Suffolk

Rendlesham UFO incident: Sculpture to be installed at forest site

Olivia English and Nigel Turner with the Rendlesham Forest UFO sculpture
Image caption The UFO model has been built using galvanised steel and painted black

A 'UFO' has been built to mark the spot where an alleged landing took place in one of the UK's biggest UFO mysteries.

In December 1980, there were reports of phenomena in Rendlesham Forest, Suffolk near a United States Air Force base.

The Forestry Commission has created a metal interpretation of a UFO to add to its trail which commemorates the alleged sightings.

The commission said the sculpture was "impartial" and did not seek to answer the mystery.

Image caption Olivia English and Nigel Turner visited RAF Woodbridge's East Gate where reported sightings were made
Image caption Three logs currently mark the spot of the alleged landing site in Rendlesham Forest
Image caption Olivia English said the symbols on the model were "no secret code - it's art"

The 'Rendlesham Incident' took place over three nights starting in the early hours of 26 December 1980.

Two US servicemen claimed to have seen lights outside the perimeter fence at RAF Woodbridge.

Since then, many books and internet sites have been filled with conflicting theories about whether it was an alien visitation, a military aircraft, the beam from Orfordness Lighthouse or natural phenomena.

The Forestry Commission opened a UFO Trail in 2005 and placed three logs in a clearing where witnesses claimed a craft had landed and disappeared.

The new UFO will be placed in the same clearing.

Image caption The Forestry Commission's UFO Trail leaflet has a disclaimer about reported UFO sightings

Nigel Turner, recreation manager at Rendlesham Forest, said: "Clearly something happened - there's a party who believe it was something military, there are people who believe it was extraterrestrial activity and we respect all opinions.

"We think it will fit in well, because it offers a goal for people completing the trail and also give an insight into our timber-growing and conservation work."

Olivia English designed the UFO sculpture and said it was based on one of the servicemen's sketches and other descriptions of sightings in the forest.

She said: "The design is really about trying to find a middle ground and remaining impartial and creating an interpretation.

"The symbols on the side of the UFO were originally part of the trail, but we've recycled them to add another dimension. There's no secret code - it's art."

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