For most people, the lesser Sunda islands in eastern Indonesia is probably better known for its two tourist magnets - Bali and Lombok. Few if any might know about the Alor archipelago, which is comprised of Alor and Pantar islands, at the easternmost end of the lesser Sunda cluster. Fewer still would probably know about the strange close encounter phenomenon that occurred in those islands, way back in 1959.
It took about 17 long years before the story itself was retold by the then retired Alor islands regional police chief – Alwi Alnadad, to Indonesia’s pioneering ufologist – R.J. Salatun. It has since then been documented in Salatun’s seminal book ’UFO,Salah Satu Masalah Dunia Masa Kini’ (UFO, One of The World's Current Problem) from which most of the following information is based upon.
Strangers in Blue
Somewhere in early July 1959, residents of Alor and Pantar islands begun their shocking discovery of a group of strange looking visitors on the islands. They were reportedly humanoid-looking beings, with an average height of 1,80 meters, who had reddish skin hue and silvery-white wavy hair. The visitors were also reported to be wearing a ‘peculiar’ attire that consisted of dark blue uniforms, with long sleeves and high collars, and black boots. They were also seen carrying grey metallic cylinders which were tugged in on their belts.
With such uncanny appearance, it was obvious that the strangers would attract attention and curiosity from the simple islanders. Unfortunately, the interaction that henceforth ensued between them were quite fearful (if not even violent) rather than just strange or bewildering…
In one event, one of the strange visitor was seen investigating something which prompted suspicious islanders to surround and attacked the entity with arrows. It turned out that the arrows couldn’t injure the visitor at all, who then escaped without a trace simply by jumping high over the heads of the surrounding islanders.
The strange visitors were also seen in the neighboring
Up Close and Personal
Erstwhile in the eastern part of Alor, a few islanders reported a much more up close interaction with the blue strangers. One such case was recounted by a villager, living to the east of the island’s capital, Kalabahi, who had an intriguing personal encounter with the visitors. The unsuspecting man found himself surrounded by a group of blue uniformed strangers, right after he had climbed an Enau tree. They were talking among themselves in a language unknown to the man, and had paralyzed him with one of the metallic cylinder that they carried on their belts. One of them later stepped forward and showed the man a clock-like gadget that amazed him, since it was able to show a scenery that was not only far from where they were but also blocked-off by dense forest and towering hills.
Elsewhere in the east of Kalabahi, a 6 years old child, by the name of Pangu, gave his account of an abduction, after he went missing for 24 hours. The child was first found in a confused state, in the middle of a field, before being able to tell the story. He later said that he was taken to the forest by a group of the strange blue-uniformed visitors. He also claimed to have undergone medical examinations while he was in the woods with the strangers and that they had, at one point, offered him to have any kind of food he wanted.
Pangu also recalled an interesting point about the visitors' height as being slightly taller than a German doctor that once visited his village.
Shooting Thin Air
Reports and stories of the strange visitors finally caught the attention of Regional Police Chief – Alwi Alnadad. Taking a group of policemen armed with Garrand riffles and Thompson machine guns, he then set out to investigate the site, east of Kalabahi, where the strangers supposedly appeared. There, Alwi and his men prepared an ambush.
Alas, at around , the strangers did appear and Alwi men’s fired their shots from a distance of about 13 meters. Strangely enough, they later found no traces of blood let alone a corpse on the scene. All that was left were bullet ridden trees and footprints that vanished after trailing for 5 meters.
Following the shooting incident, many residents on both Alor and
A Note On Sources
The strange EBE/UFO encounter and sighting in the Alor archipelago, as fascinating as it is, was never an easy ‘story’ to corroborate independently. Other than just the time factor, there is also the problem of supporting documents. To put it plain and simple, other than the account given personally and orally by Alwi Alnadad to J. Salatun, no police document/report was ever found. Nevertheless, there are some things that lend some credibility to the story.
First and foremost is the credibility of J. Salatun himself. The man is a historical figure in the Indonesian aviation as well as Air Force history. He has joined the ‘embryonic’ national air force since its conception in 1946, before ending his military career as a Vice Air-Marshall (Major General) of the Indonesian National Air Force (TNI-AU). He was also once a minister in the Indonesian 2nd Dwikora-cabinet (March-July 1966) and founder of the National Institute of Space and Aviation (LAPAN) in 1963. He was also the first person to wrote a serious book concerning UFO phenomena in Indonesia – “Menjingkap Rahasia Piring Terbang” (Revealing the Secret of Flying Saucer) back in 1960, when he was still an Air Force Colonel. A book that also received a special mention in the NICAP document, published in 1964.
Secondly is the sad yet historical fact that
Another point to note is that Salatun’s book that was printed in 1982 (it’s out of print now) would’ve otherwise been lost in oblivion if it weren’t for the keen & diligent effort to preserve it online, by a group of Indonesian UFO enthusiasts & researchers called BETA- UFO. In fact, the first online account of the Alor case in Wikipedia, was made by the group’s own Director - Nur Agustinus, who have also helped provide most of the documentary materials used in this writing. As brief as it was the Wiki account itself has managed to made its way into various UFO forums, including one in abovetopsecret.com/ATS (by the Alien & UFO forum's expert - Internos).
This article was first published in abovetopsecret.com, on 23/11/08. All drawings are artist's rendition from Kuncung magazine.
J.Salatun's 1982 boook (in pdf file)
TNI AU's official account of J.Salatun last rank
The Dwikora cabinet list of ministers
Indonesian aviation pioneers
LAPAN official website
NICAP's The UFO Evidence
BETA UFO website
Nur Agustinus's Wiki entry
Internos' post on ATS