Lakenheath RAF Base

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It was from Lakenheath RAF base that DeHavilland Venom fighter jets were scrambled during the night of 13th August 1956 during the famous Lakenheath Bentwaters incident.

The timeline of events on that night is still a subject of some controversy.

Technical Sergeant Perkins - watch commander on that night - first informed the Condon Committee in 1968. In his submission, he stated that 2 Venoms were scrambled from the base. 1 of the aircraft had engaged an unknown object for around 10 minutes while the other had been forced to return to base by engine troubles. His account of the engagement described how the Venom had given chase to an object which instantaneously vanished and reappeared behind the pursuing aircraft.

In the late 1970s, Flight Lieutenant reddy Wimbledon - an aircraft controller at nearby RAF Neatishead claimed that it had been he rather than Perkins who had scrambled the Venoms. He claimed that the US personnel at Lakenheath had merely been listening in to RAF operations directed from Neatished. Aside from that, his account of the 'dogfight' with the UFOs tallied quite strongly with that of Perkins.

More recent research by British UFO investigators has led to interviews with the actual aircrews of the Venoms. According to their recollection, they were scrambled after 2am on the morning of the 14th - some 2 hours later than either Perkins or Wimbledon claimed the incident to have occurred. Their account of the engagement also differed significantly. Neither of the two crews reported any visual contact and felt that the radar contacts themselves were of poor quality.

Then, further research found a further Venom crew who were scrambled earlier that night.

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Author: Ian Freud   |  Last updated: 2nd October 2011 | © Weird Island 2010-2019
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Lakenheath RAF Base: location