Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Black Bird: Sojourn With Disaster


Beginning in early April 1986 the people in and around the little known Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant began to experience a series of strange events revolving around sightings of a mysterious creature described as a large, dark, and headless man with gigantic wings and piercing red eyes. People affected by this phenomena experienced horrific nightmares, threatening phone calls and first hand encounters with the winged beast which became known as the Black Bird of Chernobyl.

Reports of these strange happening continued to increase until the morning of April 26, 1986, when at 1:23 am, reactor 4 of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant experienced a catastrophic steam explosion that resulted in a fire which caused a series of additional explosions followed by a nuclear meltdown. The power plant, located near Pripyat, Ukraine, Soviet Union, spewed a plume of radioactive fallout which drifted over parts of the Western Soviet Union, Eastern and Western Europe, Scandinavia, the UK, Ireland and eastern North America. Large areas of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia were badly contaminated, resulting in the evacuation and resettlement of over 336,000 people. The Chernobyl Disaster, as the incident was dubbed, is considered the worst accident ever in the history of nuclear power.

Following the meltdown, and subsequent explosions and fires, Soviet helicopters were dispatched to the scene, equipped with special fire fighting gear, these helicopters circled the plant dropping clay, sand, lead and other extinguishing chemicals on to the burning facility. Most of the fire was put out by 5 am with the fire burning with in reactor 4 continuing to blaze for several hours after. The firefighters who responded were unaware of the nature of the fire, assuming that it was simply an electrical fire, and received masses overdoses of radiation leading to many of their deaths, including Lieutenant Vladimir Pravik, who died on May 9, 1986.

The workers who survived the initial blast and fire, but would later die of radiation poisoning, claimed to have witnessed what has been described as a large black, bird like creature, with a 20 foot wingspan, gliding through the swirling plumes of irradiated smoke pouring from the reactor. No further sightings of the Black Bird of Chernobyl were reported after the Chernobyl Disaster, leaving researchers to speculate just what haunted the workers of the plant during the days leading up to the disaster.

The most commonly accepted theory suggests that the Black Bird of Chernobyl may have been the same creature spotted in Point Pleasant, West Virginia leading up to the collapse of the Silver Bridge on December 15, 1968. Investigators have suggested that the appearance of this creature is an omen of disasters to come in the area in which it shows itself. The physical description of both the Black Bird of Chernobyl and the Mothman, the creature sighted in West Virginia, are very similar, and the reports of nightmares and threatening phone calls leading up to these disasters are shared in both cases.

A second, less accepted theory, suggests that the Black Bird of Chernobyl was nothing more than the misidentification of the black stork, an endangered species endemic to southern Eurasia. The black stork stands nearly 3 feet tall and has a wing span of nearly 6 feet. This theory however fails to take into account the menacing phone calls and the the disturbing nightmares. Also the physical description given by the majority of eyewitnesses who actually saw the Black Bird of Chernobyl does not in anyway match the physical appearance of the Black Stork.

Both the Black Bird of Chernobyl and the Mothman have not been sighted since there respective disasters, leaving us with many unanswered questions. All we can do is wait for the beast to show itself again and give us a chance to figure out just what it may be, unfortunately it would appear that for this creature to show up again we will have to anticipate some form of disaster in the area it has selected to appear.

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THE BLACK BIRD OF CHERNOBYL: Further Descriptions


Beginning in April of 1986, a rumor tore through the ranks of what was then a little know nuclear power plant located in the southern tier of the Ukraine - Chernobyl. In the days preceding the tragic meltdown, four Chernobyl employees had reported seeing what they claimed was a large, dark, headless man with gigantic wings and fire-red eyes.

Researchers now believe that the accounts surrounding this creature are similar to what investigators now recognize to be an archetypal Mothman event. Much like the Point Pleasant Mothman witnesses, these Chernobyl employees began to share unsettling and strangely similar experiences.

Some had been having horrifying nightmares, while others received threatening phone calls. According to accounts, some of these employees even mentioned their bizarre experiences to their superiors at the facility, but without evidence or any clear cut indication of what the problem may be, there was very little these officials could do - even had they been willing to take action.

On April 26, 1986, during a routine test of Reactor 4, the Chernobyl nuclear power plant was rocked by a massive explosion. Thirty people died that morning, followed by ten additional ten deaths due to radiation exposure. Over the next nine days the graphite of the reactor continued to burn, resulting in tremendous environmental damage and an untold number of radiation casualties over the next 17-years.

As the Soviet helicopters circled the smoldering plant, dropping over 500 pounds of clay, sand, lead, and other extinguishing chemicals on top of the flames, some of the surviving workers - who, at the sacrifice of their own lives, heroically struggled to prevent any further destruction - claimed to have witnessed what has been described as a "20-foot bird" gliding through the undulating tentacles of irradiated smoke, which continued to spew from the reactor.

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Mothman was said to have been seen when disaster threatened. It is not the only winged creature to be seen before a disaster. The Black Bird of Chernobyl was said to herald the explosion at a nuclear plant in the Ukraine. On April 26, 1986, a massive explosion rocked the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Thirty people died immediately, followed by other deaths from radiation poisoning. For nine days the reactor continued to burn, resulting in tremendous environmental damage. The local population has suffered with the consequences ever since. The Chernobyl Disaster, as it was called, is considered the worst accident in the history of nuclear power.

In the days before the tragic occurrence several Chernobyl employees had reported seeing a large, dark/ black shape like a headless man with gigantic wings and red, fire-like, eyes. As with the appearances of Mothman, people who had seen the phenomena had been having nightmares and some received strange phone calls. Some of the employees reported the strange things to their supervisors at the plant. Whether any sort of action was taken is unknown. After the explosion helicopters were brought in to drop extinguishing agents on the flames. Some of the pilots and the surviving workers said they saw a giant black bird flying away from the smoking reactor. Described by many as “a large black, bird-like creature, with a 20-foot wingspan, gliding through the swirling plumes of smoke." The bird has not been seen again.

The theory out forward was that the bird was a rare black stork. However, the stork has a clear visible head and its wingspan is only about 6 feet (1.9 metres), and it stands about 3 feet (1 metre) tall. It also would not explain the strange dreams and phone calls. So was this winged creature a portent of the disaster? There are other tales such as (but not the only story) Mothman about winged creatures being seen before disaster. We can only wait and see if more tales surface, though I rather hope they don’t if it portends something bad happening. - Still On the Track


Sources:
americanmonsters.com
Pangea Anthology
unknownexplorers.com
Encounters with Flying Humanoids: Mothman, Manbirds, Gargoyles & Other Winged Beasts
cryptozoology.com
parascientifica.com
A Wizard's Bestiary: A Menagerie of Myth, Magic, and Mystery

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