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A very popular Urban Myth. According to a dossier belonging to the KGB faxed to the Secret Service's D11 branch in Whitehall, London, the following incident took place in Siberia in 1989 prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

In August, 1989, a Soviet Oil Drill, which had drilled to a record depth of 12 miles, had bored a hole in the earth's crust before the tip of the revolving drill had become obstructed, for reasons unknown. Therefore a team of experts headed by Dr. Dimitri Azzakov, a leading authority on the earth's crust, was called in to investigate. Ordering further drilling attempts to be halted, Azzakov requested twelve miles of heat-proof electrical cable and water-cooled microphone which was thermally insulated to be lowered through the hollow shaft of the drill. One hour later, Azzakov and his group of experts gathered in his cluttered trailer in order to listen to the sounds picked up by the microphone. Switching on the amplifier, the group of expectant listeners were shocked to hear not the sounds of the stressed molten rock under pressure but instead what sounded like the agonised screams of hundreds of humans, crying out in pain. Azzakov said to an ex-military officer supervising the operation that it sounded like there were humans down there, though there obviously could not be. At this point, another member of the team said that if he were not an atheist, he would believe that the sounds they were hearing were the sound of Hell.

Azzakov ordered a heat-resistant camera identical to the type designed to withstand the heat of Venus, from the Baikonur space centre, and within three days it had arrived via helicopter. The camera was lowered down the shaft and was switched on an hour later. According to the incredible account signed by Azzakov and the engineers from the space centre, the camera showed what appeared to be the motionless figures of people lying silhouetted against the molten rock. Every few minutes a bright light out of focus moved through them, seemingly under intelligent control. The scene was apparently video-taped, but within three minutes of the recording the camera and microphone malfunctioned and contact was lost. Steam shot up the shaft and clouds of smoking sulphuric fumes were sent bellowing to the surface.

Due to technical difficulties, the drilling operation was moved to another location in Siberia hundreds of miles from the original location. Azzakov and the experts from Baikonur were all interrogated by the KGB, before being warned not to say anything of the incident to anyone, as the Soviet Union was on the verge of collapse and this incident could potentially be held of proof of the existence of Hell, and therefore calling into question the atheism which was the official line of ruling by the communist government.

Found in Mind's Secrets, by Tom Slemen
The story of a "hole to hell" in Siberia (such as that described in Voodoo Chile's writeup) can be found on many Christian fundamentalist websites. It has also been thoroughly debunked.

Like most urban legends, there is a kernel of truth to this one. There was indeed a Soviet science team that drilled very far into the Earth and encountered some abnormalities. That's pretty much where the truth ends and myth begins.

Far from this event being covered up by the KGB, this is one of the most celebrated scientific achievements in Russian history. The well dug in Kola Peninsula (in 1984, *not* 1989) remains the deepest excavation by man to date. It was, in fact, featured in an article in Scientific American.

Even the more believable details of this story are wrong. The actual depth was 12 kilometers (about 7.5 miles), not miles. The temperature was relatively high - about 180° Fahrenheit - but that's not hot enough to boil water, let alone melt rock.

The rest is just laughable. Even if a camera which could "withstand the heat of Venus" exists, it would have to be rather large and extremely expensive; certainly not the kind of thing you'd lower down a hole in the ground, no matter what you thought you heard. Furthermore, none of those actually involved with the project have claimed to heard or seen anything claimed by this story. Of course, I suppose it's possible that the KGB or some other arm of the Soviet government "encouraged" their silence, but even if that were the case, that regime has been out of power for over a decade. If the people on that project had really seen and heard such horrific things, you'd think they would've come out with it openly by now.

In conclusion, there is no validity to this story whatsoever. Of course, judging by the softlinks, I'd wager most of you guessed that already.

Partial Source: http://www.snopes.com/religion/wellhell.htm

And for a more typical version of this story, go here: http://home.inreach.com/holyfire/Hell

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