Dropa (also Dropas, Drok-pa
or Dzopa, Chinese: 杜立巴 ) is the name given to an alleged
race of dwarf-like extraterrestrials that landed
near the China-Tibet border approximately twelve
thousand years ago. There is no scholarly accepted
evidence that any such beings existed or any such
According to Chi Pu Tei (Chinese: 齊福泰); professor of
archeology at Beijing University, in 1938 he and his students were
on an expedition to explore a series of caves in the Bayan Kara Ula
range of the Himalayan mountains, near Qinghai region. The caves
appeared to have been artificially carved into a system of tunnels
and underground storerooms. The walls, it is said, were squared and
glazed, as if cut into the mountain with great heat.
The explorers are said to have found many neat rows of tombs with
short 138 cm skeletons buried within. The skeletons had abnormally
big heads, and small, thin, fragile bodies. A member of the team
suggested that these might be the remains of an unknown species of
Prof. Chi Pu Tei was said to respond,
"Who ever heard of apes burying one
There were no epitaphs at the graves,
but instead hundreds of 30 cm wide stone discs - referred to as
Dropa Stones - each with a 20 mm hole in their centers. Each
stone disk was said to be inscribed with two fine grooves spiraling
from the edge to a hole in the disk's center, resembling
the Phaistos Disk. The disks were
labeled along with other finds of the expedition and stored away at
Beijing University for 20 years, during which deciphering attempts
When the disks were closely examined by Dr. Tsum Um Nui of
Beijing around 1958, he concluded that each groove actually
consisted of a series of tiny hieroglyphs of unknown pattern and
origin. The rows of hieroglyphs were so small that a magnifying
glass was needed to see them clearly. Many of the hieroglyphics had
been worn away by erosion. When Dr. Tsum deciphered the symbols,
they told the story of the crash-landing of the Dropa spaceship and
the killing of most of the survivors by local people.
According to Tsum Um Nui, one of the lines of the hieroglyphs reads,
"The Dropas came down from the
clouds in their aircraft. Our men, women and children hid in the
caves ten times before sunrise. When at last they understood the
sign language of the Dropas, they realized that the newcomers
had peaceful intentions…"
Another section expresses "regret" by
the Ham that the aliens' craft had crash-landed in such a remote and
inaccessible mountain range and that there had been no way to build
a new one to enable the Dropas to return to their own planet.
"Tsum Um Nui" is not a real Chinese name and it has been suggested
it was either fictitious or was a Japanese name that was
transliterated into Chinese, though the syllable "Um" is not
phonologically possible in the Japanese language.
It is possible that the alleged Dropa Disks are in fact Bi
discs, a man-made artifact. Thousands of these have been found
throughout China, mostly in the Southeastern Provinces. Bi discs
range in size of a few inches to several feet, and are most commonly
made of jade or nephrite, with a round or square small central hole,
similar to the alleged Dropa Disks.
Most Bi discs date to the late Neolithic
Period (c. 3000 BCE), but are found up to the Shang Dynasty.
Bi discs from after the Shang Dynasty
are usually more ornate, carved with dragons, snakes and sometimes
fish, and were used in ritual ceremonies. Most Neolithic Bi discs
were found in gravesites, buried beneath the head or feet of the
deceased. It is theorized that this was to assist the deceased's
No Bi discs have been found to contain
writing or spiral grooves as described in the Dropa story by authors
such as Hartwig Hausdorf.
In 1974, Ernst Wegerer, who is an Austrian engineer, took
photographs of two disks that met the descriptions of the Dropa
Stones. He was on a touring the Banpo-Museum in Xian, when he
noticed the stone discs on display. His claim states that he saw a
hole in the center of both discs and hieroglyphs in partly crumbled
spiraling groves around them.
Wegerer asked the managers of Banpo-Museum for more information on
the pieces in the showcase. The manager knew nothing of the stones'
history, though she was able to tell a complete story about all the
other artifacts made from clay. She only knew that the stone discs
were unimportant "cult objects".
Wegerer was allegedly allowed to take one of the discs in his
hand. According to his estimates the discs weighed around 1 kilogram
(or 2 pounds) and the diameter at one foot. The hieroglyphs can't be
seen in his photos, because they have crumbled away partly, and his
camera's flash washed out the fine detail, such as the spiral
A few days after his visit, the manager was called away from her job
without telling her why. She and the two stone discs vanished,
according to Professor Wang Zhijun, the Director of the Banpo-Museum
in March of 1994.
"That river (Dalay river) goeth
through the land of Pigmies, where that the folk be of little
stature, that be but three span long (70 cm tall), and they be
right fair and gentle, after their quantities, both the men and
the women. And they marry them when they be half year of age and
get children. And they live not but six year or seven at the
most; and he that liveth eight year, men hold him there right
The Travels of Sir John
Mandeville, 1322 A.D. - an English travelogue known for its
occasional outlandishness, especially in discussing Cathay and
areas unknown to most Europeans).
A report tells about repeated
sightings of extremely dwarfish beings in Tibet and surrounding
Central Asia. 
World War II:
An Australian on duty with the
Allies in Central China during World War II, never stopped
talking about several encounters he had with a dwarfish tribe in
Central China, even up until his death. He said that they were
much smaller than the pygmies from Africa. African pygmies are
about 140 to 150 cm tall. This claim is from the Australian's
English scientist Dr. Karyl
Robin-Evans travelled to the "mysterious land of the Dzopa".
In Lhasa (Tibet), he met the 14th Dalai Lama. He was abandoned
by his Tibetan Sherpas, who were afraid of the Baian-Kara-Ula,
an area avoided by the local people because of some strange
inhabitant there. After great effort, he reached his
destination. There he found a few hundred dwarfish people, 120
cm in average, living in a remote valley in the mountains.
Robin-Evans snapped a photo of the Dzopa ruling couple Hueypah-La
(120 cm tall) and Veez-La (100 cm tall).
He stayed there for half a year, and
learned their language, history, and traditions. Lurgan-La, the
religious guardian of the Dzopa, told Dr. Robin-Evans that they
originally came from a planet in
the Sirius-system. About 20 000
years ago and again in the year 1014 two Dzopa exploration
missions traveled to earth. In 1014, they crashed in this
mountain area. Many of them died. Survivors could not leave the
"Dr. Robin-Evans" eventually
revealed to be an imaginary person from the hoax book Sungods
in Exile, published in 1978, by the book's "editor" David
In the province of Sichuan in
Central China, on the eastern border of the Baian-Kara-Ula
mountains, a pygmy village was discovered. 120 individuals,
ranging from 65 to 115 cm in height, live a self-sufficient
medieval life style. They were unfamiliar with any modern
technology. Some think their stunted height was caused by high
mercury in the soil. Others theorize that genetic configuration
is the cause. Chinese authorities do not deny the existence of
the "Village of the Dwarfs".
However the village is not open to
foreigners. It is located a few hundred kilometers east of
Bayan-Kara-Ula mountains, almost near the east spur, where the
provinces of Qinghai and Sichuan meet.
Critics have largely rejected the above claims, arguing they are a
combination of hoax and urban legend. For example, writer David
Richie notes that the Dropa tales intrigued Gordon Chreighton,
a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Society and Royal
Geographical Society. Upon investigation, Chreighton judged the
sensational Dropa-Extraterrestrial allegations to be "groundless,"
and detailed his findings in an article for Flying Saucer Review.
No traceable, credible evidence for the reality of the Dropa stones
exists or can be proven to have existed in the past. Proponents of
the story claim that this is the result of social disruption caused
by the Chinese Cultural Revolution and of a conspiratorial coverup
by Chinese authorities. However this story goes well beyond China.
Its opponents claim it is long proven to be a forgery by Erich
Below is a detailed rebuttal of most sensationalistic
There are no mentions of 'Tsum
Um Nui' (Chinese:楚聞明) anywhere; as he is supposed to have
fled China and died in Japan in the 1960s; this cannot be
negated by Cultural Revolution - Communist cover up theory.
Also, there is no mention of the 1938 archaeological
expedition to the Bayan Kara Ula range. No "Peking Academy
of Pre-History" ever existed.
The earliest mention of the
story is in Erich von Däniken's infamous 1968 book,
Chariots of the Gods. The book has been widely
criticized as unreliable; in fact, the vast majority of
names and sources appearing in the book cannot be
corroborated, and no existence of the following Soviet or
Chinese scholars can be found anywhere outside this story:
Chu Pu Tei
Tsum Um Nui
Most tellingly, Däniken gives
his main source for the story as a Soviet science fiction
writer Alexander Kazantsev; however Kazantsev himself
disagrees with Däniken's account and says that it was
Däniken who told him the story, not the other way around.
The 1978 book Sungods in
Exile "edited" by David Agamon, appeared to lend
support to the story of the Dropa, but Agamon admitted in
the magazine Fortean Times in 1988 that the book was
fiction, and that its alleged author, a British researcher
named Dr. Karyl Robin-Evans, was imaginary. Some
websites claim to show a photo of Dr Robin-Evans with the
Dalai Lama. A frail, old man assisted by the current Dalai
Lama, the photograph is quite recent and can not be Dr
Robin-Evans - who supposedly died in 1978, according to
There is absolutely no precedent
for a completely unknown language being successfully
deciphered. All lost ancient languages have been
rediscovered only because they survived in forms familiar to
scientists. Even in such cases, deciphering and
understanding these older language forms and their scripts
has usually taken decades for multiple teams of highly
competent linguists, and details of their findings are
constantly being reexamined and updated.
Many ancient scripts (notably
Linear A from the island of Crete and Rongorongo
from Easter Island), have defied deciphering precisely
because they cannot be linked to any known language. Given
these facts, there would be even greater difficulties in
translating a truly extraterrestrial language. It is
therefore highly unlikely that a single Chinese scholar with
no reported background in linguistics could single-handedly
decipher an alien script or language in his spare time.
All that exists of the supposed
alien disks are several wide-angle photographs. The disks
photographed, firstly, do not match the described "30 cm
disks"; the disks photographed are very large. Secondly, the
photos show none of the supposed deep grooves. Finally,
absolutely no photos, descriptions, analyses or any other
evidence of the actual 'alien script' appear anywhere at
The disks were supposedly stored
in several museums in China. None of these museums report
any traces of these disks, nor can any be found of those
supposedly sent to USSR for analysis.
The Dropa Tribe.
While reported to be a tribe of
feeble dwarfs, in actuality the Dropas are nomadic herders
who inhabit most of the northern Tibetan Plateau. The Ham
are also inhabitants of Tibet, and traditionally have
supplied Tibet's warriors: many of the 13th Dalai Lama's
bodyguards during his escape from the Chinese invasion were
The word "Dropa", according to
Creighton, describes the nomadic residents of Tibetan
highlands, and can be roughly translated as "solitude" or
"isolated". Furthermore, Creighton described the Dropa as
bearing no resemblance to "troglodytes", or as stunted; on
the contrary, they tend to be rather large and sturdy,
befitting their occupation as herders. (Richie, 95-96).
Agamon, David. Sungods in Exile.
Sudbury: Spearman, 1978.
Däniken, Erich von. Gods from
Outer Space. New York: Putnam, 1968.
Däniken, Erich von. Gold of the
Gods London: Souvenir Press, 1973.
Fitzpatrick-Matthews, Keith "The Dropa Stones (or Dzopa Stones)"
Hausdorf, Hartwig. The Chinese
Roswell Boca Raton: New Paradigm, 1998.
Definitive Guide to Unidentified Flying Objects and Related
Phenomena; Facts of File, 1994
UFO Files: The Chinese Roswell.
History Channel TV special, 30 June 2005.
Dropa - extraterrestrial in
The Dropa Stones - About.com -