Month: November 2015

Looking for Lightning

Re-posted courtesy of
One thing you can say about lightning – it’s not very subtle.

Geomorphologist Stephan Grab and Geologist Jasper Knight at Johannesburg’s University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa have studied the Drakensberg Peaks in Lesotho and discovered the primary force shaping them is lightning.  They studied 90 sites where lightning blasted away basalt rock faces, leaving pits up to three feet deep and scattering ten tons of debris. They found lightning shifted boulders as big as small trucks.

Their research is published in the January 1, 2015 issue of Geomorphology. Their findings contradict the standard belief that ice and heat are the main forces shattering rocks on the Drakenberg summits.

Lightning can generate temperatures over 52,000 ºF (30,000 ºC.) Hot enough to create an explosion, instantly melting basalt and vaporizing water in rock pores and fissures.

Lightning may be positive, or negative in polarity, depending on where it originates in the cloud to ground discharge. Negative strikes are from the negatively charged cloud-bottom to ground, whereas positive strikes connect the anvil cloud-tops to ground. Positive lightning occurs only five percent of the time, but carries five to six times the current and voltage of a negative strike.

Lightning leaves behind an indelible magnetic signature.

Which makes finding past strikes fairly easy. Even paleo-lightning strikes have been identified by archeologists.

One group in Nevada found a lightning bolt petroglyph thousands of years old, and used a magnetometer to ascertain the rock had actually been struck, and that the paleo-indian who witnessed it faithfully recorded it’s shape. Ironically, lightning is also believed to deposit manganese and other minerals on rock surfaces, producing the patina rock artists chipped away to form petroglyphs of the type Dr. Anthony Peratt recognized as depictions of aurora plasma discharge.

Lightning-zapped rock exhibits vitrification from heat and can be covered in natural glass called lechatelierite. Lacherelierite is melted quartz that forms the foamy, glassy interior of fulgurites. In a new study,  researchers found “shock lamellae” beneath the glassy quartz – a thin layer of warped quartz crystals – induced by the high pressure of the strike. The warped layer consists of parallel straight fractures revealed under intense magnification.

To create these shock lamellae, researchers calculate a force of 10 gigapascals. The only other event that creates such force, and leaves shock lamellae is believed to be a large meteorite impact. This is another similarity between an electrical event and a meteor, or comet impact that makes them hard to distinguish.

Not only does lightning shape mountains, but it shows preference where it strikes. H. Roice Nelson of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) and colleagues have discovered strikes cluster in patterns that repeat over time. He correlated strike patterns obtained from the National Lightning Detection Network with geologic and mineral exploration maps, and found compelling correlations with Telluric, or natural currents Earth and the presence of conductive materials.

This is no surprise to the EU community. However the group has used their findings to establish Dynamic Measurements, LLC, and acquired the rights to use the data. They have developed tools and methods for Naturally Sourced Electromagnetic (NSEM) analysis for mineral, water and hydrocarbon exploration, published in AAPG article, “Geologic Frameworks Derived from Lightning Maps and Resistivity Volumes.”

Magnetometers are typically used to find a lightning strike.
NASA/JPL – Houston, where is the long extension cord?

It will show a dipole anomaly, usually at higher strength than remanent magnetism from other causes.

Next year, NASA intends to send the Insight mission to Mars for geologic and tectonic evaluation of the planet’s structure and formation. It will carry a magnetometer to investigate patterns of lightning activity. This provides an opportunity for EU theorists to make predictions.

Imagine the surprise when data comes in. Will there be a giant swirling dipole surrounding Valles Marinaris? The polarity pattern around Olympus and the Tharsis Mons might be similar to a washing machine plug – because that is what they look like.

If the formation of the surface of Mars is the result of electrical events, as EU theory suggests, there should be a significant magnetic signature for it.

Magnetic anomalies are sometimes used as a prospecting tool to find mineral deposits.

This paper entitled, “Ground Magnetometer Surveys Over Known and Suspected Breccia Pipes on the Coconino Plateau, Northwestern Arizona,” by Bradely S. Van Gosen and Karen J. Wenrich describes using magnetic anomalies to find mineral bearing formations in breccia pipes.

Breccia pipes exist by the hundreds on the lower Colorado Plateau, from the Arizona strip north of Grand Canyon, to the edge of the Mogollon Rim. Originally interpreted as volcanic artifacts, the breccia pipes are now considered to be solution-collapse formations – essentially, sinkholes caused by water dissolving a deep layer of subsurface limestone. Overburden collapses leaving a vertical pipe, filled with broken rock.

USGS – Coconino Plateau Breccia Pipe

Some are as deep as 1,800 feet and 200 to 400 feet in diameter at the surface. They appear as a round surface feature of reduced vegetation, discoloration, and either a slight mound, or hollow over the actual pipe. Around the pipe, the ground is typically slumped in concentric circles enclosed with a raised rim, although some are flat ground and hard to detect at all.

Three types of sinkhole exist in the region, differentiated by the type of karst formation that formed them, producing different depths, ages and other properties. Of interest to these researchers were mineral bearing formations in breccia pipes thought to be the result of solution-collapse of the Mississippian Redwall Limestone.

These have potentially commercial ore deposits of high grade uranium, copper, zinc and other minerals. The Breccia pipes of Northern Arizona yield the most compact source of high grade Uranium in the U.S. and are extensively mined.

The thrust of the article however, was on the use of magnetometers to find them, since they were found to have dipole anomalies at the surface of the pipes. The magnetic anomaly is typically at the surface, over the cemented breccia chimney itself, and can extend into the pipe fifty feet or more in depth. They did not perform extensive below ground testing.

All of this brings to mind the work of Micheal Steinbacher and some of his theories about the geology of the Four Corners region. In particular, the Grand Canyon. Breccia pipes appear in clusters and alignments. Many of them are concentrated along the canyon walls, especially on the South Rim, where some are exposed – sliced open on one side by the canyon – providing a vertical cross section of the entire pipe.

There is nothing implausible in the idea these are karst formations – water will dissolve limestone and create a sinkhole, and these pipes are apparently filled with what sloughed off the walls. What is curious is how they cluster on the South Rim, where the plateau dips away from the canyon. Pipes should cluster farther south where the water flows.

Breccia pipe
Breccia Pipe exposed in Grand Canyon

The other concern is the minerals. High grade uranium, and varying amounts of a wide range of commercial metals. The breccia contains bitumen in pores and fissures. They exhibit extensive oxidation deep below ground. They have concentric rings surrounded by a raised rim like a crater. And there is the magnetic dipole. All of these features imply an electric formation.

The researchers speculated that the magnetic anomaly was from breccia fill from the Moenkopi formation, which has a slightly higher natural magnetism than the surrounding rock. In some cases, they felt the mineral deposits themselves might also contribute to the anomaly.

The notion these could be artifacts of thunderbolts would almost have to be in Micheal Steinbacher’s theory of canyon formation. He postulated a plasma discharge locked to the bedrock of the river below, while the plateau built around it, leaving the canyon behind.

In that scenario, the breccia pipes may be the artifact of huge ground currents from the discharge in the canyon that followed the Redwall, and looped upward to atmosphere, cleaving side canyons, and exiting the ground, leaving these giant holes.

If so, a study of the morphology of the breccia pipes could yield features particular to such an event that would inform future investigations. If the canyon was formed electrically, these pipes were likely formed electrically too, which may tell us something about the current that made them.

For more on Lightning and the role it plays in the Electric Universe, see these articles by Stephen Smith:

Radio Lightning

Cosmic Lightning

Lightning in the Wind

Black Lightning

Galactic Lightning

Thank you,

Andrew Hall

The Haunting Mystery of Dyatlov Pass – Part Three

Part Two ended with the group split-up, and beginning to die.

Zina followed Slabodin’s footprints, but veered away in the clearing. She could see her destination – the tent above. She never saw Slabodin’s body, struck to the ground only meters away. She passed him oblivious to what waited ahead.

Igor followed, but could not stay on his frostbitten feet. He fell and crawled, trying to stay with Zina. The mental energy he’d expended to keep everyone together, thinking through the limited options to survive in circumstances he couldn’t comprehend. The strain of being the responsible leader. That burden kept him on edge, and now he was exhausted. Lethargy took over – even faster with stress, injury and shock. Like  Yuri and Gyorgyi at the cedar tree, his energy expended. The heat in his life ebbed away. He couldn’t see Zina anymore.

The ravine platform.

Semen led Lyudmila down a slope to the bottom of a ravine. Aleksi and Niclolai helped him dig into a snowbank and lay branches for a floor. They made several trips up and down the ravine bank until they made a platform large enough for all of them to sit on. Then they sat on scraps of cloth to insulate themselves from the cold. The shallow cave in the snowbank shielded the wind and the view. They had no idea where the others were, now. They could only hope they would return with supplies.

“Semen, why are they bothering us?” asked Aleksi.

“They will leave when it’s light. Maybe they already left. I don’t hear them now,” he said.

“I heard some kind of snort just a minute ago,” said Lyudmila. “Do you think they will let Igor get back to the tent? I need my boots.”

“We just have to wait and see,” said Semen.

“Can we build a fire?” asked Nicolai.

“No, I think we lay low,” said Semen. “Bunch together and get warm. Put your feet in my lap, Luda. they won’t even know we’re here.”

“You think they will come here for us, Sascha? They’ve chased us from the tent. What do they want?” asked Nicolai.

“I saw one this morning before we left the pass. I told you. I took a picture. But I don’t think they live over there. I think they live over here, and that is why they want us to leave.”

“Is that why you talked Igor into setting camp on the mountain?” asked Aleksi.

“I didn’t know. It was my instinct. I was afraid we would see it again. I know what they can do. You didn’t believe me.”

“Did you really take a picture? Did you do something to anger them?”

“Anger them? I stabbed my knife in one up at the tent. If you stayed and helped me we could have chased them away.”

“You what? You stabbed a Snowman? No wonder they won’t leave us. They’ll kill us.”

“Not if they don’t find us. Shut up.”

“You let Igor and Zina go up there. You let Slabodin go, and they think they can walk past them to the tent like it’s Sunday morning,” said Aleksi.

“I don’t think they’ll make it,” said Semen.

“No thanks to you. Why didn’t you stop them?”

“They were beyond reason. When the cold has you, it is over. You’re going to be that way soon.”

“I’m going to build a fire. You said they are afraid of fire,” said Aleksi.

“I’m just guessing. We should not alert them to where we are.”

“We need a fire,” said Aleksi, as he climbed up the slope of the ravine. He came back immediately.

“I saw one,” he whispered. “It is a baby, I swear. Come see.”

Semen watched Aleksi’s feet climbing the slope again, and saw them just keep going into the air. “Oh no!” – he could barley whisper.

Aleksi came down from the sky and crumpled in front of Semen, trying to regain his breathing. He seemed to be choking. Semen saw a hairy foot take the slope in a step. He looked up into shining eyes. Lyudmila screamed.

The end.

The final days of journey for the Dyatlov party were strenuous.  They complained of wet snow in the pass that made the work exhausting.
“Today the weather is a bit worse – the wind (west), snow (probably from pines) because the sky is perfectly clear. Came out relatively early (around 10am). Took the same beaten Mansi trail. So far we walked along the Mansi trail, which was passed by a deer hunter not long ago. We met his resting stop yesterday, apparently.
Today was surprisingly good accommodations for the tent, air is warm and dry, despite the low temperature of -18C to -24C. The walking is especially hard today. Visibility is very low. We walk for 1.52 km (1 mile) per hour. We are forced to find new methods of clearing the path for the skis. The first member leaves his bag on the ground and walks forward, then he returns, rests for 10- 15 minutes with the group. Thus we have a non- stop paving of the trail. It is especially hard for the second to move down the new trail with full gear on the back.
We gradually leave the Auspii valley, the rise is continuous, but quiet smooth. We spend a night at the forest boundary. Wind is western, warm, penetrating. Snow- free spaces. We can’t leave any of our provision to ease the ascend to the mountains.
About 4pm. We must choose the place for the tent. Wind, some snow. Snow cover is 1.22 meters thick. Tired and exhausted we started to prepare the platform for the tent. Firewood is not enough. We didn’t dig a hole for a fire. Too tired for that. We had supper right in the tent.
It is hard to imagine such a comfort somewhere on the ridge, with a piercing wind, hundreds of kilometers away from human settlements.”
Igor Dyatlov. January 31, 1959.
The final sentence is curious. Is that a voice of reluctance, knowing the following night will be spent above the tree-line? Or is that a voice of someone who has no intention of spending the night above the tree-line?
The final climb to the tent site.

On February 1, the group cached some of their spare gear and supplies on a platform known as a “labaz,” and traveled 2.5 miles from the pass to the final campsite on the flanks of Kholat Syakhl. It’s estimated setting the camp took an hour, from four, to five P.M. The sun set just after five.

Reports say the party veered off-course to camp on the slopes of the mountain, instead of descending from the pass into the trees. Speculation is they may have lost their way in the wind-blown snow and camped when they realized they were above the pass and losing daylight.

Photo’s from their film don’t indicate blinding conditions, however. More likely, they knew where they were, and chose to camp there. They could have come down-hill quickly – they were on skis. Did something compel them to stay far above the tree-line? There seemed to be some fascination with the tree-line in a series of photographs.

A separate entry, in the trek “newspaper,” where they typically “reported” humorous events, was this:

“From now on we know the Snowmen exist. They can be found in the Northern Urals, next to Mount Otorten.”
Zina with journal.

What brought up that subject? Theorists of the avalanche, infra-sound, espionage and UFO camps agree, this must be a humorous reference to the local Yeti legends.

At least it acknowledges the legends. It can be debated if this is humor, or a concise statement of facts – when, who, what and where.

We don’t know what the Mansi may have said about the Menk, or if they brought the subject up. If they did, and the group was making fun of it, it is even more pertinent that the Mansi mentioned the Menk. Perhaps they were warned.

Or did one of the party see something the others teased about, not having seen it themselves – something prompted the entry.

The injuries.

Much is made of the condition of Lyudmia Dubinina’s corpse, as it was found with damage far exceeding others of the group. Since her condition bears the most controversy, and complexity, this is the place to begin.

DyatDubrinaThe examiner reported her death to be caused by impact from a large force that caused multiple, bilateral rib fractures that impinged on her heart and caused internal bleeding. Her chest cavity contained one and a half liters of blood.

Her tongue, eyes and parts of the soft tissues of her mouth were missing.

luda-autopsyThe missing tongue is one of the most often exaggerated facts of the case. It has been reported as cut out, torn out, or bitten off. Yet the medical examiner clearly stated in his report the tongue and soft tissues resulted from post mortem decay and decomposition.

She was found face down in water. Investigators believe the snow began to melt at least a week, or two before she was found, and she’d lain there for months.

The missing eyes and tongue are a red herring, but the violent impact that crushed her chest is not. The breaks were on either side of her chest and each rib had two fractures. The #2, 3, 4, and 5 ribs broken on the right side with two fracture lines visible and the #2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 ribs broken on the left side with two fracture lines visible. No external injury to tissue associated with her chest wound was found.

sasha-corpse-2Zolotorev, found in the ravine, also had his chest caved in. His eyes and some flesh had decomposed. He was found to wear several tattoos.

His death was caused by multiple rib fractures on the right side and internal bleeding into the chest cavity. His ribs had detached from the chest wall as a result of a heavy blow.

sasha-autopsyLike Dubinina, the #2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 ribs had two fracture lines and he exhibited no outward tissue damage associated with the mortal chest wound.

The autopsy also noted that the injuries to Zolotorev and Dubinina did not come from a single event, meaning they each received blows independently, with very similar results, but not from a common explosion, or other concussive blast. The blows were targeted to the sides of the chest.

nicolai-skullThibault-Brignolle’s death was caused by impact of a large force to the roof and base of the skull. It created a multi-splintered fracture, but no exterior tissue damage, although decomposition was evident.

These three individuals died a violent death from blunt impact. All of the others died of hypothermia.

Thibault-Brignolle would have been knocked unconscious by his wounds, so could not have received them at the tent and still walked a mile to the trees. Nor is it likely Zolotorev, or Dubinina could have walked anywhere with their wounds. The mortal wounds happened in the ravine.

slobodin-skullSlabodin suffered a severe head injury, also. His body was found making his way back to the tent. The head injury didn’t kill him, however. He died from exposure, aggravated by the injury.

The injury was severe, but not immediately life threatening. It most likely put him into shock when it happened, and caused a loss of coordination. dyatdead6There was internal bleeding, indicating he lived with the injury for some time before freezing to death.

Other injuries included abrasions and bruising on the face and forehead, torn epidermis on the arms and bruises on the knuckles of his hands. Ice formed under his body, indicating he fell on the snow while alive and still warm.

Kolmegarova’s death was by exposure. Her fingers were frostbitten. She had a broad bruise encircling one side of her abdomen. The bruise was thought to be a result of a fall sometime after leaving the tent.

Dyatlov’s death was by exposure. His fingers were frostbitten. He had bruising and abrasion to the knuckles of his hands. A variety of abrasions and bruises also were found on his forehead, eyebrow, arms, legs and ankles. Examiners also speculated the bruising to be the result of a fall or blunt impact.

Dorovoshenko’s death was by exposure. His face and ears were frostbitten. His hair was burned. He had bruising and abrasions on his arms, elbow, shoulder and thighs. Torn flesh on his hands. The skin wounds were noted to be consistent with a fall, or impact. Pine needles and moss were found in his hair. A foamy grey fluid found on his cheek caused examiners to speculate he had been squashed, or taken a high fall.

Krivonishenko’s death was by exposure. His ears were frosbitten. His injuries included bruises on his forehead and around the left temporal bone, bruises on the right side of his chest, bruises on his hands, detached skin on the back of the left hand and a portion of the epidermis from the right hand was found in his mouth. He also had bruises and minor scratches on the thighs, a bruise on the left buttock and bruises and burns on the left leg.

Kolevatov was found in the ravine with the severely injured parties. Examination indicates he froze to death, likely the last of the group to die. There was a small open wound behind his ear and his neck was found to be deformed, long and thin in the area of the thyroid cartilage. He also suffered decomposition to soft tissues.

The final conclusion of the autopsies:

“As there was no evidence of a guilty party the reasons for the actions of the ski-team and their subsequent injuries is unknown. All that can be said is that they were the victims of a “Compelling Force”.
dyatlov ravineagain
The Ravine

Zolotorev and Dubinina would have had to belly-flop onto rocks to receive their injuries – sharp enough to break bones, but not tear skin. There were no fractures to the extremities, which in a fall is typically the case, as one tends to break knees, collarbones, legs and outstretched arms.

Thibault-Brignolle could have hit his head in a fall, but it is still odd there was no external injury, and the impact seemed to be from the base, side of the skull, with fractures propagating upward. The probability of all three of them falling ten, to fifteen feet, and dying as a result of injuries so specific to certain areas without collateral damage to extremities, or external tissue, is very low. A fall from that height rarely causes lethal injury, let alone three in a row. By every appearance, the wounds were not the result of a fall, but of being hit by something that targeted the torsos and head.

Path to the trees from the tent- superimposed photos.

Slobodin also got hit in the head, hard. Everyone of them had bruising and injuries to head and hands. Slobodin and Dyatlov had abrasions to their knuckles consistent with hand-to-hand fighting injuries.

Many cuts and scrapes can be expected on an expedition ski trek. More cuts and scrapes would be expected from stumbling on frozen feet in the dark, as they made their way to the cedar tree and built a fire. Yet they looked like they were beat to shit. That is why investigators looked first for foul play. The Mansi were cleared and no other parties were in the area to anyone’s knowledge.

The idea people chased them from the tent, whether CIA, or KGB, or anyone else, and then waited hours in the freezing night for most of them to die of exposure – and then got impatient, let them scatter, and punched rifle butts into the remaining survivors, is hard to imagine. Why not just shoot, or strangle them and have done with it. They were alive for hours under the tree. The charred remains of wood attested to a fire burning for one, to two hours.

The fear of impending avalanche, or lightning could have made them leave the tent, whether the threat was real, or perceived. But it leaves the only explanation for injuries a fall, unless the lightning chased them to the ravine. Lightning is a more likely candidate for the type of injuries they suffered, at least the major ones.

Some burn marks were noted on trees nearby the cedar, but that could have come from a fire, or lightning at any time before the tragedy. Forest trees often bear such scars. And it’s still seventy-five yards from where the worst injuries were found. Aside from the burns on hands, feet and hair that apparently came from sitting nearly on top of the coals – not unlikely at near 20-below – it is hard to correlate their behavior with a lightning event.

Why would lightning keep them huddled around a fire in the trees for hours. Even in a storm, the risk of climbing to the tent to get boots and clothing would be less than just freezing in your socks. People experience lightning in the mountains all the time, and the percentages are still in favor of not being hit. Lightning storms don’t usually persist with great intensity for long in one area.

A lightning strike that could kill all of them – one blow – could have hit the ravine and killed the others at the tree, perhaps even blowing Zina halfway to the tent. It’s possible, I don’t think we recognize how powerful lightning can be, but such an event would blow the forest apart. Sorry, no evidence.

Bears are in hibernation in mid-winter. No injuries indicated the fangs from wolves, or the claws of a bear.

Once all the evidence and circumstances are looked at, the best fit theory is a Menk – the Russian Yeti.

There is one significant hurdle to the theory of a Yeti. We don’t know if they exist. At least the scientific community claims they don’t, and most people go along with that consensus. Yet the plausibility of the Yeti’s existence is scientifically supported. That isn’t to say it exists, but science provides proof they did at one time. It is a matter of not having current knowledge if they still live.

From the Dyatlov film.

The hominid family tree is known to have a variety of species, many living concurrently with humans quite recently. DNA confirms romance, or rape, between beauty and the beast occurred with Denovisovan’s and Neanderthal’s, as recently as the last ice age. So creatures that meet the Yeti archetype lived in the recent past, as confirmed by science. Whether any remnant species is more ape than human, a hominid relic, or a hybrid of human and beast, is hair-splitting until one is studied.

There is really no reason to believe they do not exist. Skepticism is warranted, not a dogmatic refusal to consider. By numerous reports of witnesses, including those of the North American Bigfoot, Australian Yowie, and other regional types, they are consistently witnessed in the wilderness, mountainous regions that provide habitat. They are never seen in uncharacteristic settings, as hallucinations are known to produce.

Alien abduction is a case in point. Victims are often accused of hallucination because a number of instances occur in the bedroom, where sleep phenomena are known to create hallucinatory effects, yielding alternative explanations for the victim’s perception. That is not the case with the Menk and it’s brethren. They appear where, and when one might predict, even following seasonal climate and game migration patterns, as expected of nomadic hunter-gatherers.

They shun and hide from humans – it is possibly their essential skill for survival. The reason is too obvious for discussion. It makes them hard to find, any contact is brief, and they are more aware in their environment than any human they contact. Rarely are they caught in situations when they do not control the encounter. Human hubris prevents many people from contemplating such a thing.

Most encounters are intimidation. Evidence of tree structures, fallen trees, tree breaks and other features attributed to the Menk imply signage, signifying claimed territorial boundaries. Rock throwing, branch breaking, tree shaking, screams, grunts and growls feature in a predominance of encounters, suggesting intimidation with the intent to cause the victim to leave.

Beyond the hundreds of documented reports of encounters, there is a large unspoken number of rock throwing and similar intimidation behaviors experienced in the middle of the night by people who camp, or fish in the wild.

Human activities are extremely limited in mountainous, forested areas. The footprint of towns and cities is tiny, compared to the footprint of the woods around them, and most people, even in these rural areas do not spend a significant percentage of time in the woods. Tourists herd into established grounds, never seeing a fraction of a forested region. Even industry, which has harvested forests continuously for centuries, only works in small areas at a given time, allowing for easy avoidance and ample alternative habitat.

Setting aside instances of hoax, and wishful thinking, the only challenge to the predominance of credible encounters is misidentification with bears. This no doubt happens…some of the time. Bears cannot explain rock throwing, or other associated behavior and artifacts.

The best assessment tools available are photos and film. Many examples can be clearly distinguished from bears.

The photo above is attributed to the “Diatlov Foundation” – the repository of the Diatlov memory – by the Discovery Channel. Discovery represents it as an overlooked shot from the Diatlov camera film rolls. Discovery Channel is known for bending facts to entertain its audience. Yet they do claim its credibility with an analysis establishing the photo is real and assurance it is from the Dyatlov film rolls. Nothing suggests the film is doctored. What it is film of, is less certain.

anotherIt appears to have been taken in a hurry, since the focus is very poor.

Superimposed here, is a member of the Dyatlov party, and one of the search party, next to the unknown biped. The biped does not appear to carry a backpack, ski poles, or show any obvious hem, or cuff anywhere. The arms and legs look skinny compared to the jacketed, and sleeved extremities on the men, as if naked. The head is large and the arms seem quite long. Unfortunately, the arms are crooked at angles that don’t allow assessing their length accurately.

Researchers and witnesses claim the North American Bigfoot’s arms are significantly longer with respect their torso, hanging to near the knee, as compared to a human. Other body ratios are slightly different, more ape-like, and these have been photographed and analyzed. This photo is too indistinct to obtain body ratios. Yet it looks like a powerfully built, nearly naked and slightly pot-bellied, bipedal creature, caught in a suspicious looking pose – like a stalker.

The compendium of data suggests the Dyatlov party were harassed by Yeti, scared from their tent and then, later killed, or left to freeze by the angered beast. Several injuries indicate fighting wounds and death blows from their adversary. They noted knowing Snowmen exist on paper and took a photograph of a spooky biped on the last day of the trip.

The last act in the tent before the panic appears to have been picture taking. A camera tri-pod was left set-up and the camera on the floor of the tent. Zolotorev carried another camera around his neck – no boots, but a camera. They cut slits all over before they abandoned the tent. They were apparently looking at, or for something they were trying to photograph. Certainly not an avalanche, or team of KGB. Lightning bolts perhaps?

The lack of Yeti footprints is one thing one can question as evidence against it. The Yeti left none. But if it followed typically observed behavior, it would have intimidated with yells and rock throwing, or in this case, snow from the heights above the tent. Those tracks could have been covered, or blown away in the weeks before the search party arrived, just as most of the parties footprints vanished, except for a stretch below the tent. The Yeti may have never been close to the tent. A hit by a Yeti snowball would scare the crap out of anyone.

Only after the party left the tent, but did not leave the area, and lit a fire instead, did the Yeti approach to kill them in a struggle in the trees. Many native Indian names for Bigfoot mean cannibal, or taker of children, or refer to some other violent behavior. There are historic reports of death by the beast.

They may have approached the Yeti’s own nest near the ravine. Perhaps he was protecting his young. They may have angered it, as Zolotorev did in our fictional story. In any case, a story about a tattooed war hero – ten years older than the college kids – being chased by a Yeti, needed to be told.

Subjectivity intervenes in any analysis. Assurance waits for the body of a Yeti. The subjective senses are influenced by fear. The Menk is the actual boogeyman of our fears, whether it lives in the forests, or not. He hides behind trees – the black shadow at twilight. The thing that flits past the corner of your eye. That is the main reason the Russian Yeti fits the Dyatlov story best.

Primary sources are linked below. Please leave a “like” – if you did. Thank you for reading.

Postscript: The Daily Plasma strives for truth. The story and essay has kept to the truth as far as could be verified, and noted speculation versus fact, but there are so many versions, unhinged theories and sensationalized, falsified details that it would be easy to accumulate a piece of misinformation. If an error is found please advise in the comments. It will be corrected in future edits if it does not mess up the storytelling. This is, after all, for entertainment.

Resource 1

Resource 2

The Haunting Mystery of Diatlov Pass – Part Two

Part 1 left the group inside the tent with a screaming Yeti outside.

The growling and screaming became incessant. Semen Zolotorev composed his breathing. Instincts and experience took over the chaos in his mind. Suppress the panic. Panic wasn’t helpful.


He peered through a slit in the tent, “Snuff the lamp, I can’t see.”

Igor doused the light. The tent went pitch black. “What do you see, Sascha?”


“Something is moving up slope, along the ridge. I see it from this end,” said Yuri. He had his head halfway through a cut in the tent.

Semen did the same thing. He had to see what was there – he had to see where they were. Ten years in the Great War…and he’d lived. One of the lucky to survive that bloody hell. Every comrade he fought with died. He’d held their bloody heads in his hands. The fucking Nazi’s couldn’t kill him – he wasn’t going to die on this mountain.

He gripped his knife tight. “If they attack, we fight back,” he said. He thought, these kids will panic soon. There was only one way to defend an attack like this – saved his ass every time – charge the attacker. Take his momentum away. Make him panic. “Igor…Georgyi…Nicolai…Aleksi. Arm yourselves.” Semen found a ski pole and blindly cut, trying to make a lance.

Whomp…something hit the tent. Zina screamed…bodies jostled…Whomp…Semen grabbed someone by the arm, “We go…now!”

diattentrips4He ripped his way through the tent wall and ran screaming. The others, confused, exposed and frightened, tore their way out and ran downhill. Igor stayed with Semen. “I don’t see anything,” he said.

“The filthy pigs are cowards. Do you smell them?”

“But where are they, Shascha? I don’t see anything,” said Igor.


“There you are, you bastard!”

Igor watched Semen disappear in the dark, running with his knife raised. He heard a muffled grunt, then silence.

He found Semen on the snow, on his back, staring into space.

Dazed, Semen stared where a moment ago, he’d looked straight in it’s eyes. Glowing eyes. He’d felt the knife leave his hand, firm to the hilt, as the eyes blinked and vanished in the night. No matter the size of the thing and the blinding darkness, he’d put the knife between its ribs. Knife-work was like riding a bicycle.

“Semen, are you okay?” Igor helped him to his feet.

“I got it, Igor,” he said. “That will teach them to mess with a Cossack, eh?.”

“The others have run. Let’s go. We need to stay together.”


“It sounds pissed-off,” said Semen. “Didn’t like the poke in the belly.”

“Sascha! We go now to the others. Now!”

“I’m with you, comrade. Lead the way. Fuck it’s cold.”

dyatlovfootprints3Igor picked up the trail of the party and followed it down slope. He tried to jog. His wooden feet made him stumble. He realized they were freezing. “I’m in socks, Semen. My God, I’m in my socks!”

“I have my Burkas. They’re wet. My feet are cold.”

“Shascha. What will we do?”

“Stay with me, I have nine lives.”

“Good, there are nine of us.”

“I may have used some…”

“What, Sascha?”


The grunting and growling behind them was constant, but it didn’t pursue. They walked as fast as they could, with feet like blocks of wood. The nerves were alive, though. Searing cold brought stabbing pain with every step. Igor began to think of options. He didn’t know if the others were okay. No option, but to reach them first.

Semen listened to the growls. He tried to hear individuals in the cacophony behind him. It reminded him of the Moscow zoo. The fucking monkey cage – that’s what it sounded like. A monkey cage full of freight trains. How many were there? He counted four – distinct, for sure. Maybe five.


“Is that you Zina?”

“Igor, we are in the trees.”

“I’m coming. Don’t show yourself – just keep talking. I hear you.”

“We are under the trees. I see you coming, Igor. Across the field, you are coming to us.”

“Is everybody here?” he asked, as he and Semen arrived. The party huddled beneath a cedar tree. Igor hugged Zina.

cedar“We’re cold, Igor. We don’t have shoes,” said Georgyi.

“Everybody stand on wood, or bark, or something. Get off the snow.”

“We are. It doesn’t help! My feet are wet, and…the wind.”

“What happened, Sascha? What happened just now?” said Aleksi.

“The fucking Snowmen attacked,” said Semen…”What?”

“I never saw anything.”

“You ran. Why didn’t you stay and fight…we would have chased them away. Now, we are stuck down here. You hear their screams, don’t you?”

“I don’t know what I hear,” said Aleksi. “Damn! Why are we out here. Because a snowball hit the tent?”

“A Snowman hit the tent. What are you saying?”

“Shut-up,” said Igor. “We need a fire. Luda, grab that piece of wood. Nicolai, behind you is more…everybody.”

“What if they see it?” said Yuri.

“They’re animals. They don’t like fire,” said Semen.

“How do you know anything?” Aleksi said.

“I know,” said Semen.

“Put the fire behind the tree,” said Igor. “We’ll sit around it.”

They gathered a pile of bark and needles, sticks and branches together. They huddled in a circle around the tiny clump of debris.

“Let me,” said Semen. “Give me the matches, Georgyi. We can’t fuck around.”

“I’ll do it, Sascha,” said Igor.

Äÿòëîâöû“Okay, first everyone get around. Let us block the wind before you strike the match, Igor.”

“I am, Sascha. Okay, I’m lighting it now.”

Igor held the match, breathless and steady beneath the pine needles watching them glow and curl. They didn’t burst into flame, though. He tried again.

He tried two matches together, and the needles erupted into bright plasma. “Okay, okay. it’s going,” he said. He blew a steady wind to make it grow.

They all adjusted positions, grabbing branches and bark to sit on around the tiny fire. They began adding wood. Georgyi and Yuri scouted for more. They couldn’t sit still and hung over the fire to warm between runs to collect wood.

The fire blew out. Igor used a box of matches relighting it. Yuri and Georgyi kept feeding it, but the wind mercilessly consumed the meager bits as fast as they could replenish them. They began breaking dead branches from trees. Green wood smoldered and made Lyudmila’s eyes sting – already dry and windblown. Tears froze on her lashes.

The growling came loud again. Barks and shrieks filled the wind.

“You see, Aleksi,” said Semen. “That isn’t wind. That’s Snowmen. At least five of them, maybe six.”

“I hear it,” said Aleksi. “Okay, I hear it. I still didn’t see anything. What if it is just wind?”

“Are you stupid?” said Semen.

“Are you? Because of you, we are freezing in our sock feet. Did anyone else see a Snowman?”

No one spoke. They stood shivering, looking at Semen in the glow of the fire. “I saw it watching us in the pass – I told you,” he said. “I took a picture.”

“I believed you,” said Yuri. “I heard it, too.”

“I thought you were joking,” said Igor.

“You saw one of the Mansi,” said Aleksi. “Snowmen are a myth, Sascha.”

“They are up there. I saw one as big as Goliath. I just…you don’t believe anything unless it comes from the Party – you can’t think for yourself. What do you think is making that noise?”

“Why are they getting louder?” Zina asked. “Are they coming?”

“They see the smoke and hear us breaking wood,” said Sascha. “They know where we are – and they are letting us know.”

“How do you know about Snowmen, Sascha. You said you know,” asked Lyudmila.

“I know what happened in the war. That’s what I know.”

“She means Snowmen,” Aleksi insisted. “What do you know?”

“A company of men I knew. I wasn’t with them – comrades up the line. We shared our meals sometimes. I know what happened to them.”


simon-zolotarev“You were still in short pants when this happened. We died like flies in the war. Sick, frozen, starved. Stukas, machine guns, grenades…tanks. Fucking Tiger tanks. Shit, blood, puss, piss, snow, mud. That’s all we knew. No one made up scary stories. We already lived a nightmare.

“They were sent to carry messages. From the Front to the Commandant. He was way back somewhere, some village brothel no doubt, so they were gone a few days. Of course, they never returned. But they weren’t killed by the enemy. Not a human one, anyway.

“We found them in a gully. It was a kill. Fresh. Rocks, as big as…as big as an ice box were thrown on top of them. No human could do it. The feeding was the thing, though. Bones cracked and sucked dry. Heads and legs pulled from the joints…pulled like a piece of taffy.”

“Maybe it was bears, or wolves, after an earthquake.” said Nicolai. “Pulled like taffy. Wolves would do that.”

“The war made humans and animals into scavengers…and predators. Forage from the country was ravaged by the war. But meat was plentiful. I saw comrades eaten by pigs, dogs, goats, wolves, rats and foul. This wasn’t wolves. Believe me. I saw wolves eat men. It was a common thing. What happened to these comrades was different. Not even humans eat humans like that.”

“There you go again, Sascha. How would you know.”

For once, Semen stayed silent. His memory would make them shudder if he explained. The irony struck him funny – they would fear me more than the Menk.

Finally he spoke, “The other soldiers – some of them knew. They were from the Taiga. They said a Menk will follow you in the woods. At night, they take the high ground and throw rocks. They don’t want us in the forest. The Mansi told you, Igor. I heard them.”

“They just said it’s a dangerous place,” said Igor. “Gor Otorten – they call it ‘Don’t Go There,’ or something like that.”

“They said the Menk killed elk. They saw the fresh kill. Do you have any idea what a kill like that looks like? Five hundred pound animals torn apart by the bare hands of those beasts. Bones as big as your head snapped in two.”

dyatparty2Georgyi huddled into the fire, dropping a few sticks on the flame. He shivered uncontrollably. “I’m so cold!”

“Luda, your foot is burning. Take it out…you can’t feel the flames your feet are so frozen.”

“I can’t feel my toes.”

“We need to get to shelter,” said Semen.

“We could go to the depot,” said Rustem

“What, and play your mandolin? There’s nothing there for us and it’s way over the mountain. Look at you shiver. You can’t even walk.”

“Just trying to think of things….”

“It’s okay Rustem, we need to think of something,” said Igor.

“We need shelter from the wind. Look, we need a hole to climb into. We need to…”

“We need to go back to the tent,” said Zina.

“You don’t hear that? They’re still there,” said Semen.

“Maybe they won’t hurt us. My grandma said she knew of them. My mother told me don’t listen because it was old women talk. Grandma said they just want us to leave them alone and they take care of themselves. Let’s go back and get the blankets and our boots and skis. Let them scream all they want.”

dyatlov2“They hit the tent and you screamed bloody murder – that was you wasn’t it?” said Semen.

“It was just a snowball. It scared me.”

“Well, I thought it was pinching your head off. I beg your pardon.”

“I want to go to the tent,” said Zina.

“I’ll go,” said Rustem. “I have a shoe.”

“Don’t go back there. I’m finding shelter. We can survive the night. They will go away when the sun rises,” said Semen.

“Zina, let Rustem go. He can bring us supplies. Stay here and sit on my lap. Stay warm,” Igor pleaded.

Rustem Slobodin stood and walked away, before anyone could say more.

“They’re angry at us. Don’t go up there,” Semen said, then turned and walked into the trees.

The party sat in silence. Yuri climbed the tree and looked for Rustem. He broke branches to get a view. The campfire died. He looked down and saw everyone drowsing. He heard a thunk in the distance. He also thought he heard a sigh. He strained to look between the branches.

Semen came back from the trees. “I found a place.” He looked at the group. Georgyi slumped over his knees, his hand in his mouth, still. The others shivered and held each other.

Yuri yelled from the tree. “I don’t see Rustem anywhere,” he said.

Semen saw Yuri was shivering uncontrollably, hanging on the tree for dear life. “Can you see the tent?” he asked.

“I can’t tell what is happening up there,” he said. “I see things, but I don’t know. I can’t focus my eyes.”

“Get down then, Yuri,” Semen said.

“I’ll stay here,”he said. “Something is coming. Rustem is coming back.”

Lyudmila get up. Aleksi, Nicolai, Georgyi get up. I know where to go.”

“Coming Sascha. I’m coming,” said Nicolai.

“I’m going to the tent,” said Zina. “I’m cold and tired.”

“I’m coming.” said Igor. He was speaking to Zina. He didn’t recognize anyone else.

“Georgyi won’t move,” said Lyudmila. “He’s not moving, Sascha.”

Dyatloff_group3Semen pulled Georgyi’s head back, “He’s dead. Take his clothes.”


Aleksi hadn’t moved in twenty minutes, except to pull his feet from the fire when they started burning. He leaned over Georgyi and stripped the pants off with his knife. “Wrap these on your feet, Lyudmila.”

Zina and Igor stood. Zina walked away and Igor followed. He stumbled after a few steps, and started crawling.

Semen led the others into the trees. He held the hand of Lyudmila. Aleksi held her other.  Nicolai followed, asking, “How’d you know Georgyi is dead, Sascha?”

“When they are like that, they are dead.”

Yuri looked below him. Everyone was gone. Where did they go?

 Where did everyone go?

They left the tent. Apparently with the clothes on their backs, plus the camera Zolotorev carried on his neck. Strange thing isn’t it?

They assembled together at the cedar, then ended in three different directions. Some left the tree, some stayed and died – or died and stayed – nobody knows. Certainly they were together under the cedar for some time. The evidence is they had a fire. Clothing, removed from Krivonishenko, was found with Dubinina and Zolotorev in the ravine. Three went for the tent, four went for the ravine, and two stayed, dead already, or nearly so. How the party split has bearing on some theories, especially where there is speculation a rift occurred in the group as the cause of the entire tragedy. But there is no evidence to indicate a different sequence of events.

There is every evidence they were trying to control their fate. They built fire and sought shelter. They climbed a tree – for whatever reason. That is an extraordinary expenditure of energy under the circumstances. For what? To get firewood? To see the tent? Were they hiding from something that was after them, or just hiding from the wind? The mystery deepens.

Anomalous bits of evidence lead to dead-ends. The answer demands consistency.

dyatlovtentA number of anomalous bits of evidence, superficial connections, hearsay, unsupported anecdotal information from various people connected to the party, or the investigation, assumptions and fabrications fog the story. Some have merit and some are red herrings.

Radioactive clothing is a case in point. Dubinina and Zolotorev wore clothing found by Geiger counter to have a surface dusting of a radioactive material. Analysis indicated Beta radiation. Lantern mantles used at the time contained Alpha radiation, so although it’s a perfectly convenient explanation, it doesn’t work. The engineering students worked in laboratories at the Ural Polytechnic Institute, however. Zolotorev didn’t, but he wore Dubinina’s contaminated coat. So it is likely a laboratory is the source of the radioactivity.

It is interesting that the bodies were even scanned with a Geiger counter. It wouldn’t be normal practice, but this was no normal case. The fact of the radiation and use of the Geiger counter has supported theories of cold war espionage, to UFO’s. The Daily Plasma thinks it is a red herring, although other aspects of these theories are more interesting.

First, a theory actually examined by the investigators. Mansi tribe retribution for trespass, or some other injustice. The Mansi became suspect when investigators found the four injured in the ravine and decided they had a murder on their hands. The Mansi however were cleared. If there were any merit to the idea Mansi were involved, surely, the on-site law enforcement investigators would have found it.

dyatlov_pass_campsiteAlong these same lines, the possibility escaped convicts from a nearby prison camp found them and killed them. Throw in the radiation and Zolotorev’s somewhat sketchy military past, and you have espionage, either with American spies killing them in a meeting gone wrong, where one of the party intended to pass off the radioactive materials (as evidence of nuclear tests), or where the Soviets caught the spies in the act of meeting the Americans. There were such things going on in the remote parts of the U.S.S.R. during those tense, Cold War years and distrust over nuclear developments.

No evidence of anyone approaching the tent was found. The only footprints were those of the party. Nothing appears stolen. Money, supplies and valuable camera’s and gear seemed untouched. Escaped convicts would take things, unless they were depraved killers just climbing a mountain looking for victims on a freezing night. None of the party had connections to imply espionage, except some mystery over Zolotorev’s role at times during the war, yet nothing surfaces to show he’s a spy.

Orange Fireballs

Much is made of orange fireballs seen in the sky in the weeks preceding and during the tragedy. Theories range from secret Soviet weapons testing to UFO’s that the group somehow ran afoul of. The scene and injuries were not consistent with an explosion, and no collateral blast evidence of any kind was found.

dyatlovlightThis photo, claimed to be the last on the party’s rolls of film, provides no useful information. It could be the orange fireball, but it could also be an overexposure from an accidental, unfocused shot.

Alien visitors, assumed to be far advanced technologically, could have a focused-beam weapon to cause injury to some and leave the others to die of exposure. Based on the first person reports of humans who claim a “third kind” encounter, however, alien contact never involves such violence. It typically involves an abduction. Victims often report odd lights, amnesia, loss of time, disorientation and alien harassment, including uncomfortable anal examinations, pieces of material injected into their skin and telepathic examinations. There was no evidence found related to abduction, or alien visitation. Some metal found near the site that raised suspicions of rockets, bombs and UFO’s were identified as pieces of radar equipment unrelated to any such event.

The orange lights, of course, may have been seen. Plasma events caused by atmospheric electrical phenomena could have been the “orange lights,” reportedly seen in the Dyatlov vicinity on that night by another expedition approximately 20, or 30 miles away. Similar sightings occurred for weeks prior, according to several local sources. These things happen in Siberia all the time.

The only way an electrical phenomena is understood to inflict injury is by a discharge. Common lightning can shatter tons of rock in a single strike, as recorded on mountain tops. The night was windy, and stormy and lightning could have occurred. High voltage injury, as experienced by transmission voltage workers will generally blow a limb off, or knock the victim to the ground, with death caused by the fall. Except for some unusual burns on hair, and clothing, which was likely caused trying to huddle and shield the fire from wind, there is little to suggest injuries were from a high voltage event.

Most of these theories don’t explain the scene as a whole. Why would orange fireballs cause them to leave the tent, for instance. One could imagine looking out the tent in amazement, but why leave it. The one scenario that has plausibility is if, in the wind and storm charged atmosphere, static charges built, causing their hair to rise, perhaps causing the tent to glow with St. Elmo’s fire. This could have signaled an impending lightning threat to the experienced mountaineers, and caused them to seek shelter in the trees.

But what then? Did they wait out the storm only to find they were too far exposed and frostbitten to return. Three of them dying because they fell into the ravine, or ironically, lightning struck them as they sheltered from it, killing them with rocky shrapnel. It is a chain of events that could have occurred. The heart of the matter lies with a closer examination of the injuries.

Before doing so, one final theory finding a popular following since the recent publication of “Dead Mountain” by Donnie Eichar. It is really a variation on these themes, but with an interesting causation. Infrasound caused by a known wind phenomena. A  Kármán Vortex Street (named for Hungarian physicist Theodore von Kármán) can form when wind of a certain speed hits a dome-shaped mountain top, like Kolhat Syakhl. Vortices spinning off the obstructing object produce whirlwinds that could generate infrasound and an ear-splitting roar like an approaching avalanche..

Infrasound is low-frequency, lower than 20 Hz, below the audible range for most people. Infrasound will cause uncomfortable effects such as nausea, confusion, anxiety, and perhaps in particular combinations of power, resonance and frequency, even more damaging effects, essentially rattling the bones. Such direct effects to the body may have unhinged their state of mind, and the vibrations, or an audible roar caused them to believe an avalanche was approaching. It is assumed once out of the tent the sequence would be similar to the lightning scenario, including a fall into the ravine.

In part three, the focus will be on the corpus of wounds to the victims, in addition to individual cause of death, looking for patterns offering some conclusions. Further examination of the lethal wounds will be necessary. Some discussion of hypothermia and the dramatization will continue.

Postscript: At the end of Part One the reader was promised excerpts from the journals. The Daily Plasma prefers writing to cut and paste, and writing leads to unpredictable results. They simply fell out of the scope of the article as it developed. There is no clue to the mystery in them, other than notable exceptions that belong in Part Three.

Thank you.

The Haunting Mystery of Dyatlov Pass – Part One

The Dyatlov Pass Incident – a grim, yet tantalizing true mystery.

Semen Zolotorev pushed his face into the howling wind. Spindrift stung as he crawled out of the tent, standing as he cleared the flap.

“Close it,” he heard Lyudmila’s muffled shout.

“Ya,” he mumbled, as he pushed fabric into her reaching hand. She tied it shut, cutting out the dim light from within. He turned the flashlight on, found his way to the edge of the snow platform, and began the process of undoing three pairs of pants. He had to pee.

It took him some time, undoing the ski pants, then the second and third pair beneath. The temperature was -15°C, but shit, the wind! The soft leather burkas on his feet were getting covered in wet snow. He wanted to do this quick.

dyat trees
The scene from Kholat Syakhl.

He looked across the snowfield – the snow swirled and raced across the slope, hugging ground until catching and drifting against scrubby trees a few hundred meters below. He’d been watching those trees earlier.

His spine shivered with the cold. To his bladder, he said, “Ughh, come on, let go before we get frostbitten.” He felt strangely uneasy, but managed to make a stream. He enlarged the steaming hole, swinging his hips to widen it.

Something caught his eye – a dark motion in the trees. He turned to look directly at it, and saw nothing but trees in the wind.

The trees were sparse, dwarf pines growing along a drainage to the forest below. They were 200 meters away across an empty snowfield on the flank of Kholat Syakhl – the “Mountain of Dead” as the local Mansi tribesmen called it. The Mansi tried to persuade them not to come here.

On that day, Semen began thinking they were right. He saw a dark object move in the trees. Did I see that? he thought. He peered into the gloom, straining to see movement against the white gleam of snow at the tree-line.

“Huk,” his breath hitched as he saw something move against the wind. He turned off the flashlight. It’s beam only reflected blowing snow. “I see it.” He ran back to the tent, dropping the flashlight and pushed at the flap, bowing it inward until he found the tie and yanked it loose. He flipped it away and dove inside in one fluid motion.

Dyatlov Party on their final day of the trek.

“Hey, you Cossack. don’t run me over.” Lyudmila squeeled, closing the flap behind him and buttoning it against the wind.

“It’s out there!”

“What? Did you leave a turd?” asked Yuri.

“I saw it in the trees. I told you! It’s watching us,” Semen sat and stared at his eight comrades. His face was white.

“What did you see, Sacha?” asked Igor Dyatlov, the expedition leader. He used Semen’s nickname. Semen never liked his given name – “You know what that means in English?” he’d say.

“Yarwoooooooow”…a howl rose above the scream of the wind, trailed off, and then…”Yaaaaghhhh,” a gut-churning growl seemed to vibrate the tent.

Digging the platform to pitch the tent.

“Sacha, what was that,” asked Zina.

“I told you, it’s out there,” is all he said.

“I don’t believe it,” said Aleksi. “That was wind. Stop joking with us, Sascha.”

“It’s out there. You just heard it,” Semen said.

“What do we do?” said Zina.

Semen was digging in his backpack. He brought out a camera.

“Are you going back out?” asked Rustem. “Where is my camera – I want to see.”

“Don’t go out,” said Igor. “Did you really see it, Sascha? Are you sure?”

“You just heard it didn’t you? It’s down the hill in the trees.”

“What? It’s coming at us?”

“No, it’s down in the trees,” Semen pointed towards the pass they had traveled that afternoon.

The tent earlier in the trip.

“The sound came from above.”

“That’s what I heard, too. It came from above us.”


“No, it’s that way. It’s getting closer.”


“How many are there?”


“Don’t open the tent.”


“We need to see.”

“Cut a slit above your head.”

“I’m making a slit too. I hear something over this way…”

Of course, no one really knows what they said to each other. No one really knows what happened.
Igor Dyatlov – expedition leader.

The date is February 2, 1959. The place is a mountain-side overlooking a wooded valley that will come to be known as Dyatlov Pass. The party, nine trekkers led by 24 year old Igor Dyatlov, are four days into a ski trip to Mount Otorten, deep in Russia’s Ural Mountains. Camped on the snow-blown slopes of the neighboring peak, Kholat Syakhl, they intend to reach their goal on the following day. That day never comes for these nine trekkers. As Rod Serling would say – they had entered the Twilight Zone.

The story of the Dyatlov Pass incident was not widely known outside of Russia until the 1990’s. The Soviets didn’t allow information to escape to the dyatparty2west unfiltered, and there was no way to filter this story to make it look good. After the fall of the Soviet Union and the release of records, it is now widely known as the most disturbing and haunting mystery of modern times.

dyatlovparty5At first look, the story is uncomfortable. The nine healthy, young and experienced explorers left the safety and warmth of their tent and belongings, even their shoes, on a moonless, stormy night where temperatures are believed to have reached -18°C (-4°F) with a 20 to 30 knot wind. They then traveled a mile into the forest only to die of exposure and horrific injuries.

Avalanche is the rational culprit according to many. Why else would they abandon the tent in such a hurry without shoes. How else would the rib cages and skulls of three of them suffer blunt trauma, likened by the coroner to the energy of a high speed car impact. But searchers found virtually no physical evidence of an avalanche. What they did find only puzzled them more. In fact, each piece of evidence only added layers of mystery. The events that caused their deaths have become the focus of many theories, books, movies and documentaries.

The dramatization in this article is one possibility.

On February 26, a search party found the tent. Footprint evidence still remained of eight, or nine individuals leading from the tent down the slope in a more, or less, orderly trail. The searchers did not take care to preserve the scene properly, not yet realizing it was the scene of horrific tragedy – perhaps even murder.

dyatlov footprints1
The footprints of the Dyatlov group leaving the tent. Their feet compressed the snow and subsequent winds left the prints in bas-relief.

The footprints ended five hundred meters from the tent, the snow and wind having covered them beyond that point. The searchers saw no other footprints on the snowfield.

Two searchers looking for a place to camp near the treeline approached a promising clearing near a large cedar, where they would have a clear view of the tent above and the surrounding slopes. Under the cedar, they found another camp – occupied by two of the trekkers.

They were frozen stiff, laid side-by-side, wearing only underwear and no shoes.

Searchers using metal poles to probe the snow found two more bodies, between the cedar camp and the tent, as if these victims had died attempting to get back to the tent.

Another body was found between the two returning to the tent. Examination showed he had a cracked skull, but the injury wasn’t deemed fatal. It was determined all five of the trekkers died of hypothermia – frozen to death. This one must have fallen at some point, or been hit by something.

A view of the tent as the rescuers found it on Feb. 26, 1959. The tent had been cut open from inside, and most of the skiers had fled in socks or barefoot. Photo taken by soviet authorities at the camp of the Dyatlov Pass incident and anexed to the legal inquest that investigated the deaths.
The tent as rescuers found it on Feb. 26, 1959. It had been cut open from inside, and most of the skiers had fled in socks.

The situation looked fairly obvious at first. The trekkers must have been buried by an avalanche – or heard one coming – and cut their way free of the tent to seek shelter in the trees. Because of the freezing temperatures, and the fact their cold weather gear was left in the collapsed tent, they quickly succumbed to the elements, unable to return to the tent on their frozen feet.

But if an avalanche hit them, why were their footprints still visible leading down the hill. Why was the tent still partially standing. Why were tent stakes and ski poles still standing, and the tent fabric – torn and collapsed – only covered with a small amount of snow. Why did they run straight downhill in the obvious path of any avalanche they were escaping. Why didn’t they run across slope to escape, as anyone experienced with avalanche knows. Why did they even camp so high on the mountain, instead of in the trees a mile away where there was shelter from the wind. Why did they keep walking a mile with no shoes, which likely took twenty, to thirty minutes under the conditions they were in. Avalanches happen in a few minutes, why did they go so far before attempting to go back to the tent. These questions must have begun to concern the searchers. And there were still four more trekkers to find. Where did they go?

The search expanded. Helicopters and government officials came to replace the volunteer search party. Two months passed and the weather warmed. On May 4, snow melt exposed a piece of fabric in a ravine, 75 meters from the cedar tree. The searchers brought in shovels.

Thirteen feet down in the ravine, under twelve feet of snow, the four missing bodies were found. The autopsy of these individuals turned the investigation on its ear.

They had built a small den in the ravine to get out of the wind, with a cedar platform to keep them off the snow. There were even patches of clothing to sit on. But they weren’t found on the platform. The bodies were huddled together, several feet away. Only one died of exposure, like his five comrades found earlier. The other three died a different way. Two had crushed ribs and one a crushed head. These injuries were fatal and appeared to have occurred in the ravine.

Surely an avalanche might have done this. Many believe that to this day. But to many, the evidence just doesn’t fit that theory. The evidence suggests a more gruesome scene.

If an avalanche hit their tent while they were inside, as they relaxed after their evening meal, the impact of the snow could have crushed three of the party, leaving the others to dig out and save them. But if that occurred, why would they leave shoes and heavy ski jackets behind. Surely, after the avalanche was over, they needed warm clothes.

Perhaps they heard another avalanche coming – or thought they did – and rushed away to safety. But how, if three of them had suffered fatal injury, were they able to walk away? Eight footprints were found, and likely a ninth, leading from the tent in an orderly file. Some prints deviated from the path, but rejoined. They could have carried one party, perhaps piggyback, but there were still eight of them able to walk.

The investigation indicates it is unlikely they were injured in an avalanche. What follows is a description of the victims, how they were found and the causes of death. The descriptions and photos are horrific, so put your spooky hat on.

Igor Dyatlov, 22

Äÿòëîâ ÈãîðüExpedition leader, experienced trekker and athlete. Igor studied Radio Engineering at the UPI University in Sverdlovsk. He designed the small stove that was used to heat the tent used on the trek. Igor was respected as a leader: thoughtful, methodical and well organized. He courted Zina Kolmogorova, another member of the trek.

The autopsy indicated Igor died on his stomach.

Igor was the third to be found. He wore a fur coat unbuttoned, a sweater, long sleeved shirt and ski pants over inner pants. He had only one pair of socks, woolen on the right and cotton on the left. No shoes. He carried a pocket knife and a photo of Zina Kolmogorova with him.

He was found 300 meters from the cedar, apparently on his way to the tent when he died of exposure. This photo shows his corpse as it was found, after the snow was removed. The autopsy indicates he died face down. There is no explanation why they found him on his back.

Georgyi Krivonishenko, 24

Dyatloff_group_115_Kriv[1]Graduated from UPI University in 1959, Krivonishenko was one of two bodies first found under the cedar tree. He was dressed in a shirt, long sleeved shirt, swimming pants, pants and a torn sock on his left foot. No shoes.

Doroshenko (left) and Krivonishenko.

He lay beneath the cedar next to Yuri Doroshenko. A camp fire was next to them that they apparently had trouble keeping lit in the wind.

The cedar itself had been climbed. Branches were broken-off fifteen feet high in the tree. Whether this was to supply firewood, or some other reason isn’t clear. Searchers reported there was adequate firewood on the ground.

Investigators noted the pattern of high broken branches appeared on one side of the tree, as if someone had broken them to clear a view to the tent.

Yuri Doroshenko, 21
The cedar tree camp.

Dyatloff_group_115_Dor[1]The other body under the cedar, Doroshenko was a student of the UPI university. He once dated Zina Kolmogorova and remained good friends with her and Igor Dyatlov.

Doroshenko was found in a short sleeve shirt, vest, knit pants and shorts over pants. His pants were badly ripped with one large hole on the right and a smaller on the left. Pants had tears on the inside of the thighs. On his feet he had a pair of wool socks. The left sock was burned. He wore no shoes.

Because of some of his injuries, it is thought he was the tree climber, although others may have climbed it too. The tree had traces of blood and skin embedded in the bark. Residue of foamy grey fluid around his mouth led some investigators to speculate his chest had been compressed before death, which could have been the result of a fall. They did not conclude it  contributed to his death, however. The cause of his death was hypothermia.

Both Doroshenko and Krivonishenko died of exposure. It is believed they were the first to die, because their bodies were still at the cedar tree, where it is believed they all congregated after leaving the tent. Others had removed some of their clothes and left to either attempt a return to the tent, or shelter in the ravine.

Zinaida Kolmogorova, 22
Zina got farthest from the cedar tree trying to reach the tent.

Zina KolmogorovaA student at the UPI University as a Radio Engineering Major, Zina was a tough, experienced hiker. Some speculate her relationships with the men may have caused a problem that led to the incident. There is no evidence to support this speculation and every evidence they were a level-headed group that got on well together.

Better dressed than the bodies beneath the tree, she wore two hats, long sleeved shirt, sweater, another shirt and sweater with torn cuffs. Plus trousers, cotton athletic pants, ski pants, a military mask and three pairs of socks. No shoes.

Zina got closer to the tent than anyone else. She was found 630 meters from the cedar – a third of the way back to the tent. Among minor injuries, she had a bruise that encircled her torso on the right side. Her cause of death was declared hypothermia due to violent accident.

Rustem Slobodin, 23
Rustem’s body was warm enough to melt the snow beneath where he fell.

Dyatloff_group_115_Sl[1]Graduated from the UPI University in 1959, Slobodin was known as very athletic, honest and decent. He played a mandolin that he brought on the trek and left cached at a supply depot for the return trip. The group often sang to his mandolin.

Rustem wore a long sleeve shirt, another shirt, sweater, two pairs of pants, four pairs of socks. Unlike the others, he wore one boot on his right foot. His pockets had 310 rubles, a passport, a knife, pen, pencil, comb, match box and single sock.

He was the third trekker found making his way back to the tent, 480 meters from the cedar. He suffered a blunt trauma head injury, with a fracture to the side, frontal bones of his skull and hemorrhaging. Examiners deemed it non-lethal, however severe enough to cause loss of coordination due to initial shock following the blow. They determined he died of exposure aggravated by violent injury. Beneath Rustem, the ice had melted and refroze, indicting he was still warm when he fell. The other bodies did not exhibit this. Perhaps they never fell, crawling may have been the only way to move with frozen feet. Rustem at least had one boot.

Lyudmila Dubinina, 21
Lyudmila as found at the bottom of the ravine. Snow melt courses beneath her body.

0_50713_afe7198b_M[1]A third year student in Engineering and Economics at the UPI University, Lyudmila took many of the trip pictures and recorded events in their journal. Once, she was accidentally shot during an expedition by another trekker cleaning a rifle, and endured the painful injury well. She was known to be very outspoken.

Lyudmila wore a short sleeve shirt, long sleeve shirt, two sweaters, underwear, long socks and two pairs of pants. The outer pair was badly burned and subsequently ripped. She also wore a hat and two pairs of warm socks and a third sock not paired. She had a piece of Krivonishenko’s pants that were cut away from his body. She’d wrapped a piece around one foot, another piece was found in the snow.

Her injuries included four ribs broken on the right side with two fracture lines visible and a massive hemorrhage in the right atrium of her heart. On the left, six ribs were broken, also with two fracture lines.

Semen Zolotarev, 38
Kolevatov (top) and Zolotarev.

simon-zolotarev He was the oldest and somewhat of an outsider to the group. He was a ski instructor who joined the expedition to gain  performance points to achieve promotion to the rank of “Master” instructor. Born a Cossack, he distinguished himself in the brutal conditions of the Great Patriotic War a decade earlier. His real name was Semen, while everyone called him “Sasha,” or “Alexander”. No one knows why he chose to introduce himself by a different name.

The body of Semen Zolotarev was found with two hats, scarf, long sleeve shirt, black sweater and a coat with two upper buttons undone. The lower part of the body was protected by underwear, two pairs of pants and a pair of ski pants. He had a copy of newspapers, several coins, compass, and a few other items. His feet were protected by a pair of socks and a pair of warm leather handmade shoes known as “burka”. Zolotarev had a camera around his neck.

Zolotarev had five ribs broken along two fracture lines and the ribs detached from the chest wall. An open wound on the right side of his head exposed part of his skull. The chest injuries were fatal.

Aleksander Kolevatov, 25
Dubinina (top) and Thibeaux-Brignolle.

Dyatloff_group_115_Kolev[1]An experienced outdoorsman and scientist, Kolevatov was studying for a Major in Physics at the Sverdlovsk UPI institute and had already completed Mining and Metallurgy College. Known as a good student, he’d lived in Moscow working at the Ministry of Medium Machine Building, and later was engaged in producing materials for the nuclear industry. In 1956 he moved back to Sverdlovsk to study physics at the UPI Institute. He was respected as a leader, organized, methodical and diligent.

Medical examination found a deformed neck and an open wound behind the ear. His death was determined to be hypothermia.

Nicolai Thibeaux-Brignolle, 25
As they were found in the ravine.

i_010[1]Graduated in 1958, Nicolai majored in Civil Engineering at the UPI University. He was the son of a French Communist executed during the Stalin years and was born in a concentration camp for political prisoners. He was known as a friendly, caring and open person who often set aside his own comfort for the benefit of others.

Thibeaux-Brignolle had multiple fractures to the temporal bone of the skull, radiating to surrounding bone. He died from the wound.

Yuri Yudin

The tenth member of the Dyatlov party and the only survivor, Yudin was a student of UPI. Yuri left the expedition on January 28, before the tragedy struck due to medical reasons. He passed away on April 27th, 2013. He maintained an enduring curiosity for what caused his friends death throughout his life.

Timeline of the tragedy

Examiners used estimates of travel time, life expectancy after injuries, time for survival in the extreme cold, and the remains of undigested food in their stomachs to construct a probable timeline of events. The evidence indicates they died within six to eight hours after their last meal. Exposure at those temperatures can kill in three to six hours.

4 P.M., February 1 – Party arrives on the slopes of Kyolat Syakhl. They set camp high on the snowfield away from the tree-line, as recorded by photograph. Why they camped there is unknown, but Yuri Yudin, the tenth member of the party who had earlier turned back, believed they decided to camp there to either gain the experience of a high camp, or because they were reluctant to loose altitude they would have to re-climb the following day.

6 to 7 P.M. – Group prepared and ate a meal.

7 to 10 P.M. – Group relaxed in the tent with boots off and in various stages of undress. The implication is nothing was out of the ordinary at this time. The weather was believed to be -18°C at this time in the evening, and windy. At some point, someone urinated outside near the tent.

10:00 to 11:00 P.M. – The group, in various states of undress, used knives to cut through the sides of the tent and flee downhill to the forest. Tracks indicate the group was scattered at first, but came back together part way down the slope.

11:00 P.M. to 1:00 A.M. – The group hides under a large cedar tree inside the edge of the forest approximately one mile from the tent. They light a fire and remain for possibly two hours trying to keep warm.  Various burns on clothing, skin and hair imply they crowded the fire for warmth and probably to shield it from the wind. The fire is situated behind the tree relative to the tent. Broken branches in the cedar suggest at least one of the team climbed it to view the tent on the slopes above.

12:00 to 1:00 A.M., February 2 – Two group members, Krivonischenko and Doroshenko die from cold exposure.

Three members of the team try and return to the tent. Dyatlov, Kolmogorova and Slobodin, already suffering hypothermia, fail to make it and collapse at various intervals. They are found separately at 985, 1,575 and 2,065 feet from the tree.

The four still alive take the clothes from the dead bodies of their comrades. Dubinina wraps her feet in trousers cut away from Krivonischenko’s body.

12:30 to 1:30 A.M. – Four of the skiers move 75 meters away to a ravine where they huddle together. Nicolas dies of head wounds. Dubinina dies from chest injuries and hypothermia. Alexander Zolotarev takes her coat and hat to keep himself warm.

12:45 to 1:45 A.M. – Zolotarev dies from a combination of chest injuries and hypothermia.

1:30 to 2:45 A.M. – Alexander Kolevatov, frozen and alone, dies of hypothermia.

If it could be determined an avalanche killed them, we wouldn’t have a mystery.

This is the puzzle for the avalanche theorists – the mortal injuries to Dubinina, Zolotorev and Thibeaux-Brignolle. If they were injured in the tent in an avalanche, it is highly unlikely they could have trudged a mile in snow with no shoes to the tree, and later to the ravine, apparently outliving members of the group who were not severely injured. The footprints say they walked away from the tent. There was no evidence of dragging, or anyone being carried.

Examination of the topology shows little chance an avalanche hit the tent. If it did, it could only have hit a glancing blow.

There was no evidence of an avalanche at the tent, either. No flow patterns, or debris from an avalanche were found. The slope angle was 23° where they pitched it, rising to 30° above and considerably shallower below. The location is not conducive to a snow build-up likely to avalanche according to terrain analysis, and even if it had, an avalanche would have missed the tent. No subsequent expeditions to the area have ever witnessed avalanche conditions at the site.

They built a platform, clearly seen in the photo shown, that left a protective cleft to shield them from snow slide – they were experienced at what they were doing. Tent poles and ski poles were found standing, with a small amount of snow not fully covering the tent.

Some have suggested an avalanche hit them after they left the tent, sweeping the four into the ravine. Such an avalanche would have also swept the other five bodies and damaged trees, for which no evidence was found. The other bodies were found with only a layer of atmospheric snow on them.

The ravine was surrounded by trees and relatively flat ground. The trees and brush at the ravine showed no evidence of avalanche.

Another theory holds they ran headlong into the ravine and broke their bones in the fall. The ravine was measured at 10, to 17 feet deep in the vicinity where the bodies were found. The slope into the ravine was at a thirty, to forty degree angle and the ravine measured 130 feet across.

The ravine.

The coroner concluded Thibeaux-Brignolle’s head injury to be consistent with impacting a rock as a result of a fall from a height of 6 to 10 feet, but not more. Any greater height should have broken the apex of the skull and Thibeaux-Brignolle had no apex damage. Hemorrhaging suggests that he was alive when he sustained the injury.

The broken ribs of Dubinina and Zolotorev were very similar in pattern and impact energy, as if the target of similar blows.  There was little, or no external damage to tissue. Extremities most exposed to fracture in a fall, or avalanche, such as hands, arms, legs, or collar bones, were not broken.

Another speculation is the bones were perhaps fractured less severely and the weight of later snow finished the crushing as it accumulated over time. Medical examiners found the wounds to be complete before death, however. The damage was done while they were alive.

There was no physical evidence of an avalanche at the tent, or at the ravine, or having hit them in between. A fall into the ravine could have caused the injuries, but it is difficult to imagine a fall such as this. Three of four people tumbling down a forty degree slope, or breaking through ice into the ravine below is certainly possible, but the pattern of injuries is odd. Two of them suffering very similar impacts to the ribs at the sides of the chest, and one impacted on the side of the head. Three simultaneous mortal injuries from a fall that left no related external injury, or broken limbs.

In Part 2 we will examine more strangeness: more injuries and evidence, more circumstances and theories, more pictures and some journal entries – and the dramatization will continue.

Thank you.