Nowadays reports of UFO sightings appear in the media so frequently that they hardly catch anyone’s eye. More often than not the alleged UFOs turn out to be signal rockets, meteorological probes, airplanes or their traces. But this certainly does not apply to sightings registered centuries ago — when no rockets or airplanes existed at all. Moscow daily Komsomolskaya Pravda publishes a document from a personal archive that tells of a UFO spotted over Kremlin back in 1808.
“I found this document in the personal archive of a Moscow senator Peter Poludensky, who worked for the Tsar’s Secret Service and died in the middle of XIX century. Apparently the manuscript attracted his attention for some reason,” says Alexander Afanasyev, an expert of the Russian State History Museum, department of manuscripts.
“Ufology is really not my area, but I am determined that the manuscript describes a UFO.”
“Radiance Over the Kremlin”
“On September, 1, 1808, at 8 o’clock and 7 minutes in the afternoon, in the sky, clear and sown with stars, a phenomenon appeared, incomparable in its beauty and rigor, as well as in radiance and enormous size, to anything seen before. As we noticed it, attracted by the loud cracking sound, it was rising in an arch over the horizon, from 55’ to almost 90’. Having passed this distance in an instant, it stopped among the clouds as if over the Kremlin and looked like a long straight plate some nine arshin (6.35 meter) long and half arshin (0.35 meter) thick.
Then on its front edge, turned to the South-West, an oval flame flared, some two arshin (1.4 meter) long and one and a half arshin (1.4 meter) thick, with a flame that can only be compared to the radiance of burning phosphor.
Floating in a circle without open fire or sparkle, it nonetheless lighted everything around as broad daylight; then the flame went out, the light disappeared, but the bright plate remained and quite smoothly went perpendicularly upwards, reached the stars and still could be seen for some two minutes and then, without disappearing, it became invisible due to the extraordinary height.”
Indeed, the mysterious object described bears resemblance to modern UFOs descroptions by its ability to stop and start off abruptly, radiating light, regular shape. However, Afanasyev rules out the possibility of the manuscript being a fake.
“Impossible. The manuscript is written on authentic paper, produced in 1805. The spelling and the style obviously belong to the beginning of XIX century, and the author must have been an educated person, probably a Moscow State University professor, since the University is just across the street from the Kremlin.”
The researcher turned to astronauts, hoping to find out what the author of the manuscript actually witnessed, but unexpectedly the astronomers helped him identify the author.
“In 1808 at a meeting of Moscow Naturalist Society Andrey Chebotaryov, a 24-year-old professor of chemistry at the Moscow University, made a report on a meteor that he happened to see,” says Galina Ponomaryova, an expert of the State Astronomy University.
“Of course it was not a meteor, but at that time any object in the sky was identified as a meteor.”
The manuscript was accompanied by a sketch, depicting what Chebotaryov saw.
1. September, 13, 1808 at 20:07 at the Moscow State University Chebotaryov hears a cracking noise, and lookin out of the window sees a rectangle object 6.35 meters long and 0.35 meters thick, rising in an arc.
2. The object freezes over the Kremlin at some two or three kilometers’ height. On the lateral part a bright ball of flamó flared, some 1.5 meters in diameter. The radiance continued for five seconds.
3. When the radiance went out, the object smoothly raised vertically upwards and was visible for two minutes.
“The aim of this document still remains a mystery for me,” Afanasyev adds.
“At first I suggested that it was a draft for an article in the paper, but neither the Moscow State University’s newspaper, nor any other Moscow edition published this material.
Chebotaryov could be preparing an article for the Moscow Naturalist Society newsletter, but for some reason it was never published and stayed in the archive until Peter Poludensky discovered it. Finally, the manuscript was rediscovered by modern researchers and couls be published for the broader public.