by Nigel Watson
We live on an ocean planet, so it is not surprising that UFOs are seen over or in the vicinity of the great expanses of water that surround us. Certainly it would make sense that alien visitors would want to explore them, and some ufologists believe that they have built underwater bases.
Stonehill and Mantle show that USOs are not a new phenomenon. For example, in 1065 AD, in ancient Ukraine, a star was regularly seen after sunset in the west, projecting blood red rays. In the same period fisherman rescued a terrifying looking child from their nets. It was so frightening in appearance that they threw it back in the river Setoml, and the sun subsequently dimmed.
Later, on 15 August 1663 AD, a great noise was heard over the Robozero Lake, 50 kilometres southwest of Belozersk, followed by a huge 40 metre diameter flaming sphere that sent two beams of light into the lake. The sighting could have been due to a meteor or ball lightning, but an expedition led by Candidate of Science, E. Gorshkove in 1982, found evidence that something had discharged high levels of energy in the area where this was seen.
Nearer our own time, on 9 August 1845, the commander of the Agamemnon brig whilst sailing in the Baltic Sea near Bornholm island, saw a ‘powerful flame bursting out from the water with numerous sparkles’. One explanation was that this was caused by an underwater volcano, but Admiral Mikhail Petrovich Lazarev thought it was linked to a sighting of a meteor on 13 August near Dagerort Lighthouse, hurricanes and northern lights seen in Stockholm. Ufologists have also lumped these phenomena together to conclude that UFO craft crashed into the Baltic Sea during the summer of 1845. In our modern era, many sightings of UFOs have been made over or near Russian waters.
These sightings drew the attention of the USSR Navy, no doubt due to the possibility that they were enemy craft. Yet, some high-ranking officers believed that they were of an extraterrestrial origin. For example, Major-General V. Demyanenko, commander of the Russian Military Diver Service alleged that during exercises in Lake Baikal during 1982 his frogmen had seen a group of underwater swimmers.
These swimmers were 3 metre tall humanoids, who only wore tight-fitting silvery suits and sphere-like helmets. They were at a depth of 50 metres in freezing water. Therefore, it was impossible they were of a human origin.
A team of 7 divers was assembled to investigate the matter, and they were able to capture one of the swimmers in a net. Unfortunately, a powerful force threw the divers to the surface and the creature got away. Even worse, the rapid decompression they experienced caused 3 of the men to die and the rest to become disabled. As a consequence, the USSR Ministry of Defense produced a bulletin listing sightings of similar creatures, light phenomena seen emanating from the depths and reports of giant spheres and discs visiting lakes, with the intent of warning against making any ‘unnecessary encounters’. That is certainly one of the best ‘one that got away’ stories and makes us wonder if it is any more literally true than the story of the terrifying child thrown back into the river by those frightened fishermen. Navy personnel also reported USOs moving too fast, deep and irregular to be conventional craft in the area of the Bermuda Triangle. Similar sonar contacts also troubled the Russian nuclear submarines of the Northern Fleet. To satisfy the KGB, who always wanted ‘explanations’, these detections were explained as marine life.
On 2 August 1965, there was no ambiguity about the origin of the USO spotted by the crew of the steamship Raduga. They saw a 60 metre diameter sphere blast out of the water and hover 150 metres above the Red Sea. Some local fishermen in a motorboat were much closer to the object, and it caused so much turbulence in the water that one of them was drowned. A few months later 3 of the fishermen died, which might have been due to their exposure to the USO?
These intriguing reports are divided by region, and for better clarity it would have been handy to have included a few more maps of the sighting locations and a chronological listing of the types of sightings. I would also have liked a bit more analysis of the reports, but these are minor quibbles as it does meet the authors’ goal of providing us with an impressive review of the evidence for Russian USOs.