Where did the coloured lights in the deep, dark woods come from?

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Night time is dark in Rendlesham Forest, Suffolk.

But over two nights back in December 1980, there was light.

Just by the forest is an air base. In 1980, it was being used by the U.S. Air Force.

It was a team of American airmen who noticed the shimmer and went to investigate.

One of them, Lieutenant Colonel Halt, recorded himself describing what he saw. Another was carrying a Geiger counter, which measures radioactivity.

‘Keep reading the clicks,’ Halt said to his teammate. ‘We’re having trouble reading the scale…’

There seemed to be something radioactive in the forest.

And the lights the men were following were moving quickly and erratically.

‘Weird,’ Halt whispered into the recorder.

The lights were blue, red, white.

In the distance, the American airmen could hear the sounds of foxes yelping, badgers growling and night owls shrieking.

Something was upsetting the animals.

And then the men found it – what appeared to be a landing site in the middle of the forest.

It was as if all the trees in the patch had curved inwards.

‘You know I’ve got a funny…’ Halt replied, suddenly breaking off.

Slowly, each man looked around.

Before them, in the middle of the forest clearing, seemingly made by a huge, radioactive blast, was a strange, glowing craft hovering above the ground, metallic-looking and covered in coloured lights.

The men walked towards it, mesmerised.

‘We’re about two to three hundred yards away,’ Halt said into the dictaphone. ‘It looks like an eye winking at you, it’s moving from side to side…it almost burns your eyes…’

But as they approached the strange object, it flew off.

Bewildered, the men made their way back to the base and filed an incident report on the UFO sighting.

The next morning, Halt’s team found three deep impressions in the ground where they’d seen the craft the night before, as well as burn marks and flattened trees.

The following evening, Halt returned to the same spot, desperate to see the craft once again.

This time, all he could make out were flashing lights and the heavy clicking of his Gieger counter.

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Geiger counter (iStockphoto)

In the days after, the reports filed by each witness were classified – made secret.

In spite of this, the Rendlesham Forest incident became one of the most talked about extra-terrestrial encounters in Britain.

Some people believe there was a cover-up by the military.

Were they trialling a new type of aircraft that had to be kept under wraps? Or were they hoping to maintain public order and calm in the face of something more sinister?

Others believe it to be a hoax. But why would a team of respected servicemen play a prank like this?

The possibility it was an alien craft raises even more questions.

Where had the craft come from? Who was flying it, and what did the they want?

As far as we know, those aliens haven’t been back to Rendlesham Forest since 1980. But perhaps they’re out there watching, waiting for the right time to return.

When that time comes, nobody knows.

Except for them.