by Iu. N. Cherednichenko, Senior Researcher, Biophysics Laboratory, Institute of Human Pathology and Ecology, Russian Academy of Medical Science
Viktor Stepanovich Grebennikov is a naturalist, a professional entomologist, an artist-simply put, an intellectual with a wide range of interests and pursuits. He is known to many as the discoverer of the Cavernous Structures Effect (CSE). But very few people are familiar with his other discovery, one that also borrows from Nature and its innermost secrets.
Back in 1988 he discovered anti-gravitational effects of the chitin shell of certain insects. But the most impressive concomitant phenomenon discovered at the same time was that of complete or partial invisibility or of distorted perception of material objects entering the zone of compensated gravity. Based on this discovery, the author used bionic principles to design and build an anti-gravitational platform for dirigible flights at the speed of up to 25 km/min. Since 1991-92 he has used this device for fast transportation.
Bio-gravitational effects are a wide spectrum of natural phenomena, apparently not confined to just a few species of insects. There is much empirical data to support the possibility of a lowered weight or complete levitation of material objects as a result of directed psycho-physical human action (psychokinesis)-e. g. levitation of yogi practicing transcendental meditation according to the Maharishi method. There are known cases of mediums levitating during spiritistic sessions. However, it would be a mistake to think that such abilities are only found in people who are gifted by nature.
I am convinced that these abilities are an understudied biological regularity. As is known, human weight significantly drops in the state of somnambulistic automatism (sleepwalking). During their nocturnal journeys, 80-90 kg sleepwalkers are able to tread on thin planks, or step on people sleeping next to them without causing the latter any physical discomfort (other than fright). Some clinical cases of non-spasmodic epileptic fits often result in a short-term reversible transformation of personality (people in such state are commonly referred to as "possessed"), whereby a skinny, exhausted girl or a ten-year-old boy acquire the physical prowess of a trained athlete.
Currently this psychological phenomenon is known as multiple-personality syndrome because it significantly differs from the classical complex of epileptic symptoms. Such clinical cases are well-known and well-documented. However, phenomena accompanied by a change in the weight of humans or of material objects are not confined to functional pathologies of the organism.
Healthy people in the state of acute psychological stress caused by a life-threatening situation or an overpowering motivation to achieve a vitally important goal have the ability to spontaneously overcome obstacles insurmountable in their normal condition-e. g. to lift enormous weights, etc. These phenomena are commonly explained by an extreme mobilization of muscular strength, but precise calculations do not agree with such hypotheses. Apparently, athletes (high jumpers, weightlifters, runners) have particularly developed bio-antigravitational mechanisms.
Their athletic performance is mostly (if not wholly) determined not so much by the rigor of their training as by their psychological preparedness. If an accurate scientific task of studying the anomalies of the human weight in various psycho-physiological states were ever set up and technical means of dynamic weight monitoring created, we would then have objective data on this unusual phenomenon. There is also evidence of other phenomena of short-term mass increase in biological objects, including humans, that are not related to mass transfer.
V. S. Grebennikov's book has high literary merit and includes the author's own illustrations. It is a kind of a "dactylogram" for his system of spiritual values, his environmental outlook, and his entomological autobiography. Many readers are likely to perceive the book as nothing more than a popularized summary of the entomologist's 60-year experience of scientific observations, peppered with some elements of science fiction. But such a conclusion would be deeply erroneous. As Viktor Stepanovich's friend and as someone with an intimate knowledge of his work (our homes are only 10km apart), I can vouch I have never met a more careful, conscientious, honest, and talented experimental scientist.
Grebennikov is also widely known in the so-called scientific underground (i. e. the branch of advanced Russian science constantly persecuted by the official scientific establishment). Thus, a committee for combating pseudoscience, created in Novosibirsk division of the Russian Academy, has victimized many talented members of our local scientific community. The situation is much the same at the Russian Agricultural Academy. It is very easy to lose one's job at a lab (even as its head, regardless of one's degree and title). One only needs to publish an article on, for example, the evolutionary significance of antigravitational mechanisms in insects.
But I am convinced that discoveries of such proportions must not be buried in manuscripts just because pragmatism still rules science. Let this book be nothing but "science fiction" for those at the top. Each person has his own beliefs. But he who has eyes shall see. Catastrophism in both the evolution of living nature and in the nature of human knowledge is actually a drastic destruction of old belief systems-a destruction that runs ahead of theoretical prognostications. A fanatical faith and idol-worship links our contemporary academic science with pagan religion. But a harmonious development (in the sense of Pavel Florensky's pneumatosphere) would not be possible without breaking old stereotypes in the process of mastering the wisdom and experience of older generations.
Flight - Chapter V of V. S. Grebennikov's My World
CHAPTER V. FLIGHT
A quiet evening in the steppe. The sun's red disk has already touched the faraway, misty horizon. It is too late to get back home-I've stayed too long here with my insects and am preparing to spend the night in the field. Thank goodness I still have water in the flask and some mosquito repellent-one needs it here, what with hosts of gnats on the steep shore of this salty lake.
I am in the steppes, in Kamyshlovo valley. It used to be a mighty tributary of the Irtysh, but the ploughing of the steppes and deforestation turned the river into a deep, broad gully with a string of salty lakes, like this one. There is no wind. Pods of ducks gleam over the evening lake, sandpipers are also heard in the distance.
The high, pearl-colored sky stretches over the calming world of the steppe. How good it is to be out here, in the open country!
I settle for the night on the very edge of the steep, on a grassy glade. I spread out my coat, put my backpack under the head, and before lying down, collect a few dry cakes of cow manure, and light them up. The romantic, unforgettable smell of bluish smoke slowly spreads across the dozing steppe. I lie down on my simple bed, stretch my tired legs and anticipate yet another wonderful night in the country.
The blue smoke quietly takes me to the Land of Fairy Tales; sleep comes fast. I become very small, the size of an ant, then enormous, like the sky, and am about to fall asleep. But why is it that today these "pre-sleep transformations" of my bodily dimensions are somewhat unusual, too strong? A new sensation has mixed in-a sensation of falling, as though the high cliff has been snatched away from under my body, and I am falling into an unknown, terrible abyss!
Suddenly I see flashes. I open my eyes, but they don't go away-they are dancing on the pearl-and-sliver evening sky and on the grass. I get a strong, metallic taste in my mouth, as though I pressed my tongue to the contact plates of a small electric battery. My ears start ringing, I distinctly hear the double beats of my own heart.
How can one sleep when such things are going on!
I sit up and try to drive away these unpleasant sensations, but nothing comes out of my efforts. The only result is that the flashes are no longer wide and blurred but sharp and clear, like sparks or perhaps small chains; they make it hard to look around. Then I remember: I had very similar sensations a few years ago in Lesochek, or to be more precise, in the Enchanted Grove [the author is referring to localities of an entomological preserve in Omsk Region].
I have to get up and walk around the lakeshore. Does it feel like this everywhere around here? No: here, a meter from the edge, I feel a clear effect of "something", while ten meters further into the steppe the effect clearly disappears.
It becomes a bit frightening: I am alone in the deserted steppe, by the "Enchanted Lake". I should quickly pack up and clear out. But my curiosity takes over: what is this, really? Could it be that the smell of lake water and slime is doing this to me? I go down, under the steep and sit down by the water. The thick, sweetish smell of sapropel-rotted remains of algae-is enveloping me like in a mud spa. I sit there for five, ten minutes-no unpleasant sensations. It would be suitable to sleep here, if it weren't so wet.
I climb the steppe-same old story! My head is spinning, I again get that "galvanic", sour taste in the mouth and feel as though my weight is changing-I am at one moment incredibly light, and unbearably heavy at the next. I see flashes in my eyes. If it was indeed a "bad spot", some nasty anomaly, then there would be no grass here, and large bees would not be nesting in the loamy steppe. Meanwhile, their nests are all over it-in fact, I was trying to make my bed right above their underground "bee city" in whose depths there is of course a multitude of tunnels, chambers, lots of larvae, cocoons-all of them alive and healthy. I understood nothing that time.
I got up with a headache even before sunrise and, tired, hobbled off toward the road to get a hitch to Isilkul.
That summer I visited the "Enchanted Lake" four more times, at various times of day, and under various weather conditions. By the end of the summer my bees got incredibly busy stuffing their holes with flower pollen-in a word, they were feeling great. Which I wasn't: a meter from the edge of the steppe, above their nests, I again had a set of most unpleasant sensations. Five meters away, I had none... And there was the same old bewilderment: why, why do these bees feel so good here that the entire steppe is dappled with their holes like Swiss cheese, and in places, almost like a sponge?
The solution came many years later, when the bee city in Kamyshlovo valley died: the tillage came to the very edge which consequently fell off. Now instead of grass and bee holes, there is nothing there but an atrocious heap of mud.
I only had a handful of old clay lumps-fragments of those nests, with multiple chamber cells. The cells were side by side and reminded of small thimbles, or little jugs with narrowing necks.
I already knew that these bees were of the quadruple ring species-that was the number of light rings on their elongated bellies. On my desk, packed with equipment, ant- and grasshopper-houses, bottles with chemicals, and other stuff, I had a wide receptacle filled with these spongy clay lumps. I was about to pick something up and moved my hand over these porous fragments.
A miracle happened: I suddenly felt warmth emanating from them. I touched the lumps with my hand-they were cold, but above them I felt a clear thermal sensation.
Besides, in my fingers I felt some hitherto unknown jerks, some sort of "tick" as it were. And when I pushed the bowl with the nests to the end of the desk and leaned over it, I felt the same sensation as on the lake-my head was getting lighter and bigger, the body was falling down, the eyes saw rapid flashes, and the mouth tasted an electric battery. I was feeling slightly nauseous...
I put a sheet of cardboard on top of the bowl-the sensation didn't change. A pot lid changed nothing either; it was as if the "something" was cutting right through it. I had to study the phenomenon at once. But what could I do at home, without the necessary physical instruments? I got assistance from many research scientists of various institutes of the Agricultural Academy in Novosibirsk.
But alas, the instruments-either thermometers, or ultrasound detectors, magnetometers and electrometers-did not respond to them in the slightest.
We conducted a precise chemical analysis of the clay-nothing special. The radiometer was also silent... But ordinary human hands, and not just mine, distinctly felt either warmth or a cold draft and a tingle, or sometimes a thicker, stickier environment.
Some people's hands got heavier, others felt theirs were pushed up; some people's fingers and arm muscles got numb, they felt giddy and had profuse salivation. Similar phenomena could be observed in a bunch of paper tubes inhabited by leaf-cutting bees. Each tunnel had a solid row of multi-layered cans of torn leaves, covered with concave lids (also of leaves). Inside the cans there were silk, oval cocoons with larvae and chrysalides.
I asked people who knew nothing of my discovery to hold their hands or faces over the leaf-cutter nests, and took a detailed record of the experiment. The results may be found in my article "On the physical and biological properties of pollinator bee nests" published in the Siberian Bulletin of Agricultural Science , no.3, 1984.
The same article contains the formula of the discovery-a brief physical description of this wonderful phenomenon. Based on the structure of bee nests, I created a few dozen artificial honeycombs-of plastic, paper, metal, and wood. It turned out that the cause of all those unusual sensations was not a biological field, but the size, shape, number, and the arrangement of caverns formed by any solid objects. And as before, the organism felt it, while the instruments were silent.
I called the discovery the Cavernous Structures Effect (CSE) and carried on with my experiments. Nature continued to reveal its innermost secrets one after another...
It turned out that the CSE zone inhibits the growth of saprophytic soil bacteria, of yeast and other cultures, as well as wheat grain germination. It also changes the behavior of microscopic algea chlamydospores. Leaf-cutting bee larvae begin to phosphoresce, while adult bees are much more active in this field and finish pollination two weeks earlier.
It turned out that the CSE, like gravitation, could not be shielded-it affected living organisms through walls, thick metal, and other screens. It turned out that if a porous object were moved to another spot, the human would feel the CSE not immediately but in a few seconds or minutes, while the old spot would retain a "trace", or as I called it, a "phantom" perceivable by the hand for hours, and sometimes for months thereafter.
It turned out that the CSE field did not decrease evenly with distance, but surrounded the honeycomb with a system of invisible, yet sometimes clearly perceivable "shells".
It turned out that animals (white mice) and humans entering the zone of the CSE (even a very strong one) soon adapted to it. It couldn't be otherwise: we are everywhere surrounded by caverns large and small: by grids, cells of living and dead plants (as well as our own cells), by bubbles of foam-rubber, foam plastic, foam concrete, rooms, corridors, halls, roofing, spaces between machine parts, trees, furniture, buildings.
It turned out that the CSE "ray" had a stronger impact on living organisms when it was directed away from the sun, and also downwards, facing the Earth's center.
It turned out that clocks-both mechanical and electronic-placed in a strong CSE field started running inaccurately-Time must also have a part in it. All this was the manifestation of the Will of Matter, constantly moving, transforming, and eternally existing. It turned out that back in the 20s the French physicist Louis des Broglie was awarded the Nobel Prize for his discovery of these waves, and that the latter were used in electronic microscopes.
It turned out... well, many other things transpired in my experiments and research, but they would lead us into solid-state physics, quantum mechanics, elementary-particle physics, i. e far away from the main characters of our narrative: insects...
Meanwhile, I did manage to devise instruments for an objective registration of the CSE-instruments that accurately reacted to the proximity of insect nests.
Here they are in the drawing: sealed vessels with straws and burnt twigs-drawing coals-suspended on spider web threads. There is some water at the bottom to counter static electricity hindering experiments in dry air.
If you point an old wasp nest, a bee honeycomb, a bunch of cereal ears to the upper end of the indicator, it slowly moves a few dozen degrees...
There is no miracle here: the energy of scintillating electrons of both multi-cavernous bodies creates a total wave system in space, whereby a wave is energy capable of performing a mutual repulsion of these objects-even through obstacles, such as a thick-walled steel capsule (see photograph).
It is hard to imagine that its armor is powerless to stop waves of a tiny, light wasp nest seen in the picture, and that the indicator inside this heavy, solid capsule "runs away"-sometimes as far as 180 degrees-from this long-vacant nest. Yet it is so. Those who have doubts are invited to visit the Agroecology Museum near Novosibirsk-you'll see it for yourselves.
The same museum displays an always-active honeycomb painkiller. It is a chair with an overhead cap that has a few empty, but intact combs of the honeybee ("dry" honeycombs, in the beekeeper vocab) in it. Anyone who sits in this chair will after a few minutes almost certainly feel something (please write to me what exactly you feel, I'll be grateful), while those with a headache will in just a few minutes say goodbye to the pain-at least for a few hours. My painkillers are successfully used in many parts of the country-I made no secret of my discovery.
The hand will clearly sense the emanation if you take it from below, palm up, to the cap with bee honeycombs. The cap could be made of cardboard, veneer, or better still, of tin plate with tightly sealed seams.
Yet another gift from insects...
This was my reasoning at first: people have been dealing with the honeybee for thousands of years, no one has ever complained of anything unpleasant, except of course stings. I held a dry honeycomb over my head-it was working!
I decided to use a set of six frames. Such was the story of my rather simple discovery. An old wasp nest works quite differently, even though the size and shape of its cells are very close to those of bees.
The important difference was that the honeycomb material, unlike that of wax, is more crumbly and micro-porous: it is paper-like (by the way, it was wasps that invented paper, not people: they scrape old wood fiber and mix it with their sticky saliva).
Walls of the wasp honeycomb are much thinner than those of bees, the cell size and pattern are also different, as is the outer shell, also made of multi-layered, loosely wrapped paper. I had reports of a highly unpleasant effect of a few wasp nests in an attic. And besides, most multi-cell devices and objects that will manifest CSE in the first few minutes have a far from beneficial effect on humans. Honeybee combs are a rare exception. And when in the 1960s we had bumblebees living in our Isilkul apartment, I often observed the following.
A young bumblebee on its first trip away from the hive did not take the trouble to remember the entrance and would spend hours wandering around the windows of our house and of a similar-looking house nearby. And in the evening, giving up on its poor visual memory, it would land on the brick wall, precisely outside the hive and would try to break right through it. How did the insect know that right there, four meters away from the entrance, and a meter and a half below, behind the thick, half-meter wall was its home nest? At the time I was lost in conjectures, but now I know exactly why the bumblebee behaved like that. An amazing find, wouldn't you agree?
Now let us remember the experiment in which hunter wasps returned not just to a given location, but to an entirely different place where the lump of soil with their nest had been moved: no doubt, they were able to find it because of a wave beacon created by the nest cavern. And there was another mystery revealed to me by my insect friends. It turned out that to attract their pollinators, flowers use not only color, odor, and nectar, but also a similar wave beacon, powerful and unstoppable. I discovered it with a drawing coal-a burnt twig-by passing it over large, bell-shaped flowers (tulips, lilies, amaryllises, mallows, pumpkins).
Already at a distance I could feel a "braking", as it were, of this detector. Soon I was able to find a flower in a dark room standing one or two meters away from it-but only if it had not been moved, because a "false target" would be left in its old place-the "residual phantom" I already mentioned.
I do not possess any supersensory abilities, and any person after some training would be able to do the same. Instead of coal one could use a 10-cm-long piece of a yellow sorghum stem, or a short pencil whose rear end should be facing the flower.
Some people would be able to feel the flower (a "warm", "cold", or "shivering" sensation emanating from it) with their bare hands, tongues, or even faces. As many experiments demonstrated, children and adolescents are particularly sensitive to Waves of Matter.
As for bees that nest underground, their "knowledge" of the CSE is vital for them first of all, because it enables the builder of a new gallery to stay away from a neighboring nest. Otherwise the entire bee-city cut through with intersecting holes would simply collapse. Secondly, plant roots cannot be allowed to grow down into the galleries and honeycombs. Thus roots stop a few centimeters away from the honeycomb, or else, feeling that nests are near, they start growing aside. The latter conclusion was confirmed by my many experiments on sprouting wheat seeds in a strong CSE field, as compared to seeds germinating in the same climatic conditions but in the absence of the CSE.
Photographs and drawings show both the dying of roots in the experimental batch and their sharp deviation in a direction away from my "artificial honeycomb".
Thus bees and weeds back at the lake had long ago made a pact-another example of the highest ecological expediency of all Being. And in that same spot on the globe we see yet another example of people's mercilessly ignorant attitude to Nature...
The bee-city is now gone; every spring thick streams of fertile black earth soil run down, between filthy heaps of trash, to the lifeless, salty puddles that not too long ago were a string of lakes with countless flocks of sandpipers and ducks, white swans, and hovering fish-hawks. And by the steppe thinned out by bee holes, one used to hear the hum of hundreds of thousands of bees that for the first time led me into the Unknown.
I must have tired the reader with all these honeycombs of mine... A separate thick book would be required to describe all my experiments. Therefore I will only mention one thing: my pocket, battery-powered calculator often malfunctioned in the CSE field: it either erred, or sometimes its display window would fail to light up for hours. I used the field of a wasp nest combined with that of my two palms. None of these structures had any effect in isolation.
I will also note that hands with their tubular phalanxes, joints, ligaments, blood vessels, and nails are intensive CSE emanators capable of giving a powerful push to the straw or coal indicator of my little instrument from a couple of meters' distance. Practically anyone could do it. This is why I am convinced that there are no people with supersensory abilities, or rather that all the people have them... And the number of those who from a distance can move light-weight objects on a table, hold them suspended in the air or "magnetically" attached to the hand is far greater than is usually thought. Try it yourself! I look forward to your letters.
There once was an ancient folk game: one man sits on a chair, and over his head, four of his friends "build" a grid of horizontally stretched palms with slightly spread fingers-first right hands, then left, with 2 cm gaps between them. In 10-15 seconds, all four synchronously put their pressed-together index and middle fingers under the armpits and under the knees of the sitting man, and then they energetically toss him up in the air. The time between "collapsing" the grid and tossing the man must not exceed two seconds; the synchronicity is also very important. If everything is done right, a 100-kilo man flies up almost to the ceiling, while the ones who tossed him claim he was light as a feather.
A strict reader may ask me how it is possible. Doesn't it all contradict laws of nature? And if so, am I not propagating mysticism? Nothing of the sort! There is no mysticism, the thing is simply that we, humans, still know little of the Universe which, as we see, not always "accepts" our, all too human rules, assumptions, and orders... Once it dawned on me: the results of my experiments with insect nests bear too much similarity to the reports of people who happened to be in the vicinity of... UFOs. Think and compare: temporary malfunctioning of electronic devices, disrupted clocks-i. e., time, an invisible, resilient "obstacle", a temporary drop in the weight of objects, the sensation of a drop in human weight, phosphenes-moving, colored flashes in the eyes, a "galvanic" taste in the mouth...
I am sure you have read about all this in UFO journals. I am now telling you it can all be experienced in our Museum. Come visit! Was I standing on the threshold of yet another mystery? Quite so. And again I was helped by chance, or rather by my old insect friends. And again there were sleepless nights, failures, doubts, breakdowns, even accidents... And I had no one to turn to for advice-they would have just laughed, or worse...
But I can say this, my reader: he is happy who has a more or less adequate use of his eyes, head, and hands-skillful hands are particularly important!-and trust me, the joy of creative work, even of work that ends in failure, is far higher and brighter than earning any diplomas, medals, or patents.
Flying an Anti-gravitational Platform
(excerpts from a diary)
Judge it for yourself from my diary excerpts-obviously simplified and adapted for this book. Pictures and drawings will help you to evaluate my story... A hot summer day. Far-away expanses drown in a bluish-lilac haze; the sky's gigantic cupola with fluffy clouds stretches above the fields and coppices. I am flying about 300 meters above ground, with a distant lake-a light, elongated spot in the haze-as my reference point. Blue, intricate tree contours slowly recede; between them, there are fields. Those, bluish-green ones are fields of oats; the whitish rectangles with a strange, rhythmic twinkling are those of buckwheat. Straight ahead of me is a field of alfalfa-its green color is familiar, it resembles the oil paint "cobalt medium-green". Green oceans of wheat on the right are of a denser shade and resemble the "chrome oxide" paint. An enormous, multi-colored palette floats further and further backwards.
Footpaths meander between fields and coppices. They join gravel roads which it turn stretch further out, toward the highway, still invisible from here for the haze, but I know that if I flew on the right side of the lake, I would see it-a smooth, gray strip without a beginning or an end, on which cars-small boxes-are slowly crawling.
Isometric, flat shadows of cumulus clouds are picturesquely spread around the sunny forest-steppe. They are deep-blue where they cover coppices, and are various shades of light blue over fields. Now I am in the shadow of one such cloud: I accelerate-it's quite easy for me to do that-and leave the shadow.
I lean forward slightly and feel a warm, taut wind coming far down below, from the sun-warmed ground and plants. It comes not from the side, as on the ground, but strangely from the surface up. I physically feel a thick, dense current with a strong odor of blooming buckwheat. Of course this jet can easily lift up even a large bird-an eagle, a stork, or a crane-if it freezes its spread wings. But I have no wings and am suspended in the air not by the upward jet.
In my flight I am supported by a flat, rectangular little platform, slightly bigger than the seat of a chair, with a pole and two handles to which I hold on and with whose help I navigate the device. Is this science fiction? I wouldn't say so...
In a word, the interrupted manuscript of this book was abandoned for two years because generous, ancient Nature, again through my insect friends had given me another Something-and it did so, as usual, elegantly and inconspicuously, yet swiftly and convincingly. And for two years the Discovery did not let me go, even though it seemed to me I was mastering it at a break-neck speed.
(Note: Grebennikov would have been approximately 62-63 years of age in 1990-1992)
But it always happens this way: when your work is new and interesting, time flies twice as fast. A light spot of a steppe lake is already much closer. Beyond it, the highway is visible with already distinctly discernable boxes of cars. The highway is about 8km away from the railway that runs parallel to it, and if I look closer, I can see the poles of the power line and the light-colored embankment of the railway. It is time to turn some 20 degrees to the left.
I am not seen from the ground, and not just because of the distance: even in a very low flight I cast almost no shadow. Yet, as I found out later, people sometimes see something where I am in the sky-either a light sphere, a disk, or something like a slanted cloud with sharp edges that moves, according to them, not exactly the way a cloud would.
One person observed a "flat, non-transparent square, about one hectare in size"-could it have been the optically enlarged little platform of my device?
Most people see nothing at all, and I am for the moment pleased with it-I can't be too careful! Besides, I still haven't determined what my visibility or invisibility depends on.
Therefore I confess that I consciously avoid people in my flight and for that purpose bypass cities and towns, and even cross roads and footpaths at high speed, after making sure there is no one on them.
In these excursions-no doubt, fictional for the reader, but for me already almost casual-I trust only my insect friends depicted on these pages.
The first practical use of my discovery was-and still is-entomological: to examine my secret places, to take a picture of them from above, to find new, still unexamined Insect Lands in need of protection and rescue. Alas, Nature established its own, strict limitations on my work: just as on a passenger plane, I could see but couldn't photograph.
My camera shutter wouldn't close, and both rolls of films I had taken with me-one in the camera, the other in my pocket-got light-struck. I didn't succeed in sketching the landscape either; as both my hands were almost always busy, I could only free one hand for a couple of seconds. Thus I could only draw from memory. I managed to do that only immediately after landing-though I am an artist, my visual memory is not that great.
In my flight I did not feel the same way we do when we fly in our sleep.
It was with flying in my sleep that I started this book a while ago. And flying is not so much pleasure as it is work, sometimes very hard and dangerous. One has to stand, not hover, the hands are always busy, and a few centimeters away there is a border separating "this" space from "that", on the outside.
The border is invisible but very treacherous. My contraption is still rather clumsy and resembles perhaps... hospital scales. But this is only the beginning!
By the way, besides the camera, I sometimes had trouble with my watch and possibly, with the calendar too: descending on a familiar glade, I would occasionally find it slightly "out of season", with a two-week deviation, and I had nothing to check it against.
Thus it is possible to fly not just in space but also-or so it seems-in time as well. I cannot make the latter claim with a 100% guarantee, except perhaps that in flight, particularly at its beginning, a watch runs too slow and then too fast, but at the end of the excursion starts running accurately again.
This is why I stay away from people during my journeys: if time is involved alongside gravitation, I might perhaps accidentally disrupt cause-and-effect relations and someone might get hurt. This is where my fears were coming from: insects captured "there" disappear from test tubes, boxes, and other receptacles.
They disappear mostly without a trace. Once a test tube in my pocket was crushed to tiny bits, another time there was an oval hole in the glass, with brown, as though "chitin" edges-you can see it in the picture.
Many times I felt a kind of burning or an electric shock inside my pocket-perhaps at the moment of my prisoner's "disappearance".
Only once did I find a captured insect in the test tube, but it wasn't the adult ichneumon with white rings on its feelers, but its... chrysalis, i. e. its earlier stage. It was alive-it moved its belly when touched. Much to my dismay, it died a week later.
It is best to fly on clear summer days. Flying is much more difficult when it rains, and almost impossible in winter-not because of the cold. I could have adapted my device accordingly, but since I am an entomologist, I simply do not need winter flights.
How and why did I come to this discovery? In the summer of 1988, as I was examining under a microscope the chitin shells of insects, their pinnate (feathery) feelers, and the thinnest structure of butterflies' wings, I got interested in an amazingly rhythmical microstructure of one large insect detail.
It was an extremely well-ordered composition, as though pressed on a complex machine according to special blueprints and calculations. As I saw it, the intricate sponginess was clearly not necessary either for the durability of the detail, or for its decoration. I had never observed anything like this unusual micro-ornament either in nature, in technology, or in art.
Because its structure is three-dimensional, so far I have been unable to capture it in a drawing, or a photograph. Why does an insect need it? Besides, other than in flight, this structure at the bottom of the wing case is always hidden from the eye-no one would ever see it properly. Was it perhaps the wave beacon with "my" multiple cavernous structures effect? That truly lucky summer there were very many insects of this species, and I would capture them at night: neither before, nor after was I able to observe these insects.
I put the small, concave chitin plate on the microscope shelf in order again to examine under strong magnification its strangely star-shaped cells. I again admired this masterpiece of nature, and almost purposelessly placed it on top of another, identical plate that had the same unusual cells on one of its sides.
But no!-the detail broke loose from my tweezers; for a few seconds it hung suspended above the other plate on the microscope shelf, turned a few degrees clockwise, slid to the right, turned counterclockwise, swung, and only then abruptly fell on the desk.
You can imagine what I felt at that moment... When I came to my senses, I tied a few panels with a wire-it wasn't an easy thing to do, and I only succeeded when I positioned them vertically. What I got was a multi-layered chitin block. I put it on the desk.
Even a relatively large object-such as a paper tack-could not fall on it-something pushed it up and aside. When I attached the tack on top of the "block", I witnessed such incredible, impossible things (for example, the tack for a few moments was lost from sight) that I realized it was no beacon, but something else entirely.
And again I got so excited that all the objects around me became foggy and shaky. It was with a huge effort that I managed to pull myself together in a couple of hours and continue working.
So, this is how it started. Of course, much still remains to be understood, verified, and tested. I will certainly tell my readers about the finer details of my machine, about its propulsion principles, about distances, heights, speeds, equipment, and all the rest-but in my next book.
...I conducted my first, very unsuccessful and highly dangerous flight on the night of March 17, 1990. I didn't have the patience to wait till the warm season and neglected to go to a deserted area. I already knew that night was the most dangerous time for this kind of work.
I had bad luck from the very beginning: the panel blocks of the right part of the bearing platform periodically got stuck. I should have fixed the problem immediately, but neglected to do so. I took off right in the middle of the Agricultural Academy campus, erroneously assuming that at 1 AM everyone was asleep, and nobody would see me.
The lift-off went well, but in a few seconds, when the lit windows of buildings sank beneath me, I felt dizzy. I should have landed right then but remained airborne, which was wrong because a powerful force snatched away my control over the movement and weight, and it pulled me in the direction of the city.
Drawn by this unexpected, uncontrollable power, I crossed the second circle of nine-story buildings in the city's residential area (they are laid out in two huge circles with five-story buildings, including ours, inside them), then I crossed a snow-covered, narrow field, and the Academy City highway... The dark immensity of Novosibirsk was closing in upon me, and it was closing in fast. I was already near a bunch of tall factory chimneys many of which fumed thick smoke-night shift was on. I had to do something quickly.
I got on top of the situation only with a great effort. Finally I managed to conduct an emergency adjustment of the panel blocks. My horizontal movement slowed down, but then I again felt sick.
Only at fourth try did I succeed in stopping the horizontal movement, at which point my platform was hanging over Zatulinka, the city's industrial district. The sinister chimneys silently continued to fume right underneath me.
I rested for a few minutes-if one could call hanging over a lighted factory fence rest-and after I made sure the "evil power" has passed, I glided back-yet not in the direction of our Agricultural Academy campus but to the right from it, toward the airport. I did this to foul the trail, in case someone had seen me.
Only about halfway to the airport, over some dark, night fields where there was clearly no one around, I abruptly turned home... Next day I naturally couldn't get out of bed.
News on TV and in newspapers was more than alarming. Headlines, such as "UFO over Zatulinka" and "Aliens again?" meant that my flight had been detected. But how! Some perceived the "phenomenon" as glowing spheres or disks-many actually saw not one sphere but two! Others claimed they had seen a "real saucer" with windows and rays.
I am not discounting the possibility that some Zatulino residents saw not my near-emergency evolutions, but something else entirely that had nothing to do with those. Besides, March of 1990 was particularly rich in UFO sightings in Siberia, near Nalchik, and especially in Belgium where, according to Pravda, on March 31 the engineer Marcel Alferlane took a two-minute film of the flight of a huge triangular craft which, according to Belgian scientists, were none other than "material objects with a capacity no civilization can currently create."
Is it really so? As for me, I would suggest that the gravitational filter platforms (or as I call them, panel blocks) of these machines were in fact small, triangular, and made here on Earth-but with more sophistication than my half-wooden contraption.
I too wanted to make the platform triangular-it is much safer and more efficient that way-but I chose a rectangular design because it is easier to fold, and when folded, it resembles a suitcase, a painter's case, or a briefcase that can be thus disguised so as not to arouse suspicion. I, naturally, disguised it as a painter's case.
I had nothing to do with the sightings in Nalchik or Belgium. Besides, as it may appear, I am very impractical in the use of my discovery-I only fly to my entomological preserves. These are far more important to me than any technological finds.
At the moment, I have eleven such preserves: eight in Omsk region, one in Voronezh region, and one near Novosibirsk. There used to be six of them in Novosibirsk region, all of them created, or rather salvaged by me and my family, but they don't like them here. Neither the Agricultural Academy (still more obsessed with "chemistry" than with anything else), nor the Environmental Protection Committee were willing to help me salvage these little preserves from evil, ignorant people.
Thus I am continuing my journey westward under the magnificent, fluffy clouds at noon. The blue shadows of the clouds, the intricately shaped coppices, and the multicolored rectangles of fields float backwards below me.
The speed of my flight is quite high, but there is no wind in my ears-the platform's force field has "carved out" from space an upward-diverging, invisible column that cuts the platform off the earth's gravitational pull. But it left me and the air inside the column intact. I think that all this, as it were, parts space in flight, and then closes it behind me.
This must be the reason for the invisibility, or the distorted visibility, of the device and its "rider"-as was the case with my flight over Novosibirsk's Zatulinka suburb.
But the protection from gravity is regulated, even though it is incomplete: if you move your head forward, you already feel the turbulence of the wind that clearly smells either of sweet clover, of buckwheat, or of the colored weeds of Siberian meadows.
I leave Isilkul with its huge grain elevator on my right and gradually begin to descend over the highway, making sure that I am invisible to drivers, passengers, and people working in the field.
My platform and I cast no shadow (although the shadow occasionally appears): I see three kids on the edge of a forest, go down, drop my speed, and fly right near them. They show no reaction, which means that everything is fine-neither I, nor my shadow are visible. Or heard: the propulsion principle of my device is such that the platform makes no sound whatsoever, because there is practically no air friction.
My journey was long-at least forty minutes from Novosibirsk. My hands are tired as I can't take them off the controls, so are my legs and body-I have to stand up straight, tied to the vertical pole with a belt. And even though I can travel faster, I am still afraid to do so-my hand-made machine is still too small and fragile.