Monday, October 10, 2011

Back in the USSR...

Just when I think my time is wasted and that the show is sensationalism at best, Ancient Aliens proves surprisingly intriguing.
A recent episode dealt with strange goings on in Russia, incidents that I have never heard of before seeing the show.  Russia has long been a hot spot of sorts for UFO phenomena but the accounts related on the program go well beyond most reported incidents.

There is an area of Siberia that is known as Yukitia.  One of this area's regions is named the Valley of Death, a loose, Anglicized translation of the Yakutsk phrase meaning, "nobody goes there."  In this area are said to be numerous metallic "cauldrons" that can raise and lower from the permafrost.  Ivan Mackerle, a UFO researcher, went in search of these objects.  He even used this cool, motorized paraglider thingy to do it.  In doing so, Mackerle and his colleagues discovered a number of circular, shallow marshes that were later found to have metallic-like bottoms.  After being in this region for but a short period of time, members of the expedition, including Mackerle himself, took ill.  They grew dizzy, feverish, and began vomiting.  Blister-like sores appeared on their skin.  Upon leaving the region, the symptoms subsided.  Local inhabitants say that this is not unusual.  The area of the marshes houses an underground alien base.  The "cauldrons" are weapons systems that are used to shoot down incoming UFOs.  So say the locals, anyway.  An alien war right here on Earth?  The evidence is circumstantial at best but it's a great story.

Think that was wild?  Check out what happened in the Ural Mountains in February of 1959.  Again, the incident took place in region of the mountain range with name that translates to "don't go there."  An expedition of university researchers went in to survey the remote area.  They never returned.  Soviet troops moved in by helicopter to attempt a rescue.  What they found was a campsite that had tents that were ripped open from the inside.  Footprints in the snow indicated that the campers then took off their bare feet.  Following the prints, the Soviet troops discovered the bodies of the university staff.  The corpses were mutilated.  The tongue was missing from one of them.  A few were burned and others had skin turned orange and hair gone gray.  Their internal organs showed the kind of blunt force trauma that is normally found in pedestrians hit by speeding cars.  The recovered bodies were even said to show signs of exposure to radioactivity...though how this was found out I don't know, unless Geiger counters were standard issue to Soviet search and rescue in 1959.  

What happened to these poor people?  The official Soviet explanation of "hypothermia" given in 1960 just doesn't wash with the accounts and the photographs (shocker.)  There is no need to bury hypothermia victims in zinc coffins.  Bill Birnes, editor of UFO Magazine and former host of UFO Hunters, points to numerous UFO sightings in the area of the Ural Mountains at the same time as this 1959 incident.  The sightings were of "orange, glowing orbs."  Birnes suggests that these orbs of light might have been alien probes.  The deaths caused were an inadvertent bit of collateral damage that resulted from humans being too close to the scans coming from these theoretical probes.

Admittedly, the evidence that was presented on the show was mostly annectdotal,  accompanied by a few photographs of the corpses.  Any other evidence may have been lost due to the murkiness of the post-Soviet era.  Therefore, I'm not prepared to lend my name to those calling this incident an act of alien intervention.  That goes double for the notion of the UFO defense system in Siberia.  Regardless, it's a fascinating pair of stories with few parallels in Ufology.

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