In 1994, Harvard Professor of Psychiatry John E. Mack, M.D. traveled to Zimbabwe with research associate Dominique Callimanopulos to study one of the most extraordinary UFO sighting/alien encounter cases in modern history.
At the Ariel School in Ruwa, Zimbabwe, sixty-two children between the ages of eight and twelve reported seeing a UFO and “strange beings” during morning recess. Dr. Mack, who died in 2004, wrote about this in his 1999 book Passport to the Cosmos, and he shared 3 minutes of clips from the original video recordings of his interviews with the students on the television programs Sightings in 1996 (2 minutes and 51 seconds, to be exact).
In 2007, at the request of the John E. Mack Institute, filmmaker Randall Nickerson and Dominique Callimanopulos began production of an edited video program that would present all of John Mack’s interviews with the schoolchildren and faculty, digitally remastered from the original Betacam footage that was shot between November 28 and December 6, 1994. This footage demonstrated the skill and sensitivity Dr. Mack exercised when working with people who reported extraordinary experiences — and the power of the students’ testimony never failed to move.
In 2008-2009 Nickerson spent 9 months in Africa, discovering new witnesses that corroborate the students’ accounts. In England, he interviewed BBC reporter Tim Leech who was on the scene within days of the sighting, who first brought the case to the attention of Dr. Mack.The film became a consuming passion of Nickerson’s, and he set about broadening the scope far beyond expectations.