Archive for the ‘Interesting History’ Category

It started with the YouTube community and some videos abut a missing hiker, that’s how I saw it anyway. Kenny Veach had gone into the Nevada desert, he’d gone back after a series of comments bating him about going to the ‘M Cave’ and supposedly the strange feelings he’d had about being there.

North of Las Vegas, Sheep Mountains had been the location an in 2014 he went out to look at the area again. Kenny Veach usually went with his girlfriend, Sheryon Pilgrim, or went alone. He would go without GPS and seemingly seemed to come across a bit gung-ho about the whole thing and his own safety.

He pointed out on a YouTube comment (as snakebitmgee) that near the Wellis Air Force Base, he’d found a cave shaped like a capital m and it had caused his entire body to vibrate, he became to scared he left. 22nd November, 2014 a Saturday, and 3 News Las Vegas reported that they had found the man’s cellphone near a deep vertical mine shaft. The 47 year old man was meant to have come back after a two day hike but the family alerted authorities when he failed to return. Red Rock Search & Rescue Centre did not find anything more and said he may not have fallen or been down there, the area was searched again.

Kenny’s first visit had caused the fights, his second he reported on the presence of a black ram watching him from the top of a ridge. It didn’t deter him from his third trip, the self-proclaimed daredevil/cowboy took his 9mm gun and headed back that way. Some YouTube commenters had tried to deter him from going back out, the area is known to have many hazards; the terrain, animals, dehydration and how remote it is as just a little summary.

Sheryon Pilgrim (girlfriend) had even explained he was plagued by depression but had refused to seek any help, It may well have contributed to the situation as he’d taken risks that perhaps others might not.

So let’s move on to theories, did he see something around the base he should not have? Was it occult based? Did he simply succumb to the desert ravages? Or did he fake his own death to begin a new life as many struggles and depression caught up with him?

Wellis Air Force Base is one of those places that has come with conspiracy theories, secret testing facilities and hidden alien presences amongst them. The U.S government agencies are often under fire for secrecy and this is no shock, government secrecy and actions means speculation but I highly doubt he was captured or killed for seeing something as the man wasn’t trying to break onto the base.

A comment I found on one site was about how Kenny had a fascination with the occult, and that he may have known about local rumours that the cave was more than a natural occurrence. Some suggest that the cave lures people in with a macabre power; it can lure in depressed people to their deaths or a portal to another dimension. Me? I don’t think I have anything to work on here other than rumour, local lore or even retrospective speculation from others.

So this leaves two other options which are mundane explanations, I know, I blog about so many things like ghosts or oddities but here I am going for the natural ones? Hear me out though please?

Faking his death? It seems to me that this is possible but unlikely. He had certainly got friends and a family in the area but his cell-phone was found in the vicinity of the area whilst not entirely conclusive it points to someone wanting to prove a point, not to disappear and there are other comments online which leads me to think the most likely answer is below and not the most exciting.

Kenny Veach was 47 years old, suffering from untreated (and undiagnosed) depression or possibly, even another or accompanied, by another mental health disorder. A comment from his own girlfriend on YouTube also leads to come information that may assist more.

He had left home at 6am for the one hour drive out to the place, she said she thinks his depression had got worse as well due to money issues. 14 months before his disappearance he’d quit a job he had been in for 17 years and was living off his retirement money. Suicide ran in the family history and his dad had committed suicide via a gun when Kenny was in his early 20’s, he had taken his own 9mm out with him when he went on the trip.

She explained that she had found his search history and that it had contained pages on suicide. She had also said he told her that if he were to kill himself it would not be at home and so things in her mind felt sadly concluded.

I am, also sadly, inclined to believe her as the man had severe mental health issues he would not willingly address. He was not prepared to put her, and his family, through sorting out the aftermath and her comments and his actions seem to match up that way.

The search hasn’t really ended either, 3 News LV also reported that Red Rock Search & Rescue had gone out to look for another missing man but they keep an eye out on another missing cold cases when they do go that way. Kenny Veach is one of the ones on that list, the last search I saw online that might have been with that in mind was 27th April, 2019. Perhaps the answer will happen one day and I hope if the family require closure that it does.

It was quiet hard to write this one, I wanted to cover his story but I wanted to ensure I tried to remain respectful. I hope that I have.

https://youtu.be/EfdrY-2sROQ

https://youtu.be/Gc4qjTrpEa0

https://www.youtube.com/user/snakebitmgee

ghosttheory.com

Mysterious Universe

YouTube in general

Reddit

3 News Las Vegas

It’s mildly possible you’ll get quite a few updates about Ukraine or Chernobyl, not because of a recent drama show but because I visited Kyiv and Chernobyl. I’ve taken a lot of photos and notes but here is another dive into some interesting history around there.

The Chernobyl Disaster (1986) is still a major talking point even this far on, maybe I should do a deeper dive into it all, but that’s something you write books on, and I have read a few. I did Soviet history so you probably notice I pick up these things here and there in my blogs, it is actually very tempting to go down these rabbit holes more and more but there is a whole world for us to look into and so I may point some here and there but forgive me if that does happen. It is important as a point in modern history, when reactor 4 exploded it caused international concerns and the subject looks to have been added to our school curriculum (I believe).

The actual name of the, now decommissioned, nuclear power plant is V I Lenin Nuclear Power Station (чернобыльская АЕС ИМ. В.И.Ленина) and it had suffered an incident before in 1981, a partial core meltdown had occurred in Reactor 1 but was operational again within a few months and was not revealed until several years later.

At this stage both Kopachi and Poliske were normal functioning areas, the incident in 1986 left both of them abandoned, Kopachi is now abandoned entirely and Poliske has been taken from the registry but there are around 20 known settlers there.

Kopachi (Колачи/Колачi) was a village, located just south-west of the Pripyat River Basin, after it was evacuated in 1986 the authorities had houses torn down and buried as an experiment. The village was the only one that suffered from his fate and now lonely two brick buildings, a series of mounds and some trees are the original remnants of the place.

Each mound has a sign which has the international symbol for radiation on it, it points to the fact there is a house beneath it. The kindergarten and one other building is still there and the local soil is contaminated with plutonium, strontium-90 and caesium-137.

Kopachi’s geography lies within the Kyiv reg, in ion, Ivankiv district and is 4km away from Chernobyl. It’s first mention as a village appears to have been in 1685, in 1886 it was listed with 774 orthodox residents and 92 Jews as its Parish. In 1900 the owner of the village, Sergey Chelytshev listed 334 inhabitants, there were 56 households and a church made from wood named Great Martyr Paraskeva which burnt down in 1927, the church in the name of the Great Martyr Paraskei, was described as dilapidated and built in 1742 and that prior churches stood higher on Kariplouka and the church served 65 tithes. The villages under the Kopachevsky parish were made up of Nagoretsy, Semihody, Krivaya Gora and Starosel’ye.

In 1927, Father Peter , the rector, was arrested and taken off to Kyiv, his fate was not reacted in anything I could find. The church was ravaged, the Holy icons and church plates were burnt in the churchyard and as this happened the anecdote states that the residents there wept. Before the disaster it was a well established village with around 114 inhabitants and the residents were relocated to Lehnvika, Boryshiv district.

If ( like me) you played Stalker, Call of Pripyat, you can go to their interpretation of the village on the level “Neighbourhood of Jupiter”, the area is known to have zombies, the hills and old buildings also emit a lot of radiation.

Poliske or Polesskoye (Поліське / Полесское) is part of the Kyiv oblast region and can be found listed in the Exclusion Zone area. The areas has about 20 samosely, the region has about 197 people, they are returning people to the area of those considered self-settlers. Samosely are informally allowed to stay there.

I’m going to put down the number of people as a sub-paragraph because its really not that identifiable. April 2013 saw an estimate of illegal settlers being anything from 200-2000. Refugees, re-settlers and other migrations most likely mean no true number could be stated. One official birth is known, 25th August 1999 a 46 year-old woman called Lydia Sovenko gave birth to Maria Sovenko, Maria lived in Chernobyl with her parents until 2006 and goes back to the area at the weekend and visits her mother there.

So back to Poliske – it was originally called Khabnaye or Khabne’, it was renamed Kaganovichi Pervye/ Kahanovychi Pershi in 1934. It was renamed to Poliske in 1957. Poliske was founded in the 15th Century, the home of a Polish family, the Howatt’s from 1850 to 1918. It was known for it’s weaving and textile industry, and the area got official status as a city in 1938. The population dwindled after the disaster and in 1999 the remaining population was evacuated, as of 2005 around 1,000 people remained and were mostly senior citizens.

A couple of notable people are mentioned from the place, Iser Kuperman was born there in 1922 and he was the seven-times world champion of draughts. Lazar Kaganovich, one of the leaders of the Soviet Union, was born there in 1893. He was a Soviet politician and was known to have helped Stalin seize power. He died in 1991 and in 1987 an American journalist (Stuart Kahan) published “The Wolf of the Kremlin” which was a biography about Kaganovich. It is worth another side not here that some contact the books validity.

So have you been? Did you visit the area on a tour OR were you once a resident with a story to share?

Sources:

Pohilevich Lawrence Ivanovich – Ukrainian ethnographer, ‘Tales of populated areas of the Kiev province’;

Chernobylpeople.ucoz.ua ;

forgottenisland.net ;

wikipedia ;

earthtimes.org ;

Stuart Kahan, The Wolf of the Kremlin ;

Chernobyl & Nuclear Power in the USSR – David R Marples; Dazv.gov.ua – visiting the zone (English version);

Stalker game – GSC Game World.

SoloEast Travel and going on the tour.

The formulated list of the settlements that were taken from the Exclusion zone and where people were resettled too (Ukraine forum on the subject).

 

https://silentthrill.wordpress.com/2017/09/04/duga-radio/

If you want my original notes on the matter here they are but I am now going to update a little from the fact that in August (2019) I was lucky enough to get to visit the place directly.

If I get my notes in order properly I believe I will try and do a full write up of the day but I am just updating on the Duga because it was one of the big highlights. The Дугá or Duga-2 (or Chernobyl 2 or Russian Woodpecker) is SO big I cannot simply point out it was large… it is enormous and absolutely wonderful to have seen up close, I don’t know how long it will be standing there because you can see the signs of deterioration all over it but whilst it is there and possible to visit I am glad that people can.

So what else did I learn to add to the original information? Well that the structure likely cost more than putting all four of the reactors online at Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant itself.

That the things all over it (pictured below) are known as vibrators, and when the wind did kick up a bit they sort of hummed very slightly. I have pretty good hearing and the sensation of being there and trying to listen was part of the atmosphere.

DugaVibrator.png

Workers would have been able to access the higher parts of the structure by elevator, I don’t think I would want to be on top of that thing on a windy or rainy day. I can’t be sure about health and safety in the former Soviet Union era but I can assure you that I’d be strapping myself to anything I could if I was working up there! I was once subject to a grim report about a death in the North Sea when a rigger failed to do it and my imagination took me straight back to that moment and I shuddered…

DugaElevator.png

There were access ladders originally still on the structure but thanks to irresponsible people climbing up they have been removed. They are on the floor as you can see behind the above photo to stop climbers having any form of easy access. I will say I can imagine people still do try but they clearly don’t think of dropping off the mortal coil if they do as just being near it was enough and I am not even afraid of heights as a general rule.

DugaLadders.png

When the wind gets it the whole thing shudders and shakes, you can hear it move and it’s both wonderful and a little jolting at the same time. The sand around the area might well be covering up the radiation underneath and giving additional support to the thing but if it fell I can’t imagine you would get any time to outrun it… You can see it from so far away even with the forest around it and you can hear it humming due to its size, even without power. I commented on my original post about the fact it would interfere with local radio and now I can understand why, how do you even hide that thing from anyone either?

Well they did have that conversation on the ground in the Ukraine and Moscow when Chernobyl’s nuclear incident happened. It was a secret military installation and they knew that officials coming from outside the Soviet Union may well notice it, did they risk driving people through to the zone and set off the geiger counters and the reality of it OR did they fly them over and pray they didn’t notice? Well in the end officials were flown over, the Chernobyl incident was simply more of a pressing matter than the giant station nearby.

There has been a death at the site in more recent years, in November 2017 (a Facebook post on Geostalkers claim it to have been 27th) a 33 year old man and a father of three died when he fell from the structure. The man was Dmitry Shkinder and he came over to the area from neighbouring country, Belarus. (Belarus is also subjected to having an exclusion zone from the 1986 incident and I shall try to do more on that at some point if I can). It was a cold, wet and windyday and he climbed up 15 foot before falling and meeting his end. “Stalkers” and thrill-seekers are being told to stop going on to the grounds, that stealing scrap metal for recycling is dangerous not to mention the haul may well be radioactive!

“That object has seen no maintenance for three decades. Its rusty, some ladders are loose. On that day it was really wet and cold and there was thick fog,” his friend Roman, who was with Dmitry when he died, told a Belarusian TV station. (Rt.Com)

I absolutely loved this place and visiting. I found it a genuine pleasure to be there and see it for myself and I am glad I was so lucky to get to see it.

I went with SoloEast Travel and they were fantastic. I shall hopefully get to write more about my trip in between my other blogs, and if this interested you I am sure there are plenty of other little dives about my posts you can enjoy.

Here are some links to enjoy too:

http://chornobyl.in.ua/en/chernobyl-2-2.html

https://goo.gl/maps/VqK4wBnCnvCuBwce8

And my video of what I managed to capture!

In New York, 1788 a riot broke out aimed at the physicians and medical students by the poorer New Yorkers. The riot was about the illegal procurement of corpses from the graves of the poor and slaves.

In April 1788 a student named John Hicks could hear children playing outside the building. The physician, Richard Bayley, was known to exhume corpses from the two cemeteries nearby. John Hicks was dissecting an arm and waved the arm out of a window, at the children, he told a boy that it was the arm of his recently deceased mother.

The boy ran home and told his father what had happened, the coffin was exhumed and found to be empty. A group amassed around the hospital, the mob broke in and found several bodies in different mutilated conditions. They dragged out Richard Bayley’s assistant, Wright Post, and other students into the street. The mayor of New York, James Duane, was forced into intervene and ordered them to be escorted to the jail house for their own protection.

2,000 people rioted and news spread fast, the few physicians remaining in New York were forced into hiding. A large group of the rioters set off down Broadway to find John Hicks, they assembled at the courthouse to throw rocks and caused a disturbance. In the end the militia and cavalry had to repel them.

At least three rioters and military men died, an estimate of the total dead was given as 20 people. Some students were brought to trial but the taunting Hicks was not one of them. With the riots came a statute law that only condemned criminals could be used and how corpses were to be treated. With the demand for new bodies the physicians then turned to hiring resurrection men, a practice which continued for some time.

An Interrupted Dissection.jpg
By William Allen Rogers – http://thumbs.media.smithsonianmag.com//filer/c8/ef/c8efdc9b-ffc8-4c93-a435-1573d2799633/an_interrupted_dissection_harpers_1882_copy_.jpg__800x600_q85_crop.jpg, Public Domain, Link

 

The internet may well produce a grander scale of those that come across “trolls”, yes I have dealt with them. Trolling or antagonizing people behind a wall of anonymity is not a new thing. The internet did not create it, and here’s one example.

The Victorians had a rather impressive and unique way to troll/point out a dislike for someone and this was through The Vinegar Valentine. A card with a pictorial representation such as spinster, or floozy, dude etc… were printed and sold.

They seem to have originated in America in the 1840’s, European companies around that time seem to have been doing much the same too. An example would be something like “Don’t borrow money from your friends. Pitch in and earn some yourself.” Aka “Go get a job.”

The cards were generally cheap, at a penny, and seem to have been poplar due to a rise in literacy rates, everyone from the lower class and upwards could afford the cards and send them out.

The cards provoked a stir through the social levels, sometimes they provoked fist-fights and arguments. To make matters worse the receiver of the posted card was responsible for the postage up until the 1840’s. Basically put, if you got a card you would pay for the insult and it is reported that some were sol vulgar the postman would not think it wise to deliver them.

So when you get that ‘you think you invented this’ vibe from your parents to be fair… it’s been around for a while.

Vinegar_Valentine_01