By Adriana Stuijt
This photograph of a UFO was taken on July 17, 1956, above Rosetta in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa by the wife of an Air force officer. It has never been explained.
Twenty three lights moved steadily in the night-sky of Witbank, South Africa on Friday March 6 2009 -- and scores of residents in nearby Middelburg also saw them. They called in the police, who filmed the odd formation of lights on their cellphones.
Mrs Hetta Malan of Middelburg was one of the many Middelburg, South Africa, residents who spotted the formation that Friday-night. It was moving steadily towards the nearby mining town of Witbank, she told the Afrikaans-language newspaper Beeld.
And police inspectors Chris Gatzonis and Awie Labuschagne of the Middelburg police station even filmed the lights, alas the images on their cellphones were poor. The footage, shown on the Beeld newspaper website, can be seen here.
"We were on active duty and driving across the bridge at Aerorand in Middelburg. First we saw five orange lights, moving in formation going in the direction towards Witbank. Later only two were left. Then the clouds moved in front of them and we lost sight of them,' said Chris Gatzonis. This was the first time the lights were spotted.
And last weekend, the two police officers saw similar lights again -- this time they counted a pattern in formation of 23 lights, coming back from Witbank.
Many UFOs in South Africa
South Africa has had numerous UFO sightings over the years. - and many were seen by skilled observers.
One of the most famous incidents occurred on September 17, 1965 by police constables John Locken and Koos de Klerk, who were were patrolling on the Pretoria-Bronkhorstspruit road, shortly after midnight - not very far away from the latest sighting in Middelburg last weekend.
On September 17, 1965, these two patrolmen were shocked when their van's headlights illuminated an unusual object on the road ahead of them. Right in the middle of the highway sat a disc-shaped UFO.
Copper Colored Disc:
The patrolmen estimated the diameter of the object at about 30 feet, and it was of a copper color. Within a moment, the disc-shaped object began to rise up from the road, shooting flames from below through double tubes of what the patrolmen thought were engines.
Flames on the Asphalt:
The two men reported their sighting, and in part of the report, Constable Locken said: 'Its lift-off was quicker than anything I have ever seen." The men also reported that the flames were three feet tall above the road, and the great heat from the exhaust kept the asphalt afire for a time after the object had flown away.
Road Caved In:
After the asphalt had cooled, the road was blocked off and the area of the sighting more closely examined by a large group of policemen. It was found that part of the road had actually caved in under the heavy weight of the UFO. There was a burned area of about 6 feet in diameter, which would indicate the approximate size of the engine ports.
The official governmental investigation was done by Lt. Col. J.B. Brits, District Commandant of Pretoria North police station at the time.
Highly Secret Nature:
After the investigation was completed, Lt. Col Brits was interviewed by a Pretoria newspaper. He was quoted in the paper as stating: "... the case of the UFO landing was considered as being of a highly secret nature and an inquiry is being conducted in top circles."
Case Remains Unsolved:
There were trace element samples taken from the area of the landing, and sent for scientific analysis to the police forensic laboratories in Pretoria -- but the results of these tests were never released to the public. It is quite obvious that something very unusual landed in South Africa, left landing traces, and was seen by two reliable witnesses.
Unfortunately, it is quite certain that no further details will be released, and the mystery of what exactly landed in South Africa on September 17, 1965, will remain unsolved.
A photograph of an overflying UFO was also taken by the wife of an Air Force Officer, a couple of high standing in the community, in KwaZulu-Natal. Many other incidents were also reported in the Karoo desert north of Cape Town over a period of at least twenty years.
Heidelberg in 1967
Andre Jordaan of Pretoria writes that he has actually seen UFOS in broad daylight, at the opening of the Higher Volks School in Heidelberg in South Africa in 1967, together with more than 1,000 pupils."We saw these strange objects carrying out incredible high-speed manouvers which we still cannot emulate today,' he said.
And because we all saw it together it could not have been hallucinations. Two weeks later, my mother told me about seeing a similar craft early in the morning from very close up while it flew across the defence force military camp where we lived.
"Only after she told me, did I tell her what all the pupils had seen two weeks earlier - so she could not have been influenced by our earlier experience. If I hadn't experienced this myself, I would probably be quite sceptical about such events. I feel privileged that I witnessed this event.'"
Conspiracy theories abound:
And some people say UFO's were experimental oscillation designs from nazi Germany by an Austrian forester called Viktor Schauberger, who worked on the so-called "Repulsine' project. see
One thing everybody does however agree on: nobody knows what these mysterious lights and machines really are.
What are they?
Unidentified flying objects, or UFOs, are merely the popular term for any aerial phenomenon whose cause cannot be easily or immediately determined, says Wikipedia.
"Both military and civilian research show that a significant majority of UFO sightings are identified after further investigation, either explicitly or indirectly through the presence of clear and simple explanatory factors,
The United States Air Force, which coined the term in 1952, initially defined UFOs as those objects which remain unidentified after scrutiny by expert investigators, though the term UFO is often used more generally to describe any sighting unidentifiable to the reporting observer(s).
Popular culture frequently takes the term UFO as a synonym for alien spacecraft. Some investigators now prefer to use the broader term Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon (or UAP), to avoid the confusion and speculative associations that have become attached to UFOs.
Only a small percentage are hoaxes
"Studies have established that only a small percentage of reported UFOs are actual hoaxes, while the majority are observations of some real but conventional object - most commonly aircraft, balloons, or astronomical objects such as meteors or bright planets - which have been misidentified by the observer as anomalies.'
A small percentage of reported sightings (usually 5%-20%) are classified as unidentified flying objects in the strictest sense. The first reports and official investigations of UFOs began during World War II with sightings of so-called foo fighters by Allied airplane crews, There were widespread sightings of European "ghost rockets" in 1946.
UFO reports became more common after the first widely publicized US sighting - reported by private pilot Kenneth Arnold in 1947 - which gave rise to the popular terms "flying saucer" and "flying disc".
Since then, millions of people believe that they have seen UFOs, and tens of thousands of such reports have been catalogued.
Although various conspiracy theories and pseudosciences revolve around UFO sightings, no support for non-natural explanations of UFOs has emerged from within mainstream science.