Satellite images and pictures from the ground tell a limited story of one of the world’s most dangerous abandoned places – this flyover footage fills in the gaps, covering the 20-mile nuclear wasteland with uncannily captivating footage.
Postcards from Pripyat was filmed by Danny Cooke on a trip to Ukraine as part of a 60 Minutes story aired on CBS about the aftermath of the Chernobyl nuclear incident and ongoing efforts to cap the remains of the reactor. Of his adventure, he recounts: “During my stay, I met so many amazing people, one of whom was my guide Yevgen, also known as a ‘Stalker’. We spent the week together exploring Chernobyl and the nearby abandoned city of Pripyat. There was something serene, yet highly disturbing about this place. Time has stood still and there are memories of past happenings floating around us.”
Meanwhile, The Fallout (embedded above) also shows stunning scenes from the same nuclear wasteland as part of a demo shoot for AeroCine shot early last year.
The incident turned Pripyat from a city of 50,000 into a ghost town overnight, and that was just the beginning – fallout spread to neighboring countries and continues to leak out locally. Residents were told to evacuate but that they could return within a few days – a promise that could not be kept. Mice in the area have been recorded as having 10,000 times more radioactivity than normal rodents.
Today, the focus is on containing the problem. “With funds from over 40 different countries, 1,400 workers are building a giant arch to cover the damaged reactor. It will be taller than the Statue of Liberty and wider than Yankee Stadium — the largest movable structure on Earth. Until the arch finally seals up that stricken reactor, and no one knows when that might be, something like that could happen again. Unlike other historic relics, Chernobyl does not belong to the past; its power will never die. Chernobyl is forever.”