The incident had been known as Britain's Roswell: a group of American servicemen stationed in Suffolk go into a forest to investigate mysterious lights and emerge convinced they have seen an alien spacecraft.
The sightings, in December 1980, remain unexplained and have become the country's most tantalising and enduring UFO riddle.
One of those involved even claimed to have touched an alien spacecraft.
Now, the man who led the only investigation into the “Rendlesham Forest Incident” has spoken about the sightings - but his decision to end thirty years of silence is unlikely to please the UFO-believers as he suggests his men could have been hoaxed.
In 1980, US Air Force Colonel Conrad was base commander of the twin airfields of Woodbridge and Bentwaters, near Ipswich, which are understood at the time to have stored nuclear weapons.