Episode 21: The Bentwaters Incident – A New Perspective

In the 1980 in Rendlesham Forest, located in the United Kingdom, between two USA Air Force bases, called Woodbridge, and Bentwaters, on England’s East Coast. Became the focal point of some now very famous and well known UFO incidents. With books having been written about the subject because of it’s very high profile.

What happened basically was this. Just after midnight on December the twenty-sixth, radar screens picked up and followed an unidentified flying object – also seen by many military and most likely civilian witnesses as well. The radar followed it as it disappeared into the forest. Soldiers were sent to the spot and one Colonel Halt, recorded a running commentary into a dictation machine as he and the personal looked for the strange light that had landed.

When they got there they saw a luminous, triangular-shaped ship, about ten feet across and eight feet high. Which was there briefly then flew away. But this wasn’t the only sighting of anomalous lights in the sky in that area. There were several nights of sightings witnessed by many people

This event garnered media attention world-wide. Not the least because it was between the military bases, and military personal were directly involved in the case. Of course, for many years, the event was covered up. Then some few witnesses started coming forward, speaking to different authors who wrote books about the incident, or researchers fascinated by the incident and because the military were involved, especially suspicious of the cover up, who also wrote books.

However, these high profile figures who have been public about their experiences were not the only witnesses to the events that took place those nights. There are many service men and women, who also were witnesses, but have observed the military orders to keep their mouths shut.

Just recently though this is changing, and people are starting to open up about their experiences on those nights, for various reasons, known only to them. My guest this episode is one of them, and he is the reason, I am returning from my break early.

My guest M. Stacy Smith. Was a Sergeant of the Security Police with a Top Secret military clearance. He has never before spoken in public about his experiences. So I am absolutely thrilled to have been able to be the first person to publicly air his story, although he also speaks about his experiences in a new documentary on the subject coming out later this year.

I actually came across Stacy quite by accident when I was reading the MUFON Facebook page. He just wrote a couple of lines about how he had seen things at Bentwood and that the incidents were absolutely real. Not more than two or three lines. I knew I had to get in touch with him and hear his story for myself. It took some effort to be able to actually track him down. But ultimately I was able to reach him by phone. And asked his permission if he would be willing to share his story with me, and with you all. He called me back as I only got his answerphone. Stacy doesn’t have a computer, only his cell phone, and is not a well man. I was going to organize a time when we could talk formally about this, especially since it was about two am their time when he phoned me back.

But actually, he said he sleeps very little these days and would be happy to talk with me. So I got him to phone me back over the internet on his phone, so it wouldn’t be costing him any money. He could not get my Zoom room to work which is what I generally use for interviewing guests. So I did the best we could. I had to record his phone call directly to my computer using my internal mike. So I apologize that the audio quality is not the best. But it is the best we were able to get considering it was literally on the spur of the moment. I was absolutely unprepared. Normally I have a pile of questions for my guests, even if I do not use them. But, as it turns out, it was a really revealing and interesting conversation. I will warn you all now, that there is the use of some language in this conversation that’s not suitable for kids to hear. Well, there it is. So. . .  Are you ready to walk into the depths of the shadowlands with me and bring some light onto this topic? Let’s begin. I’m so pleased to introduce my guest Stacy Smith.

The Bentwaters Incident – A New Perspective

Marianne: Stacy, I’m so excited to be talking to you, even if it’s like on spur of the moment, about your experiences.

Stacy: I was there. I wish to God I hadn’t been. . . But. . .

Maybe Stacy we can start from the beginning. Can you please introduce yourself and tell us your name, and set the scene for us of how you came to be at Rendlesham?

I got out of high school in 1979. Joined the Air Force, United States Airforce. I did training went to SP [security police] School. I was sent to Bentworth, Woodbridge Air Base in England. In 1980, that’s when I had my first incident.

Right. Before we get onto that Stacy can you please tell us what your position was in the Air Force? What did you do on the Bentwater base? Can you please give me your rank and terminology?

I was a sergeant, Security Police Officer. in the United States Air Force. I went in, in 1979, July 16th.  Went through training, basic training, went to the SP academy. A lot of guys at the SP academy went onto other things, but I had to stay behind. I dunno why but…. It was called Air Base Ground Defence Crew. Anyway I got assigned to, eighty-first tactical fighter wing. Ah, UK. I said where the hell’s UK, is that Utah? I didn’t know. I was an nineteen-year-old kid.  He said no! United Kingdom. I said oh OK!

Oh that’s funny.

I was sent to eighty-first tactical fighter squadron.  Anyway, I went through training after I got there, you know? Yeah, had to go through more training. Before we could become certified, as what I call a SP. We could arrest anyone. From a General on down…. I arrested a Lieutenant Colonel one time. He tried to tell me this is my god dammed base. I said yes sir and this my my badge and my gun. You come along with me.

Oh good for you! And as part of your role, what sort of things would you do? Just for those of us who have don’t have any knowledge of the military.

Ah security police in the military… we’re the cops who run the base. We can detain, anyone who committed a crime. Anybody. Even if they have authority. Just like our normal police have authority.

Got you!

We have to get through a lot of training and hell I even jacked up a lieutenant colonel  one time.


Yep. He didn’t tell me. [inaudible] No sir! (chuckling)

So being security police on the base, obviously had some good points for you.

Mam. I can’t hear you.

So being security police on the base, did that have some good points for you?


Oh? Let me just adjust my…. Let me just adjust my microphone a little bit better. Can you hear me better now?

Yeah, I can hear you. Yeah

Sorry about that Stacy. Normally before I speak with people I have everything set up and organised. But in our case, because this was just so of spur of the moment, I had nothing organised.

It’s ok. I’ve been a cop all my life, so it’s alright.

So Stacy, maybe you can tell us a bit about when you first got to Bentwood? How long had you been at the base, before the incident, this first incident occurred?

Well, I arrived in 1979, November. Um, I had to go through a lot more training before I could become a previs. SP (security police), that’s what we called us. SPs back then. It took about six months. Some guys took longer, so…. You had to go through a lot more schools and classes.

Right. So I imagine you had some sort of security clearance as well. Would that be right?

Oh yeah. Yes, Mam. I had a Top Secret. I don’t know why? But um, most of us had Secret. And um, I had a top secret. It took me longer to get my Top Secret. I don’t know why they picked me for it? But, it happened. So, oh well. They had to have SP’s that could go into top secret areas um. . .

Right. Of course. Right they would have too. That never occurred to me being a civilian, but that would be absolutely right because they need you guys for protection in sensitive areas.

Yep, and I was in high command. We were on alert one time and they put me in the command centre. We had generals and colonels, and all that going on there. I had to lock up the classified documents, put them in a safe. And I was armed, so they made me.  Stood there to make sure it’s locked up.  So that’s what I did. Yeah.

And how long had you been on the base before this incident occurred?

About a year. Um, my first incident. . . My first incident happened in the late November of 1980. I was on a bunker, when our base went on alert. And, they called all the SPI to barracks, and I got posted behind Woodbridge gate, east gate. Hm hmm. And ah, all of a sudden [inaudible] oh well, maybe it won’t. I’m ok. Had my M16 machine gun, had to pee. That’s a doozy. Ooh, I had to pee. But it was cold! Forget that! It was cold as hell. I took my poncho and put it over the right corner of the bunker so the dew wouldn’t fall down, and I was sitting there. I said, I gotta pee! And, so I got up on the bunker and I went out there, ‘cause, I was bored. I peed off the bunker. And I looked down the fence line, and I saw a orange-reddish, glow in the forest off base.

I said well, that’s probably somebody you know, walking along our fence line. Looking at our pines and it kept moving. It was coming towards me. Apparently off to the field? And uh, when it got in front of me, well I, back it up. Before it got in front of me I could see that um, I thought it was somebody walking with a lamp. Hmmm I said nope!  So I called for an SRP team, security response team

Thank you

To, they came to me. And, I was in the bunker.  And, when it got in front of me, [the ball of light] it stopped. Um I mean, dead stopped! About a few, I reckon about two or three feet off the ground. It was a orange, reddish ball of light. I would say, about a little bit bigger than a baseball. It had a strip down the middle. Like a cat eye. It stayed there, and stayed there ‘til the team got to me. There was a black staff sergeant, and a white airman first class.

So when you saw this orange red ball of light so close in front of you. How did you feel? It must have been terrifying?

Oh I was scared to death. Scared the shit out of me. I was a nineteen-year-old kid. And um, I had an M16 machine gun, with over 500 rounds of ammunition. And Sergeant Ashly, he said; “Did you lock and load that machine gun?”, I said, “Yes sir. I did!” Which we weren’t supposed to do. I said, “If you don’t like it you can wrap my ass up and lead me down.” He said, “Hell no! So the airman, he jumped the fence. He told me point blank. He said, ”I’m going to go about a hundred yards up, jump the fence and come in from it’s right side and flank it. I said “Ok, back you go.” When he came near, you could hear him walking through the woods, and if you’d blinked your eyes, you’d have never seen it leave! It left that fast!

Right and so did it simply ascend right up and whoosh, it was gone! Just like that? Right. And so once it left, what did your sergeant say? What happened on the base? Was there a debriefing for you all?

They left. Nope. Nothing was said. I went up and crawled in the back of the hanger – aircraft hanger, which was concrete. And the only reason being was I knew if something came back, it would take out that bunker. So I wasn’t going to be in it.

Understandable! So they basically left you at that post. They…. Then they went off to do whatever they did, and left you there by yourself?

Yep. Sure did!

Oh wow! For a nineteen-year-old kid that must have been something pretty awful to deal with I imagine.

It was bad. Very. I still have dreams. I have things in my head that, I dunno. From the time that I went to the bun, back of the hanger, to the time I got to the barracks – I do not remember.

So you have a period of lost time then?

Yes, Mam.

Wow! Ok, so in your gut, you know that something happened in that period of time, but you just have no recollection of it? Is that correct?

Yes, Mam.

How does that make you feel? That must be a bit sca . . .

I’m scared. I’m, I’m nearly 60 years old, and I’m still scared. I have things in my head…. I don’t know what they are?

Oh?  Ok, I’ll get back to that that in a little bit Stacy.  I can just imagine as a nineteen-year-old kid how traumatizing. . .

Kept quiet for so long.

What made you decide to come forward now? You haven’t spoken publically about your experiences in all of this time. Why now?

Well all the other guys are coming forward. A lot have come forward to the family of other SPs. John M. Patterson, and Colonel Holt. Colonel Holt was only there one night. We worked every night. Fuck Carl Holt, pardon my French.

Right, OK, so. . .

They’re all making money off our incident! They’re writing books and making money. My saying to them is fuck you! Sorry.

No, no I totally understand that. You feel that they are – And they are profiteering from a traumatic experience. Something that was a very traumatic experience to you. Yeah.

Yes, Mam.

Yeah, I totally get that. I understand where you’re coming from. So you lost that time, and then you’re back at your barracks. Life goes on, sort of. I guess you struggle to come to terms with what you’ve seen? Do you have anybody you can talk to about it? Or did they just leave you without any sort of psychological support at all?

I don’t have nobody, baby.  Nobody.

They didn’t provide anybody for you to talk to? No counsellor? No debriefing? Nothing like that?


Oh wow. That’s totally horrible. Stacy I’m so sorry. That makes me feel really badly for the nineteen-year-old boy that you were. And, it means that you’ve had to carry all this. This extra the whole time. So, I’m so sorry that you’ve been through that essentially alone.

I had nobody. And I tried to contact the DA but…. Man they…. I contacted my State Senators and all this kind of stuff. And they won’t contact me back.

Oh wow, no body wants to touch it eh? It’s a hot potato.

Yep, no body wants to touch it. That’s a guess. I’ve had thyroid cancer. I’ve had seven tumours in my thyroid gland and all my doctors say that’s very unusual. They say you usually don’t see that in a man that’s had…. That’s been exposed to radiation.

I would say so. I was a nurse for over thirty years and worked for some time in an Endo (Endocrine) ward where we treated thyroid cancers, and they aren’t that common. One is rare, but I have never heard of or seen multiple tumours, at once in the thyroid. So I would say that is very rare. So this incident occurred. You had the period of lost time from the time you went into the hanger to the time you returned to your room. Did you the next day, or the days after…. Did you notice anything physical on your body? Like did you have any marks? Did you have any unusual bruising on your body? Or anything like that?

On my ankles.

On your ankles?

Yep. I didn’t realize I was back in the barracks until I was in the shower. I was in the shower. Taking a shower. I was standing there butt naked and all I could say was, did this happen?

Right. Of course.

Did this really happen? And yeah, I was a kid!

Yeah. A nineteen-year-old kid. You were only a kid. And that would be really hard for a mature person to deal with. Let alone a kid. And so you found bruising around your ankles? On your ankles?

Yep. Still have it.

Oh? So it’s like a permanent mark?

Yep. It’s still there.

 So you discovered the bruises and. . .

People may doubt me, but I don’t care. I don’t give a shit if they doubt me or not. It happened. I saw it. I was with in 30 yards of one object. So I don’t care who doubts me. I saw the one go over east end of the runway. Believe me? It doesn’t matter. I don’t care. It happened.

Good for you

It happened!

I have no doubt in my mind that this happened and that you experienced everything that you have and will share with my listeners. And also, that you’ve suffered ongoing trauma and health issues because of this. No doubt.

Yes, mam. I’m still suffering from it. But the VA won’t help me so. . .

And I’m really sorry to hear that. It sucks! Really sucks. So how long after that first incident was the second one?

My room-mate he was there. I told him about it. Pat Jopa. He was a Italian. He lived in Rocester, New York. I told him. He’s the only one I told about the first incident. Yeah I was scared. It scared me to death. The hell’s a nineteen-year-old kid supposed to do?

Yeah exactly.

The second one was – I was in the breach with Sergeant Wistensa and Colonel Holt came up there that night, and they said the crafts are back and everybody put their weapons in my truck, in my vehicle. They was going off base and hell, I had enough guns to start a war. And anyway, they went out there that night and I was sitting in the truck and they posted a new guy on the gate, there behind me and he started yelling.  “What the fuck is that!?! What the fuck is that!?!”

And I said…. I got out of the truck and said. “Man, what are you talking about?” And he said, “Look! What the fuck is that?” Those were his exact words. He was pointing back towards Bentwaters and there was a triangular shaped craft. I don’t know what it was. It come across the east end of the runway. It was right about the tree…. The tree line. Excuse me, I’ve got my dog here but…. It went into Rendlesham, into the forest.

And he went, “Man, what the fuck is that?” I said, “I don’t know!”

It made no noise, but you could see it…. In had a…. In the middle, it had a, it was bluish gold, but on the outlines of it, it was a whitish colour. Bright, white light! And if you listen to Colonel Holt’s tape, the air craft is coming in. To him, he says it’s coming in from the South. That was the one we saw, ‘cause, they were at Cappel Green. Then and that was a strange craft.

How big do you think it was?

It wasn’t real big. It wasn’t very big at all. I don’t know. It’s hard to tell at night.

Right. Of course.

Yeah and they left. Three of them. They went straight up!

So there were three craft in total? I’m sorry, I’m not sure I heard you correctly.

Yes. Hm hmmm

So there were three ships, and not just the one you guys saw initially?

Three that I know of. Three.

Wow! Oh, I didn’t know that.

There were three. If you had not looked up. If you blinked. You would not have seen them leave. Straight up. And we got a debriefed afterwards and we were called down to the Sixty-Seventh Air Sea Rescue Squadron pads, and they even called the guys down out of his tower, ‘cause, I was there. And I didn’t say shit. But I was listening to the guys in the tower. They said “What the hell was that? Man that thing went from one thousand to ninety, off our screens in like four seconds!” From what I understand, is even Heathrow and a lot of bases had ‘em [on their radar]. I don’t know that for a fact, but I don’t give a shit what anybody says. We’ve got a lot of guys coming forward now.

Right! So was that the end of the incidents at Bentwaters? One actually landed didn’t it?

I dunno. I wasn’t there involved with that.

Oh right.

I wasn’t involved with that part.

Right! So these are the ones you did see. So after they debriefed you all, what did they tell you?

Keep our fucking mouths shut. This is classified. We were all under security clearances. That time, I had Top Secret. Some had Secret code. If we had talked about it, our clearance would have been gone!

Absolutely they would have. So they…. And they provided no counselling for you after that one either I imagine?

Nope! No. They….  I was working Woodbridge one day, on that…. There’s a relay station from Bentwood to Woodbridge. It’s two bases.

So after this last incident and your debriefing. How long were you on that particular base for?

Two years.

And, nothing further happened after that?

Well, before nineteen-ninety-three, November. A lieutenant was going between Woodbridge and Bentwood and she rolled her jeep. She said an orange – reddish ball come in front of her and she swerved to miss it. And she shot at it. It was the same thing I seen.

That’s what it sounds like doesn’t it?

They flew her off the base quick!

Whoa, that sounds interesting.

Yeah, because she shot. She fired her gun. M16. I know. It was right at the end of the runway. Going to Woodbridge. So, I ain’t going to say her name. Who she is. I had to come for her weapon that night. And, anyway. It’s ok.

So let’s talk about about your period of missing time and the downloaded information that you were obviously given Stacy, if that is ok with you?

Yes, Mam.

Thank you Stacy. Are these things in your head technical information, or diagrams, stuff like that?

Mathematics. Put it that way.

Mathematical equations?

Maths, yep.

Have you written any of these equations down?

Yes, Mam. I sure have and I’ve shown to one of my…. To on of my friends, who…. He told me to never write it down again. And walk away. I don’t know what it was.

How did that make you feel when he gave you that advice?

He asked me where did you get that? I said I don’t know it was just given to me and he said do you know what that is? And I said no!

Did he say what it was?


Oh that’s interesting.

He wouldn’t tell me.

That’s interesting. When you get these Mathematical equations Stacy, how often do they come to you? Are they like, ah …. Are they just suddenly there in your head, and you have to write them down?

Aw they’ve been there

The whole time?

Yep. And I don’t know what they are. I’m no maths person, believe me.

Thank you so much for sharing this much with my listeners Stacy. You obviously have ethics,

Yes, Mam.

Because it’s taken you this long to come public and speak out about what you experienced. It’s a long time to carry such a burden and not be able to speak of it to anybody. And kudos to you for keeping your word. It would have taken a lot of integrity, and a sense of self-preservation, no doubt to not tell anybody.

That’s right. Sweared it. And I’m a man of my oath. Sorry

No. No. Don’t apologize, because that’s really great that you are. So how long after these incidents did your health start to decline?

Nineteen-ninety-eight when I got thyroid cancer. That was eighteen, twenty years after I saw that object. So…. In the first of the week they, my doc told me I had a [inaudible] so they sent me to a specialist. He took a biopsy. Stuck a needle in my throat drew out fluid. Next day sent me to another one and a sonogram. By Friday, I was in surgery. They cut my thyroid out. ‘Cept for a little bitty piece. And he told me I had seven tumours. In my thyroid glands. He said we don’t usually see this that often. He said, we usually only see this when someone, has been…. Has been exposed to a high dose of radiation. And I have bad Migraines

That’s really fascinating. So you feel this is a direct correlation to your first experience?

Yes, Mam. Now they found out I got a blood disorder.

Oh wow…. Is the blood disorder also linked to the radiation?

I swear to God I think so. I can’t prove it. Excuse me, I’m yawning.

Oh that’s alright Stacy. I realize it’s really early in the morning where you are, and this was a spur of the moment interview. So I won’t keep you too much longer.

 It’s OK, we can talk.

How did you get involved with this documentary that is coming out sometime this year called Capel Green?

They asked me for an interview and I said ok. So they came to my house…. Big, bright lights….Shined in my face.  And they asked me questions, and I answered ‘em. I told ‘em the truth. Anyway, they interviewed me and I still talked to Dion, the producer. Yeah he [inaudible] from London, England. I wish I’d never seen none of it.

Yeah. I can understand that, and I can understand how…. I mean you were only nineteen, just a kid. Just a kid. How could you possibly? How could they possibly expect you and your mates, who were probably around the same age, to have the emotional maturity to deal with this without any sort of support? And you know? Even mature adults would have trouble dealing with that. So how could a kid, who’s away from home, family, support structure, be expected to cope? Honestly, it just breaks my heart to hear that, honestly Stacy, it just makes me feel so, so bad for that kid you were.

I dunno. Maybe [inaudible] fight and give up.

Well. You’re obviously a fighter, because, you haven’t given up! After all these years, you’re still fighting. And that’s got to be a good thing.

 Yes, Mam

And the fact that you’re talking out now, for the first time in a public media, speaks volumes about your integrity. And you know it really is just the right time to put this out there. And, I’m really, really grateful to you, Stacy, for taking the time to talk to me and my audience. And, I know that my listeners are going to get a lot out of what you said. I know I have some listeners, particularly in Britain – hello Duncan, who when I told them I was trying to track you down, and see if you would talk with they were pretty excited about this. Because they have a fascination with the…. With the whole Rendlesham Forest affair. And to have someone who witnessed parts of it and who has never spoken in a public media before about, it’s pretty awesome.

Tracking me down? I wish I had another woman that would do that.

Stacy, for me, it’s an honour to have spoken with you. And I know my listeners are going to get a lot out of this conversation as well. So formally I would like to close our interview, and say thank you so very much for taking the time – especially on the spur of the moment as it was, to share your amazing story, your experiences, and journey with us all. I am so very grateful to you Stacy. And I really, really appreciate the fact, that you’ve honoured your commitment for all these years, at great cost to yourself. I want to acknowledge that. And I’m really grateful that you’re sharing that with us Stacy. So thank you so much.

Thank you for caring. That’s all I want

It upsets me to see good, honest people like you, who’ve had their whole life affected by an incident. Didn’t get any help. No support. No nothing. That just makes me so angry. So angry. And I will put this comment in our interview. Because your government should be helping you and the others like you who are suffering now because of no fault of your own, just doing your active duty. It’s so wrong.  Anyway Stacy. Thank you so very much for your time, and for letting me speak to you so early in your morning.

Thank you. Bye.

So that was my conversation with Stacy. A conversation, that really touched me on a number of levels. I found Stacy to be such an honest, and humble man, who is fighting a number of serious illnesses more than likely directly connected with this incident he was involved with at Bentwood, when he was just a kid of nineteen years old.

It really distresses me, that this lovely gentleman, who has a wonderful sense of humour, and doubtless many more like him, have basically been deserted by the government they worked for, on active duty. This to me is totally morally unacceptable. I know things work differently in the states than they do, well, in most of the rest of the world. But surely there must be something that can be done to help people like Stacy. To at the very least, try and improve the quality of their lives.

For Stacy to come forward now, and speak publicly about his experiences is to me, very telling of the changing times and attitudes also towards the subject of UFOs, Star People and everything else that goes along with this. So, for at least the first episodes in this our second season of Walking the Shadowlands, I’ll be covering these topics with other guests, and sharing some of my own personal experiences as well. In fact, next week’s episode, which originally was going to be the first in the new season, before Stacy popped up on my radar, is about the Men-in-Black …. No. Not that famous movie that spawned a number of sequels, I’m talking the real thing that these movies took their inspiration from. So be sure and tune in for that episode.

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