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The Chernobyl catastrophe remains a worst-case scenario for nuclear power. The incident with the Chernobyl-4 reactor in 1986 is still considered both unique and the only instance in the history of nuclear power to feature radiation-related fatalities. And a mysterious black bird might be the key to unlocking the story.
So … what happened?
Essentially, the only thing that went wrong with Chernobyl was everything. From uncontrolled chain reactions to poor safety management, the set of misfortunes that went into the event is one of the saving graces of nuclear power today. It is unlikely that sequence of events could be repeated to such disastrous effect. However, the consequences from even this one incident were extremely steep:
The accident destroyed the Chernobyl 4 reactor, killing 30 operators and firemen within three months and several further deaths later … Acute radiation syndrome (ARS) was originally diagnosed in 237 people onsite and involved with the clean-up and it was later confirmed in 134 cases. Of these, 28 people died as a result of ARS within a few weeks of the accident.
And Chernobyl’s mysterious black bird might provide an answer to those searching for meaning among the chaos.
The legend of the black bird changes often, but it goes something like this:
Various reports detailed witnessing a black, bird-like creature around the area of the Chernobyl-4 reactor. Details about this surfaced slowly after the nuclear reactor’s meltdown. Apparently, workers who died were among those to witness this creature. Those who saw the black bird were said to experience nightmares in the subsequent weeks. Even more frightening, some reported receiving strange phone calls after the disaster, and believers have attributed it to the black bird.
The exact purpose of the black bird is relatively fluid from retelling to retelling, sometimes serving as a harbinger of doom and sometimes being the cause of it.
Because of the similarities between their descriptions, some have linked the tales of Chernobyl’s black bird to Mothman, a famous half-man, half-monster of lore.
Reality or Lore?
Sadly, the best source of information for this lore would be the workers that may or may not have witnessed it. Without their testimony, we may never know the full truth of what happened at Chernobyl. But its impact lives on — as a haunting coda to an already complex and tragic story.
To see more about the famed creature of the Chernobyl disaster, check out this video below!