Close encounters of an intimate kind : PEKING DAYS

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The Independent Online
At a military industrial compound in western Peking, the soldier at the gate stood with his bayonet at the ready. Such weaponry would have been of little use against the woman from Jupiter, who recently hijacked a Chinese farmer into her spaceship and repeatedly had her wicked way with him. But for a mere terrestrial, it was good enough reason to wait patiently for admission to see Wang Changting, chairman of the committee of directors of the China UFO Research Society.

The society, with 3,000 members, is China's only state-sanctioned organisation investigating UFOs and possible contacts with extra-terrestrials. As for mysteries closer to home, such as why the society is currently based within a compound owned by the military, Mr Wang was disarmingly vague. The society, he declared, was an "independent, unofficial, civil, academic body". It was simply "through private connections" that its headquarters were temporarily housed in the Military Weapons Industry Academic Department of the state China North Industries Group.

Over the next couple of hours, with the help of photographs and videos, Mr Wang demonstrated that there were more urgent questions to be answered. How to explain, for instance, the strange visitation recently in Guizhou province which sheared off a field of pine trees? Or the large, dark, cylindrical spaceship that materialised during Chinese air force training exercises in June 1982, and wiped out all communications equipment?

Since its creation in 1980, the society has collected details of more than 5,000 UFO sightings over Chinese airspace. Mr Wang said: "We also study the application of UFO phenomena to the national economy . . . such as new materials and new technologies."

Mr Wang, a founder member, whose degree is in architecture, usually leaves the fieldwork to his colleague, Chen Yanchun, who holds an MSc in aerodynamics from the Peking Aviation and Space University. It was Mr Chen who, last October, conducted exhaustive interviews with Meng Zhaoguo, the worker at the Red Flag Tree Farm, in Heilongjiang, about his close encounters of an intimate kind with the insatiable creature from Jupiter.

On 7 June, a large white object landed on the tree farm. Two days later, when workers went to investigate, Mr Meng was struck down by a strong beam of light. As his companions carried him to a nearby shed, Mr Meng screamed at the sight of a tall, humanoid monster, standing by a tree. His friends thought him mad and put him on a timber wagon, where the female ET forced herself upon him. Then on 17 July, the sleeping Mr Meng disappeared from his locked house and was transported to a spaceship. The lady from Jupiter showed him pictures of her home planet, before, once again, taking full sexual advantage of him. "Mr Meng said the first time he was forced to have sex he felt pain. The second time he felt much better, because he just submitted," explained Mr Chen.

The UFO Research Society cites the Heilongjiang case as the strongest example of possible direct contact with an extra-terrestrial. "As for the sexual contact, since this is done in private, it is impossible to confirm," said Mr Chen. In his opinion, however, Mr Meng was telling the truth. "I had a similar feeling to what Mr Meng described when I had my appendix out and they used a catheter," he said.

Until the visit from Jupiter, the 1982 air force incident was regarded as the most convincing evidence of a visiting spaceship. Surely, in those Cold War days, it could have been the work of the Soviet Union or the US? "No, no, no," insisted Mr Chen. "They do not have such advanced equipment."

Another case occurred on 1 December in Guizhou province, when farmers were woken by a roaring sound and bright lights. At dawn they discovered an area of forest where trees had been snapped about six feet from the ground, but telephone poles left untouched. On a nearby building, iron roofing sheets had disappeared, but tiles had been left intact. Could it not have been a tornado? "No, no, no," said Mr Chen, citing meteorologists.

What of the personal testimony of these two UFO experts? "When I was 10 years old, I saw a cigarette-shaped flying saucer," said Mr Wang. How many UFOs has Mr Chen seen? "None".As luck would have it, he was off investigating the Heilongjiang case at a time when it was difficult to avoid UFOs in the skies above Peking. Around 5 October, there were 26 sightings, including one man in the Nankou Locomotive Vehicle Factory, who said he saw five flying saucers in a V-formation. "I really regretted that I was not in Peking," admitted Mr Chen.