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Issue 162 - September, 2013 (2nd Edition) - Page 20

Russian Sleep Experiment Story

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Article circulating online and via email tells the horrifying story of an experiment conducted by Russian researchers during the 1940's in which five  prisoners were kept awake in a sealed environment for 15 days.

Bloodshot eye

© Birgit Reitz-Hofmann

Brief Analysis
The story is fictional. No such experiment took place. None of the claims in the story are based on actual events. The story is a popular Creepypasta offering. Creepypasta describes a genre comprising short - mostly supernatural - stories that are posted by their authors to various online forums.

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The Russian Sleep Experiment

Russian researchers in the late 1940s kept five people awake for fifteen days using an experimental gas based stimulant. They were kept in a sealed environment to carefully monitor their oxygen intake so the gas didn't kill them, since it was toxic in high concentrations. This was before closed circuit cameras so they had only microphones and 5 inch thick glass porthole sized windows into the chamber to monitor them. The chamber was stocked with books, cots to sleep on but no bedding, running water and toilet, and enough dried food to last all five for over a month.

The test subjects were political prisoners deemed enemies of the state during World War II.

Everything was fine for the first five days........ Click to read complete story

Detailed Analysis

This story describes an experiment conducted by Soviet scientists in the 1940's,  in which 5 Russian political prisoners were kept awake in a sealed room for 15 days straight. To ensure that the prisoners did not fall asleep, a stimulant gas was piped into their room.  The story goes on to describe in detail the quite horrific results of the experiment.

However, the story is purely a work of fiction. No such experiment was conducted. In fact, the story is a popular example of the type of offering known online as a "creepypasta".

Creepypasta describes a genre comprising short - mostly supernatural - stories that are posted by their authors to various online forums.  Inevitably, some of the stories escape their original context and begin circulating via email, the blogosphere and social media posts.

As is the case for the Russian Sleep Experiment creepypasta, these out of context stories are sometimes mistakenly believed to describe true events.

The Russian Sleep Experiment story can be viewed in context on the creepypasta wiki, which identifies its author as "unknown".  It is also available on Wikia and many other locations online.

In some postings, the story either includes the name "OrangeSoda" as part of the title or lists "OrangeSoda" as the author. However, it appears that "OrangeSoda" may have become associated with the story after a user with that name reposted it.

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Last updated: September 4, 2013
First published: September 4, 2013
By Brett M. Christensen
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Know Your Meme - Creepypasta
The Russian Sleep Experiment
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Issue 162 Start Menu

Pages in this issue:
  1. Unlucky Frog LADEE Rocket Launch Photograph
  2. Reshipping Fraud - Parcel Mule Scams
  3. 'Apple Account Frozen' Phishing Scam
  4. Warnings Claim Facebook Is Deleting Pet Profiles
  5. CASE NOW SOLVED - Message Asks For Help to Identify Man Killed By Train in Melbourne
  6. HM Revenue & Customs Refund of Overpayments Phishing Scam
  7. 'Special Education Week' and 'Autism and ADHD Awareness Month' Messages
  8. Apple iPhone 5c Giveaway Like-Farming Scam
  9. Fake Companies House Emails Contain Malware
  10. Mysterious Carved Tree Hoax
  11. Land Registry Debit Notification Malware Emails
  12. Jennifer's Story - Dating and Money Laundering Scam
  13. Obama Muslim Stamp - USPS Muslim Holiday Stamp Release Protest Message
  14. Pickup Truck Bus Crash Texting Warning Message
  15. No, Facebook Is NOT Removing Veteran Amputee Images
  16. 'Email Account Pending Deactivation' Phishing Scam
  17. NatWest 'Bonus Reward' Phishing Scam
  18. No, Radiation from Fukushima has NOT Killed Hundreds of Whales
  19. Google Support 'Message Blocked' Pharmacy Spam Email
  20. Russian Sleep Experiment Story
  21. Carnival Cruise Free Vacation Packages Survey Scam
  22. Angelina Jolie is Not Dead - Fake Death Message Points to Rogue App and Survey Scam
  23. Bogus LinkedIn Invites Open Drug Store Spam Sites
  24. Kitten Giveaway Scam
  25. Miley Cyrus is NOT Dead - Miley Cyrus Suicide Facebook Scam
  26. Bogus Warning - 'Russian Booksellers Looking For Children'
  27. Dave and Angela Dawes Advance Fee Lottery Scams
  28. Gang Initiation Warning Hoax - Infant Car Seat Left On Roadside
  29. Dueling Banjos Hoax
  30. Football Star Joe Montana is NOT Dead
  31. 'I Am Meth' Poem