On February 23, 1975, second-graders Masato Kawano and Katsuhiro Yamahata were rollerskating in Kofu, Japan when they spotted two UFOs glowing orange in the sky. One of the UFOs took off northward, but the other one landed in a near-by vineyard. When the boys went to investigate, they found a large circular craft resting on three legs in the middle of the vineyard.
After the boys observed the craft for about five minutes, a door on the left side of the UFO slid open and a ladder descended out of the opening. A brown human-like creature emerged and walked down the steps, while a similar-looking creature stayed inside. The creature, which stood at about 4 feet in a silver suit, had rabbit-like ears and three fangs. Its face was heavily wrinkled, and it appeared to have no eyes, nose, or hair.
The alien approached the boys and patted Katsuhiro two times on the shoulder. It was said to have made sounds that sounded like a tape-recorder being played backwards, although some sources report that the alien asked “Are you Katsuhiro?” in Japanese. Katsuhiro was so shocked that he couldn’t speak. He lost his balance and fell down out of fright, and the alien then walked away. Masato, who had watched from a distance, carried Katsuhiro on his back and ran home.
Once they got home, the boys told their mothers about what happened and brought them back to the vineyard. The UFO was now hovering in the sky, glowing a bright orange light again. As it glowed brighter and brighter, it hovered in the air for about 2-3 minutes, until finally taking off in great speed.
Both Masato and Katsuhiro seemed very disturbed after the encounter. They refused to be outside alone, and Masato was so upset that he cried that night. The next day, the boys told their classmates and teacher about what happened. During a lunch break, their teacher checked out the spot where the UFO landed, but found nothing out of the ordinary.
A later search of the landing site carried out with the help of a local newspaper found two broken concrete posts and several holes in the soil. Another teacher discovered that the soil was slightly contaminated with radiation.
The Japanese authorities, of course, were skeptical. Other than Masato and Katsuhiro, their mothers, and Katsuhiro’s younger brother, a classmate of the boys reported that he saw the UFO about a half-hour before his friends did. Later witnesses, including a janitor and a woman driving in the area, also said they saw the UFO.
Critics believed that the sightings were a misidentified plane. They pointed out that only Masato and Katsuhiro had seen the alien itself. They thought it suspicious that the creature resembled an alien from the popular sci-fi show Ultraman. Finally, as the boys’ teacher had noted, there was nothing much out of the ordinary about the landing site. While there might have been some broken posts and a few holes in the ground, the vines in the field were completely fine. The radiation discovered, contrary to some reports, was low and probably natural.