“There are no other cases, this is the case” Frank Galvin, played by Paul Newman in Sidney Lumet’s 1982 classic, The Verdict, said. And it’s a line that our guest for this episode, Richard Hatem, repeated multiple times. In the film, Galvin starts repeating the line when all hope seems lost. In a parallel to the 1994 Ariel School Landing, the beings that appeared there said something similar about the planet, only, they used the word “techknowledged.” This was a word the the students had never used before, but was repeated by a small handful of them. 

The Ariel School Landing was unique among the experiencer stories of the 1990s. In many ways it seemed unintentional and yet deliberate. Over 60 students (some claiming more than 100) witnessed a strange UFO glinting from the bush near their playground. Some of the students saw strange beings and others claimed to receive telepathic messages from close contact with these beings. When you dig down deep, there are elements of time distortion, glitches, and telepathy. 

And yet, this was not the only school in history to receive a visit from some strange beings. On this episode Rich and I dive into one of the most important UFO and contactee cases of the last 30 years.


“UFO Flap in Zimbabwe”/”The Children of Ariel School”/”The Visit from John Mack” UFOAfrinews February 1995 N 11 

“Ariel School Report (Cont.)” UFOAfrinews July 1995 No 12 

UFOs Over Africa by Cynthia Hind 

The Believer: Alien Encounters, Hard Science, and the Passion of John Mack by Ralph Blumenthal 

“Exploring Africa and Other Alien Encounters” by Dominique Callimanopulos 

“The Schoolkids Who Said They Saw Aliens” BBC News 

“Remembering Zimbabwe’s Great Alien Invasion” by Sean Christie Mail & Guardian  

Randall Nickerson presenting the Ariel Phenomenon with two of the original eye witnesses 

Cynthia Hind Visits the Ariel School 

Randall Nickers & Salma Siddick from the Martin Willis Show, 2018 

Witness Emily Trim Shares Her Story 

Experiencers by Stephane Allix 

“Aliens in Zimbabwe,” Macrodosing 

Ariel School Encounter Francis Chirimuuta 

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Rob Kristoffersen is an amateur UFO researcher from the Adirondacks of Northern New York. He is the host of the podcast, Our Strange Skies: UFOs Throughout History.