The Siberian Scientists who Drilled into Hell-Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:  

Russian scientists conducting deep hole drilling experiments in Siberia break through the earth’s crust at more than 14 kilometers.  They find it unusually hot at that depth (2,000 degrees F).  As a part of trying to listen to movement in the earth’s crust, they drop a microphone into the drilled hole and are horrified when they realize they are hearing the voices of millions of people crying out in torment.  Terrified, they decide to abandon the project, but not before a bat-like apparition arises from the hole and gives them a message.

The Truth:

This is the combination of an urban legend and a hoax.  The original story of the deep hole drilling in Siberia made the rounds of tabloid newspapers in the early 1990’s.  Some researchers have theorized that the story somehow got started from an authentic deep hole drilling project, but that has never been proven.  That original story included the account of breaking through the crust, hearing the voices from the hole, and shutting down the drilling operation.  The plot thickened when a Norwegian school teacher named Age Rendalen decided to embellish the story with the description of the bat-like creature coming out of the hole.  He did it purposely to see whether a religious television program would accept the story at face value without checking it out, and they did. has first-hand information from Mr. Rendalen.

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Detailed Account of the Research

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

A geological group who drilled a hole about 14.4 kilometers deep in the crust of the earth are saying that they heard human screams. Screams have been heard from the condemned souls from earth’s deepest hole. Terrified scientists are afraid they have let loose the evil powers of hell up to the earth’s surface.

“The information we are gathering is so surprising, that we are sincerely afraid of what we might find down there,” stated Mr. Azzacov, the manager of the project to drill a 14.4 kilometer hole in remote Siberia.The geologists were dumbfounded. After they had drilled several kilometers through the earth’s crust, the drill bit suddenly began to rotate wildly. “There is only one explanation—that the deep center of the earth is hollow,” the surprised Azzacov explained.

The second surprise was the high temperature they discovered in the earth’s center. “The calculations indicate the given temperature was about 1,100 degrees Celsius, or over 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit,” Dr. Azzacov points out. “This is far more then we expected. It seems almost like an inferno of fire is brutally going on in the center of the earth.”

“The last discovery was nevertheless the most shocking to our ears, so much so that the scientists are afraid to continue the project. We tried to listen to the earth’s movements at certain intervals with supersensitive microphones, which were let down through the hole. What we heard turned those logically thinking scientists into a trembling ruins. It was a sometimes a weak, but high pitched sound which we thought to be coming from our own equipment,” explained Dr. Azzacov. “But after some adjustments we comprehended that indeed the sound came from the earth’s interior. We could hardly believe our own ears. We heard a human voice, screaming in pain. Even though one voice was discernible, we could hear thousands, perhaps millions, in the background, of suffering souls screaming. After this ghastly discovery, about half of the scientists quit because of fear. Hopefully, that which is down there will stay there,” Dr. Azzacov added.