Nicholas Roerich (1874-1947) was een Russisch kunstschilder, filosoof, archeoloog, schrijver en reiziger. Op de site van het Nicholas Roerich Museum New York is werk van hem te vinden, waaronder zijn reisdagboeken.
On August fifth—something remarkable! We were in our camp in the Kukunor district not far from the Humboldt Chain. In the morning about half-past nine some of our caravaneers noticed a remarkably big black eagle flying above us. Seven of us began to watch this unusual bird. At this same moment another of our caravaneers remarked, “There is something far above the bird.” And he shouted in his astonishment. We all saw, in a direction from north to south, something big and shiny reflecting the sun, like a huge oval moving at great speed. Crossing our camp this thing changed in its direction from south to southwest. And we saw how it disappeared in the intense blue sky. We even had time to take our field glasses and saw quite distinctly an oval form with shiny surface, one side of which was brilliant from the sun.
On August seventh the Suburgan was consecrated. Gegen of Tsaidam arrived; about thirty Mongolian guests also came. We held the service to the Suburgan. They promised to guard the Suburgan of Shambhala. If only the Dungans would not destroy it!
There was revolt among our Buriats. They went to the Chinese with a false report about us. Instead of the rebellious Buriats we took three Torguts with us. They are good shots.
Following the false report of the Buriats, the Chinese soldiers, with an official of the Sining Amban, arrived. They examined our passports. Of course, again extortion. We paid the Chinese. The Mongols are indignant about this incident.
Unexpected guests come swiftly from out the desert. Toward evening a mysterious stranger, in a beautiful gold embroidered Mongol garb, came galloping along. Who was he? Hurriedly he entered the tent. Without naming himself he said that he was our friend, that he must warn us concerning an attack prepared against us on the border of Tibet. He warned us of the need of increasing our guards and our reconnoitering troops. Thus he spoke and galloped away. Who was he? Our lamas say: “He is either a thief or a robber or a collector for the monastery.” No one liked the luxurious garments of the stranger. But he was a friend. He desired to help. Again an operatic episode.