Monday, 24 February 2014



Russians Add New Twist To Old Ufo Myth
A flurry of reports from Russia about the discovery of fragments of an alien spaceship at the site of the 1908 Tunguska explosion may be nothing more than wish fulfillment by devotees of a half-century-old Russian space myth, or they may actually have been based on genuine spacecraft fragments - but of Russian origin.

Either way, or even in the highly unlikely event the reports turn out to be credible, these stories reflect the way the century-old Tunguska blast continues to resonate in the human psyche.

Expedition leader Yuri Lavbin prefers the alien technology interpretation. That's the theory he admits he started with, even before he got to the area. But other space experts have pointed out that the region is a drop zone for discarded rocket stages launched into space from Russia's Baikonur base, and in fact was the crash site of one prototype manned space capsule at the very dawn of the space age.

On June 30, 1908, residents of southern Siberia spotted a dazzling fireball crossing the sky, followed by a flare brighter than the sun. Minutes later, a shock wave knocked many of those residents off their feet. When later expeditions reached the nearly inaccessible swamps where the explosion had occurred, they found trees flattened down in a pattern pointing away from ground zero - but no crater, and no meteorite fragments.

The first Soviet expedition was sent to the site in 1927, in hopes of finding metallic ore. Although a series of natural theories followed over the years, a Russian scientist and science-fiction author who visited Hiroshima in late 1945 postulated that the Tunguska blast, too, must have been nuclear in nature - and hence, the result of a visit by space aliens.

But Dutch space historian Geert Sassen suggests an earthly origin for the space fragments reportedly just found, and they could well have no connection with the 1908 event. "They might have found some parts of the fifth Vostok test flight," he told associates via e-mail.

Sassen was referring to a flight on Dec. 22, 1960, meant to carry two dogs into space. According to "Challenge to Apollo," NASA's definitive history of the space race, "the payload landed about 3,500 kilometers downrange from the launch site in one of the most remote and inaccessible areas of Siberia, in the region of the Podkamennaya Tunguska River close to the impact point of the famed Tunguska meteorite."

A team of space engineers located the capsule, disarmed the destruct system, and rescued the canine passengers.

Natural explanations


Initially, astronomers were attracted to the idea that the object had been a comet nucleus, to account for the explosion when it slammed into the atmosphere. They toyed with other theories, including proposals involving antimatter and "mini-black holes," but for many years there were no reliable theories on what happens when large objects hit Earth's atmosphere.

That changed in the 1980s, as observations of artificial and natural fireballs expanded, along with the power of computer simulations.

"When the first modern models for atmospheric impacts were published in 1993," NASA asteroid expert David Morrison said, "it became clear that this was a stony body." He suggested that it was "somewhere between an ordinary chondrite and a carbonaceous chondrite in physical properties."

Source

www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5686713




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