September 16, 1994
Location: Ruwa, Zimbabwe
14th September, 1994, a UFO streaked across the sky over
Southern Africa. Two days later, something landed in a
schoolyard in Ruwa, Zimbabwe, with three or four things
beside it, according to journalist Cynthia Hind. This
was witnessed by 62 schoolchildren, who had little or
no exposure to TV or popular press accounts of UFOs. Cynthia
Hind interviewed them the day after the encounter and
made them draw pictures of what they had seen.
One of the children's drawings of the encounter.
A few of the school children who witnessed the encounter.
More drawings by the children of the craft and occupants.
Ariel School in Ruwa, Zimbabwe. (source: Hesemann)
Cynthia Hind, UFO AFRINEWS 1994
Children of Ariel School - Case No. #96. Ruwa, Zimbabwe
UFO AFRINEWS 1994
By Cynthia Hind
Friday 16th September, at approximately 10:15, 62 children
from Ariel School, a private primary school in Ruwa (about
20 km from Harare) were in their playing field for the
mid-morning break. Suddenly, they saw three silver balls
in the sky over the school. These disappeared with a flash
of light and then reappeared elsewhere. This happened
three times and then they started to move down towards
the school with one of them landing (or hovering) over
a section of rough ground made up of trees, thorn bushes,
and some brown-grey cut grass with bamboo shoots sticking
up out of the ground. The children are not allowed in
this area although it is adjacent to their playing field
and is not fenced off, because of snakes, spiders and
perhaps other harmful creatures. One can soon disappear
from view while walking here, and there is only one very
rough track used by tractors in an attempt to clear this
is a line of electricity pylons and according to one boy,
the object followed along this line prior to landing.
There is also some controversy as to whether the object
"landed" on the ground or hovered above it.
On Tuesday, 20th September, I went out to the school with
a BBC reporter and their television equipment, as well
as my son and Gunter Hofer, a young man who builds his
own electrical equipment, viz, a Geiger counter, a metal
detector and a magnetometer, to try and see if the object
left any traces behind.
headmaster of the school is Mr. Colin Mackie, who was
most co-operative, and although he had never been involved
with UFOs or a believer in them, said that he believed
the children had seen what they said they saw.
was able to interview about 10 or 12 older children and
this was recorded for BBC television.
eyewitness, Barry D., said he had seen three objects flying
over, with flashing red lights. They disappeared, and
reappeared almost immediately, but somewhere else. This
happened about three times. Then they came and landed
near some gum trees; Barry said the main one (object)
was about the size of his thumb nail held at arm's length.
The reports were similar although some children were more
observant than others. The consensus of opinion was that
an object came down in the area where they indicated,
about 100 metres from where they were at the edge of the
school playing field. Then a small man (approx 1 metre
in height) appeared on top of the object. He walked a
little way across the rough ground, became aware of the
children and disappeared. He, or someone very like him,
then reappeared at the back of the object. The object
took off very rapidly and disappeared. The little man
was dressed in a tight-fitting black suit which was 'shiny'
according to one observant girl (11 years of age). He
had a long scrawny neck and huge eyes like rugby balls.
He had a pale face with long black hair coming below his
had suggested to Mr. Mackie prior to visiting the school
and before the children had been interviewed, that he
let the children draw what they had seen and he now has
about 30-40 drawings, some of which are very explicit
and clear, although some are rather vague. The children's'
ages vary from 5/6 to 12 years. I have 22 photocopies
of the clearer drawings as Mr. Mackie kindly allowed me
to page through the pictures and choose those I wanted.
Most of the descriptions are similar but some of the craft
are very obviously 'flying saucers', and I wonder how
many of these children have had access to the media. Others
are crude but more or less in this saucer shape.
children vary in cultures: there are black, white, coloured
and Asian children. One little girl said to me, 'I swear
by every hair on my head and the whole Bible that I am
telling the truth.' I could see the pleasure on her face
when I told her that I believed her. The smaller children
from 5-7 years were very frightened at the time and ran
shouting 'Help me, help me.' When the older children asked
why they were saying this, the reply was, 'He is coming
to eat us.' I should think this applied more to the black
African children who have legends of _tokoloshies_ eating
teachers were in a meeting and did not come out. When
I queried the headmaster about this he said the children
always shouted and yelled during their playtime and no-one
thought there was anything unusual going on. The only
other adult available at the time was one of the mothers
who was running the tuckshop. When the children came to
call her, she did not believe them and would not come
out: she was not prepared to leave the tuckshop with all
the food and money. Gunter and the men thoroughly examined
the ground around where the children had seen the object,
but could get no reaction on the geiger counter or any
other equipment. If the object was hovering perhaps nothing
walked, on my own, along the electricity pylons for quite
a away, caught up in thorn bushes, trampling blithely
over snake holes and discarding all caution. I found no
place where some object could have landed and pressed
down the foliage. In fact, I should think the bamboo stumps
would have been a deterrent. The day was hot, around 33
John Mack was visiting Zimbabwe at the time of the event,
and he spent two days at Ariel School with the children.
He also spoke to the Headmaster, Colin Mackie, the teachers
and some of the parents. John and his fellow researcher,
Dominique Callimanopulos, were able to get through to
the parents and teachers and convince them that even if
they did not believe the children, it was counter-productive
to accuse them of lying. Listen and think about what they
were saying, he advised. His particular interest in child
psychiatry was also of great use during the questioning
and many former hidden memories came to light, something
John is sure to make public when he has had a chance to
reassess his interviewing.
is a lot more to this incident than has been uncovered
now and we will report further in UFO
AFRINEWS No. 12."