China’s love affair with extraterrestrials

I wrote once before about UFOs in China, but I had no idea so many Chinese were hobnobbing with extraterrestrials until I read this.

Meng Zhaoguo, a rural worker from northeast China’s Wuchang city, says he was 29 years old when he broke his marital vows for the first and only time — with a female extraterrestrial of unusually robust build.

“She was three meters (10 feet) tall and had six fingers, but otherwise she looked completely like a human,” he says of his close encounter with an alien species. “I told my wife all about it afterwards. She wasn’t too angry.”

While few Chinese claim to have managed to get quite as intimate with an extraterrestrial as Meng, a growing number of people in the world’s most populous nation believe in unidentified flying objects, or UFOs.

Officially registered UFO associations in China have about 50,000 members, but some estimate the actual number of Chinese interested in the subject is probably in the tens of millions.

Sun Shili is one of the most serious enthusiasts, and he knows exactly where he will be the day the extraterrestrials finally make contact with mankind. The 67-year-old retired Beijing professor will be in the 21-member delegation picked by international UFO associations to represent Earth as the first negotiations get underway.

Once a Spanish translator for Mao Zedong during high-level state visits, Sun says language will not be a problem. “We expect to communicate using telepathy,” he says.

In a country that has lost its spiritual bearings as Marxism has given way to materialism, the idea of strange worlds light years away offers a last great hope for many.

Richard McNally, a Harvard psychologist, says he recognizes the pattern from research into Westerners who claim to have been abducted by aliens and who characterized the experience as “spiritually deepening.”

“Our abductees typically describe themselves as ‘spiritual’ individuals for whom organized religion provides scant spiritual nourishment, and the Chinese UFO spotters may very well be like our subjects,” McNally says.

As Sun, the Spanish translator, sits one sunny spring morning in the Chinese capital, he points at the streets outside and explains how many of the people walking by are probably extraterrestrials in human guise.

This long article includes yet more anecdotes of seemingly bright Chinese men calmly describing their alien encounters, and even describes an association at Beijing University dedicated to watching for UFOs. It’s hard to read it without wondering whether these people are literally insane, or whether they know some fantasic secrets that, for some reason, aliens have chosen to share only with Mainland Chinese.

Thanks for this great link, Newley.

The Discussion: 10 Comments


I guess you are not a fan of Art Bell.

May 4, 2005 @ 10:44 am | Comment

Everyone knows that UFOs only land in redneck America ๐Ÿ™‚

May 4, 2005 @ 5:18 pm | Comment

Dude, I’m waiting for Beijing to start ‘reunification’ talks with Mars any day now.

There must surely be some ancient Chinese map somewhere that shows Olimpus mons was once part of China.

May 4, 2005 @ 7:42 pm | Comment

It’s rather interesting how soon this article came out after one that said that a substantial number of Chinese farmers were experiencing ‘health problems’ from using strong pesticides.

I wonder, could health problems mean hilucinatinos and irrational mental episodes?

Then again, maybe they’re not aliens at all, maybe they’re Japanese. The pattern fits.

Arriving suddenly with advanced technology, sexually interfearing with some people while mitilating others, not to mention having three heads and five legs.

It fits Xinhua’s description of a typicla Japnese person perfectly.

May 4, 2005 @ 7:48 pm | Comment

During my teaching I have been surprised at the number of my students (including educated adults) who believe in (or even claim to have seen) “UFOs” (here meaning “alien spaceships”). There are a number of other notions that seem to be unusually common:

* “ETs” (Chinglish for “space aliens”) helped build the Egyptian pyramids (most people seem to think there are only three of them). Common variation: found inside the pyramids were alien technology, usually some kind of advanced computer (one student explained that American stealth fighter technology was discovered in this way).

* The Bermuda Triangle is a strange and dangerous place linked to ETs (variation: and/or the lost city of Atlantis).

* Easter Island was built by a crash-landed colony of ETs.

* existance of ghosts

* existance of the Loch Ness “monster”

When I question students about these beliefs, the usual explanation is that it must be true because “I read it in a book” or “I saw it on tv”. This is especially puzzling to me because most Chinese I meet are at least a little skeptical of what they read in the news media.

When encountering the especially common ET-pyramid notion, I sometimes get a little annoyed at the implications about Egyptians and their ancient technological expertise. So, I occasionally ask students how they would feel if Egyptians claimed that “ETs” must have helped build the Great Wall, since certainly Chinese could not have built such a thing on their own.

Of course, I can’t complain too much, knowing that back in the west there are many people who purchase homeopathic “medicines”, wear magic rocks (“healing crystals”), and watch popular tv shows in which the host claims to communicate with dead relatives.

By the way, this entire message was dictated to me by my Ouija Board ™.


May 4, 2005 @ 9:32 pm | Comment

It’s not so surprising from a culture that believes kung fu maidens can fly, and that almost every lake has a Loch Ness-type monster in it. Even the engineers on Hong Kong’s MTR have fish tanks in their office windows to keep out bad spirits!

May 4, 2005 @ 10:42 pm | Comment

Shanghai slim,

You don’t need to ask your superstituous and delusional students, just listen to me…

One of our former homes was a bungalow in an old middle class inner city neigborhood, three of our neighbors died (2 from old age) within 2 years period, afterwards, they all came inside our house and visited us.

Bob was a very kind and healthy gentlman in his 70s, had a huge koi pond in his front yard. He was mowing the lawn in the extreme heat one day when I said hi to him, he passed away in a massive heart attack that night. The old lady Laverne gave us Bob’s beloved giant koi fish. We had a smaller pond, the koi kept on jumping out, I had to put on a mesh over the pond to keep them from jumping out. One night at 2am Bob came visit me and told me in my dream that a koi had jumped out, and I went outside, there was a koi on the ground.

We had two apartments in the back garden, this very normal redheaded woman in her 30s committed suicide but died in the hospital. The boyfriend went literally amok and moved out without paying rent. The new tenants were a young giddy yuppie couple, the woman had been seeing ghosts almost daily and gotten sick and crazy. They moved out. The ghost started to come visit every night. Our pets started sneaking out of the house and got run over by trucks, or bled to death mysteriously, finally we decided to sell our half an acre property.

May 4, 2005 @ 11:11 pm | Comment

The ghosts and spirits and cemeteries are everywhere in this city I live in. We have this huge 100 years old house, every night like tonight when I am visiting Peking duck, There will be “things” flying around inside my office, standing behind me, reading what I am reading or a white shadow walking down the long hallway every now and then or walking down the long oak staircase into the darkness of the foyer or standing in front of or next to my bed. I was told they liked my antiques filled home.

May 4, 2005 @ 11:23 pm | Comment

“watch popular tv shows in which the host claims to communicate with dead relatives.”

Believe it or not, it is very disturbing to think about it. According to a mutual friend, my friend who passed away during the 9/11 tragedy, the family lost contact with their son all day that day. Later, the father decided to go to a Taoist monk to ask about his son for closure. His son said the boss refused to let them off early that day even though the first tower was already in flame.

May 5, 2005 @ 1:34 am | Comment

Hoping you get this. Do you know of any way
I could write the Bejing UFO club? I especially wish to speak withZhou Xiaoqiang, chairman
of the association.

Thank you,
Ms. Kathleen Braun

February 16, 2006 @ 7:43 pm | Comment

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