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BUFORA interviews East Anglian resident David Morgan in 2013:

David Morgan is a local man whose father once served in the armed forces in the area of Shingle Street during the war and has some compelling information about this forlorn ‘ghost’ village, situated in close proximity to Orford Ness and the twin airbases of Bentwaters and Woodbridge. David only recently rediscovered his father’s location in the U.S.A.

The other separate account concerns flight irregularities on the 28th December 1980, directly on Woodbridge runway. The witness account has been kept confidential by David but this is no different than the respect BUFORA itself gives direct witnesses, in assuring confidentiality. It is in this context that the new information is given and we believe David’s two separate accounts to be genuine. They add new information to not only the mystery of the Orford Ness areas military activity from the second world war, but also very interesting evidence for previously unknown activity and actions on what many consider to be the final night of the sequence of incidents in 1980.

Picture of David Morgan

Matt Lyons, Chairman of the British UFO Research Association, interviewed David in March 2013 and here follows his recollections of two separate incidents:

Hello David, please can you give a brief introduction of yourself?

I am 66 & live with my wife & son in Norwich having moved here from Ipswich about 6yrs ago

Where you born and what did your parents do?

I was born in Ipswich in 1947, my mother worked as a telephonist & my father was serving in the USAF. My mother was a GI bride and my father was in the U.S.A 5th Bomber Group. After finishing his tour of duty flights he transferred to the chemical division as a security officer stationed at R.A.F Horham.
He went back to the states shortly after I was born in 1947 so I never got to know him until my older sister traced him purely by accident whilst researching our family tree.  I met him for the first time when I stayed with him on holiday at his home in Sacramento, California, but unfortunately he was an old and ill man who lived on his own then.

Did you move around with their employment?


What professions and skills have you acquired?

To start, 8yrs with Ipswich Gas Board ( + an apprentice ) as a maintenance engineer with 2 City & Guild awards then mostly 30yrs as a maintenance fitter with Ipswich Hospital gaining a Health Service license for testing and repairing all types of hospital sterilising equipment.

Have you an interest in the UFO subject in general, physics, astronomy or the natural world?

I am a ‘Jack of anything abnormal’, be it UFOs or my wife having cooking lessons!

How do you know the areas around Orford Ness and Rendlesham yourself and how did the Shingle Street and Rendlesham forest incidents generally come about?

My mother’s best friend lived at Orford & I used to spend most of my school holidays there with her 3 sons

The accounts and incidents:

What made you want to reports these now and have you spoken to anyone before about the two incidents you are about to mention?

With easier access to the internet and more information available, as well as time, I felt the need to talk to someone for the first time who would take me seriously.

If I may take the incidents separately, can I ask how and when you came to be discussing the Shingle Street issues? Was this dropped into general conversations about the area around Orford Ness?
David Morgan: fathers discharge papers: (copyright and with permission to David Morgan)

Having met my father for the first time in 1993 I was staying with him at his home in Sacramento, California USA. He was telling me of all the places he had been around in Suffolk and mentioned he had been on security duty at Shingle Street at some point

Is there any marker from your father before he found it difficult to talk about when he was posted to this area?

I remember him saying that he was posted there early 1940 for about 18 months at a place he nicknamed "Nowhere". Chatting one night, my father mentioned he had been involved in duties at R.A.F Bentwaters/Woodbridge, and also at Shingle Street. When I started to talk about the Shingle Street incident in 1940 and the incident at R.A.F Woodbridge in 1980 his mood suddenly changed and he became very agitated. He told me that both events were linked and that if the public knew what lay beneath Shingle Street to this day. He stated that “all hell would break loose because it’s nothing like that’s been said and unlike anything anyone could imagine”. At this point he was getting upset and told me he was afraid to say any more. He told me to forget what he said. The rest of the evening was one of virtual silence. He passed away 10 months later and that evening still haunts me.

With the Rendlesham Forest incident, how did the information about the night in 1980 become known to you?

I first became aware when the Ipswich Evening Star newspaper headlined it.

Is it known which night this occurred on or at least if it was earlier or later over the three day time zone?

I believe the date of the incident given by the newspaper was the same as Larry Warren gave in his book being 28/12/1980.

Were you personally connected with the base, either contracting or military?

Was the person who told of the incident you are going to discuss deemed a reliable source and what capacity did he work in, to know of such an incident?

The second piece of information concerns a contractor I met through my work as an engineer and over the time, we became good friends. He had previously been in the U.S.A.F as a sergeant, working on the old A10 Tank buster planes at R.A.F Bentwaters before being transferred to R.A.F Mildenhall.
We were having a social drink one night when I asked him if he had heard about the incident that occurred at R.A.F Bentwaters/Woodbridge in 1980. He said he was part of a team stationed at R.A.F Mildenhall whose job was to secure and retrieve any plane crash site.

He was later stationed at RAF Mildenhall when Bentwaters was closed. His new job at Mildenhall was to be part of an aircraft recovery team who were scrambled that night of 28/12/1980 and flown to RAF Woodbridge.

What happened with the buildup to the incident, what normal event was supposed to take place that did not occur? Which base was the landing coming from, flight start and ETA?

The recovery team was dispatched from RAF Mildenhall on the night of 28/12/ 80 and flown to RAF Woodbridge but precise times never came up in the brief conversation.

How many people were involved in transit and how did the incident deviate from its expected course?

The recovery team consisted of 8 members and there were at least three low ranking officers with them as well. Although they hadn’t been told anything, they assumed it was an aircraft crash.

Were any significant names or rank of key personnel noted? Were they British or American when orders changed the mission details?

Being confined to the plane and not being allowed off they were unaware of who was about and of what nationality were present

Was this night time?

My friend on the recovery crew thinks it was about 10pm they touched down at RAF Woodbridge.

Was the plane surrounded by security?

Yes, two jeeps and four to five personnel.

Were any speeches heard in any accents?

Definitely, they were American personnel.

Is there any indication of the Mildenhall to Bentwaters cargo or mission, no matter how mundane it may have been or if it was cargo/supplies?

It was just their normal light equipment; with the heavy stuff being supplied from Woodbridge. After a while they began to think it was a full scale practice.

How long did the incident seem to take place and when was the return ordered?

It was about three to four hours waiting until they were eventually turned round and flown back to RAF Mildenhall.

Were any strange lights or events witnessed by any of the personnel?


On the ground and return to base, were there any orders not discuss?

During a brief de-brief they were informed that the base was on red alert and that standard rules of no discussions applied.  During a short debriefing they were only told that nothing was to be said to anyone about what had happened that night. It was then known that the bases of Mildenhall, Bentwaters & Woodbridge were all on high alert. Finally, he said the next day the base was swarming with top brass.

Was there any aftermath or discussion with any of the crew once it was realized that there had been an incident generally over Rendlesham at this time, or a short time after the incident became locally known?

Very little was said for fear of disciplinary action.  There were warnings from the de-briefing session, so nobody was willing to mention the incident

When the incident broke in the newspapers, specifically the news of the world, was there any talk or off-the-record discussions amongst the crew involved or had they been separated by various different and changing tours of duty, promotions or similar?

The recovery team was split up with some moved to other UK bases and some even transferred to USA bases; then there was talk that something top secret was going on.

This is a very long time to be discussing the incidents in general after they happened? What prompted you to come forward with the information and how much do you know about the event?

My son’s biological father was also part of the USAF recovery team mentioned, but now a civilian living in the village of Woodbridge. My father was serving with the USAF stationed in Norfolk & Suffolk during WW2. He was detailed on security duty at Single Street.  There has been so much written about the Rendlesham forest incident I felt the need to discuss what I know to be fact with someone with an open mind

Is there any other information from the event from other people you have met related to strangeness at Shingle Street or plane or other movements around the twin bases, related or not to the main incident of 1980 you are reporting?


What are your thoughts on the events in context to overall events and the many known civilian and military accounts given since the incident?

By what I know as fact by someone who was actually there- as well as my father who although only willing to tell me a little, but knew a lot more.  I believe that there is so much we don’t know going on, that I wish everybody seeking the truth the best luck in the world.

David, thank you for sharing your account with us at BUFORA and we appreciate you adding these new accounts to the area over two completely different time periods.

In Jenny Randles and many others writings on the spit of land around Orford Ness and Shingle street, it is often commented on the many strange and classified experiments indicating there may be more to the place than has been seen on the surface. Radio arrays, network tunnels, experimental radar and other scientific projects are often joined by accounts of anomalous events before and after the 1940’s. To this day in the forest, there are access tunnels and vents that seem a great distance from the base and it is often speculated on how much subterranean structuring is still intact and possibly still functional or dormant.

With regards to the held aircraft which was never allowed to complete its mission, not only was it heavily guarded but it was in an armed holding position on the runway. The operation to simply supply or deliver a cargo to the base was abandoned after a wait that extended into the early hours of the morning into the next day, finally returning to Mildenhall with a ‘discuss with no one’ conclusion to the mission.

These are new accounts never heard before and they add new information to separate events in this area spanning many decades. We do hope that more people may still have information to add to the pool of known facts about the incident. It takes courage, sometimes apprehension and a great deal of thought for a witness or account to be presented. It is not unusual at all for BUFORA to receive accounts and cases which can span many years between the present and the original events. In 2011, a taxi driver, Ian Hunt, gave an account of unusual activity and concerns of an officer he was transporting and strange lights around the base. His account came forward at the Woodbridge Hall Rendlesham forest conference shortly after the previous 30th anniversary conference.

We would like to thank David for his accounts and he hopes that others may also follow him in also bringing new information to the fore, with assurance that BUFORA will assure witness confidentiality in the same way it applies to any case submitted as part of its code of practice.

Matt Lyons
The British UFO Research Association
March 2013


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