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The Malaysian UFO Scene: A Further Report

Ahmad Jamaludin, Flying Saucer Review, Vol. 30, No. 5, 1985

original source |  fair use notice

Summary: No country in the world seems to lack manifestations of the UFO Phenomenon. Malaysia, situated geographically in the heart of South-East Asia, has its share too of this baffling and controversial mystery.

Ahmad Jamaludin

author's bio

No country in the world seems to lack manifestations of the UFO Phenomenon. Malaysia, situated geographically in the heart of South-East Asia, has its share too of this baffling and controversial mystery.

One of the earliest recorded events in this region that could probably be related to the Phenomenon was an incident in the Straits of Malacca which involved the Danish vessel Bintang (1). On June 10, 1909, the Captain of this ship and his crew observed several unusual lights moving through the water of the Straits between Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula.

Review of UFO events

I present here some more of the sample cases selected from reports from both Eastern and Western Malaysia. These should be compared with the accounts of certain cases which I have already given in my last article, A Wave of Small Humanoids in Malaysia in 1970 (FSR 28/5), and in my earlier articles.

  1. BAU, SARAWAK (EAST MALAYSIA), Early 1950s. 

    This event took place in an isolated area in the hilly country known at that time as British North Borneo. The witness, an illiterate housewife, observed a disc-shaped object described by her as "as big as a house", emerging from behind some trees and flying silently over the valley. The object was dark in colour, and had what appeared to be port-holes, with the interior brightly lit. Beside the dome surmounting the top of the UFO there was a protrusion resembling an aerial. Beneath the UFO there were three protrusions which she described as "like anchors". The outer rim of the object was rotating. 

  2. PORT DICKSON, SEREMBAN, Early 1950s. 

    At 11.00 a.m. one fine morning, a platoon of soldiers and their British instructor sighted a silver-coloured, disc-shaped domed object flying quite low over the trees. It was travelling tilted at an angle, and emitted a high-pitched sound. The soldiers morse-code signalling apparatus ceased to function during the few minutes that the UFO was in sight. 

  3. PENANG ISLAND, January 1967. 

    A lawyer and his accountant sighted an object hovering silently over the channel separating the island from the Mainland. Close examination through binoculars revealed a pancake-shaped object with a dome on top. 

  4. KAMPUNG PERTAMA, April 1979. 

    A UFO, elliptical in shape and sparkling like a star, landed one night in the rice-field of a village, and about twenty people gathered to watch it. As the UFO landed it was seen to get smaller and then to split into three smaller craft. 

  5. KULIM, May 1979.
A group of boys playing near a cattle-shed sighted a small object, less than two feet in diameter, gliding over the fields and emitting a strange sound. The UFO had three legs of its landing gear extended, seemingly about to land, when one of the boys tried to touch it. An intense beam of light shot out from the rim of the craft and temporarily blinded the boys. They screamed for help, attracting the attention of two adults, who came rushing to the scene and also observed the UFO.

Meanwhile the cattle in the adjacent shed were intensely restless and were struggling to break away from the posts to which they were tied.

Encounters with tiny beings

As I mentioned in my last Report, the most interesting cases in Malaysia seem to involve tiny beings, of which there were more than a dozen reports between 1965 and 1979. Surprisingly, over 90 % of the witnesses in these alleged cases were schoolchildren! ( I gave eight very representative cases in my last Report.) Because of the seemingly absurd nature of the stories about tiny creatures, most adult witnesses probably do not come forward to report their own encounters with such little beings. The children, in their innocence and guilelessness, made their reports and bore all the ridicule.

A "flap"

Generally speaking, UFO sighting reports in Malaysia are fairly few and far between. When sightings occur, they are usually in clusters. My last Report, A Wave of Small Humanoids in Malaysia in 1970, can now be expanded, for today it is known that in the month of August of that year the number of CEIII cases in Malaysia was an absolute record. The events started in the northern part of the Peninsula and then spread downwards through the central and southern States. This we can describe as without doubt the only true "wave" yet recorded in Malaysia, for, according to a count made by one newspaper, within a span of only three days, there were not less than 39 separate reports involving tiny UFOs and no less than 31 reports in which tiny three-inch tall occupants were seen.

Photographic evidence from Malaysia

One of the few pieces of photographic evidence from Malaysia was taken on January 12, 1979, in the Malaysian "UFO hot zone" by a man serving in the Royal Australian Air Force. The photo shows a disc-shaped object, which the witness described as of "a glowing, bright orange colour". He said it had several port-holes around its edge. For an earlier photo from Malaysia see also "the Kuala Lumpur UFO" in FSR Vol.15, No. 4 (July/August 1969).

Mysterious abductions

Inhibited as it is by peoples of three different stocks and cultures (Malays, Chinese, and Tamils) Malaysia is a land rich in religious and traditional features. Many people still cling to the older folk-lores and traditions, and one belief that is still adhered to by many individuals of the older generations concerns the questions of mysterious abductions of humans by mysterious entities. (Since actual Malaysian kidnappings, of humans by humans, scarcely total one a year, it is understandable that we are not inclined in Malaysia to confuse these two completely different sets of phenomena.)

Certainly it can be said that, at least up to the period just prior to World War II, in most cases in Malaysia, in which an individual, whether adult or child, was missing, the affair was immediately associated in the public mind with the idea of abduction by "small" or even "tiny" entities.

It was thought generally that the small beings responsible for this state of affairs could come and go without being detected, being visible only to their victims. The abductee was therefore always the sole witness. And he was not seen again to tell his story.

The father of one of my own acquaintances vanished mysteriously and was thought to have been a victim of these entities. His bicycle had been found lying beside a dirt road outside his village. He was never seen again. When consulted about it, the local "bomoh" (witch-doctor or shaman or medicine-man) declared that the missing father was now resident "in a different world". The family accepted the fact and that was that. The case was closed. (Perhaps Fred Valentich in Australia has suffered the same fate?)

One thing that seems certain is that this pattern of popular beliefs in Malaysia is all of a piece with the UFO Phenomenon, and that abductions are an essential part of that phenomenon.

As already stated, the extraordinary thing is that in Malaysia there seem to be no records of any entities taller than six inches or so having been encountered. Since the average Malaysian is somewhere in the 5 ft. plus category, one wonders how the tiny entities set about putting him into a UFO two foot wide!

There is, however, one strange American case on record which may have a bearing on this aspect of our problem. On September 15, 1978, at Carpentersville, Illinois, a secretary, awakened by a whirring noise, looked out through the window and saw the silhouetted form of a 6 ft. tall man clad in a silver suit, and, a few feet distant, she saw a small domed saucer sitting on the grass. The Police were called, but they found nothing at the site (2).

One surprising aspect is that we have not found any mention of UFOs actually having been seen when these mysterious Malaysian abductions have taken place, in other words there is no connection in the popular mind between "UFOs" and "abductions". One reason for this may well be the fact that very few Malaysians know anything about UFOs. During my own travels around the country, I constantly ask people whether there have been any UFO sightings in their area, and usually the person questioned stares back at me, not comprehending what I am talking about. But when I move on to the subject of small three-inch high beings, my informants quickly acknowledge that they have heard about them. So we have the clear impression that more is known about the entities than about their craft.

It is of course only since World War II, and since the famous Arnold sighting in the U.S.A. in 1947, that there has been talk of UFOs among the people of Malaysia. But it is obvious that, if the tradition of small beings can be definitely linked to the UFO Problem, then the prevalence of the small entities here in Malaysia goes back to far earlier times.


As stated, the salient feature of the Malaysian UFO scene is this high percentage of reports of encounters with tiny entities. In fact we can say that humanoid encounters in Malaysia (3) come in only two sizes – the three-inch entities (most often seen) and the six-inch entities. There has been no Malaysian report to date of any encounter with humanoids measuring more than six inches in height!

Apart from this matter of heights, the general picture of the UFO Phenomenon in Malaysia is basically just the same as everywhere else.

While each of the several races who live in Malaysia has its own particular folkloric interpretation of the UFO Phenomenon, their reports --- coming from individuals none of whom have any prior knowledge about the whole global UFO picture – nevertheless present us with basically the same pattern and the same phenomena as are found in other parts of the world.


  1. Jeffrey, Adi-Kent Thomas, They Dared the Devil’s Triangle (Warner Books, Inc., New York, 1975). Pp 27-29.
  2. The International UFO Reporter, Vol. 4, No.1 (July 1978). p 12.
  3. Ahmad Jamaludin, Humanoid Encounters in Malaysia, MUFON UFO Journal, No. 141 (1979).

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