There are over 1500 island in the Aral Sea, found in Central Asia, and yet none is as secretive and mysterious a small, remote place known as the Barsa-Kelmes Island. This island, whose name means “land of no return” in the native Kazakh tongue, has this name for a very good reason.
Now, the island is deserted. Any people that have lived here have been gone for decades. Barsa-Kelmes is always hidden by an everlasting fog, keeping whatever happens on the island a mystery. The locals around the island believe that it is a gateway between dimensions.
It is said that there are fascinating and strange creatures dwelling on the island. Beasts that seem as though they are a result of a whole other evolutionary timeline. There are claims of giant birdlike animals flying over the island, huge beast with long necks and even sea-serpents. Most of those who even come near the island have disappeared, never to be heard of again.
The strangeness of the island is not only limited to unique animals. Needles of compasses spin like a propellers, watches stop and even the flow of time changes, either slowing down or speeding up. Some say that the island was used as a refuge for people running away from the Mongol invasion. What is strange is that when these people returned home, from the island, they noticed that their lands have changed as if half a century has passed. However, the people themselves have spent only a few months on Barsa-Kelmes.
A similar event occurred in the last century. As the island has a more pleasant and warm climate than the surrounding area, in 1959, some people tried to escape and survive the harsh winter. They arrived at the island. When the winter passed, they did not return. Their people send a search party, but they have not found one single person and so decided to beg the government for assistance.
The Soviets sent a plane to scout out the area, but slowly, its engines stopped and its machinery failed. While the two pilots who were on-board the plane seemed to escape, all they managed to accomplish was to hastily describe strange elliptical objects that were inspecting the plane . Then, nothing but radio silence.
The government decided to send in a tank, which had a long metal cable attached to it. Even though the crew was ordered to never exit the vehicle and to maintain constant communication, the radio soon went silent again.
Thanks to the cable, the tank was retrieved. It was empty and seemed to be completely covered by matter akin to ice. Moscow scientists were not able to identify this substance.
In the late 1980s, a boat technician named Timur Dzholdasbekov depicted how he discovered an army installation of sorts amid one of his excursions to the cryptic spot. He asserted that the next day, he came back with a companion, just to find the structures had basically vanished. Plans for an experimental undertaking to Barsa-Kelmes were laid out in 1991, yet the breakdown of the USSR realized different stresses and the endeavor was scratched.
A ship mechanic by the name of Timur Dzholdasbekov spoke of how in the late 1980s he found a military base near the island. However, the next day, the base was gone, like it was never there. The island was never fully explored, as the collapse of the USSR made it impossible.
Many believe that the island is actually an extraterrestrial base, and is considered one of the core places of UFO lore. Vadim Chernobrov, a Russian UFO researcher, believes that the fog surrounding the island could be some type of advanced, futuristic defense mechanism.
One more point worth mentioning is that access to the island is forbidden, and so amateur exploration is unfortunately impossible. The island will remain a mystery, for now.