The Mystery of the Dropa Stones

Inside of a cave system, one of the strangest historic mysteries was discovered among the graves of what appear to be a humanoid race. To some, they tell a tale of aliens crashing in the Himalayas, only to die and bury their artifacts with them. Unfortunately, study of the Dropa Stones has been made impossible by China, which has ownership of the stones. The mystery is no closer to being solved than the day the Dropa and their stones were discovered.

dropa stones

A Han Dynasty bi, 16 cm in diameter.. Image Credit: Yongxinge

In 1938, a team of archaeologists found the graves of the Dropa while exploring a cave system in the Baian Kara Ula Mountains in the Himalayas. The discovery was made in China, close to Tibet. There were several rows of graves, all containing the remains of humans or humanoids that averaged about four feet in height. Their arms and legs were reportedly very long in relation to their bodies. They also had large heads. The archaeologists first assumed that they had found an ape graveyard. The problem was that apes are not known to bury their dead.

Another interesting discovery in the caves was cave drawings of the sky. There are some claims that carbon dating done of the pictures shows that they are between 10 and 12 thousand years old. This has not been confirmed. Further dating has not been attempted to the public’s knowledge.

The Dropas did not reveal their secrets. For all we know, they were merely a pigmy race, but they did give us one more thing to ponder – the Dropa Stones. The Dropa Stones are not round stones, as you would imagine. They are actually disc shaped objects that are from a few inches to several feet in size. Over the course of exploration, a total of 716 Dropa Stones have been found. The discs have holes through the center of them. Some sources say that these holes and discs show a perfection of artisanship. Only extensive study of the stones could tell.

As if the stones themselves were not mysterious enough, researchers found another aspect of them that baffled them even more. There are reportedly very thin spirals of text written on the Dropa Stones. The text is so small that they looked like grooves initially. The language on the texts is indecipherable, not because it is impossible to see, but because it is written in an unknown language.

For more than twenty years, the Dropa Stones sat in the basement of Beijing University. No new discoveries were made with them. Then, in 1962, Dr. Tsum Um Nui announced that he could read the language on the Dropa Stones. He said that a story was written on them, a story about a group of aliens crashing in the Himalayas. The aliens then met and learned to live with the people of the Ham tribe of the local area. They all lived amongst each other until the aliens died.

Strangely, there are (or were) tribes called the Ham and the Dropa in the area during recent times. The location of these people is something of a mystery in itself, but we do know that they are roughly 4 feet tall and have large heads in proportion to their bodies. The average weight of the people in these tribes is 38-52 pounds. It seems as if they could be ancestors of the beings whose remains were found in the graves. If so, either their ancestors believed that they were descended from aliens or they really were descended from aliens. That is of course, if the discs were translated correctly. It could also simply be that these people are short and so were the people who came before them. If they are aliens, it seems a little too coincidental that they are simply short humans. Of all the potential aliens out there, the ones we find are small people. Unlikely?

Another mystery surrounding the Dropa Stones is their age. If they were made at the time of the cave drawings and the carbon dating was really done and done appropriately, it would mean that the discs are roughly 11,000 years old. While experts are certain that the discs are very old, it has not been determined if they are as old as the paintings. At this point in time, we have no way of knowing who made them, if the translation of the text is correct or when they were made. The Dropa Stones remain a mystery of the most intriguing sort.

Dropa Stones, retrieved 11/05/09,
Clemens, Martin J., The Chinese Dropa Stones Conspiracy, retrieved 11/05/09,

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Shelly Barclay writes on a variety of topics from animal facts to mysteries in history. Her main focus is military and political history. She is a writer for the Boston History Examiner, Military History Examiner and the Boston American Revolution History Examiner. She also writes for a local historical society newsletter. Shelly was a professional cook for 10 years and still has a passion for food. She cooks and writes about cooking nearly every day. She produces a wide variety of content, on top of her niches. Shelly is a stepmother, a former military, current veteran wife, sister of four and aunt of seven (so far).

Historic Mysteries