The Soviet Umbrella Corporation
Almost 45 years on the godforsaken island in the Aral Sea there was a Soviet Center for Testing biological weapons.
A town with a school, shops, a post office, a canteen, scientific laboratories and, of course, a testing ground for large-scale testing of deadly biological agents, including anthrax, plague, tularemia, brucellosis, typhus.
In the early 1990s, after the collapse of the USSR military left city and a polygon located in the Aral sands.
An island of about 200 square kilometers at a glance met all the security requirements: virtually uninhabited surroundings, flat terrain, hot climate, unsuitable for the survival of pathogens.
In the northern part of the island, was built the military town Kantubek , officially called Aralsk-7.
So Aralsk-7 looked in the photo of the American spy satellite of the late 1960s.
Near the city was built and a unique airfield “Barhan”, the only one in the Soviet Union that had four runways resembling a wind rose.
On the island there is always a strong wind, sometimes changing its direction. Depending on the current weather, the planes landed on a particular runway.
In total, there were up to 1,500 soldiers and their families. It was, in effect, an ordinary garrison life, the peculiarities of which were only the special secrecy of the object and not a very comfortable climate.
Barges brought fresh water, which was then stored in special huge tanks on the outskirts of the town.
A laboratory complex was constructed several kilometers from the village (PNIL-52 – 52nd Field Research Laboratory), where, among other things, were also the experimental animals, becoming the main victims of the tests conducted here.
In the 1980s, a party of 500 monkeys was purchased specifically for them in Africa. All of them became victims of a strain of the microbe of tularemia, after which their corpses were burned, and the ashes formed were buried on the territory of the island.
The southern part of the island was occupied by a testing ground. Here, exploded shells or sprayed from the airplane pathogenic strains on the basis of anthrax, plague, tularemia, Ku-fever, brucellosis, sapa, other particularly dangerous infections, as well as a large number of artificially created biological agents.
The location of the polygon in the south was determined by the nature of the prevailing winds on the island.
A hot climate with a regular forty-degree heat was an additional factor that ensured the safety of military biologists: most bacteria and viruses perished from prolonged exposure to high temperatures.
In November 1991 the military biological laboratory Aralsk-7 was closed. The population of the city was evacuated within a few weeks, the entire infrastructure (residential and laboratory), the technology was abandoned, Kantubek turned into a ghost town.
Streets of the town of Soviet military biologists, where two decades ago was flowing life.
Unlike the Chernobyl exclusion zone, you can be here without risk to health. The biological threat is far less tenacious than radiation.
However, sometimes landscapes still resemble the neighborhood so far Ukrainian Pripyat.
The island with its mysterious top-secret history and the apocalyptic was really interested in the developers of computer games, hitting one of the episodes of Call of Duty: Black Ops.
Dungeons of the main laboratory complex. There were powerful autoclaves for temperature treatment of equipment.
Everything was washed in ordinary cast-iron baths, however, except for two taps with cold and hot water, a third was put to them – with a disinfectant.
These sinister structures are so-called “blasting chambers”. The principle was this: the room was divided into two parts – “dirty” and “clean”. In both you can only get by passing the sanitary checkpoint with a shower of disinfectant. In one part of the chamber a bolt was opened, a cell with a test animal was put in there along special guides. Then the shutter was closed, the animal was infected with a biological agent in the form of an aerosol. After the “dirty” side experts took the cell, and then followed the progress of the disease.
“Blasting chambers” are located on the second floor of the complex in a completely isolated room with airtight doors.
Here is a camera, type 5 K-NZH, numbered 254, released in 1974. Such devices are used for working with radioactive materials. Specialists of Aralska-7, apparently, adapted it for biological experiments.
Through this shutter, the chamber was fed with materials for experiments.
A sign of biological threat on the airtight second-story door.
In these cases, apparently, the packaging of biological agents was made. It could be, for example, a vaccine against a particularly dangerous infection.
And here it is, perhaps, the most interesting image! On the door to another “stone sack” it is written: “Danger! T – 37, T +27 “. Specialists say that a temperature of minus 37 degrees Celsius is optimal for storing bubonic plague strains, and plus 27 is an anthrax or anthrax spore.
That’s to some extent an explanation of what exactly worked at the training ground. Graffiti in the upper left corner of the door is a new “cultural layer”.
Room for experiments. A thick porthole, like a nuclear power plant, a centrifuge, a bathtub and some kind of incomprehensible purpose a steel box with a powerful lock. Everything is painted in an unpleasant protective color.
That’s how the main laboratory complex looks from the inside …
… and here it is – outside …