Well known for it history of UFO sightings and hovering alien space craft, further mysterious events took place on Sunday 18th in Rendlesham forest. Several teams that set out to find a hidden transmitter were lost in a sea of bracken, strange lights and bad language.
It did not have to be like that. All you needed was the merger of three national teams, a Subaru Forester off-roader and a determination to stay on the fence!
Start signals to the sea wall at Manningtree were not strong for the B station, but good for the A. The plot for B going through a very large wood surrounding the now disused Woodbridge airbase. Most teams decided to take the A station first to avoid a long run out of the more distant wood. G0NXH was in a lovely spot on the north side of the Orwell Estuary at Sleighton Hill, Trimley St Martin. This steep sandy cliff had commanding views of boats sailing by on the river below. A number of teams though fancied the view from Shotley, just the other side. Not all used this excuse, but for one reason of another were delayed from finding Philip until 2.51 pm, with Ian Butson the first in, making short work of the otherwise tricky site. Rosie/Colin and Phil/George were right behind. Other teams made better use of the cover, aerial array and cliff face to explore the scenery before clocking in as a batch around 3.30 pm. Tim Parker coming in some ten minutes later behind son Gary. Meanwhile those who had gone to the forest first had mixed fortunes. Roy Enemy and Peter Larbalestier became the first two teams officially listed as missing in action, followed later by Ian Butson. George Whenham staggered into the radio beam laid down by Richard Whitney at 4.18 pm.
Too difficult, a near impossible event was the cry from the Unidentified Lying Objects lost in Rendlesham forest!
Fear not, the USAF had sent in the new ‘A’ team to show the world how it could be done. They attacked the airbase in strength outflanking the wood, bracken, snake and other defences. They first knocked out the machine gun post, went in low under the watchtower radar, skirted the main fence around the nuclear bunkers and forced Richard out into the open. He was dead and buried by 2.32 pm. Re-grouped the top guns of the ‘A’ team were extracted and led by Brian in the charge across the no-mans land between the Deben and Orwell estuaries. Approaching the cliffs they showed no mercy as they bluffed their way pass the long aerial, steep cliff paths and thorns, heading straight for the A transmitter, which they knocked off in a short burst just before 3.30pm. Easy.
The lost souls were eventually rounded up from Rendlesham forest and taken for rest and recuperation at the Essex Arms where tea, salad and ice cream were administered by nurse Caroline with entertainment from Colin.
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