by Anthony Georgieff

Defence Minister Dragomir Zakov was quick to assert that NATO's Air Force command centre assessed the aircraft as a potential risk

lz airplane

In early June a small plane flew into Bulgarian airspace from the northwest and landed at what used to be a commercial airport near Vidin. Apparently, the aircraft refuelled. It is unclear whether the pilot or pilots got any on-the-ground assistance from anyone or just poured fuel into the plane's tank from canisters. Guards from a private security company that was supposed to protect the ruins of Vidin Airport, which was abandoned in the 1990s, noticed the activity and alerted the local police. But the aircraft was quicker. She took off before the police arrived.

The aircraft flew off eastward and landed at Targovishte, some 400 kilometres away. There, its passengers covered her with a piece of tarpaulin, installed a camera and left – before anyone could do a thing.

Since then the Bulgarian police and prosecutors have been unable to identify who the aircraft belonged to, why she flew through half of Bulgaria without getting intercepted and most importantly who and why flew her into this country one stormy night last June.

The Bulgarian Air Force commanders seem to have learned a lot since then.

In July two Soviet-manufactured MiG-29s were sent off from the Graf Ignatievo air base, in southern Bulgaria, to the area of Svishtov, at the Danube river, to intercept what was apparently a small aircraft that was flying at an altitude of 600 metres, or 1,800 feet, and did not have either a flight schedule or an activated transponder.

Defence Minister Dragomir Zakov was quick to assert that NATO's Air Force command centre assessed the aircraft as a potential risk. The MiGs followed the aircraft, a Cesna-150, and she landed peacefully at an airfield near the Pleven village of Bohot. The pilot of the aircraft was detained and released the following day. The MiG pilots, reportedly some of this country's youngest Air Force aces, were congratulated on the successful mission.

This is a joke, commented the Bohot airfield owner, Anton Georgiev. The Cesna was perfectly legitimate and did not break any rules as this type of aircraft was under no obligation to have an active transponder. The aircraft is the property of a local organisation that uses it for training purposes. According to him, the media frenzy that followed the incident was meant as a distraction from this country's failure to identify who and why flew the aircraft that landed and was abandoned at Targovishte in June. 


    Commenting on

    Vagabond Media Ltd requires you to submit a valid email to comment on to secure that you are not a bot or a spammer. Learn more on how the company manages your personal information on our Privacy Policy. By filling the comment form you declare that you will not use for the purpose of violating the laws of the Republic of Bulgaria. When commenting on please observe some simple rules. You must avoid sexually explicit language and racist, vulgar, religiously intolerant or obscene comments aiming to insult Vagabond Media Ltd, other companies, countries, nationalities, confessions or authors of postings and/or other comments. Do not post spam. Write in English. Unsolicited commercial messages, obscene postings and personal attacks will be removed without notice. The comments will be moderated and may take some time to appear on

Add new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.

Discover More

Atanas Atanasov is a general. He was the head of the Bulgarian security service under Ivan Kostov, the Bulgarian prime minister in 1997-2001, who inimitably prompted just two reactions: love or hate.

So what has a senior cleric, Patriarch Neofit, who died in March aged 78, done to deserve a state funeral replete with military salutes and a coffin being drawn by... an armoured personnel carrier?

When it was hammered out last year with the support of Boyko Borisov's GERB (whom everyone left, right and centre of Kiril Petkov, Asen Vasilev, Hristo Ivanov and Gen Atanas Atanasov swore was the godfather of all evils to befall Bulgaria

The cops by far outnumber the construction workers wielding chop saws inside a ladder hoist. There have been no press releases, nor the obligatory information signs to tell the public what's going on. The area has been cordoned off.

The man, who went to his native Haskovo, in southern Bulgaria, to vote in the local elections was turned away by the election authority because he failed to live up to the basic requirement of having had an address in his constituency for at least six month

"Hey, beauty, let's go home and have sex."" I can't do it just like that. We do not even have common acquaintances.""Well, do you know Boyko Borisov?""Yes, I do.""So, let's go!"***
Other angry citizens have taken to the park, where the MOCHA is situated.

Firstly, a bright light appeared in the sky over Vidin, at the River Danube, one dark, hot and mosquito-infested night. It was reputedly followed by a loud explosion. People were mesmerised and slightly frightened.

What led to that is so complicated and absurd that analysts find it difficult to explain while ordinary people prefer just to laugh it off. Here is the story briefly.

Everyone who has had some work to do with the Bulgarian police should have noticed the despicable conditions in which rank and file officers often work.

Voters are being exposed to a plethora of pledges designed to make them feel good – and cast their ballots for whoever talks louder.

"Pretty sure that was in Elden Ring" Musk wrote, possibly without knowing that the photographer, Vladislav Terziyski, had heavily manipulated his picture, and possibly without realising that difficult-to-pronounce Belogradchik was a real town in a real coun