Kirsan Ilyumzhinov is a Buddhist, a millionaire, the head of the world's premier chess society, and the president of Kalmykia, an autonomous republic in the Russian Federation. He is also the survivor of an alien abduction, or so he claims. One night in 1997, Ilyumzhinov says, he was plucked from his Moscow apartment and taken aboard a spaceship, where he had a telepathic conversation with yellow-suited extraterrestrials. "I believe I talked to them and saw them," Ilyumzhinov recently told a Russian prime-time news program. "I perhaps wouldn't believe it if it wasn't for three witnesses--my driver, my minister, and my assistant."
Ilyumzhinov's biggest problem isn't skepticism, though--just the opposite. It turns out that Andrei Lebedev, a member of Russia's parliament, is taking his story all too seriously. In a letter to Russian president Dmitry Medvedev, Lebedev has demanded that Ilyumzhinov submit to a state interrogation. Lebedev apparently fears that Ilyumzhinov may have disclosed key information to the aliens about the Russian government.
According to a translation by True/Slant's Julia Ioffe, Lebedev's letter reads, in part:
Did the representatives of these extraterrestrial civilizations ask Ilyumzhinov about the nuances of his professional duties, and, if they did, what 'evidence' did he give? ... Who else among the governors of the Russian Federations, members of the government, and other federal civil servants is communicating with aliens? ... Dmitry Anatolyevich [Medvedev], you will agree that, unless Ilyumzhinov is bluffing, then this information is historically significant.
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