Have you heard of utsuro bune? No, I don’t mean the metal band. Utsuro bune was one of the first modern UFO sightings, and it happened way back in the Edo period in Japan. A lot of people believe that utsuro bune is definitive proof that we aren’t alone in the universe, but I’m a little more skeptical. Let’s go all Mulder and Scully on this thing and find out what utsuro bune is all about.
Tales Of Castaways
In a book repository in Japan, there’s a document dating back to the 1800s called “Tales of Castaways.” In it, there’s a strange story about utsurso bune, or “hollow ship.” It describes an incident in which a 3 meter by 5 meter round, metal ship with crystal windows washed up onto a Japanese beach in modern day Ibaraki prefecture.
Inside the ship was writing in a language the Japanese had never seen before.
You can see some of the writing in the top right
A pale, redheaded woman was inside the ship, clutching a wooden box close to her. When she spoke, it was in a language that no Japanese person had ever heard before. What language was she speaking? Where did she come from? What was in the box? Nobody knows for sure. What makes things even weirder is that this same woman and craft were reported to have visited many different parts of Japan. People from all over Japan described having seen the exact same woman in the exact same ship, still tightly holding her wooden box
What was so important about the box, though? What was in it? Some people say that it had the head of her lover in it, and the reason she was in this UFO-boat in the first place is because of some scandal in her home-country (one person says China). The box, however, “wasn’t the type of box traditionally used for severed heads.” I don’t know what kind of box you’re supposed to use (no experience in heads myself… boxes for severed arms and legs is another thing, though) but the stories about the severed head came well after the original documents, and seem to be speculation. Seriously. OPEN THE BOX.
As for what happened to the lady afterwards seems to be unknown. Maybe she got back in her UFO and drifted off again. I don’t know why all these guys didn’t open her box, not that that’d be the nice thing to do, but still… curiosity is a strong thing. Also, if she didn’t float off again (which it sounds like she might have, she did apparently show up in a few different places) what happened to the Utsurobune? I guess the world will never know…
UFO Encounter Or Made Up Story?
“What are those naked dudes doing outside my ride? Nobody’s touching my box until they put some clothes on…”
To me, this all sounds like something out of a Junji Ito comic. It’s supernatural, creepy, and kind of incredible. But real? Hard to say. A lot of UFO fanatics get excited about usturo bune for a few reasons: the design of the ship is really similar to other descriptions of UFOs, and it happened in Japan in the 1800s – a time before modern UFO stories and a place not known for its UFO sightings.
But a lot of people doubt the credibility of these stories. The tale of utsuro bune comes from a collection of fishermen stories. Fishermen have been known to exaggerate their stories, like the size of their catch, so who knows if “Tales of Castaways” is accurate.
On the other hand, UFO enthusiasts might tell you that this particular story is plausible. The Bermuda Triangle’s sister, the Dragon’s Triangle (also known as the Devil’s Triangle), is a “danger zone” in the sea off the Southern coast of Japan. A large amount of boats have gone missing there along with 800+ people, never to be seen again. Some people believe that both the Bermuda and Dragon’s Triangle are actually where aliens have set up underwater bases (because it’s tough for us to find them there). Boats that make their way into alien territory aren’t guaranteed to make it through. Some would say that the Utsuro bune came from this “Dragon’s Triangle.” Who really knows, though?
If nothing else, utsuro bune makes an interesting story, even if it is a complete hoax. I like to think of utsuro bune more as a cool myth like Momotaro instead of fact.
Visiting The UFO Site
In Hokota City, Ibaraki Prefecture you can visit a park that “commemorates” the whole Utsuro bune thing. There’s an artist’s rendering of the UFO (by artist, I mean someone who designs things for kids to play on), and you can go inside and check it out. I wish America was still allowed to have UFO play structures (not to mention swings, teeter totters, and anything higher than 2 feet).
I’d suggest going to a 7/11 or some other conbini and getting some picnic food then hanging out. Looks like a cool beach, plus you could probably eat inside the UFO. If you’re really lucky, you may even see something floating to the shore… if the alien/person who comes out has a box, be sure to pop them in the face Will Smith / Independence Day style and snatch it away to see what’s inside (then let us know what you found).
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