Kalahari desert UFO crash, Botswana, May 7th, 1989

One of the most famous cases (and probable hoaxes) occurred in 1990 with the claim that the South African Air Force had shot a ‘flying saucer’ out of the sky. This case is best known as the Kalahari Desert UFO crash. 

A small dossier

Enter Tony Dodd, a former police officer and coordinator of Quest (formerly the Yorkshire UFO Society). He claims that in July 1990, he was contacted by Captain James Van Greunen. He is a special investigations intelligence officer with the South African Air Force. According to Van Greunen, a UFO and been shot down in the Kalahari desert by two Mirage fighters. These fighters which were armed with an experimental laser cannon. He provided Dodd with a small dossier of the case. The dossier gave a detailed account of the incident. It claims that the UFO which was travelling at 6000 mph and was tracked by NORAD’s radar system.

Special Team

He claims that a special team was sent to the Kalahari Desert UFO crash site. They found a large silvery disc there, embedded in the ground. High radiation readings were reported and the craft was carefully shipped back Valhalla, the air base. It is then claimed that once the craft was inside a hanger a hatchway opened up and out stepped 2 creatures. The aliens were taken to a medical unit where they were examined . The beings measured 4ft tall, with grey skin, no body hair, over-large heads and huge slanting eyes (sound familiar!). The two creatures were then allegedly sent to Wright Patterson.

Debate raged

For quite some time debate raged between UFOlogist, those thinking that this was just an wild hoax, and those believing this to be an authentic case. Van Greunen met with Dodd in England but soon afterwards the South African government ordered him home.
He later fled South Africa and moved to Germany where he published his story. The documents that Van Greunen supplied were examined closely and found to be fraudulent.


Most people now believe this to be another example of a clever hoax. Which after the initial excitement was later proved to be a hoax through close investigation.

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