Another voice has been added to the witnesses that say they were present during the Rendlesham Forest UFO Incident of 1980, corroborating reports of the United Kingdom’s most famous UFO sighting. A former United States Air Force (USAF) security police officer now says that he was there when the military went into the forest to investigate a mysterious light, which he describes as being “not of this world.” He was also told by his superiors not to speak of the incident.
Open Minds reported this week that former USAF security police officer Steve Longero, who was stationed at Bentwaters Air Force Base (adjacent to Rendlesham Forest in England) in 1980, was interviewed twice via phone by Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) researcher Philip Mantle and disclosed for the first time that he was witness to the extraordinary events that allegedly occurred in and around the forest that later became known as the Rendlesham Forest Incident, arguably the UK’s most infamous UFO episode. Longero, now retired from the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office since 2012, recounted that his stint at Bentwaters Air Force Base was his first duty posting and after the UFO incident, it was the talk of the base.
“Yes. I was in the forest, I saw the lights, heard the conversations, talked about it and was told to be quiet! My roommate was Ed Cabansag! I really never talked about it to Penniston and Burroughs but I was there! Warren can tell you! Yes we were debriefed and told to keep quiet!”
Longero said he was pulled from his assignment, “patrolling the flight line and the weapons storage area,” the night of the incident (December 26, 1980) after alarms went off on the base. He remembered seeing “all these bright lights” above the tree tops. “It was hard to take in. Well, from what I remember, the lights, fluorescent lights, kind of a glow, like a reddish glow.” He said that he was transported out to the forest and would remain there for one or two hours.
The former security policeman told Mantle that while in the forest, it was very quiet even though there were “a lot of men out there.” As the military personnel watched, Longero said the lights, which glowed red and green as is if “the thing” were hot, seemed to be “watching us.” But it was there for only 10 to 15 minutes, he said, before it disappeared.
Longero noted that Woodbridge Air Force Base (sister base to Bentwaters located on the other side of Rendlesham Forest) deputy commander Lt. Col. Charles Halt “turning up” after the site in the forest had been secured. It was then that he and the other witnesses were told that the incident would not be discussed.
He remembered that everyone was debriefed within the next couple of days and had been ordered by then Staff Sergeant James Penniston to “stop talking about it.” Personnel were then called in individually and told not to talk about the incident, and were told that their silence was important due to the nuclear weapons reportedly housed at the base, and were then asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
When asked by Mantle if he thought that what had been seen was the nearby lighthouse at Orford Ness (which has been used to explain the strange lights observed over the several days that comprise the Rendlesham UFO Incident), the former police security officer scoffed at the idea. “Not unless the lighthouse could move,” he laughed.
“Unless they could float that thing in the air.”
He said the strange phenomenon then “all of a sudden it just disappeared, like something out of ‘Star Trek.'”
So what did former USAF Security Police Sergeant Steve Longero, honorably discharged in 1984, think he saw in the forest that night? Was it a UFO or something more mundane?
“I think it was something not from this world. Just because the way it hovered and just the way it disappeared. That’s what I think. That’s what I’ve always thought.”
The Rendlesham Forest UFO Incident, also known as Britain’s Roswell, is an unexplained series of sightings and reports over several days in late December 1980 that is considered by a number of conspiracy theorists and UFO researchers as a government cover-up of an encounter with a UFO. Over the years, several military personnel associated with Bentwaters Air Force Base have come forward to report sightings of such a UFO in the forest at the time. These witnesses included the aforementioned sergeant, James Penniston, and Airman Edward Cabansag, who, along with Airman John Burroughs, all of whom have stated they saw an unusual craft. Steve Longero’s account corroborates the eyewitnesses’ testimony of what occurred at Rendlesham, including that of the much maligned Rendlesham whistleblower Larry Warren, a security police officer with Longero at Bentwaters who, as Longero attested in the interview, was there during the initial investigative portion of the incident.
The Rendlesham Forest UFO Incident was finally acknowledged by the British Ministry of Defence in 2001, according to researcher Ian Ridpath, but only to the extent that the incident was never investigated because it was never a matter of national security. He, among others, maintain that there are rational explanations for the events the occurred in 1980 and those explanations do not include a UFO.
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