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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