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Russian UFOs

                         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
    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:
              I'd like to see those Russkies top that, if they can.

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