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World UFO Day: Most Mysterious Sightings in Africa

© Photo Twitter / @Marco_LangbroekAn unidentified flying object (possibly the failed US satellite Zuma) was spotted in the skies of the capital Khartoum in January 2018.
An unidentified flying object (possibly the failed US satellite Zuma) was spotted in the skies of the capital Khartoum in January 2018.  - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 02.07.2023
On July 2, those who believe in the existence of aliens or study phenomena that have no logical explanation and objects that are attributed to extraterrestrial origin, celebrate World UFO Day.
The choice of the date for World UFO Day is connected with the 1947 Roswell incident. At the beginning of July, a strange object reportedly crashed in the desert near the town of Roswell in the US state of New Mexico. Roswell Army Air Field personnel issued a press release saying they had discovered a "flying disc." The Army quickly retracted the claim, stating that the crashed object was a military balloon.
However, the news spread across the country, and subsequently all around the world. Despite the lack of direct evidence of a UFO crash in Roswell, some people still believe that it was a flying saucer with aliens on board. Decades later, conspiracy theories appeared, with UFO enthusiasts claiming that the crash of the alien spaceship had been covered up by the government.
Even though some phenomena remain unexplained, skeptics attempt to appeal to common sense, reiterating that science will eventually find answers to everything.
As Earthlings are celebrating World UFO Day, Sputnik Africa presents a list of the most mysterious incidents and alleged sightings of unidentified flying objects on the continent.
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Zimbabwe's Ariel School UFO Sighting

In September 1994, an unusual story unfolded in the tiny community of Ruwa, a small agricultural center located 22 kilometers southeast of the country's capital Harare. Sixty-two children from the prestigious Ariel School reported witnessing the landing of silver discs, allegedly spaceships, in a field near the school. According to media reports, the children saw strange creatures, who came out of the silver crafts and started talking to them.
It was noted that the creatures they encountered were supposedly similar to humans, but had waxy skin and large, penetrating eyes. Moreover, the students said that the "aliens" telepathically communicated with them, encouraging them to protect the Earth's environment. Following the incident, the children's claims were examined by several researchers, including UFO expert Cynthia Hand and Harvard psychiatry Professor John E. Mack.
Decades later, many children from the Ariel School continue to stick to their story. They insist that the phenomenon at the Ariel School really happened, and that on that day, their paths crossed with alien beings. However, skeptics, along with most researchers, claim the incident could be a case of mass hysteria or even a prank.
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South African UFO Incidents

There have been numerous reports of strange lights and "crafts" in the sky in various parts of South Africa, with some people citing these incidents as evidence that humans are not the only intelligent beings in the Universe.
In June 1971, Benny Smith, the owner of the Braeside farm near Fort Beaufort in Eastern Cape Province, stated that one morning, he fired at an unknown flying object. Police reportedly arrived at the site and fired additional shots. Eventually the object took off and entered an impenetrable forest, where it was heard crashing in the undergrowth. Several council members also reported seeing the object. Later, imprints of its alleged landing gear were discovered in hard clay.
Although it was reported that the Grahamstown army regiment investigated the site, it was unable to provide any records of the event. The incident was covered by international media. Interestingly, local businesses managed to profit from the alleged UFO sighting. For example, a tavern in the area was named the "UFO Bar."
As for more recent incidents, an unidentified flying object was spotted 1,000 feet (about 300m) above an airplane in December 2016, local media reported, citing the country's National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI). The institute's spokesperson, Craig Lambinon, stated that the captain and co-pilot of a Boeing 737 cargo aircraft, flying from Cape Town International Airport to Port Elizabeth International Airport, reported seeing a glowing green object. At the time, it was "increasing in altitude past the cockpit," ascended "to about a thousand feet into clouds above them and then returned towards earth at high speed."
At first, it was suspected that the object was a green parachute flare. However, this possibility was ruled out, as flares cannot reach that height. Officials at the airport also alleged that it was a stricken aircraft, but there were no reports of craft overdue or missing. Lambinon told media that no further reports of sightings had been received and that "the incident remains a mystery."
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UFO Sighting in Sudan

An unidentified flying object was spotted in the sky over the capital Khartoum in January 2018. Local media reported that several witnesses saw the luminous body, surrounded by a radiant green light. However, in this particular case, the Sudanese military had an explanation, supposing that it was a "suspected" satellite.
According to Dutch scientist Marco Langbroek, the UFO was likely the US satellite Zuma, launched by the Falcon 9 spacecraft, owned by Elon Musk’s SpaceX. Earlier, it was reported to have malfunctioned after the launch, falling back to Earth and burning up in the planet’s atmosphere. However, it remains unclear whether the scientist's explanation is correct, or whether the flying object was something else.