On World UFO Day 2022 (June 24), the Brazilian government held a public conference on unidentified aerial phenomena, alien abductions, major historical UFO sightings in that country and other UFO topics with a panel of participants from around the world. Coverage of that major event overshadows another major announcement on World UFO Day that unveiled the results of a year-long UFO research project by the International UFO Lab, Japan’s only research institute for unidentified flying objects. How big was this announcement? The head of the lab said his researchers, in the span of one year between World UFO Days 2021 and 2022, registered 452 UFO-like sightings just in the region’s former Iinomachi district – a recognized UFO hotspot. Even more exciting, 125 of them are supported with photos and 24 with videos. One more thing … Iino is just a few miles from Fukushima and the site of the 2011 earthquake-caused nuclear power plant disaster. Could there be a connection between Fukushima and the area’s UFOs?
On World UFO Day 2021, the International UFO Lab was opened in UFO Interactive Hall, a facility with UFO-related displays. At that time, director Takeharu Mikami, the editor-in-chief of the paranormal magazine Mu, began hiring researchers to analyze and investigate reports of UFOs in this area whose reputation as a UFO hotsport dates back to at least the 1970s when reports began coming in of a light-emitting, cone-shaped flying object near Mount Senganmori in what was then the city of Iino, which is now part of Fukushima. Tsugio Kinoshita, now a UFO researcher himself, witnessed a UFO on the mountain in 1972 with four friends and told Vice he believes aliens tried to make contact with him to let him know ‘We’re here, too, on the other side of the distant sky.’ I think they just wanted us to know that.”
There may be more to the UFOs around Mount Senganmori than just letting hikers know that extraterrestrials exist and are here. Stories of a hollow saucer-shaped ship landing off the coast of northeastern Ibaraki Prefecture, where Mount Senganmori is located, date back to 1803, with historical documents and illustrations reporting a woman coming ashore in what appears to be a flying saucer. Many locals believe that the pyramid-shaped mountain is actually an artificially built ancient pyramid. While that has not been proven, there are numerous accounts of unusual activities in the area like compasses going haywire and other indicators of a strong magnetic field which leads many to believe Senganmori is an extraterrestrial base or at least a signaling beacon for alien travelers. The many UFO sightings in the area support those believers.
In fact, so many people witnessed UFOs in the area that the UFO Interactive Hall was opened there in 1992 – the hall contains details and photos of many encounters, a collection of about 3,000 related materials donated by the late famous UFO researcher Kinichi Arai, and beginning in 2021, the International UFO Lab.
“Until now, even if UFOs were discovered, the information was shared only on an individual level. I hope the research lab will serve as a base receiving information, and lead to new discoveries. I’d like to get to the bottom of their identity.”
The International UFO Lab opened at a pivotal time for UFO disclosure in both Japan and worldwide. In May 2020, the Japanese Defense Ministry announced it would “consider procedures to respond to, record and report encounters, but the unknown nature of such objects may confuse Self-Defense Forces pilots, including those of F-15 fighter jets.” That came at the same time as the US Department of Defense officially confirmed the famous Tic Tac UFO videos from pilots’ and crew encounters with the USS Nimitz in 2004. As he said when it opened, Takeharu Mikami and his team would be dedicated to identifying the true nature of unidentified aerial phenomena in the Fukushima area and make that information public.
“It is not a bird; it is likely a UFO.”
Just one year later, Mikami and his International UFO Lab lived up to that opening day promise. On June 24, 2022, they released the results of the lab’s investigations over the past year of more than 450 eyewitness testimonies of UFOs, including 125 photos and 24 videos. The researchers used a special computer program to analyze the photos and videos and eliminate non-UFOs. counterfeits or hoaxes. After the app had done its job, Mikami said there were four photos and videos the team concluded “may be UFOs with a high degree of probability.” The sightings which produced these photos and videos took place in 2018, 2022 and two in 2021. (See some of the photos here.)
The photographs which defied identification show objects in the sky that are disc or saucer shaped and appear dark against the daytime sky. On the other hand, the videos –one daytime and the other at night – are bright lights. One is in the shape of a ball or orb and appears to have a tail trailing behind it as it climbs vertically above Mount Senganmori. The other UFO resembles a saucer or cylinder and it appears to hover over the mountain. While they resemble other photos and videos of unidentified aerial phenomena from around the world, Mikami and his International UFO Lab researchers insist these are not birds but the “most probable” evidence they’ve seen of UFOs in the Fukushima area.
“Senganmori is no joke. They (UFOs) really show up in the area…”
Japanese media covers UFO sightings in the country and the research of the International UFO Lab. The Japanese government has many reasons to be concerned about security, especially around the Fukushima nuclear site. If four out of 400+ UFO sightings in that are unexplained (one percent), how many more sightings in the rest of Japan defy identification? Perhaps if the response to the revelations by the International UFO Lab and director Takeharu Mikami is overwhelming and demanding, the Japanese government will take the lead of Brazil and expand its coverage to all of the country.
Will 2022 continue to be the year of UFO disclosure? It’s up to us to keep the pressure on governments and investigators to push forward and make the data public.