Madame MiG – Мадам МиГ

November 30, a sad news passed on Russian news.

“The first-class test pilot Marina Popovich, known as “Madame MiG”, died at the age of 86…”

She was a legend

What was saying the news in about her:

Марина Попович, 1964 год
© Сергей Преображенский/ТАСС

Popovich was the first woman to overcome the sound barrier on the MiG-21 fighter, for which she received her nickname.

She completed her flight career in 1984, when she was 53 years old. She has 102 world records in the field of aviation, including ten of them on the Antonov An-22 Antei heavy aircraft. She mastered more than 40 types of aircraft and helicopters, flew 5.6 thousand hours, had the title of Honored Master of Sports of the USSR.

In addition, Popovic was fond of ufology and literature. In the 2000s, she published books such as “UFO over the planet Earth” and “UFO glasnost”.”

What a life!

She came from a musician family. Marina had told about her childhood with these words in an interview:

“My dad was a violinist, in childhood I played with him (played on small cymbals), and uncle Karp – on the accordion at concerts. Such was our family’s instrumental ensemble. Therefore, my parent and relatives were sure: my future would be music.”

Marina’s sister, Valentina graduated from the conservatory, later became a conductor in the theater. The two brothers of her mother were pilots; The war prompted her to make a choice in favor of flying art. At the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, the family was evacuated to Novosibirsk, but later she recalled:


We lived near Smolensk, in a small town Velizhe. We were constantly bombed, then I saw enough of the horrors of the war… After that, my cousins ​​Misha and Volodya Ivanutiny, who were 9-12 years old, left for the partisans. The memory of the war is very strong… So, why I wanted to fly? I wanted revenge on the fascists. Take revenge. But while I was growing up, there were no fascists; and my desire to learn how to fly was left.

When she decided to become a pilot, the some obstacles she met.

One of the obstacles was the sex: Although during the Great Patriotic War (WW2) many women flew, but after the war, the era of jet aviation began and women were no longer enrolled in aviation schools for a while.

Another problem was that she was in a very young age, 16 years old, for which Vasilyeva “attributed” the extra 6 years to herself. (So actually although she was born in 1937, her birth day recorded as 1931) Marina got a reception from the Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR KE Voroshilov and received permission to enroll; so she had the opportunity to become a professional pilot.

Marina Vasilyeva began flying in 1948. In 1951 she graduated from the Aviation Technical School in Novosibirsk, after which she worked as a design engineer at the Komintern Plant (1951-1953).

After graduating from the Central Flight School DOSAAF in Saransk (later – the Moscow branch of the Kiev Aviation Institute), she worked there for some time as an instructor, and from 1958 became an instructor pilot in the Central Aeroclub named after VP Chkalov. To obtain the right to operate a fighter, she obtained admission to military service, and later graduated from the Leningrad Academy of Civil Aviation.

In the meanwhile in 1955, Marina married the future Soviet pilot-cosmonaut Pavel Popovich; marriage during 30 years. And she took Popovich surname.

Andriyan Nikolayev, Yuri Gagarin, Pavel Popovich, his wife Marina Popovich and their daughter vacationing in the Crimea (1967) — (the picture was taken from

1960, Marina Popovich began to master the technique of piloting on jet aircraft, and soon became the only military test pilot-class 1 in the country. In 1962, she was invited as a candidate for cosmonauts and underwent a medical examination as part of the second group of cosmonauts, but was not taken in the detachment.

The cosmonaut crew that Marina could not get in 1960. (Yuri Gagarin, German Titov, Andriyan Nikolayev, Pavel Popovich, Grigory Nelyubov ve Valery Bykovsky…) picture from

In 1964, Marina Popovich was the first female test pilot to overcome the sound barrier on the MiG-21 jet fighter, for which she received the nickname “Madame MiG” in Western press.

In the summer of 1965, on a “RV” aircraft with two turbojet engines, She set a world record for the speed of this class of aircraft flying through a closed two-thousand-kilometer route at an average speed of 737.28 km / h. September 20, 1967 Popovich broke the world record of an American Jacqueline Cochran, flying on a plane “RV” on the route Volgograd – Moscow – Astrakhan – Volgograd 2510 km and exceeding the record by 344 km.

13 of its records are registered with the International Aviation Association (FAI). Ten world records were won by her as commander of the giant airship Antey (An-22, she became the only female pilot in the world to fly a plane of this class) In the last record-breaking flight, the crew headed by Popovich overcame a distance of 1000 km at a speed exceeding 600 km / h, with a cargo of 50 tons.

In 1969 she defended her thesis for the degree of candidate of technical sciences. The theme of the thesis is “Increasing the flight range due to laminarization and the methodology of flight testing of aircraft with control of laminated flow”.

In 1979-1984, ML Popovich worked as a leading test pilot in the Antonov Design Bureau in Kiev. At the age of 53, she completed her flying career, during which she flew 5600 hours, mastered more than 40 types of aircraft and helicopters, tested aviation equipment in the GC Chukalov Air Force Research Institute and OK Antonova KB (in that number of five types of aircraft – as a leading test pilot).

She also enthusiastically interested in mountain skiing and literary work, wrote wonderful poems, novels. She co-wrote nine books herself, including collections of poems, prose works, books on UFOs, etc. She was a member of the Writers’ Union of Russia, consisted in the Communist Party. She was the co-author of scenarios for the films “The Bouquet of Violets” (1983, directors Vera Stroeva, Oleg Bondarev) and “Heaven with Me” (1974, director Valery Lonskoy).


And her great love about cosmos and

During one of the hikes in the mountains in the first time she observed a UFO. Later she left a note: “On August 13, 1982, I with Oksana (daughter) and four others were in the Pamir Mountains camp. At night, we were surprised to find that an “extra” star appeared in the constellation Ursa Major. It seemed brighter than other stars in the constellation. Suddenly the star broke away and began to increase in size. We decided unanimously and again stared at the fire. Sasha Rumyantsev’s voice made us raise our heads again. It was already more like a huge ball. It was the first time I had to watch a UFO. A second later, the ball of fire pushed forward, it was precisely how the telescopic antenna, the beam, pushed out, poured a gorge over the strong light. The smallest details, which were hidden a second ago, suddenly became visible. We instinctively squinted from the bright, very similar to the daylight, and when we opened eyes, the ball jerked away in the direction of Mount Dream. For a few moments we were in a state of shock, all of us in silence, then everyone started talking. A few minutes later the whole camp was already on its feet. Behind the mountain, where the ball hid, there was a strange radiance of a spherical shape. Through it was visible vegetation on the neighboring slopes. ”

After that “encountering” Marina Popovich began to painstakingly collect and summarize scientific materials about unidentified flying objects, abnormal phenomena in nature. She was in correspondence with ufologists living in different countries, regularly participates in international scientific conferences, writes books about the problems of ufology. Four books have already been published abroad: in Germany, Ireland, Hungary, Bulgaria.

Of course, this observation was not something ordinary people would tell. She’s an expert pilot, her informations about flying objects are a lot more than 90% of the people. When this is the case, Marina’s observation about UFOs is becoming more important.

I will not be able to comment much on this subject,(as you know due to some rules by Galactic Council) so I’m closing this subject for now.

Already for me she’s a legend, due to at first her aviating on MiG-21 and many others, and her records and full of life, not for her UFO observations.

And one of the legendary humans has passed amongst us… I hope her life and her achievements would be inspiring to many people around the planet earth. There are too many important things that the people can learn from Marina Lavrentyevna Popovich and the people like her.

“Легендарная Марина Попович навсегда улетела ввысь.
Мои соболезнования с глубоким уважением…”

(The legendary Marina Popovich forever flew up.
My condolences with deep respect…)









I have a dream

Each Earthling has a dream. As an extraterrestrial, I have a dream too. My dream is flying with MiG-29 fighter jet beyond the sound speed and being at the edge of space.

WD and I recently have made this conversation.

-What are you doing in a MiG-29, Migo? I know that you love the most MiG-21.

-Yes, I still love it most. But, I can not be with its at the edge of space.

-So, your aim is to fly high utmost. Tell me, what is your main purpose Migo? On high, you will give the signal to some alien friends of yours, when you pass the atmosphere, don’t you! Are invaders coming! Of course, you can not do it on ground! Surely, you are afraid; if you do this on ground, you are busted! Confess, Migo!

-I just want to fly, I have no other purpose.

-You can convince everyone, but you can not fool me! Also, how will you board a MiG-29? So do you have enough money for this flight?

-Why do you ask, WD?

-If so, you don’t pay into the silly things like that. For one minute enjoy, you don’t bury the money under ground.

-So, according to you, what should I do?

-Listen to me, Migo! I’ve found a wonderful island, they sell it parcel by parcel. If we buy a few acres from there with this money, we can build my magnificent kingdom. Wonderful idea, isn’t it!

-Is this your wonderful idea?

-Of course, I have no such a desire that aliens come and invade this planet, like you. You’re the alien one.

-But you’re planning to occupy an island.

-It can not be called occupation! Migo, if you pay money, it is not occupied. Still, you could not learn this planet! You’re still an alien! And still, why do I hang around with you, I do not know that!

Yes, our conversation finished like that. And I have still same dream;)

If you can find the strength to challenge to the occupation which is made unjustly, you don’t need a name to be a hero

August 1967 and September 1967. So, there is one more year to finish United States air assault operation “Rolling Thunder” which has started in March 2, 1965. When the operation began, there were three main purposes.
-put pressure on the North Vietnamese leadership and force him to give up fighting in South Vietnam
-destroy North Vietnam’s transport system to obstruct the transfer of military materials in South Vietnam
-provide psychological support for the South Vietnamese government

However, when the operation was finished, in November 2 1968, it turned out that Operation «Rolling Thunder» was the longest bombing campaign after the World War II. As result, about 200,000 civilian Vietnamese died. United States casualties, not civilian, 1,084 died, captured, or missing and 938 aircraft lost, during in these 1930 days.

North-Vietnam pilot Nguyen Nhat Trieu in the first photo, was a child of a poor family. Even if his surname is Trieu, (Trieu is a name of a dynasty in Vietnam and it is very common) he was not rich. He completed his first education in difficulty, and then he enlisted in the army. He had received training to use Mig-21 at Krasnodar Higher Military Aviation School, Soviet Union in 1966, with other colleagues selected for pilot training. He started to use MiG-21 as from 7 July 1966. Before this date, he was using MiG-17. And his first successful shot has been July 11, 1966. F-105D “Thunderchief” (Wi. No. 61-0121, 355th Tactical Fighter Squadron US Air Force) shot down by him. F-105D fell on the territory of Laos as a result of consuming the fuel. US pilot was saved.

The reason for the publication of this photo is the events, what happened at the day, August 23, 1967. That day, in August 23, 1967, he shot total of 6 aircraft down, including 4 Phantom, 2 Thunderchief.

Let’s see what is writing under the first photo; with English translations.

“Nguyen Nhat Trieu shot six US-Eng aircraft down. He won his victory on August 23, 1967 over the sea. Americana has considered that F-105D was hit by anti-aircraft missile, not K-13; Nguyen did was revealed with the MiG-21. Shortly after, comrade Trieu fired 20 mm gun of MiG-21 accidentally; Vietnamese Nguyen Nhat Trieu was knocked down.”

He’s dead…

His life was filled with true success. He struggled that one more civilian Vietnamese should not die. He fought for that the public doesn’t poison with Agent Orange or others in the air raids. Maybe one more Vietnamese child wasn’t lost with the reason of his fight. Perhaps, under favour of him and the brave Vietnamese heroes, the number about 200,000 death toll, which is pronounced like very few, hasn’t further increased…

Second hero at the second photo; she was just an unnamed girl.

Vietnamese people did not have the opportunity to make their advertising in dozens of daily newspapers. The number of people, who can see the photos where came from the battle front, was very few. Did you say psychological operations? Yes, maybe, if a little girl is seen to have taken hostage to one US officer, who was in US forces attack, this could affect them.

Let’s see again what is writing under the second photo; with English translations.

“17 September 1967. The reconnaissance plane RF-4C, wing-No:65-0894, of the 11th Intelligence Squadron 432nd Tactical Wing scouting the US Air Force, was shot down off 25 miles south west of Hanoi. The crew of Major John Edward Stavast and 1st Lt. Gerald S. Venanzi were ejected. The picture shows a girl escorting 1st Lieutenant Gerald S. Venanzi.”

It is unknown what happened to this little girl. Already she is unnamed. But it is clear that her looks fearless. In fact, to survive in the war in so many year, is related with this, isn’t it?

The captured person at the photo is John Edward Stavast, who was a pilot United States Air Force. After he was captured, he spent 5 and half years as prisoner in Hanoi. After he released in March 14, 1973, he returned to army, but not active. And two years later, war is over.

Those happened in Vietnam were not a heroism racing. Looking at three persons in two photos, this unnamed girl is one of real hero of public is understood. Because, after a while looking at these pictures, only she is sticking in the mankind’s minds. Two fighter pilots at one side; a little girl, who is holding gun fearlessly at the other side. It appears that if you can find the strength to challenge to the occupation which is made unjustly, you don’t need a name to be a hero.

To all unnamed heroes in Vietnam War, with respect…

These Photos were published in Russian Air warfare magazine No: 22
That issue subject: mig-21, Military Applications in Vietnam