Rudloe Manor, a former British Royal Air Force (RAF) station, is located in Wiltshire, England. The former military installation is widely known as the "Area 51 of the UK" because of the numerous UFO sightings and rumors associated with Rudloe Manor.
Rudloe Manor's UFO Research History
Along with the manor house for which the installation is named, Rudloe Manor also has several other military areas. Former quarry tunnels were used as storage chambers for wartime ammunition. An operations room directed military aircraft. A filter room processed information about enemy activity. A communications room was located in an underground bunker. However, what's most notable about Rudloe Manor is the once-rumored network of underground tunnels that extend underneath the property in more than 2 million square feet of caverns. It is in these caverns that many believe UFO research has been conducted for decades and remains ongoing to this day.
Britain's Area 51
In the 1950s, Rudloe Manor was used as the center for UFO report investigations according to declassified files in the British National Archives. Archival information suggests extensive investigation into many UFO reports in and around Wiltshire, including a wartime UFO encounter between RAF bombers and a UFO that Winston Churchill ordered covered up so as not to incite mass panic. In 1957, there was an average of one UFO sighting per week in Wiltshire. Today, many believe due to the high level of security surrounding Rudloe Manor, research may remain ongoing or the underground caverns may be the site for stored secret UFO records or even alien craft.
1950s UFO Crash
American journalist Dorothy Kilgallen reported in 1955 that a high-level British government official told her of a UFO that had crashed in the UK being taken to the underground network at Rudloe Manor for study and reverse engineering.
Reports of UFOs Continue
Reports of UFOs in the area continue, as do rumors of secret government UFO research in the caverns below Rudloe Manor. BBC notes the reports of UFO encounters and sightings peaked in 1996 (when X Files was on the air) with around 1,000 written reports, encounters, sightings, and inquiries in one year.
Conspiracy Theorists Zero in on Rudloe Manor
Conspiracy theorists latched onto the idea of Rudloe Manor being a center for UFO storage, reverse engineering, and research in the 1980s and spent a great deal of time looking into the activities there. This allowed the Ministry of Defense (MOD) to use Rudloe Manor's underground bunkers as a decoy to distract those interested so the government could build another underground facility nearby called the CCC (Corsham Computer Centre), an underground facility on the grounds of the Rudloe Manor complex that remains heavily guarded and shrouded in secrecy. Along with tall, razor wired fences, visitors can peer through and notice mounds that are underground entryways on the property. Many visitors report that when they are in the area, they are stopped by security or police and asked to leave the area. An episode of History Channel's Ancient Aliens shows the high level of security at CCC, which continues to fuel rumors of top secret UFO research activity at the facility.
Ministry of Defense Declassifies Bunker in 2004
In 2004, the British Ministry of Defense (MOD) confirmed the rumored size of the underground network at Rudloe Manor when they declassified photos of the bunkers. According to the MOD, the underground facilities were used during the Cold War to house government officials after a nuclear strike. The report further indicated that after the threat from the Cold War faded, the facility was no longer in use and only maintained.
Rudloe Manor UFO Rumors Continue Apace
While the government claims that the bunkers below Rudloe Manor are no longer used for anything, the high level of security surrounding the site keeps UFO theorists suspicious that the government isn't telling the truth. Because there are so many rumors and theories, it's hard to separate what's true and what isn't. Some who used to work at Rudloe Manor and in its underground network staunchly maintain the bunkers were the site of UFO research and likely still are, while others who have been able to visit and tour the site claim that they went through every inch of the underground network and found nothing of extra-terrestrial origin. With such and interesting history and so many conflicting reports, it's hard to know what truly happens in the network of caverns beneath Rudloe Manor.