The Dalnegorsk UFO Crash of 1986

 UFO Sightings

Part II

By Paul Stonehill and Philip Mantle

Summer, 1986

In the summer of 1986, at one of the military airports located in the area, guards were alerted by reports about noise made by jet aircraft engines; it was as if someone started them. Four times in the row the guards checked around the airport. Nothing suspicious was detected, although the noise increased and then subsided. Upon their return to the guard post, the officers observed the vertical ascent of silvery disc from the airfield; it imitated the sound of jet aircraft. Source: Dvuzhilni’s 1988 manuscript Kratkoye opisaniye sobitiy 28 noyabrya 1987 goda nad primorskim Krayem.

October, 1987

Viktor Sherstnev was working as the second pilot of an AN-24 aircraft, doing regular flights in the Far East, in the mid-1980s. He recalls that the flight area over the Dalnegorsk region was considered anomalous even back then. Soviet aviators were a little hesitant to fly over the area, especially after the January 1986 crash of an identified flying object. After all, the Dalnegorsk tectonic fault line with changing energy tension is located precisely there.  Probably, it was exactly due to the phenomenon that the onboard devices would not function satisfactorily. It is noteworthy that the fact of the UFO crash at the time was not denied even by commanding officers of anti-aircraft units located in the Maritime Province.  Pilots are superstitious folk. Therefore, they only partially believed in UFOs. It is better to see something once, than to hear about it a dozen times. The flight on that October 20, 1987 was commanded by Nikolay Ledunov. Sherstnev was the second pilot. There was cargo and no passengers onboard. They were flying from Vladivostok through Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.

Sherstnev recalled that Ledunov joked before the flight “So, let’s fly to catch UFOs?”. It was not well received. Sherstnev often recalled that joke.

A Presence Associated with Cigar Craft

At 12 hours 46 minutes, with perfect visibility, at the approach to the area of Rudniy-Kavalerovo, Sherstnev started feeling some strange presence. His impression was that someone was looking at him from the side. They were flying at the altitude of 4700-4800 meters, and one can imagine what such premonition means to a pilot. Also, the aircraft commander told Sherstnev that he was depressed. The second pilot automatically looked to the right and saw, at an approximate distance of one and a half kilometers from the AN-24, a gigantic flying cigar-shaped object of a dark-silver color. It moved at the altitude of about two kilometers from the ground, almost parallel to their course. He reported the sighting to the commander. The manner in which the commander received Sherstnev’s report convinced him that Ledunov did not fully realise it till the end. A few seconds later the dark-silver “cigar” at an angle of approximately 35 degrees in the line of ascent, and at the distance of two kilometers, crossed the course of AN-24, and hovered. The size of the “cigar” was about 250-300 meters, not more than that. A greenish light came from the bottom portion of the hull. Sherstnev stated that the “cigar” did not resemble any of the aircraft he had ever seen. It continued moving at a distance from AN-24, and seemingly controlled the flight of the Soviet aircraft. They attempted to contact the ground control, but no one responded to their inquiries. The impression was that they were in some closed space.

Approximately two minutes later the “cigar” vanished, as if it evaporated. But the feeling of its presence never left the pilots. At the approach to Dalnegorsk, the UFO reappeared on their course. At the altitude of about 3000-3500 meters from the ground, it was flying in the area north-east from the town.

Suddenly, sharply ascending, the “cigar” departed toward Rudnaya Pristan’ and Sea of Japan, and almost immediately vanished. Precisely at that moment Sherstnev felt as if a mountain fell from his shoulders. He felt some inexplicable relief. As if by command, their inquiry was immediately acknowledged by ground control and the radio started to function. A year and a half after their encounter with the dark-silver “cigar,” Nikolay Ledunov lost his job due to illness, and one year later Sherstnev left the Civil Aviation service. He does not know why, but he cannot sleep at night when the full moon is out. His body starts aching all over, and fear crawls inside his soul. And for some reason, in front of Sherstnev’s eyes, like a still movie scene, appears that moment, when a dark-silver cigar crossed the course of their aircraft.

Source: K taynam dal’negorskoy katastrofy article, published in Znamya newspaper, article by Pavel Beregovsky, issue 22 dated February 7, 2004.

UFOs of November, 1987

On November 28, 1987 (Saturday night, around 11:00 p.m.), 32 flying objects had appeared from nowhere.  There were hundreds of witnesses, among them military personnel and civilians. The objects flew over 12 different settlements, and 13 of them flew to Dalnegorsk and the site.  The unidentified flying objects observed on November 28, 1987 consisted of different shapes: cigar-like, cylindrical, and spherical. Their flight was noiseless, smooth, and at various altitudes.

The Far Eastern territorial department of the KGB conducted their own investigation of the November 1987 events, but could not determine the origin of the flying spheres, “saucers,” cylinders and cigars. The population was told that what they had observed were “atmospheric phenomena,” and the case was closed. Source: V Moskvu preivezli oblomki NLO, article by G. Tel’nov, published in Zhizn’ magazine, issue dated March 27, 2004.

Dvuzhilni offered his own explanation of the multiple sightings on November 28, 1987. He stated the objects came to look for the craft that crashed in 1986 in Dalnegorsk.

The Russian scientist analyzed trajectories of UFO flights; he concluded that in the evening of November 28, a huge ship separated (into smaller crafts). This event took place over a remote part of Sikhote-Alin, in the uninhabited mountainous area, between rivers Malinovka and Bol’shaya Ussurka, south of Mel’nichnogo Village. Pilots of civilian aircraft that had flown over the area reported of fallen trees there (the radius of the fall was dozens of kilometers). Still, the area has not been systematically investigated. Source: Kratkoye opisaniye sobitiy 28 noyabrya 1987 goda nad primorskim Krayem, Dvuzhilni’s 1988 manuscript in possession of Mikhail Gershtein.

Aerostat-Borne Reconnaissance Probe

Valentin Psalomschikov, a Russian expert on aircraft crashes, a distinguished journalist and author of books on paranormal phenomena, stated that the object was manufactured in the USSR, and the technology necessary to produce such objects dates back to 1970’s, and that he has similar ultra-thin filaments in his possession.

He stated that since the “powers-that-be” did not admit their relationship to the Dalnegorsk 1986 events; it is possible to assume that the object was an aerostat-borne reconnaissance probe that was sent into the USSR from another country. The probe was initially invisible because it was dark outside.

On its approach to Dalnegorsk, the object self-liquidated, when the onboard thermal self liquidator activated (the reasons could have been a barometric device, completion of the programmed tasks, etc). Hence, the heretofore invisible object became a fiery sphere. The object continued its movement with the same reported speed of 15 meters per second, but on its approach to Height 611, as result of the destruction of the system that tethered to the envelope, the object disengaged itself and crashed. Because of the strong wind, small weight, and easy sailing, the object crashed at an angle, and not vertically.

Such apparatuses, to be invisible on radar screens, are manufactured from nonmetallic materials. In such cases, the main construction material is carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer or carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic.  The “net” is remnant of the carbon fiber cloth base after the binding was burned; traces of it, represented by white and yellow balls, were preserved in the cords of the “net”. Low weight of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) and ability to use it as heat-resistant “pot” where the contents can burn before the envelope are important consideration for this apparatus. Carbon base of CFRP can withstand extremely high temperatures.

Large quantities of iron, aluminum, magnesium, and phosphorus were, most likely, elements of thermal mixing of the liquidator (not fragments of the construction). In combination with potassium chlorate with potassium permanganate, containing large quantity of bonding oxygen, the elements form a composition that cannot be extinguished by either water or sand. The lead balls were most likely part from the aerodynamic compensation mechanism, containing lead pellets, ejected at attenuation of the flight.

Silicon was the base of semiconducting devices and optics. Lanthanum, yttrium, cerium and other rare-earth elements are used for special optics and light filters, and this can indicate that the Dalnegorsk object was used to make spectrozonal photography of the surface, to reveal details invisible during normal a photo shoot. Most curious was presence of praseodymium. Praseodymium and neodymium are used in solid laser resonators.

It is natural that there were power sources onboard; most likely they were most capacious silver-zinc accumulators. Perhaps, there more state-of the-art developments (for example, zinc-air batteries). Electrolytes based on alkali metals are usually used for such batteries. Titanium could be used in some smaller parts, where it would be difficult or impossible to use plastics. Signals from such objects were usually broadcast to a satellite or high altitude reconnaissance aircraft that frequented the area of Soviet eastern border. Hence, presence of electrical circuits of capture and broadcast of video information (cables, radio broadcast equipment); gold wire in quartz covering was used in such technology. Such outer covering is most stable under low temperatures. It is possible that the equipment to capture telephone and radio communications was onboard the object.

It is not correct, according to Valentin Psalomschikov,  to state that the ultra-thin gold wire in quartz is extraterrestrial technology. Over twenty years prior to 1989 the technology to produce ultra-thin wires was established in the USSR. The wires were produced from various metals in glass outer covering, extracted straight from the melt. There are also no real difficulties to produce such outer coverings from quartz glass for more melt-resistant metals. Since we cannot cease using wires in radio technology, the thinner is the wire used, the more attenuated is the reflected from it radar signal. The preserved pieces of the CFRO outer covering can be explained by presence of ice crust and snow. When melted, they remove large quantities of heat; therefore the CFRP did not damage soil cover.

The change in properties of surrounding rocks (appearance of surface conductivity, change of coloration and magnetic properties can be easily explained by sedimentation upon the rocks of metallic vapors from thermal mixture the effect upon wood is explained not by unknown radiation, but integration into it of high temperature vapors of large quantity of biologically active elements.

Having explained the terrestrial origin of the Dalnegorsk object, V. Psalomschikov added that the situation with the objects sighted on November 28, 1987 was completely different. Based on numerous witness reports, they were typical UFOs. An object 300 meters long, with “portholes” and “searchlights,” flying at the altitude of 100-150 meters, cannot be defined anything other than extraterrestrial flying apparatus.

Source: O prirode dal’negorskogo obyekta 29 yanvarya 1986 goda, V. Psalomschikov’s manuscript from 1988, in possession of Mikhail Gershtein.

There seems to a consensus of opinion that the Hill 611 crash may well have a conventional explanation, but exactly what remains to be seen. Other researchers tend to disagree of course. It does have its parallels in the West, the Roswell case being one of them, but there are others. Irrespective of this, it is a fascinating case, which is sure to divulge more information and more theories in the years to come.

*While we have described the Dalnegorsk Crash in our books, our research of Russian ufology continues, and we publish any additional significant information we uncover, thus updating UFO cases from this huge country and its neighbors in Central Asia, Far East, and Eastern Europe. Our updates, we trust, help others involved in serious UFO research.

This article is published with the expressed written permission of Philip Mantle for publication on

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Philip Mantle

Philip Mantle is an international UFO researcher, lecturer and broadcaster. His books have been published in six different languages around the world. He is the former Director of Investigations for the British UFO Research Association and former MUFON representative for England.

Philip Mantle has written articles and features for numerous publications around the world and has been both editor and assistant editor of high street UFO publications. He is the author of Without Consent, Roswell Alien Autopsy and Once Upon A Missing Time: A Novel about Alien Abduction.

Paul Stonehill & Philip Mantle are co-authors of Russia’s Roswell Incident

Philip Mantle lives in Pontefract, West Yorkshire, England where he runs the UFO Today Digital Desk of the UK. Philip Mantle is also the editor of UFO Today Magazine.


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