A man, George Taylor, claims he filmed a UFO event over "Britain's Roswell," the famous Rendlesham Forest in Suffolk, England, on Sunday, Jan. 25, while walking his dog. The video of the sighting was uploaded to YouTube on Jan. 26, 2015.
The 36-second footage shows three flashing balls of light in cloudy skies over Rendlesham Forest. It also shows a helicopter flying close to the lights and apparently chasing them across the sky to determine their source and nature.
Taylor, who said he was surprised because he had never seen "anything odd in all the years" he had lived in Rendlesham, posted the footage to YouTube, asking if anyone could tell what caused the lights.
"Spotted three balls of light in the sky yesterday afternoon (Sunday 25th Jan) whilst walking around Rendlesham Forest and couldn't believe what I was seeing! Had a very weird feeling that I shouldn't have been there."
"Quickly recorded it on the phone and have uploaded it to see whether anyone else witnessed anything similar yesterday too. Very strange! I know Rendlesham has a long history with UFO sightings but didn't really believe in it as I haven't seen anything odd in all the years I've lived here until yesterday! Regularly take my dogs for a walk around the area and have never seen anything as strange as this. Anyone have any idea what this may have been?"
Open Mind's Jason McClellan comments that the flashes of light were interesting because, while similar cases in the past were easy to explain as due to camera lens issues such as flare, this particular case is difficult to explain.
Despite the difficulty explaining away the flashes of light, he noted the need to rigorously examine its claim to authenticity.
However, Nigel Watson, a UFO expert and author of the UFO Investigations Manual, told U.K.'s Metro that the video could be a publicity stunt, part of a marketing campaign to bring the 1980 Rendlesham Forest incident back to public attention at a time that a new film about the incident was being released in February.
"If I was being cynical I'd say this is a stunt to give publicity for The Rendlesham UFO Incident – a new film being released in February. Like this video, it features helicopters and anomalous lights in the sky."Watson's suggestion led McClellan to note that the video was the only one on Taylor's YouTube channel and that the channel was apparently created on Jan. 26 to allow Taylor post his purported UFO sighting.
"Even if it is not a stunt not much detail of the lights can be seen and they could be all manner of mundane things rather than alien visitors."
"This can be an indication of a hoaxed video or a video that is part of some marketing campaign," he said.
But the fact that Taylor's YouTube channel was created for the video does not necessarily mean that the video is a hoax. Many people do not have a YouTube channel. But if a person films what he considers a significant video, he could decide to create one for the first time. Thus, it seems unfair to suggest that the video is a hoax simply because Taylor's YouTube channel was created to post the video.
But the coincidence of the release of the film The Rendlesham UFO Incident with the posting of the video is more compelling reason to believe that it could be part of a marketing campaign.
Rendlesham Forest was the location of the most famous case of UFO sightings in England. On Dec. 26, 1980, local police received calls late in the afternoon that people, including U.S. military personnel who were using a nearby military base at the time, were reporting multiple sightings of unidentified flying objects.
Responding officers reported seeing three small depressions in the soil at a forest clearing and burn marks on nearby trees that looked like a triangular flying object had landed in the clearing.
After some officials said there was no evidence of UFOs in the area, UFO enthusiasts accused government of trying to conceal information about what happened in the forest.
The opinion among UFO enthusiasts and conspiracy theorists that the government was covering up the truth about what happened in Rendlesham was strengthened by statements from some senior military officials, such as Deputy Base Commander Colonel Charles Halt and former NATO head and U.K. Chief of Defense Staff, Lord Peter Hill-Norton, who suggested that the U.S. and U.K. governments were keeping information about the incident.
Giving some of the details of the bizarre reports in connection with the Rendlesham incident, Watson said someone claimed he touched a UFO and had binary codes downloaded telepathically into his brain.
"In 2010, James Penniston, who was part of the team that approached the landed craft, claimed that when he touched the craft it telepathically downloaded binary codes into his brain. Coordinates in the code apparently indicate the position of Hy-Brasil, which is a mythical island off the west coast of Ireland."