[CNI News thanks researcher Filip Coppens for permission to publish this article, dated January 10, 1996.]
Just before the outbreak of the Second World War, Chinese archaeologists stumbled upon a cave containing small skeletal remains. Alongside the bodies were found stone discs that were deciphered only twenty years later. They seemed to tell of an extraterrestrial craft that had crash-landed in the mountain range of Baian-Kara-Ula 12,000 years ago. The Western media treated the news with the usual attitude of "communist propaganda": do not believe a word of it. But Hartwig Hausdorf recently returned from China with a different tale to tell. The discs exist, he says... and do indeed seem to indicate representatives from a space-faring alien race visited the Chinese mountain area in antiquity.
by Filip Coppens
In 1938, scientists stumbled upon an intricate network of connecting caves in the mountains of Baian-Kara-Ula, along the Chinese-Tibetan border. In one of them they came across the neatly ordered graves of a race that appeared most peculiar: short bodies, except for the skulls, which were unproportionally large. At first the scientists believed the caves had been the habitat of monkeys, but their leader, archeologist and professor Chi Pu Tei, pointed out he had never heard of monkeys burying their dead.
During the unearthing of the bodies, the archeologists recovered a stone disc from the bottom of a grave. A circular hole in the middle and a groove spiraling inward or outward were the only apparent features. Had they stumbled upon a Stone Age LP? Did the Flintstones really exist?
Closer inspection showed that the grooves were actually a line of small carvings or signs. Each disc was a book, but upon their discovery in 1938 nobody possessed the dictionary, so no one was able to read it. All discs were collected and stored along with all the other findings made in the area. There was no reason to consider these stone discs special or important... perhaps just odd.
The discs were kept in Peking, where, for the next twenty years, a line of experts tried to decipher the writing. Nobody succeeded. But in 1962, professor Dr. Tsum Um Nui did succeed and learned of the astonishing message the discs contained. He announced his findings to a small group of friends and colleagues. The public remained unaware of his discovery, for the authorities felt it wise not to announce the findings, and the Peking Academy of Prehistory forbade the professor from publishing anything on the discs.
After two years of frustation, the professor and four of his colleagues were finally allowed to publish the conclusions of their research. They decided to call it "the cartelled script relating to the space-ship that, as is written on the discs, descended on earth 12,000 years ago." The discs -- 716 were retrieved from one cave -- told the story of inhabitants of another world stuck in the mountains of Baian-Kara-Ula. The peaceful intentions of these people had not been comprehended by the local population; many extra-terrestrials had been chased and killed by members of the Han tribe, living in nearby caves.
Dr. Tsum Um Nui offered a few lines of his translation: "The Dropas came out of the clouds in their aeroplanes. Before sunrise our men, women and children hid in the caves ten times. When they finally understood the sign-language of the Dropas, they realized the newcomers had peaceful intentions..." Another part of the text stated the Han tribe regretted the Dropa had crashed in this remote area, that they were unable to build a new space-ship so the Dropas could return to their home planet.
Tsum Um Nui's colleagues laughed. The good professor had clearly lost his marbles. How could such a thing be true? Their ungrateful reception made Nui decide to move to Japan, where he died the following year.
Since the discs had been discovered more than twenty-five years ago, other archeologists had learned more about the history of the area. That newly acquired knowledge indicated that the story as it appeared in Nui's translation could be correct. Legends circulating even at that time spoke of short, skinny, yellow men that "had come out of the clouds a very long time ago." These people had big, knobby heads, small bodies, and were a terrible sight to see, according to the locals, who had chased these people away on horseback. The description of these people was identical to the bodies professor Chi Pu Tei had recovered in 1938.
Mural paintings were found inside the cave. They depicted sunrise, the moon, unidentified stars and the Earth... all connected with dotted lines. The discs and the cave's contents were dated at about 10,000 BC.
The caves were still inhabited by two tribes, calling themselves the Ham and the Dropa, the latter people of strange appearance. Barely 1.30 meter (4 ft.) tall, they were neither Chinese nor Tibetan. Even an expert could not indicate what their racial background might be.
The report on the translation of the discs, published in 1964, prompted inquiries from the Soviet Union. They requested some discs to be sent to them for study, which the Chinese did. The Soviet scientists removed pieces of "dirt" and made various chemical analyses. They were surprised to learn the discs contained fairly high amounts of cobalt and other metals. Dr. Viatcheslav Saizev reported in the Soviet magazine Sputnik that he had put the discs on a special machine something like a gramophone. When turned on, the discs "vibrated," "hummed," "as if they form part of an electric circuit."
Such findings, however, had little to do with the other discs that had stayed behind in China. Shortly after Nui's 1964 report, the Cultural Revolution of the late '60s swept over China. There was no public concern over the discs' fate or their message.
In 1974, an Austrian engineer, Ernst Wegerer, stumbled upon two discs in the Banpo Museum at Xian. He photographed the discs, and somehow the Swiss "ancient astronaut author" Erich von Daniken learned of the discs and Wegerer's photographs. Von Daniken reported on the discs in one of his books, but few believed he was reporting a true discovery; most felt he had made them up.
It was left to German tour operator Hartwig Hausdorf to change the situation. In March of 1994, he and Peter Krassa, a friend of von Daniken, left for China. "In Xian," Hausdorf says, "we visited the Banpo Museum, searching for the discs that Wegerer had photographed two decades earlier. But our optimism was not rewarded. Nowhere could we find any trace of the discs. Had Wegerer really made up the entire story? That seemed unlikely.
"We asked our guides and professor Wang Zhijun, director of the museum. At first they denied the discs even existed. Within one hour, after we showed them the photographs, Zhijun stated that one of his predecessors had indeed given Wegerer permission to photograph the discs, that the discs did indeed exist, or had, at least, existed. Shortly after having given Wegerer permission to photograph the discs, that director was 'asked' to resign.
"Director Zhijun showed us a book on archeology, in which photographs of the discs could be seen. Afterwards he took us to a nearby location where the museum's artifacts were cleaned and catalogued. On one chair stood an enlarged copy of a stone disc. He hinted that a few years ago word had come down from his superiors that all traces of the discs had to be wiped out, and to go on record as saying everything was a lie." If Hausdorf and Krassa had been less obstinate, they might have classed Wegerer as a hoaxer.
Krassa and Hausdorf also came across the story of an Englishman, Dr. Karyl Robin-Evans. who had travelled to China in 1947. Before his arrival, a professor Lolladorff had shown him a stone disc, which the professor believed had been found in Northern India. The object appeared to have belonged to a tribe, the "Dzopa," who had used the discs during religious ceremonies. Robin-Evans stated the discs had a radius of 12 centimeters and were about 5 centimeters thick.
After his meeting with Lolladorff, Robin-Evans set course for the Chinese mountains, searching for the "Dzopa" tribe. First, he passed through Lhasa, Tibet, where he was welcomed by the 14th Dalai Lama. In 1947, Tibet was still independent. Only in 1950, when the Dalai Lama fled to Northern India, would the Chinese take possession of the country. Baian-Kara-Ula, though situated along the Chinese-Tibetan border, suffered little as it was a remote mountain range.
Once in the high mountains, Robin-Evans' Tibetan carriers decided to stay behind. They were afraid. The landscape had a sinister look, and they wanted to go back home. Their unwillingness illustrates why the Baian-Kara-Ula area was scarcely explored up until 1947, save for the scientific expedition a decade earlier.
Robin-Evans managed to reach his destination and gain the confidence of the Dzopa people. He was given a "language instructor" who had to teach him the basics of the Dzopa language.
Lurgan-La, the religious leader of the Dzopa, told him the history of the tribe. He stated their home planet was a planet in the Sirius system. Sirius, the brightest star in the sky, is about 8 light years from earth. Other tribes, such as the Dogon tribe of Mali, Africa, have also claimed they descend from people coming from the Sirius system.
Lurgan-La said that two expeditions had been sent to earth, the first more than 20,000 years ago, the second in 1014 AD. During the 1014 AD expedition, a few spaceships crashed; the survivors were unable to leave earth. The Dzopa were the direct descendants of those people.
Among the estate of Robin-Evans was a most remarkable photograph: the royal couple Hueypah-La en Veez-La. They measured only 1.20 and 1.07 meters tall, and their entire appearance could only be described as strange.
An important question was whether the "Dropa" and the "Dzopa" were one and the same tribe or different tribes. But Robin-Evans had apparently been aware that although "Dropa" was the most correct spelling, "Dzopa" or rather "Tsopa" was closer to the correct pronunciation of the word. He felt it would be better to write "Dzopa." (see also Agamon, Sungods in Exile).
Among the remaining problems: the dating of the stone discs, 12,000 years ago, did not coincide with the statements of the religious leader regarding 20,000 years ago and 1014 AD. Furthermore, the discs appeared to contain statements by non-Dropa tribesmen, describing the Dropa, but the stone discs were apparently written by the Dropa. Did some locals intermingle with the Dropa? Or was the information somewhat garbled? Though Hausdorf, Krassa and Robin-Evans have been unable to explain these contradictions, the future and more research might be able to shed new light on this intriguing case.
Hausdorf was able to prove the stone discs existed, and that the Dzopa tribe really existed. His next task is to find out whether their legend has come down accurately... and whether it might be true.
Hausdorf hopes he will receive permission to enter the Baian-Kara-Ula mountain range, searching for the Dzopa tribe. He looked into the latest (1982) list of recognized national minorities in China and learned that the Dzopa were not recognized as a minority in their home-province Qinghai. Might they therefore no longer exist? The list does specify that 880,000 people are not recognized as ethnic minorities. They make up 25 tribes.
Recently, however, the AP has reported that ethnologists in China have discovered the tribe; they still exist. Hartwig Hausdorf now hopes to contact them in May or June of this year.
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