The Secret Files»
UFOs in History»
Despite these attempts to resolve the question of radar tracking, it was not until 1983 - two years after the events - when journalist and astronomer Ian Ridpath confirmed the correct date for the initial sighting with Suffolk Police that the MOD were finally provided with accurate information.
Ridpath wrote to DS8 at Whitehall on 14 November 1983 noting that police from Woodbridge had been called to the scene of the first sighting in Rendlesham forest at 4.11 am on 26 December 1980:
Ridpath asked for release of the MOD’s file on the case and suggested the whole case required a “re-investigation.” Having received Ridpath’s letter Pam Titchmarsh of DS8 wrote to Squadron Leader Moreland at RAF Bentwaters-Woodbridge asking if he could re-check the dates. Moreland’s reply, dated 25 November 1983 compounded the errors and demonstrated the complete lack of interest the MOD had in the events of 1980:
Even at this late stage the MOD refused to believe Ridpath, as Moreland continued to maintain that the dates in Halt's memo were correct!
The MOD’s assessment that the UFO events reported
to them by Lt Col Halt were of “no defence significance” was
flawed because their analysis of radar data was concentrated upon incorrect
If the Ministry could have been bothered to initiate a field investigation at the time, they could have ascertained the correct date and time from those directly involved in the sighting. Moreland’s letter of 25 November 1983 hardly provides evidence to suggest that an event of world-changing status had occurred at the base just two years earlier. It was such an important event that “no one here remembers it clearly.”
This suggests to us that the file contains evidence for a ‘cock-up’ rather than a conspiracy!