Dyatlov Pass – Mystery at 20 belowDisappearance
The story of Dyatlov Pass is, in my opinion, one of the most intriguing modern mysteries. It starts on January 23rd 1959 with ten Russian hikers, Yuri Yudin (21), Yuri Doroshenko (21), Yuri Krivonischenko (23), Zinaida Kolmogorova (22), Rustem Slobodin (23), Lyudmila Dubinina (20), Semyon Zolotaryov (38), Alexander Kolevatov (24), Nikolai Thibeaux-Brignollel (23) led by Igor Dyatlov (23), boarding a train from Sverdlovsk to Serov, the group of 8 men and 2 women were Students from Sverdlovsk’s Ural Polytechnic Institute who were keen hikers and were attempting to attain their grade III certification to allow them to teach their skills as ‘Masters Of Sport’ by undertaking the treacherous journey to the peak of Otorten Mountain in the Ural Mountain range. After a 5 day journey through small towns and lumber camps they finally started the trek they had set out upon, all but one had made it, Yuri Yudin had to drop out due to his chronic rheumatism flaring up and making the journey unbearably painful, and had started to trace the path of the Lozva River.
Little could anyone know that 4 days later the trip would become infamous for the wrong reasons.
February 26th 1959, 14 days after the hikers expected return, the hikers tent is found on the eastern slope of the Holatchal Mountain with no occupants. Inside, clothes, boots and food is found leaving an eerie tableaux with more questions than answers. Along one of the sides of the tent were several cut marks which would later turn out to be made from the inside as if someone or something had created panic between the hikers to make the flee. The next day the first discovery of the hikers is made, Yuri Doroshenko and Yuri Krivonishchenko are found next to a Cedar Tree with the remnants of a fire, both are in their underwear, have no shoes on and show signs of trying frantically to climb the tree, later that day Igor Dyatlov and Zinaida Kolmogorova are found along with Rustem Slobodin 6 days later, again they were partially dressed and the 3 seemed to be trying to make their way back to the tent. Rustem Slobodin had a cracked skull although it was not deemed to be a fatal wound.
May 5th 1959, finally the final hikers were found 75 meters from the Cedar Tree where Yuri Doroshenko and Yuri Krivonishchenko were found. The four final hikers were found better dressed than the others, in a ravine only meters from an improvised shelter. Strangely, some of the hikers clothes were found to have Radioactive traces, Thibeaux-Brignolles had major skull damage and Dubinina and Zolotarev had major chest fractures which would have required a force such as a car crash. There were no external wounds aside from Dubinina missing her tongue.
*I feel I need to add a caveat here, Lyudmila Dubinina was indeed missing her tongue but she was partially submerged in a stream so this may have had something to do with it – making this less strange. Only slightly though.
So, what actually happened? Lets start with the obvious scape goat…
UFOs and light anomalies are always seen in the skies above the Urals and in the period when the hikers went missing, a separate expedition did see orbs in the sky. Lending some weight to this theory is the final photo taken by the Dyatlov hikers, it shows orbs of light although it is out of focus and black and white so we will never really know what is caught in the frame.
The infamous Yeti – all over the world people report bipedal Cryptids and Russia is certainly no exception. Locally called the Menk by the Mansi people who dwell in the region. This hypothesis has been put forward recently by the ‘mockumentary’ Russian Yeti. One of the hikers took what appears to be either one of the hikers in the distance or, allegedly, a Menk. The hikers themselves did actually make a fake newspaper ‘The Evening Ortoten’ which bore the headline: ‘From now on, we know that the snowmen exist’ this was probably just a joke between the hikers though.
Or maybe the Army?
Military intervention, this to me seems incredibly unlikely though it would account for the lights in the sky.
Over zealous Tribesmen?
Indigenous tribes getting rid of trespassers? The Mansi people actually helped in the rescue attempt and acted as guides to the investigators so no, its really very unlikely. Also, if they wanted to kill the hikers they could have done it when they passed by the Mansi settlements earlier in the hike.
How about the wind?
And finally: Infrasound. Due to the rounded top of the mountain, the high speed of the wind can create Infrasound which can cause extreme fear and panic within people, this would explain the tears in the tent and the partial clothing that the hikers were wearing. No seasoned hiker would ever leave their tent in that weather, in those conditions without proper thermal clothing on.
My vote is Infrasound, Donnie Eichar really lays out a well grounded scientific argument for this, check out his book ‘Dead Mountain‘ to see what I mean.