. . . . Inside the
Military UFO Underground

(Article by A.J.S. Rayl)

This article was written by A.J.S. Rayl and then placed on a newsgroup. It deals with three specific individuals, who have come
out into the open and shared what they have known about UFOs including Robert Dean (ex-Nato Officer), Bob Lazar (Scientist
who claims he worked at the base in Area 51) and Col. Charles I. Halt, U.S. retired-officer who was at the Bentwaters U.S. Airbase
in England in the 1980's. We obtained a copy of this through the mailing list organized by Francisco Lopez, who is searching the
airwaves for key information about UFOs.


Date: Thu, 25 Apr 1996 20:33:04 -0400 (EDT)
From: Francisco Lopez {d005734c@dcfreenet.seflin.lib.fl.us}
Subject: (fwd) REPOST: Inside the Miltary UFO Underground

From: hugger@gonzo.Colorado.EDU ()
Newsgroups: alt.alien.visitors,alt.paranet.ufo
Subject: REPOST: Inside the Miltary UFO Underground
Date: 22 Apr 1996 05:40:43 GMT

Inside the Military UFO Underground
By A.J.S. Rayl

In 1969, Project Blue Book--the 16-year U.S. Air Force investigation of UFOs--came to an end, and so did the government's interest in extraterrestrial flying discs. Or so the American public has been told. In recent years, numerous individuals and documents from various agencies have emerged from behind the veil of government secrecy to tell a different story. Their spin: that while the government officially abandoned all interest in UFOs, a secret military underground was hot on the trail of suspicious radar blips, saucers, and even the aliens themselves. What follows are the stories of three individuals--two of whom come with impressive military credentials; they say they have glimpsed what seems like evidence of a decades-old cover-up cloaked in the guise of national security. The third interviewee, a propulsion-system engineer, claims he was hired by an independent military contractor to study the innards of an extraterrestrial spacecraft being researched and tested on the Nellis Air Range in central Nevada.

Omni cannot endorse the veracity of the stories told below. In fact, we must emphasize that extraordinary tales like these require extraordinary levels of proof certainly not furnished in our pages, nor, we feel, anywhere else. That said, we'll get to the fun part. In the pages that follow, you'll find strange tales of alien intrigue and UFO woe. Decide for yourself: Are these the ravings of demented hoaxers and madmen or revelations of truth? Their stories, delivered in dossier format, have been edited from interviews conducted by author A. J. S. Rayl during the past year.

NATO Meets E.T.

Name: Robert O. Dean, retired Army command sergeant major

Claim: Back in the Sixties, NATO issued a classified report stating that UFOs were real, of extraterrestrial origin, and had visited the earth. This extraordinary report was said to come out of NATO's command center, the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers, Europe (SHAPE), located then just outside of Paris, France.

Background: Dean, a highly decorated veteran, served on the front lines in both Korea and Vietnam. In 1963, while assigned to the Supreme Headquarters Operations Center (SHOC), SHAPE's war room, headed up by then-supreme allied commander of Europe, Gen. Lyman Lemnitzer, Dean claims he was able to read the detailed 12-inch-thick NATO report on UFOs.

The Story: "SHAPE was one of those choice assignments. You had to have a spotless record and pass security background checks. I applied on a whim and got it. I was very proud and pleased. At SHAPE, I was put through more security checks, given a Cosmic Top Secret (yes, this is a real term) clearance, the highest NATO has, and assigned to the Supreme Headquarters Operations Center, known as SHOC, the NATO war room. In those days, the activity would run hot and cold and much of it would depend on how the Soviets wanted to play it. The most intriguing thing to me was that we were continually having a problem with large, metallic, circular objects that would appear over central Europe; these were reported as visual phenomena by our pilots and appeared on radar as well. Some flew in formation, and most of the time we spotted them coming out of the Soviet Union, over East Germany, West Germany, France, and then they would often circle somewhere over the English Channel and head north, disappearing from NATO radar over the Norwegian Sea. These objects were very large, moving very fast, at very high altitudes--higher than we could reach at the time--and they seemed obviously under intelligent control.

"I was told this had been going on for some time and that in February 1961 there had been quite a scare. Fifty of these objects were spotted on radar and headed in formation from the Soviet Union toward Europe, flying at about 100,000 feet. The Soviets had closed all borders. Everybody went to red alert. All hell broke loose. We really thought `The War' had started. We scrambled. We knew the Russians were scrambling. It was the largest number of these objects that had been seen. Fortunately--and only by the grace of God--we didn't start bombing and neither did the Russians. In nine minutes, they were gone.

"I was told that then-Deputy Supreme Allied Commander of Europe, Sir Thomas Pike, had been repeatedly requesting information from London and Washington about these objects, but nothing would ever come. We found out later that the Columbine-Topaz spy ring in Paris was intercepting everything and forwarding it to the KGB, which often got intelligence information even before we did. So Pike decided, I was told, to develop an in-house study to determine whether these objects were a military threat.

"In the meantime, the UFO matter literally brought about the establishment of direct communication between the East and West in 1962, which I have always found interesting and ironic. We had pretty well determined by that time that these were not Russian craft, and the Russians had determined they were not ours. So, we came to an understanding, and a direct telephone line was opened between SHOC and the Warsaw Pact Headquarters Command. Of course, a setup was always a possibility, so we had backup ways of checking out whether the Russians were being truthful. But since we were both armed to the teeth and World War III was just ticking away, it was a logical step in the right direction. That idea developed into the hotline between the president of the United States and the soviet premier, following the Cuban Missile Crisis.

"Well, by the time I arrived in 1963, everybody had been talking about the study, and I had heard the rumors, seen the blips on radar, witnessed the commotions, and some of us occasionally even talked about the possibilities. But nothing really prepared me for what I started to read in the early morning hours one night in January 1964.

"It was about 2:00 a.m. and a relatively quiet night when the SHOC controller on duty went into the vault and came out with this huge document. `Take a look at this,' he said. The title was simply Assessment: An Evaluation of a Possible Military Threat to Allied Forces in Europe. It was numbered, #3, stamped Cosmic Top Secret, had eight inches worth of appendices, dozens of photographs, and had been signed into the vault by German colonel Heinz Berger, SHOC's head of security. I quickly learned that it was based on two and a half years of research, was funded by NATO money, and that only 15 copies were published--in English, German, and French. Each one was numbered. All were classified and ordered to be kept under lock and key.

"Every time I got the chance, from then until I left, I would read a section or two in it. It was the most intriguing document I'd ever read. It was put together by military representatives of every NATO nation and also included contributions from some of the greatest scientific minds. These objects were violating all of our known laws of physics, and the study team had gone to Cambridge, Oxford, the Sorbonne, MIT, and other major universities for input on chemistry, physics, atmospheric physics, biology, history, psychology, and even theology, all of which were separate appendices.

"I read about theories on Einstein's sought-after unified-field theory, the high radiation at various landing sites, and UFO reports that dated back to the Roman era and up to our own F105 pilots' sightings and encounters, and on and on. I had always been a skeptic, but this report, well...it concluded that this stuff was not science fiction.

"I read about contact encounters. One incident that had just happened in 1963 involved a landing on a Danish farm. According to the report, the farmer went aboard with the two little beings and two more human-looking men who spoke to him in Danish. The report included parts of his interrogation by government authorities and their conclusions that he was telling the truth. In another incident, according to the reports, a craft landed on an Italian airfield and offered to take an Italian sergeant for a ride. He wet his pants--that's what it said--and was so scared, he didn't go.

"The appendix that really got to me was titled `Autopsies.' I saw pictures of a 30-meter disc that had crashed in Timmensdorfer, Germany, near the Baltic Sea in 1961. The British Army, according to the report, got there first and put up a perimeter. The craft had landed in very soft, loamy soil near the Russian border and so hadn't destructed, but one-third of it was buried in. We and the Russians, who also quickly showed up, had both tracked it.

"Inside, there were 12 small bodies, all dead. There were pictures of the bodies, which looked like the beings known as the `grays,' being laid out and then put on stretchers and loaded into jeeps, and autopsy photos, too. Some of the little grays appeared to not be a reproductive-capable species. The autopsy guys concluded, according to the report, that it looked as if they had been cut out of a cookie cutter--clones with no alimentary tract. They did not ingest or process food as we know it, nor did it appear that they had any system for elimination.

"The craft itself was cut up like a pie into six pieces, put on lowboys and hauled off. Scuttlebutt was that it was given to the Americans and flown to Wright-Patterson Air Force base in Ohio. I looked at these pictures and couldn't believe it. My skin got cold and I thought, My God. I had never really believed we were all alone in the universe, but this was hard to swallow.

"The major conclusions in the NATO report blew me away. There were five:

1) The planet and human race had been the subject of a detailed survey of some kind by several different extraterrestrial civilizations, four of which they had identified visually. One race looked almost indistinguishable from us. Another resembled humans in height, stature, and structure, but with a very gray, pasty skin tone. The third race is now popularly known as the grays, and the fourth was described as reptilian, with vertical pupils and lizardlike skin.

2) These alien visitations had been going on for a very long time, at least 200 years--perhaps longer.

3) The extraterrestrials did not appear hostile since if that were their intent they would have already demonstrated their malevolence.

4) UFO appearances and quick disappearances as well as the flybys were demonstrations conducted on purpose to show us some of their capabilities.

5) A process or program of some sort seemed to be underway since flybys progressed to landings and eventually contact.

"I wanted so badly to copy this thing. I did take a photograph of the cover sheet, which wasn't in and of itself classified. But I didn't want to wind up in Fort Leavenworth. So instead I would go to the bathroom and take notes--surreptitiously, very carefully.

"I have been through an awful lot in my life, but I've never been able to just walk away from that report. I know that I'm taking a chance by violating my oaths. But this is the most important issue of our times--so damn important that I can't think of anything more important, and the public has been deceived and completely kept in the dark about all of this for all these years. It's the biggest scientific, political scandal ever. Besides, what have I got to lose? I'm 64 years old now. Are they going to bump me off? I have told the truth. My integrity and credibility stand. When is our government going to tell the truth?"

Update: After 27 years of military service, Dean retired and began another 14-year career with the Pima County Sheriff's Department Emergency Services in Tucson, Arizona. In 1990, he gave a lecture at the University of Arizona in which he talked about UFOs. The talk garnered local media coverage. Afterward, he was denied a promotion at the Sheriff's Department, because, he alleged, he believed in UFOs. Dean filed suit and won an out-of-court settlement in March 1992. Now retired, Dean has become a member of several UFO organizations and has begun giving occasional lectures. He is working through "any and all legitimate channels" to uncover a copy of the NATO document and to gather witnesses for an open Congressional hearing on the subject of UFOs.

Official Response: "Our list of classified documents generated by SHAPE at that time does not include any with titles similar to that cited by Mr. Dean," says Lt. Col. Rainer Otte, German Air Force, deputy chief, media section of the public-information office at SHAPE. "Files on military personnel are in all circumstances kept under national control. Information on the security clearance that Mr. Dean held may--if ever--only be released by U.S. authorities."

The Critics' Corner: "This is a fascinating story, but fantastic claims like these need more than one man's testimony to be credible," says Jerome Clark of the Center for UFO Studies. "Unless independent verification comes forth, this remains only an intriguing anecdote, not unlike many others that have circulated since the early UFO era."

Project Galileo

Name: Bob Lazar, independent contract scientist and businessman

Claim: To have worked as a propulsion-system engineer in late 1988 and early 1989 on one of nine extraterrestrial spacecraft being researched and tested on the Nellis Air Range in central Nevada.

Background: From 1982 to 1984, Lazar claims he worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico in the Meson Physics lab with a Q-level security clearance. In 1985, while on vacation in Nevada, he wound up buying into a legal Reno brothel; the investment proved so profitable that he didn't have to return to full-time employment for a while. He moved to Nevada in 1986. In 1988, he wanted to get back into scientific work and was hired, he says, to work on the top-secret Project Galileo. Lazar passed a lie-detector test in 1989, arranged by George Knapp, then an anchorman for KLAS-TV, the CBS affiliate in Las Vegas, Nevada, for a special locally aired series, UFOs: The Best Evidence.

The Story:
"In 1988, I decided to reenter the scientific community and sent resumes to various people. Finally, I interviewed with a placement firm to work for the Department of Naval Intelligence in a civilian capacity, and in the fall of 1988, I was hired on an on-call basis to work on a project involving advanced propulsion systems. At that point, that's all I knew.

"Not long after, I was flown along with several others out to area 51 on the Nellis Air Range. There, we were put on a bus with blacked-out windows and driven about 15 miles south to the Papoose dry lake bed, bordered by the Papoose Mountains, where there was an installation they called `S4.'

"I was introduced to my supervisor and a co-worker and then given a stack of briefings on various projects, including Project Galileo, which was devoted to the study of nine disc-shaped extraterrestrial craft that were somehow acquired by the U.S. government.

"I was assigned back engineering tasks on the reactor and gravity-propulsion system of one of the discs--essentially to help figure out what made it work. I don't know whether it was a crash retrieval, although I doubt it, because the disc didn't appear damaged in any way. In the briefing reports, there were pictures of several discs along with some of the information they had already obtained from back engineering research.

"I was stunned and exhilarated at the same time. But there were well-armed guards everywhere, and this place wasn't exactly the kind of environment where you could just start asking any and every question you had. Security, in fact, was oppressive. You were escorted everywhere, even the bathroom. And if your I.D. badge was just the slightest bit out of place, you would be tackled by a guard and held with a gun to your head until your supervisor arrived. And the guards lived for that.

"At times, the whole thing seemed just surreal. There was a poster of the disc I was working on, which I dubbed the Sport Model, on several walls. It read, They're here.

"I dealt with only the power sources and propulsion systems on one of the discs, and I did enter that one disc on several occasions. The disc was approximately 15 feet tall and about 52 feet in diameter. It had the appearance of brushed stainless steel or brushed aluminum. I didn't run a test on it, so I don't know if it was metal, but I did run my hands down the side of it getting in, and it felt cold, like metal, and it looked like metal. It had no physical seams, no welds or bolts or rivets, and it looked as if it were injection molded.

"Inside, there were tiny little seats, much too small to comfortably handle an averaged-sized human. I bumped my head on the ends of the craft, so I concluded that the ceiling curved down to below five feet, 11 inches inside. There was not a right angle cut anywhere in the craft. Everything had a smooth curve to it.

"The reactor, which produced antimatter and then reacted it with matter in an annihilation reaction, was only about 18 inches in diameter and 12 inches tall and was located in the center of the disc. It operated like a tiny ballet, where everything that happened relied on the effect before it. The way it accelerated protons inside of it, the way the heat was converted to electricity, was totally smooth without any wasted heat or latent energy. It was phenomenal, approaching a 100-percent dynamic efficiency. Now that seems impossible when you consider the laws of thermodynamics. All I can say is that this technology is well beyond anything that we now know with our twentieth- century knowledge.

"The reactor is fueled with an element that is not found here on Earth. Part of my contribution to the program was to find out where this element plugged into the periodic chart. Well, it didn't plug in anywhere, so we placed it at an atomic number of 115. It has been theorized for some time that elements around 113, 114, and 115 may become stable and nonradioactive, and this is apparently what we were seeing. Element 115 is a stable element, but one with some interesting properties. It can be used inside the reactor as a fuel, but also as the source of an energy field accessed and amplified by the craft's gravity amplifiers. In other words, the craft was both fueled and propelled by virtue of element 115.

"There was a storage of silver-dollar-sized discs of element 115 from which triangular wedges were cut and put into the reactor. It was a copper-orange color and extremely heavy. While it was not radioactive, we assumed it was a toxic material and consequently handled it as such.

"In all the discs at S4, there were three gravity amplifiers positioned in a triad at the base of the craft. These were the propulsion devices. Essentially, what they did was amplify gravity waves out of phase with those of the earth. The craft operated in two modes--omicron and delta, which indicated how many gravity amplifiers were in use. In the omicron configuration, only one amplifier was used; the other two were swung out of the way and tucked inside the disc. In omicron mode, the crafts can essentially rise and hover but do little else. To leave the atmosphere, however, all three gravity amplifiers have to be powered up and focused on the desired location. Finally, the crafts do not travel in a linear mode. Rather, we determined that the discs produced their own gravitational fields in order to distort time and space and essentially pull their destinations to them.

"One afternoon, my colleagues and I walked out onto the dry lake bed. The disc on which we had been working, the Sport Model, had already been moved out of the hangar and was beginning to lift off. Except for a slight hissing, it made no noise. It lifted to about 30 feet off the ground. The hissing stopped, and it just hung silently in the air, moving to the left, then right. It was absolutely amazing.

"The way information is compartmentalized, that's all the hands-on information and experience I was allowed to have access to, though we were given the chance on occasion and only for short periods of time to read briefing reports that detailed other aspects of this project. The reports I read that dealt with power and propulsion systems were accurate, and I proved that to myself by working on the system. Still, I draw a hard line between what I know to be true and what I read in the other briefing reports.

"With that understanding, I did read reports about the origin of this disc. According to one of the briefings, it came from the Zeta Reticuli star system. Now obviously I didn't fly in a craft or go to that star system, so I don't really know if it came from there. I didn't speak to any aliens or see any, so I don't know if they exist or not. That report also said that contact was made at a certain date; however, all the dates were in code. Also, according to the report, these beings told our officials that they had been coming here for 10,000 years, that humans are the product of externally corrected evolution, and that they were integral to the accelerated evolution of man.

"My tolerance for the intensive security rapidly diminished. Because of the 24-hour telephone surveillance, they found out I was having marital problems and told me the situation had made me a candidate for `emotional instability.' They then took my security clearance and told me I could reapply in six months.

"Well, I knew the test schedule, and I couldn't resist, so one night I decided to show some friends from a distance what I had been working on. We all caravaned out into the desert where we watched a test flight. We got away it with it that time, so we started coming back again and again.

"Anyway, the third time we got caught by the Wackenhut Security guards out on the Bureau of Land Management land that surrounds the range. They turned me in. Needless to say, officials at Nellis weren't happy. I went through a debriefing and was threatened at that time. I was scared and felt that I needed to break away from this before I couldn't.

"Not only did I believe this technology should be given to the greater scientific community, but I also believed my only protection was to get the story out. A friend convinced me to talk to George Knapp at KLAS-TV. I figured if they killed me, then it would simply prove that what I was saying was true.

"There are many scientists who theorize that there simply cannot be extraterrestrial discs here, that aliens could not possibly have come here specifically, because the distance traveled is too great and the energy required too awesome, and that there's no relatively quick way to go that distance even at the speed of light. What I reported is what I experienced, though in some respects I regret going public. If I had it to do over again, I might be more inclined to stay on as one of the boys."

Update: In 1990, after Lazar says he was released from Project Galileo, he accepted a freelance job setting up a database and surveillance system for an illegal Las Vegas brothel. That gig eventually garnered him six felony counts, including aiding and abetting a prostitute, running a house of prostitution, and living off the earnings of a prostitute. The charges were quickly dropped to a single felony count of pandering. The one good thing that came out of the resulting trial, Lazar says, is that he's not being followed anymore--at least not to his knowledge. "I guess they figured the pandering conviction discredited me," he comments.

Lazar currently earns a living from his two small companies, an independent contracting firm that repairs nuclear devices, and a photo lab. He also builds and races jetcars. And, every year since 1984, on the weekend before July 4, he has staged Desert Blast, which he says is the "the largest illegal fireworks show in the West." This annual pyrotechnic extravaganza features huge fireworks and assorted gas bombs made by Lazar and friends as well as jetcar demonstrations and a little semiautomatic weapons venting. Lazar recently sold his movie rights and is working on a new home video.

Official Response: "The Air Force comment is that there is no comment on anything that goes on at the Nellis Range," says Air Force Master Sgt. J. C. Marcom of Public Affairs. Meanwhile, according to Technical Sergeant Henderson of Public Affairs, "The Air Force has no record that Lazar ever worked at Nellis Air Force Base, though we have compiled an extensive list of inquiries as to his status."

The Critics' Corner: "We've pretty well determined that Lazar did work at Los Alamos, but it's been impossible to verify exactly what he did," says Mark Rodeghier, scientific director of the Center for UFO Studies. "As for element 115, physicists admit that such an element is theoretically possible, but we don't know how to manufacture it or where to get it. So, Lazar's claim to have worked with this element is not necessarily insane, but it's completely unverifiable. Finally, he seems to know enough to have really worked at Area 51 or Dreamland where secret aircraft are tested, but his story remains a murky mystery. The bottom line: It's impossible to verify. So far, we have not found anyone to corroborate the essentials of what Lazar says."

Baffled at Bentwaters

Name: Col. Charles I. Halt, U. S. Air Force, retired

Claim: In late December 1980, while serving as deputy base commander at Bentwaters Air Base in southern England, Halt witnessed and investigated several anomalous objects in the skies over the Rendelsham Forest, which separates the American installation from its twin Royal Air Force base, Woodbridge. The sightings occurred on two separate nights during the week after Christmas. Two weeks later, Halt sent a report about the strange encounters to the British Ministry of Defense.

Background: A career Air Force officer, Halt served in Vietnam and on various bases before arriving at Bentwaters in 1980. He was promoted to base commander in 1984. Halt later served as base commander at Kunsan Air Base, Korea, and as director of the inspections directorate for the Department of Defense inspector general. He retired in 1991. Halt is the first USAF officer since Project Blue Book ended to have filed a memo on unidentified flying objects and gone public with the details.

The Story:
"Just after Christmas, about 5:30 a.m., December 26, 1980, I walked into police headquarters and the desk sergeant started to laugh. He said a couple of the guys had been out chasing UFOs. Nothing, however, was in the blotter. I told him to put it in.

"When our base commander came in, we both chuckled. Neither of us believed in UFOs, but we did decide to look into it. Before we had the chance, two nights later, the duty flight commander for the security police unit rushed in to a belated Christmas party white as a sheet. `The UFO is back,' he said.

"I was asked to investigate. I changed into a utility uniform, then headed out in a jeep to the edge of the forest. About a dozen of our men were already there. Our light-alls (large gas-powered lights) wouldn't work, and there was so much static and constant interference on our radios that we had to set up a relay. There was increasing commotion. I was determined to show them this was nonsense.

"I took half a dozen of the men and headed into the woods on foot to a clearing where the initial incident had supposedly taken place. We found three distinct indentations in the ground equidistant apart and pressed well into the sandy soil. They were supposedly caused by the object seen two nights before, but I didn't see anything sitting there that night. Neither did anybody else there.

"Inside the triangular area formed by the indentations, one of the men got slightly higher readings on the Geiger counter than he did outside. He photographed the area, and I took a soil sample. Meanwhile, I recorded this activity on my microcassette recorder.

"We knew the Orford Ness lighthouse beacon beamed from the southeast. All of a sudden, directly to the east, we saw an unusual red, sunlike light--oval shaped, glowing, with a black center--10 to 15 feet off the ground, moving through the trees. Beyond the clearing was a barbed-wire fence, farmer's field, house, and barn. The animals were making a lot of noise.

"We ran toward the light up to the fence. It shot over the field and then moved in a 20- to 30-degree horizontal arc. Strangely, it appeared to be dripping what looked like molten steel out of a crucible, as if gravity were somehow pulling it down. Suddenly, it exploded--not a loud bang, just booompf--and broke into five white objects that scattered in the sky. Everything except our radios seemed to return to normal.

"We went to the end of the farmer's property to get a different perspective. In the north, maybe 20 degrees off the horizon, we saw three white objects--elliptical, like a quarter moon but a little larger--with blue, green, and red lights on them, making sharp, angular movements. The objects eventually turned from elliptical to round.

"I called the command post, asked them to call Eastern Radar, responsible for air defense of that sector. Twice they reported that they didn't see anything.

"Suddenly, from the south, a different glowing object moved toward us at a high rate of speed, came within several hundred feet, and then stopped. A pencillike beam, six to eight inches in diameter, shot from this thing right down by our feet. Seconds later, the object rose and disappeared.

"The objects in the north were still dancing in the sky. After an hour or so, I finally made the call to go in. We left those things out there.

"The film turned out to be fogged; nothing came out. But a staff sergeant later made plaster castings of the indentations, and I had the soil sample.

"Around New Year's Eve, I took statements and interviewed the men who had taken part in the initial incident. The reports were nearly identical.

"Basically, they reported this: In the early morning hours of December 26, one of the airmen drove to the back gate at Woodbridge on a routine security check. He saw lights in the forest, specifically a red light, and thought maybe an airplane had crashed. He radioed a report, which was called into the tower, but the tower reported nobody was flying.

"Eventually, a group headed out to the forest. They reported strange noises--animals, movement, like we heard two nights later.

"As they approached the clearing, they reported seeing a large yellowish-white light with a blinking red light on the upper center portion and a steady blue light emanating from underneath. The tower again reported nothing on radar.

"A few of the men moved to within 20 or 30 feet. Each said the same thing independently--a triangular-shaped metallic object, about nine feet across the base, six feet high, appeared to be sitting on a tripod. They split up, walked around the craft. One of the men apparently tried to get on the craft, but, they said, it levitated up.

"All three of the guys hit the ground as the craft moved quickly in a zigzagging manner through the woods toward the field, hitting some trees on the way. They got up and approached again, but the object rose up, and then it disappeared at great speed.

"Finally, on January 13, 1981, I wrote a memo to the British Ministry of Defense. Despite my efforts, to my knowledge, no one from any intelligence or government agency ever came on base to investigate.

"I have never sought the limelight, nor have I hidden. I stand to receive no financial benefit from this interview but consented because it's time the truth came out. I don't know what those objects were. I don't know anybody who does. But something as yet unexplained happened out there."

Update: In 1983, a copy of Halt's memo to the British MOD was released through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Shortly thereafter, a copy of the 18-minute audiotape of the investigation Halt conducted was given to a British UFOlogist by, Halt says, another Air Force officer. Both have made the rounds within the UFO community.

As a result, Halt says he has been "harassed" by UFOlogists and fanatics. While half a dozen men assisted Halt's investigation and dozens of others were near the scene, only a handful of witnesses have come forward. At least one of them, Halt says, is spreading disinformation; consequently, media coverage has been inaccurate at best. For instance, he says, "The stories about holographiclike aliens emerging from their craft are pure fiction."

Official Response: "The Air Force stopped investigating UFOs in 1969 when Project Blue Book was completed," says Air Force spokesman Maj. Dave Thurston, based in Washington, DC.

The Critics' Corner: "The UFO you hear described on the audiotape was almost certainly the lighthouse beacon in my opinion, because the peak interval between their descriptions of it getting brighter, then dimmer, is the time of rotation of the beacon, which was about ten miles away," says UFO skeptic Philip Klass. "Even though they said they saw numerous lights in the night sky, one of every three UFOs reported turns out to be a bright celestial body."

"Bentwaters is a case of magical thinking--a situation where a bunch of people got excited about different things they correlated in their mind," says UFO investigator James McGaha, technical consultant to the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal and a retired Air Force pilot, who traveled to England, surveyed the area, and interviewed various people. "Consider these facts: On the night of December 25 to 26, at 9:10 p.m., Russian satellite Cosmos 746 reentered the atmosphere over England and appeared as a bright object. At 2:50 a.m., a fireball entered the atmosphere over Woodbridge. At 4:11 a.m., a British police car with a blue strobe light on top and other lights attached to the undercarriage responded to a telephone report and was driving on the dirt roads through the forest.

"Halt's memo reports that on the second night, they saw two objects in the north, one in the south. On that night, three of the brightest stars were visible--Vega and Deneb in the north, Sirius in the south. And clearly, the strange red light mentioned on the audio tape is the Orford Ness Lighthouse beacon. Beyond that, the morning after the first night, British officers identified the indentations as rabbit diggings. The Geiger counter readings were of background radiation. Nothing appeared on radar that night, either, and no one in either base tower reported anything unusual. Furthermore, no civilians reported seeing or hearing anything.

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