Soviet Skyfall? More Bizarre Soviet Cold War Experiments (Allegedly)

 General, History

The remote fog-shrouded Arctic island(s) of Novaya Zemla, site of “Dr Strangelove’s” ultimate weapon, the Doomsday Machine. Site of the detonation of some 200+ nuclear weapons. Site of the detonation of the so-called “King of Bombs” the 54 MT thermonuclear bomb dropped by BEAR bomber at the height of the 1961 Berlin Crisis

I stumbled across this primary source the other day. It is interesting: the UFO enthusiasts put in all sorts of FOIA requests, get oodles of documents from the US Government and its agencies, fit them into their alternative narrative and put them up on the net, usually without any historical context. Somebody dumped 300+ pages of 1940s-1950s US Army Counterintelligence Corps agent reports from West Germany on them and this little gem was buried in the file.

Merely for your consideration, of course. Here is my typed copy. I’ve attached the original so you can see this weirdness isn’t malarky (that’s a synonym for “bullshit.”)

Source: FOIA, US Army INSCOM files, 1996

Date: 18 July 1947

Origin: HQ Sub-Region Goeppingen, Counter Intelligence Region I, European Command

File No I-G-792

Memorandum for the Officer in Charge

Subject: Russian Experiments Near the Arctic Circle

Re: “Flying Saucers”

1. Reason for Investigation

a. One of the explanations for the “flying saucers” over the US is allegedly given to be due to Russian experiments near the Arctic Circle in the are of the island Novaja Zemlaja (New Land).

2. Results of Investigative Activities

a. It is alleged that in the area of Novaja Zemlaja intensive experiments are being made in an endeavour to open the electronic atmosphere above the earth with electricity and through the gap made in this manner to permit the Roentgen Rays (ultra violet) to reach the earth’s surface in all their intensity. These rays by means of instruments and glasses are then turned on a target with a heat greater than natural fire.

b. According to the explanation given, the third (3rd) layer of the atmosphere surrounding the earth is known as the electronic atmosphere. This layer protects the earth from the Sun’s heat and varies in thickness from fifty (50) to two hundred (200) miles. If a gap can be opened in this particular layer, scorching heat would descend upon that part of the earth open to this gap.

c. With electrical experiments, the Russian-sponsored scientists are ever on the watch for favourable weather conditions attempting to effect a gap where he electrical layer is thinnest. This intensive application of electricity is said to cause a disturbance in the layer under consideration causing an agglomeration of atoms of an unknown nature which in their conglomeration become visible. The direction of this conglomeration or the so-called “saucers”, is decided by atmospheric conditions in which the attraction to electricity is said to play the dominant part.

3. Agent’s Notes

This agent is not versed in the sciences dealing with the alleged above experiments…….

The US Army CIC agent graded this report “F-6” or the lowest possible level of credibility available.


But then there was another little project I tripped over during my dissertation research back in the 1990s called Project ARGUS. ARGUS was a series of high-altitude US nuclear weapons tests from the USS NORTON SOUND off of South Africa the purpose of which was to explore the effects of high altitude nuclear explosions, including the activation of the Van Allen Belt by a nuclear explosion’s effects so as to interfere with Soviet satellites or missiles. This led to a further series of tests in 1962 called FISHBOWL that collected data for the first anti-ballistic missile systems which included a ballistic missile loaded with a large yield warhead on a pad on Johnson Island, ready to take out Soviet space vehicles in 1961.


The Van Allen Belts were not discovered until 1958 as a result of some of these experiments, as well as Van Allen’s use of the EXPORER satellite to measure the fields. Clearly the possibility that these belts existed had to have been discussed in the scientific literature before 1958. Yet we have a US CIC report from West Germany in 1947 from an unidentified, presumably German, source alleging that something LIKE the Van Allen Belts exist and the possible activation or manipulation of it for military purposes by the Soviet Union.

Hmmmm. Strange things done in the land of the midnight sun indeed.

Note that we don’t have a lot of data on (or cool pictures of) corresponding Soviet tests. And there were a few.William Robert Johnson reminds us over at his site that there were the five “Project K” shots and a pair of precursor tests. These took place almost in parallel to the American tests and involved high-altititude nuc detonations in the 300kt range, ie: they were likely ballistic missile defence system tests. Project K produced extensive EMP damage across the Soviet Union and that was kept vewy vewy quiet…..

Somebody should look into the correlation between UFO sightings and Cold War high-altitude nuc testing, maybe?


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