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A WW2 UFO Mystery in the Skies Over Russia

We’ve been hearing stories of flying saucers (or flying disks if you prefer) dating back to the misnamed encounter that Kenneth Arnold had in 1947. But not all of them generated a buzz in the mainstream media or even among researchers in the UFO community. Two notable incidents were recorded in 1949, two years after the Kenneth Arnold sighting,  and investigated by the United States Air Force with almost no one paying any attention over the decades to come, but they were unique for a couple of reasons. First, they both happened in eastern Europe in the aftermath of World War 2. The other fascinating difference is that the objects that were reported bore little resemblance to the popularized images of flying disks that obsessed the media during the “summer of the saucers.” And one of them wasn’t a disk at all. Also, the witnesses involved were German prisoners of war.

Both of the reports in question were investigated under Project Grudge and enshrined in a single file in the Project Blue Book records held at the American National Archives. The first took place in Dnepropetrovsk (now Dnipro) in what was then known as Soviet Ukraine. In the 1940s, Ukraine was at the front lines and it saw some of the bloodiest fighting of the war against the Nazis while also having a complicated and occasionally hostile relationship with the Soviet Union. There were prisoner-of-war camps established there, including one in Dnepropetrovsk. A pair of prisoners there reported something remarkable in early October of 1949. One of the German prisoners working the night shift as a general laborer reported seeing an unidentified flying object four times in the space of a week between midnight and two in the morning.

What he described (and provided a drawing of) was, at first glance, a fairly typical “flying saucer.” But there were details of the appearance of the object that don’t seem to show up in other reports. He described a disk of an unspecified size beyond saying that it was “large.” The bottom of the disk was “almost black” near the center, but it became “red toward the outer edge.” The edge itself appeared to be “white hot” as if it was heating up as it flew through the atmosphere.

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The next peculiar detail was what he described as a “flaming arch” above the top of the disk. The arch was bright, but not bright enough to obscure the view of the rest of the disk. The final odd aspect of the sighting was a trail of “white hot sparks” behind the saucer resembling “the tail of a falling star.”

The source said that several other prisoners had seen the disk over the course of those four nights. He provided an interviewer with the name and contact information of another prisoner who had seen it from a different location. That person confirmed the details of the sighting for investigators. These details are notable because you rarely if ever see reports of saucers appearing to heat up in the atmosphere or leave a trail of sparks behind them. As noted above, a sketch of the saucer was provided and remains in the archives to this day.

The second incident in this report also involved German prisoners of war located further to the north in Russia itself. The first witness to this phenomenon was a German POW being held at Voikovo prison camp in Ivanovo, a suburb northeast of Moscow, in operation from 1943 to 1955. This was the only camp in the Soviet Union where high-ranking German officers were held. The prisoner’s name was redacted and is likely lost to history, but the American investigators working on Project Grudge found him to be highly credible. 

The prisoner observed something truly bizarre and unlike nearly any other UFO report. Well up in the air, he saw a “rod” that was roughly thirty feet long and a foot in diameter. Attached above it were five spheres that were approximately three feet across. Four of the spheres appeared to be fifteen feet from the rod while the final one was twice as far away. Both the rod and the spheres appeared to be white.

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He had a second sighting of the same object from his work assignment in the Ismaylovo neighborhood in the northern part of Moscow. The prisoner provided the name of another POW who had also seen the object from a different location. He was interviewed and offered the same description.

I’ve done some searching of the popular UFO literature and haven’t come across anything remotely similar to this. A lengthy metallic rod flying underneath orbs attached to it? We’ve seen plenty of saucers, triangles, cubes, and even cubes inside of orbs. But this is truly unique. And the description doesn’t suggest anything that should have been able to generate any sort of lift. 

This report also serves as a reminder that the vast majority of UFO sightings recorded in the Blue Book archives and in primarily American and English-speaking documentaries took place in the United States or at least Noth America. But this is a global phenomenon and nearly all of the inhabited world has shared such experiences. This includes Russia and the old Soviet Union.

Back in January of 2016, multiple witnesses filmed and published videos of what appeared to be multiple UFOs flying “in formation” over Moscow

A ufology enthusiast claims footage of what appears to be a cluster of UFOs flying in unison over Moscow is authentic – after yet another strange video emerged in Russia.

The video was captured in the country’s capital last month and shows four unidentified lights hovering and swooping above the city in a synchronised fashion.

Even the ongoing war in Ukraine hasn’t slowed down the UFO news in that region. Last month, Russia closed the airspace over St. Petersburg after multiple “unidentified objects” were detected over the city. And by all accounts, those were not Ukrainian drones. In January, Russia claimed to have shot down a UFO over the Rostov Oblast. Some tried to claim that it was a Ukrainian drone as well, but the Russians are very tight-lipped about such things, only fueling further speculation. 

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A month later, a Russian pilot claimed to have encountered a mysterious color-changing UFO flying over the city of Volgograd where Vladimir Putin had just given a speech. The point here is that this phenomenon has been with us for a very long time. It doesn’t appear to have much interest in human politics or disputes. You can find similar examples on every continent, including Antarctica

Americans live in a very divided country. The globe is divided along various geopolitical lines. Perhaps we all need something that can bring us at least slightly closer together on a potential problem that obviously seems to beg a global solution. Are UFOs a true “threat” to the future survival of mankind? Who can say? But we should at least all be sharing whatever information is available and getting to the bottom of this. 

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