Major General Vladimir Kovalyonok, Russian Cosmonaut
Date of sighting: May 5, 1981
Location of sighting: Orbiting Earth Many cosmonauts have seen phenomena which are far beyond the experiences of earthmen. For ten years I never spoke on such things. The encounter you asked me about happened on May 5, 1981, at about 6 PM, during the Saljut Mission. At that time we were over the area of South Africa, moving towards the area of the Indian ocean. I just made some gymnastic exercises, when I saw in front of me, through a porthole, an object which I could not explain. It is impossible to determine distances in Space. A small object can appear large and far away and the other way around. Sometimes a cloud of dust appears like a large object. Anyway, I saw this object and then something happened I could not explain, something impossible according to the laws of Physics. The object had this shape, elliptical, and flew with us. From a frontal view it looked like it would rotate in flight direction. It only flew straight, but then a kind of explosion happened, very beautiful to watch, of golden light. This was the first part. Then, one or two seconds later, a second explosion followed somewhere else and two spheres appeared, golden and very beautiful. After this explosion I just saw white smoke, then a cloud-like sphere. Before we entered the darkness, we flew through the terminator, the twilight-zone between day and night. We flew eastwards, and when we entered the darkness of the Earth shadow, I could not see them any longer. The two spheres never returned.