The following incident occurred at Ariel School Ruwa, Zimbabwe in 1994.
62 children claimed to have witnessed occupants of a craft that landed near their school.
Summary of incident.
On Friday 16th September 1994 the teachers were having a scheduled meeting when they were interrupted by distressed students (one of the teachers would later relate: “we just heard them screaming and screaming” ) who claimed that spaceships had landed near a small hill on the other side of the school fence and that “small men” had emerged from the craft.
During subsequent interviews, descriptions of both the craft and the occupants varied in details. There was some agreement that one of the beings remained with the craft whilst the other walked over in the direction of the children.
Some of the children ran away, others described some form of ‘telepathic communication’ with the being that stood before them.
Within a week the children were interviewed by Tim Leach, senior correspondent for the BBC. He is reported to have felt that the children appeared genuinely shaken by the event and believed their testimony.
The following video describes the encounter in detail:
A powerful and challenging story to be sure.
Sceptics of this story raise many concerns including the proven unreliability of testimony of young children, the obvious discrepancies in their stories and drawings of the event, the fact that the children were interviewed in groups rather than individually (also, not all the children were interviewed), and potential leading or coaxing/coaching of the children during the interview process.
My understanding is that there was also local media coverage on the topic of UFOs around the time of the event, so the related themes may have been known and discussed amongst the children.
Despite this, it is claimed that since the encounter none of the interviewed children has admitted to it being a hoax or retracted their stories.
In the following video filmed in 2015, one of the students Emily Trim speaks publicly for the first time since the incident.
- Credibility of witnesses: MEDIUM.
- Probability of hoax: MEDIUM.
- Anomalous characteristics of experience: HIGH.
- Quality of witness testimony: MEDIUM.
- Quality of recorded evidence: LOW.