Rendlesham Forest Incident

The Rendlesham Forest Incident must be one of the most talked about, divisive subjects in the world of Ufology in the last 35 years.

When Charles Halt (Colonel USAF Retired) returned in July 2015 to talk about the incident  for the first time in Suffolk in 35 years, the Rendlesham Forest Incident community flocked to hear him speak.

Rendlesham Forest Incident

Colonel Halt returns to the UK

News of Colonel Halt's return was a big deal.

It doesn't get much bigger than when a key military figure in a world renowned UFO incident returns to the place where it all happened. Colonel Halt was Deputy Base Commander at RAF Woodbridge in 1980 when 'something' happened in the woods adjacent to the USAF Airbase where he worked. The Rendlesham Forest Incident was possibly his worst nightmare come true.

RAF Woodbridge and its neighbouring twin base RAF Bentwaters were key US military installations during the long and hard-fought Cold War with Russia

The Rendlesham Forest Incident is as big today as it was 35 years ago.
In fact, some would say it is even bigger.

The Rendlesham Forest Incident is as big today as it was 35 years ago. In fact, some would say it is even bigger. Click To Tweet

The passage of time has allowed for more and more people to get on board the RFI train and for stories to grow ever more elaborate.

Many of the newer fans of the Rendlesham Forest Incident are too young to remember it and some, were not even born when it occurred.

Many of the newer fans of the Rendlesham Forest Incident are too young to remember it and some, were not even born when it occurred. Click To Tweet

Much of the information that has been circulating for years relies on hearsay accounts from civilians  who were not actually there. Perhaps some have a vested interest in keeping certain versions alive.

When it was announced that Colonel Halt was coming back to speak, the UFO/paranormal/RFI community waited in eager anticipation of the revelations he would bring with him regarding the Rendlesham Forest Incident.

Rendlesham Forest Incident
World famous - Rendlesham Forest looms on the edge of the old US airbase where Colonel Halt was stationed.

At this stage, I should say I am not a part of the Rendlesham Forest Incident  community - I am a writer who has several friends within the RFI community.

I also do not have a Rendlesham Forest Incident book to sell.

As a few of the RFI key players  live close by, I have been fortunate enough in the last year, to meet up with some of them and listen to their stories.

The group I have started getting to know is made up of a few gentle souls who are at the heart of a community which spans the globe, thanks to the internet.

The Rendlesham Forest Incident - Key Players In the Local Community

Rendlesham Forest Incident
Brenda Butler - original local civilian Rendlesham Forest Incident investigator

Brenda Butler and friend Dot Street are two of the original civilian Rendlesham Forest Incident researchers/investigators in Suffolk.

Brenda lives very close to the Rendlesham Forest Incident site and has co-authored several books on the subject.

She is well-known as a speaker on the Rendlesham Forest Incident and she is recognised by many as being the voice of the British witnesses.

She lives about 30 minutes away from me and along with her partner Bernie, she regularly visits mutual friend, Derek Savory.

The three of them, along with a few other RFI fans occasionally work as unpaid volunteers to help facilitate local RFI events put on by a UK publisher.  

Brenda Butler and friend Dot Street are two of the original civilian Rendlesham Forest Incident researchers/investigators in Suffolk. Click To Tweet

Brenda and her group of friends help make these events happen for the publisher, who is not local and may find it hard to stage events without local assistance.

They are an amiable group of people who enjoy the social side of being interested in UFOs and the paranormal.

Rendlesham Forest Incident fans from all over the country often come to visit Brenda, Bernie, Derek and other local friends.

They all enjoy exploring the forest together and sharing ideas about what may have happened.

The RFI is so much more to them than a vehicle for selling books; it has almost become a way of life that provides a community atmosphere.

Rendlesham Forest Incident

One of the books co-authored by Brenda Butler. The book is available on Amazon by clicking here.

The Rendlesham Forest Incident could be described as a way of life that connects them to others who share their interests.

Some of the things they discuss when they get together would make some people run for cover!

But the warmth and simplicity of their friendships is endearing in a world where many people are too busy to share simple evenings like this.

Folklore and fantasy play a huge part in their interests and evenings with them are very entertaining.

Through their contacts in the wider UFO research world, I have recently met two of the biggest names in the ongoing saga of the Rendlesham Forest Incident.

Meeting Rendlesham Forest Incident Participant - Larry Warren 

In May this year, I met up with Larry Warren who is known and loved worldwide for speaking out about his RFI experience.

I spent a few hours with him and recorded interviews. From that experience, I found Larry to be a hugely entertaining, warm, complex and interesting person.

At the time of the Rendlesham Forest Incident, he was a 19 year old Security Police Officer in the USAF based at Bentwaters, home of the 81st Tactical Fighter Wing during the Cold War.

As someone who was there in 1980, Larry has a story to tell. His story cannot and should not, be taken away from him.

For better or worse, it has had a profound effect on his life.  

And make no mistake, whatever anyone thinks of Larry Warren, he has a legion of fans across the world who will stick by him no matter what.

Rendlesham Forest Incident
Larry Warren - Rendlesham Forest - May 2015

Many people, it seems, are fiercely protective of Larry. Their loyalty should not be underestimated; this is a man who is loved by many.

He is quick to point out he is probably disliked by just as many too.

In life, it is the easiest thing in the world to have an ill-informed opinion on absolutely anything. Talk after all, is cheap.

However, having an informed opinion is a little harder because it requires work and research or better still - first-hand experience of the subject.

How many of the non-local people who claim to be authorities on the Rendlesham Forest Incident or have strong opinions one way or the other were living in Suffolk at the time and have any genuine first-hand knowledge of it?

How many of the non-local people who claim to be authorities on the Rendlesham Forest Incident or have strong opinions one way or the other were living in Suffolk at the time and have any genuine first-hand knowledge of it? Click To Tweet

I mean knowledge that has not come via someone else or from a book. Only a very few civilian Rendlesham Forest Incident researchers come directly from the area and actually remember the events of December 1980.

On the military side, Larry Warren was living and working smack bang in the middle of it all at the time and therefore has first-hand knowledge that other people coming into the saga years later do not have.

Like it or not, Larry Warren was an A list participant in certain aspects of the Rendlesham Forest Incident.

Regardless of whether you believe him or whether you don't, Larry Warren has something most other people do not have - actual knowledge and experience of the Rendlesham Forest Incident at the time it happened.

In whatever capacity and on whatever day, Larry Warren was there. We should not forget that.

If he stood up tomorrow and said he lied about any aspect of it - I suspect people would not care because it is Larry the man who people are drawn to, not Larry the incident participant.

There is a huge difference - people like him for who he is and it goes far beyond the Rendlesham Forest Incident.

I do not pretend to know Larry beyond my first impressions on meeting him.

However, I do know he is loved worldwide by many in the UFO community. So it may have been a bad idea for anyone to allow a character assassination of him to take place in public.

Meeting Rendlesham Forest Incident Personality -  Charles Halt (Colonel USAF Retired)

On July 10th 2015, I met up with Larry's old 'boss' from 1980, Charles Halt (Colonel USAF Retired).

An interview was arranged for me by the conference promoter through Brenda Butler, the day before Colonel Halt's long awaited return to the Rendlesham Forest Incident arena.

He was here to take the stage and speak publicly about it in Suffolk for the first time in 35 years.

Rendlesham Forest Incident
Charles Halt (Colonel USAF Retired) after our interview in Woodbridge, UK.

Colonel Halt was Deputy Base Commander at RAF Woodbridge at the time of the Rendlesham Forest Incident; he then went on to become the Base Commander at a later date.

We met at his hotel where I spent an hour recording our interview. Colonel Halt came across as a highly intelligent, witty, charismatic military man who seems deeply tired of the history he is inextricably linked to.

That was the impression I was left with. After 35 years of the same questions from a never-ending stream of people with a 'right' to know 'The Truth', Colonel Halt, I believe, is bored out of his military brain with the whole saga.

He is, it appears, stuck in a no-win situation. Thirty-five  years after the event, he is still expected to explain himself to new generations of 'truth-seekers'.

Throughout the interview, as he talked at length about what happened that night, the same phrase kept popping into my head - 'loose lips sink ships'.

There was a war on at the time. The twin bases of Bentwaters and Woodbridge were not holiday camps.

Rendlesham Forest
A reminder of the Cold War at local level - Dave Baynes of Lazy Co. Cold War US. Living History and Airsoft Group at a Bentwaters Cold War Museum event.

The bases were military installations engaged in a deadly Cold War with Russia.

Detailed knowledge of the enemy's capabilities and hardware were of paramount importance to international security.

We only have to think of the Cuban Missile Crisis to remind ourselves exactly how serious the Cold War was.

Highly top-secret 'stuff' went on. 'Stuff' no-one dare even breathe about at the time because, if Joe Public knew the state secrets regarding how vital intelligence was being collected, then so would the Russians.

Loose lips really do sink ships or in this case, could have annihilated us all. I believe that Colonel Halt had an extremely challenging job to do in December 1980 when he was called out of a Christmas party on base to find the Rendlesham Forest Incident unfolding.

Loose lips really do sink ships or in this case, could have annihilated us all. I believe that Colonel Halt had an extremely challenging job to do in December 1980 when he was called out of a Christmas party on base to find the… Click To Tweet

It is my belief that he may have come out to find his worst nightmare unfolding on the wrong side of the perimeter fence.

Rendlesham Forest Incident
Perimeter fence at the old RAF Woodbridge Air Base in 2015

Perhaps the various levels of security clearance that are vital in wartime made Colonel Halt's life extremely complicated that night and the nights that followed.

Covert recovery of whatever came down in the woods on the wrong side of the military fence cannot have been easy to handle.

Did a large proportion of the lower-ranking military workforce need to remain unaware of what they were dealing with for international security reasons?

Was a cover story necessary to preserve secrets about how highly sensitive intelligence was being obtained?

Why did a mystery person turn up at the house of Brenda Butler, a locally known ghost-hunter and investigator of the paranormal at the time and offer the information that 'aliens' had crashed in the woods the night before?

What needed covering up so desperately that this fantastic story was given to the local community immediately to 'explain' a strange occurrence in the woods?

These are questions I ask myself after feeling that something is not quite right with the official story. Of course, it is just my opinion.

But it is an opinion based on reading between the 'official' lines spoken by Colonel Halt during our interview and then again, when they were repeated almost word for word the following evening during his presentation to the public.

The 'official' story was run off both times as if by rote. All the anecdotes, diversions and asides in the same places throughout.

There is an ordinary, friendly family man behind the robotic military figure who trots out the military line when asked about the RFI.

When he finally took the stage on the night of the long awaited 'Colonel Halt Briefing', many people seemed deeply disappointed in the content of his talk.

Although it isn't clear what people were expecting him to say, it was very clear that most people were not expecting the attack on Larry Warren. Or for that matter on his book Left At East Gate (co-written with author Peter Robbins).

Rendlesham Forest Incident
The Colonel speaks.

The way Colonel Halt delivered his diatribe against Larry Warren came across to me as a final snapping of patience.

It was almost as if the Colonel could no longer stand the continued insubordination of a young airman to his superior ranks.

However, this is 2015 and neither are in the military anymore.This just seemed like a parent losing his temper with a naughty child during a tantrum.

But this was in the public arena after a 'tantrum' lasting 35 years. The curious thing was, Colonel Halt seemed not to be in the least bothered about potential repercussions.

He was very confident about what he was saying. He knew he was being recorded.

There was no provision made for rebuttal from Larry but no-one seemed to care.

The Rendlesham Forest Incident Has Damaged Lives

No one fought back on Larry's behalf. Most people seemed stunned. The big question is, how does Larry feel now?

The rumour is that he was asked to stay away from the event. Larry has since confirmed this and stated he was 'categorically banned' from attending by the organisers.

However, he has seen the controversial  film of the event made by Ben Emlyn-Jones. Ben's film has now been removed from YouTube amid accusations of copyright infringement. (Update - the film was reinstated several weeks later after YouTube found that there had been no copyright violation)

Rendlesham Forest Incident
Was  UK Copyright law misused?

Larry was naturally very angry about the claims made by Colonel Halt and was, at one stage, considering legal action.

He was also understandably upset that none of the many friends he had there stood up for him. Has Larry Warren suffered enough from a horrific experience he had 35 years ago? Did he really deserve further pain from it?

Larry's crime, at the time of the incident, may have been to keep on asking questions that the top military brass did not want asked and could not, safely, answer.

GIs are expected to carry out orders without asking awkward questions. That is the nature of being in the military.

Loose lips do need to be silenced in wartime, even a Cold War and I am sure the military has ways of securing silence and creating deliberate confusion inside GI minds when needed.

Loose lips do need to be silenced in wartime, even a Cold War and I am sure the military has ways of securing silence and creating deliberate confusion inside GI minds when needed. Click To Tweet

But what happens when you are just 19 years old and you get caught up in the middle of something that seems so terrifying you need to talk about it and get answers?

What happens when 'they' mess with your head because 'they' don't know how much you saw and who you might tell?

What happens when espionage goes wrong and a bewildered young serviceman has no choice but to end his career and spend the next 35 years trying to make sense of what happened?

These are the questions that run through my mind when I consider some of the more scientific explanations for the Rendlesham Forest Incident.

Whatever 'The Truth' is, there are no winners here. And how guilty are we, the public, for continuing to scratch at other people's old wounds?

How much more can Colonel Halt or Larry Warren say? Maybe it is time to leave them both alone with their very different accounts of December 1980 and accept that the public just doesn't know what happened and probably never will.

rendlesham forest incident

These are real people whose lives were deeply affected by whatever happened in the woods.

I suspect that Larry's hell has been vastly different to Colonel Halt's as they were at opposite ends of the military command chain with vastly different security clearances.

But still, it appears they have both suffered in their own ways for 35 years - as have many of the other key players in the RFI. How much more can any of them say?

The Rendlesham Forest Incident Controversy Says So Much About Human Beings

Since the 'Colonel Halt Briefing' event on July 11th a new 'cold war' has allegedly broken out with mature adults slinging mud and various accusations being made.

Excuses are being made by people who did not stand up and challenge the Colonel. But the simple truth is, we are British and sadly we just don't do that. We are too 'polite'.

I am told that 'unfriendings' have happened on Facebook and rifts have developed between various factions involved in the whole event.

Apparently, this is the norm after a UFO event. I would find it all vaguely amusing if it were not so tragic that supposedly educated people can behave  this way.

At the end of all this, I am left wondering why we have such an interest in looking outward from our planet to see if there is any intelligent life 'out there'.

As human beings, we don't appear to have that much intelligent life on earth.

We bicker, fight, jostle for limelight, lie, cheat, kill and make life generally unpleasant for each other in the most ridiculous situations, usually in the name of making money or scoring points.

It is shameful. If there is any intelligent life out there they may well have visited us already. Some people claim they live among us.

If they had any sense, they would get back in their spaceships and go as far away as possible from us. We are not ready to receive visitors from Outer Space.

We can't even get along with 'aliens' from other countries - never mind from other planets!

Rendlesham Forest Incident
Rendlesham Forest 2015 - Normal stuff happens here too.

Who are we to judge what 'intelligent life' is?

As a species we are about as stupid as it gets because we are wrecking the beautiful planet we live on and killing each other in the process.

As for the interview I did with Colonel Halt, I will probably never publish it because I don't want to scratch away at Larry Warren's old scars.

And as for my own film of the event, I will leave it up to Larry whether or not anyone sees it because he, after all, is the one who stands to hurt the most from what was said.

From my brief encounters with both, I liked Larry and I liked Colonel Halt.

In my opinion, they experienced the same event from different angles and from different ranks. They will never agree. Maybe we should leave them both alone. The Cold War is long gone - let's not keep this new one going.

You can find Larry's book here on Amazon.  

You can read about my personal view of the copyright infringement claim against Ben Emlyn-Jones by clicking here.

A presentation given by Colonel Halt in 2007 can be seen by clicking here Colonel Halt Presentation 2007

A 1993 interview with Larry Warren can be seen by clicking here Larry Warren Interview 1993

There are many more interviews and a huge amount of Rendlesham Forest Incident information online - they can be found very easily with simple Google searches.

The Rendlesham Forest Incident - fact or fiction - what do you think?


Copyright claim

Copyright infringement claims have recently been made following one of the UKs most hotly anticipated UFO events.

(Since this post was written, there has been an update on the story – you can see the update by clicking here)



Since the eagerly awaited Colonel Charles Halt Woodbridge Briefing event that took place in the UK on July 11th 2015, things appear to have got a little out of hand. The already contentious subject of what actually happened in Rendlesham Forest in December 1980 has now descended into chaos with one film-maker’s event footage being removed from YouTube amid claims of copyright infringement.

As  stated  in a previous post, I am not a part of the Rendlesham Forest Incident (RFI)/ UFO research community. I am a writer who has several friends within the RFI community. In the last year, I have met up with some of the original key players locally and had some interesting conversations with them. I do not have a UFO book or any associated ‘space products’ to sell. I am a reporter with an interest in people and events of all kinds. As such I deal in facts as far as possible. Sometimes, as with a situations like the RFI, hard facts are in short supply.

copyright Infringement

Brenda Butler was the first civilian investigator. Her work began while the incident was still warm in 1980.

Millions of spoken or written words have been generated since the incident. A huge proportion of them are based on the hearsay and opinion that has developed over 35 years. There were a finite number of civilians and military personnel  who were actually living and working in the Rendlesham area at the time. Only a relatively tiny proportion of those people had any truly direct, first-hand experience of the incident, as it happened, 35 years ago. A few were at the epicentre of the incident and a few were on the edge of it. They are the ‘hot’ A listers of the Rendlesham Forest Incident. 

Rendlesham Forest Incident

One of the books co-authored by Brenda Butler

Anyone else who was not there in the woods or immediate area in December 1980  is dealing with secondhand information that, over the years has become third-hand, fourth-hand and so on. 

The original civilian investigators, such as Brenda Butler and Dot Street, who did research and interviews with the incident A listers at the time are warm B listers . Those who got on board within 10 years as the trail was rapidly cooling and talked to the A and B listers are very luke -warm C listers. Beyond that, there are hundreds of  people who  have jumped on board the RFI bandwagon at various points along the way over the last 35 years. Many are not local, they do not have first-hand experience of the incident and they simply regurgitate, re-work, embellish or add yet another opinion to the many that already exist. These people are stone cold D to Z listers, rated according to when they got involved, who they spoke to and what their agenda is. It should be noted that the D – Z list grows bigger by the year. Hards facts or first-hand experience of the RFI are as rare as hen’s teeth. Conversely, opinions on what really happened in the woods and who is telling ‘The Truth’ are as common and varied as supermarket plastic bags.

copyright infringement

Where does everyone stand in the Rendlesham Forest Incident A – Z of knowledge and experience? Who is Hot, Warm or Stone Cold?

Copyright Infringement – Or Not?

With that in mind, I move on to the main subject of this post –  a copyright infringement claim that happened following the Colonel Halt Briefing event. The claim has risen from the ashes of what could have been an informative, fact driven evening in the company of interesting speakers, one of whom was hot property from the incident’s A list and another from the B list. Colonel Halt and Brenda Butler are two of the very few people who were there, in the Rendlesham area in 1980. It was no surprise that people were willing to pay £20 each to hear them speak. If they had been the only speakers at the conference, with no superfluous padding, this copyright infringement claim would never have arisen.

copyright infringement

Based on my knowledge of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, I believe this kind of copyright infringement claim to be grossly misguided. As with all journalists who trained with the NCTJ college at Harlow, I have a  grounding in the Act.

copyright infringement

The Journalist’s Bible

When I heard that the video of the Colonel Halt Woodbridge Briefing had been removed from YouTube due to a copyright infringement claim, based on what I witnessed happening at the event, I was astounded . The video was shot and edited by Ben Emlyn-Jones.  Ben is known for the films he makes when he travels all over the country seeking out paranormal phenomena and associated public events. He has a YouTube channel called HPANWO and it is widely known in UFO/paranormal circles that Ben is a film-maker. And for those who perhaps don’t know what he does, the camcorder he carries everywhere on a tripod does give a bit of a clue.

Ben, as I understand it, had been asked by the organiser to film the Colonel Halt event. It is  also well known within the RFI/paranormal community that Ben always publishes his films on his YouTube channel. Ben’s filming began on the morning of the event when we met up with Colonel Halt at Rendlesham Forest where the Colonel was to conduct a tour. I was there for the first 30 minutes of the tour to get film clips and pictures for my blog. It was absolutely crystal clear that this walk in the forest was a picture opportunity (to which the local press had been invited as well).

copyright infringement

Everyone was fully aware of filming. Next to me was the press photographer who had been invited. Faces have been blurred here through personal choice – NOT because the subjects have any complaint in law.

A local press photographer did indeed attend and he took many pictures. Some of his shots were set up and some were ‘action’ shots of the whole group walking towards the camera. At no time did any member of the group ask him not to do this. It was very obvious to all concerned that filming and photography was going on. And as it was happening in a public place, photography could not have been restricted anyway.

No requests were made to refrain from filming anybody taking part in the walk. During the 30 minutes I was there, I set up various group shots that were both filmed and photographed while the subjects willingly stood where they were asked and posed for the cameras. While the group shots were going on, a youth, who was there with his father, declined to be in them. Out of courtesy, he was invited to be a part of the large group picture but did not want to be and that was fine. When I was happy that I had the shots I wanted, I left the woods to go home. The tour continued, with Ben filming until the end.

Copyright Infringement – Another Scene of the Alleged ‘Crime’

Later that afternoon, I went over to the Woodbridge Community Hall where a group of local (unpaid) volunteers were working  hard to help the organisers get the hall ready for the evening’s proceedings. Ben was already setting up his camera to film the event. He was positioned in a very prominent place at the front of the stage.

Below is a screenshot taken from video footage clearly showing Ben’s prominence in filming the speakers. He can be seen in the top right corner as the speaker speaks in the direction of his camera.

copyright infringement

Ben Emlyn-Jones filming the event as agreed.

Ben had been provided with access to an electrical socket to plug his camcorder in. The extension lead he used had been taped to the floor to comply with Healthy and Safety requirements. You could not miss it. I set up my own cameras in two very prominent, visible places on the stage. Conversations took place with the eventual copyright infringement claimant about where he would be standing when giving his talk.

We discussed where he would stand to ensure getting the projection screen in shot as well. He told me, and the sound technician, he would be speaking from the stage. The stage had an especially designed set that was to form the backdrop for the speakers. The PA system and microphones were being set up by unpaid, amateur volunteers. No provision was made to employ paid professionals to set up the sound. The sound system was set to operate with the speakers presenting on the stage. This would create the best experience for the paying guests, especially those further back.

copyright infingemet

The stage set was not used for the first two speakers

However, when the first speakers came on, they spoke from the floor, at the same level as the audience. This caused problems which naturally irritated some of the paying audience. The speakers spoke directly in front of the camera that Ben was using to film the event. They could not possibly have been unaware of Ben’s camera, and several others in the audience, pointing at them. The organiser of the event did not, at any point, make an announcement saying that filming was prohibited or restricted in any way. In fact, Ben’s filming of the event had been very obviously facilitated by, and had the blessing of, the organiser.

Section 58 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, particularly point C, is very clear on what should happen if a speaker wants to make copyright restrictions on a speech is he giving.

copyright infringement

An excerpt from McNae’s Essential Law for Journalists – Page 399


copyright infringement

An excerpt from McNae’s Essential Law for Journalists Page 400

Note the final paragraph of the above extract from McNae’s Essential Law for Journalists. Could a speaker have second thoughts about his remarks and prohibit reporting of them afterwards? Clearly – he cannot.

Unlike ben, I was not in a hurry to produce a film or blog-post about the event. Ben however had many people, who were unable to attend the event, looking forward to seeing his film. He had edited his film and published it on YouTube by Sunday July 12th.

For reasons known only to the claimant, who had stood happily in front of Ben’s camera (and many others) only hours earlier, he ( as I have been advised by Ben), contacted YouTube and  had the film removed. He allegedly complained that his copyright had been infringed. I refer you again to the above extract. This cannot be done after the event.

Copyright infringement

The Act is there to protect – not to silence people who have a different opinion to yourself

This surprising development was yet another disappointing aspect of what originally promised to be an upbeat event headlined by Colonel Halt.  One of the talks was practically impossible to hear. Another one, in my opinion, was illustrated with some very odd looking pictures and seemed to consist of regurgitated information about astronauts and the possible moon-landing hoax that we all know about anyway. We also learned that astronauts have supposedly seen many UFOs while zipping about in space.

However, as some of the Apollo astronauts (some of America’s biggest heroes) were then referred to by the speaker as ‘recovering alcoholics’, (some of whom, apparently still like a drink – according to the same speaker), it did leave us wondering what to believe. The speaker intimated that he has spent years meeting with the said astronauts. He implied he had great fun plying one astronaut in particular with ‘jugs of Margaritas’. Alcohol, apparently, made former astronauts loose-lipped in the company of the speaker and tell him stuff. Ok… sure…moving swiftly on… How happy would you be to be called a recovering alcoholic in public? Not nice and not professional – in my opinion.

Further disappointment came later when Colonel Halt took the stage and launched the apparent attack on Larry Warren, who was not there to defend himself. I began to wonder why this event consisted of unpleasant slurs on people who were not present.  It was deeply uncomfortable for Larry’s many friends. Should they have stuck up for him? Maybe, but for whatever reason, they did not.  I suspect that no one wanted  to take on the two men who kept a tight control over who spoke, what they said and when they said it. The vulnerable usually find it hard to stand up to those who they may perceive as ruthless. That could have happened here. That is life. It is my belief the only person who could have and definitely would have spoken out was Larry himself which is why, I suspect, he was not allowed to be there. Questions from the audience were vetted beforehand and kept to a bare minimum. The event was brought to a sudden end well before the expected time and some people appeared to be left a little shell-shocked.

copyright infringement

This is Larry Warren in Rendlesham Forest May 2015 – he featured heavily in the event but was not there to defend himself.


 Copyright Infringement Claim – The Effects


Regarding the film’s removal from YouTube, Ben tells me  he believes that the claim of copyright infringement has been made because some people are unhappy that the film expresses support for Larry Warren. Ben has now made another film, which is on YouTube, stating this view. Surely if a person is ripped apart in public, they and their supporters have the legal right of reply…in public. 

When I attended the event, I did not expect to be writing a feature about copyright infringement. I expected to be writing something interesting and upbeat about a very positive RFI event. However, as I perceive the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 is probably being misused in this case, I have to speak out. As a professional writer/photographer and amateur film-maker I know what an important piece of legislation the Act is for everybody who produces creative work. We need protection against those who seek to misuse the hard work of others. However, the Act is not a weapon to be swung at someone who has upset you by having an opinion different to your own.

YouTube, it seems, is swift to remove anything that someone claims copyright infringement on. In some ways that is a good thing because it protects victims of true copyright infringement immediately. However, I hope that their appeal system is supportive of those who fall victim to blatant misuse of the Act. It must never be used as a way of silencing those with controversial opinions.

An excellent example of a copyright infringement claim that appeared to misuse the 1988 Act can be found by clicking on this link YouTube & UK Copyright Law by Darren Locke . You can see how this was resolved by clicking here A Small Victory by Darren Locke Although this case is slightly different – it is still a great illustration of how false copyright infringement claims can affect ‘the little guy’ and what happens when ‘the little guy’ fights back.

copyright infringement

We HAVE to fight dubious claims

Regarding your rights to film or take pictures in public places, there is an interesting film on YouTube made by another ‘every-day guy’ who is standing up for your rights by promoting what the law says. You can find his film here Photography & Filming Rights In Public by Stevie B . His film includes a shocking recording of an alleged exchange between a photographer and a Police Officer who had allegedly confiscated the photographer’s camera for taking pictures in public.

The guy who posted this film on YouTube also posted a link to a copy of a letter that was allegedly sent out to all Police Chiefs in the UK from the ACPO,  informing them that their officers cannot confiscate cameras just because people are taking pictures in public places. The link can be found by clicking here A police letter regarding the right to take pictures in public. If you are a photographer or film-maker – these links are worth a look because the information is from ordinary people who are fighting back against the bully-boy tactics  sometimes used by those who try to censor with aggression.

Many people are behind Ben Emlyn-Jones and are watching with interest to see if his appeal to YouTube is upheld, the copyright strike lifted and the film reinstated.

You can read more about my thoughts on the Colonel’s Return by clicking this link to Part 1 The Colonel Returns