In an article of the of French ufology magazine “Lumières dans la Nuit” (“Lights in the Night”) issue 335 of February 2000, Didier Leroux tried to find the source of this image, successfully.
He found out that image was painted by a contemporary Russian artist to illustrate the cover of a 1967 issue of the “Sputnik” Russian magazine, in which there was an article devoted to the topic of visits of ancient astronauts 12.000 years ago, which had been inspired among other stuff by the prehistoric paintings in the caves of Fergana in Uzbekistan in which certain characteristics were considered as possibly some ancient close encounter of the third kind.
These paintings seem to exist, but they are sometimes dated back to 2000 BC, sometimes 7000 BC, rather than 10.000 BC.
The cover illustration of the Sputnik magazine was cropped out and included in Erich Von Daniken’s book “Chariots of the Gods,” and thus instead of the true cave paintings of Fergana, the fictitious illustration spread as the real thing.
Sputnik magazine, published in Reader’s Digest format, was published in several languages in the Sixties and was one of the rare publications where Russian scientists, as well as laymen and fantasy-prone authors were allowed to pass some texts to the West, amongst other things, texts related to the UFO phenomenon.
So the whole matter seems quite simple. But I also found the cover of another magazine (on the Internet), SHOWN far below, which still says that the drawing is the real thing, while clearly the signature of an artist appears in the bottom on the right.
On top on left, it is specified that the drawing illustrates an article by Dr. Vyacheslav Zaitsev, Russian philologist, whose name is related to the case of the Dropas.
By examining the image, it seems obvious that it rather or also relates to the Dropas: see the disc with the spiral carving held by the cosmonaut and the high mountains.
As a matter of fact Fergana is only at some hundreds miles of Baya-Kara-Ulan.
Below, the painting by a Russian artist supposed to be an authentic cave painting in the caves of Fergana.
The image is different and probably older than the drawing above and obviously inspired it, and is quite probably the one presented in the Sputnik magazine of 1967.
Fergana is a valley in Uzbekistan, famous because the road to the silk passed through it.
It seems that there are really prehistoric caves there, showing these “ancient astronauts” paintings which inspired the Sputnik Magazine article and illustration: