Was The Ariel School UFO incident Real Or A Product Of Mass Hysteria?
On September 16, 1994, 62 students at the Ariel School in Ruwa, Zimbabwe, said they saw an unknown craft come down from the sky and land in a nearby field.
The event, which became known in UFO circles as the Ariel School Phenomenon, began on a pretty normal day. During the break, while the teachers were in a meeting, some of the kids say they saw a silver disc land on a hill just outside the school grounds. The kids reportedly ran to the edge of the school grounds to get a better look. Some of them said they saw people come out of what they called a craft.
Then, one or more creatures dressed in all black came up to the kids and sent them a message about the environment through their minds.
After the break was over, the kids told their teachers about what happened. They said it lasted up to 15 minutes, which made their teachers very skeptical. But when they talked to their parents that night, they asked them questions, which the teachers then had to answer. With this as a starting point and the help of a local UFO researcher, the school’s headteacher asked the kids to draw what they had seen. They brought back pictures of silvery ships that looked like classic UFOs.
Sometimes they even drew aliens standing nearby.
“It seemed to be shining through the trees. It resembled a disc. As round as a disc, “A few days after the event, a child who saw it told the BBC about it. “In the middle of the trees, I saw something silver on the ground. And someone wearing black, “one person said.
From here on out, the story only gets more complicated, making it hard to figure out what exactly happened.
Almost All Children Described The Events That Happened At Ariel School in Ruwa Identically
Cynthia Hind, a UFO researcher in the area, talked to the kids the day after the event. Hind found it strange that the students, who came from different places but all came from wealthy families because tuition was expensive, described the figures and UFO in the same way.
This becomes more noteworthy as they understood the phenomenon in very different ways based on where they came from.
Some people thought the figures were Zvikwambo, which are human spirits that were made by magic, or tokoloshe (evil goblin creatures of Shona and Ndebele folklore). Hind thinks that the kids’ different ideas, along with their similar drawings and descriptions, made it more likely that they had all seen the same thing.
She also thought that the kids would not have had access to UFO-related media, which could have changed their stories or given them similar images in their minds, as she told the TV show Sightings “Not many of these kids go to the movies. They live in a rural area. Parents are farmers “. The idea behind this argument is that if they had never seen these images before and then described something similar, it makes it more likely that what they saw was real.
Then, John Mack, a professor of psychiatry at Harvard, came to talk to the kids. Mack’s collection of people’s stories helped form a new story. When the children talked to the professor, who had just written a book on UFOs and was very interested in the subject, they said that “aliens” were sending them telepathic messages about the environment. Mack was also recently investigated by Harvard for telling patients who had “reported a ‘close encounter’ with an extraterrestrial life form that this experience might have been real.”
Could The Ruwa UFO Incident Have Been An Episode Of Mass Hysteria?
Mass hysteria is the common name for a situation in which many people have the same symptoms that can’t be explained. Hysterical contagion is when a symptom or set of symptoms spreads quickly through a group of people even though there is no physical cause for them. Mass hysteria usually starts when someone gets sick or hysterical when they are under a lot of stress. After this first person shows symptoms, others start to show similar symptoms.
Even though, John Mack, the professor of psychiatry at Harvard was one of the reasons why the Ariel School incident is so well known, he wasn’t very good at interviews. Since he showed up months after the event, when the children had time to think about what happened, it’s likely that he prompted the children (perhaps unknowingly) to remember the telepathic events. Hind, on the other hand, talked to the kids in groups of four to six, which made the similarities in their stories less striking.
Hind’s idea that the kids didn’t know how media usually showed aliens was also wrong because the country was in the middle of a UFO craze at the time. The Zenit-2 rocket from the Cosmos 2290 satellite launch came back into the atmosphere two days ago, making a fireball in the sky. Some people in the area didn’t know what the object was, and ZBC Radio got a lot of calls from people who said they had seen UFOs. Hind found out about what happened when she called the station herself to ask about the school.
More reasonable explanations, which don’t require you to believe that aliens flew here, left a vague message for some school children, and then flew away, include mass hysteria or a simple prank by the school children. One team that studied cases of mass hysteria in Africa around this time says that we should be able to call this and other similar events mass hysteria without doing too much more research.
“Time shouldn’t be wasted looking for environmental triggers that don’t exist,” doctors wrote in the Malawi Medical Journal. “This could make the episode last longer by reinforcing the behavior that caused it.” “In other words, Mass Hysteria should not be a diagnosis of exclusion after all physical, chemical, and biological factors have been ruled out.”