Is Mezhgorye Russia's Area 51?

If you’re interested in the astonishing it is likely you’ve at least come across a mention of Area 51. However, places like Area 51 aren’t restricted to America and, in fact, there are dozens of strange and unexplained top secret locations around the world. One of them is, surprisingly, an entire town. Mezhgorye, Russia is often referred to as Russia’s Area 51...and one has to wonder what lurks behind this strange and secret-cloaked town.

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Mezhgorye is a closed town in Bashkortostan, Russia located in the southern Ural Mountains (yes, the same Ural Mountains our beloved Dyatlov hikers trekked). It is close to Mount Yamantau and about 100 miles from Ufa, the capital of the  Republic of Bashkortostan. Its close proximity to Mount Yamantau is notable because since the 1990s satellites images have picked up major excavations and activity. Despite numerous inquiries, the Russian government has given a myriad of responses that have not given a full or completely credible answer. Some of the responses have claimed it is a food storage bunker, a bunker for Russian leaders, and even a huge mining operation (mining what? Who knows). Many believe that there is some secret base located there.

The creation of the town dates back to the late 1970s but it was not given town status until 1995 at which point it also got its name, Mezhgorye.

Curt Weldon, an American politician, became interested in Mezhgorye when news about Mount Yamantau began mounting and lacked a clear answer. According to him, "I went to Moscow and spoke with the deputy interior minister who was in charge of mining. I asked him if there was any mining activity there. He just shook his head and said he had never heard of it. So I mentioned the other name the Russians used for it: Mezhgorye. He said he hadn't heard of that either. Then he sent an aide out to check. Twenty minutes later, the aide came back, visibly shaken. He said they couldn't say anything about it."

Mezhgorye seems to be specifically created to house and cater to the people and their families behind the Mount Yamantau project, which Russia typically claims is a public works project. As of a 2010 census report, there were 17,353 people living in Mezhgorye and, presumably, many of them work on the Mount Yamantau project.

Although at first glance Mezhgorye seems to be a relic of the cold war, the fact that the project is still being worked on and the the town remains healthily populated indicates something else at work, similar to America’s Area 51 and its alleged secret underground labyrinth of secrets. To this day, Mezhgorye retains a special restricted area status.

The above image is from Pesotsky - Памятник and is licensed under CC BY 3.0.