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Taiwanese firm to open UFO research base

Probing tree-felling alien visitation claims

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

An unnamed Taiwanese company is to build a UFO research facility in China's Guizhou Province.

The plan, reported by the Chinese-language China Daily, follows - albeit slowly - claims made more than ten years ago by locals who said they were visited by tree-felling aliens.

According to the paper, on 30 November 2004 some 27 hectares of pines were flattened on a farm in the Baiyun District of Guiyang, Guizhou's capital city. On the same night, steel pipes were broken at a nearby truck factory, and a vehicle apparently tossed a distance of 20 metres. A night-shift worker claimed to have been thrown up into the air by what he described as "an unknown force".

Or a tornado, which is what the scientists who investigated the claims later pronounced the cause of the damage to be. Thunder and lightning - no doubt, very, very frightening - also played a part, they said.

Still, the Taiwan-based business has nonetheless contributed CNY160m ($19.8m) to the city to establish a centre to research and document the night's events.

Scientists remain skeptical, the paper claims, citing Wang Fangchen, a biologist who visited the site right after the event, who said the scheme was "ridiculous".

Even local UFOlogists seem unsure that the events of 30 November 2004 had an extraterrestrial origin. "If aliens really came, they would more likely appear before our eyes politely than hide themselves," said Zhou Xiaoqiang, the Beijing UFO Research Association's secretary general.

"People often mistake planes, clouds and insects, as well as strange shadows on photographs, as being UFOs," he added. ®

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