Conspiracies, Mysteries, and Monsters of Chernobyl

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One of the the worst nuclear plant disasters ever recorded in history occurred in Ivankiv Raion, of northern Kiev Oblast, Ukraine, in the city of Pripyat, in what was at the time the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic of the Soviet Union, near the border with Belarus. It was here where on 26 April 1986, a catastrophic nuclear accident occurred at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, which would claim the lives of 31 people, plus many more in later years, send radioactive material spewing all over the western USSR and Europe, clear the immediate region of most of its inhabitants, affect nearly 7 million people, and cause environmental and health problems that still echo through and affect the area today. Yet among all of the human suffering and trying to piece together what happened, the region has also become ground zero for an array of strange mysteries involving everything from wild conspiracies, to ghosts, to mutant monsters, to UFOs, and others.

Much as with many other disasters, Chernobyl has spawned its fair share of conspiracy theories. First and foremost, have you heard the one about how the whole thing was a cover-up for something more ominous? This is the conclusion Ukrainian artist and documentary filmmaker Fodor Alexandrovich came to as he poked through the blasted ruins and history of the area looking for answers. After studying the sequence of events and the area, Alexandrovich became convinced that the whole incident was orchestrated by nefarious parties for the purpose of drawing attention away from the failure of a Soviet weapons system.

It all orbits around a mysterious radar array situated practically right next door to the Chernobyl reactor, which was known as Duga-3. The array was designed in the 1980s to be an early warning system to alert to missiles that had been just been launched, and in the process it emitted a series of mysterious clicks and taps that could be picked up on radio far and wide and which earned the installation the name “The Russian Woodpecker.” So relentless, powerful, and obnoxious was this incessant clicking that it interfered with TV and radio signals and even aircraft communications all over Europe and beyond, and there were numerous complaints from all over the world. For awhile the meaning behind these sounds remained enigmatic, starting many conspiracy theories in the process.

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