Relive The First Night Of Britain’s Roswell

By John Popham

August 17, 2022

Ufo in the night sky
Photo: Getty Images

On December 26, 1980, the forest surrounding the Royal Air Force Woodbridge station in Suffolk, England was illuminated by flashing multicolored lights that fled when approached by investigating U.S. airmen.

Thus began what is known as Britain’s Roswell, or the Rendlesham Forest incident, three nights of unexplained phenomena and an encounter with what was described as a “craft of unknown origin.” The Strange Arrivals podcast narrates this unique story with the help of two eyewitnesses to the event.

“There was almost like a coloring in the forest,” said John Burroughs, a USAF security guard stationed at the base. “Like an orange-reddish, white light.”

USAF Sgt. Jim Penniston was summoned to investigate and after making contact with Burroughs and his supervisor, also saw what he described as glowing multi-colored and white lights from the forest by the East gate. Penniston got on the phone with base security who informed him the London radar station had lost track of a bogey nearby.

“That means it didn’t have a transponder on it and it was probably military,” he said. “That created the emergency situation, along with my visual sighting, that we had a possible aircraft downing.”

The situation gave the U.S. airmen stationed at the base permission to deploy on English soil to investigate the possible downed aircraft. Penniston, Burroughs, and Ed Cabansag, another USAF security airman, headed towards the crash site only to find that the light began running from the group.

“It was definitely mechanical in nature,” said Penniston in his report. “It moved in a zig-zagging manner through the woods and we lost sight of it again.”

Experience every moment of Britain’s Roswell on season two Strange Arrivals, hosted by Tony Ball. The podcast unravels history’s most famous cases of extraterrestrial encounters. Listen now on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you listen to podcasts.

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