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The Dyatlov Case - the Mysterious Death of Nine Skiers


You may have heard of the Dyatlov mountain pass in the mountains in the northern Urals, but you probably do not know that it bears the name of the tragic and mysterious dead Russian climber Igor Dyatlov. Besides him, eight Russian skiers are killed under mysterious circumstances on the night of February 2, 1959.

Soviet investigators who are investigating the tragic events that led to the deaths of nine young skiers were unable to find a logical explanation of the tragedy or even a cause of death of the young people. According to the Dyatlov case, the demise of the group was due to a "compelling unknown force".

Nothing foreshadowed tragedy when a group of ten experienced skiers organized to go through the north in Svredlovski area. The driver of leader group was Igor Dyatlov. The other seven men and two women, were students or recent graduates were Zina Kolmogorov, Lyudmila Dubnina, Alexander Kolvatov, Rust Slobodin, Yuri Krivonishtenko, Yuri Doroshenko, Nicholas Thibault-Brinyol, Alexander Zolotarev and Yuri Judah.

All members of the group have a reputation as experienced skiers who participated in long mountaineering transitions. The route was a Category 3, or the most difficult lecel.

The only survivor - Yuri Judah, says the skiers arrived by train at the station in the city in northern Sverdlovsk Oblast. From there, they find transportation to the last village on the north - Vijay. They began their transition to Otorten on January 27. Judah fell ill the next day and decided to give up. It was the last time he saw his comrades alive.


The only witness to strange events led to the demise of the Soviet skiers is the snow. Diaries and cameras of the group that rescuers found at their last camp, help investigators reconstruct the final hours of the youths.

According to the notes, on January 31, Igor Dyatlov and other young people reach the slope and begin preparations for the climb. Excess food and equipment were stored in a wooded valley. On Feb 01, they planned to start climbing. Unforeseen weather confuses their original plans to reach the top, forcing climbers to make camp at the foot of the Syahil hall.

Perhaps no one will ever know exactly what happened in the fateful night of February 2, 1959 after Dyatlov did not send a telegram to the sports club on February 12, as it was a prior arrangement, some of the relatives of young people were worried. Real rescue operation was organized on 20 February, more than twenty days after their disappearance.

Initially, the mountain rescuers searched the area where it was assumed that they had found the missing Soviet climbers. Later, civilian rescue forces were reinforced with Russian military helicopters, planes and volunteers from the army and police.

Last camp of nine Russian skiers at the foot of the hall Syahil was found on February 26th. The tent was completely destroyed, torn. Steps were almost completely wiped out, but led to the trees and the woods. At the beginning of the forest, under a pine tree, they found the first two victims.

The bodies of Yuri Donoshenko and Yuri Krivonishtenko are found only in underwear, completely bare, near the remains of an extinct fire. Between the place of death of the first two victims and the camp, investigators found three more bodies. Dyatlov, Kolmogorov and Slobodin were found frozen in postures which strongly suggests that the young people have tried a last effort to get back to camp.

Three were found respectively 300, 480 and 630 meters from the high pine, under which were found the first two bodies. The bodies of the last four skiers were found after two months of searching, covered by four meters deep snow, much deeper than the same pine forest.


Investigation started immediately after finding the first five bodies and indicated hypothermia as a possible cause of death. Upon first examination of the bodies external injuries or were not found, except for a small crack in the skull of one of the dead, which the pathologist said was not fatal.

The discovery of the other four bodies changed the course of the investigation. Body Thibault-Brinyol showed that the youngster has received numerous cranial traumas, while alive. Dubunina and Zolotarev had severe traumas to the chest that resembled those obtained in a car accident.

Horrifying fact is that Lyudmila Dubunina is missing her tongue entirely.

Suspicion initially fell on the local Mansi the was soon captured and the Dyatlov case was officially closed in May 1959, due to the absence of the accused party, explaining that the death of nine Soviet skiers due to a "compelling unknown force".

For many years after the death of a the nine Soviet youngsters, relatives still searched for the truth about the death of the children and their families. Many of the friends and family of skiers believe that the young people are victims of an accident resulting from the experiment of a secret Russian weapon.

Proponents of this theory for the misfortune that has befallen the climbers have different arguments. After the funerals of those who died tragically, the skiers’ relatives claimed that the bodies had strange brownish tan. According to some reports, information that mysteriously disappeared from the archives, shoed that the victims' bodies showed a high radiation contamination.

The only survivor of a group of Igor Dyatlov, Yuri Judah firmly believes that his companions were victims of an explosion or experiment with Soviet weapons. The secrecy of the investigation suggests that young people unwittingly entered into a war zone. This is confirmed by traces of radiation and the strange color of the objects found.

Judah argues that the course of the investigation of the incident has seen documents that indicate that the search for the missing youths began on Feb. 6. This is one week before they were officially reported missing and two weeks before the official start of the search. Relatives of the dead youths have set up the Dyatlov Foundation, with the aim to make Russian the official authorities reopen the case more than half a century later.