Military Review

The hunt for the Blackbird


Necessary foreword

Winged robot against the air defense system

Recently, one person contacted me, the author of the memoirs “Seven hundred thirty-seventh fighter”, through the site. I did not pay much attention to his first letter. He answered, of course, but only that. Not the same soldier, not served together. But then his letters seemed so interesting to me that, with the permission of the author, I decided to publish them on the site as is, providing only comments from myself. I would be glad if someone helps to shed more light on this riddle.

First letter

Hello, Vladimir, writes you Vasily Bondarenko from Kramatorsk. There is still the use of the Internet: recently found your article on the “page” of our city. It turns out that you served in Sary-Shagan, and I - “not far”, in Taldy-Kurgan. Only before, with 1972-1974. Colleagues! I want to ask you. You yourself served later, but many of you must have been with 1972 yet. serve. They did not tell about the unusual interceptions unmanned reconnaissance or targets in the spring 1972 g? Was there anything unusual at that time at the airport? Comrades did not tell? Some rumors about who fell in 1972g. DBR "Hawk" 1 you did not go?
Sincerely, Vasyl Bondarenko

I answered this letter shortly. There was nothing to say about his question. No, I have not heard anything like it, we only have unmanned La-17 flying as targets. Vasily continued correspondence conversation.

Second letter

Sorry if I said the wrong thing about the page. I do not know the “internet” very well. There were news Kramatorsk, therefore, so wrote. You ask about my service. I served in TEC, group СХ2, finished ХАИХNUMX, “Terrible lieutenant”, biennial. I am interested in an unusual incident that we had at the beginning of my service. The unmanned targets of the La-3 I saw, this is not that. Let me tell you what I remember, and maybe you yourself will remember. Dates and even a month now I do not remember. It happened in the spring or early summer. Year 17 was probably. Maybe 1972g, although rather 73. The day was definitely a day off, I remember that in the morning I was not going to the airfield. Anxiety was in the morning. A flying neighbor came running to me, who was phoned from the part. I jumped, got dressed, ran to the bus stop. Almost immediately a towed truck arrived, according to which it was passed to the 72 gearbox without checking. We jump in the tractor and rush to the airfield. There everything is running and rattling. 4 squadron on duty, they were already in the air. Something there did not work for them. They raised the 2 link of the most experienced of the 2 АЕ1, but even these aces returned evil with nothing. I then asked one of them, why was it to take off if it flew long ago? He replied that it is not known who it was. Suddenly he thinks of flying back and we are already waiting. Then the familiar guys from GRP5 told that some thing seemed to jump out of nowhere at low altitude. Almost over our 6 radar, a distant view showed up, nobody saw in advance. In hindsight, it was already determined that at a low altitude he passed the Dzungarian gates. Some radar went around in the dead zone, others slipped so that they did not understand anything. We are commanded by the "air", the duty link to take off, and late. "UFO" went somewhere in the stratosphere, picking up speed on the way.

The tablet workers said he did more than 2000 km / h. Our people in the afterburner were chasing him, not catching up. He left in the northwestern direction, we were no longer driving him. What happened next, no one knew. The rumors were different: who said that the "UFO" then disappeared altogether, and someone said that they had intercepted and shot down the new MiG-25 almost over Baikonur. They talked about what it was, too. It came from China, it seems, but then they didn’t even have anything similar in capabilities.

After a week or so, they read to us on the construction, as if we were driving our drone that had lost control. Allegedly, it never collapsed, he fell. Announced that we need people to rake debris. I and several other techists were sent to this team, thrown by helicopter far into the steppe. In fact, a large crater, like an explosion, and a lot of debris crumpled. It looked like a decent plane crashed, no less than the MiG-21. I saw a large piece of a delta wing, silver with a red star. Another few pieces read Russian inscriptions in red - the usual technical ones, which are on any plane. It was painted with silver and red, varnished on top. On all painted fragments, the lacquer turned yellow and cracked, the inscriptions "floated" as if it had been heated up. Although soot was not. There were no traces of fire on the ground either. Our senior explained that the device had fallen due to the development of fuel, there was nothing to burn. The aircraft heats up in flight, due to friction with the air, its cruising speed is several "sounds". Glazing or pilot seat is not seen. It looks like a drone. For some reason, the sharp nose part was well preserved, it was already loaded onto a helicopter with me. I managed to notice small glazed windows, but the cockpit with the pilot wouldn't fit there. There were cameras, they told me so. I heard from someone that the device is called the “Hawk” DBR-1, such people are brought to us in Central Asia for training launches, but in general they should be based somewhere in western districts.

Then they discussed with the peasants how many questions still remained. They said that such "hawks" are allowed only in a strict "corridor", they warn everyone in advance. There was nothing here. And no one seemed to start it, and it came from China! Suppose he was sent to China to spy, so they did not warn him of secrecy. And then? I was told that the “Hawk” is a purely remote radio control, it has no brains. Well, the autopilot is like an ordinary plane. And then he behaved as if he was guided by his will. A friend of the pilot said that you will not fly the Dzungar corridor on autopilot, you need to control it and then you will smack. In general, this "Hawk" behaved as if he understood that they want to knock him down, and tried to survive. Why he in the open space in the set moved? How he felt that the mountains no longer hide him. If he did not obey ours, then who ruled them? I even imagined any devilry about a reasonable machine that learned to work on its own. Well, this is nonsense, of course, fiction read. I heard an interesting version, one locator we put it forward. It was as if the broken "Hawk" was brought only for cover, and we were driving something completely different. So secret that such a cover is needed. What could it be?

Sincerely, Vasyl Bondarenko

Third letter

Hello, Vladimir. Let me print letters if you want. Maybe others will read and tell more. You asked about the traces of fire. I did not see any traces of fragments or shells on the wreckage of the “Hawk”. It seemed that he himself fell from a height and collapsed. Although it is strange that the nose was not crumpled. Why I ask: here last year, the continuation of this stories drew, yes it is that I did not believe it. What is there "lost control"! Only this is not a telephone conversation. Let's meet in some eatery, I want to discuss this version with someone. I now live on Azure, if that. Write where and when you feel more comfortable. Sincerely, Vasyl Bondarenko

The story is becoming more interesting. To my shame, I knew little or nothing about the drones. No, of course, I heard a lot about the “Predators”, our flying targets even touched with their hands, I also know that at the proving ground in Priozersk old, decommissioned aircraft were converted into drones and used in the interests of air defense. There was even a case when something similar flew by almost next to me. Then I, having already served in the army, got a job as a “representative of industry” in the same Priozersk, managing not to live in an officer’s apartment in a completely honest way. Site number 8, a huge, sophisticated experimental anti-missile defense radar, a tuner of electronic equipment. Returned after work on the bus in Priozersk. On the left is the steppe and the setting sun, on the right is Priozersk a couple of kilometers away. I look out the window on the left and suddenly notice the MiG-15 on a shaving plane, and through the flashlight I clearly see the translucent sun through the empty cabin! It was all very fast, I didn’t have time to see it clearly, but the empty cabin was remembered. Then everyone pestered everyone with questions, no one said anything intelligible. A drone in the shaving, near the city? There was absolutely nothing for him to do there! Or drunk, or something broke ...

But this is a serial modified MiG-15, and I did not even suspect that special-sized reconnaissance drones were released in the Soviet Union, and even "disposable". Climbed to the Internet after receiving the second letter. Yes, it turns out - there was such a thing ... An interesting detail: the surviving nasal part may indicate that it nominally separated from the aircraft and descended by parachute. This raises a new question - why was the detachable head part near the fallen "Hawk", and did not land somewhere earlier? Maybe the wreckage together with the head part was really brought to the steppe specifically to cover something else. The only question is - what?

The story itself about intercepting such a "furious" miracle seemed to me extremely interesting. Yes, of course, in the stories she could have acquired imagined details and distortions, like the incident with the four spy helicopters from my memories, but the fact was, especially since Vasily himself saw fragments. Write if you know something about this amazing event or something like that. For my part, I will add later the results of questioning my former fellow soldiers. One of the units armed by the "Hawks" was once based in Ukraine, in Vladimir-Volynsky. Are there any of the veterans of that part?

Of course, I am curious what is behind this “incredible continuation” of this story. Well, let's say that our spies were something in China. But it was possible to warn its air defense. And why did this “Hawk” behave so strangely? Naturally, I wanted to know more, so we agreed to meet with Vasily. I will tell about the future after the conversation, if it takes place.

As promised, I asked around my fellow soldiers if anyone had heard something like that. After all, if this is true, then you can get more details. Alas, no one has yet been able to say anything for sure, although they have heard something, but nothing more. I give their answers below.

Vladimir Yakimenko:
I do not advise immediately publish. Talk first with Valery Pozniak - he is on the range from the very beginning, he knows a lot. By the way, ask him for his memories, it may be useful. And familiarize him with your material. I will inform him and with his permission I will give you his "soap".

Now for your questions.
1. The TEC had the following tasks in alarm: - to push into the parking lot from you, who are on regl.rabotami and repair; select an amplification group for the preparation of missiles on the missile defense prepare for the release of PCRS; NPSP (ground search team) is also from TEC. As far as I remember, when I was in the field of TECH never turned around. Obatom would ask Opanasenko.
2. In addition to the La-15mm, at the airfield, Tu-16 launched cruise missiles CRM and DAC. Similar things were launched from the sites. When Danilov crashed our team was detained on the road because from one site they launched rockets, and on the other they shot down. And it is almost at the level of telegraph poles!
- 3. A UFO in T. Kurgan saw the whole iap: after nightly flights, the people crowded together to go home and there are many witnesses. Raised even DZ. It was somewhere in 84-85gg.

Vladimir Tkachev:
Good afternoon Volodya, this legend was probably born from Taldy-Kurgan, there was one incident, our (Soviet) pilots overtook the Su-17 from the far east, and in the Dzungarian gates, the border has a protrusion to save fuel, in Taldyk the flights just ended, the old OBU came out to smoke, stayed young at the screen, and suddenly he sees the target coming from abroad, he quickly to the old, raised a link, but while bustling, they sat down in Nikolayevka, then the general explained to the young OBU (well, so as not to get pi lulei that I eat imagined, and he came out of the KP as Giordano Bruno said, and yet the label was: -)

The hunt for the Blackbird

Vasily Bondarenko invited me to meet "in some kind of eatery" and promised to tell some unusual version of the riddle almost 40-years ago. I agreed, since, as it turned out, we live in the same neighborhood, we don’t even need to go anywhere. We agreed, clarified the place and time. I gave my mobile number, in response, Vasya wrote that he had drowned his mobile phone while fishing, and there was no point in buying a new one. Foolish situation.

I ask, how do we know each other? I had to, like in cheap spy movies, describe myself. Well, with our age and without that, everything is clear, he added that I would be in a brown leather jacket.

At the appointed time came to the cafe. I do not like noisy places, but, fortunately, there was a weekday, almost no one people. He took a beer with nuts, sat down, just in case, at the farthest table, so as not to interfere. Almost followed by Vasily. Identified each other immediately. We met, so to speak, in real life, not by correspondence. Contact improved quickly. Still, the military past somehow affects, has to trust. And here they studied at one institute. They recalled the general teachers, told him a little about the meeting of graduates “classmates” last year, about how much the institute had changed, how much they had built, how many students of Arabic and Negroid appearance had appeared. Previously, foreigners and close did not let ...

Then they switched to the military past. Here, however, no common acquaintances were found. Although besides their regiment there was our point of guidance. I envied the fact that he happened to serve in Taldy-Kurgan. Been there in childhood. The city is an oasis, in comparison with other nearby cities, the climate there is noticeably milder. This is not Priozersk, where there is almost no vegetation, the summer is Kazakh, the Siberian winter and the constant wind. I will omit the mutual inquiries about the aircraft, about the everyday details of the service, but in the end both felt quite friendly. Moreover, it is unlikely that beer here greatly helped, but rather - a common past.

The conversation turned to something for which, in fact, met. And here Vasya managed to shock me much more than I could have imagined. And the matter is not at all that the “enraged” drone tested our defense “for lice”. Vasily began the story somehow reluctantly, choosing words.

It seems that he still hesitated whether to tell me everything or limit himself to a brief summary.

However, everything is in order. Vasily after service got a job at NKMZ. There, at work, I was familiar with one employee, now quite elderly. I will try to state the most essential of his story, as I remember from the words of Vasily, on his behalf.

"Winged robot": an incredible version

- I knew her from work for ten years already, greeted me. They congratulated us on 23, we congratulated them on 8, on the New Year's Eve a common table was gathered, but nothing more. I accidentally found out that I sometimes electrician shabayuyu, asked the house to help with the wiring. So I met her husband. A strong-looking man, although he is already behind 70, has been retired for a long time. He speaks Russian perfectly, but with a little such accent - it is felt that he is a non-native Russian. I will not give you a surname, I promised, some sort of Baltic - Lithuanian, or Latvian - I don’t understand. At home, several aircraft models he has, well-assembled and painted. Not just glued together from ready-made kits, but with modifications, it can be seen. Reactive, mostly - MiG-21, "Tigr", "Jaguar" ... They talked about them, I, too, in my youth were fond of poster models. He became interested when he heard about the time and place of my service. Let me ask you how I am in your letters - what is unusual I have seen or heard. Well, I told that story with the Hawk. He nodded, then he said: “Well, it turns out that they invented it then!” Then he told an incredible story at all - that we were then in fact leading “Blackbird” - a “black bird”, a secret ultra-high-speed intelligence officer of the Americans. The pilot, as he said, decided to flee to us in the USSR, so he flew over the border, waited for the interceptors and obeyed them.

- Did you drink with him?

“We didn’t drink anything then,” Vasily laughed, “and it wasn’t 1 of April ... I myself first decided that he was“ that ”. “Where do you know all this from?”, I ask. “Yeah, I know,” he says. He paused and added: “I myself piloted that Blackbird ...”

I did not ask anything, but apparently my expression was rather eloquent.

- Well, yes, I also decided - or joking, or the roof went. But he told me such details that I myself already doubt it. On the second day I came to him with a tape recorder. He was not against it, since his wife left for a few days to visit her daughter. You want, he says, so at least print in the newspapers. Only, he says that he should not call me a real name or surname. We recorded these tapes for three or four nights ... I asked him why, they say, you tell almost the first comer? Sanych answers: I do not give any specific information, and there is almost no one to check. “If anything, anyone decides that I’m just drunk and made it all up. And who cares about it now, almost 40 years later? At least to share with someone in old age, and even the wife and children do not know who I am ... ”

- Did he have any evidence?

- The only weak evidence - he showed me a stripe. One, he said, left my memory, secretly from the Kagebesky curator took with him. In fact, the “Black Bird” is on the emblem. Maybe a real emblem, or maybe he did it somehow - hell knows. Now you can buy anything you want for practical jokes. Have you seen, for example - a driver's license in the name of Stalin? Like real ones, with all the serial numbers and seals. And the portrait of Joseph Vissarionich as it should be ...

Vasily then gave me these audio tapes with an extraordinary “interview” - two 90-minutes. Strictly ordered them to protect and return as soon as possible, since this is the only copy. I listened to the tape that evening. I had to quickly “revive” at least one of the decks of my old “Sharpe”, which has long been used as speakers to a computer, and I considered repairing the tape recording part superfluous.

Two voices were recorded - my new acquaintance Vasily and the second, hoarse, really with a slight accent. The quality of the recording left much to be desired, but even so I listened and listened non-stop. I tried to take notes in the order that was recorded on the tapes - it turned out to be confusion, because the questions were asked haphazardly. In addition, literally write off the tape record turned out to be very slow and tedious. I didn’t hear or started the start-up — stop-rewind — start-up — I rewound too far ... And so on.

I decided to listen and record large chunks of conversation from memory, then arranging fragments of the story more or less in chronological order. The joints of the fragments are not always smooth, unfortunately. Sometimes, only for clarity, he inserted Vasily's questions into the text, to which his interlocutor answered. Vasily himself always refers to him simply by his patronymic, “Sanych”. Written below is not a literal, but close to that statement of the story by Sanych.

I did not strive for a word-record, I tried only not to distort the meaning, sometimes correcting, for example, incorrect or unsuccessfully constructed phrases in order to make it easier to read. You understand that ordinary conversational speech in the record does not read very well. Other fragments were recorded clearly under the libations of the interlocutors, then the speech became especially illegible. But I didn’t study literary editing either, trying to preserve color. Especially such verbal turns of Sanych, which in Russian sound a little awkward. How to know - I will correct, and suddenly the meaning will be distorted?

He has many unfamiliar names, which I found it difficult to correctly record with the ear, so I asked Vadim Medinsky to help me with “geography”. I express my gratitude to him for editing the text. By the way, he gave me the idea to pay attention to how the conversation recorded on the tapes proceeded. If Sanych invented something on the go, there would be noticeable pauses in the conversation when answering questions. And if they were with Vasily at the same time, and played it all out according to the prepared scenario, it could also be noticeable. A learned dialogue would have sounded unnatural, as in a television series. He listened specially, and did not notice anything like that: conversation as conversation, ordinary. If Sanych invented it all, then the storyteller and the actor from him is good.

I would very much like to ask Sanych personally and in more detail, but so far there is no such possibility. From the very beginning, he told Vasily that he would no longer tell anyone to discuss this story, since he does not need fame. Vasily learned that Sanych had recently landed in the hospital - something with a heart - so new questions, even through Vasily, are still excluded.

I personally have a complex attitude towards the history of Sanych. Yes, there was, of course, the famous singer Dean Reed, whose songs I heard in my youth, was also some American scientist who was also persecuted in the United States for his convictions and who also decided to flee to the USSR. If anyone remembers, during the perestroika, the CCCP tele-bridges were in the box — the USA; in one of these bridges we met with that scientist. Yes, even though Charlie Chaplin remember, although he did not run away to the USSR. So it's civil. And then a spy pilot checked a thousand times ... But here in front of me are two audio tapes with the stories of this pilot.

It doesn’t seem like a lie to think of such a thing and with such details it would be difficult, and why? What usually bribes in eyewitness accounts is a multitude of such details that you cannot find anywhere else. I confess that I was not very interested in either the Vietnam War or the types of American aircraft, but I think I wouldn’t have learned such subtleties even if I was interested. And about the attack of boats, and about A-12, and a lot of things he has there ... And also - for example, I didn’t even think about some things from our side. To believe or not to believe is your business, but I still tend to believe this incredible story.

Unusual past ordinary pensioner

- I joined the US Air Force in 1959, started flying Super Saber. In 63, I was transferred to Okinawa, Kadena base. Our wing just received new "Thunderchiefs", we had to relearn them. At F-105 we met the Vietnam War. In August, the famous “Tonkin incident” occurred on 64, and in the same August, we were transferred from Okinawa to Thailand, and we were tasked to work in North Vietnam and Laos. By the way, everything was very clearly planned and prepared, you cannot do this in a couple of weeks. Journalists could then say anything about the fact that it was the Vietnamese who suddenly attacked us in the Gulf of Tonkin, we saw that the war with the Communists was planned in our headquarters long before the incident. Then even the Senate commission acknowledged that there was no attack on Maddox. Although all historical films and books necessarily tell about the attack of torpedo boats. I'm talking about American films, of course. Although you now also have a whole American version of the story implanted.

- Did you fly a lot in Vietnam?

- First, then there were two Vietnam, and secondly, there was still Laos. And in fact, many had to fly, over all three countries. Opposite of all was over Laos. That year, officially, we did not bomb Laos, as if we were not there.

“So you bombed North Vietnam“ officially ”?

- He also did not declare war, of course. States do not declare war on anyone for a very long time, it seems, from the Second World War. With North Vietnam, at least no one denied the fact of the bombing. Our flights there were counted as fighting. And for each combat paid well, more than 100 dollars, this is in excess of the usual allowances and allowances. In the sixties, it was very good money ...

- By the way, did you pay normally?

- Completely. I have one allowance per month out more than 700 dollars, plus a surcharge for participating in hostilities, and that extra payoff for combat missions ... But with combat, the main thing is not even money, but that through 100 departures you were allowed to go home from war . For which we did not like Laos: you also risk, and you do not count the combat sortie ... In the first year I was shot down just over Laos, I was unlucky. It's a shame that I didn't even enter the squadron's casualty reports. The plane was already retroactively written off "for technical reasons." I was also lucky that I managed to get me out of the jungle.

- How was they shot down?

- Anti-aircraft guns. Machine guns, guns - we did not see rockets in the first year. By the way, I didn’t meet enemy fighters either, although the guys were facing each other. The Vietnamese, as I was told, were quite good air fighters, but there simply were very few of them. They shot over North Vietnam more than over South or over Laos. In the North, there was still a regular army, and in the South we fought with rebels, much worse armed. Consider everything that in the South was firing at us, they had to haul whole miles through the jungle in their arms. Even anti-aircraft guns. Although we killed these guys, and they killed us - but I unwittingly began to respect these rebels. At least for perseverance and courage.

- Sorry, Sanych, a personal question - with what mood did you fight there? There was no feeling that doing something wrong?

- It was a normal mood. Do you think we repented our sins every day and worried? There was no such thing. After all, we were 25-27 years old, what do you want?

- And how did you then come to us, with such a fighting spirit?

- This is another story. He became older, he began to see more. Began to think. And then, at sixty-fourth, we believed that we were defending the "free world", and carried out the order. Moreover, the game was not one of the gates. After about six months, our squadron on 2 or 3 weeks was transferred to Da Nang, this is in South Vietnam. The Viet Cong fired on this airfield every now and then, our guys died. And when your antiline missiles “Guideline” were sent to Vietnam, it became absolutely “hot”. After several “Phantoms” from the Air Force were shot down by rockets on the same day, all combat missions were canceled for a week or even more. Analyzed, understood.

- Losses were high?

- High. Especially from the missiles at first - surprisingly large, no one expected such. Moreover, at that time, even Charlie’s missiles were very few ...

- Charlie?

- “Charlie” - this is what we called Viet Cong. Although now, of course, I’m talking about the North Vietnamese, not about the Vietcong rebels. So, although our squadron was somehow lucky, our neighbors were losing someone every now and then. We have somehow got used to thinking that the Communists have no good equipment, and the combat training is weak. In fact, it turned out wrong. The guys said that just our, American, missiles "Sparrow" have low reliability. If they capture a target at all, they are aimed at their own, and not at MiGs ... It happened that they also shot down their own. Well, these were the early versions of the air-to-air missiles, yet, they say, not brought to mind. Maybe ours are also not very good at shooting them. I myself just shot a couple of times at the range, but in a combat situation was not necessary.

Countermeasures to anti-aircraft missiles were soon developed, and were able to fight with the Guidelines. Yours also came up with some kind of countermeasures, again our losses increased. We are on this our new techniques. Your again something new. And so on - as, probably, was in any war.

- How did you like the F-105?

- A good plane. Not very maneuverable, with the MiGs in the “dog dump” could not spin well, but tenacious, with a good sighting complex. There was, of course, a big drawback - there was no backup mechanical control system. Hydraulics were reserved, there were two systems, but pipelines in several places passed nearby. If we were unlucky, interrupted both, then the plane was almost immediately "dead." The horizontal stabilizer itself becomes a dive, and you fly straight into the ground.

- How was he in service, what did your technicians say?

- Are you interested in colleagues, yes? I don’t remember about them. It seems that they were our "Tady". Usually swore on the delivery of spare parts. With spare parts it was bad that in Korat, that in Da Nang. Sometimes from one aircraft parts were removed for others, especially engine parts were often rearranged. We drove a lot of the engine through the afterburner, because in the heat it was pulling badly. Usually the engines had to be changed more often than “according to the book”.

In the spring of 65, I flew the normal rate of 100 sorties. Went home to the States. When he returned from vacation, the first collisions with the ground-to-air missiles soon began. It was hard. That summer they shot me down the second time, as I recall, still shudder. We went as a link to the 4 aircraft, I drove the second pair. Intelligence spotted the position of the missiles, it was necessary to urgently destroy them. We went to them from a low altitude, we attack. I remember a terrible feeling when I saw how all the guides with the rockets turned in our direction at once. They did not have time to shoot - the bombs of the leading couple had already covered them. I saw the gaps lay down exactly, very close to the missiles. And the rockets themselves seemed to be armored - they just jumped somehow, but did not fall and did not explode. I dropped my bombs as accurately as I could, then I look around at the output, and the rockets, at least, that. And do not even catch fire. While looking at them - something got on the plane. Either they covered the position of the guns, or the missile was let into me, I don’t know. The plane began to fall, had to catapult. Well, I managed to reach Laos, I was quickly rescued. Only not so lucky with the ejection, as the first time. Got to the hospital with fractures. While he was being treated, our squadron was transferred back to Okinawa, so that then there was still about a year of peace service. Then he was transferred again to Thailand, again to the war.

It seems that somewhere in that year, in 67, I first saw Blackbird in the air. I had to overtake the fighter from Cadena to Korat, with refueling. My F-105 was going at a decent height and speed, but then this huge silver-black plane appeared. He was still gaining altitude and speed, but he walked around me like a standing one, it even became insulting ...

- Wait, why silver black? Weren't they completely black? After all, they were called “Black Birds”!

- “Blackbird” is “Blackbird” in translation. In Okinawa, they were often called the Habu. It seems to be in honor of some local snake like the SR-71.

- And the color?

- Well, yes, ours were black. This I later learned that when I saw him, there was no SR-71 on Okinawa, only the CIA A-12 flew. Here they often flew unpainted, only the front edges were covered with black. To radiate heat, I guess. So I’ve seen A-12.

- What is A-12?

- Blackbeard's sister, outwardly, they differed little. We did not study their device, I don’t know exactly what the difference is. Probably, avionics was a little different. Our SR-71 obeyed the Air Force, and A-12 obeyed the CIA, as if we knew only A-12.
About SR-71 then little was known. But everyone knew that it was a super-airplane, almost a spaceship. Probably, any pilot would be happy to fly on this one. Clearly, the competition for them was huge. I wrote a report a couple of years later. I flew well, I also had health, but I almost didn’t hope that they would take me to Blackbeds. Just the war is already terribly tired. Our squadron has finally been transferred to Thailand, included in the other wing. Now I had to fly to Indochina for a long time. I just decided to try my chance to escape from there.

- You are no longer shot down?

- Yes, and this is also - I was very lucky after the 2 th ejection. Over the 2 year of war, not even a single serious damage. Once upon a time, luck was about to end. But I already managed to forget about my report. There were enough ordinary problems, we didn’t fly to the teachings. I remember, just recently, the squadron relocated to another base, also in Thailand, when I received a call to the States. I did not even immediately understand why. And there I had to undergo a medical examination - not an ordinary flight flight, but almost like an astronaut, we were eliminated there on the slightest problem. I was still afraid that the consequences of my catapults and fractures would somehow manifest themselves, but everything went well. After a while I was called to the Biel base. They drove us there, as they say - "until the seventh sweat." A whole week from morning to evening - interviews, flights on the "Talon", "flights" on the simulator ...

- And then there were already “fliers”? Well, computer games - flight simulators?

- This is 1970 year, well, what then computer games? How is it in Russian correct ... Simulator, here. Such a cabin with instruments, as in the present "Blackbird". It is possible in this booth to work with different introductory. I only flew for ten hours on the simulator for that week. They took it all the same ...

- weed out many?

- Of course! 9 from 10, probably. I say there was no shortage of volunteers. The opinion of the operating crews of the SR-71 meant a lot. The examiners were the most experienced. They mostly chased us during admission, evaluated from all sides. I saw among the candidates several excellent pilots who were for some reason refused. These poor fellows were very sorry. Maybe I was just lucky that I liked the instructors. I flew anything so confidently, but not the best.

- Didn't you think that someone would do what you did? Have you checked your track record, a personal matter?

- No, they did not check, they took it right. Why ask stupid questions? Of course, checked. A person must be absolutely loyal to the USA. If anything, it is the easiest for all long-range scout pilots to cross over to the other side And in my personal file, everything is in order. No unreliable acquaintances and relatives, even under McCarthy, when there was a “witch hunt”, no one was pursued. I myself almost 5 years fought in Vietnam, and was wounded and shot down. It is important that I did not get captured, so that the “Chinese syndrome” was also excluded.

- What is the syndrome?

- "Chinese". Well, you know, when there was a war in Korea, the Communists captured many of our prisoners, and then it turned out that quite a large part of the Americans recruited in captivity. It is ridiculous for me to hear what you are saying now: Behold, Stalin is bad, he let through his own Russian prisoners after his release through filtering. And this is just a normal precaution. Among the prisoners in any case will be recruited. It’s just that there were so many of them in Korea. Well, the Chinese washed our brains. Even diplomats, employees of the American embassies, who had been visiting Mao for quite a long time, began to sympathize with Red China. Therefore, the "Chinese syndrome."

The preparation of newcomers was very serious. While you are allowed to this plane, first on the simulator they will squeeze like a lemon. Hours 100 somewhere I “flew” on this sim before admission. Especially on the eve of admission to the training flight at the park, these days were generally a nightmare. Imagine, even on the pre-flight preparation of the hour and a half you wind it up, then you climb into the simulator of the hour on 4. And in these hours something is constantly going wrong. All the time there are some emergency situations! Even knowing that it’s not really in danger of breaking, you will still be sweating. Only one introductory decided - and you two new ones. In general, in the end you crawl out of this box. No power legs rearrange. But then, in the first real flight, everything seems easier than ever.

The hunt for the Blackbird

- And what was the first impression of this “Black Bird”?

- The first impression was unpleasant. The plane is beautiful, yes, but in flight. On the ground, she looks like something unusual, and it drips like a bitch in heat. Under the tucked airplane forever puddles of fuel, looks very sloppy.

- It was not dangerous?

- Spilled fuel? No, not dangerous. There is a special grade of fuel, under normal conditions does not burn and does not evaporate.

- So why did the tanks flow - did you care for them badly?

- kidding me? Unique and horribly expensive aircraft, we just did not lick them with our tongue. Care was the best, even in the hangars a special microclimate. Just tanks were not on the plane. That is, well, the plane itself was a tank. The fuel was directly under the outer skin. In flight SR gets very hot, then it cools down. No sealants can withstand such expansion and contraction, so plating and flows. Yes, even on the engines were some kind of valve, now I do not remember why, but they had to flow on the ground. That is, during the pre-flight inspection, they specifically checked whether there is a leak. If it does not flow, it means that the valve is not in order, you cannot fly.

And in flight SR is a normal plane, I won't say anything bad. It does not immediately react to control, but it is not a fighter either. For its size and weight is even nothing. At landing, generally pleasant. The carrier area is large, you set the desired angle and you touch it so smoothly. Why did we train at the Talon - the behavior at low speeds of the SR-71 is about the same as at the Talon ...

- What is this "Talon"?

- T-38, training jet. Maybe you know the F-5? Such a cheap fighter specifically for the "third world" countries, it does not even have a radar. There he is, by the way, on my shelf. Here is the T-38 - this is the educational version of the F-5. Something similar to your L-39.

- So it was easy to fly?

- Just as “simple” as rocket science. Here's how to explain it to you ... Actually, we ourselves thought that on the simulator we were tortured with emergency cases, but we get to the real SR, and everything will immediately become easy. “Yellow-haired”, I said, we did not take. We all had raids for more than a thousand hours on jets, many passed through Vietnam. And here, we thought, just a scout. If they fire him, they won't get him. No need to rush over the jungle, dodging machine-gun trails. Just took off, very, very quickly and very, very high flying from one point to another, returned.

- And what really? Permanent failures, like on that simulator?

- Yes, and where are the failures ... And they were, of course. But the main thing is not that. You just need to understand the specifics of what is flying in three “maxes”. We told the bike how Blackbird was going down to its aerodrome through some aerial hub, and had to contact the civilian dispatcher. Requested permission to decline, and the dispatcher, as always, is busy. “Stand bye” says. Well, your Russian would say "a minute to wait," something like that. Like, now I’ll free myself and deal with your problem. Pilot SR-71 again request. He again "wait a minute." The pilot got angry and said: “Sir, do you understand that I now have a speed of three“ Maha ”? I just CAN'T wait a minute! ”Jokes with jokes, and three“ sounds ”are dead. Regarding the land doing something about two thousand knots. Almost a kilometer per second! Then I reduced the pitch angle by half a degree - and you get a “out of nothing” decrease at a speed of under 2000 feet per minute. Well, 600 meters per minute somewhere. This is if you are just half a degree for a dive added! Do you understand? The hand is tired to hold the handle, slightly shuddered. You did not notice right away. And do not have time to say "y-oops", but already dropped by kilometer. Or from the route about ten kilometers away. And there, most likely, someone's border is already, we are on a mission. And it turns out that your little mistake turns into a big problem for the State Department (here the narrator laughed). In general, in supersonic, you control very, very gently, super-precise movements. You do not reject the pen, but only imagine that you have rejected it - just the right deviation per fraction of an inch is obtained. And it is also necessary to remember about the equipment, for it is flying. It turns on in a certain sequence, and for it it is necessary to support the flight mode, in each case its own. Any equipment - navigation, spy - the plane was just full. Before starting the engines it was even forbidden to close the rear cockpit so that the equipment did not have time to overheat. You close your front door, then the RSO closes the rear cockpit, and immediately start up, immediately bring the air conditioner to mode.

If we had a crew, as in U-2, of one person, then I would hardly cope with the control and equipment. Although A-12, it seems, and flew in single-seat version. And on SR-71 we managed the ar-es-o equipment, that is, the operator. My operator was Don ... Just Don, no last name to call.

We, the pilots, were united with our RSO during the training, and since then almost all the training and all the flights we performed as a single crew. Flight crew in the SR-71 - this is something special. Our F-105, on which I fought in Vietnam, were single versions. Before Blackbeds I didn’t fly on double planes, except for training ones, and I don’t know how there is. I was told that there seems to be, but not quite. Not to that extent. We had it almost like telepathy. On a mission, I never told Don what to do to help me. He always felt it himself. He did what was necessary and exactly when it was necessary. When refueling in the air, for example, it helped a lot, suggested flight parameters. Or when you get lost in space ... You know, this SR is very long, and we are sitting right next to the nose, far from the center of gravity. If you start to throw in turbulence - then you feel like a passenger on aerobatics, now and then unexpected overload or weightlessness. The plane flies smoothly, but it seems to you, for example, that there is a constant overload from somewhere. And so terribly busy, and then there are these “glitches”, you do not know if you can trust the instruments ... Sometimes Don just saved us. He understood when I was so confused, and started to read data from my devices in the intercom. I also learned to understand when he was too busy behind there, and then I read the control charts myself. This is all despite the fact that we do not see each other in flight.

- You, probably, were very friendly on earth?

- Of course. We can say that Don was then the only person who ever had to do with me. Parents died, my wife and I separated.

We flew a lot. Basically - over continental China. When Don and I were allowed into reconnaissance missions, we were transferred to Okinawa. For me it was like a “deja vu”, I served so much time there. Here with Kadeny over China and flew. The main task was a detailed survey of the whole territory and ELINT.

- Elint?

- “Electronic Intelligence” - electronic intelligence in Russian. Here, I remembered: "radio intelligence", so right. Record radar radios, radio transmissions, direction finding and all that.

- That is, in the airspace flew?

- Yeah, flew. On the very tonsils (laughs). Along and across all combed. The Chinese are sending diplomatic protests, but nobody cares. You know, from the time of Caesar and Genghis Khan: you can be on 100% rights under all international laws, but if your right is not backed up by force, you will still be wrong.

- Were not afraid that you will be shot down?

“How is Powers?” In general, they were not afraid. By that time, the Chinese had quarreled with the Russians for a long time, so China had nothing better than the MiG-21. There was nothing to get us. We didn’t fly to you, although we went along the borders of the USSR. You, Russians, still forced yourself to respect. Of course, Guideline, the rocket that hit Powers, we could not reach the SR-71. But no one knew what the next time, “Mother Russia” would snap back, if we again look under her skirt. Well, we still felt your borders sometimes, but we didn’t go deep.

[Here I personally do not quite understand. Of course, there are plenty of fables on the Internet, and they often contradict each other and the truth, but still I heard that the Americans on Blackbirds flew over the USSR rather brazenly and with impunity. And they stopped to fly into the airspace only with the arrival of the MiG-25. True, as they say, in order for the MiG-25 to knock down the Thrush, one would have to be in advance in the right place, the probability of which was almost zero, but the Americans did not know it, and stopped flying. Then, when the traitor Belenko hijacked the MiG-25, he had to urgently refine it precisely so that the adversary did not know the exact characteristics of the aircraft. As for our missiles, I was not interested in their characteristics, to my shame. In one place, I even ran into the bike, that ours had shot down the "Drozd" in the eighty-some year, somewhere in the north. But no other sources confirm this, and the Drozd is unlikely to fly during these years. - approx. V. Urubkova]

In addition to China, they sometimes flew missions to your Far East or Central Asia, then without major trespassing. They also sometimes flew over North Vietnam, although the SR-71 usually went there from a Thai base.

I didn’t fly as much as I did on the Thunderchiefs into the war. But it was hard to fly, we were very tired. Just "Blackbird" - this is not the plane in which you can just sit on .. well and relax. No, of course, it’s dangerous to relax on any plane. You understand how to explain to you ... Here in any mission on F-105 there is a time when you just sit and hold the pen, think about something of your own. Not relaxing at all, but relaxing a bit. Even on the lousiest day you have at least a quarter of an hour in flight to relax. This is probably on any plane, except SR-71. There you have to be ready all the time. Well, if you take the F-105, when you are flying in a crappy weather at low altitude, and from the ground "Charlie" shoot ... Of course, then you are tense much more. But this is not for long, and almost the rest of the flight goes smoothly.

At Blackbeds, the voltage does not release the entire flight. And me, and RNO. Even when we go on autopilot, we have to keep an eye on the instruments in all 4 eyes. If something went wrong, you need to understand and fix it in time. There is very little time to correct any error. We fly too fast.

- Did you regret later that you volunteered to fly the Blackbird? So much difficulty ...

- No, I did not regret. What are you, this is a privilege. There is no other such aircraft, and it is unlikely there will be more. And we, the current pilots SR-71, then there were fewer than astronauts. You belong to the elite, everything reminds you of it. Take some space suits: in 70, they cost something around 100 thousand dollars a piece. And each is sewn individually on its owner. Not fitted, but immediately sewn on you. Before each departure necessarily half an hour on pure oxygen. You wear a suit - a special camping air conditioner is attached to it, such a box with a stool height. Without air conditioning in his suit immediately sopred. Imagine, this box is being dragged behind you all over the airfield, until you climbed into the cockpit and connected your spacesuit to the board. You feel like a king, a special person also carries the mantle for kings.

The flight itself, well, almost the entire instrument, there is no time to look overboard, and there is nothing to see. But still, although it is busy, somewhere inside you remember: your plane just absorbs space, and there are no others like that. And after the flight, too, everything is unusual: a special stepladder, relies only on concrete and does not concern the plane, you choose it, and away from the machine. And no one else fits the plane for another half an hour: it is too hot, you have to wait until it cools down. The skin in flight warms up to 500 degrees. Well, it's Fahrenheit, and Celsius is something near 250. The nozzles of engines in flight are generally white-hot; at night they can be seen from afar. Glow from heat! The tips of the wedges and the edges of the wings are so sharp that special covers are then put on them, otherwise the technicians could cut themselves. Everything in it is special. Even fuel and lubrication were specially developed for the SR-71, they are not suitable for any other aircraft. Would you be proud? I was proud!

[As for “wedges”, they are mentioned several times in the text, meaning they must be the central bodies of the air intakes (as is well known, on the SR-71 the central body has the shape of a cone, not a wedge). I even asked Volodya whether it was the word on the tape, maybe I didn’t hear it that way or I wrote it down? Vladimir insists that Sanych uttered the “wedge”. Why it is so is not clear: in English, as far as I know, the so-called “central body” is called (centerbody or centerbody); A “cone” (cone) would hardly have turned into something else either. - approx. V. Medinsky]

- And how did you then from all this refused?

- Flights are flying, but life is life. I do not want to talk about it now, it was a tough decision. And I didn’t think that I refuse to fly at all. Then it seemed to me that I could still fly here, in Russia, on the hijacked SR-71.

- “Here” is no longer Russia.

“For you, there is no difference between Idaho and New York.” I also somehow could not understand the difference between Ukraine and Russia. Actually, “state”, what you call “state”, in English means “state”. If you accurately translate, you get "United States of America." And for you, we are just “America.” So for us you were just "Russia". It's hard to talk differently, I'm used to.

- Sorry, I realized that this topic is unpleasant for you, but still ... Why did you decide to fly?

- Well ... Probably, the last straw was the death of Don, my operator. Ironically, he died in a training flight on the "Talon".

[Further recorded from another tape, perhaps, to this conversation somehow returned to another evening. - approx. V. Urubkova]

- I do not know how to explain to you. I myself sometimes can not explain. Generally was a disappointment. A big disappointment, so. While I was young, I believed that the difference between the “free world” and the communist countries was the difference between good and evil. Black and white, do you understand? We are there. If not we them - they us. Everything was simple and clear. In Korea and Vietnam, we are defending the "free world" from the onset of communism. And the rest of the world. And then I got to Vietnam myself. I do not know how it was in the North, but in the South it was going on, as you say ... Lawlessness, here. The dictator is a dictator, one is overthrown, another comes, people are shot without trial ... Maybe the Communists in the North were also bad, but certainly not worse than in the South. I asked myself - what kind of freedom we protect? Not worse than the disease, our medicine? And why are there so many partisans in the South? We bring them freedom, so they explained to us. But if they are so fanatically fighting against this freedom, it means that they do not like our freedom. To impose their freedom by force? And we are better than the Communists then? It was the middle of the 60-ies, just in Chile, the communist Allende came to power. I don’t know, maybe he wasn’t a communist, but we called him that in the newspapers. Previously, I knew that the Communists can take power only by force or deception. But Allende was elected, he did not make a revolution. And even when he came to power, he did not arrange violence ... Then there was bad news from Indonesia. There, the coup went after the coup, the islands were simply buried in blood. And all in order "to prevent the coming to power of the Communists." And America looked at all this through her fingers, even supported the bloody General Suharto. Our president, the leader of the “free world,” dictator Suharto arranged. Like that South Vietnamese dictator, he forgot his name.

I have not told you yet: one of my grandfathers was Greek, and my mother was born there, in Greece. My mother has a brother in Greece. Uncle Aristotle, older than mom for a year. They grew up together and were very friendly since childhood. They corresponded all the time when Mom left for the States. Then the letters from my uncle stopped. For about half a year there was no news, then in some ways my mother was handed a letter from her uncle. There it was written that my mother fell to the hospital. In Greece, the reign of the "black colonels" began, maybe you remember those. They staged a military coup for 2 the day before the election. In the first month of the new regime, several thousand people simply disappeared. About Uncle Aristotle, someone reported that he was a supporter of the former Prime Minister. My uncle was arrested, some confessions were beaten out under torture. They were released, probably because there are relatives in the United States. In prison, he had seen enough of everyone. He wrote to his mother: "lucky that they did not kill him right away." Then we were informed of his death. It was said about a heart attack, but really we did not know. Maybe he was arrested again. Mom could not bear it all. With my father, they divorced long ago, she had only me and Uncle Aristotle. She had a weak heart. (On the tape in this place for quite a long silence, a few seconds). She was seriously ill, she died in a month after 4. You see, people never like to read in the morning papers about mass executions and all that. No one likes to hear about it in the news at breakfast. But for lunch, they already forget about it. It's all somewhere far away, and does not touch me, so they think. But here I was touched, you know? And Greece is not some kind of banana republic. Not Africa and not Latin America, but Europe. Free Europe, not communist. It is a part of NATO, that is, it is on guard of the “free world”. With all the arrests and mass executions, Greece remained part of the “free world”, do you understand? And fascist Spain of the time. Or Portugal. Such was our “free world” x..rovy. I thought about it a lot, not one year. We were told that in communist countries it is even worse. But I decided: what the fuck ... about the free world we are blasphemed so much, can't the communists lie too? I decided to look myself. Well ... Here, now I live here.

- How did you hide your escape? If yours found out, there would be a big noise ...

- I will not tell all the details, and I myself have already forgotten. In general, it was possible to imitate the fall of the aircraft into the ocean.

- What happened to your operator?

- I catapulted him. Did I tell you about Don before? My friend Don is no more, the operator I was new. Good guy, but ... We never became friends. I did not want him evil. Hope saved him. The ejection seats on Blackbeds were good.

- So, your commander can catapult the operator, and stay?

- Not exactly exactly like that. I only had a signal switch in the cab for the PCN on the 3 position: click down - “Attention”, up “Go”.

- That is, on the 2 position?

- No, on 3 - still “Off” in the middle (here both laughed). Well, in his cabin a signal lights up, and he should jump himself. You can also command a voice in the intercom. In such cases, no questions are asked, he would have "fired" right away. But I had to convince him that the plane was dying so that there would be no questions later. It was not very difficult. Our engines are spaced far from each other, and if a non-launch occurs in one, the plane jerks sharply in that direction ...

- Sorry, what do you mean by “not starting”? Is it on the ground, in flight? Or happens only when you start the engines on the ground?

- In flight, when we are already on supersonic. There is a cunning mechanic, a long time to explain. Something like this - the wedge moves in the air intake, regulates the cross section of the air channel. Its position depends on where the supersonic jump will be. Uh-uh, well, you know, the waves in the air travel at the speed of sound, and if the air itself moves at the speed of sound, then the waves do not have time to disperse, and the air is compressed, this is the pressure surge ...

- Thank you, I still remember such things, you can not chew.

- Well, for the correct operation of the engine you need to send this jump to a certain place of the intake. This is what the wedge does. In flight at supersonic he constantly moves, adapts to the conditions of flow. Usually it is controlled by onboard automatics. But I can intervene, the pilot. Well, if the jump leaves the intake not in the right place, then this is called “non-release of the air intake”. The engine seems to be choking. Sharply falls traction. The plane prowls with a roll in the direction of the "sick" engine. And the roar is strong. Feeling, well, as if by car crashed into a pole. Only not in the forehead, but sideways. A jerk such that it can strike a head against the side glazing. After one such non-launch, the visor cracked in me, well, that is, the visor on the helmet. There is a multi-layer composite, not even every hammer will break. You understand what kind of force is a blow! This is the kind of restart that I can call myself if I interfere with the management of the wedge. This is an emergency mode, and you cannot be sure of anything. And the RSO on the jerk of the aircraft and its instruments, too, sees that there was a non-launch. If at the same time you give him the command “jump!”, Then he will not have then “why” questions.

- And it will not surprise him that you did not catapult?

- Not. He should jump first. If I drop the lantern while it is still out or just coming out, it can kill it with my lantern. He could not have known that I had not jumped out. When he shot, it was no longer up to me.

“But this is risky for you too?” The plane could actually fall?

- Could fall. Very risky. But I decided to take a chance. "Left off" the left engine, began to decline, the emergency code ...

- Sorry, interrupting. And your operator could not see that you yourself caused this “non-launch”?

- How would he see? Non-launches happen from time to time. A rather small error in the position of the wedge or flaps. Failure in the control system, a small failure in the hydraulics or electrics - a dozen different reasons. If it was a version of "Bee", a training Spark, and if an experienced pilot-instructor were sitting in the second cockpit, then he could still understand that it was me. And my RNO ... Airplane rush and crash had already told him everything. And he saw that the pressure in the intake drops, the exhaust temperature rises ... And, yes, he doesn’t have these devices, I saw it all myself ... And I, you see, should have tried my best. The plane was trying to screw up your nose, if you miss the angle of attack, then you will fall. Then you will only have to jump. You also need to “keep the engine”: so as not to start automatically, and so as not to “die”. We must follow the "i-ji", well, exhaust temperature. I still remember: above 950 degrees at least for 3 seconds, and everything, engine n ... n. If I did not cope, we would not have drunk now. It was a whole lot of work, you know? Well, when the RSO came out, it became easier. It is no longer necessary to pretend that I can not start the engine. You control the angle, auto-restart to the left engine, open-close bypass flaps and forward. Already on 2 engines decreased, turned off the defendant and then go back to the train.

“Couldn't you be spotted at the same time?”

- No, it is unlikely. There were not many radars in that area. With a decline, they should have lost me.

- And how could a plane with an open rear cabin fail on three “maxes”?

- Well, I could, probably. I decided to take a chance. And won. Everything was as if it was gnawed and burned, but the plane survived. I was more worried that the fuel consumption of this increases. We took off from Cadena, as usual, with incomplete refueling, and then we refueled from a flying tanker. The tanks were full, but they could not be enough, the flight profile is not optimal ... But there was no way back. RSO ejected, I depicted the fall of the aircraft, then lay down on the route.

- Clear. And then the matter of technology: went to our border, contacted the air defense ...

- Oh .. the business of technology. Do you have any idea what it's like to lead a plane over such distances? Such a plane as the SR-seventy-mother-it-one, and even without maps and without a navigator?

- Wait, but why not cards?

- By heading out, as they say. You understand how it would be - I am going on a mission to Us, working with maps and weather forecasts for Southeast Asia. And suddenly I come to the secret part: give, pliz, also maps of northern China and southern Russia. I became curious about something, let the maps read, one route worked!

- Do not be offended, I'm not a pilot ...

- Okay, I also sold something. Just understand that the whole idea looked almost impossible even then. Now all the more. I can not believe that I did it. When I remember how much I could hold in my head then ... And the position of the center of gravity must be taken into account. And the fuel consumption must be considered, and this is not so easy to do on the SR-71 ... Well, y'know, the flow meters show the total consumption, and here on the SR only a part of this fuel burns immediately. Another part circulates under the skin for cooling, and then returns to the tanks. And there is no one to tell. Nobody will correct, if you make a mistake ... I decided only because it was already disgusting to live. Break, so break. It was most important for me not to get to the core. Let it be broken. But the main thing is that no one in the States knows what I was trying to do. I was a little ashamed in front of my friends, or something. Therefore, no "contacted with air defense" could not be. I myself practiced ELINT, so I knew how easy it is for Americans to record and record me. Full radio silence. No trace. I worked the entire route in my mind, even while we were flying over China and there were suitable maps. At the working height I cross China, they will be angry there, but no one will take the next protest seriously. On the approach to your border, the working height and speed of Blackbird no longer guarantees anything. Therefore, I’m going down there, going through one interesting terrain formation, and then I’ll accelerate to the train again. The main thing is that I was spotted as soon as possible and did not have time to take measures. It would be stupid if yours knocked me down that day.

- From our airfield they took off to identify you and only then shoot down ...

- Yes, yes, I expected this. If you behave unusually and not too threateningly, then you will still try to visually identify before you start shooting. Two FoxBatts approached me, and the presenter shook his wings. I obeyed him.

[This place seemed to me suspicious. Foxbat is the MiG-25. I have been digging on the Internet for a long time to find out on which airfields in Kazakhstan "MiG-25" sat. I did not find detailed information, but approximately it turns out that only in the city of Balkhash, and even then - not interceptors, but scouts. I don't even know if the scouts are on combat duty. However, there is one plausible option, as it could happen. Suppose that just at that time there were flights on Balkhash, and at least a couple of planes were in the air. And then - the intruder, high-speed and high-altitude. So they ordered to intercept those who could do it physically. And the fact that there is nothing to shoot down - for the command of the tenth thing, in extreme cases, could require and go to the ram. Strange that he had never heard of it before. Another option is that Sanych exaggerates or hides something, or for Foxtail’s wits he brought something. Just the voices in the recording were a bit stupid. Maybe our our Su-9 intercepted? But I would know for sure about this, it would have gone down in the history of the regiment. If only they secretly recorded such a case tightly ... Another option is that regiments from all over the Soviet Union often flew to the firing ground in Sary-Shagan for training firing with missiles. And MiG-25 too. Maybe one of them (or a couple) was sent to intercept. - approx. V. Urubkova]

- And they could knock you if they wanted?

- I think yes. Difficult, but possible. So that they caught up with me, I had to lower my height and speed a little. But not very much. And their rockets fly faster than airplanes. Your Foxbat is a genius machine in its own way. The newest then was the plane. I later met them a little closer ...

- How did your flight end?

- Landing, of course. After all, I had chosen an approximate place in advance where to let myself be intercepted. Where to lead me, represented. Several times I had to fly along your borders for the opening of air defense, and I studied the maps with the location of secret objects and airfields well. How do you say "by heart", yes? I will not say which airfield I chose for landing, you better not know. The strip is good there, far enough from the border, and there is nothing wrong with ensuring secrecy, so they hid me.

- So you sat down in Kazakhstan or flew further?

- I sat in the Soviet Union, and then the details did not bother anyone. It was an Asian part of the country, since you want to know. Fuel was not enough. And also, the farther into densely populated areas, the longer I feel the nerves of your air defense. The more likely that I was shot down! People sit at the console, all families have it. I would shoot down just in case (laughs).

[I understand that he chose an airfield in a desert area, away from housing and civil air corridors. Judging by the direction indicated by Vasily - north-west from Taldy-Kurgan - it could be Sary-Shagan or Yubileiny. Maybe some other airfield I don't know about. I don’t know how it was hidden from satellites: you can hardly throw a cover on a hot plane, you can’t drag it into a hangar with a broken chassis. However, you can roll a few high repair carts and tilt the awning on them quickly. - approx. V. Urubkova]

- And then where did your plane get? Why wasn’t they told about him during the “publicity”?

- I do not know. Neither one nor the other. Too classified everything, and from me too. It is unlikely that our old woman "Rapid Rabbit" still rose into the air ...

“Why Rabbit?”

- Well, so my "Blackbird" was called. Something like a proper name for an airplane. "Fast Rabbit", if in Russian. We still had white rabbits painted on the keels. Silhouettes such, well, as on the logo of the magazine "Playboy".

- So you did not participate in his tests with us?

- Probably, there were no tests. I sat down in emergency. The band is unfamiliar, side wind, and I'm already exhausted to the limit ... I rolled out onto the ground, took down the chassis. The plane was badly damaged. And I hurt my back. The doctors explained that they would never allow me to do air work. I also realized during the flight how weak my chances of flight work are here in Russia. Who will entrust the plane to me, a defector? And then even weak hope had to be abandoned. The back still hurts often. And the plane ... Well, it was taken somewhere under the covers. When I recovered and learned a little language, I climbed a lot on SR-71 with your specialists and translators. Everything showed, told. And then he was taken out.

- What happened to you then?

- With me? We also learned the language, otherwise I’m almost alone in the first month of Russian aviation only found out the terms.

- By the way, now you speak Russian well, you even know how to swear.

- What do you think, bl ..? I didn’t study language at the university. How many years I live here. And about 20 years ago, I spoke Russian even better than now. Almost no accent, and English began to forget. Then America seemed to come here for me. English words are everywhere, and the speakers on your radio and TV have become worse, many say illiterately. Unwittingly, he remembered his native language. Now my emphasis has increased, I notice it myself.

- Sorry, you started saying what happened after the flight ...

- Well, after ... You just had to live. Gave the legend documents. “Balt” was done so that the accent surprised no one. They offered several places to settle to choose from. I chose Kramatorsk.

- Why is Kramatorsk interesting?

- Why not? In general, it was all the same. I was not allowed to settle in Moscow or Leningrad. It is clear why: there are more chances to be revealed. I didn’t want to go to Siberia, only “gulags” and bears walk along the streets (laughs). My memory was excellent then: when the map was shown, I remembered that there was a military airfield near the Kramatorsk. Now there is no, but then there was. It seems because of him and chose. Civilians do not like this, but at least from the outside, I sometimes hear the sound of engines. I was even surprised that Kramatorsk was offered to me. Then I realized: the city is half-closed, there are no foreigners, so they wouldn’t reveal me.

- So what is next?

- What's next? He received a specialty, got a job at the plant. I met Katyusha, got married. Just lived. And I still live.

- And how impressions?

- The first impression was surprised how poor you live. The shops are half empty, the clothes are unsightly ... And then I settled down, looked closer. And once again I was surprised - how richly you live, just in luxury! Where I served and lived a lot, I could compare. Here in the Philippines or in Thailand. Yes, there are shops full of goods. And the children were swollen from hunger, begging in the streets. I understood: because you had empty stores, all the goods were available and quickly bought up. You could afford it. It seems that you then ate real meat and natural butter in every family. At least the children could feed it. Your children are not starving! This is a luxury, you just got used to it and did not notice it. If you are seriously ill, then you simply call the doctor to the house, and you do not think how then you will pay the bills. And this is even luxury by American standards. Paid vacation full 4 week of the year. And this is the smallest 4, and someone has more. In America, even 3 weeks were considered a luxury in America, especially valuable workers were lured away by such a large vacation ... A lot of things were surprising then, you can talk for a long time. Anyway, now everything is different ... Yes, I was still surprised what kind of relations between people here in Russia. Or in Ukraine, without a difference. The people you have here, like everywhere else, are bad and good, but there is something that I have never noticed anywhere else. This has not changed yet. Hard to tell in words. Just somehow you feel ... For example, I remember the case. At the very beginning of my work at the plant, we were taken out on Saturday for the whole shift out of town, on buses. Anyone who wanted and free. Just for the mushrooms. I have nothing, neither a bucket, nor a knife, I am generally the first time. But it was interesting, I went. I barely know just a couple of people, but they immediately gave me a bucket and a knife. The most interesting thing was when Tolya, my friend, asked his friend for a spare knife for me. I don’t know my friend, and he doesn’t know me, and he has a good, folding knife. He looks away from his eyes and says that the rusted knife does not open. Tolya took the knife from someone else, but it was all incomprehensible to me. Why did he, the first, make excuses? Why did you lie about your knife? Why not just say that I do not know and do not want to borrow a good thing? Is he obliged? I asked Toli, he could not explain. Just looked at me in surprise. And I did not understand then. Now it seems to me that I already understand better. But in America it could hardly be. Customs are different. There it is normal when every man for himself.

- And the KGB did not you beat?

- Well, they probably did. Not very tight. I several times specially left one out of town, checked. Nobody followed me, no one later called for interrogation. Interrogated me only at the very beginning. After the flight, still in a hospital bed. Yes, then again, after a few weeks, they called to some major. He showed the American newspaper. I do not remember which one, but I remember that the number was fresh. There is a note about the Blackbird crashed while landing on Okinawa, and a photo of the crashed plane. In the picture, the keels were turned with an edge to the camera, so 5-digit numbers and emblems are not visible. But that major gave me a magnifying glass and showed me. On the engines were visible three-digit numbers. And these were the numbers of our Rapid Rabbit! If I myself did not break the Rabbit here in the steppe, I would have believed that our plane was on Okinawa! The note gave the names of the crew members, they were not injured in the accident. These were ours, with Kadena, these people I knew. But these were other people, not we with my RNO! My head was even spinning. I did not know what to think. And the major is just asking what I think about it ...

- Fake? But why?

- This is the question why. I guessed then. It may, of course, that you somehow fabricated an American newspaper in order for me to arrange some kind of incomprehensible test. And most likely, in the American newspapers everything was written like that ... You see, it could have “covered up” the death of our plane. After all, he fell somewhere in the ocean. Well, that was what command was supposed to count. The places of the fall have not been found. What if he fell into the shallow water? Suddenly they will look for it and find yours? There secret equipment even though ... eat. Completely hide the loss of such an aircraft would be difficult. Here, so that the aircraft was not searched for by anyone, a mock-up was made, they were photographed and everyone was announced that our SR-71 had actually collapsed in Okinawa. And there is nothing to look for him, here he lies. Is it logical So I told the major. He nodded. We, too, said, thought so, but wanted to hear your version.

- Well, and how, after so many years - do you regret that you flew to us?

- Never regretted. Katyusha and our daughters would not exchange for anyone. If I was somewhere happy in life, then my happiness is here.

Afterword by Vladimir Urubkov

I sent the finished notes to Vasyl Bondarenko, and also asked a few additional questions. Vasily responded with a letter, which is better to bring here in its entirety. If we take the letters from the first part of the article (“Winged robot against the air defense system”), then it will be 4, that is why this is a subtitle.

Letter four

You recorded everything in general correctly. I allow this to be “thrown onto the site” or as it is properly called. I honestly said that I do not know if this is true or not. Maybe someone else knows something and will write to you. I told you about his wife, she worked for us as a quality control inspector. Tried to check through it. Baba is simple, if she pretends or plays, it would be visible. By the way, I ask her - where did they come from, Sanych came from? Replies that kind of from Latvia. “I,” he said, “did not know them, they died in the war.” I again ask: “But did you know any other relatives of your husband?” He replied that he didn’t know, he had no relatives left. “I always felt sorry for him,” he says. She added that nobody ever sent Sanych letters.

About the patch that Sanych showed me then. She was old, battered. Beautiful emblem, color. Rhombic is such a black silhouette of a "Thrush" on a blue background; behind the silhouette, the red stripes seem to stretch. Above the aircraft the inscription "3 +". There were no other inscriptions.

Let's sit on Friday in the same place, I'll take the tape. Take beer, remember the service. In the evening 6 go?

Sincerely, Vasyl Bondarenko

Comment by Vadim Medinsky

The text is definitely interesting. As they say - "if this is not true, it is well-made." There are a lot of obvious Anglicisms and clumsiness, which can be found in careless translations from English (Oleg Chernyshenko and I constantly eradicated such things in our translations). It is possible that this is just a performance based on some kind of translated text. On the other hand, such “bloopers” can just say that the narrator continues to think in English, speaking in Russian words. What is worth even the word "plane" of the feminine gender, which this Sanych sometimes slips! I agree with Volodya that it is better not to iron all those written off from the verbal speech of the clumsiness - let it remain as it is. I just adjusted spelling and punctuation in some places, and also offered to rearrange some fragments of the “interview” in order to make the story more coherent. I don’t presume to judge how true all this is, not competent. Rummaging around on the Internet on the theme "Thrush", I did not find anything that would clearly contradict the stated history, although with confirmations also not a lot. Here is listed, apparently, most of the “Drozdov” lost in different years. I have so far diagonally overlooked this site - it turns out that only one case is known when the plane disappeared without a trace and wasn’t found any debris: this is an 5 June 1968 disaster, an aircraft # XXNX-60. It was over the South China Sea, and it was the Blackbird, which had flown out of the Kadena base in Okinawa. The catch is that it was a single A-6932, and indeed in many details with the story of Sanych does not fit. Although an interesting place there is:

Investigation of A12 and pilot Jack Weeks. It remains a mystery to this day. There was a speculation that Jack Weeks had defeated to the other side. This is not true. Jack Weeks' widow was given posthumously his “CIA Intelligence Star for Valor” medal. There were indications that a defection occurred.

Translated, if briefly, something like this: “... The investigation did not help to clarify the cause of the disappearance of A-12 and the pilot Jack Wicks. This remains a mystery to this day. Some assumed that Wicks had gone over to the other side. This is not true, because the Wicks widow was awarded the CIA Star for Prowess in Intelligence medal, which Wicks was awarded posthumously. If he had gone over, they would not have awarded him ... ”

This “iron” logic is not interesting (“where he went, no one knows, but once awarded, it means he did not run away”), but that the version of the pilot’s escape to us is generally considered. I, brought up by perestroika, would never have thought of this: it was firmly in me that we always tried to flee there, but, on the contrary, it had never happened and could not be. I only learned about Dean Reed from Vladimir Urubkov when we discussed this text with him.

I also want to add my “five kopecks” about some of the doubts of Vladimir Urubkov, which he expressed in comments on the text. Relatively deep penetrations of “Drozdov” into our territory: Americans hardly flew over the USSR as brazenly as it was before the X-NXX was shot down in May by the U-2. In many English-language sources on the "Drozd" emphasize: its original purpose - flights over the entire territory of the USSR, as U-1960 flew in its time, and variants of "Canberra" - remained on paper. After they were caught by the hand with U-2, they promised that there would be no more manned flights over the USSR. I have not found in serious sources any mention of significant violations of this promise. Yes, they often allowed themselves trespassing on different types of aircraft, but they did not get far. As for our North, Drozdy from among those based in England were supposed to fly there: too far from Okinawa or from California. Sanych, “inhabited” on Okinawa, could not closely communicate with colleagues from the English base and not know how and where they flew, but could simply not mention them in the story. With regard to the possibility of flying "Drozdov" in 2-s, then the "Drozdy" just flew - at least the last lost aircraft in the list on is listed for 71 year, and it was a reconnaissance flight ( By the way, also from Okinawa).

Unexpected continuation

Once upon a time, about a year ago, amazing events took place in my life with an almost unbelievable spy story.

I decided to record and publish these events with the purpose of replying to one of the eyewitnesses, if such remained.

Alas, no one has responded, even though I tried to interview all fellow soldiers, their acquaintances and acquaintances of their friends who served in those parts. :) Their answers are in the text on the links above. And I completely abandoned this story, especially as all the threads almost broke off, when I suddenly received a letter from my fellow soldier Vladimir Yakimenko. The letter is very short: "Read about the Black Bird", and the link:

I click on the link, and I see an amazing text:

1976, 22.09 - Kazakhstan - a narrow object with dimensions of a fighter (length around 12-15м, weight 4,5т) was found, a tailless tail similar to “Black bird” (it was called “Black cat”). The object was badly burned, the cap was torn off by an explosion (the equipment of self-destruction), inside the cabin burned out. Phone BS is not detected, but if any, they burned or were thrown out during the explosion. I was struck by the strength of the case - it did not take either a drill or a gas cutter (it turned out to be a titanium alloy). However, when lifting on the outer suspension, it began to sway strongly and the suspension had to be unhooked in order to avoid a helicopter crash. In this case, the device received even greater damage than during landing. They were taken (disassembled) on the external suspension of the Mi-6 MSS from Arkalyk to one of the military airfields in Western Kazakhstan, and then to Zhukovsky (Ramenskoye), Moscow Region (LII airfield) - to the Moscow Machine-Building Plant Opyt, where it was examined by a commission (and personally Alexey Andreevich Tupolev) and where he was kept in the hangar and was studied in detail. When lifting, the aerodynamic qualities of the device were found - he soared up, began to sway strongly and almost rammed the helicopter from the bottom, so the suspension had to be unhooked and the object crashed to the ground, after which it failed to pick up again, so it was disassembled into parts in place. (According to the lieutenant colonel who served in the MSS (space search and rescue service of the Air Force) at the airfield Arkalyk, the lieutenant colonel later transferred to Zaporozhye, to a military transport regiment. The famous Ukrainian ufologist Yu.A. Novikov from Zaporozhye, vice-president of the Zaporozhye UFO center interrogated ). (The name of the lieutenant colonel is not called for ethical reasons - at his request). The information is absolutely reliable.

It turned out that it was the Lockheed D-21 unmanned American reconnaissance aircraft (launched from SR-71 or B-52). For UFO disasters this story has nothing to do!

At first I thought that this story is somehow directly related to that, but alas, the years do not coincide. It is interesting: why exactly that area is crammed with all sorts of events about UFOs that turn out to be alien planes? Why did the spies show such curiosity? Baikonur, or numerous Kazakhstan polygons with the latest experimental equipment? Looks like now it's my turn to look for Basil, and ask what he knows about it? If he did not find that story, then surely they did.

Fifth letter

Hello Vladimir, this is again Vasily Bondarenko from Kramatorsk. A couple of years ago you and I talked about the drone and about Sanych with his bike. Sorry for not answering before. I have my own problems and concerns. The “Internet” is generally abandoned for a long time. Did I already tell you that Sanychu showed your article? He is now very passed after the operation, almost does not leave the house. Already afraid to even ask how he is there. Last time I spoke with him for this new year. I called him just to congratulate. I printed your article from the Internet even then on a printer and showed it to him. It was back in the 10 year when he was just released from the hospital. He read with interest, laughed. I, he says, so casually tell, I did not know. Well, you literally handled our conversations. I then asked him, maybe something to fix. He said no, in general, it was so. On your comments on the story, he told me something, explained. In general, he has a reasonable answer to everything. I just don’t remember, 2 has already passed, but I didn’t take the tape recorder with me that time. Yes, about the "wedges" now remembered. Sanych said that in English it would be “spikes” (in my opinion, if I remembered the word correctly). And yes, he said that these are such central bodies in engines.

Sincerely, Vasyl Bondarenko

That's all for now. Maybe it will be possible to learn more sometime ...

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  1. svp67
    svp67 29 June 2013 08: 36
    Very interesting. I really wanted to know if this case was in reality, so the country is not the same, the time has passed, and I think the USA already knows everything ..
    1. Mister X
      Mister X 29 June 2013 18: 54
      Quote: svp67
      Very interesting.

      Extremely interesting stuff.
      That respected the author - so respected!
      I read it first, without interruption: like a fascinating story.
      Then again: already reading and analyzing, checking with the data available to me.

      I became so interested that I even decided to play detective.
      I systematized some fragments of phrases of “Latvian”, added statistics on disasters
      and decided to lay out for the curious.
      Well, let the readers draw conclusions themselves.

      ... At F-105 we met the Vietnam War ...
      ... In August of the 64, the famous Tonkin incident occurred, and in the same August we were transferred from Okinawa to Thailand ...
      ... In the first year I was shot down just over Laos, no luck ...
      ... In the spring of 65, I flew the norm in 100 sorties ...
      ... That summer they hit me a second time ...

      Perhaps the name “Latvian”, or at least the data on these disasters, appears twice in this list: 1964-m and 1965-m.

      ... I remember how recently the squadron relocated to another base, also in Thailand, when I received a call to the States ...
      ... After some time, they called me to Biel base ...
      ... This is 1970 year, then what kind of computer games? ...
      ... Probably the last straw was the death of Don, my operator.
      Absurdly, he died in a training flight on the Talon ...

      Perhaps the full or real name of Don, or at least the data about this disaster appear on this list: most likely the 1971 year.
  2. Denis
    Denis 29 June 2013 08: 36
    “The only weak evidence,” he showed me the patch. One, says, I still have a memory, I secretly took it from the KGB curator
    And the evidence is weak and hard to believe. Those weren't the guys to do something secretly
    And the situation itself, as with a flight to the moon, empty arguments and journalistic fiction about it or not. Even if there were at least 30% of the truth, wouldn’t our amers refuse to click on their nose? And then silence. Same thing with the SR-71
    - That is, in the airspace flew?

    - Yeah, flew. On the very tonsils (laughs). Along and across all combed. The Chinese are sending diplomatic protests, but nobody cares. You know, from the time of Caesar and Genghis Khan: you can be on 100% rights under all international laws, but if your right is not backed up by force, you will still be wrong.

    - Were not afraid that you will be shot down?

    “How are the Powers?” In general, they were not afraid. By that time, the Chinese and the Russians had long quarreled, so China had nothing better than the MiG-21.
    In the heat of imagination, he mixed with U-2, they flew over China and shot down them not MiG-21
    They quarreled, but China had enough air defense systems
    However, in the beerhouse you can still hear something wrong
    1. abc_alex
      abc_alex 29 June 2013 12: 16
      No fervor of fantasy. How do you imagine the technology of Drozd's attack itself? My friend served in the north just on the air defense early detection radar. He "saw" how Drozd flies by. 2 marks "on the point". If this tells you something, then you should understand that the Chinese simply did not have time to calculate the flight of Drozd and give the target designation of the air defense system. They see it, but they simply do not have time to get it.
    2. StolzSS
      StolzSS 29 June 2013 16: 26
      Do you even understand what kind of missiles are needed to bring down such equipment? What is the level of training of guidance station operators ??? Or do you seriously consider it possible to bring down this bird with the help of a Chinese-built S-75 ???
    3. Skiff-2
      Skiff-2 29 June 2013 22: 45
      Quote: Denis
      They quarreled, but China had enough air defense systems
      However, in the beerhouse you can still hear something wrong

      The S-75 ES-ERA-71 will not take it, so if there were any, it would not have helped. In Sanych's bike, everything is logical and consistent, although after reading this ofonarel even now, in the 80s these birds were a big head for us pain (those that flew from England). I was glad that the man found here what he was looking for - love, family, friends, and never regretted it. And the motive of the act is quite understandable, then so many thought it was only after the Afghan adventure We were able to present us as an "evil empire" ... I read it in one breath, thanks to the author.
    4. Avenger711
      Avenger711 29 June 2013 23: 28
      U-2 and SR-71 disparate machines. 3M is almost harsh in space.
  3. ed65b
    ed65b 29 June 2013 10: 27
    In any case, reading is interesting, just like fiction, and if true, you can only be proud of our secret services for so many years hiding the truth.
  4. omsbon
    omsbon 29 June 2013 10: 44
    Interesting, but somehow fantastic!
  5. Dovmont
    Dovmont 29 June 2013 11: 03
    I think the Soviet propaganda machine used this case with the maximum benefit for the Soviet Union, if it really happened.
    1. uzer 13
      uzer 13 29 June 2013 16: 36
      In other circumstances, of course, they would not have missed such a case. But if you recall the new technologies and the large amount of secret equipment, it would be more profitable to transfer the case to the category of highly secret ones, moreover, the pilot correctly performed the part of the operation depending on him.
  6. Slevinst
    Slevinst 29 June 2013 11: 08
    very interesting article, thanks to the author, I'm still inclined to believe, my nature is trusting
  7. individual
    individual 29 June 2013 11: 15
    The publication is interesting.
    I want to continue the eyewitnesses of the events.
  8. sevtrash
    sevtrash 29 June 2013 11: 43
    Interestingly, but somehow it is doubtful that all this happened in reality. It should have already sailed over the past years.
    And there are questions.
    As I understand it, the thrush does not have much fuel, although the range seems to be about 5 km. There are about 000 in a straight line from Okinawa to the Dzungar Gate, they seem to be refueled after take-off, since they take off with incomplete tanks, so how did he have enough fuel? Given that he didn’t go straight to the border?
    Another question is the height of the Dzhungar Gate 300-400 m, width 10 km, how realistic is it to pass this gate on such a machine?
    I am not a specialist, I think that specialists may have different ideas.
    HAIFISCH 29 June 2013 12: 30
    An excellent article, that’s why people have fates.
  10. Scotch
    Scotch 29 June 2013 13: 27
    Thanks to the author, the article provides fuel for thought for the whole day hi
  11. Ogogoshka
    Ogogoshka 29 June 2013 14: 03
    And so, the next bike about Kazakhstan, the whole village would already be buzzing.
  12. fzr1000
    fzr1000 29 June 2013 14: 45
    It looks like a bike, but this defector gives a lot of details. Therefore, it is still interesting to read. Article +.
  13. sanych your division
    sanych your division 29 June 2013 14: 48
    has the right to be called truth. SR 71 - a high-tech machine for that time. and if the ends were really hidden, then there was no sense in using this case in propaganda. the only thing that the pilot does not agree on in my opinion and the failure to disclose this incident to indirect evidence is the participation of our intelligence in this story. recruited and worked out options for leaving. most likely they gave navigation beacons. Well, of course they were waiting. which explains the presence of the 25th. at the same time, and a ready-made version with a drone for their own events. basically possible. we also stole the latest 25th for that time.
    1. Avenger711
      Avenger711 29 June 2013 23: 32
      Belenko and Zueva no one seemed to recruit. And I don’t know how Belenko was, but Zuev’s personal life went awry too. And this is an occasion to decide to break with everything.
  14. barbiturate
    barbiturate 29 June 2013 15: 08
    the story is extremely unlikely, but in principle possible. The given details about SR-71 are alarming, they seem to be written off from open, but perhaps little-known sources. Everything that the "pilot" allegedly told about the operation of the aircraft, is described, for example, in a small book "Aircraft SR-71" by D.S. Komissarov K.G. Udalov published in 1993. When I read the article and the stories of the "pilot" about the SR-71, there was a strange feeling that I already knew and read all this) And, for sure, I rummaged and found a small book bought in my teens, where everything is described) So with some preparation, you can and tell a lie, everything is in open sources, but the case, of course, has a right to exist, because there were opposite cases, so why not fly to us, because the ideas of socialism were and are quite popular in the West
    1. fzr1000
      fzr1000 29 June 2013 19: 14
      Well, maybe the book was written after those events?
  15. Odin_ne_voin
    Odin_ne_voin 29 June 2013 15: 40
    In any case, thanks to the author. Such articles are sometimes not enough on the site.
  16. Personal
    Personal 29 June 2013 16: 00
    I didn’t break away, I read it, you can make a film, thanks a lot!
    1. EDW
      EDW 30 June 2013 13: 27
      Yes, this story has no price; to film, only there was no one to trust: - Mikhalkov and the company will spoil everything and ruin everything.
  17. Marconi41
    Marconi41 29 June 2013 16: 20
    The article reads like an exciting detective story. But all the same, this is a bike. A lot of years have passed, and people also served and worked at the landing aerodrome. Someone, somewhere and someday but this story would tell.
  18. uzer 13
    uzer 13 29 June 2013 16: 29
    The story is simply unbelievable, but there is no reason not to believe that the events described in the article actually happened. It's about the same as a 6th generation fighter would have flown in our time. You can only find fault with the fact that from open sources It was known that SR-71 flew over the territory of the USSR and used test pilots as pilots. Although pilots could be called such pilots, who are mentioned in the article, who have extensive experience and flying hours and have undergone special training . I can add It’s only that the MiG-25 was still classified in 1972 and few knew about its existence, mainly those who served in the Air Force (including your humble servant), and even at the rumor level.
    1. Denis
      Denis 29 June 2013 18: 52
      Quote: uzer 13
      from open sources of information it was known that the SR-71 flew over the territory of the USSR
      Please indicate At least one such a noteworthy source
      1. uzer 13
        uzer 13 29 June 2013 19: 42
        Open sources are newspapers, magazines, articles on the Internet, etc. I do not serve anywhere and I do not need to report on the work done, so there is no need to remember all sources of information.
        1. Denis
          Denis 30 June 2013 09: 06
          Quote: uzer 13
          I do not serve anywhere
          Is it true, but what about the service of idle chatter and flood?
          1. The comment was deleted.
  19. Hemi cuda
    Hemi cuda 29 June 2013 16: 41
    Thanks for the article, it was interesting.
  20. atos_kin
    atos_kin 29 June 2013 17: 25
    I believe the pilot does not praise himself. If he had been lying, he would not have been able to resist.
  21. FunkschNNX
    FunkschNNX 29 June 2013 17: 31
    side number of "fast rabbit" - 17978
    according to the American version, Denis Bush crashed it when landing on July 20, 1972
    1. FunkschNNX
      FunkschNNX 29 June 2013 17: 53
      and also his photo
  22. Megatron
    Megatron 29 June 2013 18: 03
    Where is this plane now?
  23. Yuriwhite
    Yuriwhite 29 June 2013 18: 20
    Colleagues! He served in the air defense RTV on P-14 34 ORLR 37 RTB 87-89. So every Tuesday and Thursday this stsuka (SR-71) did not allow a normal dinner (Readiness 3 -> Readiness 1) from about 18.30 to 19.30 flew along the northern border. 764 IAP (Perm, Bolshoye Savino) participated in his "corral", which we, among other things, directed. 5-6 marks on the PPI and that's it. Flew fast.
  24. Artist_81
    Artist_81 29 June 2013 18: 40
    God, what nonsense ... I agree with Barbiturat about "they seem to be written off from open, but maybe little-known sources." And this applies not only to the description of the SR-71, but in general to the entire service of the "Pelota". A person who describes his life and service in this way has never flown himself. This is at least. In the best case, he was involved, i.e. "was near", but did not fly. In general, I doubt that the person served. The whole story, as if from torn rags, consists of pieces that have been read or heard "somewhere."

    Especially "pale" look philosophical "for life, for justice" reasoning of this "pelota" - it is stupid ideas of our person about how Americans think.

    Bullshit ...
    1. fzr1000
      fzr1000 29 June 2013 19: 16
      So tell us how do you think the Americans?
    2. rrrooomano
      rrrooomano 29 June 2013 19: 27
      by Japanese thinking, where is the hut from the edge and would eat fat for free and misunderstand.
  25. Mirrors
    Mirrors 29 June 2013 19: 57
    It looks very reliable, a lot of technical details. And what everyone kept secret, so why did the Americans know that their serious technical secrets were revealed? Besides, everything looked as if the plane had fallen into the water. Here the benefits of secrecy are much greater than the propaganda hype that the American pilot preferred the US life in the USSR.
    1. djon77
      djon77 29 June 2013 20: 58
      that's why 71 flew almost to 90 years over the union, because all the secrets were revealed? and for some reason I don’t know anything about Americans moving over to the f-16. and the union really wanted to get the f-16 after the states gave it to the Pakistanis .
  26. Ivanovich47
    Ivanovich47 29 June 2013 20: 42
    MiG-31 squeezed Drozd out of areas near the borders of the USSR. Everyone knows that. Since then, blackbirds have been sitting in the nest. Several vehicles fell during testing (4-5). There were also disasters during missions. There are myths and stories. But romance should not be here. Why? Do you like to be spied on ,,,?
    1. smprofi
      smprofi 30 June 2013 01: 14
      Quote: Ivanovich47
      MiG-31 squeezed Drozd out of areas near the borders of the USSR. Everyone knows that. Since then, blackbirds have been sitting in the nest.

      and then!
      and home-grown arch-strategists, part-time urya-patriots, trumpet in the tyrnet that the gringos have been killed by the SR-71 Blackbird flights because of the Krug air defense system.
      in fact, everything is much simpler. here is one of the main characters who stopped flying the SR-71 Blackbird:

      Larry D. Welch, Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force from July 1, 1986 to June 30, 1990. It was said about him that he did not want to hear anything about an aircraft if it could not carry a bomb , no rocket. Larry was also "pleased" by the cost of one SR-71 flight: a squadron of fighters could fly with this money for almost a month.

      the gringos ate the lack of good scouts in '91 during the Desert Storm in Iraq ...
      The reconnaissance reconnaissance program (Big Safari) began in January 1995, on January 12, an aircraft stored at NASA with serial number 64-17971 made a five-minute flight from Edwards AFB base to the factory airfield in Palmdale, and on April 26, the first official flight took place. " of the reactivated SR-71A, the second plane flew in August. In total, it was planned to re-commission three mothballed vehicles. Before the resumption of operation, the aircraft underwent modernization, during which they were equipped with receivers for exchanging data on tactical situations and equipment for transmitting reconnaissance information to the ground in real time.
      The first "rebuilt" reconnaissance aircraft was handed over to the Air Force on June 28, 1995. All three aircraft are currently based at Edwards AFB and are in service with their native 9th SRW.

      Unfortunately, there is no later news.

      and finally, an interview with the real pilot of the SR-71 Blackbird. unfortunately in English. but maybe someone will understand ...

  27. Yuri Y.
    Yuri Y. 29 June 2013 21: 51
    Quote: YuriWhite
    Colleagues! He served in the air defense RTV on P-14 34 ORLR 37 RTB 87-89. So every Tuesday and Thursday this stsuka (SR-71) did not allow a normal dinner (Readiness 3 -> Readiness 1) from about 18.30 to 19.30 flew along the northern border. 764 IAP (Perm, Bolshoye Savino) participated in his "corral", which we, among other things, directed. 5-6 marks on the PPI and that's it. Flew fast.

    Similarly, it surged smile, narrowed the Air Force Air Defense GSVG 81-83. We had a "hawk" signal on it.
  28. Des10
    Des10 29 June 2013 23: 06
    There is doubt that the pilot began ("Received a specialty, got a job at the plant.") To work at the plant, just live ... Just somehow. Not enough for the SR-71.
    Something like that, and Belenko probably learned the language, plumbing and got a job in a car repair shop? Laugh.
    But - I read without stopping, mesmerizing intrigue ...)
    1. Avenger711
      Avenger711 30 June 2013 00: 57
      Well, everything he needed was asked in the first months.
  29. Boa kaa
    Boa kaa 30 June 2013 00: 03
    The article is interesting. I learned something new for myself. History could have taken place, but under it they laid the political motive for the escape. And Belenko just flew away from the mother of the family for the money ...
  30. ivanpetroffua
    ivanpetroffua 30 June 2013 00: 35
    2010 news.
  31. Vikmay16
    Vikmay16 30 June 2013 01: 09
    Interesting article! It used to be easier somehow!
  32. Sergeyvb
    Sergeyvb 30 June 2013 01: 50
    A very good work of fiction and documentary ...... you read and almost believe ....
    1. smprofi
      smprofi 30 June 2013 01: 56
      Quote: Sergeyvb
      and almost believe ....

      and with two hands
  33. Urri
    Urri 30 June 2013 02: 34
    side number of "fast rabbit" - 17978
    according to the American version, Denis Bush crashed it while landing July 20, 1972

    Still 1972. Coincidence. It is very interesting who was the operator of the reconnaissance equipment on it and where this one Don went. Bragging about a defector is not like winning your air defense system. Perhaps they also kept silent on this. Daniel "Sanych" Bush in the story admires the 25th, and, it seems, hints that later he got to know him closely. Didn't they begin to develop it with the recommendations of the 31st? He worked at the plant, yes. I readily believe. In general, he, the campaign, had secrets in order, even from his wife. The school is therefore good. PMSM, he didn't say a lot.
    1. dustycat
      dustycat 30 June 2013 22: 24
      The pilot and the RSO, Captian James W. Fagg escaped without injury.

      Taken from
  34. piotr534
    piotr534 30 June 2013 04: 40
    I doubt very much that I could have been planted in Priozersk. I was born and raised in Priozersk, lived there until 1981. Father is the head of the laboratory at the same 8th site with the radar, the uncle is a technician at the 7th site (Kambala airfield) in those same years. Nobody in Priozersk had heard of anything like that, if it had been planted on Kambala 100% would have flowed. Priozersk is one of the most secret polygons b. The USSR, literally stuffed with secrets (one missile defense system created there is worth a lot) and all this was said in every kitchen. Sit down "fast rabbit" on Flounder, this event would not become a big secret. If the event took place, then it was a different airfield. As a non-specialist, Sanych's story made an impression on me, although one nuance did not seem plausible to me. As a person who has lived abroad for a long time, I know from my own experience that a foreigner communicating every day in the language of the country of residence and not speaking his native language is quite quickly begins to think in a foreign language and has difficulty finding words in his native language. Sanych, after forty years, still thinks in English. Strange!
    1. dustycat
      dustycat 30 June 2013 21: 42
      In Kyzyl Kum near Baikonur there was a "geophysical station" with a concrete strip of about 1,5-2 km. The strip was not particularly cleaned. The strip was covered with sand in places. But near the strip there were T150 bulldozers and gas turbine sweepers in caponiers with concrete sheds.
      The object was guarded by "green caps". Yes, yes, there were not a lot of them on Baikonur in different strange places, but "green" ones.
      I don’t think she was the only one.
      Could plant one such.
      Apart from random shepherds, there could be no one nearby.
      But greenfenders are taciturn people.

      Given the fact that at the end of the run I went out of the lane and broke the front pillar - it looks like it was.

      My grandfather is Moldovan. So, the closer to old age, the more often one could hear Moldovan and Romanian speech from him - often started on it and then caught on. In addition, the emphasis appeared and intensified as the decrepitude approached.

      So everything is very similar, although there are questions.
    2. carbofo
      carbofo 1 July 2013 14: 54
      If you constantly hide something from everyone, then you will not forget who you are for a second! from here you constantly think in your native language and do and speak another language.
      From the point of view of psychology, this seems normal to me. Hence, over the years, mental logic is not lost, and as a consequence, the manifestation of emphasis when it starts to let go a little.
  35. Criowoolf
    Criowoolf 30 June 2013 04: 41
    Board 61-17974 (SR-71A) "Ichi-Ban".
    The plane crashed on April 21, 1989 over the South China Sea.
    Pilot Lieutenant Colonel Dan House, flew aboard 3+. He received a message about a malfunction of the left engine.
    ps Excerpt from an English-language resource.
  36. Des10
    Des10 30 June 2013 05: 34
    Serial plane. Beginning of assembly - June 13, 1966, roll-out - March 20, 1967, first flight - July 5, 1967. crew - Weaver and Belgium. It was in service with the 9th SRW. Crashed on July 20, 1972 at the Kaden airbase, about. Okinawa
    In total, it was SR-71 that made 32 and lost 12 as a result of accidents.
    The article excited, began to search in the internet - a popular topic: the opposition of SR-71 and MiG-25 (-31).
    А piotr534 right - if this happened - in the kitchens all the same, would have been talking ... Do not hide.
  37. NOMADE
    NOMADE 30 June 2013 06: 34
    an excellent article, I read it in one breath :-) but somehow it is hard to believe, especially flying without a part of the flashlight, as well as flying on 'own' maps. It seems (if this was a real case) that the dash flight was prepared in advance with the help of the KGB.
  38. Letnab
    Letnab 30 June 2013 09: 31
    interesting article, I want to believe that it was so! All the same, there is a possibility that some residents of the West blinked from their eyes, and they saw a slightly different one, different from the imposed image of a probable enemy, or their nobility in spreading shit democracy ....
  39. Zabvo
    Zabvo 30 June 2013 10: 39
    The article is definitely "+", I really liked to read it. Most likely this case took place during the Cold War years.
  40. ivanpetroffua
    ivanpetroffua 30 June 2013 13: 00
    As Barbiturat correctly wrote, this is a free presentation of the book "Aircraft SR-71" by DS. Komissarov K.G. Udalov published in 1993 (coincidence down to the details), stupidly all the information from there, I checked yesterday. Conclusion: either the book was written from the words of a defector, or there was a book first. Rather the second, because the SR-71 program was retired and declassified in 1990. and there were many publications abroad of interviews with pilots and the publication of books about the SR-71, it is not surprising that Komissarov wrote that all data were taken from open sources.
  41. ivanpetroffua
    ivanpetroffua 30 June 2013 13: 46
    The first part of the narration is the rearrangement of words in places of the link "Brief description of the F-105 in the biography of Alexander Kartveli" from the Wikipedia page "Republic F-105 Thunderchief". Author-rewriter (rearranger of words), sadness-misfortune, I recognize the dark side of Russei.
  42. ivanpetroffua
    ivanpetroffua 30 June 2013 14: 11
    I confused the link: ... links "A detailed description of the history of creation, design and combat use in the collection" F-105 Thunderchief "(compiled by M. Nikolsky)" section "Thunderchiefs fly to war" from the Wikipedia page Republic F- 105 Thunderchief ".
  43. cachekmosa
    cachekmosa 30 June 2013 15: 02
    I would like to believe that this is true, but what two know, then they know EVERYTHING. My opinion is a fairy tale.
  44. Nayhas
    Nayhas 30 June 2013 19: 27
    The weakest point in the story (undoubtedly extremely fascinating) is the way from the operator’s bailout to landing on the Soviet airfield. Navigation systems at that time were not so perfect that they could go to the desired area along the shortest route without having a route map. Moreover, go to an unknown airfield ...
  45. angarchanin
    angarchanin 30 June 2013 19: 56
    In the year 78-79, when flying (on Tu-16) in neutral waters, it was necessary to observe the passage of SR-71 from the DPRK (China) to the east. Flight altitude and speed were impressive!
  46. SlavaP
    SlavaP 30 June 2013 21: 00
    I do not presume to judge the reliability of the article but I can add. I had a short acquaintance with Drozd - the bird is wonderful, I will not repeat it, but one thing struck me - when you touch it, it is warm and soft to the touch - as if stroking a live bird. I'll never forget.
  47. Andriuha077
    Andriuha077 1 July 2013 01: 36
    Coloring A-12, single and double.
    ("The contract for twelve A-12s was signed on February 11, 1960.")
  48. dustycat
    dustycat 1 July 2013 13: 22
    My Blackbird Hunt Story
    In 1989, approximately at the end of May and the beginning of June (alas, I don’t remember exactly), I had the task of mounting two trailer couplings in cooperative garages in Leninsk. Near the final motor vehicle.
    According to the procedure after installation, the coupling is poured with bitumen in two steps. Between pouring you must withstand two hours. And I perched on the cheek of the drum a cable mouth with a magazine in which there was an article with large illustrations about blackbird.
    And a peasant came up to me alone. At the age of. Over 60. A former military man.
    And he said "a familiar bird, they chased him over Mongolia and China with a hawk in the 72nd, they could only take a picture."
    And he told.
    He himself is a former employee of the MAI branch in Leninsk.
    In the late 1960s, they were given the task to figure out how to catch up and try to intercept Blackbirds.
    For these purposes, they were allocated several supersonic unmanned aerial vehicles "Yastreb".
    The problem was that the Hawk could fly only on a flight mission loaded before launch. It was impossible to correct it and landing completely was impossible.
    The route was generally known and there was only one option - to guard in the zone of the likely beginning of the route and catch up. What was needed was a search intelligence system with preliminary guidance by coordinates and with the ability to hide at low altitudes between mountains so as not to anger the Chinese with access to Lake Balkhash. The correction had to be done quickly via satellite in coordinates from the sailors (apparently in the Pacific or Indian Ocean, he simply limited himself "from the sailors"). Also, he says, the Chinese often spotted him and raised the noise, by the noise area you can determine where he is going. In addition, I had to figure out how to make it a little faster than blackbeard (I said "a little faster"). We coped with a little faster quickly - we installed a more powerful engine. With intelligence, it turned out more difficult. But in the early 70s, they coped with it. Than several times they frightened anti-aircraft gunners (“anti-aircraft gunners” is his word). The hawk turned out to be very fast and often "got mad" (his word) and began to wander.
    Only three Hawks were allowed on the dogon (his word), "two either missed or went crazy where they fell unknown, at least they did not cross the border back, the Chinese did not swear. The latter was only able to catch up and take a few pictures."
    Then the program was suddenly turned off, although four more cars remained, and now they are rotting in a sump in Dalniy. (Dalniy is Leninsk airport). Their group was sent to auto-navigate the landing for Spiral and Buran to do.

    Not all. To be continued.
  49. dustycat
    dustycat 1 July 2013 13: 23
    Read more.

    Those cars (fuselages from them at least) I actually saw myself. I even felt it. Our unit from this airfield, by order of the head of the landfill, in March, was betrayed two MAZ tractors together with trailers from these same Hawks. They stood there for conservation. Four of us were sent - two mechanics from the auto and two electricians (me and my partner). The task for me and my partner was simple - to tear off everything that is not needed from the trailer so that a bare trailer with an electrician remains. The mechanics had a task to determine whether it was possible to bring these tractors to the unit on their own and re-equip the trailer for transporting reinforced concrete poles of 110 kV power lines (the third company of our unit was just building this line to Bikey, a water conduit from "site zero" to Leninsk). These supports were first transported along the highway by Mi10k helicopters in handfuls every 10 km, and then they had to be transported along the highway itself to the installation sites. The close ones dragged the K701, but a lot of them deteriorated and the military acceptance then forced them to change (these are already installed and hung up to insulators, that's another problem). For this purpose, tractors with trailers were used.
    So about Yasmtreby. They were just in the cemetery at the edge of the airport and remained lying in the middle of the gutted fuselages Mig17, Il28, Il18. But I didn’t tell that guy. All the same, there was a subscription, and every morning they told me that they could check for what they saw in different places of the landfill from the authorities. And they saw a lot of real things. There was only one part of our profile, and they threw us to different sites by several people. The second company did not even have its own barracks. Part of their import
    or just for demobilization.
    There were real checks "into the dark". Appeared among the "free" personalities constantly working with us, talkative for two days.

    So about that hawk in the article. It is possible that he is. With artificial intelligence. Chasing a blackbird ..
  50. savoj
    savoj 1 July 2013 17: 22
    A corporal from the KGB again raises patriotism among the Russian people ..... tomorrow the trident will be stolen, and the day after tomorrow they will reactivate the fire. The methods are old and diby .... not that time already. Hundreds of billions of dollars leave Russia every year - that’s a fact, as the former national bank says. Here is an indicator of patriotism and love for the Russian homeland.
    1. carbofo
      carbofo 2 July 2013 11: 08
      Even if the number of gays rolls around, I will still love my homeland. I don’t have another one!
      1. velikoros-xnumx
        velikoros-xnumx 2 July 2013 22: 07
        I agree.
        "Why am I worried about the future, probably because I am going to live the rest of my life in it," to paraphrase "Why I am worried about the future of our country, because my family and I are going to live in it the rest of my life."