While most of the UFO reports in recent history come from the United States and Great Britain, there’s no denial that other eastern countries have their shelves full of unexplained encounters. In the case of Russia, their government, the KGB and the military have made sure to keep a close and restrictive eye on the UFO files.
However, in recent years scientists and UFO researchers have released information regarding the UFO phenomenon via the internet, thus revealing an abundance of unexplained cases that happened on Russian territory and nearby.
On August 28, 1991, at 4:42 p.m. a foreign presence was picked-up by ground radars at the military station in Mangishlak Peninsula in the Caspian Sean, modern-day Turkmenistan. The UFO was heading east at an altitude of 21,500 feet (6,600 meters) and had a speed of 600 mph (960 km/h).
Military station’s personnel tried to identify the craft, but to no avail. After a couple of unsuccessful “friend or foe” requests, the operators tried a different approach, so they contacted the aerodrome of Kaputsin Yar found in the vicinity to ask for further details. The commanding officer at Kaputsin confirmed they had also detected the unusual object on radar, and that it was no test flight of their own.
Because they couldn’t risk an evasive trespassing, a reconnaissance mission comprised of two Mig-29 fighters was quickly assembled, followed by two other jets that took off from the base on the peninsula. The UFO was flying over the Aral Sea when the jet fighters intercepted it. At first, they kept a safe distance of 2,600 feet (800 meters) from the UFO. From this point, the entire object was clearly visible.
On first impression, the pilots reported seeing a great metallic object that strongly resembled a zeppelin, but far larger. Data provided by ground radars together with the pilot’s insight helped estimate the UFO at a staggering 2,000 feet (600 meters) in length, and a diameter of about 360 feet (110 meters).
The flight commander requested the unknown craft to identify once again, but the answer never arrived. They addressed another warning, this time requesting it to fall behind the Mig-29 fighters and be escorted to the closest airstrip, but the UFO kept ignoring the jets, seemingly unaffected by their threatening presence.
The next step had the MIGs close in on the craft. As they were approaching, the pilots noticed two port holes near the front of the object with green symbols embedded around them. It was written in a language unknown to the Russian pilots.
They now received orders to fire warning shots – “Fly parallel to the target and fire warning shots in its path” was the exact order – so the pilots approached the UFO from both sides. They were now flying at 500 meters from the craft and were ready to fire, but to their surprise, when pushing the trigger nothing happened. The four planes’ electrical systems were malfunctioning and the weapons seemed jammed, so they were forced to return to base. The object vanished into the distance.
Ground radars continued to track the UFO’s movement as it reached an otherworldly speed of over 4,200 mph (6,800 hm/h). It followed a zig-zag pattern over the Aral Sea until disappearing from radar after about half an hour. The tracking signal was lost as the UFO proceeded over Lake Issyk-Kul found near the border between Kyrgystan and Kazakhstan.
An internal debate had started after the event, as many unanswered questions concerning the exact origins of the object and the technology involved remained unanswered. Did it pose any threat? What was its exact mission? Should any safety measures be taken?
By the end of September, rumors about a UFO that crashed into the Tien Shan Mountains in Central Asia had begun circulating. Surprisingly enough, the area is known as Shaitan Mazar, which translates into The Devil’s Grave. While some consider this to be a strange coincidence, others think of it as definitive proof that the entire report was in fact a forgery.
Locals from the area around Karakol (Kyrgyzstan) spoke about a colossal flying object that had violently crashed into the eastern mountain range. The rumors were sufficient to draw the attention of a renowned UFO group entitled SAKKUFON that soon enough mounted an expedition in search of the impact site.
The group consisted of seasoned mountain climbers and Russian UFO researchers from SAKKUFON, united under the command of Anton Bogatov. The team traveled the mountains for two weeks, fueled by rumors that claimed the crash site had already been discovered by the locals. Strange stories of people suffering from minor burns on their bodies, watches that stopped working, and high levels of static electricity is what made this entire story more credible in the UFO hunters eyes.
Unfortunately, after weeks of facing harsh conditions, the expedition was pushed to turn around, leaving room for the Russian government to tail into this matter. According to SAKKUFON, the military officials had already located the crash site in November 1991, and sent a helicopter to recover evidence of the UFO, but it lost control and smashed into a nearby cliff, killing everybody on board.
A second expedition departed for the site in the summer of 1992, and would succeed in finding the crashed UFO.