Georgi Grechko is one Russia’s most famous cosmonauts. Born in 1931 in Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg), he graduated with a doctorate in mathematics at the Leningrad Institute of Mechanics. He later became an assistant of Sergei Korolyov (also spelled Korolev), the legendary chief space designer who orchestrated all the early triumphs of the Soviet space program, including the first Sputnik satellite in 1957 and the first man in space in 1961. During the sixties Grechko trained to go the moon before that secret Soviet project was cancelled after the American Apollo landings. Nevertheless, he flew in several missions, including the very first Salyut-6 in December 1977, where he made the first spacewalk in an Orlan space suit. He received twice the medal of Hero of the Soviet Union and has a minor planet 3148 named after him.
Russian-American ufologist Paul Stonehill, author of three books (two with British researcher Philip Mantle) about UFOs in Russia, speculates that Grechko’s interest in UFOs might have come from Korolyov himself. Stonehill wrote in his article “Sergei Korolyov And Russian UFO Secrets”:
He [Grechko] did mention (albeit briefly) in his memoirs a mysterious “laboratory for the study of flying saucers.” Korolyov’s interest was primarily in the engine design of alien crafts. Soviet cosmonaut Georgy Grechko confirmed it. In the late 1950′s Grechko worked with Korolyov. They were developing ballistic trajectory for the MAR-I spaceship. Grechko was an ardent proponent of the E.T. explanation of the Tunguska Phenomenon. At the Korolyov designer bureau he found six more scientists who believed likewise. They found a report put together by A. Zolotov (who was murdered in 1995). The report stated that there was a nuclear explosion of alien spaceship in 1908 over the Siberian taiga. An expedition to the site was long overdue, in the opinion of seven scientists. Korolyov heard them out, and to their surprise, fully agreed. But he would not fund it, although his bureau had plenty of funds. Valentin Krapiva, a UFO researcher who has collected information about Korolyov, thinks that the latter wanted to conceal the fact of such an expedition. But he did find a way to help them pay for it. Grechko’s memoirs were published in Stroitelnaya Gazeta newspaper (November 25, 1989).
Previous Grechko statements on UFOs
In his well documented book about the history of ufology in Russia, published originally in French, OVNIS en Russie – Les deux faces de l’ufologie russe (UFOs in Russia – The two faces of Russian ufology), Saint Petersburg researcher Boris Chourinov (also spelled Shurinov) mentions some previous equivocal statements by Grechko about UFOs. Shurinov cites a March 1978 interview with Vetchernaia Moskva (Moscow Evening) in which cosmonaut Yuri Romanenko described a UFO sighting he and Grechko had onboard the first Salyut 6 EO-1 space station in December 1977: “During the course of the last two [orbital] revolutions, we were followed by an unidentified flying object which was a little larger than no matter what known objects launched from Earth. We can say that it was metallic since it shone with the sun.”
A few days later, however, Grechko dismissed the whole incident to the Soviet media, declaring it was just a waste container ejected by the Salyut. Grechko, who had a reputation as a humorist, then came up with a second explanation. Shurinov paraphrased it as Grechko saying that, “as he stuck his fist against the glass of the porthole, small particles of ice broke away from the ship creating the illusion they were being pursued by a UFO.” Ice particles near a spacecraft linked to a UFO case?…shade of the famous NASA STS-48 mission UFO footage of 1991, which was also explained as ice particles flying away from the Discovery space shuttle.
Grechko talked again about UFOs in a 1980 article published by Sputnik magazine (the Soviet equivalent to Reader’s Digest), “UFOs Through the Eyes of Cosmonauts,” which had appeared originally in the Tekhnika-Molodyozhi (Tevhnology & Youth) magazine. Ten Russian cosmonauts and two American astronauts (both participants of the joint 1975 Apollo-Soyuz space link-up mission) were interviewed for this article and one of them of course was the outspoken Grechko. “Before blasting off for outer space, the cosmonaut always expects to encounter something unknown,” began Grechko, but the expectation was soon quashed by this statement: “Naturally, no unusual thing observed in outer space has anything in common with nonsense like little green men or their flying saucers. Such things are above all scientific phenomena.”
Yet at the end of his statement, Grechko seemed to hedge his bet when he declared: “The hypothesis of non-earthly civilizations is in the believe-it-or-not series. I for one assume that other civilizations exist and believe in the possibility of coming upon intelligent beings from other worlds. I am inclined to think that it will lead to a revolution in natural science.”
Grechko’s latest UFO position
The Russian tabloid My Secret Stars published two short pieces on Georgi Grechko in their website. They appear to be part of the same interview, although it’s not clear whether this interview was done by that paper or they picked it from another source in the Russian media. But regardless, here are the exact quotes from Grechko (bear in mind possible inaccuracies due to the fact I am using Google Translate):
“No, I did not see little green men, they did not look me in the window of the rocket, but I think that they exist! And I believe in higher intelligence, which presents us with the goals and guides from above to achieve them. It was on the orders of the higher mind that I became an astronaut!”
The article goes on the describe a long list of harrowing escapes from death or serious injury suffered by Grechko over his long life, including being shot by Germans during World War II, a motorcycle accident, the time he missed a plane that later crashed, etc. “There is always some unknown force that saved me,” said Grechko, adding that “I suddenly realized that I should become a cosmonaut and perhaps meet with aliens.” The article also mentions “a prophetic dream” that Grechko had in which he saw his wife dead…two hours before she actually perished in a car accident!
My Secret Stars went on: “Today is Grechko’s day at the ancient astronauts society ‘Paleokosmonautika.’ He actively seeks out and examines the evidence of ancient civilizations having contact with extraterrestrials and I am sure that very soon he will be meeting with representatives of extraterrestrial civilizations!”
“According to one version,” said Grechko, “the aliens will visit our planet back in 012, during the shorter winter days, from 21 to 23 December. I think however it happens, I’d like to meet them, and not only see them but also touch their flying saucer.”
“I’m friends with people who are studying UFOs in Russia,” continued Grechko, “so as soon as the aliens appear on earth, I must be told about it! Of course, I’ll come to a place where there will be a flying saucer. I am sure the aliens will invite me inside. I go up to them on board and so simply say as a human, ‘me, astronaut, you, astronauts,’ so let’s sit down and talk…”
Always a humorist, Grechko added that even if the aliens wanted to eat him, he was willing to take to risk. “I’m ready for it! For the sake of science, I’m going to make any sacrifices!” Finally, Grechko said that before his death (he is now 82 years old) he wants to see a humanoid: “After all, they exist! I’m sure! There is a higher intelligence that guides us from above.”
Coincidentally, I just published a feature story in the current issue of Open Minds magazine (Issue 15, Aug.-Sept. 012) titled, “Russian Cosmonauts – UFO Sightings & Statements.” The article doesn’t cover the Grechko story but deals primarily with the famous May 5, 1981 Salyut-6 UFO incident, now disclosed to the world by its main witness, cosmonaut Major General Vladimir Kovalyonok. We published both his statements and his original drawings of a pulsating unidentified object that at one point resembled a barbell. In fact, Grechko’s line that he didn’t see any aliens from the windows of his spacecraft may be a reference to a distorted account of the Kovalyonok case, published by Henry Gris in the National Enquirer and subsequently in many European magazines, in which the aliens purportedly flew out of their vehicle and approached the Salyut’s portholes. Needless to say, Gen. Kovalyonok confirmed that a true UFO sighting did take place, but not the Hollywood-like alien flyby.