Todays Chernobyl.

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posted on Dec, 23 2011 @ 07:39 AM
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Few weeks ago I returned from Ukraine after a 3month trek around Eastern Europe. The highlight of the trip was an excursion of Chernobyl & Pripyat. I can tell you it was a nightmare getting my visa while staying Poland and a pain in the butt finding a guide. The government shut down all entry into the area because people operating excursions were pocket the money instead of giving it to survivors. But, the internets a golden thing and you can always find someone willing to drive you.. for enough US$ of course. So off into Chernobyl for me, a Frenchman and a Ukrainian. (to note, the Frenchman carried a Geiger counter in his coat pocket)

First stop was the 30km exclusion zone. Passports out, $US dollars in hand.. do not look them in the eye and do not photograph them.


Looking west from the border guards, typical every day scrub. It could be the parking lot of any industrial area in the world. Geiger counter reading = 0.



Looking North past the border guards. Excited as a kid on Xmas finally getting in to check out this relic of the world.

Passport checked, money gone. into the car and off we go.

The first 5-10kms were relatively empty. And to be honest, there were vans and cards driving in the opposite direction heading toward the border guards. I felt a little disappointed, it seemed like a generic traffic junction.

Accept, now and then you'd see a house..



and it doesnt quite look right.



After going through another checkpoint, this time with no photos regardless... we drove over to the waterside..
The driver cracking jokes the whole way insisted we never leave the footpaths. Do not go into the grass or vegetation.

Then he pointed out the boats, and explained how these boats were used in the clean-up and transport. and as such were abandoned due to radiation.

again the Geiger counter barely mentions a reading.



We continue down the roads, winding between overgrown bushes and suburban streets that are nothing but rotten homes.. for about an hour just driving around..

eventually the reactor comes into sight and we pull up beside a water pond.. for a closer look.



the Geiger counter comes to life.. but its minimal.



The driver, who's english is rather difficult to understand explained it to us.

'' when it reaches 12 do not stay in the area very long ''

Cool, we're a spudgun away and its 1. Doesnt look like I’m going to see those mutant wolves after all.

Jackpot.. we hit the reactor.



There's camera's watching us, and oddly enough.. there's a stream of workers walking in and out... dozens of them. looking at us like we're some rare breed. There's barely any protective gear apart from gloves and a helmet.. but they are all wearing small Geiger counters on their pants.

Our driver explains they do shifts, 3-4 hour increments.

Theres a loud banging and grinding noise coming from the reactor, the guide says that they are building a new cover to put on the top. There's 2 long, ramp like structures being constructed to the current top. The concept is to slide the old one down and push the new one on.

I looked over at the workers again who have this grin on their faces while they talk and point at us from a distance. Why would you want to work at Chernobyl as hired labour?

The Geiger counter reaches around 3.5-4.0.

this dude insisted on being in a photo next to the reactor.



Off now into Pripyat the small town that serviced the reactor with skilled workers.
Our guide explains to us that at the height of the reactors use the small town was considered a very high area of economic wealth. Fancy American perfume, the finest foods were abundant in the city.

Heres one of the upper class hotels



I look at the path we're told to take and to me there seems to be more grass and vegetation than id like.. but alas..



upon walking in the first thing you notice is you cant see the ground. There's glass everywhere, wood, metal, papers.. its as if a mob came through with sledgehammers and destroyed everything.

A view from the hotel guest rooms looking over Pripyat square



The ground is creaky, some wooden slats you really take your time stepping on.. and you dont touch anything.

Especially the plants that are growing out of the floor.



Just to give you an idea of the distance between the town and the reactor


Its clear to see that everyone would have heard and seen what was going on when it exploded in the night.

Time to leave the hotel and find the school..

Sadly, there's no deli's or 711's in the area.. but there are berries.. lots of them!



the guide called me some strange Ukrainian word when he found me munching on a few i picked off the plant.. /j

One key rule was not to take anything. Do not pocket anything as you are checked when you leave.

Which was a pitty, I am a bit of a relic collector. Wire from Auschwitz, sand from Normandy, rocks from Hiroshima.. all i wanted was a book.. but.. rules are rules and i enjoy freedom.








There were books galore, chairs, tables, clothes, photos....

Even an old doll...



We kept walking room to room.. i split up from the guide and the frenchman into some separate rooms..

I took some photos which at first glance appeared to be nothing unusual.. atleast for the day so far.


but when i looked closer..



I realised that the ground wasnt covered in glass, wood and paper.. it was gasmasks. the entire room was layered with used gasmasks.

After venturing through the sports stadium, walking in the swimming pool and standing in the assembly area.. we were keen for some fun.. so we hit the local fair.





interesting point.. the Geiger counter so far didnt get above 3.5-4. it fluctuated a bit, but never spiked.

in the middle of the fair we found a drain cover.. covered in moss.



at the time of the photos this was the highest reading we encountered, and around 4-5 seconds after this photo another Geiger counter bought by the guide reached 12.X on the other side of the drain.

He was pretty quick to stand up and suggest we keep walking.

I started realising the radiation is as much on the top anymore.. its in the soil.. underneath!

We continued on into the jail and police shop.. the guide was very quick to point out the 'interrogation rooms'

We found old relics from the soviet union.. tyres, papers and such.

Well, just wanted to share a few quick photos of Chernobyl.

It was worth the effort!





edit on 23-12-2011 by Agit8dChop because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 23 2011 @ 08:06 AM
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looks great.. shows what the world would look like if we vanished..... on a side not reminds me of the days of call of duty:modern warfare ....LOL anyway that would be a fun adventure great pictures a bit chilling but still awesome thank you for sharing.



posted on Dec, 23 2011 @ 08:12 AM
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reply to post by Agit8dChop
 


Really cool thread. S&F
Feel free to post more pics lol



posted on Dec, 23 2011 @ 08:27 AM
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Thank you for sharing. I would love to hear more about your adventure! More pictures too if you have more. :-)



posted on Dec, 23 2011 @ 08:34 AM
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Kind of ominous if you ask me.

Here is another tour of a lady that checked it out several years ago, not sure if it has been posted before but might lead to some comparisons over time.

Chernobyl Revisited - Ghost Town



posted on Dec, 23 2011 @ 08:39 AM
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reply to post by Agit8dChop
 


Good work man!
Great photos-I have seen that gas mask room on the net before somewhere.

Did you see any shady looter types anywhere,as they are rumoured to go looking for items in the area?
A real shame you were not allowed to take a keepsake with you,but probably for the best.

I wonder if parts of northern Japan will look similar in a few years..



posted on Dec, 23 2011 @ 08:57 AM
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Thanks for that mate it was like reading a story with all the pics on show aswel brilliant S+F



posted on Dec, 23 2011 @ 10:28 AM
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reply to post by Agit8dChop
 

Eerie and beautiful all at the same time.
But please tell me you didnt really eat that berry



love and harmony
Whateva



posted on Dec, 23 2011 @ 10:55 AM
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Definitely a great thread!

*S&F*


Pictures say 1000 words....
But these all say one big one:

Failure



I believe that there is so much to human desire for success and wealth...
That the risks involved aren't so much as considered...or ignored.

Just goes to show what we have done to this great ball of dirt we call home.
Aside from the nasty consequences of messing with powers unknown.

We continually try to destroy it.








posted on Dec, 23 2011 @ 11:13 AM
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reply to post by Agit8dChop
 


I am both envious and thankful for your trip. These pictures are excellent and your commentary helpful. If you have more, I'm sure the community here would love to see them. Great job, man.

I think I'm gonna have to reinstall S.T.A.L.K.E.R. now because of you.



posted on Dec, 23 2011 @ 01:35 PM
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Excellent thread and congrats on your trip. That's a rare experience practically NO one gets to enjoy and experience.

S & F - thank you for sharing.




[I thought for sure you were speaking of Fukashima when I clicked on the thread - gives us a lot to think about, knowing that it is way worse - if you have any interest, check out my offering IRAQ = This Generation's "VIETNAM" - end, shameless plug
]



posted on Dec, 23 2011 @ 03:03 PM
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Awesome thread, I enjoyed the read and the photos.

That doll was particularly creepy.
edit on 23-12-2011 by DarkKnight21 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 23 2011 @ 03:11 PM
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Nice pics! I just recently heard about what happened at Chernobyl. Everything just looks so eerie! I would like to visit one day


I would s & f but I don't know how-_-



posted on Dec, 23 2011 @ 03:14 PM
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Amazing post thanks for sharing. Where is the energy sourced to run the lights and such? I noticed in two of your photographs what appear to be pedestrian traffic lights powered up, regardless great stuff.



posted on Dec, 23 2011 @ 03:30 PM
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I Highly suggest you don't eat those berries, not because of the radioactivity (well that too) but they are poisonous to humans and generally only birds eat them.

Just a word of advice from a European.



posted on Dec, 23 2011 @ 03:30 PM
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Oh, wow! How fascinating and eerie at the same time!

The pictures of the gasmask floor creeped me out the most... Made me shudder a little.



posted on Dec, 23 2011 @ 03:38 PM
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Wow, Thank you for sharing the photos with us,

What an amazing trip, Its always a place that has Intrigued me, It must be so interesting to go there and experience it for yourself.



posted on Dec, 23 2011 @ 03:57 PM
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reply to post by Agit8dChop
 


Thanks for posting pics and telling us your story!!

I was in Russia for a month back in '93 so I have a huge heart and passion for Russia and her people.....
Im sure much has changed since 1993....esp since i was there just after the fall of communism...where people were experiencing some freedoms for the first time....

Looking at the houses you posted, those look exactly like much of the single family homes I saw while driving around Russia from Moscow to Nizhny Novgorod to Tolyatti....so do the hotels and buildings you posted.

I also remember when we were driving around seeing other reactors like this, that were active...and seeing the fluorescent green smoke coming from them....eeeek

I would so love to go back and even visit Chernobyl....some day (I hope)...
edit on December 23rd 2011 by greeneyedleo because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 23 2011 @ 04:22 PM
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I feel like I've been there through Call of Duty lol


Cool pix, would love to go someday



posted on Dec, 23 2011 @ 04:35 PM
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Originally posted by GrOuNd_ZeRo
I Highly suggest you don't eat those berries, not because of the radioactivity (well that too) but they are poisonous to humans and generally only birds eat them.

Just a word of advice from a European.


Those 'berries' are rosehips. They are not poisonous to humans, they are very high in vitamin C, it's what ROSEHIP syrup is made from, the stuff fed to babies. Harvesting was actually encouraged during the second world war. But if you want to believe that, fine, more on the bushes for me to make syrup, wine and jelly from....Thanks
That said I would think twice about eating them from that area..

Thanks op for a great post, eerie and interesting.
edit on 23-12-2011 by SN4FU because: more info





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