Russian researchers in the late 1940' s kept five people awake far 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 5 days, the subjects hardly complained having been promised (falsely) that
they would he freed if they submitted to the test and did not sleep for 30 days. Their conversations and
activities were monitored and it was noted that they continued to talk about increasingly traumatic incidents
in their past, and the general tone of their conversations took on a darker aspect after the if day mark,
After five days they started to complain about the circumstances and events that lead them to where they
were and started to demonstrate severe paranoia. They stopped talking to each other and began alternately
whispering ta the microphones and one way mirrored portholes. Oddly they all seemed to think they could
win the trust of the experimenters by turning over their comrades, the other subjects in captivity with them. At
first the researchers suspected this was an effect of the gas itself,,.
After nine days the first of them started screaming. He ran the length of the chamber repeatedly yelling at the
top of his lungs for 3 hours straight, he continued attempting to scream but was only able to produce
occasional squeaks. The researchers postulated that he had physically torn his vocal cords. The most
surprising thing about this behavior is how the other captives reacted to it,,. or rather didn' t react to it. They
continued whispering to the microphones until the second of the captives started to scream. The 2 non
screaming captives took the books apart, smeared page after page with their own feces and pasted them
calmly over the glass portholes. The screaming promptly stopped,
So did the whispering to the microphones.
After 3 more days passed., The researchers checked the microphones hourly to make sure they were working,
since they thought it impossible that no sound could he coming with 5 people inside. The oxygen
consumption in the chamber indicated that all 5 must still he alive. In fact it was the amount of oxygen 5
people would consume at a very heavy level of strenuous exercise. cm the morning of the 14th day the
researchers did something they said they would not do to get a reaction from the captives, they used the
intercom inside the chamber, hoping to provoke any response from the captives they were afraid were either
dead or vegetables.
They announced: "We are opening the chamber to test the microphones step away from the doors and lie flat
on the floor or you will he shot. Compliance will earn one of you your immediate freedom."
To their surprise they heard a single phrase in a calm voice response: "We no longer want to he freed."
Debate broke out among the researchers and the military forces funding the research. unable to provoke any
more response using the intercom it was finally decided to open the chamber at midnight on the fifteenth day,
The chamber was flushed of the stimulant gas and filled with fresh air and immediately voices from the
microphones began to object. 3 different voices began begging, as if pleading for the life of loved ones to turn
the gas back on. The chamber was opened and soldiers sent in to retrieve the test subjects. They began to
scream louder than ever, and so did the soldiers when they saw what was inside., Four of the five subjects
were still alive, although no one could rightly call the state that any of them in 'lite.'
The food rations past day 5 had not been so much as touched. There were chunks of meat from the dead test
subject' s thighs and chest stuffed into the drain in the center of the chamber, blocking the drain and allowing
4 inches of water to accumulate on the floor. Precisely how much of the water on the floor was actually blood
was never determined. four 'surviving' test subjects also had large portions of muscle and skin torn away
from their bodies. The destruction of flesh and exposed bone on their finger tips indicated that the wounds
were inflicted by hand, not with teeth as the researchers initially thought. Closer examination of the position
and angles of the wounds indicated that most if not all of them were ,
The abdominal organs below the ribcage of all four test subjects had been removed. While the heart, lungs
and diaphragm remained in place, the skin and most of the muscles attached ta the ribs had been ripped off,
exposing the lungs through the ribcage. All the blood vessels and organs remained intact, they had just been
taken out and laid on the floor, fanning out around the eviscerated but still living bodies of the subjects. The
digestive tract of all four could he seen to be working, digesting food. It quickly became apparent that what
they were digesting was their own flesh that they had ripped off and eaten over the course of days.
Most of the soldiers were Russian special operatives at the facility, but still many refused to return to the
chamber to remove the test subjects. They continued to scream to he left in the chamber and alternately
begged and demanded that the gas be turned back on, lest they fall asleep...
To everyone? surprise the test subjects put up a fierce fight in the process of being removed from the
chamber, One of the Russian soldiers died from having his throat ripped out, another was gravely injured by
having his testicles ripped off and an artery in his leg severed by one of the subjects teeth. /Antother 5 of the
soldiers lost their lives if you count ones that committed suicide in the weeks following the incident,
In the struggle one of the four living subjects had his spleen ruptured and he bled out almost immediately,
The medical researchers attempted to sedate him but this proved impossible. He was injected with more than
ten times the human dose of a morphine derivative and still fought like a cornered animal, breaking the ribs
and arm of one doctor. When heart was seen to beat for a full two minutes after he had bled out to the point
there was more air in his vascular system than blood. Even after it stopped he continued to scream and flail
for another 3 minutes, struggling attack anyone in reach and just repeating the word "MORE" over and over,
weaker and weaker, until he finally fell silent.
The surviving three test subjects were heavily restrained and moved to a medical facility, the two with intact
vocal cords continuously begging for the gas demanding to be kept awake...
The most injured of the three was taken to the only surgical operating room that the facility had, In the
process of preparing the subject to have his organs placed hack within his body it was found that he was
effectively immune to the sedative they had given him to prepare him for the surgery. He fought furiously
against his restraints when the anesthetic gas was brought out to put him under. He managed to tear most of
the way through a if inch wide leather strap on one wrist, even through the weight of a 200 pound soldier
holding that wrist as well, It took only a little more anesthetic than normal to put him under, and the instant
his eyelids fluttered and closed, his heart stopped. In the autopsy of the test subject that died on the operating
table it was found that his blood had triple the normal level of oxygen, His muscles that were still attached to
his skeleton were badly torn and he had broken l? bones in his struggle to not he subdued, Mast of them were
from the force his own muscles had exerted on them.
The second survivor had been the first of the group office to start screaming. His vocal cards destroyed he
was unable to beg or object to surgery, and he only reacted by shaking his head violently in disapproval
when the anesthetic gas was brought near him. He shook his head yes when someone suggested, reluctantly,
they try the surgery without anesthetic, and did not react for the entire hour procedure of replacing his
abdominal organs and attempting to cover them with what remained of his skin. The surgeon presiding stated
repeatedly that it should he medically possible for the patient to still be alive, Due terrified nurse assisting the
surgery stated that she had seen the patients mouth curl into a smile several times, whenever his eyes met
When the surgery ended the subject looked at the surgeon and began to wheeze loudly, attempting to talk
while struggling. Assuming this must he something of drastic importance the surgeon had a pen and pad
fetched so the patient could write his message. It was simple "keep cutting.”
The other two test subjects were given the same surgery, both without anesthetic as well. they had
to be injected with a paralytic for the duration of the operation. The surgeon found it impossible to perform
the operation while the patients laughed continuously. Once paralyzed the subjects could only follow the
attending researchers with their eyes. The paralytic cleared their system in an abnormally short period of time
and they were soon trying to escape their bonds. The moment they could speak they were again asking for
the stimulant gas. The researchers tried asking why they had injured themselves, why they had ripped out
their own guts and why they wanted to be given the gas again.
Only one response was given: "I must remain awake."
All three subjects restraints were reinforced and they were placed back into the chamber awaiting
determination as to what should be done with them, The researchers, facing the wrath of their military
benefactor's' far having failed the stated goals of their project considered euthanizing the surviving subjects.
The commanding officer, an instead saw potential, and wanted to see what would happen if they
were put hack on the gas. The researchers strongly objected, but were overruled,
In preparation for being sealed in the chamber again the subjects were connected to an EEG monitor and had
their restraints padded for long term . To everyone? surprise all three stopped struggling the
moment it was let slip that they were going back on the gas. It was obvious that at this point all three were
putting up a great struggle to stay awake. One of subjects that could speak was humming loudly and
continuously; the mute subject was straining his legs against the leather bonds with all his might, first left,
then right, then left again for something to focus on. The remaining subject was holding his head off his pillow
and blinking rapidly. Having been the first to he wired far EEG most of the researchers were monitoring his
brain waves in surprise, They were normal most of the time but sometimes flat lined inexplicably. It looked as
if he were repeatedly suffering brain death, before returning to normal. As they focused on paper scrolling out
of the brainwave monitor only one nurse saw his eyes slip shut at the same moment his head hit the pillow.,
His brainwaves immediately changed to that of deep sleep, then flatlined for the last time as his heart
The only remaining subject that could speak started screaming to be sealed in now. His brainwaves showed
the same flatlines as one who had just died from falling asleep. The commander gave the order to seal the
chamber with both subjects inside, as well as 3 researchers. One of the named three immediately drew his
gun and shot the commander point blank between the eyes, then turned the gun on the mute subject and
blew his brains out as well.
He pointed his gun at the remaining subject, still restrained to a bed as the remaining members of the
medical and research team fled the room, "l would he locked in here with these things! Hot with you!” he
screamed at the man strapped to the table. "WHAT ARE ) ijl?'' he demanded. "l must know!”
The subject smiled.
Have you forgotten so easily?” The subject asked. "We are you.” "We are the madness that lurks within you
all, begging to be free at every moment in your deepest animal mind." "We are what you hide from in your
beds every night. We are what you sedate into silence and paralysis when you go to the nocturnal haven
where we cannot tread."
The researcher paused. Then aimed at the subject' s heart and fired,
The EEG flatlined as the subject weakly choked out "so... nearly... free... ll