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  1. Ian

    These were young people full of life and ability, who would have brought a lot of good into the world if they had been able to live out their natural lifetimes. The sheer tragedy of this story hasn’t allowed it to leave my mind for days. At least for me, trying to put together a rational explanation of the events brings a little bit of closure. I’m not saying that the hypothetical scenario that follows is what happened, but I do think it fits all of the available evidence. What do you think?

    Sometime during the day or evening of Feb 1st, the Dyatlov group encountered a clandestine testing or training operation perhaps involving jets or rockets (This would explain the reports of glowing orange lights and the military debris in the area later noted by YY). It wasn’t the type of situation where there was a fear of the tourists leaking photographs of a secrete weapon (their cameras would have simply been confiscated). For some reason, the group itself came to be perceived as the threat.

    The group’s journal records that as they were traveling towards the beginning point of their hike, they sometimes sung anti-revolution songs that could have landed them in jail. They twice had scrapes with authorities on their trip (once for singing). Also from the journal, it appears that they enjoyed free and open debates about a variety of topics. Later, out in the woods hundreds of km from the nearest settlement (journal entry), they probably would have felt even greater freedom in such expressions. Entering into the area of an ongoing operation may have brought them under surveylence, perhaps without their knowledge. An overheard song or a frank debate about politics, combined with their chance-but-perceived-as-“suspicious” presence in a sensitive area, caused them to be viewed as subversive.

    They camped that night on open high ground. When one of the members, perhaps SZ or NYB, stepped outside to relieve himself, if it was clear, his flashlight would have been visible for a long distance, alerting anyone in the area who might not have already been aware of their tent’s precise location. Minutes later, as the group was finishing dinner and drying out their clothes, a small armed detachment arrived at the tent. Whoever it was (I’ll call them “soldiers”) knocked the tent down, fired a few rounds into the air, and ordered the tourists outside or they would be shot. (Supposedly, there were no footprints other than the Dyaltov party’s at the tent, but how could one tell? Surely the Dyaltov group made many boot prints when they set up camp, obviously the rescuers were wearing boots days later when they got to the tent. At first no one suspected it could be a crime scene. It is not just possible but probable that a couple extra pairs of footprints at the tent would have gone unnoticed).

    Unexpected gunfire and barking orders would have sent a momentary jolt of fear into even these level-headed travelers. Members of the group who had pocket knives at hand quickly cut through the tent to get everyone outside before the threat was carried out. The multiple cuts in the tent were created in the panic and confusion of exiting a wriggling collapsed tent cover in the dark.

    The soldiers wanted to neutralize the tourists, but to leave bullet holes or other obvious wounds would have eventually led to strong demands for an explanation from the community. The soldiers chose to expose them to the cold. Under some guise, the soldiers told the Dyatlov group that they had to leave the area immediately. With great presence of mind, the group leader, ID grabbed a flashlight and his heavy coat as he was leaving the tent. He was immediately ordered to leave them behind, setting the flashlight on the tent, and throwing his coat down, near the spot where he had exited (It’s difficult to conceive of another logical scenario that would explain these objects being found where they were).

    The Dyaltov party was followed, but not very far. (Their being followed some distance would explain the heeled boot track found among their own tracks as they headed down slope – No one in the group was wearing such boots at this time). They dropped a lit flashlight on the way, either because they were ordered to do so, or in hopes of using it as a beacon to direct them back to the tent if the soldiers left.

    Poorly clothed, in extreme cold, and possibly in the dark, these resilient people covered half the distance that they traveled in their entire day’s hike, to arrive at the nearest tree line. This probably took quite a bit of time, and they knew that with their level of exposure the clock was against them. They set up a small base camp under a pine tree, just out of site of the tent, and together built an emergency fire (an impressive feat with frozen wood, in the cold, with no gloves, and possibly in the dark). Afraid that the soldiers were still at the tent, and unsure if they would pursue, YD and YK were posted near the fire to keep a lookout for the soldiers’ approach. (This would explain why branches were broken off so high up in the tree on the side of the tent, when other branches would have been easier to obtain.) Perhaps they kept a lookout from up in the tree as long as they could. Many or all of the injuries on these two individuals were from exposed hands getting frost bite in the tree, eventually leading to them falling out.

    The rest of the group proceeded to build a shelter in a protected area, near, but out of site of the lookout tree. The small fire of frozen wood was not enough to keep the injured YD, and YK warm. Even though they burned parts of their numb extremities, they fell asleep. Either someone in the group was with them, or came back to them, showing care and respect by placing the bodies next to each other. The outer clothes, no longer of any use to the deceased, were removed. At this point, the shelter was not yet finished, because some of their clothing was incorporated into it. The survivors did their best to stay warm in the shelter, but were dangerously cold and heartbroken over the deaths.

    Shortly before dawn, the soldiers returned to make sure no one was left to tell the tale. They discovered the shelter, and a hand-to-hand fight ensued. (This would explain many’s of the group’s injuries, including the bruised metacarples on ID and RS, RS’s concussion, and the baton bruise on ZK.) Exhausted and freezing, the group was now no match for their assailants even without the use of their guns).

    ID, RS, and ZK managed to break free into the darkness. They made a run for the tent, desperate for the axes or anything to help their friends. (Such a level of desperation would explain why they left the group, the shelter, and the fire, when they were so close to freezing that they could only go a few hundred more yards). ZK, a strong and brave young woman came the closest to making it.

    As for the group that was left, the soldiers pressed LD and SZ to death, broke YK’s neck, and crushed TBS’s skull, neutralizing them without leaving any obvious weapon mark. (Such a grim scenario would explain the types of injuries sustained by the party members found in the ravine – crushed chests with none of the external cuts or arm injuries that would have certainly happened in a fall, explain why they were all found outside of their nearby shelter, explain the fragment of soldier’s garb found in the ravine, and explain why it was subsequently taken out of evidence). The autopsies of these group members were the most vague, because the coroners had no choice. More detail would have raised still more questions from the community and gotten them in official hot water.

    It is significant that YY, who was a part of the group, knew the Dyatlov party’s circumstances better than any living person, and saw all or most of the original evidence, thought that the military had something to do with his friend’s deaths. In 2008, 6 of the original rescuers and a team of 31 experts came to the similar conclusion that military testing was involved. The official report was that the Dyatlov group died at the hands of an “unknown compelling force”. How could words come closer to summarizing the above, without implicating the party responsible? This may also explain why the military closed the area for the following three years.

    Any thoughts?

    Reply
    • Ayla

      Personally, I tend to agree with a great deal of your analysis. There are a few points I don’t agree with however (again, this is only my personal opinion).

      As for the lights seen in the sky, they are accounted for and were not seen in the sky during the time of the Dyatlov expedition, so I discount these as evidence entirely.

      Regarding the footprints in the snow, those that remained for weeks occurred at the same time due to specific weather conditions at that time, so footprints they had made earlier wouldn’t have remained like those that were made during their flight down the mountain. I do personally think that there were others present that night that forced them out of the tent (not sure if they would have been Soviet soldiers or someone else) but perhaps they were wearing snowshoes. The marks left by snowshoes wouldn’t have been as deep and so wouldn’t have left lasting marks.

      Also, I personally don’t think Kolmogorova, Dyatlov, or Slobodin made it down into the ravine. I think they headed back to the camp before the remaining four went down, and, when they didn’t return, the four decided to take their chances in the ravine.

      Again, though, it’s all conjecture 🙂

      Reply
    • George

      It is awesome to know that someone is having similar feelings about this case. Beyond the investigation part there is the sadness of thinking about how young they were and how much things they were not able to experience. That is what make many of us go deeper in this case and like you, to keep thinking about it for days or months. The same is true for many others cases wich are evenly sad like the Sylvia Likens case, the Taman Shud case or the L’Inconnue de la Seine case. Is like saying to them “i do care”.

      Reply
      • Hussein

        Very true.

        Reply
  2. bill

    There has to be a key or keys into understanding what happened. For a very long time such keys were invisible to me and now i am concerned over inaccurate reporting in that i may have found one or two possible keys,i believe. Captain Chernyshov an expert tracker from a nearby labor camp testifies that Dyatlovs tent slippers, outer fur coat,as opposed to a borrowed fur waistcoat he was found in, and a tarpaulin or windproof jacket were found 10-20 ms outside the tent. THIS for me is hugely telling as in an orderly descent even if not wearing his things he would have and would have to have stopped to pick up vital life-saving gear he later died seeking to crawl back up to collect. ((If he didn’t drop it and if it was carried and placed there later and the entire crime scene sanitized we will never know what happened as there had to have been a cover-up at the highest level involving transporting the bodies to where they were later found for which there is in fact some evidence.)) NO, he as clear group leader was most likely MADE TO DISCARD these items at gun or knife-point. There were no bear-prints or wolf-prints in the area so i would claim that to have dropped vital gear and not to stoop to collect it at a moment when there was an even greater immediate personal or group danger than freezing to death over the next few hours is very improbable indeed, but is just possible out of his concern for the group if attack noises were released by an animal at that exact moment shocking him into dropping his slippers and outer jacket The Finnish knives being found in the tent also suggests they were smoked out by attackers using some kind of homemade teargas.( from datura plant?) disarmed and the knives returned to the tent or they hadn’t the time to grab them

    Is there any other inference?

    Svetlana Osses evidence that the local Khanty people had the motive and the means to kill this group makes a persuasive argument especially when buttressed by a number of partial admissions.It seems the mountain is sacred to them and that women and strangers are forbidden there,that Khanty people also bury gold and furs in stashes there……this just leaves the problem of the severe injuries to the last 4 bodies found, in particular the absence of soft flesh injury /bruising to the 2 with the many broken ribs.The claim is that there was an absence of bruising because the victims were well-dressed,lying on snow and because the force against the chest was spread over a larger area and must only result from someone jumping or bouncing .on their chests. This must demand medical analysis and would not be an easy thing to do to someone esp in slippery conditions.If conscious as least 3 attackers would be necessary 2 or more to subdue the victim. If bruising can be medically discounted as not inevitable in such circumstances then the Khanty narrative works as a best hypothesis but if not so we must reject the whole narrative and return to sonic, barometric or vacuum bombs or to squeezing injuries from a very brutal tight bear-hug.

    The bomb theory needs to answer its selective nature in terms of injuries and surely the only scenario which works is if they all died accidentally at the tent through bomb or special weapons blast where the 2 with the rib injuries took the worst of the shock-wave.This selective nature of the internal injuries was what moved Ivanov to continually conjecture that the most seriously injured were individually targeted but well away from the tent in the snow pit area.This could overlap with the electrical storm thesis beginning with a build-up of St Elmos Fire on or around the tent predicating a lightening strike but if later a lightening strike hit all of them at the Cedar Tree could those with the serious internal injuries have made it to where their bodies were later found,or must there have been yet another lightening strike or strikes ? This seems hugely unlikely.

    we are left with 1) murder by Khanty hunters who had means motive and where a number of confessions may have been made;

    2) accidental death at the tent where all died instantly from sonic barometric or vacuum bomb followed by a massive cover-up which seems very expensive and complicated when in 1951 USSR the Military could have shut this down much more simply as well as easily having told the KGB where officers hung about till all bodies accounted for, that no one had fled to the West with military secrets;
    3) animal attack ,specifically from a Yeti-type creature where one would have expected knives to have been taken and for the group to have left the tent with all the gear inc footwear they needed to have some chance of survival.

    Swetlana Oss has surely come up with the most likely hypothesis!

    Reply

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