What began as a recreational skiing journey to the top of an obscure mountain in the Urals, would soon take a turn for the bizarre. Before the end of a day in February of 1959, 9 people would be dead for inexplicable reasons, and one woman would be missing her tongue. Thus is a very vague summary of what has become known as the "Dyatlov Pass Incident".
-February 2'nd 1959
- Kholat Syakhl, (direct translation 'Mountain of the Dead' by the tribe of natives who live there)
-Ural Mountains, Soviet Russia
Eight college students and one college teacher set out to hike to the top of Kholat Syakhl, now called Dyatlov Pass in memory of the college teacher, Igor Dyatlov. The snow is still fresh, and falling intermitently. It was expected to be a 10 day hike, with the hikers returning on February 12. The 12'th passes and there is no word from the college hikers. By the 20'th, family of the hikers begin to demand action. Soon the army gets involved, and planes and helicopters are deployed for the search.
-February 26'th 1959
- Kholat Syakhl
The tattered remains of the ski-hikers camp is finally found.The tent is ripped up to shit, and there are several pairs of footprints leading out of the clearing and into the woods. After following the footprints, the rescuers find the inexplicable remains of a fire. Why would the hikers walk almost two kilometers from camp to set up a fire? Even more baffling, the rescuers found the first two bodies. Two college students, naked except for their underwear and shoes. The temperature in this region was around -25c to -30c. Why the nakedness? Between camp and the fire, three more bodies were found, including the expeditions leader, Dyatlov.
Cameras and diaries were found. Undeveloped photos were found, taken that very same day. Nothing appeared to be wrong. Yet investigators were able to trace the day's journey from them.
The remaining 4 hikers were not found until early May, under 12 feet of snow, in a ravine further into the woods.
The autopsies that followed revealed a number of inexplicable injuries to the corpses of the 9 fateful hikers.
It was determined that three of the hikers had died from fatal injuries, while the other six had died from the cold.
Far from any cities or towns, nobody else was out here. It was in the middle of nowhere, at the time.
Investigators concluded that the expeditions tent had been ripped open from within.
Several of the hikers had sustained injuries that could not have been caused by another human being. Two of the hikers had suffered skull fractures, while two more had suffered severe fractures to the chest area. Despite all of the broken bones, no soft tissue damage was evident.
One female hiker was missing her tongue.
It all seemed so inexplicable, and investigators could not put a picture together of whatever the f*** just happened here.
To top it all off, many of the hikers had high levels of radiation in their clothes. After autopsies, families noticed the bodies had taken an odd orange-brown hue when it came time to bury them.
What the hell happened on that hill, on one winters night in 1959?
Other hikers, about 50 kilometers away, noted strange orange spheres off to the north where the Dyatlov team had been camped. Other orange spheres had been observed nearby into the next month. Some speculated that the army had been testing some sort of doomesday weapon in the Urals, and that the Dyatlov team had gotten caught in the fallout. Others thought it might have been some sort of extraterristial encounter involving UFO's.
Neither theory really accounts for the bizzare injuries that the bodies sustained.
A nine minute clip from History Channel sums it up a bit.
All of these years later, the case remains unsolved.