The morning of September 16, 1994 began like any other for the children and teachers at Ariel School. However, an incident during the morning break would eventually catch the attention of the entire world.
Cynthia Hind was the first UFO researcher to speak to the children, and who in turn invited the equally experienced psychiatrist and UFO researcher, Dr. John Mack to investigate. Through the efforts of Hind and Mack and the immediate documentation of the case, the encounter is one of the most detailed and reliable on record, although, officially at least, the incident remains unexplained.
Teachers at Ariel School in Ruwa, Zimbabwe, southern Africa, had a meeting scheduled while the children enjoyed their morning break on September 16th. Although one of the parents, who owns a candy store, was supervising the children, they were, for all intents and purposes, on their own.
It was a Friday, the last day of school before the weekend. As the children ran, screamed and played excitedly in the school yard, several of them noticed a huge silver disk in the sky. There were also several smaller craft flying around the larger object. Within seconds, a temporary silence spread across the schoolyard as each child turned their attention to the glowing objects above.
As the main ship passed over them, it seemed 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 children as the cleanup work was still in progress.
As they watched, a “little man”, about three feet tall, suddenly emerged from the round object. Children later described him as extremely thin, with long black hair and very large, black eyes. He jumped off the ship and started walking towards the fence where the kids were looking. After only a few steps he apparently realized the children were there and stopped. Meanwhile, another figure was watching from inside the ship.
After a few moments of direct eye contact, the first entity turned and walked back to the ship. Moments later, the ship disappeared, as did the smaller craft above.
Some children ran to school crying and screaming. The area was rich in legends of demons and evil entities, and some of the younger children were convinced that this was what they had seen. The older children, while still nervous, were experiencing what was later described as “telepathic communication” with the entity that was in the field in front of them. Many of them already “knew” what they had seen.
Teachers inside the school were dragged from their meeting amid the commotion. One of them later said: “We just heard them screaming and screaming. A child cannot invent that!” Another teacher said: “I was very skeptical at first and although I believed the children had seen something, I was looking for a more rational explanation.”
The school principal also believed in the children’s sincerity, but initially thought it best to drop the matter. After the weekend, however, the school began receiving phone calls from concerned parents. All asking the same question: “What happened to scare your kids so badly?”
Realizing that the matter required investigation, the school contacted researcher Cynthia Hind.
Cynthia Hind, along with Dr. John Mack, spoke to the children individually. Each of them shared the same details.
In Mack’s opinion, he was convinced of the children’s sincerity and the authenticity of the case. He said of witnesses: “They describe these events as a person talks about something that actually happened!”
Many of the children who claimed to have received telepathic communication from the figure in front of them would have some interesting revelations. One witness described the experience as: “Suddenly, it was like an image going through my head. A message, a telepathic communication!”
Another child told Hind and Mack that the aliens had arrived to “tell us we don’t take good care of the planet!” Another even darker vision came from another witness. They claimed that they received images in their minds of the end of the world, where “all the trees would fall and no one else would be able to breathe!”
These details are present in countless UFO encounters and have been for decades. It is important to remember that most, if not all, of these children would have had little or no exposure to UFO encounters in great detail. The internet was still in its infancy and even television was far from the broad platform it is now. In short, it is unlikely that all 62 children, ages six to twelve, invented and maintained such a statement.
Dr. Mack was not only a respected UFO and alien abduction researcher, he was a Harvard University graduate and a seasoned psychiatrist. When he began investigating alien abductions and released the book “Abduction”, many of his colleagues sought to distance themselves from him. There was even a movement to have their clinical care credentials reviewed. The Dean of Harvard would eventually carry out this review and reaffirm Dr. Mack to study what he wants and to share his opinions unhindered.
The contribution of Dr. Mack for the alien abduction phenomenon is invaluable.
Using all his professional skills, both as a UFO researcher and a psychiatrist, he claimed that “the children’s tone of voice and body language were consistent” and that it was obvious that they were telling the truth as they told their story with all their conviction. He would highlight how one of the children claimed that the alien figure had spoken in his mind that the human race should not be so proud of their technological knowledge, as an example of the bizarre authenticity of the claims.
Even today, witness accounts remain exactly the same as they were in 1994. There were no allegations of fraud and further investigation would reveal several more UFO sightings over Zimbabwe in the days leading up to the event at Ariel School in Ruwa.
Cynthia Hind’s efforts shouldn’t go unnoticed either. Particularly as the case involved children as the main witnesses. It would have been easy for adults to reject what they saw that morning. In fact, in an article she wrote about the incident in 2000, Hind reflected on some of the early attempts by teachers and parents to do just that when she said, “What a terrifying indictment on the part of our society when we are confronted by something we don’t understand, we didn’t even try to open our minds to the event!”.
The importance of persons like Dr. Mack would give credibility to everyone, including Hind. Based on her own writings, it’s obvious that she didn’t lose this insight when she wrote how he “risked his credibility with his peers to come forward and say that he believed the abductees’ experiences are very real!” She also described him as “not only open-minded and ready to listen, but an academic of poise!”