THE KARELIA CASE, 1961
During a routine trip through
the woods south of Karelia in February 1961, forester Vasili Bradski discovered on the banks
of one of the many lakes (frozen at this season) of this region a fairly
large crater which two days before had not been there. Unable to unravel the
cause, he hurried to the nearest control point and sent a telegram to
Leningrad: "Inexplicable crater on the edge of a lake. Send specialists
and divers.” Although the following
day was a Sunday, it nonetheless saw the start of an enquiry by
six specialists flown out from Leningrad who examined the lengthy gash on the
lake's edge: a hole about 30 m long, 15 wide and 3 deep. The crater was
narrower towards the bottom which itself was smooth, though around the edges
there were chaotic heaps of grass and soil. But the bottom of the hole was as
smooth as possible, as if someone had used a roller. As for the soil
excavated by the object, there was no trace of it.
. . . The ice on the lake nearby was largely broken, and at
that battered spot there were ice-floes, but elsewhere the ice was undamaged.
Black and crumbling pellets were found on the bank which resembled buckwheat
grains; these could be crushed between the fingers.
On the bottom of the lake, divers
found a portion of the soil displaced which was stretched out like a
"tongue" across the base for about 100 m.
The theory was that the object had first slid across
the soil on landing and thence into the lake, yet there was no trace anywhere
of any such object, and even when a metal detector was used, there was
scarcely any reaction.
The divers dragged some of the
ice-floes on to the bank and noted that the submerged parts were green.
Samples of the pellets, the soil, the ice, and some water were collected.
The possibility that the cause was
ball-lightning was rejected outright since not only had there been no storm,
but there was also no trace of any scorching agent. That it might have been a
meteorite was barely discussed at all since even sophisticated detectors
could find nothing of the sort. Besides this, any meteorite will make a
crater five times its own girth, and such a meteorite would not be small
enough to escape the attention of sensitive apparatus, astronomers, meteorologists
and other mortals.
Meanwhile, the divers found roughly in
the middle of the lake another gully along the bottom about 100 m long, which
almost seemed as if it had been excavated for a piping system. At the end of
the trench, there was a hillock about 1.5 m high which looked as if it had
been piled up when the trench was made. All around the "tongue" and
the gully, the ground was untouched and neither, once again, did the detector
apparatus offer any clue. Who or what had dug the hole and where was the
It was gradually deduced that the
object had skidded over the soil into the lake, ploughed up the bed, and then
by some complicated means or other had managed to resume its flight. So this
must have been a special sort of machine indeed, to say nothing of its pilot
(if there was one) who judged on our own criteria should have been considered
a candidate for a gold medal in sheer presence of mind.
The case was studied at Leningrad
University under Professor Vsevolod Charmov, in the course of which the
meteorite and ball-lightning theories were rejected for the reasons given
above. Nothing strange was found in the samples of ice, water and soil, and
radioactivity was normal. The green colour of the ice, however, could not be
explained. (In connection with UFO activities in similar areas, one quite
regularly hears of "green ice" or "green snow"; see for
instance “The Saapunki UFO: Results
of the Investigations,” Flying Saucer Review, 1712 and 1713,
1972. ) The pellets revealed under the microscope a metallic sheen which does
not occur in any known organic material, and neither were they soluble in any
acid. Chemists therefore concluded that they were an inorganic substance and
probably not of natural origin. In general everybody concerned with what
caused the crater shows skepticism about the existence of any apparatus
capable of carrying out what is supposed to have happened and of surviving
it. No cogent explanation of how the crater came to be has as yet been given.
The scholar Viktor
Demidov, who took part in the
investigation, linked it with UFO's.
This reference: UFO’s from
Behind the Iron Curtain by Ion Hobsana and Julien Weverbergh, pp. 61-63,
With thanks to Larry Hatch’s
*U* UFO Computer Database, see http://www.larryhatch.net
UFOCAT PRN – 89201
UFOCAT URN – 89201 UFO’s from
Behind the Iron Curtain by Ion Hobsana and Julien Weverbergh,
61-63, © 1972
Europe – Russia
Karelia - Latitude 64.00 N, Longitude 32.00 E (is a
Reference: U.S.S.R. Vol. 3 & 4, K & O-R
Gazetteers, prepared in the Geographic Names Division, U.S. Army Topographic
Command, Washington, D.C., June 1970.