Rendlesham UFO : The Satellite Re-Entry Explanation

Jenny Randles, a well known researcher in the field of UFOlogy, suggested that the Soviet Cosmos 749 satellite was being jammed by the NSA at Orford Ness in an attempt to force it to crash out at sea. In fact the satellite had re-entered the atmosphere in September of 1980 some 3 months before the UFO incident at Rendlesham. The upper rocket stage of the Cosmos satellite had remained in a decaying orbit since its launch in 1975 and was the object seen burning up in the atmosphere.

This article from the New Scientist of January 1981 confirms that 3 shooting stars were seen over England on Christmas night. One being the Russian Cosmos rocket (not satellite) appearing over the English Channel 50km south of Brighton at 21:08 hrs. The article states that 6 brilliant white fragments travelled in line until breaking up and disintegrating over the Thames Estuary. It is possible that the fragments triggered a security alert at the RAF twin bases of Bentwaters and Woodbridge which then disappeared as they burnt out. The MoD's investigation included an inconclusive search for radar evidence that might have corroborated activity in the air. However the incorrect date on Halt's memo may have meant they were searching for data on the wrong day. RAF radar operator Nigel Kerr noticed a blip that stayed for three or four sweeps before disappearing after reports from Bentwaters Tower on Dec 26th. These blips can mean nothing. But this was the same time that reports were coming in from the USAF about a UFO.

The third shooting star or bright comet was reported as "10 times brighter than Sirius" and appearing at 2:45 hrs on Boxing Day. This is close to the time that John Burroughs, Jim Penniston and Ed Cabansag ventured out in the forest. However it is not known whether lights from the shooting star, comet and the satellite rocket may have been sighted at the twin bases and there is no real evidence to link this to a second night when further lights were seen by Colonel Halt and his team.

Some of the general public were fooled into reporting seeing UFOs on the night but did it fool the USAF airman?

The airbases are some 50 miles or so from where the Soviet rocket would have burned up. If they saw anything at all surely it would be so far away that it could not be confused with lights in Rendlesham Forest. Ian Ridpath however thinks the bright comet that appeared just before 3 am was a major factor in events.



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