The Kalahari Incident – A Bizarre Truth From Forged Documents

Marcus Lowth
Published Date
May 3, 2017
Last Updated
October 14, 2021
Estimated Reading Time
6 min read
Posted in
UFOs, Cover-Ups

According to the late Tony Dodd, for a long time the UK’s leading UFO researcher and investigator, the Kalahari Incident of 1989 is as important as the Roswell crash that happened forty years previously to it.

What is even more bizarre about the incident, or more to the point, how knowledge of it came to the public, is that the initial documents were very obviously forgeries. Something would make Dodd look into the alleged incident, however, despite this. This would prove to be a decision that would change his life – not always for the better.

Artist's impression of a UFO over the South African landscape.

Artist’s impression of a UFO over the South African landscape.

According to the leaked documents, a craft, shot down by the South African Airforce, crash landed in the Kalahari Desert. The wreckage would be subject to a swift recovery mission, as would the occupants of it – each still alive. When Dodd did basic checks on the information with intelligence contacts, all would state the incident to be completely true.

What follows is largely based on an excerpt from Dodd’s book “Alien Investigator”. This book is essential reading for UFO enthusiasts and skeptics alike. Before we look into the Kalahari Incident, however, check out the video below. It is a look at Tony Dodd and how he became involved in UFO research. He passed away in 2009.

Initial Documents

Documents would arrive with Dodd in the summer of 1989. An envelope bearing a South African postal mark would catch his attention one particular morning. [1] The sender of the information kept his identity secret among concerns for his safety.

Dodd immediately suspected strongly that the documents were not official and likely fakes. Aside from their appearance, incorrect spellings were in abundance. However, for reasons he couldn’t explain, he read them in full. The amount of detail proved to be startling – certainly not the usual attention to detail in other fake documents.

In short, the documents provided information on the craft, its material, and what would appear to be two pilots. Dodd would use contacts – particularly in South Africa and the United States – to check the authenticity of the report. All reports came back to him confirming the incident to be true.

It would puzzle Dodd as to why someone would send him authentic and correct information, as fake documents. Even more so when the sender eventually revealed his name as, James Van Greunen and agreed to come to England to further the investigation. Dodd would be witness to several threatening phone calls to him from the South African embassy. He would record these calls and later use them as evidence. Dodd was also aware of people following his guest immediately upon his arrival. These actions only further confirmed that the account was true in Dodd’s mind.

Essentially, the vast majority of what we know about this incident is largely down to Van Greunen’s fake documents. We look shortly at why Van Greunen did this, but first, what actually happened?

The Incident

On 7th May 1989, a report of a strange, unknown craft entering South African airspace resulted in Mirage Fighter Jets taking to the skies to intercept. They received orders to engage, which they did, firing at the craft.

It came to a stop in the Kalahari Desert, around eighty miles from the border of South Africa and Botswana. The South African military would be on the scene within minutes. The fighter jet had continued to circle the crash site until they arrived.

The area around the object was evidently so hot that “sand and rocks had fused together!” Radioactivity was also so high in the crash site, than many of the military’s electronic equipment failed to work.

A Dassault Mirage fighter jet - the type of military aircraft that was scrambled.

A Dassault Mirage fighter jet – the type of military aircraft that was scrambled.

The strange craft was a “polished, smooth silver” material, seemingly hard, but with no visible seams anywhere. What appeared to be portholes were present on the craft – these were “unevenly” spaced. Also, what the military assumed was “landing gear” was visible. This suggested that the craft was attempting to land as opposed to falling from the sky out of control.

The retrieval team would force a hatch open, and two “crew” members removed from the craft – both still alive. Each dressed in “tight fitting grey suits”, with an estimated height of around 4-5 feet tall. Their heads were much larger than their bodies, and their eyes were equally out of proportion. The report basically describes what most people would call a “grey” alien.  Under the suits, their abdomens also had a ribbed, scaled appearance.

The craft safely retrieved and on its way to an unknown South African military base, with dirt and sand covering any evidence of the incident. From there, the object went on a “one-way passage to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base” in the United States.

Further Information

As Dodd began to investigate further, utilizing contacts in various places, as well as contacting military bases using secret codes and document names to gain trust as an “internal employee”, some of the information he revealed was startling. Even more so when separate sources began to corroborate each other.

Reports suggested that the South African government had “traded” the wreckage for “nuclear technology” – something international law prevented them owning. It had also been the Americans who had alerted the South Africans to an “object entering the Earth’s atmosphere” that would be in their airspace.

Furthermore, while two of the aliens did indeed make the trip to Wright Patterson in America, a third alien – according to a source in the South African military – would stay at the base in South Africa, and was unknown to the Americans. Many reports state that a facility referred to as Camp 13 is the base in question. Incidentally, Camp 13 apparently resides near the Kalahari Desert. Whether or not the alien is still in South Africa’s possession, or is even still alive, remains unknown.

Nor is the fate of the two extra-terrestrials that would go to Wright-Patterson. Many whistle-blowers and deathbed confessions have claimed that alien bodies are in the US government’s possession – many of them deep-frozen.

Van Greunen’s Photographic Memory

Dodd would eventually meet up with Van Greunen again while speaking at a UFO conference in Germany. It was here, in a small backroom that the truth behind the forged documents came out. Dodd, realizing how secretive the information passed to him was, pressed him in no uncertain terms for the truth.

Van Greunen revealed himself to be an amateur UFO enthusiast. He had come into possession of top secret and authentic documents through a friend in the South African military. This friend happened to be on duty at the undisclosed base. Knowing of his interest in UFOs, his friend had snuck the documents out.

He could see them and spend considerable time reading them, but he could not take them, or make copies. Once he had done so, his friend would sneak the files back onto the military base. The documents Van Gruenen had passed to Dodd were the result of what he had managed to commit to memory. He had tried to make them look “official” as he realized the importance of the information. He also realized that not many people would believe his report on his word alone.

As Dodd would come to realize over the coming years, the information was certainly authentic. So much so, threats on his own life soon followed his going public with it. Perhaps, however, the more he remained in the spotlight, the more difficult a target he became.

Further Connections and Threats To Tony Dodd

Although he would be safe in the UK due to governments not wanting a political incident, Dodd would receive information by several people close to him that he should be careful when traveling. He should avoid travel to South Africa at all costs, and – due to their military connections – not travel to France. If he did, it was likely, he would be killed.

Tony Dodd.

Tony Dodd.

Dodd also experienced a similar warning in Arizona in the United States in 1991. Again appearing in a speaking capacity at a UFO seminar, Dodd (and his wife) sat with two other UFO researchers enjoying a drink. Out of nowhere, two men in smart suits approached their table. Without them saying anything at all, the two researchers left. All knew why they were here, and who they wanted to speak with.

Again, Dodd would receive warnings to “be careful” about what he spoke about and what claims he made. Although the conversation progressed with politeness and smiles, they essentially told him, they would kill him if they had to. Dodd even agreed to meet with the two gentlemen the following morning, where again, they repeated their “threat. Although Dodd would claim he felt it was also more of a “friendly warning” than it had been the night before. The intent behind it, however, was no less deadly.

While the incident is brushed off by both South African and American governments, Dodd’s own reputation is strong enough that this encounter should be regarded as very much open.

Check out the video below. It looks at perhaps one of the more interesting, and credible UFO claims.


1 Alien Investigator, The Case Files Of Britain’s Leading UFO Detective, Tony Dodd, ISBN 9780747 275343

Marcus Lowth

Marcus Lowth is a writer with a love for UFOs, aliens, and the Ancient Astronaut Theory, to the paranormal, general conspiracies, and unsolved mysteries. He has been writing and researching with over 20 years of experience.

Marcus has been Editor-in-Chief for several years due to his excellent knowledge in these fields. Marcus also regularly appears as an expert on radio talk shows including Troubled Minds and Unexplained Radio discussing these topics.

Read Marcus' full bio.

You can contact Marcus via email.

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UFO Insight does not take responsibility for the content of the comments below.  We take care of filtering profanity as much as we can.  The opinions and discussion in the comments below are not the views of UFO Insight, they are the views of the individual posting the comment.

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  • Terry Tibando says:

    This is a fascinating account of which I was well aware of but the addition of the video, especially of the alien writing was truly intriguing as I have other samples of alien writing. I suspect that the ET craft was totally phase-shifted into our three-dimensional physical reality that it was vulnerable to being hit by an onboard laser from the S. A. Mirage aircraft! Otherwise, if it remained in between dimensions (“bleeding through into our 3D reality), it would have been safe from any kind of targeted attack from the military!

  • Marius Botha says:

    OK this is what happened to me regarding this case: I often had interesting conversations with a guy at my gym. He asked me one day if I remember the Kalahari incident and I said ‘yes’: He then told me that he can confirm to me, from first hand experience, that this incident is indeed true and that it DEFINITELY happened. This past weekend (06/10/2018) I went to a birthday party and someone told me that the birthday boy’s father worked for the SA National Intelligence and that he knows something about the Kalahari Incident. I then proceeded to strike up a conversation with him and I asked him if he knows something about the Kalahari incident. He then told me that he was a project engineer for the National Intelligence and that “YES” it definitely happened and he can confirm it but that’s all he can tell me about that……but he can also confirm to me that there is MUCH more contact with aliens than we are lead to believe.

  • Marcus Lowth says:

    Yes, it wouldn’t surprise me. I am sure you agree there is a lot of disinformation passed around with shreds of authentic data. Quite often from otherwise trustworthy sources. Check out our Falcon/Condor article which looks at this a little more

  • Anthony James says:

    I knew Tony Dodd during this time and he was totally convinced that this was real and true. However, I also knew of a chap in my city who was also heavily involved in the case supplying ‘documents’ and information to Tony. His name is Henry Azadehdel and also goes by the name of Armen Victorian. A really dodgy case and a really dodgy chap. Check out this link: –

  • Petrus Steyn says:

    There is a few things that bother me about this story.

    1) There is no ‘secret’ Air Force Base in the Kalahari. I have flown those skies for years and have never seen anything, nor been warned off from flying anywhere.
    2) The Mirages were able to down a highly advanced flying saucer with an ‘experimental laser weapon’, but they got their behinds kicked by Cuban pilots flying Mig 23’s in the border war?
    3) The apartheid government mindset would not have been to trade such exotic material for nuclear technology. Would you trade a Porche for a bicycle? They would have tried anything to stay in power and a fleet of reverse engineered flying saucers or laser gun wielding fighter jets would have gone a long way.
    4) A large percentage of military personnel serving at that time became the ‘step children’ of a country that doesn’t really want them and doesn’t really care for them. I am pretty sure had this story been true, someone or multiple people would have come forward with the story.
    5) Our current government cant keep a secret.
    6) I am trying to find the forged documents to see what type of aircraft was actually scrambled. All articles reference pictures of Mirage 3’s. The SAAF would either have scrambled Atlas Cheetahs or Mirage F1’s in 1989 to intercept an aircraft.

    • Rob Wheddon says:

      Good questions and comments that need to be addressed.

    • Willie Hough says:

      Petrus, i was in the Air Force during that time and indeed it happened!Of course this was a secret incident of possible enormous repercussions. My dad was deeply involved in the clean up operation and just as i, he never talked about it and went to his grave with lots of information. He only mentioned that these grey “mannetjies” were very agressive. Lazer technology exsisted during those years supplied by the Israel.

  • Andries Roux says:

    Fascinating as always.A few points bother me though.South Africa already had nuclear tech by 1989.Why would they swap the craft to the US(which had imposed economical sanctions on SA)Where would SA get a laser weapon from which was used to bring down the ufo.The crew member detained at an SA airbase would be long dead by now.Killed and body disposed of to prevent the secret getting to the Mandela government.Great article nevertheless.

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