1904: Subterrene Vehicles Traveling Underground

Before you start reading the below post, please recall those "mystery hums", or weird engine sounds coming from beneath the ground. I have never heard any, but apparently there was a whole bunch of people who did.
Well, may be a submarine equivalent of a subterranean vehicle is to blame. Sounds like science fiction? Sure does, but apparently at some point such a vehicle was (allegedly) able to travel under ground at up to 9 miles per hour. Have you ever heard about it? I definitely did not.


1976 Movie: At the Earth's Core

Obviously, in line with everything else I posted on this forum, the main idea of this article is going to be aimed towards this technology being a left over from the previous civilization. The older the information, the harder it is to track it down. Below is what I was able to come up with. Please fill free to contribute with your own research.

Wikipedia tells us, that Subterrene is a vehicle that travels underground (through solid rock/soil) much as a submarine travels underwater, either by mechanical drilling, or by melting its way forward. Subterrenes existed first in fiction as mechanical drillers, with real-world thermal designs and examples following in the second half of the 20th century.
  • Fictional subterrenes are often depicted as cylindrical in shape with conical drill heads at one or both ends, sometimes with some kind of tank-tread for propulsion, and described either as leaving an empty tunnel behind it, or as filling the space behind it with mining debris. The plausibility of such machines has declined with the advent of the real-world tunnel boring machines, which demonstrate the reality of the boring task. Tunnel boring machine themselves are not usually considered to be subterrenes, possibly because they lack the secondary attributes - mobility and independence - that are normally applied to vehicles.
  • A real-world, mobile subterrene must work thermally, using very high temperature and immense pressure to melt and push through rock. The front of the machine is equipped with a stationary drill tip which is kept at 1,300–1,700 °F (700–930 °C). The molten rock is pushed around the edges as the vehicle is forced forward, and cools to a glass-like lining of the tunnel. Massive amounts of energy are required to heat the drill head, supplied via nuclear power or electricity. Patents issued in the 1970s indicate that U.S. scientists had planned to use nuclear power to liquefy lithium metal and circulate it to the front of the machine (drill). An onboard nuclear reactor can permit a truly independent subterrene, but cooling the reactor is a difficult problem. The Soviet Union is purported to have built such a "battle mole", which operated until its onboard reactor failed.
Here they are:
Pyotr Rasskazov Machine

The first underground self-propelled combat unit was designed by Pyotr Rasskazov, from Moscow, back in 1904. At the beginning of the First World War, his drawings were lost, only to emerge later, in Germany. In the early 1930s, the Soviet Union revived this idea.

1930s: Trebelev Machine
Google translated:
  • Underground boat Trebeleva resembled a capsule in shape, on which nose the inventor placed a drill. She also had a screw and two pairs of stern jacks. These jacks served as the paws of the mole. As conceived by the creator, it was possible to control subterrina both from the inside and from the outside. That is, from the surface through a special cable. Through him, the car received power.
  • The creation of Trebelev turned out to be quite viable (it moved at a speed of 10 meters per hour), but it needed a lot of improvements. Many funds were required to eliminate them, so the designer refused from his creation.

The below image is in Russian, so please use proper web services to get it translated.

Trebelev Links:
1930s: Midgard Schlange & Subterrine

Google Translated: It is worth noting that similar research and development was done in Nazi Germany. The leadership of the Third Reich needed any super-weapon that would help achieve world domination. According to information that was made public after the end of the war, underground military vehicles were developed in Germany, which were given the names "Subterrine" and "Midgardschlange". The last of these projects was intended as a super-amphibian, which could carry out movement not only on the ground and under the ground, but also under water at a depth of about a hundred meters. Thus, the device was created as a universal combat vehicle, consisting of a large number of interconnected compartments-modules. The module had a length of six meters, a width of about seven meters, and a height of about three and a half meters. The total length of the device was approximately 400-525 meters, depending on what tasks were set for this vehicle. Underground cruiser had a displacement of 60 thousand tons. According to some data, tests of the underground cruiser were carried out in 1939. On board it was placed a large number of small shells and mines, underground torpedoes "Fafnir", twin machine guns, reconnaissance shells "Alberich", transport shuttle "Laurin" for communication with the surface. The crew of the device left 30 people, and inside it was very similar to the device of the submarine. The device could reach ground speed up to 30 kilometers per hour, under water - three kilometers, and in stony ground - up to two kilometers per hour.
  • The underground boat was a machine, in front of which was placed a drilling head with four drills (each was a meter and a half in diameter). The head was set in motion by nine electric motors, the total power of which was about 9 thousand horsepower. The chassis was made on the tracks, and serviced by 14 electric motors, which had a total power of about 20 thousand horsepower.
  • Under the water, the boat moved with the help of 12 pairs of rudders, as well as 12 additional engines, the total power of which was 3 thousand horsepower.
  • The explanatory note to the project provided for the construction of 20 such underground cruisers (each costing about 30 million Reichsmarks), which were planned to be used for attacks on strategically important French and Belgian objects, and for mining ports in England.
  • After the Second World War was over, the Soviet counterintelligence near Koenigsberg discovered galleries of unknown origin and destination, and not far from them were remnants of the structure, presumably, Midgardschlange.
In addition, some sources mention another German project, less ambitious, but no less interesting, which was started much earlier - “Subterrine” or “Sea Lion”. A patent for its creation was received in 1933 and it was issued in the name of the German inventor Horner von Werner.
  • According to the plan of the inventor, his device should have a speed of about seven kilometers per hour, the crew - 5 people, carry a warhead equal to 300 kilograms. It was assumed that he would be able to move not only underground, but also under water. The invention was immediately classified and transferred to the archive. And if the war had not started, hardly anyone would have remembered this project. However, Count von Stauffenberg, who oversaw some military projects, accidentally stumbled upon him.
  • In addition, in those years, Germany had just developed a military operation called "Sea Lion", the purpose of which was to invade the British Isles. Therefore, the existence of an underground boat with the same name could be very useful. The idea was as follows: the underground apparatus, on board of which the saboteurs must be, was to cross the English Channel, and then get to the right place underground.
  • Nevertheless, as history shows, these plans were not destined to be realized, because Hermann Goering was able to convince the Fuhrer that there would be enough bombardment for England to surrender, especially since Fau was required to achieve this goal, and huge materiel. As a result, the Sea Lion operation was canceled, and the project itself was closed, despite the fact that Goering was unable to fulfill its promises.
1950s: Mechanical Mole
I am not sure which machine the below piece of information belongs to. Based on the description it matches 1930's Trebelev's machine. This info was published in 1956, so I will just leave it with this date.


New Scientist Dec 13, 1956

1964: Nuclear powered "Battle Mole"

The “Battle mole" project was more classified than even the Soviet nuclear project, and details about it remain sketchy. What is known, however, is that Nikita Khrushchev, who led the USSR through much of the ‘Cold War,’ actively supported the project.
  • That a secret underground plant for production of subterrines was built in Ukraine is also known. And, in 1964, the first Soviet subterrine nuclear reactor, dubbed "Battle mole" was unveiled.
  • Little information is available about this reactor except that the subterrine had a stretched titanium cylindrical body with a pointed end and a powerful drill. According to sources, the size of the atomic subterrine ranged between three and almost four metres in diameter and 25 and 35 meters in length. The speed at which it could move underground was between 7 kms / hour and 15 kms / hour.
  • Also, available data indicates that the nuclear physicist Andrei Sakharov was involved with the creation of this machine, possibly with development of the original soil crushing and propulsion system technology. The ‘cavitation’ flow created around the battle mole’s body reduced friction and enabled it to bore through granite and basalt.
  • The crew of the "Battle mole" consisted of five people. The machine could additionally carry up to 15 paratroopers and about a ton of cargo; explosives or weaponry. These combat vehicles were designed to destroy fortifications, underground bunkers, command posts and missile launchers located inside mines. The "Battle moles" were prepared to carry out a special mission.
  • According to the Soviet Union’s military command, the plan was that if relations with the United States deteriorated beyond a point, the subterrines could be used for an underground strike on America.

One of the most alarming missions planned for the Battle Mole was to send it off the California coast, where it would burrow into geologically unstable areas to plant nuclear charges that could be detonated to cause earthquakes, tsunamis, and other wildly destructive events.
  • Tests of the Battle Mole in the Ural mountains seem to have been successful, with the Mole said to have gone through rock like “a knife through butter,” and it was able to destroy a test underground bunker successfully.
  • Things eventually went quite badly for the Battle Mole, with reports of the machine exploding while underneath the Ural mountains, killing everyone on board and bringing the project to a halt. As the Russian news site RG.ru reports.
    • However, during the next tests in 1964, a car that penetrated the Ural Mountains near Nizhny Tagil for a distance of 10 km, for unknown reasons, exploded. Since the explosion was nuclear, the apparatus with the people in it simply evaporated, and the broken tunnel collapsed. In the press was the name of the deceased commander of the “Battle Mole” - Colonel Semyon Budnikov. But official confirmation of this never sounded. The project was closed, all documentary evidence of it was liquidated as if nothing had happened.
- The Soviets May Have Once Built A Secret Nuclear-Powered Land-Submarine To Attack America
- Khrushchev ordered ‘battle moles’ to blow up America
How underground boats were created and tested
- The subterranean combat vehicle that never was
- Battle Mole, the secret subterrenes
- Who ruined "Mole"?
- Underground boats: secret development
Project "Battle Mole"
- Subterrene - Wikipedia

KD: When I was working on the Tunnel Borrowing Machines article, I kept on running into some of the above images. Most of them lead to Russian sites. Based on the images it was fairly obvious what the purpose of these machines was. At the moment, I had no idea that the claimed underground speed would be 9 MPH. To be honest, I still doubt that such things are possible, but what do I know? Sure does sound far fetched, yet we have seen plenty of things which did not belong. Could such things be real back then? Can they be real today? I honestly do not know. At the same time if the above info has any merit, I will allow myself a few speculations:
  • Building something of sorts, or even thinking about something like that in 1900 is highly suspicious. According to our dogmatic narrative people back then did not even master traveling on the surface. They were using horses to pull railroad cars, for all we know.
  • That 1906 San Francisco Earthquake keeps on popping up in my mind. How natural was that earthquake if there ever was one? What about all the other destroyed cities? How much damage could an underground explosion cause on the surface?
  • Another weird set of earthquakes would be these ones here - 1811–12 New Madrid Earthquakes.
  • Did them 20th century scientists get tasked with recreating one of the technological achievements of the past?
  • Could the Hum phenomenabe somehow related to possible subterranean vehicles piloted by individuals with questionable intentions?
    • The Hum is a phenomenon, or collection of phenomena, involving widespread reports of a persistent and invasive low-frequency humming, rumbling, or droning noise not audible to all people. Hums have been widely reported by national media in the UK and the United States. The Hum is sometimes prefixed with the name of a locality where the problem has been particularly publicized: e.g., the "Bristol Hum" or the "Taos Hum". It is unclear whether it is a single phenomenon; different causes have been attributed. In some cases, it may be a manifestation of tinnitus.
    • The essential element that defines the Hum is what is perceived as a persistent low-frequency sound, often described as being comparable to that of a distant diesel engine idling, or to some similar low-pitched sound for which obvious sources (e.g., household appliances, traffic noise, etc.) have been ruled out. There are a number of audio reproductions of the Hum available on the web, as well as at least one purported recording.
Anyways, above are some of my thoughts. If you have any of your own, please share. Additionally, as you can see above, there are a few images I was unable to locate. If you run into any of those, please either upload, or post the link.
Well... I'm pretty skeptical about any of the vehicles pictured above, though there's a lot of info about underground boring machines, but you're talking about a vehicle.
The Hum is a phenomenon, or collection of phenomena, involving widespread reports of a persistent and invasive low-frequency humming, rumbling, or droning noise not audible to all people. Hums have been widely reported by national media in the UK and the United States.
Let me tell you what I experience here in eastern WA. Out here among the wheat fields we have a wire fence around the property with squares rather than chain link, to keep the deer and moose out of our trees and bushes. It is supported by steel poles about four inches in diameter that stand about six feet out of the ground. On many occasions, I have heard not really a hum but the sound of machinery coming from these poles, not always the same ones. It sounds kind of like a hum when you first become aware of it, but when you lean close or even stick your ear against the pole, it sounds like an air conditioner or similar machine. Its got a thrum, thrum, thrum kind of sound. Its loud enough I could probably record it with a cell phone, particularly if I place the phone in contact with the pole.
Its different poles but mostly certain ones on one side of the property, though it does move around. It is usually audible on three poles with the center one being the loudest. Once it was one of the poles supporting the gate, though, and even when its three poles its not the same three all the time. I've speculated on it being possibly the poles picking up some sort of frequency being broadcast, maybe to one of my distant neighbors, but it really doesn't sound like that. And its not always the tallest poles, meaning that the ground here is hilly and some poles are higher than others.
Its a mystery to me, could be something underground but how could it move around? I haven't shown it to anyone since I'm out here by myself most of the time, but I could probably record it. This would certainly be audible to anyone who put their ear to the pole. Doesn't happen all the time. My nearest neighbors are a quarter to a half mile away.
Let me add one more thing: yes, these poles are open at the top and wind noise was one of my first considerations, like blowing over the top of an open bottle. However, it doesn't sound like that, it doesn't vary with wind speed and as I mentioned its not the highest poles, usually. We're having a wind storm right now, winds around 20 mph, so I went out to listen just in case, risked freezing my ear to the pole. Couldn't hear a thing. Blew my hat off, though.
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