While talking about scary things and war, my girlfriend acted surprised when she found that I don't know what "Nikolayev gas" is. When I opened up wikipedia and didn't find anything she told me that it doesn't matter, that I can find it on blogs. So I did.
[Note: The text and images behind the links below contain horror themes, and may be disturbing to some readers.]
Soviet researchers from the late 1940s kept five people awake for fifteen days using an experimental gas structured stimulant. This was in term called “The Russian Sleep Experiment” They were kept in a sealed environment to carefully observe their oxygen intake so the Nikolayev gas didn’t kill them, since it was toxic in large concentrations. This has been before the existence of closed circuit cameras therefore they had only microphones and 5 inch thick glass porthole sized windows into the holding chamber to monitor and keep track of them. The holding chamber was stocked with various publications, cots to sleep on but no bedding, running water and toilet, and adequate dried food to last all five for upwards of a month.
While it appears to be a fictional horror story, which I find ridiculous and unrealistic, and yet there appear to be many people who believe it (such as my girlfriend, and commenters on the forums). The name of the original author is not published.
There is a disturbing manipulated image (also pops up on appropriate google search keys) that often appears along with the story as it is republished. I'm not sure where exactly it joined the story (which doesn't speak of any images and which describes different visual appearance than the one image depicts).
Is this story true? If (as I expect) it is not true, are the original sources of the story and image available?