A Conversation for The Tunguska Incident

Not the Soviet Union

Post 1

An Unlikely Hero

Generally, a very well written and informative account, but I would just like to draw your attention to one minor error in the penultimate paragraph. The Soviet Union did not exist in 1908, since the Revolution that resulted in its creation did not occur until 1917.


Not the Soviet Union

Post 2

furtim - Zaphodista Sympathiser

Quite. Which also more or less ensures that the KGB didn't know much about the Tunguska Blast, since they weren't even formed for another 50 years (give or take) after the Revolution...


Not the Soviet Union

Post 3

Tonsil Revenge (PG)

Okay, but the investigation didn't take place until 1925, well into the Soviet era. And never be too sure what the KGB didn't know. Remember, the government had a big investment in revisionist history and you can't change what you don't know. I am in favor of a time travel theory that sometime in the future a nuclear facility is built on the site and it ka-blooeys itself so badly the site is damaged through time. And I wouldn't be too sure that no one in 1908 could build a nuclear device. Einstein published in 1905, I
think, and the Curies work was ten years before. Few of the materials available in 1944 were recent inventions. They just had never been assembled that way before. That we know of.


Not the Soviet Union

Post 4

Dr_Woland

One of the ironic things about Tunguksa is that it was only finally investigated in the field due to the political changes of 1917 that resulted in the formation of the USSR. Professor Kulik - formerly of the Royal Astronomical Society in St Petersburg - had been lobbying for an investigative expedition since the first reports came in. However, there was a rather unseemly "battle" for the event between the Astronomers and the Geologists - an "earthquake" explanation was preferred. Any investigation by Astronomers had an automatic implication that an extra-terrestrial explanation for the "Event" was being seriously considered, and this was not the message the Authorities wished to consider. Kulik did the best he could by interviewing the very few witnesses he could find.

Although in 1917 the political scene changed, Kulik retained his academic position and by 1924 he was a Professor of what was then Leningrad State University. However, the Russian Civil War that followed the Revolution lasted until 1925, and since a lot of it was raging up and down the Tran-Siberian Railway (with Baron von Ungern-Sternberg and his "whites" being forced ever eastwards) it was not really feasible to mount a scientific expedition. The summer of '26 was the first peaceful one in Siberia since the Revolution, and Kulik began planning. Finally his expedition took place in 1927.

Kulik had been hoping to find evidence that the earth had been hit by a "stony meteorite". His team searched all summer, but with no crater, he returned to Leningrad with inconclusive results. Prof Kolesnikov of Moscow University then suggested the "Comet Head" theory - with the notion that the comet head would have exploded in mid-air above the site. There is incontrovertible eye-witness report (consistent betwen multiple different reports) that whatever happened, it caused an explosion that took place approximately 4-7 km in the air above the site. A farmer, a Mr S B Semyonov, reported "all his clothes being burnt onto his body" by the force of the blast he witnessed from a great distance away.

There is not really any evidence that the NKVD (the precursors of the KGB) had any role in the investigations, or even any interest in them. However, given the Soviet approach to scientific rational explanations (or at least, rational explanations which appealed to the Central Committee, ehem...) all local shamanist explanations for the event were promptly squashed out of existence, and these records were destroyed.

Cheers to all from wintry Moscow

Neil (aka "Dr W.")


Not the Soviet Union

Post 5

ExpatChick

1925 was not entirely "well into the USSR", because the soviet union ws actually only formed in 1922, after the civil war. in fact, in 1925 there were still capitalism experiments going on (lenin's new economic program), and what would become the kgb was by no means fully-functional.


Not the Soviet Union

Post 6

Dave DeRock

TR, all the evidence, confirmed in Dr. W's reply, points to an airbourne explosion approx. 4-7 km above the ground. This would appear to disprove both the theory of a future nuclear facility, unless it was a floating one, and the Russian nuclear weapon, as the technology to get one that high didn't exist, even if the materials were available to make one. I've discounted the use of hot air balloons as I don't believe anyone would be stupid enough to put a nuclear device at the mercy of the winds.


Not the Soviet Union

Post 7

abbi normal "Putting on the Ritz" with Dr Frankenstein

Has anyone considered a laser? The ray gun that Tesla was working on sounds like a laser in some accounts. The PBS.org had a story and site about Tesla. They said he destroyed his papers on the ray gun. He said on his deathbed that it was far to dangerous a weapon and capable of destroying the world.

There was a "blow down" as they called it in Colorado. It was a mystery they chalked up to a bizarre wind phenomena. It was about a decade ago in a wilderness area ,up top. 10-12,000 feet. I believe it was 10,000 acres. They laid in a circle nearly perfect, like match sticks.
smiley - disco


Not the Soviet Union

Post 8

Mr. X ---> The path behind me is littered with corpses. .... .... .... Do you have a trash bag?

~*~Kulik had been hoping to find evidence that the earth had been hit by a "stony meteorite". His team searched all summer, but with no crater, he returned to Leningrad with inconclusive results. Prof Kolesnikov of Moscow University then suggested the "Comet Head" theory - with the notion that the comet head would have exploded in mid-air above the site.~*~

How does a falling, disintegrating rock spontaniously explode in the atmosphere? Particularly when it has never been known to happen at any other point?

smiley - pirate


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