Should We Believe This Guy’s Extraordinary Eyewitness Testimony of a UFO?

Would somebody out there like to shoot some skeptical holes into this man’s UFO testimony for me? To my ear, he sounds pretty darn credible, and doesn’t strike me as psychotic or blatantly lying about his experience. His name is James Penniston, and in 1980 he claims that he was serving as a Sergent in the United States Air Force, and that he was based in England. He also makes the extraordinary claim that on December 26, 1980, in Rendlesham Forest near his base, he and eighty other Air Force Personnel, literally witnessed the take-off of a UFO that had landed there. Sounds bizarre.

Too much holiday eggnog?

In any event, he offered his testimony at a National Press Club conference in 2007:

Do you believe?

Hopefully you didn’t answer “yes” after just one video clip of one person’s purported eyewitness testimony of a UFO sighting. But how much testimony would make you a believer in UFOs? And how thorough would the investigative follow through have to be to tip the balance of belief for you?

On hearing Sergent Penniston’s testimony, I couldn’t help but think of Thomas Jefferson, and his skeptical reaction upon hearing of meteorites that had fallen to the earth. Jefferson famously declared that he would sooner believe that individuals testifying to such a thing were lying as to believe that rocks actually fall out of the sky. Jefferson believed that he had arrived at a sensible inference about the way the world reasonably works, but he was wrong, and spectacularly so. There may well be some very big things going on in the universe that we don’t yet know about, yes?

We are not alone?

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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6 Responses to Should We Believe This Guy’s Extraordinary Eyewitness Testimony of a UFO?

  1. scotteallen says:

    The thing about this guy is his testimony differs from the other Airman that were there as well. They even say this dudes story is different from theirs.

    It’s very compelling. I hope its true. Things like this make me mental…

  2. Roel Poelwijk says:

    I believe we have to believe everyone’s testimony and I know how ridiculous that sounds.
    But it is the only way to filter out the truth.
    Believe , research it, re-research it and come to a conclussion. It is the most correct way and creates a form of respect towards every person who gives a testimony. As a people we should stop looking the other way because things do not sound or feel the way we know certain things. It’s higly arrogant to assume we already figured most things out. For me the whole ufo/alien/2012 item is pretty much the same as the spirit world. As a people we do not have a global view on who we are, where we are from and what our goals as a race or as a individual should be. Why do we keep looking outwards while we do not even grasp the truth about ourselfs ?
    Sorry for the change of subject but blog items with some decent questions always fire me up to keep typing 🙂

    Sincerely,

    Roel Poelwijk
    The Netherlands

  3. scotteallen says:

    Those are some great points Roel.
    However, bringing things back down to Earth, that dude shared his experience with three other Airman, including a LtCol. All say his experience is different than theirs.
    Why?
    It just makes me wonder how valid his claims are if he can’t even agree with the people that were there with him, That’s all I’m saying.
    I believe the other 3 Airman without question. It takes a lot of courage to take a position like they did. For them to be lying about what they witnessed after all they sacrificed while serving our Country makes no sense at all.

    I wish this would happen to me, lol.

    Scott

  4. santitafarella says:

    Scott:

    I’ll go in search of the other men’s testimonies, but if you have a quick link to them, please share it.

    —Santi

  5. Roel Poelwijk says:

    I understand the how conflicting and confusing it can become when stories mismatch. That is why I recommend further investigation, interviews, even if his story is part lie, complete lie or something different. He could have spiced up his story due to circumstances with the sole purpose to gain a bit of stardom or gaining the stardom to gain a more secure position considering the threats we read about from a lot of other brave souls who came forth.
    Until there’s a full investigation no full truth can be told.

  6. santitafarella says:

    I find that Wikipedia has a full article on the incident:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rendlesham_Forest_incident

    —Santi

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