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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1997 > Nov > Nov 23

Re: Farmer shoots at UFO in 1972

From: jared@valuserve.com (Andromeda.net- Anderson, Jared)
Date: Sun, 23 Nov 1997 13:23:26 -0700
Fwd Date: Sun, 23 Nov 1997 20:19:34 -0500
Subject: Re: Farmer shoots at UFO in 1972

This report came from the Sunday Independant which is a South
African news source.


By David Macgregor

Grizzled Eastern Cape livestock farmer Bennie Smit still has the .303
rifle he used 25 years ago to fire 10 shots at an unidentified flying
object that hovered over his farm and landed on it.

But, after a quarter century of being the butt of vicious jokes and
ridicule, Smit is reluctant to say conclusively that it was indeed an
alien craft that landed amid thorn trees behind his dam.

An acclaimed hunter in the rugged town of Fort Beaufort, Smit still
shakes his head in disbelief when he recounts how the bullets bounced
off the barrel-shaped ball of fire on a mild winter's morning in 1972.

After a few "snorts" at the recently re-named UFO Bar in the town's
hotel, the 67-year-old says he is convinced the brightly glowing UFO
was a military spy craft that broke down over his farm.

"Certain people, including professors and scientists, have ridiculed
me over the years. I still don't believe in aliens and am sceptical
they even exist - despite what I saw. It gave me goosebumps."

But, a few gulps of red wine later, a more relaxed Smit says the
military covered up the UFO incident.

"I wanted to catch the UFO," he says, "and then we would have had real
answers. It was on my farm for a week but I failed. If I was the only
one that saw it, I would have been convinced I was either mad or
drunk. At least five us saw it that Monday morning and we couldn't all
have been mad."

For Smit, June 27 1972 began like any other morning. He went into the
bush to do some work and was surprised to see that the team of
labourers had not arrived.

"I saw smoke at another camp and decided they had confused my
instructions and had gone to the wrong place ... and had made a fire
to keep warm."

Smit arrived at the camp and found his workers cowering in a shed and
muttering about something in the bush.

"When I saw it, my whole body got goosebumps. I sprinted home and got
my .303 and told someone to call the police. I knew I was safe if I
had my gun."

Retired Fort Beaufort police station commander Pieter van Rensburg
recalls how sceptical he was when Sergeant Piet Kitching burst into
his office and said a UFO was on a farm outside town.

"After the third time I decided to go to the farm with Piet and check
on what was happening," Van Rensburg says.

The policemen were greeted by a labourer and then they heard shots.
Smit emerged from the thick bush, sweating profusely.

"Bennie's first words were that he thought the UFO could be from outer
space. I then joked that the Martians had come to steal his sheep.
Then I saw it coming out of the trees and I did not want to believe my

Smit gave his .303 to Kitching who fired at the craft to no avail.

The trio then decided to cut a reed and tie a handkerchief on to the
end of it so that one person could go into the thick bush while the
others stood on a hill to guide him.

"I was just as scared as the others and was relieved when Bennie
decided to go into the bush with the stick," Van Rensburg says.

Smit got within 15m of the craft before it flew off.

Sitting in his retirement home in Port Alfred, Van Rensburg says he
and Kitching were severely reprimanded after his superiors heard the
frightened trio had fired at the craft.

"All they really wanted to know was what Act we had used to decide to
fire at the craft and one superior was not amused when I joked, 'the
Stock Theft Act'. We were scared and had to decide in a split second
what was best. If we had brought it down, and there were aliens
inside, then we would have all been heroes."

Shortly after the sighting, an army delegation from Grahamstown
arrived at the farm and sealed it off for almost two days.

Hordes of curious onlookers with picnic baskets were turned away from
the farm but used a side road to get to Fort Fordyce, which borders
the farm, and watched the metre-long craft from there.

Smit and Van Rensburg both suspect there was a military cover-up but,
to this day, still have no answers as to what the strange craft really

"I was told to take samples and send them to Pretoria even though I
did not have a clue as to what to do," Van Rensburg says. He dug out
sods where the craft landed and offered to accompany the samples to
Pretoria. The request was refused and he was told to send the samples
by train. Apparently, the samples were lost before they got to

A senior Port Elizabeth military officer confirmed this week that the
samples never reached Pretoria. Major Daniel Muller, a spokesman for
the Grahamstown military base, said last week that all officers at the
1972 scene had retired and all files had been destroyed.

Van Rensburg says: "There were nine marks in the clay and the
three-legged craft looked like it had landed there three times.

"The marks were very deep - at least twice the depth my heeled shoes
made. I weighed 90kg and hardly made a mark."

The issue has still been not been resolved for Van Rensburg.

"I really don't know what it was. If a scientist came tomorrow with
proof and said it was aliens I would agree," he says. "If they said it
wasn't, I would also agree. I still think the marks were not made by a
human being."

The UFO left the valley one week later. As the craft flew over the
veld, a concrete reservoir "exploded", with chunks of concrete being
thrown up to 25m away. Twenty five years later, the huge pieces still
lie scattered in the bush.

"Never in my life have I seen a reservoir broken like that ... it was
very strange," is all Smit can say.

The two men have shunned publicity over the years and have turned down
requests to appear on American talk shows - all expenses paid.

The decision to rename the watering hole at the Savoy Hotel (which
Smit owns) the UFO Bar was made while Smit was away in France. He
allowed the name change only after locals threatened a boycott.

The sighting came 25 years after a UFO apparently crashed near an air
force base outside Roswell, New Mexico.

But there have also been several other UFO sightings over the years in
the Eastern Cape. In November 1972, strange circular holes were found
in a tennis court at a primary school in Rosmead.

In the same year, Nasa dispatched a team to look for debris at
Groendal where a strange craft had been spotted by farmer Hugo

On May 24 1978, a glowing UFO that constantly changed colour was seen
over Colesberg.

In January 1979, scores of Hanover residents reported seeing strange
lights that changed colour hovering over the town. - Eastern Cape News

All Material =A9 copyright Independent Newspapers 1997

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