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Secrets of the Aral Sea

In former times, the Aral Sea was one of the largest bodies of water on the planet. Now this sea is almost completely disappearing from the face of the planet, turning into a chain of individual lakes.

In 1989, the Aral Sea split into two separate bodies of water – the Northern (small) and Southern (large) Aral Sea. At the same time, the South Aral Sea was divided into two more parts: eastern and western. In 2014, the eastern part of the South Sea dried out completely.

The drying process of the Aral Sea by years
The drying process of the Aral Sea by years

The name of the Aral Sea has changed several times. The first mention of this sea is found in the works of ancient historians. Herodotus in 448 BC described the Aral Sea as associated with the Caspian, calling it the “Saki Gulf of the Caspian Sea.” In the XI century, the Arab geographer Istraha described the sea as “Lake Khorezm” in his book “Climate”. In the XVII century, Russian scientists conducted a complete study of the Aral Sea, including it in the Big Drawing Book and a map of the Russian state. The Aral Sea was then called the Blue Sea. The current name of the sea appeared only in the twentieth century. When the sea decreased in size and several islands became immediately available to the eyes of local residents, it was called the Aral Sea, which means “island sea”.

Aral Sea from space
Aerial view of the Aral Sea, 2010

The Aral Sea islands have become a kind of natural reserves, and the unique location and inaccessibility has attracted the attention of the USSR authorities. At one time, these islands were called the most “closed” reserves of the entire Soviet Union because of the strict access regime. It is known that on the Renaissance Island in Soviet times there was a laboratory where scientists worked with the bacteria typhoid, plague, anthrax. As a result of testing bacteriological weapons, there was a ban on residents of neighboring villages from approaching the island for more than 60 km. This military facility operated for almost 45 years until 1992, until it was closed.

Once travelers who managed to visit there even before the shallowing, described the water surface of the Aral Sea infinitely blue and merging with the sky. It is not surprising that in Russian chronicles the Aral Sea was called the Blue Sea. It is believed that the famous wreck of the ships of Sadko (the hero of epics from Slavic mythology) took place there.

Aral Sea from satellite in 2019
Satellite image of the Aral Sea, 2019

Satellite images of 2018-2019 show that the sea has essentially ceased to exist, having turned into a chain of separate reservoirs that are doomed to final drying out without feeding with river water.

Sands and ships on the site of the Aral Sea

Natural riddles of the Aral Sea

By the way, the Aral Sea is also called the “wrong sea”. This was facilitated by a number of natural puzzles:

  • According to physical laws, due to the influence of the Earth’s rotation, all seas, lakes, rivers and other bodies of water in the Northern Hemisphere deviate to the right. And the current of the Aral Sea, on the contrary, deviates to the left and moves clockwise.
  • Also, in all water bodies, with increasing depth, the oxygen saturation of the water decreases, and in the Aral Sea, the opposite happens – oxygen only increases in depth.
  • In the Aral Sea, sulfates and carbonates prevail (sea salt contains sulfate anions (0.82%) and calcium cation (0.03%). This means that the composition of its water is different from typical sea water, but it cannot be considered river. Thus, the Aral Sea is the only sea in the description of which the concept of semi-sea and semi-river water is used.

Aral Sea - sulfates

This amazing pond holds many other mysteries. On June 19-20, 1990, aerial photography was carried out at a level of the Big Sea of ​​about 38 meters abs., That is, after a decrease of 15 meters. In photographs taken on a scale of 251 meters in 1 centimeter, hundreds of giant figures suddenly appeared, shining through shallow water and lying on the dried up areas of the seabed. A variety of figures consisted of single or several parallel lines of an unusual shape and suggested the idea of ​​their artificial origin. Therefore, the figures were given the name “Traces of unknown activity at the bottom of the Aral Sea” or simply “Aral Traces”. In the pictures, they cover an area of ​​about 500 square kilometers, but it seems to continue beyond the boundaries of aerial photography. Before the sea level began to fall, the figures were at depths of 10-15 meters, and were not visible from the surface of the sea.

Bottom of the aral sea

For different figures, the lines have a length from 100-200 meters to 6-8 kilometers, and their width, strictly constant within each figure, varies from 2 to 100 meters. Some figures can contain up to several tens of parallel lines resembling a stroke of a comb up to 1-2 km long.

Under water, the lines look like black stripes with narrow light fringes, similar to the dumps of soil of earth channels, and when drying on the shore, they become whitish, low-contrast. The black color of the lines along their length upon reaching the drained shore indicates their concave relief, similar to the cross-section of the channels, and their fullness with water. According to indirect signs in the pictures and measurements of two figures on the ground, it was found that the lines of the figures are furrows with an initial depth of 0.4-0.5 meters formed in sandy-silty soil of the seabed. Light spots on the surface of the water are sun glare. The black lines that come against their background are the convex parts of the furrows in the form of dumps of soil, towering above the surface of the water.

The age of the furrows, if it is supposed to be estimated on the pictures according to the degree of contouring of their contours and taking into account the relatively low rate of accumulation of bottom organic sediments, can be roughly determined up to several hundred years. And the pictures of mutual intersection of furrows (up to four times in succession) speak of cases of their successive formation (conduction) at different times on top of previously created ones.

Now it looks like this:

Parallel grooves at the bottom of the sea were also discovered, which appeared relatively recently, as the water receded. The nature of these furrows is not clear, but, in fact, these are recesses / furrows, the width of which is on average 100-200 meters.

Furrows at the bottom of the Aral Sea

The indicated location on the Goole Maps:

Interestingly, in addition to settlements, saxaul trunks are still found at the bottom, which grew 200-300 years before the arrival of sea water. These trunks are preserved and in some places protrude on the surface of a dry bottom, merging with the current steppe landscape. And only specialists understand the value of such finds.

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Findings of saxaul at the bottom of the sea also shows that the Aral Sea is very young and formed by catastrophic processes, and its disappearance is not necessarily related to human activities.

Human settlements on the site of the Aral Sea

In the Aral Sea, there are about 60 historical and architectural monuments. According to the researchers, the sea water left there and replenished more than once before, in ancient times. Found at the beginning of the 21st century on the seabed, the remains of the Kerderi mausoleum dating from the 11th-14th centuries, and the Aral Asar settlement, which dates back to the Golden Horde period, testify to the medieval culture and civilization that once reigned there. Traces of caravan roads, stones, a brick workshop, candles and coins, large mill and granaries were also found on the seabed. In general, there are remains of ancient settlements and religious buildings from the 11th to the 16th centuries. Other architectural monuments reveal themselves gradually, as the Aral Sea becomes shallow. Therefore, the largest finds, according to archaeologists, are ahead. These places are called the Aral Atlantis.

Excavations of the Kerderi Mausoleum, the bottom of the Aral Sea
Excavations of the Kerderi Mausoleum, the bottom of the Aral Sea

According to scientists, the ancient settlement, conditionally called Aral-Asar, covers an area of ​​6 hectares. The building structures of the city today are almost indistinguishable, they are blurred and smoothed by the waters of the Aral. But archaeologists in large numbers found household items: millstone, ceramic vessels and their fragments, fragments of iron and bronze products. Found 14 millstones and adjacent premises for the storage of flour – Khumdanov. Apparently, flour milling was developed. There was an irrigation canal 2-2.5 meters wide, passing through the hillfort, indicating a developed irrigation system and the fact that residents stretched water, apparently, from the channels of the ancient channels of the Amu Darya or Syr Darya for many tens of kilometers.

Gold jewelry

The evidence of those who lived in the south of the Aral Sea is also interesting. Here is what Viktor Lukyanov writes:

I remember that in the year 1972-76, my father’s friend, a land reclamation machine operator who worked in the Ellikalinsky district of Karakalpakstan to develop virgin lands (it seems under rice cultivation), returned from the shift and said: “We remove the dune with a bulldozer, and there are beds! It turns out that before people lived and there was water! The desert turns out to be approaching. ”

At about the same time, the tugboat captain, a distant relative who was transporting barges from Muynak to Aralsk, was surprised to note that at the bottom of the building are visible – the ruins of houses and duvals. Then the problem of drying out of the Aral Sea was already manifested and he noted what it means, in the past the sea was even smaller. Recently, scientists found a mosque on a dry bottom. There was a legend in that locality that the local khan defeated his neighbor Amudarya in dice for three days to water the land, but it was not possible to return it to its former course (Uzboy).

Two examples of the sandy settlements can still be seen on satellite maps in the Takhtakpyr district of Karakalpakstan (Republic of Uzbekistan) at coordinates 42.616329 61.200814 and 42.632005, 61.083315:

Sandy populated areas of Karakalpakstan

Of particular interest is the fact that bones of people and animals living in settlements are found at excavation sites within the boundaries of the former bottom of the Aral Sea. Their chaotic location at the time of death suggests that death came relatively quickly and inevitably, most likely as a result of some kind of cataclysm.

There is also reason to believe that the Aral Sea was filled and dried up not the first time. This gives hope that the water in the sea will return, perhaps in centuries. The cyclic nature of this process has not yet been studied.

Geoglyphs of the Aral Sea

Around the drying up Aral Sea, a lot of talk arose about the manifestation of signs and symbols (geoglyphs), appearing from under the water column as it dries. However, the most common examples of such geoglyphs with more thorough verification turned out to be fakes.

The following message is quite common on the Internet:

In 1990, employees of the Kazakh Research Institute, surveying the coastal zones of the Aral Sea, took dozens of large geometric patterns similar to the famous images in the Nazca desert at a depth of 15 meters. Surprisingly correct geometric shapes were made in one direction and covered about 500 square meters, and the width of the drawings ranged from 2 to 50 meters. Immediately after the discovery of these mysterious geoglyphs, a sand dam broke, and the water flooded the place of shooting, and their origin was never found out.

All such messages are usually accompanied by photographs of geoglyphs of rather poor quality, without indicating their exact location. However, a deeper study of this topic will lead those interested in the following results:

1. The figure is visible on Google Maps at the coordinates 46 ° 40’50.0 ″ N 61 ° 26’13.0 ″ E (46.680556, 61.436944).

Geoglyph at the bottom of the Aral Sea

2. The figure is not observed on other cards, for example, on more detailed Bing cards.

Geoglyph at the bottom of the Aral Sea

3. The dimensions of the figure do not match what is given in the message. Actual dimensions: the figure is 250 meters wide and 230 meters high.

4. The thickness of the lines matches the standard width that a classic car leaves. It is significant that to the southeast of the figure a trace from the car is visible, part of the path of which is “painted over” in the same color as the geoglyph. As if in this place they trained or didn’t have time to “finish” another geoglyph. It can be assumed that this could technically be done, for example, by tying something massive and heavy to the car, which would leave a mark on the steppe surface. There is nothing supernatural in this.

Car tracks

You can form your own opinion by examining the indicated location on the Goole Maps:

Another example is no less remarkable. Here is the source text of the message:

The most amazing and most understandable symbol is the “pointing arrow”. Unfortunately, no full-scale studies of these formations have been carried out so far, which means where the giant arrow points and whether the rest of the symbols mean anything at all, remains a mystery.

Arrow symbol at the bottom of the Aral Sea

Studies have shown that:

1. The figure is located at 45 ° 12’13.2 ″ N 58 ° 20’30.4 ″ E (45.203658, 58.341767). This is not the bottom of the Aral Sea, but the steppe on its western shore.

2. The figure was indeed “drawn” on the surface, but in such a way that it becomes less noticeable every year. For example, on Google Maps it is no longer visible, but on Bing maps it is still distinguishable.

Arrow symbol at the bottom of the Aral Sea

This allows two conclusions:

  • The technology for creating a symbol on the surface of the steppe is less stable than traces from the wheels of cars, which quite nearby created a round shape with roads going to the sides.
  • If a figure became barely distinguishable in just a few years, it could not be created centuries or millennia ago – this is a remake.

Thus, the figure of the “arrow” is in fact real, but not having any relation to ancient symbols.

The image of another figure from the territory of the Aral Sea “wanders” on the Internet and causes various associations – this is the figure of a “star”. Here is the image:

Airport near the village Aralsk-7 (Kantubek)

In fact, there is nothing mystical in it, since we are talking about the territory of the airport near the village of Aralsk-7 (Kantubek), the Republic of Uzbekistan. This is an abandoned closed city on the former Renaissance island. The city of Kantubek was an administrative-residential zone of the training ground, where 1.5 thousand people lived (employees of the training ground with families, as well as about 800 military servicemen). Currently, the city is uninhabited and is in ruined condition. From 1942 to 1992, a military biochemical training ground with the code name “Barkhan” operated on Renaissance Island.

3 kilometers west of the city of Kantubek in the early 1960s, a military airfield was built, consisting of four runways (initially unpaved) in the form of a wind rose. In the 1980s, aerodrome runways were equipped with concrete slabs.

The landfill with the city of Kantubek functioned until 1992. In October-November 1992, the military contingent (along with their families) was relocated to Russia (the city of Kirov), the biological laboratory was dismantled, the documentation and some of the equipment were removed, the rest was abandoned on the island and over time the city gradually collapsed.

What it looks like now can be viewed on Google Maps at coordinates 45.158434, 59.296239.

In conclusion, it should be noted that the Aral Sea is indeed a very interesting and mysterious place where many mysteries remain. But these riddles are mostly natural and such that require more in-depth scientific research with field expeditions.



Starlite: a mysterious material whose recipe was taken to the grave

Enthusiasts continue to struggle with the riddle of the unique material, the creator of which died without revealing the secret recipe.

At the dawn of the 1990s, reports began to appear in the world media about the creation of a new plastic material that could withstand heating to incredible temperatures – up to those that develop during a fire or on the shell of a spacecraft when passing through the atmosphere. Such statements were very embarrassing for scientists also because the author of the find was a man without a diploma or any formal education at all – the British hairdresser Maurice Ward.

Starlite – this name was invented by the granddaughter of Maurice Ward – was repeatedly tested by NASA as a possible heat insulator, the military and large corporations looked closely at it. The author did not refuse to provide samples for research, but he kept the recipe in complete secret, not sharing it with anyone – until 2011, when Maurice died, taking this secret with him. Perhaps thanks to this twist, the plot did not disappear into oblivion along with Petrik filters and other “miracle inventions”, and the history of the mysterious Starlite continues to this day.

According to Ward himself (by the way, his personal blog and YouTube channel survived on the Internet), he was prompted to search for fire-resistant material by a television report, from which he learned that many victims of fires die from poisoning by the caustic smoke of burning plastic. Previously, the hairdresser dabbled in the search for his own shampoo recipes, but around 1986 he completely devoted himself to a new venture. Three years later, the composition was found – and, of course, it turned out to be incredibly simple and included the most common store ingredients.

It was not easy for the “genius upstart” to break through, and over the next few years he pounded the thresholds of laboratories and companies without any benefit. Fate smiled only in 1993, when a message about Starlite was published in the authoritative International Defense Review. It referred to “amazing results” from some of the independent experts who tested Starlite. According to some reports, the material did not burn at temperatures up to 10,000 ° C and was not supplied even by a high-power laser.

Moreover, in the same 1993, the incredible thermal insulation properties of Starlite were demonstrated to the public. On the Air Force show Tomorrow’s World, a chicken egg coated with a thin layer of this material was sprayed with the heat of a gas burner for several minutes, after which it was shown that it remained raw inside. It would seem that the deed is done: it remains to find out which of the industrial giants will be interested in the invention and from whom Ward will be able to get legitimate millions, if not billions of dollars for the miracle recipe. The prospects for its use in engineering and construction were discussed. In 1994, the material was tested at Boeing as an alternative to space shuttle thermal insulation ceramics.

It is worth saying that Maurice Ward has always shown a certain paranoia about the security of his invention. As far as is known, he refused any projects in which he could not maintain a controlling 51 percent. The inventor personally monitored all samples that were submitted for testing, making sure that no one had the opportunity to reconstruct the Starlite composition. Ward also did not file a patent so as not to reveal the secret formula and repeatedly announced attempts to steal. The story that took place in the late 1990s is characteristic. It is known that at this time the inventor found partners from Canada and organized a startup Starlite Safety Solutions, which presented the results of material tests to investors. However, according to those same partners, Maurice Ward turned out to be completely incapable of negotiating – “the more he was offered, the more he asked for”

On the one hand, Ward is understandable. If the author’s statements are accurate, the find could be worth billions, which no corporation likes to share. On the other hand, Starlite could well change the modern world and save many lives, and perhaps doing so was not entirely ethical. Again, if all statements about the properties of this material are true. And this is its main mystery.

Indeed, despite all the doubts of many observers, there is enough authoritative evidence in favor of Starlite every now and then. Thus, Joe Kissell, who wrote about him in 2009, received a letter from Pamela Pohling-Brown, who authored the same article in the International Defense Review. She in every possible way confirmed the reliability of the results presented then and even named the expert who conducted the testing. 

“I’m afraid the topic is somehow classified,” summed up Pauline-Brown. By the way, Ward’s former partners from Canada hinted at the same. It turns out that there is still something to hide?

Maurice Ward has repeatedly stated that, fearing theft, he never even wrote down the recipe on paper, and keeps it in his head – fortunately, it is quite simple. According to him, the secret has been entrusted to only a few closest family members – however, they have not shown much activity since the death of the inventor in 2011. In 2013, two of Ward’s daughters announced the sale of a “certain version” of Starlite to the American company Thermashield, but the third said that she had kept the “best” formula. And since then nothing has been heard about Thermashield, and the company’s website has not been revoked.

But there are plenty of hypotheses and speculations about the composition of Starlite. They find the main clues all in the same publication by Pamela Pauline-Brown, where the following was said.

 “It consists of a set of organic polymers and copolymers with organic and inorganic additives, including borates, small amounts of ceramics and other barrier ingredients, for a total of 21. Perhaps uniquely, this thermally and explosion-proof material contains up to 90 percent organic matter.”

Armed with this data, yet another “genius self-taught” reproduced the recipe. Canadian Troy Hurtubise, known for developing the bear-repelling suit – and for testing inventions on himself – said he found the same or a similar recipe and demonstrated it under the name Firepaste. However, in 2014 he died in a car accident – as if the material really surrounds the halo of special operations.

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Forbidden places of the world: where people are not allowed – and what does it have to do with snakes and UFOs

It’s hard to believe, but in the 21st century there are blank spots on the maps. Or is it better to call them black?

The reasons for such prohibitions are different: in these places ancient secret books and sacred artifacts are kept, poisonous snakes live there, scientific laboratories and rock paintings are hidden there, which cannot be seen by anyone.

Snake Island – Captains Bypass

Just 35 kilometers off the coast of Brazil, there is a picturesque island called Queimada Grande. Tourists often ask to stop the ship in order to get off on this piece of land drowned in lush greenery, it beckons to itself.

Snake Island

But this never happens: the captains strictly observe the prohibitions. The fact is that this piece of paradise is teeming with poisonous snakes, and a few steps on land are enough to die from a fatal bite. The authorities banned visiting this island not only for the safety of people, but also for the safety of reptiles: many snakes are rare species.

Poveglia Island – Eerie Deaths and Restless Souls

Nobody wants to get to Poveglia Island, located in Italy: this is a very dark and mysterious place. 

In the 18th century, Italy was literally mowed down by a terrible plague epidemic. In order to somehow protect people, all infected were taken to a reservation set up on Poveglia Island. More than 150 thousand patients died there.

Poveglia Island

And then, already in the twentieth century, a psychiatric hospital was built here. It was rumored that doctors carried out inhuman experiments on unhealthy people, and many Italians are convinced that the souls of thousands of those who died forever remained here, on a terrible island. 

According to research results, the soil on Povelje is 50% human remains.

Lascaux cave – people are harmful to ancient rock paintings!

In 1940, archaeologists discovered a unique cave in France, the age of which was determined to be 17 thousand years. This is the oldest known caves on the planet, and inside it is decorated with numerous rock paintings.

Lasko cave

Have you already wanted to go to France and see this miracle with your own eyes? Will not work. The cave was closed for visits and mothballed after it was discovered: under the influence of carbon dioxide, precious specimens of ancient rock art began to deteriorate quickly, they were destroyed by a fungus.

And to console the lovers of antiquities, an artificial copy was arranged nearby – Lasko-2, where exactly the same drawings flaunt on the walls.

The Vatican Library is a secret archive for a very narrow circle

In the secret library archives of the Vatican, about 45 thousand books and other documents are collected. What is not here – and letters sent to the Pope from Michelangelo, and Galileo’s manuscripts, and documents left by the ancient Order of the Templars …

No one will tell you the whole truth about the funds of this treasure. It is believed that ancient documents are hidden here, which contain information about the origin of Christianity on Earth. It is quite possible, because the first manuscripts that appeared at the disposal of the Vatican date back to the 4th century. They were collected in the archives, and centuries later, in 1475, the Vatican Apostolic Library was founded.

Who can get here? Very few people: the Pope himself and his entourage, as well as (with his written permission) some scientists and researchers.

Mormon warehouse 

Not far from the American city of Salt Lake City, Granite Mountain is located, in which a tunnel has been cut, extending almost 200 meters deep into the mountain. There, behind massive doors that weigh 15 tons, under round-the-clock armed protection, the most incredible documents are stored in a secret bunker: information about the family tree of Jesus Christ, allegedly information about his relatives and descendants … These data are very approximate, to say exactly which artifacts can be found in the Mormon vault, no one can. They say that, in addition to the secret storage, secret laboratories are equipped in the depths of the mountain. 

Spy Museum – no move to anyone but the Chinese

The Spy Museum, located in northern China, is not a forbidden place: anyone can get into it. True, only if this person is Chinese. The exposition is not intended for foreigners. There is no need for them to see all those miniature cameras, microscopic pistols and unique caches! The Chinese carefully guard their secrets.

Gold Vault in London – one-fifth of the world’s gold reserves are collected here

The vault of the UK Central Bank does hold 20% of the world’s gold reserves. It is impossible to imagine this amount of gold: there are 5,134 tons of it! If you translate that into dollars, you get almost 250 billion.

Gold vault in London

Needless to say, the bank vault is carefully guarded. Only a few can get here – authorized bank employees.

Area 51 – aliens are investigated here

In the United States, 130 kilometers from the city of Las Vegas, a military base was once built. In addition to the usual functions, it also performs research. They say that it was in the local laboratories that aliens who crashed on their own plate in the 90s were studied. True, the US officials denied these rumors, but how could one expect confirmation?

Area 51

The American government generally preferred not to mention Area 51 until recently. According to the official version, aircraft are tested here. But for some reason, access is prohibited here, and the airspace above the base and the surrounding area is closed.

Bohemian Grove – either a world conspiracy, or just a closed men’s club

This is the name of a nature reserve in a California paradise. A person “from the street” cannot get here. Bohemian Grove is a meeting place for the most influential people in the world. It periodically attracts politicians, businessmen, even some artists – from the “initiates”.

Bohemian grove

There is so much talk about this community! They talk about “world government”, about strange and terrible rituals, even about sacrifices.

And some of these legends have a foundation. There is a documentary film that was filmed by two American journalists: they managed to get into a protected grove and filmed one of the rituals during which the symbol of the club, the giant Owl, is worshiped and sacrifices are made to it. The journalists suggested that the members of the closed club belong to the Freemasons or Satanists.

However, most of their calculations are just speculation. Perhaps, in the Bohemian Grove, influential men, tired of bearing the burden of responsibility, are gathering, seeking to rest away from annoying problems? 

Metro 2 is the secret underground for the government

Did you know that there is another “floor” under the Moscow metro? It is called “Metro 2”, and this line has remained a secret for a long time. Its existence first became known from the report of the US Department of Defense, which was published in 1991.

The information was later confirmed by Vladimir Shevchenko – “a person close to the emperor”: he was the head of the protocol service during the times of Gorbachev and Yeltsin.

This classified facility was built under Stalin’s personal supervision. Some government locations are connected via Metro 2 to Vnukovo Airport. It is clear that a branch begins under the Kremlin. According to some reports, Metro 2 has several levels and reaches a depth of 250 meters.

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Ferry “Estonia” sank after collision with unknown object

© athanasopoulos andreas / Shutterstock

For a long time, the ferry “Estonia” was considered sank due to a strong roll and overturning, which led to the death of more than 800 people. Now it turns out that all this is a lie and the ship was destroyed from a collision with a certain object that rammed the “Estonia”, which led to the end of the ferry.

New circumstances of the sinking of the ferry “Estonia”

The team that created a documentary film about the disaster of the ferry “Estonia” for the Discovery TV channel, while diving to the remains of the ship, found a four-meter hole in the hull, which was previously partially hidden by the seabed, Postimees writes.

“It cannot be ruled out that damage played a role in the sinking,” said Jorgen Amdahl, professor of marine technology at the Norwegian University of Engineering and Science, in the new documentary series “Estonia – a find that will change everything”, which aired today on the Discovery streaming platform. in the Nordic countries. The footage of the hole in the ship’s hull was taken by a robotic diver. The find may confirm the theory that the accident was provoked not only by the tearing off of the visor: there was a hole in the ship’s hull, which accelerated the sinking of the Estonian. The authorities of the countries involved in the investigation of the disaster have previously denied this, Aftonbladet reported.

The place where the wreckage of the “Estonia” lies is clayey, so over the years the vessel has shifted, as a result of which places that were not visible before became visible, where the film crew found a hole.

The film crew began their dives at the bow, going first along the backboard, where they discovered two holes that were cut in the hull by the Norwegian diving company Rockwater in December 1994.

When moving with the underwater robot towards the starboard side in the film, you can hear journalist and director Hendrik Evertsson saying that the ship’s roll there is 130 degrees.

The camera moves on and first rests on the sand and rocks that were installed around the wreck in 1996. Then a hole in the ship’s hull is opened in front of the film crew – under the last letter of the inscription “Estline”. The crew estimated the height of the hole at four meters, and the width at 1.2 meters at its widest point.

The damage to the hull of the ferry is in the place where the cabins were on the other side of the wall. Among other things, the footage shows a hand towel sticking out of the hole.

After discussing the causes of the hole with experts, the film crew came to the conclusion that the explosion could not cause such damage in the ship’s hull. Norwegian Navy Captain Frank Burrsen, who takes part in demining operations and teaches at a naval educational institution and has studied the effects of explosives on ships, told the film crew after reviewing footage of the Estonian wreck that an explosion was unlikely there.

“It is characteristic here that it is very elongated,” he said of the hole captured on the video, and based on the drawings made. – It is clearly visible that the side of the ship is pushed inward. If you compare with the pictures of explosions, you can see from them that the metal usually bends. “

According to him, the damage to the ship’s hull creates the impression that this hole was knocked out there: “I cannot rule out an explosion. But it seems unlikely that it was. “

Experts assumed that this was an external force: a large object that crashed into the hull of the “Estonia”, punctured it and damaged the metal structural gaskets inside the ship.

The visor could not have caused the hole

According to Professor Amdahl, who focuses on investigating collisions between ships and platforms, external damage appears to be a very logical explanation for the breach.

“It seems that the paint has been peeled off, or perhaps by a body impact of one kind or another. External influence. The question one might ask ourselves is how this could have happened. What was the reason? ” – he reasons.

Amdal believes that there are many versions of how the hole originated in the ship’s hull: “Maybe it got hit by something in the water. It could also be a visor. On the visor itself, I would guess marks if it hit the side. “

But after reviewing the footage taken around the raised visor, the professor noted that there was no damage to it, which would indicate a collision with the ship’s hull.

He said that it was possible to calculate very accurately what the force would have to be to cause such damage to the hull of the ship, and on the basis of this it was possible to assume what mass the object had collided with: “This needs to be studied more carefully.

According to Amdahl’s calculations, “Estonia” was hit with a force corresponding to a mass of 500-600 tons. For comparison, he gave an example of how such an impact would have been made, for example, by a fishing boat weighing 1,000 tons, moving at a speed of four knots, or a 5,000-ton vessel at a speed of 1.9 knots.

Since no ships of this size were seen on the night of September 28, 1994, according to the professor, the only possible vessel that Estonia could collide with was a submarine, some of which weigh less than a ton, and some weigh several tons.

“It is also possible that a rock or something from the seabed hit the vessel,” he added, but the clayey seabed in the area where the ferry was destroyed speaks against this.

To find out what Estonia is facing, according to Amdal, now it is necessary to thoroughly analyze the testimony of witnesses.

Explosions after midnight

In many documentaries, the survivors of the tragedy recall that before the sinking of the “Estonia” they felt as if the ship had collided with something. “A little after midnight, two very strong bangs were heard,” Anders Erisson described what was happening in the fifth part of the documentary.

According to the recollections of Karl Erik Reintamm, it was as if a ferry was making its way through the ice.

He was one of the first passengers to be evacuated from the Estonian: “When I got off the ship, I did not see a single person. There was no one where I stood. I was one of the first. I saw nothing strange in the water, except for something white, several meters long. It went to the left, and the waves covered it. “

He cannot explain what he saw:

“I have never served in the army, I have no idea what submarines look like in the water. It was dark. I have no idea if a submarine might look lighter than water. But the ferry clearly ran into something, otherwise how else can you explain the sound that the ship is driving on ice? “

This summer, footage from the wreckage of “Estonia” showed some of the survivors of the disaster, their relatives and people associated with the investigation of the disaster, among whom were the former Estonian leading public prosecutor and member of the investigation commission for the death of “Estonia” Margus Kurm and a former member of the investigation commission. mechanical scientist Jaan Metsaveer.

It needs to be investigated

“It is not known where this hole came from,” Metsaveer said after reviewing the footage. – It really is something that arose from the outside. And they did not know about this before, this is really a discovery. Why this was not discovered earlier, I cannot say. “

Kurm, after talking with the film crew, called the findings that change the whole thing:

“I believe that after that the Estonian government will not be able to do nothing. It’s just impossible.”

In August, the footage was viewed by adviser to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mart Luik and adviser to the Minister of Justice Kalle Muuli.

In the documentary, Luik noted that what he saw requires an investigation of the issue, since it is difficult to say at once what exactly he saw and what to think about it. “The main problem, of course, is that the three countries have agreed that they will not dive and shoot,” he added, assuring that in cooperation with experts it will be decided what steps should be taken in the future. The Swedish media reported just today, citing Estonian newspapers, that the Estonian Prime Minister had discussed the ferry issue with his Swedish counterpart Stefan Löfmen last week.

Lars Engström, a former member of the Swedish parliament and member of the Defense Commission, has long advised the government to investigate the causes of Estonia’s disaster more deeply.

“This is new information that fully confirms the widespread criticism of the flooding explanations and investigation,” he told the TT news agency. “Now the materials show, and experts saw it, that something collided with the side of the ship with a force of several thousand tons, and in this case they are talking about another ship.”

The documentary series “Estonia – a find that will change everything” was produced by Monster Discovery for Norway. Director – Hendrik Evertsson, who is accused of violating the grave because of filming near the remains of the ferry.

The ferry “Estonia” left the port of Tallinn on the evening of September 27, 1994 and headed for Stockholm, where it was supposed to arrive in the morning of the next day. There were 803 passengers and 186 crew members on board.

When the ferry entered the open sea, it was overtaken by waves of many meters, and about half the way to Stockholm, next to the island of Utö, which belongs to Finland, the “Estonia” heeled and quickly sank.

Of all those on board, only 137 people were able to escape, 852 people were killed, most of whom were trapped and drowned along with the ferry. Among the dead were 501 Swedish citizens and 285 Estonian citizens. In total, there were citizens of 17 countries on board.

According to a final report by an investigation commission convened by Estonia, Finland and Sweden, the disaster was caused by bad weather, which tore off the vessel’s visor and associated ramp, causing water to fill the car deck.

The authors of the investigation cautiously hint that the governments of Estonia and Sweden may know the truth about the ferry disaster, but for some reason they hid it all these years.

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