ON THE BORDER OF UMMO: THE UFO LANDING AT VORONEZH, RUSSIA, 1989
A context of shere sensationalism
With the Glasnost, the new policy of transparency and opening inaugurated by Gorbachev which put an end to the Soviet Union in the form that it had during the cold war, many Russian newspapers realized that the subject of UFOs, just like any "paranormal" or unusual topic, was very popular and started to publish weird stories and reports of UFOs regularly, without paying any attention to the veracity of the story and without consulting with serious ufologists, since it was a matter of getting more readers and not to investigate the UFO phenomenon. There was thus a new surge of magazines and reviews briskly mixing UFOS, astrology, poltergeist, sex, disappeared ancient civilizations and largely sensationalized mysteries of all sorts.
Russian ufologist Boris Shurinov tells the revealing example of the discovery in July 1989, along an artery of Moscow, of a simple burned grass patch of eight meters, that a delirious ufologist, A. Kouzovkine, claimed to have been caused by the strong radiations emitted by some flying saucer that nobody actually saw, and which according to the firemen, was simply the remainders of a haystack that took fire.
A three eyed extraterrestrial robot walks in the park:
It was in this context that on October 1989, and in the middle of a flurry of journalistic hoaxes and ordinary hoaxes, that the sensational story of an extraterrestrial landing in downtown Voronezh - a city of 800.000 residents approximately 500 kilometers of Moscow - was revealed.
The first report of the Voronezh wave appeared in the Soviet newspaper Kommuna. This particular incident took place at a park in the city during the course of a soccer game. The witnesses were said to include many teenagers as well as over forty adults. They described seeing a pink/red light which turned into a dark sphere. The sphere circled an area of the park at an extremely low altitude (approximately thirty to forty feet above the ground) then flew away. After only a few moments it reappeared and again hovered over the park. This time a door opened in the bottom, a being could be seen looking out, surveying an astonished group of witness. The door closed and the craft descended and then landed. As it did so, it came into contact with a large poplar tree. The tree was bent over to the side and remained in that position.
Tass agency then publishes the following news item, which will be read in the western countries:
A UFO said to have landed in a park at Voronezh
Voronezh, October 9. TASS. The experts confirmed that a UFO had indeed landed in a park of Voronezh. According to their statement, they have discovered, on the landing spot, traces of the craft and its occupants, who have even made a short walk in the park.
According to witnesses, there would have been these last days at least three extraterrestrial visits. An enormous ball or a luminous disc arrived above the park, then it went down to the ground and let come out by a passage two or three extraterrestrial beings, 3 to 4 meters tall, with tiny heads, as well as a small robot. During a certain time, the extraterrestrial turned around the ball, before returning inside, then the craft took off without noise and disappeared in a wink. The fear that seized the witnesses lasted several days.
"To locate the place of landing, we had recourse to the technique of biological magnetism", indicated the chief of the laboratory of the expedition sent in the park, Guenrikh Silanov. "It is a circular surface of 20 meters in diameter. Four depressions of 4 A 5 centimetres of depth and 14 to 16 centimetres in diameter are quite visible there. They form a rhombus. We also took two samples of the mysterious ground. At first sight they resemble dark red sandstone. However, after mineralogical analysis, we established that it was a rock without equivalent on Earth. To give a more precise conclusion, we need to make complex additional studies."
Which appeared in France as this news release:
The next days, many newspapers worldwide publish the story, for example, "Le Courrier de l'Ouest, France, on October 10, 1989:
A UFO said to have landed in the Soviet Union
MOSCOW. -- Soviet researchers claimed that a strange unidentified spaceship, operated by giant individuals with tiny heads, had recently landed in a park of the town of Voronej, the Tass agency announced Monday.
The scientists "identified the place of the landing and discovered traces of the strange creatures which carried out a short walk in the park". The date of the landing is not specified.
According to Tass, a ball or a large luminous disc was seen above the park by the inhabitants of Voronezh, a city located at 480 km in the south-east of Moscow. The unidentified flying object (UFO) landed and three creatures, which measured between 3 and 4 meters with tiny heads, similar to human beings came out of there, accompanied by a small robot.
Which gave, translated by the Associated Press on October 9, 1989:
By JOHN IAMS Associated Press Writer
MOSCOW (AP) -- The official Tass news agency said today that scientists have confirmed the landing of an alien spaceship carrying giant people with tiny heads.
The report was the latest strange tale in the official Soviet media, which under the policy of glasnost, "or openness," have recently told of other sightings of unidentified flying objects and alien creatures.
"Scientists have confirmed that an unidentified flying object recently landed in a park in the Russian city of Voronezh," Tass said in a dispatch from the city, 300 miles southeast of Moscow. "They have also identified the landing site and found traces of aliens who made a short promenade about the park."
Tass said Voronezh residents saw a large shining ball or disk hovering over the park. They reported that the UFO landed and up to three creatures similar to humans emerged, accompanied by a small robot, Tass said.
"The aliens were three or even four meters (9 to 12 feet) tall, but with very small heads," the news agency quoted witnesses as saying. "They walked near the ball or disc and then disappeared inside."
The report was similar to a story last summer in the daily newspaper Socialist Industry, which told of a purported "close encounter" between a milkmaid and an alien in Central Russia's Perm region.
In that report, Lyubov Medvedev was quoted as saying she encountered an alien creature "resembling a man, but taller than average with short legs." The creature, she said, had "only a small knob instead of a head."
The Tass report, which did not give the date of the purported landing in Voronezh, said onlookers were "overwhelmed with a fear that lasted for several days."
Genrikh Silanov, head of the Voronezh Geophysical Laboratory, told Tass that scientists investigating the UFO report found a 20-yard depression with four deep dents as well as two pieces of unidentified rocks.
"At first glance, they looked like sandstone of a deep-red color. However, mineralogical analysis has shown that the substance cannot be found on Earth," Tass quoted Silanov as saying. "However, additional tests are needed to reach a more definite conclusion."
Silanov said the landing site and path taken by the aliens were confirmed using the "biolocation" method of tracking, but Tass didn't explain what that was.
Further confirmation came from witnesses, who were not told of the experiments and whose accounts matched precisely the scientific findings, Tass said.
The Tass report said residents also reported recent sightings of a "banana-shaped" object in the sky.
In July, Tass disputed a report in Socialist Industry quoting a UFO specialist, A. Kuzovkin, as saying a 26-foot-wide patch of burned ground near southern Moscow was probably caused by the landing of a UFO.
Tass said firefighters believe a haystack simply caught fire and scorched the ground.
Normally, any sensible ufologist would have raised a suspicious eyebrow by reading the stories of sandstone unknown on the earth requiring further studies and of research of "experts" turned scientists, by "the technique of biological magnetism", i.e. in reality: the divining rod. But the Tass Agency then reported other details:
Moscow, October 10. TASS. The daily newspaper Sovetskaya Koullaura published today additional details on the appearance of an unidentified flying object in Voronezh (central Russia). According to the newspaper, it occurred in the warm evening of September 27. Schoolboys Vassia Sourine, Jenia Blinov and Youlia Cholokhova played football in the city park where there were many people. Not far from there, several tens of people awaited the bus. At six hours and half, the children suddenly noticed in the sky a pink light and then a dark red ball of approximately ten meters in diameter. After having made some turns, the sphere disappeared but it returned a few minutes to then hover above the park. A trap door opened in the lower part of the ball. The crowd, already important, saw a being of a size of three meters approximately, with three eyes, in silver combination, boots of bronze color and with a disc on the chest.
After having examined the ground, the "visitor" closed the trap door, and the sphere landed, reads one in the article. Two beings descended from there, one of which was undoubtedly a robot. The first uttered something, after that, a luminous triangle of 30 centimetres by 50 was seen for a few moments on the ground. The extraterrestrial touched the chest of the robot which started to walk.
At this time, one of the kids cried of fear. The "visitor" threw a luminous glance at him: the boy could not move any more. Then, all the crowd shouted. The sphere flew away with its passengers. It was seen again five minutes afterwards. This time, the being with three eyes had a one half-meter length tube at its side. He pointed it on a sixteen year old teenager: this one disappeared and reappeared only when the apparatus and the extraterrestrial flew away definitively.
Commenting on this information, the permanent correspondent of Sovetskaya Koultoura in Voronezh notes that it is difficult to explain them. But, in his opinion, something really occurred. The account quoted above reproduced testimonys of several people. The residents of the street Poutiline have more than once observed the appearance of UFOS between September the 23 and 29. Militiamen and journalists questioned the witnesses: no contradictions in the description of the sphere and the actions of the extraterrestrials. Moreover, all the children who attended the phenomenon are still afraid.
The local section for the study of the natural anomalies, which gathers specialists in physics and biology, investigates into this phenomenon, announces the newspaper.
At this time, the press worldwide grabs the story and generally ridicules it. Ufologist Boris Shurinov goes to the offices of the French TV in Moscow, views a videotape of a report on the case, gives his negative opinion: knowing the implicated ufologists for their unslung sensationalism, he smells the hoax.
In the Pravda newspaper, an article reports the cas and concludes with irony that it is an obvious hoax. In France, "Le Monde" echoes this more or less acurately:
Pravda gives in the hoax and is ironical about an ancounter of the 3rd kind.
The newspaper of the Soviet Communist Party, Pravda, reacting to the recent avalanche of news on the UFO reported even by very official agency TASS, was ironical yesterday about the phenomenon while launching, in its turn, information on the landing of the extraterrestrials.
According to the daily newspaper, three extraterrestrial landed in the town of Obradovsk. Their arrival, one Saturday at 01:58 p.m., aboard a flying saucer of orange color, was observed by 357 adult witnesses queuing in front of the local vodka provider on the place Proboujdénié (Alarm clock), the old Bolchaïa Démagoguitcheskaïa (Great Demagogic Place), according to a local journalist, Néoustoïev (the Unstable).
The three Martians, measuring 3,02 meters, 3,09 meters and 3,36 meters, having each one three eyes and four ears, carried silver costumes and rubber boots. The smallest of the three was apparently a woman according to experts.
"One of them took a step ahead, drew up the ear right and said in a metallic voice: 'Glasnost... Hurrah!'"
But the echo will be a worldwide one. Any newspaper of any country publishes the case, such as for example the Saint-Louis Post-Dispatch, USA, October 11, 1989:
Strange Tale of the 3-Eyed Alien That Zapped a Boy!
MOSCOW - A three-eyed alien with a robot sidekick landed aboard a spaceship and made a boy vanish by zapping him with a pistol, a Soviet newspaper reported Tuesday in a second day of strange tales in the state-run media.
But as the bizarre saga of the space invasion of the city of Voronezh unfolded for a second day, a scientist whose words were used to buttress the first published report voiced doubts and said he was in part misquoted.
"Don't believe all you hear from Tass," Genrikh Silanov, head of the Voronezh Geophysical Laboratory, said from Voronezh in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. "We never gave them part of what they published."
On Monday, the usually staid, official Soviet news agency told the world that scientists had confirmed that an alien spaceship carrying giant people with tiny heads had touched down in Voronezh, a city of more than 800,000 people about 300 miles southeast of Moscow.
As many as three aliens 13 feet tall left the spacecraft, described as a large shining ball, and walked in the park with a small robot, Tass reported. A Tass duty officer stood by the story. "It is not April Fools' today," he said.
The purported close encounter in Voronezh was only the latest weird tale to appear in the Soviet media. Under the policy of glasnost, or openness, the media have recently told of other sightings of unidentified flying objects and the yeti, or Abominable Snowman.
Monday's report spawned rumors in Moscow, including one that the aliens told Voronezh residents the Earth would be destroyed by the year 2000 if people didn't stop polluting it.
Nonetheless, a Communist Party paper whose avowed mission is to write about culture was the only major national daily to print anything Tuesday about the UFO, indicating that more authoritative newspapers like Pravda had thought the topic too hot to handle.
Sovietskaya Kultura said its coverage had been motivated by "the golden rule of journalism: The reader must know everything."
The daily quoted witnesses as saying that the UFO flew into Voronezh on Sept 27. At 6:30 p.m., it said, boys playing soccer saw a pink glow in the sky, then saw a deep red ball about 10 yards in diameter. The ball circled, vanished, then reappeared minutes later and hovered, it said.
A crowd rushed to the site, Sovietskaya Kultura said, and through an open hatch saw a "three-eyed alien" about 10 feet tall, clad in silvery overalls and bronze-colored boots and wearing a disk on his chest.
The newspaper, quoting witnesses, gave this account:
The UFO landed. Two creatures, one apparently a robot, exited. A boy screamed with fear, but when the alien gazed at him, with eyes shining, he fell silent, unable to move. Onlookers screamed, and the UFO and the creatures disappeared.
About five minutes later, they reappeared. The alien had a "pistol" - a tube about 20 inches long, which it pointed at an unidentified 16-year-old boy, making him disappear. The alien went inside the sphere, which took off. At the same time, the boy reappeared.
"Children and eyewitnesses of the abnormal phenomenon have been questioned by police workers and journalists," wrote E. Efremov, the Voronezh correspondent for Sovietskaya Kultura. "There are no discrepancies in the description of the sphere itself or the actions of the "aliens." Moreover, all the children who became witnesses to this event are still afraid, even now."
It gave the names of only three witnesses, all youngsters.
Scientists from a nationwide group that investigates "abnormal phenomena" were looking into the landing, the newspaper said.
As of the New York Times, they translates the alleged "biolocalisation" of the traces of passages of the entities by "bilocation", whereas "biolocalisation" is simply the term that russian use for the art of the waterfinder and radiesthesy in general.
In Voronezh, sensationalist ufologist Ajaja, big fan of Jacques Vallée and his theories on mysterious "controlling intelligence" from a "parallel" or "interdimensional" world, declare that the event is real, that it is "the landing of the century". But for him, these were not extraterrestrial beings of course but: "something that comes from parallel worlds."
The world press benefits from all this, a good story to sell, and publishes without complex with the necessary mocking remarks on ET and the little green men, and generally omitting to make any research, or even to consult the Russian press which is not entirely devoted to sensationalism. Thus, "Literatournaya Gazéta" presented less glittering aspects of the case, gathered by their correspondant on the location, N. Efremov, who put his report at the disposal of the Western news services:
Ufologists of Voronezh gathered "tangible evidence": a video of the witnesses, holes of extraterrestrial origin in the ground, a poplar which was curved under the weight of the object, two pieces of extraterrestrial rock and, finally, the references on the indications of measuring apparatus.
It is true, the poplar is curved but people insist in saying that it was like that forever. The holes, although trampled, can be seen. But it is said that they were dug a few years ago.
The rock was analyzed and appeared entirely ordinary since one finds some everywhere.
The official reports of the examinations using the measuring apparatus strike the imagination. In all there were three of them:
- 1. The magnetometer whose indications varied with the change of the witnesses.
- 2. A twisted wire qualified of "measuring apparatus" which turned in the hand of the ufologists in the exact place of the "landing". Then, it was noticed that the same "measuring apparatus" turned in several places around. It was very encouraging since the extraterrestrials could land everywhere they wished.
- 3. An apparatus "to measure the bioenergetic potential of man" invented by a ufologist of Voronezh. The indications of this apparatus showed that in the place of the landing "the bioenergy of the men was equal to zero."
"The witnesses reports", is the principal source of information. For example, a street sweeper who talks about his encounters with the aliens. Or the children telling the arrival of the ball and the behaviour of the extraterrestrial. At this time, still another boy approaches and starts to speak about what he saw with the others. Somebody is indignant: "You were not with us!" The impostor blinks an eye and brings corrections by specifying that he saw the aliens on another time. Good for him. And the ufologists interrogate him so that he gives the details on a landing unknown to the others witnesses.
On October 28, Agence France Press published a new more informed dispatch: a commission directed by the vice-president of the University of Voronezh had carried out analyses and checks on the site of the landing, and refuted all the rumours: no radioactivity, no anomaly. The chief of the Laboratory of Geophysics of Voronezh specified that so-called "rock unknown on Earth requiring more analyses" was merely a piece of iron ore.
Russian ufologist Boris Shurinov would later note: "the case collapsed like a house of cards and the journalists who raveled on the spot found themselves vis-a-vis kids burning with the desire for being interviewed and very ready to declare themselves witnesses."
Ufologists of the French ufology group S.O.S OVNI had also contacted their Soviet correspondents, and thus learned that the alleged landing gear prints of the saucer existed before the date of the landing.
Among certain Russian ufologists, delirium reached new heights, however. "I think that this flying saucer was nothing other than the appearance of Christ", told Alexandre Mosolov, "Member of the special Commission of investigation of the incident of Voronezh." Why? Because only children, "innocent spirits", were witnesses.
A S. Boulantsev, of the TASS agency, fought for the preservation of the case: the traces were authentic, the object weighed eleven tons, the radioactivity was high.
All kinds of reporters of the Western medias furrowed the city. They heard to say that in addition to the four children, there had been hundreds of adult witnesses. They found none, except if you count the mother of one of the children who stated that at a certain time whereas she went to a family celebration, she saw a flickering of red, green and yellow lights above the roof of a house. Nobody cared to check if her description of ordinary plane lights related to an ordinary plane or an extraterrestrial spaceship, however.
Quite quickly, AK.E. Barrio publishes an article in the Spanish magazine Cambio-16 in 1989 to explain that all the case is without reality:
"Voronezh turned into a Mecca for foreign journalists accredited in the USSR. Local authorities organized trips for the representatives of the press. In spite of the fact that all the witnesses are children and that the only scientist, persuaded of the reality of the event, uses of very particular research methods for the demonstration, some Soviet people are convinced that for their first contact with humanity, the aliens had chosen the perestroïka society."
It so happened that one of the boys, Roma Torshin, which had claimed to see the UFO of Voronezh and made a drawing of it, placed there a symbol which was going to give the goosepops to certain ufologists:
It did not matter that the other children by no means neither saw or drew the symbol, and that the drawings as the reports were rather contradictory, nor that the "experts" were obviously ranging from mild eccentrics to pure and simple falsifiers: for some, it became obvious that the symbol is the proof that all the case is true, since they judged impossible that young Russian children could know about the Ummo case and the famous Ummo symbol.
It also did not matter that the so-called Ummite symbol was, to any Russian citizen able to read, nothing more than one normal letter of the Cyrillic alphabet, transcribed "zh" and pronounces a little like the "J":
In theory, Jean-Jacques Vélasco, who was then the official "Mister UFO" in France within the SEPRA, a service then well forgotten of the CNES supposed to deal with UFO matters, carries out his investigations only in France, and when French ufologists were astonished that SEPRA seemed to have nothing to say regarding the UFO wave in Belgium, he would reply that Belgium is not part of his strictly national jurisdiction. However, perhaps intrigued by some AFP communiqué, or by the worldwide media repercussion on the case, or intrigued by the Ummo story, Vélasco reported in his book with Jean-Claude Bourret to have carried out a discrete investigation on the Voronezh landing.
It seems that he contacted by phone the ufologist who was presented as the "scientist" that investigated the case, Silanov, and there was an exchange of letters between the two men.
But what happened is that Silanov innundated Vélasco of "extraordinary scientific discoveries": a print of a humanoid in the mesozoïc deposits dated back to 140 to 150 million years, a "photograph in ultraviolet ray and infra-red of one of its descendants", and telepathic contacts with these beings...
Vélasco first wonders whether he is taken to a wild ride by some Soviet secret service, and finally drops his opinion:
"I'm afraid that all this does is pure invention." But others are not there yet.
Renaud Marhic, a French journalist author of novels and books and articles about cults, sects, and pseudo-science, who pushed the thesis that the Ummo affair was a secret operation of the Soviet KGB, writes that Ummo is closely related to the USSR, because "in 1989, a UFO with the Ummite sign landed in Voronezh, in the south of Moscow." He did not seem to find relevant that the case was a hoax, that dispatches of the news services had said so, and he did not seem to realize that the famous Ummite symbol of the alleged saucer did not have anything really convincing or of significance. He speaks about the "official" report of the Tass Agency, which actually had nothing "official" to it, and that only reproduced the remarks of local newspapers and did not communicate the least official opinion. He would talk of the "circular trace" where there were simply holes, and would relay the evocation of a "fragment of extraterrestrial rock discovered on the place" and of a "abnormal radioactivity."
He then wrote in 1993: "are we confronted to a hoax? Yes, probably, insofar as, no matter what occurred to Voronezh, it did not have the importance that one wanted to describe", that is to say a rather doubtful manner to present a hoax. He would prefer to seek further: "The authors? Children with wild imagination? Perhaps. But in this case, why did they add to their drawing of the UFO this symbol [the Ummo symbol]?"
And, boldly: "Who told then this detail that they could not know, logically?" While announcing that "Muscovite Boris Shurinov had, a long time before, published an article where one could see the Ummite symbol." A weakened story when compared to what Shurinov would indicate. And in Mahric's book, the Voronezh landing will appear as confirming his thesis of the KGB as origin of the Ummo fraud: "I am tempted to see in this a new faking of the Soviet intelligence services."
"The giants in the park of Voronezh left a clear message: the ufological mystery was more extreme and puzzling as ever". Three joined factors attracted the French, US resident ufologist Jacques Vallée towards this doubtful story: first of all, he had often maintained the position that they are "military personal" or mysterious "secret agencies" which are behind the UFO phenomenon. He naturally then been fascinated by the Ummo affair, seeing there the sophisticated deeds of such a mysterious human agency. In his book "The Invisible College", he had written fifteen pages on the Ummo case. He repeated faithfully what was known about it, and concludes as if all that were proven, by one of its favorite theses initially: "the phenomenon systematically lies to exceed logic", seeing a "psychic bond" between Ummo, Uri Geller, the UFOs and all the field of the paranormal. Then he adds a different conclusion: the Ummo business seems to show "that there must be a mysterious group" on Earth of people who know about the nature of UFOs and uses it for its own goals."
- Jacques Vallée.
Also, he knew that he would find in Russia sympathetic ears to his paranormal and other "psychic aspects" or "interdimensional" worlds thesis. Where a judicious ufologist would have smiled at "the scientific apparatus" of the famous Russian "experts" supposedly proving a "biomagnetic activity" on the alleged spot of the landing of Voronezh through what was nothing else than the good old divination rod, Jacques Vallée rather heard resound a peasant paranormal tinkling. And these aliens "too absurd to be extraterrestrial" thus "lures of aliens" product of some "higher intelligence" was probably also irresistible for him.
In January 1990, he arrives to Moscow in company of Martine Castello, a scientific journalist of the French newspaper "Le Figaro" who prepared a book on the Ummo case, and was amazed to see the Unno symbol on a drawing of a saucer by a child of Voronezh at the television news. They thus intended to meet the Soviet ufologists, in particular those of Voronezh hoax and those having made the promotion of another hoax in Perm.
Castello and Vallée then meet the promoters of the case, V. Ajaja, A. Malikhine, A. Mosolov, in the presence of Boris Shurinov who is much more skeptic and would later tell about the meeting in detail in his book:
Vallée tries to know if the story in Voronezh is true and if there was really a "Ummite symbol" on this UFO, thinking that if it is the case, Ummo becomes a serious business. All tell him that the symbol is known to Russian ufologists, but not to the child who drew it. Vallée asks whether it is true that the aliens made one of the children disappear, and hears that it was "in the newspapers" but that it was perhaps invented.
Shurinov explains that the Ummite symbol was drawn by a boy who was not with the others at the time of the alleged landing, that he drew this symbol because one of the ufologists of Voronezh had shown him the alleged Ummite saucer photograph of San Juan de Valderas to make the story more solid by attaching it to a European case, without knowing that the European case was dismounted as a fraud. Castello would note in her book that a certain Boris Shurinov convinced them that the child drew the Ummite symbol because it was in his book, and that the symbol is known in the area since 1984, the Ummo story being circulated for a long time in the country.
One of the fakes photographs of a saucer "from Ummo" in San Juan de Valdeiras.
Vallée raises questions: "some reports say that the aliens had three eyes." "Actually, the majority only spoke about two eyes, with something between them, in the face, and some thought that it is a third eye," the Russians tell him.
Shurinov also notes that Vallée was not convinced by the video of the ufologists of Voronezh handling their waterfinder's "measuring device".
Not only Shurinov but other people too reported details of the meeting. "And the radar of the area?" asked Vallée. They did not detect anything. Vallée explains: "Maybe these objects are invisible for the radar under certain conditions."
The following evening, Vallée has a supper with Ajaja and others of these Russian ufologists who make the despair of Boris Shurinov. Vallée is called on the phone, someone tells him of a UFO that flew over the nuclear thermal power station and burned the road with a ray. Vallée tells: "I keep in mind the assumption that somebody can have flown oval balloons on Russia with the Ummo symbol on it, painted in obviousness on a side. If the Ummo cult in Spain is the result of a psychological operation, anybody can play the game. But this assumption is not enough to explain all testimonys of Voronezh. We got from these meetings an appreciation of the complexity of the entire problem."
Vallée and Castello still would meet members of the Soviet Academy of Science, the cosmonaut Valentine Zudov, director of the space flights teams, and would discuss together various theories on UFOs.
Martine Castello later wrote in her book with Philippe Chambon and Isabelle Blanc on Ummo some rather astonishing things: it seems to her that "USSR is today the seat of ufologic phenomena of great importance", that according to the Russian, "not a day occurs" without an appearance of alien UFOs, landings and abductions, and that ufology has become in USSR an "official science" practiced by academicians "with the blessing of the authorities." But she described the Moscow meeting with the investigators of Voronezh as something less glittering: investigators in blue jeans and parkas with the tired face due to the trip, and especially, the difficulty of the translation: they speak all at the same time and she does not understand much. She notices that for Jacques Vallée, the case is closed: the child drew the Ummo symbol because he read Shurinov's article who introduced it or because one of the investigator pressured the kid to draw it to give more credit to the case.
As for Jacques Vallée, he would come out with a new book, "UFO Chronicles of the Soviet Union" and would boldly describe the case of Voronezh like that of a dozen adults in addition to the children, of a round spacecraft, and giants with three eyes, and a robot who accompanies them, he would write on "engineers" who examined landing traces of the craft, which would have weighed 11 tons. He would tell that Ajaja confirmed the "abductions of the witnesses of Voronezh". He would even publish a list of so-called witnesses coming from a doubtful gazette.
The worst is the reasons which push Vallée to present the case as true when it is clearly hoaxed. He reports that a member of the Soviet Academy of Science, Vladimir Migulin, had allotted the landing traces to a rocket launched in Stalingrad. Since this explanation is rather ridiculous, Vallée benefits from it to pretend to give weight to the case: "Migulin's skeptical attitude is not very different from what you would get from our own National Academy of Science [in the US]."
He then speaks of "the weight of the craft", an allegation without base, since relating to an alleged depth of the holes of the feet of the machine whereas the holes were there before the claimed landing. The weight of the machine, according to him, "is in the ranges of estimates reached by French scientists studying physical markings left by UFO landings in France." You do not dream: it is because in the investigation into the encounter of Marius Dewilde in Quarouble, France, in 1954 had shown marks in railroad woodpieces where the machine was said to have landed, marks which had made it possible to (real this time) engineers of the SNCF, the French railay company (and not "French scientists") to estimate as of 30 tons (and not 11 tons) the weight exerted to leave these marks, that Jacques Vallée finds that the saucer of Voronezh must be "true"! Vallée simply listened to Yuri Lozotsev, "expert in materials" of the group of the promoters of Voronezh, who told him: "We find 11,5 tons. This is coherent with other figures which you reported in one of your books, concerning the French Air Force measurements in Quarouble." Vallée naturally was very astonished, and probably flattered, to have readers in Russia, 11,5 or 30 tons do not matter, and he answered him that the American ufologists "did not know these figures."
As for the beings, giants with three eyes or robots, Vallée does see that they hardly resemble those described in the most reliable reports or even with those described in general, but they virtually authenticates them by announcing that there was a "very similar case in Argentina in 1978."
He finds all these reports coming all of a sudden from USSR "very significant", with the reason that "With the chaos spreading over the Soviet Union I felt there was genuine information coming out from the witnesses."
Whereas, particularly in France, Vallée is surrounded of an unshakeable prestige, particularly among promoters of "ultraterrestrial" or "paranormal" theories on the UFOs, who regard him as a completely serious investigator, more judicious ufologists did not fail to be amazed by the "Vallée method" still illustrated in this new book. For example, Michael Swords, a professor of the Western Michigan University and also ufologist and director of the Journal of UFO Studies, noted: "As for Vallée's book, it sounds like "What I Did on My Last Vacation." Vallée may have met a lot of interesting people and heard a lot of interesting tales, but he doesn't document things properly, and if he has, he never seems to share it with anybody."
When the ultraskeptics ones of CSICOP laughed their guts out at his book and in particular of its endorsement of the case of Voronezh, noting that "the high size of the aliens of Voronezh is not in conformity with the standards established by Center for UFO Studies", the ufology group founded by J. Allen Hynek, and that the case is thus "to be logically rejected by the ufologists," Vallée would without fear of ridicule fight back that "this position illustrates the sad state of American ufology"!
He would speak again of his visit in the USSR to a Brazilian newspaper in 2006. Owing to the fact that I am not blinded by admiration for Jacques Vallée, I am often told by his supporters in France that I have a closed mind and that the "open mindedness" of Jacques Vallée makes ufology progress; therefore it is perhaps useful to listen to what he had concluded from all this:
"Yes, but I did not hear a case of true wounds [caused by UFOS] in Russia although I heard an account concerning rays which dissolved asphalt. I spent one week to Soviet Union with a journalist Frenchwoman. Think that the basic approach for me, it is that to understand that the phenomenon UFO is not a system. If it were a system we could, probably, understand it. We are very good to analyze systems when these systems are social, or "material" systems or physical systems. I think that we cannot explain some systems yet because we need to inquire into the phenomenon, not as into a system, but as being a metasystem. In other words, it is a system generating of systems. To offer a simple analogy, suppose that we want to study a civilization about which we practically do not know anything. Then, we see, one Saturday evening, that a crowd moves towards the line. We ask "why do they go there?" And they answer: "Oh, it was sensational we saw Bambi." We regard the experiment as very coherent, since, at the base, all say the same thing. We cross the street and ask the same question to another crowd, which moves towards another building, and these people answer: "we saw Rambo." A quite as coherent information, but different from the other one. The next step is to go to the buildings to check by ourselves. All that we see is a white screen and a series of chairs facing the screen. The obvious theory is psychological, these people like to come there and their consciences create myths starting from their own imaginations. The ones like Bambi and the others, Rambo. We suppose that there is no physical reality in the whole. We can be dubitative of this assumption, but it is a theory to be developed. People do the same thing about UFOs. They say: it is a mythology, that came from the unconscious according to times. Sometimes that resembles to the Virgin Mary, other times they are like the fairies, and at other times, they like to resemble spaceships." And of course, by mistaking obvious hoaxes and the likes for a "metasystem", some people manage to agitate a lot of hot air...