Oct 15, 2022 I Brent Swancer

Strange Russian Encounters with Underwater UFOs and Aliens

It often seems that unidentified objects are not only entrenched within the realm of the skies, but also down in the depths of our oceans. Although rarer than traditional UFO sightings, the phenomenon known as USOs, or unidentified submersible objects, has gained traction over the years, and fills its own littlke odd niche of the alien phenomenon as a whole. Such encounters of these mysterious objects at sea have come in from all corners of the globe, and here we will look at some cases from Russia, which has had some very bizarre accounts of underwater flying objects and aliens. 

One early report comes from 1936, when the Russian civilian transport steam vessel the Maria was crossing the Pacific Ocean from Leningrad. At some point during the voyage, a “strange apparatus” ascended out of the water to sit on the surface, and the crew made efforts to contact the anomalous object to no avail. Curious as to what it could possibly be, the Captain sent a small boat to approach the object to investigate, but the thing suddenly moved away at a fast speed and could not be followed. Oddly, the small boat and the five men aboard it would vanish at around the same time in a fog that had moved in from nowhere, and they could not be located. The Maria continued along its course, and they reached their destination without further incident. However, on the way back, as they passed through the same route the oddness continued.

As they came to around the same location as their original encounter, they witnessed a “boat made of a transparent material” ahead, and within it they could see what appeared to be three of the vanished sailors who had gone out on their small boat to investigate the mysterious object. Upon rescue, one of them would scream and throw himself into the water to drown, while the other two began to weave an outlandish tale. They would explain that they had been taken aboard the mysterious object and found themselves surrounded by “strange entities with webbed fingers, dressed in dark shiny suits,” with frog-like faces and which seemed to communicate with each other through telepathy and hand gestures. These creatures telepathically asked the sailors to stay with them, and the two who agreed were taken away to never be seen again, while the others were apparently locked in a room for 2 days. They had then suddenly found themselves adrift in that odd transparent craft with a stock of strange food resembling tablets in transparent pockets, with one tablet apparently able to sustain a man for one day. Rather strangely, as soon as the Maria left the scene the mysterious clear boat sank beneath the waves on its own and disappeared. What was going on here? Where did the other two sailors go? Who knows? 

Another earlier account comes from the early 1950s, when the flying saucer craze was really in full swing. The report comes from the Black Sea, which covers a vast area of 168,500 square miles, has a maximum depth of 7,257 feet, and is bounded by Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine. During the incident, an unnamed Soviet Navy officer who had served at the Sevastopol Naval base was aboard a ship doing maneuvers in the Black Sea when he claimed to have seen a metallic, spherical object exit from the water to float up over a battle cruiser and descend back down behind it, presumably entering the water again. Several of the crew members also saw the strange object, and it was described as making no noise and having no discernible ports, windows, or propulsion system. There was even a photograph supposedly taken of the object, but information on the incident was reportedly kept under tight wraps by the Soviet military and the whereabouts of the photograph remain unknown. 

In 1965, there was another unusual encounter, this time in the Red Sea, which lies between Africa and Asia. At the time, the crew of the steamship Raduga was making their way through these waters when they allegedly saw “a fiery sphere” around 60 meters in diameter speed out of the water, dragging a column of water up with it around two miles away from their position. The mysterious object hovered there for a time at an altitude of around 150 feet, illuminating the sea beneath it, after which it dropped down beneath the waves with a thunderous splash. The crew reported the incident but were reportedly told to not speak of it with anyone, with the case only uncovered many years later by ufologist and director of the Russian Ufology Research Center, Paul Stonehill. He has claimed that throughout the Cold War there were various reports from Soviet submarines as well, such as one nuclear submarine that was supposedly chased b six unknown underwater objects moving at high speeds, which then seen to take off into the air and depart the scene. Stonehill has written of some of these Cold War encounters:

Mr. Krapiva attended lectures given by veteran officers of Soviet nuclear-powered submarines. They had served in the Soviet North, in secret naval installations and bases. The lectures sometimes veered off the planned presentations, and many spellbinding tales were told. For instance, episodes when Soviet sonar-operators (military hydroacoustics technicians) were “hearing” at great depths strange “targets”. Their submarines were actually being chased by other “submarines”. The pursuers changed their speed at will — speeds that were much faster than any other similar vessel in the world at that time. Lieutenant-Commander Oleg Sokolov confidentially informed the students that while he was on duty during his submarine’s navigation, he had observed through a periscope an ascent of some strange object through the water. He was not able to identify it, because he viewed it through the optical system of the periscope. This underwater “take off” took place in the early 1960’s.

Soviet submarine accounts go even beyond this. British UFO investigator Philip Mantle has mentioned several such cases involving Soviet submarines in his book Russia's USO Secrets, which is based on information coming from declassified documents and testimony from Russian military veterans. One such account comes from former nuclear submarine commander Yury Beketov, who says his submarine was doing maneuvers somewhere near the Bermuda Triangle when they had a strange encounter, of which he says:

We repeatedly observed that the instruments detected the movements of material objects at unimaginable speed, around 230 knots (400 km per hour). It’s hard to reach that speed on the surface – only in the air is it possible. The beings that created those material objects significantly exceed us in development.

A particular harrowing report mentioned in the book allegedly happened in 1951, when a Soviet submarine encountered a massive underwater object, which measured 200-250 meters long and was supposedly rising from the depths as it headed towards shore. According to the account, the captain actually ordered depth charges to be dropped on the object, which seemed to have no effect, but which nevertheless caused it to stop its ascent, change course, and head out to deeper water at great speed. What was going on here? Indeed, what is going on in any of these cases? It would seem that these craft, whatever they are, are just as active below the surface as they are above, and it leads us to wonder just what is going on. Are these some sort of misidentification, a top-secret new type of underwater vessel, or what? Who knows?

From 1977 there is a report from the crew of the fishing trawler VASILY KISELEV, who in December of that year were doing maneuvers off of Novy Georgy Island when they encountered a massive doughnut-shaped object measuring an estimated 300 to 500 meters in diameter, which rose vertically from under the water to hover there. It was reported that as soon as the object appeared, the trawler’s radar station malfunctioned, as well as various other onboard electrical systems. The enormous craft allegedly hovered there for a full three hours before descending back into the sea, after which all systems aboard the vessel became operational again. It is unclear if any photographs were taken during the incident.

A very bizarre account comes from the summer of 1982, when a Major-General V. Demyanko, commander of the Military Diver Service of the Engineer Forces of the Ministry of Defense, had been training reconnaissance divers in Lake Baikal, in the Trans-Baikal and West Siberian military region. The training exercises had been going normally and smoothly until the divers suddenly noticed three humanoid figures clad in tight-fitting silvery suits and measuring a massive 3 meters tall bloomed out from the murky, icy waters below. These figures were described as not having any discernible scuba diving equipment, and it was so bizarre that a commanding officer dispatched a special group of seven divers to try and capture one of these mysterious intruders. The group approached the beings with a net, but when they tried to deploy it, they were suddenly thrown by some unseen force, which propelled them from a depth of 50 meters completely out of the water. It was so sudden and fast that the divers would experience decompression sickness, which would purportedly kill three of them. The Ministry of Defense of the USSR would allegedly admit that there were numerous deep water lakes across the country where similar underwater beings had been seen, often in conjunction with descent and surfacing of giant discs and spheres, powerful luminescence emanating from the deep, and other unexplained phenomena. Interestingly, Lake Baikal has long been a hotspot for UFO encounters. One such report comes from an Oleg Chichulin, who was on Lake Baikal in a boat training students when they would see something very strange indeed. He says of what happened:

There was a ball that glowed. And then this ball started to fade, fade and blush. And it turned into a red ball. This red ball for a while lay on the water, and then began to sink. And all this gradually, gradually went under the water. And it became dark.

Yet there are even more intriguing accounts of underwater aliens in the vast lake. In 1977, two researchers named V  Alexandrov and G Seliverstov were in a submersible device at a depth of 1200 meters, where they turned off their spotlights in order to guage how far sunlight could penetrate into the depths. Suddenly the scientists were bathed in light from an unusual "glow", and Aleksandrov would recall, "It was so like if our device was lit from above and the side by two strong spotlights. Only a minute later, unknown floodlights went out, and we found ourselves in total darkness.” In yet another account from Lake Baikal, a wintess named Vyacheslav Lavretevich was on a yacht on the lake, and would say of what happened:

We were on a yacht on Lake Baikal, and from under us flew out a huge glowing disk. It blinded us, and for a second flew into the sky. We did not even have time to grab any cameras, nor take video, although many of us saw it. It was a huge - and lit up all of our yacht. In diameter it was probably 500-700 metres, a huge disk. For three minutes it shone from below (the surface), and then abruptly departed in a second. The spectacle was huge, awesome. Beautiful, and shocking.

Moving along, from June of 1984 there is a report from the Soviet tanker Gori, which at the time was in the Mediterranean, twenty nautical miles from the Strait of Gibraltar. An Alexander G. Globa and his Second-in-Command S. Bolotov were allegedly standing on the deck when they saw a “strange polychromatic object” that looked like a “an upside-down frying pan” rise up out of the water. It was described as being around 20 meters in diameter, grey and metallic, and emanating a glow, with “numerous shining, bright, bead-like lights” along its bottom and with “waves” of protuberances on the outside plating.” There was something that looked like a pipe protruding from the bottom, which glowed bright red as if red hot. The object seemed to roll up and down, “as if moved by an invisible wave,” and it did this for some time before it was distracted by an Arab dry cargo ship approaching from the port side and went to go hover that vessel, something the Arab crew would later confirm. The object then shot up into the sky before it “flared up, like a spark, and was gone instantly.” 

In that same year there was an incident reported by a Soviet submarine commander by the name of Alexei Korzhev, who said that his vessel had been on maneuvers at an undisclosed location when they picked up two unidentified underwater objects on their instruments. It was rather odd, because there were no other submarines known to be in the area, and they moved at much higher speeds than any known submarine, reportedly going around 200 mph, and on top of this they were making abrupt changes in course that seemed to defy physics. The objects were also reported as making quick and sudden changes in depth, and it was bizarre enough that the Captain ordered the sub to surface. As they did, one of the objects then allegedly shot straight out of the water to go flying by very close to them at high speed. The submarine then submerged again and the unidentified object did as well, upon which it fired a beam at the sub, which seemed to have the effect of disabling their communications equipment. The object then fired another beam, and this time the crew could hear a sound “like a cutter being used.” They now had the impression that the object was attacking them, but then the object stopped and headed towards the seafloor, leaving the submarine unscathed. 

There are a few very weird reports from the 1990s as well that concern giant humanoid creatures. In one incident from 1996, a B. Borovikov was hunting for sharks in the Black Sea when he was startled to see several very large humanoid beings floated up from the depths below. These entities were described as having bulging eyes and being “milky-white, but with humanoid faces, and something like fish tails.” The creatures approached him and one of them even apparently waved a webbed hand at him, before they all moved off back into the gloom of the deep. Also from the 1990s is the report from a D. Povaliyayev, who was hang gliding over Kav Golov , in the Leningrad area when he noticed enormous humanoid “swimmers” in silvery costumes in a lake below him. The figures then submerged out of sight and were not seen again.

What are we to make of such accounts as we have looked at here? Are our oceans the dominion of otherworldly beings just as our skies are? Have strange forces from beyond our comprehension managed to colonize the seas and made them a sort of base of operations? What is going on here? It is hard to say, as the Soviet Union was long extremely tight-lipped about UFO encounters, even beyond what is claimed to be the case with the United States, with witnesses toutinely threatened and silenced, files destroyed, and the truth surpressed. Whatever was going on here, the answers remain unclear, and probably will stay that way for some time to come, buried in history and within the lost files of UFO lore.

Brent Swancer

Brent Swancer is an author and crypto expert living in Japan. Biology, nature, and cryptozoology still remain Brent Swancer’s first intellectual loves. He's written articles for MU and Daily Grail and has been a guest on Coast to Coast AM and Binnal of America.

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