A survey published by the fairly staid Moscow daily Noviye Izvestia found that barely half its readers believe the official report that the blast was caused by a meteor.
According to the newspaper, the other half prefer to believe in an assortment of bizarre explanations, including that the blast was a secret US weapon test, an off-course ballistic missile, a message from God, a crashing alien spaceship, or even an extraterrestrial trojan horse carrying a deadly space virus to wipe out the Earth, CS Monitor reported.
“Our people remember the Soviet past, when news of disasters was concealed or lied about,” Alexei Grazhdankin, deputy director of the Levada Center, an independent Moscow polling agency said.
“We have no scientific polls on what people think about the Chelyabinsk event last week, but it’s safe to assume the majority of Russians accept that it was a meteorite. However, our past surveys show that up to 25 per cent of Russians do believe in UFOs. A lot of our people just prefer not to accept the safe explanations they were taught at school. Even when all necessary information is available, they don’t want to believe it,” he said.
Scientists insist that they already know most key facts about 10,000-ton iron and stone meteorite â€” now named Chebarkul, after a ci