Slava Paperno: Andy tells about that, and he says that in the beginning in the presentation, everything was explained according to the legend, or, as he puts it, it was "legendized," and as you put it as well, "legendized." And then all of a sudden you all decided to tell the truth about what you were working on there.
Gennadiy N. Lepeshkin: No.
Paperno: Either during the picnic, which I don't fully understand, that question isn't clear to me. Or else during the picnic when you were at the reservoir, or maybe even while you were... during the excursion. And then Anne Harrington says that Andy said that Gennadiy said, oh, all of that was the legend, and now I'll tell you the truth. How did it really happen, and what did you...
Lepeshkin: This... Well, when there was... the delegation came, uh, we addressed them, and everything we said remained within the parameters of the story that had been planned. Then one of their representatives stood up, I forget his name, but I pointed him out in the photograph. And he started recounting everything precisely, as it was basically supposed to be. How it was all supposed to work. So. And that led them to ask me the question, "Was that how it was, or not?"
Uh, I answered them, saying that recently you had... uh, that recently Alibekov went over to your side, and he had no doubt given a full report, and that I can neither confirm nor deny your version. And that was the end of it. Later, after many years had passed, and by now this was in the late 90s, 1997 or '98, yeah, then we were also... gathered in a group, sitting together, uh, and there... this... it was a large group of researchers, and Andy asked a question, which was, "So, what were you really doing?" I said, "Well, well," I said, "what can I tell you now? You've already figured it all out for yourselves, you're familiar with the whole setup. What you said [back then], that is how it is. Roughly speaking, that's how it is." And that was... that was quite a long time ago already. But at our first meeting we had a conversation, to the effect that I could not, as I said then, confirm, or, the other thing either. Because you have your information, and we have ours, so for that reason...
Paperno: How come you waited two years to say it, instead of saying it in '95?
Lepeshkin: Because why should I have said it? Let them figure it all out themselves... they came...
Paperno: To do an inspection.
Lepeshkin: They came to do an inspection, and their job was to see whether or not they could confirm the information that they had. Why would I? I didn't ... I didn't say a word to them about any of it. First of all, that wouldn't have been in my interest. After all, I had certain obligations... I had a certain obligation. So, that's why I didn't try to convince them of anything or dissuade them. They came, so let them see everything for themselves and conclude that either we had something, or not. And that was where things were left.
Paperno: And by '97 or '98, things were different?
Lepeshkin: By '98, they had already essentially figured everything out for themselves, they had had everything confirmed, and, basically, they had no... no trace [of doubt] remained. "Well, basically, yes, we did do such work here," that was what was said. There was nothing to hide.
Paperno: So, in '97 or '98, you no longer had any reason to conceal what you had been working on previously?
Lepeshkin: Yes, well, we, again, they had already seen themselves what we had been doing. As to how we did it, we never told them, and we never will. They saw everything, basically, the equipment, all of that is very particular to the task.