High in the mountains of Bayan-Kara-Ula, on the boarders of China and Tibet - a team of archeologists were conducting a very detailed routine survey of a series of interlinked caves. Their interests had been excited by the discovery of lines of neatly arranged graves which contained the skeletons of what must have been a strange race of human beings; strange because they had unnaturally spindly bodies and large, overdeveloped heads. At first, it had been thought that the caves had been the home of a hitherto unknown species of ape. But as the leader of the team - the Chinese archeologist, Professor Chi Pu Tei - pointed out, "Who ever heard of apes burying each other?" It was while studying the skeletons that one of the team stumbled on a large, round stone disk, half buried in the dust on the floor of the cave. The team gathered round the discovery, turning it this way and that. It looked, absurdly, like a kind of "Stone Age Gramophone record". There was a hole in the center and a fine, spiral groove radiated to the rim.
Two years later, in 1965, the professor and four of his colleagues were finally given permission to reveal their theory. It appeared under the long- winded but intriguing title, "The Grooved Script concerning Space-ships which, as recorded on the Discs, landed on Earth 12,000 years ago". The 'records' - 716 of the grooved discs were later uncovered in the same caves - told an astonishing story of a 'space probe' by the inhabitants of another planet which came to grief in the Bayan-Kara-Ula mountain range. The strange, spiral script told how the peaceful intentions of the 'aliens' had been misunderstood and how many of them were hunted down and killed by members of the Ham tribe, who lived in the neighboring caves.
"The Dropas came down from the clouds in their aircraft.
Our men, women and children hid in the caves ten times before sunrise.
When at last they understood the sign language of the Dropas,
they realized that the newcomers had peaceful intentions...".
Another section expressed 'regret' by the Ham tribe that the aliens' spaceship had crash-landed in such a remote and inaccessible mountains and that there had been no way to building a new one to enable Dropas to return to their own planet. In the years since the discovery of the first disc, archeologists and anthropologists had learned more about the isolated Bayan-Kara-Ula area. And much of the information seemed to corroborate the bizarre story recorded on the discs. Legends still preserved in the area spoke of small, gaunt, yellow faced men who 'came from the clouds, long, long ago'.
The men had huge, bulging heads and puny bodies and were so ugly and repellent that they were hounded down by local tribesmen on horseback. Strangely, the description of the 'invaders' tallied with the skeletons originally discovered in the caves by Professor Chi Pu Tei. On the walls of the caves themselves archeologists had uncovered crude pictures of the rising Sun, the Moon, unidentifiable stars and the Earth... all joined together by lines of pea-sized dots. Along with the discs, the cave drawings had been dated around 12,000 years old.