In early 1959 a group of nine ski hikers, greatly familiar with Siberian wilderness decided to go for an expedition across the western mountainous region of Western Soviet Union. However, this expedition proved to be their last and despite of the criminal investigations, journal entries and photographs the deaths still remain to be a mystery.
The group consisted of ten members with two women and ten men as hikers climbing the northern Ural Mountains in the Soviet. Igor Dyatlov acted as the group leader. The journey was indeed a memorable and an unfortunate one.
“I wonder what awaits us in the hike? Will anything new happen?” – Journal Entry
Yuri Yudin became quite ill during the expedition and thus returned back while the remaining hikers continued their journey. That was the last time that Yudin saw any of his friends alive.
With lots of snow, bitter cold following the avalanches and landscapes they reached the foot of the mountain known to the indigenous people as the death mountain. They spend a better part of the day going towards the slope, they eventually decided to make a campsite only a few hundred meters from the peak.
After a few days had passed the friends/family of the hikers began to worry about their absence. A group of voluntary hikers decided to search the missing people and with vigorous search found the campsite, they could immediately guess something had gone horribly wrong.
The tent was found disrupted in scrambles but the equipment was neatly arranged. The inside of the tent had been slashed open, why was this done? No one really knows.
The footprints led the expedition search team down the slope of the nine hikers and they could guess that they walked in a rather calm and orderly manner. The footprints disappeared in a while because of the heavy snowfall and they just followed the same way based on a hunch. They came across a Cedar tree towards the end of the forest where they improvised campfire and found the bodies of Yuri (Georgiy) Alexeyevich Krivonischenko and Yuri Nikolayevich Doroshenko.
It took about two months to find the dead bodies of all the nine hikers to be recovered. The first two bodies were found to be severely underdressed with missing jackets, pants, hats, gloves, boots or anything else given the kind of climate it was.
The Cedar tree was found to be broken upto five meters high and the conclusion that they came was either they were hiding from something/ someone, or looking for the campsite as they may have gotten lost in the darkness.
Another three bodies were recovered with the same underdressed situation, they looked like they were struggling to go towards the campsite towards the bleak of death.
With some injuries all of them had died of hypothermia. The remaining four hikers had met their end because of very different reasons, they had died of intoxication. They were found at the end of the foothill covered in three meters of snow in the opposite direction of the tent.
Three of the hikers had suffered from lethal injuries, one of them had a fractured skull while the other two had fractured their ribs and suffered a massive internal bleeding. The medical examiner concluded that the injury was sustained because of a fall and was compared to a car crash. Two of the men had gaping eye sockets and one of the woman had a missing tongue. The most interesting thing was three articles of clothing was gathered and found to be radioactive.
The confusion and chaos created the criminal investigators to come up with vague conclusion that
“The cause of the death was an unknown compelling force which the hikers were unable to overcome.”
Later on the case was looked upon with an enigmatic detail in less vague and credible fashion.
The missing tongue
The fact that Lyudmila Dubinina had a missing tongue was guessed to have been cut off or ripped off while still alive, while the others say that it was eaten by some scavenger.
The most dumbfounding case of all was when they found three separate articles of clothing discovered on two of the bodies were radioactive. It was concluded that the clothes were contaminated as the radioactive dust fell from the atmosphere, or the clothes were susceptible to contamination when in contact with radioactive substances. They couldn’t figure out how radioactivity took place but it’s realistic enough to assume that even natural processes can trigger such instances.
Another explanation that can be claimed was that one of the hikers named Kolevatov had previously worked in a nuclear factory. He was developing nuclear materials along with Krivonischenko who worked at a top secret plutonium production plant for nuclear production. Thus, the articles of clothing that they were wearing at Dyatlov could cause radioactivity.
The UFO Sighting
During the time of the hiker’s disappearance the people have claimed to have seen orbs of light moving across the night sky for a few seconds upto several minutes. Geologists also claimed to have been fireballs in the sky around the time of the incident as well. However, this cannot be verified as it has not been proven yet.
Along with UFO theory, there are other possible explanations as well. The sighting could have been a rocket, a piece of rocket, man-made space debris during reentry, a crashing aircraft or perhaps a meteor. None of these other examples would be more surprising as this was the Soviet Union in the middle of the cold war as well as the space race. So, there would have been a lot of aerial activities going on at Dyatlov.
Regardless, it could not have landed close to the hikers as it would have been found by the search teams. And if the object has already been recovered, there should have been evidence in the form of a crash site, footprints or any other activity on the ground of Dyatlov.