In my previous post I presented a witness from Ariel who claims UFOs and aliens did not land at the school on Sep 16, 1994. Any testimony should be open to criticism, but to anyone criticizing Dallyn's story I ask they do the same of the other witness testimonies from that event.
Here I present a critique of witness Emma's testimony - her changing stories cannot be reconciled, therefore at least some versions must be false or distorted. I do not believe she's lying now, or ever lied. The fact is, our memories do change over time, even from one day to the next. We absorb others' stories as our own. False memories are created. Yet the now-adult witnesses from Ariel (at least the ones speaking up) have not shown any awareness, to my knowledge, of this simple proven fact of human psychology.
"I know what I saw."
"I was there, you were not."
...But they weren't really there. Their childhood selves were there. And psychological studies on (false) memory and (mis)perception - not to mention countless examples in the field of ufology - have proven that sometimes: No, you don't know what you saw.
The 1994 Ariel School case has a special place in the hearts of many UFO fans. Dozens of innocent children witnessed something strange in the scrub about 200 meters from their playground during recess. With no adults around to interpret what they saw, at least some of them became convinced it was a UFO (or several UFOs) and an alien being (or several beings).
The sighting is remarkable in that we have contemporaneous footage of many witness interviews, thanks to visits by TV news crews in the days, weeks, and years following the incident. But when I placed all the children's testimonies in chronological order, they clearly show how the tales grew taller in the telling, starting relatively mundane and becoming more and more "alien" over time. As adults, some of the witnesses claim to be deeply impacted by the event, and even have "memories" of otherworldly details that nobody reported at the time.
Dallyn Vico was in grade 5. He was interviewed in 2008 by Randall Nickerson for the Ariel: Phenomenon movie, where only one irrelevant line was used in the final cut, and again for Netflix's Encounters, Episode 2 (2023), where he claimed he and his friends started the rumor that a shiny rock was the UFO. Because of apparent conflicts between Dallyn's two testimonies, the Ariel Phenomenon YouTube channel uploaded a longer version of his 2008 interview, titled: "Encounters" Ariel school UFO incident denier Dallyn Vico interviewed in 2008. Their Twitter account went so far as to imply he had been manipulated: "We are dismayed he [was] put in this position by the production company, & concerned for him."
While the now-adult witnesses talking about aliens get the spotlight, we rarely if ever hear from those who don't believe it was aliens.
I'm blogging about the Three-Dollar Kit.