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 Dyatlov Pass Mystery
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Bongorider
New Member

Cuba
7 Posts

Posted - 12/20/2010 :  11:04:29  Show Profile Send Bongorider a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This is a weird thing I found on wikipedia while bored at work. Maybe some of yous have heard about it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyatlov_Pass_incident

To summarize 8 Russian students/graduates and a local tour guide were camped on a hillside about a week into a 3 week expedition in the Ural Mountains. The conditions were stormy and very cold (-30c), but the group were all experienced in long ski tours and mountain expeditions.
At 5pm feb 1st, the group ate a meal and made camp. Some point during that night they cut or tore through their tent and the whole group hurried through 1m high snow to a large pine tree at the edge of a wooded area 1.5km away, some without bothering to get dressed or even put on shoes.
The remains of a fire were found by the tree, and branches were broken up to 5m up, suggesting someone had climbed up it and possibly fallen.
2 were found dead of hypothermia by the tree, another 3 were found between the tree and the camp, by their posture, they were trying to return to the camp, one man had a small head wound. The other 4 were found months later in a nearby ravine 3 had massive injuries consistent with impact (significantly not consitent with a human or animal attack) some had taken bits of clothing from their dead colleagues. No other tracks were found and no signs of an avalanche.
The soviet investigation deemed that they had died due to "a compelling unknown force".

Explanation somewhat unsatisfactory.


more detailed report that wikipedia sources:
http://www.sptimes.ru/story/25093 br /

I found the following website which shoots down a lot of the exaggerations which plague the story, for example reports of the case being classified, reports of mysterious radioactivity, one of the women's tongues was missing, these are explained rationally. But the site also rules out some of the more mundane explanations, such as avalanche, which deepens the mystery. In my opinion this is interesting enough without the embellishment.

http://www.aquiziam.com/dyatlov_pass_answers.html

Cuneiformist
The Imperfectionist

USA
4954 Posts

Posted - 12/20/2010 :  12:45:02   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Cuneiformist a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It's hard to comment on such a thing. We're reading it years after the fact, for most of us there is a significant language barrier in trying to get to more original sources.

The article from the English St. Petersburg Times makes it sound like they reviewed some of the now decades-old data, but if so, then it seems that no one was very critical of what they found. I find this section to be a stretch:

Investigators said the tent had been cut open from inside and counted traces of footprints from eight or nine people in meter-deep snow. The footprints had been left by people who were wearing socks, a single shoe or were barefoot.


I'm skeptical that any investigation could determine whether a tent was cut from the inside or outside. And given that there was a team of volunteer rescuers who found the site-- some 20+ days after the incident-- and that a criminal investigation was opened even later, I doubt that anyone is going to be able to identify the actual campers' footprints in snow.

Also, I don't understand this:
It took two months to locate the remaining skiers. Their bodies were found buried under four meters of snow in a forest ravine, 75 meters away from the pine tree. The four — Nicolas Thibeaux-Brignollel, 24, Ludmila Dubinina, 21, Alexander Zolotaryov, 37, and Alexander Kolevatov, 25 — appeared to have suffered traumatic deaths. Thibeaux-Brignollel’s skull had been crushed, and Dubunina and Zolotarev had numerous broken ribs. Dubinina also had no tongue.

The bodies, however, showed no external wounds.
Are we to believe that someone suffered broken ribs and a "crushed" skull, and yet there was no indication of "external wounds"? Does that even make sense? Like, even if this were carried out by aliens, or guys with super powers, or whatever, it's hard to imaging a skull being crushed without there being a scratch anywhere on the head of that person.

Also, the article says that "a test of the clothes found they contained high levels of radiation." How does this work? I mean, it's hard to imagine someone on a whim asking to test specifically for radiation. Would high levels of radiation be something that is indicated in a number of tests?

Anyhow, it's interesting but it reads more like a fictional ghost story than anything else. While I have no reason to doubt that a group of campers died during a trek through the Urals in the 50's, it sounds like certain elements of this story have been embellished over the years.
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 12/20/2010 :  12:58:29   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It looks to me like the real mystery here is why they left the tent (violently) in the first place. Could it be that one member of the team freaked out and attacked the others? I dunno.

Welcome to SFN BongoriderI That is an interesting mystery that will probably never be solved but is easy to speculate on.




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BigPapaSmurf
SFN Die Hard

3192 Posts

Posted - 12/20/2010 :  12:59:45   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send BigPapaSmurf a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ok everyone goes into the tent for the night, the unstable guy (there is always one) has been begging to go back as he is cracking and the weather says they are gonna get screwed. Later after much arguing unstable guy cracks and trys to leave in the night without shoes and a coat(vodka may have been involved), a scuffle ensues and he rips out of the tent and takes off. Being good mountaineers they can't let him kill himself so they all go after him, not realizing how cold it was about to get...

They follow his tracks and catch up, he climbs a tree to get away from them and throws his thermos down at someone bonking them in the head. The hypotermia saps his grip strength making him fall through the tree. The storm hits and everyone is waay too far from their busted camp and further arguing erupts, some think its best to try to hunker down in the ripped tent some think they should try to get lower on the mountain below the storm. Too late, Sergei just died and Nadia is about to...

Thermos Head and two other decide to go back to camp, none make it. Unstable Guy wakes up and leaves with the two others who just disrobed Sergei and Nadia, they die while looking for a path down into the ravine when an ice shelf breaks.

Thats everything, just don't give me anymore details I need to cram in somehow.

"...things I have neither seen nor experienced nor heard tell of from anybody else; things, what is more, that do not in fact exist and could not ever exist at all. So my readers must not believe a word I say." -Lucian on his book True History

"...They accept such things on faith alone, without any evidence. So if a fraudulent and cunning person who knows how to take advantage of a situation comes among them, he can make himself rich in a short time." -Lucian critical of early Christians c.166 AD From his book, De Morte Peregrini
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Bongorider
New Member

Cuba
7 Posts

Posted - 12/22/2010 :  17:41:58   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Bongorider a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by BigPapaSmurf

Are we to believe that someone suffered broken ribs and a "crushed" skull, and yet there was no indication of "external wounds"? Does that even make sense? Like, even if this were carried out by aliens, or guys with super powers, or whatever, it's hard to imaging a skull being crushed without there being a scratch anywhere on the head of that person.

Also, the article says that "a test of the clothes found they contained high levels of radiation." How does this work? I mean, it's hard to imagine someone on a whim asking to test specifically for radiation. Would high levels of radiation be something that is indicated in a number of tests?

Anyhow, it's interesting but it reads more like a fictional ghost story than anything else. While I have no reason to doubt that a group of campers died during a trek through the Urals in the 50's, it sounds like certain elements of this story have been embellished over the years.


Well I really wish you had read through all the links as a lot of the things you bring up are covered, particularly in the final link.

It looks to me like the real mystery here is why they left the tent (violently) in the first place. Could it be that one member of the team freaked out and attacked the others? I dunno.


I agree this is the biggest puzzle, why would anyone leave a camp unprepared for conditions that would certainly kill them, and then, rather than return immediately, they make a fire, climb a tree, 2 die of cold, 3 eventually try to get back and die, 4 go off in an opposite direction and presumably fall dying of cold and injuries.

I also question why anyone would climb a tree. Most of the sites speculate it was to try to see back to the camp, but we know roughly the time, it was surely after dusk, and we know the weather was stormy, so there would have been cloud cover. The camp was 1.5km away. I doubt they would've been able to see 3 feet ahead never mind 1.5km
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On fire for Christ
SFN Regular

Saudi Arabia
1266 Posts

Posted - 12/23/2010 :  05:15:21   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send On fire for Christ a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This reminds me of the story of flight 19. That story is pretty weird already (although we have a pretty good idea of what went wrong), but there's a ton of exaggerations that go along with it if you read unreliable sources.

I've read your links and when you strip this story down the mystery is why would anyone run half naked out of a tent in 30 below freezing. Since there's no evidence, we can only speculate. I have to say none of the speculation sounds very convincing so far. There's no unknown footprints/artifacts or blood that suggest an attack, no injuries consistent with an attack, avalanche was pretty much ruled out. What else is there? Temporary insanity of some sort? The fact that the footprints converge as they form a group on their dash to the forest indicates they were still a cohesive group, and building a fire once they stop suggests they were still thinking and were not in a state of panic and confusion.
It seems like there was a huge false alarm of some kind, not only to leave the tent, but to run away for such a distance. Avalanche was ruled out, but maybe they thought it was an avalanche. One of the sites suggested a Jet may have been misconstrued as the sound of an avalanche. It seems unlikely with an experienced team, but if one of them started a panic the others may have followed.

Interesting story anyway, love a good mystery.

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Cuneiformist
The Imperfectionist

USA
4954 Posts

Posted - 12/23/2010 :  11:26:21   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Cuneiformist a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Bongorider

Originally posted by Cuneiformist (not BPS

Are we to believe that someone suffered broken ribs and a "crushed" skull, and yet there was no indication of "external wounds"? Does that even make sense? Like, even if this were carried out by aliens, or guys with super powers, or whatever, it's hard to imaging a skull being crushed without there being a scratch anywhere on the head of that person.

Also, the article says that "a test of the clothes found they contained high levels of radiation." How does this work? I mean, it's hard to imagine someone on a whim asking to test specifically for radiation. Would high levels of radiation be something that is indicated in a number of tests?

Anyhow, it's interesting but it reads more like a fictional ghost story than anything else. While I have no reason to doubt that a group of campers died during a trek through the Urals in the 50's, it sounds like certain elements of this story have been embellished over the years.


Well I really wish you had read through all the links as a lot of the things you bring up are covered, particularly in the final link.
Actually, that was me asking the questions, not BPS.

Any yes, I missed the final link from your original post; I just read the wiki entry and the article from the St. Peterburg site. But the "answers" site isn't particularly helpful. For instance, it talks about the radiation and notes that it "was superficial" but doesn't ask why it was tested for in the first place. That said, it seems to be a moot point and not germane to the event.

As for the impact, the last site does address that and make it into another uninteresting aspect of the story. In fact, this last site debunks most of the mysterious was-it-a-UFO stuff and turns the whole incident into something rather ordinary (as far as incidents involving campers going crazy are concerned).
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