The death of the Dyatlov group: our version

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The death of the Dyatlov group: our version
The death of the Dyatlov group: our version

Here is our version of how the Dyatlov group died

Dyatlov group


Over the years, interest in this event has not waned. This is evidenced by the American-Russian film The Secret of the Dyatlov Pass, released in February 2013. Just take the filmmakers' fantasies at face value. Better arm yourself with historical facts.

The trip of nine tourists led by Igor Dyatlov was dedicated to the XXI Congress of the CPSU. The group was faced with a difficult task. The total length of the distance that the participants of the expedition had to cover on skis was almost 350 km. The group's path lay through the forests and mountains of the Northern Urals. The final part of the trip was to climb the mountains Otorten and Oiko-Chakur.

The group initially included ten people: Igor Dyatlov, Yuri Doroshenko, Nikolai Thibault-Brignolle, Yuri Krivonischenko, Zinaida Kolmogorova, Semyon Zolotarev, Alexander Kolevatov, Rustem Slobodin, Lyudmila Dubinina and Yuri Yudin. The latter, by the way, is the only survivor of the entire company. Yudina saved the disease. He simply could not take part in the campaign because of an attack of sciatica that began in him.


The leader of the group was Igor Alekseevich Dyatlov, a 5th year student at the Ural Polytechnic Institute. In general, the composition of the expedition participants could be called youth (five students, three graduates and one tourist inspector - the oldest of all). But this did not at all indicate their inexperience. Dyatlov's group was a close-knit and well-trained team. Almost all members of the expedition had gone through fire, water and copper pipes before that: more than once they fought against the elements, overcame the hardships and hardships of a marching life.


The group set off on a campaign on January 23, 1959, when its members left Sverdlovsk for Serov by train, from where they went to Ivdel. The next destination was the settlement of the 41st quarter - the place of life of loggers. After spending the night, the group moved to the village of the Second Northern Mine. There is one important point worth mentioning here. The settlement of the Second Northern Mine, completely abandoned by the end of the 50s, was part of the system of Stalin's camps. In this part of the Urals, they were everywhere. At the time of the arrival of the group in the village, there was not a single stranger on its territory, except … their companion, a cabman Velikyavichus, with the help of which the group arrived at its destination. Lithuanian Velikyavichus was sentenced to labor camps in 1949 and was released in 1956. Presumably, Velikyavichus was not the only inmate of IvdelLAG (this is what the system of the Ural camps was called). A large number of former prisoners lived in those places.

According to the official version of events, the expedition said goodbye to Velikyavichus on January 28, when he took the sick Yuri Yudin back to the village of the 41st quarter. It was then that the tourists were seen alive for the last time.

From this moment the travel period of the group begins. At first, the tourists moved on without complications, according to the plan. The group's path lay along the Lozva River and along its tributary, the Auspiya. We went skiing. On the evening of February 1, the group decided to camp for the night on the eastern slope of Mount Kholatchakhl. It is interesting that from the language of one of the indigenous peoples of the region - the Mansi, Kholatchakhl literally translates as “the mountain of the dead”. True, in accordance with the Mansi grammar, the name of the mountain would be more correctly translated as “a mountain on which nothing grows”. But we will return to the question of the possible involvement of the Mansi in the death of the group.


According to the plans of the participants, on February 12 it was supposed to reach the village of Vizhay, which served as the final point of the journey. On the same day, the group planned to send a telegram to the institute sports club about the successful completion of the task.But neither on the 12th, nor in the following days, the group arrived in the village.

According to the classification of tourist trips, the Dyatlov group hike belongs to the highest category of complexity. By that time, there were three categories of difficulty in mountain tourism.

Very soon, the disappearance of the expedition raised concerns. Three groups of volunteer rescuers - students and employees of the Ural Polytechnic Institute - went in search of tourists. In tourism, everyone was grated rolls.

The camp of the missing was discovered on February 26th. The tent was covered with snow, but there was no serious damage to it. There were no people in the tent. Down the slope of the hill were the footprints of nine people.

Soon, two bodies belonging to Yuri Krivonischenko and Yuri Doroshenko were found at a distance of one and a half kilometers from the tent. They had no shoes or outerwear on. Burn marks were visible on the feet and palms. The remains of a fire could also be seen here. Nearby was a large cedar tree with recently broken branches.

Then they found three more corpses. The bodies of Rustem Slobodin, Zina Kolmogorova and the head of the group, Igor Dyatlov, were found at different distances between the fire and the tent. The bodies of the rest of the expedition members were found two months later. Lyudmila Dubinina, Nikolai Thibault-Brignolle, Alexander Kolevatov and Alexander Zolotarev were found in one of the forest ravines. Their bodies were buried under a multi-meter layer of snow. They were dressed noticeably warmer than the others.


Tormented bodies

At first, investigators suggested that the tourists had been attacked. But no signs of a struggle were found at the scene. Soon it became obvious only one thing - something made people jump out of the tent in a panic at night into a severe frost. However, they did not even have time to put on warm clothes and shoes. The footprints of the group members diverged and converged again, as if something was forcing them to run down the mountainside, as far as possible from their camp. Investigators found cuts on the tent, but they were made from the inside by one of the expedition members. The guys wanted to leave the tent as soon as possible and tried to cut it with everything that came under their hands.

According to the autopsy results, the death of most of the expedition members was due to hypothermia. Most of all investigators were interested in the injury of Rustem Slobodin. A crack 6 cm long and 0.5 cm wide was found in his skull. Such an injury could only have been the result of an incredibly strong impact. It is unlikely that a person could get it just by falling and hitting his head on the snow. And here's a riddle - the cause of Slobodin's death was hypothermia. The death of the rest of the expedition members came as a result of severe injuries. On their bodies, experts found numerous bruises and fractures, and Dubinina had no tongue at all. Those who happened to see the corpses of the participants in the campaign noted their unnatural orange-brownish tint. The bodies and belongings of the tourists were checked for radiation. But its level was not much higher than the average for the region.

The case was quickly classified. Even in our time, despite the removal of the secrecy label, not everyone can freely familiarize themselves with the materials. In the investigation documents themselves, there is a well-disguised uncertainty. Everyone who was engaged in their own investigation did not leave the feeling that the authorities wanted to hush up the incident as soon as possible.



As mentioned above, the first version of the death of the group was an attack by strangers. Local residents who belonged to the small people of Mansi were suspected of the crime. It was believed that Mount Kholatchakhl was a sacred place for them. This allegedly became the reason for the murder of tourists. But, as it turned out, the mountain did not have any cult significance among the Mansi. Another similar reason is the attack of IvdelLAG prisoners.And some claimed that they liquidated the group because the guys had witnessed the testing of some secret weapon. Among the versions of the death of the expedition, there are also openly delusional. For example, this: the group was destroyed by foreign special services, and the participants in the campaign themselves were KGB officers. All of these theories have one weak point. After studying all the details of what happened, the experts were unambiguous in their assessment - except for the group itself that fateful night there was no one else on the side of the mountain. In the snow, investigators were able to find only traces of nine people - members of the expedition.

Mansi is the indigenous population of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug. They are one of the smallest peoples in Russia. Today, about 12 thousand representatives of this ethnic group live in our country. Mansi have their own language, but most of them consider Russian as their native language.

Of course, the cause of the tragedy could be a quarrel between the participants in the campaign. We know that Igor Dyatlov had a certain sympathy for Zina Kolmogorova. The sympathy was mutual. But at one time Zina was courted by another participant in the campaign - Yuri Doroshenko. Only for some reason, their relationship did not work out. Could this have caused the conflict? In theory, yes. But people who knew the guys argued that the relationship between the group leader and Kolmogorova was purely platonic. And after an unsuccessful attempt to start a romance, the relationship between Yuri and Zina could be called friendly. In general, experienced climbers and skiers view the version of the conflict as one of the least likely. In the mountains, everyday problems and love affairs fade into the background.

Among all kinds of theories of the death of the group, not the last place is occupied by fantastic versions. Oddly enough, they have certain grounds. According to one of the investigators, Lev Ivanov, in February and March 1959, some "flying spheres" were seen in the area of ​​the group's death. Witnesses say that these objects emitted an incredibly strong glow. The members of the rescue expedition describe something similar. According to them, in addition to bright light, the phenomenon was accompanied by a sound effect similar to explosions or thunderclaps.

Another mysterious circumstance testifies in favor of this version. Among the photographs taken by a participant in the campaign, Yuri Krivonischenko, there is one frame, which shows a cluster of lights of unknown origin. Perhaps it was the 33rd shot of Krivonischenko that captured the mysterious lights in the sky. However, with the same success this "paranormal phenomenon" could turn out to be an ordinary film defect or a slightly less mysterious ball lightning.

One often hears a version about the death of a group as a result of testing some secret weapon. Allegedly, this can explain the unnatural skin color of the deceased, as well as their terrible injuries. Even if this version is true, we will hardly ever be able to find out. After the tragedy, the military stated that no tests were carried out in the area of ​​the death of tourists.


There is another theory regarding the origin of the photo, allegedly capturing mysterious lights in the sky. The 33rd photo could have been taken by the investigator pressing the shutter of the camera before removing the film. The fact is that the Zorky camera, produced in the 50s of the last century, did not have the option of determining the shutter position. Thus, wishing to check the latter, the investigator could press him himself.

It is necessary to consider one of the most popular options for the development of events. As you know, the main danger in the mountains is an avalanche. But this, it would seem, is the most reasonable version, leads to a dead end. In fact, Mount Kholatchakhl can hardly be called a mountain in the usual sense of the word. Its slopes are very gentle. Therefore, the likelihood of an avalanche is extremely small.And as a result of an avalanche, the tent and equipment of tourists would have received much more serious damage. Ski poles, stuck next to the tent even before the tragedy, remained standing in the same place. Strange avalanche, isn't it? And one moment. According to safety precautions, in the event of an avalanche, you need to walk sideways from the parking lot. The group, for some reason, went down the slope. Due to the experience of the composition of the expedition, hardly all of its members could make the same and so obvious mistake.

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Our version

Of all the available theories, the most plausible, in our opinion, is the version that is often mentioned by experienced climbers and skiers. During the installation of the tent, the tourists could cut off the snow, which subsequently rolled down on them. The layer of snow that "ran over" the tent did not lead to its complete collapse, but sowed panic among the expedition members. Fearing to be buried under the snow, the tourists ran out of the tent and tried to find shelter outside of it. Do not forget that on that fateful night the air temperature dropped to -30 ° C. Perhaps a strong wind was blowing. Restoring the picture of the tragedy, experienced specialists believe that the guys went down in an organized manner. But then the first misfortune happened. Apparently, during the descent, Rustem Slobodin fell and hit his head on a stone. The others did not have time to notice this, since it was at night, and the weather did not allow them to see beyond an outstretched arm. Probably Slobodin lost consciousness. After consciousness returned to him, he was unable to navigate in space and, after unsuccessful attempts to find his comrades, froze.

After the disappearance of Slobodin, the group broke up. When Zina Kolmogorova discovered his absence, she went in search. Her body was found 600 meters from the place where the tourists later lit a fire. Her death also occurred as a result of hypothermia. For some reason, Zolotarev, Dubinina and Thibault-Brignolle left the group. Apparently, they tried to reach the forest as quickly as possible and find refuge there. The guys could not notice the steep cliff and fall from a great height. This was probably the reason for the serious injuries that were fatal. When the injured members of the expedition were still alive, the remaining members of the expedition came to their aid. But they did not manage to drag the seriously wounded comrades to the fire. The seriously injured people were doomed. Together with them, Alexander Kolevatov, who came to the rescue, also froze.

At the same time, Igor Dyatlov went back to the tent to take warm clothes. But he was very tired or simply lost his way, as a result of which he died of the cold, not reaching the tent for about a kilometer. Near the fire, rescuers found the bodies of Yuri Doroshenko and Yuri Krivonischenko. They froze too. Wanting to keep warm and not fall asleep, Doroshenko and Krivonischenko probably brought their hands and feet to the fire. This can explain the numerous burns found on them. Dubinina's lack of language can be substantiated differently. After death, the soft tissues of the body often become food for all kinds of living creatures.


It is possible

For a comment on our version, we turned to the famous climber and skier, a man with the title of "Snow Leopard", Nikolai Mishchenko. “The story of the death of Dyatlovites is not unique,” ​​says Nikolai Akimovich. - When someone asks me about that unfortunate incident, another tragedy that happened in the Pamirs, one of the highest peaks of the USSR, immediately comes to my mind. In 1974, at Lenin Peak, the entire women's expedition, led by Elvira Shataeva, the wife of the famous Soviet climber Vladimir Shataev, perished. As in the case with the Dyatlov group, when Shataeva's expedition was discovered, there were no signs that an avalanche had covered the group or that some other disaster had occurred. And, nevertheless, all the members of the expedition died.In an unforeseen situation, they could not find their bearings in time. The participants of the campaign dispersed in different directions, lost each other from sight and died. Why did it happen? I think this is a psychological issue. In mountainous conditions, a person is not always able to adequately assess the situation and make the right decisions. The death of the Dyatlov group is another vivid example of this. It is quite obvious to me that when something unexpected happened (the version about snow collapse is quite plausible), young people, being in a state of stress, panicked and made a number of mistakes that they would never have made in a normal state. The experience of the group members was powerless in such a situation. People were driven by fear. I want to tell you about another very important detail. From my many years of experience, I know that when hiking in the mountains, there must be a leader in a group. We need a person to whom the other members of the expedition would obey unquestioningly. I'm not sure that Igor Dyatlov was such a leader. After all, one must remember that at the time of the tragedy he was still a very young man. Most likely, when a force majeure situation occurred, some participants in the campaign decided to act independently. As a result, as in the case of Shatayeva's expedition, they scattered in different directions, got lost and froze."

The highest title in Soviet mountaineering is "Snow Leopard". It is worn by climbers who have visited the tops of the highest mountains located on the territory of the USSR. The official name of the token is “Conqueror of the highest mountains of the USSR”.

Thus, the picture of the incident begins to acquire more expressive shades. But what is the root cause of the horror that gripped the participants in the campaign? In this situation, we can only apply the principle of "Occam's razor". Most likely, the group left the tent under the influence of reasons that were completely natural. And hardly any anomalies took place here. However, we will probably never know the truth about this tragedy.

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