Nicola Stow | The UK Sun | Source URL
The massive Duga radar – dubbed the “Russian Woodpecker”- is hidden in a forest in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone
HAUNTING photographs reveal a secret “mind control” radar that’s been left to decay in Chernobyl wasteland 33 years after world’s worst nuclear disaster.
The massive Duga radar – dubbed the “Russian Woodpecker”- is hidden in a forest in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.
Built in the 1970s as part of a Soviet anti-ballistic early warning network, it was rumoured to have been used as a mind control weapon aimed at Americans.
However, this theory is unlikely to be true.
Once a closely guarded secret, the colossal lattice structure, composed of hundreds of antennas and turbines, can actually be seen for miles.
Standing at 150 metres (492 feet) high, and at almost 700 metres long (2,296 feet), the Duga radar was once one of the most powerful military facilities in the Soviet Union’s communist empire.
Construction of the Duga began in 1972 after scientists came up with the idea of building a huge over-the-horizon-radar that would mitigate long-range missile threats.
They thought the radar would bounce signals off the ionosphere to peer over Earth’s curvature.
But they misinterpreted how the ionosphere works and structure was doomed to failure before it was built.
The Chernobyl-2 object, as a part of the anti-missile and anti-space defence of the Soviet military, was created with a sole purpose – to detect the nuclear attack on the USSR in the first two-three minutes after the launch of the ballistic missiles
Even today, decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the story behind the Duga – also known as Chernobyl-2 – is sketchy.
The antennas broadcast a sharp tapping sound which earned the tower its Woodpecker nickname.
Volodymyr Musiyets, a former commander of the radar complex, told Ukranian newspaper Fakty that the sole purpose of the Duga was to “detect the nuclear attack on the USSR.
He said: “The Chernobyl-2 object, as a part of the anti-missile and anti-space defence of the Soviet military, was created with a sole purpose – to detect the nuclear attack on the USSR in the first two-three minutes after the launch of the ballistic missiles.”
The Duga radar was only a signal receiver. The transmitting centre was built 37 miles away in a town called Lubech-1, which is now also abandoned.
Protected with extensive security measures, Soviet command often gave these top-secret facilities numbers or fake identities in a bid to confuse their “enemies”.
On Soviet maps, the Duga radar was marked as a children’s camp.
For the past six years visitors exploring the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone have been given access to the radar as part of a guided tour.
Yaroslav Yemelianenko, director of Chernobyl Tour, told CNN Travel: “Tourists are overwhelmed by the enormous size of the installation and its aesthetic high-tech beauty.
“No one expects that it is that big.
Tourists are overwhelmed by the enormous size of the installation and its aesthetic high-tech beauty.”No one expects that it is that big.
“They feel very sorry that it’s semi-ruined and is under threat of total destruction.”After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the radar’s fate was entrenched by its location in the middle of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.
The catastrophe impacted the lives of thousands of innocent people and led to death and decay.