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155 Comments

  1. antonio esteve lopez

    Hi
    This is a real relief to see that such a mystery is not abandon to “discovery channel” and other UFO freaks ..and thank god(*) there also serious people thinking to it without any conspiracy to sell !

    I didn’t finish to read everything but by now i would say i agree around 90% with your analysis.

    Don’t think i’m paranoïd but i wish to know : who are U ?
    Of course feel free to send first an email to ask me wtf i am too :^)
    Ciao
    Antonio

    Reply
    • Ayla

      Hi, I’m so sorry to reply so late to your comment! I am a school teacher and my husband is a computer programmer 🙂

      Reply
      • steve29

        Hi
        Don’t be.
        Dyatlov incident is only a puzzle , a rubik’s cube to solve .
        A “real life” mastermind game.
        BTW it happens a long time ago . Nobody is waiting for something !…

        I consider myself this case as a multiple murder case.
        And around 60 years after make the truth even more difficult to find
        the killer(s) .

        A real very cold case 🙂

        PS : i’m myself a MD .

        Reply
  2. Hussein

    Thank you for this informative web site. In the “The Expedition” section, it is written:

    “At some point, the group split. Doroshenko and Krivonischenko remained at the cedar tree – their bodies were found there weeks later. Dyatlov, Kolmogorova, and Slobodin headed for the tent – all three bodies were found on the slope between the tree and the tent. It is possible that Dyatlov and Slobodin got into a fist-fight of some sort, as both corpses were sporting injuries common in hand-to-hand combat. Additionally, Slobodin had a bloody nose and an injured skull, so perhaps Dyatlov knocked him out? ”

    I don’t know, but I think this last paragraph contains a lot of information, perhaps the solution of the mystery. While so many people and theories are focusing to an hypothetical event that would have occurred outside the group, it seems that few people have sought to something that would occurred inside the group: a dispute, a fight. That would also explain why the group had split, something which seems very strange to me: if the whole group of tourists were threatened by an exterior “compelling force”, it would not have split. The disintegration of the group into subgroups let me think of a fight between some of them, with some people joining group A or B according to their sympathies. I don’t know, but I’m thinking of a dispute involving one of the two girls. The report made by Lev Ivanov lacks the most elementary seriousness; one cannot write that some one dies from an “unknown compelling force”, this is definitely not a forensic report, and the likely starting point of absurd theories.

    Just my two cents…

    Reply
    • George

      Hussein: You may very well be in the right track. I would definetlely not discard the possibility you mention and i would like to add a few hints to your theory. In the investigation it is mentioned that among the footprints from the tent through the slope there was one that had the characteristics of a shoe, and that this was difficult to confirm because it was stepped over probably by the other members of the group. So if you think about it, maybe there was someone among the group that was using shoes and may have been the one that “maybe” forced the others to leave the tent. If you are willing to consider this possibility then in the walk down the slope some of the hikers may have tried to fight and got injured. Who could have been?, well, i would choose Zolotarev for various reasons: 1 He may had conections with the KGB, 2 He and the rest didn’t knew each other before this expedition, 3 In one picture there seems to be using a camera container(why would he be using this item if they didn’t have time to even dress properly), 4 when the corpes were presented to their relatives, they said that the alegedly corpse of Zolotarev had tatoos they didn’t recognize. 5 The corpse of Zolotarev was not buried with the others and it is unknown the place were it was buried.
      He may have been send to keep an eye on them (maybe that’s why he kept his camera always with him) or to keep an eye on one of them particulary. We will never know.

      Reply
      • hussein

        Dear George: thank you for your kind post and follow-up. Yes, you may be right. But, as you say, we’ll never know. There is still a real part of mystery in all of this. Because, even if anger can make all of us behave crazy, it is still confusing why all of them would have gone mad up to such a dramatic point. We’ll never know….

        Reply
    • BriD

      Its possible they split to accomplish seperate but united goals toward survival. Original compelling force ended. They gather under tree and make plan. One group digs den; one gets provisions at tent; third broke branches for fire and den.

      Possibly Dyatlov and Slobodin worked on branches as well and were injured.

      Fights over women don’t happen when your going to freeze to death within the hour.

      Reply
    • choopie

      I read a lot of opinions, hypothesis, not only at this site, but also in some others. I am doing this for already two days since I heard about it and it looks like a science fiction rather than a real happening. This tragedy makes people to look for explanations because of its kind of facts which are really odd and hard to combine chronologically.

      The best theory should rely on the details and clear facts (of course, it is hard to classify any related public information as clear fact if you are not so close to the investigation). Here the opinions stick mostly to the military theory. I am not so sure of it (personal opinion), because in that case I assume the soviet military force would try to hide anything related to the death of these people. They could have killed them all and hide everything from the scene in order to keep their revealed top secrets hidden.

      I see the things in a bit different way. The way the hikers left the tent in panic makes me think they are frightened to death of something that there is even no time to realize what just has happened. This could be a horrifying sound or lights or even something which hit the tent spontaneously. In this moment it is interesting to know whether someone of the hikers was by a chance outside of the tent. If someone of the hikers was outside in that moment, then I assume the entrance of the tent wouldn’t be closed too tight since nobody is expected to stay for too long outside and is going to enter inside shortly. Since they cut one of the tent’s sides I assume the entrance was closed after everybody was already inside the tent. From what I read, I understand that the entrance was found intact, so nobody or nothing stayed in front of it obstructing the escape or is the reason for the panic anyway. An interesting fact is that they all ran in one direction leading to the forest. Since I believe that the hikers left the camp in panic I also think they were running (which an investigation of the footprints may confirm it). Of course, if there are no signs of running the panic theory becomes meaningless, but I assume the footprints prove they had fled running. Otherwise they would not split and then after 300 meters gather again. However they all chose the forest direction, which seems the right shelter after their camp. In panic with bad visibility because of the whether conditions I don’t think it is too easy to spot the forest from such distance. Then probably the whether was not that bad or it was simply luck.

      I believe that all succeeded to reach the trees. Still have some doubts for Slobodin who in my opinion was hit unconscious and can’t say whether he ever made it to the trees. Maybe he is the first one to fall down as a victim. In the forest edge, they lit a fire up. I assume they climbed the tree before the fire and tried to look at the direction of their tent. Just collecting branches for the fire on the tree is not my guess here. Also climbing the tree because of a pursuit is not, because they made a fire camp very next to the broken branches. I concluded, that the whether might be not that bad at this time, so they might were able to see what they left behind. Probably they had the time take a breath and then to light a fire up. I know nothing about scouting and mountain hikes and I wonder how easy is to light a fire with bare hands in the night without a light (if this is the case), but since they were experienced hikers probably was not so hard for them. Then I think they split in three groups with different tasks after the rush period.

      I think Zina and Igor headed to the tent to try getting supplies such as warm clothes and shoes. Probably the fire in the forest was not sufficient to heat them well and they both fell cold at different distances. Probably Igor and Zina had some conversation before Zina leave him near a bush, understanding that he can’t continue. He really has some defensive pose, for which I don’t have an explanation. Anyway, the rescue report says that there are not significant signs of struggle in anyone’s body. It doesn’t mean there were not any fights. Looking at the Zina’s pose I believe she was not hurt before she fell down cold. Before splitting I believe that the task of the other group of 4 was to find the supplies in the cache. They might confused about the right direction and got in the ravine. I have no explanation what happened to them for the severe injuries they got, but I think the key to find it out is the force which smashed their bodies. And a special attention is payed to it in the report, which I think is an important detail for solving the mystery. The two almost naked hikers near the fire, probably died before the split and their clothes are shared between the team beforehand. My assumption is that they are the second to fall after Slobodin.

      Another important detail are the lights described by the other team of hikers 50 miles away. Whatever they are they should be related to this tragedy. I exclude any kind of insanity among the members, avalanche or yeti attack (no proves for yeti). Yes, soviet military soldiers is an option but I still think if they were messed up with the case they would have tried to hide the dead bodies and the camp. And still there are no signs of chasing, or at least this is what was reported.

      Reply
  3. Matt Elaine

    Nicolay and Kolevatov were found embraced chest to back. The idea that one of the two snuggled up to the other as the he was dying just saddens the whole tragedy that much more. There is a phenomena where victims of hypothermia will curl up and try to burrow somewhere as they are dying. Interesting but sad.
    Correction to an earlier post: Kolevatov was also found without footwear.

    Reply
  4. Matt Elaine

    Upon observing Georgy it appears that he was hit several times in the forehead and in the side of the head (in the upper jaw region). By observing his body posture there appears to be no defensive signs or any will to curl up and keep warm. It also appears that he was alive for a bit of time after the assault as there was 500mL of urine found in his bladder. I therefore believe that he was rendered unconscious or into some sort of incapacitating state and that is where he remained until his body succumbed to hypothermia.

    Reply
  5. Matt Elaine

    Sorochenko and Zinaida appeared to have died much quicker than Dyatlov, Georgy and Rustem. Sorochenko died very quick and it is clear that his corpse was moved sometime after death to be placed alongside the body of Georgy. It does appear that Sorochenko was moved by others in the group sometime after his death and various articles of clothes were removed from his body. It is also clear that articles of clothing were removed from Georgy’s body.
    It also appears that the same instrument with jagged edge (possibly a bayonet) was used on the body of Georgy (his thigh and hip) and Zinaida (her right knuckle). The post-mortem photo of Zinaida illustrates pine needles on the backside of her pants and thus supports that she was down by the cedar tree.

    Reply
    • George

      What do you mean by quicker?

      Reply
      • Matt Elaine

        Hypothermia is known as a slower death. Hypothermia occurs when the body produces heat slower than it loses it.
        One indicator of hypothermia is the amount of urine found in the bladder post-mortem. Sorochenko had 150mL in his bladder and Zinaida 300mL in hers. That tells me that they died rather quickly, prior to any significant build-up of urine could occur. Both Sorochenko and Zinaida suffered significant trauma. Georgy appears to have been knocked unconscious very similar to Rustem and Kolevatov.

        Reply
        • George

          well, about the time of deaths, we know that Rustem laid in the snow before the others because of the melted snow under him. So, probably he was the first to die. Dyatlov laid in the snow a little bit before dying for the same reason, but he melted much less snow. Zina was on her feet the longest of the three because when she hit the ground her body was already cold (this, in part because she was the best dressed of the three), so she didn’t melt the snow under her. The experts believe that the first 5 hickers found, died between 6 to 8 hours after their last meal.

          Reply
          • Matt Elaine

            There is no evidence that Rustem was the first to succumb to the cold or injury. The only thing they can say about Rustem is that he was still warm for quite some time after he fell into the snow as a sheet of ice formed under his body. The autopsy found that he suffered a violent head injury and that he would have become disoriented however, it appears that he was rendered unconscious. The posturing of Rustem is also indicative of someone who suddenly collapsed.
            Give the line of the three bodies Igor, Rustem and Zinaida, it appears most likely that either Igor or Zinaida would have been the first caught by their assailants. I’ve already stated why I see Zinaida as the first casualty.
            From the autopsy report one can see that Igor did not suffer any mortal injuries and thus, due to the quantity of urine in his bladder (1000mL) he would have been laying there in the snow for some time. He was also found frozen in a defensive posture so I believe that he was interrogated regarding the location of the others. I see him as being quite fatigued after running down the slopes back towards the cedar (although he never made it).
            I disagree that Zinaida was on her feet the longest. The autopsy gives the cause of death as hypothermia due to violent injury. She was hit in the face and violently across the right side of her body. Believe me she went down quickly. Her urine quantity was only 300mL and therefore supports the fact that wasn’t alive too long after she was assaulted. The assault along with her fatigue certainly exacerbated the hypothermia. I’ve also reasoned why I believe her to of been the first casualty in my prior notes.

            Reply
            • George

              Matt consider this, once they all got out of the tent, hypothermy began to affect all of them immediately yes?, so, let´s say they had 3 hours before dying from hypothermia once they left the tent. In this case, if after half an hour i drop Slobodin in the snow he will melt the snow under him because he has 2 and a half hours to die, yes? he is still warm. And if i drop Dyatlov in the snow after 2 hours then he will melt snow too, but not as much as Slobodin because he has only 1 hour to die and is not very warm. And if i drop Zina after 2 hours and 45 minutes in the snow she will probably not melt any snow, because she would be already very cold. Get it? that is what happened, Slobodin melt a lot of snow, Dyatlov too but not as much as slobodin and Zina didn’t. meaning Slobodin died first, then Dyatlov and then Zina.

              And about the cause of death for Zina, the experts said she died of hipothermia, nothing more, at least that is what i know. Could yo share your source about the injuries of Zina being the cause of death?. (mine is described in older posts)

              And about the urine, is not very reliable by itself don’t you think?. I mean we can’t know if some of the hickers urinated between those hours after they left the tent, or even if some of them urinated the day before and some didn’t, or if some drank a lot of water and others didn’t. The urine level is only important if you combine this data with other indicators, say like the time of the last meal or phalanges affected by frozebyte, melted snow under their bodies etc.

              Reply
              • Matt Elaine

                George: I think I’m going to have to leave the discussion at this point as I can’t go on debating your suppositions. The case is an extremely cold case so one has to take whatever formal data/info available and marry it up with the death scene and reason what may have happened. Drawing conclusions from suppositions isn’t the manner in which I choose to understand the events of this horrific tragedy. With respect to Zinaida, do yourself a favour a revisit her autopsy report and then try to logically understand how she would have been alone ahead of her other two mates whom were on a similar trajectory when found. Then you may come to the understanding that she may have been behind them in a frantic retreat. Take a look at Zinaida’s post-mortem photo and you will discover pine needles all over her backside. Hence, she was sitting on the pine branches as would have been expected and more than likely removing her wet socks to dry and warming her cold feet by the fire near the cedar.
                I thank you for your comments and respect your interest in this matter.
                Cheers, Matt.

                Reply
                • George

                  “Drawing conclusions from suppositions isn’t the manner in which I choose to understand the events of this horrific tragedy”… but that’s exactly what you are doing. I asked you for sources but you didn’t answer.
                  About the socks: The search party who found the last 4 corpses said there was “unused” socks in the pockets of some of them.
                  About Zina, do yourself a favor and confirm in wich direction was her body found. That will tell you if she was going down or up.

                  I thank you too for your comments and respect your opinion.
                  Cheers.

                  Reply
  6. Matt Elaine

    A few more observations. Contrary the belief that Dyatlov, Rustem and Zina were on route the tent when they succumbed to their injuries/hypothermia, I see things differently. It seems that all three of them were together somewhere a little further up the slopes from where Zina was found when they caught sight of those responsible for their deaths. The 3 of them then turned back towards the fire and ran the best that they could but they caught up to Zina where they physically backhanded her and then hit her across her right side with a rifle. The other 2 may have held up a bit but a some point kept running before Rustem was caught 150 meters further. There he was punched and the butt end of a rifle met the front of his skull. That dazed him and more than likely rendered him unconscious. Igor made it another 200 meters before they caught up to him only to interrogate and assault him. I came to reason that they were chased back towards the fire as I couldn’t see Zina going off up the slopes in the dark of night alone with her other 2 mates following at various intervals. If they had been chased up the slope then surely Dyatlov and Rustem would have been captured together with Zina or if anything further ahead of her up the slopes. Just some thoughts.

    Reply
    • George

      Matt: my thoughts are quite close to yours and i would like to add a few more things that support the possibility of the presence of others appart from the 9 hikers. First, very close to the place where the corpses of lyuda, zolotarev, tibo and kolevatov were found, there was a small shelter but none of the corpses was in it. Another thing about the small shelter: the small branches used to build it did not come from the sorroundings even though the trees close tho the shelter had several branches cut. This mean to me that the shelter was already there and that the ones that were cut from the trees from the sorroundings were used in the bonfire. But if the small shelter was already there the hikers would had to be very lucky to find it by themselves so i believe that they were taken to it.
      Second: Zina and Igor had their upper clothes unbuttoned, as if someone had done this to check their pulse.
      So here is what i think: Someone force them to exit the tent and walk down the slope. In the way down Rustem tried to fight along with Igor but the strangers quickly reduced them and punished Rustem by a stomp in his head, living him unconscious. The rest of the hickers surrended and kept going down the slope and then to the small shelter. Then they ordered Krivonischenko, Doroshenko, Igor, Zina and Kolevatov to make a bonfire, taking branches from the sorrounding of the shelter. The rest was kept for interrogation. In the way to the place where they should build the bonfire Igor, Zina and Kolevatov manage to escape their captors and hide. The stranger decide to go back to the small shelter with Krivonischhenko and Doroshenko and tell what happened to the other stranger. This one decide to finish Zolotarev, Lyuda and Tibo and to keep Krivonischhenko and Doroshenko for the bonefire while the other chased the ones who escaped. After some time Zina, Igor and Kolevatov decided to split up, Igor wanted to see if Rustem was still alive besides going back to the tent to get some extra clothes and Zina tag along with him (this is why they didn’t go to the cache, because of Rustem) while Kolevatov decided to go see the others. But they were already in an extreme state of hipotermia and Igor fall first because he was wearing less clothes than Zina. So she kept going until she too sucumbs to the cold. Kolevatov went back to the bonefire only to find Krivonischhenko and Doroshenko already dead and tortured and decided to go see the rest. There he finds that Lyuda, Zolotarev and Tibo are in very bad shape and tried to help them by going back to Krivonischhenko and Doroshenko, taking their clothes and going back to warm the others with the clothes. Tibo is the first to die, then Lyuda and finally Zolotarev in his final moments, tried to write down something for Kolevatov (while this one tries to warm him up by hugging him by the back), but dies before being able to do it. And finally, Kolevatov falls asleep and dies of a cardiac arrest.
      The captors, after finishing Krivonischhenko and Doroshenko, went to find the missing ones until they got to the tent and decided to stay there because the temperature was quickly falling(that night there was a cold snap), but made a couple of cuts with a knife in the tent from the inside to be alert. Next morning they went back down the slope to find Zina, check her vitals and the same with Igor.

      Reply
      • Matt Elaine

        George: I disagree with you regarding the creation of the shelter in the ravine. I think that it is quite clear that the four individuals were the responsible in doing so. Their bodies were found all together a few meters away from the shelter and therefore I reason that the (soldiers?) found the shelter and ordered them all out at gunpoint. They were taken away from the shelter while the soldiers searched the hideout. There is absolutely no way that the four were outside of their den when captured, especially Luda (having no footwear).
        The best that I can reason the events on the early hours of February 2, 1959 is this. Voices or lights were seen (and understood to be military soldiers) sometime during or shortly after their dinner. Whatever it was, it had to be a serious threat to force them immediately out of their tent and compromising their shelter (cutting the canvas) and 1500 meters down slope and for most of them, inappropriately dressed and provisioned. The evacuation was deemed long term as they all retreated into the woods and spent considerable energy searching for wood and birch bark to create a fire as they knew they would be out there for a bit. If it simply was a threat of an avalanche then their departure would have been short term and they would have been back at the site digging out the their tent and supplies within minutes.
        I also hypothesize that when the soldiers came across the tent and saw 9 pairs of skies and considering the vastness of the area, more soldiers were summoned.
        So after some time at the campsite they were faced with fatigue, the cold, fear and uncertainty. A decision was made for three of the individuals to return to the tent to acquire clothes and other supplies require for the night. Zina was the female selected for obvious reasons. So Igor, Zina and Rustem were to return to the tent while Nicolay, Sasha, Luda and Kolatolev proceeded into the nearby ravine to construct a suitable den which would be free of any cold winds. Other than Luda, they were the only members of the group with appropriate footwear. Solochenko and Georgy were to remain at the cedar location to maintain the fire and possibly as lookouts/messengers.
        Zina, Igor and Rustem made their ways up the slope beyond the point where Zina’s body was found. Possibly near the location of the flashlight. At some point, they were seen and that put the three into flight mode and propelled them back down the slopes towards the security of their other mates. Unfortunately, they didn’t make it and Zina became the first casualty as she was hit across the side of the face and violently across the right side of her torso. They then caught up to Rustem and beat him unconscious. They then overtook Igor whom at that point was completed exhausted and started their interrogation into the whereabouts of the other six. The soldiers, whether they gained the information they needed or whether they saw the fire, came across Sorochenko and Georgy (possibly hiding up a tree ) and proceeded to interrogate. It appears that they were not given the information they wanted so the beatings started. Where the soldiers proceeded at that point is unknown but some time later, when no response was received from the others, the four in the hideout cautiously made their way back to the cedar only to discover the bodies of their mates. They removed some clothing and possibly other articles and returned to their den. Some time later, the soldiers came across the den and we know what happened then.

        Reply
        • George

          matt: i don’t think that they could have heard or seen someone aproaching, at least not to know if the strangers were dangerous or not. this because the storm that night was really bad and that particular place had nasty winds of snow. To just see flash lights is not enough to make them leave without dressing. Besides, if they were afraid of staying in the tent, why would they build a fire just to tell the strangers where they were. It would have been wiser to go straight from the tent to the cache they made the day before.

          Reply
          • Matt Elaine

            George: As Sasha and Nicolay were the only two within the group found wearing footwear, it might be fair to say that they were outside the tent urinating or perhaps smoking at the time of the exodus. When reading some of the diaries it does appear that those within the group may have held a degree of mistrust or concern towards certain elements of the soviet forces. I would also suggest that mistrust and fear towards the Russian special forces was pervasive. Yuri Yodin didn’t speak to highly of them either. Therefore, having heard the voices and seeing flashlights approaching or perhaps even seeing soldiers approaching would have been enough to frighten the group. You also have to consider that the group firmly believed that they were the only humans within that region of the Urals so the sound of other voices (Igor Dyatlov was warned about something the mountains but elected to ignore the advice..NOT VETTED) would be enough to alarm the group. I do agree that just any voice would not have caused such panic, therefore I am certain that they saw or clearly heard their assailants.
            They couldn’t just pack everything together and leave. That would require dressing appropriately, packing up the food, collapsing the tent, putting on their ski boots and binding to the skis. The process would have taken them a good hour. Their departure had to be immediately, so immediate that the tent had to be slashed to make for a quick exit. They would have also of been aware that the cutting of the canvas would compromise things within the tent. Believe me, the threat was real and they had to move.
            The fire was an absolute necessity. The group quickly made their was 1500 meters down the slopes and into the wooded area below. 1500 meters walking in -25 C weather poor clothes and for most of them, no shoes, would have been quite a feat. They needed to quickly warm their feet and dry their socks and other clothing otherwise, they would have succumbed to hypothermia very quickly. The fire was a necessity and considering their situation they did the right thing.

            Reply
            • George

              Matt: Yeah but if they were running away from the tent just to not get caught by the soldiers then the bonfire would have been out of the question because the soldiers would see the lights and get them anyway. Besides, if they were afraid enough just to leave everything behind why didn’t they had every important item and clothes ready to run just in case?. The Shoes were all found togheter inside the tent for example, just like a normal hiking end of the day.
              And about the fire, i’m not convinced it was the most important thing. Specialist said in the investigation that if they all would have gone to the small shelter and had used everything they had to isolate themselves from the cold they could have perfectly survived the night, without making a fire (some of them had unused socks in their pockets, others had balaclavas folded under their jackets). To add to this point: Only three of the hikers (Doroschenko, Krivonischenko and Kolevatov) were close to the bonfire.
              And finally, if they were so afraid why would 3 of them try to come back to the tent, knowing that would be really dangerous?. In that point (the small shelter) the cache was closer than the tent.
              That’s why i don’t think they were trying to hide, but that they were forced to walk down the slope and to make the bonfire.

              Reply
              • Matt Elaine

                First of all no one has yet stated that the group had a BONFIRE going. It was established that a fire had been burning. You keep going back to the idea that they shouldn’t have created the fire but you are not seeing their condition. Cold as hell, wet socks and clothing. That is a recipe for a quick death. The fire was absolutely essential and they had no time to waste so they made there was to a safe distance and into the woods. They didn’t have the time to go looking for a dugout. They had to leave the tent and then they had to protect themselves immediately out there in the cold.
                After some time when the group had dried their clothing and were warmed up some they had to act. They couldn’t just sit there pondering their fate. They weren’t certain as to how long they would be out there in the cold. So it appears that they decided for a few of them to look for a better location for the night while a few of the others attempted to return to the tent for more clothing and supplies. It does appear that they chose the fitter individuals of the group to make the return trek. It was imperative that they get more clothing and supplies or else they would never make it through that night.
                My question to you is (based on your hypothesis), if every member of the group was beaten and left to die in the cold (at different locations) then how did they get away from their captors. Furthermore, why take then down the slope and not just execute them in the tent?

                Reply
                • George

                  matt: ok fire, not bonfire. I’m not saying that the fire was not necessary just because i think that way, the experts that made the investigation papers did. You are saying otherwise, so, who exactly said they would not survive if not by that fire?, why are you so sure about the necesity of the FIRE?.
                  About your question: I never said that everyone was beaten and left to die in the cold. When or where did i say that?. Is not even close to what i think it happen that night.

                  Reply
  7. Matt Elaine

    A few things that came to my attention when observing the positioning of the bodies and reading the autopsy reports. 1. None of the group were found in the fetal position which is common with severe hypothermia. 2. Non of the group showed signs of paradoxical undressing which is quite common. 3. Several of the group were found supine and open to the elements with their exposed hands and legs in defensive positions. Many of them had broken or bloodied noses, broken bones and all of them were bruised. So were they the clumsiest group of students and running into trees with their knees, hands and heads or were they assaulted. 4. Doroshenko climbed the cedar tree sometime between 7pm and 3am. Sunset in that region on February 2 is 5:30pm. Therefore, Doroshenko was climbing in the dark and could not have been climbing to gain a vantage point or to look for the tent. From the injuries noted on all of the bodies, it appears that Doroshenko climbed the tree in fear but slipped and fell and that may have been the cause for the bruise to his right armpit. It does not appear that any one within the group was responsible for the violence towards the others as they were a weary bunch (a full day of hiking), scared (the haphazard way in which they fled the tent) and cold (the fire and the dugout). It also appears that none of the group had reached the point of severe hypothermia prior to the violence inflicted upon them. So you have a group of 9 fleeing their tent during or shortly after their dinner and traversing 1.5 km down a snowy slope to escape the source of their fear. Couple their fearful departure into the cold night with the bruises, broken bones, bloody noses, eyes and tongue removal. And let’s not forget, they were not found in the fetal position desperately attempting to keep warm but in the supine poses and some in defensive postures. To me things are quite clear. The source of their fear caught up to them. If this source was one or possibly two men then it would be quite probable that the 7 men in the group would have overcome the threat, unless they bore weapons. The butt end of those weapons may have been the source of the crushed and broken noses, the bruised knees, thighs and hands, and the broken ribs. I hypothesize that the group had either heard a low flying helicopter or the voices of soldiers were heard approaching their site and that is what got their attention. Sound would carry quite easily and far in that environment. The soldiers came across their tent and proceeded to follow their footprints down the slope towards the trees and that is what began the end for the group.

    Reply
  8. Mark

    Could a snow drift from that evening’s storm have disrupted the tents ventilation (this would explain the slits at the top of the tent) or threatened or actually caused the tent to collapse? The broken ski pole may have been used to try to clear the snow from the inside or, as a hollow bamboo tube, even as a snorkel. 9 people would run out of oxygen in a tight place quickly without adequate ventilation. Once outside in the freezing night, possibly with a collapsed tent, they may have made the wrong conclusion that the forest and starting a fire would be the better option. This would explain why they apparently walked and did not run since the immediate danger of suffocation or collapse was no longer an issue. Much of the snow may have later drifted off in the wind, as the photograph of the foot prints suggests. Well, that’s my crack at it

    Reply
  9. Joshua

    Why has Hypoxia never been discussed as a possible factor? The cutting of the tent from inside and having no time to take their shoes or warmer clothes points to them having to escape rapidly; most likely from one of their own. There were clearly signs of a struggle with injuries to knuckles, which were possibly acquired through hand-to-hand combat. Hypoxia can cause hallucinatory effects leading to one or more of the tourists to have a psychotic episode. There must have been a struggle inside the tent. They initially cut themselves out without warm clothes with the idea of reevaluating their circumstance once outside, and then to retrieve their items (such as shoes) afterwards. Perhaps it became clear that the danger was still present once outside which made them flee.

    Reply
    • Matt Elaine

      Assuming that one of the males went a little mad and started lashing out, you still had 6 other males to over take any form of aggressive. They didn’t have guns and the knife was in the hands of the individual attempting to flee the tent. Therefore, that leaves, well possibly a ski pole. The other 8 would not of placed themselves in such danger over the aggressive of one member. And in following your theory, the crazed individual made his way down the slope along with the others, and died with the others. Sorry, but I don’t buy this one.

      Reply
  10. Anon

    After reading about this incident all day, I’ve come to the conclusion that their deaths were caused by the military/KGB in some way. In my opinion it is the only theory that provides a plausible explanation for how they exited the tent, since they would’ve been forced to leave abruptly and walk down the hill if they were being held at gunpoint. It also answers several other facts such as the flashlight being found on top of the tent and the lead investigator being forced to remove details regarding the strange lights from the report, as well as being forced to close the case. However, it does have a few holes such as why the intruders didn’t hide the bodies/tent and why they would even be involved in the first place (although the theory of Zolotarev and Kolevatov being connected to the KGB could be used to explain this). Nonetheless, I think this theory has the most credibility out of all the ones I’ve heard about so far, hopefully the truth will be revealed one day.

    Reply
  11. Charlie

    Is there anything that abolishes the idea it could have been Yeti or what the local tribe called “Menk”?

    Reply
    • Charlie

      There’s another one i can’t quite remember the name for but it was something to do with wind currents creating a hallucinative-like experience which is known for people to go entirely crazy. There was a case of this where the air vent in an apartment made all the habitants go insane and do strange things, and while I think this could have been a plausibility if not for the rebutting facts that cancel this theory out i.e. internal injuries, scrapes on fists and knuckles. It could however explain the tongue and eyes ripped out, that’s something only a totally insane and uncontrolled person could do.

      Reply
      • Nick

        Karmen vortex street is the nameof the phenomenon that you are describing

        Reply
  12. Hugo

    Great investigation of this misterious and dreadful incident.It really saddens me that we’ll never know for sure what really happened

    Reply
  13. Thomas Whiteside

    Retreat to Food Cache Theory

    I see a few people have already suggested this, but it does seem that the group might have been attempting to make a retreat from the tent (following ‘the incident’) back towards the food cache / storage house near the Auspia River (where they stored surplus food & supplies on January 31), but instead became totally disoriented and went down the wrong side of the slope instead.

    Looking at the map it’s doesn’t seem to be a dissimilar distance to that from the tent to the cedar tree.

    This could explain the following decisions:
    a. to leave food, supplies and some clothing in the tent -as they could be replaced once they reached the cache.
    b. to walk rather than run down the slope – if they have a plan to access food, shelter and clothing, they are perhaps calm and rational, not frantic and panicked.
    c. why Zolotarev, Kolevatov, Dubinia, and Thibeaux-Brignolles decided to keep heading down the slope (maybe they thought the cache was just a bit further downhill).
    d. it could even explain the possible fist fight between Dyatlov and Slobodin – perhaps they argued about whether they were going the right direction (admittedly this point is rather weak in support of this theory – an argument could have broken out in numerous circumstances)

    All total conjecture, but the idea of an orderly retreat seems to fit with Igor Dyatlov’s reputation for ingenuity and level headedness.

    Obviously this theory has gaps – it does seem a bit odd that Kolmogorova would make such a hash of the orientation when she was so good with the compass – but then people can get overconfident and/or make mistakes.

    Can you answer the following?

    a. how much shelter would the cache have provided?
    b. what exactly was cached away? how much food and clothing?
    c. how far away the was the cache site from the tent? (would it be a ‘doable’ distance?)
    d. while Zina is often pictured with a compass around her neck in earlier photos, was there a compass found on her corpse? who else had compasses?
    e. is it true the area is in a magnetic anomaly zone that can distort compass readings (some say by up to 50 degrees) ? (have read this but not totally convinced)

    Sorry if some of these questions are classic novice questions – still getting my head around all the details.

    Reply
  14. Johnathan

    Also important information is that they where experienced ski hikers, they would have had a bearing compass, and would have noted the coordinates of their cashe, even in a blizzard or the pitch black they should have followed their compass to find the location of their cashe, strangely they seem to have gone in the exact opposite direction to the cashe. Kolmogorova is often pictured with a bearing compass around her neck and is seen taking a Reference bearing on a map in a picture, maybe she was the most skilled at navigation, iif you draw a straight line from her fallen position it is my guess you will find her intended destination.

    Reply
  15. wizzy

    if dyatlov was one of the first to try to walk back to the tent, according to their clothing he was not the best canddate: at least semyon zolotaryov and
    Nikolai Thibeaux-Brignolles had some kind of footwear better suited for the desperate trek… and if both of them had already suffered their injuries, they could have given him the shoes for a better chance of success… unless the decision to split up was not unanimous ( or a free decision at all…)

    Reply
  16. Johnathan

    it might be important to note that a broken ski pole was found in the tent (manually snapped) at the time they would have been using bamboo ski poles, strong and once broken and sharpened (knife marks where found on the ski pole) bamboo canes can be as sharp and as strong as a steel knife (the Viet kong proved that one during the viet-nam conflict), this represents to me a ‘tooling up’, and creating weapons for every one… possibly… Snow shows leave massive foot prints and trained trackers can identify these, also snow shows are pointless compared to XC skis, (all Alpine Russian forces would be expert skiers).
    I have lived in Norway and Eastern Switzerland I know first hand that building a snow cave in deep hard snow (-30, night snow would be semi frozen) is very difficult and could not be completed by an injured person, the cave was big enough for 3 people with broken branches lining the bottom. In my experience a snow cave like that, in those conditions, without tools (you normally need a hand saw to cut out the blocks of snow and a shovel) would have taken the work of two possibly 3 fit people (one person would also have to collect pine branches). It is also important to note that none of them where actually found in the snow cave.

    Reply
  17. Grace

    This case is so fascinating. The thing that gets me the most is ludimina and her missing tongue, her autopsy says she had blood in her stomach so what ever ripped her tongue and oral muscles out did it while she was alive or immediately after. It was minus 30 degrees she would of frozen solid pretty quickly ( within a couple hours I imagine ) so the theory of the bacteria, scavenging animals or the stream is all impossible in my opinion. Something or Someone terrified and attacked them that night. There doesn’t seem to be any tracks indicating other people or animals attacked them I can’t explain that but you can’t bite your whole tongue off and you can’t bleed after your frozen solid.

    Reply
    • Molly

      Yeah dude, and not just her tongue, all the bottom half of the inside of her mouth was missing, muscles and all. And she had roughly 100grams of coagulated blood in her stomach, which means without question she was alive to swallow it. So sad.. I would chock this up to in the being in the wrong place, wrong time and blame the Soviets, but some of the details of this are so disturbing I do wonder about a supernatural cause.

      Reply
  18. wizzy

    this is one of the best sites describing the incident, but where can we find more information?
    was the “door” of the tent closed shut when it was found? (exludin possible intrusions)
    some of the hand/nose injuries are compatible with a fist fight, was there any evidence of it occurring between the hikers? ( skin under each other nails etc).
    how long were the injuries recived before death if it was even possible to determine that in the ’59 and in those conditions?
    what is the accepted unfolding of the events based on traces, and item/cloth exchanges (regrouping, splitting, dying etc) after they fled the tent?
    how many people had built the den? how many could it contain?
    could they have built it with those injuries, or they must have sustained those later?
    what’s written in their personal diaries? maybe opinions on each other could shed some light on interpersonal relations.
    was the torchlight found on the slope broken, or was the battery just exausted? why not pick it up after dropping it, if it still worked? they had no other source of light.
    who did the 2 torchlights belong to?

    one of the things that mostly puzzles me, is not only why they cut open the tent, but also why they left the scene without shoes… i can understand that suffocation or a panic attack could lead someone to slash the tent and jump out, but why leave immediately? something must have pushed/chased them all away from the tent without giving them even a second to organize or grab shoes or one of the blankets, or even an axe for self defense, if i hear scary noises outside the tent, the first thing i grab is a weapon. unless the noises is a voice yelling: “military police, exit the tent now or we open fire!”.
    I have the impression it was not a general threat to the area ( avalanche, concussive bombs, infrasound), but a specific one on the location of the tent (someone threatening them with firearms, or whatever, that impaired their actions forcing to leave the tent.
    they regrouped 300 m from the tent, but still decided to go downhill instead of retrieving their shoes and gear in the tent.,, they were no longer in immediate threat ( they walked orderly) but still refused to go back to the tent. not even sending the one with shoes to fetch the other hikers’ shoes… yet they were lucid enough to group together, trade clothes, build a fire, and a den.
    they made 1,7 km/h during the day with boots on, i guess it would have taken them some time to reach the cedar barefoot at night, why did 3 of them try to go back to the tent after hours in the cold, when it was too late, and not before?
    Slobodin fell still warm ( the snow beneath him was melted and refrozen) maybe he turned back before reaching the cedar, and someone hit him. ( dyatlov or another one with knuckle injuries? someone following them?)
    there are no traces of other people, but how can we be certain? if the rescue party got there not expecting a possible crime scene, maybe they inadvertently covered some hidden/ not so clear traces? they cut the tent, and arbitrarily grabbed some items, they were not forensic experts, just a rescue team.

    Reply
    • Ayla

      Okay, many questions so I’ll try to answer them the best I can 🙂 (if you want to read more about the topic, there’s a further reading section here on the website that has books that go into more detail about the event)

      The door of the tent was closed when the rescuers found it. Unlike tents today, which have a zipper, this tent had something like buttons and they hung a sheet in front of it to provide further insulation. It would take them much longer to undo the entrance than it would with a zipper.

      Some of the injuries found on the bodies did suggest hand-to-hand combat, but no one knows for sure.

      The coroner was able to determine a rough time of death (according to the standards of the time), but I’m afraid I don’t remember it off the top of my head. I believe it was 4-6 hours after their last meal.

      There is no canon timeline of events after they fled the tent, but it’s pretty accepted that after they left the tent, they went down the hill. They got separated at some point but reconvened under the tree, where they tried to build a fire. At some point three of them headed off in the direction of the tent – together or separate, we don’t know for sure, though in my opinion it’s likely that Kolmogorova came after Slobodin and Dyatlov because Dyatlov’s body had been turned over when rescuers found him and Kolmogorova was found with some of his clothing. Four others went down to the ravine for whatever reason while two remained at the tree (they may have already been dead by the time the four went down to the ravine). Other than that, everything else is pretty much speculation.

      As for the den, there were four in the ravine, but three of them were critically injured. It’s debated whether they had already received their injuries before they got to the ravine or if they occurred there. If the three were uninjured when they got to the ravine, it’s likely that all four of them helped. If the three were already injured, it’s likely that it was made by just the one. As for how big it was, there are dimensions in one of the books in the further reading section, but I don’t know them off the top of my head.

      For the personal diaries, I’m still working on translating them. I haven’t been able to find a good translation of them in English yet, so I’m making my own. I’ll post the translation of the case files when I’ve finished.

      For the flashlights, I’m not sure who they belonged to. The one dropped on the slope, as far as I know, was dropped while lit and the batteries just died. This would indicate that they were too afraid to stop and pick it up, or in too much of a hurry (although their measured steps down the slope confuses this quite a lot).

      As for what happened, in the end no one really knows for sure :/

      Reply
      • Molly

        I guess it’s possible they ditched the flashlight to avoid being seen, and going blindly in the dark I could see them going rather slowly one by one down the hill. The fact that they later lit a fire might negate that idea to some, but it is possible they attempted to stay in the dark hidden until they knew if they didn’t start a fire they were absolutely screwed..

        Reply
  19. DixieDog

    This is such a great website. I’m wondering if you know what they ate for dinner? Is it possible they ate something that made them all hallucinate?

    Reply
    • Ayla

      I’m not sure what they ate off the top of my head, but they were pretty regular in their dinners on the trek. It’s not completely impossible that they ate something that made them hallucinate, but it’s highly unlikely. They’d been eating the same stash of food the entire time. Also, their exit didn’t indicate they were in some sort of hallucinatory panic.

      Reply
  20. Johnathan

    Hi great website, I posted some info a while back about LSD trials on British troops under stress, you can find the results on youtube, some of the soldiers started to climb trees and do weird things. they could have been part of study, (Zolotaryov might have been the minder/instigator). has anyone else noticed that Dyatlov has his arm wrapped around a small tree and has bruises around his ankles, it suggests he was pulled by the legs or ankles. Surely if it had been KGB or other special forces they would have actually got rid of the tent and everything?

    Reply
  21. Chris mccomb

    lets see…all but one had traumatic injury to their dominant hand I found photos off the internet that show people from that group holding things…usually that’s done with the dominant hand. So…if the wounds and bruises are on their dominant hand wouldnt those would be defensive wounds??OK….. so all but one–the one that was crushed had defensive wounds….hmmmm….and there was a tounge and some missing eyes….Ya know what I think….I think not only did Yuri Yudin NOT TURN BACK but he was faking it. He followed them…made shelter….and bided his time….I may be wrong but wasn’t he involved with one of the group???….and as for the missing parts…well in those conditions ya gotta eat on your way home. Think about it for a min….and then go look at his picture….he looks psycho. lol….just a thought

    Reply
    • Ayla

      This is an interesting theory. When Yudin turned back, he didn’t go back to the UPI but he went home to spend the remainder of his vacation with his mother. He was also supposed to inform the UPI that Dyatlov pushed their return date back a few days, but he forgot. That being said, he did go visit his mother and had an alibi.

      Reply
  22. Susan

    Sorry. I hadn’t gotten all the way through the comments when I suggested snowshoes. I haven’t done a tremendous amount of research on this topic, but I have seen a couple of documentaries, read about it. These comments are the first place I have seen snowshoes mentioned and to me, it adds an entirely new line of possibilities to this mystery. Until now, I had only considered the fact that no other footprints were found to mean that no outside human entity could be involved.

    Reply
    • Ayla

      That is definitely a possibility. If someone else was present, the snowshoes wouldn’t have left as deep of imprints as the hikers with no shoes, and any marks would likely be gone by the time rescuers found the site.

      Reply
  23. Susan

    Is it possible that someone could have been present wearing snowshoes and left no tracks?

    Reply
  24. dandyboy

    A very weak trace ! Not worth considering . . . .

    Reply
  25. Sean

    Could they have been heading for the cache? Was that in the direction they were going?

    Reply
    • Ayla

      that’s a definite possibility. A lot of people think they were looking for it.

      Reply
  26. edlonle

    Hi,
    I just stumbled over the case by surfing and finaly found your website, Great!
    This case reminded me imediately of an accident in a nearby Town in Black forest. It was 32 Years ago when a group of crazy Junkies made a drug experiment which turned to a nightmare. 6 or 7 guys smoked deadly nightshade. They were running crazy. Two sat in the middle of the road and made curious gestures. Another one ripped out a curb and smashed his friend to death. anotherone ran after residens. The first police officers where attacken, three where injuried. They called for special forces to defeat them. 4 had been tired to bed, one sprang from a bridge. This was panic. It took 4 days for them to recover. Non of them could remind anything what happened.
    What I want to tell you, or my idea:
    Could it happened that the nine ski tourists accidentely burned deadly nightshade or henbane or other psycoactive plants which also grow there in the russian woods and can be used to lit a fire. In the winter it is straw dry. This would explain all the courious things that happened. And you would find no evidence- if they inhaled that herbs- at an autopsy.
    thx and sorry for my humble english
    ed lonle

    Reply
    • Ayla

      hello and welcome 🙂 that’s a very interesting theory! If they had accidentally burned some sort of drug, it could account for some of the mysterious things that happened. But how long would it take for that drug to affect them? They hadn’t built a fire since either that morning or the night before, so it’s unlikely that they would still have been suffering from the effects of something they might have burned earlier.

      Reply
    • George

      Hi edlonle, reading about the deadly nightshade i found that used as a drug generates severe confusion. But we know that the 9 tourist left the tent to go to the ravine in an orderly fashion, and later, when Krivonischenko and Doroshenko were dead, some of the survivors took their clothes to warm the injured ones. So you see, this are very rational decisions. They even light a bonfire to warm themselves(A very difficult feat given the weather conditions).
      Even if we consider the case in that not all of them were under the effect of the drug, we would be left with the question of why did those ones left the tent without proper gear.
      And lastly, the day before, they built a cache with all the equipment who wasn´t strictly necessary to climb mount otorten. They did this to make the last part of the trip, the climb, without having to carry excessive weight. So this demonstrate that the day previous to the tragedy they were also in a normal state of mind.

      Ayla: sorry for make a reply to every new post… is just that i have come to care very dearly for this case.

      Reply
      • edlonle

        Hello again and thx Ayla and George,
        the most confusing thing after that drug accident was, that these guys did “normal” things but have had no things like alcohol make you buzzin.
        They walked long distance from where they consumed the drugs to different locations some of them together some of them alone. Due to my humble english I can not describe this accurate and its more than 30 Years ago.
        But I did not know that they havent lit theire oven that night. Also an accidental swalow could affect one more the others less. Du to my own experience with drugs (30 Years ago!!!) one can behave more normal with psychoactive drugs than with alcohol.
        Anyway there are some other unaswered questions. @Ayla: No, I think you would need to take these drugs one or three hours befor effects.
        Thats strong argument against my explanation.
        @George: You are right, thats one thing if you are stoned in a tent and you dont find the exit so you open it with a knive. And lit a fire in such harsh condition is really dificult even if you are clear!!
        So I think a little further…cu
        edlonle

        Reply
      • Ayla

        haha please don’t apologize! I love people having discussions about this topic. I just wish there was a better way to do the comments haha

        Reply
  27. Alex

    It seems to me that there is a lot of evidence to support the idea that this was done to them by a person or a group of people. They may have heard voices or noises and so cut the horizontal lines to check. After this they were forced out of the tent possibly at gunpoint and told they could stay and be shot or take their chances with the elements. Igor, Rustem, and possibly some of the others put up a fight (possibly leading to the breaking of the ski pole) explaining their fistfighting injuries, but lose. There are no footprints around the tent because the evidence of this had to be erased. As someone else mentioned, they could have been wearing snowshoes and covering their tracks, which would prevent them from leaving any other traces. Then the group heads to their best chance at survival, the shelter of the forest, and everything else occurs naturally. It would explain the missing diary, camera, and the flashlight found atop the tent. This theory doesn’t however explain the injuries to the three in the ravine, or the lack of evidence of a fight. Is there any mention of blood being found among the footprints leading to the forest? If not is it reasonable to assume that if the injuries occurred before they left there would have been evidence there?

    Reply
    • Ayla

      Your comment wasn’t deleted – we don’t delete comments on this site – but we’ve been busy so we haven’t been on to approve comments for a few days. To answer your question, there is no mention whatsoever of blood being found among the footprints in any of the reports that I’ve found.

      Reply
      • Alex

        Sorry about that, I reloaded the page a few minutes later to find that it hadn’t been removed, but was unable to edit the new comment. Feel free to delete/not approve that one. Also I was looking around and found a reference to cold induced platelet activation, which begins to occur at 15-18 degrees C, and makes blood storage impossible at 4 degrees C. The journal mentions that temperatures were -18 to -24 degrees C which are well below the range required for that to occur. Also vasoconstriction is an effect of hypothermia and exposure to extreme cold which would further decrease bleeding. I think this means that the injuries could have happened before they left the tent site.

        Reply
    • George

      Alex, some specialist say that it would be impossible to walk normally with wounds as serious as the ones found in the last 4 tourist. Other say that it is possible. Common sense in the other hand sugest that when someone hits his/her head strong enough to brake his/her skull, that person would be at least numbed enough to not be able to walk in a straight line, wich is the way the 9 tourist got to the ravine. So, i personally think that the last 4 tourist suffered their respective trauma after getting to the ravine. There is something that most people don’t take much into consideration and i think is key to get closer to the truth of what happened: the possition in wich Igor was found by the rescue team. There is no way he could have died in that possition, with his arms so flexed agains his chest, except in the case he died upside down wich may lead to the conclussion that he was turned upside shortly after his death. If you believe that, then you have to believe there was somebody else in the place that night

      Reply
      • dandyboy

        Your comment is full of logic and I think you are probably right in your conclusions !

        Reply
      • Alex

        There were differing reports for the number of sets of footprints though, some say 8 or 9. Maybe they were supporting the wounded person and helping them along?

        Reply
        • George

          Alex: not likely, because in that case there would have been deeper (and shorter in distance) footprints from the ones helping the wounded due to the extra weight. But that was not the case, all footprints had similar depth and distance between steps.
          But there is one little detail about the footprints, one of the specialist discovered traces of what would likely have been a shoe print among the footprints, wich was odd because none of the 9 hikers were found wearing anything like that. But he said he wasn’t sure because that specific print was overstep by other footprints along the way… weird isn´t it?

          Reply
  28. Sean

    I like your site. It’s rare to come across a site dedicated to this tragedy without having to filter every detail through a grade-A bullshit detector. Have just finished the Donnie Eichar book and did admire the authors work rate but like others I find his conclusion unsatisfactory. Didn’t realise there was evidence the hikers walked down the slope, but either way, can’t imagine them running in the grip of hysteria for the length of time it took to get to the cedar tree. How long do think that was? Must be at least 20 minutes? Also, without giving his theory away, it is easy to test it if anyone has the funding to go and do it.

    Do you know if there was any tradition of doing crazy things on those hikes? Nowadays, a bunch of students might do something wild to remember the trip, something a bit crazy, a stunt, a dare. A recent example is the kids who stripped off on the top of a holy mountain and got themselves in trouble for it. Stupid, but not unusual for high spirited students. The theory I’m proposing is very mundane, a challenge is made to go outside and walk barefoot in the snow, some agree, some argue, then it’s decided. They go outside, all hold hands, some wear very little, and they walk, methodically, down the dark slope. Maybe as they turn to walk back Rustic breaks into a run, breaks the chain, and they scatter, Dyatlov, (reluctant to accept the challenge in the first place) strikes him, screaming at everyone to come back, but some are gone too far in the dark, by the time they regroup, they have lost their bearings to return to the tent.

    Doesn’t account for the cuts in the tent, but there are red herrings in any investigation.

    This story really is a tragedy. They all seemed such good young people and died a terrible and traumatic death.

    Reply
    • Ayla

      Your theory is very interesting, and one I must admit I’d never thought about before. There was a tradition that I’ve read about, but it’s a very simple one. They would leave a message at the top of Mount Otorten once they got there. All the hikes going there did this, which was one of the reasons the search teams concluded that the Dyatlov group had never reached it since the only note they found was from a previous expedition. I think if there was a tradition of something like walking barefoot in the snow, they probably wouldn’t choose to do it the night before the hardest part of their trek. I also think the timing – right in the middle of dinner – suggests that it wasn’t planned. But it’s a terribly interesting theory nonetheless!

      Reply
    • Fergal OhEarga

      I think the cedar tree was about 1.5 kilometres, so walking in the snow would probably take around half an hour. As to the ‘crazy things’ idea, note that although these were (mainly) people in their early 20s, one of their number was a decorated WWII veteran 37 (or so) years old. It’s doubtful that he would have participated in anything overly dangerous and foolish, as you had to be a proper survivor to make it through the war as a soviet ground soldier. Further, while the tourists were clearly whimsical, they were committed Soviets and hardy people. One fact that is downplayed in many of the resource materials is that a number of the tourists had superficial cuts and wounds consistent with fistfighting (even Zina). Although some put this down to falls in the snow, in my countless of faceplants experienced snowboarding over the years, I have never ended up bloodied or bearing visible evidence of my encounters. Yet, that this group of experienced young people and one older war veteran would fight amongst themselves to such catatrophic consequences beggars belief. Yet another set of facts and circumstances that don’t seem to fit …

      Reply
  29. Fergal OhEarga

    The great thing about this incident is that no theory accounts for all of the facts. Occam’s Razor does us no good here. It is all so incomprehensible that such it will likely remain forever.

    A couple of thoughts–first, even the scientists agree that the infrasound effect only gets to some 22% of people exposed to it, and even those in different ways, so for all nine tourists to lose their faculties in such a way as to cause all of them to go over a kilometre from safety is pretty unlikely. Second, to say that the horrific wounds to three of the tourists in the ravine came from a fall would have all three (or four) following themselves like lemmings over the edge, or to be walking in a horizontal line and all going over at once. Once again, pretty unlikely. Third, the fact that the platform was constructed, at some effort, in the ravine (why weren’t they found ON the platform rather than a few metres away??) renders the ‘over the edge’ theory even more unlikely.

    Alas, so many things like this can be pointed out, but get no one any closer to resolution …

    Reply
    • Ayla

      I agree. I think there are so many things that just don’t make sense with this case

      Reply
  30. Steifen

    Do you remember the Chelyabinsk meteor ?
    It entered Earth’s atmosphere over Russia on 15 February 2013, just over the Ural region. Its light was very bright. Some eyewitnesses also relate intense feelings of dreadful fear and panic after the sight of the fireball. Well, Russia has a long history of such events (remember Tungunska, 1908 ?) and I wonder if a very small fragment of something like that could have fallen from the cosmic space (not an alien spacecraft – I mean a natural object) and appeared over Kholat Syakhl that very night of Feb 1st 1959. As far as the Dyátlov Incident is concerned, it would obviously had to be a very small fragment as there was no trace detected of a fallen object on soil. I know it’s far from being even a sketch of a theory but I cannnot help thinking about it as very small possibility as I see the many (and very interesting) videos on YouTube about what happened on Feb 2013.

    Reply
    • George

      well, even if a meteor was the responsible for the light we still have the question about why would they leave the tent without proper gear. Because if it was a meteor we know it didn´t impact close to the turist(because there was no evidence in the investigated area), so they could have heard the noise or seen the light but nothing more. So they would have no reason to abandon the tent in the middle of a night storm.

      Reply
    • Ekran

      There would seem to be more photos of the bodies available than are cataloged on this site.

      Reply
      • Ayla

        there are lots of photos of the bodies floating around, but I’ve found they are often labeled as different members and, as I don’t have the training to identify them, I haven’t posted them.

        Reply
  31. Steifen

    Why did they leave tent ? That is the fundamental question. I know it seems to be a silly consideration but any theory will fail if they do not answer the question.

    Reply
    • Ayla

      I agree completely. I have no idea why they left the tent. None of the proposed theories really answer all the questions.

      Reply
    • Mike

      I agree this is the fundamental question – the complete rest of the story hinges on this point.
      A few pieces of information can be deduced from their apparent actions:-

      1) They cut their way out of the tent, therefore whatever the reason/danger was, it was either very ‘immediate’ and required instant action, OR, they couldn’t reach the tent’s exit or the exit was blocked. The fact that none of them took the time to put proper boots on argues for the immediate/instant cause – they had to get out QUICKLY.

      2) Once they were outside the tent, they seemed to have been in no hurry and WALKED away rather than ran. This would seem to argue that the immediate danger was only inside the tent – whatever made them leave the tent wasn’t a danger to them outside or they would have RUN away. Since they then walked away (and only in the direction downhill), I think it can be deduced that:- a) the danger was still in the tent so they couldn’t go back inside, b) they were now in danger of freezing, so the only alternative was to find some shelter and wood to make a fire – so they then walked downhill towards the trees, more or less as a group together (two split off but then rejoin the group).

      Reply
      • Matey Hr

        Sounds much like my theory from Cloacked Hedgehog blog.

        Reply
      • dandyboy

        Who says they just walked away from the tent ? I don´t believe that ! Footprints didn´t follow any order , they marched in chaos towards the forest , they didn´t run faster because of the snow and bitter-cold wind but they were not in a picnic , this is absurd ! ! . . . some of the men were actually very strong and still didn´t face the danger ! they just fled like frightened schoolgirls ! ! Something horrid must had been stalking them , something they were not able to overcome . . . to assume they just walked away is a misconception ! ! !

        Reply
        • George

          dandyboy, nobody is making out of nothing the “walk” part of the story. There are detailed records about the way the group got to the cedar and are well explained: We know they walked because the paterns of the footprints they left indicated that(distance between steps, how deep in the snow was every step and the constant direction.). Besides, the footprints were not chaotic at all, in fact by the way they walked down seems to indicate they where combing the slope, as if they where searching for something in the way down(maybe the cache they made the past day).
          So we can say that they were not fleeing. Something or someone forced them to leave the tent without letting them took any kind of clothing but what they already had in them. So they didnt move because of fear, but because they had to.

          Reply
          • dandyboy

            To say they walked away in order with no direct eyewitness to confirm that theory is wishful thinking to me ! I´ve seen the footprints and they indicate a disaggregated march , they were not kidnapped as suggested before , each one was struggling his / her own way down the slope . . .

            Whatever forced them out of the tent left no footprints , apparently ! So that theory makes little sense . . .

            I told you before , they didn´t run because of the heavy snow and the bitter-cold wind , etc. not because someone was commanding them !

            To make cuts in the tent seems to me like an irrational action , you don´t think twice and cut your tent ! ! this action was probably the result of a sudden panic as any experienced hiker would admit ! as I said before , some of the men in the team were actually very , very strong men , not easily impressed , still they didn´t face the danger ! why ? this menace was mighter than nine hikers and left no trace . . . anyone ? ? As I said in a previous post , I don´t discard paranormal explaination ! ! !

            Reply
            • George

              Dandyboy, the knowledge about the walk down the slope of the hikers is not something i made up by observing the photos, it comes from the investigators in the scene(some of them were very experienced hikers) who concluded that the 9 hikers walked. Read the reports, they differ about the number of prints, about how far from the tent they appear, etc, but they all agree in that the hikers walked, there is no doubt about that.

              About the inexistent footprints of somebody else, well, those strangers could easily have been using snow-shoes that would left a really weak footprint, that could disappear quickly with strong winds.

              About the cuts on the tent, why are you so sure they were made by the hikers?. Maybe somebody else made them. Think about it, in an experiment investigators proved that when in a hurry people almost never do horizontal cuts in a tent to get out, they all made vertical or diagonal cuts, so why would this 9 hikers do horizontal cuts?(the vertical ones were made by sharavin and Slovtsov)

              Reply
              • dandyboy

                If they walked they were not in a hurry ! If they were not in a hurry they could have easily got dressed for the cold but they didn´t !

                PS : they didn´t get dressed for the cold because they were in such a big hurry they couldn´t stop for the dressing . . . think of that !

                The cuts in the tent were , in fact , vertical cuts , probably made to get out in a hurry . . . no external presence have been proved whatsoever , so the easiest explaination is they were the hikers themselves who made the cuts ! ! maybe they were freezing to death inside the tent and went out for some wood , who knows ?

                Everything in this case makes little sense ! ! !

                If you say someone forced them out of the tent you must say who it was . it was the army ? some spies ? extraterrestrials ? the yeti ? an unknown force ? etc. To say someone was there besides the hikers with no single proof is not a big help !

                If you say they used some kind of snow-shoes they must have been some kind of soldiers or army men but I don´t believe the army would left 9 corpses out in the cold for everyone to see ! ! the top secret Russian army doesn´t act like that , there is no precedent for this story ! That´s why I don´t believe the army conspiracy regarding the Dyatlov case . . . I believe in paranormal explaination but I cannot prove it !

                Reply
                • Ayla

                  Everyone is welcome to believe whichever theory they wish. The point is that nothing has been proven thus far with the limited and confusing evidence. As for the cuts, the cuts were not made vertically. They were made horizontally – aside from the ones made by Sharavin and Slobstov, who found the tent and cut their way inside because they weren’t thinking of preserving the scene – which confused investigators because the easiest and most likely way of making a cut in the tarpaulin was by doing so vertically. Feel free to come to any conclusion you like, but please keep the conversation polite.

                  Reply
                  • dandyboy

                    If the vertical cuts were not made by the hikers . . . how did they get out of the tent ? ?

                    As for politeness . . . I see no ofense in my previous comments !

                    You are taking for granted some facts that I don´t take for granted like , for example , the walk side of the story , etc. You should not take offense for that ! I love this site but those who have the answers for this case are all dead . . .

                    Reply
                    • Ayla

                      The horizontal cuts were the ones made by the hikers – a specialist confirmed that the horizontal cuts were made from inside the tent. The walk side of the story has been proven; we’re not taking it for granted. If you’ve read the section of this website, you’ll understand that the unusual weather conditions of the day preserved the footprints for a very long time. Experts studied the footprints and – though they couldn’t agree on whether there were 8 or 9 sets of footprints – they agreed that the hikers clearly walked down the slope in an orderly fashion, almost as if they were combing the slope for something. Whether you want to believe the facts presented is completely up to you.

                • George

                  Dandyboy, if i had proof of other people being there besides the hikers that night, we would not be talking here about this case because there would not be any mistery to solve. All i am saying is that there are things in this case that are unknown and there are things in wich there are no doubts. You are questioning things that are already been investigated and proved so what i´m trying to do is to mark the line between what is open to debate and what should be taken as hard data.

                  Reply
                  • dandyboy

                    What kind of criminal leaves 9 corpses out in the snow ? ? ?

                    Reply
                    • George

                      easy, a criminal in a hurry.

  32. dandyboy

    What caused the major injuries ? ? Where did the radiation come from ? ? ? Still we have no compelling theory to explain the whole scene . . .

    Those fantastic explainations – urine igniting some embers , etc. – sound to me like literature ! Why the tanned coprses ? ? ? why the singed trees ? ?

    All of the 9 hikers found dead – no single survivor – plus parallel injuries caused by an unkown force , etc. . . . the result of a systematic chase ? ? ? well , maybe . . .

    UFOs , Yetis , the army , secret weapons , spies , the KGB , etc. , everything is possible here ! !

    Reply
    • Mateyhv

      Dandyboy, all your posts are an endless sequence of questions. If you want answer many of them get any of the published books published about this case. You will surely find what you are looking for.

      Reply
  33. dandyboy

    Some items were military stuff . . .

    Why was the tent badly done ? ?

    Trees were burned at some point . how ? why ?

    what caused the major injuries ? ? ?

    too many questions . so few answers . . .

    Reply
  34. Mike

    Jacky – as George mentions above, many of the cuts were made by the initial discoverers of the tent in the process of trying to remove a layer of hardened snow from the center/north parts of the tent. This is why photos of the tent’s damage made later do not seem to compare well with diagrams and descriptions of the cuts in the tent when it was initially found.

    Reply
    • OtterNark

      Helllo, everyone. I’m new to this mystery, but I’ve become quite fascinated with it. I do have a couple of questions that perhaps someone could answer for me. I may have missed this information, so I apologize in advance if so! First, we know that the tourists veered from their planned route. But how do we know this? Other than the obvious of them being found where they were. Was it ever mentioned in anyone’s journal?

      And, could those orange orbs seen by so many have just been flares? Is there information on how long they shone or their movements? Something that could indicate or hint at what they might have been?

      Also, I have read many websites and heard some interviews that mention the possibility that the area was so dark that the tourists got lost or disoriented, and therefore couldn’t find their way back to the tent. It has been said that the two men at the tree may have been trying to climb it in order to find the camp site and tent. Again, I may have missed some information, but do we know if it was storming (snow) the whole time? My point being, if the moon was ever out, would it have provided sufficient light for them to see at least a short distance- as well as the light being reflected off of the snow?

      Reply
      • Ayla

        Okay, I think I can accurately answer at least some of your questions 🙂

        We know the route the tourists intended to take because they had to report it before they ever set out. They were heading for Mount Otorten. We know that they veered off mark because they were found outside of their planned route. It’s not that surprising, though, because the pass they meant to take (880) was incorrectly labeled at the time and has since been renamed (905).

        The lights seen in the sky – which were seen AFTER the Dyatlov group’s demise – were two R-7 combat missile launches from Tyuratam to the Kura target field in Kamchatka. They have been successfully explained – if you choose to believe the official explanation.

        And though no one knows for sure, it is highly likely that they were climbing the tree to see SOMETHING – probably the way back to the tent. I haven’t found much that tells about the condition of the moon on that night, but I think it’s fairly safe to say it was dark and cold and very, very disorienting – especially once hypothermia began to set in and even more so for those that were injured. Unfortunately I can’t say for sure because nothing has ever been proven.

        Hope that answers at least a few of your questions 🙂

        Reply
        • George

          Ayla, could you please share the source of the missile launches?.
          OtterNark: acording to the info about that night it was storming really bad. The time of death of the hikers is between 12AM and 3AM wich was before the storm had a cold snap(really really bad).
          About the moon condition, that night was moonless.
          And about the route they took, it is known that the Auspiya route is safer than the lozva one, so, maybe Igor changed the route to keep the group safer.

          Reply
          • Ayla

            “For the fireballs observed on February 17 and March 31, 1959, E. Buyanov [author of 'Mystery of the Dyatlov Incident' co-authored with Boris Slobstov, one of the most involved of the rescuers] found a direct link with two R-7 combat missile launches from Tyuratam to the Kura target field in Kamchatka. The timing of their launches coincided precisely with the moment that the fireballs were visible in the Northern Ural. The apogee of the launched missiles, coming out of Baikonur along their ballistic trajectories, was up to 1,000 kilometers. It became clear that it was truly the R-7 combat missile launch that was observed twice in the Northern Ural in the line of sight on a clear, moonless night. In the upper atmosphere, the R-7 left behind a large vapor trail, and a bright plume of flame from the rocket engines illuminated the track from a distance. That is how the huge and “pale” fireballs the size of the moon and with a bright flaming star inside originated. But on the night of February 2, 1959, there were no launches at all.” – ‘Dyatlov Pass Keeps Its Secret’ by Irina and Vlad Lobatchev and Amanda Bosworth.

            Eugene Buyanov believed that an avalanche was the cause of the incident, which I personally don’t believe, but his research regarding the missiles seems to be sound and is regarded by many experts to be proven fact. Also, nobody reported seeing the fireballs except on those two dates, and those who were in the area nearby vehemently insisted that they had seen nothing of the like during the time that the Dyatlov group was there.

            Sorry it took me so long to answer! I was on vacation 🙂

            And yes, you’re right about the weather! I forgot I had written it down in my notes haha

            Reply
        • Mateyhv

          Hi Ayla, I think the conclusion that they climbed the tree to see something is incorrect. The cedar tree is not in bare land as can be seen in old and recent pictures. Unless they climbed to the top there was not a really an unobstruced line of sight. In moonless night I wouldn’t expect to see anything at all even from a vantage point not to speak about bad weather conditions in moonles night… Moreover, the person or persons that climbed the tree barehanded knew they were going to loose their hands in seconds in addition to their already frozen feet. The only reason I can imagine so far is they desperately need some small branches to start and maintain the fire to save their life from the extreme cold, branches that were not available in quantity in the lower part of the tree. Without a saw bigger branches are out of the question.

          Reply
          • Ayla

            I agree that I don’t think they would be able to see anything but if they were desperate enough they might have tried. I think nobody can argue the fact that they were getting branches for the fire – and possibly for the shelter in the ravine as well – but I wouldn’t write it off completely that they weren’t trying to get a look at the slope behind them. I’m not saying that they would be able to see anything, because they most likely couldn’t, but they were freezing and probably frightened and if I were in that situation I would try anything I could, even if it seemed pretty hopeless.

            Reply
            • Mateyhv

              Hi Ayla, they were frightened because they were freezing and they needed desperately a fire to survive. Climbing the tree was not hopeless, it was suicidal. The guy that climbed it barehanded in at least -15C was doomed from the onset and he knew that, but getting branches (fuel) were his/their only way to survive. He might even thought of warming his limbs later… In any case looking the surroundings is not worth loosing his hands. Having a strategical view ask for a different scenario, but not immediate survival against elements. They were exhausted from the day hike in bad weather and already incapacitated to some extent from the way they left the tent in the cold night, climbing a vertical tree in that condition is extremely hard task and very unlikely if thats not for immediate survival. And again why to bother with a view when in a moonless night things are indistiguishable except mountain silouettes and only if there are background stars. For a view point it was easier to walk back the slope to the tree level. Land is bare from there on.

              Reply
              • Ayla

                We can agree to disagree on this fact. We’ll never know for sure. As I said in the introduction to this site, we don’t claim to have all the answers, only educated guesses. Your points are all valid, of course, but I still don’t entirely discount the fact that they were trying to get their bearings. That’s only my personal opinion though 🙂

                Reply
  35. dandyboy

    I do believe that the holes were ment to look outside the tent in the night . . . something or someone must have been stalking them , who or what ? ? ? I don´t know . The absence of footprints is the most puzzling and bizarre element here ! ! !

    What about the singed trees ? ? ? What about the two additional corpses ? ? ?

    Reply
    • Michael Hloušek-Nagle

      Dandyboy – from my reading it appears that the Dyatlov party’s own trail of footprints was only detected some distance from the tent – yet they must have made some. If their own footprints were not detectable near the tent weeks later, we can’t say with certainty that other footprints were not also there that night.

      Reply
      • dandyboy

        With that in mind we cannot discard the presence of strangers there that night . . . but how can we prove it ? ? Some items didn´t belong to the explorers . . . who were there beside them ? ? were they at the campsite at the same time ? ? ? where are the footprints ? ?

        Snow may have covered eventual footprints but why didn´t cover the ones leading towards the forest ? ? It makes no sense . . .

        I still can´t see the logic regarding the facts .

        Reply
        • Matey Hr

          I don’t think there were items that don’t belong to the explorers, its just that Yudin doesn’t know every other item from his companions packs. Have heard no official reports about two other bodies. About the footprints they are easy to be deleted from wind and snow at one point an be uncovered in another. Its also interesting that first search team around the tent was not expecting to deal with al nine deaths so they ware not very careful with the surroundings of the tent and even the tent itself. Thats probably the cause the tracks are found some way down to the tree line where no one has stepped yet.

          Reply
          • dandyboy

            Some items were military stuff . . .

            Why was the tent badly done ? ?

            Trees were burned at some point . how ? why ?

            what caused the major injuries ? ? ?

            too many questions . so few answers . . .

            Reply
  36. George

    Ayla: i cant make a direct reply to your comment, there is no button “reply” besides your comment so i will reply your question here: For more info about the “light ballons” that i mentioned look as i said before for the book “Dyatlov pass keep its secret” by Irina and Vlad Lobatchev. Also, there is a book written by Alexey Rakitin called “Death following the footprints” who cover this topic too and the background of Zolotarev. More info about him can be found too in the documents released by the “Dyatlov Memorial Fundation”, including his autobiography. There you can find info about Zolotarev declaring being a former member of SMERSH

    Reply
  37. dandyboy

    Fireballs are anything but discreet ! Still I don´t believe the last frame was a double exposure as suggested before . . . what about the drawings by the Mansi people ? ? ? Anyone ? ? ?

    Reply
  38. dandyboy

    Fireballs are anything but discrete ! Still I don´t believe the last frame was a double exposure as suggested before . . . what about the drawings by the Mansi people ? ? ? Anyone ? ? ?

    Reply
  39. dandyboy

    What about the spheres ? ?

    Reply
    • Ayla

      by spheres, I assume you mean either the lights reported in the sky as fireballs or the last photograph on their camera. Both of these situations are easily explained. The fireballs in the sky were a test launch, well documented, and were seen AFTER Dyatlov’s group died. The spheres in the photograph are most likely double exposure.

      Reply
      • George

        About the spheres i happen to read a different posibility: In the times of cold war the espionage was a very common thing and both countries had their own ways to “deploy”. American spies were deployed by air but seconds before they jumped, a light device was thrown to fall slowly. This way the spy could see the sorroundings of the area in where he was supposed to land. This light was useful too for hiding the parachute of the person that was decending high above it. The third function of this light was to show the location of the meeting in those cases that there was an encounter programmed.
        All of this is in the book by Irina and Vlad Lobatchev “Dyatlov pass keeps its secret”, very good book.

        Reply
        • Michael Hloušek-Nagle

          George, if the Americans thought the best way to keep the location of a spy meeting secret was to drop balls of light down from the sky to the meeting point, it’s a miracle the USSR didn’t win the Cold War! 🙂

          Reply
          • George

            yeah, i thought that way too when i first read about it. But the thing is that this deploys were used in really remote locations in the urals, most of the times near the frontiers(that´s why everything that involved a person or a group of persons getting too close to the frontiers was looked over by the KGB). Besides, only now this is known as a way to make contact, in those days this was a complete secret and the first thing that came to the minds of those few that could see the lights was probably ufos.
            And finally, just to support a little more my point, did you know that Zolotarev had almost certainly connections with the KGB?

            Reply
            • Ayla

              Almost certainly? What is your evidence? I’ve come across rumors, of course, but nothing concrete as of yet.

              Reply
  40. Michael Hloušek-Nagle

    Confused: “Zolotarev and Kolevatov’s bodies – they were found holding one another”. Next picture: “kolevatov-and-nicky-corpses” – shown holding one another in the ravine. Am I right in thinking that the latter is correct? And am I right i thinking that their two heads are lying in close proximity towards the top-left of that photo (I’m seeing what I assume are ears, and eye-sockets)? But if so, I cannot quite interpret the position of limbs, which seems all wrong…. Can anyone help?

    Reply
    • George

      Michael: the diference in the pictures is because one was taken in situ, the other is a photo of the bodies after they were moved and put together for catalog.

      Reply
      • Michael Hloušek-Nagle

        Hi George, thank you for the reply. I understand that, but it’s the contradictory captions I’m questioning: my point was, if “Zolotarev and Kolevatov […] were found holding one another” but the next picture shows “Kolevatov and nicky corpses” holding each other in situ, then one of the captions must be wrong – if ‘nicky’ is Nick Thibeaux-B.

        Reply
        • George

          Michael: the image who says “zolotarev-and-kolevatov-bodies” is the one taken after they were removed from their original position (So their position does not count)(zolotarev is the one with the “box” like thing under his head). The one who says “kolevatov-and-nicky-corpses” is actually a picture of Kolevatov, Zolotarev and tibo. Look closer and you will see that behind Zolotarev´s head you can see the head of Kolevatov. He es hugging Zolotarev. So, yes, the coment “Zolotarev and Kolevatov’s bodies – they were found holding one another” should be written in the one entitled “kolevatov-and-nicky-corpses”

          Reply
          • Michael Hloušek-Nagle

            Ah-ha! So there are actually three of them in that one picture!? Kolevatov, Zolotarev, and Thibeaux? Now it makes sense. So Nick Thibeaux’s head is not visible? I think I can see his hand and wrist-watch possibly. Thanks for the assistance George.

            Reply
          • Ayla

            thank you so much! I will change the captions!

            Reply
        • Ayla

          The captions are written as they were on the photographs as I found them. I am unable to identify the corpses myself just by sight, so I can only go by the captions as I found them :/ that is entirely unhelpful, I know, and I apologize for the confusion!

          Reply
          • George

            Michael: just to be sure, by reading your comment about Tibo, i have the feeling that you think that the white part on the center of the image is his head. It is not, his head his kinda pointing towards the camera, and is partially under the hood of his jacket. You can see a tiny part of his forehead right by the part where the watch in his arm appears.

            Reply
          • Michael Hloušek-Nagle

            George, I feel I’m nearly there with that image, thanks to your assistance! I’ve never thought the white blob in the centre was a human head – it looks more like a sheep. So I’ve looked, and maybe my copy of the image has too low a resolution. I can see Tibo’s left hand wristwatch, and what I take to be his right hand at lower right, meeting up with the snow at the edge of the stream. His right arm can be seen curving leftwards and slightly up towards the shoulder, but the only thing that might be part of his head is a white mass that can be seen roughly where his right shoulder should be. From the copy I have – which is not too clear – I seem to see part of a face, hanging slightly downwards to its right , over his shoulder, and part of a nose. I might be mistaken about all of that – I need a better copy. Thanks George, and Ayla.

            Reply
  41. dandyboy

    Nine experienced hikers , no survivors . . .

    Something out of the ordinary happened that night . We will never know . . . what about the spheres in the sky ? ? ?

    Reply
  42. Michael Hloušek-Nagle

    Everything you say above makes perfect sense. I tend to believe that the two men tried to reach the tent, either one after the other or together, and that Zina followed afterwards when they failed to return. I say this because the position of Dyatlov’s corpse indicates someone crawling towards the tent using their hands and elbows, (his feet and lower legs having likely become useless to him), and simply dying during this crawl – and THEN afterwards being discovered by a third party – I presume Zina – and turned onto his back so that she could take his jacket – which had been opened and pulled about – but his arms were frozen stiff and in her weakened state she couldn’t remove it. She then struggles on towards the tent but suffers the same fate as the two men. This post-mortem scenario is the only likely for the extremely unnatural position of his arms if he died on his back.

    I love reading about this case but I wish someone could tell me if it’s possible to access the documents, or at least the full set of images they took, and the major witness/investigative/autopsy statements in one place, in English. I feel rather hampered by google translate, and by always reading the evidence through the filter of someone else’s theory.

    Again – great site, thank you! 🙂

    Reply
    • Ayla

      I’d never thought of the scenario of Zina moving around Dyatlov’s corpse! That does definitely explain the odd position of his arms! I’ve also wondered about the documents. I would love to get my hands on them 🙂 but as far as I know, they haven’t been translated into English, at least not as documents available to the public

      Reply
  43. Michael Hloušek-Nagle

    Indeed it doesn’t, and if – as Ayla states – the stove was safely packed away in its case then the question is moot. I don’t think there’s anything mystical about the internal injuries. Possibly a heavy fall into the rocks around the den, possibly the two ‘shenkos (pardon the abbreviation) were not the only ones attempting to climb the tree to gather kindling with increasingly numbed hands and feet. The branches were broken off up to a height of five metres – it doesn’t sound much but if you fall from that height and land on something hard a skull fracture or broken ribs aren’t out of the question. There seems to be evidence of a fight between Dyatlov and Slobodin that might account for R.S’s fracture.

    Reply
    • Ayla

      I agree with you. I think there is probably a perfectly logical explanation for what happened. Personally, I always seem to get rather caught up with the hand-to-hand combat wounds on Slobodin and Dyatlov. My personal opinion is that they were fighting each other, and that, like you said, Dyatlov probably caused the fracture of Slobodin’s skull. I think that the two of them and Komolgorova headed back to the tent at some point and a heated argument occurred. Over what, I can’t even begin to imagine. Blows were exchanged and Dyatlov knocked Slobodin out. Dyatlov was either angry enough not to care if Slobodin died or he thought Slobodin was already dead and he and Komolgorova left him there. That would explain why there was a sheet of ice found under Slobodin’s body, since he fell still warm before hypothermia set in. Maybe Slobodin did something to Komolgorova and she stormed off. Dyatlov, who might have had feelings for her, took it personally and gave Slobodin what he thought he deserved, and then he ran off after Komolgorova. Speculations, speculations. And I agree that the injuries were not caused by something supernatural. I don’t think they occurred at the tree, however, because it would have been very difficult for them to climb down into the ravine with those injuries. However they sustained the injuries, I think that they happened either on the way down into the ravine or after they had already climbed down. Again, these are just my personal opinions and speculations 🙂

      Reply
      • George

        There is something that must not be forgotten: Slobodin was the only one who positively lie down in the snow when he was still warm. So because of this i think that between Slobodin, Zina and Dyatlov, Slobodin was the first one to die. Even before Krivonischenko and Doroshenko.
        As i said in my previous comment i think that the evidence of fighting is related to the ones who forced the group to abandon the tent. Acording to the autopsy of slobodin the injuries in both sides of his head could easily being made by the back of a rifle.
        About the turned up body of Dyatlov: I dont think he was turned by any of his companions because if Dyatlov was in that extreme state of hypothermia zina should have had simptoms very close to his, so in the case she was with him when he fell, she could not have made it that far from him because she would have had to wait beside him long enough for him to get hard frozen so when turned up his body could keep the posture.
        Because of that i think the body of dyatlov was turned by someone else long after his death.

        Reply
  44. dandyboy

    The stove theory doesn´t explain the major injuries . . .

    Reply
  45. Michael Hloušek-Nagle

    Thank you for a fantastic site. I’ve been reading Clark Wilkins’ book on the incident, and if you ignore his sometimes peculiar grammar there is a simplicity and a realism to his theory. I can imagine nine people tired and stressed, one goes out to urinate, and because the tent is oriented with its flaps facing the wind, a strong gust fans the embers in the stove, blows the candle out, and within moments the tent is pitch dark and filled with choking black smoke. So they cut the small holes in an effort to vent the smoke and get some air, but it’s not enough so they make a larger cut and exit. Then they untie the rope to collapse the tent and force the smoke out. Maybe at this stage they are slightly drunk and disorientated, and they realise that the tent now has too big a hole in it to protect them from the worsening wind and snow, so they decide to head down to the valley to build a fire and find shelter. So far it makes sense. But, it leaves too many unanswered questions. If the stove was billowing smoke why didn’t they simply exit the tent through the usual route, then pull the stove outside, and clear the tent of smoke, before returning to sleep for the night? Unless the stove was actually spouting flames as well as smoke I can’t see why they needed to cut their way out rather than moving over or around it to the doorway. But it does explain why, once they exited the tent, their footsteps indicate a calm and orderly descent at walking pace to the valley rather than terrified chaotic running, and it explains also why there were no other footprints or tracks near the front of the tent. The more I look at the evidence the more I think the answer is likely to be something LIKE what Wilkins suggests; the usual accumulation of small mishaps and bad decisions, rather than some grand supernatural or extra-terrestrial revelation.

    Reply
    • Ayla

      If the tent had indeed filled with smoke, going out the front would be much more difficult than one would imagine. The tent was a design of Dyatlov himself. Instead of zippers like on modern-day tents, this one was closed with fasteners – which would take some time and skill to un-do. Additionally, there was a sheet hung up in front of the entrance for more insulation. If the tent had filled up with smoke, it makes a lot of sense that they would cut their way out to free themselves. That being said, this theory is very easily disproven. The stove was not lit on the slope of Elevation 1079. It was neatly packed away in its case. The hikers had only brought one piece of firewood with them up the slope; they did not intend to light the stove until they got back down off Elevation 1079. Though many facts in this case are disputed, this one is not. The stove was packed away and had not been lit that night, so there was no fire or smoke from it.

      Reply
  46. Uncle Rico

    Nice site, thank you for making the effort. I just finished the Clarke Wilkins book, and though the grammar is indeed terrible, his solution – that the tent was set up the wrong way, with the entrance facing into a strong wind, and that when one of the team went out to urinate the strong wind reignited embers in the stove and rapidly filled the tent with thick smoke – well, it does answer SOME of the questions. No intruder footprints, no sign of damage from fire or weapons. And the small cuts high up in an effort to vent some of the smoke or just to breathe some oxygen. I can imagine the candle being blown out, sudden darkness, and then thick smoke filling the tent. People gasping for air, groping around in the dark. And once they are outside they release the ropes holding the tent up in an effort to collapse it and force the smoke out. But it doesn’t answer the most compelling questions; it doesn’t explain why they would not be able to exit the tent through the entrance, nor why they could not simply reach in and pull the smoking stove out through the entrance once they had exited the tent. It doesn’t explain why they would rather trek a mile in socks than sort such a simple problem out and re-enter the tent once it was safe to do so. Apart from this I think his reconstruction of subsequent events is compelling and persuasive.

    Reply
    • Ayla

      I’m so sorry, I just saw this comment from ages ago! I answered a similar comment, so I’ll repeat the same answer as the first time: this “theory” is so easily disproved that most people don’t even consider it a theory. The rescuers found the stove carefully packed away in its case, along with only one piece of firewood. The tourists did not and did not intend to light the stove on the slope of elevation 1079. Unless you choose to believe that the tourists ran away from the smoke (of which no traces were found) and then came back to the tent to neatly pack away their stove before wandering out into the snow once more, this theory is really easily disproven. I haven’t finished the Wilkins books because I couldn’t slog through the writing, but he must make a fairly compelling case so I might need to finally get around to reading it 🙂

      Reply
    • Mateyhv

      Admittedly my first theory about the abandoned tent was the tents wrong set up. But a day later I discarded it for many reasons. Clarke Wilkins is completely wrong in the reason for the dissaster. It is even absurd because if the tent was set with the entrance facing the wind, ventilating the tent was as easy as opening the door. The is no proof of fire in the tent either, as Ayla said the stove was not even set.

      I know the key point in the story is the cause that make them fled the tent, but many theories fail to give a logic or reasonable solution and this one is pure fantasy.

      Reply
      • Ayla

        I agree. I think that’s what makes this one of the most interesting mysteries out there 🙂

        Reply
  47. dandyboy

    This case is so puzzling and bizarre that I cannot exclude paranormal explaination . No survivors no answers . All of them died and we can only guess . . . what happened that night ?

    Reply
  48. dandyboy

    This case is so puzzling and bizarre that I cannot disregard a paranormal explaination . No survivors no answers . All of them died and we can only guess . . .

    Reply
  49. Mike

    Definitely one of the best web sites dealing with Dyatlov Pass Incident, with none of the usual ‘paranormal’ rubbish prevalent on other sites. Well done!

    There seems to be some confusion over some of the Dyatlov group photos, not just one this site but others, in both the alive and autopsy shots:-

    1) The autopsy shot labelled ‘sasha-corpse1’ is actually I believe of Ludmila Dubinina. Larger (less cropped) versions of this photo are available on the web and these seem to show breasts indicating a woman. Also the shape of the corpse’s ear (no ear lobe) matches those photos of Ludmilla’s ears when alive. Finally, the upper teeth are visible on the corpse which is consistent with Ludmilla’s autopsy description: ‘soft tissues of the upper lip are missing, teeth and upper jaw is exposed’.

    2) The small photo beneath the description of Alexander Kolevatov is in fact of Yuri Doroshenko.

    Reply
    • jackyw87

      Thank you! We had a difficult time, especially with the autopsy reports and photographs of the corpses, identifying the right body with the right person!

      Reply
      • George

        i would like to add a correction about the images: The one who says “rustem-corpse” is actually an image of Yuri Doroshenko.

        Reply
  50. George

    In relation to the cuts foun in the tent, i really think they were not meant to get outside but to look outside. If you look the images from the tent you will find that most cuts were made in the upper part(line of sight of a seated person inside), horizontally(the vertical ones were made by Slobtsov and Sharavin). If they were trying to get outside the cuts would have been made in a random way. Besides, if they were in a hurry, why did they “walk” down the slope?, they should have run instead.
    Some discard the “to look outside posibility” because in the middle of the night in the urals you don´t have very much to look but i think that maybe the holes were made the next day by other people. If the group was kicked out by other people then the new users of the tent would have to be vigilant. And after all in the investigation is mentioned that some items didn´t belong to any of the hikers.

    About the shoes: In the urals nights you can´t just put your boots on an get outside inmediately because they get stone cold hard, you must warm them before being able to use them. That´s why many hikers sleep with their boots as pillow so they remain warm. But in the tent the investigators found all the boots piled up in the west side of the tent.

    Reply
    • jackyw87

      I agree with your comments entirely. A later group trying to recreate the expedition had some of the members cut their way out, and they made the easiest cuts: vertical ones. Horizontal cuts seem very unlikely. One theory regarding the horizontal cuts is that there was a buildup of snow (a.k.a. avalanche) and they had to cut above the snow line. Personally, I think the cuts were initially to look outside, as you suggested. But at some point they did use the cuts to get outside, so it still posits the question of what were they trying to escape from. And the tourists walking down the slope as opposed to running is, in my opinion, the most curious thing about this entire case. I feel like many of the theories are discredited by this simple fact. And the two searchers who found the tent admitted that they cut their way in, actually tearing off a part of the tarpaulin – it was never found. It was incredibly difficult to determine which cuts were made from the searchers getting in and which were made from the tourists getting out. Eventually it was determined which ones were made from the inside, which were the horizontal cuts. And the investigation only mentions a few items that were reported not to have belonged to the hikers, but it was Yuri Yudin who identified the items. Though it’s possible that there really were items found that did not belong to the tourists, it is just as likely – or more likely – that Yudin was confused or just didn’t know every single little thing his friends had brought along with them. And as for the shoes, yes, they slept with them under their heads or bodies to keep them from freezing. But they hadn’t gotten completely ready for bed yet. They were in various states of undress, which indicated they were getting ready for bed, but they hadn’t rearranged the tent for sleeping yet, so their boots were still at the side of the tent.

      Reply
      • carla

        I’m thinking one of the men became violent, being the reason they didn’t run from the tent. He somehow led them from the tent with some threat that was never found. Knife? Then there was a fight…

        Reply
      • bill

        The case might simply turn on whether Dyatlov was wearing his tent shoes inside the tent and wore them to sleep in.They were found yards from the tent which suggests he was made to discard them under duress and the entire group made to die from hyperthermia.When the Khanty killers/hunters went down to check and search them finding many still alive they attacked and killed Yuri D, Rustem,Lyuda Semyon and Tibo where they found them through kicks and jumps being high on Fly Agaric. Strange tho-Ko died of a heart attack.Dy, Kr and Z of cold…….. Dy may on the other hand responding to an emergency where he ordered a horizontal cut in the tent wall to be widened for evacuation have simply grabbed his tent shoes as nearest to hand and dropped them at a moment when as leader he had no time to retrieve.

        Reply

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