It was 7:17 am on June 30th, 1908 when a ball of light bigger than the sun made its appearance in the sky of Tunguska.
Suddenly a big explosion, thousands of square meters of taiga were flattered and burned and the light caused by the explosion arrived to London, 10.000 Kilometers away, where history journals report that even if it was midnight you were able to read a newspaper on the street.
Then it was the silence for 19 years when the tales of the witnesses of this mysterious event reached the ears of Leonid Alekseevi? Kulik, a Russian scientist who left to Tunguska to solve the mystery.
From 1927 to 1939 he organized several expeditions without being able to sort a good theory: he thought an asteroid had hit the land but he was never been able to find the impact crater or the evidence of a celestial body.
So, what happened on that far and almost inhabited land in central Russia?
The event took place very far from the nearest censed village. Probably nobody lived in that area (but we do not know it for sure) and the tales of the big ball of light in the sky were reported from Tunguska witnesses who lived very far away from the impact area which nowadays is supposed to be located near Lake Cheko in the Krasnoyarsk District (Lake Cheko GPS coordinates on Google Maps: 60.964105,101.860009).
The explosion itself involved an area of 2.000 square kilometers (something similar to the city of Los Angeles) flattering the taiga but the fire went on for several weeks destroying many other kilometers of Tunguska surrounding the flash point.
Since the first Kulik expedition many theories have been built over the Tunguska event: scientists from all over the world have come to Tunguska to carry on researches and ufologists have held conferences dedicated to this incredible mystery.
Today the most accreditated theory has been the one formulated by a team of Italian scientists: it wasn’t an asteroid or a black hole or a gas explosion from the underground, it was the fragment of a comet from the space which exploded 5 to 10 kilometers away from the earth surface, over the Tunguska sky.
Comets are made of gas, ice and water; because of its nature, the big snowball did not reached the surface of our planet and exploded on the atmosphere. This explains why a crater has never been found.
More than hundred years from the explosion, the Tunguska event is still provoking debates and new research. Even the Metallica had their say on it showing a possible case scenario on the video of their song All Nightmare Long.
Whatever happened, the taiga surrounding the Lake Cheko is a great, beautiful land. The wooden house built by Kulik team is still there and has become a meeting point for those adventurous tourists who can afford a helicopter flight to get there.
Written and contributed by Francesco Dendi