Today I want to share with you a really amazing place. And surprising - twice. However, I hasten to draw your attention: this post will not be like everyone else. It will be vital. This story is more about the heroes of the adventure than about the object itself. One way or another - when you are connected with something very vivid emotions - such a story should be.
We are talking about the former (now abandoned) grain storage of the Federal Reserve. Located deep, deep underground, at a depth of as much as 125 meters (just think about it!), The repository has spread its underground networks very, very far.
Of course, this is one of the three places that left the most vivid impressions on me. Second: Baikonur cosmodrome, I already talked about it. And the third is yet to be seen.
So why is this place amazing twice? For the first time, it surprised me with its scale several years ago, when the first wave of massive visits to the storage began.
Huge workings (chambers), located deep-deep underground, stretching unimaginably far. It seemed that it was simply impossible to bypass this entire system entirely.
However, everything turned out to be far from trivial. If you wish and if you don't have a camera, you can easily manage the entire granary in one night.
The impressions that permeate you when you find yourself in such a large-scale (in every sense of the word) structure for the first time are unforgettable.
The second time, this place surprised me even more. The fact is that even when we were here for the first time, I noticed at the end of one of the workings a strange pressurized door with the inscription "emergency exit". This inscription was completely confusing, since an emergency exit from an object located at a depth of 125 meters is not for you from a shopping center to a parking lot: there is a separate trunk, and God knows what else.
At that moment, we assumed that ventilation drifts were hidden behind the pressurized door, duplicating the main workings and leading into one of the two shafts of the main object. How wrong we were! In August of this year, a mysterious hermetic door opened a few tens of centimeters, opening a portal to the unknown for those who could squeeze through ...
(All previous shots were taken in the granary. The following shots will be from an object, separated from the vault by an airtight door.)
It turned out that there was not a gate from the granary to the emergency exit outside the door. Everything was much more interesting ... The granary itself is only a small part of a huge system, which stretched its expanses very far. But more on that later. Nobody expected such an alignment of events. Even now, speaking of a granary as a small part of something, it does not fit in my head how these two words can stand in the same context.
I read somewhere on the Internet that the total length of all workings related to a given production reaches a distance of the order of magnitude greater than the distance from Moscow to St. Petersburg. From another source, I heard that a car lowered through an active barrel into this system, after an hour and a half underground, showed 60 km on the counter. But this information can only be left to a public court, since there is no tangible evidence of these facts. As well as the opposite.
What is there? There is a tunnel with a double-track narrow-gauge railway and trolleys, located right behind the doors of the pressurized door (Whatoooo?). You involuntarily draw a parallel: you climb into the bunker from the subway, and here - into the subway from the bunker. Here it is: the reverse game. And the devil only knows what size this "metro" is.
And the "metro" is huge. If you turn right and walk without stopping, you can walk for a very long time. It was enough for me for 30 minutes. Then I freaked out and turned back.
Colleagues in the shop talked about the 109th chamber. And this is only along the axis parallel to the grain storage. Just a minute: there are only 19 of them in the granary! And then comes the realization of how huge this thing is.
Everything here seems to be the same as in the granary, but in a completely different way. You experience approximately the same sensations when you walk, and walk, and walk ... It seems that all the same tunnels with high ceilings, but everything is different: there are no grain belts, some kind of dark dust is falling from the ceiling, the workings (chambers) are littered with rock, there is a strange technique, and the main difference is that the whole story has a railway in the center.
If we neglect the details, we can say that the discovered workings are in the shape of the sun. In the center there is a closed (mine shaft) ring with a narrow-gauge railway, and from this ring, like rays, gigantic mine workings (chambers) stretch. Some of these chambers are granaries.
And another interesting point: this entire system is completely duplicated by the second floor, which serves as ventilation drifts. Moreover, the dimensions of the ventilation drifts above the railway ring are larger than the drifts passing over the chambers. A kind of asymmetry is obtained.
This is how the branch from the venttrack looks like, duplicating the 16th chamber:
During our stay in the granary and adits, there were many funny and frankly terrifying moments. To begin with, our team went hard and decided: why not lower the electric scooter to a depth of 125 meters? Together with the scooter, tents, sleeping bags, a gasoline generator, a canister, a bunch of food and many other things were lowered down. I can honestly tell you: lifting it all back was just a tryndeck.
(the next 2 photos were taken in the granary, after which there are photos from the mining)
In total, we spent a little more than a day underground. The mechanics were as follows - we climb in, choose a place for the camp, set up tents, sleep off, and then go to study the entire system.
The first interesting moment happened in the ventilation drifts duplicating the railway tunnel (the second level of the system). The fact is that in the entire system, some kind of dark rock is crumbling from the ceiling. Since no man's foot has stepped in the abandoned adits for a long time (which cannot be said about the wheels of cars, but more on that later), each step left quite noticeable white marks on the floor.
In the main tunnel, these traces were very few (obviously only from one group), and in the ventilation tunnel, they were not at all.
Traces in the main tunnel:
My companions (who had passed 700 meters to the turn of the drift) were too lazy to go further, since we did not even know about the true dimensions of the system yet, and the vent drifts looked rather meager. As a result, I left the camera (so that the guys did not die of boredom waiting for me at all) and went on reconnaissance.
I went forward for a very, very long time, but even longer I went forward after the turn. One in such a long (and at first glance, confusing) tunnel was very uncomfortable. But the desire to find out where all this leads to overcome fears.
As a result, after about 20 minutes, I still reached the end of the venttrack. At the end there was exactly the same pressurized door that was not far from the gate from the granary in the adits (if you go along the narrow-gauge railway to the left after the pressurized door).
Most likely, the running-in railway ring leads into the same shaft from two sides (but it is possible that these are two different shafts, here it is not possible to reliably determine without opening the doors). So, going back to history: when I approached the end of the ventilation drift, I already roughly understood that there would be a trunk there. Therefore, the last hundred meters I walked with my fingers crossed: if only it was open, if only it was open! But no - all 4 hermetic doors were locked from the inside.
Discouraged by the loss, I moved back to the guys. It was then that the most interesting thing began: when I passed about a third of the way, I saw a lantern ahead. At first I thought that it was my lantern reflected from some kind of plate, but a little later I realized that this was not so. There is clearly someone ahead.
The first obvious thought: the guys got tired of waiting for me and they went in my direction. I decided so, so the flashlight ahead didn't bother me too much. After 3 minutes, the light from the lantern disappeared. I was not particularly surprised by this either: the guys saw that I was going back, and returned to their things. However, after 500 meters, when I had already covered more than half of the way, I felt MAXIMALLY uncomfortable. The fact is that there were no TRACKS on the floor. Or rather there were, but only mine.
Not a single hint that someone walked here. I continued to walk forward and with every step I became more and more scared. I went over in my head all the logical options for what happened and not one of them fit into the real picture. There MUST be footprints.
All I wanted was to get to the turn as soon as possible, as my head was already intoxicated with tons of thoughts about ghosts and other dimensions, lol. In another similar situation, I would not load my brain with such nonsense, because this is really outright nonsense, but the tunnel was so long that you just start to go crazy.
There were some 50 meters before the turn, but there were still no traces. Most of all I was afraid to turn and not see my comrades, lol. However, as I approached the bend, I exhaled deeply. The floor here was completely trampled: inside and out, and right in the middle was a hilarious message: "Kostya, your fotik has sat down."
The tunnels here greatly change perception. Distance is felt differently, light and sound are refracted and distorted. The following story also scared me a little, but I was already ready for such a turn.
This happened when another group of underground researchers climbed into the adit and we were in the same straight tunnel with them, but at a distance of about a kilometer from each other. I stood at the camera and waited for it to finish exposing the next long exposure, when I suddenly heard voices from my phone.
Apparently, lying in his pocket, he accidentally typed someone. A second later I realized that I was at a depth of 125 meters, and the phone definitely could not call anyone ... At the same time, I realized that the voices were not heard from the phone at all, but in a very muffled sound right next to the ear! It turned out that these were the voices of the guys from the second group, who were a kilometer away from me! The tunnel refracts sounds - with distance you can still hear what people are saying.
Earlier, I promised to return to the issue of footprints. Traces of the car (s) appeared here obviously after a long time from the moment the mine was abandoned. This is evidenced by black crumbling rock. In other words, the tracks are fresh. And here two riddles arise at once: where did the car come from and why are there three pairs of tracks in the next photo? ... I'll leave this question to inquisitive minds.
(this is where the story of the mining adits ends, I would like to tell you a little more about the granary itself)
I already wrote above that we lowered the scooter into the storage. It was very easy to do this - just throw a 150-meter rope into the bottom of the trunk. But lifting it all back was just an unbearable torment! Considering that we didn't manage to lift all the load on the rope - we had to drag things behind our back along the trunk ladder going up and down several times. But one thing I can say for sure: riding a huge object at a depth of 125 meters on an electric scooter was definitely worth it!
There was another, frankly stupid moment underground. It's good at least that our ingenuity was enough to solve this problem. The fact is that we took a bunch of food with us to prepare our own food. We planned to do this on a portable gas burner. However, here's the bad luck: none of us smokes.
A classic of the genre - when I started to cook, the question hung in the air: “Who has a lighter?”. Of course, no one took the lighter. It would seem that the situation is hopeless. How can you get fire deep, deep underground, without rising to the surface? To strike a spark with a stone? Heat sawdust by friction? Not! It is much more difficult to do it this way than going upstairs.
The answer lay right next to us. I would even say: it was scattered throughout the facility. Light bulbs. Since we had a generator with us, it was very easy to make a fire: it was enough to find an incandescent light bulb, carefully break its case so that the nichrome filament would remain intact and supply electricity. The light is on only due to the lack of oxygen. This prevents the nichrome thread from burning out instantly. If you break the glass case, from which air is pumped out, the nichrome thread will burn out in a second, releasing a very large amount of heat. This is what we needed!
Here are whole boxes of these bulbs:
Digressing a little from the stories, I would like to tell a little more about the place, what it is. All the same, this is a reportage from the object.
The granary is: 19 tall and long chambers for storing grain in case of a big disaster. Cameras can be empty and not very:
- Transitions between cameras:
- Parking lot for loading equipment
- Huge conveyor belts for grain, stretching through the entire trunk further - along the entire object
- Unimaginable number of hermetic doors of all shapes and sizes
- Sophisticated ventilation system with its intricate walkways and tunnels
- Lots of atmospheric posters that take you back to the Soviet era
- Technical buildings
- Working rooms
- Lifting cage equipment
- Well, a very deep mine shaft
- And quite a bit of grain. The one that was not taken out.
The last story, on which I would like to focus my attention, is related to what interesting solutions are found by the security of the object in order to limit the influx of visitors. By the traditional method, they prefer extremely exotic ones. I would even say that I have never seen such methods of defense anywhere else! On the night when we were about to leave the facility, the next visitors came down there: local guys. We chatted with them. It turned out that they were extremely unhappy with the fact that someone scattered GLITTERS in the hallway. Neither grease, nor petroleum jelly, but GLITTERS. It looked as ridiculous and extremely funny as possible: stern diggers, dressed in dark clothes - from head to toe in glitter.
I directly imagine the following dialogue:
- Mikhalych, again some freaks climb into our facility, what are we going to do? Shall we smear the stairs in solid oil, so that it’s clear? Shall we brew them to hell inside?
- Semyonich, here's a bad luck: there is no welding or solid oil!
- And what is this with you? Oh, your granddaughter's shiny things! Come here!
By the way, about "brew inside":
At parting, the newly minted guests of the store threw a phrase after me that I still sometimes laugh at. It was neither "good luck!" They shouted.
An hour earlier:
And an hour later:
The sensations are unforgettable.
As a small bonus, I would like to attach some film photos taken during my visit to this grandiose facility.
That's all, the end!
ps: very funny village - ending
pps: a very funny word - ventilationtracks, just like ventilationtracks
ppps: we also recommend looking into reportage Lana Sator. It features vault corners not covered in this review. And in it you can find the schema of the object (not complete).
That's all. Thank you for the attention! Yours sincerely, Unexplored World Team.
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