While psychological and scientific experiments have helped humans understand countless things, the thirst for knowledge that some experimenters have, can lead to the tests going too far and can often lead to someone or something being permanently damaged. Experiments like these led to animal testing and later a revolution against animal testing. Some of these experiments have been recorded and also documented, allowing the general public to get a glimpse into the horrifying atrocities being committed. One of them being the Russian sleep experiment, puts us into the dilemma of whether something like this happened for real or is it just another story made up to fill content and intrigue people. Well, that’s for you to decide for yourself.
In the late 1940’s a group of Russian researchers discovered an experimental gas based stimulant, which could eradicate the need for sleep in humans. 5 test subjects were chosen to test the gas, all deemed enemies of the state. They were kept in a sealed architecture, to carefully monitor their oxygen intake as the gas was toxic in high concentrations. This was before closed circuit cameras did the bidding, so their only means of monitoring the subjects were microphones and a few thick glass potholes into the chamber. The chamber was stocked with books, cots to sleep on, running water, a toilet and enough dry food to last all 5 of them for a month.
Everything was fine for the first 5 days and the subjects hardly complained about being falsely promised to be set free if they managed to go without sleeping for a month. Their conversations and activities were monitored closely and it was noted that they continued to talk about increasingly traumatic incidents in their past life and the general tone of their voices succumbed to darker aspects after the fourth day mark. After the 5th day they started to complain about the incidents that led them to where they were today and started demonstrating signs of paranoia. They stopped talking to one another and started alternately whispering in the microphones and potholes.
Oddly they seemed to think they could win the trust of their researchers by turning over their fellow comrades. After 9 days the first of them started screaming, he ran the lengths of the chambers repeatedly yelling at the threshold of his voice for 3 hours straight, after he tore his vocal cords, he still attempted to scream but was only able to wheeze occasionally. The most surprising thing about his behavior was that the other captives didn’t react to it. They continued whispering into the microphones until the second captive started to scream; meanwhile the other captives started tearing pages off the books and placed them over the glass pot holes with their own feces. The screaming and whispering then stopped but the oxygen levels in the chamber indicated high consumptions, by 5 breathing men while on strenuous exercise. On the 14th day, to provoke a response from the captives, they used the telecom and announced that they wanted to check the microphones and that compliance would earn one of them immediate freedom. To their dismay they hear a calm voice say “we no longer wish to be freed”.
On the 15th day, it was decided by the researchers and funders to check on the captives, so the chamber was opened and soldiers were sent in to retrieve test subjects and to their horror, although the test subjects were alive, one couldn’t say they were actually living. Food rations for the last 5 days weren’t touched and there were chunks of rotting flesh from the thighs of one of the captives and the rest of the four too had large portions of muscles and skin torn off their bodies. Closer examination of the position and angle of wounds revealed that they were self-inflicted. The organs below the ribcage were removed, keeping the heart and diaphragm intact, exposing the lungs. Their digestive tracts were seen working, digesting their own flesh, which they were having from the past few days.
The medical staff intended to sedate them in order to patch them up and restrained the rest of the four subjects, but it proved impossible, as they continued wrestling, asking for the gas, until two of them ran out of blood and their heart finally stopped. It was observed that his blood consisted 3 times more oxygen than usual.
The third survivor who burst his vocal cords while screaming, was unable to beg or object and simply nodded in agreement when a nurse suggested that they try the surgery without the anesthetic. He didn’t react for the entire 6 hour long procedure of re-placing his organs with grafting of whatever skin was left on his body, a surgeon suggested that it was medically impossible for a patient to survive such a procedure without an anesthetic. A terrified nurse also stated that that she could see the patient’s mouth crawl into a smile several times, whenever his eyes met hers.
As soon as the procedure was over the patient started wheezing loudly, assuming it could be something of importance, the doctor handed a paper and a pen, to which he wrote ‘Keep cutting’. On being asked why they hurt themselves so gravely and why they wanted the gas so badly, the captives simply replied “we must remain awake”.
Put back on the gas, but this time with an EEG monitor. Being the first to be wired to the EEG, the researchers were monitoring the third captives brain waves, when they realized it was normal, but most of the time he simply flat lined, before getting back to normal, it was like he was repeatedly suffering brain deaths until his brain entered deep sleep and then flat lined for the last time as his heart stopped.
The commander immediately asked to seal the chamber with the remaining two captives along with the three researchers, to which one of the researchers instantly took out his gun and shot the commander and the mute captive point blank. He then turned towards the last alive captive and yelled “what are you?, I must know”, the subject smiled
“Have you forgotten so easily? We are you! We are the madness that lurks within you all, begging to be freed at every moment in your deepest animal mind, we are what you hide from others every night, we are what you sedate into silence when you go to the nocturnal heaven where we cannot tread”
The researcher pointed at the captive and shot his heart. The last words of the captive were “so nearly free”.
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