Everyone knows that humans belong on the surface of the planet. Underground exploration is wrong, and it's not just my claustrophobia speaking. Things are hidden in the bowels of the Earth which shouldn't be seen by human eyes. People die in caves all the time.
What if there was a hole where the dead already resided? Imagine digging a well in the barren hellscape of Siberia, only to hear the screams of the damned rise up to greet you.
That's exactly what the Trinity Broadcasting Network claimed in 1989. TBN is a Christian television broadcaster, so they had a definite motive. Their intentions were clear in the initial broadcast, convert or go to hell.
Their story was titled “Scientists Discover Hell”. Tantalizing stuff.
Warning, the audio is quite loud, and can be disturbing to some:
The story goes like this. Some time in 1976, the Russians completed a 19-year drilling operation in Siberia. Their hole went a staggering 14.4 km down into the Earth.
Upon reaching their desired depth, the scientists, led by Mr. Azakov, did the next logical thing and lowered a microphone down into the hole. Because they wanted to hear what the dirt had to say.
Attached to the microphone was an array of sensory equipment. The temperature at the bottom of the hole registered at 1,000 °C (1,832 °F). Mr. Azakov's team had inadvertently drilled into a giant fiery cavern.
What the scientists heard led them to quickly seal up the hole. Before the microphone melted, it recorded a truly disturbing sound. What sounds like the screams of hundreds of people came from the fiery cavern.
That's if you believe the TBN. Which wasn't the case for Åge Rendalen, a Norwegian man who was visiting the USA at the time of the broadcast. He returned to his home country, furious at the TBN's blatant hoax.
Åge wrote to the TBN, claiming to have investigated the tale in his home country. He told the credulous TBN that the well was real, and had in fact been sealed only when a bat-like demon escaped from it.
Rendalen provided 'proof' in the form of a 'translated' Norwegian article. He provided the network with both the original article and his 'translation'. The real article was about a building inspector, but the network never checked his translation.
TBN aired Åge Rendalen's fake story. Anyone who could read Norwegian immediately knew they were being trolled. Unfortunately the hoax has become widely believed.
Today the story of the Well to Hell has become an urban legend. If you search for the sounds on the internet, you'll find hundreds of videos claiming that it really happened.
Truth in the Lie
Bet you weren't expecting to find any truth here, with the tone of the article thus far. Well, hold onto your hats, because hell is most certainly… still not real.
Russia's hole was actually near the Norwegian border, not in Siberia. They drilled to a depth of 12 kilometers instead of 14. Not even once did they break through into a hollow cavern filled with voices of the damned. The hole was hot, 180 °F (82.22 °C) to be exact, which is a far cry from the devastating heat of hell.
What the scientists actually found were rare mineral formations, flowing water, and gas pockets. All very fascinating discoveries, but they pale in comparison to finding an actual physical hell filled with people being tortured.
That's it, that's the entire truth.