Fireballs in the sky

On March 31, a very remarkable event happened-all the members of the search group who were in the camp in the Lozva Valley saw a UFO. Valentin Yakimenko, a participant in those events in his memoirs, described the incident very broadly: "It was still dark in the early morning. The day-old Victor Meshcheryakov left the tent and saw a glowing ball moving across the sky. I woke everyone up. For 20 minutes, the ball (or disk) moved, until it disappeared behind the mountainside. They saw him in the southeast of the tent. He moved in the northern direction. The phenomenon stirred everyone up. We were sure that the death of the Dyatlovites is somehow connected with it. "
  About what he saw was reported to the headquarters of the search operation, which was in Ivdel. The appearance in the UFO case gave an unexpected direction to the investigation. Someone remembered that "fireballs" were observed about the same area before. And the investigation of this, of course, knew, but on such reports for the time being closed his eyes. Now the vector of investigation sharply turned away from the poor man-mansi who did not want to confess anything at all, and led the investigators completely in the opposite direction. On April 7, 1959, the prosecutor of the city of Ivdel, Vasily Ivanovich Tempalov, interrogated a group of servicemen of the internal troops about the strange atmospheric phenomenon observed by them on February 17, 1959. He recorded the four witnesses' testimonies and added them to the case. However, it is not entirely clear what exactly they liked the junior counselor of justice, since all these texts are written almost for a carbon copy and do not contain any cognitive information. As an example, we quote one of these noteworthy documents, written by the officer Alexander Savkin himself, the oldest of the respondents: "February 17, 1959, at 6:40 am, while on duty, (observed - A. R.) on the southern side (horizon - AR) appeared a ball of bright white light, which periodically enveloped in thick fog. Inside this cloud there was a brightly glowing dot the size of an asterisk. Moving in the direction of the northern direction, the ball was visible for 8-10 minutes. " As you can see, the content of this not entirely literate text can be reduced to one sentence: at 06:40 on February 17 in the sky something shone for about 8-10 minutes and moved in the northern direction. I must say that the duration of the glow of the mysterious object, named by Savkin, turned out to be minimal. The remaining servicemen indicated intervals of somewhat longer duration (maximum 15 minutes). In this, in fact, there is only one noticeable difference between the recorded conversations.

The testimony of Aleksei Konstantinovich Krivonishchenko narrows the fact that the most significant part of them is to be seen without abbreviations. So, the father of the deceased claimed: "After the burial of my son, on March 9, 1959, at my apartment there were students at the dinner, participants in the search of nine tourists, among them were those tourists who, in late January and early February, were on a campaign in the north , somewhat to the south of Mount Otorten.There were at least two such groups, at least the participants in the two groups told that they observed on February 1, 1959, in the evening, striking their light phenomenon north of the location of these groups: an extremely bright glow which a rocket or a projectile. It was so strong that one of the groups, already in the tent and getting ready to sleep, was alarmed by this glow, left the tent and observed this phenomenon.After a while they heard a sound effect similar to a strong thunder from afar.
     So in the affair there was a binding of some optical and acoustic phenomenon to the area of ​​Mount Otorten and the first of February 1959 - the day that the investigation considered the date of the death of Igor Dyatlov's group.

The next day after Krivonischenko's interrogation - April 15, 1959 - Vladislav Georgievich Karelin, one of the participants of the February search operation in the area of ​​Kholat-Sahyl and the deputy chairman of the Sverdlovsk club of tourists was invited to the building of the regional prosecutor's office. To talk with Karelin followed for a number of reasons: firstly, he helped Rustem Slobodin get a vacation without a job at his place of work (which was quite problematic at the time for the defense company where Rustem worked), and secondly, he knew many members personally the group of Igor Dyatlov (Diatlov himself, Kolmogorov, Kolevatov, etc.), and thirdly, he himself went on a multi-day hike around the same time and in the same places as the woodpeckers. To be quite accurate, the group of Vladislav Karelin went on a hike later than the Djatlovskaya (February 9) and its main route lay sixty kilometers to the south, but at one point - on the Oka-Chakur mountain - he crossed the route of Igor Dyatlov's group (after climbing the Otorten Dyatlovtsy had to ascend to this mountain and only then take things out of the storage and go out to the "Great Earth"). In general, with Karelinym talk was worth it.
     Either with the advice of the investigator Romanov, or, guided by his own considerations, Karelin spoke of "fireballs," and it turned out that he and his group witnessed the incident on February 17, 1959. The word to the eyewitness: "In connection with the death of the Djatlov group, an unusual celestial phenomenon that we observed in our campaign on February 17, 1959, on the watershed ridges of the rivers of sowing. Tososhki and Vizhaem. Around 07:30 am Sverdlovsk time, I was awakened by the cry of the people on duty preparing breakfast: "Guys, look, look, what a strange phenomenon!" I jumped out of the sleeping bag and out of the tent without shoes, in some woolen socks and, standing on the branches, I saw (in the sky - AR) a large bright spot. It grew. In the center of it appeared a small star, which also began to increase. All this stain moved from the northeast to the southwest and fell to the ground. Then it covered behind the forest and the forest, leaving a bright strip in the sky. All this phenomenon took place over a little more than a minute. "

Now the conversation will go a little further. There is a very strong suspicion and even conviction that the notorious "Unidentified Flying Objects" over the various places of the northern Urals were by no means as "unidentified" as one thinks. In fact, all the data obtained from these protocols allow us to restore the chronology of events related to fireballs:
        - on the evening of February 1, 1959, tourists from Mount Chistop see a strong glow in the Ottoten area and hear a buzz (according to AK Krivonischenko, from his story we can conclude that we are talking about the tourists of the Blinov group, the same group with which the woodpeckers spent the first day on the road, it was the "pancakes" that could have been at the funeral of friends and they were going to Chistop, so everything seems to converge here). The direction to Oorten is northeast, a distance of 45-50 km, and Ottern below Chistopa. Taking all this into account, one can not but admit that we are talking about an air phenomenon - if something of the described happened on the surface of the Earth, then the observer with Chistop simply would not have seen anything. One can not question the timing and timing - the event clearly took place in the evening, since the story mentions the preparation of the group for sleep;
        - On the morning of February 2, 1959, a group of UPI students, in the sense of the same "pancakes", as well as unnamed residents of Serov, again observed optical phenomena of incomprehensible nature (according to A. Dubinin). It is not necessary to think that the "Serov residents" are mentioned for the sake of a red word - most likely such people really existed and were known to Dubinin, who by virtue of his official position (he was a senior engineer of the Forestry Administration of the Sverdlovsk Economic Council), certainly had many acquaintances in the very different ends of the region due to frequent trips to industry sites. And between Chistop and Serov, the distance is not small, and it is by no means the fact that the observers in these places saw the same phenomenon - perhaps it is about similar events that coincided or are close in time;
        - Finally, on February 17, 1959, in the immediate vicinity of Ivdel, an optical phenomenon was again observed in the sky, the nature of which could not be explained by the spectators. Among these were servicemen of the internal troops of the Ivdelskaya ITK, which is actually located within the boundaries of the settlement, as well as residents of more southern regions (in particular, workers and employees of the Vysokogorsky mine, located more than 350 km from Ivdel). According to servicemen, the phenomenon began at 6:40 am and lasted from 8 to 15 minutes; according to observers outside Ivdel - it started at 06:55 and ended in 10 minutes;
        - on the same day - February 17, 1959 - a similar phenomenon was seen by a group of tourists Vladislav Karelin. It was located on the watershed between the Vizhay and Severnaya Toshemka rivers, in principle, not very far from the village of Vizhay, so it can not be ruled out that the "Karelians" observed the phenomenon described in the paragraph above. However, attention is drawn to the discrepancy of the observation time - 7.30 am, which is later the observation of the optical effect by military personnel, and the short duration of the event - only 1 minute. We can say that the "Karelians" found the very end, but ... that's just the end of what?
        - On March 31, 1959, witnesses of an unusual celestial phenomenon were already members of a search operation organized to search for the Djatlov group. Whatever happened in the sky above the tent of search engines, it was not very far. It is possible to Blame on how objectively a person is able to estimate distances in the dark, focusing exclusively on a positive perception (about the sound effect, as we know, only Krivonischenko created, all other descriptions report silent objects in the sky), but usually the intuitive sensations turn out to be quite trustworthy.

The picture, as you can see, is quite interesting. The region of the death of the Djatlov group is at the epicenter of what we can reasonably determine by the phrase "suspicious activity". Suspicious means incomprehensible and potentially dangerous. If we do not ascribe to strange luminous spheres extraterrestrial origin, but stay motivated by rationalism and common sense, then we will have to admit that their creators are either people or certain natural factors. And the investigator Ivanov, being a communist and an atheist, reasoned that way.
     Learning about the "fireballs," he must have tried to get explanations from those people who, due to their profession and official position, were supposed to, or at least could be aware of what was happening in the Soviet sky. And I think Ivanov made such an attempt, but only its result in the materials of the investigation of reflection did not find. The investigator could apply for advice to the meteorological service, but he would hardly have been told something in essence. Well, they could talk about "globular" lightning, which is only known that they are extremely rare and are considered short-lived objects (up to 1 min.). Could tell about different kinds of refraction effects in the atmosphere of sunlight (such as the "effect of two suns"). They could speak with an intelligent air about atmospheric electricity, whose manifestations are diverse even in winter, but due to their small knowledge nothing would really be explained. Therefore, all these stories could not have been of practical benefit to prosecutor-criminalist Ivanov.
     But the military pilots could consult Comrade Ivanov about other phenomena, and there are reasons to think that their stories should have interested the investigator with more fables about "ball lightning", atmospheric electricity and the refraction of the rays that had not yet risen because of the Sun's horizon .
     The fact is that by the mid-1950's. and air defense forces of the country, and the Air Force already widely operated aircraft equipped with airborne radar stations. But the peculiarity of the first radar stations, not only domestic, but also foreign ones, was that they were mainly assigned to review the space ahead and over the airplane, in other words, if the signal was going to the ground and reflected from it, it would weaken and create such interference that the station stopped distinguishing it. The pilot of the fighter, when trying to find a target below himself, is almost blind from the continuous illumination of the screen - the radar was rendered useless. Therefore, our air defense forces to combat low-flying targets (or supposed targets - for us now it does not matter) have developed a rather original, although somewhat costly method.

If the command post of the air defense district received a signal about the flight of a low-flying unidentified target, after checking it and making a decision on interception, the procedure for the operation of aviation was as follows: interceptors from one aerodrome, and on the other a pair of bombers with illuminating bombs on board. On the prospective route of the unidentified target, the bombers began to drop their cargo at a certain interval, as a result of which a kind of light corridor was created, sometimes several dozen kilometers in length. It is clear that any low-flying goal, hitting the cone of light created by the bomb, was visually visible to the fighter pilot, who could identify her and make a decision about the attack. In those days, low-altitude barracks could only be carried out by piston low-speed aircraft, before the era of high-speed jet aircraft flying with the bending of the terrain, it was still far off. Therefore, the light barrier that appeared on the route of the violating aircraft was a serious obstacle - the offender had to maneuver to circumnavigate the illuminated area (which was not always possible), or to circumnavigate the same place, waiting for the illuminating bombs to go out. In any case, the use of lighting was the only more or less effective way to combat the Soviet air force and air defense with a low-flying air enemy in the dark.
     The existence of such tactics (referring to American pilots who violated the Soviet airspace) was told in the third series of the documentary television series "Secret superpower aircraft", filmed by the company "A & E television networks" in 2005, the American aviation historian Curtis Pibbles . There is no reason to doubt the accuracy of his message (especially since it is not the only one of its kind), since Pibbles does not try to solve his question about the "morality" or "non-morality" of the US air force's invasion of other countries' airspace. As a historian, he is only interested in the technical side of the issue: he admits that such incursions were of a massive nature and that Soviet air defense forces tried to deal with low-flying targets in the way described above. There is an interesting, albeit somewhat unexpected, confirmation to Curtis Pibbles. The fact is that the leadership of the Soviet air defense forces, aware of the extreme inconvenience of this method (after all, it was required to organize concerted actions of diverse forces - fighters and bombers - from different air units and various airfields, which in itself was not very simple), in the late 1950s, ies. decided to radically simplify the solution of the problem. For this purpose, it was decided to hang up the lighting equipment for the most promising domestic fighter-interceptor MiG-19, so that its pilot could independently "highlight" the battle arena. It was impossible to hang a bomb under the MiG-19 technically - the plane simply did not have the required suspension assembly, but here it was possible and even a reasonable way out of the situation to make an illumination rocket.

The unguided lighting missile OARS-57 was developed on the basis of the well-proven unguided C-5 missile, which was the ancestor of a whole family of light, cheap and effective aircraft missiles. OKB-16 and NII-22 were involved in the development of the ОАРС-57, which in the shortest possible time fulfilled the task: an unguided illumination rocket that received the C-50 index in the troops (the letter "O" just meant "lighting"), entered armament in 1959. The missiles were assembled in a "package" of 8 pieces and suspended under the wing of the aircraft. The use of the C-50 looked like this: when in the interception area the fighter started shooting light flares at a speed of 700-900 km / h, which at a distance of about 3 km lost speed, released the parachute and proceeded to decrease at a speed of about 15 m / sec. The burning of the light composition began at altitudes of about 700 m and lasted 18.3 seconds, the luminescence power reached 1 million candelas, and the magnitude of the illuminated surface of the earth was about 1.5 km in diameter. It is easy to calculate that one MiG-19 interceptor, if necessary, could create an illuminated corridor 10-12 km in length, and a pair of aircraft, respectively, twice as much. It should be added that the S-50 missiles also came into service for the Il-28 front-line bombers, which were to be used when striking ground targets during the dark. But in the context of our narrative, it is precisely the fact of using illuminating missiles by interceptor fighters to solve the tasks of intercepting air targets. That is, in this case, the story of Curtis Pibbles about tactics of interception of low-flying aircraft, used by Soviet air defense forces in the 1950s, is fully confirmed. It is clear that the S-50 missile is not suitable for the role of the "fireball" simply because of the short-term burning of the light composition and the low altitude of the application, and in addition, in January 1959 it was not yet in service with aviation air defense units. But the classic aviation light bomb is suitable for all parameters - and the duration of the luminescence (up to 1000 sec.), And the height of the start of combustion (about 5 km), and the smooth planning (about 5-8 m / s, as if the light source hangs in the sky motionless or moves very slowly.But by the way, as the light composition burns out, the weight of the air bomb decreases and the descent rate also decreases.

So the flight of a flare

Having consulted with military pilots-and there is no doubt that a similar conversation took place between investigator Ivanov and a high-ranking officer (or officers) of the air defense headquarters that covered Sverdlovsk and Chelyabinsk (although he did not provide any substantive evidence), the criminal prosecutor understood that the story with the appearance of "fireballs" in the sky of the northern Urals threatens to set an entirely new direction for investigation in the dark. It was impossible to move in it for a variety of reasons. We will only mention two of them: all cases directly or indirectly related to violation of the integrity of the state border on land, in water and by air, were attributed to the competence of the KGB and could not be investigated by the regional prosecutor's office. In addition, the servicemen were outside the jurisdiction of the civil prosecutor's office, which meant that the investigator Ivanov, strictly speaking, could not even question the officer on issues that somehow affected the latter's official activities. And even about the request of the Regional Prosecutor's Office to the leadership of the air defense of the country (or at least of the Ural region) in order to find out whether its forces carried out flights to intercept targets on February 1, 2, February 17, March 31, 1959. (that is, on those days when "fireballs" were observed in the Orotten area), even they did not have to speak.
     Therefore, in this case, the investigation rested against a dead wall. Ivanov realized that there was some suspicious activity in the zone of the death of the Djatlov group, and even could guess what it was connected with, but then he could not move forward in his conclusions. Therefore, it seems far from accidental that in 1990, in a recent interview, the former investigator, and at that time the lawyer Lev Nikitovich Ivanov, said that he considered the "fireballs" guilty of the death of Igor Dyatlov's group. The meaning of this kind of statement can be twofold - on the one hand, Ivanov could simply simply bark over the fans of the "anomaly", and on the other - make it clear that during the investigation the tragedy on the slope of the Holat-Syahyl with the suspicious activity in that region became clear .
     Here, of course, there arises a natural question: who and why conducted this most suspicious activity and what was it in general? We will not rush to answer - we will return to this issue in the course of our narration, although, perhaps, we will approach him with a very unexpected side for the reader.