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  • Writer's pictureJohn Wick

The Ariel School Sighting Of UFOs

The Aerial School Encounter is one of the sightings of the UFOs which involves larger groups of onlookers. In this post, we examine this strange encounter of unidentified flying objects.

It was predictably hot outside on the playground as Colin Mackie sat waiting in a stuffy office for the rest of his teaching staff to join the meeting. Currently, they were preparing their young charges to go out and play in the sun, but they would join him shortly. Pouring himself another cup of coffee, he glanced down at the newspaper on his desk and then smiled to himself. For the last two days, the headlines have been saturated by reports of UFOs hovering in the skies above Zimbabwe. Each emerging description of these alleged sightings seemed to be more colorful and fantastic than the preceding ones, but despite the media clamor surrounding the reports, there were suspiciously little in the way of hard evidence to support them.

He looked up as the first couple of teachers finally began to filter into the staff room. He listened with interest to the snippets of conversation that were taking place as they entered, trying to catch the surnames of any of the children that were being discussed. When the last participant finally arrived, he commenced the meeting as planned. As the head teacher of the Aerial School, Mr. Mackie was ultimately responsible for the delivery of the national syllabus and the health and safety of his pupils.

Daily responsibilities of a more menial nature were naturally delegated out to his staff, and so once a week, he liked to be able to gain an overall picture of what was going on within the school community. This meeting had started out like any other, with the usual concerns and complaints being raised. Blocked toilets, damage caused to the facility's perimeter fencing and a lack of variety in the school dinner options were merely a few of the ongoing issues that needed to be tackled. But a short time into the discussion, Mackie became aware of a perceptible increase in volume coming from the children playing outside.

As the disturbance had increased, he began to hear screaming and wailing, and it quickly became clear that something was quite amiss. As one, the room immediately emptied, with every teacher running for the exits to find out what had upset the children. When they finally made it outside, the scene that awaited them was akin to something out of a science fiction movie. Roughly half of the pupils had strayed beyond the boundaries of the playground and were gathered around the border of a patch of nearby scrubland. All were clearly emotional, some having collapsed to the ground, whilst others stood crying.

Several of the youngsters claimed they had encountered a Tokoloshe, an evil spirit from local folklore, but the older children told quite a different story, one of a little man from another world, who had visited them in order to warn humanity about the future. When Mackie asked one of the youths where this visitor had gone, the child pointed upwards, and told the adult that the man in question had flown away again off up into the heavens.

The Headmaster stood scanning the skies above the school, but could see no trace of what the youngsters were describing. As he watched his staff move amongst the crying children trying to comfort them, he realized that despite his skepticism it was clear that something had taken place. Collecting several of the older pupils, he headed back to the school, explaining that he wanted them to draw what they witnessed.

Location Of The Ariel School

The town of Ruwa lies approximately 22 miles Southeast of the Zimbabwean Capital, Harare.

It is home to roughly 20,000 inhabitants and sits on one of the country's main road and rail routes. Beyond these mundane statistics, there is little to distinguish this featureless settlement from many others within the country's borders. That is, save for an event which is believed to have taken place there, one morning in September of 1994. In the two days prior to this alleged incident, the Zimbabwean media had been reporting a series of nocturnal UFO sightings above Harare.

The majority of witnesses have described seeing glowing fireballs traversing the night skies. These lights had moved around at breakneck speeds, making impossible twists and turns, before shooting off again and out of sight. The Aerial School is a private elementary school, which is located on the outskirts of Ruwa. At the time of the 1994 UFO flap, the facility taught approximately 90 pupils, varying in age from between 5 and 12 years old. On the morning of Friday the 16th of September, all the teaching staff were taking part in a meeting inside the main school building and had left the 62 children who had attended that day to play unsupervised outside.

As the youngsters had run and chased one another beneath the burning sunshine, they had suddenly become aware of three silver balls, hovering in the sky above the schoolyard. Before long, the majority of the children had stopped to watch these objects, which would suddenly disappear in a flash of red light, before reappearing again several meters away.

With each successive disappearance and reappearance, the objects were slowly descending closer and closer to the ground, making some of the younger children feel anxious. Seeming to sense the unease of those watching, two of the object started to rise, back up to their original position, whilst the third continued to move towards the ground. The silver orb followed the path of a line of electricity pylons, which ran parallel to the school's perimeter fence, before descending into a cluster of gum trees located roughly 300 feet from the playground.

This area was strictly off-limits to the children, as it was home to a variety of poisonous snakes and spiders, but a deputation of the pupils promptly set off to investigate what the object could be. They had moved to within a few feet of the foliage when a figure suddenly emerged from the top of the hovering craft. Immediately, the watching children were taken aback, as no door or hatch way had been seen to open. It was as if the man had simply levitated up from within the object's interior. The individual was only about three or four feet tall and was clad in a shiny and tight fitting suit of some kind.

Descriptions Of 'The Alien'

Descriptions of him in the aftermath of the event varied somewhat from child to child. But most agreed that he was thin with elongated arms and legs and oversized black eyes, which were shaped like rugby balls. Some of the witnesses described him as having a thin neck, whilst others stated that he had black hair that fell down to his shoulders or was wearing a hood. The entity floated down the side of the orb until he landed on the ground beneath, and then began to walk around, as if inspecting the rough terrain.

At this point, a second figure suddenly appeared at the top of the craft, causing the nerve of the younger witnesses to break, sending them screaming back to the school building to fetch help. Apparently aware of the commotion that its presence had caused, the first creature then moved over to the waiting children, where it surveyed them through emotionless eyes. Straightaway, the youngsters were consumed by an overwhelming feeling of despair and hopelessness, several claimed to have visions of the world decaying and dying around them and a voice in their head warning them of a perilous and dystopian future, centered around a falsehood. Inside the main building, a number of the children had located the school dinner lady, the only adult not involved in the staff meeting.

She had been running the break time tuck shop, but believed that the children were trying to draw her away with the story so that some of the others could steal sweets and refused to come outside with them. Meanwhile back outside, the children assembled near the floating craft continued to be tormented by a whispering voice, that warned them of the danger they were all in and that their future would be a dark and foreboding one. Throughout this interaction, the entity standing before the pupils did not speak, seemingly able to plant the dystopian thoughts and images they were experiencing directly into their minds.

After a number of minutes, the intruder turned away and then floated back up into the waiting orb. The objects promptly shot up into the sky at great speed, before disappearing with a further red flash. When the teachers finally emerged from their meeting to see what had caused the commotion, there was no trace of the craft, either in the skies above or on the ground where it had landed. Realizing that something significant had taken place, Colin Mackie quickly encouraged the children involved to draw pictures of the being they had interacted with.

In total, the pupils he identified created 35 images of the entities, and the orb in which they had traveled. When investigators and journalists attended the school the following day, Mackie laid all of these renderings out, as proof that the children were not lying about the encounter. Over the decades that have passed since the incident, it has become increasingly difficult to find any of the children involved. The overwhelming majority have long since left Zimbabwe, to settle on foreign shores. Many others have died as a result of the country's ongoing civil issues. But the few who have been located have maintained their story, increasingly concerned that the warnings the creatures issued continue to be ignored.

Examination by the ufologists

In the days following the occurrence, a number of prominent ufologists visited the Aerial school in order to investigate the encounter. Whilst the visual inspection of the alleged landing site along with the use of Geiger counters produced nothing of value, interviews with 12 of the young witnesses completely persuaded investigator that the incident had transpired exactly as it had been reported. The fact that the children were all at varying age, ethnicity and social standing, but were providing a near identical account was believed to be a clear indicator that the story could not have been made up.

Alongside this, the early observations of the teachers, and the drawings supervised by Mr. Mackie, further reinforced the apparent validity of the witness accounts. Many of the children who were spoken to had no concept of UFOs or extraterrestrial entities. They were local youths, from poor backgrounds, and believed that the entity which they had illustrated and described to the investigators must have been some form of spiritual creature or demon. Days later, reports emerged in the press that witnesses at the neighboring Pier house school had also observed the objects, further reinforcing the incident's credibility.

Over the years, commonalities with the Ariel School encounter have been uncovered in the testimony of other alleged alien abductees. The concept of extraterrestrial visitors speaking telepathically is commonplace and a minority of other witnesses have described warnings from aliens about the future and what is in store for mankind. There are also a number of other incidents where UFOs have been witnessed, apparently visiting teaching facilities.

Perhaps the most notorious of these events took place in the Australian city of Melbourne, on the 6th of April 1966. At approximately 11:00 a.m., a number of pupils of the Westall high school informed their teachers that an odd looking craft was hovering over the school playground. As these reports circulated throughout the children and their teachers, the school buildings quickly emptied out, with approximately 300 witnesses attending what was taking place?

The majority of them described that the object hovering above the school was oval-shaped and it was roughly the size of two cars parked next to one another. It was gray in color, but emitting a purple hue into the air around it. As with the subsequent Ruwa incident, the object slowly descended towards the ground, before it was obscured by a nearby patch of trees. At this point, five military aircraft suddenly appeared overhead and began to circle around the school perimeter. The unidentified object immediately rose back up into the sky and engaged in a short game of cat-and-mouse with its pursuers, before flying off again at great speed. In the days that followed, the head teacher told the students not to discuss what they had seen with anybody outside the school and a number of military officials attempted to persuade the witnesses that they were mistaken about what it was they had seen play out. There were also reports of other men, dressed all in black, who was seen inspecting the patch of trees the craft had descended into.


So, what are we to make of these reported incidents? Are they indeed instances of extraterrestrial visitation, trying to usher mankind along a less destructive path, whatever that may be? Or are we instead seeing classic examples of mass hysteria or merely extremely convincing youthful pranks?

Both incidents involved a staggering number of eyewitnesses. The Australian case, in particular, was witnessed by both juveniles and adults. And whilst there was a notable lack of physical evidence at either of the alleged landing sites, there are sufficient similarities in the witness testimonies which make them difficult to dismiss or debunk.

One theory is that these mysterious visitors are not extraterrestrial at all, but are actually travelers from Earth's far future. This may explain their ability to materialize in different time periods in geographical locations, whilst attempting to carry out their mission to prevent the mistakes of the past from dooming Mankind's future, as far-fetched as that all sounds.

As we leave through the pictures drawn by the Ariel school children, it becomes increasingly difficult to deny that they saw something unthinkable on that fateful September morning. In the nearly three decades that have passed, they have never altered or disavowed their stories and that conduct alone should persuade us all to perhaps give their claims at least a second thought. Whatever they saw, they certainly believed that it was real and that the warnings they were given were both clear and ominous.


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