The Ariel School UFO Encounter [Ruwa, Zimbabwe, 1994]

dr wu

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#1
I always thought this was a very interesting case,,,,I have a hard time feeling this was a hoax or made up by the kids but then is it a real alien event or something else..?

Why would advanced space aliens land in such an out of the way place to appear to school children to 'warn them' that we are in trouble on earth...? Is this something that outer space aliens would do...? To what purpose? Why not appear in a more public venue where thousands or millions could receive the message? Does this make sense in any logical manner?
 
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#2
I always thought this was a very interesting case,,,,I have a hard time feeling this was a hoax or made up by the kids but then is it a real alien event or something else..?

Why would advanced space aliens land in such an out of the way place to appear to school children to 'warn them' that we are in trouble on earth...? Is this something that outer space aliens would do...? To what purpose? Why not appear in a more public venue where thousands or millions could receive the message? Does this make sense in any logical manner?
I've read about this incident somewhere, possibly in the FT magazine.
 

dr wu

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#4
I haven't read anything about it for quite some time....Dr Mack did investigate but never really discovered any thing other than what the kids themselves had said........, they saw a ufo with two strange little floating aliens who told them humans were effing up the earth.
To me this is definitely a high strangeness event; more like an occult or paranormal event than space aliens visiting earth. Again is this something that advanced aliens would do? It seems absurd which is what Dr Vallee has said about many of these bizarre encounters.
 

dr wu

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#6
What makes you say that?
Well...I'm using the ideas or criteria Dr Vallee has often talked about in his books and interviews.
The sudden appearance seemingly out of nowhere in a rural out of the way school area.....a small strange craft seemingly not very big ...two very odd 'floating aliens'....a strange message of doom and gloom given to the children....and then the sudden departure or vanishing of the craft and 'aliens'.
We have to ask the question as to why advanced space travelers would contact schoolchildren (not adults)in this way and why they would even bother to do so. What would be the point...the motivation?
Apparently they were trying to 'warn us about our human problems'...to 60 schoolchildren in Zimbabwe Africa..? Really?
First of all that's not going to accomplish anything (only a handful actually heard 'the message') and wouldn't intelligent aliens know this and contact adults or scientists or world leaders instead?
To me it's what Dr Vallee has called the 'theater of the absurd'...regarding the bizarre actions of 'aliens' in many encounter and contact cases over the years. It's almost as if it was intended as a theatrical presentation trying to make us believe that some space aliens are worried about mankind.
 

eburacum

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#7
Here's an article by Robert Schaeffer on this subject.
http://badufos.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07/a-new-investigation-of-1994-ariel.html
Looks to me like a lot of leading questions being asked by the investigators, especially the utterly irresponsible John Mack.

At that time Zimbabwe was in the middle of a UFO flap, caused apparently by a Russian first stage re-entry a few days before. So it seems likely the kids were already alert to extraordinary events. Whatever caused this event may have been strange, but probably terrestrial in origin.
 

dr wu

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#8
^It's certainly possible that something terrestrial sparked the perception of the event but then how does one explain the two floating aliens and the message of doom and gloom....and the consistency of the reports by the children...?
And I think one or two adults might have also seen the object at the edge of the play area.
Very strange event indeed.
 

INT21

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#9
...
The kids seem genuine enough. Body language, facial expression, etc.
I wonder if there has been a follow-up with the kids now they're all grown-up?


I will have to check up on this again later tonight, but am placing it here so I don't forget.

On 'unbelievable or true' (or something similar) last night there was a report of a lot of school children seeing some ufo above their school ground.
This case has the followup that it appears they recently met up again to confirm their sighting.

I'll watch this again (Tivo) later and take notes; back later.

INT21
 

Shadowsot

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#10
^It's certainly possible that something terrestrial sparked the perception of the event but then how does one explain the two floating aliens and the message of doom and gloom....and the consistency of the reports by the children...?
And I think one or two adults might have also seen the object at the edge of the play area.
Very strange event indeed.
The consistency of the children's stories is explained by being lead by the investigators.
 

dr wu

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#11
The consistency of the children's stories is explained by being lead by the investigators.
Do we know that was the case...? Has there been a deconstruction of the process that took place?
I'd be interested to hear if any adult saw the event up close and personal or if it was only some children who might have caused a tale to spread.
I need to reread the reports.
 

Shadowsot

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#12
Do we know that was the case...? Has there been a deconstruction of the process that took place?
I'd be interested to hear if any adult saw the event up close and personal or if it was only some children who might have caused a tale to spread.
I need to reread the reports.
That's what was cited in the post above from the research if Schaeffer.
 

EnolaGaia

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#13
There are also some interesting points cited in this 2011 forum thread:

http://www.realityuncovered.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=2007&sid=c900a7b37112e56c53f34346a6ceb1d5

... especially the point that there seemed to have been a complete lack of any children claiming to have seen the alleged craft / artifact / whatever in flight.

I've not yet located any original source that includes a witness specifically claiming to have personally seen whatever-it-was in flight.

I've seen a couple of witness citations that mention a heavy or strong 'wind' at one point, which might be suggestive of a helicopter.

The bit I find most interesting is the notion the mystery thing (craft; whatever) was not just of terrestrial origin but of terrestrial-only capability (i.e., a land vehicle - possibly a camper trailer or something similar).

There's a lot of reason for skepticism about the most immediate investigations - not counting the obvious - if possibly unintended - leading or manipulation of the interviewees.

For one thing, only a subset of the kids were known to have been interviewed. The drawings subsequently presented as evidence were only a subset of the drawings the alleged witnesses made, and it's not clear all the witnesses were ever asked to draw anything.

In any case, the drawings were done days after the incident. In addition to taxing the memories of the smaller children, it gave ample time for all the children's memories and impressions to be modified or mutually influenced.

I also found it strange that the alleged non-verbal communication with the 'visitors' was limited to the older child witnesses.

The current school (Ariel Primary School) can be located on Google Maps northeast of the Ruwa village center, at the northeastern end of Tarisa Road. The degree of development (buildings; roads / tracks) around the school (Google; satellite view) was surprisingly higher than I'd expected from the case reports. I have no idea how much of this surrounding development was present in 1994.

I also found it strange that the children were in the play / recreation area without any adult supervision. The most coherent descriptions seem to correlate in stating the adult staff members were in a meeting and the nearest (perhaps sole) accessible adult was the person manning the 'tuck shop' (concession / refreshment stand). The tuck shop attendee was allegedly informed / contacted, but didn't leave the tuck shop to see what was going on because she(?) didn't want to leave it unattended.
 

dr wu

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#14
Well...the original reports, before anyone else got involved, was that a few children saw something strange at the edge of the playground and went over to look at it. It was then that a few saw the strange object and then two little 'alien men' floating. Allegedly a message was received about doom and gloom on earth then the men and the object 'vanished'....or took off or whatever.
Personally I don't see a reason to doubt that 'something' caused the children to relate this experience. Whether or not it was 'alien' or terrestrial or a complete fabrication is open to discussion.
Does anyone who has followed this event over the years know if it has been recanted or denied by any of the children who have come forward to say it was a lie?
 

EnolaGaia

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#15
... Does anyone who has followed this event over the years know if it has been recanted or denied by any of the children who have come forward to say it was a lie?
Good point!

I've run across a handful of latter day re-interviews of, or statements from, 1994 students, but all of them involved alleged witnesses confirming (and in some cases elaborating upon ... ) the standard storyline.

Reasonable survey corroborating the story? Selection bias? You decide!

The selection bias bit is a particular point of concern with me. Much of the brouhaha generated derived from only a subset of the alleged witnesses (circa 14(?) out of a maximum estimated set of circa 60).
 

dr wu

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#16
Well..is it possible then that a legitimate event of some unknown sort did happen?
 

EnolaGaia

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#17
Well..is it possible then that a legitimate event of some unknown sort did happen?
It's certainly possible, but there's a load of contextual factors that do nothing to instill confidence ...

- Unsupervised schoolchildren (anybody's guess as to what really happened; highly impressionable; uncertain reliability as witnesses);
- Apparent focusing of the initial investigators on the subset of the witness population that provided the most supportive version(s) of an account the investigators were hoping to hear;
- The demonstrably 'leading' interviewing style of the initial investigators;
- No clear indication the full set of witnesses was ever polled / interviewed;
- Follow-up drawings done days later - following the leading interviews (as far as I can tell) - that exhibit no more uniformity than (a) what the investigators read into them and / or (b) could have been agreed among the children in the mean time;
- There was one of those transient UFO crazes / frenzies / manias in that area at that time;
- The mysterious lack of any claims that the odd thing was ever seen in flight; and ...
- Varying accounts of what was seen, what it looked like, how many visitors there were, and how they acted / what they did.

Sometimes the observation in and of itself is so weak or questionable that it's essentially impossible to get a reading on what may or may not have been observed. :headbang:
 

INT21

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#18
The sighting that I mentioned in response #9 above was in Melbourne, Australia in April 1966.

It was at Westall High School.

It appears that virtually the whole school including the teaching staff saw it. Also some people outside the school reported it.

The Aussie ufo investigator Bill Chalker cover the story.

It is currently on 'Close Encounters' on the TV.

With so many people involved, and taking into consideration the technology available at the time, it is hard to say nothing happened.

INT21

NOTE: For more on this incident, see:
https://forums.forteana.org/index.php?threads/westall-clayton-south-incident-1966-australia.65893/
 
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Zeke Newbold

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#19
www.unexplained-mysteries.com/column.php?id=308198

There are strong paralells between the Zimbabwe case and the equally celebrated CE3 which is alleged to have occurred in the city of Voronezh, in central Russia in the closing years of the Eighties. Here too most of the witnesses - but not all - were school childtren. In this case there was no doom laden message, and the UFO occupants seemed indifferent to the point of hostility to those around them.

It may be significant to note that a lot of religious Visions - those of the Virgin Mary, for instance -make thmselves known only to children, at least in the first instance.

Another point occurs to me: if a large group of children were to make claims of sexul abuse, even outrageously improbable ones, then it would be considreed to be in poor taste to automatically discount the verity of what they were saying just on grounds that they are children (rather the opposite, in fact).
 
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EnolaGaia

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#20
There's an tantalizing side story to the 1994 Ruwa case that's widely mentioned in passing, but never detailed.

Apparently deriving from comments made by Randall Nickerson (who'd been pursuing a Ruwa UFO documentary project for years) circa 2008 or later, a number of sites mention that 2 days prior to the 16 September Ruwa incident:

- Similar multi-witness incidents involving possibly 100 students were reported at two nearby schools, but ...
- Only one school is ever mentioned by name - 'Pier House', purportedly some 25 miles from the Ariel School.

I found it odd that nobody seemed to have seized on this, or at least questioned why it seemed to have gone unmentioned back in 1994. As a result, I went looking for Pier House School.

There isn't one.

I eventually kept digging until I found what I believe must surely be the school to which the Nickerson-based rumor alludes:

Peterhouse Schools, near Marondera.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peterhouse_Group_of_Schools

Notice the plural 'schools'. There's a Peterhouse School for Boys and one for Girls, co-located circa 25 miles from the Ariel School / Ruwa according to Google Maps. I can find no other school in Zimbabwe that has a name anywhere close to 'Pier House'.

The distance is right, and the twin schools at that site explain the allusion to 'two schools'.

Two more things ...

(1) The Ariel private school is for younger children (circa age 5 - 12). The Peterhouse Schools are private secondary schools (i.e., for circa age 12 through teens). This raises the possibility that younger children at Ariel learned of the earlier Peterhouse UFO story from an older sibling attending that other school.

(2) The alleged Peterhouse incident would have occurred on 14 September - the same day as the space debris re-entry / meteors / whatever that set off that particular local UFO craze.

I'd originally wanted to ask if anyone had ever followed up on the 'Pier House' sighting, but it appears no one even knew the correct name for the school(s) involved. :roll:
 

eburacum

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#21
On the subject of the Westall case, back in 1966;
I've posted my own experience, also back in 1966, on this forum before; instead of repeating myself , here's a link to my original post.

https://forums.forteana.org/index.p...th-incident-1966-australia.65893/post-1314217

This experience made me into a life-long skeptic - here we were, a mixed group of adults and children, looking straight at a literal flying saucer plainly visible in the sky- and it had nothing to do with extraterrestrials. I'm sure that the Zuma, and the Westall, cases would have similar explanations if we could only go back in time and analyse the events from all possible angles.
 
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INT21

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#22
Eburacum,

...I am reasonably certain that if someone who was familiar with sky phenomena had been present at the Westall sighting, they might have been able to identify the 'saucer' in that case too; it could easily have been a weather balloon, or a parachute, or some other piece of man-made sky hardware that the observers were not familiar with....

You seem to have missed the part where one of the children, in full view of the other witnesses, walked up to the object and almost touched it. He changed his mind about doing this.

There really is no comparison with you sighting at a distance.

INT21
 

eburacum

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#23
'Almost touching' a flying saucer sounds familiar. Where have I heard that before? Ah yes - Rendlesham.
 

dr wu

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#24
It's certainly possible, but there's a load of contextual factors that do nothing to instill confidence ...

- Unsupervised schoolchildren (anybody's guess as to what really happened; highly impressionable; uncertain reliability as witnesses);
- Apparent focusing of the initial investigators on the subset of the witness population that provided the most supportive version(s) of an account the investigators were hoping to hear;
- The demonstrably 'leading' interviewing style of the initial investigators;
- No clear indication the full set of witnesses was ever polled / interviewed;
- Follow-up drawings done days later - following the leading interviews (as far as I can tell) - that exhibit no more uniformity than (a) what the investigators read into them and / or (b) could have been agreed among the children in the mean time;
- There was one of those transient UFO crazes / frenzies / manias in that area at that time;
- The mysterious lack of any claims that the odd thing was ever seen in flight; and ...
- Varying accounts of what was seen, what it looked like, how many visitors there were, and how they acted / what they did.

Sometimes the observation in and of itself is so weak or questionable that it's essentially impossible to get a reading on what may or may not have been observed. :headbang:
Decent points but none of those necessarily prove the fact that the event couldn't have happened...All aspects that can add up to what Dr Vallee has called high strangeness.

Again..it would be interesting to know if any of the children over the years have denied the event and said it was a lie.
 

eburacum

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#25
The Rendlesham case and the Westall case seem very relevant. In both of those cases the story has changed from a distant encounter (at least 50 metres in Rendlesham, hundreds of metres in the Westall case) to 'nearly touching' or 'touching' the object.

In the Ruwa case the initial stories have the object appearing on the ground without flying, and since it was at least 100 metres outside the school boundaries, no-one could 'nearly touch it'. Later stories tell of the aliens 'skipping alongside' the witnesses, and also include many subsequent encounters. None of this is credible at all.
 

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#26
The bit I find most interesting is the notion the mystery thing (craft; whatever) was not just of terrestrial origin but of terrestrial-only capability (i.e., a land vehicle - possibly a camper trailer or something similar).
And now all I can picture is a couple of stoned hippies on an overland trip in some beat-up old army truck sprayed in psychedelic colours, stopping off for a smoke break and having the resultant, um, inspiration to lecture the poor kids about the planet's doom. Spliff smoked, off they trundle, leaving the bemused witnesses to try and make sense of what they'd just seen and heard.
 

Analogue Boy

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#27
And now all I can picture is a couple of stoned hippies on an overland trip in some beat-up old army truck sprayed in psychedelic colours, stopping off for a smoke break and having the resultant, um, inspiration to lecture the poor kids about the planet's doom. Spliff smoked, off they trundle, leaving the bemused witnesses to try and make sense of what they'd just seen and heard.
Well it's either that or aliens in their ship travelled a few thousand light years taking Godknowshowlong on an urgent mission to confuse a relatively small number of young schoolchildren and inspire them to produce some new pictures for the fridge.
 

EnolaGaia

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#28
Decent points but none of those necessarily prove the fact that the event couldn't have happened.
You did not ask whether, and I in no way claimed, a "legitimate event of some unknown sort" didn't or couldn't have occurred. You asked whether it's possible it occurred. I clearly stated it was possible, and I listed a number of factors that make it difficult to evaluate the popular interpretation based on the few facts and conflicting pieces of evidence used to promote it.

Something happened. Whether it was a UFO landing, mass hysteria, a children's prank suddenly made serious when UFO aficionados showed up within days, or any number of other possible interpretations is another matter.

If anyone's to blame for this ambiguous mess, it's the very folks who visited with the express intention of documenting, if not clarifying, it all - e.g., Cynthia Hind and John Mack. They bungled the initial investigation, pure and simple.
 

INT21

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#29
Eburacum,

The Rendlesham case and the Westall case seem very relevant. In both of those cases the story has changed from a distant encounter (at least 50 metres in Rendlesham, hundreds of metres in the Westall case) to 'nearly touching' or 'touching' the object...
What is the source (and date) of your version of the Westall story ?

INT21
 
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INT21

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#30
Mythopoeika,

Zimbabwe wasn't know for it's traveling pot-headed hippies, with or without psychedelic transport.

At least it wasn't when I was there in 1983.

INT21
 
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