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UER Forum > Archived World > chernobyl motorcycling fake! (Viewed 186727 times)
purplegrum 


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Re: chernobyl motorcycling fake!
<Reply # 40 on 5/21/2005 10:29 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Posted by lost
It's such an evocative location and tour that it seems a bit vain to be nitpicking about whether she was part of a tourist group or not. It doesn't make it any less valid, other than that she (may have, according to internet sources, home of 24-carat truth) lied about it.


Got to agree with lost on that one - OK so she stretched the truth quite a bit but even if you didn't read her narrative and just looked at the photographs of the location it's still an excellent couple of web pages.



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Re: chernobyl motorcycling fake!
<Reply # 41 on 5/23/2005 6:52 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
I agree. I came across this on a local UE site called www.UndergroundOzarks.com I really don't care if it's made up or not. I think the photographs are still amazing.

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Re: chernobyl motorcycling fake!
<Reply # 42 on 5/23/2005 7:15 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
You guys also have to understand that once she was exposed as a fraud she changed her website significantly - way back when this thread started her website was pretty much a bunk sandwich.

She made a lot of edits so it's not quite so bald faced now.

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Re: chernobyl motorcycling fake!
<Reply # 43 on 6/22/2005 1:34 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Mentioned also in recent article in NY-Times.
(I'm the guy in the pic with black/white patterned shirt)

"one group came for a hoax. About two years ago, Mr. Tatarchuk said, a Ukrainian woman booked a tour, wore a leather biker jacket and posed for pictures. Soon there appeared a Web site in which the woman, using the name Elena, claimed that she had been given an unlimited pass by her father, a nuclear physicist and Chernobyl researcher ("Thank you, Daddy!" she wrote) and now roamed the ruins at will on her Kawasaki Big Ninja.

The site, www.kiddofspeed.com, billed as a tale "where one can ride with no stoplights, no police, no danger to hit some cage or some dog," was a sensation, duping uncountable viewers before being discredited." -- C.J. Chivers, NY-Times

http://travel2.nyt...e/15chernobyl.html
needs free registering though, so I quoted a bit.
[last edit 6/22/2005 1:36 PM by Rantomi - edited 2 times]

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Re: chernobyl motorcycling fake!
<Reply # 44 on 6/22/2005 7:58 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
I remember reading this site months and months ago. I admit I was taken in. I thought damn what a find! Although some of it was a bit of a stretch I reckoned most of it was legit and the writer was just using a bit of spruce up language to make the story flow better. When I read on here about it being fake I went back to the website. The present site is indeed very different then it was when I originally read it. My question is this, what on earth did she gain from fabrication? Other than the obvious mortification of being found out. Although to be honest she probably doesnt give a monkeys fart.

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Re: chernobyl motorcycling fake!
<Reply # 45 on 7/3/2005 11:53 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
I read it a few months ago, and honestly didn't care at all if it was true or not. The pictures were great and the texts intriguing. I enjoyed it.
[last edit 7/3/2005 11:53 PM by cjb - edited 1 times]

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Re: chernobyl motorcycling fake!
<Reply # 46 on 7/28/2005 2:06 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Posted by cjb
I read it a few months ago, and honestly didn't care at all if it was true or not. The pictures were great and the texts intriguing. I enjoyed it.



I've spent much time in the Zone. While Elena's story helped the world to remember, it was an out and out fabrication which angered the people who administer the zone, as well as those who work and research there. Why? Because there is already more than enough misinformation and myth asscociated with Chornobyl. Not to mention the thought of a young woman even driving (or being able to afford) a large motorcycle anywhere in Ukraine is almost laughable. Anyone who has ever been to Ukraine or knows the culture would find that thought alone suspisious. Elena is nothing more than a fraud who in many ways did more harm than good. She deserved to be exposed.

As for the photos, there are plenty of them on the net from other sources. I personnaly have hundreds of photos and hours of video taken from all over Pripyat, in the station, and elsewhere in the zone. Elena took a normal tour which lasts an hour or so but there are many people out there who have better access and have spent much longer time in the area. I've thought of putting my videos on the net but haven't found a good way to do it yet. The point is that she did it for personal gain while the rest of us who know the place much better do what we do quietly and honestly, without bending the facts or manipulating the outside world. There has been enough of that regarding the accident and it's aftermath.

Btw, while the tour route is routinely dosemetriclly surveyed there are places in Pripyat and the zone that can be dangerous. If you want more than the normal tour, if you want to spend days in the zone or get off the "beaten path" and really see it, I can put you in touch with the right people. Be prepared to pay much more for this kind of access however, ,provide evidence of good health, and bring your own dosimeter. A good one. Just be aware that there is some danger and you must take certain precautions if you go wandering around within the second, internal 10 km zone. For example, forest fires can be very dangerous as they can release enormous amounts of radionuclides. Inhalation of alpha from the dust located in an around parts of Pripyat must also be considered.

No matter what you do, I suggest you educate yourself before going. It will have a much greater impact if you study up on the event and it's aftermath before visiting. I recommend the book "The Heros and Victims of Chernobyl" by Paul Peirs Read as a good start, it's unbaised and contains little of the myth and political BS that prevades everything about the accident to this day. I also reccomemnd you educate yourself about ionizng radiation so that you won't feel irrational fears. Not that there isn't some danger, there is, but there is a need to understand what you're dealing with.

I'll admit, the zone does pull you in. Once you've been there you'll want to return. It's not dead at all, it's actually a very beautiful place filled with abundant widlife. Even after so much time spent there I still at times miss it, as well as the people and culture of Ukraine in general. Especially the women...there are none finer in temperment or more beautiful on Earth. Stay away from Belarus however, the area across the Ukrainian border is much more severly contamintaed. Especially around Gomel.

G, USA.



[last edit 7/28/2005 2:47 PM by duat - edited 6 times]

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Re: chernobyl motorcycling fake!
<Reply # 47 on 8/7/2005 11:53 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
It is incredible how fast people latch on to rather irrelevant assessments about a story's valid origin, when the context is the essential part.
Here's why I think the discussion about "hoax or not" is completely beside the point and why those of you who are so busy condemning Elena to the scrap heap should stop and think - and learn instead.
Elena lives in a country that has only existed for 14 years.
70 years of Soviet mismanagement, including one of the worst man-made hunger disasters costing 8 million Ukrainians their life, deportation and political killing of untold millions, a war that again cost millions of lives and being treated as the inferior little brother by Russia, didn't exactly create a state of people capable of responsible governance - Kravchuk, Kuchma and their cronies being either dyed-in-the-wool communist "Nomenclatura" administrators or factory managers, operating a system we would have laughed into oblivion in the West in 5 minutes.
When the World bank pumped $ billions into Ukraina after 1991 it was largely a question of gaining a foothold in the East immediately following the Cold War. All that money went into overseas accounts, BMWs, dachas and a high life for the top echelons. Kuchma even caused all traces of pensions to be wiped out - twice! It was inevitable that top-level corruption would spill over into an all powerful mafia and 'private' criminality, where for example racketeering permeates every part of significant business life.
This has left the population rather worse off than under the communists - one of the reasons for the orange revolution. They simply had enough.
With no hope of improvement, salaries at the $200/mth level (if you are lucky - you'd need $1000 to have a basic life), and a government that had turned to killing investigative journalists, it couldn't become much worse, e.g. Mr. Gongadze, who was found without head outside of Kyiv, and scores of other disappearances.
Even a good education is not the ticket to a bright future. Underpaid doctors in a run-down health system are more than happy to pay immediate attention to your ailments if you wave a $20 bill under their nose. But, no money - no cure.
Icing on this cake is huge youth unemployment and 5% of the population having access to 90% of the wealth.
Kyiv's hotels, restaurants and entertainment scene is about as expensive as London's, due to the wealth of the few being concentrated there, making life for ordinary citizens quite unbearable.
That's the environment in which Elenea lives.

Now picture this:
You are smart, intelligent, female, good looking - you have learnt to be street smart, you want to have your share of the cake and be able to eat it too, but the situation/ system gives you little chance. And now you get a really bright idea - one that may not pay off immediately, but which has potential. A little white lie about a Kawasaki Ninja is masterly thought out; beauty and wrooom-wrooom - pick up a magazine in your nearest corner shop and see what people want to read.
On top - and that is the essential difference here - you have a bloody good story to tell and (no doubt) Chernobyl and the dramatic history of Kyiv interests you. You also have the guts to tell it! People have disappeared for less in the past.
This is simply fabulous marketing as well as an ingenious presentation of yourself. Peddling your assets in - quite frankly - a fairly innocent way in a tough world, where the 'lies' (if they are) simply don't matter. It is, in my opinion, brilliant!!
We have politicians in the West who lie on a vastly superior scale with incredible consequences - and we accept it as part of our system.

Who does Elena hurt?
She has made more PR for the totally overpriced tours (the 1-day fee exceeds a month's salary) that other smart people have devised, than they could dream of themselves. She has, perhaps unwittingly, helped turn one of the most horrible man made ecological disasters in the 20th century into an nice little enterprise. She has certainly helped all of us to get a unique insight that I don't think we'd have had otherwise.
Kyiv is not Ukraina. The question is: what is? - but that is a long story.
If you ever plan a visit, I'd advise you to read "Borderland" by Anna Reid. It is one of the best accounts for non-historians i have ever read and is grippingly written.
Do yourself the favour to go to Lviv (half the price of Kyiv and more original), Kamjanets Podilskij (pure medieval atmosphere) and both essential Ukraina and then of course Odesa.
And then stop knocking Elena, but read her story and enjoy her interests and entrepreneurial spirit.

TurboZutek 

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Re: chernobyl motorcycling fake!
<Reply # 48 on 8/8/2005 5:27 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Posted by hrolf
And then stop knocking Elena, but read her story and enjoy her interests and entrepreneurial spirit.


Nah, she's still full of shit.

Chris...

We all had ostriches. My dad had an ostrich farm! I remember one day someone came in and said the high altitude bombing of Kosovo had been a limited success, so we all went out and celebrated… by killing an ostrich and boiling it in kiwi fruit.
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Re: chernobyl motorcycling fake!
<Reply # 49 on 8/10/2005 5:41 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Posted by turbozutek


Nah, she's still full of shit.

Chris...



Indeed. I lived and worked in Ukraine for years, much of that time in the zone. I'm well aware of Ukraine's history, culture, current economic status, and the plight of it's people. I'm married to one in fact. And what I'm about to write in no way diminishes my respect and compassion for them.

Elena's only contribution was to jog the world's memory. She did not (nor could she have) benefited from it financially. Her motivation was driven by a desire for attention and deception seldom justifies any activity, regardless of it's intended purpose. Put simply she's a liar, regardless of the subject matter.

Nor was Chorno one of the world's great tragedies, at least not from an environmental or human fatality standpoint. It continues to be a political football used by the Ukrainian government and the various charities to extract funds from the rest of the world. Not that Chorno doesn't still require lots of money and effort, it does. And not that it didn't cause enormous suffering, it has, but that suffering is not related to radiological exposure.

In fact, the evacuation of the area beyond the station and Pripyat was in hindsight unnecessary and people could safely return there today. Many have. I'm only talking about Ukraine here, Belarus is more seriously contaminated but even there the charities are perpetrating a massive hoax upon the world regarding the effects of the contamination on the environment and people, especially children. But unlike Elena's, their efforts are helping people who need help, even if their issues are unrelated to the accident. Does this justify the deception? You'll have to decide for yourself.

The bottom line is that Chorno is filled with anti-nuclear lies and myths. It's been 20 years and every study done, from the UNSCEAR to the WHO (and many more) reveals the truth: the radiological effects on the people and environment were, and are, minimal. Science doesn't make for good press however and the mass media and anti-nuclear groups continue to perpetrate vast amounts of misinformation. This isn't opinion, it's fact, and comes from someone who has spent a great deal of time there and has extensive knowledge of the situation. It's far more complex than it appears.

G

PS: While it's true Ukraine possesses some of the world's most beautiful women (in great abundance), I suppose beauty is in the eye of the beholder. From the photos I've seen Elena is below average in this respect. Nor would the vast majority of Ukrainian women consider riding a bike even if they could afford to do so. It would be an afront to their femininity, which they hold in very high regard.
[last edit 8/10/2005 5:47 PM by duat - edited 1 times]

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Re: chernobyl motorcycling fake!
<Reply # 50 on 8/10/2005 7:51 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Honestly, I like Elena's story - it was good. I was not too happy to find out it was all faked, mainly because I had become invested (aka infatuated) with the idea of blasting through the desolate streets at unreasonable speed. With a pretty girl to boot - what could be better.

I think she would have been much better off writing it and promoting it as fiction, she'd probably be in a much better place now if she had (book deals, talk shows...whatever).

Quid latine dictum sit, altum sonatur.
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Re: chernobyl motorcycling fake!
<Reply # 51 on 8/11/2005 12:04 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
I'm afraid the roads in Ukraine are a mess, in the zone or otherwise. It's hassle enough to drive a car on them. It would also be difficult to ride at any great speed in Pripyat. Soviet urban planning is such that their cities were not laid out for such an activity. Plus Pripyat is a compact city and very overgrown these days. In fact there are places where the streets look like forests. If the curb running along the forest floor were not pointed out you would never know you were on a street.

This was only one of the reasons Elena's story was so amusing to those of us who know the place. But I agree, as a biker myself it would be a hoot to ride if it was possible. Unfortunately it's not, not only for the reasons mentioned but simply because motorcycles are not permitted in the zone. Even other vehicles are rare and only clean government cars can enter and leave. All vehicles that were in the zone at the time of the accident have either been destroyed, buried, removed, or abandoned in the forest in one of the equipment graveyards. Those few that remain are used for transport within the zone but are not allowed to leave it. Every vehicle and person leaving the zone must submit to a radiation check. Most people who still work in the zone arrive and leave on a train built just for their use that leaves from Pripyat's replacement city Slavutich, just outside the 30 km boundary.

The zone is guarded and patrolled 24/7 by cops with AK 47s. Pripyat is further enclosed, alarmed, and patrolled. Lol, there is no tearing around the zone on a bike while dodging mutant animals and radioactive hot spots. Sounds good I'll admit, but it's fantasy. What you see when you enter Pripyat is a city crumbling and overgrown. In fact a portion of School Number 1 collapsed on it's own a few weeks ago and this may halt the public tours. The days of places looking like people just left them yesterday have been gone for 18 years. People were allowed back in to remove most of their belongings shortly after the accident and the rest was looted. In fact the residents of the zone are allowed back in every year to visit for one day around May 1.

A few buildings in Pripyat (mostly schools, hospitals, and a few markets) have some stuff left in them but basically the place is a junkyard. In most cases there is nothing left in people's apartments other than old and broken pieces of furniture. The same is true in the villages except the cottages are falling down. It's not quite like Elena made it out to be with a few carefully chosen photos. Not that there aren't exceptions or it isn't interesting to see, it is. But more from the perspective of what the newest Soviet city used to look like than some spooky "nuclear ghost town". You can tell it was once a beautiful place, a city cut from the vast forests that surround it. And It IS quiet in Pripyat at times, very quiet. And real creepy at night when the wild boar and other animals come out.

[last edit 8/11/2005 12:10 AM by duat - edited 5 times]

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Re: chernobyl motorcycling fake!
<Reply # 52 on 10/31/2005 7:28 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
It appears that the Mary Mycio who exposed Elena's hoax at the start of this thread has published her Chernobyl book. There's also a cool website www.chernobyl.in.ua I'll post this in a new thread, too.

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Re: chernobyl motorcycling fake!
<Reply # 53 on 3/23/2006 2:02 AM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Hi all,

I'm sorry it's taken so long for me to actually do anything about this. The site is coming, and I have a renewed reason to do so. I was informed today that Rimma, my guide on the tour, passed away earlier this week (no, not from radiation poisoning or anything like that).

So, I will aim to get the site running as soon as I can, I want everybody to see what I saw.

Thanks for being patient.

-Tony

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Re: chernobyl motorcycling fake!
<Reply # 54 on 3/23/2006 5:01 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Has anyone seen the documentary 'The End of the World As we Know it?'? A show about nuclear energy and global warming and all of that, Marcel Theroux visits Chernobyl and Pripyat to see the negative sides. He meets an old woman who has come back inside the zone and is farming giant cabbages, and runs into a scientist just wandering the zone. The section makes up a third of the program, and at the end he actually goes inside the Chernobyl control room.

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Re: chernobyl motorcycling fake!
<Reply # 55 on 3/23/2006 11:02 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Posted by Azrael
Has anyone seen the documentary 'The End of the World As we Know it?'? A show about nuclear energy and global warming and all of that, Marcel Theroux visits Chernobyl and Pripyat to see the negative sides. He meets an old woman who has come back inside the zone and is farming giant cabbages, and runs into a scientist just wandering the zone. The section makes up a third of the program, and at the end he actually goes inside the Chernobyl control room.


Unfortunately I haven't heard of this documentary yet.

But if you're interested in the whole chernobyl thing I recommend to watch the documentary "Tschernobyl - Der Millionensarg" ("Chernobyl - The million dollar sarcophagus"), in which a German researcher and his Ukrainian colleague enters the sarcophagus.

They found everything except nuclear waste...

Against Russian statements there's NOTHING to find from alleged quartz sand or of the alleged thousands tons of concrete (the fire fighter used to clear the fire which) in the destroyed reactor building...


-=|Keep the fire burnin'|=-
0U812 


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Re: chernobyl motorcycling fake!
<Reply # 56 on 3/24/2006 4:16 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Posted by Ex3cutor


Unfortunately I haven't heard of this documentary yet.

But if you're interested in the whole chernobyl thing I recommend to watch the documentary "Tschernobyl - Der Millionensarg" ("Chernobyl - The million dollar sarcophagus"), in which a German researcher and his Ukrainian colleague enters the sarcophagus.

They found everything except nuclear waste...

Against Russian statements there's NOTHING to find from alleged quartz sand or of the alleged thousands tons of concrete (the fire fighter used to clear the fire which) in the destroyed reactor building...



April's National Geographic has an article about Chernobyl and the new sarcophagus that is being built.

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It's other people.
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Re: chernobyl motorcycling fake!
<Reply # 57 on 3/24/2006 7:02 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
does anyone have photos of the sarcophagus and the actual plant? this site has always been something thas has amaized me.

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Re: chernobyl motorcycling fake!
<Reply # 58 on 3/24/2006 9:09 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Posted by turbozutek


Nah, she's still full of shit.

Chris...


I'm kinda thinking she was full of herself. Nice fiction though.

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It's other people.
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Re: chernobyl motorcycling fake!
<Reply # 59 on 3/24/2006 9:09 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
There was another documentary a while ago, but it focused more on the people that still work on the containment effort than the actual site (normal in fill etc). There was a scene where they were talking to a worker and he was ticking off all the workers who had died since. It was just cancer, cancer, cancer. I have no idea as to the name of it or where to start Googling.

Urban Explorers always take the red pill...
UER Forum > Archived World > chernobyl motorcycling fake! (Viewed 186727 times)
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