CUFON - UFO Information Service Seattle, Washington SOVIET ASTROBIOLOGICAL RESEARCH CONTIN

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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.

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