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The Dropa stones, otherwise known as the Dzopa stones, Dropas stones or Drop-ka stones, are said by some ufologists and pseudoarchaeologists to be a series of at least 716 circular stone discs, dating back 12,000 years, on which tiny hieroglyph-like markings may be found. Each disc is claimed to measure up to 1 foot (30 cm) in diameter and carry two grooves, originating from a hole in their center, in the form of a double spiral. The hieroglyph-like markings are said to be found in these grooves. There is no concrete evidence of the discs' existence.
For twenty years the Dropa stones were said to have sat in storage before they were given to Tsum Um Nui (楚聞明) for study in 1958. It is said that he came to the conclusion that the grooves on the discs were actually very tiny hieroglyphs, none of which were of a pattern that had been seen before, and which can only be seen with the use of a magnifying glass. By 1962, he had allegedly deciphered them into a story that told of a spacecraft that crash landed in the area of the cave, the Bayan Har Shan region and that the ship contained the Dropa people who could not fix it and therefore had to adapt to Earth. Further, his research claims that the Dropa people were hunted down and killed by the local Ham tribesmen for a period. Tsum Um Nui noted specifically that one glyph apparently said "The Dropa came down from the clouds in their aircraft. Our men, women and children hid in the caves ten times before sunrise. When at last we understood the sign language of the Dropas, we realized that the newcomers had peaceful intentions".
Tsum Um Nui is said to have published his findings 1962 in a professional journal, and was subsequently ridiculed and met with disbelief. Shortly afterwards he is said to have gone to Japan in a self-imposed exile where he died not long after he completed the manuscript of his work.
Russian researchers requested the discs for studying, and allegedly several were shipped to Moscow. Once there, it is said that they were scraped for loose particles and put through a chemical analysis which revealed that they contained large amounts of cobalt and other metallic substances. As recorded in the Soviet magazine Sputnik, Dr. Vyatcheslav Saizev describes an experiment where the discs were supposedly placed on a special turntable whereby they were shown to 'vibrate' or 'hum' in an unusual rhythm as though an electric charge is passing through them.
Supposedly, Ernst Wegerer (Wegener) was an Austrian engineer who, in 1974, visited the Banpo Museum in Xi'an, Shaanxi Province, where he saw two of the Dropa stones. It is said that when he enquired about the discs the manager could tell him nothing, but permitted him to take one in his hand and photograph them. He claims that in his photos the hieroglyphs can not be seen as they have been hidden by the flash from the camera and have also deteriorated. By 1994, the discs and the manager had disappeared from the museum.
The earliest recorded reference to the Dropa and Dropa stones is found in the July 1962 edition of the German magazine Das vegetarische Universum.
In 1980, they are mentioned in the book Sungods in Exile edited by David Agamon (real name David A. Gamon). This book is written as a documentary of a 1947 expedition with the scientist Dr. Kayral Robin-Evans. It follows his supposed travels into the secluded region of the Bayan-Kara-Ula mountain range where he finds dwarfish like people called the Dropa. According to his book the Dropa population consisted of a few hundred members all of which were approximately 4 feet tall. Robin-Evans allegedly lived among the Dropa for half year and in that time learned their language and history. He was told that they had crashed there long ago and that their ancestor had come from a planet in the Sirius constellation.
In Japan, they are mentioned in 1996 when a translated version of Hartwig Hausdor and Peter Krass's Satelliten der Götter (Satellites of the Gods) is released.
It has been claimed that Tsum Um Nui is not a real Chinese name. There is no mention of him in China outside his connection to the Dropa stones. According to Dropa enthusiast Hartwig Hausdorf, Tsum Um Nui is a "former Japanese name, but adapted to Chinese language". Nor is there any mention in any records about Chi Pu Tei's expedition in 1938.
Sungods in Exile, with its account of Dr. Kayral Robin-Evans in all appearances gave credibility to Dropa stones until 1988, when David A. Gamon told Fortean Times magazine that the book was fiction and Dr. Kayral Robin-Evans imaginary.
The stone discs were stored in various museums across China. However, none of these museums have any records or traces of Dropa stone ever being there.
According to the Gould-Parkinson system of transliteration, "Drop-ka" is Tibetan for "solitude" or "inhabitant of pasture lands". It is said to be the name of a tribe of Tibetan nomadic herders on the eastern Tibetan plateau.
With Wegerer's photos lacking concrete evidence of the hieroglyphs, they display similarity to Bi discs. Bi discs are round jade discs with holes in their centres. When buried in the earth, the minerals change them to be multi-colored. Bi discs have been dated from 3000 B.C.E. and were common in the Shaanxi Province. Some Bi discs are decorated with parallel grooves and other markings.
The aircraft of the crash in the Baian Kara Ula mountain range has never been found.