This remarkable photo of an UFO was taken in 1969 near San Jose, Argentina.

When on this morning, Evenki left his hut made of logs of silver birch, he noticed with pleasure that Summer had at last fully arrived.  It was already the 30 June and he therefore had only six weeks to verify his traps, cut down a few trees and dig the soil to build a palissade.  Then a long Winter of ten months would again fall upon the taiga, petrifying the ground and the marshes at a depth of several metres…  For a long moment, he watched his five reindeer grazing in their enclosure, then went towards a small shed which contained a meager fodder of dried grasses and lichen.  It was exactly 7:02.  Just as he was entering it, Evenki the Hunter was struck by a shaft of light more brilliant than ten suns.  He shaded his eyes and was able to understand that the terrible brightness was coming from an object which was moving very fast, obliquely to the line of the horizon.  Terrified, he clung to the doorpost and then saw an enormous sphere, which was throwing out incandescent matters, bounce above the trees of the taiga.  Then he heard a sound like crushed metal immediately followed by a formidable deflagration.  The ground, beneath him, began to dance and, before falling to his knees, he saw forming above his house an enormous cloud which rapidly took the form of a mushroom…

In the neighbouring town of Vanovara, around one hundred inhabitants of this isolated corner of Central Siberia watched, appalled, the same spectacle.  The noise of the explosion was heard as far as Kansk, 800 kilometres from there.  A mechanic who was driving a freight train stopped his convoy in a hurry and jumped from the locomotive thinking that one of the wagons had just exploded.  Over all of the Tunguska Taiga there was a tempest which lifted the rooves of the isbas and smashed through doors and windows.  Great waves went to beat against the banks of the Agara River, so strongly that enormous floating trunks were thrown up onto dry ground while strange, yellow-green clouds began to form in the sky.  A. Polkanov, from the Academy of Science of Saint Petersbourg, who was in Siberia on this 30 June 1908, saw that they rapidly took on a reddish pink tinge, and seismographs in Iena, Irkutsk and most of Western Europe’s big cities registered quakes of great amplitude.  In Paris and London, it was possible, for three consecutive nights, to read at night without the help of any light, and in Moscow, the light which was falling from the nocturnal sky was so strong that it was possible to take photographs.

On 30 June 1908, in Central Siberia, a 200 square kilometre region was devastated by the explosion of a mysterious, enflamed sphere.

When the consequences of this phenomenon were wholly known – which took years – it was noticed that the flaming sphere had completely ravaged a region of 200 square kilometres and destroyed more than ten million trees…

To the questions coming from all over the world, the Russian scholars of the epoch answered that it was a meteorite of very big dimension which had fallen to Earth.

In 1921, Leonid Kulik, attached to the Meteorological Institute of Russia, published a communication on what the inhabitants of this region of Siberia called “the miracle of the Tunguska”.  Kulik’s scientific formation is only that of an autodidact, but what he reveals then, appears so important, that the Soviets, who have been in power for five years, decide to consecrate the first post-Revolutionary scientific expedition to it.  It is Kulik who leads it, but with such reduced means that he takes months to arrive at the base of the Chakorma Mountains, beyond which it is presumed that the “meteorite” had crashed.  With its mosquitoes and its marshes, interspersed with steep hills falling into deep ravines, this region is even more inaccessible than the farthest reaches of Matto Grosso.  Summer only lasts a few weeks and, for several months of the year, temperatures of minus 60 degrees Centigrade are frequent there…

Ill, exhausted and above all discouraged, Kulik’s companions abandon in view of Vanovara.  The engineer continues alone, accompanied by a Tunguse guide, who soon gives increasing signs of worry:  he is shamanist, and assures that he will go no farther, the god who descended on the Tunguska in 1908 will kill him.  All the same, he accompanies Kulik onto the summit of the Chakorma Mountains and, after a last exhausting stage, the engineer discovers at his feet an unbelievable spectacle:  the vast expanse that his eyes embrace seems to have been laminated by a gigantic sledge hammer, flattening millions of giant pines, poplars, larches, leaving only a few trunks cut half-way up, on the edge of a vast cuvette, that Kulik, extenuated and abandoned by his guide, can only glimpse this time.

It is only the following Spring, in 1928, after having spent Winter in a little village situated 60 kilometres from there, that the engineer and a few assistants who have come from Moscow to help him, are able to penetrate inside the devastated perimeter…

Through an incredible tangle of trees and shoots ripped out by the roots, he arrives at the centre of a vast, denuded clearing, delimited by a circle of smashed trees whose roots are all pointing toward a common centre.  There is no doubt, this is the epicentre of a terrifying explosion.  Kulik falls to his knees like Evenki the Hunter twenty years before, but in a very different frame of mind:  he swears to consecrate whatever strength and life is left to him to find the solution to the mystery…

What mystery?  Hadn’t the Russian scholars given the explanation for the phenomenon, due to the falling of a meteorite of great size?

Eight months before, when Kulik had arrived for the first time in view of the site where the object had fallen, he had been troubled by the fact that no excavation was visible, either near or faraway.  Any meteorite falling to Earth produces a crater whose dimensions are in proportion with its weight, one of the biggest being the one in Arizona which is more than 150 metres deep and two kilometres wide…

Kulik and his companions scoured the vast region for days, wherever the phenomenon’s effects were visible, but found no hole in the ground, nor any projection of stones, as should have been the case for an aerolith which could not have weighed less than a few hundred million tonnes.  He concluded that the waters of the surrounding marshlands had filled the crater which had formed at the epicentre of the explosion, and that pieces of the object must be about twenty metres under the surface of the frozen ground, covered by a layer of water, or rather ice, which only melted for a few weeks every year.  He was nonetheless very troubled at not having been able to find the slightest solid particle coming from a stone from Space, after several weeks of searching…

To be continued.

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