In what must be ranked as one of the weirdest UFO flaps in modern history, citizens of the Southeast Asian nation of Malaysia were besieged by a plethora of miniature flying saucers occupied by even more diminutive, tunic clad, antenna bearing occupants who were armed with searing ray-guns!
Covering an area of over 127,300 miles, Malaysia is a country that occupies two regions. The first borders Thailand on the Peninsular Malaysia and is separated from its sister country -- Malaysian Borneo -- by the South China Sea. The country has a rich tradition of legends and folklore, but few are as intriguing as the bizarre ufological phenomenon, which plagued this nation during the 1970s and into the 1980s.
In one of my previous articles for Mysterious Universe: “Close Encounters of the Weird Kind,” I reported on all sorts of strange run-ins that people have claimed to have had with some of the wackiest aliens ever chronicled. These odd visitors ranged from elephant-skinned robots to steel-toothed assailants to giant space brains, but between 1969 and 1985, Malaysia played host to an utterly unique breed of alien invader, which I‘ve hastily dubbed: “micro-terrestrials.”
These micro-terrestrials were said to be clad in one piece suits or gaudily decorated tunics and purportedly stood between 3 and 6-inches in height (though there have been encounters with beings that measured a mere 1-inch high.)
Some reportedly had bigger heads and larger, more rounded eyes than average human beings, and most were said to be armed with what the witnesses described as “ray-guns.”
Intriguingly, the 3-inch humanoids were specifically said to have two antenna-like structures protruding from the heads and in almost every case they were accompanied by -- what, at least to human eyes, must have seemed to have been -- miniature flying saucers, measuring no more than 3-feet in diameter. Even more disturbing was the fact that the nexus of their presumably nefarious activities tended to be schoolyards!
The first reported case of a micro-terrestrial encounter in Malaysia occurred in Johor Bahru, the densely populated capital city of Johor, on July 2nd, 1969. In a scene which must have been evocative of the 1994, Ariel School Aliens encounter in Ruwa, Zimbabwe -- four schoolboys ran into their headmaster’s office and excitedly informed him that they had just seen a tiny silver UFO (reportedly no larger than a dinner plate) on school property.
Even more astoundingly they claimed to have seen five, 6-inch tall humanoid figures in red uniforms emerge from the craft. According to the boys, the moment these creatures noticed the growing audience they scuttled out of sight down a nearby hole as their flying saucer seemed to vanish into thin air.
Of course, it wasn’t long before word of these doll-sized, crimson clad creatures spread throughout the school. In no time both students and teachers were scouring the vicinity in search of the enigmatic entities and their miniscule vehicle. Sadly, the search turned up nothing more than a small patch of burnt grass where, presumably, the UFO landed.
The second significant encounter with these lil’ folk -- and the first known report of these creatures being armed -- occurred on August 19th, 1970, near the playground of the Stowell Primary School in Bukit Mertajam. Eyewitnesses claimed that they saw five, 3-inch tall humanoids march in a military fashion down the gangplank of a miniature flying saucer into the schoolyard.
Four of the beings wore identical blue uniforms while the fifth, who carried himself with the aura of one who seemed to be in charge, wore a bright yellow tunic decorated with stars and had a pair of "horns" or antennas on his head. A first the unusual entities seemed to ignore the onlookers and proceeded to climb a nearby tree where they erected an "aerial-like device" in its branches. The purpose of this device or even if it was recovered were facts that remain frustratingly unrecorded.
In no time a cluster of six boys advanced on the unexpected guests. The bravest of the bunch, one K. Wigneswaran, made a grab for the garishly clothed leader, but the alien astronauts were quick to defend themselves and wasted no time in drawing their "tiny laser pistols" and opening fire on the inquisitive children. The kids scattered in a panic and once the hubbub died down Wigneswaran would discover a scar on his thigh where he had been hit by the laser pistol.
This case would come to be indicative of a wave of encounters -- wherein a curious kid would try and capture one of the "spacemen" resulting in said spaceman defending itself vigorously -- which would quickly spread throughout Malaysia in the coming years.
It’s worth noting that in most of these cases there is a disturbing lack of specific names, dates and places on which to base further research. This is likely due to the fact that the primary source of these sightings is one Ahmad Jamaludin, who published his report on these strange occurrences in the November, 1979 edition of the MUFON UFO Journal, No. 141.
Jamaludin claimed that the facts in these cases are so scarce due to his inability to contact the primarily youthful witnesses: “The following alleged encounters, the full stories of which are incomplete since the principle witnesses cannot be located, are listed below.”
One must presume that Jamaludin has access to at least some additional information, but for reasons of brevity chose not to include them in his overview. Be that as it may, assuming these cases are true, they represent one of the most fascinating ufological flaps in history and one that, according to Jamaludin, was distinctly Malaysian:
“While other countries have been experiencing close encounters with humanoids of diversified forms, I would like to draw attention to the reports in Malaysia where humanoid encounters have been confined to only one type -- tiny entities measuring from 3 inches to 6 inches in height. Though reports of the other UFO categories bear similarity to the global sightings, encounters with humanoids in Malaysia on the record so far are in a class of their own. There has not been a single reported incident of encounters with UFO occupants measuring taller than 6 inches in height. It is also to be noted that there has not been a single case of a UFO measuring greater than 3 feet in diameter landing on Malaysian soil. These observations constitute a puzzle, and if any explanations can be given it is hoped that some relationship with the global UFO landings may give a clue to the UFO phenomena.”
Things appeared to calm down after the initial Johor encounter, but in 1973 it must have seemed as if the entire country were about to be invaded by a mini-intergalactic armada.
The first big encounter of 1973 occurred in transit town in Pahang, which is located near the state capitol of Kuantan. The alleged aliens continued their alarming trend of landing on school grounds and this time would be seen not only by two students, but also a teacher!
Two young men would later insist that they had come into contact with a pair of 3-inch tall, humanoid creatures, one of which they managed to capture. The commotion these lads made over their quarry was so profound that a teacher walked over to see what all the fuss was about. According to the official report, said teacher saw this odd entity immediately before it made its escape.
That same year, a bunch of school children claimed that a puny UFO carrying undersized humanoids landed in a nearby field. Several kids hysterically called for their teachers, but the adults missed the craft’s swift ascension by mere seconds.
The second report of one of these creatures being armed also came in 1973. The event began innocently enough with a group of boys playing soccer in a school field in Bukit Mertajam, the capital of Central Seberang Perai.
They young men testified that they watched in astonishment as a small UFO landed adjacent to the field in which they were playing. The boys quickly abandoned their game and ran over to inspect this curious interloper.
The youngsters claimed that a group of “tiny creatures” emerged from the object and -- as in the Pahang case -- an effort was made to capture the miniscule men. But, unlike the briefly incarcerated creature of Pahang, these small beings were apparently in no mood to be manhandled.
According to the kids' tale, a “beam of light” was fired at the hand of the boy who lunged for the aliens. Information regarding what sort of mysterious device fired the “beam” and what (if any) damage was done has, unfortunately, been lost to time. Understandably, the UFO and it occupants took off within seconds of the alleged attack.
The next 1973 event happened in the city Miri, which is located in northern Sarawak, on the Malaysian portion of the island of Borneo. Intriguingly this is the first case that did not hail from the Peninsular Malaysia. Again a group of boys claimed to have spied a humanoid, approximately 6-inches in height and clad in a “white suit.” Intriguingly, they further claimed that the creature was cutting through a "wire fence" using an apparatus that emitted an “intense beam of light.”
Perhaps this was the same device that the previous aliens used to defend themselves against their gargantuan human assailants, but there is no information as to what transpired next. It should also be noted that no UFO was spotted at the scene.
The next encounter of that auspicious year also took place in Miri, Sarawak, but this account diverges from the rest in that it did not take place at a school and it involved more creatures and eyewitnesses than the usual encounter. The event began as several people -- presumably children and adults -- where frolicking on the sun drenched tropical shoreline. It was then that they stumbled across “a group of tiny beings wearing white suits.”
The eyewitnesses claimed that there were at least six or seven humanoids. They further stated that the entities wore no masks and resembled humans in every way except for their tiny size, although they did not specify any ethnic affiliation. As if these additional details weren’t tantalizing enough, this report is the first to state that the group of micro-terrestrials included both male and female members.
The females were notable for their longer hair and (presumably) other gender specific attributes. This encounter, much like the previous one, did not include a UFO sighting, but it is difficult not to assume that there is at least some tenuous connection between the tiny beings seen on the island of Borneo and those on the Peninsular Malaysia.
Sometime in 1975 or 1976, the New Straits Times of Kuala Lumpur published a report entitled: "Believe it or Not." This account detailed a bizarre of a tiny UFO -- and it's even tinier 3-inch occupant -- which allegedly touched ground at a Royal Malaysian Air Force Base located approximately 9-miles outside of the town of Kuantan. A translated excerpt from the article follows:
"Kuantan, Thursday – A 3-inch-tall creature said to resemble a human being, has become the talk of the RMAF base here since its reported sighting, by a schoolboy two days ago. The story has also spread to the town.
Paul Lazario, 9, a pupil of the RMAF Primary School said he saw the creature two days ago near a drain at the RMAF field. It was stopping to drink water, he added. ‘I caught it but it escaped from my grip and ran into some undergrowth near the drain,’ he said.
'It had two feelers on the head and held a steel-like rod in its hand. A pistol was hanging from its waist. It was brown in colour and looked like a man,’ he added.
Paul said he related the incident to his friends and in the evening three of them went to the spot near the field. And according to schoolboy, Neo Lee Ann, 12, all three saw the creature moving about on the area. ‘When it saw us, it ran into the undergrowth and disappeared’ he said.
A teacher of the school, Mr. Yew Kim Guan, said when he heard the story he went to investigate. ‘There was no sign of the creature in the area, but I saw a Red Indian-like wigwam beautifully weaved out of grass. It was partly crushed."
The final major case in this first decade long flap occurred 6 years later in 1979, in same locale that the 1973 wave started, Bukit Mertajam. Apparently a small flying saucer landed in a field and when a group of youngsters approached they were flabbergasted to see a 3-inch tall creature emerge from the UFO.
As is evidently the trend with the fearless (or foolhardy) young men of Malaysia, an attempt was made by one of the boys on hand to capture the creature from outer space, but -- much like in the first Bukit Mertajam case -- the armed alien fired a “beam that temporarily paralyzed his right arm.” The reports conclude with the unexplained visitor from out of this world making its escape.
According to Jamaludin, there were seven reported landings in Malaysia between 1969 and 1979. He mentioned that all but two of the encounters took place during the day and described the similarities between the encounters in his official report:
“The creatures measured, in all cases, either 3 inches or 6 inches tall. All were equipped with a type of ray gun. They were described as well dressed in one-piece suits. Some had slightly larger head and round eyes. The 3-inch humanoids sometimes had two antenna-like structures protruding from the head. Case 1,2,3,4 and 7 occurred in West Malaysia, all reported by schoolchildren and all landings took place in school premises.”
Jamaludin even chronicled a 2-foot wide UFO encounter that happened near Kulim that resulted in yet another “attack” by these little extraterrestrials, but not a "humanoid" sighting:
“There were 3 more probable encounters with tiny humanoids in Malaysia, but unfortunately the origin of the incidents cannot be traced. One recent case, a probable landing, occurred on May 26, 1979, near Kulim where the witnesses, 3 boys and 2 adults, claimed to have sighted a small UFO hovering a few feet above the ground perhaps in an attempt to land since its three landing gears were already down. As the witnesses tried to touch the object an intense light ray shone into their eyes which temporarily blinded them. This shows that the small UFO was intelligently controlled from inside. Considering its small size, estimated about 2 feet in diameter, the UFO occupants if any inside would have to measure about 3 inches tall to fit comfortably in the object.”
Jamaludin would also go on to suggest the reason that he believes these creatures tend to focus on schoolyards has less to do with children and more with the open fields near the school’s themselves:
“From the air, Malaysia offers half a dozen types of landing grounds, namely jungles, rubber and oil palm plantations, rice fields, tin mining areas, and football fields. For a landing the thick jungles and rubber plantations do not offer enough clearance. Rice fields and tin-mining areas are almost isolated, and if there were any landings, most would go unnoticed (considering also the small size of the UFO). The only landing spot that would attract attention in the event of a landing would be a field.”
While the “official” flap ended in 1979, 1985 would prove to be a renaissance of sorts for the Malaysian micro-terrestrial. The first event occurred in Paka, Terengganu, in October of 1985. Much like in the previous cases, a group of school kids claimed to have encountered no less than seven “human-like entities” hiding beneath a stack of wood near their school.
The youthful witnesses described the beings as about 4-inches in height and further speculated that the party consisted of six men and one woman. It goes without saying that one of the children lunged out and managed to touch one the beings, but unlike those who were struck by some sort of beam-like weapon, this youngster claimed that his hand suddenly became “itchy.”
The “aliens” then disappeared into their lumber covered hiding spot. According to the reports, numerous folks dedicated hours to removing the wood piece by piece in the hopes of reacquiring these stealthy visitors, but there efforts were for naught.
The next event occurred at about 8.30 am. in December of that same year. Khairuddin Eidin -- a 26 year-old bicyclist from Karak, Pahang -- claimed that he spied an “umbrella” shaped UFO flying approximately 30-feet away from him. He described the object as “metallic” and “shiny.” Several other eyewitnesses also claimed to see the object rotate and ascend out of sight. As prolific as the Malaysian reports would be, they weren't the only people claiming to encounter flight capable "wee folk."
In his book “UFOs Over California,” Preston Dennett claimed that there were two encounters in California with UFOs that were described as being the size of a “baseball.” These run-ins occurred in 1958 and 1976 respectively, and in the latter case eyewitnesses claimed to have seen three “things” inside the ball-like craft. It has to be assumed that these being were even smaller than 3-inches, if they were able to comfortably traverse the universe -- or even inter-dimensionally -- in such a minute vehicle.
Speaking of minute mysteries, one would be remiss not to include the incredible case of the on the tiny humanoid that was allegedly discovered alive in Chile.
According to this fascinating report, on October 1st, 2002 -- while vacationing in the Southern Chilean city of Concepción -- young Julio Carreño and his family discovered a strange-looking creature lurking around in some dense foliage.
The humanoid being measured out to be 7.2 centimeters long (approximately 3-inches) and bore a relatively large head, two arms with unnaturally long fingers and two, apparently bipedal, legs.
Julio managed to capture the creature and wrapped it in a piece of paper. The family claimed that this aberration of nature survived for over a week and even managed to open its eyes before succumbing.
It wasn’t long before this curious carcass became a media sensation and scientists from across the globe have debated the origins of this little guy, with some speculating that it might be a fetus from a known animal such as a mouse, possum or wild cat. Others, however, are not so sure.
There are some who believe that the Chile humanoid may represent an unknown species of primate, while others of a more eccentric bent presume the remains to be those of an alien that did not manage to survive the ordeals of the Chilean jungle.
While Asians, North and South Americans have all claimed to have had encounters with various breeds of teensy space invaders, it should be noted that there have been a handful of unusual mini-humanoid sightings, one in particular, which seemed to end on a particularly sour note for the ostensibly alien visitor.
In 2009, in Lahore, Pakistan, a 4-inch human-like alien was allegedly found alive in the debris of an old store that was being rebuilt. The creature flopped around in a fish-like manner and local children threw stones at it, assuming that it was a dangerous animal. Eventually the creature was captured by locals who -- one can only hope -- accidentally killed it when trying to secure it inside a bottle.
News of the strange cadaver swiftly spread through the town and witnesses gathered to see the little body, which -- according to the report -- shriveled and burned in the searing Lahore sun (or by placing it on hot rocks, depending on which report you read.) Clips of the odd body and the Pakistani news report are on YouTube.
The locals claimed that they wanted the corpse to be examined by “medical” officials. Whether or not that has transpired is unknown, but I’ve got to admit that it looks like a bit of a cob job on a plastic toy to me, but, then again, you never know.
So what should one make of this strange phenomenon? Does it just prove that aliens really do come in all shapes and sizes or are we dealing with hyper-futuristic time travelers who, for reasons incomprehensible to us, must shrink themselves in order to make the arduous journey?
Are these just the small scout ships for a grand -- albeit relatively tiny -- alien armada, hellbent on the enslavement of humanity or are they merely mild mannered explorers who can't understand why these strange giants are constantly attacking them?
Or, when all is said and done, is all of this merely a schoolboy prank that spread like out of control wildfire with copycat reports popping up all across Malaysia?
According to Jamaludin, the primary investigator of this phenomenon, skeptics should give these young witnesses the benefit of the doubt. He also indicated that if these encounters are genuine, they represent just the tip of a colossal, mysterious, iceberg:
"At the time of writing I have documented 24 cases: about 50 percent of the tiny entities were sighted with their little UFOs, and the remainder without the UFOs. If we reject these claims as hallucination or hoaxes, then I can close shop with this UFO business since there is nothing to report of significance. If we were to accept that the young witnesses were reporting what they actually saw, then we have a very important clue to work with."
Either way it's hard not to speculate that a great number of UFO sightings may well go unreported due to the fact that sky watchers are generally on the lookout for colossal mother ships rather than model-sized vehicles. Whatever the answer to this fascinating enigma may be, there are few who would argue that micro-terrestrial reports -- be they cosmic or Earthbound -- represent a fascinating and perplexing puzzle for ufologists and fortean investigators worldwide.