In the Iwase Bunko Depository library there lies a document called Hyouryuukishuu which is translated as ‘Tales of Castaways’. This document dates back to at least 1803 and what it contains has rocked the UFO community.

The document records stories from Japanese fishermen who told tales of becoming lost at sea and finding themselves in strange, new lands. One story is different.

The story takes place on February 22 in the spring of 1803, near the village of Harashagahama, something strange was washed up onto the shore. the strange craft measuring 3m tall and 5m wide was made from red sandalwood and metal. It also had openings made of glass or crystal.

This created a stir in the village and people rushed down to see the unusual object. This object became known as Utsuro Bune (“Hollow ship”).

Inside the craft, the people saw strange writing in a language and style unknown to any of them. But it was something else that stunned them.

In the craft sat a delicate young lady. She had a pale face with red eyebrows and hair. The people estimated her age to be around 18 – 20 years old.

When she spoke, she spoke in a unfamiliar language and in her arms she held a timber box about 60cm in length. To the people, it appeared as though the box was very special to the young woman and she did not allow people to touch it.

Around this time a number of drawings were made depicting the craft and the woman. These are described in the UFO community as some of the earliest known drawings of UFO’s.

There were two books published early on regarding this incident. One book is Toen Shousetsu, published in 1825 and the other book is Ume no Chiri, published in 1844. Both books predate ‘modern’ UFO sightings.

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