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.
Dyatlov Pass Incident
Mysterious Deaths of 9 Skiers Still Unresolved
Gallery of the photos found on the cameras and search-party photos
When Edward Elgar wrote the Enigma Variations...each song was dedicated to a friend.
'Nimrod' is a favorite of mine, it moves me. It makes me think of a time when war was still romantic, of men writing letters to loved ones back home, in rainy trenches in foreign lands far from home.
Elgar dedicated 'Nimrod' to a friend that convinced him to continue composing music, at a time when he was about to quit in a fit of depression.
I hope you you can appreciate it a bit....
I hazz a Suzuki Unisynth....wtf is that you ask?
Not too different from the Casio DG20....which the band "Flight of the Concords" uses.
I can't play it for shit, but it's a funny oddball instrument nonetheless. It was made in the eighties, in Japan. There are no strings on the neck of this guitar. There are only strings over the bridge. Pressure sensors in the neck let you change the tones. There is also a gay little whammy-bar on it. It has six different preprogrammed tones, 8 preprogrammed rythms, and a tempo knob to adjust the rythms. Later models included a MIDI jack so you could plug it into your computer.
Gay, I know....
It's the Suzuki f***KING Unisynth, digital guitar!
Ok so I am going in a bit of a different direction today. But it is only because I feel compelled to tell you about a certain artist that I enjoy a lot.
The 1600's had their baroque artists, the 1700's and 1800's had their classical boom. And that is where we know most of our classical artists from.
Classical has always struck a note with me. It's not all that different to some of the synthesized music I enjoy. VNV Nation,
, Covenant; these guys are modern composers to me! It's not a band wailing on guitars recklessly, it's calculated and premeditated music. But back to the topic. Today I'm writing about Michael Giachinno.
'Who?' you're probably asking. Well if you've ever turned on the tv, watched a movie, or played a video game, you've probably unknowingly heard his work. I would not be able to write the entire list from memory. But in an age where classical is dead, Michael Giachinno is the last breath of air remaining in its proverbial lungs.
He's got a lot of big names under his belt, with scores that include Lost, Alias, Mission Impossible, countless Disney movies, and the latest Star Trek.
Admittedly, I didn't happen upon Michael Giachinno from any of those references. To me, he is known for his work in the video game industry. Since 1999 when Medal of Honor came out for the first generation Sony Playstation, Michael has composed practically every score for the series, now spanning almost ten years.
He has an extraordinary gift of conveying the action of a wild half-track chase, or the anticipation before a parachute jump behind enemy lines. The emotion fused to his music is ear-catching to me, and I almost forget about the imagery of the game before I end up conjuring my own visions.
Medal of Honor is not the only hallmark in Giachinno's work with video games.
He also composed the scores for some of the Call of Duty games, as well as Jurassic Park, and Black. His work with WWII inspired games stands on it's own in my opinon.
Here are a few of his works that I admire the most....
So please sit back, close your eyes, take a listen, and let me know what you think!
Feel free to look up more for yourself, and as always....
Gee.........we sure have become dependent on technology.....for everything! I mean, it's not such a bad thing I guess....unless you've ever seen 'Maximum Overdrive' starring Emilio Estevez!
I think one of my favorite parts of the movie is this one:
. Extra points to anyone who knows that that certain bank customer in the movie was Stephen King, who actually wrote the story!
Machines wake us up in the morning, they help us get ready, some of them help lonely ladies sleep better at night (*imitates vibrating noise 'bzzzzzzzzzzz!'*), hold onto our money for us, make food for us, transport us from place to place, and so-on and so-forth!
But what if they got tired of our shit?
What if the robots among us . . . . .revolt?
What if they were driven to . . . . . kill?!
*gasp* f***ing preposterous, I know!
Surprise dumbass, it's already happened.
I direct your attention to a certain Robert Williams.
True, it's a very bland and generic sounding name. But with this name comes an interesting story:for Robert Williams is the first recorded victim of a robot-hate-crime.
The year is barely 1979, but the mighty Ford Motor Company is already utilizing robots (reportedly manufactured by SkyNet) for menial tasks!
Rob Williams was a worker at a Ford plant in Michigan, probably one of the ones that have laid-off shitloads of men and women recently. On January 25th, Rob was grabbing a part from the warehouse inventory. A little odd, as a robot was recently installed at this particular motor plant to do this very job for the workers. The robot arm would retrieve parts from inventory bins for the workers. A simple enough task, that a human should be able to do it, much less a robot.
Workers often complained that the robot was just too f***ing slow at it's job, which explains why Robert Williams took it upon himself to get the part himself.
What happened next is subject to debate.
Williams was just about to grab a part off of a shelf, when POW! Williams falls over dead from a fatal blow to the head. Unbeknownst to the now-dead Williams, the robot normally assigned to the task of retrieving parts struck him a deathblow to the back of his head, with it's cold, iron arm.
Some think the lack of safety lights, a buzzer, or anything that would warn the workers of the robots presence, is what caused this 'accident' to transpire.
Others think the robot may have been driven to a fit of jealous-rage when Williams tried to do the cyborgs job for it.
I've got my mind made up, stop lying to yourselves.
In the end, Rob's kin got 15 million dollars for the f***-up, compliments of the company that manufactured the robot.
But only a few years later, their thirst for human blood and apetite for insanity unfulfilled, robots would be driven to kill again!
We fast-forward to 1981, Japan. This time a Kawasaki plant would experience a robot-infused bloodbath unlike any other.
Kenji Urada was a 36 year old maintenance worker at the plant. His job was to keep shit running at the plant.
On a normal day-shift at the plant, Kenji got to working on one of the robotic arms that assembled parts at the plant. Workers complained that this particular robot was malfunctioning, which prompted it's deactivation so that it could be worked on.
Without warning, the robot came to life as Kenji was investigating the problem, and planted it's cyborg deathgrip square in the middle of Kenji Urada's chest. It pushed against him with an unstoppable force of hydraulics and bloodlust, right into a metal grinding machine. While information is unavailable about how gruesome the death was, you can bet your ass that several mops were needed to clean up what was left of the fateful Kenji Urada.
It was later determined that the robot was not 'properly shut off'.
Nobody is fooled though, we're onto the robots, we know your plan!
Another life claimed by the machines, another lost soul taken by the soul-less.
And THAT is why we can't have nice things!
The year is 1939, all eyes are turned to central europe where WWII escalates, while the little-known 'Winter War' is just about to begin in Finland, as Soviet Russia invades it's tiny neighbor.
Before it is over, one sniper will have racked up the most kills in history, and make Vasily Zeitsev look like he just got shit all over his face.
Simo HÃ¤yhÃ¤ was called into action during the Winter War with his service under the 6th Company of JR 34 on the Kollaa River. The Finnish stand at Kollaa is often referred to as "The miracle of Kollaa," as the Finnish action here was most heroic. The Finnish forces in the region were under the command of Major General Uiluo Tuompo and they faced the 9th and 14th Soviet Armies. At one point the Finns at Kollaa were facing 12 divisions, some 160,000 men. The Red Army losses in this arena were staggering as the brave Finns took their toll on the communist invaders. There have been those that called the Finnish defense of this key region "fanatical", and it was in the Kollaa area were the famous battle of "Killer Hill" took place with 32 Finns battling 4,000 Soviet soldiers. These were the hunting grounds of Simo HÃ¤yhÃ¤ and it should be noted that even against massive odds the Kollaa positions were still in Finnish hands at the end of the war " - interview from Mosin-Nagant.net
I don't think I can imagine 32 vs 4000......much less with 32 winning!
But this battle was where he racked up most of his kills! In less than 100 days of service, Simo HÃ¤yhÃ¤ amassed 505 sniper kills, as well as over 200 kills with a sub-machine gun. In March of 1940, he caught an incindiary bullet in the jaw, and was dragged off the battlefield with half his head missing. He sat out the rest of the short-war recuperating. After WWII, he became a dog-breeder and hunter again.
He died of old age in 2002.
He was only 5'3" for f***s sake!
Out of all the kills he got, not one of them was with a scoped-sniper rifle. He always used the iron sights that came with his rifle. He also developed the practice of using snow to hide his breath by placing it in his mouth.
Truly amazing character that few (Americans at least..) know about.
Here's a bitchin' video that sums it all up a bit. I don't know who the artist is for the music on there, but I thought it sounded pretty awesome as well.
More on the Simo HÃ¤yhÃ¤
More on the Winter War
Snipers divided by War and Kills
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