Paul Stonehill Open Minds
On September 30th 2009, General-Major of Aviation, Pilot-Cosmonaut Pavel Romanovich Popovich, the first Ukrainian cosmonaut in history, passed away. Always proud of his ethnicity, twice Hero of the Soviet Union award, he had many other awards and medals.
Pavel Popovich was greatly respected; a kind, nice and decent person, always ready to help others. His life was intertwined with the turbulent history of UFO research in the Soviet Union after 1978.
Popovich was born in Soviet Ukraine on October 5, 1929. A young engineer and amateur pilot, Popovich joined the Soviet Air Force; in 1960 he was enrolled in the first team of cosmonauts. Popovich was the Number “Four” Cosmonaut in the history of manned spaceflights. He underwent a full course of training for space flights on board “Vostok” spacecraft.
Pavel Popovich (as a boy) lived under the Nazi occupation for several years, and this fact could sink his chances to become a Soviet cosmonaut. The KGB took several months to study biographies of each of the future cosmonauts; someone must have had the courage to overlook that fact, and let him continue his training.
His first spaceflight was aboard the “Vostok-4″ spaceship in 1962. Later, Pavel Popovich was trained for the Soviet Moon research program. After the program was cancelled, Popovich underwent training for flights aboard “Soyuz” spaceships. His second mission into space was as the chief pilot of the Soyuz-14 spaceship in 1974. The flight was part of the Soviet program of military use of space exploration technology. Popovich’s call name was Berkut-1 (Golden Eagle). Having docked with the Salyut 3 orbital station (this was a cover name for the secret battle station Almaz-2), Popovich and his engineer, had conducted military intelligence operations. They had infrared and powerful optical equipment, 14 special cameras, and even one thirty millimeter cannon. One of the tasks was to capture the American Skylab station with three astronauts aboard. The Americans had a special nickname for Popovich: “Aggressor”. But the program later was shut down.
Between the years 1980 to 1989 he served as the Deputy Chief of the Y. Gagarin Cosmonauts Training Center.
President of the UFO Association
In 1990, OYUZUFOTSENTR, the very first official public UFO research organization of the Soviet Union was formed. Its director was V. Ajaja, a former naval officer, a submariner, a long-suffering independent UFO researcher and lecturer. Its president, Pavel Popovich clearly stated in interviews that he headed SOYUZUFOTSENTR on behest of his friends, UFO researchers. Popovich never considered himself to be an expert in the field of ufology. He did help those who tried to research it independently, or as part of the secret Soviet program. His authority and reputation had greatly helped Ajaja’s efforts to keep his organization viable in post-1991 Russia.
Popovich and Setka: A Secret Soviet UFO Research Program
In 1978, the powerful Military-Industrial Commission created two UFO research centers, one in the USSR Academy of Sciences, the other in the USSR Defense Ministry. The anomalous phenomena research in the USSR Academy of Sciences became the subject of a special scientific research program designated as SETKA-AN. The Soviet Ministry of Defense embarked on a similar program, the secret SETKA-MO. Both centers aided each other’s UFO research and exchanged information. The first act of the SETKA-AN resulted in official sanction of “anomalous atmospheric phenomena” as a descriptive term, instead of the forbidden “UFO.”
The SETKA-AN debunkers did its best to prove there are no UFOs, only errors in observation of rocket launches, or at the very least, ball lightning. But there had been occasions when “anomalous phenomena” had led to the unauthorized launches of mobile missiles, and on other occasions, the appearance of UFOs during military training exercises had resulted in the breakdown of radio communications and equipment malfunctions.
The program ended in 1991, but a group of experts remained in the Department of General Physics and Astronomy of the Russian Academy of Sciences where they analyzed incoming reports until 1996.
Scientific arguments regarding the nature of UFOs had been the least of the military researchers’ concerns; they did, however, pay close attention to the hypothesis that UFOs are manifestations of an ET civilization. They had been concerned with UFOs’ quite unpredictable impact on military technology and on personnel. They wanted to know how they could use UFO properties for their own pragmatic military needs.
In 1984, by the decision of VSNTO (All-Union Council of Scientific Technical Societies), a Central Commission for Anomalous Phenomena in the Environment was created. Its Chairman was Soviet academician V. Troitsky, one of his deputies was General-Major of Aviation, Pilot-Cosmonaut P. Popovich.
The Commission was born because those in charge of the academic research of the SETKA program basically got rid of independent UFO researchers, leaving only the debunkers together with military specialists from secret military institutes in the program.
Independent Soviet ufologists did not take the continuous scorn from debunkers lying down, and basically moved the Academy of Sciences aside, by directly approaching military coordinators of the secret program. The initiative to create the Commission was supported by military researchers, who were tired of fruitless activities of the academic debunkers. The Commission included also those who served the Ministry of Defense research. Pavel Popovich played a role in its workings, although due to the secrecy and his oath, he had not revealed all he knew.
According to Popovich, most of the information about anomalous phenomena came from military and pilots, trusted, sane and healthy people. Among the reports many were nonsensical, but some were historically important. UFO data started being reported from the days of W.W.II. During the Kursk Battle, Soviet aviators and witnesses on the ground observed mysterious objects in the sky. He revealed this in the April, 2009 interview to the Ukrainian web portal DonbassUA. The Kursk episode is described in detail in Mysterious Sky: Soviet UFO Phenomenon.
On May 29 1984, Trud newspaper published an article where Popovich told the author about a case that took place on March 27, 1983, in Gorky (and investigated by the Commission’s Gorky section). It was an object that flew in the area of the city’s airport. The airport’s radars registered but could not identify the object. The object flew at the altitude of no more than one kilometer, and the speed approximately 180-200 kilometers per hour. The witness (Flight Controller A. Shushkin) who had observed the object said that the object’s size was similar to that of the IL-14 aircraft fuselage. But there were no wings. It was a “cigar”. Its color light gray, steely, and it moved slowly across the sky. The phenomenon lasted around forty minutes. At the distance of 30 to 40 kilometers NE from the airport the radars lost it. Shushkin later corrected Pavel Popovich and said the UFO actually appeared over the city on March 28, 1983; flew at an altitude of 400-600 meters, and disappeared ten seconds after it was sighted.
A more dramatic, episode took place in January of 1978, and Popovich described it to Sotsialisticheskaya Industriya newspaper on August 6, 1984.
During the flight of a YAK-40 over the area between two settlements Medvezhye and Nadim, the crew noticed something round; a very bright foreign body that approached rapidly and sometime later appeared straight in front of the aircraft. Every minute the size of this body increased. When the crash appeared to be imminent, the object soared right in front of the aircraft’s nose, not causing any harm.
The KGB UFO Files
In 1991, a file of KGB documents was provided to Pavel Popovich (he had urged them to release the information). It was the Second Chief Directorate of the KGB (Counterintelligence), or rather the Tenth Department within the Directorate (Control of the defense facilities) that had received UFO information. The file (124 pages of printed text) contained copies of UFO reports: handwritten reports, typed testimonies, and notes from KGB informers, crude drawings and eyewitness reports of UFOs. An accompanying letter was written by the Deputy Chairman of the Committee for State Security USSR, N.A. Sham. This cooperation between UFO researchers and the KGB was unprecedented and was a landmark in UFO research in the Soviet Union and possibly the world.
Years later Sham stated that the KGB was not engaged in research of anomalous phenomena (he pointed to the SETKA program as the responsible entity for such research).
In 1992, on behest of UFO researchers, Pavel Popovich had contacted two Russian ministries, to find out whether the Soviet-era archives contained documents pertaining to the Roswell Crash. The reply from the Ministry of Defense stated that the officials of the Central Archive of the Ministry of Defense had conducted search of the materials of interest to Popovich. They did not find any Roswell materials. The second reply came from the Ministry of Security of the Russian federation. No documentary materials about the case of the “flying saucer” crash in the area of Roswell, USA in the year 1947 were discovered, it stated.
Soviet intelligence, quite active in the United States in 1940s, would not miss the Roswell Crash controversy.
After every interview Pavel Popovich had to sign a special document stating that he did not reveal any state secrets. He never did tell all he knew, a military person loyal to his oath.
In 2006, Pavel Popovich gave an interview to Bul’var Gordona, a Ukrainian magazine. (Issue 31). He said that the inhabitants of Phaeton or Moonah (an ancient planet with advanced civilization, believed to exist next to Earth ages ago, but perished due to nuclear explosions) probably visit Earth from time to time.
The visitors’ intermediate base is located in the area of Saturn, and they have three bases on Earth. One of them is in the Andes, the other in the Indian Ocean trench, and the third one is located in the Himalayas, the famous Shambala. The base in the Andes they liquidated because human civilization came too close. But they do have an underwater base at the bottom of the Indian Ocean trench.
Then Pavel Popovich recalled his UFO sighting in 1978, while aboard an airplane flying from Washington to Moscow returning from Pittsburgh, where academicians attended the international Gagarin Readings conference (they had also observed the strange object).
The altitude was 10,500 meters. Popovich recalled that something urged him to keep looking (he was sitting by the window). He noticed about a white, isosceles triangle about a kilometer and a half from the plane and some ten degrees higher (as he and others had estimated). The cosmonaut shouted, ran to the crew. The onboard radar did not register anything, and nothing was registered on the ground.
The crew also observed the object, and they determined that its side was about 100 meters. The object did not resemble any known aircraft. It moved rapidly; the airplane flew at the speed of one thousand kilometers per hour, while the object traveled about time and a half faster. This flying object easily overtook them, and flew forth, but they stayed within the range of vision for a minute. They, the professionals, could not determine what the object was.
Popovich could not state that his sighting was really a secret weapon being tested, although in 90 percent of such observations this is so.
Pavel Popovich said that he did not believe any of the contactees. In the 2001 FAKTY interview Popovich said that 95 percent of everything written about UFOs should be discarded as nonsense.
In the same interview with Bul’var Gordona Popovich was asked whether he, a pilot and cosmonaut who grew up in the atheistic (sometimes, militantly so) society, believed in God.
He replied that he was baptized. And in 1974, during his spaceflight he understood that there is someone who had created stars outside the spacecraft’s porthole, the Moon, and other planets. When one sees this, one understands how infinite everything is. Popovich recalled thinking: “someone had created it, and someone directs it all”. Who has created the laws of celestial mechanics? All we did was to use them, to discern them, to explain them. That is why he thought about God. No matter what one calls him, there is the Creator who has created everything.
Popovich lived his final years in a settlement near Moscow, dubbed Star Village because 36 former cosmonauts reside there. He had a dream to be able to fly the spacecraft into space again, to look at Earth from above. The name of Pavel Popovich was given to a mountain ridge in Antarctica and a minor planet.
This story was sent to us by Paul Stonehill and was co-written by Philip Mantle. It was originally posted on the Russian news website, Pravda.
Aliens blamed for spate of cow mutilations in Argentina after ‘strange lights’ seen in sky
© Express, UK
Local farmers in Santa Fe, north-eastern Argentina, have seen seven cows killed and mutilated with some believing extraterrestrials are killing the bovine animals.
Witnesses claim the cows look as if they were attacked with lasers, while strange markings were also found on their tongues and genitals.
Farmers in the region are blaming aliens or the mythical chupacabra – a myth from South America which supposedly feeds on animals’ blood.
Norberto Bieri, owner of one of the seven cows, told local media: “They did not have tongues or flesh around the jaw, but they did not take any animals away or remove their bones.
“It seems as though the clean incisions were done with a laser as there is no trace of a knife being used. The cows did not have signs of blood and nothing had appeared to eat them.
“Some people say chupacabra or aliens did it. Others believe it was rodents.
“The truth is, the cows are dead and there are no answers as to why.”
Mr Bieri added that there had been other recent cases of mutilated animals.
Samples were sent to the lab to be analysed and results indicated the cattle had not been shot or poisoned, adding more mystery to the case.
However, experts offered their, more logical, opinion.
A rat-like animal called hocicudo is endemic to South America and some believe they are responsible.
The day that the Aliens attacked Tuscany, in Italy
During the autumn of 1954 throughout western Europe several surprising events occurred of encounters with strange flying objects (UFOs) and encounters with extraterrestrial beings, according to the sources of the testimonies and victims that relate their experiences, most were peasants and villagers. Let’s talk about a case that happened in a small town in Tuscany, Italy.
Rosa Lotti Dainelli was a forty-year-old peasant, mother of four children, owner of a farm called “La Collina” in the locality Cennina7 (a small town near Biicine, in the province of Arezzo, Italy).
Monday, November 1, 1954. That morning Rosa was going to go as usual to the church in her town where she used to go, that day she had got up very early at half past six in the morning as the feast of all was celebrated Saints and had several important things to do. Rosa that day decided to release a new dress that she had kept for the occasion and some new shoes.
He left his house with a large bouquet of flowers that he had taken the day before with the intention of going to church after going to the cemetery to visit his deceased relatives as usual on that day. He took a small path that would take her first to the place where he was going. Halfway through he realized that there was a lot of humidity at night because of the abundant morning dew, he stopped to take off his shoes so they would not get wet holding them with his left hand since in the other hand he was carrying the bouquet of flowers and he continued the path barefoot on the path.
Rosa went somewhat distracted looking at the flowers she was carrying and went through a small forest, when she suddenly stopped and was surprised to see a strange device parked on the ground by the side of the road.
Rosa for a few seconds remained motionless and not knowing how to act but minutes later decided to continue moving slowly down the path of the forest. The farmer, without being able to look away from the apparatus, was curiously observing this strange object as she continued to walk, an object which has the shape of two cones, was of a brilliant brown metallic color with golden reflections.
Afraid of this, she decided to approach very slowly to observe more details of that machine. Approached about 5 meters away from the device, Rosa from there could already appreciate the dimensions of that object, which had a height of more than 2.5 meters by almost 2 meters in diameter and a little further down there was a small door which was totally open.
Curiosity overcame him at that moment, making him approach the opening, where he could see two small armchairs facing what looked like a very illuminated board. A kind of broad band surrounded the junction of the cones and above this band were observed several small windows similar to blinking lights similar to “portholes”. Suddenly Rosa heard a noise among the branches and in the distance, a few meters away, she saw two little beings appear among the bushes, which caused the woman to be petrified by such an apparition.
They were beings that seemed very smiling, gesticulating, without giving any sign of being a threat to her. In fact it seemed as if they were trying to make themselves understood and wanted to start a conversation with her, they had small and very dark eyes (according to Rosa), they were short (they would not be more than one meter tall), they looked very Similar to humans, their faces were almost perfect, although their trail was rather aged by the wrinkled skin.
The beings wore a bluish-gray one-piece suit with a cape on their backs and over their heads they wore a kind of helmet. They approached her slowly with a funny and friendly face speaking loud and sharp in a strange language. Rosa at that moment remained motionless, so the beings took the opportunity to jump on him and snatch the bouquet and his shoes. At that moment, Rosa proved that despite the size, these beings had great strength.
She tried to recover her belongings, but the one who was closest to her insisted on taking everything she had in her hands. Then Rosa already panicked for fear of being harmed and ran to the trees, hiding as she could in the forest.
When he left, he saw how these creatures stayed in custody and with great curiosity inspected the bouquet of flowers, took some objects that had been left on the ground and then approached the ship, deposited everything inside and then returned to the place and began to search the surroundings are supposed to be looking for Rosa who already died of fear, continued crawling among the grass and thus managed to get away more than 50 m. Once refugee, from that place he observed how those beings, climbed the small ship minutes later and closed the door of the ship. Soon after, with a great sonic vibration and releasing a lot of smoke and flames, that device began to rise and in an instant disappeared into the sky ..
Life on Enceladus? complex organic molecules on Saturn’s satellite?
From stories about the inhabitants of the Moon to the costly research programs set up by space agencies, identifying the presence of life on another heavenly body seems to be an endless concern for mankind. As the margins of the known Universe are still moving away from the Earth, the possibility of discovering living beings on another planet is increasing even though we have no certainty, but only hope and probability.
For the moment, we are grateful for these probabilities, awaiting the day that it will undoubtedly confirm that we and our planet do not represent the only life-assembling complex of this huge universe.
But to host life, a heavenly body must give it certain conditions. (Here, it seems that we still need to expand our ideas a little, because we tend to believe that any living thing on another planet must be made up just like the living things on Earth, not necessarily like them, but be the same at the molecular level.
If one of the great scientific discoveries of recent years – bacteria capable of using arsenic instead of phosphorus – is confirmed – that means that our perspective on what is living must change. And then, it is possible that some planets with attributes that today seem inappropriate to become more interesting in the future in the light of our changed concepts.)
But, by the way, all people, at all times, think about the ideas of their time, so let us also thank ourselves to the contemporary ideas regarding what life means and the conditions that a planet must fulfill for that the miracle of life should appear there and perpetuate.
Extraterrestrial life could develop into Enceladus’s hidden oceans
The first observations of Saturn’s satellite were made in 2005 when hydrothermal jets were detected for the first time. Now, there may be the answer that raises the chances of alien life.
“From where Enceladus has the energy to support the phenomenon has always been a mystery to us,”said astrobiologist Gael Choblet of Nantes University in France.
“I have now considered with greater detail how the structure and composition of the solid core can play a key role in generating the necessary energy,”he added.
It is estimated that the ice thickness is 25 kilometers, but only one kilometer around the southern polar region, where these hydrothermal phenomena occur.
The small pieces of minerals detected in jets suggest that salts and silica dust are formed by the interaction of water that can reach up to 90 degrees Celsius with the rocks of the Enceladus satellite. For this interaction to take place, there must be space in the core for water to coexist, so the core must be porous.
“Whatever the mineralogical composition of the core, it must contain water,” Choblet explained, “maybe 20-30% water.”
In the new simulations, the team found that the tides generated by the orbit around Saturn can heat the water inside Enceladus due to the frictional force produced as the liquid circulates through rock fragments.
When the water rises in temperature (reaching up to 90 degrees in the orange sections in the image below), it rises through the porous core through the ocean to the surface in the form of jets.
Previous studies state that this heat would have been from radioactive material, but if that was the case, the process would have provided the heat needed to emerge the jets for several million years, so somehow the radioactive material would have appeared recently on Enceladus.
The new theory offers a more plausible explanation, with a phenomenon that takes place over a longer period.
What’s most interesting is that the warm water, the long time and the chemical composition found on Enceladus are key elements in the emergence of life.
Thus, this study can be the basis for the search for extraterrestrial life.
Scientists have found evidence of complex organic molecules on Saturn’s satellite
Using mass spectrometry data collected by NASA’s Cassini probe, scientists have found that large organic carbon molecules are ejected through the cracks on the frozen surface of Enceladus, one of the many natural satellites of the giant gas giant, Saturn.
Researchers at the Southwest Research Institute, who discovered the presence of these molecules, believe that the chemical reactions between the solid core of the satellite and the warm water in the ocean under ice are responsible for these complex compounds, Phys.
“ONCE AGAIN, WE ARE AMAZED BY ENCELADUS. PREVIOUSLY, WE IDENTIFIED ONLY THE SIMPLEST ORGANIC MOLECULES CONTAINING A FEW CARBON ATOMS, BUT EVEN THOSE WERE VERY INTERESTING, “SAID CHRISTOPHER GLEIN, A SCHOLAR AND CO-AUTHOR OF THE WORK RECENTLY PUBLISHED IN NATURE.
“NOW WE HAVE FOUND ORGANIC MOLECULES WITH MASSES OF OVER 200 ATOMIC MASS UNITS. THESE ARE TEN TIMES HEAVIER THAN METHANE. WITH COMPLEX MOLECULES EMANATING FROM THE LIQUID WATER OF THE OCEAN, THIS SATELLITE IS THE ONLY BODY BESIDES THE EARTH THAT SIMULTANEOUSLY MEETS ALL THE NECESSITIES OF LIFE AS WE KNOW IT. ”
“EVEN AFTER ITS END, CASSINI CONTINUES TO TEACH US ABOUT ENCELADUS’S POTENTIAL IN ASTROBIOLOGY,” GLEIN ADDED.
During the flight, near Enceladus, on October 28, 2015, with the help of the INMS (Neutral Mass Spectrometer) instrument, molecular hydrogen could be detected when the ship passed through a jet.
Previous studies have already shown that the satellite has an ocean under the ice layer and above the solid core. The molecular hydrogen jet is probably formed by the geochemical reactions between water and rocks in hydrothermal environments.
“HYDROGEN PROVIDES A SOURCE OF CHEMICAL ENERGY THAT SUPPORTS MICROBES LIVING IN THE EARTH’S OCEANS NEAR HYDROTHERMAL SPRINGS,” SAID HUNTER WAITE, THE SCIENTIST WHO HEADS THE TEAM AT INMS AND CO-AUTHOR OF THE NEW STUDY. “ONCE YOU HAVE IDENTIFIED A POTENTIAL SOURCE OF FOOD FOR MICROBES, THE NEXT QUESTION IS ABOUT THE NATURE OF COMPLEX ORGANIC COMPOUNDS IN THE OCEAN. THIS WORK IS THE FIRST STEP IN THAT UNDERSTANDING OF THE COMPLEXITY OF ORGANIC CHEMISTRY BEYOND OUR EXPECTATIONS. ”
“ALSO, THE FINDINGS IN THIS STUDY HAVE IMPORTANT SIGNIFICANCE FOR EXPLORATIONS OF THE NEXT GENERATION,” GLEIN ADDED. “A FUTURE SHIP CAN FLY THROUGH THE JET TO ANALYZE THESE COMPLEX ORGANIC MOLECULES USING A HIGH-RESOLUTION MASS SPECTROMETER TO HELP US DETERMINE EXACTLY HOW TO FORM THEM.”
Year after year, benefiting from advances in exploration technology, astronomers discover more planets that seem to be “good for life.” Let us understand: we do not necessarily speak of “good for us”, that is, good to live on, but some that offer similar conditions – identical – to those on Earth, conditions that could allow them to live there beings, adapted to those conditions.
And on Earth there are many places where people do not live, but they live enough life forms, some with a very original metabolism. And some creatures on the Earth can withstand almost unimaginable harsh conditions.
If experts will persuade those who decide the money destination to provide funds for the preparation of such a mission, Enceladus could become the next star on alien life searches.
He deserves it, say “his admirers”, because he has a lot to offer – he has qualities that can feed hope much more than the planet Mars, the one that “consumes” currently the funds for the research of the profile.
Well, what can I say? Let’s be healthy to take the time when the world explodes the news that the space mission to Enceladus has found signs of biological activity there, undeniable evidence that there is what we have been looking for decades – life-forms living on another heavenly body from our solar system.
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