Zimbabwe UFO Back in 1985, a round object topped with a cone was seen by dozens of people
Back in 1985, a round object topped with a cone was seen by dozens of people
over the skies of Zimbabwe. With pilots, air traffic controllers, and
civilians among the witnesses, that country turned to aeronautical experts
for an explanation. Now, a year and a half later, Zimbabwe's Air Commodore
David Thorne sees no explanation in sight. "We have not been able to
identify the object," he says. "We have had to classify it as a UFO."
Although he didn't personally witness the object, Thorne reports that "the
craft was spotted as it streaked over southern Zimbabwe. Then air traffic
controllers watched it hover and tracked it on radar. 2 Air Force jets went
after the object, and the pilots described it as incredibly shiny, reflecting
the colors of the sunset. Our estimates indicate that the UFO was traveling
at twice the speed of sound. And when it got dark outside, we realized the
object was emitting its own light. Our pilots are completely reliable,"
Thorne contends. "This cannot be dismissed as a plane, weather balloon, or
But UFO skeptic James Oberg has his doubts. "The evidential value of
unresearchable sightings in Zimbabwe is zero, however sincere the witnesses,"
he says. "Besides, pilots are not always calm, dispassionate observers.
They tend to perceive any visual stimulus in its most dangerous possible
configuration -- as another craft. That's a good characteristic of a safe
pilot, but not a good characteristic of a UFO witness." Oberg also points out
that "Zimbabwe is sort of on the edge of the civilized world in terms of
tracking things that might cause this kind of UFO report -- like Russian and
South African reconnaissance planes that, I'm sure, are flying over that
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank