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The Dyatlov Pass Incident--Russia's Mountain of Death

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posted on Jan, 24 2012 @ 09:46 AM
What killed 9 ski hikers on the night of February 2, 1959 in the northern Ural Mountains? All members were experienced in long ski tours and mountain expeditions. The official report listed the cause of death as hypothermia, but some of the injuries suggested an "other worldly" force was to blame.

The Background

A group was formed for a ski trek across the northern Urals in Sverdlovsk Oblast (Свердло́вская о́бласть). The group, led by Igor Dyatlov, consisted of eight men and two women. Most were students or graduates of Ural Polytechnical Institute (Уральский Политехнический Институт, УПИ), now Ural State Technical University:

1. Igor Alekseievich Dyatlov (Игорь Алексеевич Дятлов), the group's leader, born January 13, 1936
2. Zinaida Alekseievna Kolmogorova (Зинаида Алексеевна Колмогорова), born January 12, 1937
3. Ludmila Alexandrovna Dubinina (Людмила Александровна Дубинина), born January 11, 1936
4. Alexander Sereievich Kolevatov (Александр Сергеевич Колеватов), born November 16, 1934
5. Rustem Vladimirovich Slobodin (Рустем Владимирович Слободин), born January 11, 1936
6. Yuri Alexeievich Krivonischenko (Юрий Алексеевич Кривонищенко), born February 7, 1935
7. Yuri Nikolaievich Doroshenko (Юрий Николаевич Дорошенко), born January 12, 1938
8. Nicolai Vasilievich (Vladimirovich?) Tibo-Briniolle (Николай Васильевич (Владимирович?) Тибо-Бриньоль), born June 5, 1935
9. Alexander Alexandrovich Zolotariov (Александр Александрович Золотарёв), born February 2, 1921
10. Yuri Yefimovich Yudin (Юрий Ефимович Юдин), born 1937

Their goal was to reach Otorten, a mountain peak which at this time of the year was considered to be a Category III, the most difficult. On January 28, only one day into the expedition one of the hikers, Yuri Yudin, was forced to turn back due to illness, leaving only 9 hikers to make the journey.

Yuri Yudin hugging Lyudmila Dubinina as he prepares to
leave the group due to illness, as Igor Dyatlov looks on

On February 1 the group encountered worsening weather and decided to set up camp instead of heading for the other side of Dyatlov Pass. For reasons unknown, the group chose an open area, as opposed to the shelter of the woods, as the site of their camp.

Diaries and cameras found around their last camp made it possible to track the group's route up to the day preceding the incident. On January 31, the group arrived at the edge of a highland area and began to prepare for climbing. In a woody valley they cached surplus food and equipment which would be used for the trip back. The following day (February 1), the hikers started to move through the pass. It seems they planned to get over the pass and make camp for the next night on the opposite side, but because of worsening weather conditions, snowstorms and decreasing visibility, they lost their direction and deviated west, upward towards the top of Kholat Syakhl. When they realized their mistake, the group decided to stop and set up camp there on the slope of the mountain.

Skiers setting up camp at about 5. p.m. on Feb. 2, 1959.
Photo taken from a roll of film found at the camp

The Search

It was agreed prior to the expedition that the group would send a telegraph on February 12 when they arrived back at Vizhai, the northernmost settlement, and start of their expedition. No such telegraph arrived on the preplanned day, but no search was started because delays of a few days were common during a trek such as this.

It was not until February 20, at the demands of the hikers families, that a rescue operation consisting of volunteer students and teachers, was launched. On February 26 searchers located the camp site and the abandoned tent, which was badly damaged. The tent had been cut with a knife from the inside. Rescuers found a trail of footprints leading away from the tent and were able to follow them. Several of the hikers had ran away from the site in nothing but socks, some even in bare feet. No other human, or animal, tracks were found to be leading into the camp.

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

On February 26, the searchers found the abandoned tent on Kholat Syakhl. The tent was badly damaged. A chain of footprints could be followed, leading down towards the edge of nearby woods (on the opposite side of the pass, 1.5 km north-east), but after 500 meters they were covered with snow. At the forest edge, under a large old cedar, the searchers found the remains of a fire, along with the first two bodies, those of Yuri Krivonischenko and Yuri Doroshenko, shoeless and dressed only in their underwear. Between the cedar and the camp the searchers found three more corpses—Dyatlov, Zina Kolmogorova and Rustem 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 cedar 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 in a stream valley further into the wood from the cedar tree.

The Investigation

After the first five bodies were found an inquest into the cause of their death was started. It was concluded that all five died of hypotermia. One hiker was found to have a crack in his skull but it was determined that the wound was not fatal.

In May the other four bodies were found, and based on their injuries investigators began to question just what really happened that fateful night. They were found to have extensive and traumatic internal injuries, though no external soft tissue damage was observed. Ribs were fractured, with some of the bone fragments piercing the heart, and one of the hikers was found to be missing her tongue.

Further examination of the bodies revealed that the skin was discolored and testing of the clothing showed high levels of radiation contamination.

Investigators at the time determined that the hikers tore open their tent from within, departing barefoot into heavy snow and a temperature of −30°C. Though the corpses showed no signs of struggle, two victims had fractured skulls, two had broken ribs, and one was missing her tongue. Their clothing, when tested, was found to be highly radioactive.

The final verdict was that the group members all died because of a "compelling unknown force". The inquest ceased officially in May 1959 due to the "absence of a guilty party". The files were sent to a secret archive, and the photocopies of the case became available only in the 1990s, with some parts missing.

What really happened that cold February night in 1959? Were they victims of foul play at the hands of the Mansi, the local indigenous people, or did they meet their demise as a result of an animal attack? The lack of any footprints and external tissue damage can almost certainly rule out both of these scenarios.

Did these hikers have an encounter with extraterrestrial beings? I, for one, believe this is the more likely scenario here as many locals reported seeing orange, glowing orbs in the sky that night.
edit on 24-1-2012 by IamAbeliever because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 24 2012 @ 10:00 AM
There already exist several threads on ATS about this event and it has been discussed a lot...

Just two examples:


+11 more 
posted on Jan, 24 2012 @ 10:05 AM
reply to post by kid_of_3NKi

In all fairness though the thread by Oz was first posted in 2009 and my one (which you also linked to) was posted almost a full year ago now... So I think it's a bit harsh to complain that this topic is being discussed too much really.

It's an interesting case and It deserves some new discussion from time to time in my opinion. Nothing wrong with that all..

And with that being so, thanks for posting this 'IamAbeliever.' You actually put some work into this thread (which is always nice to see) so I hope you get plenty of replies here.

edit on 24-1-2012 by Rising Against because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 24 2012 @ 10:08 AM
reply to post by kid_of_3NKi

Thank God the thread police have showed up. There are about 60 "sky sound" threads over the past week, yet that hasn't stopped you from posting in them according to your post history. This is a bizarre and fascinating story. So, instead of derailing the thread try adding something useful next time.

posted on Jan, 24 2012 @ 10:09 AM
reply to post by Rising Against

Thank you. Just read your thread regarding this. Very well written. This is a fascinating incident, and one, as you said, that deserves discussion.

posted on Jan, 24 2012 @ 10:16 AM
What a great read!

Thanks for compiling this even though it may have been posted previously I had not seen it. I found it especially interesting that their clothes had high traces of radiation. What in nature would do that?
also one was missing her tongue?? I would say that they may have become the victims of a indigenous tribe but with that radiation it makes me think something bigger happened there.

posted on Jan, 24 2012 @ 10:19 AM

Please keep to the TOPIC. If there is a legitimate Aliens & UFO twist on this subject, it can remain since there is no thread in A&U discussing this until now.

If it is just a rehash of what is already posted, as linked above, then it will be closed and redirected.

Thank you.


edit on January 24th 2012 by greeneyedleo because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 24 2012 @ 10:22 AM
reply to post by heyitsphil

Something odd definitely happened that night. You mentioned an attack by the indigenous people, yet no footprints leading into the camp were found. The only footprints were those of the hikers leading away from the camp.

It's a stretch, but when I read that one of the hikers had her tongue removed I immediately thought of the reports of cattle mutilations. Now, whether cattle mutilations are ET related or some sinister operation by the governments around the world is a mystery.

posted on Jan, 24 2012 @ 10:22 AM

Originally posted by kid_of_3NKi
There already exist several threads on ATS about this event and it has been discussed a lot...

Just two examples:


139 flags... Yeah.

All the information is in there.

posted on Jan, 24 2012 @ 10:24 AM
Thanks for the thread, this is the first i have read of this and i have been around here reading for some time now.. My question would be why the mansi named this the mountain of the dead? I've been looking now for the reason but am coming up empty handed.. The radiation levels alone is what make it weird for me, not to mention the missing tongue? So this individual somehow had his/her tongue removed and just ran barefoot into the woods? Very stranfge indeed.

posted on Jan, 24 2012 @ 12:29 PM
This is probably one of the most frightening things I've ever read about on the web. I always wondered if a UFO tried to microwave them in their tents or something, then chased them down and hit them with some kind of invisible kinetic weapon.

Why else would they leave the tent so fast? If they saw a light or heard something outside anyone with common sense would at least put some clothes on. Something did something to these people that was affecting them somehow from inside the tent, something that didn't leave any footprints or evidence of itself on the ground.

There is no reason why someone would up and bolt out into frigid temperatures with no clothes on in the middle of the night, even not having time to untie the tent. Why else would all this stuff happen if it wasn't something extraordinary?

posted on Jan, 24 2012 @ 05:32 PM
Love this story! Thanks for a great read.

I have read some "debunker" theories on this but they do not hold much water. Unfortunately neither do the conspiracy leaning theories. Unlike the 2648 shows on TV now looking for Bigfoot, there is not a whole lot on this one.

...the radiation thing has me a little stumped.

posted on Jan, 24 2012 @ 06:24 PM
Sounds like animal attack but a lot don't add up. One may never know what truly happened that night.

Very strange indeed.

Tent was cut from inside... weird. What could of gotten in that scared the hikers so bad they had to resort to cutting the tent open to get out immediately... If say an animal burrowed their way through the tent, it would of drew blood out near the camp site. I presume no blood traces were found at the tent.

Someone tried to get away from something by climbing a tree. The only time, I can think of, that would prompt a grown ass man to hop onto the nearest pole... would be a pack of hungry wolves or a natural predator waiting for you on the bottom. So again, very weird, as the Hikers was definitely trying to get away from something...

Remaining bodies had radiation readings on their clothes... hmm... what is the reading on them? What's the radiation number read? Is it as high as Chernobyl? Is there any power plants near by? Military bases perhaps?

Severe internal injuries, without apparent external injury. Well... I don't know, perhaps they were trampled on or perhaps their carcass was crushed by external forces.

For example, a while back, it was pretty popular in Hong Kong that the police interrogators would beat the living # out of criminals withholding information. Since that type of interrogation is considered abuse, what the HK cops used to do is put "Phone Books" on your chest and smashes the damn book with all their might. What ends up happening, is that your body will sustain heavy internal injuries from the sheer kinetic force but externally, there are no apparent ways to determine if a severe beating actually took place.

The tongue being ripped out is very strange... on top of that, the additional carcasses were distanced apart. Which means, the remaining Hikers got separated.

I thirst for some expert opinions on this.... interesting topic to bring up again. Cool thread.

posted on Jan, 24 2012 @ 06:54 PM

Originally posted by RSF77
This is probably one of the most frightening things I've ever read about on the web. I always wondered if a UFO tried to microwave them in their tents or something, then chased them down and hit them with some kind of invisible kinetic weapon.

Why else would they leave the tent so fast? If they saw a light or heard something outside anyone with common sense would at least put some clothes on. Something did something to these people that was affecting them somehow from inside the tent, something that didn't leave any footprints or evidence of itself on the ground.

There is no reason why someone would up and bolt out into frigid temperatures with no clothes on in the middle of the night, even not having time to untie the tent. Why else would all this stuff happen if it wasn't something extraordinary?

Here's another good freaky one that may interest you:
Human Mutilation in Brazil

posted on Jan, 24 2012 @ 06:55 PM
I had never heard of this until today thank you for posting OP. The internal injuries without the evidence of external indicate the potential for a weapon alien to those currently on the market. The removal of the tongue indicates that someone thing did not want that person to speak of their experience or perhaps it was a trophy for the perpetrator.

To make people run from a shelter barefoot in those temperatures indicates something which causes terror. Radiation Terror internal damage tongue mutilation definitely something here. Considering some of the original documents are missing it would indicate something more. Great find and thanks for illuminating this story.

posted on Jan, 24 2012 @ 07:12 PM
reply to post by truthseeker84

I had read somewhere that a possible explanation of the broken branches and the person climbing a tree might be to find their way back to the tents, seems like a good explanation to me but who really knows in this case.

reply to post by Watts

Yea, I have read about that too. That's another one that tops the list.

posted on Jan, 24 2012 @ 07:26 PM
reply to post by Watts

I have read about this and quite frankly it scares the hell out of me.

posted on Jan, 24 2012 @ 07:48 PM
Hi folks!

There's something about that case, that makes me believe it's worth another deeper look into it.

It's the lack of an satisfying official explanation of the soviet authorities, and the fact that every serious attempt of researchers to find the real cause of the death of the 9 skiers has been blocked or undermined.

If there would have been a natural explanation of the deaths, I'm sure the soviet authorities would have presented it and put that case to rest.

The fact that (as far as I know) they didn't present such an mundane explanation, and that much more they censored reports about it brings me to the conclusion, that either somehow themselves had their hands in it, or - given the strange, disturbing details of the case and the rumors of glowing spheres seen in that area by other hikers - they at least had an idea, what could have been the cause for the deaths of the nine.

That idea could have been about something, the soviet authorities deemed for too uncomfortable for common people (and in the end, for themselves) to think about seriously, and so possibly that's why they built a wall of silence around that case.

Interesting would be to find out, if there've been other cases of missing people or strange deaths like those of the 9 in that area.

Does anybody got information about that?

edit on 24/1/12 by Peloquin because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 24 2012 @ 08:28 PM
reply to post by Peloquin

I haven't found any other information other than a book that I think was written by one of the original investigators a few years ago, the name of the book eludes me right now. I think a lot of people tried to discredit the book in the typical fashion. I never actually read it, but I came across it a few times when I was first reading about this.

Really it just makes me wonder how much of this kind of stuff goes on and never gets out into the mainstream. How many people have just disappeared into thin air, what did those people experience? How many people experienced something as apparently horrific as the dyatlov pass incident and their stories were never told?

It's eerie to think that somewhere here on Earth there might be a database filled with violent abduction accounts and pictures of secret, mutilated remains of which no one really knows the answer to what really happened. One of those things we can only hope that our first instinct is wrong about.

In 2000, a regional TV company produced the documentary film The Mystery of Dyatlov Pass (Тайна Перевала Дятлова). With the help of the film crew, a Yekaterinburg writer, Anna Matveyeva (Анна Матвеева), published the fiction/documentary novella of the same name.[2] A large part of the book includes broad quotations from the official case, diaries of victims, interviews with searchers and other documentaries collected by the film-makers. The narrative line of the book details the everyday life and thoughts of a modern woman (an alter ego of the author herself) who attempts to resolve the case.

The source points to a Russian forum that isn't working with google translate right now. But, I think this is what I was talking about, I might be mistaken. It is written as fiction, I guess it is a documentary, I thought it was a book.
edit on 24-1-2012 by RSF77 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 24 2012 @ 08:45 PM
I heard that some 'spheres' had been spotted in the skies at around that time.

Another group of hikers (about 50 kilometers south of the incident) reported that they saw strange orange spheres in the night sky to the north (likely in the direction of Kholat Syakhl) on the night of the incident.[1] Similar "spheres" were observed in Ivdel and adjacent areas continually during the period of February to March 1959, by various independent witnesses (including the meteorology service and the military).[1]


Or for the skeptics.

This guy believes they had been spooked by the sounds of a possible avalanche and fled from their tents, they may have injured themselves whilst running (fractured skull) and once the panic of the avalanche had died down then they realised they were lost and tried to regroup. Some of them froze, some of them got caught in a real avalanche and suffered worse injuries (biting off own tongue) and they all died of exposure.

The brown tinge on the skin was due to sun/snow exposure and the radiation may have come from lamps they were using.


Either way - spooky.

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