Image via AP.

Astronaut Yang Liwei became the first Chinese space explorer in 2003 when he orbited the earth for 21 hours. While free of our planet’s bummer gravity, he may have encountered travelers from another galaxy, escaping their own planetary routine.

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It’s been thirteen years, but people are still curious about Yang’s experience in the great beyond. In an recent interview with Chinese Central Television, Yang revealed that while he was Up There, he had a close-encounter. Of the third kind.

“A non-causal situation I have met in space is a knock that appeared from time to time.”

“It neither came from outside nor inside the spaceship, but sounded like someone is knocking the body of the spaceship just as knocking an iron bucket with a wooden hammer.”

That is very non-casual*** indeed: An alien banging on your door for a cup of space sugar sounds extremely terrifying and un-chill. Apparently, when Yang touched down again in the grasslands of Mongolia, he tried to describe his experience to technicians to figure out if his spaceship was haunted or broken. He even attempted to recreate the noises using instruments (see: iron bucket, wooden hammer). Their source has not been discovered, so the most obvious explanation is extra-terrestrial lifeforms love pranks. Knock and run!

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The sound has reportedly been heard by Shenzhou 6 and Shenzhou 7 astronauts as well, which perhaps points to a Chinese spaceship design issue. Or maybe aliens have no interest in astronauts in the west? Yang says he warned them,“Before entering space, I have told them that the sound is a normal phenomenon, so there is no need to worry.”

**Probably

***[edited to add: he said non-CAUSAL, I know]