may be a long read, but definitely interesting and dives into conspiracy.
In 1959, nine experienced hikers journeyed to the Ortorten Mountain Range, in the Northern Urals. They were a ski instructor, engineers and students from the former Soviet Union’s Ural Polytechnic Institute in Sverdlovsk. The leader, 23 year old Igor Dyatlov organized the team of female and male skiers for an expedition to serve as a training exercise for a future expedition to more difficult treacherous Arctic regions.
They set out on their journey on January 28th, 1959. On February 11th, 1959, the Dyatlov Ski Team was supposed to arrive in Vizhai. A week had gone by, without any news of their arrival so their family members demanded that the Ural Polytechnic Institute organize a search and rescue operation, which they did posthaste. The search party found an abandoned encampment on the eastern slope of a mountain listed as “1079”. The peak is better known to the indigenous Mansi tribesmen as "Kholat Syakhl," which translates from their native tongue as the “Mountain of the Dead.”
The search team discovered a badly damaged tent and numerous footprints made by what appeared to be at least eight different people radiating out from the tent. The tent was half torn down and covered with snow, and all the group’s belongings and shoes were left behind. Over 1500 feet away from the tent, the team found the remains of a fire beneath an ancient pine, with something much worse.
Near the fire were frozen remains of two team members. Both men were naked and shoeless. The investigators also noticed that the old pine had been snapped off up to a height of almost 15 feet. Forensic tests later confirmed that traces of skin were found embedded in the bark, indicating that the pair had frantically attempted to climb the tree, snapping off branches until their hands were a mass of pulpy flesh.
At this point, the searchers began to wonder what “beast” could scare these men so much that they abandoned their clothes, despite the freezing cold, and tore the skin from their palms in a desperate attempt to get to safety. There were no evident animal tracks and that they had time to try and start a fire, combined with the fact that the bodies of the men remained untouched only heightened their puzzlement.
They then stumbled upon the corpse of team leader Dyatlov, nearly 900 feet away from the other two bodies, but closer to the tent. He was on his back, one hand clinging to an undersized birch tree branch while his other hand, locked in ice and rigor mortis, appeared to be protecting his head from some unknown assailant.
Half buried in the snow not far from the tent was another body of one of the engineers, found lying face down in the snow. His skull bore a deep fracture nearly 7 inches long.
One of the body of the females was found furthest away from the group. Traces of blood were found near her corpse yet it was not revealed if she was its source, although that conclusion would seem likely. The rescuers could not understand why there was no evidence of a struggle.
The group could not comprehend why a group of experienced hikers would dash half naked into the bitter cold of the forest in the black of night. Nor could they fathom the kind of terror that must have inspired these young people to act so recklessly.
Even more baffling was that the damage to the tent was torn from the inside, as if the occupants had been frantic to escape from something that was already sealed in the tent with them or were in such a rush that unclasping the tent from the inside was not an option.
Two months later, the spring thaw finally set in and the weather let up enough to reveal corpses of the last four missing team members buried beneath 12 feet of snow and ice. All had succumbed to brutal internal injuries, all fully dressed. One of the engineer’s skull showed evidence of having been struck by a heavy object. Two of them showed evidence that their chests had been crushed inward, shattering several ribs and causing massive internal damage. Strangely, there were no indications of what may have caused this severe trauma, and even more bizarrely, the corpses showed no signs of bruising or soft tissue damage. A doctor on the scenes, who inspected the bodies, claimed that the damage “…was equal to the effect of a car crash.”
The last corpse found was one of the females. Her head was tilted back, her stretched mouth wide as if emitting a silent scream. Upon closer inspection, the rescuers realized that her tongue had been ripped out by the root.
As if all of this were not odd enough, some of the articles of clothing found on the bodies were measured as emitting higher than normal levels of radiation.
Several theories of what had occurred have been proposed, but none have gained respectable acceptance. The first theory, was that they unintentionally ran into some of the Mansi tribesman by trespassing into their territory. Another was based off some strange extraterrestrial occurrence. A third regarded a military experiment gone awry. Avalanche paranoia. A vicious Siberian Yeti attack. All of which have Swiss holes in the sequence of events or possibilities of occurring.
To this day, no one knows exactly what happened to those nine hikers, and what exactly caused their deaths.
“ She was the kind of girl who loved to stretch out under the sheets, eating chocolate, reading books and fucking on rainy afternoons. ”