John Burroughs was born in Bloomington, Illinois in 1960, and joined the U. S. Air Force right after high school graduation. He received orders to go to RAF Bentwaters, England, and arrived in July 1979, about eighteen months before the highly strange encounters with lights, beams and craft in the Rendlesham Forest between RAF Bentwaters and nearby RAF Woodbridge the end of December 1980. During that time, John worked as an Air Force police officer and says nothing strange ever happened until after midnight on December 26, 1980.
Earlier, John had Christmas dinner with his landlord in Ipswich where he rented a room in a house and reported for his normal police duty at 11 PM. A little before 3 AM, he and his boss, Staff Sgt. Bud Steffens, arrived at the East Gate together and noticed blue, red, orange and white lights glowing in Rendlesham Forest that John had never seen before. Steffens and Burroughs drove out the East Gate as far as the road would go to the trees, felt static electricity in the air that made them both nervous and returned to the East Gate to call the law enforcement desk about something strange in the woods outside the base.
Then, Staff Sergeant James Penniston, the base security supervisor, got a call to go to the East Gate and brought along a new airman, Edward Cabansag. Sgt. Penniston called the 81st Police Squadron Shift Commander, Lt. Fred “Skip” Buran, and asked for an Eastern Radar check. Lt. Buran told Sgt. Penniston there was an object over the base and that “something had disappeared off radar.” That convinced Shift Commander Lt. Buran to give Sgt. Penniston permission to go off base to investigate. Sgt. Penniston asked Sgt. Steffens to go with him into the woods, but Steffens did not want to leave base property. So, John Burroughs volunteered to join Sgt. Penniston and Airman Cabansag. The three men traveled in a pickup truck from the East Gate toward the unusual, colorful lights in the forest.
Jim Penniston remembers approaching the lights, seeing a solid black, glassy, triangle- shaped craft on the forest floor resting on tripod legs. He photographed the craft, he drew sketches of it in his notebook and copied the odd symbols scratched into the black, glassy surface. He walked off the size at 9 feet by 6.5 feet. But John Burroughs, who was there with Penniston, does not remember any of that. Later, Jim Penniston realized that his notebook’s time line had 45 minutes of missing time. Further, Airman Richard Bertolino on Bunker Hill was listening to Sgt. Penniston’s radio transmissions until Security Control called for radio silence about an hour after Sgt. Penniston and the other men went into the forest. John Burroughs recently talked with Lt. Fred Buran who said radio silence was requested because Security Control lost all radio contact with Sgt. Penniston for about 45 minutes.
Right from the beginning, the men saw what they could not explain and something happened to the minds of those eyewitnesses – either in the forest, in military interrogations later on, or both. The results have been blank or confused memories and efforts to break through mental blocks.
For More See The Rendlesham Incident