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In the summer of 1984, six highly trained cosmonauts claimed to have had an unbelievable encounter with a group of gargantuan “celestial beings” of unknown origin in the star filled expanse above our world. Were these colossal beings the result of a mass delusion, a sign of something miraculous, or the heralds of unimaginable doom?
Scores of UFOs and other unidentified airborne objects have been spied by astronauts and their ilk since the earliest days of manned spaceflight. Major Gordon Cooper, Dr. Edgar Mitchell and dozens of other NASA and Russian space explorers harbor no doubt that the Earth is being visited and observed by non-human intelligences with access to technology far in advance of our own, but as fascinating as this phenomenon surely is, the bulk of these sightings pale before a bizarre series of encounters allegedly reported by cosmonauts aboard the Salyut 7 in July of 1984.
The series of events that occurred on the Salyut 7 do not answer this question, but, rather, compel us to consider the possibility that there are “others” in this universe that, in the most dire of times, manifest in ways that force us to question the very foundation of our beliefs as well as our place in the cosmos.
The Salyut 7 — which translates as “Salute 7” — was a low Earth orbit space station that was launched on April 19, 1982. The Salyut 7 represented the Soviet space program’s change from “monolithic” to more “modular” space stations and was first manned in May of 1982.
The station was ostensibly designed to conduct scientific experiments, but in July of 1984, the Salyut 7 would serve as the site of arguably the strangest close encounter in the relatively brief history of manned space exploration.
Although the “official” chronicling of this event is fraught with chronological inconsistencies, but, by the best estimations, the first reported sighting of these so-called “celestial beings” — which would also come to be known as “space angels” — occurred on July 12, 1984.
Cosmonauts Leonid Kizim, Vladimir Solovyov and cardiologist Oleg Atkov were on their astonishing 155th day aboard the Salyut 7, conducting “medical experiments,” when the trio noticed what they described as an “brilliant orange cloud” surrounding the station.
The Salyut 7 had been plagued by a steady stream of system failures and the men aboard the craft were understandably concerned that the glow might represent a life threatening fire. Fearing the worst, the cosmonauts rushed to the portholes only to find themselves blinded by an eerily intense luminescence the poured in through the circular apertures.
After their vision adjusted to the light, the curious cosmonauts radioed ground control that the station was bathed in an anomalous, self illuminated mist. The men returned to the portholes, shielding their eyes from the radiance, and that’s when they spied something so incredible that it would forever alter their perception of reality.
According to reports published in newspapers across the globe — including, allegedly, the Washington Post — the three Russian explorers saw colossal, winged, humanoid entities hovering just outside the station in the vacuum of space.
The faces of these beings were said to resemble those of humans with “peaceful expressions” and the Soviet scientists even claimed that the creatures noticed them and offered distinctly beatific smiles.
This quote was published in the later newspaper reports, although it’s difficult to discern which cosmonaut it was credited to, though some have suggested it may have been Solovyov:
“What we saw were seven giant figures in the form of humans, but with wings and mist-like halos as in the classic depiction of angels.”
The cosmonauts went on to described these mist haloed beings as being nearly 80-feet in height with a wingspan comparable to that of a 747 jet; although, it should be noted, that there’s no indication in the public record of how these men of science came to these proportional estimations. The men observed the soaring seraphim for approximately 10-minutes before they vanished; leaving the isolated and surely perplexed comrades to ponder what it was that they had seen and try to gather the courage to report it to their superiors below.
By their own admission, the cosmonauts were themselves reluctant to accept the existence of the oddly angelic beings which they had seen, and concluded that they were more likely suffering from some form of mass delusion brought on by their extended space travel than an actual encounter with alien — or perhaps even divine — entities. Their self induced denial would be put to the test 11-days later when additional cosmonauts arrived at the station and the celestial beings returned...
Stories of angels serving as messengers of God are present in the written testaments of all three major monotheistic religions — not to mention Hinuism — and represent one of the most commonly utilized methods for the divine to communicate with Earthlings in ancient times. Von Dänike and their acolytes are convinced that these beings were not of heavenly, but extraterrestrial, origin.
If we are to entertain this possibility, even for the sake of discussion, then we must consider the prospect that the six cosmonauts aboard the Salyut 7 might have seen not God’s messengers, but corporeal manifestations of these unique alien creatures, which have communicated with mankind since the dawn of history.
Granted, there’s no more evidence to support this “biological” theory, than there is to support the more “theological” supposition, but it’s intriguing to contemplate nonetheless. Of course, leaving behind both the metaphysical and the extraterrestrial, we are forced to wonder if this is all one, big…
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