Go Back Report # 1414



A PECULIAR CLOUD-LIKE OBJECT                                                                Case No. 114

Investigated by Marie van Staden


I first saw a report in the Afrikaans magazine "KEUR" of July 1995. The report was made by Braam M. (11) who stated that on the 10th April 1995, on his way to school with his mother and two younger sisters, they saw a strange object on a side road. At first sight they thought it was a cloud but it did not move. Then it moved north, although the wind blew to the west. Later it passed behind some clouds and did not reappear.


Braam later heard that a UFO had been sighted in Johannesburg. Braam’s family lives on the farm Doornplaats in the district of Merweville, in the Great Karroo. I spoke to his mother on the phone and she said she thinks about what they saw every day, as she cannot forget it. She told me the object was very low on the ground.


She said whatever it was, it was nothing known to her. She said, “It was the strangest thing I have ever seen in my life. Every time I drive in the area I look to see if it is there; it was certainly nothing known to me.”


I subsequently spoke to Braam on the phone. He said he, his mother and two younger sisters were on their way to school by car on Monday, 10th April 1995, at 7:30 a.m. They were approaching the T-junction which would take them to Merweville from a dirt road to the right, where they saw this very strange sight. They were all talking when Mrs. M. drew their attention to the “peculiar cloud.” It was very low, abnormally so for a cloud. It was straight ahead of them, but when they reached the T-junction they realized with a shock that it was not a cloud.


Mrs. M. was really puzzled. She felt it might be an unusual machine of sorts, “It's got a strange shape, and what a funny colour!”


Braam added: “It was difficult to describe, but it looked like it was dark blue or almost black.”


Mrs. M. decided to follow it, turning to the left. Unfortunately she could not go into the field to get closer.


As she turned left, she exclaimed: “What's that on top of it?” And then, “I can swear it's turning.”


At this point it seemed suddenly to gather speed, moving away from the witnesses, and then started to move upwards. Braam's mother stopped the car and the family sat there staring at the object. It went straight up and disappeared behind a smallish cloud.


When they got to town, Mrs. M. reported the incident to several people who said it must have been an aeroplane or a hot air balloon. No lights or markings were visible.


Mrs. M. thought it was about 80-100 metres away from them, rather low, although higher than the cross-bar on a rugby field.


Figure 1      Drawing of Object Seen

(To be added later –CF)


They looked across at it; they did not have to look “up” at it.


It was approximately the size of a large truck.


Mrs. M. appeared to be a very sincere lady. They are well-know sheep farmers of some standing in the district and I do not feel she would allow me to use all this information if she felt that this incident would open her to ridicule. This is a small community with only four shops, one church and a boarding school.


I am awaiting a weather report for that day, and I have a report on hot air balloons and the whereabouts of any in the area at that time.


I [Cynthia Hind] will come back on this in a future issue.


Figure 2      Map of viewing

(To be added later –CF)


1.    Weather Balloons last from 60-80 minutes from release to bursting point. In this area they are sent up twice a day, at mid-day and midnight They reach a height 26000-28000 metres and move at a speed of 360 metres per minute. The balloon is 1½ metres in diameter before it goes up, and expands to 4-5 times its actual size before bursting. It moves with the wind, not against it.


Balloons are not illuminated at night and it takes them only 20-30 minutes to reach a height above air traffic.


2.    Cloud (unless particularly high which this was not) would be moving all the time.


3.    Hot Air Balloons. We are checking for evidence of this, but again, a balloon moves with the wind. Also, there was no basket attachment visible, according to Mrs. M. The object was very smooth, with no bulges which pertain to hot air balloons.


Reference for the above text is: UFO AFRINEWS by Cynthia Hind, No. 13, February 1996, pp. 10-13. See: http://www.ufoafrinews.com/resources.html


UFOCAT PRN - 130253

UFOCAT URN – 130253 UFO AFRINEWS by Cynthia Hind, No. 13, February 1996, pp. 10-13

UFOCAT URN – 178797 *U* UFO Computer Database by Larry Hatch, # 17197, © 2002


Africa - South Africa, Multiple provinces

Johannesburg   Latitude 26-12-19 S, Longitude 028-02-59 E (D-M-S) [seat of a first-order administrative division]

Doornplaats      Latitude 32-02-27 S, Longitude 024-17-32 E [farmstead – Eastern Cape]

Merweville         Latitude 32-40-03 S, Longitude 021-30-56 E [populated place– Western Cape]

Great Karroo     Latitude 32-00-00 S, Longitude 022-00-00 E [plateau – Northern Cape]

Reference: http://geonames.nga.mil/ggmaviewer/


From the map in Figure 2:

Houtenbeck - Probable misspelling of Houdenbeck/Houtenbek

Houdenbeck/Houtenbek   Latitude 32-36-11 S, Longitude 021-18-56 E [farmstead – Western Cape]

Chreswell                          Latitude 32-36-31 S, Longitude 021-16-01 E [farmstead – Western Cape]

Reference: http://geonames.nga.mil/ggmaviewer/


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