Man says UFO sighting was 'fertiliser fire'
A retired engineer from Ipswich believes he has solved Britain's most famous UFO sighting.
Peter Turtill, 66, has claimed that what many thought were the bright lights of an alien spaceship were actually a van load of burning fertiliser.
The incident, which has become known as Britain's Roswell, took place in December 1980 in woods near a US airbase at Rendlesham, Suffolk.
American Air Force personnel reported witnessing a pulsating blue and red circle of light moving among the trees. They also said they found marks on the ground that suggested a UFO had landed.
Documents released by the National Archives in August 2009 revealed the sighting had even been discussed by the then head of the armed forces, Lord Hill-Norton.
But now Mr Turtill has come forward to insist the alien encounter was nothing of the kind.
His story of events begins with him driving home in a truck he had lent to a friend. Only when the vehicle broke down near the USAF base did Turtill apparently discover its contents.
"To my horror it was loaded with stolen fertiliser so we towed it off the road into the forest and set light to it to destroy the evidence of the crime," the Sun has reported him as saying.
"The truck had an aluminium body and the fertiliser and metal made some very unusual coloured flames which flared among the trees. Some of the airmen from the base thought it was a multi-coloured cross from out of space, and with the truck tyres popping they were getting a bit edgy.
"They had guns and we didn't want to get in their way so we towed the burning vehicle on to the road. I admit it probably looked spectacular rolling through the forest but it was hardly a spaceship."
UFO investigator Brenda Butler has queried Mr Turtill's claims.
"I don't get what he is saying. There have been so many witnesses who have come forward. He would have to come up with an awful lot of proof to call them liars. Why has he waited 29 years to come forward?"MSN, 06/09/09.