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UFOs Are Not Getting Enough Azeri Respect

From: Stig Agermose <stig.agermose@privat.dk>
Date: Tue, 01 Oct 2002 02:13:04 +0200
Fwd Date: Tue, 01 Oct 2002 01:18:15 -0400
Subject: UFOs Are Not Getting Enough Azeri Respect

Source: The Moscow Times,




Tuesday, October 01, 2002

UFOs Are Not Getting Enough Azeri Respect

By Chloe Arnold


BAKU, Azerbaijan -- There's an inordinate number of UFOs roaming
the skies above Azerbaijan, and they're trying to tell us
something, according to Elchin Khalilov, director of the
Permanent Committee for Anomalous Phenomena at the National
Academy of Sciences.

I must be looking in the wrong places, because every time I look
at the sky above Baku, all I see is a thick blanket of smog and
the occasional airplane.

"Come to my office, and I'll show you something I think will
greatly surprise you," Khalilov said. And so last Friday I found
myself at a building with black windows and marble staircases
that calls itself the International Complex for Science and

The receptionist and two security guards were too busy watching
Steven Spielberg's "A.I. Artificial Intelligence" to notice me.

"Is Mr. Khalilov here?" I asked. They waved me into a corner and
went back to their film. Suddenly, a giant of a man with a bushy
black beard appeared beside me.

"Welcome," he said and showed me into his office. The walls were
lined with books on crop circles and the Bermuda Triangle, and
his desk overflowed with treatises on flying saucers from Utah
to Ukraine.

"I used to be an ordinary scientist specializing in
earthquakes," he said. "But on the evening of April 17, 1999,
something happened that changed my life." His father telephoned
him and said that something strange was hovering in the sky
above Baku. When he got there, he saw a ball of light with what
looked like a tail at the back.

"I caught it on tape," he said, and he showed me a crackly film
of Baku by night with a pale light floating above it that might
have been the moon. Ever since then, Khalilov has dedicated his
time to strange phenomena in the sky.

"I can't rule out the possibility that these are creatures from
another world," he said. And his findings aren't limited to
Azerbaijan -- he says he saw similar objects on vacations in
Spain and Dubai.

To supplement his scant footage, Khalilov launched a competition
to encourage the nation to send in photographs and videos of
UFOs. The response was overwhelming -- he received over 40 hours
of film and hundreds of photographs.

The best one showed a perfect flying saucer cruising just a few
feet above a dacha. The saucer had a domed roof and red and
yellow lights around its rim. "We were going to give it first
prize, but the photographer admitted he'd rigged up a teapot lid
with a piece of thread and taken a picture of its shadow,"
Khalilov said sadly. "UFOs aren't taken seriously in this
country, and it makes me very disheartened."


Chloe Arnold is a freelance journalist based in Baku, Azerbaijan.

=A9 Copyright 2002, The Moscow Times. All Rights Reserved.

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