The Definitive Documentary Of Ariel School UFO Sighting, Now Streaming

Ariel Phenomenon, available on streaming platforms, is the authoritative documentary of the 1994 Ariel School UFO event despite recent Netflix special.

A unique and moving film, made with humanity, honesty, and a sense of awe. I highly recommend it.”

— Leslie Kean, Investigative Journalist and New York Times Contributor

LOS ANGELES, CA, UNITED STATES, November 13, 2023 / — A recent special on Netflix increased public awareness and curiosity surrounding the 1994 event at the Ariel School in Ruwa, Zimbabwe, where over sixty schoolchildren witnessed an unidentified anomalous craft land outside their rural African schoolyard.

Despite the Hollywood treatment, the definitive documentary of the event, Ariel Phenomenon, remains the authoritative account of the extraordinary event. Ariel Phenomenon delves deeper and discovers something as remarkable as the sighting itself: a genuinely human story about what happens when you experience something so extraordinary that nobody believes you. Leslie Kean, investigative journalist, and New York Times contributor, said Ariel Phenomenon is a “unique and moving film, made with humanity, honesty, and a sense of awe.”

Offered the story of a lifetime by the relatives of Pulitzer Prize-winning Harvard psychiatrist Dr. John E. Mack after his untimely death, small-town pianist, pilot, and filmmaker Randall Nickerson embarked on an odyssey to make the definitive documentary of the Ariel School event.

On a self-financed, shoestring budget and with the help of family and friends, Nickerson’s 15-year journey to complete the documentary took him to Africa three times, twice alone. In Africa, Nickerson braved encounters with wild animals, robberies, and countless nights sleeping in strangers’ shacks and yards. In Zimbabwe, Nickerson carefully navigated the dangerous political landscape of then-President Robert Mugabe and his authoritarian regime.

Ariel Phenomenon, self-released in 2022 by Nickerson’s team through String Theory Films, highlights the journey of an Ariel School student present at the time of the event as she travels from her home in Toronto, Canada, back to Zimbabwe in search of answers – and the courage to speak the truth.

Along the way, the audience meets Dr. John Mack and respected BBC war correspondent Tim Leach, both forever changed by their investigations and experiences.

Dr. Mack traveled to Zimbabwe to interview the schoolchildren at Ariel School and openly declared that their version of events was to be believed.

Dr. John Mack: “The children we talked with clearly were talking about a phenomenon that occurred in physical reality. In other words, their stories were consistent, and the way they talked about it left virtually no question in our minds that what happened was just about what they said happened.”

Mack would become persona non grata at Harvard for his case studies in alien abduction accounts. The Dean of Harvard Medical School appointed a committee of peers to confidentially review Mack’s clinical care – the first tenured professor in Harvard’s history to be investigated privately in this way.

“Dr. Mack’s story is integral and is featured extensively in Ariel Phenomenon; without him, the encounter may have dropped off the radar like so many other unexplained sightings,” Nickerson added.

With a cinematic score by Nathaniel Walcott (Fault in Our Stars; member, Bright Eyes), and lead editing and writing by Christopher Seward of Fahrenheit 911, Sicko, and Sundance Grand Jury-winning One Child Nation, the film blends stunning wildlife cinematography and a poignant musical score to create a documentary well outside the expected genre.

The Ariel Phenomenon soundtrack is available on all digital platforms via The Orchard, a global distribution company and member of Sony Music Entertainment.


• Ariel Phenomenon Website

• Ariel Phenomenon Trailer

• Ariel Phenomenon Press Kit

Acclaim & Reviews:

• Acclaimed film praised by former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence under the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations Christopher Mellon, Emmy-award-winning actor and filmmaker Dan Aykroyd, and top critics.

• Reviewed in the Washington Examiner, Los Angeles Times, PBS, The Debrief, and more.

• 100% Tomatometer on Rotten Tomatoes and 4.6/5 stars on Amazon.

• “A unique and moving film, made with humanity, honesty, and a sense of awe. I highly recommend it.” – New York Times contributor Leslie Kean.

• “An extraordinary portrait of the psychology of human experience.” – Mitch Horowitz, PEN Award-winning Author and Historian.

• “I enjoyed the film greatly. It puts the issue in a touching, emotional place.” – Emmy-award-winning actor and filmmaker Dan Aykroyd.

• “…there is undeniable power in hearing the recollections of people who shared something so remarkable and so inexplicable.” – Noel Murray, LA Times.

• “…the success of Nickerson’s work is that it leaves us with more compelling questions than easy answers.” -Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner.

• “Powerful, life-affirming, and brought me to tears.” – Josh Boone, Fault in Our Stars, The Stand.

About String Theory Films:

Founded in 2001, String Theory Films, LLC, explores a wide range of subjects with the belief that the ordinary and the extraordinary are tethered together by a common string: a string that connects us to the Earth, to truth, nature, and the universe. By covering atypical experiences through telling real human stories and pushing against conventional narratives, we encourage the spectator to be actively engaged in creating meaning.

About Randall Nickerson:

Since 1987, Randall Nickerson has worked in the film industry, first as a stage and film actor, later transitioning into cinematography, and ultimately into directing in 2001. After several short documentaries, Nickerson made the leap to his first feature-length film, Ariel Phenomenon.


Kevin A Wright
Solve Advocacy
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Ariel Phenomenon Trailer

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