Fwd = Chinese Say They've Seen Mysterious Objects
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Original Date: Thu, 4 Jan 2001 20:42:55 +0100 (CET)
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UFOs and Other Sightings
The Journal of UFO Research
Chinese Say They've Seen Mysterious Objects
A cyclist passes a copy of The Journal of UFO Research on sale at a
newsstand in Beijing December 23, 1999. UFO sightings have been
reported across China in recent weeks prompting a spate of stories in
the Chinese media. (AP Photo)
By Charles Hutzler
The Associated Press
P U S A L U V I L L A G E, China, Jan. 3 - Poor farmers in Beijing's
barren hills saw it: an object swathed in colored light arcing
heavenward that some say must have been a UFO.
[INLINE] In Pusalu, a patch of struggling corn and bean farms 30 miles
from Beijing, villagers believe cosmic forces were at play on Dec. 11.
(ABCNEWS.com/ Magellan Geographix)
They're not alone. People in 12 other Chinese cities reported
possible UFO sightings last month. UFO researchers, meanwhile, were
busy looking into claims of an alien abduction in Beijing.
At the beginning of the new millennium, China is astir with
sightings of otherworldly visitors. Such sightings are treated with
unexpected seriousness in this country usually straightjacketed by its
China has a bimonthly magazine - circulation 400,000 - devoted to
UFO research. The conservative state-run media report UFO sightings.
UFO buffs claim support from eminent scientists and liaisons with the
secretive military, giving their work a scientific sheen of
"Some of these sightings are real, some are fake and with others
its unclear," said Shen Shituan, a real rocket scientist, president of
Beijing Aerospace University and honorary director of the China UFO
Research Association. "All these phenomena are worth researching."
Research into UFOs will help spur new forms of high-speed travel,
unlimited sources of energy and faster-growing crops, claims Sun
Shili, president of the government-approved UFO Research Association
A foreign trade expert and a Spanish translator for Mao Tse-tung,
Sun saw a UFO nearly 30 years ago while at a labor camp for
ideologically suspect officials.
"It was extremely bright and not very big," said Sun. "At that
time, I had no knowledge of UFOs. I thought it was a probe sent by the
For thousands of years, Chinese have looked to the skies for
portents of change on Earth. While China is passing through its first
millennium using the West's Gregorian calendar, the traditional lunar
calendar is ushering in the Year of the Dragon, regarded as a time of
"All of that sort of millennial fear and trepidation fits in so
nicely with Chinese cosmology - and also the Hollywood propaganda that
everybody's been lapping up," said Geremie Barme, a Chinese culture
watcher at Australia National University.
Villagers Tell Their Tale
In Pusalu, a patch of struggling corn and bean farms 30 miles from
Beijing, villagers believe cosmic forces were at play on Dec. 11. As
they tell it, an object the size of a person shimmering with golden
light moved slowly up into the sky from the surrounding arid
"It was so beautiful, sort of yellow," villager Wang Cunqiao
said. "It was like someone flying up to heaven."
What "it" was remains a topic of debate. Many villagers are
fervent Buddhists. But local leaders want to play down any religious
overtones, fearing that government censure may spoil plans to attract
tourism to Pusalu.
"Some say it was caused by an earthquake. Some say it was a UFO.
Some say it was a ray of Buddha. I'm telling everyone to call it an
auspicious sign," said Chen Jianwen, village secretary for the
officially atheistic Communist Party.
State media ignored religious interpretations and labeled the
celestial events in Pusalu, Beijing, Shanghai and 10 other Chinese
cities in December as possible UFOs. But UFO researchers have largely
dismissed the sightings as airplane trails catching the low sun.
"If the military didn't chase it, it's because they knew it
wasn't a UFO. They were probably testing a new aircraft," said Chen
Yanchun, a shipping company executive who helps manage the China UFO
Research Resource Center.
Operating from a dingy three-room flat in a Beijing apartment block,
the Resource Center keeps a version of China's X-Files: 140
dictionary-sized boxes of fading newspaper clippings and eyewitness
accounts of sightings. The collection has, among others items,
accounts that the military scrambled planes in 1998 in an unsuccessful
pursuit of a UFO.
Chen said the center has had 500 reported UFO sightings in 1999,
but after investigation confirmed cases will likely number 200 or so.
He's currently checking on a worker's claims that aliens entered his
Beijing home in early December and, with his wife and child present,
spirited him 165 miles east and back in a few hours.
"The increase in flying saucer incidents is natural," said Chen,
a former Aerospace Ministry researcher with a Ph.D. in aerodynamics.
He cited more manmade aerospace activity and radio signals from Earth
penetrating farther into space.
Sun has another theory: He believes aliens may find China
attractive for the same reason foreign investors and tourists do.
"It's very possible that relatively rapid development attracts
investigations by flying saucers, and here in China we're becoming
more developed," he said. "Generally, well-developed areas like the
United States have reported more sightings."
Copyright 2000 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Copyright �1999 ABC News Internet Ventures.
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