Boris Zolotov & The Kyshtym Dwarf
A human chain 100 people long intoning an old Sovietfavorite snaked its way through the water and onto thebeach. It stopped to meet me. "Boris Yevgenyevich.""Michael.""I'm just going to dry off and we'll talk in a fewminutes."He shook my hand and walked on. Being the leader therest of the chain followed suit, greeted me and went toget dressed. For most of them that meant from scratch,not changing out of a wet suit. They were lined up boy-girl-boy-girl, a mix of ages 30 to 70, with all appendagesfully extended, reaching out to the person ahead in line.And that's how they marched on, removing a hand fromsomewhere to shake mine and moving along. Soon itwould begin to be truly strange.Through a friend of a friend I had taken a quasi-undercover assignment for Russian channel NTV'sprogram "Profession Reporter" in the Black Sea townYevpatoria on Ukraine's Crimean peninsula. My task was to hunt down the mummified body of Alyoshenkathe Kyshtym Dwarf, document its whereabouts anddebunk cult leader cum alien-tamer Boris Zolotov.Over a drink in central Moscow a week beforehand, theprogram's host Andrei Loshak explained that Zolotovhad refused to give an interview to his program and thusit was necessary to employee me in the guise of anEnglish Channel 4 investigative reporter."The story began in 1996 in the village of Kaolinovynear Kyshtym in the Ural region when a crazy alcoholicgrandmother found a small humanoid in the woods,"Loshak began. As he recounted the convoluted history analien schematic fell out his notebook. I was alarmed, buthe exchanged a knowing smile with his colleague —which alarmed me further. So I held my breath, andtongue, with trepidation for 30 minutes of arduous tale.Coming to the end, he paused, turned to me andconcluded, "Of course this is all nonsense." I sighedthankfully.The history is long so I won't repeat it. I suggest doingsome searches for the “Kyshtym Dwarf”, the story of the “Kyshtym Catastrophe” and “Boris Zolotov” to getan idea of what’s really going on.NTV was filming a documentary about the KyshtymDwarf. They had completed all the links in the chainalready, except the last, Zolotov. The last personsupposedly to have seen the corpse.So there I stood. Hidden microphone taped to my nipple,lip cocked in disbelief. With me were two real NTVcorrespondents one with a pen camera in his breastpocket, the other with a hidden camera in her purse. We,actually I, was meant to buy the little pruned boy if possible, or at least see it and get it on tape. Whatever itwas, whatever was left. I hoped they had caught the sexcongo-line.We took a seat under a tarp and began to chat aboutAlyoshenka. Zolotov adores lecturing. He has no formalset of educational tools at his "Academy of FrontalProblems." To the best of my knowledge he has neithersyllabus, nor curriculum in any formal sense. He's hisown oral tradition. Without access to the tapes of ourinterviews it's impossible to quote these lectures directly.Which is a shame because his rhetoric puts the bestpoliticians, spin-doctors, and PR gurus to shame.His phrases are gems of needless elaboration —labyrinths of thought that wind needlessly out of controllike the Celtic knot work of an epileptic monk. Themainstays of his phrasing were life form types: liquid,solid, gaseous and crystal. Also all-powerful universalproteins that can do everything including cure cancer.The refraction of light rays for transporting informationetc. etc. throughout time and space. And his matrix of points, each with their own distinct idiosyncraticmetaphysical value, which sit on the corners of a cube aswell as at the mid-points of the cube's edge lines, in themiddle of the planes on the faces, and in the exact center,27 total, that interrelate as Zolotov feels necessary. Theeventuality of any conversation with Zolotov was alecture with these concepts intertwining like an orgy of pythons."What happened to Alyoshenka?" I asked. Zolotovfeigned sadness and made the sign of the cross. "Where'sthe body now?" He pointed upward. "Where's that?Heaven? The cosmos?" He was non-committal. Aftersome hemming and hawing and much insistence on mypart it was concluded that the prune boy was not to behad but fortunately there was a similar alien body wecould take a look at buried not too far away. The child of a human, alien and dolphin. What luck.Zolotov informed us that we were free to shoot all of thevideo we wanted. Take pictures and ask anyone anyquestion we felt like. We went back to the car and tradedin the hidden cameras and microphones for real ones. Iwas glad I had brought my camera "just in case" becausethis was certainly a case of something.He lined up his followers for a march 500 meters or so toa small tide pool in the shadow of a large radar satellitedish. Along the way the group sang more Soviet classicsand veered off the path to help push a car stuck in a rut.