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More than 60 years ago, the average age of a boy earning Eagle was 14.6. As we celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Eagle Scout Award this month, it’s a good time to ask: Why the increase?

In 2001 I persuaded the Ministry of Defence, using the Code of Practice for Access to Government Information (a precursor to the Freedom of Information Act), to release their file on the incident.Since that time I have, when time allowed, continued to trace key players in the saga including Mo D and RAF personnel who dealt with the reports as part of their duties.Until this year Col Ted Conrad, one of the most senior USAF officers involved in the events, has kept his views to himself.Col Conrad was the Bentwaters/Woodbridge base commander, and Lt Col Charles Halt was his deputy.Why are today’s new Eagle Scouts so much older than Eagle Scouts from a generation ago?

What is known today as the Rendlesham Forest incident has been described as “the world’s first officially observed, and officially confirmed, UFO landing” – Britain’s equivalent of Roswell.And as the witnesses were all US Air Force personnel, their accounts have naturally been regarded as being highly reliable and decades this controversial case remains unresolved.As is the case with Roswell, the gulf between those who believe the UFOs seen at Rendlesham were an extraterrestrial spacecraft and those who feel the entire event can be explained in mundane terms continues to grow.Both men were subordinate to the Wing Commander, Col Gordon Williams, who played only a peripheral role in the events that unfolded.Until now Col Conrad’s only public comment was a brief interview given to journalist Eric Mishara, published by magazine (Vol 5/6) in March 1983.At that time one of the more sensational rumours circulating on the base and on the UFO grapevine claimed that Conrad himself had spoken to aliens during the alleged UFO landing in the forest.