Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Dyatlov Pass incident

The Dyatlov Pass incident was an event that resulted in the deaths of nine hikers in the northern Ural Mountains on the night of February 2, 1959.
The incident happened on the eastern side of Kholat Syakhl. Since then, the mountain pass where the incident occurred has been called Dyatlov Pass after the group's leader, Igor Dyatlov.

A view of the tent as the rescuers found it on February 26, 1959. The tent had been cut open from inside.
On February 26 searchers found the group's abandoned and badly damaged tent. Eight or nine sets of footprints, left by people who were wearing only socks, a single shoe or were even barefoot, could be followed, leading down toward the edge of a nearby woods, 1.5 kilometres to the north-east.
At the forest's edge the searchers found the remains of a fire, along with the first two bodies, shoeless and dressed only in their underwear. Between the cedar and the camp the searchers found three more corpses.

Searching for the remaining four hikers took more than two months.A legal inquest started immediately after finding the first five bodies. A medical examination found no injuries which might have led to their deaths, and it was concluded that they had all died of hypothermia.

An examination of the four bodies found later shifted the narrative. Three of the ski hikers had fatal injuries, one had major skull damage while two others had major chest fractures. The force required to cause such damage would have been extremely high, similar to the force of a car crash. The bodies had no external wounds related to the bone fractures, as if they had been subjected to a high level of pressure.

Major injuries were found on one body, who was missing her tongue, eyes, part of the lips, as well as facial tissue and a fragment of skullbone.

The official Soviet investigator into the tragedy, Lev Ivanov, could find no answers. He concluded in his report that all nine deaths had been caused by what he described as ‘an unknown elemental force which they were unable to overcome’.

Ivanov reported that the bodies and gear found were all radioactive. He also has said that Soviet officials told him at the time to clamp the case shut, despite reports that "bright flying spheres" had been reported in the area in February and March of 1959.