The bear that never was

All Fools day has come early this year with The Telegraph and The Sun among those hoaxed by sightings of a bear in Rendlesham forest, Suffolk, previously best known as a landing place for aliens from another world.

The East Anglian Daily Times which ran the story yesterday, today revealed that it was all a stunt by a theatre company which is putting on an open-air production of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale (stage direction “Exit, pursued by bear”) this summer.

In 1980 American servicemen from the Bentwaters air base in the forest followed weird lights and found marks on the ground. The story was of an unexplained flying object but some believed they had encountered an alien craft and its landing site. In 2003 the BBC claimed it was a hoax by a USAF security policeman who used the lights of his patrol car.

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