The Ariel School, Zimbabwe UFO sighting - has it ever been debunked?

Maybe consider the degree to which their accounts differ.

We expect witness accounts to sometimes conflict or be inaccurate, but it is clear that the minority of Ariel school children who reported seeing anything unusual reported vastly divergent descriptions, with some commonality between pairs of friends / peers.

Examples, with the children's pictures, in the other Ariel School threads, including
https://www.metabunk.org/threads/ar...ns-through-vegetation-how-to-visualise.12528/

e.g.
View attachment 68257

Hippies or skinheads? None of the children reported both.
And remember, at least one child claimed the "aliens" were almost within touching distance.
In the 'Ariel Phenomenon' documentary there are several, now adult, witnesses who stick to their stories. We are talking about eyewitnesses here. All these comments about details are a desperate attempt to discretize these people.
 
All these comments about details
Details- like why at least two very different types of aliens are drawn, with no overlap between witnesses- are important.
-And that's out of the 15 reports (out of supposedly, 62) selected by Cynthia Hind and John Mack.

Or details like why no children reported any message from the aliens until interviewed some time later by psychiatrist John Mack, a sincere man who arguably used leading questions and suggestion in his interactions with UFO witnesses.

If we ignore details, we are prone to accept the homogenized but unrepresentative narrative of Hind and Mack- just as many UFO enthusiasts believe Betty and Barney Hill reported being abducted by "Grays". They didn't, and their descriptions differed between them, and they changed over time.
(You very rarely see a UFO blog stating that Barney recounted seeing a smiling red-headed Irishman and a Nazi in shiny black clothes with a scarf next to each other.)

And the context is important; at least one class had a discussion about UFOs earlier that week, and this was followed by the
dramatic fireball of what we now know was a Zenit-2 booster re-entry, seen across much of Zimbabwe, generating UFO reports and getting national press coverage. We know this was a coincidence; the children didn't.

...are a desperate attempt to discretize these people.
Not at all. And please stop trying to make other people's observations or points of view here seem ill-intentioned.

Around the world, people see and experience unusual things all the time, and sometimes these experiences are very important to them. Their accounts are often fascinating in their own right, and perhaps we can learn things by examining them.

We can't tell whether the Ariel School witnesses (and the other, probably greater number of children present, who witnessed nothing out of the ordinary) are recounting what they subjectively believe to be true or not, although an assumption of veracity is a good starting point, just as in other areas of life.
And if they did believe that what they saw was objectively true, there's the problem of if it was.

In another context, I said
There is no reason to doubt Fravor's competency as a pilot at the time of the Tic-Tac sighting, and there's no reason to doubt his honesty. But pilots do misperceive things, just like everyone else does from time to time, and this might apply to Fravor's sighting without impugning his honesty, intelligence or professionalism.
-The same for the Ariel kids; there's no reason to doubt that they were, as a group, anything other than normal, broadly healthy and well-behaved children. Some of them made extraordinary claims which, if true, would be profoundly significant.

It's important to critically examine unusual claims. Even if we can't conclude that we are being visited by aliens, or that ghosts exist as sentient entities, etc., we might learn things about perception, memory, communication or the nature of belief.

Reviewing unusual claims isn't about discrediting people, it's about trying to understand what happened.
 
Reviewing unusual claims isn't about discrediting people, it's about trying to understand what happened.
well.. thats a pretty broad statement. Sometimes it's about discrediting people (ariel though was just children. so i do doubt anyone, even the most ornery of sceptics, would be trying to discredit manipulated children)
 
All these comments about details are a desperate attempt to discretize these people.
Our comments are not desparate, and they're not attempts, and their aim is not to discredit people, but to discredit a narrative that won't stand up to an unbiased look at the evidence.
Ideas that are false should be discredited, don't you agree?
 
By the way, was there not a documentary or film, or something, in the making? Or did I miss something? Sorry for my ignorance.
 
It's no wonder people think about the reality of claimed experiences with no evidence like this when one of the best-selling UFO books of recent years (American Cosmic, D.W. Pasulka) provides support from a position of academic authority, making this strange, and I would argue wrong, definition of a 'debunker' as 'a person who actively discredits people'."

Image
 
Good find. I read it as meaning something like "...this is what people in Ufology think debunkers are", though.
I'm a debunker. I'm a person who doesnt believe in the UFO phenomenon and actively discredits people who claim to have witnessed something.

It's not my fault though if my debunks discredit them, its just a by-product of the debunk.

In some rare cases, like the Warrens (they get under my skin) i am open to the phenomenon and my debunks still produce the by-product of discrediting them.

Unless she means i go out stalking individual UFO believers in order to find every claim they ever made and debunk every one. I call them Debunker trolls (and they do exist). I debunker trolled/stalked Wolfgang Halbig but he was a vile man saying vile things about 1st graders so i don't care what his cult calls me.
 
But (and i'm guessing here) you don't seek to activly discredit the person, just interrogate the evidence for the claim? The discrediting of people just kind flows from that especially if they continue to make the debunked claim (as so many do). I think it's this distinction which Pasulka doesn't seem hip to. She seems to be saying that believing in the phenomenon is sufficient to be discredited.
 
Details- like why at least two very different types of aliens are drawn, with no overlap between witnesses- are important.
-And that's out of the 15 reports (out of supposedly, 62) selected by Cynthia Hind and John Mack.

Or details like why no children reported any message from the aliens until interviewed some time later by psychiatrist John Mack, a sincere man who arguably used leading questions and suggestion in his interactions with UFO witnesses.

If we ignore details, we are prone to accept the homogenized but unrepresentative narrative of Hind and Mack- just as many UFO enthusiasts believe Betty and Barney Hill reported being abducted by "Grays". They didn't, and their descriptions differed between them, and they changed over time.
(You very rarely see a UFO blog stating that Barney recounted seeing a smiling red-headed Irishman and a Nazi in shiny black clothes with a scarf next to each other.)

And the context is important; at least one class had a discussion about UFOs earlier that week, and this was followed by the
dramatic fireball of what we now know was a Zenit-2 booster re-entry, seen across much of Zimbabwe, generating UFO reports and getting national press coverage. We know this was a coincidence; the children didn't.


Not at all. And please stop trying to make other people's observations or points of view here seem ill-intentioned.

Around the world, people see and experience unusual things all the time, and sometimes these experiences are very important to them. Their accounts are often fascinating in their own right, and perhaps we can learn things by examining them.

We can't tell whether the Ariel School witnesses (and the other, probably greater number of children present, who witnessed nothing out of the ordinary) are recounting what they subjectively believe to be true or not, although an assumption of veracity is a good starting point, just as in other areas of life.
And if they did believe that what they saw was objectively true, there's the problem of if it was.

In another context, I said

-The same for the Ariel kids; there's no reason to doubt that they were, as a group, anything other than normal, broadly healthy and well-behaved children. Some of them made extraordinary claims which, if true, would be profoundly significant.

It's important to critically examine unusual claims. Even if we can't conclude that we are being visited by aliens, or that ghosts exist as sentient entities, etc., we might learn things about perception, memory, communication or the nature of belief.

Reviewing unusual claims isn't about discrediting people, it's about trying to understand what happened.
Again, could it be that these eyewitnesses are describing what they saw? A simple yes or no would suffice.
 
I started , so you first.
Not Mendel, but I'll chime in -- to me, it does not seem that a reasonably accurate descriptions of what was really seen would be so divergent.
8692cbce-2014-09-04-remembering-zimbabwes-great-alien-invasion-image.jpg
mauritius images - 11922196 - Long-Haired Alien Drawn By Oriana FenwickDrawing From Series B.jpg

The extent to which the UFOnauts had/didn't have hair being an obvious example.

Did they see anything, and if so what was it? Or is it a playground pretend game that ran wild? Dunno, I wasn't there.

If they in fact actually saw something, their descriptions are so widely divergent as to be pretty useless. There are reasons for this that have been discussed up thread -- children have active imaginations and might imagine details they didn't actually see, or make up a story from whole cloth, these particular children were coached under the guise of an interview by a UFO believer and gave descriptions matching what was wanted, etc.

So I'd say, no, it is not possible that they are describing what was actually there in any useful way. Unless there are aliens that simultaneously are bald and have long hair, wear plain dark jumpsuits AND polka-dot outfits, etc.
 
I started , so you first.
Your answer to my question answers your own question as well, for a reason I hope is obvious now (thank you @JMartJr ). Either they didn't see the same thing, or their descriptions are not accurate—memories colored by time and (guided?) imagination. Inasfar as their descriptions are not accurate, they must contain elements that were not actually there to be seen.

You cannot say they all saw the same thing and that their descriptions are true to what they saw without contradicting yourself (and the evidence).
 
So I'd say, no, it is not possible that they are describing what was actually there in any useful way. Unless there are aliens that simultaneously are bald and have long hair, wear plain dark jumpsuits AND polka-dot outfits, etc.
This reminds me of a suggestion that I floated a long time ago, probably in this thread. Apart from Gideon's 'puppet' hypothesis, there are other 'non-alien' possibilities. The one that I suggested was that local kids in the neighborhood deliberately pranked the Ariel kids by dressing up as aliens. If so, they would not necessarily all look alike. Their appearance would depend on their individual imaginations and access to suitable dressing up materials. Some of them may have had commercially produced alien masks, among which the type with big black eyes is probably the cheapest and most widely available. To cover their bodies, black plastic sheeting, secured with tape, would be an obvious option. For those who couldn't find or afford commercially produced masks, a variety of other dressing-up materials might be substituted, leading to some diversity in the results. It wouldn't really matter, so long as they all looked suitably bizarre.

Of course, we are talking about Zimbabwe in the 1990s, not the USA or Europe today, but we shouldn't assume that the school's neighbors were peasants living in mud huts. Ruwa is now a town with about 100,000 inhabitants. I don't know how big it was in 1994, but it must have had some kind of retail trade.

Apart from being psychologically plausible (local kids being resentful of wealthy outsiders, etc,) the 'prank' hypothesis has one advantage over the 'puppet' one, which is that the perpetrators might still be reluctant to own up, either from embarrassment or fear of reprisals. Local people presumably make some money from 'UFO tourists'.
 
Aw c'mon, we all know the prosecutor's gambit:
Witchfinder General:
"Have you stopped practising witchcraft? Yes or no."
Naughty alien! ;)

Depending on whose figures we believe, approximately as many children in the same playground saw nothing out of the ordinary at all. Meaning, they could see the claimed witnesses, and thought they were playing/ doing whatever kids do on break as per usual.

There is no reason to believe that the kids who saw nothing were less intelligent, sensory-disabled or, I don't know, lacking in psi abilities (whatever that might mean).
And they didn't receive the arguable incentive of additional, uncritical attention from certain adults.

Those who saw nothing unusual do not contradict each other, they are not making extraordinary claims, and there is no reason to disbelieve them.

We might never know, but personally I believe the children who saw nothing unusual accurately reported what they could see, and none of their accounts changed over time. But they don't get invited to give interviews.

So, for those children, the answer is "Yes".
 
Yet again, the claimed witnesses contradict each other too much for us not to see it as a problem.
We know (often from police investigations "in the real world", also psychology experiments) that well-intentioned, competent observers can make major errors in recounting what was there to be seen, and can contradict each other.

But some claimed witnesses at Ariel report long-haired space hippies, some report bald humanoids.
None report both. None seem to report any "intermediate" description that might be mistaken for both.
Even Cynthia Hind muses that similar descriptions occur within a particular friendship group.

There are other descriptions which diverge, one boy described his alien as fat.
One girl thinks she's seeing an alien- then thinks she's seeing the gardener. (Is she invited onto UFO shows?)
Supposedly, they are almost within touching distance (according to at least one witness).

The numbers of craft involve vary, as do their colours. The green/ black/ silver description is shared by boys of similar age (friends?) IIRC.

Unlike, say, having to describe a witnessed mugging or the occupants of a passing car, the events apparently go on for several minutes in clear daylight.
No-one gets an adult, until the end of breaktime (the aliens depart just before the end of break).

I guess we could say that some advanced technology was used to make aliens of different appearances be seen by different witnesses, but that requires us to make up something for which there is no other evidence in order to add credence to the claims of some of the Ariel schoolchildren.

So, it seems unlikely that the Ariel schoolchildren who claimed to see anything unusual were reporting something objectively real that could, e.g., be photographed.

I wasn't there, but I'd have to answer "No".
 
The one that I suggested was that local kids in the neighborhood deliberately pranked the Ariel kids by dressing up as aliens. If so, they would not necessarily all look alike.
Interesting -- I can't recall, though, a kid who reported seeing BOTH bald aliens in black jumpsuits AND long haired aliens in polka dots. If both were running around, it seems likely somebody would have reported both.

CAVEAT: Me not recalling, is not the same as there not being any such cases. I'll re-read the htread later and see if I missed such a thing, about to get into the car and drive back down from the mountains after a frustrating day of amateur refrigerator repair. (But I think in the end I've prevailed!) If I'm wrong (about the alien reports, not the fridge being fixed), I'll post again to say so, or if somebody remembers such a case feel free to beat me to it.
 
Apart from being psychologically plausible (local kids being resentful of wealthy outsiders, etc,) the 'prank' hypothesis has one advantage over the 'puppet' one, which is that the perpetrators might still be reluctant to own up, either from embarrassment or fear of reprisals.

I think it's a problem, trying to find a definitive "debunk" or totally rational and provable explanation for what some of the kids saw. There may not be anything way out of the ordinary.

Some kids seem to have seen something on Friday, but by the following week a parade of ethically challenged adult UFO enthusiasts showed up and begin using the kids and their stories to advance their own careers and agendas.

The basic timeline goes like this, and I'm not going to source all of it, it's been covered above multiple times. I'm just giving a quick overview to show why a definitive explanation may not be needed or ever discovered.
  1. Wednesday September 14, a Soviet launch vehicle re-enters over southern Africa and is witnessed by lots of people.
  2. Thursday 15, some kids MAY have seen something in the air, but it was reported much later so may just be added after the main story got going.
  3. Friday 16, some kids report to teachers and latter parents, that they saw a UFO and/or aliens. It's unclear exactly what. Latter investigation will show that most of the children place the UFO/Alien around 220m, or 2 1/2 American football fields away.
  4. Friday 16, somebody relates the story to BBC correspondent or possible freelancer, Tim Leach who in turn alerts UFO newsletter publisher, Cythia Hind.
  5. Saturday 17-Sunday 18, Hind claims she talked to the mother Alyson, working the snack bar (tuck shop) and 2-3 children. According to Hind the kids report various things like 1 or maybe 3 objects, with flashing lights, or golden glows and possibly one "man running around in a one piece suite and a band around his head". These claims are retold years later supposedly from her notes at the time. If these earliest notes are correct, the 3 kids are describing 3 different things from the beginning.
  6. Monday 19, at Hinds suggestion, the headmaster has the kids draw what they saw in a group setting. They produce 62 drawings of various things including UFOs and aliens.
  7. Monday 19, Tim Leach shows up and interviews 3 kids. They all describe different things, though often including a "man" or "men".
  8. Tuesday 20, Hind shows up with Leach and goes through the kids drawings, selecting the ones she finds the most compelling and interviews 8 of the kids in a group session. Many of them describe a "man", often but not always in a black suite, maybe with "hippy" hair maybe "bald". Some think it might be the gardener.
  9. September 25-October12, 2 more TV crews show up and do stories on the event.
  10. November 22, a documentary about the event airs on local TV.
  11. December 2-3, John Mack shows up and interviews a few kids, with very leading questions and elicits previously unknown telepathic messages the kids got, that just happen to align exactly with Mack's own agenda.
I think some kids saw a guy or maybe a couple of guys and maybe a vehicle of some sort off in the distance. Whether he/they were acting strange enough for one kid to call attention to him or maybe it was the gardener or other maintenance guy. Again, they and whatever else is 245 yards away through the brush and trees. One kid gets a UFO thing going, some other join in, maybe scare the little ones, who knows.

Then comes Leach, looking for a UFO story. He brings Hind who, after choosing the "best" drawings and conducting interviews in a group setting is quoted as saying something like: "The world is waking up to the idea that something is going on here and you're going to help me show the rest of them that I'm not just a kooky character". Using the kids for her own agenda.

Hind then tells the kids it "will be a great day for Zimbabwe, when John Mack of the US comes to visit them". So, a great day for an African country is a visit from a Harvard psychologist that was full into alien abductions. So, more of Hind using the kids to get Mack to come visit her, and Mack uses the kids to tease out telepathic messages about his other pet agenda, environmentalism and nuclear disarmament.

The school is a part time media circus throughout the fall, and the kids became media figures.

Leach, Hind and Mack would be followed by a Dutch paranormal TV host and others. All using the kids to their own ends.

Whatever the few kids saw on Friday morning, Leach, Hind and the other adults quickly controlled the narrative and created the event as we now know it. Despite that, the stories from the beginning, don't match much and are often very different. What one would expect if not much really happened and it all just got hyped up, mostly by the adults. Who should be ashamed.

Hind "kooky character" comment is at 32:25 of S3E2 of Strange Arrivals:

https://www.grimandmild.com/strangearrivals
 
When we recorded it I spoke with Toby for about an hour. During that time I talked a bit about @Charlie Wiser 's work as well as my own. They included my remarks in the edit of two episodes. S3E2 and S3E3.

I made the connection at first, then thought I was being "conspiratorial" :confused: Just because Giddierone sounds alike Giddeon doesn't mean they're the same person. Unless of course they are! Well done.

I really enjoyed the 3 seasons of Strange Arrivals, I just wish it had some sort of transcript, because there is a lot of information in it. That quote from Hind that I was trying to paraphrase is a great example. I think it really sums up my personal view, that this event is much more about the adults involved and what those adults wanted and expected from the kids for their own agendas. The kids just got swept along.
 
This archive footage of Michael Hesemann is new to me.
Hesemann went to the school in March 1997 and interviewed 44 of the children. There are some drawings in this presentation mixed in with older ones that were made on 19 Sept '94. Some are labled 8/1/96. I'm not sure if they were drawn specifically for Michael ahead of his visit.
In the interview clips we see Lisel mention prefects. A witness I spoke to also said the older Grade 7 children were playground monitors during break time.
One boy [3:43] says they identified the beings as "aliens" right away. I've heard this from a witness also.

But then he also says "I looked down there and I just saw a piece of metal, those curved ones for the roofing and the sun was shining on it so it made a line of light, and I saw these little black things running across, and they had huge heads, and like big soccer-ball eyes"

There's some other new descriptions on camera that i'd not heard before. Including one girl talking about a creature having "a horn or something sharp at the side here" [gesturing to her head]. [03:10].

If you read Hesemann's article the descriptions of the beings are even more varied than in the interviews conducted in '94. They include black, red, gold clothing etc.
In his article he says his interivews were recored on video. I don't think these have ever been released, but they'd be interesting to see, even if they are from years after the sighting.

The description of the figures "jumping out of the top of the, kind of saucer" [04:25].

Puppets? It accounts for the variation of the "beings" seen and since Ariel was a catholic school a potential reason for sqeemishness about sex education.
1994 was a massive year for community developement puppet performances.
Source: https://youtu.be/CWGR4FfAm3E?si=4AtoEtTzm1TmWfsp



Source: https://youtu.be/mjo-RqASuB0?si=42xUyqokrRV5HGam
 
Last edited:
This archive footage of Michael Hesemann is new to me
Yes, interesting!

This is the first time I've seen a picture that arguably shows both the long-haired "type" described by some and a bald "type" described by others.

Though it does look rather like a child's picture of a woman and a man.

I guess Earth's button-makers can take heart that there's a market for their wares amongst star-faring civilisations.
Capture.PNG



Mr Hesemann repeats the stuff related by "my friend" John Mack about the environmental message, adding that this subsequently changed the children's behaviour (which I haven't heard elsewhere).
I wonder how many of the claimed witnesses pursued education / a career towards that end? -Checkable, in principle (although I'd guess difficult in reality).

If these events happened as Hind/ Mack/ Hesemann described, it's a great shame the ETs chose to give such a vague message.
And having traversed the light-years, chose to give it to a small number of schoolchildren. What a lost opportunity.
If the ETI had spent the same time outside the UN building, an OPEC meeting, on the Whitehouse Lawn, Tiananmen or Red Square, the world might be a better place now.

I think Hesemann's comments about one of the claimed witnesses being "...in psychological treatment" solely because (H. firmly implies) the child's parents didn't believe him about the UFO are irresponsible, and in a strange way a bit cult-ish.
 
This is the first time I've seen a picture that arguably shows both the long-haired "type" described by some and a bald "type" described by others.
To the best of my memory, I have not seen that one before. Is there any way to nail down whether it is one of that first batch of images, or was drawn later? My thought is, the earlier it was drawn the less likely it would be the result of blending two descriptions by others into a common image (though the children would have begun cross-contaminating their stories almost at once.)
 
one of that first batch of images, or was drawn later?
That one has a '96 date in the top left.

Also in his article he says:
Though he [Head Teacher Colin Mackie] was very busy, he showed me the landing spot, gave me his collection of original drawings the children had made.
Also,
I asked both of them [two witnesses] to draw their sighting and show me in the UFO calendar [some UFO pictures from other sightings he brought with him (!)] which of the photos ressembled "their" UFO most.


Incidentally, I came across John Howie's An Alarm to a Secure Generation (1780) AKA The Fenwick Visions. It's a sceptical take on aurora or refracted light being misinterpreted by large groups as "armies in the sky".

It's interesting to read other accounts of figures seen distinctly by multipul (adult) witneses.

A description of it is in Chambers's Miscellany (1846):
Modern science, however, informs us that the visions were nothing more than the repeated images of soldiers at drill, also other objects, placed out of the direct view of the spectators-the whole aided, no doubt, by imagination and a wish to tell what was marvellous.
one case description includes:
...an immense body of troops, mounted and fully accountred, moving onwards with drawn swords....the illusion was so complete, that even the bridles could be distinguished...
Source: https://www.google.co.uk/books/edit...e+generation"&pg=RA4-PA10&printsec=frontcover [p.10-11].
 
When I was a child, somewhere in the 9-12 year age span (I can't remember exactly when it happened) everyone in my year (three classes, around 50-60 children and three or four teachers) had a field day in school to nearby forested area. During that field trip, a few of the more mischievous kids suddenly came running down from the small mountain where they had been playing, claiming that they had been attacked by a small, black furry creature they described as "a troll of some kind". They were very upset, and I can recall one of them showing some kind of bite/scratch marks on his arms. They were adamant they were not lying and soon half of us children were running around, armed with sticks and trying to find the creature.

Of course, they had just made the whole thing up to start with, but with imagination running wild, we found possible tracks and other various clues and started coming up with hypotheses (used here in the most generous sense possible) about the creature(s) and their biology, history, motivations etc. What basis did we have for these speculations? None, of course, except from what little we knew from TV, books and the general cultural heritage of "knowledge" about mythological creatures.

Now, I want you to go the r/Ufos subreddit, and click on almost any of the top threads and you will see people theorycrafting and speculating wildly, affirming and adding to each others beliefs, sometimes seemingly in real time. Several times, I have seen someone vaguely referencing a specific "hypothesis" (again, used here in the most generous sense) regarding the nature of the aliens or their crafts, their motivations for being here or the motivations and methods of the shadowy human government agencies that suppresses all this knowledge, and someone commenting "huh, never heard that, what do you mean?", and then being served an explanation (often supported with a link to an article or video) and then upon seeing these claims for the first time ever instantly buying the whole thing and starting to make their own guesses from those claims with the same confidence as the people that told them in the first place, mere hours or even minutes ago.

It's really depressing to see that kind of instant belief in the most outlandish claims, without any concerns whatsover for feasibility or whether they are coherent with the other previous UFO beliefs that same person also espouses and compare that to how suspicious they are of skeptics and debunking. It's a really strange mix of openmindedness to the fantasical and distrust of, really, things grounded in basic reality that makes me want to scream at them, but I know that would just be extremely contraproductive (and probably get me banned). But I can't help but recognize myself in them, since after all, I know how this thought process works: I did it a lot myself, back when I was a kid who had some beliefs in the paranormal. The difference is that I was a child and they are (purportedly) adults.

I realized that "I want to believe" is a valid viewpoint to have (I mean, who wouldn't love for FTL travel to somehow be possible without breaking causality, bigfoot actually existing, or there being an afterlife where there is no suffering and everything is awesome all of the time?) but in the absence of evidence it should not be your default assumption that the more fantastical or outlandish explanation of an event or phenomenon must be the true one because you want it to be. That is only setting yourself up for a lifetime of being disappointed as well as a perpetual mark for huxters, grifters and pranksters.

But to circle back to my childhood: I know, firsthand, how strong these kind of beliefs can be, and the memories they can create. I can only imagine what would have happened if the teachers, instead of humoring them a little while obviously understanding the whole time that it was all nonsense (but hell, it kept the kids occupied and there seemed to be no actual harm done, I guess), they had called for some paranormal "troll expert" to come and interview us. I guess we were lucky in that the belief in the existance of trolls is way less common (or accepted for that matter) than belief in aliens (first I put "NHI" here, but since a troll would also fall under that category I had to change it), because I have no doubt that if it were the other way around, there would be "troll chasers" from different TV shows putting up night-vision cameras there to this day, and the number of us children who, in their mind, honestly "remembered" seeing the troll would be a lot more than just the original hoaxters.

Even though I wasn't one of those who claimed to see the troll, and I know it never existed, I can still picture more or less exactly how it looked, moved and sounded, to this day, probably based on the depiction of The Ancestor in the 1973 Moomin Valley Christmas Calendar show, which I found very frightening when I saw a rerun of it as a small kid.
 
I have no doubt that if it were the other way around, there would be "troll chasers" from different TV shows putting up night-vision cameras there to this day
That reminds me that there is a very funny 2010 Norwegian film called Troll Hunter - a kind of mock documentary in the tradition of Blair Witch Project. Speaking from memory, there is a nice moment where the actual Norwegian Prime Minister casually mentions in a (spoof) news conference that some activities in the Norwegian mountains are difficult 'because of, you know, the trolls'. More details of the film are in IMDb here:

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1740707/

There is also a Netflix TV series called Troll Hunters, but it doesn't seem to be connected.
 
Of course, they had just made the whole thing up to start with, but with imagination running wild, we found possible tracks and other various clues and started coming up with hypotheses (used here in the most generous sense possible) about the creature(s) and their biology, history, motivations etc.
See also https://www.metabunk.org/threads/a-game-designer’s-analysis-of-qanon.11509/ .
External Quote:
Apophenia is : “the tendency to perceive a connection or meaningful pattern between unrelated or random things (such as objects or ideas)”
 
That reminds me that there is a very funny 2010 Norwegian film called Troll Hunter - a kind of mock documentary in the tradition of Blair Witch Project. Speaking from memory, there is a nice moment where the actual Norwegian Prime Minister casually mentions in a (spoof) news conference that some activities in the Norwegian mountains are difficult 'because of, you know, the trolls'. More details of the film are in IMDb here:

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1740707/

There is also a Netflix TV series called Troll Hunters, but it doesn't seem to be connected.
2010?
Which came first, /Troll Hunter/, or /Rare Exports/?
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1401143/
External Quote:
In the depths of the Korvatunturi mountains, 486 meters deep, lies the closest ever guarded secret of Christmas. The time has come to dig it up. This Christmas everyone will believe in Santa Claus.
Metacritic says the Finnish one's better :)
 
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