Viktor Kazachenko is from a village in northern Kazakhstan, and there is something quite strange happening in his village. While he was driving to the nearest town on some errands, something happened, and he never arrived.
“My brain switched off,” he says. “That’s it. I don’t remember.” Kazachenko had been hit by the so-called “sleeping sickness” that is plaguing Kalachi, a remote village about 300 miles west of the country’s capital Astana, reported The Guardian .
RT documentary on the “sleeping sickness”:
Residents are going into comas from this mysterious illness, which sometimes lasts for days.
“I was going to town on August 28,” Kazachenko told EurasiaNet.org, still disoriented by the experience. “I came round on September 2. I understood [on waking up] in the hospital that I’d fallen asleep.”
Kazachenko had blacked out while driving his motorcycle. His wife was riding with him. “It’s good it wasn’t that foreign vehicle,” he joked, gesturing at his car standing beside his neat white cottage. “That’s fast—a motorbike isn’t so fast!” He didn’t complain of any other injuries as a result of his sudden sleep.
A report by News and You:
This is not the first time this has happened to him. “The first time, I slept for three days,” Kazachenko says, laughing. He then goes on to say: “After this slumber, my blood pressure started going up for no reason.” “Headaches—that’s not the word. For six weeks, I didn’t know where to put myself. It strongly affects your mentality. I’m very on edge.”
The first time the mysterious illness hit the village was in 2013, and it has since affected 126 residents, around a quarter of Kalachi’s population of around 600. For two years now, the villagers have been suffering debilitating symptoms like dizziness, nausea, blinding headaches, and memory loss.
Like Kazachenko, some people have been struck by the “sleeping sickness” more than once. The true number of instances is 152 if the multiple cases are included.
Scientists are not sure what it is, and have tested for any increased levels of radiation, carbon monoxide, radon, and any build-up of heavy metal salts, which are toxic at high levels, but nothing has been found.
To coordinate the research, Prime Minister Karim Masimov has set up a commission. At the end of last year, over 20,000 laboratory and clinical tests had had been conducted.
With no hard evidence, residents believe the Soviet-era uranium mine on the village’s doorstep is at fault.
“We’ve been thinking it was radiation,” says Tatyana Shumilina. “We have a uranium mine here,” although it has been “a ruin for years,” The Guardian said on its website.
Whether the mine has something to do with it or not, there is something very strange happening in this little town.