Saturday, 15 March 2014

Dyatlov Pass Incident


Dyatlov Pass incident host to one of the most fascinating unsolved mysteries in the modern age.On the surface, what's become known as the Dyatlov Pass incident seems fairly explicable: Of a party of ten skiers, nine perished in the middle of a high-difficult trek. But the details, which are mostly based on diaries of those involved as well as records from Soviet investigators, are chilling: The ski hikers' tent was shredded. The skiers were scattered around the grounds wearing either very sparse clothing or just their underwear. Three of them were found with crushed ribs and fractured skulls, but no visible defence marks or other signs of a struggle and one of the bodies was missing a tongue

picture taken before they die


A group was formed for a ski trek across the northern Urals in Sverdlovsk Oblast. The group, led by Igor Dyatlov, consisted of eight men and two women. Most were students or graduates of Ural Polytechnical Institute:
  1. Igor Alekseievich Dyatlov, the group's leader, born January 13, 1936
  2. Zinaida Alekseevna Kolmogorova, born January 12, 1937
  3. Lyudmila Alexandrovna Dubinina, born May 12, 1938
  4. Alexander Sergeievich Kolevatov, born November 16, 1934
  5. Rustem Vladimirovich Slobodin , born January 11, 1936
  6. Yuri (Georgiy) Alexeievich Krivonischenko, born February 7, 1935
  7. Yuri Nikolaievich Doroshenko , born January 29, 1938
  8. Nicolai Vladimirovich Thibeaux-Brignolles , born July 5, 1935
  9. Semyon (Alexander) Alexandrovich Zolotariov, born February 2, 1921
  10. Yuri Yefimovich Yudin born July 19, 1937, died April 27, 1936
The goal of the expedition was to reach Otorten, a mountain north of the site of the incident. This route, at that season, was estimated as "Category III", the most difficult. All members were experienced in long ski tours and mountain expeditions.

According to photographs developed from rolls recovered by investigators, Dyatlov's crew set up camp in the early evening of February 2 on the slopes of a mountain next to Ortoten. The mountain is known to the local as Kholat Syakhl, which supposedly translate to " mountain of the dead,"


On February 26,When Soviet investigators went looking for the hikers that failed to return on schedule, they were shocked to find the tent was apparently cut open with a knife and covered with snow. It was empty, and all the group's belongings and shoes was left behind.  Further discovery found that a chain of eight or nine sets of footprints, left by several people were only wearing socks or were barefoot, could be followed and led down toward the edge of nearby woods.

the hikers's tent

At the forest edge, under a large cedar, the searchers found the remains of a fire, along with the first two bodies, those of Yuri Krivonischenko and Yuri Doroshenko, shoeless and dressed only in their underwear. Between the cedar and the camp the searchers found three more corpses, Dyatlov, Zina Kolmogorova and Rustem Slobodin, who seemed to have died in poses suggesting that they were attempting to return to the tent.

the dead bodies

On May 4, the remaining four travellers were finally found under four meters of snow farther into the woods from the cedar tree. These four were better dressed than the others, and there were signs that those who had died first had apparently relinquished their clothes to the others.  Zolotaryov was wearing Dubinina's faux fur coat and hat, while Dubinina's foot was wrapped in a piece of Krivonishenko's wool pants.


A medical examination on the first five bodies concluded that they had all died of hypothermia.
However, the four bodies which were found in May changed the picture. Three of them had fatal injuries: the body of Thibeaux-Brignolles had major skull damage, and both Dubinina and Zolotarev had major chest fractures. Major external wounds injuries were, however found on Dubinina, who was missing her tongue, eyes, and part of the lips, facial tissue and a fragment of skullbone, she also had extensive skin maceration on the hand.

investigation shows that they were not attacked and murdered by Mansi people. Furthermore, the nature of their deaths did not support this hypthesis; the hikers footprints alone were visible, and they showed no sign of hand-to-hand struggle.


Some researchers claim some facts were missed, perhaps ignored, by officials:
  • 12-year-old Yury Kuntsevich, who would later become head of the Yekaterinburg-based Dyatlov Foundation , attended five of the hikers' funerals and recalls their skin had a "deep brown tan".
  • Some of the hikers' clothing (2 pants and sweater) were found to be highly radioactive.
  • Another group of hikers (about 50 kilometers south of the incident) reported that they saw strange orange spheres in the night sky to the north (likely in the direction of Kholat Syakhl) on the night of the incident. Similar "spheres" were observed in Ivdel and adjacent areas continually during the period of February to March 1959, by various independent witnesses (including the meteorology service and the military).These were later confirmed by Eugene Buyanov to be test launches of R-7 intercontinental missiles.
  • Some reports suggest that there was a great deal of scrap metal in the area and around the area, leading to speculation that the military had utilized the area secretly and might have been engaged in a cover-up.
  • The last camp of Dyatlov's group was located on direct way from Baikonur Cosmodrome (where some test launches of the R-7s were executed) to Chyornaya Guba, Novaya Zemlya archipelago (which was a major nuclear testing ground of the Soviet Union).

1 comment: