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10 Strange Tales, Conspiracies, And Folklore From Russia
Russia has a long, mysterious, and almost secretive history, especially to people living in the West. Sometimes, the lines between truth and fiction from this fascinating part of the world become a little blurred, but that just heightens the appeal and our curiosity.
10 Mysterious Holes In The Forests Of Siberia
Although many Internet sites have recently reported on mysteriously appearing holes in Russia, there are three particular holes in northern Siberia that are particularly interesting.
The theories to explain them include aliens or beings from the inner Earth, a meteorite strike, a simple prank, or a buildup of natural gas that exploded. The natural gas theory seemed to make some sense based on eyewitness and investigative reports.
People have seen strange flashes and smoke rising from the locations of the holes. Investigators also noted that earth and debris lay around the outside of the holes as if something had pushed this material out from below.
The holes themselves are like cone-shaped tunnels that go straight down approximately 100 meters (330 ft). This is confusing to investigators. One researcher said, “It is not like this is the work of men, but [it] also doesn’t look like natural formation.”
There is also disagreement on when these holes appeared. Some reports state that they formed around 2013. Others point to vegetation that has grown within the holes to suggest that they are at least several years older than that.
The investigations continue—as do the rumors about what caused these holes. Global warming is one of the latest theories.
9 The Black Volga
Although the tale of the Black Volga is not limited to Russia, many of the sightings were from Eastern Europe and the old Soviet bloc. The legend appeared to gain momentum during the Cold War and was at its height in the 1970s.
The car was connected with people who suddenly vanished or even died. According to the stories, children were particularly vulnerable and were targeted.
Many theories exist to explain who or what was behind the Black Volga. In one, the Devil was driving the car. In another, the Black Volga was part of a top secret government kidnapping scheme. The reasons for the kidnappings included stories about young females who were raped to provide “pleasure” to military personnel and tales of a government organ-harvesting project.
The mysterious vehicle, which was a top-of-the-line limousine, was the standard vehicle used by prominent politicians at the time. But it has not been sighted in recent years.
In summer 1996 in the village of Kaolinory, an elderly lady named Tamara made a remarkable discovery while out walking. She had found a baby hidden in the woodland. She quickly wrapped the child in a shawl, named it Aleshenka, and took it home to her apartment.
The old lady’s daughter-in-law—also called Tamara—saw Aleshenka the next day. She found it unsettling and described it to investigators later as “something not from this planet.” She stated that it was eating the food that the old woman fed it, but its mouth didn’t appear to move.
Following reports from neighbors that the older Tamara (who had a history of mental health issues) was telling people that she had a baby, the old lady was detained in the mental ward of a nearby hospital.
Upon learning of Tamara’s detainment, her daughter-in-law returned to the older woman’s apartment with a friend, Vladimir Nurdinov. However, the baby had died before they arrived. Not knowing what to do with the strange body, they took it to local police officer Vladimir Bendlin.
Bendlin had the corpse tested and examined, asking two people to give their opinions on exactly what it was. The first was Dr. Irina Yermolaeva, who suspected that it was a deformed human child, possibly a result of the 1957 Kyshtym disaster.
The second was Bendlin’s clinical assistant, Lyubov Romanowa, who believed that it “wasn’t of human origin.” In a grim twist, the older Tamara died shortly after her detainment as she attempted to escape the mental health facility.
The television show The Unexplained Files examined the strange case, speaking with Bendlin himself. The episode aired plenty of alleged footage of the alien corpse but confirmed that the body had not been returned after it was submitted for study.
The only item left was the shawl in which the body had been wrapped. According to the show, this was sent for analysis and a strain of DNA “unknown to science” was discovered on it.
7 Baba Yaga And Koshchey The Deathless
According to Russian folklore, deep in the forests of Russia, you may come across a strange, bony, old woman complete with iron teeth and an accompanying wind to announce her arrival. She is known as Baba Yaga, who is said by some to be the Devil’s grandmother.
Supposedly, Baba Yaga lives in a wooden hut that stands on “chicken legs” and moves through the forest of its own accord, spinning as it goes. It always stops with its back to the visitor.
If you should come across this hut and it has a fence around it, expect it to consist of human bones and skulls. The door can only be opened with a secret phrase: “Turn your back to the forest, your front to me.”
So why would you want to locate Baba Yaga, much less enter her strange home? Legend states that she knows the secret to looking young again. Through an old potion that is known only to her, she has turned herself young on occasion, usually to deceive someone.
Far from being a purely evil character, Baba Yaga is sought out for her wisdom and guidance, which she is sometimes willing to give. It depends on her mood and your motivation. Nevertheless, her general diet appears to be small children.
One of her many allies is Koshchey the Deathless (aka Koshchey the Immortal). Although no one really knows what Koshchey looks like, it is believed that he is bony because the Russian word for “bone” is kost.
Koshchey is supposed to be an evil demon or wizard. He has the power of the weather and can turn himself into a whirlwind. He uses his ability to emit cries and screams that are terrifying to his opponents.
His voice can also be charming when necessary and can even lull people to sleep. Perhaps he uses this when he kidnaps young women, a habit for which he is well-known.
Most legends state that a person can only kill Koshchey by breaking the magic needle that stores his soul (or his death). The needle is hidden within many other items and is buried under the ocean.
6 The Judica-Cordiglia Brothers’ Recording
Although the recordings made by the Judica-Cordiglia brothers were revealed in the early 1960s, one particular recording has recently surfaced on the Internet. Supposedly, this recording captured the last moments of the true first woman in space.
These sounds were recorded on May 23, 1961—seven days after the Russians had sent the unknown cosmonaut into space. At least, that’s what the brothers claimed. The woman’s mission was to orbit the Earth 17 times.
The recording allegedly captured the final moments of the terrified cosmonaut’s life during reentry. She can be heard complaining of the rising temperature and asking if she is going to crash.
This was just one of nine recordings made and released by the brothers. These recordings formed the backbone of the “lost cosmonauts” conspiracy, in which it is alleged that many cosmonauts were sacrificed as the Russians tried to beat the US in the space race.
The Russians have always firmly denied this. But conspiracy theorists point to a story from TASS on May 26, 1961, stating that an unmanned satellite had crashed on Earth. Supposedly, this was the cover-up that blotted out the female cosmonaut’s existence and kept the Russians clear of her alleged death.
Of course, the Russians have had their share of acknowledged space disasters. The most notable one occurred on October 24, 1960, when an R-16 ballistic missile exploded on the launchpad, killing 126 people.
5 The Dyatlov Pass Incident
One of the most chilling events in Russian history unfolded in the Ural Mountains in 1959. It resulted in the deaths of nine experienced hikers, an air of mystery over the case, and a lot of theories about what really happened.
The hikers had set off in late January 1959. On February 1, they became lost as the weather deteriorated into a violent blizzard. It is thought that they ended up on a mountain known to local tribes as “Dead Mountain,” but everything after this was pure speculation.
Almost three weeks passed before an official search party was sent to find the hikers. On February 26, the first in a series of grim discoveries was made.
The hikers’ tent looked as though it had been cut from the inside—as if the hikers had been trying to get out of the tent for safety. There were footprints outside the tent, but they came to a sudden halt. No bodies were found there—just snow.
The first group of hikers were discovered a short distance from the place where the footsteps stopped. None of the men were fully clothed. In fact, some of them were nearly naked.
It was several months before the other four members of the hiking team were discovered. On May 4, they were found in a ravine under several feet of snow. Although these last four hikers were fully clothed and appeared to have frozen to death, their injuries were found to be mysterious and unsettling.
All of them had internal damage that was more consistent with accidents in a high-speed vehicle. However, the official verdict for all nine hikers was death due to the extreme elements.
Many conspiracy theories exist about the events of that night in 1959. Some claim that it was alien activity while others believe that the Soviet military was testing new weapons in this area.
Mysterious lights and flashes were reportedly seen on the evening of February 1, which would make either of these theories somewhat plausible. The initial claims that the hikers had been caught in an avalanche were mostly dismissed when no evidence of an avalanche was found.
4 The UVB-76 Transmission
First noticed in Moscow in 1982, the UVB-76 transmission (aka “The Buzzer“) appeared to be a secret Russian military code that was picked up all over Europe.
Originally, the transmission was simply a series of beeps. After several years, the beeps became buzzes that were occasionally interrupted by a series of numbers and Russian names.
Things became even stranger in June 2010. Without warning, The Buzzer simply stopped broadcasting. However, it began again 24 hours later and continued as before. This also happened in August 2010. But after a day of silence, the transmissions returned with some truly strange sounds.
Loud bangs and “shuffling” noises could be heard as if someone was moving around a room. A male voice also spoke a series of letters, numbers, and names. On one occasion, a partial two-way conversation was briefly heard.
People have investigated to determine the origin of the broadcast. Most believe that the broadcast came from a small village in Russia named Pavarovo. A military bunker was discovered there, although it appeared to have been abandoned long ago.
3 The Voronezh UFO Landing
On September 27, 1989, the Russian news agency TASS stated that a UFO had landed in a public park in Voronezh. Thousands of people saw this flying object, and several teenagers who were playing soccer in the park spotted the pilots of the otherworldly craft.
According to the report, several tall creatures exited the craft and appeared to threaten the boys, who quickly fled. Once the ship departed, a strange, leftover residue was taken for examination.
In October 1989, TIME magazine ran a story on the news statement and offered reasons as to why it might have been released. TASS had reported further details of the encounter, stating that the aliens’ attire was “silvery” and that two “unidentified rocks” had also been left behind with the residue.
Writer Howard G. Chua-Eoan suggested to TIME that the Russians may have used the outlandish story to test the new glasnost policy—which was an apparent openness in the media—to see how far it would be taken. He also theorized that the story may have been released to shift the public’s attention away from the dire state of affairs in Russia at the time.
A “Soviet source” apparently told TIME, “They’ve been feeding us rubbish about the dream of communism for years, and we now see they were lying. At least this [the UFO story] gives us something to dream about.”
2 The Urban Legends Of Khovrino Hospital
Khovrino Hospital, described by a film crew shooting there as one of the “most feared unfinished construction projects on the planet,” has many stories of satanic sacrifices, deaths, and urban legends within its walls.
Construction began in 1980 but was halted by 1985. Barbed wire fencing was erected around the hospital, and the building was put under guard. Over the next three decades, it fell into a state of increasing disrepair until it couldn’t be saved. The land was to be sold and the building destroyed.
Various stories have surfaced on the Internet about strange occurrences in the abandoned building, which included pictures of satanic symbols and sacrificed animals.
The building is also rife with drug deals and addicts as well as Moscow’s homeless. Khovrino, the film described earlier, was advertised as a “found footage” movie that was based on true events. Most likely, it will add to the legends surrounding the hospital in the years to come.
1 The Boshich Space Wreckage
In August 1979, the British tabloid newspaper Reveille ran a story about a “crippled” alien spacecraft. Soviet astrophysicist Sergei Boshich claimed that it had split into several pieces from an apparent explosion and was orbiting Earth.
Boshich also said that the wreckage “could contain the bodies of alien beings.” Supposedly, Boshich had spotted 10 separate pieces of the wreckage. Using a computer, he had determined that all of the objects were at the same place in space on December 18, 1955, meaning that this was the date that the spacecraft had exploded.
Scientists had already ruled out meteors as the source of the debris. Moscow physicist Dr. Vladimir Azhazha stated to the press at the time, “Meteors do not have orbits. They plummet aimlessly, hurtling erratically through space. And they do not explode spontaneously. All the evidence we have gathered over the past decade points to one thing—a crippled alien spacecraft.”
Apparently, the Russians wanted to launch a rescue mission to bring the craft down to Earth and study it. Both the American and British governments showed interest in a joint venture at the time. But the mission was never launched—at least not to the public’s knowledge.
Ten years earlier in 1969, American astronomer John Bagby wrote in Icarus magazine that he had located 10 “Moonlets” orbiting Earth. He stated that the Moonlets had “detached” from a larger body. He also estimated that this had happened on December 18, 1955, the same date as Boshich’s alien spacecraft explosion.