Summary: A country with a particularly exciting number of UFO sightings is Russia, and the territories encompassed by the former Soviet Union. Even in the old communist days there was a suprising wealth of interest in the subject, though the official party line always continued to be dismissive on the matter.
A country with a particularly exciting number of UFO sightings is Russia, and the territories encompassed by the former Soviet Union. Even in the old communist days there was a suprising wealth of interest in the subject, though the official party line always continued to be dismissive on the matter.
The fact is that in 1968, as Professor L.A Artsimovich of the Russian Academy of Sciences, was publicly branding the UFO phenomenon as "unscientific", and a fantasy with "no scientific basis", there existed a determined and long term commitment on the part of the KGB, towards unraveling the enigma. This investigation, a serious long term endeavour was naturally cloaked in secrecy, and the findings can only be guessed at.
What we do know is that the raw material of case studies on which it was based must surely have been extensive. Russia and the former dependent territories have some of the most amazing UFO encounters ever documented. This is reflected in the immense public interest in the subject which has spawned popular TV programs, magazines, and newspaper articles. It even led to the founding of the government sponsored Ufological Centre, that claimed to process at least 15-20 new sightings each day! Some of these have been amongst the most dramatic ever made!
In 1980 for example, a factory worker on a small Baltic island off the coast of Estonia was reportedly struck by an orange beam that shot out from a landed UFO. He described the object as "glittering with colours", close to which stood two black cubes with a rotating pipe.The force of the beam made him fall backwards, and even after the craft had disappeared the witness complained of feeling sick for some time afterwards .
An event described as the "Russian Roswell", occurred in the extreme east of the country in the Vladivostock area in 1986. This involved a "flying sphere", that was seen to crash into a mountain known as hill 611, close to the village of Dalnegorsk. Like the Roswell incident of four decades earlier strange debris found at the crash site invited intense speculation! In his book "UFO's: Fact or Fiction writer Nigel Blundell comments: "The object disintegrated upon impact but investigators from the Academy of Sciences did find some debris, including a strange mesh material and a previously unknown aluminium alloy. Was it a rogue space probe as some have suggested, or something more sinister?"
In Moscow in 1958 a "flying saucer" seen on the ground suddenly spiralled up to the sky, and in the same year a radar alert led to planes being scrambled, but the targets proved impossible to find. Several sightings over the Kremlin itself have been claimed by police on guard, describing strange objects that have hovered over the famous Sparski Tower. In 1978 a bright yellow ball was seen over the bell tower of the cathedral in the Kremlin. Apparently it entered through an open door before vanishing with a loud crackling sound!
One of the most amazing Soviet encounters occurred in the summer of 1961. This was reported by the Italian science writer Alberto Fenoglio, who claimed that a massive UFO purposely stalked a secret Russian missile site! According to Fenoglio a vast "mother ship" together with a formation of smaller craft suddenly appeared overhead at a sensitive moment during the construction of a new rocket emplacement. This comprised part of Moscow's defence network and the worrying appearance of the UFO's caused considerable alarm. The order was given to open fire on the UFO's, but the missiles all exploded well short of their target! Successive salvoes proved equally ineffective, and even these were brought to an abrupt halt as the entire base was crippled by an electrical blackout, that rendered the missile systems completely inoperative.
The cloud mystery.
One of the most persistent of Russian enigmas surrounds the appearance of mysterious clouds. These have been observed elsewhere, but Russia and it's former territories has experienced more than its fair share of such sightings.
In January 1985 for example, passengers aboard two aircraft flying over Belorussia were amazed to witness a strange greenish cloud that was sending out shafts of bright light to the ground. Earlier sightings of similar happenings describe flashing lights that seem to "boil out" of the dark cloud. In 1982 off Bennett Island, Novaya Zemlya, large clouds of unaccountable origin continued to baffle scientists who found them impossible to account for. Sightings of this sort go back at least to the 1930's when a vast black cloud, again of unknown origin, turned night into day over wide stretches of central Siberia!
The skies above Russia have proved particularly fertile territory for numerous pilot sightings. In 1967 a commercial airliner operating on an internal route had its engines fail when a UFO was sighted directly overhead. Going into a controlled glide the engines were eventually coaxed back to life barely 2000 feet from the ground.
Many of Russia's elite fighter pilots have also encountered UFO's and several have been fired upon. At least two planes have been lost in this way, and it is believed that pilots are now given training to deal with these encounters. In the Ukraine in 1966 a Soviet pilot followed a UFO over the city of Odessa. The object was also tracked by ground radar before it eventually disappeared!
For yet more information see our topic The Churbakov Incident. This details the encounter of a young Russian pilot with a UFO who forced him to bail out from his aircraft.
The M Triangle.
Undoubtedly the most UFO intensive area in Russia is a remote region near the Ural mountains, approximately 600 miles east of Moscow. Known as the M-Triangle this is a place renowned for its weird phenomenon and strange manifestations. Mysterious happenings are part and parcel of daily life. Witnesses report seeing strange lights in the sky as well as flying objects, and encounters with translucent beings who emerge from the forest! People even report signs and letters written in the sky!
Russian writer Alexander Myagchenkov, author of the book "UFO - Unannounced visit", says that "incidents that have happened in that area are hard to believe, and it cannot be compared to any other place"! Myagchenkov claims that people who have visited the M-Triangle have sometimes developed astonishing powers and super-human abilities.
One notable example of acquiring extraordinary powers is the journalist and cosmonaut Pavel Mukhortov. Discharged from the army for health reasons, Mukhortov later found work as a journalist. Whilst reporting for a newspaper he began to read more and more about the strange powers associated with the M-Triangle and decided to visit the place for himself.
Apparently the area was already the focus of a KGB investigation, and this strengthened Mukhortov's resolve to find out the facts for himself. What he discovered was a remote and isolated area that immediately felt strange and eerie. Some of his group quickly became ill, and Mukhortov himself felt overcome by wild emotions.
Photos of strange flying objects were taken, and upon returning to Moscow Mukhortov felt changed. He believed he had been filled with great knowledge concerning aerospace physics, and a short time afterwards was admitted to the Soviet Space Programme as a cosmonaut. He believes the M-Triangle completely changed his life and believes it gave him abilities beyond his wildest expectation.
Another Russian author with experience of the M-Triangle is Emil Bachurin, who later wrote a book on the subject. He associates the triangle with many strange occurrences! The most amazing of these concerns the incredible events that befell a visiting research team. Very early in their visit they encountered a strange energy source and were chased into the surrounding woods by translucent lights that exuded a peculiar heat. As a result several members of the group received serious burns!
Later a glowing object stunned one of the research group, and one of the men was so disturbed by the area that he later committed suicide. Bachurin claims that UFO's are frequently seen in the area, either flying by or landing, leaving behind areas of increased radiation.
A visiting American television crew for the syndicated programme "Sightings", was allowed access to the M-Triangle, but warned to stay no longer than 24 hours. The Russian government was at pains to point out the considerable dangers of the area - events and happenings that though frequently investigated, could not be explained.
Almost immediately the visiting TV crew were acquainted with the areas strange powers. Weird lights encircled their encampment, and bizarre events and phenomena were captured on film. Locals were quick to relate their own wealth of experiences ranging from flashing red balls, to mysterious objects that flew about the sky. So common were these happenings that many of the locals saw nothing unusual in them and were even bored by them. Said one old woman: "I've seen saucers numerous times. To say they are nonsense is nonsense. We know what we see"!
Western Park, Voronzeh.
The most publicized and sensational of all Russia's urban encounters occurred in a park in the city of Voronzeh, situated around 300 miles south of Moscow! Here in September of 1989 children playing in the early evening sunshine were startled to witness a ball of fire encircle their play area before finally settling on a nearby tree. To their intense astonishment an alien figure nearly ten foot tall was seen to emerge from the apparition, and later climbed down and began walking about. The being was described as having a tiny head with three eyes, and skin that was wrinkled 'the colour of a grilled beef burger'.
Other witnesses speak of a glowing red object from which a door opened to let out a tall being with silvery arms that reached down to the knees. One of the children Vasya Surin claims that the figure brandished a pistol like weapon that he fired at a passer-by who was walking to a bus-stop, making him completely disappear. Seconds later the pedestrian reappeared again, but retained no recollection of the incident.
Witnesses insist that when the first craft took off it was followed by a second from which several tall beings were seen to emerge. These were then seen to examine a line of nearby electricity pylons. Reports of the incident were quickly circulated around the globe by the Tass news agency - a source not usually given to baseless speculation.
The fact was this was a well witnessed episode that was quick to receive a degree of official endorsement. The incident, which formed part of several such sightings in the area was later investigated by a Dr Silanov of the Voronezh Geophysical laboratory. He commented: 'In the period between 21st September and 28th October 1989, in Western Park Voronezh, six landings and one sighting were registered with the appearance of walking beings. We have collected a wealth of video materials with eye witness accounts particularly from pupils of the nearest school. We have no doubt they are telling the truth in their accounts'.
Predictably the alien element of many of the Russian sightings has in some sectors been overruled in favour of a more terrestrial explanation - that they were part of some secret Russian weapon. For instance the M- Triangle enigma has been placed in the light of a secret "psychotronic weapon", a device capable of manufacturing mass hallucinations.
The Robozero Incident.
Similar theories abound, but what they all ignore is that Russia has a history of these sightings that considerably outdates the advent of today's technological era. The most amazing of these cases is the Robozero incident.
Robozero is a small village nearly 700 miles from St Petersburg. On the 15 th of August 1663 a strange ball of fire descended on the village from a clear blue sky. Local witnesses speak of a great flaming ball from which emanated beams of light. These darted to an fro about the village, before disappearing in a lake, only to reappear again, an hour or so later.
On its second appearance the flaming mass caused great panic and hovered over the village for at least 90 minutes. According to contemporary sources, fishermen on the lake "were sorely burnt by the fire", and the water was lit up to its full depth of around 30 feet. In addition panic stricken fish flung themselves on dry ground in an effort to escape the looming presence. For weeks afterwards the lake remained coated in a bizarre rust deposit, and fish caught there exhibited burn marks and glowed with a translucent light! An Australian radio astronomer Robert Bracewell later speculated that the fireball may have been an alien space probe sent from the centre of our galaxy.
The Tunguska Incident.
In Siberia the infamous Tunguska incident barely needs introduction. Here in 1908 a vast fireball devastated woodland in a radius of up to 25 miles. Owing to the remoteness of the location and political sensitivity the locality was never properly investigated until many years later. The suspicion quickly formed that this was some form of nuclear explosion. But how? Was it a comet, meteorite, or a UFO? Like many of Russia's strange happenings the answers seem far from our current plane of understanding. A mystery that just gets stranger and stranger!