In an extraordinary television interview, the Governor of the Russian Republic of Kalmykia, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov who is also President of the World Chess Federation, claimed that in 1997 he was taken from his penthouse apartment on board an extraterrestrial vehicle. Ilyumzhinov claims that the extraterrestrials he met were humanoid and gave him a tour of their ship, and even took him to another world.
In the interview, Ilyumzhinov described how he was woken from his sleep and exited his apartment through a balcony onto the waiting ship. He said:
In the evening I read a book, watched TV, and went to rest. And then, probably, fell asleep, and felt that the balcony opened and someone called. He came up, I looked – a kind of translucent half-pipe. I went into this tube and saw people in yellow spacesuits.
Ilyumzhinov went on to describe how the extraterrestrials took him on a tour of their vehicle. Then they claimed that they needed samples from another planet and took him with them before returning him safely to his apartment. Significantly, three witnesses can confirm Ilyumzhinov’s disappearance from his apartment. In the interview, Ilyumzhinov explained what happened:
I probably would not have believed in it, if there were not three witnesses - my driver, a minister, and my assistant, who arrived in the morning, and found that I was not there. Things are in place, the balcony is open (it was the top floor). They looked around, began to call friends.... Then they sat in the kitchen, discussing where to call, where to contact - because the phone, the things are in place, the apartment was closed, but they had their own key. And then they see me coming out of the bedroom, guiding myself to the kitchen.… They say: "Where were you?" Well, I replied as if normal: "Well, I flew. I was on a saucer.” They were upset, and said: "We are asking you seriously." And then I sat down, and began to reason logically. So for this time, for about an hour they were here, and I was not in the apartment. One was in the hall, I could not have passed him... Then for a few months they were in shock about this.
The prominent public airing of Ilyumzhinov’s experience led to Andrei Lebedev, a member of the Russian Parliament from the nationalist Liberal Democratic Party, asking President Medvedev to launch an official inquiry into the alleged alien contact. In his letter, Lebedev wrote:
I ask you to say if the head of Kalmykia has made an official report to the Russian presidency about his contacts with representatives of an alien civilisation. Is there an established procedure of informing about such contacts by high-ranking people who have access to secret information like Ilyumzhinov? And did he in the course of his seemingly innocent conversation disclose secret information?
Both Ilyumzhinov’s testimony and the official request by Lebedev for an official inquiry ensures continued public interest and scrutiny of the 1997 incident.
Ilyumzhinov’s testimony comes at a time of unprecedented public interest in UFOs and extraterrestrial life. British physicist Stephen Hawking on April 25 stated that it’s “perfectly rationall” to discuss intelligent extraterrestrial life and the political motivations of any civilization visiting Earth. In November 2009 and January 2010, both the Vatican and the Royal Society of London sponsored astrobiology conferences where the scientific and social implications of intelligent extraterrestrial life were discussed.
The way Ilyumzhinov was able to publicly share his experience on a Government controlled television station without any censorship suggests the tacit approval of senior Russian officials. His status as both a sitting Governor and President of the prestigious World Chess Federation ensured his testimony would get much public attention both in Russia and beyond. At the very least, Russia is displaying an extraordinary degree of public openness on UFOs and alien life by allowing elected officials to share their experiences.