In 2010 June, Charles Halt wrote and signed a two-page affidavit in which he committed to paper his current memory of the events of the night of 1980 December 27/28 in which he was involved (click for enlargements):
Unfortunately, this product of his 30-year-old memory differs so substantively from what he said and wrote at the time, on his tape recording and in his memo to the MoD, that it would be destroyed in a court of law.
The most obvious inconsistencies are as follows:
- 1. In Paragraph 6 of the affidavit Halt reiterates his claim first made over a decade after the incident that the Orford Ness lighthouse was as much as 40 degrees to the right of the unknown light. (At the time of the incident, no mention was made of the lighthouse at all, just an unidentified flashing light.) As maps and photographs of the site make clear, from Halt’s position at the edge of the forest the lighthouse was not 40 degrees to the right. Rather, as the skeptics have long pointed out, it was almost in line with a farmhouse across the field in front of him, the same direction in which he saw his unknown light. His claim that the lighthouse was as much as 40 degrees to the right of the UFO is unfounded.
- 2. Paragraph 7 refers to three objects in the northern sky. But we know from Halt’s memo and tape that there were only two objects to the north, not three, and one to the south. Halt’s error is clearly a failure of memory, one of many throughout the affidavit. In the memo the three objects were described as starlike, a description missing from the affidavit. I have written more about these objects here. [Note: In a statement to a press conference in Washington DC on 2010 September 27, the number of objects described by Halt went up to ‘three or four’ in the north and two in the south, confirming that his story is growing with the retelling and cannot be trusted.]
- 3. According to Paragraph 8, one of the starlike objects supposedly moved overhead and sent down a laser-like beam to their feet. Halt has told this astounding tale in many interviews, but this astonishing occurrence is missing from the memo and tape. Instead, the memo and tape simply refer to the objects as being about 10 degrees off the horizon, nowhere near overhead. Although Halt describes the object to the south as apparently beaming down lights, there is no mention in the memo or tape of a beam of light coming anywhere near them. It seems that this part of the story is a more recent elaboration on Halt’s part.
- 4. In Paragraph 9 Halt says that this same object moved back towards Bentwaters and sent down beams of light into the Weapons Storage Area. But according to his memo and tape the object he is referring to remained in the south, over Woodbridge, not Bentwaters to the north. This part of the affidavit is in clear contradiction of the facts. Halt should have checked what actually happened before committing himself to paper in a notarized document.
- 5. Also in Paragraph 9, Halt refers vaguely to ‘several airmen present’ who supposedly told him that they saw the beams. However, he neglects to mention that airman Tim Egercic, who was on duty at the Bentwaters Weapons Storage Area at the time, has specifically denied that any such beams came down into the WSA. Elsewhere, Halt has claimed that his superior officer, Col Ted Conrad, also saw the lights. However, Conrad has said that he was watching from outside his quarters at Woodbridge but saw nothing that resembled Halt’s descriptions. This whole part of Halt’s story seems to be at odds with the facts.
- 6. There is no evidence to support any of the statements in Paragraph 11. Halt’s superior officer at the time of the events, Col Conrad, has been scathing of his claims, saying: ‘He should be ashamed and embarrassed by his allegation that his country and England both conspired to deceive their citizens over this issue. He knows better.’ (For this, and more, from Conrad see here.)
If the purpose of this affidavit was to add credibility to the events of the Rendlesham Forest incident, its effect has in fact been the opposite. It should now be clear that Col Halt’s later pronouncements on the case are at odds with the facts and cannot be taken seriously, although they provide entertainment value for those who wish to believe in the incredible.
Content last revised: 2021 January
© Ian Ridpath. All rights reserved