RUSSIAN SCIENTISTS drilling into an ‘alien’ Antarctic lake buried under ice for 20 million years have been out of radio contact for five days…
The scientists had been battling conditions of minus 66°C at Lake Vostok, as they raced to drill into a lake buried two miles beneath the ice before the weather closed in. The scientists hoped the lake’s untouched water would reveal more about life on our planet 20 million years ago.
The lake, in the most inhospitable region of the planet, is kept liquid by geothermal heat under the ice and its conditions are often described as ‘alien’ because they are thought to be akin to the subterranean lakes on Jupiter’s moon Europa.
Lake Vostok background...
The Lost World of Lake Vostok
In 1957 the Russians established a remote base in Antarctic— the Vostok station. It soon became a byword for hardship—dependent on an epic annual 1000km tractor journey from the coast for its supplies. The coldest temperature ever found on Earth (-89°C) was recorded here on the 21st July 1983. It’s an unlikely setting for a lake of liquid water. But in the 1970′s a British team used airborne radar to see beneath the ice, mapping the mountainous land buried by the Antarctic ice sheet. Flying near the Vostok base their radar trace suddenly went flat. They guessed that the flat trace could only be from water. It was the first evidence that the ice could be hiding a great secret.
But 20 years passed before their suspicions were confirmed, when satellites finally revealed that there was an enormous lake under the Vostok base. It is one of the largest lakes in the world—at 10,000 square km it’s about the extent of Lake Ontario, but about twice as deep (500m in places). The theory was that it could only exist because the ice acts like a giant insulating blanket, trapping enough of the earth’s heat to melt the very bottom of the ice sheet.
THEN, IN 2001—they discovered a gigantic, circular-shaped, metallic object deep under the ice at the end of Lake Vostok. It’s one of the most sensitive things in the world now, the anomaly at the end of the lake. It’s now classified, top secret.
There is also an unconfirmed report that a California TV crew, filming in the Antarctic, went missing in November 2002. A video allegedly discovered among the crew’s personal effects by a special U.S. Navy SEAL rescue team confirmed earlier reports of a huge artifact buried under the ice–a prehistoric ‘machine’ that may be of alien origin. A press release appeared briefly on the studio production’s website:
“The U.S. government said it will seek to block the airing of a video found by navy rescuers in Antarctica that purportedly reveals that a massive archaeological dig is underway two miles beneath the ice…”
Their recent radio silence has conjured chilling echoes of classic horror film The Thing, where scientists dig up a buried spacecraft in the Antarctic ice, only to unleash an extraterrestrial horror within.
Valery Lukin, chief of the Russian Antactic Expedition, said last month: “We do not know what is waiting for us down there.”
The water inside the lake will have had no contact with man-made pollutants or Earthly life forms for millions of years.
Last year the scientists working in freezing temperatures at Lake Vostok came within ten to 50 metres of the surface of the ‘relic lake’. But with the summer almost over, the team will have to leave the remote site within days – before it gets too cold for a plane to land.
Robin E. Bell, a researcher at Columbia University who has visited the region, told MailOnline that the team is focused on getting their job done while they still can, and it’s premature to fear the worst.
John Carpenter’s movie, ‘The Thing’ centres on a group of scientists who dig up an alien, buried under the Antarctic ice. Interestingly, a remake of The Thing was released only last year, 2011…
She said: “I wouldn’t read too much into it. When you’re doing something very challenging, the last thing you want to do is chat to people.”
The worst possible scenario could be the water suddenly shooting up through the hole when the breakthrough is made.
“Up to a quarter of the lake’s water could shoot out of the hole,” John Priscu said, “if the worst fears are realised.”*
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*Mr Priscu evidently hasn’t seen John Carpenter’s movie!—Admin