THOSE RADIATION READINGS
IN THE BENTWATERS/RENDLESHAM CASE
(Are we all focused on the right thing?)
jc 1/7/2011: Discovery of some discrepancies
jc 7/2011 : CohenUFO exam of the Rendlesham case now complete and available.
It's an electronic book well-worth reading. What's on this page is minor in comparison.
In some emails around 6/1/2010, science writer Steuart Campbell and I had a brief, but interesting, exchange of thoughts regarding the 1980 RAF Bentwaters/Rendlesham case. One point in question concerned a comment Steuart made concerning something I had asked regarding radiation readings Halt's team had taken during the incident. My thinking for the moment was incorrect, but as it eventually turned out, it's possible I was giving importance to the wrong thing.
sc: The comment on radiation readings is incomprehensible. What does it mean?
jc: . . . . When you said he "thought" he found radiation traces, it was more than a thought. He used a Geiger counter and found solid radiation traces. Just wondering what the necessity was to diminish this fact?
sc: Have you read my analysis of this event in my book? It's clear from the tape recording that Halt made that he had no real understanding of a Geiger counter and what it was measuring. In fact it was measuring normal background radiation.
Well, after thinking about this for awhile, I asked myself whether it was possible Campbell had some knowledge and insight into this case I was lacking. _If_ he was correct, I _thought_ this could be an important point. I realized that it was certainly necessary for me to become more familiar with this aspect of the case.
Then, something happened yesterday that has given me (and perhaps others) good reason to take another look at this radiation thing.
As luck would have it, last night I was recording the James Fox documentary “I Know What I Saw”, so I could view it at a later date. It was playing on my set as it was recording. The program was an excellent presentation concerning the group of upper-level individuals who testified at the Washington Press Club in 2007 and included interviews with those individuals plus additional pertinent testimony from other sources.
Two of that Washington group, Halt and Penniston, had given testimony regarding their claimed contact with some type of vehicle which they claimed actually landed in Rendlesham forest. They claimed there was more there than simple lights.
While puttering around as it was recording on my video recorder, something happened to catch my ear. It was James Fox' interview of five star Admiral Lord Hill Norton, former Chief of Defense Staff (1970-77), as to whether or not Norton believed the two men.
Norton felt we had two possibilities; either everyone involved was hallucinating or it happened basically the way Halt reported. To quote Admiral Norton:
“That the Colonel of an American AF base in Suffolk and his merry men are hallucinating, when there are nuclear armed aircraft on the base, must be of defense interest. . . . If indeed, what he says took place did take place, . . . and why on earth should he make it up, . . . then surely, the entry of a vehicle from outer space, certainly not man-made, to a defense base in this country, also cannot fail to be of defense interest.”
Now, this is Admiral Lord Hill Norton saying this, not just some guy off the street. The Admiral's position concerning the issue of whether he believed Halt and Penniston in regard to their testimonies was quite clear. Please note, he _didn't_ say *They must have all been nuts* or *They were obviously hallucinating, seeing mirages, or had mistakenly identified a lighthouse.* Here is a person with better than average perspective and insight into these matters, since he had occupied the critical post of Chief of Defense Staff for seven or so years . . . . and yet he appears to be having thoughts similar to my own.(and perhaps yours) It is probably important for me to point out, I controlled myself from being swayed either way by Norton's statements since what he said still came from one individual, no matter what his previous experience and how well-credentialed, but then again, we cannot deny what he says does carry a certain degree of weight.
However, as the James Fox documentary progressed, I happened to hear and view something else concerning radiation readings which seemed possibly more significant in this regard. Fox then presented a segment in which he interviewed Nick Pope concerning that Bentwaters/Rendlesham case. Pope worked for the MOD (Ministry of Defense) and had investigated UFOs officially for the British government from 1991-1994, so his comments also have a degree of importance above the norm. What he had to say here made me realize there was a definite possibility Steuart's original point to me regarding Halt's abilities with a geiger counter may have actually been totally moot.
This is what was said during the interview:
J Fox: "Outside the parliament building I met with Nick Pope. He investigated UFOs officially for the British government."
Nick Pope: "I re-opened the (jc: Rendlesham) case and conducted a sort of cold-case review of the original investigation, and I was shocked to find a series of basic errors had been committed; exactly the same sort of errors that often fatally undermine a police investigation."
J Fox: Nick Pope shared with me some startling evidence from the ministry of defense's files.
Nick Pope: “This is one of the most important documents to emerge from the MOD's case files.”
. . . and Pope shows him the document.
“It's from an assistant director in (jc: district ?) 52. This is their assessment of the radiation readings at the landing site.”
“Now here is the key bit . . . these levels seem significantly higher than the average background, and In fact, I double-checked this with some other government scientists, It's about eight times normal. So this is absolute proof-positive, from the MOD's own documentation, that something extraordinary happened." (jc: bolding and italics above are mine)
One must ask, why Pope would put himself out on a limb like this, parading it in front of the public unless he was pretty certain of what he was saying? Then it dawned upon me . . from what he said in the Fox documentary, it is possible it may not matter what Halt knew or didn't know about geiger counter readings since, when I thought about it, I realized it is most likely Halt did not do the _final_ analysis concerning both his and Penniston's reports. It would seem logical _someone else_ would be tasked to go in there and prove or disprove what these men had claimed.
In Halt's 2007 Washington Press Club statement, one can see that Halt himself said the radiation they found was mild. It is most likely the people responsible for checking their story were aware of this and probably had Halt's tape and notes as well . . . but, none of this may matter at all. Would scientists be fooled by whatever Halt did or didn't do, even if he had done something wrong at the outset; Campbell wasn't . . . or is it more likely they went in there and got their own readings? Wouldn't a thorough check of their story be the most logical course of action when dealing with something of this potential magnitude? Additionally, would they have announced this investigation openly when they performed it or would it have been more clandestine . . . perhaps even to this day.
In the documentary's 2007 interview between Fox and Pope, Pope is video-recorded saying the readings they found were _not_ normal background radiation, but actually _eight_ times normal, and that Pope, himself, checked this point with government scientists. Was it possible secondary investigators had taken other readings? This researcher believes they probably would have. At that time, _if_ they had indeed found something significant, possibly higher up in the trees, that could explain both Steuart's statement concerning the felling of the forest in that general area and the people who think that felling could be significant. Unfortunately, the proof we need is gone with the trees.
So, what is more important here, Pope's revelation of that document he showed us, or Campbell's observation regarding Halt's geiger counter technique? In the process of determining this, one finds himself asking, which of the two gentlemen was closer to the official action and documentation concerning this case? Which would have the most significant information regarding Rendlesham? I believe the answer is obvious. (jc 1/8/2011: or possibly _not_ so obvious as per what I have written below the next URL. It is information which I discovered for myself concerning Pope's radiation testimony. This paragraph and the one following definitely need re-thinking and writing. I jotted in a couple of thoughts to myself.)
The bottom line is that, in considering Nick Pope's presentation on this, we can see that Campbell's comment regarding Halt and the radiation readings they first took at the scene _is_ most likely moot. (or not) . . . Is it possible we shouldn't get too hung-up on what Halt or his team didn't understand? Everyone can make up your own mind about this, but I believe it is more important to know what happened when secondary investigators went in there to check Halt and Penniston's claims. jc revised 2/18/2011: I believe Ian Ridpath says the MOD never went in there to check further. Check this _very carefully_ because I can't believe no one went in there to examine this. It was too important to just ignore. There _had_ to be something going on in the background that we just don't know about. If what I read in some research I did is correct and factual, the land (Rendlesham/Bentwaters) is owned by the UK but the bases were American. IF that is true, then the American's would have seen themselves as the _prime_ investigators on this since they would have had to feel it was _their_ bases that might have been compromised by what was being claimed. When one realizes the secretiveness that has accompanied American military investigations into certain cases in the past, this case most likely would fall into that secretive category. Pope's revelation seems to have come in November 2007, and the reviews for Campbell's book came out in 1994/95, so Campbell probably wouldn't have known about Pope's document at the time of the writing of "The UFO Mystery Solved." But, I am still going to read his book, if nothing else to see if he's has considered the possibility of secondary investigators. I believe this point is too important to ignore.
- - - end - - -
* * * jc 1/7/2011: N.B. Since I've always tried to make CohenUFO as accurate and factual as I could, and respecting the work others have done on this case, I need to make the following statement today so as not to jeopardize the rest of my research by anything I have written above. I do not claim to be an expert on the entire Rendlesham case. I read what Ian Ridpath has posted at his site concerning what Nick Pope has been saying regarding radiation at the claimed landing site, and Ridpath seems to have done an excellent job in this regard.
What I said in my article regarding the conversation Steuart Campbell and I had above is basically accurate to the case with some additional thoughts added by me, however as I was rechecking facts herein, I just viewed the YOU-tube video of Nick Pope talking about the radiation readings of the three depressions found at the claimed landing site. In it I watched scientist Frank Close disagreeing with what Pope was saying concerning those radiation levels. (N.B. Pope was saying that the radiation levels found were ten-times normal)
Interview #1 (London Weekend Television called "Strange But True – Live")
I have no disagreement with what Close said on that video concerning the geiger counter and this _does_ seem to directly counter what Pope is saying concerning the radiation at the three claimed-landing impressions.
In addition to that particular exchange between Close and Pope, I noticed something else wrong. There is another discrepancy between what Pope says on the "I Know What I Saw" interview below (radiation found was eight-times normal - thus disagreeing with himself from the London TV interview above, for whatever reason) and what Halt says in his written Washington Press Club statement (N.B. that they found mild radiation).
Interview #2 "I Know What I Saw" - James Fox Presentation (Provided by Ian Ridpath)
One can see, Halt's statement does _not_ fit with what Pope has been saying concerning the radiation. Since we obviously can't have it both ways, I am necessarily in the process of re-evaluating the radiation facet of this case and anything else Pope has been saying in regard to Bentwaters/Rendlesham. As a matter of fact, I'm looking over the entire case. At the very least, my last two paragraphs in the above post need a re-write. It is truly important to separate the wheat from the chaff in this extremely complex case.
jc 2/18/2011: The above does not mean I think this whole case is bogus. I'm just referring to the radiation portion. I've recently been digging into the testimonies and I believe they are something to really think about . . . and not necessarily against the reality of the case either. I'm working on it.
jc 7/30/2011: Holy smokes! I usually lean towards understatement, but I believe what I've just accomplished is really good. I've analyzed the testimonies and, in the process, accidentally discovered some weaknesses in Ian's presentation. This really surprised me. I wasn't expecting it. Although I'm not even completely finished writing my critique and/or framing it yet, it is together enough to put it on-line now. Click below. I believe it's up there with my analyses of Exeter and Belgium/Hallet , if not surpassing them. If you think it is good, please tell your friends about it.
jc 1/5/2014: Summation of what I found
Back to: Amateur Science Solves The UFO Mystery (Rendlesham)
Page from the website of: CohenUFO.org
Website Master Index