For the past several months, I’ve been conducting interviews with leading UFO researchers from countries around the world in an effort to paint a clearer picture of global UFOlogy today.
This week, our global UFO trek takes us to South Africa, and to Gert Jordaan of UFORSA (UFO South Africa), an organisation specialising in data collection founded by Gert in September 2011 following an apparent increase in UFO sightings in his country and a heightened public interest in the phenomenon.
RG: Who have been the defining figures in South African UFOlogy over the past 70 years, and why?
GJ: One of the most notable figures concerning the UFO phenomena in South Africa is Elizabeth Klarer. She was a contactee and claimed to have been contacted by extraterrestrials between 1954 and 1963. She was also one of the first people on record to claim to have had a sexual encounter with an extraterrestrial. She also claimed to have visited a planet in the system of Alpha Centuri, where she believed she was impregnated and bore a son who remained on the alien planet. Klarer was even referenced in a 2008 song by South African singer Jim Neversink, called ‘Even Elizabeth Klarer.’
RG: What is the most compelling UFO case you have personally investigated?
GJ: A mass sighting on 12 December, 2012. We received numerous reports from different people that saw the same object in the Cape-Town area (between 11 and 12 December). It was seen as far as the Northern Cape and Namibia. We received approximately 100 reports of the same UFO.
RG: What is the South African government’s official stance on UFOs? When was the last time it issued a statement on the subject?
GJ: At this stage, we have no idea what the South African government’s stance is towards on UFOs. They have not indicated any interest in the UFO phenomenon.
RG: Does the South African Department of Defence have an official UFO investigations unit?
GJ: Not that we know of. And if the South African government does not have such a unit, we would gladly accept an invitation if they chose to work with us.
RG: Has the South African government shown more or less transparency on the UFO subject than the US government?
GJ: We believe the South African government would be more transparent with the UFO subject than the US government. At this time, we have not seen any indication from the South African government that implicates them with any UFO studies at all.
RG: Tell us a bit about your organisation, UFORSA. How many members do you have, and what kind of activities do you engage in? How many smaller South African UFO groups are you aware of, if any?
GJ: UFORSA began as a hobby for me. The official website came online sometime in 2011 to give people in South Africa a platform to submit sightings. Before UFORSA was SAUFOR, an independent person who operated a website. SAUFOR came to an end soon after we stepped in. We are only two people running the UFORSA website to this day. I am the founder of UFORSA and I have a website manager. We collect UFO data and provide commentary to the media if they enquire about a specific case. We manage the platform/website for people to engage socially and to submit sightings (which they can anonymously if they wish).
RG: What are the most active regions of South Africa for UFO sighting reports?
GJ: Three major areas in South Africa can be considered hotspots. First is the Western Cape. A huge open province scattered with small towns and great views of the stars. Secondly is Gauteng, a small province packed with towns and businesses and with many eyes on the skies. Lastly is KwaZulu-Natal, home to the famous Elizabeth Klarer, and a great place for a holiday for most South Africans (we receive a lot of sightings from this region during those holidays).
RG: Have you personally had any UFO sightings?
GJ: I have witnessed a few strange objects in the past, and one quite recently. It was just after the new year January 2019. It was almost midnight and I was watching some TV in the dark. I heard a noise outside and peeked through my sliding door (during the day, I can see the whole of False Bay from Table mountain to the Hottentots Holland mountains with an amazing sea view). I saw a flare-like object FAR in the distance. First I thought it could be a boat signalling for rescue. As the flare came down, it stopped just above the horizon and started moving towards the right and slowly disappeared.
RG: How long have you been involved in the UFO subject; roughly how many cases have you personally investigated; and what conclusions, if any, have you drawn about the underlying nature of UFO phenomena?
GJ: My interest in UFO phenomena started way before UFORSA in 2011. I had read so many books about astronomy, and I wanted to know what the UFO situation looked like in South Africa. So I founded UFORSA. I mainly collect UFO data. I cannot conduct many personal investigations due to funding issues. But it would be a dream come true to travel the country and the world to investigate the phenomena. The conclusion I have drawn through my personal experience and through my analysis of the data is that the rapid evolution in technology in our world can lead to fake reports and sightings. Not just by people playing pranks, but through misidentifications of top secret military craft that are being produced and tested. Most sightings can be explained. Almost all of them. But there are a microscopic amount that drive our curiosity. We cannot explain all things in the universe, but we often catch glimpses of the unexplained.
RG: How can South African UFOlogy, and UFOlogy in general, better itself?
GJ: The thing I want people to understand is that not every UFO sighting will be little green men in a saucer, visiting us from afar to enlighten us. UFOlogy needs to show people that any sighting can be diligently investigated and an acceptable conclusion can usually be reached. Many South Africans are still a bit close-minded. Although a small section of the populous do exhibit an interest in UFOs. I see UFOlogy as a base point from which branch out into different areas of scientific study, such as astrobiology or engineering, for example.