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, the black ballet 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. However, 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 had 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 mentioned (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
 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.

Paul Stonehill
Russian Ufology Research Center

January  1999
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