Conspiracy theorists all over the world perked up Friday when Russian Prime Minister Dimitry Medvedev joked that Russian leaders were in possession of secret files on aliens.
The former Russian president was finishing an interview with a Ren TV journalist when, apparently unaware his microphone was still turned on, he said every incoming Russian leader is given two folders of information on extraterrestrials who came to earth and never left. Medvedev also advised the reporter to watch the film “Men in Black” as if it were a documentary, but said he couldn’t reveal “how many of them are among us, because it may cause panic,” according to the Associated Press.
Medvedev was president of Russia from 2008 to 2012, and at 43 years old he was the youngest man to ever ascend to that office. His interview Friday was with five television stations and saw him defend his legacy despite new Russian policies of aimed at increasing censorship and making it more difficult for citizens to protest. AP reported that Medvedev said he was “basically happy with how my life has gone” over the past year.
Medvedev is frequently portrayed as the opposite of current Russian President Vladimir Putin, generally seen as cold and secretive. The jokes didn’t stop at aliens Friday, as Medvedev also took aim at Father Christmas (better known as Santa Claus in the West), as noted by Sky News.
"I believe in Father Frost. But not too deeply. But anyway, you know, I'm not one of those people who are able to tell the kids that Father Frost does not exist,” Medvedev said before jabbing at Putin. “Colleagues, somebody should be extremely punctual, while somebody else is exhausting all the limits for being late.”
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But it was the prime minister’s comment about secret files on aliens that touched a nerve. One of the most discussed UFO sightings of the past few decades is associated with a supposed close encounter in what is now the former Soviet Union.
The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry quoted several books that center on the mysterious experience, which happened in Minsk in 1984. They all agreed that a green beam appeared from an aircraft. The beam was said to have swung rapidly from side to side while illuminating the cabin of an aircraft nearby. Two pilots who reported seeing the events first-hand were later diagnosed with cancer from electromagnetic radiation and severe brain damage, respectively.
Perhaps Medvedev wasn’t joking after all.