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Wed Jan 30, 2013, 12:03 PM

For 40 Years, This Russian Family Was Cut Off From All Human Contact, Unaware of World War II

For 40 Years, This Russian Family Was Cut Off From All Human Contact, Unaware of World War II In 1978, Soviet geologists prospecting in the wilds of Siberia discovered a family of six, lost in the taiga
Siberian summers do not last long. The snows linger into May, and the cold weather returns again during September, freezing the taiga into a still life awesome in its desolation: endless miles of straggly pine and birch forests scattered with sleeping bears and hungry wolves; steep-sided mountains; white-water rivers that pour in torrents through the valleys; a hundred thousand icy bogs. This forest is the last and greatest of Earth's wildernesses. It stretches from the furthest tip of Russia's arctic regions as far south as Mongolia, and east from the Urals to the Pacific: five million square miles of nothingness, with a population, outside a handful of towns, that amounts to only a few thousand people.

When the warm days do arrive, though, the taiga blooms, and for a few short months it can seem almost welcoming. It is then that man can see most clearly into this hidden world—not on land, for the taiga can swallow whole armies of explorers, but from the air. Siberia is the source of most of Russia's oil and mineral resources, and, over the years, even its most distant parts have been overflown by oil prospectors and surveyors on their way to backwoods camps where the work of extracting wealth is carried on.

Thus it was in the remote south of the forest in the summer of 1978. A helicopter sent to find a safe spot to land a party of geologists was skimming the treeline a hundred or so miles from the Mongolian border when it dropped into the thickly wooded valley of an unnamed tributary of the Abakan, a seething ribbon of water rushing through dangerous terrain. The valley walls were narrow, with sides that were close to vertical in places, and the skinny pine and birch trees swaying in the rotors' downdraft were so thickly clustered that there was no chance of finding a spot to set the aircraft down. But, peering intently through his windscreen in search of a landing place, the pilot saw something that should not have been there. It was a clearing, 6,000 feet up a mountainside, wedged between the pine and larch and scored with what looked like long, dark furrows. The baffled helicopter crew made several passes before reluctantly concluding that this was evidence of human habitation—a garden that, from the size and shape of the clearing, must have been there for a long time.

It was an astounding discovery. The mountain was more than 150 miles from the nearest settlement, in a spot that had never been explored. The Soviet authorities had no records of anyone living in the district.



Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/For-40-Years-This-Russian-Family-Was-Cut-Off-From-Human-Contact-Unaware-of-World-War-II-188843001.html#ixzz2JTlCybhR
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It's an amazing story of human endurance and perseverance.

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Reply For 40 Years, This Russian Family Was Cut Off From All Human Contact, Unaware of World War II (Original post)
bluedigger Jan 2013 OP
grahamhgreen Jan 2013 #1
bluedigger Jan 2013 #3
grahamhgreen Jan 2013 #9
fizzgig Jan 2013 #2
bluedigger Jan 2013 #4
fizzgig Jan 2013 #5
Uncle Joe Jan 2013 #6
ellisonz Jan 2013 #7
elleng Jan 2013 #8
Lucky Luciano Jan 2013 #10
66 dmhlt Jan 2013 #11
Blue_Tires Jan 2013 #12

Response to bluedigger (Original post)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 12:56 PM

1. "a member of a fundamentalist Russian Orthodox sect, worshiping in a style unchanged since the 17th"

Of course it was fundamentalism.

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Response to grahamhgreen (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 01:02 PM

3. No, it was Communism.

Things had only got worse for the Lykov family when the atheist Bolsheviks took power. Under the Soviets, isolated Old Believer communities that had fled to Siberia to escape persecution began to retreat ever further from civilization. During the purges of the 1930s, with Christianity itself under assault, a Communist patrol had shot Lykov's brother on the outskirts of their village while Lykov knelt working beside him. He had responded by scooping up his family and bolting into forest.

Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/For-40-Years-This-Russian-Family-Was-Cut-Off-From-Human-Contact-Unaware-of-World-War-II-188843001.html#ixzz2JU0SQFUr
Follow us: @SmithsonianMag on Twitter

They weren't rejecting modern society, they were fleeing persecution.

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Response to bluedigger (Reply #3)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 06:15 PM

9. Nutbag fundamentalists, like all fundamentalists, IMHO.

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Response to bluedigger (Original post)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 12:57 PM

2. i came by to post this

amazing indeed

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Response to fizzgig (Reply #2)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 01:06 PM

4. I liked this part.

Lacking guns and even bows, they could hunt only by digging traps or pursuing prey across the mountains until the animals collapsed from exhaustion. Dmitry built up astonishing endurance, and could hunt barefoot in winter, sometimes returning to the hut after several days, having slept in the open in 40 degrees of frost, a young elk across his shoulders.

Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/For-40-Years-This-Russian-Family-Was-Cut-Off-From-Human-Contact-Unaware-of-World-War-II-188843001.html#ixzz2JU1k72Fi
Follow us: @SmithsonianMag on Twitter


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Response to bluedigger (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 01:15 PM

5. i can't even imagine

there are so many things we take for granted

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Response to bluedigger (Original post)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 02:22 PM

6. Fascinating.

Thanks for the thread, bluedigger.

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Response to bluedigger (Original post)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 03:14 PM

7. Just saw this on facebook at was going to post...

Thanks for beating me to it!

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Response to bluedigger (Original post)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 05:28 PM

8. Amazing!

Thanks

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Response to bluedigger (Original post)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 11:49 PM

10. Interesting! nt

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Response to bluedigger (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 04:48 AM

11. A "Russian Family Robinson"

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Response to bluedigger (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 08:01 PM

12. k+r

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