Alien Abduction In The Gobi Desert? The Disappearance Of Peng Jiamu

Marcus Lowth
Published Date
May 22, 2024
Estimated Reading Time
8 min read
Posted in
Supernatural, Disappearances

The disappearance of respected scientist Peng Jiamu somewhere in the Gobi Desert in June 1980 remains unsolved today, almost half a century later. Among the many suggestions as to what happened to Peng, as speculative as it might, is that he was abducted by extraterrestrial entities. And while this might sound a little tenuous and without evidence, the fact is the Gobi Desert and China, in general, have a long history of UFOs and apparent interaction with otherworldly entities, including claims of extraterrestrial facilities in the region.

While many are dismissive of such claims, they are not as outlandish as we might initially think. Despite extensive searches for the missing scientist, for example, there was no sign of him whatsoever, and no clues about his whereabouts were forthcoming. Furthermore, other scientists working in the region over the years have also reported seeing strange objects overhead, as have many of the local residents in the surrounding towns and cities. Indeed, while we certainly can’t say for certain Peng Jiamu was abducted by visitors from another world, we should perhaps not dismiss such claims unreservedly with no examination.

One thing is for certain, as we delve deeper, the Gobi Desert unveils itself as a captivating and enigmatic realm, a place that could potentially be a hotspot for UFO encounters, both in the past and in the present.

A Truly Strange Disappearance Into Thin Air

At the time of his disappearance, Peng Jiamu held a position of immense respect and influence, not just in China, but globally. He was the Vice President of the prestigious Chinese Academy of Sciences and was renowned for his scientific contributions. [1] His search for potash in the desolate salt lake of Lop Nor, a region with a complex history including military nuclear testing and ancient burial grounds, adds a layer of intrigue to his mysterious vanishing.

The expedition began uneventfully. However, it soon became apparent that the team had miscalculated the conditions they would be working in. They were also running low on gasoline and water, and ultimately, they would have to contact the army for assistance.

Peng Jiamu

On the morning of June 17th, 1980, only five days into the expedition and after receiving orders from the military to remain where they were and await rescue, Peng left a note for his colleagues saying he was going to find water and left the camp. [2] He was never seen again, alive or dead.

Initially, the team attempted to search for Peng but was soon forced to turn back. By noon the following day, the military arrived in the region, and the search for the missing scientists began. Although they searched for hundreds of miles and covered vast regions of the desert, there was no sign whatsoever of the Peng Jiamu. They did locate several candy wrappers, as well as a set of footprints that came to a sudden stop on the edge of a salt-encrusted basin.

These searches would continue in waves for three months, each of which would end without any positive identification.

As we might imagine, several theories were put forward to explain what might have happened to the missing scientist, ranging from his being swallowed up by the desert to being kidnapped by the Americans and even defecting to the Soviet Union. None of these were ever proven, or even likely. There were, though, other suggestions.

A Cosmic Intervention?

In the years that followed the disappearance, and certainly in the decades since with the spread of the Internet, some researchers have questioned if Peng Jiamu might have encountered something otherworldly in the wilderness of the Gobi Desert. [3]

According to Paul Dong, there was considerable “conjecture that a UFO had carried him off”, elaborating that “had he been swallowed up by the sands, he ought to have left some signs of a struggle”. Dong continues by highlighting that Peng had “only been absent from the camp half a day when the other members of the expedition began to search for him”. He would continue that “at the very most, in half a day Peng Jiamu could not possibly have gone mor than 30 or 40 kilometers”.

Further still, if there had been any “tremendous wind and shifting sand dunes anywhere within that short radius, then the people in the camp would be bound to have perceived signs of it”.

Dong also offered that “the Gobi Desert is a place where UFOs have, in fact, been seen very frequently, and there is every possibility that the people who think Peng Jiamu was seized by a UFO may be right”. Furthermore, as we shall see next, these strange encounters and activities have seemingly occurred in the region for thousands of years.

Connections To Ancient War-Torn Cities And Civilizations

The Gobi Desert region has a long history of strange encounters connected to otherworldly entities, with some of these stretching back thousands of years. For example, although we should take the claims with a certain amount of salt, there are remains of fused green glass that indicate some kind of huge explosion around 77,000 years ago occurred in the region, with some researchers suggesting this explosion was nuclear. Furthermore, some researchers suggest that radioactive dust has also been discovered in the region, adding weight to the claims of some kind of nuclear-type incident in antiquity.

Other intriguing details suggest some kind of advanced civilization in the ancient past, thought to be around 13,000 to 12,000 BC. According to some reports, the Soviet military discovered ancient advanced “instruments used in navigating cosmic vehicles” in caves in the Gobi Desert region. These devices were said to be “hemispherical objects of glass or porcelain, ending in a cone with a drop of mercury inside”.

The Gobi Desert

In short, there is good reason to believe that not only did ancient civilizations exist in what is today the Gobi Desert thousands of years ago, perhaps even in the void that is pre-history, but that some kind of great war took place here, perhaps contributing to the barren landscape that we see there today. And what’s more, if we accept some of the ancient writings of the nations and civilizations that border the Gobi Desert, we might imagine that this civilization was either greatly influenced by extraterrestrials or extraterrestrials themselves. And if that is the case, then it might make sense that UFOs in the modern era continue to focus on the region.

Modern Encounters Of The Gobi Desert

There have been several interesting connections between UFOs and the Gobi Desert in more recent times. For example, according to the files of Felix Zigel, two men were on a mountainside in the Gobi region in 1951 when they witnessed a “blinding flash” before seeing a dome-shaped craft landing on the ground below.

Even stranger, several moments later they could see several humanoid figures walking near the craft. Each had strange lights on their faces and on their torso. Interestingly, and a detail that shows up in other close encounter cases, when the two men attempted to approach the object they were prevented from doing so by what felt like an “invisible force field” around the area around the object.

Paul Dong, although stating clearly that while he doesn’t think the suggestion holds water, if there were extraterrestrial bases on the planet, the Gobi Desert would certainly be a good location for such a facility. He offered that he had collected around 300 reports of UFO encounters in and around the Gobi Desert. Dong further offered that a geologist working in Sinkiang in the region reported seeing several strange objects flying straight over the desert during his time there, as well as hearing of several others.

A Strange Object Hovering Over The Oilfield

One particularly intriguing encounter unfolded one day in 1978, when a man from the Sinkiang Province witnessed several “glowing unidentified bodies” moving overhead, and even stopping and hovering temporarily.

Around the same time, workers at on oilfield in the same region witnessed a “silvery-white luminous tube-shaped object”. This strange aerial anomaly would ascend high into the sky, hover motionlessly, and then descend again. It repeated this several times, remaining completely silent as it did so and showing no obvious means of propulsion.

The object was also witnessed by members of the Oilfield Administration who believed that it was an “enemy” aircraft who were spying on China. This caused them to alert the military who promptly responded. A large unit arrived and the area around the oilfield was sealed off. They then – the military and the oilfield workers, began to close in on the area where the object was hovering. Before they could reach it, though, it suddenly shot upwards with alarming speed and disappeared “in a flash”.

Recovered Craft From The Gobi Desert?

A particularly interesting case comes from the files of Anton Anfalov and occurred at some point in 1982 or 1983. According to the account, the Chinese military were in the Gobi Desert on an exercise when they stumbled across a downed alien vehicle. They immediately reported the crippled wreckage, and a retrieval team was sent to the region, and a large cordon was placed around the area.

The craft was damaged but not dramatically so, and the crew appeared to have “abandoned” it shortly after the crash landing. According to the witness, the object was approximately 30 feet wide and cylindrical. Although the material of the exterior was uncertain, it was clear that it was a “very durable surface”. As well as the wreckage itself, the military also recovered “sophisticated equipment” inside the object, as well as futuristic chairs of some kind.

Eventually, a huge flatbed truck arrived at the location, and the wreckage and equipment were loaded onto it. According to the rumors, they were then taken to a secret underground government installation, thought to be under the Taihang-Shan Mountains somewhere southwest of Beijing.

UFO Bases, Routes, And Landing Spots

French Ufologist Henri Durrant wrote of the Gobi Desert being an active “UFO flight route”, and claimed that authorities from China, Japan, Mongolia, and the Soviet Union had all reported strange unidentified vehicles traveling along the route, stretching from the Gobi Desert to the Yablonovity Mountains to the north, a region, incidentally, where many researchers have offered is a hotspot of sort for UFO sightings.

The report tells of a bizarre exercise that unfolded in the Gobi Desert in April 1970 when the Soviet military was, officially, at least, carrying out “Spring Maneuvers” in the region. During these apparent exercises, several Soviet reconnaissance aircraft covered hundreds of square miles carrying searches of the barren landscape, reportedly noting that “UFOs were active” in this region.

In fact, it is claimed that this mission identified a “UFO landing site” just across the Mongolian border. So, on the evening of April 27th, 1970, several Soviet bomber planes approached the region in question and dropped several bombs there. Although the mission was top-secret, there were witnesses to the events.

Several local herdsman, for example, reported seeing the planes approaching and them unleashing their deadly payloads. Furthermore, in the capital, Ulaan-Baatar, many residents could hear the explosions and then see the flames and smoke rising into the sky. Perhaps most interesting of all was a group of students from East Germany who were traveling through the region. One of those students – Manfred Goel – later spoke of what the group saw. He claimed that “the Russians destroyed a UFO base” on the night in question, and that this base “consisted of tunnels and several pyramid-shaped buildings”.

Off the back of these reports, another French journalist began investigating, and specifically began speaking to people who had recently traveled to or through China. Remarkably, many of them corroborated the claims, offering that in the same region of this apparent bombing mission, “extraterrestrials wearing spacesuits” had been seen regularly.

A Discreet UFO Hotspot Of The Contemporary Era

As we can see, then, the Gobi Desert could potentially be an ideal location for UFO activity and alien facilities. Not only is the region not as well-known as other UFO hotspots such as the San Luis Valley in Colorado or the mountainous regions of Alaska, or even the coastlines of South America, but it is not as easily accessible as these other regions, both in terms of terrain and the respective authorities around it. Indeed, for those who believe there is a discreet extraterrestrial presence secretly influencing events on Earth, it would make sense to have orchestrated such regimes around the Gobi Desert region if there is any kind of presence there.

Furthermore, we can only imagine what might be buried under the landscape of the modern Gobi Desert, and what this potential discoveries would tell us of not only the history of the region, but of our collective past. With this in mind, it is perhaps not that much of a surprise that the region remains of interest to speculative visitors from other worlds today, particularly if extraterrestrial bases do reside there.

And, with all of this in mind, what should we make of the disappearance of Peng Jiamu? Did he simply vanish into thin air as a result of misadventure? Or could he have happened upon one of these strange, otherworldly vehicles and their occupants? Or might the truth of what really happened to the tragic scientist be even more mysterious than we can currently imagine? If he was abducted by extraterrestrials, for example, why wasn’t he returned like the vast majority of abductees are? Or perhaps he was, only somewhere else in the Gobi Desert, outside of where the search teams were searching. After all, many abductees report being returned to a different location from where they were taken. And while this location is usually only a matter of feet, maybe a mile or two away, some reports suggest greater distances.

Ultimately, Peng Jiamu’s disappearance, like the strange events in the Gobi Desert, remains a mysterious enigma.

The video below explores the disappearance of Peng Jiamu a little further.


1 China Unsolved: A Scientist Vanished, Robert Foyle Hunwick, The China Project
2 Exploration Mysteries: The Disappearance of Peng Jiamu, Kristine De Abreu, Explorers Web
3 Extracts From Paul Dong’s Feidie Bai Wen Bai Da (Questions And Answers On UFOs), Flying Saucer Review, Volume 29, No. 6, August 1984

Marcus Lowth

Marcus Lowth is a writer with a love for UFOs, aliens, and the Ancient Astronaut Theory, to the paranormal, general conspiracies, and unsolved mysteries. He has been writing and researching with over 20 years of experience.

Marcus has been Editor-in-Chief for several years due to his excellent knowledge in these fields. Marcus also regularly appears as an expert on radio talk shows including Troubled Minds and Unexplained Radio discussing these topics.

Read Marcus' full bio.

You can contact Marcus via email.

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