The Phobos incident — The mystery that still lives on.
It’s July 12th, 1988. The Phobos 1 and 2 space probes in Proton 2 rockets are launched by the Soviet Union, backed by 14 other countries, including the US. Their mission — Study the moons of Mars, Phobos and Deimos. They were carrying probes, which would land on the surface of Phobos and take samples of the ground.
It’s January 29th, 1989. 2 months after launch, contact with Phobos 1 had been lost. 6 and a half months have passed, and Phobos 2 has reached orbit. Phobos 2 studied the Sun, interplanetary medium, Mars, and the surface of Phobos. It also took 37 pictures of it, with a resolution of up to 40 meters.
The mission took a turn when Phobos 2 took a picture of Phobos’ district, named “Hydrout Chaos”. A bizarre IR photo revealed an underground tunnel system.
The mission turned more mysterious when Phobos 2 stopped sending pictures for 24 days before it sent another picture. On pictures after that, Phobos 2 sent a picture of a shadow-looking object on Mars. After that in March of 1989, Phobos 2 lost connection for unknown reasons. The shadow couldn’t have been an error, because it was also visible to the other cameras and couldn’t have been a shadow of another moon of Mars. According to scientists, the shadow was moving and its width was 2km or 1.2 miles.
Rumors were spreading, that the probe also sent back another picture, containing the object which made the shadow, before losing connection and the Soviet Union didn’t release it. After the incident, there was a year-long silence, until 1991, when the Soviet Union collapsed. The colonel of the Russian Airforce Marina Popovich revealed a picture smuggled out of the Soviet Union, where the object can be seen.
On the picture, a 20km, or 12.4-mile object next to Phobos can be seen. Apparently, the object destroyed Phobos 2 after the picture was taken. Many people take this as evidence, that we are not alone in the universe. This picture too was taken with other cameras, ruling out the error theory. And what do I think? We might never solve what happened to Phobos 2 and whatever we see in the pictures. I believe, that the object was a UFO. There isn’t any evidence to debunk this theory. Maybe, we will someday find out what happened to Phobos 2.