FeaturedGovernment/MilitaryUFO NewsUFO Sighting Reports

USAF police officer’s UFO claims refuted by deputy base commander

The claims of a security police officer, who says he witnessed a famous UFO sighting while in the U.S. Air Force (USAF) in 1980, are being called into question by Charles Halt, the deputy base commander at the time. Halt wrote an official  memo that made it into the public outlining the events of two UFO sightings in late December, 1980. The second sighting Halt witnessed himself. However, he says he has spoken to the supervisor of the USAF police officer, and this new witness was not in the places he claims to have been on the nights of the UFO events.

Charles Halt in 1981.
Charles Halt in 1981.

The sightings took place in the Rendlesham Forest, which is outside of the gates of two Royal Air Force (RAF) bases in the UK that were on lease to the USAF. In his memo, dated January 13, 1981, Halt writes that in the early morning of December 27, 1980, “two USAF security police patrolmen saw unusual lights outside of the gate at RAF Woodbridge.” The on-duty flight chief allowed three men to investigate the lights, and they reported seeing a triangular metallic object that eventually disappeared.

Halts claims, the next day, December 29, 1980, three depressions were observed in the ground in the area the object had been seen. He also reported that radiation levels were higher in the three depressions and on a nearby tree than they were in the rest of the area.

Halt goes on to describe that later that night a “red sun-like light was seen through the trees.” He said the object broke into five white objects and then disappeared. Soon after, “three star-like objects” were seen in the night sky. They changed color and moved erratically. They also beamed a light down periodically. These objects were seen by Halt and others, and were in the area for two or three hours.

Memo written by Col. Halt related to the incident that was leaked to the press.
Memo written by Col. Halt, related to the Rendlesham Forest incident, that was leaked to the press.

Halt had a tape recorder taken out into the field that night, so the event was also caught on audio tape.

Since the incident took place in the forest outside of the base, it was in the UK’s jurisdiction, so Halt was asked to write the memo outlining the events and send it to the RAF. Halt says, “The decision to call it a British event/problem was made by the Third AF Commander Major General Bazley after hearing my tape at the Weekly Senior Commander briefing the following Wednesday (Williams played my tape for the staff).”

Several witnesses have come forward claiming to have been there, and/or have seen the lights, since. The first was a man named Larry Warren, who has been a controversial figure. His claims have differed from other witnesses.

Steve Longero
Steve Longero

Earlier this month, we posted an interview of a man named Steve Longero, who says he was also a USAF security police officer and he had also been there during the UFO sightings. His claims made news recently, and we posted an interview with Longero by UFO researcher and author, and frequent OpenMinds.tv contributor, Philip Mantle.

Mantle says he spoke with other witnesses to verify Longero was stationed at the base at the time. Mantle then sent his interview to a several news outlets, but he says he, nor Longero, expected it to get as much attention as it did.

In the interview, Longero admits he cannot remember everything, but he says he was stationed at nearby RAF Bentwaters, the base on the other side of the forest. He said his job was to patrol the perimeter of the weapons storage area. He claims that on the night of the sighting alarms went off and he could see bright lights over the treetops. He says he then went into the forest and remembers seeing the flight chief, Warren, and a couple of the other witnesses, Jim Penniston and Edward Cabansag, in a field in the forest. Longero says he was in the forest for an hour or two, but only saw the lights for about 15 minutes. He also remembers Halt showing up later.

Welcome sign at RAF Bentwaters. (Credit: Philip Mantle)
Welcome sign at RAF Bentwaters. (Credit: Philip Mantle)

Longero claims that a couple of days later he was ordered not to talk about the sighting and that agents of the Office of Special investigations (OSI) were also present then.

Halt feels Longero has gotten all the facts wrong, and has communicated with me the details to set the record straight. To begin with, Halt has spoken with the flight chief, and as stated in his memo, only three men were allowed to leave the base to investigate the lights on the first night. He confirmed that Longero was on duty the first night, but he would have gotten in trouble had he left his post.

The three men who did enter the forest were Penniston, Cabansag, and a man named John Burroughs. These three men have come forward, and their accounts are well documented. We have several interviews with Penniston and Burroughs here on OpenMinds.tv, and they have both presented at the International UFO Congress.

Halt also took issue with several other of Longero’s statements.

“Steve claims all the alarms in the WSA [weapons storage area] went off.  That’s nonsense. If that had happened, there would have been a response to behold, it would have even been up channeled,” Halt explained. “No one else mentions alarms and I read the Law Enforcement and Security Blotters every morning and no mention was made of even a single alarm. Steve has commingled the first and third night.”

Halt has recalled many times, and it is in his memo, he was not there the first night. In fact, in several interviews, Halt has said he was skeptical of the UFO claims made the first night and did not expect to see anything out of the ordinary when he went out on the night of the second UFO sighting. So, Longero could not have seen Halt the first night.

From left: Nick Pope (Ex-UFO researcher for the British Ministry of Defence), James Penniston, Charles Halt. All three will be participating in the 2011 Internationl UFO Congress. (image credit: James Fox)
From left: Nick Pope (Former UFO researcher for the British Ministry of Defence), James Penniston, and Charles Halt. (Credit: James Fox)

Halt says Warren was not there that night either, and has said so himself. According to Halt, others have confirmed that Warren was in the dorm that night.

Halt also points out, “Longero was posted miles way at RAF Bentwaters and could only know what he heard on the police radio.”

As for the night Halt was in the forest, he says Longero was not on duty that night and was not there.

1980 was a long time ago, and it could be that Longero is not remembering the events correctly. He may have seen the light overhead on the second night while on base.

Halt speculates that Longero could be trying to help Warren. Warren was the first person to talk to the press about the events in the Rendlesham Forest. However, Halt has disagreed with many of the claims made by Warren, and in Mantle’s interview, Longero does claim to know and like Warren.

Halt says he never wanted to get involved with this UFO case in the first place, but once the memo and the audio recording were leaked to the press, he felt the need to set the record straight.

When details of the events of those nights comes out that is not accurate, Halt often feels compelled to speak up. He says, “As someone that didn’t want to get involved, was thrust into it and only reluctantly spoke out to get the truth out, it’s frustrating.”

Halt has a new book out titled The Halt Perspective. It is available on Amazon. He says people can read the book to get accurate details on the events of those nights. Halt will also be presenting this February at the International UFO Congress.

Alejandro Rojas

Alejandro Rojas is a radio host for Open Minds Radio, editor and contributing writer for Open Minds magazine as well as OpenMinds.tv. For several years Alejandro was the official spokesperson for the Mutual UFO Network as the Director of Public Education. As a UFO/Paranormal researcher and journalist, Alejandro has spent many hours in the field investigating phenomena up close and personal. Alejandro has been interviewed by media organizations around the world, including the largest cable and network news agencies with several appearances on Coast to Coast AM.

Related Articles


  1. Alejandro,

    So what’s the deal with Warren? Is is coming out with a book of his own or is Longero?

    Seems that someone is always trying to make a buck selling their UFO story.

  2. Man, Penniston’s story is pure disinformation. If you believe that rot I’ve got a nice bridge for sale in Brooklyn … telepathic messages, alien hieroglyphics … come on … Halt is credible, but how do you parse the real information from the pure fiction?

  3. Rendlesham Rolls On
    Philip Mantle
    In an article in OpenMinds written by Alejandro Rojas Colonel Halt (USAF retired) commented on the interview I did a few weeks ago with Steve Longero.
    Basically Colonel Halt has dismissed the claims made by Steve Longero and consulted with the supervising USAF police office in charge back at RAF Bentwaters in 1980. Is this USAF police officer Jim Penniston? Regardless of who it was I took the liberty of showing the above article to Steve Longero and asked him if he would like to respond. Reluctantly he agreed and I quote him here:
    “Hi Phillip! Now Halt is trying to say I wasn’t there? lol . Phillip on my kids I was there! That’s how I remember the events. These guys are incredible! At this point Phillip he is questioning my integrity! It was along time ago but that’s how I remember the events! Why hasn’t anybody else came forward to dispute what I said. That’s what I remember! I don’t want to get bitter or a pissing match! Really! This is getting out of hand! Lol. My opinion is the less of us that come forward the better it is for those who want to write books! Just sayin! Halt can also contact me! “
    I am not taking sides here and I would respectfully like to ask Colonel Halt to take up Steve’s offer and contact him direct. I will be happy to supply his contact details if so required.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button