Zapolyarny, Beyond Arctic Circle, Russian Federation
In 1970 in Kolski penisula wastelands far behind the Iron Curtain Russia embarked on an epic enterprise of digging the deepest hole in the Earth and reaching 15 000 meters of depth, far deeper than anyone had ever attempted and not achieved until now. A year later Russian newspapers reported ‘We beat the world record! 10.500 meters! 4500 to go’. But soon problems arose, the crust density turned way different then expected, the rocks were harder, and the digging much more difficult. Suddenly the digging stopped at 12 262 meters and the station got virtually abandoned. Around the same time in the US Art Bell in his radio show presented ‘the voices from hell’, a recording alledgedly taken by Russian scientists while lowering a mic into a hole they bore somewhere in Siberia. The news got soon picked up by other media. Newspapers even printed photos of the Russian scientists. This story about the Siberian hell becomes also a story of the Cold War, the scientific search for truth and the modern media.