Rendlesham Forest UFO just an Apollo capsule?

Over the years, lots of explanations have been given for UFOs, many of them as ridiculous (if not more so) than the extraterrestrial visitor explanation. Weather balloons, swamp gas, stars, Venus, the Moon, mass hallucinations. These have all been bandied about as explanations for craft witnessed in our skies doing extraordinary things. But one event that has defied rational explanation since it occurred is the Rendlesham Forest UFO incident. The link will explain it in better detail than I can here, but to make a very long story very short, numerous military personnel stationed at the the Bentwaters and Woodbridge military installations witnessed strange craft over multiple nights, including a landing and markings on the grouns where the craft landed.

The main “rational” explanation for these sightings over the years has been that the soldiers just mistook the Orford Ness lighthouse for a UFO, because the lights through the trees would be mistaken by military men for an extraterrestrial spaceship. Yeah.

But now a BBC reporter is putting forth his theory: that the military servicemen actually stumbled upon an Apollo capsule that was dropped by a helicopter. From BBC News:

apollo, ufo, rendlesham, bentwaters, woodbridge, halt memo
Did high-ranking military personnel in charge of nuclear weapons during the Cold War mistake this for an alien spacecraft? I sure hope not…

Thirty years after claims that UFOs had been spotted in Rendlesham Forest, experts and enthusiasts still can’t agree on what happened.

Mysterious craft and lights around the airbases of Woodbridge and Bentwaters in Suffolk were reported around Christmas 1980.

BBC Suffolk’s Mark Murphy presented a special 30th anniversary radio show from the forest in December 2010.

Mr Murphy promoted his favourite theory, but questions remained.

Mark Murphy’s favourite theory is that a dummy Apollo capsule was being carried through the forest by a helicopter.

Some claim that the 67th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron based at RAF Woodbridge had a specific job of picking up spy satellites.

Graham Haynes, manager of the Bentwaters Cold War Museum (BCWM), said: “Apollo is the most plausible explanation. It’s about the same size as a lot of descriptions of the UFO.

“They’d usually go out into the Deben or just off the coast at Bawdsey, drop the module into the sea and practise recovering astronauts from the module.”

However, there remains the grey area of whether, and why, a helicopter might be carrying the module around on Christmas day, but to some it is the most plausible theory.

The US government has not commented on whether a helicopter flight took place.

Some think airmen sent it up as a joke to add some ‘evidence’ of a craft to the sightings of strange lights.

Errol Frost, from BCWM, said: “The 67th, being hoaxers and technical jokers, thought they could make a UFO case.

“Being Christmas, everyone’s merry, and that’s where it started.”

Mr Haynes said: “The first row of landing lights at Woodbridge were damaged that day.

“It’s possible the capsule hit those lights, it started to sway under the helicopter and the pilot, thinking he was in trouble, decided to jettison the capsule.”

The capsule would then have been recovered from the forest a day later.

This theory is used to support the discovery of three marks on the ground in the forest which some claim tally with the tripod feet on the capsule.

Again, I’m not saying that what these airmen saw back in 1980 was an extraterrestrial spacecraft. But whatever they saw was definitely weird and not something they could identify. I’d like to think that military personnel would be able to identify a space capsule from the 1960s. They said it markings on it, and if it did, one of those marking would probably have been an American flag.

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