Mishara, Eric: Omni magazine, mars 1983
Three silver-suited aliens hovered above the ground in a beam of light and conversed with an American.
On the night of December 30, 1980, a spaceship supposedly crashed in the forest near the Bentwaters / Woodbridge Royal Air Force Base, a NATO installation in England. Three silver-suited aliens, each three feet tail and hovering above the ground in a beam of light, repaired the damaged craft while conversing with an American base commander. Four hours later, repairs complete, the spaceship shot off at tremendous speed.
A year later, local UFO buff Brenda Butler learned of the incident from two U.S. Air Force men stationed at the base. One claimed to be an eyewitness; the other said he had been dispatched to the scene after the spaceship lifted off and could offer only hearsay.
In fear of losing their jobs, both men asked Butler to hide their identity, but she couldn't help revealing the unlikely tale to her friend, housewife Dot Street, a member of the British UFO Research Association (BUFORA).
Intrigued, and hoping to confirm the report, the two women interviewed area foresters and farmers, who reported "strange lights and loud bangs" over the air base the day of the crash. They also met Woodbridge's British liaison officer, Squadron Leader Donald Moreland. He says "I told them I didn't know anything... and they went away."
But Moreland now concedes there was a "minor incident," one that he reported to the British Ministry of Defence, a couple of years ago. "There were a few lights flipping amongst the trees," he notes, "but any talk of humanoids is just absolutely ridiculous."
Colonel Ted Conrad, the base commander alleged to have spoken with the aliens, has a more dramatic version of the story: At 10:30 on that fateful night, he recalls, five Air Force policemen spotted lights from what they thought was a small plane descending into the forest. Two of the men tracked the object on foot and came upon a large tripod-mounted craft. It had no windows, but was studded with brilliant red and blue lights. Each time the men came within 50 yards of the ship, Conrad relates, it levitated six feet in the air and backed away. They followed it for almost an hour through the woods and across a field until it took off at "phenomenal speed."
Acting on the reports made by his men, Colonel Conrad began a brief investigation of the incident in the morning. He went into the forest and located a triangular pattern ostensibly made by the tripod legs. He claims that the never observed any aliens, but he did interview two of the eyewitness, and concludes, "Those lads saw something, but I don't know what it was."
Conrad's chat with his men was the only official probe ever mounted, and it seems unlikely that we'll ever learn more. But when Dot Street, of BUFORA, was asked whether she believed this incredible tale, she opined. "I'll stick me neck out and say yes." Street's colleague BUFORA director Jenny Randles ventured a theory of her own, however: The alien spaceship, she suggests, is just a fiction leaked by the U.S. Air Force to cover up the crash of a plane carrying nuclear bombs.