The Mysterious Creature of Tsarichina
The outskirts of a small village in Eastern Europe hides a three decade old mystery which still disturbs the servicemen and women who are involved to their core. It is a mystery why did the Bulgarian Army spent two years excavating the foothills of the Balkan mountains, only to hide all evidence of their activities. The answers are hidden along with the entity of Tsarichina.
The force of the impact hurled the young soldier across the room, sending him crashing into one of the chamber walls. There was a sickening crunch as his head connected with the polish stone, before he slumped to the ground, where he remained motionless. For the briefest of moments, there was silence and then the confined space was filled with the sound of gunfire. The colonel watched in amazement as his men fired rounds into the haze that had now formed across the center of the room, shielding the thing that was buried in the wall opposite where they were standing.
As the bullets entered the shimmering field, they halted in midair, before falling harmlessly to the ground. The rifleman was still firing as another of their number was suddenly thrown across the room like a rag doll by an invisible force. Straight rounds from his weapon struck at least two of them. As the din of the gunfire was replaced by the screams of the wounded, the Commanding Officer made the decision to order a retreat.
The soldiers began to make their way back up to the surface, along a network of spiraling corridors, which were never intended for humans to walk through. As he ensured that the wounded were moved ahead to the front of the party, Colonel Kanev took hold of a rifle and paused for a moment. Pressing his hand to the smooth cold stone of the corridor wall, he detected a steady vibration, which was growing in intensity.
A faint green light had started to creep along the floor of the narrow tunnel behind them, which was growing in strength, along with the thrumming sensation. A few feet away, the psychic was screaming at him saying that they should never have come to this cursed place, that none of them would make it back to the surface alive. He snapped back, telling her that if she wanted to die down here, he would gladly oblige, before ordering two riflemen to take her away.
Kanev tried to ignore the pleading expressions on the faces of the two soldiers who he now ordered to act as their rear-guard, curtly reminding them of their oath to protect the Bulgarian people. The main party had only traveled a short distance further when they heard more gunfire echoing up the tunnel behind them, which was quickly and brutally cut short.
Finally, the air grew much cooler and the path ahead was illuminated by daylight. The party staggered out into the open. Orderlies and medics rushed forward to assist them. The colonel shouted for the engineers to seal up the tunnel entrance using their excavators, only to be told that the machines were not working. The two tanks guarding the site perimeter were similarly malfunctioning and so explosive charges had to be brought forward instead. The psychic was still shouting at him, cursing him for ignoring her advice and that of Baba Vanga.
For a moment, he considered shooting the woman on the spot, but instead motioned for one of the orderlies to sedate her. She was a problem that could wait for another time. Several minutes later, the charges had been detonated, burying the bodies of his men deep underground, with whatever had killed them.
History of Bulgaria and Tsarichina
History teaches us that Bulgaria is no stranger to conflict. Ever since the Thracian tribes first banded together to establish their nation, the Bulgarian people have been locked in a perpetual cycle of invasion and uprising. From the Persians, to the Romans and the Ottomans to the Soviet Union, an unending parade of empires have attempted to subjugate the territory, only for its inhabitants to re-establish their independence after periods of brutal and bloody struggle.
The unremarkable Village of Tsarichina is located approximately 20 miles Northwest of the Bulgarian Capital, Sofia. Up until 30 years ago, it was a place that was unknown to the majority of the Bulgarian population, let alone beyond the country's borders.
But on the 6th of December 1990, a large military force descended on the settlement, cordoning off a sizable tract of farmland in the process. Codenamed 'Operation Sunray', the project was commanded by Colonel Tzvetko kanev, with the Bulgarian Ministry of Defense announcing that the aim of the endeavor was to locate a treasure trove that was believed to be buried there. For centuries, rumors had circulated around the region that Samuel, the Bulgarian Emperor, had buried a huge cache of gold near the village before going into battle with the Ottoman Empire. It was now Colonel Kanev's task to locate and recover the lost fortune.
Once the site was secured, Kanev ordered his men to begin digging a large shaft deep into the earth. The work proved problematic, as in addition to the risk of flooding from a nearby underground lake, the soldiers found that all the electrical equipment that they had brought with them begun to malfunction. Excavators and power tools failed to operate properly, and so the men were instead forced to use pickaxes and shovels.
At a depth of approximately 6 meters, the workers suddenly encountered a thick layer of stone, which they were unable to penetrate with hand tools. Explosives were used to eventually break through this barrier, and a mysterious spiral passageway was discovered underneath it that wound its way deep underground. As the first squads of soldiers tentatively set off into the tunnels, the excavation site was suddenly played by unexplained phenomena.
Sightings of strange creatures
Almost immediately, a number of the Infantry men guarding the compound reported seeing mysterious figures and creatures moving around just beyond the perimeter fences. Sometimes these were described by witnesses as seven-foot-tall monsters. On other occasions, the guard sighted tiny figures hiding in the undergrowth that were hardly more than a foot in height. As well as the inexplicable failure of the site's vehicles and machinery, radio equipment also malfunctioned. For the duration of the project, it proved impossible to transmit radio communications into and outside of the compound. Eventually, a telephone landline was laid from the nearby village into the command post, but the operators who were assigned to use it complained that they could hear strange voices whispering in the background of their telephone calls.
As time passed and military personnel ventured deeper along the spiral corridors, the region around the site was consumed by reports of unidentified flying objects. Although the individual descriptions of these craft varied somewhat in appearance, all were reported to be brightly illuminated, and seeming to emit flames as they traveled across the sky. In June 1992, a local resident named Elka Kirova was awoken by the sound of her dogs barking outside the property. When she opened her front door, she observed three shadowy figures hurrying across her land from the direction of the excavation site. They quickly disappeared into a nearby tree line, only for a brilliant white light to then rise up into the sky and disappear.
When Kirova reported the matter to colonel Kanev, a team of his men located a circular patch of burned ground where she reported seeing the object. In the days that followed both Elka and the soldiers who had been sent to her address experienced feelings of utter exhaustion that would confine them to their beds. Worryingly, this was one of the least bizarre incidents reported.
On the evening of the 27th of November 1991, a villager by the name of Traicho Kolev had been nearing his home when he had suddenly found himself bathed in a bright light, being projected down from the sky above him. He blacked out and when he awoke the following morning, he had no recollection of the previous few hours. Stranger still, he now found himself in the village of Meshtitsa, 40 miles to the south of where he had been walking.
After two years of exploration, the Rifleman exploring the tunnels beneath Tsarichina found their path blocked by huge slab of polished stone shaped like a concave lens. When they eventually broke through this entry point, they found themselves in a circular chamber where the stone walls have been polished to a mirror like sheen. And at the far end of this room, the skeletal remains of a towering creature seemed to have been fused into the rock.
Colonel Kanev himself was present as his men tried to traverse the chamber, noting with interest that at certain points in the wall, strange symbols which resembled hieroglyphs were visible just underneath the stone surface. When the soldiers reached the center of the room, they were prevented from crossing by some form of invisible barrier, which severely injured some of them. Whatever transpired in the aftermath of this event, the army rapidly withdrew from the tunnel network, destroying the entry point as they left and then concreting over the entire site.
All records of the operation were later hidden from public record. It was estimated that the whole endeavor had cost the Bulgarian government in excess of 20 million dollars, with nothing to show for it other than a legacy of confusion and misery. With no official records to explain what took place deep in the ground beneath Tsarichina, commentators have been forced to piece together the events from the testimony of some of the surviving members of the excavation.
What's the entity of Tsarichina?
One of those interviewed was Colonel Kanev himself, from whom the descriptions of both the spiraling tunnel network and the central chamber that housed the unknown being have been obtained. Kanev have conceded that the tale of empress Samuel's lost treasure had always been a cover story. In reality, he and his men had been guided to the location by a group of psychics and remote viewers, who described something buried just underneath the surface there, which was designated by the military as 'Object Number one'.
He went onto relate how a number of his men had died following exposure to a mysterious bacterium, and how others had been somehow teleported around the site, their lifeless bodies subsequently found fused within the rock itself. One of the aforementioned remote viewers, named Eli Loginova, spent years after the project trying to drum up support for a further expedition to the location. She explained how the entity that dwelt within the buried object was one of mankind's oldest ancestors, and that it had been trying to guide people to its location for thousands of years. She also claimed that Hitler had searched in vain for the entity for the duration of World War II, invading Russia in the hopes of securing it.
She also claimed the creature had somehow shown her visions of the future. Loginova describes how she wrote down these visions in four journals, all of which were later confiscated by the Bulgarian Army. The books contained descriptions of vessels that travel through space by harnessing the power of the Sun and clothing worn by soldiers that had the power to repel bullets, directing them back at the guns that had originally fired them.
A further source of information about Operations Sunray came from the writings of Military Professor Delcho Naplatanov, whose daughter Marina was attached to the expedition due to her latent psychic abilities. He claims that prior to her departure for the mission, Marina was contacted by the famed Seer, Baba Vanga, who warned her not to disturb whatever creature dwelt beneath Tsarichina. Professor Naplatanov goes on to describe how Marina worked closely with Colonel Kanev throughout the project and accompanied him down into the tunnels. When she returned from the site, she was never quite the same and suddenly chose to end her life by jumping from the roof of a tall building.
In the years following the closure of the Tsarichina site, a team of researchers from the University of Sofia camped out near the town. They intended to conduct scientific test which might explain what the Army had been searching for and why they had invested so many resources into the expedition. They spent a total of 20 days out in the field scanning for a variety of anomalies such as variations in electromagnetic radiation.
By the end of the first week, they had recorded multiple sightings of UFOs, and one mystifying incident where their equipment had been picked up and held around by an invisible poltergeis like entity. But it was when an unknown craft flew in low over their campsite and projected a beam of light onto their campfire and caused it to burn wildly out of control that they decided to abandon their tests and return to the safety of the capital.
What is it that remains hidden away under the rock and stone of this Bulgarian landscape? What is the force that reached out to the military psychics and ordered them to bring soldiers and Engineers to the place where it laid dormant? Eli Loginova maintains that it is a creature from long before the time of mankind. A towering behemoth in possession of boundless psychic powers, determined to manipulate humanity into freeing it from its Subterranean confinement.
Others believe that what the Army located was in fact a down spacecraft. Their actions at the site had activated some form of distress beacon or transmission which caused other extraterrestrial beings to come to its aid. It is hardly surprising that given this hypothesis, Tsarichina had earned something of a reputation as the Bulgarian equivalent to Area 51. The significant degree of variance reported in the shape and size of the entities and flying craft that were observed by witnesses also points to a third more intriguing hypothesis.
Some believe the Tsarichina is yet another example of an interdimensional portal where the fringes of our existence collide and merge with those of neighboring realities, allowing the inhabitants of those vast domains to enter and roam freely amongst us. The most notorious of these alleged crossover sites is a place known as the Skinwalker Ranch in Utah. Incidents reported there include mysterious beings, giant creatures and alien spacecraft all seeming to appear in our reality as if they have passed through some form of invisible gateway, only to then return from whatever plane of existence they came from. The Bermuda Triangle and the US Air Force facility at Montauk in Long Island are cited as further examples of this phenomenon.
But the wide range of markedly different incidents that were reported during the course of the operation may also suggest a more rational explanation. Over the two years that the project was underway, a large number of military staff would have found themselves temporarily stationed at the site. Influenced and affected by the myths and rumors that have been circulated by their predecessors, new personnel would already have been on edge upon their arrival.
Working in such an isolated and stressful environment, it is hardly surprising that they experienced what their mind would go on to interpret as paranormal encounters. Every equipment failure suddenly became the result of a mysterious and malevolent force. Every curious trespasser near the base perimeter was suspected to be a marauding encrypted or alien interloper.
Despite all of the reported incidents and a large number of alleged witnesses, it is important to note that there is no photographic or video evidence of what took place. This may well be the result of deliberate suppression on the part of the military, but could also signify that there was little in the way of truth to the sightings other than the workings of overactive imaginations. Operation Sunray remains buried, both internally and figuratively underneath the veil of secrecy.
The results of this has been twofold. Firstly, we may never ultimately learn the truth of what took place. But secondly, the mystery remains firmly lodged in the consciousness of both the Bulgarian people and the scientific community as a whole. Whether a naive and foolhardy search for buried treasure or a misguided attempt to open dialogue with a powerful and mysterious entity, it is clear that the operation was a failure. But the rumors and stories that it has spawned, be they the result of paranoia or a deliberate attempt to deceive, mean that the legend of Tsarichina is one that can now never truly die.