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Tunguska Report

UFO Casebook

original source |  fair use notice


"Shortly after 7 A.M. on June 30, 1908, early rising farmers,

herdsmen, and trappers in the sparsely settled vastness of

the central Siberia Plateau watched in awe as a cylindrical

object, glowing with an intense bluish --- white light and

trailing a fiery tail, raced across a clear blue sky toward

the northern horizon. At 7:17, over a desolate region of bogs

and low, pine covered hills traversed by the Stony Tunguska

River, it disappeared; instantly, a "pillar of fire" leaped

skyward, so high it was seen hundreds of miles away; the

earth shuddered under the impact of a titanic explosion; the

air was wracked by thunderous claps; and a superheated wind

rushed outward, setting yurts of the taiga on fire. At a

trading post forty miles from the blast, a man sitting on the

steps of his house saw the blinding flash and covered his

eyes; he felt scorched, as if the shirt on his back were

burning, and the next moment he was hurled from the steps by

a shock wave and knocked unconscious. Four hundred miles to

the south the ground heaved under the tracks of the recently

completed Trans-Siberian Railway, threatening to derail an

express. And above the Tunguska region a mass of black

clouds, piling up to a height of twelve miles, dumped a

shower af "black rain" on the counrtyside --- dirt and debris

sucked --- up by the explosion --- while rumblings like heavy

artillery fire reverberated throughout central Russia.

Since seismographs and barographs everywhere had recorded the

event, the entire world knew that something extraordinary had

occurred in the Siberian wilderness. But what? Scientists

conjectured that a giant meteorite must have fallen, explod-

ing from the intense heat its impact generated. On hitting

the ground, such a body would, theoretically, have blown out

a huge crater like the one in Arizona, three-quarters of a

mile square, left by a meteorite that fell fifty thousand

years ago, but the Siberian "impact site" turned out to be a

dismal swamp, with no trace of a meteorite to be seen."

The Tunguska Incident.. Another view:

Extracted from "THE COMET IS COMING!" by Nigel Calder

Copyrighted 1980 * British Boradcasting Corporation

35 Marylebone High Street, London, England W1M 4AA


Early in the morning of 30 June 1908 the driver of the Trans-

Siberian express heard loud bangs and imagined that his train

had exploded. When he stopped, his wide-eyed passengers said

they had seen a bright blue ball of fire streaking across the

sky, trailing smoke. Six hundred kilometres away to the north-

east, in the valley of the Podkamennaya Tunguska river, a

blast uprooted huge areas of forest. It slaughtered reindeer

and scattered the tents of nomads camping far from the

explosion. In present-day terms, it was like an H-bomb going

off. Experts hearing the news suspected a big meteorite but

inconvenient wars and revolution prevented them reaching the

scene until 1927. Then, and in subsequent Soviet expediltions,

they found the shattered forest but no large crater, only a

number of small holes and some meteoritic grains a tenth of a

millimetre in diameter.

The strange goings-on in Siberia were therefore open to any

outlandish or other worldly explanation. When the physicists

discovered anti-matter people suggested that a chunk of that

deadly stuff, annihilating ordinary matter, had caused the

Tunguska Event. A distinguished British nuclear-weapons maker

supported the suggestion that a natural nuclear bomb fell out

of the sky at Tunguska. Flying saucers became popular, so the

Siberian backwoods were flattened by an alien spaceship crash-

ing, or taking off. No sooner had astronomers become inter-

ested in black holes than one of those was said to have bored

through the Earth: in at Tunguska and out through the Atlan-


By far the most plausible explanation of the Tunguska Event was

that a small comet hit the Earth. This suggestion originated in

in 1930 with Francis Whipple of Kew, London, not to be confused

with Fred Whipple, Snowball Maker, of Cambridge, Massachusetts.

But the rise of the snowball theory of comets encouraged that

view of Tunguska, and by the l960s Soviet scientists were

inclined to agree with it. In 1975, an Israeli scientist, Ari

Ben-Menahem of Rehovot, reassessed all the information and con-

cluded that the main explosion occurred 8.5 kilometres above

the ground and was equivalent to 12.5 megatons (million tons)

of high explosive going off. That equals a moderately large H-

bomb. To cause such a blast, David Hughes of Sheffield calcul-

ated that the impact on the atmosphere of a Whipple-Whipple

snowball a mere forty metres in diameter, and weighing about

50,000 tons, would be sufficient.

The absence of large stones and craters makes sense if the comet

consisted mainly of ices. That it was not spotted in space be-

fore it hit is unsurprising: so small a comet would not be

visible to the naked eye until a few minutes before impact. Mat-

erial shed from the comet as it sloped in through the atmosphere

above Europe and Asia explains a mysterious brightening of the

night sky noted in those regions in July 1908. There was just

one snag. An American Nobel prizewinner had supported the propo-

sition that the Tunguska Event was caused by a body containing

anti-matter, by saying that the amount of radioactive carbon in

Earth's atmosphere was increased by the event. Hughes and a col-

league went to some pains to account for the radiocarbon, until

a letter from the famous man said he meant the opposite: there

no increase in radiocarbon.

The Tunguska comet coincided with a daylight meteor shower

consisting of dust particles left in the orbit of the comet

Encke, so it was probably a very small fragment of that comet.

Lubor Kresak of Bratislava has made out the detailed case for

this identification. If tbe whole nucleus of Encke, 100,000

times more massive, hit Siberia, it would kill more than rein-

deer. But the threat to the earth comes not just from the

active comets that brandish their heads and tails around the

Solar System, but from the small, dark apollo objects, the

micro-planets that cross the Earth's path.

End of Quote

This appears to have as many holes in it as the Meteorite

theory. What material created the fusion? These scientist

appear to be guessing like the rest. Comets do NOT maneuver

as witnesses in other writings have stated.

Here is the Third and last Version..

Radioactive? Yes, many newspapers carried, early in 1959, a new

theory about what had previously been regarded as the fall of a gi-

ant meteorite in Siberia over fifty years ago. The London Daily

Express of May 4, 1959, published an article which stated:

A theory that a spaceship from another planet reached Earth 51

years ago is causing a major split among Russia's leading scien-


An expedition from Moscow is now working in the remote forest

where on June 30, 1908, what has been known as the 'Great Siber-

ian Meteorite' fell,

Radiation measurements are being taken.

Three of the Russian scientists, Professors Kukarkin, Kninov

and Fesenkov, say it was PROBABLY a meteorite. But they cau-

tiously use the word "phenombnon" instead.

And Professors Alexander Kazantsev and B. Lapunov insist it

MUST have been a rocket or ship coming from Mars.

Kazantsev, who has been accumulating evidence for the spaceship

theory for years, has released some details to the Czechs and

the Poles.

Never has the mystery been considered with such thorough-


These are the facts: On that June day the inhabitants of the

Jenissi district of Siberia saw a gigantic ball of fire. Imme-

diately afterwards there was a colossal explosion which devas-

tated a forest area of 70 miles in diameter.

The shock waves were registered in England

Scientists looked in vain for traces of a meteorite and a

crater. Curiously, in the center of the devastated region only

the tops of trees had been snapped off.

But the meteorite theory persisted-until the atomic bomb

exploded over Hiroshima.

Then just afer the war, Kazantsev tentatively said that the

Hiroshima devastation bore great similarity to that in the

Siberian forest.

He said then: 'An atomic explosion took place in Siberia at

the height of one and a half miles.' He was not taken seriously.

In 1951 he was helped by Professor Lapunov and both of them

formed the idea of an atomic propelled vehicle which exploded

while trying to land.

Several expeditions were sent to the site. One came back last

summer with the report: No meteorite evidence at all.

This report set the controversy alight again.

Soviet aerodynamics expert, Manotskov, has lent strength to

the spaceship theory. He says that the Siberian 'fireball' was

braking as it approached Earth, so that its final speed was about

one to two kilometers per second, instead of between 30 to 60

kilometers per second as with meteorites.

The SYDNEY SUN, Australia, quoting from the official Czech

trade union newspaper, PRACE, stated that the Russian scientist

in a book called A GUEST FROM THE UNIVERSE had written that people

living near the explosian died of a then unknown illness with the

same symptoms as exposure to atomic radiation and that the explo-

sion had its biggest impact at some distance from its center

exactly like an atom explosion.

I still say it was an exploded UFO or missle..NOT a comet or

meteorite... For thos that asked.. Jim

Carl Sagan just barely touches on the sibject but will say very

little about it.

Read more articles on this topic:

The Tunguska Event - Siberia, 1908