The storyline begins in the near future, as referenced from the mid-1960s. Sinister aliens and giant monsters constantly threaten civilization during this period. The only Earth organization equipped to handle these disasters is the Science Special Search Party, or SSSP, a special worldwide police force equipped with high-tech weapons and vehicles, as well as extensive scientific and engineering facilities; this organization is called the Science Patrol. The branch of the Science Patrol that is focused on in the series is located in Tokyo, Japan. Led by Captain "Cap" Toshio Muramatsu, the Science Patrol is always ready to protect the Earth from rampaging monsters, but sometimes it finds itself outclassed. When the situation becomes desperate, Shin Hayata, the Patrol's most capable member, holds the key to salvation in the form of the "Beta Capsule," which, when activated, allows him to transform secretly into the super-humanoid-powered giant from space, who becomes known to the people of Earth as Ultraman.