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Encounters Episode 2 – Believers: What Happened during The Ariel School UFO Incident?

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Covered in episode 2 of Encounters, the Ariel School UFO incident, a remarkable and captivating event, unfolded in September 1994 in the rural outskirts of Ruwa, Zimbabwe. On that fateful day, an extraordinary series of sightings and encounters occurred at the Ariel School, involving over 60 schoolchildren. These young witnesses reported encountering a bizarre, unidentified flying object and its occupants—strange beings described as humanoid and otherworldly. The incident not only left an indelible mark on the collective memory of the students but also attracted international attention. The Ariel School UFO event remains a compelling case in the annals of UFO phenomena, challenging our understanding of the unexplained and fueling ongoing discussions about the possibility of extraterrestrial visitations on Earth.

Children Drawing of the Ariel School events.
Children Drawing of the Ariel School events.

What happened in Ruwa, Zimbabwe?

Back in Ruwa, Zimbabwe, on a memorable day in September 1994, something out of this world happened at the Ariel School. Picture this: around 62 school kids, aged 5 to 12, were having their usual mid-morning break in the schoolyard when they stumbled upon something that would leave them and the world stunned.

As they goofed around, their attention was drawn to the sky above. What they saw was far from ordinary—a silver, disk-shaped object defying gravity, hovering and doing some zigzags. It had bright lights, a metallic glint, and even made some strange sounds.

But here’s where it gets really wild. Some of these young explorers claimed they locked eyes with beings inside the craft. These beings were small and humanoid, with eyes that seemed to tell stories. And here’s the kicker: they communicated with the kids without saying a word, using what felt like telepathy. Their message? Concerns about how we humans were treating our planet.

Map of sightings - Wikipedia
Map of sightings – Wikipedia

Naturally, the kids couldn’t keep this to themselves. They rushed to spill the beans to their teachers and school staff. At first, the grown-ups were understandably skeptical, but soon, they couldn’t ignore the consistency and detail in the kids’ stories.

That led to calls to local authorities and the media, and before long, researchers and UFO experts were on the scene. They interviewed the children, studied their drawings and descriptions, and discovered some eerie similarities in their accounts.

The Ariel School UFO incident quickly became a global sensation, making headlines worldwide. To this day, it’s still under the microscope of researchers and UFO enthusiasts because of its unique combination of credible witnesses, especially considering they were kids who shared an astonishingly consistent story about their encounter with an unidentified flying object and its mysterious occupants.

Ariel School Encounters
Ariel School Encounters

Are Children Reliable Sources?

This fascinating story stirs up some intriguing questions that invite us to dig deeper into the quest for truth. First off, it makes us ponder the reliability of kids as witnesses. It’s no small matter trying to figure out how seriously we should take their accounts, especially when it comes to something as out-of-this-world as UFO sightings. Especially since there were over sixty of them recalling the same events!

Then, there’s this weird paradox when it comes to UFO eyewitnesses. In many situations, eyewitness testimony holds a lot of weight, even in legal cases. But when it’s about UFOs, there’s often a lot of doubt and skepticism surrounding these accounts. It’s like we have a double standard for what counts as credible evidence.

In this video from the event, John Mack, Harvard University professor of psychiatry, interviewed a student about what happened. She talked about how the alien could speak to her using telepathy. In her own words, how it was as simple as looking in their eyes and knowing what they were wanting to say. The video covered several topics of the event.

Beyond all that, this story also reminds us about the importance of empathy. Think about it – folks who step forward with UFO encounters often face ridicule and disbelief. So, it nudges us to think about how we can be more understanding and compassionate toward these witnesses, even when we’re grappling with the mysterious nature of their experiences. As we keep exploring the cosmic unknown, these questions about belief, evidence, and empathy keep cropping up.

However, and according to Wikipedia, the children firmly asserted that they hadn’t witnessed a plane. Local UFO researcher Cynthia Hind observed that the diverse cultural backgrounds of the children led to varying interpretations of their encounter, and not all of them were convinced they had encountered extraterrestrial beings. She pointed out that some of the children believed that the figures resembled tikoloshes, creatures from Shona and Ndebele folklore.

Tikoloshe from Shona and Ndebele folklore
Tikoloshe from Shona and Ndebele folklore –

In either case, all really revolves around the strange and unexplained… so it may be hard to believe which is which, if you do believe in the Supernatural and Extraterrestrials.

Have you seen the episode? What did you think of it? Let us know!

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    Valerie Anne is a Type 1 diabetic, mother, tree-hugger, self-proclaimed granola who loves a good horror story through literature, video games, and movies. She also streams art over at

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