In a case that could serve as inspiration for a blockbuster film: A group of Japanese children had repeated encounters with a small UFO, and they managed not only to photograph it but to capture it for a brief time during the summer of 1972.(KERA: The Strangest UFO)
Inexplicably there is little information to be found – only in the Western world anyway – regarding the strange series of events that began on August 25, 1972, in the Kera area of the city of Kochi, which is the capital of The prefecture of Kochi, on the island of Shikoku in Japan. In the afternoon in question, a 13-year-old student named Michio Seo was on his way home from school when he allegedly caught an incredible metal object floating on a rice field.(KERA: The Strangest UFO)
The astonished Seo watched as the strange device flashed back and forth over the overgrown rice paddy. The flying object looked like a dull, silvery hat with a flat bottom and a narrow rim. The dome curved over the edge was relatively steep and even at the apex. Seo later compared the movements of the object to that of a bat making sharp turns in pursuit of its prey insect.(KERA: The Strangest UFO)
Seo’s curiosity quickly usurped his fear and began to approach the miniature flying saucer, but before he could get too close to the object presumably shot a blinding ray towards the teenager. Seo, who did not want to further provoke the UFO – or its possible occupants – quickly fled the scene.(KERA: The Strangest UFO)
As soon as he could, the young Seo returned to Kera to meet his four best friends – Hiroshi Mori, Yasuo Fujimoto, Katsuoka Kojima and a friend known only as Yuji – and he told them about their incredible encounter. His friends, skeptical, though intrigued, did not waste time in forming an impromptu gang to go out and find this miniature flying dome.(KERA: The Strangest UFO)
Approximately at 7:00 pm. Seo, Mori, Fujimoto, Kojima and Yuji reached the rice field. The children kept a constant vigil for most of an hour when, to everyone’s surprise, except for Seo, the small object returned. The excited teens looked at the strange object that moved on the field about 18 meters from them.Then, as the sun went down over the horizon and the darkness began to set in, the device began to emit a pulsating multi-colored light.(KERA: The Strangest UFO)
One of the young men, no doubt reinforced by peer pressure, began to stalk the erratic floating UFO. As he approached the object this suddenly emitted a deafening “click” and began to shine with a bluish tonality. This was all the young people need to send them running back to their homes.(KERA: The Strangest UFO)
Seo, Mori, Fujimoto, Kojima and Yuji occasionally visited the camp after their sighting and on September 4 – just a week after their initial encounter – patience paid off. At about 21:30 the five young men met once more face to face with the silver object flying almost 1 meter above the ground. The small UFO started shining and approaching the children causing them to disperse and once again retreat in a hurry.(KERA: The Strangest UFO)
Once at home, the boys regained their courage committed to acquiring a camera and spending every minute of the day as much as possible on the field in the hope of finally capturing the unusual object in a movie. His surveillance began the following night, but the object did not return. The next night, however, would be a different story.(KERA: The Strangest UFO)
On 6 September, the children’s vigilance was rewarded as they spied the object lying on the ground in the middle of the field in front of them on their way to the rice paddy. The teenagers, now armed with a camera, wisely decided to take a picture before approaching the fallen “ship.”(KERA: The Strangest UFO)
Once the flash was fired the object on the ground began to spin and quickly rose into the air. The unknown cameraman took another photo right after his ascent.(KERA: The Strangest UFO)
This is where the report gets a bit gloomy, but what seems to have happened later is that the object emitted a light that was even brighter than the flash burst, before plunging back down to the ground.(KERA: The Strangest UFO)
The object spun around, almost seemed to be sinking into the ground when it stopped moving.
At this time, 14-year-old Hiroshi Mori moved cautiously toward the incapacitated flying saucer. The brave (or daredevil) boy decided to bend over and lift the object with his bare hands.
As he did so, he claimed that he felt something “moving” inside. Then a photo was taken of Miro holding the UFO.
The boys marveled at his peculiar prize before Miro wrapped it in a plastic bag and put it in his backpack and took it home. Once there the boys cautiously measured the object and declared that it was almost 20.32 centimeters wide and about 10 centimeters high. The now inert UFO is said to weigh about 1 kilo.
They also discovered a series of concentric curves, thirty-one small holes and three unique designs engraved at the base of the object. The group believed that the engravings represent waves or clouds, a bird or some kind of “flying object”, and something they interpreted as a blooming flower. There was no visible propulsion system.
After the inspection, the boys again wrapped the object in plastic and took their bewildering find to the home of Yasuo Fujimoto. Fujimoto’s father, Mutsuo, was the director of the Center for Scientific Education in the city of Kochi.
Mr. Fujimoto gave the object a superficial examination, assuming that the finding was of little importance. That would be a decision that was going to come to regret. In his own words:
“The frequent nights out of the boys started to worry the parents, I told my son if it was true what he was saying, bringing the object. He did: it was something like an ashtray, cast iron, but too light for this metal. (That) had a lid down that was impossible to open and on the inside, there were pieces similar to a radio. I did not give it more importance, but now I regret not having studied it more closely.
After inspection of the object by Mr. Fujimoto the object was returned to Mori’s backpack, but, much to the dismay of all involved, it was discovered that he disappeared barely a day later. This would not be the last time this mysterious object would be seen … or recovered.
Over the next two weeks, Seo, Mori, Fujimoto, Kojima and Yuji all claimed to have seen the same (or identical) object in flight on at least six more occasions. Fujimoto himself saw it three times. The group even managed to capture it a second time, but the object disappeared in strange circumstances once more.
The boys – trying to predict when the object could show their proverbial head – deduced that the only unifying factor in all their sightings was the fact that it never seemed to occur on rainy days. This, they supposed, was due to the fact that the object “feared” the water. With this in mind, a plan was formulated to capture the device.
On September 19, the band returned once more to the now infamous rice field to try and retain the disconcerting UFO. This time the boys were armed with a bucket of running water and some rags. Luck wanted them to find the device sitting motionless on the floor.
The group hastily covered the object with rags and poured the water into the bucket over it. They then turned the object over and began to fill the holes in the base with rest of the greenish water. As soon as the liquid entered the device this started to make a deafening noise that they compared it with a buzzing – similar to that of the cicadas. The interior of the object also began to glow.
The boys were abruptly beaten with the notion that the object might try to retaliate for this perception of attack and began to move away from the stationary UFO, throwing stones at it. The flying object once again remained tied to the ground and the gang claimed its potentially extraterrestrial prey.
Once back at the Katsuoka Kojima house, the youngsters looked through the little holes and realized what appeared to be a lot of miniature mechanisms and strange drawings.
The intrepid young men then took more pictures and tried to open the device by inserting a cable into one of the holes and manipulating it.
Eventually, they hung the device face down the wire, gravity pulled the top of the dome causing a slight separation between the upper and lower sections of the object. The boys could see what they called “complicated electronic equipment” inside the element, as well as an unidentified viscous material. Could it have been the liquefied remains of the pilot, who was melted by contact with water?
The boys then tried (with a dubious sense of scientific integrity, no doubt) to see how strong the outer layer of the object was by hitting it with a hammer. They found that even the thinnest parts of light metal remained stained, no matter how hard they got. This seems to be a fairly common feature of recovered materials at alleged UFO crash sites.
At this point, the guys decided to try another experiment, putting the UFO in the oven to see what kind of temperatures it could withstand, but before they had the chance Kojima’s mother, Aiko Katsuoka, wisely refused to do that. She also refused to allow it to be stored in the refrigerator, since the boys believed they could prevent the UFO from escaping once more.
The band then came to the conclusion that the device was probably some kind of “remote-controlled” surveillance mechanism of unknown origin. It was then that they decided it was time to reveal their prized mystery mechanism to their classmates the following week, but before storing it at night they wrapped it in additional rags under the naive impression that it would prevent the thing from filtering some “atomic radiation “.
Then the object was given to Seo and Mori for their custody, while the rest returned home for dinner and housework. The young watchers felt that the object was safe in the room with them, relaxed for an afternoon of comic book consumption and the anticipation of the notoriety that they and their friends could receive the following Monday at school when they revealed their wonderful contraption.
When the rest of the group returned later that night to verify their discovery, they were all dismayed to discover that there was nothing to find under the pile of rags. After an unsuccessful search, the boys came to the inescapable conclusion that their mini-saucer once again flew from the cage, so to speak.
A few hours later Kojima and Mori were playing ball at Mori’s house. Kojima pounced on the fence to chase the ball and to his surprise and delight, he stumbled over the still motionless UFO. Kojima and Mori quickly fled back into the house with the saucer recovered.
At the moment the companions shrewdly decided that they should mark the silver dome with paint so that it does not do another act of disappearance. This would be to confirm that they were actually finding the same UFO again and again, rather than disparate (though indistinguishable) machines. The boys had lost and found the object so many times at this point they naturally assumed that if it disappeared they would return again near the paddy field or in one of their backyards.
On the night of September 22, the team met on a bike ride in the city of Kochi. They decided that all of them would take turns to load the device, which they no longer left unattended.
To further prevent their flight Mori determined that the UFO would be sealed in a plastic bag full of water, continued to hypothesize, had some kind of restrictive effect on the device. As if that were not enough, the boys tied a rope from the knot of the bag to the wrist of the wearer to make sure nothing could happen this time.
The knotted bag containing the UFO was placed in a canvas bag and inserted into the bicycle basket of the first carrier and the belt was started. The bag went from cyclist to cyclist as they cruised through the city until it ended up in the basket of its last caretaker, whose name was not revealed.
The band continued their journey until they approached a local bike shop. At that point, the last carrier stated that he felt that his wrist – which was attached to a rope to the bag – was pulled with a great force. He immediately called his friends, who stopped in front of him.
The boys instantly opened the bag and untied the rope and knots in the plastic bag, but when they looked inside they found that, even though the knots had not been manipulated, the little UFO was nowhere. The boys would never see the object again, to their disappointment.
The case is open again:
This unique case remained largely unknown to the general public until May 2004, when UFO Comics published an illustrated account of the case. This introduced the encounter with a new generation of UFO enthusiasts harvesting something like a cult following in Japan.
Due to rumors, in 2007 – a total of 35 years after the events in question – Shinichiro Namiki, the director of the Japan Space Phenomena Society (JSPS) reopened the investigation. The head of the JSPS Osaka chapter, Kazuo Hayashi, was sent to speak with the remaining witnesses and confirmed that they all maintained the veracity of their original accounts.
During the course of his research, Hayashi found another account of a small UFO that occurred in the same prefecture as the event in Kera only 4 years later. On the night of June 6, 1976, a 9-year-old girl named Sachiko Oyama from the village of Agawa (now known as Niyodogawa-Cho) went out to the street to look for her cat when she noticed a small luminous object, yellow floating In the eastern sky.
Oyama way in the middle of the street to have a better view. It was then that he saw the descent of the unusual object in a nearby wooded grove. Overcome by curiosity, the young woman followed the UFO to the edge of the tree line. It was then that the object allegedly hit a tree and silently landed on the pavement near his feet and at that moment emitted a “hissing” sound.
Oyama described the object as resembling a silver hat (although some versions say “black”) that was about 17 centimeters in diameter, a familiar description to say the least. The brave girl leaned over and touched the object, which she claimed was covered with a “viscous substance” that stuck to her finger.
Like the children who met the almost identical object in Kera, Oyama suddenly found herself overwhelmed by fear. He turned and ran for the safety of his house, but when he looked over his shoulder he realized that the fallen device had begun to glow yellow once more. Oyama watched in disbelief as the UFO soared, turned to the left three times, then shot skyward and out of sight.
Hayashi also confirmed that the then-40-year-old Oyama still maintained her story in 2007. It was then that Hayashi extended the hypothesis that these flying objects were actually interdimensional vehicles that had temporarily lost their way after falling into our domain.
Hayashi seemed to be satisfied with his theory, but how should we take this mysterious object that apparently played with these Japanese children in 1972 and 1976? And will those unusual marks on the bottom of the UFO have been meant to be a message for humanity like the one recorded on the golden disc in Voyager 1 for the other inhabitants of the galaxy to discover? Was it a UFO in the classic sense of an interstellar or interdimensional vehicle? It goes without saying that the technological standards of 1970 (or current) an object as decidedly non-aerodynamic as this could not have been capable of such precise or rapid maneuvers as it is attributed to it.
What about the kids’ deduction that it was a remote control device of unknown origin? This theory seems to make more sense than that it is a kind of spacecraft.(KERA: The Strangest UFO)
If we analyze its behavior, this device flew with apparent precision despite the apparently no recognizable propulsion device inside the UFO. The UFO appeared to be capable of evasive maneuvers and even shows a desire to defend itself by using bright lights and loud noises. Like any living being, this “machine” resisted all attempts by teenagers to imprison it. None of the above is proof that the actions of the thing were an example of intelligent life, but the idea is intriguing.(KERA: The Strangest UFO)
Maybe we’re dealing here with a non-terrestrial surveillance device, a kind of alien drone. Perhaps some entity with unknown technology sent it from another world or time or dimension or even from the depths of the ocean to observe/spy on the human race .
KERA: The Strangest UFO
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