these are the timesdirty beloved
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Why?

5.1.07

Some Russian posts, as it happens so often, one leading to another:

L.N. Tolstoi
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Tolstoi's home in Iasnaia Poliana
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Tolstoi's wife in the garden
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Tolstoi's study
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L.N. Tolstoi in his study, May 1908
Prokudin-Gorskii loc
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A month or so later, in June of 1908, a scant few thousand versts to the east:
I don’t remember the year exactly, but more than twenty years ago, when the fallow land was being plowed up, at breakfast time I was sitting on the porch of the house at the Vanavara trading station and facing towards the north.

I had just raised my axe to hoop a cask when suddenly I noticed how in the north above Vasily Il’ich Onkoul’s Tunguska Road, the sky split in two, and in it, high and wide above the forest, a fire appeared. The heavens moved apart a great distance; the whole northern part of the sky was covered with fire.

At that moment I got so hot I couldn’t endure it, as if my shirt had burst into flame while still on me, and from out of the north, from where the fire was, there came an intense heat. I wanted to rip off my shirt and throw it away, but at that moment the sky slammed shut, and a mighty crash resounded and I was thrown about three sazhen’s to the ground. For a moment I lost consciousness, but my wife, running out, brought me back into the hut.

Semyon Borisovich Semyonov, Vanavara Trading Post
in correspondence with L. A. Kulik, 1927
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Sir, — Struck with the unusual brightness of the heavens, the band of golfers staying here strolled toward the links at 11 o’clock last evening in order that they might obtain an uninterrupted view of the phenomenon. Looking northwards across the sea they found that the sky had the appearance of a dying sunset of exquisite beauty. This not only lasted but actually grew both in extent and intensity till 2:30 this morning, when driving clouds from the east obliterated the gorgeous colouring. I myself was aroused from sleep at 1:15, and so strong was the light at this hour, that I could read a book by it in my chamber quite comfortably. At 1:45 the whole sky, N. and N.E., was a delicate salmon pink, and the birds began their matutinal song. No doubt others will have noticed this phenomenon, but as Brancaster holds an almost unique position in facing north to the sea, we who are staying here had the best possible view of it.

Holcombe Ingleby, Dormy House Club, Brancaster, England
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In the early morning of the 30th of June 1908 an interminable legion of Agdy came flying down upon the lands of the Shanyagir clan and brought disaster to many families of the Shanyagir: Some tents flew into the air, higher than the forest, and the people sleeping inside suffered from bruises. From [the herd of] Andrey Onkoul, a Tungus, 250 reindeer vanished without any trace; other Tungus' dogs and some reindeer were killed; the storage platforms with bread and equipment were destroyed; the forest, a real, ancient taiga, was flattened within a few seconds to an expanse of approximately 10,000 km(?). In the catchment areas of the rivers Chambe, Zhilushmo and Khushmo; there was a tremendous thunderous noise...

Tungus (Evenki) tribesmen from the mouth of the Chunya on the Stony Tunguska River
interviewed by Innokentiy Mikhaylovich Suslov, 1926
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On June 30th, 1908, something exploded 8 km above the Stony Tunguska river. About 2150 square kilometres of Siberian taiga were devastated and 80 millions trees were overthrown. Up to now, it is not clear whether the great explosion was due to a comet or an asteroid or something else. We are searching for an answer.

Tunguska Home Page
Dipartimento di Fisica dell'Università di Bologna

photos from ibid., including the cosmonaut Grechko, who believed the event was of extraterrestrial origin.
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Beautiful Potkamenaja Tunguska river by which has this all mistery.
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Submillimeter-sized metallic spheres extracted from soil in the Tunguska region of central Siberia contain noble metals in cosmic proportions. The trace element composition and geographical distribution of these spheres suggest that they are from the 30 June 1908 Tunguska explosion and not meteoritic ablation products falling continuously on the earth. Debris from this explosion was also discovered in a South Pole ice core; this discovery indicates that the Tunguska object exploded in the atmosphere with subsequent stratospheric injection and transport of the debris. The celestial body that exploded over Tunguska weighed more than 7 million tons, was more than 0.16 kilometer in diameter, and may well have been a stony meteorite. This discovery offers a new precision time marker in polar ice strata for the year 1909. The steady-state influx of cosmic matter at the South Pole is estimated to be...

Ramachandran Ganapathy Science 10 June 1983
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commonsensical article on Tunguska by Roy Gallant of the Southworth Planetarium, University of Southern Maine
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serious amateur research on Tunguska by Andrei Ol'khovatov
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Korado Korlevic leads The First International Expedition to the epicenter of the explosion
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James Oberg hopes we can get on with defending the earth
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The Tunguska Meteorite Problem Today by Academician N.V. Vasilyev
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review of X-Files episode exploring Tunguska event
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Tunguska links, many of
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‘where can the Evenki find a wife?'

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