Dropa stones are unverified circular stone discs, in China, that allegedly give evidence for extraterrestrials, according to a 1962 report published by a research team led by Professor Tsum Um Nui of the Peking Academy of Prehistory. The Chinese government is said to be in possession of them, but will not confirm their existence.


716 stones, dating back to 12,000 years ago, are claimed to have been excavated from a site in Baian-Kara-Ula, in the Bayan Har Mountains. The area has become known as “the Chinese Roswell”, which occurred some several thousand years ago. Their are preported hieroglyph-like markings on the stone discs that allegedly give evidence for extraterrestrials called the Dropa (possibly Greys, per what was noted about the glyph characters). The Dropa are said to be responsible for a dwarf society of people who reside near the supposed crash-landing site in China’s Qinhai Province.

1938 expeditionEdit

In 1937–38, an expedition led by Chi Pu Tei, an archaeologist with the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Peking (Beijing), was trying to find shelter in the Kunlun-Kette mountain chain. The team members entered a cave and found inscriptions on the walls. At the back of the cave they found several tombs, aligned in a row, containing strange-looking skeletons, each measuring 1.0 metre 20 centimetres in length and having an abnormally large skull. Buried with the skeletons were unusual stone discs, 716 in all, about 30 cm wide and 1.0 cm deep with a hole in the centre, each bearing strange hieroglyphs.

Dropa stonesEdit

It was determined that the stone discs are a known ingredient of Chinese culture and are called “Bi” discs. Although their origin is unknown, these Bi discs have been dated to as far back as 10,000 BCE—thus largely coinciding with the time-frame of the alleged crash.

Bi discs were normally made from jade or other precious materials and were regarded as status symbols. In the aftermath of war, the losers were required to hand over their discs as a sign of submission. Furthermore, it is known that the discs were used in burials. In aristocratic burials, the discs were normally placed above the head, below the feet and on the chest of the deceased. Interestingly, Bi discs were often considered to be “the Ear of Heaven”, and sometimes the hole in the disc was placed in front of the mouth so that the dead could speak to their ancestors. The story that stone discs with hieroglyphs were found in a tomb is therefore not only plausible but likely—considering, too, that Bi discs often carried inscriptions.

Disc languageEdit

When the discs were discovered in 1937–38, their inscriptions could not be read immediately. Only in 1962 did a team of specialists succeed in this task. The language in which the script was written had not yet been deciphered in 1937, or no one had paid sufficient attention to the inscriptions until 1962 when was someone able to identify the language in which the inscriptions were written.

Attempted coverupEdit

The Chinese Academy of Sciences tried to ban the publication of these findings, but eventually the story of the Dropa (or Dzopa) tribe and their stone discs was released—though never confirmed. There are several aspects to this story: the strange skeletons; the discovery of a little-known tribe of dwarf-like beings; the nature and whereabouts of the discs; and the decipherment of the inscriptions. The script was apparently only deciphered and the passages translated in the early 1960s by a team led by Professor Tsum Um Nui of the Peking Academy of Prehistory. He claimed that they describe the crash of an extraterrestrial spacecraft 12,000 years ago.

Here are a few lines from the translation: “The Dropa 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 Dropa, they realised the newcomers had peaceful intentions...”

Sungods in ExileEdit

In 1974, a tourist, Austrian engineer Ernst Wegerer, saw and photographed several discs in the Banpo Museum in Xian, in Shensi Province. It raised awareness of the reportedly discovered Dropa stones in Baian-Kara-Ula, and whether the Bi discs are actual examples of the ones found in the mountain cave during the 1937–38 expedition.

Many people incorrectly believe that the story of the Dropa tribe was first aired in a 1978 book titled Sungods in Exile, edited by David Agamon. This book details the 1947 expedition of the English scientist Dr Karyl Robin-Evans, who supposedly reached the Baian-Kara-Ula mountains and made contact with the Dropa. According to the book, the tribe comprised several hundred members, all dwarfish in appearance and four feet (1.22 metres) tall on average. Dr Robin-Evans stayed there for half a year, learned the Dropa’s language and was introduced to the history and traditions of the dwarfish beings, who told him that their ancestors had come from Sirius, of all places.

It is now known that the book was largely science fiction dressed up as non-fiction, but many people had already decided that the Dropa story was bogus—especially those who erroneously) argue that the book was the first to mention the “ridiculous” story.

It would seem that Sungods in Exile either was meant to cash in on stories about the Dropa that were in circulation for a few years before it was published, or it was meant to discredit the story. China, a communist nation, officially discouraged all things Chinese, at the time, from the Western world.

Debate reopenedEdit

In the mid-1990s, German author and tour guide Hartwig Hausdorf reignited the debate as to whether aliens had crash-landed a craft in the remote mountainous region of Baian-Kara-Ula, in China’s Qinhai Province. Hausdorf had been on the track of the Dropa since at least the early 1990s, and considered whether in recent years the Dropa’s descendants might have abandoned the mountains and settled in the nearby lowlands— and thus, they were “discovered” in 1995.

Dropa discoveredEdit

In November 1995, the existence of the Dropa—or a tribe like them—had been confirmed by the Associated Press (AP). It stated that some 120 “dwarfish beings” had been discovered in Sichuan Province, in a so-called “Village of the Dwarfs”. (Some sceptics cast doubt on the AP account, though it is easily verifiable. On 9 November 1995, the German publication Bild ran a report titled “Das Dorf der Zwerge – Umweltgifte schuld?” [“The Village of the Dwarfs – environmental pollution to blame?”] about the discovery.) The tallest adult in this village was three foot 10 inches (1.0 m 15 cm) tall; the smallest was two foot one inch (63.5 cm). The location of the village is only a few hundred kilometres from the Baian-Kara-Ula mountain range. However, despite China’s becoming more open, this entire area including the village remains off limits to foreigners.

Tribe dwarfismEdit

According to the 1933 report, there were dwarfish people living in that region. A report in Bild, 27 January 1997, a Chinese ethnologist claimed that the tribe’s dwarfism was due to a high concentration of mercury in the soil, which had poisoned their drinking water for several generations. The claim did not go unchallenged, however. Dr Norbert Felgenhauer of the Munich Institute for Toxicology argued that this theory is nonsense. He stated that such poisoning would result in immediate death, not stunted growth, and introduced as evidence the case of the Japanese town of Minamata, where in the 1960s many inhabitants died from mercury poisoning. He also noted that mercury was unable to change human DNA and hence could not be held responsible for causing an hereditary trait—one that was clearly apparent in this tribe.

Truth from fictionEdit

The hoax of Sungods in Exile was the preported 1947 expedition that never occured, but told of all the nonfictional counterparts, such as the dwarfish people in the Baian-Kara-Ula.

The Berlin-based historian Dr Jörg Dendl was able to trace the first mention of the Dropa story to 1962, when a monthly magazine for vegetarians, Das vegetarische Universum ( “The Vegetarian Universe”), published an article titled “UFOs in Prehistory?” in its July edition. Although Dr Dendl had not been able to find the original Chinese or Japanese source, it is clear that the story is much older than 1978.

Dr Dendl also found a 1933 clipping about a Chinese confrontation with dwarflike beings. Though some might argue that the location was in “Tibet”, at that time Baian-Kara-Ula was mistakenly labelled as being part of Tibet. The article relates how a woman, only 1 m 20 cm tall, was seen being escorted by Chinese soldiers and that she and her group were being held as slaves. There was also a statement that they were cannibals, but this might merely have been an excuse to cover for their inhumane treatment.


1962 is the year that the earliest known reference to the story appeared—found by Dr Dendl in a German magazine—and it would suggest that something happened in 1962 that made a Chinese or Japanese source report on it.

The 1962 Chinese team of five scientists, managed to decipher the inscriptions on the Dropa stones. The decipherment of the script on the stone discs suggest that at the very least these “genetically bizarre” beings believed they were descendants of aliens. Despite the claims made in the translation, the Peking Academy of Prehistory, led by Professor Tsum Um Nui eventually published their findings.

When the professor published his paper, the media picked it up creating a controversy; It ended up in the German magazine “The Vegetarian Universe”. Professor Tsum Um Nui emigrated to Japan where he died shortly afterwards. Though little is known about what happened thereafter, Hausdorf underlines that, in 1966, the Cultural Revolution began—and, as with all such revolutions, much was lost forever.

Disc compositionEdit

The 1978 Sungods in Exile "hoax" is now clearly nothing more than a footnote in the story, largely responsible for popularising the entire saga but definitely not for creating or inventing it out of thin air. The 1962 article also discusses some technical details of the discs, underlining the potential factual nature of the story. It notes that the discs were composed of cobalt, iron and nickel—the only metals to produce a magnetic field. Nickel is found largely in Canada and Central Africa, but in recent years it has been found in China, in the general area where the discs were located.

For Hausdorf, this is a further indication that the story is factual, for this find post-dates the discovery of the discs—and the 1962 article. In short, what in 1962 was unlikely and improbable has now been confirmed.

New expeditionEdit

Baian-Kara-Ula remains one of China’s most remote regions. Its mountains reach as high as 5,000 metres and descend to 2,000 metres. Despite the altitude, summers can be pleasantly warm in this region. A new expedition is proposed to be under way, largely as an initiative of Chinese media empires; its main sponsor being the China Daily newspaper.


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