The morning of 16th September 1994 began like any other for the children and teachers of Ariel School. However, an incident during the morning recess would ultimately capture the attention of the entire world.
The late Cynthia Hind would be the first UFO researcher to speak with the children, who in turn, would invite equally experienced UFO researcher, Dr. John Mack to investigate. From Hind and Mack’s efforts and immediate documentation, the encounter is one of the most detailed and credible on record. And, at least officially, the incident is still unexplained.
Before we move on and look at this case in more detail, check out the video below. It compares some of the drawings the children produced following the encounter with ancient cave paintings. The similarities are interesting, to say the least.
The teachers at Ariel school in Ruwa, Zimbabwe, had a scheduled meeting while the children enjoyed the morning recess of the 16th September. Although a lone parent who ran the “tuck shop” was supervising the children, they were for all intents and purposes, left to their own devices.
It was a Friday, the last day of school before the weekend. As the children shouted excitedly to each other in the schoolyard, several of them noticed a huge silver disc in the sky overhead. There were also several smaller crafts flying around the larger object. Within seconds, a temporary hush spread over the schoolyard as each child turned their attention to the gleaming objects above.
As the main craft passed overhead, it looked to land near a small hill on the other side of the schoolyard fence. The children ran to the fence to get a better look. Although the land was part of the school, it was off-limits to the children as clearing work was still going ahead.
As they watched, a “small man”, around three-feet high, suddenly emerged from the round object. The children would later describe him as extremely thin, with long, black hair and very large, black eyes. He jumped down from the craft and began walking in the direction of the fence where the children were watching. Perhaps they let out a collective gasp, as after only a few steps he noticed the children stood there and stopped. Meanwhile, another figure stood watching from on top of the craft.
After several moments of “direct eye contact”, the first entity turned and headed back to the craft. Moments later, the ship vanished, as did the smaller crafts overhead.
Some of the children would run into the school crying. The area was rich with legends of demons and evil entities, and some of the younger children were convinced this was what they had seen. The older children, though still unnerved, were experiencing what was later described as “telepathic communication” with the entity that stood in the field in front of them. Many of them already “knew” what they had seen.
The teachers inside the school were dragged from their meeting amid the commotion. One of them would later state, “We just heard them screaming and screaming. A child cannot make that up!” Another would offer, “I was very skeptical in the beginning” and that while they believed the children had seen “something”, they sought a more rational explanation.
The headmaster at the school also believed the children’s sincerity, but initially thought it best to let the matter rest. Following the weekend, however, the school began to receive phone call after phone call from concerned parents. Each would ask the same question. What had happened to frighten their children so intensely? Realizing the matter required investigation, the school would contact Cynthia Hind.
Cynthia Hind along with Dr. John Mack would speak to the children individually. Each would share the same details. In Mack’s opinion, he was convinced of the children’s sincerity and of the authenticity of the case. He would state of the witnesses, “They describe these events like a person talks about something that has (really) happened to them!” He was equally convinced the children were of “sound mind”.
Many of the children who claimed to have received telepathic communication from the dark figure who stood in front of them would have some interesting revelations. One witness would describe the experience as, “All of a sudden it was just like imaging going through my head. A message, telepathic communication!”
Another child would tell Hind and Mack that the aliens had arrived to “tell us we don’t look after the planet properly!” Another even darker view came from another witness. They claimed they received images in their minds of the end of the world where “all the trees would go down and nobody would be able to breathe!”
These details are present in numerous UFO encounters and have been for decades. It is important to remember that the majority of these children, if not all, would have had little to no exposure to UFO encounters in any great detail. With the Internet still several years away, even television was far from the wide platform it is now. In short, it is unlikely that all sixty children, aged between six-to-twelve-years-old, would have concocted and maintained such a deception.
Dr. Mack, who was tragically killed by a drunk driver while attending a lecture in London in 2004, was not only a respected UFO and alien abduction researcher, he was a product of Harvard and an experienced psychiatrist. When he began to investigate alien abductions and released the book “Abduction”, many of his colleagues would look to distance themselves from him. There was even a movement to have his clinical care credentials reviewed. The Dean of Harvard would ultimately perform this review and “reaffirmed Dr. Mack’s academic freedom to study what he wishes and to share his opinions without impediment!”
Mack’s contribution to the alien abduction phenomena is invaluable. And the fact that he would so strongly back the genuineness of the witnesses in the Ariel School incident should perhaps tell us of the authenticity of the account. Using all of his professional skills – both as a UFO researcher and a psychiatrist – he would state that the children’s “voice tone (and) their body language were so consistent” that it was obvious they were telling the truth. They “told their stories with such conviction!” He would highlight how one child claimed the alien figure had spoken into his mind that the human race should not be so “techknowledged” as an example of the bizarre authenticity to the claims.
Even today, over twenty years later, the accounts of the witnesses remain exactly the same as in 1994. There have been no claims of a hoax. No rethinking or doubting of accounts. And further investigation would reveal several other UFO sightings over Zimbabwe in the days leading up the event at the school in Ruwa. Rather than asking what the children saw in September 1994, we should ask where they came from, and why?
Cynthia Hind’s Finest Work?
The efforts of Cynthia Hind should also not go unpraised. Particularly as the case involved children as the main witnesses. It would have been easy for adults to dismiss what they saw that morning. In fact, in an article she wrote on the incident before her death in 2000, Hind would reflect on some of the teachers and parents’ initial attempts to do just this when she said, “What a frightening indictment of our society that when we are confronted by something we don’t understand, we don’t even attempt to open our minds to the event!”
One of the witnesses, “Sarah” speaking to a journalist in 2014 would state bluntly that “I don’t think you would be here talking to me now if it wasn’t for” Cynthia Hind. She believes that the incident would be long-forgotten “if Hind hadn’t made such a fuss!” It was Hind who would conduct interviews as well as getting “the news out to all sorts of important people”. This would, of course, include Dr. Mack.
The importance of such figures as Dr. Mack would lend everyone credibility – including Hind. From her own writings, it is obvious this realization was not lost on her, when she would write how he had “risked his credibility with his colleagues to come out and say he believes the experiences of abductees are very real indeed!” She also described him as “not only open-minded and prepared to listen, but an academic of some standing!”
We should most definitely place the 1994 Zimbabwe Incident on a pedestal of authenticity. We should also applaud the work Cynthia Hind and Dr. John Mack achieved in thrusting the case into the public arena. As well as lending the overall credibility of the UFO and alien question a little more kudos.