On Friday 16th September,
1994, at approximately 10.15 in the morning , 62 children from Ariel
School, a private primary school in Ruwa (about 20 km from Harare) in
Zimbabwe were in their playing field for the midmorning 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 area.
There 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 did land on the
ground or hovered above it. On Tuesday, 20th September, A BBC reporter
went out to the school with a BBC correspondent and their television
equipment, as well as Gunter Hofer, a young man who builds his own
electrical equipment, that is, a Geiger counter, a metal detector and a
magnetometer, to try and see if the object left any traces behind.
The 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.
BBC was able to interview about 10 or 12 older children and this was recorded for BBC television.
One 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 shoulders.
I 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.
The 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 ( ancient ) legends of
Tokoloshies eating children.
Their 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.
other adult available at the time was one of the mothers who was running
the tuck shop. When the children came to call her, she did not believe
them and would not come out: she was not prepared to leave the tuck shop
with all the food and money.
This 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 would show.