Article from Paul Stonehill
The story of Lev Sergeievitch Termen reads like a spy novel. In the United States he was known as Leon Theremin. Professor Theremin was born in the city of St. Petersburg, in the Imperial Russia, in 1896. He became one of the most important pioneers in the development of electronic music through the instrument the Tereminvox (commonly referred to as the Theremin). He lived in New York, and had a number of high society patrons who helped him with funds to conduct his experiments. The devices he came up with, unusual and fantastic for the time, included a prototype color television system. In 1938 Theremin was kidnapped from the New York apartment he shared with his American wife, African-American dancer Ivana Williams. The operation was carried out by the NKVD (forerunners of the KGB). Leon Theremin was transported back to the USSR, accused of anti-Soviet propaganda, and sent to the Gulag concentration camps. While he spent some time in Magadan, Soviet agents spread the rumors that Theremin was executed. On the contrary, certainly the Soviets recognized his talents, and he was put to work on top secret projects. During the years he spent as a Soviet “scientist-slave” (some of them in a missile design office behind bars, or “sharashka” in Russian) he met such imprisoned scientists as Sergei Korolyov. Theremin invented the “bug”, a sophisticated electronic eavesdropping device.
Theremin supervised the bugging of the American embassy, and of Stalin’s private apartments. He was awarded the Stalin Prize. Theremin was also asked to head the UFO research laboratory. Soviet Radio magazine published an interview with Theremin in its Issue # 8 (1990). During the early 1960’s Lev Termen was offered to head a laboratory, a secret facility designed and built for the research of “flying saucers” apparently captured by Soviets. The scientist believed in neither E.T.s nor in “saucers”, and he refused.
Lev Termen returned to the United States years later, when the system that had imprisoned him had fallen apart, and there was no more Soviet Union. He died in 1995.
As I mentioned before, Termen met Korolyov in a prison for Soviet scientists. Sergei Korolyov’s life was dedicated to space exploration. Yet in his lifetime Korolyov witnessed both UFOs and concentration camps. His biography included the following facts (Military Encyclopedic Dictionary (Moscow, Ministry of Defense of the USSR publishing house VOYENIZDAT, 1986) “Korolyov Sergei Pavlovich (1970-66), a Soviet scientist, designer of rocket space technological systems, founder of the applied science of space travel, twice Hero of Socialist Labor (1956, 1961), Academician of the Academy of Sciences, USSR (1958). Graduated from the Moscow Technical College (1929). From 1930, senior engineer at the Central Aerodynamical Institute; from 11933, Deputy Director of the Jet Propulsion Scientific Research Institute, head of the rocket aircraft section. During the Great Fatherland War, Deputy Chief Designer at the Experimental Design Office. Under Korolyov’s guidance, ballistic and geophysical missiles had been created; first artificial Earth satellites, and artificial Sun satellites, various purpose satellites (“Elektron,” “Molniya-1,” “Kosmos,” “Zond,” and others); the spacecraft “Vostok,” “Voskhod” — through the use of which, for the first time in history, mankind’s spaceflights and the entry into space were undertaken. Recipient of the Lenin Award (1957).” In short, Korolyov was a credible man. There are episodes in Korolyov’s life that could never be included in a Soviet publication. He was arrested in 1938 by secret police. Stalin’s henchmen find him guilty of treason, and sentence Korolyov to ten years in concentration camps. He is sent to the horrifying prisons and camps of the Gulag. Even in the darkest periods of Soviet history brave people resisted the tyranny: Korolyov found friends in high places and was released in 1944. While in prison, Korolyov worked in the”sharashka”, a prison for scientists whose brains could be cheaply utilized for the good of the State. He was fortunate enough to find himself at the famous “Prison Design Center” of A.N. Tupolev, designer of Soviet TU aircraft, as Tupolev’s assistant. Korolyov believed in the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations.
He did mention (albeit briefly) in his memoirs a mysterious “laboratory for the study of flying saucers” Korolyov’s interest was primarily in the engine design a alien crafts. Soviet cosmonaut Georgy Grechko confirmed it. In the late 1950’s Grechko worked with Korolyov. They were developing ballistic trajectory for the MAR-I spaceship. Grechko was an ardent proponent of the E.T. explanation of the Tunguska Phenomenon. At the Korolyov designer bureau he found six more scientists who believed likewise. They found a report put together by A. Zolotov (who was murdered in 1995). The report stated that there was a nuclear explosion of alien spaceship in 1908 over the Siberian taiga. An expedition to the site was long overdue, in the opinion of seven scientists. Korolyov heard them out, and to their surprise, fully agreed. But he would not fund it, although his bureau had plenty of funds. Valentin Krapiva, a UFO researcher who has collected information about Korolyov, thinks that the latter wanted to conceal the fact of such an expedition. But he did find a way to help them pay for it. Grechko’s memoirs were published in Stroitelnaya Gazeta newspaper (November 25, 1989).
The part about the actual expedition undertaken by future cosmonaut and his colleagues was omitted from the memoirs. One thing is certain: after his meeting with Stalin regarding the unidentified flying objects, Korolyov became an ardent supporter of A. Kasantsev’s (a famous Soviet sci-fi writer, himself an ex-colonel, and head of military plant) idea that the Tunguska Phenomenon could have been an alien spaceship. Not only did Korolyov encourage his employees to conduct a search of the object that exploded over the taiga in 1908, but according to some reports, he himself organized one of the expeditions. As reported in Yuri Smirnov’s article “The Tunguska Explosion” (Chetvertoye Izmereniye newspaper, Yaroslavl, Issue 6, 1992), S.P. Korolyov did not exclude the possibility that an alien spaceship conducted maneuvers over the Siberian taiga. Sergei Pavlovich was one of the first organizers of the helicopter expedition to the area of the Podkamennaya Tunguska. Mr Smirnov is the head of Yaroslavl UFO Study Group, a well known Russian scientist, author and researcher of UFO phenomena. Korolyov personally experienced a UFO sighting over the Baikonur Cosmodrom in 1962. The engineers, who accompanied the rocket designer, reported that the UFO was a disc-shaped object in the center of a spiral cloud, and it had four rays aimed downwards from the hull.
To those of you interested in the current UFO research, remember the names of present-day Russian and Ukrainian ufologists who doggedly pursue the study of the phenomenon, in spite of the great difficulties experienced by their countries. I have nothing but respect for people like Aleksandr Rempel, Yuri Smirnov, Nikolay Subbotin, Gherman Kolchin, Mikhail Gershtein, Vadim Chernobrov, Dr. Rubtsov, and others like them. I hope that I and Philip Mantle will be able to tell you about them and their research in our new book. And if any of you are truly interested in Russian/CIS ufology, let the information I have provided here be your first step on a road of discovery.