On September 16th, 1994, at the Ariel primary school in Zimbabwe, over 60 school children described seeing a disc-shaped craft land behind the school. Some of them reported observing two strange beings near the object. One appeared to approach the group. They said the figures were about 4 feet tall and were wearing what looked like “divers' suits.” The children were interviewed immediately thereafter by Tim Leach, BBC Bureau Chief for Zimbabwe, and later, Harvard psychiatrist Dr. John Mack. After an exhaustive investigation, Dr. Mack concluded that the children were not making up the story. Filmmaker Randall Nickerson is developing a new documentary using original BBC footage of the children. In the first half, he joined George Knapp to discuss the event and the details he has uncovered.
Since that time, many more witnesses have come forward with other stories of UFO sightings in the area occurring within a day or so. Nickerson tracked down many of the original witnesses (now adults) through social media. He says they all reported that the experience was “something that never left them.” A few of the children who were standing closest to the alien-looking figure said that it telepathically communicated a message of environmental urgency about the Earth. He says the experience of working on the film has made him realize that there is much to be discovered and that “we don’t have it all figured out.”
On a lonesome road in Utah in the winter of 1959, Gerry Irwin, a young soldier returning from leave, saw the sky light up as a blazing object streaked across the highway and apparently crashed nearby. Stunned, he stopped and walked across the snow-covered desert to investigate. His life would never be the same. Author and unexplained phenomena researcher David Booher joined the program in the second half to discuss Irwin's mysterious experience, and how he later deserted his Army post in Texas and disappeared. In 2013, Booher located Irwin and began a project to get him to remember his bizarre and frightening ordeal. Irwin was originally interviewed by investigators from the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization, but it wasn’t until Booher found an original letter written by the local sheriff in the area where Irwin was found that a more accurate picture began to emerge. Irwin himself still remembers very little from the period and shows "symptoms of very serious trauma."
Within hours of being found face down in the snow, Irwin told the authorities that the object he witnessed seemed to get brighter as he approached, and as it came into full view, he lost consciousness. Irwin subsequently experienced many periods of hazy memories and strange behavior and was in and out of Army psych wards until he finally went AWOL, and as Booher reported even "lived in the woods” for a few months. Strangely, he was reinstated with a security clearance after these events, which Booher thinks may indicate some level of military involvement and possible mind control. Irwin was given truth serum by the Army and asked about the events, and under its influence said that there was "a special intelligence that he couldn’t explain” that was behind the incident and that forbade him from talking about it. Booher says that Irwin (now aged 81) still "doesn’t consider it part of his reality.”
George Knapp shared a number of recent news items, including an article on the potential of psychedelics and an op-ed piece on the challenges of total automation.