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The "mystery of the lights" at the US air base is revealed

Added Mon, 18/01/2021
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Sat, 02/01/2021
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It all started in late 1980 at Woodbridge Air Force Base, writes Daily Mail. It was located in the English county of Suffolk and belonged to the American military. Among the pilots, a rumor began to spread about strange events that occurred in the forest located near the base. 

Pilot First Class John Burrows was patrolling the area at night when he saw flashing red and blue lights in the woods, shining from the East Anglian coast. Burroughs was no stranger to the air force base, but he had never seen anything like it before. His first thought was that a plane had crashed in the woods.

He immediately told several people about the incident, including sergeants Bud Steffens and Jim Penniston, and airman First Class Edward Cabansag. While Steffens was on duty at the gate, the other three drove to the spot where the lights were seen. With each passing minute, the glow became brighter and more diverse — white and yellow were added to the red and blue flashes. 

The men who arrived at the scene were surprised: there was no flame, which could presumably be the source of the lights, or traces of the plane crash. The atmosphere in the forest was strange and frightening: according to eyewitnesses, the area then seemed dead — there were no rustles, sounds of birds or animals. Communication with the base in this place worked poorly.

After returning Burroughs and Penniston brought a team of U.S. Air Force investigators to the scene, including Lieutenant Colonel Charles Holt. When they made a detailed inspection and noticed dents in the ground, broken branches and burn marks on the trees, there was a sudden flash of light. 

"It reminded me of an eye," Holt recalled, " and it looked like it was blinking. The object maneuvered horizontally between the trees, periodically moving vertically. When it approached, it retreated."

According to Holt, no one knew what it was. A warning? A signal? A weapon?

"I have no idea what exactly we saw," the lieutenant colonel later recounted, " but I know that everything we saw was under reasonable control."

For years, UFO supporters and skeptics have been fiercely arguing about what happened in the forest in late 1980.

Among the most reasonable explanations was the following: the pilots must have seen the rays of the lighthouse Orfordness, located 8 km away. When viewed from an angle, the light appears to pass through the trees, flashing just above ground level. The lighthouse also has two red lights on the antennas.

The dents or depressions that allegedly appeared due to the UFO tripod were actually rabbit holes, and the burn marks on the trees were left by foresters. Faulty radios were attributed to an error in the equipment, and everything else was called a delusion caused by fear and overactive imagination.

Other skeptics believed that collective hallucinations were to blame. They could be caused by psychotropic drugs that (according to one outlandish conspiracy theory) were administered to personnel at air bases without their knowledge or consent. More reliable is the assumption that the lights that the men noticed were created by a meteor shower.

Another speculative theory was put forward by the writer and specialist in the study of UFOs Nick Redfern. He assumed that the US military was experimenting with ways to use ball lightning as a weapon, and the pilots just witnessed one of these experiments. It was believed that lightning could be created artificially, after which its movement could be controlled using lasers.

Perhaps the most interesting explanation was discovered by enthusiast David Clarke after he received a letter from a former SAS soldier (Special Air Service, Special Air Service — a unit of the British Armed Forces) a few years ago.

According to the letter, in the past, the US government has refused to acknowledge the fact that the Woodbridge base was a nuclear site where American warheads were stored. At the same time, the threat of penetration of enemy spies there has always existed.

To test how vulnerable the airbase was, the British SAS group repeatedly raided, demonstrating weaknesses in the fortifications. 

One night, in August 1980 (that is, a few months before the strange lights appeared), the group entered the base from an airplane. They had black parachutesso that the watchers couldn't see them. But the American equipment was more sensitive than the British had anticipated. When the SAS soldiers landed inside the Woodbridge perimeter, they were arrested and dragged away for questioning.

The interrogation lasted about 18 hours and took place with obvious aggression-people were beaten and repeatedly accused of being "aliens" (probably with schadenfreude). The SAS soldiers were not released until the British Ministry of Defence demanded their release.

That's what one of the SWAT team members, who called himself Frank, told Dr. Clark: 

"Since they called us aliens, we decided to show them what aliens really look like."

The soldiers who wanted to take revenge carefully thought out the joke: they set up colored lights and flares around the forest. Black helium balloons were attached to the radio — controlled kites, buzzing over the treetops.

In the days after Christmas, when the SAS correctly guessed that the soldiers inside the base might be more relaxed and unprepared for this kind of joke, they decided to pull it off. 

Everything went even better than SAS employees could have expected. They hoped to scare a few naive American pilots who were nervous about being left alone in the woods. But in fact, they managed to convince a lieutenant colonel of the US Air Force that he had survived a UFO encounter. 

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