"We had a very weird experience. There is clearly something strange going on."
An American airman has won a legal bid to force military health chiefs to pay for the treatment of an illness allegedly caused by a UFO encounter in Suffolk.
Airman First Class John Burroughs was involved in an incident in Rendlesham Forest in December 1980 which has become known as “Britain’s Roswell”.
He was exposed to huge doses of radiation whilst investigating a mysterious craft and claimed this left him in need of “lifesaving” heart surgery.
After decades of being “stonewalled”, he has finally persuaded the US Veteran’s Association (VA) to pay for his treatment.
His lawyer hailed the dramatic legal about-turn as a “de facto” admission that UFOs exist and can cause “physical injury”.
Burroughs told Mirror Online: “I was not looking for anyone to believe me.
“All I have been concerned about was getting care for my illness. That was all that mattered.”
The Rendlesham Forest incident is one of the great unsolved UFO encounters of the 20th century.
Several members of the United States Air Force witnessed a strange craft flying overhead on three consecutive nights.
Burroughs and a colleague Jim Penniston ventured from their base to inspect the UFO at close range, with Penniston describing a strange silver craft covered in symbols which resembled heiroglyphics.
Shortly afterwards, Burroughs fell ill with symptoms resembling radiation exposure.
But the real problems started in 2011, when doctors were astonished after the mithral valve of his heart had failed – something which usually happens to men much older than 50-year-old Burroughs.
“I couldn’t work and was going downhill fast,” he continued.
Neither Burroughs nor his doctor were able to access his medical records, which were classified.
Burroughs even claimed the Air Force denied he was employed with them at the time of the UFO incident.
He asked for the help of presidential candidate Senator John McCain, who was also unable to get his hands on all the medical records.
Finally, Burroughs’ legal team found two documents from the British Ministry of Defence which showed high levels of radiation were detected at the site where he encountered the mystery UFO.
The US Veterans Association and Department of Defence then agreed to pay for his treatment.
“I’m still trying to work out what I saw,” Burroughs said. “I think this is a phenomenon the government is aware of, but are still trying to work out exactly what it is.
“We had a very weird experience. There is clearly something strange going on.”
Burroughs’ lawyer said the ruling was effectively an admission that UFOs are real.
“In citing the [MoD radiation documents] and in granting John Burroughs full disability for his injuries in Rendlesham Forest, the US Government has by de facto acknowledged the existence of unidentified aerial phenomena which, in John Burroughs’ case, resulted in physical injury,” Pat Frascogna said in an email.
Nick Pope, a researcher who spent several years investigating UFOs as a employee at the MoD, told us: “I think this development is hugely significant, whatever you believe about UFOs.
“One moment the US government was saying that nothing happened, but the next, John Burroughs and his attorney get hold of a formerly classified report that says John was probably irradiated by something in Rendlesham Forest.”
However, Pope is still baffled about what exactly happened that December night in 1980.
Retired police detective Gary Heseltine, who now edits ezine UFO Truth Magazine, has spent many years investigating the incident and is the UK’s leading authority on police UFO sightings.
He said: “The legal victory John Burroughs has secured with the Veterans Administration is nothing short of sensational. It’s implications for the reality of UFOs as real and almost certainly of ET origin are huge.
“For the VA to acknowledge that John was exposed to radiation from a UFO/UAP during the Rendlesham Forest incident is unprecedented. Not only does it validate what the actual witnesses have been saying for 35 years but should also put paid to the ridiculous sceptical arguments that have been regularly repeated in the mainstream media that have always lacked genuine foundation.”