial complex are up to in the name of ‘liberal democracy’.  After all, shouldn’t we be asking who watches the watchmen?  With no known system of accountability, it seems that no one with a moral compass, nor a professional code of ethics, is serving in this role.  Redfern is not just offering the reader an explanation for what went on at Rendlesham Forest, but he’s also questioning the ethics of government and the military establishment under which it serves.  This is all, of course, conveniently shielded by the need for national security.

In this new Rendlesham book important questions are asked.  How was such an experiment conducted on unsuspecting personnel just outside an important Cold War installation?  More importantly, why was it done?  According to the original investigations, base personnel were asked not to take weapons into the area they were supposedly investigating, this is not a normal request in an emergency situation, but it’s ideal for test conditions.

Experiments are conducted to answer fundamental questions, the answers normally then lead to a development of some kind.  With Rendlesham, and possibly similar weird events rumoured to have taken place at other military locations, Redfern wonders if these psychological experiments were conducted to simply determine how military personnel would react to unusual, even extreme, circumstances.  Tests to see if experimental technologies working side-by-side like holography, tapped natural energies and airborne mind-altering drugs could be employed as weapons against future enemies.  Redfern’s assertion sounds like the US and British establishments have access to weapons that were conceived of in Tesla’s imagination.  In a way this makes Redfern’s thesis sounds a bit too incredible, but on the other hand it shows us how generally ignorant we are as a public, largely unaware of the type of scientific advancements being made by a generously resourced military – to the extent that some believe governments have made pacts with visiting ETs!  However, we should also question if such experiments have been covertly practised on the public.  These are experiments intended to create UFO sightings and to test public responses to them, and there is a strong case to be made for this elsewhere.

So, what makes this latest offering such a fascinating read?  It’s certainly hard to put down.  Redfern’s writing is easy to access, it’s obviously written for an American audience.  Chapters are short and there’s enough food for thought in each one that they are page turners.  Bibliographic references are plentiful, with many of them available online, which means the reader can easily locate and peruse them at one’s leisure.  There’s no index, however, and this for me is a big no-no, especially as I wanted to go back over certain passages to check information. 

Redfern gently lures the reader into the alleged famous UFO events just outside RAF Bentwaters in Suffolk.  Following this, readers are presented with fascinating sciences and lesser known facts which are brought together for one to evaluate.  One could be quite shocked to learn of how many government installations, like the now defunct Bawdsey Manor Radar, are located within Suffolk, all within a few miles of RAF Bentwaters.  The history of these locations, and their connections to documented experiments on British soil, makes Redfern’s thesis easier to accept as a possible solution.  The Rendlesham Incident should not be considered a unique event, but one of a series that have occurred.  There are so many unknowns as to what type of experiments have been conducted before, Redfern names the ones he’s been made aware of.  This makes for alarming reading.

After discussing the historic military use of hallucinogens and their results, Redfern rightly assesses the American and British fascination with the UFO subject and their concern with the technological means to exploit, control and weaponize nature’s energies.  Ball lightning is specifically mentioned but there will be others.  Redfern’s thesis opens up the idea that central elements to the Rendlesham Forest Incident could be reproduced, not by a misperceived local lighthouse, but by a sophisticated array of holographic and energy-creating equipment supported by airborne hallucinogens.  Does this theory sound far-fetched?  Or do alien visitors seem more likely an answer?  Despite my own personal ufological experience, I’m inclined to agree with a sceptical Redfern and others who have written on this very subject. Rendlesham has a rational but strange explanation.  Military experimentation as the proposed solution should not be ignored but studied further.

If these alleged weapons exist and have the ability to tap into natural energies then why haven’t we heard reports of them being employed in theatres of conflict such as Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq?  Or perhaps these effects have been employed in far flung parts of the world little touched by our media?  Surely, these weapons are not being hoarded in an underground facility to be used when World War Three breaks out?  Or are they secretly functioning as a form of deterrent?  Or are these weapons frightening because they are made to look real but exist in our imagination?  Whatever the truth I want to see proof.  There is a reality to lasers soon being employed by the US military, so what are the holographic capabilities today?  Do military scientists know how to control and weaponize ball lightning or plasma?  Something in this reminds me of the fictional TV show Stranger Things.

To me, these fantastic weapons are just as elusive as alleged extraterrestrials and their amazingly faulty technologies.  Instinctively, the answer to Rendlesham is likely to be a tad more normal.  After all, the best illusions work because the deception is caused by sleight of hand.  They are perceived in a way that makes magic real – this is how government and the military intelligence want to function – for the public to be looking elsewhere, and therefore in Rendlesham we have aliens.  It is utterly insidious.

From the beginning, Redfern makes it clear that although he doesn’t have all the answers, he’s simply trying to uncover the truth of what actually happened in that forest.  Through his research, and in discussions with the late Georgina Bruni, Redfern demonstrates the advantage of mutual co-operation between UFO researchers, as this has led to a number of breakthroughs.  This is an important lesson for others to follow, e.g. look at what was accomplished by the Sky Crash authors et al.

It is Redfern’s hope that by publishing this book those in the know will be encouraged to come out of the shadows and provide him with the answers.  According to the author this is already happening.  The problem here is being able to discern the wheat from the chaff.  As we know, the good and the bad lurk in those shadows and I wish Nick Redfern the very best in this endeavour.  This, however, is the main issue for me, because the book lacks this very element, which would have made a superb final chapter – the explanation to show how Operation Rendlesham Forest was planned and implemented.  All, apparently, will be revealed in the near future.

After finishing Redfern’s book, it wouldn’t surprise me if readers wanted to explore the Rendlesham Forest UFO subject further by reading those books written by Bruni, Halt, Pope and Randles, even the scandal-tarnished Left at East Gate by Robbins and Warren is a worthy read. I know Redfern has written plenty of UFO books, but this is definitely one for the UFO library.  The reader is certainly presented with an extremely interesting viewpoint which is backed by decent research and hard work. 

But then again you might feel inclined to believe that the events at Rendlesham Forest is simply old hooey caused by a lighthouse and over-active imaginations!


 

UFO INVESTIGATIONS MANUAL  By Nigel Watson:

This latest book from Nigel Watson starts with a good Introduction; it provides a better understanding of what ufology is about, which is essential for any beginner who is thinking of entering this fantastic subject, it is also a refresher to the more experienced ufologist.
 
The author has taken the time and effort to conduct good quality research which establishes a greater understanding of official UFO investigations undertaken by military departments in addition to him providing explanations for various mis-identifications of UFOs.
 
The first few pages contain details of the Airship 'wave' in the UK in the 1890s and early 1900s and then goes on to provide information on various cases in the UK and overseas, including the very famous Foo-Fighters enigma, in addition to a brief history of flight.
 
There are many historical well know UFO cases detailed from around the globe and to complement these, some lesser known ones are included, which are equally, if not more interesting.
 
A vast array of topics are covered which range from allegations relating to cattle mutilations, alien abductions to allegations of a human/alien exchange programme.

At the end of each chapter the author has conveniently included useful references to assist the reader with obtaining further information or to help them conduct their own research. Also included are many good quality photographs and illustrations which help the reader visualise exactly what the author is writing about.
 
Overall, this was an interesting book to read.
 
John Wickham
Chairman
 
December 2013
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Haunted Skies by John Hanson and Dawn Holloway:

Volume six:


With the series advancing with an exciting progressive momentum, the Jubilee edition of Haunted Skies covers a lot of new ground on established cases. There will be some you haven’t heard of but in the multiple cases such as the ‘Welsh Triangle’ case, John and Dawn give us more material than was seen in the first rounds of the cases making it to the newspapers and reports. We see the growth of Ufology from the nuts and bolts approaches in the 1960’s and the realization that Close Encounter cases are so vividly different. The new diverse kinds of sightings were in greater variation on the shapes, appearances and sizes of Extra-Terrestrial encounters. Cases such as the Welsh school children sightings show more drawings and once again, this book series proves itself time and time again in the way the cases are relayed to the reader.

John and Dawn often reverse the time clock and meet up with as many of the original witnesses as they can, as evident in their call to Randall Pugh-Jones in his later years, who investigated the original set of multiple sightings in Haverford West and other parts of Wales.

We also see the beginning of new researchers appear for the first time such as Jenny Randles, Philip Mantle and Gary Heseltine’s first UFO sighting, an experience that lead to him later establishing the U.K. database for Police professionals.

With artwork and original pictures of cases, we have a book that also produces new reconstructive scenes from cases, adding a further edge to the original witness hand drawings of sightings, but retaining all of the realism of the event they portrayed.

Graffiti on the barn at Warminster and other places nearby such as Windwhistle Hill and the high strangeness cases which built up from the widely reported Arthur Shuttlewood and his publicity and tours to Cradle Hill to see anomalies beyond the original ‘Thing’ in the sky.

New researchers were to later become torchbearers to research the cases further such as Kevin Goodman, who later produced his own overviews and accounts of the famous area.

There are now close encounters with descriptions of entities sometimes looking remarkably humanoid, demonic or lizard like but also grey or impish in stature or facial structure.

Craft and occupants that glow in seemingly incredible hues are reported in addition to cases of seemingly impossible trajectories and speeds, including MOD jets seen in full UFO pursuit are featured in this edition. Volume six shows us beings that emit ghostly lights and plasma like experiences and many of these predate the release of films such as Close Encounters of the Third Kind. There are many reports from personnel form the armed service too, notably many police sightings and a suspected animal mutilation case.

All kinds of sightings from lights, objects all the way up to high strangeness cases are in this huge book and for the current price less than £20, Volume Six of Haunted Skies is a key turning-point edition in the growing development of the investigation approaches of the subject, the way the media report cases. The meeting of witness’s decades after the time of their original sightings demonstrates John’s skills as a police detective in reviewing cases. This transferred professionalism to the UFO reports has become a welcome and prevailing feature of the whole series of these books. Each incident is reviewed and thoughtfully edited for its context, relevance and any possible new information that can further added, which often turns up brand new material never discussed or seen the first time round they appeared in UFO or media publications.

Matt Lyons

Chairman

The British UFO Research Association

March 2013
 

Haunted Skies Volume Seven:

By John Hanson and Dawn Holloway.

In this volume, there is impressive diversity in the huge age range of accounts and cases with many accounts by more than one witness. This latest installment in the best and most comprehensive account of UFO cases also feature some of the key moments for the subject as an additional accompaniment to the largest edition of this series to date.

There are contributions from highly respected researchers and presenters such as Malcolm Robinson and Jenny Randles and once again, we can see John and Dawn methodically and carefully review cases, returning wherever possible to not only interview witnesses but also the original investigators where ever possible.

This includes the debate to recognise the international awareness of UFOs, with the United Nations council meeting to debate the subject and set policy. This involved leading authors of the time such as Dr. Jacques Vallee and Dr. Allan Hynek, who brought an abundance of analytical and new classification category proposals to this global discussion. We don’t just have pilot accounts, as Gordon Cooper, the Apollo mission astronaut, also joined the ranks of witnesses, investigators and researchers whether at sea, in the air, from outer space or dry land.

Haunted Skies also includes a visit to Elsie Oakensen, who passed away very recently and her iconic accounts of a craft of unusual shape and the repercussions that were to follow after the initial encounter.

Humanoids appearing in every manner from invasive and terrifying to curious, enlightening and benevolent beings are explored in increased detail in parallel to cases of the most stunning and unusual UFO formations and shapes. When you read Volume 7 of this series, it makes you wonder how even today, the media and arts still revert to the single ‘saucer shape’, as even Kenneth Arnolds sighting back in 1947 were not discs and purely an expansion of a  reporting misquote.

Many theories abound on the origins of all the unusual sightings, but this is where this edition is fascinating. Whilst investigators such as Jenny Randles were driving for ever more demands for the scientific analysis of the phenomenon, my own organisation (BUFORA) also witnessed the resignation of some members during this time that had decided that UFOs were of demonic in origin and a wish to return to their Christian beliefs and leave this challenging subject altogether. This included one of the lead investigators of the Welsh Triangle sightings and encounters that were covered extensively in Volume six. The well documented nights in Rendlesham Forest on the famous events of 1980 should not be viewed in isolation, as in this edition of Haunted Skies; we find local accounts of UFO’s in close proximity to the twin airbases and all over the East Anglian they reside in. These events of strangeness with unexplainable UFOs are a fascinating prelude to the famous case.

There are repeat sightings of the now retired Concord supersonic plane being shadowed by a UFO on more than one occasion and other sightings by pilots and passengers within typical domestic flights. The experience of another police officer, Tony Dodd, leads to another non-civilian witness joining the quest for answers to high strangeness cases. Interwoven amongst the many key cases (some previously unseen) Haunted Skies charts the UFO reaching parliamentary debate level in the U.K. when Lord Clancarty also lead a debate on the issue. He was the most senior politician to be an advocate to a more open debate and study of the whole UFO spectrum.

This was a matter once again raised by Baron Hill-Norton, who believed the subject, in respect of many cases covered by Volumes 1-6 of Haunted Skies, needed to be taken far more seriously. With excellent original drawings, professional illustrations and accounts, Volume 7 of Haunted Skies tells the stories of ordinary people witnessing extraordinary events in this largest edition to date. John and Dawn have been our special guests at the 50th anniversary BUFORA conference held in 2012 in London. Buy volume 7 and you will see why the British UFO Research Association endorse the continuing work of these dedicated authors.

Matt Lyons

Chairman

British UFO Research Association

March 2013