For those who don't know the story, on June 30, 1908, in the remote region of Siberia near the Tunguska river, something exploded.
Nor was this an ordinary explosion, for it seemingly exploded with the force of a large - a very large - thermonuclear bomb, flattening trees for miles around, and according to some reports, creating light effects and rattling windows thousands of miles away.
Some witnesses described seeing a fireball streaking across Siberia prior to the explosion. No determination was made on what had happened, though expeditions were urged.
World War One, and then the Russian Revolution and Civil War intervened.
When eventually the
Soviet Union managed to mount an expedition to the region to find
out what happened, no impact crater was found, but the devastation
was still apparent.
And, of course, some have
argued that it was an extraterrestrial spaceship that malfunctioned
for some reason, and blew up.
Note that this story is from 2004, but I find it intriguing nonetheless for reasons we'll get to in a moment:
What's new here is not only the theory, but the approach taken to make a new discovery:
This has led to a new theory:
We'll get back to that curiously worded statement in a moment.
For now, it's worth noting that there's no other articles at phys.org (at least, that I could find) about this expedition nor its astonishing claims.
Rather, one finds subsequent stories that the Russians have now found the impact crater, and a few rocks they claim to have come from whatever it was that exploded, rocks indicating that it was something entirely natural (nothing to see here, move along):
... and so on.
There is, as far as I can tell, no further follow-up to the 2004 story, unless of course (here comes speculation #1) the subsequent articles are the follow-up, designed to detract from the 2004 story and return the theories of the event to "normalcy."
There's no more mention of the metallic object nor its allegedly strange composition. It's now back to rocks...
If so, the subsequent articles may have been deliberate spin of something that, for whatever reason, leaked, and involved Russian national security.
But it's that last statement that really caught my attention:
They? They who...?
Given the state of technology in 1908, it's difficult to believe "they" would have been earth-bound humans, so the statement implies that someone else intervened to prevent a catastrophe, perhaps by firing a kinetic impact - a "rod of God" - weapon at it.
The strangeness of the theory amps up when one considers the statements made by Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev before the similar bolide incident of the Chelyabinsk meteor which exploded over that city on February 13, 2013.
Medvedev, you'll recall, appeared on Russian television, calling for an international system of planetary defense against dangerous asteroids, and if Russia could not obtain such cooperation, it should build out a defense system on its own utilizing thermonuclear missiles and "other" means of defense which he did not specify.
Beyond this, it implies in a round about way that someone may be hurtling rocks at this planet, and someone else may be intervening.
Think 'Oumuamua, which came bounding into the solar system recently, and which still has scientists baffled. Think too of that strange bright spot of infrared that was detected on it, almost as if someone had diverted its trajectory with a weapon, perhaps nuclear.
Beyond this, the strange Tunguska story about the metal object simply 'disappeared' amid subsequent articles about meteoric rocks and impact craters, and was never heard from again...