In the winter of 1975, two grade-school boys had a shocking face to face confrontation with a pair of small, wrinkled, triple fanged ufonauts that immediately propelled the distraught adolescents squarely into the eye of a media maelstrom.
Sometime before 7 pm., on the evening of February 23rd , 1975, two 7-year old boys — Masato Kawano and Katsuhiro Yamahata — were roller skating near the Hinode Housing Estate in Kamimachi, Kofu City, when they noticed a pair of “glittering” orange UFOs cavorting in the sky above them.
The enthralled boys stared in astonishment as the larger of the two objects broke off and flew northwest toward Mt. Atago, while the smaller craft slowly descended to the ground, landing amongst the props of a vineyard located behind the Estate.
The boys later confirmed that, despite the distance, the descending aerial anomaly could be heard emitting an odd series of crackling or “ticking” sounds, not unlike that of a Geiger counter.
It goes without saying that the curious youngsters wasted no time in removing their skates and charging into the vineyard in order to get a better look at this now earthbound object. As the courageous (and perhaps a wee bit impulsive) 2nd Graders approached the formerly orange “space craft” they noted that it now resembled a dome atop a silver disc, which stood approximately 7-feet high and was roughly 15-feet in diameter.
This now classically shaped flying saucer was perched on “three ball-shaped legs” and had what the children described as “strange characters” embossed on the metallic surface of its hull. While inspecting the craft, both Kawano and Yamahata were astounded to see a hatch open on the side of the craft and a ladder automatically extending down to the ground below.
The boys stared in stunned silence as a peculiar, long-armed, humanoid being disembarked from the ship. It was at that moment that the boys noticed another slightly smaller, though virtually identical, entity that remained inside what was apparently the object’s button and lever filled control room.
Kawano and Yamahata later reported that the creatures were both approximately 4-feet tall and were clad in a “glowing” or reflective silver uniforms. They also depicted the entities as having large, pointed ears and uncovered feet ending in two toe-like “protuberances“..
This description of a relatively small, suit-clad alien emerging from a ship in front of a pair of eyewitnesses will no doubt sound familiar to anyone who is aware of Finland’s KINNULA HUMANOID case.
Unlike the Kinnula Humanoid — which was clad head to foot in a deep sea diver-like, greenish suit — the Kofu entity’s skin was described as being dark brown and smothered in wrinkles so dense that they obscured any noticeable facial features; save three distinct, nearly two-inch long, metal fangs.
While the silvery fangs are a new twist, the wrinkly skin might ring a bell for those who have studied the PASCAGOULA ALIEN ABDUCTIONS. The boys also claimed that the being that had emerged from the craft was carrying a long object slug over its left shoulder, which they stated resembled a “rifle.”
This strange visitor from OUT OF THIS WORLD surveyed the terrain outside the saucer, outwardly oblivious to the spellbound duo openly ogling it. Oblivious, that was, until it sharply turned and placed one of it’s clawed, four fingered “hands” onto Yamahata’s shoulder, patting him twice and uttering a series of sounds that sounded to the boys:
“…like a tape recorder running backwards.”
At this point Yamahata collapsed to the ground, paralyzed by terror. Although his friend believed that this was caused by fear, anyone familiar with so-called close encounters of the 3rd kind can attest that — much like in the case of the VORONEZH ALIEN ENCOUNTER and too many others to cite here — human beings are often placed in a state of almost suspended animation by extra-terrestrial visitors in, what one must assume, is an effort to prevent them from hurting themselves or anyone else.
As soon a Yamahata fell to the ground, Kawano — exhibiting a commendable degree of courage for one so young — rapidly pulled his friend up onto his shoulders and carried him away from these potentially vampiric alien assailants as swiftly as he could.
Upon returning to the estate, the now almost hysterical boys immediately informed their mothers about this bizarre close encounter. Their curious — yet almost certainly incredulous — mothers followed their clearly perturbed sons to the back of the apartment, where, much to their shock, they confirmed seeing an orange, strobe-like light pulsating in the vineyard.
The boy’s tried to convince their mothers to investigate the area, but they sagely decided to keep their distance from the inexplicable object. The parents later testified that the unusual light show continued for another five minutes before the UFO rocketed skyward with a burst of light so brilliant the eyewitnesses were compelled to avert their eyes.
It should be noted that while Yamahata and Kawano were the only ones to have actually seen the allegedly extraterrestrial entities, their classmate — 8-year-old, Ichiro Minegishi — also reported spying a shining saucer flying toward the Hinode Housing Estate while riding in a car with his parents near the Kofy Bypass, approximately one half-hour before the boys claimed to have encountered the UFO. Later eyewitnesses included both a janitor and a local woman driving in the area
The following day, Kawano and Yamahata had a captivated audience of students and teachers at the Yamashiro Elementary School, as they drew pictures on the beings and retold the harrowing tale of their alien encounter.
It wasn’t long before alien fever had infected the entire student body and, in an effort to quell the escalating mania among the students, schoolmaster Nobuyoshi Kaneko — with what appears to be a surge of open-mindedness — decided that they would inspect the area for themselves.
The school officials, armed with whatever scientific paraphernalia they could get their hands on, made their way to the scene of the event. Upon their arrival, they noted that two solid concrete posts had been “pushed over” at the landing site. It was determined that the boys would have been unable to accomplish this task of ostensibly intergalactic vandalism on their own.
This investigative team also discovered what they referred to as “landing traces” including soil impressions as well as a ring pattern in the dirt near the broken concrete posts where UFO had allegedly landed. One schoolteacher even claimed to have discovered radioactivity within the circular patch.
Following the event, both boys were questioned in depth by their parents, their schoolmaster, Kaneko, as well as noted UFO investigator Masaru Mori — their stories remained disturbingly consistent.
Not surprisingly, when asked what the orange lights might’ve been, authorities at Civil Aviation Bureau of Transportation Ministry claimed that the UFOs were nothing more than the lights of YS-11 propeller plane, which often flew at an altitude of a thousand meters and was visible to the naked eye.
These aviation experts apparently reserved comment as to whether or not this conventional aircraft could transform into a silver dome as well as assume the form of small, pointy eared, fanged humanoids.
Keen eyed sci-fi fans and skeptics, including researcher Bintarou Yamaguchi, have noted that an alien appearing in an episode of Japan’s Ultraseven — a popular tokusatsu (live action special effects) television series — bears at least a superficial resemblance to the Kofu Humanoid (minus the metallic fangs). Known as Alien Hook, the unusual entity appeared in 1968.
Rob Morphy is an artist / journalist / filmmaker / graphic designer / crypto historian / podcaster / co-founder of American Monsters, Cryptopia and Cryptonaut Podcast