The story received more attention when the Georgian Ufological Association (GUFOA) published stills from a videotape. All pictures circulating in the Internet come from the GUFOA website, now defunct. The story went that:
“an alien body was retrieved by the Russian State Security Service in 1996. An old woman from the village of Kashtim in the Ural mountains, so the report claims, found a dying little creature on the road.
After two weeks, the woman got sick and was hospitalized. The creature stayed home alone… and died. Probably because the woman told someone in the hospital the Kashtim Police Department entered the woman’s home and found the dead body on August 13, 1996. The corpse was filmed with a VHS camera -standard equipment of the Russian police these days- when a preliminary investigation (including the use of a Geiger Counter) was undertaken. According to the measurements of the Police, the being was only 21 centimeters (8 1/2 inches) in length. The corpse was later confiscated by the State Security (Ex-KGB).”
[Patrick Gross, The Ural Alien]
Exactly as in the other tales of alleged alien corpses, there are several versions to the story, though in this case there is not so much variation as in the Salinas case. Almost all of them mention the old woman, Tamara Velikopolskyana Prosivirina. But they differ from how and when she found the creature.
Many stories again
According to one version, she suffered from a mental illness since long ago, and used to visit the local cemetery to collect flowers to decorate her house. One night, on August 13, 1996, she heard a voice in her head telling her to go again to the cemetery, where she found the creature over a tombstone, alive, and took it home to care for it. She told the neighbours she now had a son, named “Aleshenka”, but everybody thought it was one more of her fantasies.
It was only when she was visited by her daughter-in-law, also named Tamara, that they found about Aleshenka. Reportedly, however, her daughter-in-law didn’t think it was a human baby, and let her take care of it.
This doesn’t make any sense. If she thought it was a human baby, then she had to ask where it came from. If it was “perhaps an animal”, an alien, the she also had to ask where it came from. In any event no normal person would let things as they were, but reportedly, it was what happened.
Shortly thereafter, Tamara, the old woman, was hospitalized, but not because she was sick, but because of her mental illness. Here again, come more versions. She allegedly told the doctors about the creature, her “son”, but they didn’t believe her. So the creature without care died, but was not found by the police, but rather by Vladimir Nurdinov.
And comes more versions.
According to one, Nurdinov was Tamara’s friend, and that’s why he entered her house and took Aleshenka’s body. According to another, he actually robbed her house, took the creature, but was then seized by the police on account of another crime – stealing. The police, while searching his house, found Aleshenka’s body.
Of this we can be reasonably sure, the police got involved, as we have the video footage. Now, this is the funny thing: the date in the video is… August 13, 1996. Allegedly the day Tamara found Aleshenka.
Clearly all these versions don’t sum up into any one coherent story. And I won’t even delve into the many other stories about what happened after that to Aleshenka’s body, they involve the KGB and a spaceship coming to recover it. There’s no point in considering them, and fact is, no one seems to know where the body is now.
The one version
Well, there is one version that makes more sense. The body was found by the police in August 1996 when they captured a thief of electrical cables, Vladimir Nurdin. He showed where the stolen wire was and “for no apparent reason offered to show… an alien!”, said police officer Yevgeny Mikhailovich to a newspaper in 2005.
They took the body to the police department and filmed it. That’s the video we know.
They didn’t open a criminal investigation however, as they soon found that the foetus was discovered by 70-year-old Tamara Prosvirin “lying in a swamp”. She named it Aleshenka. Tamara was later committed to a psychiatric hospital, and Aleshenka died unattended at her home. Nurdin was her friend, found the body, “washed it with alcohol and dried it in the sun”. That would explain its appearance.
That Prosivirina suffered from a mental illness would also explain why she could have taken a miscarried foetus home. Because it was a foetus.
Some of the first accounts quote local doctors Stanislav Samoshkim and I. Ermolaeva stating it couldn’t be a human foetus. “There are no children with so strange texture of the body in existence”, Ermolaeva allegedly stated.
But in 2003, newspaper Cheliabinsk quoted doctors Igor Cusco and Irina Ermolaeva (the same Ermolaeva, we assume) as stating (automatically translated):
“Everything was built on hearsay and the testimony of the old woman, who found him. It is possible that someone got rid of the unwanted foetus. The fact that we had in his hands, was the size of 17-20 cm, which corresponds to the period 20-25 weeks of pregnancy. It could well be viable, but only for a few hours, not two weeks. He was human, 12 ribs attached to the chest. Appropriate human and structure of the shoulder girdle, wrist bones are the same. Normal skeletal developing foetus. When I saw him, I, frankly, was in complete disappointment. At first I thought it was just dried podleschik. Having a professional investigation, we believe that this is an ordinary miscarriage, later mummified.”
If that wasn’t enough and some would think this was a cover-up, think twice. The story was originally published in 1997 by Russian ufologist Mikhail Gershtein, and I asked him about it. He kindly replied:
“Aleshenka case has been solved already. Russian researcher Vadim Chernobrov found in the home of the former Aleshenka owner a rag with the blood of this ‘entity’. The Institute of General Genetics in Moscow made a DNA analysis. The result: a common, terrestrial, foetus (miscarriage abortion), female, with many horrible genetic anomalies. Kyshtym is an epicentre of a 1957 radioactive disaster, and the so-called Aleshenka was a deformed victim of this old tragedy. Many physicians (for example gynecologist Irina Ermolaeva) also stated that Aleshenka case wasn’t unique and that they saw such pathologies earlier. Another Russian researcher, Mikhail Raduga, in his recent book "UFOs and paranormal entities" (2009, in Russian) devoted full chapter for this case. He also found some physicians who saw and studied Aleshenka in 1996: all doctors said that Aleshenka was an deformed foetus and nothing more.”
Chernobrov also made claims about time travel, and I would really like to see the lab results, which were also publicized in 2004, but as Gershtein informs, the local doctors who examined the body, including Ermolaeva, all agree it was a miscarried foetus.
The head is perhaps the most strange element in the foetus’ appearance, with what look like petals, but this is due to the fact that the fontanelles were probably lost and the cranium was very far from being fully formed.
In the image below (click to enlarge) notice the skull at 29 weeks. Very close to the estimate of 20-25 weeks mentioned by Ermolaeva.
A miscarried foetus taken by a mentally ill old woman, died hours later, then found by another man who washed the body with alcohol, let it dry in the sun, and from there to all sorts of alien speculations. This may be the saddest version of the story, but it apparently is what happened.
[With thanks to Luis Ruiz Noguez and Mikhail Gershtein]
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