The Tunguska Mystery

by Vladimir Rubtsov, Edward Ashpole

Series: Astronomers' Universe

The purpose of the book is a dual one: to detail the nature and results of Tunguska investigations in the former USSR and present-day CIS, and to destroy two long-standing myths still held in the West. The first concerns alleged “final solutions” that have ostensibly been found in Russia or elsewhere. The second concerns the mistaken belief that there has been little or no progress in understanding the nature of the Tunguska phenomenon. All this is treated by the author in a scholarly and responsible manner. Although the book does present certain unusual findings of Russian and Ukrainian scholars, it is important to stress that this is not a sensational book; it is, rather, a serious exposition of the results of rational investigations into a difficult scientific problem. We are demonstrating the true complexity of the problem that is now entering its second century of existence. Simple meteoritic models cannot explain all the characteristics of this complicated event, and therefore certain so-called “unconventional hypotheses” about the nature of the Tunguska explosion are to be considered as well.

  • Springer New York; August 2009
  • ISBN: 9780387765747
  • Read online, or download in DRM-free PDF (digitally watermarked) format
  • Title: The Tunguska Mystery
  • Series: Astronomers' Universe
  • Author: Vladimir Rubtsov; Edward Ashpole (ed.)
  • Imprint: Copernicus

In The Press

From the reviews:

“The book is a good read. It style is chatty, with entertaining anecdotes. It is nicely produced, with clear maps and diagrams … extensive references and a helpful index.” (Times Higher Education, January, 2010)

“Vladimir Rubtsov has clearly spent an enormous amount of time researching the event, delving into eyewitness accounts and scientific publications alike, and documenting the many excursions made to the epicentre of the blast … which were made in an attempt to find fragments of the exploding body. … throughout he presents an unbiased account of all lines of investigation that have occurred to the present day, allowing the reader to draw their own conclusions.” (Emily Baldwin, Astronomy Now, February, 2010)

“In this authoritative and engaging account, the Russian scientist and philosopher Vladimir Rubtsov – a longtime participant in the Tunguska debate – offers few definitive answers … . he provides a compelling account of how the scientific complexity of the Tunguska problem has combined with various external difficulties – including two world wars and decades of Soviet dysfunction – to create a riddle that still defies solution after more than a century of research.” (Physics World, February, 2010)

“Vladimir Rubtsov gives a sober account of this extraordinary event, clearly debunking myths while emphasising the unknowns. … Rubstov draws attention to strange lights seen in the sky for days before the impact, comparing them with similar observations in 1910 … . An instructive read about an enduring mystery.” (Stuart Clark, Physics World, February, 2010)

“This book is a history of scientific investigations of the 1908 Tunguska event in the former Soviet Union. … The book’s interesting content combined with its low price and high-quality paper makes it a worthwhile purchase. Summing Up: Recommended. Academic, professional, and public libraries, all levels.” (M. S. Field, Choice, Vol. 47 (7), March, 2010)

“The most thorough English-language examinations of the little-understood Tunguska event of June 30, 1908-the devastating aerial explosion over the Siberian forest … . analyzes the extensive Russian research … from the first Soviet expedition in 1921 to a series of centennial conferences in 2008 and looks at the anomalies atmospheric phenomena both before and after the event, the atypical features of the aerial object seen by some 500.” (C&RL News, December, 2010)

About The Author

Vladimir V. Rubtsov was born at 1948 in Kharkov, then the USSR (now independent Ukraine). He received his M.S. degree in computer science in 1972 and after that joined the laboratory of Dr. A. V. Zolotov in Kalinin (now Tver), where for three years studied the problem of the Tunguska explosion. Received his Ph.D. degree in the philosophy of science from the Institute of Philosophy of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (Moscow, Russia), having defended in 1980 the doctoral thesis "Philosophical and Methodological Aspects of the Problem of Extraterrestrial Civilizations" (the first of its kind in the former USSR). Dr. Rubtsov's professional fields are methodology of interdisciplinary research, sociology of science and technology, and general epistemology. He is currently Director of the Research Institute on Anomalous Phenomena (RIAP), as well as the Editor of its newsletter RIAP Bulletin.

Dr. Rubtsov has authored some 120 scientific and popular-science articles in the Soviet, post-Soviet, and foreign press, as well as two scientific monographs: The Problem of Extraterrestrial Civilizations (with A. D. Ursul, Kishinev: "Shtiintsa" ["Science", the publishing house of the Moldavian Academy of Sciences], 1984 & 1987) and UFOs and Modern Science (with Y. V. Platov, Moscow: "Nauka" ["Science", the publishing house of the Russian Academy of Sciences], 1991).

Dr. Rubtsov is a full member of the Russian Academy of Cosmonautics, an associate member of the Society for Scientific Exploration, USA, a member of the Expert Group on Anomalous Atmospheric Phenomena of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and a member of the SETI Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences