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UFO Chronicles of the Soviet Union: A Cosmic Samizdat Hardcover – February 18, 1992


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 212 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; 1st edition (February 18, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345373960
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345373960
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #807,650 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Before Gorbachev, the study of UFOs in Russia depended on samizdat dissemination, but with the advent of glasnost, publication of UFO sightings is no longer restricted, according to the author. In 1990, American ufologist Vallee ( Revelations ) visited the Soviet Union with French journalist Martine Castello to talk with scientists and interview those who claim to have contact with UFOs. Like accounts of sightings in this country, the Soviet sightings generally feature space vehicles either round or saucer-shaped, with creatures, if present, more or less anthropomorphic and ranging in height from three to 10 feet, some with three eyes or outsize mouths. Only believers in UFOs will find this report convincing.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

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.) -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

More About the Author

Jacques VALLEE holds a master's degree in astrophysics from France and a PhD in computer science from Northwestern University, where he served as an associate of Dr. J. Allen Hynek. He is the author of several books about high technology and unidentified phenomena, a subject that first attracted his attention as an astronomer in Paris. While analyzing observations from many parts of the world, Jacques became intrigued by the similarities in patterns between moderrn sightings and historical reports of encounters with flying objects and their occupants in every culture. The result was the seminal book Passport to Magonia, published in 1969.

After a career as an information scientist with Stanford Research Institute and the Institute for the Future, where he served as a principal investigator for the groupware project on the Arpanet, the prototype of the Internet, Jacques Vallée co-founded a venture capital firm in Silicon Valley. He lives in San Francisco.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Hughes on January 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Jacques Vallee is well known in UFOlogical circles with lots of published works, and his insights and opinions are generally interesting and well thought out, but this book is a bit thin. I am familiar with where the Soviet Union was at in 1990, so he gets high marks from me for just being able to get over there and make contacts that proved to be somewhat productive, but nothing in this book seemed all that new or particularly revelatory. Many of the stories and sightings come across as anecdotal or very third person. This all would have been helped with some sort of additional documentation or some first person interviews with the subjects concerned. I know that would have been difficult given the limited time that he had there, his probably limited resources to pursue leads and how difficult it was in general to get anything done in 1990's USSR, but I would have liked to have heard more from the witnesses themselves. Apart from a couple of pilots and a couple of astronauts and some pre-modern historical accounts there really isn't much that I have heard from the former USSR that I can put a lot of stock in because there just isn't a lot of additional documentary material to substantiate the stories. Though I don't doubt a lot of them are true, and they are intriguing, I always need a little more than "he said, she said".
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By The Guardian TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book chronicles a trip made by French astronomer and computer scientist Jacques Vallee and researcher/journalist Martine Castello to the USSR in January 1990 to meet with Soviet scientists, military commanders and witnesses to discuss UFO phenomena in the Soviet Union. The trip was made possible by financial backing from the French national daily newspaper `Le Figaro' and by the co-operation of many high-level officials on the Soviet side.

The book is written in Vallee's rather formal style and with his customary descriptive eloquence as a chronological travelogue from pre-trip preparation, to arrival in Moscow, to departure. The itinerary of the French pair was managed by researchers in Moscow and included both formal and informal meetings with physicists, biochemists, engineers, military personnel and researchers into anomalous phenomena.

In Moscow, Vallee looks into the history of investigation into the 1908 Tunguska explosion and concludes the evidence rules out a meteorite and leads to more exotic possibilities; the Voronezh encounters in 1989 which included multiply-reported missing time and abduction events and repeated encounters with very tall beings; documented and verified encounters between Soviet Air Force pilots and UFOs; the long series of UFO-related events in the Perm area, and official and non-official attitudes to the UFO phenomenon which he discovers to be as varied and polarised as in the West. A visit to Star City, the training and research centre for Soviet cosmonauts since the 1960s, was also on the agenda.
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