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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
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.
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.
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.
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?
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. 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.
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. 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).