Monday, October 8, 2012
|Suddenly, a bright object plunged from the clouds|
These most recent incidents, though, are not isolated; indeed, they are but a small brush-stroke in a much larger picture. Terrestrial crashes of what are usually termed ‘Unidentified Flying Objects’ are hardly a new phenomenon – long before the famous ‘Roswell Incident’ of 1947 ushered in the modern UFO age, unknown aerial vehicles were reported to have crashed on many occasions around the world (see FT181:30–36 for another early example). In the United States, the USSR, Italy, Pakistan, Australia, Germany, Poland, Sweden, and even the UK, it was immediately clear to those who witnessed the crashes that something odd was going on in the skies above our Earth.
According to Noyons, numerous eye-witnesses, including teachers and pupils attending a sports event at the high school, as well as bystanders and local fishermen, “were convinced” they had seen an object go into the water, and had described seeing “flames” and “water exploding”. Other witnesses also reported that a plume of smoke lingered for several minutes above the water where the object came down. “We will continue to monitor the situation, which remains a mystery”, Noyons told reporters. 3 As Jenny Randles noted (FT215:26), one possible explanation was that a tornado had briefly touched down on the ocean surface, creating a waterspout that was interpreted by witnesses as something crashing into the sea; although this certainly doesn’t explain all of the visual aspects of the sighting.
Authorities obviously regarded this situation with some considerable gravity, as a specialist team – made up of police investigators and representatives from the Transport Prosecutors Service and the Aircraft safety watchdog Rosavianadzor – was dispatched immediately to the site of the crash. In addition, the Local Emergencies Directorate sent a helicopter to investigate. 4
Later that same day, however, Siberian officials issued a rather unusual statement to the effect that nothing unusual had occurred in Krasnoyarsk. The Siberian Regional Centre of the Ministry for Emergencies spokesperson, Sergey Andriyanko, told reporters that all of the local witnesses “had reported false information” about the crash, and that – despite previous official claims to the contrary – there was now no evidence of the reported forest fire. “We report officially it has been a false alarm,” Andriyanko said. 5 There was talk of a hoax, but suddenly the Russian media fell silent regarding the entire affair, with apparently not a single news service issuing a follow-up report on the events. Much like Siberia itself, this case was now decidedly cold, and one can be fairly certain it will stay that way.
The crash was witnessed by Leonie Ras (administrative manager of Lephalale) at her daughter’s farm, just east of the town. “I was lying on my bed reading SMS-messages, said Ras, “when I heard a noise like an Airbus aircraft firing up its motors… it was raining but there was no thunder or lightning. The noise grew louder and eventually it sounded like a million turbines screaming in unison”.
Ras told police that she “walked to the bedroom window and saw the clouds taking on a bright orange-red colour… suddenly, a bright object plunged from the clouds to the earth, at a terrible speed, and hit the ground with an almighty bang.” The sight was so awesome that she was momentarily overwhelmed: “It was so exceptional that I started crying. I wished my children and grandchildren could have seen it. I had not been drinking and I was in full control of my faculties.”
Cobus Nel, her son-in-law, who was present in the house at the time, had also been stirred by the event: “I woke up to a terrible rumbling, followed by a sound like an explosion. I woke my wife up, so that she could also listen, because the rumbling lasted more than a minute, becoming louder; then we heard the bang,” he said.
Just nine days later, on 10 January, the Iranian FARS News Agency reported that a UFO had crashed in the central province of Kerman in the country’s interior: “Deputy Governor General of Kerman province Abulghassem Nasrollahi [stated] that the crash, which was followed by an explosion and a thick spiral of smoke, has caused no casualties or damage to properties.”
The Deputy Governor General denied reports that the explosion had been the result of a plane or helicopter crash, and stressed that all airborne aircraft in the region had been safely accounted for. Although investigations into this incident are currently underway by police and “other relevant authorities”, conclusive answers regarding the case have yet to be provided by Iranian officials. Intriguingly though, FARS noted in the same report that people in the city of Rafsanjan had witnessed a similar incident several days prior to the Kerman Province crash, and that “similar crash incidents have been witnessed frequently during the last year all across Iran, and officials believe that the objects could be spy planes or a hi-tech espionage device.” 7
The true nature of these latest international UFO crashes are likely to remain a mystery, at least for the foreseeable future – and almost certainly for many years to come for the public at large. In the meantime, independent UFO researchers will no doubt be left to pick up the scattered pieces of these puzzles, and to do with them what they can in the face of inevitable ridicule and official denial.