Friday, June 22, 2012

The Ferris Wheel at Pripyat

C H E R N O B Y L - 2 0 1 2

This is another one of those photos that have defined Pripyat throughout the years. The story has been told so often that this has taken on an almost mythical dimension. How this Ferris wheel was scheduled to open on May 1, 1986. How the Chernobyl reactor had blown up 5 days earlier. How the city of Pripyat was evacuated 36 hours after Chernobyl blew its top. And how this Ferris wheel had never seen a rider. This story has been told so often that it must be true.

Or is it?

Recently, some photos have surfaced that seem to undermine the truth of what everybody has taken for granted for so long. It seems that at some point, the rides had actually been used, most likely in the 36 hour period between the Chernobyl incident and the evacuation. Town authorities may have opened the Ferris wheel to local residents to keep their minds occupied and to take the focus off the incident at the reactor while they assessed the situation and attempted to develop a plan about what to do next.


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