UFO CHRONICLES OF THE SOVIET UNION by Jacques Vallee

UFO CHRONICLES OF THE SOVIET UNION

A Cosmic Samizdat

KIRKUS REVIEW

 Newsworthy brief by ufologist Vallee (Confrontations, 1990, etc.) on how the Iron Curtain hid from Western eyes not only a people in chains but also perhaps a star-fleet's worth of UFOs and their bug-eyed occupants. It was on the heels of the notorious Voronezh sightings of 1989 and the first warm breezes of glasnost that Vallee was invited by the Soviet press agency Novosti to visit the USSR to meet with leading Soviet ufologists. In this chronological account of that trip, the author blends pungent travelogue with crisp science reporting, noting, for instance, that ``the depression that engulfs you as you get closer to the Soviet Union is not a delusion....It was as if light itself had been confiscated. There was a dreary blanket over the airport buildings, the dusty air, the people themselves.'' Yet upon his arrival Vallee found myriad scientists eager to exchange notes--an ironic result, he realized, of ``censorship itself,'' which had forced Soviet ufology into ``unofficial networks'' where it flourished. In sit-downs with Soviet researchers, he discussed in detail the Tunguska explosion of 1908 (perhaps caused by destruction of a nuclear-powered craft), the Voronezh incidents, and about 40 other close encounters, and marvelled at the widespread Soviet technique of ``biolocation''--a kind of dowsing of ``biological fields''--to investigate UFOs. He also visited the cosmonauts' training center, learning--and here reporting apparently for the first time in the West--that Yuri Gagarin was drunk when he fatally crashed his airplane. And, gratifyingly, Vallee found considerable Soviet interest in his core theory that UFOs are extradimensional, not extraterrestrial. A ``preliminary catalogue'' of Soviet UFO sightings appends the text. An intriguing example of glasnost in action and an important ufological document opening up rich new veins of exploration for researchers and buffs alike. (Eight-page photo insert--not seen.)

Pub Date: March 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-345-37396-0
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Ballantine
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 1992