A mysterious creature found in a small town in the Urals, "Alyoshenka" didn't happen to live a happy or long life. People still dispute what or who he was.Natalya Nosova
In summer 1996, the small Ural region city of Kyshtym (1,764 km east of Moscow) witnessed a bizarre scene. A retired woman, Tamara Prosvirina, was walking down the street with something covered in a
“She was telling us – ‘It’s my baby, Alyoshenka [short for Alexey]!’ but never showed it,” the locals recalled. Prosvirina actually had a son named Alexey, but he was grown-up and in 1996 he was doing time for theft. “So, we decided that the woman had gone nuts – talking to a toy, thinking of it as her son.”
Indeed, Prosvirina had mental issues – several months later she was sent to a clinic to be treated for schizophrenia. The thing in a blanket, however, was no toy but a living creature that she had found in the woods near a well.
Those who saw Alyoshenka described it as a 20-25-centimeter-tall humanoid. “Brown body, no hair, big protruding eyes, moving its tiny lips, making squeaky sounds…” according to Tamara Naumova,
“His mouth was red and round, he was looking at us…” said another witness,
Accounts by the locals differ. For instance, Vyacheslav Nagovsky mentioned that the dwarf was “hairy” and had “blue eyes.” Nina Glazyrina,
The only thing these people agree on was that Alyoshenka “looked like a real alien.” On the other hand, testimonies of people like Nagovsky and Glazyrina are dubious: both were drunkards (as well as most other Prosvirina's friends) and later died of alcoholism.
Journalist Andrey Loshak, who made the film, “The Kyshtym Dwarf,” quoted the locals, “Perhaps Alyoshenka was an [extraterrestrial] humanoid, but in this
In 1957, Kyshtym faced the first nuclear disaster in Soviet history. Plutonium exploded at Mayak, a nearby secret nuclear power station, throwing the 160-ton concrete lid into the air. It is the
“Sometimes fishermen catch fish with no eyes or fins,” Loshak said. So, the theory that Alyoshenka was a human mutant deformed by radiation was also a popular explanation.
One day, the inevitable happened.
Indeed, the Kyshtym dwarf died with no one to feed him. When asked why she didn’t visit Alyoshenka or call anyone,
With Prosvirina gone, a friend found the body and made some type of a mummy: “washed it with spirit and dried it,” wrote a local newspaper. Later, the man was arrested for stealing cable and showed the body to police.
“Vladimir Bendlin was the first person who tried to make sense of this story while being sober,” Loshak says. A local police officer, Bendlin confiscated Alyoshenka’s body from the thief. His boss, however, showed no interest in the case and ordered him to “give up this nonsense.”
But Bendlin, whom Komsomolskaya Pravda ironically called “Fox Mulder from the Urals,” started his own investigation, with
Bendlin failed to confirm or refute his extraterrestrial origins. A local pathologist said that he wasn’t human, while a gynecologist claimed that it was just a child with terrible deformations.
Then Bendlin made a mistake – he handed the dwarf’s body over to ufologists who took it away and never gave it back. After that,
Nevertheless, serious experts remain skeptical. Something akin to Alyoshenka, a humanoid mummy found in
In Kyshtym, however, everybody still remembers him and his gloomy fate. “The name Alexey is now extremely unpopular in the city,” Komsomolskaya Pravda reports. “Who wants their child to be mocked as a 'Kyshtym dwarf’ in school?”
This article is part of the Russian X-Files series in which RBTH explores Russia-related mysteries and paranormal phenomena.
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