01 Feb The Chernobyl Disaster was a Cover up of something terrifying Part 1
You probably heard about tourism in the Chernobyl exclusion zone. I’ve been there myself several times. And it’s nothing like what you see in games or horror movies. There are no ghosts, mutants or radioactive anomalies and death isn’t waiting for you at every corner. Actually, I think it’s one of the most peaceful and prettiest places on Earth. An example of strength of nature and how it can reverse the damage that we caused it.
Thus, when my friend Alexei decided to go there, he knew who to contact. He’s a physics student and right now he’s doing some kind of research on nuclear fallout and he said that he wanted to get some direct measurements and samples. But we both knew that it’s just an excuse to go on an “adventure”. We visited the old powerplant, the abandoned city Pripyat and the surrounding exclusion zone. It was nice, but I would probably just bore you with more details. That part is not important anyway.
We were driving on some dirt roads in a forest east of Pripyat when we found it. An old, rusty fence and a chained gate that blocked any further passage. There was a big sign with a radiation hazard symbol and captioned: “Restricted area. Authorized personnel only”.
There was a pair of massive metal blast doors in the side an artificially-looking hill not far behind the fence, with a large, white “O-13” painted on it and “NO ENTRY” sprayed on top.
“What do you think it is?” Alex asked.
“I don’t know, looks like some kind of bunker,” I replied. “And it looks like it has been closed for some time,” I added after taking a closer look at the doors. The both halves were welded shut in the center. Alex took his samples and readings, but we were too puzzled to leave just yet.
“Do you think we can get in?” I asked.
“Well not this way for sure. Even if it wasn’t welded sealed, I’m sure we have no way of unlocking it.” Alex replied while examining the massive door.
“It looks like an underground bunker. They must have had a way to pump air inside and I don’t think this is it. There has to be another way to get in.” I said.
We circled the main entrance to try find other means of entry. The day was already coming to an end and it was slowly getting darker. As we were searching, a thought crossed my mind.
Why would they weld the doors? What’s so important inside that they went this far to keep people away?
“Look, there’s something there,” Alex pulled me away from my thoughts.
It was a concrete block a couple of meters large with what looked like vents on the sides. As I looked into the vents, I noticed that they were also sealed with heavy-looking steel hatches and no clear way to open them. However, there was also a somewhat smaller door labeled “Service tunnel” with a large wheel on the outside.
“Should I open it?” I asked.
“Yeah, I’m really wonder what this is. Anyway, we don’t have to go in. At least we’ll see if the door still works.
At first, the wheel wouldn’t turn because of all the rust and dirt, but eventually it budged. The door unlocked. I pulled and it slowly started opening. It was very heavy and took a lot of force.
Behind the door, there was a small platform and a tight vertical tunnel with a ladder. What caught my attention was that there was an identical locking mechanism on the inside. That meant that they could lock the door from both sides. But why? We were lucky, because if they had locked it from the inside too, there would be no way to get in.
I stepped inside and shined my phone light down the shaft. It wasn’t strong enough to hit the bottom. The air was damp and old and there was something that I couldn’t identify. A very faint, chemical-like smell. There was no radiation nor signs of any other hazards.
“You’ve got to be kidding me. This is so cool. We have to come back here and check it out later.” Alex said.
I couldn’t agree more.
It was almost dark now, so we resealed the door and called it a day. But we promised ourselves to return.
I immediately tried to do some research when I got home, unfortunately with no success. I even tried to call Pavel, a friend of mine who knew the area better than me. Actually, it was him who brought me there for the first time. He couldn’t help me either, but promised to ask around. I told him about our plan and asked if he wouldn’t go with us, but unfortunately, he was out of the country for a while.
A week later, we packed our gear and went on with it. We brought some rope, heavy flashlights, glowsticks, Geiger counters, waterproof protective clothes, an oxygen meter and a small emergency scuba tank just in case. And yeah, we’re not stupid so we told our relatives and friends about our trip and when we’re expecting to return.
We closed the door behind us as we descended down the access shaft. We couldn’t know what’s down there and we didn’t want to cause a radiation leak or something like that. We eventually dropped down into a concrete tunnel which enclosed the air vents and some smaller pipes. There was obviously no power and thus no lights. Good thing we brought our own.
We followed the tunnel and reached another door, but this time it was a regular one, not the heavy bunker-type. We went through and entered a room with 4 large air pumps and some electrical equipment and controls. The ventilation shafts split here into two larger ones that ran straight into ground and two smaller ones that went straight across the room where there was another set of doors.
Behind the doors, there was a large hall with numerous boxes, crates and other cargo just laying around. There also was a security checkpoint. Behind the checkpoint, we found the main door that we have seen from the outside. Just next to it, there was some heavy lifting equipment. We returned through the checkpoint and taken a look at a set of elevators. There was a simple map with the layout of the facility floor by floor. We were on floor 0, main entry hall. There were another 4 floors below us.
Floor -1: Offices, security and recreation
Floor -2: Secure laboratories
Floor -3: Accelerator, Cleanroom decontamination chamber
Floor -4: Experiment site
The map was titled “Object-13”. It wasn’t a military bunker. This was a research site.
We took a set of stairs, since the elevators were of no use without power. An unsettling thought brushed my mind as we were descending. They probably were moving some supplies, and then left them there and took the equipment to the main door. Were they trying to get out?
I stepped on another stair step but something rolled away under my foot, lost my balance and fell on my back. My pack luckily absorbed the impact. I looked under my feet to see what caused my fall. Empty bullet casings.
This wasn’t the sole reason why I felt odd about this place. As soon as we got down to level -1, I noticed that every single door was open. Every single one. There was a canteen and a kitchen right at the beginning of a long rectangular corridor. Various offices surrounded the corridor. There was the regular stuff – paperwork, old computers, personal belongings, all right there where they left it. Did they leave in a hurry?
“Dimitri!” Alex called from, the canteen on the opposite side of the corridor.
“What?” was all I could say when I followed him to the canteen.
There was food still neatly served on the tables. But it wasn’t spoilt. It wasn’t fresh either, but it wasn’t decaying, as a 30-year-old meal should.
“How is this possible?” I asked.
“I don’t know, maybe it was irradiated or something. But it’s not anymore, I checked that. I really don’t know man,” he answered, as puzzled as I was.
Oh, why didn’t we just turn back and leave? Now that I’m writing this, there were so many red flags already. Something really wrong happened down there. But I guess we were too excited and curious. But it was at this point that my excitement started to fade and be replaced with an eerie feeling.
Nevertheless, we continued and descended down to level -2. The stairwell ended here, and to go deeper, we would have to cross the entire floor to reach an another one on the opposite side. There was a security checkpoint and a large blast door that we had to pass through to reach the labs. Again, every door was wide open. However, the things that people left here weren’t neatly placed where they should have been. It was a mess everywhere. There were all kinds of rooms with all kinds of equipment that I didn’t understand. Occasionally, there were more empty bullet casings on the ground. There still was the one central rectangular corridor as above, but the rooms around it were like a little maze.
Almost at the other side of the floor, we found the head scientist’s office. As I said, everywhere it was a mess, but I found a logbook on the desk. There was only a handful of pages, the rest torn out.
5. October 1984: Today we successfully managed to translocate several atoms without changes in any physical properties. It’s going to be a long road until we can transport solid objects, but we’re going some good work here.
17. January 1985: We’ve managed to transport an apple today. However, I couldn’t help but notice that the pattern of red and green skin on top was slightly different. But it was still the same apple, with the same structure, shape, everything. We also tried to transport some electronics. They were unharmed and in working order. I think that we still have a lot to perfect and learn about this technology, but we cannot slow down now. The country is relying on us.
21. February 1985: After the animal trials, we translocated our first human today. He is alive and healthy, a brave hero of our nation. We have proven that this technology works now, but the practicality is still very limited due to the fixed translocation ratio. We still cannot “send” matter. Only exchange the positions of two equally massive objects. I have proposed a new type of device, that could possibly achieve one-way translocation of just a single object, but it would need an immense amount of energy.
1. May 1985: Our superiors accepted my proposal. They are going to build a new, much bigger translocator here, in the power plant, so we can use a nuclear reactor as a direct power source. There is one more thing. We’ve now translocated dozens of test subjects. Each one is alive and well, but sometimes they are a little bit, well, different. They sometimes claim that various events in the past happened differently than they really did. Sometimes they claim to know people who don’t exist, or more alarming, they know people who they are not supposed to know. The following was written below with a pencil by hand: “Test subject 28 was speaking an unknown language and couldn’t understand any real language after the experiment.”
There was a lot of missing pages afterwards.
25. April 1986: We are going to try to change our approach. It’s been more than a year, and we’re still unsuccessful in eliminating the translocation symmetry anomaly. We still event don’t know what is causing it, but we are not going to make any progress this way. Today, we are going to try to access the conduit reality instead. Even though Unit 2 – the one we built in the power plant – is still new, we are going to use it for this experiment. Who knows what wonders are waiting for us on the other side?
There was one last page in the logbook. On it, it was just a single phrase, written again and again:
“Alex, I think we should go,” I called.
“Man, come take a look at this,” he answered.
I stepped out of the lab and back into the hallway.
There were … clothes all over the corridor. Well what was left of them. They were torn to shreds. No bodies, no blood, just strips of cloth and an occasional shoe or a watch. I looked up and stared down the dark corridor in front of us. I just stood there for a while.
It was, I don’t know … as if something torn all these people to shreds, and then cleaned it all up. Except the clothes and other non-organic material.
A wave of pure, instinctive dread washed over me. I couldn’t move. I didn’t even breathe.
“Let’s just get out of here.” Alex said.
We turned around and walked away. Slowly at first, but we quickened our pace. Our footsteps echoed across the underground structure.
“I just want to be out of here man. We shouldn’t have done this” Alex said. I didn’t tell him about the logbook, but…
My thoughts were cut short after a sudden realization.
His voice didn’t echo. It was just our footsteps.
I think he realized too, because we both stopped and listened.
Nothing. Just silence.
I stepped forward.
I took another step.
There was this door just in front of us and I forced myself to try something. I closed it behind us as we passed it and placed a glass beaker that I found on the ground on top.
I took a step forward.
It was just echo after all, I thought.
We walked away, carefully at first, but then we once again quickened our pace. We turned around a corner, and then it happened.
The glass shattered.
or some thing
just opened the door.
We dropped all our gear except our lights and ran as fast as we could. I didn’t even know I could run this fast. I always tried to be a tough guy but I was never so scared in my life.
Our footsteps didn’t echo anymore. Or better said, they weren’t in sync with ours anymore. Something was running after us. Each second it was getting closer. And closer.
As soon as we reached the security checkpoint, we started closing the door. The rusty joint of the door squealed in protest, but we pulled with all our strength. We almost had it closed, when we heard a loud, guttural and unnatural growl.
The door slammed shut and I threw the wheel to the ‘locked’ position. My heart was pounding so hard that it was all I heard for a while.
No, wait, it wasn’t my heart. It was that thing, pounding on the locked blast door.
We were running again. We reached the stairwell and run up, taking 2-3 steps at once.
We finally reached the air pump room. The ascent really exhausted us and even though I was scared shitless, I felt like I would pass out if I took another step forward. Besides, we locked it down there.
Alex sat down and leaned his back on one of the large vertical vents with a bang.
Bang. Bang. Bang…
We locked it down there.
But we forgot the vents.
Alex and I looked at each other, our eyes met, and then… the vent burst and he was gone. I only heard him scream as he was dragged back down.
I feel terrible for doing this, but I just ran, I climbed the service shaft and locked the service door shut when I was finally out of this hell.
As soon as I had phone service again, my phone started beeping with loads and loads of missed calls and messages from Pavel.
“Hey Dimitri, I found this guy, he says he knows what ‘O-13’ is. Please pick up as soon as you can, he says it’s dangerous and you should stay out of it.
“This guy is calling me now, he sounds serious, please call me back at once”
“I don’t know what’s going on but he’s going there, please I hope you get this before you go down. Stay safe friend.”
There was also one message from an unknown number:
“Dimitri, this is Anatoliy Moroz, I know what you found and I’m on my way from Kiev now. DO NOT GO DOWN THERE. If you already did and you manage to get out, lock the door that you used to get in and make sure it stays locked. I will try to call you when I’m here.”
So here I am, writing this while I wait. I do this to make sure that no one else repeats our mistake, since I don’t know if I’ll live long to tell anyone personally.
I just can’t leave Alex behind.
I have to go back.