The Washington Post
January 5, 1968
By Richard Longworth
MOSCOW (UPI) - Dr. Feliks Zigel, astronomy professor at the Moscow Aviation Institute, has released findings of a team of Soviet scientists of sightings of "luminous orange-colored" flying saucers over Russia.
He called for global investigation of the phenomena.
The statement by Zigel, issued to the foreign press through the news agency Novosti, follows revelation of Air Force Maj. Gen. Porfiry Stolyarov in November that an official commission has been established to investigate unidentified flying objects (UFO).
Zigel said the UFO phenomenon was "a problem of prime importance that can be solved only by a joint effort of all the scientists of the world."
"It is safe to claim that the UFO problem has assumed a global character and therefore calls for global research," he said.
"The main task now is to organize the systematic instrumental study of the UFO from astronomical and meteorological observatories, to get good photographs and spectra of these objects."
Zigel reported that a "big team" of Soviet scientists and specialists has studied 200 reports of sightings - including observations by Kazan astronomers and the astronomical station near Koslovodsk of UFO seen over the Ukraine, Crimea, and Caucasus in July, September and October 1967.
"The most characteristic type of UFO," wrote Zigel, "is a luminous orange-colored crescent with a diameter of 15 to 20 degrees of the arc, flying with its outward curve forward. Its surface is only a little duller than that of the moon.
"The horns of the crescent throw out jets, sometimes with sparks. The outer contour of the crescent is sharp and the inner contour blurred and wavy.
"A bright flaming disc preceded by a crescent is observed sometimes. Sometimes the crescent is preceded and flanked by what look like first-magnitude stars which keep at a constant distance from the crescent."
Zigel said studies have indicated that such objects "obviously could not have been made by man and are definitely not artificial earth satellites of space rockets."
The soviet scientists reported on the observations of three Latvian astronomers at Ogra on July 26, 1965, when they were studying silvery clouds at the observatory and spotted an unusually bright star slowly moving west. They said:
"Viewed through 8-power binoculars, the star appeared as a small flat spot. The telescope revealed a truly amazing picture - there was a small ball in the center of the lens-shaped disc. The astronomers set the disc diameter at about 100 meters (328 feet).
"Around the disc, at a distance of its two diameters, there were three balls like the one in the center of the disc. The balls slowly rotated around the disc, and the whole system dwindled as it receded away from the earth."
"Some 15 to 20 minutes later, the balls began to depart from the disc in different directions. The ball in the center also left its place and flew aside. Finally at 10 p.m., (25 minutes after the first sighting), all these bodies, which emitted a greenish-pearl glow, faded into the distance."
Navigator sees One
The navigator of a Soviet polar airliner was quoted as having reported the plane dived to avoid hitting a vehicle that looked like a "big pearl-colored lens with wavy, pulsating edges."
"We detected no antennae, superstructure, wings or portholes on the disc," said the navigator. "There was neither a gas jet exhaust nor the inversion trail and the speed of its departure was so great that the whole phenomenon seemed somewhat supernatural."
Zigel said UFO sightings in Russia "fit into the classifications of those objects accepted in the West, particularly in the United States."