|CUFON Note: This file
contains the text of a FOIA reply letter dated 14 March
1994 and a document supplied by the United States Air Force Air Intelligence Agency to
Mr. Dale Goudie. The document is the text of a booklet produced by the magazine "Sotsialisticheskaya
RELEASABLE ONLY BY CONTROLLING ACTIVITY
Controlling Activity: Commander
Document; AD B073127L
The document is not actually dated within the text but the National Air Intelligence Center document date is 1983. This is 14 years after the USAF says it got out of the UFO business when Project Bluebook closed in 1969.
No information about which agency collected the information or who translated it into English is given. It is interesting to note that text of a public (in the USSR) magazine article would be classified and remain restricted now, 11 years later... and be held by Foreign Technology Division, Wright- Patterson Air Force base: the former home of Project Blue Book.
This is an example of a non-US document being obtained via US Freedom of Information Act which some in their ignorance maintain is impossible.
Please note that items in [ ] brackets seem to be translator's explanatory notes. I suspect that the item which reads "[casus]" was intended to be "[causes]". There are several misspellings, I have endeavored to allow these to remain as received.
- Jim Klotz CUFON SYSOP -
DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE
14 March 1994
Dear Mr. Goudie
Attached is the document you requested in your letter dated January 13, 1994, to the Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC). DTIC forwarded your request to us on 28 Feb 1994, and was received by us on 4 March 1994. You requested copies of records relating to a subject which has been referred to by many terms over the years as shown by the thousands of pages of declassified released government documents. The most common term is "Unidentified Flying Objects." Others, but not all, are: "UFO's," "UFOBs," "unidentified aerial phenomena," "flying disks," "flying saucers," "unauthorized aerial objects," "anomalous lights," "uncorrelated targets," "unidentified aircraft," and "fastwalkers."
DTIC conducted a search and found the attached document. Your request was processed in the all others category. Fees were waived due to the amount being less than $15.00.
JAMES E. MILLER, JR., Colonel, USAF
"Freedom Through Vigilance"
Dear editorial staff.
On the 30 of June of this year your newspaper contained an article under the heading "Where Do Flying Saucers Come From." In it the entire problem of unidentified flying objects is reduced to a number of amusing incidents. I do not share the enthusiastic certainty of those who believe that from time to time beings from other planets come in contact with us. However, at the same time, I am firmly convinced that a serious and devoted study of UFO's can broaden the horizons of our knowledge of nature. What is the opinion of scientists on this subject?
A. Khodyrev, Moscow.
There will be no sensations - I was convinced of that on my way to a meeting with a doctor of chemical sciences, Professor M. Dmitriyev at the Institute of general and Communal Hygiene im. A. N. Sysin. However, the scientist chose to begin our conversation precisely with the sensation pertaining to still the same NLO [UFO's] - unidentified flying objects. He reached for a foreign magazine published in Russian language and showed me the following report.
According to the story of a certain farmer, he was traveling through the forest in his cart when he saw two individuals walking. They were not over a meter and a half in height, dressed in narrow, black, tight-fitting overalls resembling astronaut suits, and their faces and hands were green. The striking feature of these individuals were their elongated eyes, which were somewhat off to the sides of the face, and sharp cheekbones. They jumped into the cart and after several dozen meters motioned the farmer to stop not too far from a machine suspended
above the ground and ordered him ( again by gestures) to undress. When he had done this, they "examined" or "photographed" him with a certain camera, which looked like two saucers. After that they motioned to him that he was free to go.
Having returned home, the farmer told his relatives what happened to him, but when the villagers arrived at the spot they saw only trampled grass, prints of strange footware, and other signs which seemed to support that someone was here indeed. At about the same time, at a distance of about 700 meters from this clearing, a six-year old boy, who was playing in the yard, saw, as he told, a strange "airplane" flying very low to the ground with a pilot, who had a green face.
The author of this report is a scientist. He writes that the eyewitnesses were examined medically, even a psygalvanometer was used which is the "most sensitive part of a lie detector." Conclusions? "... The possibility of encounters with UFO's, no matter how strange they may seem, cannot be discounted."
"What do you think about this?", asked the professor.
I shrugged my shoulders. Undoubtedly the reader would be interested much more in what he thinks, a specialist, and not I. But since the question was posed to me I replied that I have never considered, and do not consider, the problem of "flying saucers" more important than all others. I consider the passion shown to this subject and the stir created by the given "lectures" to be interesting, first of all, as a purely psychological phenomenon. And, in general, it is understandable. In the past people believed in a wood-goblin [Russ. myth.], while today it is science fiction - and the scientists themselves have conceived such "modern" hypotheses that to compare the fairy tales about the wood-goblin is like comparing the hoe to a jet liner. This science-fiction boom has left a noticeable mark in the consciousness of some people. It is indeed this boom that produced quite a number of interesting ideas, expanded the inner world of man, and gave a new meaning to the world around us. But, alas, science fiction also has its own letdowns, dead-ends, and repetitions. They are not drawn into literature and the science does not accept them also. And so they, these myths of the UFO era, get trapped in the consciousness instead of the previous wood-goblins. house spirits, and saints -"a holy place is never empty" [a literal translation of a proverb.
Some of us let in the "new tenants" more readily, when those who conceived them act, shall we say, in the spirit of the age - making their claims in the name of science and attempt to interpret to intercept the mysteries, which have not been studied sufficiently yet by science.
Professor M. Dmitriyev is one of those who has introduced a stream of health skepticism into the "saucer" problem. I found out about his theory two years ago. the essence of his theory is in the fact that a number of unusual phenomena, including ball lightning, "flying saucers," Petrozavodsk phenomenon, the riddle of the "Bermuda Triangle," the mystery of the Tunguska Explosion, and others, which were caused not by beings from other planets visiting the Earth but by natural causes. Substances accumulate in the various areas of the atmosphere which are capable of reacting with one another; the onset and the course of these reactions can be affected by solar rays, hard cosmic radiation, ordinary lightning, and aerosols.
Depending on the nature of the process taking place in them, these natural formations (I would like to call them "reactors") can believe differently - they can either hang motionless, or "pursue" an airplane, repeating all its motions precisely, or, similar to landmines, perform abrupt jumps. This is usually accompanied by the effect that is known to all - luminescence of the substances that have entered the reaction - chemiluminescence. If the energy in such formations is low, they may go unnoticed by a person - only the radar screens will show unexpected flashes. But the energy clusters can be enormous, and then this is fraught with catastrophes of the type that occurred at Tunguska.
Such is the theory, and it is supported by the experiments and calculations in many respects. But still, there you are - another story about green beings from other planets. Did the professor decide to play my role?
"No," he said, "to show an example of how people depart from the urgent problems to the pseudoproblems, to 'ufology'." (UFO - the initial letters of the English equivalent of our NLO).
"In your opinion, what constitutes the urgency of the problem of anomalous atmospheric phenomena?"
"First, the study of the mechanism of these phenomena is of great scientific significance. Second, we the scientists are obligated to
give recommendations concerning the means of protection ...."
"Of course. Several years ago, for example, ball lightning got into naphthalene storage at the Makeyevskiy by-product coke plant, resulting in a considerable loss. the papers described a case, which was investigated by us especially, when a group of mountain climbers was struck by a ball lightning. There are known cases of cattle being injured. the usual lightning-protection devices are ineffective in this case. Finally, we now have a sufficient amount of data to start talking about the practical application of this phenomenon in national economy."
"You don't say?"
"Yes. Frequently, the energy concentrated in certain anomalous formations reaches 1010 Joules. It can be uses quite efficiently for, let us say, digging tunnels through mountains. Another area that shows promise is in the obtaining of nitrogen compounds so badly needed for the production of valuable fertilizers."
"In short, the problem is urgent indeed. But what about contacts with other worlds? Is it realistic or not?"
"You see, I am not a supporter of the hypothesis that life on our Earth is unique. But contacts with other worlds... Of the ten thousand (!) cases studied by us over a period of twenty years, not one of them gave us grounds to assert that someone has visited our planet."
"But how are we to deal with the green-faced beings described in the article you gave to read? Even a lie detector was used...."
"The selection of an instrument depends on what one plans to investigate," smiled professor. "Let us recall - haven't there been quite a number of cases in the history of religion when the virgin or saints appeared to people. I am convinced that anyone who had such a vision would have confirmed its validity both by swearing and by a lie detector. We, however, examine this material evidence in our laboratory left by the anomalous phenomena on soil, water, in the air, and on the negatives. We have a number of instruments for such investigations, both those built by us - we have the certificates of invention - and other well-known devices; for example, scintillating mass-spectrometer. On the basis of color, intensity, and nature of luminescence we can determine what substances take part in a reaction. We have
learned to recreate and study certain events in the laboratory, if we cannot observe them in nature. We go on the premise that a visit, even if it is just by us, from other planets would certainly have given us if only insignificant but a material piece of evidence - just a dust particle, just a short radio signal. But so far, I repeat, there are no such pieces of evidence, while those available to us have a totally different property. It is this evidence that we are studying...."
The professor offered me another article to read. It was his article written with other specialists and published in the Journal of Technical Physics. It goes on to say:
What follows were accurately recorded technical details - description of the slag, dimensions of its lumps, their photographs, radiometry data, which were verified at the NII of nuclear physics of the NGU [Moscow State University]. However that is not all. The article goes on to say that this phenomenon was repeated in the laboratory, the energy of the flash was calculated, and the temperature estimated -it was hot enough to melt quartz.
Let us note: there is not a single word about the material details in the foreign press concerning the beings from outer space. The assumption of UFO's is based wholly on personal stories! And another difference. Even though there is a mass of the most fine details in the Khabarovsk version, the conclusion based on these details is made
with much reservation - it is possible to assume that the most probable mechanism of ball lightning is connected with a powerful high-frequency magnetic radiation in a certain frequency range at a certain wavelength.
"The discussion of the problem, which is devoid of material evidence," says Dmitriyev, "would resemble a religious gathering, where everything revolves around the question 'to believe or not to believe'." Let us offer such arguments to the 'ufologists'. One of them, incidentally, reproached me openly in the press for my scientific interests being 'earthbound', for my disbelief in the meeting that will soon take place between the brothers of intellect...."
Professor sighed - "I am concerned by the approach of some of our other scientists to this problem. In the opinion of some, we are studying not actual events but who knows what. This is a direct negation of the problem. There is also an indirect negation - the attempts to reduce it to separate, random, and odd events [casus] like concentration of insects, optical illusions, and sounding balloons. Of course such events occur; however, it is doubtful that the thousands of cases studied by us can be explained by these events alone. And should one keep quite about the well-known facts? At one time the Academy of Sciences had placed a ban on any mention of meteorites, having declared them to be nonexistent'. But this did not stop them from falling down to Earth. On the other hand, hushing up the problem in order to reduce the amount of unhealthy speculations around it, usually, produces the opposite effect. The people reason - there must be something to it for them to keep it from us. Thus, another impetus is created for one to get carried away by 'ufology'. It is annoying to see some of our publications show such a guarded attitude not only to this problem but also to the attempts to rebut it on the basis of scientific and materialistic positions.
The UFO problem is also suffering from another aspect. It originated at the junction point of sciences. And how they 'interface' and interact is also a question.
For instance, it is known that along with the theory of chemiluminescence, recently another theory was proposed by a professor of the Oceanology Institute, G. Barenblat and A. Monin, director of the institute while back it was being discussed in the 'Izvestiya'. The crux
of this theory is that the 'saucer-like formations' are unique aerial 'spinning tops', which can serve as traps for aerosols.
M. Dmitriyev, who keeps a close watch on everything relative to this problem, also knows about this turbulent theory. Why not surmise that the oceanologists are examining not the electrical and chemical aspects, just as he, but the aerodynamic aspect of the same phenomenon? How is one to know, perhaps this 'aerial top' is that 'pot', where the nature cooks the mixtures of the toxic effect that could be the reason for the misfortunes in the 'Bermuda Triangle'? And perhaps such a top produces the danger of an explosion of the type that occurred at Tungaskaya (the result of which, M. Dmitriyev is convinced, was the fallout of the biologically active nitrous compounds that fertilized the soil and thus caused the 'acceleration' of pines)?
Having prepared these and other questions, I visit the Oceanology Institute to see G. Barenblat. And what do I discover? They heard neither of Dmitriyev nor his theory. this is very strange, because his work is known, and not only in this country. For example, a respectable monograph of D. Barri published recently in New York on "Ball and Beaded Lightning' ('On the Extreme Effects of the Atmospheric Electricity). The bibliography of this work has over one hundred and eighty names. more numerous are the works written by Academician P. Kapits and M. Dmitriyev, while there is not a single reference made to the work done by the oceanologists. I tell them this not all in reproach. Still I would like to ask them - how can one work on a problem without first finding out what was done in this area and by whom in the past?
There is another known direction in which investigations are being conducted. It is represented in the booklet published by the Space Research Institute, AS USSR - 'Observations of Anomalous Atmospheric Phenomena in the USSR', conducted by L. Grindilis, D. Men'kov, and I. Petrovskaya. this work deals not with the problem itself but rather the approaches to it. It presents a statistical analysis of several hundred testimonies given by eyewitnesses. Only testimony without any references to material 'evidence'. Neither do the authors make any attempts to explain the nature of this phenomenon. Consequently, everyone reading this booklet is free to render his own interpretation of the material written.
Finally, there is one more point of view of this problem. It can be termed philological. It is presented clearly, for example, in one of the recent issues of the popular magazine 'Tekhnika - Molodezhi', where the opinions of V. Vilinbakhov, candidate of historical sciences, and I. Lisevich, doctor of philosophical sciences, are presented along with interesting material on ball lightning. Both authors review the myths held by the peoples of this world which, in one way or another, deal with the strangers from the sky. the articles of these authors do not assert that our planet was visited by beings from the outer space but pose a question - what was the real basis for the creation of these myths?
In short, different opinions regarding this problem are being developed independently of one another, without contacts and discussions, which are so necessary for scientific knowledge.
And here is another thing. Letters from all parts of the country arrive at the Institute of General and Communal Hygiene almost every day. Voluntary helpers communicate to the scientists as to where, when, and under what circumstances they witnessed the anomalous atmospheric phenomena. I read: "A glowing hemisphere was traveling fast across the sky to the east at an altitude of 3.5 thousand meters." "....After the sphere exploded there was a strong odor of sulphur, as though a whole box of matches was burned."
It can be seen from many letters that its authors are not inclined to relate what they have seen as the ultimate truth but they hope that their evidence will help the scientists to find it.
What is 'unhealthy' in this interest? I do not understand.
R. Lynev, scientific
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