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  • Writer's pictureJ.P. Robinson

The Ariel School UFO Encounter

For more information on the story covered in this post or for further research on the UFO/ET reality, please buy The Alien Enigma by JP Robinson.

On 14th September, 1994 a UFO streaked across the sky over Southern Africa and two days later a private primary school in Ruwa, Zimbabwe, experienced a close encounter of the third kind. Pupils from Ariel School, located in the suburbs just 20 km away from Harare, witnessed the bizarre incident near the school playground during recess

Child's drawing of the UFO and being in 1994.

Whilst the teachers were in a meeting, the children were playing in the school field during mid-morning break, when out of the blue they saw three silver balls in the sky. With a flash of light they were gone, only to reappear somewhere else. The mysterious orbs came in and out of sight three times before starting to descend towards the school, and then at approximately 10:15 a.m. one came and landed (or hovered) in the rough woody area adjacent to the playing field.

The uncertainty to whether the craft landed or hovered is due to the fact that the sixty-two witnesses were only young children and some gave clearer testimonies than others because of their age and general awareness. The reports taken as a whole were very similar, and the overall consensus of opinion was that an object did land about 100 metres from the edge of the school field where the children were stood.

Once the silver object made its way into the woods, many of the children stopped what they were doing to go and see what had landed at the back of the field. Amazingly, the children all reported witnessing the appearance of two small beings, both dressed in tight-fitting shiny black clothing. One young observer remarked, “I felt scared because I’ve never seen such a person like that.” Another girl claimed, “They were kind of, just like looking at us. They were like, kind of astonished at what we were.”

The small men were described as having large oval-shaped eyes and shoulder length black hair, with one of the figures stood by the side of the “ship” and the other was said to be running up and down on top of the silver craft. Once the being on the top became aware of the children’s presence, they both quickly re-entered the object and quickly disappeared.

Child drawing the being they witnessed.

The children all ran back into the school en masse screaming, alerting the teachers to the incredible scenes that they had just witnessed. A few days after the incident, a BBC reporter visited the school to document the case, and many of the children were promptly interviewed regarding their personal experiences of the event by Harvard Professor of Psychiatry, John E. Mack and Cynthia Hind, MUFON’S coordinator for Africa, and author of the book UFOs Over Africa.

Following requests to draw what they saw, the children produced between 30 and 40 pictures, all of them strikingly similar in content and appearance. Most of the drawings contained a saucer type craft, some trees and small child-size men with large black eyes.

The two drawings below were drawn by two different children independently of each other; meaning that neither had any idea what the other had drawn. The similarities between the two are very clear.

Many of the eyewitnesses described receiving some form of message in their heads whilst looking at one of the creatures and the overall theme of the seemingly telepathic communications was of general environmental concern towards our planet. Others expressed the view that the ‘aliens’ were warning the children of some future cataclysmic event that could be avoided if the children were to take some responsibility as they matured.

Although there is a lack of physical evidence to support this mass sighting, only the testimonies of a group of children with no video or photographic proof; the sheer consistency of the individual recollections of the event along with the minor details relayed verbally to researchers through interviews along with their drawings, lends a certain amount of credibility to the encounter.

Being in Africa and of such tender ages, the media influence on the children was minimal and any preconceived knowledge of UFOs and aliens is unlikely to have been sufficient enough to have affected them. One child explained she had found traces of evidence that something had landed in the woods, saying that “where the spaceship had landed – all the insects and ants were all dead and there was a big black mark there.” The scorched grass and earth at the precise location of the alleged incident was also confirmed by researchers at the time.

Many of the kids suffered psychologically as a result of the strange encounter, some were given counselling and others claimed that they continued to dream about the incident for months afterwards. One girl explained how it had affected her, “After about a year I stopped dreaming about it. I dreamt that the same one I saw came into my bedroom and he took me from my bed. And then I woke up and screamed.”

Having interviewed all of the child eyewitnesses, John Mack reached the conclusion that the children exhibited no signs of behavioural problems and ruled out the possibility that their descriptions were the result of a mass delusion. “They experienced very powerful encounters with these beings and they’re left with the rather disturbing fact that this seems to be what it is. And it seems to have no other psychiatric explanation.”

The incident remains a mysterious example of a mass UFO sighting, the likes of which has not been seen since. The case could prove to be a vital piece in the UFO/ET phenomenon puzzle. If only the story had reached a mainstream audience, maybe further analysis could have taken place and allowed the possibility of understanding the case even better.

Excerpt taken from the chapter Sky Ghosts from The Alien Enigma by JP Robinson.

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