At first we will briefly tell about solving a «mystery of fiery spheres», probably, the most fascinating mystery of this story that gives the answer whether these phenomena were connected with the Tragedy of Dyatlov’s group.
Mystery of the Dyatlov group death
The key to a mystery of the «fiery spheres»
(Retold by Evgeniy Buyanov)
Without a solution of this phenomenon’s nature it was almost impossible to discover the secret of Dyatlov’s accident. These events curved into the minds of those who were connected with both facts. At first it was necessary to find out what this phenomenon meant and then to determine if it took place in the night of the accident, how it was connected with the accident’s events and how it affected the course of events.
What was it? The answers for when, where and what they saw during the flight of the «fiery spheres» were given by the testimony of the witnesses. Tokareva, the meteorologist: «On the 17thof February at 6.50 a.m. an unusual phenomenon – a moving star with a train- appeared in the sky. The train looked like thunderstorm cirrus. Then this star had disengaged the train, became even brighter and gradually flew inflating and forming a big sphere shrouded by gauze. Then a star ignited inside the sphere; afterwards a small and not so bright orb appeared from this star. The sphere began to slowly descent and became like a blurred spot. At 7.05 a.m. the big sphere disappeared at all. It was moving from south to northeast».
The «fiery sphere» was seen by the eyewitness Skoryh G.I. in Karaul settlement of Sverdlovsk area and by the militaries Savkin A.D., Malik I.N., Novikov A.S. and Anisimov A.L. near Ivdel; they were in the line duty in the night and told almost same details. The Savkin's evidence: «On the 17th of February, 1959 at 6. 40 a.m. during duty performances I observed the dazzling-white sphere that appeared from the southern direction. Sometimes it was covered with mist; there was a bright point-star inside the sphere. It went northward and was visible during 8-10 minutes».
Here is the note called «The Unusual heavenly phenomenon» of February 18, 1959 from the newspaper «The Tagilsky worker» (signed by the deputy of the telegraph superintendent of Vysokogorsky mine n.a. A.Kisselya): «Yesterday at 6.55a.m. local time a shining sphere appeared in the east – southeast at the height of 20 degrees above the horizon and had the size of a moon visual diameter. The sphere head out to northeast. Maybe at seven o’clock a.m. there was a flash near the sphere and the sphere’s very bright core was seen. The sphere began to shine more intensively; a glowing cloud aroused near it, then it was repulsed towards south. The cloud enlarged upon all eastern part of the firmament. Soon after that there was the second flash, it looked like a crescent. The cloud gradually increased; in the center of it there was a shining point (the force of the luminescence was different). The sphere went east-northeast. The maximum altitude above the horizon – 30 degrees – was reached approximately at 7.05.a.m. Moving on, this unusual phenomenon weakened and got fuzzy. Thinking that it was somehow connected with sputnik, we had switched on the receiving set; however there was no signal recept».
Here is the certificate from George Atmanaki's report who was in Karelin's group:
«… on the 17th of February I and Vladimir Shavkunov got up at 6.00 a.m. to make breakfast for our group. Having lit the fire and made all necessary things, we began to wait for the meals to be ready. The sky was grey; there were no clouds only thin mist that usually lifted at sunrise. Sitting face to the north and casually having turned a head on the east, I had seen in the sky the milky-white blurred spot with dimensions of about 5–6 moon visual diameters at the height of 30 degrees, consisting from several concentric circles. Its form looked like a halo that surrounded the moon in the fair chilled weather. I told my companion to look at this painted moon. He thought for a while and replied that, firstly, there was no moon and, secondly, that it might be at the other part of the sky. Since the moment we had noticed this phenomenon 1–2 minutes passed but I don’t know how long it lasted before this moment and how did it look initially. At this moment in the center of this spot the star burst that had the same form during several seconds, then it began to grow abruptly in size and high-tailing westward. Within several seconds it increased rapidly and it was as big as the moon then,having torn a smoke-cloud or the clouds, it came into a view and looked like an enormous fiery opaline disk of the size of 2–2, 5 lunar diameters surrounded with the same pale corona. After that, remaining the same size, the sphere began to fade until it had merged with the halo surrounding it. The halo in turn sprawled above the sky and went out. The dawn began. The clock showed 6.57 a.m., the phenomenon lasted not more than one and a half minute and impressed us a lot…».
This is how Karelin describes the seen phenomenon in the report: «I had jumped out of a sleeping bag and from a tent without boots, only in the woolen socks and, standing on the branches, saw the big light spot. It was expanding. In the center of the spot a small star appeared and also started to increase. This spot was moving from northeast to southwest and was falling to the ground. Then it disappeared behind the ridge and the forest, having left a light strip in the sky. This phenomenon influenced people in different way: Atmanaki claimed that it seemed that the earth was going to explode because of the crash against some planet; Shavkunov thought that this phenomenon «isn’t so terrific»; I was unimpressed – it was only a meteoritic fall and nothing more. Hardly this phenomenon lasted more than a minute».
Mr. Atmanaki G. V and Mr. Karelin V. G. in Vizhay settlement.
The case also had interesting evidence – the scouts’ telegram containing the information about the observation of the «fiery sphere’s flight» on the 31st of March: «To Mr. Prodanov, Mr. Vishnevsky. On 31.03.59 at 9.30 a.m. local time, on 31.03 at 4.00 a.m. the person on duty Meshcheryakov had noticed a big fiery circle in the southeast direction that was moving toward us during 20 minutes and disappeared behind the high ground 880. Before its’ dipping below the horizon a star appeared in the center of the circle and gradually increased till it became the size of the moon; then the star began to fall down separating from the circle. The unusual phenomenon was observed by many alarmed people. We ask to explain this phenomenon and its safety as under our conditions it makes disturbing impression. Mr. Avenburg, Mr. Potapov, Mr. Sogrin)".
We also know about one more evidence of Mr. Shtrauh that was taken from the article of S.Bogomolov in the newspaper «The Ural worker» of October 31, 1990 and tells about the sighting of a «fiery sphere» that happened in twenty years after the accident with Dyatlov’s group: «On 16.02.79 at 8. 15 p.m. in the northwest part of the horizon there was a bright bluish white flash; it turned into a quickly growing circle of the dazzling light which then formed an ellipse. There was a purple smoky sphere in the center of the flash of size of the full moon, it promptly lifted up and dissolved, not having reached the zenith. The luminous spot-ellipse fell to pieces like the segments of an orange and gradually died away, having left in the sky a gleaming trace. It lasted 6-10 minutes and then it became dark…».
This is interesting. Here are «the segments of an orange» in the sky that were falling!
Finally, the sightings of the «fiery spheres» are known because of the evidences of the taiga hunters (including Mansi ones) hunting in the north of Ural.
Firstly, there was a hypothesis that the «fiery spheres» could be the flights of the surface-to-air missiles. At that time in Ural there already were air defense missile battalions of С-75complex; in a year, on May 1, 1960 the battalion of major Voronov misguided F.Pauers's air scout near Sverdlovsk. It was reported that near the Chistop Mountain there was an early-warning radar station (in 1972–1986 yy.). Therefore on this location an air defense missile battalion could be based before these years. I wasn’t sure in these conclusions as the sighting time of the «fiery spheres» (about 10–22 minutes) didn't correspond with the flight time of the surface-to-air missiles. The attempts to explain this discrepancy as a result of the errors of the timing made by the witnesses, as it was found out later, were incorrect.
The hypothesis about the surface-to-air missile raised a question: «And why to rocket? On what targets»? Indeed this type of fire was a very expensive thing. Allegedly the scouting sondes that the Americans launched to our territory using radio and photo equipment for «espionage» purposes could be the targets. The sondes mostly flied on the western winds of a stratosphere at the height of about 20–30 km and only the rocket could misguide them in those years. The burning of the sphere filled with hydrogen after it was hit by the rocket, in my opinion, could increase some time of the «star’s» sighting and «lessen» the visible contradiction of my «theory».
I didn't post an article on the web-sites because of some doubts, I only post it on a tourist club’s forum «Romantic» of USTU and sent to my acquaintances over the Internet. At the beginning of 2007y.) on the forum Igor Shelemetyev immediately began to retort me. He denied my position almost about all questions, following the «human and criminal» version of Dyatlov’s accident, and asserted in his letter on the 17th of February that a whizbang (a guided missile) «Burya» was fired from the aeroballistic range in Vladimirovka (it was situated approximately in 50 km from Kapustin Yar range).
«Burya» on Vladimirovka aeroballistic range.
The Muscovite Vladimir Borzenkov also objected to me – he, the assistant professor of MAI and the skilled tourist skier, argued that at that time they didn't manage to prelocate the air defense missile battalion on-station and referred to the Tsisar’s memoirs on the Internet. Therefore the flights of the surface-to-air missile couldn't take place. The memoirs of Tsisar (Цисаря) were found and read by me. But it was difficult to draw certain conclusions on the basis of this book and to decide when and where battalions acted and what alert status each battalion had.
I reported to Borzenkov about Shelemetyev's objections and conveyed the fact about «Burya». Borzenkov answered that according to his information «Burya» was fired not on the 17th of February but on the 17th of April – in the day when the «fiery spheres» weren't seen. I was all at sea with these contradictions, they made me to stumble at the correctness of both my and opponents’ conclusions. Having reflected for a while I decided to check the fact of «Burya»’s launch and to find the third source of information that would help me to decide who is right – Shelemetyev or Borzenkov.
In my library I found the accidentally bought book written by A.B.Zheleznyakov «The rocket fell flying up» (S-Pb, «System», 2003), the «polytechnician» colleague, the historian and the pundit on the rocketry. I checked the chronology of the emergency space shots according to the book but there were no information about the missile launchings on 17.02 and 31.03. I decided to find Zheleznyakov and to know his opinion both about my article and the fact that «Burya» was fired. It was simple to find his website, as well as an e-mail address. Zheleznyakov quickly answered on my inquiry and, having talked with him over the phone, I revealed the new interesting facts. He reported that from 1953 till 1960 the Americans launched more than 12 thousand scouting sondes to our territory! The sondes were launched from Western Europe, Scandinavia and the North Sea from the ships and planes and were set down and caught over the territory of the Russian Far East. The sondes had a complex cellular structure and it was very difficult to misguide them from the plane as far as one perforation due to a shell or a bullet impact didn't cause the sonde’s fall. Of course a large number of the sondes flew away in the wrong places and many of them were lost but certain examples got information. The sondes were filled with helium and they couldn't be on fire like the one filled with hydrogen.
Zheleznyakov objected to the surface-to-air missile theory, having specified that the time of flight didn't correspond to the time of its observation. I understood «the killing moment» of this argument and for some time I had a heavy heart. Perhaps it was «not a rocket» but different sorts of things?
Zheleznyakov told that no whizbangs were fired (including the «Burya» ones) on 01–02.02.59 y. He indicated the following dates and details of the «Burya» whizbangs that were fired from Vladimirovka range:
20.02.1959, middle 2/5, the whizbang wasn’t fired due to technical difficulties (the failure occurred during the start).
29.03.1959, middle 3/4, the flight lasted for 25. 33 minutes. Because of the power generator failure on-speed wasn’t achieved. The air range of theintercontinental cruise missile was 1315 km.
19.04.1959, middle. 2/5, endurance – 33. 5 minutes. The air range – 1766 km. The maximum speed – 3. 15 M.
02.10.1959, middle 2/4, the mission design is executed. The time of flight – 10 minutes 17 s.
My guess about «Burya» was wrong, the surface-to-air missile theory became irrelevant and I again was all at sea. Perhaps all these «rockets» have nothing to do with this. Perhaps absolutely different phenomenon was observed. After thinking for a while, I called Gerstein and asked: «You are ufologist, what is your opinion about the origin of the «fiery spheres?» Mikhail answered: «The only reason of their appearance is caused by a rocket!». And again he threw off the word about the launch from Tjuratam range on 17.02.59; we discussed it in March, 2006 at our first meeting in RGS. But at that I time didn't believe it- after all Baikonur (Tjuratam) outlied at a very big distance from the north of Ural – it was more than 1700 km. This place seemed to be too distant and it was impossible to observe the launch because the missile was ascending to the level of only 200–300 km, moreover it was 30 degrees above the horizon as the witnesses said. The simple estimate excluded such variant.
But now the secondary reminder about the launch on the 17th of February raised my suspicions. Everything again came to this «stubborn» date. I decided to check this launch. Meditating I once again browsed Zheleznyakov's book and read the. Maybe these R-7 launchings weren’t a «space» one or an «emergency» one and for these reason there were no information about them in the chronology of the emergency launches. And what about that «fiery sphere» which was observed by Shtraukh? If there is any mention of it in Zheleznyakov's book? Having opened the book on page 179 I found a suspicious record from 16.02.79:
«16.02.79. From the 41st pad of the Plesetsk spaceport a rocket vehicle «Soyuz – U» was fired that should place into orbit the next camera-carrying satellite «Zenith-2М» type. Because of RV failure the launching ended unsuccessfully».
I had a feeling that I was very close to the solution. During the launch from Plesetsk spaceport the rocket vehicle flied closer to the north of Ural than the one from Tjuratam range. It could be visible for people but this launch didn't explain other ones. Generally these data made my suspicions about the launch on the 17th of February stronger. I decided to ask Zheleznyakov about this and at the same time to know about other launches that were made on 31.03.59 and 16.02.79. I carefully thought over the matter and the possible versions of the answers.
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