Ariel Phenomenon Image

Ariel Phenomenon

By Alan Ng | July 15, 2022

Do you believe in UFOs? No? Well, what do you think of the hundreds of alien encounters and abductions? Randall Nickerson’s documentary, Ariel Phenomenon, may provide the best evidence of alien contact. But is this the conclusive proof we’ve been looking for, or will our healthy skepticism prevail?

It’s September 1994, and the city of Ruwa, Zimbabwe, experienced what they thought was a strange meteor shower. The problem is the meteors never fell to the ground. In fact, they flew parallel to the ground, and the objects didn’t look like meteors. They looked like flying saucers. It was witnessed by hundreds of Harare citizens and documented by Zimbabwe air tower personnel.

This story captures the attention of Tim Leach, a BBC correspondent, who puts out a call on television for any and all eye-witness accounts. He tells his bosses he has a massive alien story, and they run with it… until cooler and “reasonable” heads prevailed.

But witnessing a UFO was only a small part of the story of Ariel Phenomenon. Elementary students from Ariel School in Ruwa saw aliens… the big-head, bug-eyed aliens… walking on the school campus. They drew images of the aliens, and they matched. Their stories corroborated one another, and no one, except alien deniers, thought they were lying. They definitely saw something. Needing expert help with the children, Leach brings in Pulitzer Prize-winning psychology professor John Mack. While skeptical about aliens, Mack agrees to interview the children and deduce whether or not their stories are true. It would make an excellent research paper on “group think,” right? He ultimately concludes the children were telling the truth.

“Elementary students from Ariel School in Ruwa saw aliens…the big-head, bug-eyed aliens…”

Most of the footage in the documentary is comprised of a combination of the original interviews and news footage from 1994, along with recent interviews with Leach, Dr. Mack, and the students. They not only discuss the event, which is still seared in their memory but what has happened to their lives since then.

Whether you believe in aliens or not, Ariel Phenomenon is a story about credibility. First, hundreds of people witnessed the flying saucer, so why does the world not believe? Then there’s the testimony from the children, but again, they’re children who have wild imaginations.

As a prominent psychologist, Dr. Mack is an expert in truth-telling and lying. After extensive interviews, he deduced the children had to be telling the truth. Both Leach and Dr. Mack put their professional careers and reputations on the line pushing the UFO and alien story. Are Leach and Mack fame-seeking charlatans? Dr. Mack was constantly touting himself as a “Harvard Professor,” and Harvard pushed back on this kind of attention.

Let’s also not forget a large group of children — now adults — though standing behind what they saw, have suffered great ridicule since the event. In other words, no one gained any fame or fortune by standing behind the story. Was the price they paid worth the lie (if they’re lying)?

Are aliens real, or is the Ariel School phenomenon a great hoax in human history? My criteria for a good documentary is simply to present the facts and challenge my beliefs. By the end of Ariel Phenomenon, I’m still skeptical, but I’m still thinking about UFOs long after seeing the film and trying to reconcile what a large group of witnesses actually saw. That makes it a good documentary.

For the UFO believers, Ariel Phenomenon is precisely the film you’re looking for as proof of alien existence. But for the unbeliever, Nickerson’s film is a mandatory watch to either chip away at your beliefs or make them stronger.

For screening information, visit the Ariel Phenomenon official website.

Ariel Phenomenon (2022)

Directed and Written: Randall Nickerson

Starring: Tim Leach, Dr. John E. Mack, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

Ariel Phenomenon Image

"…precisely the film you're looking for as proof of alien existence."

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  1. barb folkerts says:

    how can i buy this dvd of this movie or see it on tv?

  2. Robert Webb says:

    Brian Dunning did an episode of his podcast Skeptoid about this event, and it seems far less impressive once you hear some details behind the hype. https://skeptoid.com/episodes/4760

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