Back in 1985, a round object topped with a cone was seen by dozens of peopleover the skies of Zimbabwe. With pilots, air traffic controllers, andcivilians among the witnesses, that country turned to aeronautical expertsfor an explanation. Now, a year and a half later, Zimbabwe's Air CommodoreDavid Thorne sees no explanation in sight. "We have not been able toidentify the object," he says. "We have had to classify it as a UFO."
Although he didn't personally witness the object, Thorne reports that "thecraft was spotted as it streaked over southern Zimbabwe. Then air trafficcontrollers watched it hover and tracked it on radar. 2 Air Force jets wentafter the object, and the pilots described it as incredibly shiny, reflectingthe colors of the sunset. Our estimates indicate that the UFO was travelingat twice the speed of sound. And when it got dark outside, we realized theobject was emitting its own light. Our pilots are completely reliable,"Thorne contends. "This cannot be dismissed as a plane, weather balloon, ornatural phenomenon."
But UFO skeptic James Oberg has his doubts. "The evidential value ofunresearchable sightings in Zimbabwe is zero, however sincere the witnesses,"he says. "Besides, pilots are not always calm, dispassionate observers.They tend to perceive any visual stimulus in its most dangerous possibleconfiguration -- as another craft. That's a good characteristic of a safepilot, but not a good characteristic of a UFO witness." Oberg also points outthat "Zimbabwe is sort of on the edge of the civilized world in terms oftracking things that might cause this kind of UFO report -- like Russian andSouth African reconnaissance planes that, I'm sure, are flying over thatairspace."