Dec 02, 2017 I Paul Seaburn

Legendary Female Pilot and UFO Hunter ‘Madam MiG’ Has Died

There was a time when women were not allowed to fly any kind of airplanes, let alone be test pilots for military fighter jets. Marina Popovich, who passed away on November 30 at the age of 86, changed all of that. After enlisting in the then Soviet Air Force, she broke the sound barrier in a MiG-21 supersonic jet fighter and went on to log over 6,000 flight hours in 40 different planes and helicopters, setting 102 aviation world records. She came close to becoming a cosmonaut but married one instead -- Pavel Popovich, the 4th cosmonaut in space and the 6th person to orbit the Earth. With that kind of experience, it’s not surprising that people listened when “Madam MiG” talked about her UFO encounters and research and her Bigfoot sighting.

"We had been researching UFOs for 25 years and talking about it in small groups, but underground. People who tried to talk in public about UFOs were either fired or put in psychiatric hospitals."

PopovichML 640x892
Marina Popovich

In reports of Marina Popovich’s passing, both RT and TASS mention her strong commitment to UFO research and the search for evidence of extraterrestrials, even when it was dangerous to do so. She claimed to have three encounters herself, beginning in 1962, but had to keep her findings quiet until Mikhail Gorbachov introduced transparency or glasnost, and the Soviet Union eventually broke up. That transparency inspired the title of her book, “UFO Glasnost,” in which she claimed that Soviet military and civilian pilots reported over 3,000 UFO sightings and that the KGB had the debris from five crashed spaceships hidden somewhere.

In a 1991 interview reported in the Los Angeles Times, Marina Popovich also revealed that she believes in intelligent extraterrestrials and gives this explanation why they haven’t contacted us (in their words):

“'We are not going to give you our technological information until you raise your spiritual and moral levels on Earth. And the only way to raise them is with unity, as one Earth together to reducing negative feelings, pollution and other detrimental-based energies."

Other interesting thoughts from this interview with Marina Popovich:

  • Leonardo da Vinci, Jules Verne and Ray Bradbury received messages and directions from aliens.
  • Soviet President Gorbachev could also have been an extraterrestrial medium because "he's an epoch-making phenomenon."
  • 90% of UFO sightings are due to hallucinations, space debris, marsh gas, weather balloons, first ascendancy stars and Friday-night vodka parties.

She may have been right about that last one. However, she gave no indications that vodka was involved in her encounter with a Bigfoot in the Pamir Mountains in 1982.

Test pilot, ufologist, environmentalist. Marina Popovich was truly an interesting and influential woman.

Paul Seaburn

Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.

Join MU Plus+ and get exclusive shows and extensions & much more! Subscribe Today!