BEIJING, Dec. 6, 2005-- Authorities in Guiyang, capital of Guizhou Province, announced yesterday that they had received 160 million yuan (US$20 million) from a Taiwan-based company to construct a UFO research base.
Some people in the city's Baiyun District believe they were visited by aliens in 1994, and with this new research base, they hope to reproduce the mysterious moment, through photos and historical documentation.
On November 30, 1994, more than 27 hectares of masson pines in a forest farm in the district mysteriously fell down. However, nearby plastic shelters stood intact.
An adjacent truck factory reported similar enigmas: steel pipes were strangely broken; a huge truck was found more than 20 metres away from its original place; an employee on the night shift said he had been pulled up in the air by an "unknown" force.
While some thought it was UFOs that did all these strange things, scientists said after a field trip that thunder, lightning and tornados were the probable causes.
Wang Fangchen, a biologist who visited the site right after the event, said the city's plan to build a UFO research base is "ridiculous."
"Where do they recruit scientists for the research?" he asked, before adding: "I won't oppose it if they just want to promote local tourism through the programme."
Li Jing, a senior astronomer with the National Astronomical Observatories, echoed the view.
Li said China does not have an official UFO research institute because "it needs scientists of various disciplines."
"It can be an atmospheric phenomenon, or a biological issue, or a physical reaction," Li said.
"People often mistake planes, clouds and insects, as well as strange shadows on photographs, as being UFOs," said Zhou Xiaoqiang, secretary-general with the Beijing UFO Research Association.
"If aliens really came, they would more likely appear before our eyes politely than hide themselves."