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The 1989 Voronezh UFO Incident

Jana is an 'amateur everything' when it comes to space, nature and science. She loves exploring mysteries, both classic and new.

Park Road in Voronezh

Park Road in Voronezh

The Children

As the story begins, we find three children. Their names are given as Zhenya Blinov, Vasya Surin, and Yuliya Sholokhova. The girl and two boys all attended the local school. On that fateful evening of September 27th, the friends decided to go and play in the local park. It was about half-past six, and the weather was warm.

The UFO Lands

At about that time, they noticed something in the sky. Depending on who you ask, the description of the UFO varied. The children saw something that was banana-shaped. As a crowd gathered, some described a pink brilliance that turned into a red ball or sphere. Its diameter was about 10 yards. Everyone watched in stunned silence as the ball landed.

The Entities

A hatch lowered. The actual number of aliens reported also varied, swinging between one and three. Another member of the crew appeared to be a robot. The aliens were humanoid, stood around nine feet tall, and had small heads. This next feature didn't exactly help the story's credibility—but each alien had three eyes.

At least one alien had a disk on its chest. They wore silvery suits, described as “overalls” and bronze boots. Their fashion was added in later editions, days after the story was first printed and people wanted to know more.

The aliens were described as lanky and with human-like bodies.

The aliens were described as lanky and with human-like bodies.

A Little Unfriendly

The aliens communicated with each other. Exactly how that went down is a little unclear, but they made a triangle appear in the air. The thing was described as being very shiny. Then, they activated the robot simply by touching it.

This was too much for one of the boys, who screamed. Apparently lacking sympathy for the natives of the world they just landed on, one of the aliens stared at the boy. This act not only silenced the child but also allegedly paralyzed him. Worse, they pointed some kind of tube at an unnamed 16-year-old boy and made him disappear. It wasn't clear what the teenager did to deserve this.

The Physical Evidence

The creatures seemed very interested in the park. They took a quick stroll through the area with their robot (described as a short entity). Once they boarded the craft and took off again, the vanished teenager reappeared. Reports about aliens leaving their spaceships often include eyewitness statements of the creatures taking samples. In this case, the beings left something behind.

Investigators identified the landing site—a circle with a diameter of around 20 feet. There were also several dents resembling “elephant footprints.” The creatures also discarded two rocks. According to the news articles, these looked like red sandstone or hematite. However, when scientists analyzed the rocks, they claimed the results showed the substance was not from Earth.

Lieutenant Matveyev

UFO investigators view police officers as good witnesses because of their observational and investigation skills. This doesn't mean that the odd cop cannot lie. The police officer in this case was Lieutenant Sergei Matveyev, and he was stationed at the Voronezh district police station.

To his credit, his report was sober. He never claimed to have seen the aliens. Also, when he saw the UFO in the air, he didn't immediately assume it was extraterrestrial. His first thought was that he was tired and seeing things. However, the object's silence and speed at low altitude convinced him that something strange was going on.

The government-owned TASS is the biggest news agency in Russia.

The government-owned TASS is the biggest news agency in Russia.

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The Case of TASS

TASS was a press agency known for its seriousness. However, when it ran the story on October 9, 1989, the sensationalist tone made many people suspicious. Even when pressed, TASS never admitted to a hoax. The correspondent who handled the story, Vladimir Lebedev, was pretty offended by those who didn't take the story seriously.

Lebedev said he spoke to many of the witnesses, including the three children and the experts who examined the landing site. In a phone interview, he mentioned that Genrikh Silanov (from the Voronezh Geophysical Laboratory) also spoke to the three kids. When Silanov separated them and asked them each to draw the craft, all three sketched similar UFOs. The craft described in this case was the banana-shaped version, and apparently, it left the letter X behind in the sky.

The journalist, Lebedev, also dropped a bombshell—he claimed three landings had occurred between September 23 and 29. This meant that the “Voronezh incident” was the second landing. It's not clear how they knew about the first or third.

Why TASS Was Doubted

Apart from the sensationalist voice of the once-serious agency, many felt that there were additional reasons for a hoax. There were the statements without evidence and the add-ons (the clothing and the two extra landings). Additionally, at the time, the Soviet Union's power was failing. It was downright depressing. Debunkers claim an alien story was published to perk things up. Another reason given by some was that newspapers were experimenting with how far they could go with a fake story, given that media freedom was relatively new. To be fair, these reasons stand on the same shaky ground as the UFO story itself.

Several other things never came to fruition either. The director of the regional health center, Vladimir Moiseyev, claimed that he wanted to medically examine the three young witnesses. As far as anyone can tell, this never happened. The X-producing banana was also not original. This type of UFO was first described in a 1976 article published by a magazine called Saga. Although it was American and no longer in circulation by the time of the park incident, there's always a chance that the children got their hands on a copy.

The Verdict

The Voronezh case is generally viewed by the media as a hoax. Most UFO fans and investigators might agree that the facts are a little thin on the ground and that there's a lack of photographic and medical evidence. No one's even sure where the two rocks are. However, there are undoubtedly believers that something landed that night (or three nights) in a park in the city of Voronezh in 1989.


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Jana Louise Smit


Jana Louise Smit (author) from South Africa on April 06, 2019:

Thanks Tim, I'm very glad that you enjoyed it. I encountered no mention of a nuclear station during my research. However, you're right. I've also read several cases where UFOs show an attraction to our energy plants, stations and grids. It's a very interesting phenomenon in its own right.

Tim Truzy from U.S.A. on April 05, 2019:

Interesting. I wonder if this area was near a nuclear weapons installation. UFO's have been visiting them for decades. Also, it wouldn't be surprising if these children's minds were manipulated a bit by the aliens or whatever they encountered. Great work. Loved it.



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