WEIRD NEWS
02/26/2013 03:16 pm ET

Russian Meteor Conspiracy Theories: Crash Believed To Be UFO, God, US Weapons Test By Locals

Q. When is a meteor not a meteor?

A. When the Russian people are polled about it.

In the aftermath of the Chelyabinsk meteor crash, the Russian newspaper Noviye Izvestia asked its readers if the blast was caused by a meteor.

Barely half the readers who responded apparently believed the "official" explanation that a meteor crashing into the Earth was the reason for the blast that injured thousands.

The rest of the respondents had a wide variety of other theories, including that the blast was a message from God, a crashing alien spaceship, or even an extraterrestrial Trojan horse carrying a deadly space virus to wipe out the Earth, the Christian Science Monitor reported.

The spacey skepticism is rooted in tradition, according to Alexei Grazhdankin, deputy director of the Levada Center, an independent Moscow polling agency.

"Our people remember the Soviet past, when news of disasters was concealed or lied about," Grazhdankin said, according to the Times Of India. "We have no scientific polls on what people think about the Chelyabinsk event last week, but it's safe to assume the majority of Russians accept that it was a meteorite.

"However, our past surveys show that up to 25 per cent of Russians do believe in UFOs. A lot of our people just prefer not to accept the safe explanations they were taught at school. Even when all necessary information is available, they don't want to believe it," he said.

To be fair, Russians aren't the only ones who can't believe that the meteor is actually a meteor.

Writer Gary C. Daniels, a doomsday documenter, believes the meteor was proof that 2012-based Mayan prophecies are being fullfilled, according to AllVoices.com. The website also pointed out a theory bandied around Reddit that the crash was awfully similar to the scenario of "X-Com: Enemy Unknown," a videogame last October that details an alien invasion that starts with a meteor colliding into Earth.

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