The Lieutenant Colonel Charles Halt memo, also known as the Halt Memo or the Rendlesham Forest Incident memo, is a document written by Lieutenant Colonel Charles Halt, a former United States Air Force officer. The memo describes Halt’s experience investigating a series of strange lights and unexplained events in Rendlesham Forest, near the RAF Bentwaters base in England, in December 1980.
In the memo, which was written on January 13, 1981, Halt describes how he and a team of military personnel went into the forest to investigate reports of unusual lights. He states that they saw a “red sun-like light” and “multiple fluorescent, pulsing, multi-colored lights” that moved through the trees. He also describes how they found marks on the ground and trees, and how their Geiger counters detected unusual radiation levels.
The memo became widely known in UFO circles and was cited as evidence of an extraterrestrial encounter. However, the U.S. government has never acknowledged the incident as a UFO sighting, and some skeptics have suggested that the lights and events described in the memo were likely caused by military flares, natural phenomena, or other explanations.
Despite the controversy surrounding the incident, the Halt Memo remains a significant document in the history of UFO sightings and has been studied and analyzed by researchers and enthusiasts for many years.
Text from the Halt Memorandum:
SUBJECT: Unexplained Lights
- Early in the morning of 27 Dec 80 (approximately 0300L), two USAF security police patrolmen saw unusual lights outside the back gate at RAF Woodbridge. Thinking an aircraft might have crashed or been forced down, they called for permission to go outside the gate to investigate. The on-duty flight chief responded and allowed three patrolmen to proceed on foot. The individuals reported seeing a strange glowing object in the forest. The object was described as being metallic in appearance and triangular in shape, approximately two to three meters across the base and approximately two meters high. It illuminated the entire forest with a white light. The object itself had a pulsing red light on top and a bank(s) of blue lights underneath. It silently moved through the trees, avoiding any contact, and disappeared.
- At 0100L, a similar object was seen by patrolmen in the vicinity of the back gate. The object was described as being saucer-shaped and engulfed in a bright white light. It approached the gate at a high rate of speed. The object was no more than ten feet off the ground when it passed over the heads of the security police on duty. All three men were frightened by the object and one was burned on the face by its bright light. The object broke into five separate white objects and disappeared.
- On the night of 28 Dec 80, the security police again reported observing strange lights in the forest. This time, three patrolmen were dispatched to the area; two remained at a distance while the third approached the object. The object maneuvered through the trees and disappeared. At this point, the radiation level readings were taken with several [garbled] the readings were higher than normal. Shortly after this, the object broke into several white, pulsating spheres, which then disappeared. At 0110L, 29 Dec 80, the above listed personnel plus an additional patrolman returned to the site of the original sighting. This time, star-like objects were noted maneuvering over the forest in the vicinity of the Orford Ness lighthouse. The objects were blinking and pulsating in a sequence of colors. Red, green, and blue.
- The entire incident lasted approximately three hours. Sighting of the objects themselves lasted only five to ten seconds.