On April 23, 2006, a strangely dressed man was walking along one of the streets in Kiev. He was wearing a brand-new coat that had gone out of style more than half a century ago, along with similarly old-fashioned pants and shoes. The man appeared nervous, frequently looked around, and seemed disoriented.
During midday, the police received several reports about this passerby. The reports mentioned a “suspicious man walking along Victory Avenue who appeared completely disoriented.”
At 3:20 PM, the police arrived at the scene and soon located the stranger. Upon seeing law enforcement officers, the man became relieved and asked them where Volodarskogo Street was.
The officers, exchanging surprised glances, responded that in 2002, the street had been renamed to its historical name, Zlatoustovskaya. The man was bewildered and didn’t know how to respond. The law enforcement officers then asked for his identification.
The stranger only had an old Komsomol membership card dated 1956, from the time of the Soviet Union. According to the document, the man’s name was Sergei Ponomarenko, and he was born in March 1932. However, judging by the man’s appearance, he couldn’t have been more than 25 years old.
In the Hospital
Thinking that Sergei might have some mental disorders or memory loss, the police took him straight to the psychiatric hospital No. 1 named after I.P. Pavlov.
In the clinic, Sergei Ponomarenko began to regain his composure and asked one of the doctors, Pavel Kutrikov, about the current year. When the doctor answered that it was 2006, Ponomarenko was startled, paused for a few seconds, and then said that he seemed to have time-traveled to the future by 50 years.
“It was just an ordinary summer day – August 13, 1956. I decided to take a stroll around the city and brought my camera with me. But as soon as I stepped out of the entrance, I saw a strange object in the sky, shaped like a bell. It was very peculiar… it was flying in a wavy trajectory,” Sergei Ponomarenko recounted to the doctor.
He then mentioned that he took out his camera and snapped a photo. But something inexplicable happened afterward – he was enveloped in a bright light, and everything disappeared. According to Sergei’s perception, only a few seconds had passed, and he found himself in a completely different place that he couldn’t recognize.
“I know it’s hard to believe, so why don’t I show you the photos I managed to take? We just need to develop the pictures,” Ponomarenko added.
Doctor Kutrikov didn’t believe Ponomarenko at first, as he had worked in the psychiatric hospital for a long time and heard more incredible stories. Nevertheless, he examined Sergei’s belongings and did indeed find an old “Zorkiy” camera among them.
Later, he contacted his acquaintance, Vadim Poisner, and handed the camera over to him. Upon inspecting the camera, which had been out of production for 60 years, Poisner was ecstatic because the exhibit was in excellent condition, and the “Svema” film was still intact.
As Poisner explained, over the decades, the film should have deteriorated, but in this case, it was practically in perfect condition. He then proceeded to develop and print the photos. The black-and-white photographs developed by Vadim Poisner were quite revealing. They showed many old views of Kiev that are impossible to photograph today. There were also several pictures of a beautiful woman and a portrait of Sergei Ponomarenko himself, wearing the same clothes in which he had been brought to the hospital.
The most intriguing was the photo of the presumed unidentified flying object, which indeed looked exactly as Sergei had described it to the doctor.
Meanwhile, Sergei Ponomarenko had been placed in a separate room with metal bars on the windows, where he was to stay until a final diagnosis could be made. But things took an unexpected turn.
After the pictures were ready, early one morning, Pavel Kutrikov entered Ponomarenko’s room to share the news. However, the room was empty. When security reviewed the surveillance cameras, they found nothing suspicious. It appeared that the man had simply disappeared without a trace.
Doctor Kutrikov decided to continue his own investigation, as he couldn’t ignore the strange photographs and Sergei Ponomarenko’s mysterious disappearance.
To his surprise, he did find references to a man named Sergei Valentinovich Ponomarenko who had been reported missing in the 1960s.
Later, Pavel managed to locate the woman from Sergei’s photographs, Valentina Kulik, who was over 80 years old in 2007 but still living in Kiev.
When Kutrikov asked her if she knew the man in the photos, she confidently stated that it was Sergei, and they had been dating from 1955 to 1956 until he suddenly disappeared. According to the elderly woman, Ponomarenko had been the love of her life, and she had planned to marry him. As evidence, she showed her own photographs, featuring a man who closely resembled Sergei.
It’s worth noting that many people criticize this story. In particular, the Komsomol membership card appears slightly different from those issued at the time, and the film, although a rarity, was still available for purchase even in the 2000s.
Nevertheless, the case remains quite intriguing, as there are several other pieces of evidence of time travel: the accounts of Kutrikov, Poisner, and Kulik. Moreover, the photographs themselves appear authentic.
Do you believe in this story, or do you consider it a hoax?