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Tunguska Explosion

On June 30, 1908, at approximately 7:17 AM, an immense explosion occurred in the region of Stony Tunguska, an area located approximately forty miles north-northwest of Vanavara, Siberia.  The explosion was sufficient to register as tremors of earthquake- proportions on seismographs at Irkutsk, roughly 550 miles to the south.  Seismographs also registered in Moscow, the Tsarist Empire capital, St. Petersburg, Germany (in the city of Jena over 3,000 miles away), in Java (Indochina), and Washington D.C.           

The Tunguska explosion exceeded in sheer energy the enormous size, long-term effects, and destructive capability of the volcanic eruptions at Thera, a Greek island north of Crete, and now known as Santorini (circa 1400 B.C.E.), Italy's Vesuvius (August 24, C.E. 79) and the island of Krakatoa located between Sumatra and Java (August 26, 1883).  The Tunguska blast easily dwarfed the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs and all of the nuclear tests of the early 1950s.  Estimated at 1023 ergs, the Siberian event is comparable only with the explosion of the heaviest hydrogen bombs.  As such, the explosion did enormous damage, felling a forest and knocking down every tree for scores of miles in every direction.  At the same time it killed not a single human being.  

Tunguska is located in the Central Siberian Plateau, a sparsely populated, desolate region of peat bogs and pine forests.  North of Irkutsk and the northern most tip of Mongolia, the region is highly representative of the Tartar word for Siberia, "the sleeping land".  Tunguska is also NNE of the mysterious Lake Baikal (which curves down toward Irkutsk).  

According to John Baxter and Thomas Atkins, in their book The Fire Came By [1], the explosion resulted in an enormous "pillar of fire", reaching heights such that the blinding column was visible for hundreds of miles.  This was followed by a series of thunderous claps which could be heard for 500 miles or more.   

Those closest to the blast were deafened, while at the same time, a searing thermal current from the fire in the sky swept across the hilly northern woods.  Tall conifers were scorched and ignited and would ultimately burn for days.  Residents of Vanavara, a small trading post some forty miles away, felt the fierce heat draft. They were in some cases flung into the air as the shock wave arrived, while pieces of sod were gouged up, ceilings collapsed, and windows shattered.

At Kansk, 375 miles to the south-southwest along the newly completed Trans-Siberian Railway, hurricane-like gusts rattled doors, windows and lamps -- followed within minutes by shock waves which knocked down horses and hurled people working on nearby rafts into the river.  Dark clouds rose to an altitude of more than 12 miles, resulting in the entire area being showered by an ominous "black rain".  The latter came from dirt and debris being sucked up into the swirling vortex of the explosion and then being littered for hundreds of miles around.  Fluctuations in atmospheric pressure were sufficient to be detected by a recently invented self-recording barographs at six stations between Cambridge, 50 miles north of London, and Petersfield, 55 miles south.  Interestingly, it took the meteorologists in England twenty years to make the connection between their records and the devastation in Tunguska.           

The comparative isolation of the Tunguska region is perhaps best illustrated by the fact that Kansk, one of the main railroad towns nearest the explosion, is 2,500 miles from Moscow and 3,000 from St. Petersburg -- a distance as great as from New York City to Los Angeles.  Before the advent of the Trans-Siberian Railway, a trip from St. Petersburg to Irkutsk could take a year or more.  Many of Irkutsk's current day residents were originally political prisoners and their descendants, who upon realizing they had been abandoned by their government, knew they had no choice but to settle down and farm.  In effect, they could not hope to make it back to "civilization".             

Because of these factors, the first expedition to the region intended to investigate the explosion did not occur until 1927, almost twenty years later.  In addition, the Russians in 1908 were far more interested in their politics.  Czar Nicholas had reluctantly agreed in 1905 to the First Parliament, the Duma.  Then in 1907, the Czar found himself faced with revolutionaries being elected in large numbers.  The eventual revolution began in 1918.           

Nevertheless, the scientific investigation some twenty years after the fact did provide significant evidence.  Near the center of the blast, for example, many of the trees were still standing upright, even though denuded of limbs and leaves.  One investigator described them as a "telegraph forest".  Further from ground zero, however, the trees were blown down and seared, forming concentric circles with the bases of the trees all pointing in the direction of the center of the blast.  All of this evidence pointed to the fact that the blast almost certainly occurred in mid air.  There were no craters or any other evidence to suggest an impact with the ground of any flying object.  In fact, one might compare the desolation (albeit on a smaller scale) to the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which were also mid air explosions.           

For years, it was assumed by mainstream science that the Tunguska explosion had been caused by a meteorite.  But this implies that the meteorite had to somehow explode in mid air.  How this was to occur has never been satisfactorily explained.  Furthermore, accounts by numerous eyewitnesses described a cylindrical object, glowing with a bluish-white light and shining brightly (too bright for the naked eye), moving vertically downward for about ten minutes just prior to the blast.  Even stranger was the earlier trajectory of the object.           

Herdsman in the Gobi desert to the south described a fireball streaking across the sky along a flight path (based on a later reconstruction) at about 10o, just slightly east of true north.  Along this direction, the object approached Keshma from the south.  Then the object was observed by others moving very nearly due east toward Preobrazhenka.  This was followed by the object moving slightly north of due west toward Vanavara.  The explosion itself was oval shaped, suggesting a prior motion in the westerly direction.           

This is not the trajectory of a meteorite, comet or other natural object.  At the same time, it was unlikely to be a common aircraft, inasmuch as in 1908, the United States War Department, after filing Orville Wright's initial letter in their "crank" file, were only then giving him a contract to build the first military airplane.  Not until 1910 did the U. S. government conduct the first experiments in actual bombing.

(6/15/05) There is always the possibility, of course, that there were three or four different objects traveling through the sky -- something of a meteorite shower. This is generally assumed not to be the case, but is at least possible.

One somewhat more radical conclusion is that the object was an extraterrestrial craft which exploded over Tunguska.  Part of the reasoning includes the unusual characteristics of nearby Lake Baikal, located to the south-southeast of the blast area.  The lake is the largest body of fresh water in the world, a mile deep in some places.  Of the 1800 or so species of plant and animal life in its environs, some one thousand of them are found nowhere else on Earth.  The lake also has an "eerie" reputation, including mythologies of strange races of men inhabiting the unexplored areas of Siberia.  Some of these creatures supposedly hibernated for months, oblivious to external stimulus.           

The implied suggestion is that Lake Baikal might be a base for extraterrestrials.  It would then follow that the object could have been an extraterrestrial aircraft moving in the area -- either leaving or returning to base -- but which then encountered mechanical or other difficulties.  The result was a mid-air explosion of the craft.   

An alternative possibility would be that the craft was destroyed intentionally by other extraterrestrials in a battle.  The trajectory of the object, for example, could be likened to an attempt by an intelligently controlled air or space craft to evade a pursuer, only to fail at the attempt, resulting in its eventual massive destruction.  In effect, a mid-air "dog fight" or aerial combat between two opposing forces.

Inasmuch as in 1908 there were no humans with such powers -- in particular, capable of causing the size of the explosion -- such alleged aerial maneuvers would have to be between extraterrestrials, either of the same or different species.  If we give credence to the idea of Zecharia Sitchin [2], Laurence Gardner  [3], and others, whereby the ancient Sumerian tablets describe a group known as the Anunnaki ("those who from heaven to earth came"), and who  amply demonstrated their ability to war among themselves -- then it is not necessary to imagine other extraterrestrials to account for an apparent aerial combat between opposing forces.  If nothing else, a continuing conflict between Enki and Enlil would account for any apparent battle.           

At the same time, however, there were no reports of a second object in the skies above Siberia.  Another interpretation may be needed.  Inasmuch as the exact time and location of the explosion is well known, an astrological natal chart of the event can be readily had, and may be able to provide an alternative explanation.  

The natal chart of the Tunguska blast is striking -- particularly when the ingredients are analyzed in some detail.  The idea of a clear sign of some kind, or possibly a warning being given, becomes inescapable.  It is noteworthy the explosion did not kill a single human being, but was easily witnessed by a variety of methods -- from eyewitnesses to seismographs to barographs.  Thus one is forced to evaluate this event as being of profound importance.  

There is much to the implications of the Tunguska natal chart, but for the moment, the reality of what happened in 1908 will remain something of a mystery.  Stay tuned.  


Chronicles of Earth         History 009         Near-Earth Objects

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Sun, Stand Thou Still         A Glancing Blow         The Party’s Over



[1]  John Baxter and Tom Atkins, The Fire Came By, Doubleday, New York, 1976.

[2]  Zecharia Sitchin, The 12th Planet, Avon Books, New York, 1976.

[3]  Laurence Gardner, Genesis of the Grail Kings, Bantam Press, New York, 1999.



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