Jan 5 • 1HR 34M

552 - Randall Nickerson (Ariel Phenomenon)

62 kids saw it land outside their school one day in 1994. What was it?

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Appears in this episode

Chris Ryan
Tangentially Speaking is dedicated to the idea that good conversation is organic, uncensored, revelatory, and free to go down unexpected paths with unconventional people.
Episode details

On September 16, 1994, sixty-two students at Ariel School in Zimbabwe witnessed something incredible. In his fantastic documentary, Ariel Phenomenon, Randall Nickerson explores the close encounter these schoolchildren experienced. Over twenty-five years later, this incident is still fresh in their memories. They continue to search for answers – and the courage to speak their truth. A young woman returns to her school in rural Zimbabwe – the place that, at the age of nine, shattered her reality. We meet a respected BBC war reporter who reluctantly covered the event, ultimately leading him to risk his career on the one story that haunted him the most. Jeopardizing his reputation is Pulitzer Prize-winning Harvard psychiatrist Dr. John Mack, whose validation of the witnesses made this mass-sighting impossible to dismiss.

(Special thanks to Rick Nelson for telling me about the film and putting me in touch with Randall.)

Use code CHRISRYAN20 to get 20% off your first order at Athletic Brewing. (not a paid endorsement, just a heads-up from one beer lover to another).

Music: “Brightside of the Sun,” by Basin and Range; “Maybe Angels,” by Sheryl Crow. Strangely, the Heaven’s Gate cult’s web site is still active.