Sunday, October 10, 2021

Where is Kirbey, Yessey?

I have an old framed map of the Soviet Union before its dissolution into sovereign states in 1991 that my Russian language teacher gave me years ago. Sometimes I stand in front of it and stare in a trance at various parts of the map for long stretches of time. While gazing recently during the covid pandemic I noticed that the central part of Siberia in the state, or, federal subject, or region called Krasnoyarsk Krai virtually has no cities or towns (there are some in the far north and south but the center is a void).

But, then I noticed one dot by a lake of a town phonetically called Yessey. Hmmm.....Yessey....what could possibly be there? It's remote with no roads to speak of anywhere within hundreds of miles.

Yes, that is Yessey circled in red! You can also see two other towns Cherunda and Ekonda within about 100 miles in this picture as well. 

Apparently Advisor.Travel (who??) seems to suggest Lake Yessey next to Yessey is very nice and has this photo of the lake. (You can see more here).

Thankfully, confirms Yessey is also a great place to fish! Look at this young lad with his catch (do I really believe Fishbrain got a shot of a young Russian on Lake Yessey with his catch???)!!

Well, that's not what this post is about even if you do like fishing. I really wanted to see just what the village of Yessey looks like in the middle of nowhere! Ah, Google Maps to the rescue - could I zoom in close enough??  Yessey drivers use Streetview??


Clearly, something is going on in Yessey, but alas, no Streetview! How do you get there - seaplane, boat, snowmobile, reindeer sled????  Whatever way you get there you must remain diligent!! Check out the Siberian Times - "Boy was mauled to death by a pack of wolves or wild dogs, say police...(A ten year old boy was ambushed by wild animals close to Lake Yessey in Krasnoyarsk region)"  Besides the wild animals, I just can't find any pictures of the town itself. 

Ok, I know you're completely bored now, but this is where the mystery starts. I thought it might be interesting to find a topo map of the region (don't ask why). Scanning through it I thought I might see some other small villages nearby. 

Much better! You can see Yessey and Lake Yessey and even some nice winter trails (I would guess they are not roads). But, but, but, scrolling eastward about 50-100 miles is a town called Kirbey!

Kirbey isn't on my old Soviet map!! Where did it come from?? Who is Kirbey and how did it get there? In fact, that winter trail (or red dotted line) you see going east out of Yessey in the previous map heads toward Kirbey but veers south! 

Ok, Google Maps, come to the rescue again! 

You can see Yessey on the left circled in red. I knew Kirbey had to be somewhere in that red ellipse on the right. So, using the topo maps and river contours I found where Kirbey should be! Ah.......what is that?

Apparently, something might be there - that white sandbar-looking thing on the river? Google maps was giving me no answers.

After some sleuthing I realized I had to search under the Russian spelling (Кирбей). Not much came up but some documents had this thanks to Google Translate:

State geological map of the USSR on a scale of 1: 200,000. Sheets R-48XXVII, XXVIII (trading post Kirbei) / Compiled by B.Ya. Ponomarev, A.T. Stulov, M.A. post Kirbei.... getting warmer!  Then, some odd Mapcarta site had this:

Kirbey - Also Known As English: Faktoriya Kirbey

Faktoriya Kirbey? A factory town?? Still seems nothing is there! What could it be? My searching really couldn't find much more. My last ditch effort was to try Russian topo maps to see if they had something.

It's there for sure - I see building and structures in that map - Kirbey exists (if you want to find it yourself here are the coordinates - 68.32931596907257, 110.07505534716967)! They are left of that river inlet - maybe something there on Google Maps but it is very blurry. Elon Musk needs to map it down to the inch! 

But, what happened to Kirbey? Who lived in Kirbey? Where are the pictures of Kirbey?  If you ever lived in Kirbey or Yessey - please reach out! I can ask in Russian - Где Кирбей, Ессей??  The mystery haunts me!

Heuristic: Unnatural (Missing man-made)