If nine people disappeared from a mountain without a trace in the middle of 2022, it is likely that an exhaustive search would be launched until they were found dead or alive. The cause of his absence would be national news and the hypotheses of what really happened would occupy the front pages. But this story sadly did not happen this year, or even in this century.
On January 27, 1959, a group of ten Russian students set out on a 14-day expedition with the goal of summiting the Gora Otorten mountain. What none of them imagined is that only one of them would come back down from there alive.
‘The Dyatlov Pass Incident’, as it was later known, became one of the most conspiracy theorized mysteries in Russia. UFOs, the snowman, an encounter with the KGB and even a punishment for having seen something prohibited have been some of the hypotheses that have spread the most over the years.
What was it that happened?
The nine autopsies showed that the young people had suffered extreme violence
It all started when ten young Russian mountaineers –two women and eight men – undertook the adventure led by Igor Dyatlova 23-year-old professional Russian mountain climber who would later give the incident its name.
With temperatures hovering around minus 30 degrees Celsius and a route rated as the highest in danger, everyone set out on an adventure.
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But as if it were destiny, Yuri Yudin decided to back down due to ailments in his health. The man abandoned the expedition without imagining that he would also leave certain death behind.
Ten days after starting the ascent to the mountain, the group of climbers disappeared without a trace, so it was decided to alert a rescue group to start looking for the boys.
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According to ‘National Geographic’, on February 26, a month after starting the tour, the rescuers found the expeditionaries’ tent on the slopes of the Kholat Syakhl mountain, better known as the ‘Mountain of Death’.
The bodies, for their part, They were found between February and May in different stages of the mountain and with different wounds.: two were dressed only in underwear, three with signs of hypothermia and the remaining four with serious injuries and fractures to the chest and skull.
The Dyatlov Pass Incident. 9 hikers were found, some without tongues, eyes and internal fractures as if from a car accident. pic.twitter.com/P45vP3CMj9
– CarlosLuisX (@CarlosVanDamX) November 1, 2016
“The nine autopsies showed that the young people had suffered extreme violencewhich baffled forensics and investigators,” Laureano Clavero, author of the book ‘El enigma del Paso de Dyatlov’, told ‘La Nación’.
The beginning of the conspiracy
According to the Soviet criminal investigation of 1959, the cause of death had been attributed to “an irresistible natural force”, an explanation that did not convince many.
The uncertainty only grew when the Russian Government did not present evidence or clearly explain what had happened and, a few months later, he filed the case and prohibited entry to the area of the event for three years. Was the Committee for State Security (KGB) involved? It was the question that many were asking.
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The theories did not stop from that moment. Some claimed that there were orange lights in the sky one night that could ‘abduct’ the bodies, others claimed that the clothes had traces of radioactive matter. Whatever the hypothesis, neither the citizens nor the families of the deceased seemed to be satisfied with the “irresistible natural force” that he had murdered his loved ones.
An explanation that remains unconvincing
In 2019, the Russian Prosecutor’s Office of the Sverdlovsk region reopened the case and ruled out, to the surprise of many, “any possibility of a criminal trail.” Although the death of the nine young people was attributed to a snow avalanche, the families were not convinced by this explanation either.
Johan Gaume, director of the Snow and Avalanche Simulation Laboratory -SLAB- of the Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne, began to investigate this case from science, after receiving a call from a journalist from ‘The New York Times’ who told him asked for his opinion on what happened more than 60 years ago.
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During the past week archived documents on the Dyatlov Pass incident were presented to Russian authorities, in March specialist teams will return to the scene, technically Russia reopens the Dyatlov investigation in search of finally having an answer. pic.twitter.com/sq6HmMdGqJ
— Yoshimitsu Cáleon (@Caleon70s) February 13, 2019
According to the scientist, what happened on the ‘Mountain of Death’ was caused by an avalanche. Nevertheless, the snow fell due to a hole that the boys themselves would have opened to pitch their tent the night of the tragedy.
But the data does not add up: according to the reports, there were no traces of an avalanche, the slope was not at the angle to cause one of these and the injuries of the bodies were not consistent with those they would have if they had been dragged by the snow.
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Given this, Gaume states: “In our study we use data on snow friction and local topography to show that it is possible that a small avalanche could have occurred on a gentle slope, leaving only a trace”.
The writer Laureano Clavero is very skeptical about the avalanche theory. For him, the fall of a lost military rocket, fired from a base where former Nazi scientists workedis the most adequate explanation for the state in which the bodies were and how far they appeared from each other.
After recovering the bodies, the corresponding autopsies were carried out, which yielded highly questionable data.
All the hikers had apparently died due to hypothermia, with the exception of Lyudvila, who had perished due to a heart attack. pic.twitter.com/3wxDjphPyy
— ???? MaskedMan ???? (@KevinMaskedMan) July 8, 2021
“The rocket flight would end up failing and exploding in the area where Dyatlov’s group’s camp was located. The gases produced by the reaction of the fuel would have produced a sensation of suffocation inside the store, desperately driving the group out,” he said.
The truth is that the case has been closed again. Will they have to wait another 60 years to hear what really happened?
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