China entered the twenty-first century with a rash of more than 3,000 UFO sightings across the nation, and according to Sun Shili, head of the Beijing UFO Research Organization.
In the summer months of 2002, it was announced that a group of nine Chinese scientists would visit the western region of Qinghai Province to examine relics allegedly left there by extraterrestrial beings. The site, known to local inhabitants as the "ET relics," is on Mount Baigong, about 28 miles to the southwest of Delingha City.
Yang Ji, a research fellow at the Purple Mountain Observatory of the Chinese Academy, stated that the area is high in altitude with thin and transparent air, an ideal place to practice astronomy. While conceding that the extraterrestrial hypothesis as an explanation for the mysterious relics is worth examining, Yang stressed that scientific analysis is necessary to prove whether or not it is true.
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Heng, Li. "Mysterious Pipes Left by 'ET' Reported from Qinghai." People's Daily Online, June 25, 2002. [Online] http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/200206/25_98530.html.
Lin, Rosanne. "Orange, Red Starmen over China." Shanghai Star, July 18, 2002. [Online] http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/star/2002/07/18/vo2-2.html.