I first heard the “Sounds From Hell” during the October 4, 2002 broadcast of Coast to Coast AM.
The guest was Dallas Thompson, leader of a then-upcoming expedition into the “Hollow Earth.” His entry point was to be a hollow opening in the North Pole, a supposed portal into another dimension originally discovered by Admiral Richard E. Byrd.
But that wasn’t the interesting part. A listener called in that night with a cautious warning for Thompson, and referenced the chilling sounds caught on microphone during a 1980s deep drilling experiment in Siberia.
What if Thompson met the source of those horrific noises during his journey?
“Aren’t you a little worried about that, Dallas?”
- Coast to Coast AM Caller
Art Bell confirmed the validity of the story and, citing Reuters, explained the terrifying discovery made by Russian geologists while drilling a hole in Siberia. He played an audio clip — a brief, terrifying moment of shrill screams and human suffering — and I’ll be honest. I was unnerved.
What if Thompson — or anyone else venturing into the depths of the earth — ended up descending straight into Hell?
Thompson himself scoffed at the idea. He believed hyper-dimensional beings, living within the Hollow Earth, would welcome and protect him, and guide him through the hollow and dimensions using a sort of floating “bubble.” He believed the underground was broken into “caverns” where varying entities existed, and he’d simply avoid the negative spaces.
But when they played that recording — well, let’s just say I wasn’t as compelled with Thompson’s story as I was with the idea of tormented souls trapped right beneath our feet. A dark side to eternity where the dead may become trapped in a place far worse than purgatory.
It wasn’t even Hell I was thinking about, though. The sounds put images in my mind of an evil force preventing spirits from moving into the proper afterlife, the center of Earth being a cage where we, after we die, are held prisoner for some malevolent agenda.
I didn’t really believe it, but I was intrigued.
So I did some research, and I found the full details. The original story goes a little something like this:
The Well To Hell
In the 1980s, Russian scientists in Siberia were performing a series of borehole experiments. These digs were typically performed for the purposes of geotechnical investigation and the location of rare mineral deposits, but in this case the geologists in Russia simpy wanted to see how deep they could go.
Their experiment began without incident, but when their drill reached the 9 mile mark — deeper than anyone had drilled before — its rotation became erratic. They had apparently drilled into a hollow opening underground.
Inside the cavern, temperature sensors read upwards of 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. It was then that they decided to send a microphone down to gather more data.
The microphone only lasted approximately 30 seconds in the heat of the cavern before malfunctioning. But in those 30 seconds, the scientists caught something incredible on tape.
The recording was not of subterranean plate movements or gas flows, but instead it revealed what sounded like the screams of millions of suffering people, violent shouts of terrible agony.
How could this be? The immediate reaction of the scientists was to abandon the project and evacuate the area. They couldn’t be sure, but the recording told the tale — had they opened a door to Hell? Provided a gateway for untold evil to enter our world?
The recording itself eventually ended up in the hands of Art Bell, and he shared it with the world one night on Coast to Coast AM:
For those who discounted the ‘Siberia Sounds From Hell’ story, it is true, and I for one wish it wasn’t.
- Rick, listening from Chicago
The Storied History of the “Sounds From Hell”
This story was originally picked up in the United States by the Christian-based Trinity Broadcasting Network in Southern California, and inevitably found life in the tabloids. But its actual genesis remains somewhat obscured.
Russian scientists had, in fact, performed a deep drilling experiment in the Kola Peninsula, though they didn’t drill quite as deep as 9 miles. The deepest they went — which is, in fact, the deepest anyone’s ever drilled — is about 12 km (or roughly 7 miles).
It’s likely that this experiment inspired the original story of the “Well To Hell” in Siberia.
However, aside from a few reported “anomalies,” horrific screams of the dead were oddly absent.
It’s also known that a Norwegian man named Age Rendalen, disgusted by what he felt was overwhelming gullibility, further embellished the story by convincing Trinity Broadcasting Network that reports he’d read in Europe also told of a devilish creature arising from the hole, chasing away the scientists.
The network went along with the story without verifying its details, and in recent years the legend has seemingly found new life on the Internet.
For a full account of this story’s trail, check out the article “Background on the Drilling to Hell story” at Truth Or Fiction.
Just The Facts
Like many urban legends, the story of the Siberian recording of Hell was allowed to grow through the lackadaisical reporting of unverified rumors, fascinating stories that evolved with each retelling.
It’s no doubt an interesting urban legend, and the audio circulating the Internet (which originally aired on Coast to Coast AM) is at least compelling. But after listening to it again, it could be a number of things unrelated to fiery pits of Hell: A crowded subway, a swimming pool, a bar. A shopping mall. Distorted and in low-quality. It’s really hard to say.
What isn’t hard to say is that at the center of our Earth is an extremely hot, dense core.
Whether or not there exist pan-dimensional beings, dinosaurs, mystical caverns or tormented souls between here and there, I’ll leave that for others to decide.