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UFO sightings in South Africa: Map

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

1965 craft landing

  • After midnight on 16 September, police constables Lockem and de Klerk observed a landed, copper-coloured craft on the Pretoria - Bronkhorstspruit freeway. It was 30ft wide and left a 6ft wide imprint on the tarmac after a rapid, fiery ascent. The incident was confirmed in a press release by Lt Colonel J.B. Brits, district commandant, Pretoria North.


1972 craft landings

  • On 27 June a landed craft was observed near Fort Beaufortmarker in the eastern Cape, which attracted the attention of the military. On 12 November a school headmaster seems to have arrived at a still smouldering UFO landing site in the town of Rosmead.


1974 abduction event

  • Travellers Peter and Frances MacNorman claimed an abduction event on 31 May, which would have started near Fort Victoriamarker in the current southern Zimbabwemarker, and which would have continued to the vicinity of Beitbridgemarker on the South African border.


90's sightings

  • On 7 April 1991, at 23:15pm a hovering triangular craft with red central light, and white star-like lights on each extremity, was observed by a family at Baviaanspoort, Pretoriamarker. A similar craft was sighted in the nearby Eersterustmarker township on the evenings of 8 and 9 April, either stationary or moving.


  • On 18 November 1993, at 10:15pm, Messrs du Plessis and Venter, residents of Sasolburgmarker, observed a craft arriving from the direction of Vereenigingmarker. The craft departed in a flash in the direction of Parysmarker, 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. A nearby town resident claimed to have found imprints of a small craft's landing gear, some two months later.


  • In September and October 1994 a farmer at Warrentonmarker claimed to have made repeated observations of a noisy, nighttime craft travelling at great speeds, besides what he described as a 'mother ship'. 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.


  • A UFO wave swept South Africa from late March to mid April 1995, which was widely reported in the media.


  • At 4:00am on 28 August 1996 a glowing disc was sighted by sergeant Becker near the Adriaan Vlok police station, Erasmuskloof, Pretoriamarker. The pulsating light contained a red triangle and emitted bright green tentacles, while a radar operator at Johannesburg Internationalmarker confirmed its presence. A chase ensued involving some 200 policemen and a police helicopter. The helicopter chase was given up at 10,000ft near Bronkhorstspruit, when the object made a vertical ascent. An object was sighted again during the early hours of 31 August and 1 September.


  • 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 Mpumalangamarker province. Besides Mathios, it was independently observed by three other persons around 6:50am. The light suddenly dropped and rose again before disappearing. Trichardt was also the scene of a 1985 sighting.


  • On 27 December 1998 the Laubscher family videotaped a group of roundish triangular craft passing over the town of Graaff Reinetmarker, at about 25,000ft. 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.


2000 sighting

  • On 8 May, at 3:24am, police inspector Kriel claimed to have observed an approaching UFO while travelling on the N3 freeway, 70km north of Wardenmarker in the eastern Free Statemarker 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.


Probable hoaxes

1956 contactee

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, however also claimed to have had an alien lover, Akon, who fathered her son Ayling.

1989 Kalahari crash

According to supposed leaked documents an alien craft was shot down by South African aircraft, some 80 miles 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 lent Van Greunen some credibility in Quest magazine, but other researchers were highly skeptical.

1995 Lesotho crash

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.

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