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

Just toad, did any of these researchers ask the children if they had watched Spielberg's seminal 1982 'E.T' either at the cinema or on video?

This film was phenomenally popular across all cultures:

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083866/releaseinfo

I can't find any release date for Zimbabwe, however this was an expensive international school and it would only have taken one or two of the children to have watched it on video whilst on holiday outside of the the country (South Africa, for example) for it to have been widely discussed in the playground. I am not for a moment suggesting this is the answer to this riddle, but it may have been an influence on how these children viewed what was unfolding before them.

Also when did the telepathic message from one of the creatures first enter the narrative? It does not feature in the account provided by Comfortably Numb that is based upon the initial witness statements of these children
 
Absolutely.

For some reason the rather dubious Broad Haven school UFO sighting has become the ’classic” encounter that defines the ‘76-‘78 Welsh UFO flap. This is despite the object never being off the ground and only only a handful of the children actually seeing it. Those drawings of the object keep reappearing in the media and yet they were all drawn the following Monday by all the children, hence the inclusion of a ‘Dr Spock’ and other fictional details by child ‘witnesses’ who didn’t even see the object (Jenny Randles established this fact).

There are far more intriguing reports from that period: for example the HGV driver and his mate who saw two huge silver-suited humanoids during the early hours; the poltergeist, UFO, humanoid and high strangeness events of Ripperstone Farm, the Haven Fort Hotel sightings and more. Yet it is always the kids with their fictional drawings *sigh*

My thought with Broad Haven is that the ruling out of a water board vehicle rests heavily on the evidence of a teacher speaking to a local water board manager who denied they had any vehicles around the sewage treatment site that day. Yet aspects of the description (a long, shiny object, described as having 'ridges' by one witness - i.e. like a tanker - and as having a flashing light on top by others - I.e. like some vehicles) really do suggest a slurry tanker or similar, seen through trees in less than ideal viewing conditions that day. My immediate thought is that given a stream runs through the 'landing' site, the sewage site operatives had been doing something not strictly kosher (ie discharging waste water or slurry into the watercourse) and hence denied they were there.

It remains a 'big' case as it has lots of witnesses and most of them are children, seen as less likely to consciously hoax people - the quality of the sighting itself is a bit dubious given we know how easily people can misperceive things.
 
My thought with Broad Haven is that the ruling out of a water board vehicle rests heavily on the evidence of a teacher speaking to a local water board manager who denied they had any vehicles around the sewage treatment site that day. Yet aspects of the description (a long, shiny object, described as having 'ridges' by one witness - i.e. like a tanker - and as having a flashing light on top by others - I.e. like some vehicles) really do suggest a slurry tanker or similar, seen through trees in less than ideal viewing conditions that day. My immediate thought is that given a stream runs through the 'landing' site, the sewage site operatives had been doing something not strictly kosher (ie discharging waste water or slurry into the watercourse) and hence denied they were there.

It remains a 'big' case as it has lots of witnesses and most of them are children, seen as less likely to consciously hoax people - the quality of the sighting itself is a bit dubious given we know how easily people can misperceive things.
It was even described by one boy as displaying a 'tugging motion', perhaps as if stuck in the mud?

A lot of detail here:

https://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread871551/pg1

The location of the object appears to be at the bottom of a farmer's field and not at the sewage plant itself, in fact some distance away. So was it a farm vehicle or farm contractor? The area is still pretty much unchanged today according to Google maps
 
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Philip Mantle explains it better than me:

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Myster...a91-2ceac137094a&pf_rd_r=JWFYPDTW1Y58RXGHEG6Z

His latest book focuses on lesser-known UK landing cases. Also see Malcolm Robinson’s books eg

https://www.amazon.co.uk/UFO-Case-Files-Scotland-Encounters-ebook/dp/B074PQ8MXF

Then you have current events being investigated by Paul Sinclair:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Truth-Proof-Truth-That-Leaves-Proof-ebook/dp/B01GQCLKZE/ref=sr_1_2?crid=1GVIPJB18TIQB&keywords=Truth+proof&qid=1657988361&s=digital-text&sprefix=truth+proof,digital-text,83&sr=1-2

He has quite a number of fascinating UK UFO reports from recent years
*bump*

Just been reading in Mantle’s book about how in the early hours of an early-60s morning all five members of rock/blues band The Moody Blues witnessed a solid, illuminated UFO land next to a motorway. They stopped the car and were immediately struck by the eerie silence and absence of other traffic. Suddenly they were all overcome by fear and panic and fled the scene. The band member interviewed swore they were all sober and had not taken any drugs.

Absolutely fascinating case that I hadn’t heard of before and just one of many in his excellent book.
 
Someone on Twitter has come up with a new, detailed explanation for the Ruwa case. No context as to how they arrived at this point.

The suggestion is that it was a travelling puppet show known to be operating in southern Africa at the time. I think it's a decent hypothesis, though why the performers would be wandering around the bush in the vicinity of the school rather than interacting with the children seems a bit of a hole.
 
Someone on Twitter has come up with a new, detailed explanation for the Ruwa case. No context as to how they arrived at this point.

The suggestion is that it was a travelling puppet show known to be operating in southern Africa at the time. I think it's a decent hypothesis, though why the performers would be wandering around the bush in the vicinity of the school rather than interacting with the children seems a bit of a hole.
Couldn't resist a quick read of the conclusion.

The object was seen in the vicinity of where school staff lived, including gardeners I seem to recall. Is it possible the travelling puppeteers were put up in this accommodation and were practicing outside? Pupeteers are performers and perhaps one or a few of them couldn't resist a bit of an impromptu show for either the staff or the children they knew would see them and watch .It is then feasible that the puppet show the following day/week has since been overlooked/forgotten/overshadowed by the UFO hysteria.

A lot of 'what ifs' I know, but clearly a lot of research has gone into reaching this hypothesis and so it deserves to be heard, that is for sure.
 
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Couldn't resist a quick read of the conclusion.

The object was seen in the vicinity of where school staff lived, including gardeners I seem to recall. Is it possible the travelling puppeteers were put up in this accommodation and were practicing outside? Pupeteers are performers and perhaps one or a few of them couldn't resist a bit of an impromptu show for either the staff or the children they knew would see them and watch .It is then feasible that the puppet show the following day/week has since been overlooked/forgotten/overshadowed by the UFO hysteria.

A lot of 'what ifs' I know, but clearly a lot of research has gone into reaching this hypothesis and so it deserves to be heard, that is for sure.

I think if they were able to show that one of the puppet shows was operating in the vicinity of Ruwa within a few days either side of the sighting date then the book could perhaps be closed on this one. I wouldn't hold out much hope for records, or memories, verifying it but you never know.

I always thought an earthly vehicle of some sort was likely, such as a power company truck and staff, so I'm happy enough with a VW van and puppets I guess.
 
That's a well-researched and well-argued hypothesis! I'm impressed.

Still, I agree with BS3 - it would take evidence for one of the puppetry troupes operating in the vicinity around the time of the incident to really seal the deal.
 
I think if they were able to show that one of the puppet shows was operating in the vicinity of Ruwa within a few days either side of the sighting date then the book could perhaps be closed on this one. I wouldn't hold out much hope for records, or memories, verifying it but you never know.

I always thought an earthly vehicle of some sort was likely, such as a power company truck and staff, so I'm happy enough with a VW van and puppets I guess.
Worth noting here that the 'telepathic message' from the entity was not, to the best of my knowledge, in the original narrative of the event but appears to have become engrained at a later stage
 
The object was seen in the vicinity of where school staff lived, including gardeners I seem to recall. Is it possible the travelling puppeteers were put up in this accommodation and were practicing outside?
The problem I have with that idea is that it requires the school to know all about the puppeteers - the teachers should have made the same connection, and realised what the kids had seen. Instead the school allowed Cynthia Hind and John Mack to interview the children and influence them towards an alien interpretation.

If the school knew the reason for these events, why did they allow these interviews to take place, and risk permanent psychological harm?
 
The problem I have with that idea is that it requires the school to know all about the puppeteers - the teachers should have made the same connection, and realised what the kids had seen. Instead the school allowed Cynthia Hind and John Mack to interview the children and influence them towards an alien interpretation.

If the school knew the reason for these events, why did they allow these interviews to take place, and risk permanent psychological harm?
A good point. perhaps we will know more in due course:

"I’ve reached out to AREPP to see if they can help in this regard and await their response. I have also reached out to a witness for their opinion about this hypothesis."

https://gideonreid.co.uk/the-mysterious-events-at-ariel-school-zimbabwe-16-sept-1994/
 
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The other thing of course is that there's currently a bit of minor hand-waving over whether there was actually a troupe in Zimbabwe at that time. It sounds as if there was a 'tour' of Zimbabwe pre 1994, and that additional puppeteers were being trained around 1994, but beyond that it seems that when the organisation was said to be operating across "southern Africa" this should be taken as "across South Africa". We ideally need confirmation there was a team in Zimbabwe at the time.
 
The other thing of course is that there's currently a bit of minor hand-waving over whether there was actually a troupe in Zimbabwe at that time. It sounds as if there was a 'tour' of Zimbabwe pre 1994, and that additional puppeteers were being trained around 1994, but beyond that it seems that when the organisation was said to be operating across "southern Africa" this should be taken as "across South Africa". We ideally need confirmation there was a team in Zimbabwe at the time.
This encounter is discussed in the following book:

Schoolyard UFO Encounters: 100 True Accounts​


https://www.amazon.co.uk/Schoolyard-UFO-Encounters-True-Accounts/dp/1075776988

It is by Preston Dennett but I'm afraid the clearly fictional, childish and over-dramatic front cover put me off spending even a fiver on a Kindle copy, I mean seriously Preston, what were you thinking...?
 
The latest issue of SUNlite v15 no 3 (available from Tim Printy's site at http://www.astronomyufo.com/UFO/SUNlite.htm) has an article by Oliver Smith arguing that the Ariel UFO was a dust devil. Worth a read
Crikey, that is a hotbed of skepticism...!

My preferred skeptical explanation is from the excellent 'Three-Dollar Kit" blog, and this excerpt is from the conclusion:

"The UFO now buzzed like a machine bee. The aliens are now floating. Or, they ran not only in slow motion but in a strange looping pattern - covering a distance, then disappearing, reappearing at the start, and running the same distance again, repeatedly. This sure sounds like someone is recalling and replaying the memory of a single event, not the event itself repeating. None of this supernatural behavior was reported at the time by the very witnesses now "remembering" it.

Which goes to show how malleable and how fallible memory is. In every other aspect of life we know this is true - we forget things, we remember things incorrectly, and of course we misperceive. When it comes to a UFO sighting from childhood, why would adult perception and memories be deemed accurate? Even when we have filmed evidence that the sighting as originally reported was not remarkable, and that memories have changed?"

https://threedollarkit.weebly.com/ariel-school.html

Also mentions the puppetry theory, too.
 
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Crikey, that is a hotbed of skepticism...!

It is, Tim Printy is one of the good guys, though. His pages on Roswell, the Phoenix Lights etc are absolutely invaluable.

Personally I always thought a vehicle, plus children reinforcing each other's misperception, could explain it - much like the Broad Haven sighting. The fact there was a widely reported UFO sighting in the preceding days is important context that was overlooked at the time.
 
Why does the CIA make threats? I mean, that almost verifies that something is happening.
 
This for me remains the best analysis of the Ruwa school incident:
https://threedollarkit.weebly.com/ariel-school.html
Absolutely. Wiser has definitively demonstrated that there were no real consistencies in the accounts. Little bald men in black suits are not tall hippies in polka dots.
ariel.jpg

A silver ship is not a yellow/black/red ship. There are no consistencies at all.

Perhaps these were puppeteers, but no-one in authority at the school seems to have known about them.
 
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