Saturday, August 29, 2009
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Love and Light.
In our third online poll to find out what Plus readers would most like to know about the Universe, you told us that you'd like to learn about the secrets of dark matter and dark energy. We took the second part of the question — what is dark energy? — to John D. Barrow, renowned cosmologist and Professor of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Cambridge. Here is his answer. The first part of the question has been answered in Plus by Martin Rees.
And don't forget to vote in the current poll to nominate the next question to be put to experts.
What is dark energy?
Dark energy is a term that appeared a few years ago, to distinguish it from something called dark matter. We've known for a long time that there's a lot more material in the Universe than we can see shining in the dark. We know this because we can see that stars in galaxies are moving around more quickly than they would if the only source of gravity pulling them was ordinary matter. Typically, there needs to be around ten times more material in a galaxy than we can see on our photographic plates — the extra material has been called dark matter. Identifying what dark matter is actually made of is an interesting problem, but it's not unexpected that the Universe should contain dark material [see Plus article What is dark matter? to find out more].
Exploding stars reveal dark energy
This image shows the light curve and spectrum of a supernova that was recently observed in the Centaurus A galaxy (marked by the red arrow). Click here to see a movie of this supernova. Image courtesy the Supernova Cosmology Project.
But dark energy is something different. During the 1990s the Hubble Space Telescope and new detector developments in astronomy allowed researchers to see further than ever before in the Universe. They were able to see supernovae almost at the edge of the visible Universe. By photographing a region of the Universe twice at an interval of a week using telescopes on Earth, astronomers discovered that within this period many stars had exploded in supernovae. They then used the Hubble Space Telescope and ground-based telescopes to see how the light from the exploded stars varied as they reached their maximum brightness and then faded away.
What was very unexpected about these observations was that the characteristic signature — the light curve as it's called — of the brightening and dimming of these supernovae was exactly the same as the signature of a big class of supernovae which we could see locally and understand quite well. This told us that these very distant supernovae are intrinsically the same as nearby ones. The only difference in their appearance is that they look dimmer, simply because they are far away.
This gave astronomers an exciting new way of determining the distance to far away objects: if you understand a supernova's workings, you know its intrinsic brightness and so if you measure its apparent brightness you can deduce how far away it is. You can therefore extend what's known as Hubble's law to a far greater distance than ever before. Hubble's law describes the fact that, in our expanding Universe, the speed with which galaxies and stars are receding away from the Earth is proportional to their distance from us.
This led to an extremely unexpected and revolutionary discovery. As you go out far enough, the expansion of the Universe starts to speed up. Different research groups scrutinised this result in great detail and discovered that the Universe's expansion was indeed accelerating. And to explain that acceleration, around 70% of the Universe has to be in a form of mass and energy that's able to create the acceleration.
That's odd, because to create accelerated expansion you need an anti-gravitational effect. Ordinary material that just attracts things creates a deceleration of expansion. That's just Newton's law, which says that the gravitational force of attraction between to masses is one over their distance squared. So what was discovered here is a new part to the gravitational force which comes into play at very great distances. Also, it's not inversely proportional, but directly proportional to distance. So as the Universe gets larger, things move further apart and feel a greater repulsive force. Over small distances, in the laboratory or in the solar system, this repulsive force is too small to be measured. Only on the largest astronomical scales does it exceed the Newtonian attraction and create visible repulsive effects.
There are also other astronomical observations, apart from expansion, which support the existence of a repulsive force. For example, without it, we can't understand the temperature fluctuations in the radiation of the Universe, as observed by satellites. So there is a nice cross check here — even if we didn't have the supernovae observations, there would still be evidence that this repulsive force exists.
Scalar energy fields
The 70% of mysterious stuff in the Universe that acts repulsively in response to gravity is called dark energy. We don't know what it is, in the sense that we can't identify it yet as being a particular type of matter that is predicted by some part of particle physics. But there are many possibilities for what it could be, perhaps too many.
A Hubble Space Telescope image of the supernova 1994D on the edge of Galaxy NGC 4526. Image courtesy NASA.
There are forms of energy in particle physics which are called scalar fields. These represent the simplest type of energy there is. The only feature of a scalar field is the magnitude of its energy at each point in space; there is no directionality involved. An example of a scalar field would be temperature: if we're describing the weather, then temperature is something that can change with time and from one position to another, but it does not come with directional information. This is in contrast to the wind velocity, which has a direction attached to it, as well as a magnitude: it is a vector field. But a temperature map is a scalar field. If the temperature were the same everywhere, then we'd get a constant scalar field.
Likewise, in particle physics, a scalar field describes a form of energy whose only property is the magnitude at each point in space and time. The only features of a scalar field are how fast it is changing over time — its kinetic energy — and how it is interacting with itself — its potential energy. It's been shown that if scalar fields change slowly enough, so their kinetic energy is very small, then they can contribute the repulsive effects that drive the acceleration of expansion. So dark energy can be thought of as a relatively simple energy field that permeates space — we don't need new physics to describe the acceleration of the Universe, but we need to identify the particles or energy fields that are responsible for what we see.
Einstein's "biggest blunder": the cosmological constant
Back in 1915 when Einstein created the theory of general relativity, the first thing he did was to apply it to the whole Universe, to try and find what kind of universes would satisfy his equations. He found that with only the conventional type of gravity, his solutions predicted a Universe that was either expanding or contracting. But no-one had ever thought that the Universe could be changing in this way, so Einstein tried to suppress this change. He noticed that his theory allowed another component of the force of gravity to exist and exploited this to force the solution to his equations to be static: he balanced Newton's force of gravitational attraction with a repulsive component of gravity. The two components exactly balanced, so the resulting Universe was static.
Later on it was discovered that Einstein's static Universe was a bit like a pin balancing on its tip. If you displace it in any way at all it will fall over — it's unstable. Similarly, if you wobble Einstein's static Universe, or move anything within it, it will start to expand or contract. This instability made the static Universe rather unlikely, and by 1929 Edwin Hubble had indeed gathered sufficient evidence to show that the Universe was not static, but expanding. By that time Einstein had already abandoned the whole idea of a repulsive force, calling it the "biggest blunder of his life". He missed the opportunity to predict that the Universe was expanding. That was done by Alexander Friedmann and Georges Lemaître.
This diagram shows the changes in the rate of expansion since the Universe's birth 13.7 billion years ago. The curve changes noticeably about 6.3 billion years ago when expansion accelerated. Image courtesy NASA.
Today we know that the expansion of the Universe is in fact accelerating, and Einstein's repulsive force gives us another way of explaining the dark energy which drives the acceleration. Einstein's repulsive force is a very simple type of scalar field which doesn't change: its potential energy is just a constant, which has become known as the cosmological constant. The ordinary Newtonian type of attractive gravity was dominant early in the history of the Universe and the expansion was decelerating. But when the Universe got to about three-quarters of its present size, the repulsive form of gravity took over and the expansion started to accelerate. Today we are in the phase of the accelerating Universe. (You can read more about the cosmological constant in the Plus article Lambda marks the spot)
Particle physicists have a very different way of thinking of the cosmological constant. In quantum mechanics one often thinks of the vacuum state of a physical system. This doesn't refer to a complete vacuum where there is nothing there. In physics, a vacuum state is the lowest energy state a system can be in. For example, if you drop a marble into a curved bowl, it will roll down to the bottom: the marble lying at rest at the bottom of the bowl corresponds the vacuum state. Similarly, we expect the Universe to have a lowest energy, or vacuum, state, and its energy there is not necessarily zero. Physicists believe that the cosmological constant tells us what this vacuum state of the Universe is.
Albert Einstein in 1921.
The big shock is that the value of the cosmological constant, viewed from the vacuum perspective, is very strange. There is a way to express the vacuum energy as a dimensionless number, that is one that has no units attached to it. If you use the observations to evaluate it, you get a value of around 10-121 — that's about the smallest number anyone has ever thought about in science. But if you ask physicists to use their theories of particle physics to predict what the vacuum energy of the Universe should be, they will tell you that it's equal to one. So they get the wrong answer by a factor of ten followed by 120 zeroes — something is badly wrong somewhere!
Explaining why the dark energy field is present at all is a big challenge, but an even bigger one is explaining why it has such a strange value for its energy. Why did it come into play when the Universe was about three quarters of the way through its evolution to the present? If it had come into play minutely earlier, if the value had not been the observed 10-121, but 10-120, then we wouldn't be here. Once the Universe has started to accelerate, you can't make any galaxies anymore: material is pulled apart too quickly to condense and form galaxies. So we are rather fortunate beneficiaries of the fact that galaxies had formed before acceleration took over.
Of course it could all be a coincidence: there may not be deep reasons for why acceleration started when it did. There are theories of particle physics in which the creation of vacuum energy happens at random, rather like a needle balancing on its point: it falls in one direction or it falls in another direction, and whichever direction it happens to fall in determines the magnitude of the stress. Or there may be some deeper part of physics we don't know yet. String theory hasn't helped us in this respect so far, it hasn't told us anything useful yet about the cosmological constant. Trying to find a theory which can explain the dark energy is a big unsolved problem in physics.
How can we crack the dark energy mystery?
The strength of dark energy in our solar system or here on Earth is going to be fantastically small, so we have no possibility of carrying out experiments in the laboratory to detect its presence. But in astronomy there is the possibility of describing the nature of the dark energy scalar field in a little more detail. Is it a simple field, like Einstein imagined, where the density stays constant forever, or is it more complicated? By making more detailed observations of the effects of acceleration in the past, we might be able to draw up a historical development to see if the acceleration has changed over the last few billion years. Particle physicists don't seem as yet to have anything particularly new to say about dark energy and its origins within particle physics. Experiments planned at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN may help us in some unexpected way.
A representation of the evolution of the Universe over 13.7 billion years. The far left depicts the earliest moment we can now probe, when a period of inflation produced a burst of exponential growth. Image courtesy NASA/WMAP Science Team.
One tantalising possibility comes from the inflationary universe theory, which proposes that very early in the history of the Universe there was a period when its expansion accelerated. This caused all sorts of observable features. It's the same sort of phenomenon as the current acceleration, and the type of scalar fields you look to to explain early inflation, may also be creating this late acceleration effect. There could be a deep link here, for example the same scalar field, with periodic behaviour, could be responsible for both. There are many different theories for how inflation is implemented and there are quite a lot of theories as to how the present acceleration is driven and what dark energy is. So far there is no compelling way to link them together.
Is dark energy going to kill us?
The simple implication of the picture we see at the moment is that the Universe is going to expand forever. If the acceleration of the expansion continues, then things will be pulled apart more and more, no new stars and galaxies will form, old ones will die, and eventually all ways of processing information or creating complexity will be washed away — the Universe will become a rather uninteresting place. It's as though there is a habitable zone in time. You wouldn't expect life to be possible before the stars have formed because there would be no carbon, nitrogen or oxygen, and no planets. Similarly, you would be very hard-pushed to have life after all the stars have died. So we are in an interval in cosmic history in which the raw material is available to make complex biochemical organisms and in which there's a nice and stable thermodynamic environment provided by stars.
Of course there could be a big surprise: the dark energy may not be constant as Einstein thought, driving the acceleration forever. Joao Magueijo, Kate Land and I once developed a theory where the scalar field changed in a way that allowed the Universe to exit out of a period of acceleration. Or the scalar field could decay into something else at some stage, for example into ordinary radiation which has no repulsive gravitational effect. So the Universe could change gear again: expansion might decelerate a lot, causing the Universe to head back to a big crunch, or just a little, so that expansion continues forever. Either way, we see that until we understand the dark energy, we will not be able to predict the fate of the Universe with any confidence.
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Love and Light.
Part 1: 1980 RAF Bentwaters Lights and Craft
Were “Extraterrestrial In Origin”
© 2009 by Linda Moulton Howe
“I wish to make it perfectly clear that the UFOs that I saw
were structured machines moving under intelligent control and operating
beyond the realm of anything I have ever seen before or since. I believe
the objects that I saw at close quarter were extraterrestrial in origin ... ”
- Lt. Col. Charles I. Halt (Ret.), former Dep. Base Commander, RAF
Bentwaters, in June 25, 2009 press release from Gary Heseltine, PRUFOS
Click for podcast.
Lt. Col. Charles I. Halt described mysterious aerial light that emitted beam
down to the weapons storage facility (said to be nuclear) at RAF Bentwaters,
England, in the early morning hours of December 28, 1980. Illustration
by Jan Roth at www.rendlesham-incident.co.uk used with permission.
July 17, 2009 Wakefield, West Yorkshire, England - A press release dated June 25, 2009, was released on the internet and contained this startling quote by retired USAF Lt. Col. Charles I. Halt:
“I wish to make it perfectly clear that the UFOs that I saw were structured machines moving under intelligent control and operating beyond the realm of anything I have ever seen before or since. I believe the objects that I saw at close quarter were extraterrestrial in origin and that the security services of both the United States and England were and have been complicit in trying to subvert the significance of what occurred at Rendlesham by use of well-practiced methods of disinformation.”
That press release came from Gary Heseltine, a police officer and long-time UFO researcher. Col. Halt's unexpected assertion is about the extraterrestrial origin of what he and his military team encountered in the British Rendlesham Forest near RAF Bentwaters and RAF Woodbridge air bases in the early morning of December 28, 1980.
On left, Gary Heseltine meeting retired USAF Lt. Col. Charles I. Halt in England
for the first time in December 2007, during a documentary production for the American History
Channel about a series of UFO events at the joint U. S. and RAF Bentwaters AFB near
Rendlesham Forest, England, between the early morning hours of December 26
and December 28, 1980. Image provided by Gary Heseltine.
Gary Heseltine, 49, was born and raised in Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire, U. K. until age 23 when he joined the Royal Air Force in police security. He served for six years until 1989 and then left to work for the British Transport Police. There are forty-three county police forces in England, Scotland and Wales and there is one national police force that polices the railway network in the United Kingdom. For the past fifteen years, Gary has served as a plain clothes detective constable in the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).
Gary Heseltine in 1989 during his basic training for the
British Transport Police for whom he still works today as a plain clothes
detective constable in the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).
Photograph courtesy Gary Heseltine.
He sought out police work because of an experience he had when he was fifteen years old living in his home town of Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire, England.
Gary Heseltine, Detective Constable, CID (Criminal Investigation Dept), British Transport Police, Wakefield, West Yorkshire County, England: “My interest began when I was 15-years-old and I saw a UFO, for want of a better word. A light in the sky that seemed to trigger a number of power grid failures - all the lights went out, which is often attributed to the presence of UFOs.
That incident created my interest in the UFO subject, which has stayed with me. So, for the last 34 years, I have been very interested in the subject of UFOs so much so that by 2001, I wanted to become an active researcher. But the problem was that as a police detective, if a rape occurs, your time is not your own. You can work for hours and hours and hardly be at home. I had to come up with something I could research, but it would have to be on my own because of the hours and nature of the police job that I work.
And one day, I came up with the idea of police officers. I’d read about one or two police officers in several books and began to speculate that police officers have probably seen many, many strange things, but there is never an outlet or mechanism to allow them to come forward.
So, in January 2002, I created what is called the PRUFOS database, which stands for Police Reporting UFO Sightings. I started off with half a dozen sightings by a dozen police officers. After seven years of research, I’ve now got 300 reports dating back to 1901, involving over 700 British police officers. So, it’s grown a helluva lot!”
Example of PRUFOS Police Encounter
Gary Heseltine says that one of the most startling reports came from Police Constable Alan Godfrey in 1980, who watched a diamond-shaped aerial object suspended in the air above a road in Todmorden, West Yorkshire. Policeman Godfrey tried to turn on his police radio to call for help, but the radio was strangely dead. Then he got out of his police car, but was blinded by a bright, white light. PC Godfrey's next conscious memory was finding himself back in his car mysteriously moved to a different location down the road. The white light was gone. Haunted by the encounter, PC Godfrey sought hypnosis. What emerged was his description of being on a spacecraft with small, non-human entities examining his body. See: PRUFOS, Police Reporting UFO Sightings.
Gary Heseltine: “As a result of that database, I've become known within the UFO community and from time to time, I’ll be asked to take part in various television documentaries. And on one occasion in December 2007, the American History Channel was making a couple of documentaries in the U. K. - one about police officer sightings - so that’s why I was involved. And in the process of talking to their producer, I asked what else they were producing in England. They said they were going to make a documentary about Rendlesham Forest (the 1980 RAF Bentwaters encounters with lights and craft). I asked who else was involved and they said they were flying Col. Charles Halt from the U. S. to England.
Gary Heseltine Worked RAF Security
of Nuclear Weapons
My interest in the Bentwaters UFO incident stems from the fact that during my six years in the Royal Air Force, I served on two nuclear bases – one in the U. K. and one in what was then West Germany, protecting nuclear weapons and the layouts of the bases of which Bentwaters and Woodbridge were leased from the RAF with a very similar design to the bases that I had worked on in security protecting nuclear weapons.
I personally had always suspected that there must have been many more witnesses involved who have yet to be tracked down. So I said I had a theory because I worked on nuclear weapons bases – was there any way I could visit them on the Rendlesham production?
They said yes and I spent three days on the documentary down at Rendlesham and during that process spent a lot of time with Col. Charles Halt, whom I had never met before.
THAT WAS WHAT YEAR AND MONTH?
That was December 2007.
SO YOU WERE THERE AT THE SAME LIGHT AND TIME OF THE ORIGINAL EVENTS OF DECEMBER 26 TO 28?
I think that was the idea of the American History Channel.
COULD YOU JUMP TO THE MOST RECENT JUNE 2009 PRESS RELEASE FROM YOU CONCERNING A FILM YOU ARE NOW WORKING ON AND THAT YOU COULD READ FOR ME NOW THE STATEMENT THAT YOU INCLUDE IN YOUR RELEASE FROM COL. HALT?
Yes, just before I do that, I want to make perfectly clear that at this moment in time a film is not being made. What I have done, having met Col. Halt some nineteen months ago, is I asked him during those three days of TV production had anybody ever tried to write a film script about Rendlesham Forest? He said, ‘No.’ I said, ‘Well, I sort of do like to write. Would you allow me to write it, research it, and collaborate with you on it?’ And he said there and then, ‘Yes, I’ll help you in any way I can.’
So, basically what happened is that I went away for about four months and researched all the known documentaries, books, articles that had been put out about the events at Rendlesham. I created, using some of my police detective acumen, a very detailed time line of the events from literally the first night through to the point at which he sends off the Halt memorandum to the M. O. D. (Ministry of Defence). And then I went back to Halt and began asking him question after question and that happened for perhaps the next fifteen months until we got to a stage where the first draft script was complete and I put it to him and said, ‘Look. What do you think?’ He didn’t get that draft until December 2008 (half a year ago) when he got the first draft version. He read that and said it was great, he loved it and would fully endorse what was written.
And since Christmas 2008, we have been adapting it and tweaking things as you would do with any film script. So, what we have is a film script, which is available and (would like) to meet with film producers and that was the idea of putting out the press release in June 2009, to announce that there has been a collaboration between Col. Halt and myself and that we now have a workable film script that I believe is crying out to be made into a feature film.
You’ve asked me to read the quote, right? The press release that was put out the 25th of June and which was mutually agreed upon and which Col. Halt is very happy to go out with.
June 25, 2009 Press Release
by Gary Heseltine and Col. Charles Halt (Ret.)
Deputy Base Commander, RAF Bentwaters, U. K., December 1980
Col. Halt said: “I wish to make it perfectly clear that the UFOs I saw were structured machines moving under intelligent control and operating beyond the realm of anything I have ever seen before or since. I believe the objects that I saw at close quarter were extraterrestrial in origin and that the security services of both the United States and England were and have been complicit in trying to subvert the significance of what occurred at Rendlesham by use of well-practiced methods of disinformation.
“I believe Gary's script will lift a veil of secrecy about what really happened at Rendlesham, events that were and still are of tremendous defense significance to the United Kingdom and indeed the rest of the world.”
Brief RAF Bentwaters and Woodbridge History
In 1942, the British Royal Air Force constructed an air base between Butley and Tunstall (larger pink circle near top of map) in Suffolk County, England, on the northeastern edge of Rendlesham Forest. It was called RAF Butley – about 4 miles northeast of RAF Woodbridge (larger pink circle on far left). More trees were planted to build up the Rendlesham Forest in the 1940s to help shield military activities.
To the south was the RAF Bawdsey Chain Home Radar Station (bottom pink circle on map) that during WWII monitored the launch of V2 rockets from Germany. Although there was no defense against the V2 rocket, RAF Bawdsey was able to provide the British Bomber Command with the location of the V2 launch sites, which could then be attacked.
East of Butley at Orford Ness (far right pink circle), an experimental MADRE over-the-horizon radar station was constructed in 1961 to monitor Soviet launches.
The United States Air Force 81st Fighter Interceptor Wing and the 67th Aerospace
Rescue and Recovery Squadron (ARRS) leased the original RAF Butley
after WWII under the new name RAF Bentwaters.
After the end of World War II, RAF Butley was renamed RAF Bentwaters by Britain’s Ministry of Defence and leased to the United States Air Force for its 81st Fighter Interceptor Wing and the 67th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron (ARRS).
By 1958, RAF Bentwaters and RAF Woodbridge became a joint U. S. Air Force and Royal Air Force complex with the big, thick Rendlesham Forest in between.
Aerial image of the runway at RAF Woodbridge surrounded by the thick Rendlesham Forest.
In 1992, after the Berlin Wall came down and the Soviet Cold War thawed, the United States cancelled its involvement with RAF Woodbridge and RAF Bentwaters. The historic RAF Bentwaters is now a privately owned business park, while RAF Woodbridge is used by the U. K. Ministry of Defence for Army training exercises.
What Happened In Rendlesham Forest
December 26 - 28, 1980?
What exactly did happen between midnight on December 26, to 5 AM on December 28, 1980, that provoked U. S. Air Force Lt. Col. Charles Halt and Airman 1st Class John Burroughs to describe lights in the Rendlesham Forest as “alive” and “speaking” to them telepathically on December 28, 1980? Those words were used by John Burroughs in a 1988 hypnosis session to describe his and Col. Charles Halt’s impressions of the lights. There were even rumors that Burroughs jumped on a craft or was taken up in a beam of light.
East Gate at RAF Woodbridge, England.
As the clock was about to change from Christmas day 1980 to midnight, December 26, 1980, 20-year-old Airman First Class (A1C) John Burroughs was on Security Police duty at RAF Woodbridge’s back gate, commonly known as the “East Gate.” With Airman Burroughs was Staff Sergeant (SSgt) Bud Steffens. RAF Woodbridge was four miles west of RAF Bentwaters (in Butley, Suffolk County).
Some time after midnight, Sgt. Steffens and Airman John Burroughs saw strange, colorful lights hovering at tree-top level in the Rendlesham Forest east of the gate.
East Gate at RAF Woodbridge open with road and Rendlesham Forest beyond.
So, Burroughs and Steffens drove their patrol car out the East Gate on a road along Rendlesham Forest. The colorful red, orange and blue lights in the clear night sky seemed closer than before. Suddenly a large, white light appeared moving along the edge of the forest as if pacing their car and seemed to move closer to them.
Later on, Airman Burroughs submitted a hand-written statement about what he saw to the RAF Bentwaters Deputy Base Commander, Lt. Col. Charles Halt.
Excerpt of John Burroughs's hand-written statement after the December 26 to
December 28, 1980, UFO incidents in Rendlesham Forest
between Bentwaters AFB and RAF Woodbridge.
John Burroughs hand-written statement about lights he and others saw in the early morning hours of December 26, 1980: “The lights were red and blue, the red one above the blue one and they were flashing on and off. Because I never saw anything like that coming from the woods before, we (Burroughs and Steffens) decided to drive down and see what it was. We went down East Gate road and took a right at the stop sign and drove down about 10 to 20 yards to where there is a (dirt logging) road that goes into the forest. At the road, I could see a white light shining onto the trees and I could still see the red and blue lights.
Red arrow points to dirt logging trail that turns off main East Gate road.
John Burroughs sketch of lights he saw on the first night of December 26, 1980.
Date of his above sketch was January 2, 1981.
John Burroughs notes on January 2, 1981 sketch of lights: “This would move back and forth, up and down, but the blue and white and orange would come out when it was sitting in one place. Blue lights would come out of the beam and the white light below. Blue lights would blink on and off inside the beam, plus the beam would be red and orange. A white light would come out below the beam in the trees. ( AIC John Burroughs 81SPS SPOL CFLT”)
Signed, Airman 1st Class, John Burroughs, 81st Security Police Squadron, Security Police Operations, Charley Flight.
John Burroughs told me he was overwhelmed with the feeling “something was not right!” He and Steffens drove back to the East Gate. They phoned a Sgt. McCabe to report what had been happening and McCabe alerted the Central Security Control. That early morning of December 26, 1980, Staff Sergeant James W. Penniston was duty supervisor at RAF Woodbridge and drove to the East Gate in a truck with newly assigned Airman 1st Class Edward Cabansag to see for himself what was happening.
Sgt. Penniston asked Airman John Burroughs and Sergeant Bud Steffens if the lights could be from an airplane crash in the forest. Steffens replied: “It did not crash. It landed!”
Jim Penniston would later say in interviews that after a call to the Shift Commander’s office, he was told to proceed off base toward the mysterious lights with the two other security policemen, John Burroughs and Ed Cabansag. The three American men were told to leave their weapons behind to comply with the British military’s Status Forces Agreement.
Back in Sgt. Penniston’s truck, the men drove out of the East Gate and on to the logging road that ran through the Rendlesham Forest where Burroughs and Steffens had been earlier. Penniston said the road was full of potholes and was so frozen it was hard to drive the truck. So, the men decided to park.
Orange path drawn by Staff Sergeant James W. Penniston on aerial of East Gate on left,
the road out in which the second 90 degree turn is on the dirt logging
trail out to “Vehicle Stop” and “Landing Site.”
After the three men stopped the truck, Ed Cabansag walked with Sgt. Penniston and Airman Burroughs into the woods until their first strange light encounter. John Burroughs wrote afterward that there was a light that rose in the air above the Rendlesham trees. “All three of us hit the ground and whatever it was started moving back towards the open field.” After that, the men decided that Cabansac should stay there to relay communications, while Penniston and Burroughs continued walking deeper into the woods.
Burroughs and Penniston also described feeling hair on their arms and back of their necks stand up like in the electrostatic atmosphere of a thunderstorm. But it was a clear, cold night without storms.
Staff Sergeant James W. Penniston was Duty Supervisor at RAF Woodbridge on
December 26, 1980. This image is allegedly one of the original notebook pages written by
Sgt. Penniston during the three nights of Rendlesham Forest UFO activity. The top date
appears to read: “27 Dec. 80” with a note about an aircraft crash, “A/C crash.”
According to notes in Sgt. Penniston’s notebook shown here and his official written report, he and Airman Burroughs got to the center of Rendlesham Forest.
Excerpt of Staff Sergeant James W. Penniston's typed statement
about light encounters in early hours of December 26, 1980.
Penniston Text: “When we got within a 50 meter distance (150 feet), the object was producing red and blue light. The blue light was steady and projecting under the object. It was lighting up the area directly under extending a meter or two out. At this point of positive identification, I relayed to CSC, SSgt Coffey. Postitive siting (sic) of object ... color of lights and that it was defidently (sic) mechaniclal (sic) in nature.”
Sgt. Penniston contacted Staff Sergeant Coffey at Central Security Control and told him that the object “was definitely mechanical in nature.”
Penniston much later in time on December 16, 2002, told a U. K. interviewer: ‘I have my notes from that night in my notebook. And it says what I wrote:
Staff Sergeant James W. Penniston's sketch of triangle-shaped, dark glassy surfaced
craft he photographed and touched in early hours of December 26, 1980.
Notes about sketched craft in Staff Sergeant James W. Penniston's notebook: “Triangular in shape. The top portion is producing mainly white light which encompasses most of the upper section of the craft. A small amount of white light is appearing from what appears to
be the bottom of the craft. At the left side is a bluish light. And on the other side is red. The lights seem to be molded as part of the exterior of the structure that seemed to be landed on the forest floor.”
Penniston also said that the air was filled with electricity – like static. “You could feel it on your skin as you approached the object. There was also a sense of slowness, like time itself was an effort. I got to within ten feet of the craft in the clearing where it sat.”
Penniston estimated the craft to be three meters long at the base and two meters high, or 10 feet long by 7 feet high. No landing gear was apparent, but the object seemed like it was on fixed legs. Penniston said he walked right up to the craft and noticed the fabric of the shell was like a smooth, opaque, black glass. He said, “No animals were even making noise anymore. The nearer we got to that thing, the more uneasy I felt – it was as if I were moving in slow motion.”
John Burroughs agreed, “It was a weird feeling, like everything seemed slower than you were actually doing.” Strangely, John Burroughs to this day does not remember seeing Jim Penniston near such a craft. But Burroughs also knows his mind is blocked when he thinks about the lights.
John Burroughs also does not remember Sgt. Penniston having a camera, but Penniston says he took 36 photographs on 35mm film and sketched symbols that were engraved into the craft’s shiny, black surface.
Staff Sergeant James W. Penniston's sketch of 3-inch high symbols etched into the
dark, glassy craft's surface that he touched in early hours of December 26, 1980.
Penniston has described the engraved symbols for TV programs this way: “On the smooth exterior shell, there was writing of some kind, but I couldn’t quite distinguish it. So, I moved up to see 3-inch lettering – or rather symbols – that stretched for the length of two feet, maybe a little more.”
Then Sgt. Penniston reached out his hand. “I touched the symbols and I could feel the shapes as if they were inscribed or engraved, like a diamond cut on glass.”
When Sgt. Penniston’s fingers touched the engraved symbols, he said the craft’s upper white light instantly grew much brighter, almost blinding. Both Penniston and John Burroughs fell to the ground in a defensive move.
Penniston said, “The craft moved up off the ground about three feet, still with absolutely no sound. It started to move slowly. It took a couple of minutes for it to maneuver itself back to a distance of about 100 to 150 feet. Then it rose up just over the trees, about 200 feet high. There was a momentary pause and then literally with the blink of an eye, it was gone. All with no sound! That still boggles my mind.”
After the craft disappeared, both men felt normal again. The slow motion feeling went away. Then John Burroughs saw more colored lights in the forest. Burroughs and Penniston tried to go after those lights, too, but changed their minds, turned around and went back to the truck.
On their way back, Burroughs found three indentations in the forest soil where the craft must have been resting on three tripod legs to form a triangle pattern of indentations in the soil with each leg ten feet apart. Further, each indentation was the shape of a triangle.
Sketch of the tripod indentations in Rendlesham Forest “landing site”
by Vince Thurkettle in February 1981 site investigation.
Photograph of triangle-shaped indention in the soil of Rendlesham Forest “landing site.”
After returning with Airman Cabansag to the air base, Burroughs and Penniston were told “it is best to keep quiet about what you have seen.” But the two men decided to go back to the forest to look for more physical evidence beyond the tripod indentations. They found scorch marks on the trees and branches broken off.
Jim Penniston said he made plaster casts, such as the one photographed above,
of the triangle-shaped indentations in the ground discovered
in the early morning hours of December 26, 1980.
Two nights later on December 28, 1980, after midnight, John Burroughs felt drawn back to the Rendlesham Forest and encountered lights again. This time RAF Bentwaters Deputy Base Commander Lt. Col. Charles Halt was in the forest with a tape recorder, light-alls and other equipment to document the persistent and unusual light phenomena.
Col. Halt said on the tape recording December 28, 1980: “Now we’re observing what appears to be a beam coming down to the ground. This is unreal! …”
Lt. Col. Charles I. Halt described mysterious aerial light that emitted white, narrow, beam
down in front of him and over the weapons storage facility (above), said to contain nuclear
warheads, at RAF Bentwaters, England, in the early morning hours of December 28, 1980.
Illustration by Jan Roth at www.rendlesham-incident.co.uk used with permission.
Continued in Part 2
Former U. S. Air Force 1st Class Airman John Burroughs is now organizing a 2010 reunion in England for all the military personnel in RAF Bentwaters and RAF Woodbridge who were involved in the mysterious light phenomena of December 26 - 28, 1980. John would like to hear from all who were there and has created a website and email account to organize a 2010 Bentwaters reunion.
Website with email address: http://backtobentwaters.blogspot.com/
For further information about the worldwide UFO phenomena, please see Earthfiles Archive (partial 2009 list below) and my books, An Alien Harvest and the 2-volume Glimpses of Other Realities in the Earthfiles Shop.
• 07/16/2009 — Part 2: Silbury Hill “Quetzlcoatl Headdress” and Mysterious Tall Blonds
• 07/14/2009 — Part 5: Non-Human Entities (NHEs): One View from Alleged Government Insiders
• 07/12/2009 — Mysterious Aerial Lights Mimicking Stars in Texas and Oregon
• 07/06/2009 — Part 4: Non-Human Entities (NHEs):
• 06/25/2009 — Part 3: Non-Human Entities (NHEs): One View from Alleged Government Insiders
• 06/21/2009 — Part 2: Non-Human Entities (NHEs): One View from Alleged Government Insiders
• 06/17/2009 — Part 1: Non-Human Entities (NHEs): One View from Alleged Government Insiders
• 06/09/2009 — Update Podcast: Aerial Lights That Mimic Stars, Helicopters and Airplanes
• 06/05/2009 — Part 2: Mysterious, Silent, Large Aerial Triangles
• 06/04/2009 — Part 1: Mysterious, Silent, Large Aerial Triangles
• 06/01/2009 — Part 10: High Strangeness Files about EBENs
• 05/29/2009 — Part 3: 1954 SOM1-01 Training Manual and Challis, Idaho, Huge Triangle
• 05/29/2009 — Part 4: 1954 SOM1-01 Training Manual and Challis, Idaho, Huge Triangle
• 05/28/2009 — Part 1: Idaho Hunters Describe Huge Triangle Aircraft Over Their Campsite
• 05/28/2009 — Part 2: Idaho Hunters Describe Huge Triangle Aircraft Over Their Campsite
• 05/26/2009 — Part 9: High Strangeness Files about EBENs
• 05/13/2009 — Part 8: High Strangeness Files about EBENs
• 05/05/2009 — Part 7: High Strangeness Files about EBENs
• 04/29/2009 — Part 6: High Strangeness Files about EBENs
• 04/22/2009 — Part 5: High Strangeness Files about EBENs
• 04/21/2009 — Archive Reprint: Apollo Astronaut Edgar Mitchell Says Governments Covering Up E. T.s
• 04/14/2009 — Part 4: High Strangeness Files about EBENs
• 04/08/2009 — Part 3: High Strangeness Files about EBENs
• 04/05/2009 — Part 2: High Strangeness Files about EBENs
• 04/03/2009 — Updated: Aerial Disc Photographed Over San Luis, Colorado
• 04/01/2009 — Part 1: High Strangeness Files about EBENs
• 03/17/2009 — Highly Strange Missing Time in 1947
• 03/08/2009 — Final Part 20: Army/CIA Unit Studied the Real UFO Blue Book Cases
• 02/27/2009 — More Strange Aerial Light Patterns - Now in Wisconsin
• 02/24/2009 — Part 19: Army/CIA Unit Studied the Real UFO Blue Book Cases
• 02/11/2009 — Part 18: Army/CIA Unit Studied the Real UFO Blue Book Cases
• 02/04/2009 — Part 17: Army/CIA Unit Studied the Real UFO Blue Book Cases
• 02/03/2009 — Part 1: Viewer Comments On Camouflaged V-Shaped Craft
• 01/29/2009 — Updated: Star Field Camouflage On Large V-Shaped Craft Near Cape Canaveral, Florida?
• 01/07/2009 — Part 16: Army/CIA Unit Studied the Real UFO Blue Book Cases
• 01/02/2009 — Part 15: Army/CIA Unit Studied the Real UFO Blue Book Cases
• 12/24/2008 — Part 14: Army/CIA Unit Studied the Real UFO Blue Book Cases
• 12/22/2008 — Part 2: CIA, UFOs and Hollywood
Police Reporting UFO Sightings, PRUFOS:
The Rendlesham Forest Incident:
1967 Malmstrom AFB UFOs Over Minuteman Missile Sites:
1968 Minot AFB UFOs Over Minuteman Missile Sites: http://www.ufocasebook.com/minotafb.html
RAF Bentwaters History:
Majestic 12 Documents:
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Love and Light.
The harmony of Venus in relation to the year
The principle of trinity we find in several ways in the solar system. We know this principle in relation to Mercury, where 1 solar Mercurian day equals 2 revolutions of Mercury around the sun and 3 Mercurian stellar days. However even more important is the principle of trinity regarding Venus and the Earth. Venus has a close connection to the Earth as 2 years precisely equal 3 Venusian stellar days. This means that during 2 years, Venus rotates exactly 3 times around her axis. This is the principle that this formation expresses:
It demonstrates that 1 complete “Venus-year-cycle” equals 2 years and 3 Venusian stellar days. In other words: the solar year resonates with Venus in a 2-years-cycle. In figures:
3 Venusian stellar days = 3 x 243.02 = 729.06 days
2 solar years = 2 x 365.25 = 730.5 days
1 “Venus-year-cycle” = 728 days
These 728 days consist of 7 x 13 x 8 days, with a leftover of 2 or 3 days out of time to complete 2 solar years. The cycle of 8 days has been based upon the dynamically changing lunar phases (quarter-moon-cycle; explained in connection with Morgans Hill, 2nd August: morganshill ). The creation that is the result of the completion of the first cycle of 8 days is the result of the cross of the lunar phases at the beginning and ending of this period. This is counterbalanced by a cycle of 24 months of 30 days that starts after the eight day. The calendar month of 30 days has been based upon the lunar month of 29.5306 days, which means that beginning and ending of the month relate to the same lunar phase. This therefore “static” cycle counterbalances the “dynamic” cycle of 8 days. This static cycle lasts 24 x 30 = 720 days and therefore equals 2 cosmic years of 360 days. We find this back in the formation by the 2 dots at the both sides of the connection line between the 2 outer circles. The 24 calendar-months actually belong to an about 82 times longer cycle (11 days less than 164 years and very close to the orbital period of Neptune) that exactly coincides with 12 x 13 x 13 lunar months. This is important as 13 is the number of creation.
The relationship with Venus is also demonstrated in another way. For an observer on Earth, Venus returns to the same position after 584 days (same position relative to the sun = synodic cycle). This approximates 20 lunar months or 590 days. This also means that at the end of the 20th month, the position of Venus relative to the sun is the same as the position at the beginning of the 1st month. We know from Maya-research that the number 20 always has to be considered as a very important number relating to time and completes a cycle. Still 4 months remain that have to be considered as the “harvest” of the previous 20 months / Venus-cycle. This principle has been pointed out by the 4 dots that surround the central circle of every 3 circles (see figure).
This is not just a theoretical concept. The crop circle makers clearly want to point out that the harmony of new age is going along with changes in our calendar-systems. When does this start? In this respect it’s very notable that we can find back the date of this formation 8 / 16, in the outer circle of the formation itself, which consists of 8 x 2 circles, which can be considered as 8 / 16. The outer circle of the formation actually also symbolizes duality which has a close connection with present age, in which we are remote from our inner core. In contrast to that the central part shows the principle of trinity and the connection with the inner core of new age. Furthermore we find a 3 : 2 ratio between the inner and the outer circles. When we assume that the inner circle also symbolizes new age and we apply the 3 to 2 ratio on the date 8 / 16, we find 12 / 24 or the 24th December. The 24th December 2012 is indeed the start of this calendar, exactly 7 lunar months after the true end-date of the Maya-calendar (see www.33mm.eu/en/ )! This has been already “revealed” by other formations this year (mainly the earlier mentioned Morgans Hill-formation)! Also the formation of the solar system that arose last year (aveburymanor2008a ) referred to this calendar amongst others. The position of the planets of this solar system exactly corresponded with the position of the planets on the 24th December 2012 and the formation arose on a day with an identical lunar phase as on this starting date. The solar system clarifies that not only Venus, the sun and the moon, but all planets in a way have a cyclic connection with this calendar.
Still the question remains why the “Venus-year-cycle” has been shown 8 times and seems to be a cycle by itself? This can be explained in 2 ways. In the first place 8 x 2 years correspond with 24 rotations of Venus. This is 2 x 12 or 3 x 8 and the number of harmony that characterizes new age, especially in connection with Venus. Moreover as the synodic 584 days-cycle of Venus precisely equals 1.6 year, the 8 x 2 = 16 years exactly correspond with 10 synodic cycles of Venus! However there still is another reason. This calendar has a close relationship with the creative power of the seasons and is a seasonal calendar, that has been based upon the tropical year. The tropical year lasts 365.2422 days, a bit less than 365.25. This means that when strict every 4 years (2 cycles) a leap day is added, the calendar on the long run drifts away from the seasons. However it turns out that when every 8 x 8 Venus-year-cycles (8 x 8 x 2 = 128 years) an exception is made, the calendar will perfectly been synchronized with the true tropical year, as the duration of the average year then will be:
(128 x 365.25 – 1) / 128 = 365.2421875 days
The difference with the tropical year results in a drift of only 1 day per 80,000 years!! This is a much better approximation of the tropical year than our present Gregorian calendar, which drifts with 1 day per 3300 years.
If this is all true than it can be expected that the formation also has been orientated in a way towards the rise of Venus, the sun and/or the moon, because the rise of a celestial body symbolically stands for a new start. It’s striking that the formation is aligned with the tram-lines. This makes the job easier, as with the help of Google Earth it’s easier to figure out the orientation of the formation for the location (at precise 1°35’ West, 51°19’ North). Next after figuring out the directions of sunrise, moonrise and the rise of Venus, it turns out that only the sun is reasonably aligned with one of the 8 arms. However the moon rose before Venus and at the moment that Venus rose, the moon was in a very close conjunction with Mars in a perfect textile to the sun. When striking the average of this position of the moon, together with the rise of the sun and the rise of Venus, this leads to the following results on the day of the formation:
It turns out that this average has perfectly been aligned with one of the 8 arms (line in black)! For the sake of completeness, I also figured out sunrise, moonrise and the rise of Venus on the day it concerns, namely the 24th December 2012. It turns out that only moonrise reasonably fits with one of the arms. However at the moment that Venus rises, the sun turns out to be perfectly aligned with one of the arms (although underneath the horizon). There is also an alignment of Venus with one of the arms at the moment of sunrise, although there is a larger deviation. Also the average of sunrise, moonrise and the rise of Venus has reasonably been aligned with one of the arms.
Apart from the numerological equivalence between both dates, there are still other reasons why this formation appeared on this day. One of the mayor reasons is of course that this is in line with earlier formations this year. Apart from that it turns out that the 24th December 2009 has a special significance. This date has a remarkable correspondence with the 21st December 2012: the day on which the erection of the new world tree is completed. Both dates are characterized by a first quarter moon, with the sun conjunct Pluto and the moon conjunct Uranus. On the 24th December 2009, the sun and Pluto are also conjunct Venus and the midpoint of the 3 celestial bodies exactly coincides with the centre of the galaxy, which is also the case regarding the sun on the 21st December 2012. The square on the 24th December this year is the actual start of the transformation of planet Earth, a process that will last precise 3 years.
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SUBTITLES IN ENGLISH, ESPAÑOL, PORTUGUÊS
Click upon the circle after the small square for captions
How to Digitally Record/Video a UFO sighting:
Como registar digitalmente ou gravar um vídeo de um avistamento de um UFO:
Stabilize the camera on a tripod. If there is no tripod, then set it on top of a stable, flat surface. If that is not possible lean against a wall to stabilize your body and prevent the camera from filming in a shaky, unsteady manner.
Estabilize a camera com um tripé. Se não tiver um tripé, então coloque-a em cima de uma superfície estável. Se não for possível, então encoste-se a uma parede para estabilizar o corpo e evitar que a camera registe de maneira tremida e instável.
Provide visual reference points for comparison. This includes the horizon, treetops, lampposts, houses, and geographical landmarks (i.e., Horsetooth Reservoir, Mt. Adams, etc.) Provide this in the video whenever is appropriate and doesn’t detract from what your focus is, the UFO.
Forneça pontos visuais de referência para comparação. Isso inclui o horizonte, cimo das árvores, postes de iluminação, pontos de referência geográficos (como o Reservatório de Horsetooth, Mone Adams, etc) Forneça esses pontos no vídeo sempre que for apropriado e não se distraia do que é o seu foco, o UFO/a Nave.
Narrate your videotape. Provide details of the date, time, location, and direction (N,S,E,W) you are looking in. Provide your observations on the weather, including approximate temperature, windspeed, any visible cloud cover or noticeable weather anomalies or events. Narrate on the shape, size, color, movements, approximate altitude of the UFO, etc and what it appears to be doing. Also include any unusual physical, psychological or emotional sensations you might have. Narrate any visual reference points on camera so they correlate with what the viewer will see, and thereby will be better able to understand.
Faça a narração do vídeo. Forneça pormenores sobre a data, hora, local e direcção (Norte, Sul, Este, Oeste) que está a observar. Faça observações sobre as condições atmosféricas, incluindo a temperatura aproximada, velocidade do vento, quantidade de nuvens, anomalias ou acontecimentos meteorológicos evidentes. Descreva a forma, o tamanho, a cor, os movimentos, a altitude aproximada onde se encontra o UFO/nave, etc e o que aparenta estar a fazer. Inclua também quaisquer aspectos pouco habituais de sensações físicas, psicológicas ou emocionais que possa ter. Faça a narração de todos os pontos de referência visual que o espectador irá ver e que, deste modo, será capaz de compreender melhor.
Be persistent and consistent. Return to the scene to videotape and record at this same location. If you have been successful once, the UFO sightings may be occurring in this region regularly, perhaps for specific reasons unknown, and you may be successful again. You may also wish to return to the same location at a different time of day (daylight hours) for better orientation and reference. Film just a minute or two under “normal” circumstances for comparison. Write down what you remember immediately after. As soon as you are done recording the experience/event, immediately write down your impressions, memories, thoughts, emotions, etc. so it is on the record in writing. If there were other witnesses, have them independently record their own impressions, thoughts, etc. Include in this exercise any drawings, sketches, or diagrams. Make sure you date and sign your documentation.
Seja persistente e não contraditório. Volte ao local da cena e registe o mesmo local. Se foi bem sucedido uma vez, pode ser que nessa região ocorram avistamentos de UFOs/naves com regularidade, talvez por razões específicas desconhecidas, e talvez possa ser novamente bem sucedido. Pode também desejar voltar ao mesmo lugar a horas diferentes do dia (durante as horas de luz)para ter uma orientação e referência melhor. Filme apenas um ,inuto ou dois em circunstâncias “normais” para ter um termo de comparação. Escreva tudo o que viu imediatamente após o acontecimento. Logo após ter feito o registo da experiência/acontecimento, escreva imediatamente as impressões, memórias, pensamentos, emoções, etc para que fiquem registadas por escrito. Se houver outras testemunhas, peça-lhes para registar independentemente as suas próprias impressões, pensamentos, etc. Inclua quaisquer desenhos, esbolos, diagramas. Certifique-se que data e assina o seu documento/testemunho.
Always be prepared. Have a digital camera or better yet a video camera with you, charged and ready to go, at all times. Make sure you know how to use your camera (and your cell phone video/photo camera) quickly and properly. These events can occur suddenly, unexpectedly, and often quite randomly, so you will need to be prepared.
Esteja sempre preparado, Tenha sempre uma camera digital, melhor ainda, uma camera vídeo consigo, carregada e pronta a usar sempre que necessário. Certifique-se que sabe como lidar com a sua camera (ou com o seu celular/camera fotográfica) rápida e adequadamente. Esses acontecimentos podem acontecer súbita e inesperadamente e, por vezes, acidentalmente, por isso, necessita estar preparado.
Look up. Be prepared. Report. Share.
Olhe para cima, Esteja preparado, Relate, Partilhe.
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