The Evidence: Photographs, sketches, plaster casts
Penniston tried over and over to pull what happened that night into his realm of experience. Knowing he would not be allowed to keep the photographs, he decided to gather up something tangible, a physical reminder that this had really happened ...
At that point in time I knew what we'd reported was probably not really believed outside those pictures. I needed something physically for myself to know that it was real. Through time, sometimes things don't seem real after a long time; so, up the street from my house is a, a friend of mine -- a British friend of mine who is a painting, decorator. And I went up and seen him and well I got some plaster of Paris. We went up -- went back up to the site. Quickly poured the plaster of Paris in the three indentations in the ground. Waited 20 minutes, 25 minutes, half hour, pulled them and then on the way out -- this is what I wasn't expecting, leaving there. I just wanted to get the plaster taken and leave, I run into Major Drewry, the Deputy Squadron Commander for Security Police, and along with Captain Ferrano and they asked me what I was doing out there? I said, "I was just checking the site back out" and they said, "Well, why don't you go home and get some sleep." And I left.
...Penniston had just picked up the last plaster cast, and loaded it into his car when the Deputy Squadron Commander for Security Police and the Day Shift Commander showed up at the site.
"They asked me what I was doing," Penniston recalls. "I told them, 'Just looking around.' They suggested I go home and get some sleep. I left. I didn't feel prudent to mention the plaster casts. I just took them home, sealed them in plastic and hid them."
Two days later, Penniston was called in from his break, and once again asked to review what had happened, this time to the Base Commander, and then to OSI - the Office of Special Investigations, which had an office at Bentwaters because of the base’s NATO status. He was again encouraged not to talk about it. The craft or crafts - whatever they were - had returned but not touched down just hours before he was called back in.