There are countless UFO sightings all over the world, but some of the most compelling stories come from not just one person but rather an entire group of people who witnessed a strange phenomenon together. For whatever reason, schools have become a common place for UFO sightings to occur.
True believers think that young schoolchildren are less threatening to aliens, so it makes them easier to approach with their messages from beyond our galaxy. Is this whimsy from active imaginations? Is it shared psychosis? Or have these students truly witnessed extraterrestrial life?
10 Ariel School
In 1994, a class of 62 children at the Ariel Elementary School in Zimbabwe were playing outside during recess. The teacher was distracted indoors. The kids all heard a high-pitched whistling noise, followed by a flash of light. A silver UFO landed in the school yard, and several aliens came out of the craft.
The children felt paralyzed. All they could do was stare at the aliens’ big, black eyes. Images began flashing in the children’s minds as the aliens spoke with them telepathically. One girl explained that the aliens told her that humans were not taking care of the planet properly, and the world was going to end. Her mind was filled with images of trees dying and the oxygen on Earth running out. When the aliens left, the children could move again. They all started screaming and running back to the schoolhouse to tell their teacher what had happened.
Dr. John Mack, a psychiatrist from Harvard University, visited the Ariel School to interview the children and teachers. The interviews were all recorded on video. Dr. Mack asked each of the children to draw what the aliens and the craft looked like. All of their stories and drawings matched. Dr. Mack said that from his years of psychiatric experience, he knows when people are lying or delusional. He completely believed their story. Even as adults, all of the kids maintain that what they saw was real and that the aliens were trying to send a warning to mankind.
9 Hillsdale College
One evening in March 1966, a young female student of Hillsdale College in Michigan was leaving her dorm when she saw a large glowing disc hovering above the campus. She called the police, and an officer named William Van Horn showed up. Roughly 100 students poured out of the dorm to witness this UFO. The glowing object began to move toward a nearby swamp and then flew up into the night sky.
After receiving the report from Officer Van Horn, a representative from the US Air Force named Dr. Hynek showed up to examine the area. During a press conference, he claimed that he found no evidence of any spacecraft and theorized that the students saw “burning swamp gas.” Dr. Hynek received a lot of public backlash for that comment, which forced him to do a more thorough investigation. He tested the soil near the swamp where the students claimed the UFO had landed. The dirt contained abnormally high amounts of radiation as well as boron, which is an element used for nuclear energy. Dr. Hynek tried to brush it off once again, saying it must have been a prank with fireworks from the college boys.
8 Elder Park Primary
In 1952 in Glasgow, Scotland, Joan Torrence was walking home with her friends from Elder Park Primary School. It was 4:00 PM in the early summer, so the Sun was still very bright in the sky. Joan had just made it across the playground when the sky suddenly went dark.
Her friends didn’t seem to notice, as they continued walking. Joan turned around to look back at the school, and she saw a sombrero-shaped silver saucer hanging above the building. It was so large that it blocked the sunlight. The janitor and one teacher came outside and stared up at the UFO, too. Joan felt frozen in place, like she couldn’t move. The UFO began to rotate, and time stood still. In a blink of an eye, she could hear a whistling sound, and the ship blasted back up into the sky. When she got home, Joan told her mother about what happened, but she didn’t believe it. But the next day, the newspaper reported that locals in the town had seen a flying saucer.
7 Broad Haven Primary School
It was 1977 at Broad Haven Primary School in Wales. All sports activities had stopped cold as a group of boys were staring at a silver craft with a dome in the middle. It landed across the field from the school yard. They saw a man walking outside of the craft, but he was too far away to make out the details of his face.
When the UFO flew away, the boys bolted back to school and began to frantically tell the headmaster what had just happened. He told them all to calm down and interviewed the boys one by one. Each one of the students drew pictures of the UFO, and all of them had the same story to tell. The boys weren’t the only ones.
A woman named Rosa Granville was living in Broad Haven. Soon after the craft left the school, she saw it land at her hotel, which was on the edge of a seaside cliff. She got close enough to see faceless humanoid men inside. Soon after, a red rash like radiation poisoning began to form on her face, and the ground where the UFO had landed was burned. A few days later, two men in black suits showed up and asked her questions.
Years after Rosa’s death, her daughter Francine was getting ready to sell the hotel. The local media asked to interview her about her mom’s alien sighting. She had no idea her mother had seen a UFO because she’d never talked about it. According to Francine, Rosa was a very serious and levelheaded woman, and she would have never lied about something like that.
6 Westall High School
In April 1966, a class of students were outside getting exercise at Westall High School in Melbourne, Australia, when they saw a silver disc flying above them. The disc would alternate between moving so quickly that it practically teleported and hovering almost completely still. A few of the students rushed inside to tell their friends. More and more people began to come outside to see this UFO, totaling over 200 witnesses, both teachers and students. The UFO eventually descended into the woods. Then, it shot back up, turned on its side, and completely disappeared in a flash of light.
Students and teachers of Westall High weren’t the only ones to see this. One witness from the town ran to the area in the woods where the UFO appeared to go down, and sure enough, there was a large circle where the grass had been pushed down. Something heavy had recently landed there. He tried to visit it a second time and came face-to-face with armed men in military uniforms. They were checking the ground for radiation with a Geiger counter. According to National Geographic, the government flight records for that day have been destroyed, so there has never been any conclusive answer as to what the silver disc actually was.
5 Greenock Elementary School
In 1948, a nine-year-old girl named Linda was walking home from school for her lunch break with a friend in Greenock, Scotland. They both heard a strange buzzing noise and looked up to see multiple flying saucers in the air. The UFOs were flying so low that they could see occupants inside, but they couldn’t make out their physical features. Instead of feeling scared, they treated it like any child would when seeing a low-flying airplane or hot-air balloon. They began waving and jumping up and down. The aliens waved back.
Linda reports that the UFOs continued to follow them on their walk home, as if they were being observed. Then, they flew away and disappeared. This sounds like a story a child could easily make up for attention. However, in 1948, the odds of a nine-year old girl knowing what a stereotypical UFO looks like seems a bit low.
4 Aberdeen Elementary
Jane Freeman was playing at school in Scotland when she noticed a silver flying disc in the sky. Nothing remarkable happened, and no one else was there to see it. The UFO flew away. Even though she had never thought about it before that day, she suddenly had an interest in space and looking for knowledge about life on other planets.
A few years later, her parents had moved the family to a new house in England. In the middle of the night, Jane heard a noise and looked out the window to see a UFO shaped like “a swollen pancake.” She happily ran outside and was greeted by an alien who looked like a human man wearing a black suit. As an adult, the same humanoid aliens apparently visited her a few more times. Her descriptions of the events align with other stories by apparent abductees, but there were never any other witnesses for her claims.
3 St. Mark’s Primary School
In 1978, a group of schoolchildren were playing outside at St. Mark’s Primary School in Glasgow, Scotland. They all witnessed a silver UFO shining in the sky, hovering above the school. One of the boys, named Euan Riley, described it as being shaped like “two fedora hats joined together.” Compared to other UFO sightings, this one was relatively small, at only 1.2 meters (4 ft) across. None of the teachers witnessed this. When the kids tried to tell them that they saw a UFO, they were brushed off as having overactive imaginations.
In 1993, Riley was interviewed for a local newspaper, and he maintained that the UFO he saw that day was real. It left such an impression on him that the image of it remained ingrained in his brain, even so many years later.
2 Whippingham Primary School
Two boys attending the Whippingham Primary School on the Isle of Wight in 1967 were on the school grounds when they noticed ash and sparks falling from the sky around 8:45 AM. They looked up and saw a large UFO. They described it as being “milky white” because it reflected the surrounding clouds in order to blend in. As the day progressed, the boys looked out the classroom window. They could still see it hovering and moving very slowly. It seemed to be out of control, losing altitude and stopping every so often. Eventually, it began to rise, and it flew away.
On the bus ride home, one of the boys glanced at the cornfield across the street from the school. Stalks had been pushed down, as if something had crashed into the field. The boys told their parents, who called the police. Investigators looked at the cornfield, and sure enough, there were crop circles in a vortex pattern.
1 Crestview Elementary School
The National UFO Reporting Center was established in 1974 to collect sightings from witnesses who were rejected by traditional media outlets. One of these stories happened in Miami, Florida, at Crestview Elementary School in 1967.
According to one witness, over 100 children and teachers were playing outside at recess when three oval-shaped flying saucers broke through the clouds. One of the UFOs was as big as a cruise ship, and the other two were much smaller. The teachers were frantic, unsure of what to do. The big ship landed in a field near the school, and the other two ships disappeared from view. The children were told to run back to their homes immediately.
A couple of the students jumped on their bikes, and instead of heading home, they rode toward the UFO landing site as fast as they could. There was no aircraft in the field, but the ground looked burned, and the grass was pushed down. The next day, uniformed men from the government were surveying the area, and local reporters from the Miami Herald interviewed the boys on the bikes. Instead of reporting the boy’s testimonies about the UFO, the newspaper claimed that three helicopters had scared the teachers and students.
Shannon Quinn is a writer and entrepreneur from the Philadelphia area. You can follow her on Twitter @ShannQ.