UFO sightings in South Africa

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This is a list of alleged sightings of unidentified flying objects or UFOs in South Africa.

1965 report[edit]

According to NICAP and Flying Saucer Review magazine, after midnight on 16 September, police constables Lockem and de Klerk observed a shiny, copper-coloured craft which had landed astride the white middle line of the PretoriaBronkhorstspruit road, at a spot that was deserted 5 minutes earlier.[1] Their patrol vehicle allegedly cut out as they watched the craft rapidly ascending, while emitting a sea of flames through two portals below. The 30 feet (9.1 m) wide disc, shaped like a spinning top, darted silently in a northwesterly direction, leaving the asphalt ablaze for many minutes afterwards.[1] According to NICAP, the incident was confirmed in a press release by Lt colonel J. B. Brits, district commandant of Pretoria North,[2][3] but scientists from the C.S.I.R. who were asked to investigate the 6 ft wide, buckled and charred imprint, ridiculed the saucer explanation.[1] Constable Lockem, aided by a staff artist of Die Vaderland newspaper, provided a sketch of the craft. Residents of the East Rand reported an "enormous white light" and a "red ball" in their skies earlier that night.[1]

1970s sightings[edit]

UFO sightings in South Africa is located in South Africa
Braeside farm, Fort Beaufort
Braeside farm, Fort Beaufort
1972 sighting locations in the eastern Cape
  • Bennie Smit, new owner of Braeside farm near Fort Beaufort in the eastern Cape, claimed to have fired shots at an unknown object during the morning of 26 June 1972. He was alerted to it by his labourer, Boer de Klerk, who at 9:00 noticed a fireball of some 2.5 feet (0.76 m) in diameter, moving about at treetop height.[4] Smit believed his eight shots were accurately aimed, but these had little effect. Police sergeant Piet Kitching and police station commander P.R. van Rensburg arrived at 10:00 and additional shots were fired. They stated that it had been changing its colour up to this point, but now assumed the appearance of a gunmetal grey, somewhat oval-shaped 44-gallon drum. After two final shots were fired from a mere 10 m distance, the object receded into impenetrable woods. Smit had a final sighting after 12 noon, but subsequently heard its sound at night.[4][5] Imprints of its supposed landing gear were found in hard clay. Though the Grahamstown army regiment was said to have investigated the site, the base could later not produce any records of the event.[6] The incident received coverage by international press, and led to businesses capitalizing on the incident, with a tavern calling itself the "UFO Bar" and painting flying saucers on the walls[7] and the local Savoy Hotel keeping clippings of the stories posted on its walls.[8] In a humorous editorial, the New Scientist stated the apartheid South African government was "very fastidious about the sort of immigrants she welcomes and little green men may very well be on the prohibited list".[9]
  • On the evening of 12 November 1972 four soldiers at Rosmead in the eastern Cape were guarding a large fuel depot when they observed a set of rotating red lights from near their duty room. These were 1.5 metres above the school's tennis court, but went out before they could investigate. When headmaster Harold Truter arrived about 10 minutes later at Rosmead Junior School, he observed an unusual light hovering silently over a nearby ridge, which was casting an oblique beam to the ground.[10] A 'flickering glow' over the locked tennis court caused him to investigate. Broken and molten asphalt and different sets of symmetrically placed imprints were found, subsequently considered to be a UFO landing site. Additional asphalt fragments were later found strewn 183 m away on a nearby ridge, and nearby Eucalypt trees were badly scorched and soon died. An hour after Truter's discovery the object could be seen by two police officers in Middelburg, looking though binoculars from 10 km away.[11] Additional UFO sightings were claimed from the vicinity,[12][13][14] notably that of a supposed landed craft at Ouberg on the outskirts of Middelburg, from which small red beings would have emerged.[11] A search team deployed in the immediate aftermath could not find any traces however.
  • On the morning of 31 July 1975 Danie van Graan, aged 66, came upon an oval-shaped craft with rounded windows on his sheep farm near Loxton. It was resting on the ground supported by four prong-like legs, which afterwards left clear imprints. Looking through a large side window from 4 metres away he could clearly see four shortish, blond and sharp-chinned beings inside, who were operating various instruments. When they became aware of his presence, a beam of light was activated which shone on his face. This immediately caused various adverse sensations, and his nose bled. The craft's whine increased and it took off at a sharp angle.[15][2]
  • On 29 September 1978 a resident Indian woman reported a disc-shaped object taking off from the Groendal Nature Reserve near Uitenhage, eastern Cape. Three days later, on 2 October, four school boys from Despatch, aged 12 to 16, observed three silvery-clad men in the reserve while hiking. Two of the men arrived from the direction of a shining object, and joined a third to ascend a steep incline on what seemed to be fins, before all disappeared. A set of 9 regular imprints found a month later, was deemed related to the reflective object.[16]

1991 to 2000[edit]

  • On 7 April 1991, at 11:15 pm a hovering triangular craft with red central light, and white star-like lights on each extremity, was observed by a family at Baviaanspoort, Pretoria. A similar craft was sighted in the nearby Eersterust township on the evenings of 8 and 9 April, either stationary or moving.[17][18][19][20] These sightings occurred about a year after the Belgian UFO flap concluded. A decade later another hovering triangular craft was reported by a family travelling in the Hartbeespoort area, about 50 km to the west.[21]
  • On 18 November 1993, at 10:15 pm, Messrs du Plessis and Venter, residents of Sasolburg, observed a craft arriving from the direction of Vereeniging. The craft departed in a flash in the direction of Parys, but returned some three minutes later. The craft, similar in appearance to a water droplet, was observed to change colour and shape. With time individual lights were distinguished, and the body was determined to be cigar-shaped. While contained in a yellowish to orange glow, it emitted a downward blue light, before once again departing in a flash, upwards. [22] A nearby town resident claimed to have found imprints of a small craft's landing gear, some two months later.[23]
  • In September and October 1994 a farmer at Warrenton claimed to have made repeated observations of a noisy, nighttime craft travelling at great speeds, besides what he described as a 'mothership'. The craft's noise was compared to the sound of a helicopter or Volkswagen Beetle engine. The farmer's general claims were supported by four independent observers.[24]
UFO sightings in South Africa is located in South Africa
De Brug
De Brug
Sighting locations during the March–April 1995 flap, which included a report of a landed craft at Coligny
  • A UFO flap swept South Africa from late March to mid April 1995, which was widely reported in the media.[25][26][27] A farmer, Jan Pienaar, reported a landed craft south of Coligny.[25][28][29]
  • At 4:00 am on 28 August 1996 a glowing disc was videoed by on duty Sgt Nico Stander of the Adriaan Vlok police station, Pretoria,[30] and Pretoria resident Johann Becker noticed it hovering over Erasmuskloof. The pulsating disc contained a red triangle, and at one point emitted bright green tentacles. A chase ensued involving some 200 policemen and a Bo-105 police chopper, piloted by Supt Fred Viljoen. The chopper with five officers took to the air at 5:30 am and spotted the object over Mamelodi. Viljoen was in contact with radar operators at AFB Waterkloof, who reported radar clutter in its vicinity.[30] While pursued by the chopper, it performed vertical and horizontal undulating movements, while outpacing the chopper at maximum speed (some 270 km/h).[31][32] The chase was given up at 10,000 feet (3,000 m) in the Cullinan area, when their fuel ran low and the object made a vertical ascent.[33][34] An object was sighted in the area again during the early hours of 31 August and 1 September.[35] cf. Petrozavodsk phenomenon
  • In the early hours of 1 September 1996 (thus concurrent with the above) a Krugersdorp resident observed a round craft with antennas below, that emitted a rumbling sound as it followed an earth-hugging trajectory, some 200 metres above the ground. Its speed was compared with that of a light aircraft.[36]
  • Around the end of July 1997 a hovering, cylindrical light or shiny cloud, was filmed by Andreas Mathios in the sky above the town of Trichardt, in the current western Mpumalanga province. Besides Mathios, it was independently observed by three other persons around 6:50 am. The light suddenly dropped and rose again before disappearing. Sasol 2 and 3 allegedly had a temporary power outage that morning. Andreas Mathios phoned air traffic control to get information about any objects detected in the airspace. Trichardt was also the scene of a 1985 sighting.[37]
  • On 27 December 1998 the Laubscher family videotaped a group of roundish triangular craft passing over the town of Graaff Reinet, at about 25,000 ft. These were changing colour and sometimes circled one another, before being overtaken by a much larger, shiny, gold-coloured craft. At this point all the objects departed to a cloud bank on the horizon.[38][39]
  • In September 1997 Frank Valentyn (and apparently other motorists) observed an enormous stationary tower of about a dozen stacked discs from the N1 freeway in Pretoria. He suspected that those below were "daughter discs" released by the "mothership" above, which he estimated to be 1.7 kilometres (1.1 mi) in diameter. The lowest disc in the stack would detach and depart in a seemingly random direction at regular intervals, and each disc had a set of orange lights around its perimeter. He reported his observation to the Johannesburg Planetarium.[40]
  • On 8 May 2000, at 3:24 am, police inspector Kriel claimed to have observed an approaching UFO while travelling on the N3 freeway, 70 km north of Warden in the eastern Free State province. The orange, oval-shaped light was fitted with two cupolas, one above and another below, and was wide enough to cover four lanes of the freeway. After a close approach the craft receded again. A follow up report claimed that the vicinity is known for moving light apparitions.[41]

21st century[edit]

  • On 27 June 2004, Roshnie Naidu observed and video-taped a very bright, colourful light that was suspended near her home in Durban for three hours. She was able to alert family members and neighbours to its presence, and observed it changing shape from circular to oval.[42][43]
  • In 2009 two formations of high-flying, orange-red objects, were seen by many witnesses, and video-recorded by some, as they travelled between the towns of Middelburg and Witbank, 25 kilometres (16 mi) apart. The first formation of seven objects were seen at 21:51 on 27 February, as they flew westwards from Middelburg towards Witbank. Due to their altitude they eventually disappeared behind clouds. At 20:00 on 6 March, they were noted again high in the sky, but this time greater in number, 23, and traveling in the opposite direction.[44][45]
  • On the evenings of 21 and 22 July 2010, residents of Booysens, Pretoria, observed a triangle of bright lights which hung motionless in the sky for two hours. In each instance the object commenced a slow descent towards the horizon at 20:30. Binocular observation revealed nothing more than a blue and emerald light, with a white light which shone straight downwards.[46]
  • On the evenings of 11, 20 and 21 May 2011, a host of silent, orange lights with consistent luminosity were observed as they travelled faster than a commercial aeroplane over Tierpoort near Pretoria (some 20 objects) and Krugersdorp respectively.[47] On 15 June seven of these objects were observed and some photographed as they crossed the sky in single file over Tierpoort.[48] At 22:00 on 30 October 2011, a Mr van Greuning photographed two of the five silent fireballs which he observed traveling southwards in low cloud near the town of Harrismith.[49]
  • A reported UFO was spotted in Cape Town on the evening of 28 November 2015. Social media was abuzz with various reports of what seemed to be a green light over the city.

Abduction scenarios[edit]

1956 contactee[edit]

A well-known photo series depicting a supposed UFO was taken on 24 July near Rosetta in the Drakensberg region. The photographer, meteorologist Elizabeth Klarer, claimed detailed adventures with an alien race, besides having had an alien lover, Akon, who would have fathered her son Ayling.[50]

1974 abduction event[edit]

Travellers Peter and Frances MacNorman claimed an abduction event on 31 May, which would have started near Fort Victoria in the current southern Zimbabwe, and which would have continued to the vicinity of Beitbridge on the South African border.[51]

1979 Mindalore incident[edit]

On January 3, 1979, a mother and her 12-year-old son of Mindalore, Krugersdorp, both claimed an encounter with a group of human-like entities standing beside a craft. One of them would have encouraged her to depart with them permanently. After she refused, they would have entered the craft which shortly shot upwards and disappeared in 30 seconds.[52]

Crash claims and hoaxes[edit]

1982 Mozambican border crash[edit]

A person identifying himself only as an apartheid era brigadier general of the South African Army claimed in a 2004 Coast to Coast AM interview with Art Bell, that he was an eye-witness to a crashed disc in November 1982. From a Pretoria air force base, he would have given the order to a Mirage pilot flying hundreds of miles to the east, to fire on a suspected MiG aircraft, that was deemed a risk to ground troops. It allegedly turned out to be a disc, which was brought down very near the Mozambican border. He and his special operations team would have retrieved the 12 feet (3.7 m) wide craft holding two comatose grey beings, and returned these to Pretoria. The supposed artifacts were briefly held at Ysterplaat, Cape Town, before allegedly flown to Andrews Field near Washington, D.C., where U.S. officials took custody.[53] Similar, but evidently baseless reports, have been tied to earlier and later dates.

1989 Kalahari crash[edit]

According to supposed leaked documents an alien craft was shot down by South African aircraft, some 80 miles (130 kilometres) into Botswana, on 7 May. Two alien beings were claimed to have been captured on site. To date no primary witnesses have been traced, while the supporting documents, some obvious fakes, were all obtained from James van Greunen. Researcher Tony Dodd[54] lent Van Greunen some credibility in Quest magazine, but other researchers were highly skeptical.[55][56][57][58][59][60] The claims have nonetheless been widely circulated, either as fact or as a case deserving investigation.[61][62][63][64][65][66][67][68][69]

1995 Lesotho crash[edit]

According to supposed leaked documents an alien craft crashed in Lesotho on 15 September. It was claimed that South African forces retrieved the craft and took three alien beings captive. The source of these documents is unknown, but is once again suspected to be James van Greunen. Failing to trace any key individuals or witnesses, researcher Michael Hesemann denounced it as 'a complete hoax'. Other researchers, though skeptical, held out hope to trace witnesses.[55][70][71]

See also[edit]


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  15. ^ 31 July 1975 - Loxton, South Africa
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External links[edit]