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No. 58: Jul-Aug 1988

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Mystery At Novaya Zemlya

F.C. Parmenter-Holt opined above that the long plume-like clouds detected over Soviet territory were merely orographic clouds; that is, a consequence of the terrain below. Some facts presented by W.O Roberts, in the latest issue of The Explorer, hardly square with that interpretation. For example, the March 12, 1982 plume seen over Novaya Zemlya was 109 miles long and at an altitude of about 6 miles. Its position did not con form to the wind direction at that altitude. Other plumes over Novaya Zemlya have been aligned with the wind, but they too have been at great altitudes. Says Roberts:

"Taken together the data suggest irregular emissions from a single point source near the north end of the Island as the cause of the myster ious episodes."

Just what is being vented, if anything, remains unknown. No active volcanos are in this area, neither are there copious sources of natural gas. There have been no seismic or radioactive signs of nuclear tests.

(Roberts, Walter Orr; "Mystery at Novaya Zemlya," The Explorer, 4:6, April 1988.)

From Science Frontiers #58, JUL-AUG 1988. 1988-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987