Russians catch up in Journalism by Jim Wright for the Dallas Morning News of October 15, 1989 That old-time secular religion, Marxism, seems to be going out of style everywhere except faculty lounges of American colleges. A major result of this rightist deviationism is that the Russians are at last getting to enjoy some of the blessings of a free press. Such as, for instance, the recent news stories about aliens and monsters from outer space landing in Voronezh. It is without any doubt a refreshing change for those folks, who have more than enough trouble during this century from monsters grown locally. Presumably, it is Halloween season in Russia, too, and there could hardly be a more appropriate way to celebrate it in the age of Glasnost than with an intergalactic trick-or-treat right there in person (or whatever) on Soviet soil. What's more, there is always a chance that tourism will benefit from the new Soviet policy of letting it all hang out, so far as creature sightings are concerned. There are large numbers of people in every land who badly waant to believe in this sort of thing, as the American echoes of the latest space-beachhead landing indicate. People who enjoy thinking about little green beings who fly around in glowing disks probably could be talked into spending their vacations in Voronezh. And Mother Russia can use the hard currency. That being so, it hardly matters that the eyewitnesses turn out to be children. No doubt the Russians have noticed that Scotland, another country that can use hard currency (or soft or in-between), has done very well with the Loch Ness monster. And Nessie usually is sighted from the window of one of the nearby public houses. Those who want to believe will believe. Personally, as one of the global journalism fraternity, I am proud to see that my brothers and sisters at Tass, the Soviet news service, have taken a throroughly professional attitude toward all the hoots and jeers at their dispateches about the latest historic event. Not only are they standing by the story, but they have found a policeman, Lt. Sergei A. Matveyev, to corroborate the kids' story. This is in keeping with standard operating procedures used in the free press everywhere. The lieutenant said he was a little bit wary of the story himself when he first got word of the landing. And no, he didn't get there in time to see the actual aliens themselves, but, by Trotsky, he did see their vehicle and "it was certainly a body flying in the sky." Police officers do have a reputation for being skeptical about citizens who tell stories that depend upon extraterrestrial intervention to explain their - the citizens' - behavior. That may be why the lawmen are so popular as corroborating witnesses for UFO journalism. Cops have excellent credibility, spacewise. I'll bet Lt. Matveyev is really sorry he missed seeing the actual space critters themselves; I know I am. According to the kids, the UFO was a glowing ball "of deep red." Naturally, it disgorged a nine-foot, metallic-looking "humanoid," who checked out the scene, then went back to get a friend and their robot. Whereupon all three promenaded in the park, did some high-tech tricks, reboarded and left. I think, though, before I book seats on the next Voronezh UFO Site All-in-One-Tour, I will have to have some additional information. Such as, for instance, how late the three kids were for supper at the moment they spotted the red space ship arriving and were unavoidably detained by the nine-foot humanoid. Chamber of Commerce mad at me. But until I get more evidence, I intend to be guided by the logic of a salty Pfc. I once knew. Our outfit, rummaging through the Mojave desert in a truck convoy, passed a luxurious compound, built around a strange, truncated pyramid of sand. On being told that this was s settlement of wealthy UFO worshipers and that the pyramid was designed as the landing pad for the creatures' ship, the Pfc. just snorted. "Anything smart enough to build a spaceship," he observed, "is too smart to pitch a liberty in this dump." In spite of the Soviets' amazingly rapid progress in gee-whiz communications, I feel that America's lead in this area is safe, at least for now. Only yesterday, as I waited to check out at the supermarket, the headline story in one of our state-of-the-art publications informed me that: "MAN EXPLODES AFTER EATING FIVE PIZZAS!" I'd like to see those Russkies top that, if they can.