During the 1970s, Japan was swept by a boom of new interest in the occult. Spoon-bending, Nostradamus, New Age religions, and kokkuri– the Japanese equivalent of ouija boards- were taken up by a number of Japanese. This golden age of hokum also produced some of the country’s most infamous UFO encounters, such as the Kofu Incident, in which a pair of second graders ran into a fanged-midget, and the Nikoro Incident, which involved an even shorter variety of extraterrestrial octopuses. Last week, while browsing an excellent Japanese blog, I had the pleasure of stumbling on a much more obscure case: the story of a 31-year-old truck driver known only as Mr. F.
On September 3, 1974, Mr. F had to deliver a load of furniture bound for Takamatsu, a city in Kagawa Prefecture. He had to reach Uno Port in Tamano, Okayama Prefecture by 7 AM, where the goods would be shipped south to Takamatsu. In the early morning, while driving on the National Route 30 highway, Mr. F got tired and stopped for a bit to eat some udon noodles.
After getting back on the road, Mr. F noticed a body of silvery-white light in the sky. The light, of course, was a flying saucer, and it noiselessly landed some 10 meters (32 feet) away. What happened next was a bit hazy, but after falling unconscious, Mr. F woke up to find a strange woman sitting in his passenger seat.
Mr. F’s unexpected visitor had a face that resembled a mask, with two eyes and no other features. Her hair fell to her shoulders, her height looked to be about 160 CM (5’3 for us Americans), and her clothes looked like they were made of rubber. Oh, and she had a horn-like antenna on the top of her head. Naturally, Mr. F didn’t feel very comfortable at the sight of what must have been the galaxy’s homeliest female.
Speaking in a mechanical voice, the woman said she’d come to earth, but complained that “There’s something wrong with my head, so I want you to replace it.” When the confused trucker asked how, the alien instructed to press three buttons on her chest. After following her instructions, Mr. F popped his passenger’s head off. Next, he was told to press the buttons in the reverse order, and then he put a new, identical-looking head on the alien. (Unless he kept spares in his glove compartment, I have no idea where Mr. F got this other head.)
During the rest of the encounter, Mr. F and the alien talked for a while. She said there were more of her people on earth, but they weren’t interested in conquering the planet. (Woo-hoo!) They were essentially refugees, settling on our planet because their sun had collided with another star. They were also more advanced than humans, and had computers in their heads, which allowed them to speak in earthly languages. Before disappearing- and Mr. F couldn’t remember how- the alien promised they would meet again someday.
The next thing Mr. F remembered, he was back driving on the road, almost to his destination. He was right on time too, at 7 AM, yet he couldn’t account for some 20 minutes. Later, when he got home, Mr. F bluntly told his wife, “I talked to an alien today and replaced its head.” The news went about as well as expected; Mrs. F laughed and asked if her husband was tired.
Apparently, Mr. F hoped his colleagues would be a bit more open-minded. He wrote about the encounter in a company newsletter, to equally mocking results. A year-and-a-half later, Mr. F caught a break though, and was featured in the June 1976 issue of UFO and Universe (UFOと宇宙) magazine. After the encounter, Mr. F said he felt no mental or physical changes to his body, though he thought he saw the UFO again during another drive a few months later.
As surely confused as the rest of us, Mr. F also reported that he didn’t know why the alien chose him specifically to swap her head. Now I’m going to venture a personal guess here- But perhaps the alien lied about her species’ intentions, and we’re all going to have to get used to switching our overlords’ vastly superior, computerized noggins?
Be sure to check out more offbeat stories of Japanese crime, folklore, and history in my e-book, 20 Unsolved Mysteries of Japan, available on Amazon for Kindle.