CUFON - UFO Information Service Seattle, Washington SOVIET ASTROBIOLOGICAL RESEARCH CONTIN
CUFON - UFO Information Service Seattle, Washington
SOVIET ASTROBIOLOGICAL RESEARCH CONTINUES-
In the Soviet Union there exists a general consensus in the scientific
community that extraterrestrial civilizations are a reality. This concept
is in complete agreement with the materialistic philosophy of the Soviet
government, which maintains that life itself is a normal and inevitable
consequence of the development of matter and that intelligence is a normal
consequence of the presence of life.
Nevertheless, these same Soviet scientists maintain that life can only
exist on other planets insofar as it is based on hydrocarbon compounds.
In other words, a planet had to undergo a similar evolutionary path as
the Earth did in order for life to have developed there. Speculations
concerning the evolution of life forms from an ammonia base or inorganic
compounds are not even considered in Soviet scientific circles.
Of all the planets in our solar system, the Soviets consider Mars to
be the closest to the Earth in geophysical and environmental factors.
Since 1965, the Soviets have been intensely concerned with the Red Planet
and have conducted experiments to test bacteria and other organisms under
simulated Martian conditions at the Soviet Academy of Science, Institute
of Microbiology, headed by A. I. Zhukova and I. I. Kondrat'yev. So far,
the Soviets are convinced that terrestrial bacterias can thrive on Mars.
However, they are concerned that the introduction of such terrestrial
micro-organisms on other planets may threaten the fragile balance of life
which may exist on other orbs in space.
Tiknov (1875-1960) was the father of Soviet Martian research. In 1909,
while working at an observatory in Pulkovo, Tiknov made an extensive study
of the Red Planet during one of its oppositions (close orbital approaches)
to the Earth. By the use of special filters fitted to his telescope,
Tiknov was the first to prove the existence of snow and ice at the polar
regions of Mars. He also proved the existence of clouds in the Martian
atmosphere. His observations were confirmed in 1924, when Mars was once
again in opposition to the Earth, by the efforts of W. H. Wright of the
Lick Observatory in California.
In 1947, Tiknov settled in the Kazakh region of the Soviet Union,
where he established the world's first "Sector of Astrobotany" at the
Institute of Physics and Astronomy at the Academy of the Kazakh S.S.R. in
Alma-Ata. The purpose of this department was to investigate the behavior
of plants in simulated Martian conditions. Many field trips were made to
the Arctic tundra and high mountain ranges of the Soviet Union in order
to carry out this important research.
After Tiknov's death, the astrobiology section was absorbed into the
Institute of Astronomy, which subsequently published Tiknov's research
papers in five volumes. No doubt, his work was a powerful influence in
the Soviet Union, for the majority of Soviet scientists still believe that
some form of plant life exists on Mars.
While few Soviet scientists will go so far as to say that intelligent
life currently exists on the Red Planet, it is interesting to note that
the eminent Shklovsky feels that Mars once had a civilization which
launched artificial satellites, but that the planet has since become a
dead body, like our own moon.
Source: Steiger, Brad, Project Blue Book: Top Secret UFO Findings
Revealed, Ballantine, NY, NY, 1976.
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank