Ariel School UFO - glinting reflections through vegetation how to visualise?


Deleted member 16321

Question: I think there are two plausible explanations for the "silver light" that a few of the Ariel children saw. One is sunlight reflected off a building. The other is a white Volkswagon T3 Microbus which was parked somewhere along one of the tracks to the north of the school.
  1. What is the best way to visualise this?
There doesn't appear to be any publicly available satellite images from that year (1994), the 1985 image has no ground details.
You can get some sense of the landscape and vegetation by looking at archival footage from the television interviews with the BBC, and Gunter Hofer's photos [source: Source:


The earliest I could find is this 2005 Google Earth image. I've overlaid the sun position details for 10am that day. [source:,31.291,18/1994.09.16/10:00/5/1] and the two radius rings are 100m and 220m from what is thought to be the children's nearest observation point.

2.Could the building (boxed) produce a "glinting" "silver light" given the sun's position?
3.Could a vehicle on the track?



  • Ariel_School_Aerial_visualisation.jpg
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Deleted member 16321

Here is the reason one of the suggestions above that the "silver light" was sunlight reflected off a building.

And we got closer and closer and we saw this silver thing just shining, and we thought it was just a house with glass reflecting in the sun and shining, but then we thought, no it can’t be that because there’s no houses up there on the rocks.

source: Jill Darke (ZBC) [4:43] Source:

But there are buildings around the school, at least in the 2005 satellite image, and they appear to have reflective surfaces, metal roofs, or white gable ends.

Deleted member 16321

Some of the archive TV footage overlaid on the map of the scene to give a sense of which way people were looking.Ariel_rough_visual_location.jpg

Deleted member 16321

Here's a rough estimate of the lighting that day, created using I say rough because the sun direction is an estimate made using data from The school buildings are rendered with exaggerated heights. The sun vector (yellow line) is positioned approximately where the children were and the camera swings through their available point of view.
What it shows that you don't see so easily in google maps is the topography of the area. It looks like the playground looks down over a valley.


Deleted member 16321

So continuing to bumble through the visualisation here...a crash course in 3D for me....

  • The sport field area to next to the main playground is quite a bit lower than the main playground. GE has the elevation change to the track at 3-4m and gets greater the further down the valley you go. You can see steps down in the drone shot (below)
  • So from their position by the logs at the edge of the playground (white figure in the image below) the children would be looking somewhat down on any vehicle in the distance. (if they could even see it at all through the grass and trees).
  • I found a VW camper model which i've placed in the scene at the correct scale.
  • It's about ~110m line of sight across it the sports field - in the direction the children are shown pointing in the BBC report (also below) to the long grass.
  • Maybe someone more skill full in 3D/ Blender can do a ray-tracing to see if the sun would be glinting off the vehicle roofs at that point. (I think so).

The is the area boxed in pink in the following picture.
Steps down to the sports field area in red.
Drone footage source: Source:
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Charlie Wiser

Active Member
In the Monday interview, Guy says the UFO "just went all of a sudden. [Which way?] Down - more down into the valley."