In early December, barely bothering to hide the sneer in his voice, Wikileaks frontman Julian Assange stated that there were references to UFOs amongst the mountains of diplomatic cables made public on 28 November.
The first such mention has now emerged and, as suspected, it’s hardly a smoking gun. In fact it’s more of a smoking-jacket aside made under a jokey ‘and finally’-style Quote of the Week header in a missive sent by a ‘Stewart’* from the US Embassy in Minsk on 21 December 2007:
SUBJECT: EMBASSY MINSK WEEKLY POL/ECON REPORT – December 21, 2007
1. The following are brief items of interest compiled by Embassy Minsk…
11. Quote of the Week
BKGB [Belarusian KGB] Chairman Yuriy Zhadobin on why his organization no longer investigates paranormal phenomena:
“Unlike during the USSR, the department is not engaged in studying paranormal phenomena. [Back then,] we had greater means and opportunities which we could spend on anything and everything.
Today the situation is different. Then, when society was excited by something, it entered our sphere of interest. But when it comes to healers, UFOs and such, we just can´t deal with them any more.”
Stewart (Read the full cable on Aftenposten)
On a positive note the comment does reiterate that UFOs and paraspychology were deemed subjects worthy of serious study – by the KGB no less – during the Soviet era, but not anymore, and apparently not by ‘Stewart’.
*This is likely to be former Ambassador Karen Stewart who was asked to leave the Embassy by the Russians in 2008, following rows over oil sanctions and Human Rights.