UFO Conjecture(s)

Monday, July 18, 2016

The Ariel School, Ruwa, Zimbabwe 1994 "UFO event" [Redux]

A few weeks back I noted the UFO/creature sighting, titled above.

That 1994 episode has been brought up again at Kevin Randle's blog, where he's listed his top 10 UFO sightings and someone slipped the Ariel School episode in, allowing comments from our friend Zoam Chomsky and a note from mon ami Gilles Fernandez who has written a psychological exegesis at his blog, which is a must-read for those who want to understand how UFO investigations go awry:


(Use the translator to read Gilles' posting in English.)

While Gille's evaluation of "contamination" is important and accurate, there are minute details among the school children's rendition of their "experience" that reside outside the contamination sobriquet.

The stories offered by the children, two months after the alleged UFO encounter, and told to Dr. John Mack, remained intact, and vivid, something that belies contamination, especially with children.

" ... contamination is a pathological response, pathognomonic of schizophrenia ..." [Psychiatric Dictionary, 4th Edition, Hinsie/Campbell]

Although Gilles is not using contamination in the psychiatric sense, but in the common parlance where one assumes that interactions between witnesses to an event affect and stimulate each other, as well may be the case in the Ariel sighting. But that's open to debate in this account of a strange being from a strange craft coming into contact with a bevy of school children.

The episode is not as easily written off as Zoam would make it, nor as easily explained as Gilles eruditely provides.

It's a fascinating case study for psychologists or sociologists, and "ufologists."



  • This case has fascinating aspects not easily explained in prosaic terms. My understanding is that there was much UFO activity in the weeks preceeding Ariel. From my perspective, a mass hallucination explanation is almost as radical as visitors from beyond. Rich, do you have a link to any "explanation" that Zoam may have constructed?

    By Blogger Dominick, at Monday, July 18, 2016  

  • D om:

    Zoam has a lengthy Zoam-diatribe at Kevin's blog, in the comment section....kevinrandle.blogspot.com

    It's the usual Zoam screed....ya gotta love the guy for his chutzpah.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, July 18, 2016  

  • "there was much UFO activity in the weeks preceeding Ariel"

    Dear Dominick,

    There was an UFO-flap 14th september 1994 between 20h50 & 21h05 local, including witness drawings collected by the same Cynthia Hind (UFOAFRINEWS n°11).

    As explained in my article, it was "simply" a space re-entry (Cosmos 2290r) and space re-entries as stimulus are well known to be a powerfull UFO-reports Generator.

    If you are interested concerning its thematic, but "examined" with the cognitive psychological "tool", you may read my article in English and consult the hyperlinks the article is proposing:

    Space Re-Entry Stimulus as CE-3 Generator: The Example of a December 12 1987 case...



    By Blogger Gilles Fernandez, at Tuesday, July 19, 2016  

  • Good morning,

    I remember reading in a forum (unfortunately I am no longer able to locate it) that a number of children actually drew a helicopter and that those drawings were intentionally not shown because they would clearly show a prosaic explanation for the case. The flying saucer drawings would then be just fantasy. Of course, the attention was directed towards children who drew a flying saucer and report a contact/abduction experience.

    Gilles, could you ask your contacts if it is possible to obtain a copy of all drawings made by the children? Of course, it may well be possible that the helicopter drawings were destroyed.

    Best regards,


    By Blogger Rare phenomena lover, at Tuesday, July 19, 2016  

  • School children worldwide not only make up shared stories that have no basis in fact or experience, they actually fall physically ill in various ways in what is called mass psychogenic illness. It's one of several forms of mass hysteria.

    As Gilles' fine article points out, it was just two days after falling space junk had caused "UFO" reports across southern Africa that the Ariel School small group scare or delusion occurred. All it took was one kid disposed to the flying-saucer myth to make up a story and spread it to the other children. It's that simple.




    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Tuesday, July 19, 2016  

  • As Jean notes Zoam, Gilles could enhance the topic by providing, if they are available, those other drawings (of helicopters).

    Of course, children will fabricate stories, but those stories and apparent hysterical episodes disintegrate after a rather short period of time, as my Clinical Psychology books about Children (from my college days) show.

    In this case, today, some of those children are still parlaying the same information. (I think Gilles has zeroed in one one glitch, which I hope he elaborates upon here or at Kevin's blog.)

    Gilles contamination evaluation seems highly likely. but I have some caveats, which I've covered before here.

    I tend to give credence to witness accounts of weird experiences, even more so for children accounts, even though some may be hallucinogenic....which is a "reality" for the percipient.

    This is an intriguing account, whether a tale or a "real event."

    To put a patina on it that smacks of conscious collusion does an injustice to the kids, in general.

    I know you have a heavy hand, when it comes to UFO accounts, no matter from whom or with what evidence they seem to have, so I cut you some slack, and reaffirm my affection for your chutzpah and determination to wipe UFOs off the societal map.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, July 19, 2016  

  • Thank you Gilles...

    This is how UFO accounts should be evaluated (researched/investigated).


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, July 19, 2016  

  • Good afternoon,

    I finally found the link about the mention of helicopters:


    No actual drawings are posted, however.



    By Blogger Rare phenomena lover, at Tuesday, July 19, 2016  

  • Thank you for the link.
    Yes, no such drawings are shown. As the same guy states the adults saw the helicopter. I have never heard it elsewhere.
    Sincerly, at its stage it is "free" claims and I dont "buy" it without seeing such drawings or a source where an adult (headmaster or teacher) is quoted.



    By Blogger Gilles Fernandez, at Wednesday, July 20, 2016  

  • I discussed it with friends. And one of them made imho a good remark in our FB discussion group.

    In fact, if Cynthia Hind was "called" to the School by the HeadMaster, it was because the parents were concerned and the thing was getting out of their hands, and them really concerned.

    If the Teachers have seen and have "proof" it was helico, or some the children draw helico, why to "call" to the scene Cynthia Hind?

    Imho these informations/revelations the children draw an helico or the adult teachers saw the helico is "pure fiction".


    By Blogger Gilles Fernandez, at Wednesday, July 20, 2016  

  • Good evening,

    I have registered to the forum where the helicopter claim was made and asked the guy (Matthew Ellard) who posted this information to know what is his source. We will then know.



    By Blogger Rare phenomena lover, at Wednesday, July 20, 2016  

  • Hello,

    Thank you, Jean, for your initiative. Very much appreciated.

    I'm following the ungoing discussion with Matthew and others in this forum.

    Robert Sheaffer released an new article at his blog: http://badufos.blogspot.fr/2016/07/a-new-investigation-of-1994-ariel.html

    Best Regards,


    By Blogger Gilles Fernandez, at Thursday, July 21, 2016  

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