Mystery of the Devilish Google Earth Pentagram Solved, Revealing a Soviet Past - Atlas Obscura
Join us on an Atlas Obscura Trip in 2019 »

Mystery of the Devilish Google Earth Pentagram Solved, Revealing a Soviet Past

article-image(via Google Earth)

Why is this 1,200-foot in diameter symbol etched in the Kazakhstan wilds where few humans tread? Is it a secret ritual site? An entrance to the underworld? Turns out it is indeed something rather creepy: an abandoned Soviet-era summer camp. 

As LiveScience reports, the revealing of its Soviet camping origins was made by an archaeologist named Emma Usmanova who works in the area, which includes an array of ancient sites. And the pentagram is indeed an ancient symbol, going back to Mesopotamia, which is really just about as distant in human symbol history as you can go. The Soviets, who controlled Kazakhstan until the dissolution of the USSR in 1991, used it widely in their monuments and ornamentation as the Red star

article-image(via Google Earth)

It seems that the Soviets made beginnings on a summer camp etched in the shape of the pentagram, but that was as far as they got. Maybe the windy, isolated peninsula out on the Upper Tobol Reservoir was just too lonely a place for camping, being 12 miles from the nearest city of Lisakovsk. Whatever the story, it’s now totally overgrown and would likely have been widely forgotten if not for the wonder of Google Earth where you can view it from your digital screen. However, englishrussia.com has some on-the-ground photographs from the site that show its sparse landscape of spare trees and waving grass that cluster around the pentagram’s ominous lines. 

SOVIET, NOT SATANIC: LISAKOVSK PENTAGRAM, Upper Tobol Reservoir, Kazakhstan