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URECAT - UFO Related Entities Catalog

URECAT is a formal catalog of UFO related entities sightings reports with the goal of providing quality information for accurate studies of the topic. Additional information, corrections and reviews are welcome at patrick.gross@inbox.com, please state if you wish to be credited for your contribution or not. The main page of the URECAT catalog is here.


Brief summary of the event and follow-up:

On April 29, 1978, a newspaper of Singapore and a newspaper in France reported a story claiming that in Kuala-Lumpur Malaysia, or somewhere in Java, 30, or 50 people, at an electronics factory became hysterical at the sight of a "headless phantom" the day before, apparently.

It seems that the French newspaper told that it started with a female employee of a factory of electronic components of the suburbs of Kuala-Lumpur, who allegeldy saw this "headless phantom" in her microscope and would have been taken of spasms during two hours, then 30 other employees allegdly were victims of a "crisis of mass hysteria" and finally a few hours later, another female employee allegedly observed the same phantom and "fell into a transe."

Basic information table:

Case number: URECAT-001206
Date of event: April 1978 or April 28, 1978.
Earliest report of event: April 29, 1978
Delay of report: 1 or 7 days
Witness reported via: Not known.
First alleged record by: Foreign newspaper.
First certain record by: Foreign newspaper.
First alleged record type: Foreign newspaper.
First certain record type: Foreign newspaper.
This file created on: December 6, 2009
This file last updated on: December 6, 2009
Country of event: Malaysia or Java
State/Department: Kuala Lumpur, or ?
Type of location: Electronic components factory.
Lighting conditions: Not reported, or seen under a microscope.
UFO observed: No
UFO arrival observed: N/A
UFO departure observed: N/A
UFO/Entity Relation: None
Witnesses numbers: 2 or 2 or 50
Witnesses ages: Not reported.
Witnesses types: Not reported. Female, workers.
Photograph(s): No.
Witnesses drawing: No.
Witnesses-approved drawing: No.
Number of entities: 1
Type of entities: Microscopic
Entities height: Microscopic
Entities outfit type: Not reported.
Entities outfit color: Not reported.
Entities skin color: Not reported.
Entities body: Not reported.
Entities head: Headless.
Entities eyes: Not reported.
Entities mouth: Not reported.
Entities nose: Not reported.
Entities feet: Not reported.
Entities arms: Not reported.
Entities fingers: Not reported.
Entities fingers number: Not reported.
Entities hair: Not reported.
Entities voice: Not reported.
Entities actions: Was spotted under the microsocope.
Entities/witness interactions: None.
Witness(es) reactions: Observed, crises, transes.
Witness(es) feelings: Frightened to crisis and transes.
Witness(es) interpretation: Headless phantom.
Explanation category: Press invention or confusion, local superstition. Not a UFO occupants case.
Explanation certainty: Medium.


[Ref. st1:] "STRAIT TIMES":

'Headless phantom' sparks hysteria

PETALING [?] JAVA, Fri. A factory here manufacturing electronic components was forced to shut down temporarily when 50 of its workers, mostly ["(iris", misprint for?], were overcome by hysteria. The seizure occurred among workers in two shifts yesterday the first at about 4 p.m., and the second time at... [remainder not available online]


The Belgian ufologist indicates that in April 1978, in Malaysia, in Kuala-Lumpur, according to the daily newspaper Paris – Normandie for April 29, 1978, an employee of a factory of electronic components of the suburbs of Kuala-Lumpur allegedly saw a headless phantom in her microscope. This employee was seized by spasms during two hours and thirty other employees were then victims of a mass hysteria crisis. A few hours later, another employee observed the same phantom and fell in transe.

The source is indicated as "Christian DE ZAN: 'Guide du Chasseur de Phénomènes OVNI', De Vecchi publisher 1980, p 63".

The ufologist comments "that's a good one, isn't it?"

Points to consider:

Source [st1] this is an online preview of the beginning of the Strait Times newspaper article, probably the result of OCR operation on the original, hence at least two words that my have been incorrectely recognized. "PETALING JAVA" suggests that the case possibly occurred somewhere in Java, not Malaysia. "Fri." suggests it occurred on the Friday previous to the 29th of April 1978, i.e. the 28th, or that it was first reported on that Friday.

At least source [st1] proves that the story was published in at least two widely separated newspapers of the time; this suggests some News Agency spread it.

Of course the "headless phantom seen under the microscope" has very little chance to have been a UFO occupant, and one could wonder why this whimsical story entered at least a UFO book and a UFO cases catalogue.

And of course, it is possible that the entire story was some sensationalist press invention - no primary source is given and I found none. Or that details of the incident were poorly translated and that "something" was seen but not under a microscope, or that the so-called "mass hysteria" was exaggerated - one version says 30 people became hysterical, the other says they were 50.

List of issues:

Id: Topic: Severity: Date noted: Raised by: Noted by: Description: Proposal: Status:
1 Data Severe December 6, 2009 Patrick Gross Patrick Gross Primary sources not available. Help needed. Opened.
2 Ufology Severe December 6, 2009 Patrick Gross Patrick Gross Impossible to check as it stands. Help needed. Opened.
3 Ufology Severe December 6, 2009 Patrick Gross Patrick Gross Apparently a contradiction about the place, in the press. Help needed. Opened.


Press invention or confusion, local superstition. Not a UFO occupants case.

Sources references:

* = Source I checked.
? = Source I am told about but could not check yet. Help appreciated.

Document history:


Main Author: Patrick Gross
Contributors: None
Reviewers: None
Editor: Patrick Gross

Changes history

Version: Created/Changed By: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross December 6, 2009 Creation, [st1], [go1].
1.0 Patrick Gross December 6, 2009 First published.

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This page was last updated on December 6, 2009