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UFOs in the daily Press:

UFOs in the USSR, 1990:

This article was published in the daily newspaper The New York Tribune, USA, on June 21, 1990.

SOVIET PRESS AIRS STARTLING UFO EVIDENCE FROM MILITARY SOURCES

ANTONIO HUNEEUS/SCIENCE FRONTIERS

Second in a two-part series.

Last week we revealed how the Soviet Union is experiencing an intense UFO wave and how, due to glasnost, what was once a forbidden subject is now covered in detail by the Soviet Press. Even cases involving the Soviet military are now reaching the public.

On Sept. 30, 1989, the newspaper Sotsiahisticheskaya Industriya (Socialist Industry) quoted Anatoliy Listratov, chairman of the anomalous phenomena section of the All-Union Astronomical and Geodesic Society, that "Soviet military officers and pilots had recently started providing some documentation on UFO sightings." That and similar articles were translated by the U.S. government's Foreign /broadcast Information Service (FBIS). An FBIS "Foreign Press Note" entitled "USSR: Media Report Multitude of UFO Sightings" was dated Nov. 22, 1989.

The article described one of the most serious UFO injury cases ever reported, involving the scramble of two Soviet jets over the city of Borisov in Byelorussia: "The crews of two Soviet aircraft reported seeing a large flying disk in their vicinity with five beams of lights emanating from it: three beams were directed toward the ground and two were projected upward when the object was first sighted. The ground controller instructed one of the planes to alter its course and approach the object, at which point the disk flew to the same level and aimed one of its beams at the approaching Soviet plane, illuminating the cockpit."

The pilot's log stated, "At this time, the copilot was at the controls. He observed the maneuver that the object had just carried out and was able to raise his hand to shield himself from the unbearable light. The aircraft commander was resting in the adjoining seat, and a bright ray of light, projecting a spot with a diameter of 20 centimeters, passed across his body. Both pilots felt heat."

One Injured, Another Dead

Both crewmen later became "invalids," the article said. "The copilot was forced to leave his job due to a sudden deterioration in his health, including the onset of sudden prolonged periods of 'loss of consciousness.' The aircraft commander died within a few months. The cause of death was listed as 'cancer' and 'injury to the organism as a result of radiation from an unidentified flying object' was listed as a contributing factor on the official medical record in the hospital where the commander died."

This is not the only military UFO incident to be reported in the Soviet press. In an unprecedented statement published in Rabochaya Tribuna on April 19, General of Aviation Igor Maltsev, chief of the Main Staff of Air Defense Forces, openly discussed a radar-visual and jet scramble incident on the Pereslavl-Zalesskiy region, east of Moscow, on the night of March 21. This article was also translated by FBIS and leaked to some American ufologists. We have also secured a Russian copy of the article entitled "UFOs on Air Defense Radars."

Due to its importance we shall quote Gen. Maltsev's statement in full. He said: "I am not a specialist on UFOs and therefore I can only correlate the data and express your own supposition. According to the evidence of these eyewitnesses, the UFO is a disk with a diameter from 100 to 200 meters. Two pulsating lights were positioned on its sides. When the object flew in a horizontal plane the line of the lights was parallel to the horizon. During vertical movement it rotated and was perpendicular to the ground. Moreover, the object rotated around its axis and performed an 'S-turn' flight both in the horizontal and vertical planes. Next, the UFO hovered over the ground and then flew with a speed exceeding that of the modern jet fighter by 2 or 3 times. All of the observers noticed that the flight speed was directly related to the flashing of the side lights: the more often they flashed, the higher the speed."

"The objects flew at altitudes ranging from 1,000 to 7,000 meters. The movement of the UFOs was not accompanied by sound of any kind and was distinguished by its startling maneuverability. It seemed the UFOs were completely devoid of inertia. In other words, they had somehow 'come to terms' with gravity. At the present time, terrestrial machines could hardly have any such capabilities. The object was observed as a 'pip' from a radar target on the screens of aircraft radar sights and on the screens of several electronic surveillance sub-units. One station did not establish an observation."

Rabochaya Tribuna also said unit commanders compiled "more than 100 visual observations" and passed them on to Gen. Maltsev. Lt. Col. A.A. Semenchenko "received the command to go on an alert exercise" at 21:38 hours. "I received my task of detecting and identifying a target at an altitude of 2000 meters," he reported. He established visual contact, although "the target did not respond to the 'identify, friend or die,' request." Considering the Borisov incident, it is interesting to note his comment, "with the permission of the command post, I locked my sights onto the radiation after checking to be sure that the weaponry was switched off." The paper also published the testimonies of four captains and a radar post as well as a photograph taken of the Yaroslavskiy Highway.

A 'Victory' for UFO Buffs

The newspaper editors commented, "UFO enthusiasts can celebrate a victory. It is the first time that the military so openly and impressively witness on behalf of 'flying saucers.' Especially pleasing is the fact that the disclosure was made by air defense representatives, people who possess unique technical possibilities for observations. Maybe now they will disclose past secrets, legends of which are very popular. Let us hope that the present publication is a good occasion for further disclosures."

The editors went on to say that these incidents "demolish a hypothesis which relate UFOs to atmospheric phenomena." This is particularly interesting since in June of 1989, the official Soviet Military Review published an article on "UFOs and Security," which concluded that UFOs were most likely related to "certain plasma formations."

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