Chinese archaeologists have uncovered an underground “horror bunker” that was purportedly used by Japanese scientists to conduct experiments on human subjects during World War II.
The bunker was discovered in Anda, China, by archaeologists from the Heilongjiang Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology. The researchers began investigating the site in 2019 using several techniques, including geophysical prospecting, drilling and excavation, according to South China Morning Post.
The underground facility reportedly consists of several tunnels and chambers. Researchers first found the U-shaped structure after noticing a cluster of bunkers at least five feet below the surface.
Researchers note that the bunker could potentially lead to new evidence of war crimes committed against the Chinese.
The findings, which were published in the journal Northern Cultural Relics, said the facility belonged to the infamous Unit 731, a covert biological and chemical warfare research and development unit of the Japanese Imperial Army.
The unit included Japanese scientists who would conduct horrific experiments on human subjects between 1935 and 1945. The experiments included dissecting prisoners and exposing them to numerous deadly diseases.
Scientists believe that the discovered site may have been where prisoners of war and civilians were brought after being exposed to chemical agents.
Several members of Unit 731 were granted war crimes immunity by Washington in exchange for their research findings.
This includes Shiro Ishii, the director of the unit, and other Japanese military scientists who went on to continue medical research in Japan after the war.
The findings were later brought to the U.S. Army research center at Fort Detrick, where the data was used to develop biological weapons during the Cold War.
According to researchers, the newly uncovered bunker “highlights the ongoing legacy of Unit 731’s atrocities and their impact on global efforts to prevent biological warfare.”