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The UFO Phenomenon

Mysterious town in Japan is obsessed with UFOs and aliens

By T.K. Randall
January 17, 2022 · Comment icon 15 comments

With a population of just 1,900, the small and curious town of Iino lies just outside of Fukushima city.
It would be fair to say that Iino, with its abandoned buildings and roads that lead to nowhere, has seen better days - however there is one subject that continues to put this quaint little town on the map.

Stories of UFO sightings and close encounters with otherworldly visitors have frequented the town for decades - so much so that statues of UFOs can be found all along its streets and even its official mascot is a small white alien piloting a golden flying saucer.

UFO researcher Tsugio Kinoshita, who has spent years investigating the phenomenon, claims that he saw his first UFO in 1972 when hiking in Fukushima prefecture with some friends.

"This thing stuck out in front of me," he told VICE. "Starting and stopping in the blue sky."
"Then all of a sudden, it was gone."

When the Japanese government launched new protocols to investigate the UFO phenomenon in 2020, Iino opened up its first ever lab dedicated to observing UFOs in the skies over the area.

Sadly, though, with its rapidly declining population (especially following the Fukushima nuclear disaster), there is a risk that the town could one day end up completely abandoned.

If so, it will be a sad end to one of UFOlogy's most intriguing curiosities.

Source: | Comments (15)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #6 Posted by preacherman76 2 years ago
We have a town like that not far away. Pine Bush NY. Every year they have a ufo festival. Every year I keep meaning to go, but never seem to get there.    I did visit their museum of the paranormal, that was a fun time. 
Comment icon #7 Posted by jmccr8 2 years ago
Comment icon #8 Posted by the13bats 2 years ago
I considered using the ground floor of my house as a museum of oddities, im zoned for it but my cats said no.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Nnicolette 2 years ago
I come from a town stock full of giant bigfoot replicas. Never heard of anyone around there seeing one, or profiting off the mascot either for thay matter. Although 5 hours south I know of an area where numerous people have told me personally they saw one. Just goes with the area and the thick mountainous environment i guess. That or living creatures arent stationary.
Comment icon #10 Posted by the13bats 2 years ago
I have no idea why a town ( your town ) would waste tax money on tributes to a mythical creature with no returns, and that no one ever claimed to have seen there, i agree very weird but no more weird than people who believe tall tales and stories with zero supporting evidence.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Earl.Of.Trumps 2 years ago
I would check out those replicas and see how far back they go. It could be that 70 years ago (for instance) your town had some fuzzy visitors. Then they went south.
Comment icon #12 Posted by astrobeing 2 years ago
Comment icon #13 Posted by the13bats 2 years ago
Comment icon #14 Posted by astrobeing 2 years ago
The small Pacific Northwest town I grew up in during the 1970s was a Bigfoot "hot spot". Several production crews came through making fictional and documentary films on Bigfoot. You don't need permits or permission to shoot movies on federal land so that genre appealed to low budget filmmakers. From what I hear, Bigfoot tourism is still happening there thanks to cable television shows. Now they get college kids during the summer who camp in the forest hoping to get a blurry silhouette of Bigfoot on their iPhones that they can post on YouTube.
Comment icon #15 Posted by the13bats 2 years ago
I would imagine so. My point earlier even if my subtle ironic sarcasm was lost on some was if a town has a statue or sign at city limits of a bigfoot, alien, mothman etc its because it helps them cha ching. Cha ching = profit some who dont grasp my eccentricities

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