Kembara Langit - A Journey Into Twilight

This blog is dedicated to the study, documentation as well as any possible analysis of what I consider to be the most intriguing things in life. UFO's; odd scientific/technological/philosophical break through; pondering on the super/preter-natural; tinkering on plausible conspiracies. The type of things that defies the limitations of science, stretch the very depths of our imagination and ultimately shows us that we basically know very little about this universe called LIFE. This blog is thus not meant to provide or pretend to provide definitive answers for anything.

February 14, 2009

Indonesian Ufology Timeline - Part 1 (1959 - 1967)

Back in November 2007, the BETA UFO community (by far one of the most reliable ufology group in Indonesia) published a book titled "A Decade of BETA UFO Community Indonesia - Tracking The UFO Phenomena". The book was written and compiled/edited by the group's Director - Nur Agustinus and BETA UFO's chief archivist - Gatot Tri R.
The 200 something pages book, written in Indonesian, is quite an interesting read. Other than just revealing the 'colorful' history of how BETA UFO first got formed, the book also highlighted some less known facets of the Indonesian ufology history. One of which, which is also my personal favorite, is the Indonesian ufology timeline featured on page 67 until 72, under the heading of '"Garis Waktu UFO Indonesia" .
Being a detail-minded freak I had honestly hoped that the timeline would've shown more detailed information than it was. Regardless, it is still an intriguing & commendable effort to track the development of ufology in Indonesia. Because of that I have decided to try translating it into English & added -whenever I could find it- more 'details' here n' there to make sure I don't just copy-paste other people's hard work (which is also why it ended up being a 2 part article). I have also tried to point out any possible details that might merit further researching should anyone care to do so. The result of this effort is as follows.

April 1959
Indonesian engineer - Kusudiarso Hadinoto visited the USAF Project Blue Book office at the Air Technical Intelligence Center (ATIC), Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton OH. The seemingly semi-official visit was made with the company of Let. Col. Soedjono, of the Indonesian Air Force (TNI-AU) [at the time, Soedjono was TNI-AU's official liaison officer at teh Indonesian embassy in wash. DC]. Both men were met by Project Blue Book's C.O. at the time - Maj. Robert B. Friend Jr. who gave them the opportunity to look at more than 5,000 UFO-related case files from the Project's archive. The Major also debriefed them about several evidence that supposedly came from UFO's and has since been proven as hoaxes.
The visit itself was made following the suggestion of TNI-AU's Let. Col. J. Salatun - the pioneer of Indonesian ufology. A foreword by Mr. Hadinoto on Salatun's seminal book about ufology, published about a year later, also revealed that the visit was made in connection to the writing of that particular book.

July 1959
A strange series of close encounters and sighting occured in the region of Alor & Pantar islands, In Indonesia's East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) province. The phenomena included an abduction of a local child by the name of Pangu, plus several amazing encounters between local islanders and a group of odd looking, reddish-skinned, silver-haired, blue-uniformed men as well as sighting of an oval shaped UFO prior to the disappearance of the "Men in Blue".
The story itself didn't get revealed until 17 years later when former Alor-Pantar regional police chief - Alwi Alnadad told the whole account to Indonesia's pioneering ufologist - J. Salatun.
It is interesting to note that the islanders, despite being quite traditional & reclusive, are actually not unaware of both foreigners as well as modern military uniform. {The confession given by the supposedly abducted child- Pangu, that his abductors were slightly taller than the German doctor who visited their village, and the fact that there has always been a Military territorial Command post (Kodam) in the vicinity of both islands are the facts I'm noting here.}

TNI AU's Let.Col. - J. Salatun published his seminal book on ufology titled "Menjingkap Rahasia Piring Terbang" (Unveiling the secret of Flying Saucer). The book was published in Jakarta by local publisher - Pustaka Rakyat, and set the milestone for being the first ever locally written ufology book, in Indonesia. The book featured a quite detailed recount of major UFO sightings/EBE encounters from USA & Europe, as well as local cases from all over Indonesia. In total, there are 23 local cases filed in the 350 pages book. Something else worth notifying about this book is the fact that it was formerly endorsed by Indonesia's Prime Minister at the time - Djuanda & TNI AU's Chief of Staff - Air Marshall S. Suryadarma. The book also received a special mention in the NICAP's "The UFO Evidence" report/book.

October 1960
Indonesia's National News Agency (ANTARA) reported a UFO sighting around the city of Makassar, South Sulawesi. The sightings reportedly happened about 3 times a day, from the end of September until early October. ANTARA also tried to interview officials from the city's Hassanuddin (called 'Mandai' back then) airport regarding the sightings but it is not known whether it yielded any plausible "explanation" or not. All in all, this is basically the 1st ever news coverage of a UFO case by Indonesia's national mainstream media.

November 1963
Indonesia's National Aerospace Agency (LAPAN) was officially formed under Presidential Decree No. 236. J. Salatun, the nation's ufology pioneer, was then appointed as the agency's first director. Under his leadership, LAPAN (at least for a while, as it seemed to be) was also designated as a place for gathering/reporting data about UFO sightings in Indonesia.

September 1964
UFO sightings, visible both to the naked eye as well as in radar visuals, are reported from the 18th to the 24th of September. The phenomena occured around the skies of 3 cities in the east Jawa province - Surabaya, Malang & Bangkalan. The sighting also provoked the Indonesian military to open fire at the UFOs, since the country was -at the time- in anticipation of an all out armed confrontation with Malaysia (which was backed-up by its main allies - U.K. & Australia). The situation actually became so serious that, by October, Second Deputy-Prime Minister J. Leimena had to issue an official statement urging people to stay calm and not to stir up any kind of gossips or speculations regarding the sightings. The whole account itself was first disclosed by J. Salatun in his 1982 book - "UFO, One of the World's Current Problem".
Furthermore, J. Salatun also made a comment about this incident which has now been circulating in various UFO sites "Quotable Quotes" as can bee seen (among others) in as well as in U.K's Prufos - police UFO database and The Ufo Evidence. The statement itself stressed that the incident was " of the most spectacular UFO incident in Indonesia..." as "...UFOs penetrated a well-defended area...for two weeks at a strecth, and each time were welcomed with perhaps the heaviest anti-aircraft barrage in history".
As an additional note, no known newspaper archive pertaining to this case has ever been found, although it is plausible that there must be some since it seemed to have stirred up such 'unrest' among the population that necessitated a formal statement from Mr. Leimena.

May 1967
TNI AU's ad interim Chief of Staff - Air Marshall Roesmin Nurjadin wrote a letter (dated 5/5/67) to one Yusake J. Matsumura, disclosing the Indonesian UFO phenomena. His official statement is that "UFOs sighted in Indonesia are identical with those sighted in other countries." He also added (seemingly in relation to the above mentioned incident) that "Sometimes they (the UFOs) pose a problem for our air defence and once we were obliged to fire on them." This statement can also be seen in the links to UFO sites above, although what I find very intriguing about the statement (that there are scarcely any mention about who Yusake J. Matsumura actually is) is not further corroborated on those links.

No comments:

Post a Comment