On the chilly, misty morning of 31 July 1975 Danie van Graan was walking over a ten-foot- (three-metre-) high earth bank, which protects his village from flood water. In the field below him he saw what looked like the aluminium roof of a caravan.
(UFOs: The Definitive Casebook, Spencer)
As he drew closer, van Graan saw that it was made of a curious silvery, metallic substance…
(Fact or Fiction: UFOs, Blundell)
The “caravan” was an oval shape and van Graan could see four people moving about inside as if in slow motion. They were small, thin, pale and wore cream-coloured overalls. They had fair hair, slanting eyes, long faces and high cheekbones – a description reminiscent of the female abductor of Antonio Vilas-Boas.
Van Graan could hear a humming sound and when he approached approximately fifteen feet (45 metres) from the machine, the entities inside suddenly looked up at him. At that moment there was a slight click and a flap opened at the side of the object; a bright beam of light hit him in the face. The light disorientated him and indeed from that time he has suffered blurred and double vision, though prior to that he had had no trouble with his eyes. At the time, van Graan also noticed that he had suffered a nose bleed, which was later confirmed by an acquaintance. Suddenly the humming noise became louder and the machine took off very fast and very smoothly. Within about twenty seconds it had disappeared from view.
Subsequent investigation at the site revealed landing leg traces. Of the alfalfa field where the UFO had rested, the landing site itself was barren, the soil hard-baked. Van Graan, echoing Maurice Masse in France a decade earlier, stated “Ever since that machine landed here nothing will grow in this spot”.
There is some suggestion that the entities may have done a survey outside the craft before van Graan encountered them. Investigator Cynthia Hind located [another] witness, Jan van der Westhuizen, who had seen nothing but had heard a humming noise at approximately 7.30 in the morning. Since he thought it was a helicopter he did not investigate. If that noise was the machine landing then it was there for twenty minutes before van Graan came across it. At the far corner of van Graan’s field there was a virtually dried-up duckpond and van Graan found footprints in the ground unlike those of any of his workers. Although he had not seen [the aliens] outside the craft it is possible that they had made an excursion.
Van Graan was asked what he felt when they left and he said, “What I did think, although it wasn’t at that very moment, was what a pity it was that I couldn’t go up to the machine and talk to those people”…
There were three other witnesses to Danie van Graan’s sighting… A young coloured boy (eight or nine years of age) had noticed the object on the ground. He ran to call his mother, Meitjie Devenish, who was sitting with a young man nearby. They all saw the object on the ground, but were so terrified by its implications and the possibility of police questioning that they left the area, moving towards the southeast Cape, to East London.