A photo of the hikers.

On January 27, 1959 a group of 9 hikers set out over the Ural mountains, but on the night of February 2, 1959 they were mysteriously killed.


A group of 8 men and 2 women was formed for a Ski trek across the northern Urals in Severdlovsk Oblast; This group was led by Igor Dyatlov.  Most were students of Ural Polytechnical Institute, now the Ural Federal University.  The goal was to reach Otorten, a mountain 10 Km (6.2 mi) north of the incident sight.  At this time, at that season this climb was estimated as Category III, the most difficult.  All these members were experienced climbers who had experience in long ski tours and mountain expeditions.  This is a list of the hikers before the incident occurred:

Dyatlov ski team2

A group photo taken by the hikers.

  1. Igor Alekseievich Dyatlov (Игорь Алексеевич Дятлов), the group's leader, born January 13, 1936
  2. Zinaida Alekseevna Kolmogorova (Зинаида Алексеевна Колмогорова), born January 12, 1937
  3. Lyudmila Alexandrovna Dubinina (Людмила Александровна Дубинина), born May 12, 1938
  4. Alexander Sergeievich Kolevatov (Александр Сергеевич Колеватов), born November 16, 1934
  5. Rustem Vladimirovich Slobodin (Рустем Владимирович Слободин), born January 11, 1936
  6. Yuri (Georgiy) Alexeievich Krivonischenko (Юрий (Георгий) Алексеевич Кривонищенко), born February 7, 1935
  7. Yuri Nikolaievich Doroshenko (Юрий Николаевич Дорошенко), born January 29, 1938
  8. Nicolai Vladimirovich Thibeaux-Brignolles (Николай Владимирович Тибо-Бриньоль), born July 5, 1935
  9. Semyon (Alexander) Alexandrovich Zolotariov (Семен (Александр) Александрович Золотарёв), born February 2, 1921
  10. Yuri Yefimovich Yudin (Юрий Ефимович Юдин), born July 19, 1937, died April 27, 2013

January 25, the group arrived by train at Ivdel (Ивдель), a city centered at Northern Province of Sverdlovsk Oblast.  Taking a truck to Vizhai (Вижай) – the last inhabited settlement so far north.  Their marched from Vizhai to Otorten on January 27.  The next day, Yuri Yudin was forced back due to dysentery. He stayed in Vizhai the last settlement before the mountain.  The remaining 9 hikers continued on.  The group arrived at the highland area on January 31, they began preparing to climb.  In a wooded valley the cached surplus food and equipment they would use for the trip back.  February 1, they began to make their way toward the pass. The assumed plan was to hike the path and make camp on the opposite side. But as snowstorms approached the visibility decreased and the group became lost. They began to head west towards the top of Kholat-Syakhl. Once they realized their mistake they set camp and decided to wait for tomorrow to finish their hike. When the lone survivor Yudin was asked why the group didn't make for the forested area 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) downhill; which would have made for better shelter in the storm. Yudin could only theorize saying "Dyatlov probably did not want to lose the altitude they had gained, or he decided to practice camping on the mountain slope." No one is sure,

The night of February 2, on the slope of Kholat-Syakhl. They pitched their tents (note: this is a common error. There was only ONE tent and it could sleep 11 people. One tent, really big, pitched) at around 5:00 p.m., investigators concluded, citing photos that were developed from rolls of film found among the abandoned belongings. They would encounter a snowstorm and deviated from their path onto the slopes of Dead Mountain.

Temperatures that night dropped to a frigid −25 to −30 °C (−13 to −22 °F) as the wind whipped against their tents. They apparently were not alarmed though and even undressed that night before going to sleep. They would not make it through the night.

The Search Edit

Before he left, Dyatlov agreed to send a telegram to their sports club once they had arrived in Vizhai. He expected they would be no later than February 12. But Dyatlov mentioned to Yudin that he could be longer. When the 12th day passed with no messages, no one was alerted. As expeditions through the pass were commonly delayed. But on February 20th, the relatives of the hikers alerted the head of the institute. He sent the first rescue groups, which consisted of volunteer students and teachers. Between the days of February 21 - 25, the authorities and the military were contacted to aid in the search.

Dyatlov Pass incident 02

A view of the tent as the rescuers found it on February 26, 1959. The tent had been cut open from inside, and most of the skiers had fled in socks or barefoot.

February 26, the groups abandoned tent was found badly damaged. Mikhail Sharavin, the student who made the discovery, said "The tent was half torn down and covered with snow. It was empty, and all the group's belongings and shoes had been left behind." Upon further investigation it was found to had been cut from the inside. Eight or nine sets of footprints showed the people were wearing only socks, a single shoe, or barefoot. These footprints led down toward the edge of a nearby woods. This was 1.5 kilometres (0.93 miles) to the north-east, on the opposite side of the pass. Tracks found in the snow suggest that the group was scattered at first but came back together some distance 300 metres (294 feet) down the slope. But after 500 metres (1,600 feet) these tracks were covered with snow. At the forest's edge, under a large cedar, searchers found the remains of a fire along with the first two bodies. Yuri Nikolaievich Doroshenko and Yuri (Georgiy) Alexeievich Krivonischenko were found shoeless and only in their underwear. The branches on the tree were broken up to five meters high, suggesting that one of the skiers had climbed up to look for something. Between the cedar and the camp the searchers found three more corpses: Dyatlov, Kolmogorova and Slobodin, who seemed to have died in poses suggesting that they were attempting to return to the tent. They were found separately at distances of 300, 480 and 630 meters from the tree.

Searching for the remaining four travelers took more than two months. They were finally found on May 4 under four meters of snow in a ravine 75 meters farther into the woods from the cedar tree. These four were better dressed than the others, and there were signs that those who had died first had apparently relinquished their clothes to the others. Zolotaryov was wearing Dubinina's faux fur coat and hat, while Dubinina's foot was wrapped in a piece of Krivonishenko's wool pants.

Investigation Edit

A forensic medical examination found no injuries that might have led to their deaths, and it was concluded that they had all died of hypothermia. But when the last four bodies were found it changed their minds; as some of the victims were mutilated. Nicolai Vladimirovich Thibeaux-Brignolles had suffered a major skull injury, both Lyudmila Alexandrovna Dubinina and Semyon (Alexander) Alexandrovich Zolotariov both suffered major impact damage to their chests. The doctors claimed that the force required to cause such damage would been comparative to a car crash.

However, major external injuries were found on Dubinina, who was missing her tongue, eyes, part of the lips, as well as facial tissue and a fragment of skullbone; she also had extensive skin maceration on the hands. It was claimed that Dubinina was found lying face down in a small stream that ran under the snow and that her external injuries were in line with putrefaction in a wet environment, and were unlikely to be related to her death. But photographs of her corpse clearly showed her body was found kneeling against a large boulder, away from running water.

Although the temperature was very low, around −25 to −30 °C (−13 to −22 °F) with a storm blowing, the dead were only partially dressed. Some were found wrapped in snips of ripped clothes that seemed to have been cut from those who were already dead.

Theories Edit

Avalanche Edit

Avalanche damage is considered one of the more plausible answer for this incident. Moving snow knocked down the tents, ruining the campsite during the night. The party cut themselves free and attempted to flee. Coming in contact with snow, might have ruined there extra clothing . Being covered in wet snow in sub-freezing temperatures this would have caused hypothermia to occur in under 15 minutes. Thibeaux-Brignolles, Dubinina, Zolotariov, and Kolevatov were farther from the site as they were attempting to seek help. They fell in the ravine were they were found. As a fall in the ravine would have created injuries; and they were the only three injured. Dr. Vladimir B.  (a member of the original rescue team) has even said,"“The slope of a ravine had a range of heights from 3 up to 5 m (10 ft or 17 ft) in the general area where the skiers were found. It had an incline or angle of approximately 30 to 40 degrees. The opposite slope of the ravine was flat. The width of the ravine was approximately 40 metres or 130 ft.  It is quite possible that the injuries recorded could have been sustained by a “sudden” fall – especially given the fact that these people would have been tired and have had limited visibility."

Dyatlov pass ravine

A picture of the ravine.

These are not uncommon on any slope that gathers snow. There are claims the are is not prone to avalanche, but slab avalanches typically occur in new snow, especially when disturbed by campers disrupting it's stability. The tent was also half torn down and partially covered with snow. These support the evidence of a small avalanche hitting the camp.

The only negating evidence is that investigators found footprints leading from the campsite. This site suffered no damaged, however the footprints could be preserved if there was no precipitation in 25 days before they were discovered. This is supposing the avalanche happened after most of the snow fell.

All the physical evidence found at the time and subsequent analysis and testing indicates that there was no avalanche.  However, at least one person involved with this case still believes that an avalanche was the cause.

Infrasound and the Kármán vortex street Edit

Infrasound, sometimes referred to as low-frequency sound, is sound that is lower in frequency than 20 Hz (Hertz) or cycles per second, the "normal" limit of human hearing. Hearing becomes gradually less sensitive as frequency decreases, so for humans to perceive infrasound, thesound pressure must be sufficiently high. The ear is the primary organ for sensing infrasound, but at higher intensities it is possible to feel infrasound vibrations in various parts of the body. Infrasound is characterized by an ability to cover long distances and get around obstacles with little dissipation. Natural events are known to cause infrasound waves. 20 Hz is considered the normal low-frequency limit of human hearing. If conditions are ideal and at a very high volume, a listener will able to identify tones as low as 12 Hz. Below 10 Hz it's possible to hear single cycles of the sound, along a sensation of pressure at the eardrums.

The range of the auditory system decreases with decreasing frequency. The compression is seen in equal-loudness-level contours. This slight increase in level can change the perceived loudness from barley audible to loud. Combined with natural spread within population, it may be inaudible to some, but loud to others.

A study of infrasound has suggested that it may cause feelings of awe or fear in humans. It was supposed that since one had no way to perceive these waves, that people may attribute this to the supernatural.

a Kármán vortex street (or a von Kármán vortex sheet) is a repeating pattern of swirling vortices caused by the unsteady separation of flow of a fluid around blunt bodies. It's responsible for such phenomena as the "singing" of suspended telephone or power lines. When a single vortex is shed, an asymmetrical flow pattern forms around the body and changes the pressure distribution. This means that the alternate shedding of vortices can createperiodic lateral (sideways) forces on the body in question, causing it to vibrate. If the vortex shedding frequency is similar to the natural frequency of a body or structure, it causesresonance. It is this forced vibration that, at the correct frequency, causes suspended telephone or power lines to "sing". Holatchahl mountain has a symmetrical dome-shaped summit which is ideal for a Kármán vortex street. These small tornadoes are created when wind of a certain speed hits a blunt object of a particular shape and size.  Twin vortices spin off both sides of the obstructing object. These tornadoes create both infrasound and an ear splitting roar that many have compared to the sound of a freight train. .

The theory is that a Kármán vortex street going around the Holatchahl mountain created infrasound. With the effects it has on humans it's believed the campers fled after suffering from these and hearing the wind in the distance.

Other Theories Edit

As for the paranormal, extraterrestrial, or cover-up there has been no evidence of any these. Dubanina’s tongue was not ripped out it was degraded through natural processes. Photographs show that any discoloration of the bodies was wholly normal too. And the radiation found was inconsequential.  As for the injuries; the injuries discovered are explainable and consistent with those that might be expected to occur in a group of desperate and clearly frightened people that had been stumbling around in dangerous conditions in the dark.

The area was not sealed off to everyone – only amateur sports groups; as for being classified it was never classified.  The mysterious envelope contained only general correspondence and nothing of any real importance. Authorities had no good explanation for what happened. So they tried too never bring it up.  There are currently no records of any experimental aircraft being tested in the area in 1959. Or that the area was used to test weapons (now or then); however, this doesn’t rule out secret testing. The military equipment thought to be bombs was found to be radar equipment from a crashed jet. The woman on the train who claimed there were eleven people has turned out to be a very unreliable witness (and a different person altogether). And There is absolutely no substantiated evidence for crashed UFO’s, Concussion Weapons, Mad Mansi or Russian Death Squads.

References Edit

  1. Dyatlov Pass incident - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  2. Dyatlov Pass incident: biography, documentation, photos, autopsy reports and many other facts -
  3. Dyatlov Pass Accident -
  4. The Dyatlov Pass Incident - Unexplained

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