MoD files reveal 'Rendlesham Forest Incident' papers missing

Officials found a "huge" gap where defence intelligence files relating to the case should be

Intelligence papers on a reported UFO sighting known as the "Rendlesham incident" have gone missing, files from the National Archives reveal.  The missing files relate to a report of mysterious lights from US servicemen at RAF Woodbridge in Suffolk in 1980.  The disappearance came to light with the release of 8,000 previously classified documents on UFOs. Officials found a "huge" gap where defence intelligence files relating to the case should be, the papers show.

The files reveal that key documentation relating to the Rendlesham Forest incident has disappeared.  Some UFO researchers believe the episode, which happened over two nights in 1980 is a classic example of a "close encounter".  The incident took place near the fence of RAF Woodbridge - at that time being used by the US Air Force. A group of servicemen reported seeing strange lights in the trees near the base and after investigating found marks on the ground and damage to vegetation.  The files reveal the MoD received a request for its own records of the incident in 2000, but when officials looked they discovered a "huge" gap where defence intelligence files relating to it should be.

The hunt generated a series of notes, with one official speculating that the files could have been taken home by someone and another remarking that "it could be interpreted to mean that a deliberate attempt had been made to eradicate the records covering this incident".  However, among intelligence papers released in 2009, it was revealed that former Admiral of the Fleet Lord Hill-Norton wrote to the defence secretary about the incident in 1985, speculating that an unauthorised aircraft may have entered and left UK airspace at the time. But it is not the only gap in the official record. In 2002 the MoD received a request for information from Lord Hill-Norton. He wanted to know about reports of a UFO sighting made by HMS Manchester while on exercise in the 1990s.  It emerged in the file that HMS Manchester's log for one of the periods was lost overboard after "a gust of wind" and the vessel's captain cannot remember anything unusual taking place.





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