If you're one of those fascinated by the Tunguska event like I am, then this story will definitely arch your eyebrows. And even if you're not, it still might do that. For those who don't know the story, on June 30, 1908, in the remote region of Siberia near the Tunguska river, something exploded. Nor was this an ordinary explosion, for it seemingly exploded with the force of a large - a very large - thermonuclear bomb, flattening trees for miles around, and according to some reports, creating light effects and rattling windows thousands of miles away. Some witnesses described seeing a fireball streaking across Siberia prior to the explosion. No determination was made on what had happened, though expeditions were urged. World War One, and then the Russian Revolution and Civil War intervened. When eventually the Soviet Union managed to mount an expedition to the region to find out what happened, no impact crater was found, but the devastation was still apparent.
The theories for what happened have run the whole spectrum, from bolides (exploding meteors) to more exotic explanations: a matter-antimatter reaction of "something", a black hole that impacted with the Earth's atmosphere, and some even entertain that this event was the result of Nicola Tesla demonstrating the weaponization potential of his "wireless broadcast of electrical power" idea. And, of course, some have argued that it was an extraterrestrial spaceship that malfunctioned for some reason, and blew up.
It's the latter theory that interests us today, because Ms. K.M. found this story - at phys.org no less! - about the latest Russian expedition to the site, and its findings and conclusions (Note, this story is from 2004, but I find it intriguing nonetheless for reasons we'll get to in a moment):
What's new here is not only the theory, but the approach taken to make a new discovery:
Up till now, scientists believed that Tunguska event was caused by the airburst of an asteroid about 5 miles above the surface of the Earth. The asteroid is believed to have been roughly 60 meters across.
Now, researchers had traced the possible trajectory of the space object, assuming that the object had flown from West to East, unlike the previous missions who considered East to West direction. The new approach allowed the expedition members to find a buried object covered with trees.
The object appeared to be a large block made with metal. The researchers chipped a piece of the object and will now test its composition. Preliminary analyses show that it is a compound of iron silicate with unknown material.
This has led to a new theory:
The new theory suggests that the event was a collision of a meteorite with an alien spaceship. “They exploded this enormous meteorite that headed towards us with enormous speed,” Yuri Lavbin said. Now this great object that caused the meteorite to explode is found at last. We will continue our research, he said. (Emphasis added)
We'll get back to that curiously worded statement in a moment. For now, it's worth noting that there's no other articles at phys.org (at least, that I could find) about this expedition nor its astonishing claims. Rather, one finds subsequent stories that the Russians have now found the impact crater, and a few rocks they claim to have come from whatever it was that exploded, rocks indicating that it was something entirely natural (nothing to see here, move along):
... and so on. There is, as far as I can tell, no further follow-up to the 2004 story, unless of course (here comes high octane speculation #1) the subsequent articles are the follow-up, designed to detract from the 2004 story and return the theories of the event to "normalcy." There's no more mention of the metallic object nor its allegedly strange composition. It's now back to rocks.
For the sake of argument and our high octane speculation today, however, let's assume the 2004 story is true, that a metallic object was found that led the expedition members to conclude that a collision of some sort took place in the atmosphere above Tunguska between a meteor or asteroid and some sort of artificial object. If so, the subsequent articles may have been deliberate spin of something that, for whatever reason, leaked, and involved Russian national security. But it's that last statement that really caught my attention: "They exploded this enormous meteorite that headed towards us with enormous speed." They? They who? Given the state of technology in 1908, it's difficult to believe "they" would have been earth-bound humans, so the statement implies that someone else intervened to prevent a catastrophe, perhaps by firing a kinetic impact - a "rod of God" - weapon at it. The strangeness of the theory amps up when one considers the statements made by Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev before the similar bolide incident of the Chelyabinsk meteor which exploded over that city on February 13 2013. Medvedev, you'll recall, appeared on Russian television, calling for an international system of planetary defense against dangerous asteroids (shades of the Rosian affidavit), and if Russia could not obtain such cooperation, it should build out a defense system on its own utilizing themonuclear missiles and "other" means of defense which he did not specify.
The bottom line, however, is that the 2004 article is maintaining that someone intervened, and that means, someone is watching this planet. Beyond this, it implies in a round about way that someone may be hurtling rocks at this planet, and someone else may be intervening. Think Oumuamua, which came bounding into the solar system recently, and which still has scientists baffled. Think too of that strange bright spot of infrared that was detected on it, almost as if someone had diverted its trajectory with a weapon, perhaps nuclear. Beyond this, the strange Tunguska story about the metal object simply disappeared amid subsequent articles about meteoric rocks and impact craters, and was never heard from again.
See you on the flip side...