Possible resolution to the 9 dead Russian hikers mystery

In 1959, nine Russian hikers died in an extremely unlikely set of circumstances. I shan’t rehash everything here, so do read the linked post. But I happened to be hanging out with my friend Greg last weekend and he imparted to me an interesting theory he had about what caused the deaths of the Russian hikers. It seems plausible to me, much more plausible than anything I came up with (and certainly better than the laughable alien theories).

Russia entered the nuclear era with a bang, not a whimper. They saw nuclear technology as the next revolution in generating electricity. As such, they strove to use it everywhere, even when the safety concerns would seemingly override the value of using nuclear (but that’s Communist Russia for you). In particular, Russia employed a great number of Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs). The particular model they used was about one meter by one meter by two meters, small enough to fit in pretty much any building. It generated energy not by conducting full-scale atomic fission like in a nuclear reactor but by harnessing the heat given off by the radioactive decay of Strontium 90. It’s the same technology we use to power our spacecraft which journey far away from the Sun (beyond the usefulness limit of solar panels).

The U.S.S.R. employed up to a thousand RTGs that we know of, many in remote lighthouses and navigation beacons. They are slowly being phased out with solar cells and battery packs today, but that technology wasn’t around in the 50s. All they had were the RTGs. And while the radioisotope source in the RTGs is theoretically well-encapsulated inside of a double layer stainless steel, aluminum, and lead casing, it’s easily possible for anyone with tools to gain access to the inside, inadvertently exposing themselves to a deadly dose of radiation.

With all of the background on RTGs taken care of, we return to the case of the nine dead Russian hikers. It is Greg’s theory that they stumbled across an RTG (which is not at all impossible given how widely they were used). The RTG was broken open, either by the hikers themselves, some outside actor, or a simple manufacturing defect. It was giving off heat and the hikers took it back to their tent to keep warm with, possibly mistaking it for some kind of heater. When they realized the true nature of it, probably after experiencing the onset of radiation sickness, they departed their tent in a hurry, stopping not even to put on their clothing.

But it was too late. They had already received a fatal dose of radiation, which they would have died from were it not from dying of weather exposure first. This theory explains many of the facts about the case: why the men fled a perfectly good tent, why they were found with high levels of radiation exposure, even why the military helicopter pilots refused to transport the bodies. The presence of the RTG isn’t mentioned in any of the surviving reports because it was covered up (this was Soviet Russia), and they authorities figured they would rather have the deaths remain an anomaly than have their prized nuclear technology be considered dangerous.

This theory explains pretty much all of the facts of the case except one: how did four of the deceased end up with severe internal injuries yet no internal wounds? The coroners noted the injuries were possibly caused by collision with a vehicle, except that there was no vehicle anywhere in sight. So maybe the source of radioactivity was part of some secret testing or training, and the hikers were first discovered alive by the military and then eliminated, leaving only corpses and a cleaned up scene for the hikers’ friends to stumble upon much later during the recovery search? Can you come up with a better theory?

In the end, I suspect we will never know the truth. The Communist government of Soviet Russia seems to have had good reason to cover up the particulars of this case. So in the end all of the facts were recorded as anomalous, while truthfully, there were people involved in a cover-up effort who knew exactly what happened.

102 Responses to “Possible resolution to the 9 dead Russian hikers mystery”

  1. John Says:

    Oh, by the way, the tracks that were found started at the campsite but only lasted for a few hundred yards. There were no tracks from that point on until they found the first bodies. This is also consistant with an avalanche which swept their tracks (and 4 of the hikers) away. (Thanks for listening).

  2. John Says:

    More infomation. I just saw some photos and learned that they camped below a ridgeline because they were caught in a blizzard. The perfect place and the perfect conditions for an avalanche. It probably just missed their camp but they panicked in the dark and fled the sound of it coming. If they had stayed (hindsight) this probably would have never been a story at all.

  3. Jim Says:

    Well, lots of ideas presented. I didn’t read all the posts so if I duplicate one I will apologize in advance. Lets assume that the story is true, for the most part. If we present it with that in mind, then doesn’t it seem like they were experimented on? Let me elaborate… How many days passed till they located them (they mention 4 days into the trek and 10 days pass due for their arrival), but no clear time period of how long before they were discovered. Many/most (correct me here if I’m wrong) of the 9 had dissimilar trauma and some with similar trauma (radiation, orange skin, white hair, missing tongue, etc.). Yet if they froze to death, wouldn’t the bodies be in pretty good condition (minus the trauma spoken of)? I mean, I did see this on Ancient Aliens also and saw the pictures. These bodies were in very poor condition. There sockets seemed devoid of tissue. Also the skin on them (some of them/one of them, not sure…) appeared in decay (drawn tight, teeth showing through decayed or shriveled lips, hair loss), so if they froze to death (fairly quickly) wouldn’t they show much less decay (or no decay)? I’m assuming, since they did not mention anything about tracks in the snow, (except the hikers, of course), at or near the tent and, at or near the bodes, some 1.5 kilometers away, that there weren’t any. So we can also assume that predators (native predators), did not cause any of the trauma. Then it just seems like (this is just an hypothesis), that they were so terrified at something that had made its way into the tent and blocked the exit, that they decided to cut their way out. But to leave, so terrified, that you would not even put on your shoes (considering the environment they were in), is astounding to me. I find it hard to believe that they ran that far with these injuries (in fact I don’t believe they could have, at least some of them). So this could suggest they made it to the edge of the woods, and that is were “something” happened. To reiterate what I said towards the beginning, doesn’t it seem like they may have been experimented on? Though they were able to escape the tent (they did not say how many tracks there were leading away from the tent, so I am assuming all of them made it out), made it as far as they did and then were detained by what ever, experimented on, and then dumped back where they were taken from. It just seems unusual, in and of itself, that they sustained dissimilar trauma in some cases. Why not conduct tests on the indigenous “higher” life forms to ascertain and collect data on types of tissue destruction. Why not collect data concerning the types and seriousness of certain traumas that lead to death? Our scientists do it to animals in the name of helping humans. As for the orange orbs… if you see any, you probably shouldn’t approach them.

  4. Jim Says:

    As I have read more about this incident (not all the bodies were together, the tracks ended before the location of the bodies) , I find the avalanche theory very plausible. It doesn’t answer all my questions I have but does answer many. It doesn’t clearly answer the radiation, the white hair, or the orange skin etc questions, but then we are relying on information that comes out of Russia from 1959. I do wonder why they were buried in zinc coffins though… Is that typical in that part of the world?

  5. Jim Says:

    Oops sorry… gray hair.

  6. faberman Says:

    There were no traces of an avalanche. If you go to the first link at the top of the page, you will find this is included in the report. Good try though John.

  7. osymandias Says:

    Well it is highly possible that they were killed by what you want to call aliens. I am sure that aliens exists and I have personally seen ufo (once) myself. However, since I’m not able to provide evidence so you need not believe me if you don’t want.

  8. Joe Says:

    Crazy Russian springbreak orgy gone wrong. That explains sleeping butt-naked. They heard an avalanche coming, cut the tent, ran out half naked and four were taken by the avalanche with that one chick losing her tongue and others suffering internal injuries. Five made it to the tree-line and climbed a tree to escape avalanche. Once that passed they got a fire going, two died by the fire and three left to get clothes (the two burned fell into the fire after freezing) and died. As for radiation w/o total hairloss take into account they are Russian University students and likely were exposed to mild radiation. Solar radiation from the sun intensified by the snow’s reflection caused orange skin (tape colored construction paper on a window and check it after a week) and “premature aging”. Case closed… have a great day people.

  9. locklear Says:

    There were pictures and several of the bodies looked like there eyes were burned out of there skulls and the skin looked vaporised.. it was truly disturbing! Also civilians in the area also reported seeing red orbs hovering in the sky the very nite the hikers were killed. U dont need to be an expert in anything to see from the pictures and by the autopsy report that these poor people died by an unknown type of device or weapon not known to man kind at this time! Either they stumbled onto some top secret area and died by the hands of an unknown organization using technology we dont know exist or it was an extraterrestrial encounter with a probe of some kind or actual contact with alien life. To those of you who dont think they could cover up the tracks they could have used helicopters and a device to lay some snow down over what ever tracks were made.. If the U.S. government is capable of killing a president and orcastrating 911.. then surely the Russian gov could cover this up but highly unlikely! It sounds most plausible that the hikers encountered some thing out of this world! I Wish the government would stop hiding the truth but there not sure themselves how to deal with this problem and they dont want to look inapt in the eyes of the people so they dismiss it as anomalies or other ridiculous lies..

  10. Joe Says:

    I saw no mention in this new theory of what melted the snow surrounding their dead bodies.The video footage and pictures i saw showed that the snow had melted and frozen again into a huge ice puddle on the ground. Like some extreme heat had surrounded them where they had died.
    Maybe they lit matches to keep warm and melted puddles aroung themselves as they waited to die?

  11. Bdub Says:

    Seeing all these comments really reminds me of a quote I once heard. I know its a little off topic.
    “Does the madman know he is mad? Or are the madmen those who insist on convincing him of his unreason in order to safeguard their own idea of reality?”
    A few of the closed-minded people will not understand this quote…. obviously.

  12. thhak Says:

    this story creeps the shit out of me. i would love to believe your theory but… they where mutilated. they where burned, beaten and suffered from radiation poison. also, they ran 1 1/12 kilometers bear foot in near sub zero temperatures and there tents where cut open from the inside……. so something scared them so badly that they risked death from hypotherimia to escape something. this incident was so suprising and unexplainable the soviet union refused to realse most of it. even tho their known for doing things like this…. i wish i could believe it but it doesnt add up. if its snowing on top of a mountain how could they start a fire burn themselves get radiation poisoning and get beaten in an inhabitable place.

  13. Greg Says:

    I agree with the engineer. How can we be so incredibly egotistical to believe we are the only form of life in space. Space is infinite, Time is infinite. You can travel at a billion times the speed of light for 100 years and still be in space looking at stars. Juts different ones. Anyone with a basic undertstanding of statistics will tell you that the probability of life existing on another planet is 1. i.e. a certaintity. People love to dispel this stuff, not because it’s untrue but because it helps them sleep at night. Not good to think you are no longer at the top of the food chain. Wasn’t so long the relatives of the same idiots who try to dispel this stuff thought the earth was flat and the sun relovolved artound us.
    That doesn’t mean I believe this story. The radiation part concerns me. Radiation is traceable i.e. it’s failry simple to detect the source type. Highly unlikely aliens are using u235! This sounds more like a type of mini neutron bomb explosion. Explains the radiation, internal injuries but no external and people bite their tongues off from pain.

  14. John Says:

    As a ex-Green Beret who served in US Army Special Forces for 15+ years, this very much reads to me like the former old guard Soviet government testing something during the nuclear arms race. Sorry to disappoint all of the UFO buffs and the like. But yes, you can travel for quite a time, depending on how good your health is with radiation poising. Also, the missing tongue can easily be explained by the woman herself having bitten it off due to the concussion wave a blast would put off. That also very easily explain those found with skull fractions and broken ribs. Injuries also very easily caused by the concussion wave of a big blast. Maybe the Soviet government new these kids were in the area? Maybe they didn’t? But you can believe they would’ve went to great lengths to cover up as much as possible during that era, and it’s not hard to believe at all that their government would’ve used the “a compelling unknown force” theory to sweep it all under the rug. But that’s just one ex-Green Beret’s theory. Who’s been exposed to a lot of top secret shit during his time in our military.

  15. Nick Says:

    I really find this theory to be the most reasonable I feel that the first 5 died of most natural causes hypothermia, and so forth but the 4 in the ravine really strike me, as to think that in their possible wanders throughout leaving the tent after whatever had caused them to leave in such a hurry, they came across a patrol of Russian soldiers that had held them captive for period of time and maybe they had been interrogated harshly, the Soviet Union is pretty scary when it comes to that they could have been smashed by machinery or any type of object using air compression ect.., the tongue could have been removed during interrogation. But I think these 4 bodies were dumped after some time by some one, I am no forensic expert I am uncertain if being hit by heavy machinery would cause brusing beyond belief but I would believe that taking a high fall would cause the same brusing if it had force to break bones, like it said it had the impact of a car crash.

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  17. H. Oxoa Says:

    just some additional information about THE woman with the cut off tongue, she was NOT the only woman of the group. Instead the group consisted of 6 women and only 3 men. Only one person got her togue cut off, 1 out of the 6 woman.

  18. Ryan Says:

    Here is what happened. The crew of the space vessel Event Horizon in the year 2040 leaped into another dimension with their black hole drive and found out that the dimension was pure chaos, “Hell”. The crew all got cursed and started killing and mutilating each other until somebody kicked the black hole device back on and ended up going back to this universe except the year 3097 and met up with the Elysium at the bottom of the ocean on the planet Tanis. A couple members of the crew of the Event Horizon “bloodied and battered” took a craft to the surface and got inside the Elysium and found Dennis Quaid, Antje Trau, Norman Reedus, Cung Lee and Ben Foster. They also brought a couple of them mutated ugly monsters with them back to the Event Horizon. Well they turned the black hole device back on and ended up back around Earth at the year 1959 and released those monsters, some of the cursed crew, and the few people who had Pandorum in that same spot where the hikers were. There were 3 left on the Event Horizon and took off again but back to the dimension of pure Hell and they all ended up mutulating, torturing, dismembering and raping each other till they all died. The Event Horizon’s computer sent it back to this dimension in the year 2047 when Sam Neil and Lawrence Fishbournes crew found it. And they all died from trauma as well because it was so scary. But what happened to the hikers. They were eatin alive by the monsters who had Pandorum and some of the cursed crew of the Event Horizon. To bad Sigourney Weaver or Isaac Clark wasnt there to stop this from happening. I also heard the Borg and George W. Bush was involved with this as well. But anyway, IT WAS BUSH’s FAULT.

  19. ANC Says:

    There is a lot of conjecture regarding what radiation will or will not do. Just go to legitimate research to find out what kinds will actually do what damage. Personally, I thought George Mallory looked much better after being above 8000m on Mount Everest for over 70 years. Compare the photos and use your own judgement. I worked in operating rooms for twenty five years and saw many things. The coroner for some unexplainable reason did not say how Ludmila’s tongue was removed. Maybe he was told to do this or maybe he was horrified and was trying to not start a panic. I lived in Alaska for many years. They teach anyone who wants to learn about avalanches. I would believe it was Aliens before I would believe it was an Avalanche. Sorry Mr. Green Beret. There are photos which show unmoved ski/pole from search party perspective, not to mention both ends of tent still attached and in up position. These were experienced backcountry skiers, not to mention educated engineers. they knew what an avalanche sounded like in different terrain. We must remember that they were mostly from Sverdlovsk Oblast, knowing the Urals intimately.
    They had to get a backcountry/tourist permit in large town between Sverdlovsk/Ekatarinburg. Ofcourse the powers that be knew wherre they were. MORE IMPORTANTLY: the powers that be knew Dyatlov’s expected return and possible delay by a few days, as was told to Yuri Yudin before hiis retreat due to back injury pain.
    I believe Yuri Yudin was completely innocent. It was Yuri Yudin who questioned documents that were shown to him regarding the search, these documents were dated 02/16/1959. Yuri Yudin could not understand this date because, officially, search was begun on 02/20/1959 and only at the urging of concerned family and friends.
    The Ural State if not the Russian Government had known about reports of Orange Orbs before the return the Dyatlov group. Anyone find this interesting? I believe they were on the scene prior to the official search party but I do not believe they had any cause of the disaster.

    I lived in Alaska and I have backpacked in winter conditions. The largest land animal to worry about would be a bear, Dyatlov had this kind of experience, bears hibernate in winter, in the Urals. I have never heard of a bear finding a hibernation den on an exposed mountainside of a slowly sloping angle (see photos). I slept in my own tent in snow in little Yosemite Valley behind Half Dome while I could hear bears rip apart some idiots backpacks (stupidly left bubble gum and toothpaste in them). No one left their tents. Scary? Absolutely! But no one left their tent, not even the idiots.

    To be exposed in that cold is unthinkable. I can tell you that it is easier to use an outhouse at -35F that at Zero degrees. You can still feel at Zero.

    There are so many angles and back stories and decent web sites on this incident that I can now disregard some arguments by the second sentence. Any avalanche theories are out, ruled out by the Russian Officials even at the time of the search. Please loose that one.

    You can not feel for these victims unless you put yourself into their place. Get the facts straight, know who was where, what happened to them and so on. The party members backgrounds are most important. K Zolo is he wild card. He survived a 97% death rate in his age group during the war. He had to have some inherent skills to accomplish this. If you were him, what skills would you have gained by being part of the surviving 3%? Alliances, allegiances, debts?

    The “Evening Otorten” quotes regarding the subject of snowmen existing? Was it really all in fun? Or did someone in the group see something odd and upon relating it to the group was made fun of in the makeshift news journal.

    The original search party official Ivanov, who is now dead, stuck by his belief that the Orange Orbs were connected to the Dyatlov Pass Incident. Interesting, especially at that time and later for a government official to commit to such a surprising conclusion. This was an educated and intellegent man.

    I have read the more offical account of the footprints leaving that tent, all in the same direction but not all together. The searchers described how they all came together lower down the hill before the later snows covered those tracks. I beleive by this pattern that they initially were in a fight or flight status but were herded by someone or something, so that they would be together in a grouping. There were two flashlights, one left tied to tent and one found by treeline in the on position but burned put battery. I have read two accounts where flashlight found away from any bodies and one where it was found near burnt out fire, this would be good to find out thge truth.

    Enough for tonight because this freaks me out. I forgot to mention that most, if not all, the group had cheated death prior to this trip. Viper bites, GSW, concentration camp birth, war, nuclear accident. It kind of sounds like a cheap Hollywood movie.

    Bonne Nuit

  20. ANC Says:

    I’m back!
    OK about the RTGs: I have read that out there on the fringe, there are those who can quantify through conjecture that spent energy from decay heat could possibly be an ordered intellegence. What if, I am going out there on a limb, what if remnents of decay heat could mutate into an organized intelligence? A mean one at that?

  21. ANC Says:

    Things to ponder:

    1) The police incident in Ivdel? There was a second encounter with the police involving the accusation of a pick-pocket event?

    2) Photos of the initial/origianl search party, it does not take a genius to figure out who are the experts in frozen Siberian wilderness. Look who are wearing the Mukluks! A dead give-away.

    3) Second Severniy/41st Settlement: Illegal prison songs??? To know and be able to sing these lyrics, one must have personal knowledge or. experience with such things. Is there a connection.

    Sometimes evil need not be a thief just a killer!

    Only four people in my life have ever made every hair on my body stand up. The first was a known schizophrenic. The second dated a friend of mine, later to be realized as a sociopath. The third was a man on a motorcycle who asked me to take his photograph at the Arctic Circle. The fourth and spookiest, because my hair continued to stand up straight was a DEA agent who I met under social circumstances, thank gosh, only once. I was in the presence of pure mayhem.

    The Dyatlov Pass skiers thought enough of these facts to enter it into the official diary.

    Did the Russian authorities ever investigate the above and, if so, what conclusions did they come by? Does anyone know, for sure?

  22. lai Says:

    is it possible that the stove they kept inside the tent that was made by Dyatlov himself had something to do with the initial reason they left the tent? also there was some questionable characters amongst the victims themselves- the autopsy results did show that their could have been some conflict between at least 2 of the victims, the diary entries that were left did shed some light on the conflicts within the group, as to why it was covered up by the military?, perhaps they knew something they shouldnt have? or perhaps they were led there to do something for the military?and thats why they were there in the first place??? it seems at least 2 of the victims had links with secret organisations and at least one of the victims had experience with radiationbeing exposed and having the job of cleaning up in Chelyabinsk 40- the victims past experiences explain alot i believe as to what happened.

  23. ANC Says:

    Interesting, I always thought it was strange that on the day of the incident that they would start out late by building a cache while there was already something there to store their food on and then only travelled 2.5 miles up the face Kholat Syakhl. Once I saw the satellite images I knew they did not find themselves on that face by accident. Perhaps reason is in missing diary, etc. As experienced as they all were they had to have known this would put them on the eastern mountain face instead of a secure place down near some trees down in a valley. Could this delay to start the day be intentional? Good Question, thanks lai. I have found a good map of area, go to Antipodr, enter “Syakhl Russia” and then “Otorten Russia” push hybrid button and it gives you very good image of both plus smaller Mountain 880. Why would they have ran Northeast instead of Southeast? The tent was found on the eastern Kholat Syakhl face with end opening slightly towards the southwest, more south than west.

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  25. y788lhjk1 Says:

    Mayby one of them goes nuts and cuts the womens thongue off other guys wake up on it ra out the crazy guy troughs explosive on them the four die on the explosive those who made it out try to clim in the tree BECAUSE there ways view from the trees to the camp and they tryed to look if the killer is still there.

  26. ANC Says:

    Ava, Thank you, what do you think happned?

    Last poster: Ludmila’s tongue injury/missing has already been established to have occured for very good reasons down by the ice cache where the last four skiers were horrifically murdered. It has been discussed that maybe an animal ate her tongue afterwards. We may never know but I doubt that this happned this way. I grerw up in a multicultural areas with familes from all over the world. If I was a scavenging animal, bear, mountain lion etc., I would not choose to eat a human tongue. When I saw how cow tongue needed to be cooked for hours to soften enought for eating, I rulled this out. Any animal that could eat a tongue could more easily tear clothes and eat the more special meats of a human body. Bears do not eat tongues, they almost always “gut” people first. At least when I lived in Alaska this is what you always heard or read. Maybe Siberian bears have more desire for the delicate meats??? No Dyatlov group member was gutted. Please forgive me for this vocabulary but I am trying to get my point across to you.
    These injuries are not consistent with anything we know, that fits those involved with their surroundings or circumstances.

  27. pegazpegasus Says:

    my comments…..
    This story reminded me a case of some lost hikers in a mountain in russia that found a warm container where all the snow on it and around it was melting on contact….They felt asleep near it ….one didnt wake up …2 others (not sure) woke up and they were throwing up and their hair was falling on contact … collapsed and died.
    I dont believe in the Aliens explanation simply because i dont think that if u capable of crossing the milky way,you are superior of such atrocities,only man is, as far as i know.
    I dont believe in the cover up by military because they didnt cover up….they could kill whom they want with no-one or anything left.
    I believe the murder/murderers are amongst the dead,i guessing that there was foul play,premeditation,some one decided that was going to be a one way trip for all of them.
    Lets imagine,one of them jealous and hurt,got hold of some radio-active type of material (maybe liquid form or solid)
    The group could have been poisoned or exposed.At some point during the night,the murderer explain his plot,telling them grenade at hand,that they only have 4 to 5 hours to live.
    Panicked,they tear the tent apart and run to the forest.
    They know its too cold to stay there,they start to make a fire,4 decide to make a move to get him by surprise or to get some clothes and/or supplies.
    The killer see them, blast them ,throwing a grenade….and mutilate them at the horror of the others then kill himself.
    I know….sounds like a bad story from a 4th grader
    I did tried to explain the lack of footprints,also the ONE WAY ONLY! footprints to the woods..
    The radiation aging,the shattered ribs without external injuries,even if grenades produce burn (they could be interpreted as frost bit…mmm 1950’s
    The missing of the tongue?…mutilation ,yes indeed….missing? i might challenge the investigation crew….they could have miss it.Snow everywhere.
    we cant be sure it was missing,we didnt find it !!

  28. ANC Says:


    Have you ever seen injuries from explosive devices. Like a right thumb shredded, melted and imbedded into a left inner thigh? Grenades will not cause flail chests without pronounced external burns and injuries. This was proven not to have occured in these cases. The medical examiner excluded this type of injury. The injuries so frightened the search pilots that some refused to have the bodies flown in their planes. The was Soviet Russia after WW2, these people had intimate knowledge of battlefield wounds, which these injuries were not.

    Remember: “An Unknown Compelling Force” and start from there down your path.

  29. rhanda Says:

    Did anyone fail to mention that one of the Russian detectives/police who was helping with the case with the killed hikers was taken off the case basically because he was very disgusted with the incident and also because he had a loose tongue. The Soviets were worried he was going to leek something out that the public shouldn’t know. For all we know the Russians were possibly testing a new weapon of war and what better way to do it with 9 unexpecting hikers in the middle of no where so people couldnt finnd out. And I saw a comment where someone put that “they were dumb college kids hiking in dangerous elements not fimiliar with survival instincts”…….well I thought they were scientists going up there to do a study. Maybe those scientists knew something thaat the soviet government didnt want them to know and they had to eliminate the problem. Don’t get me wrong I believe in UFO’s too, but Im hoping that if we are not alone, our visitors from other galaxies cant be that cruel of a species. It kinda scares me to know if it was an alien force that did that to those hikers, then God be with us. But like the Russians said, the many times they’ve been visited by aliens, that was the only time they were hostile. Some people think if it was aliens, they were trying to protect something on that mountain. And another thing that gets me is they said the tents where cut open with a knife/sharp object? from the inside, well how would it be possible that each one of them hikers thought to break thru the tent with their knives, why didnt one of them go out the zipper door? It was at night, how could all of them find their knife in the dark in time? Unless they were already scared when they got into their tents and had their knife on hand literally in their hand. From the pictures it looked like 4 tents in the snow. I just cant believe no one went out the front door. Well we know our government hides things too so Im sure Russia has 10 times more skeletons in the closet then America does.

  30. ANC Says:

    Some had degrees or advanced degrees most were students in the physical sciences.
    Sound wave weapon, there would have been dead animal carcases all over the place besides dead humans.
    If there had been weapons used the Russians would have cleaned up their mess.
    I have been reading that some believers actually believe God ‘s own fallen angels may be have been up to no good. Y-tube: Dr Patrick Heron, he has many interviews which are interesting to say the least. Or, if you will, David Paulides’ book Missing 411 The Western States or Missing 411 The Eastern States.
    Two of the students were known to have knives on this trip. The tent had many odd cuts from within. A very smart blogger suggested that some of these initial cuts were the smaller linear, horizontal cuts high on the tent, maybe to LOOK OUT of the tent to keep watch over the mountainside as much as possible in the dark. Look Out cut patterns before the final slash and dash long vertical cuts where the group left the tent from. The tent had no zippers in those days, the end was tied closed with multiple canvas straps for the night. Kind of like a straight jacket. Only one tent, please review all photos, One of the searchers actually helped make the tent back in Sverdlovsk. One tent.
    Not sure why you suggest Russia or USA can under do or over do each other when it comes to secrecy. Actually, Russia has admitted and let their pilots admit to the fact that there are UFO’s. USA has not, so far but it is coming.

  31. Art Says:

    I would like to add some insight to help you with your search for the truth. I will start with some facts and then move on to my theory.

    1. If a body is left on the surface with little clothing in sub-zero temperatures and exposed to the environment, one, the body becomes frostbitten (turns black).
    2. Eyes collapse and cave in due to deflation from loss of blood pressure, and
    3. If exposed to warmer (day) temperatures alternatively with frozen nights, the bodies remain rather preserved but in a shriveled, mummified state.
    4. Elevation reduces atmospheric UV protection so the skin becomes “tanned” to the point where it looks orangeish, not so much red (due to active inflamation of a living person).
    5. Also UV rays have the tendency to “bleach” hair, lower UV protection from the higher elevation could accelerate the process. Also cause the “aged” appearance.
    6. The radiation found was superficial and in very low dosages (not extremely high), probably from the leaders coat, since they worked as engineers in a lab. Also general fallout from nuclear testing frequently ends up in mountain ranges (Mt. Lassen in California has red snow from fallout at it’s summit, still slightly radioactive)

    Here are some notes:

    1. The individuals with the crushed ribs and no bruising were the ones found in the shallow ravine covered by 12ft of snow. Heavy snow (packed, melting, icy) can cause crushing injuries. If the individual is dead, and partially frozen, no bruising can happen since there is no blood pressure to create inflamation of the tissues.
    2. Orange lights could be from afterburners belonging to the prototype MIG-21s they had during that time (more on that later), probably related to the secrecy surrounding it.
    3. The girl found with the missing tongue was also found with her mouth wide open and head back. Bacteria and microorganisms of the mouth are abundant, when given proper aerobic respiration and dead tissue they go to work quickly. A tongue and surrounding tissues can quickly dissolved in just around two weeks.

    Here is my theory. I tried to keep it as simple as possible:

    They were suddenly woken at night by a deafening rumble, disoriented and thinking they were about to be crushed by an avalanche, they make a run for the treeline. The roar they hear is that of a MIG-21 passing overhead. If you live near an air force or naval air base you know what I mean.

    Due to the windy, low light, low visibility conditions they ran while the roaring sound continued thinking the avalanche was right behind them still.

    Once they reached the treeline, a member climbed a pine tree and retrieved lower branches (pine trees usually have dying lower branches that are fairly dry) to make a fire. At some point he falls and received a non-fatal but serious head fracture, the cold temperatures served as the natural aspirin though he probably had a concussion.

    The leader and the guy who busted his head decide to make a run back to camp for supplies. They are killed by hypothermia in the process.

    Two in the camp who were waiting and under-clothed died from hypothermia. A girl and a guy strip the dead of their clothes to make themselves warmer. They decide to hoof it back to the lower camp station. Exhaustion and freezing temperatures make them weak. They then fall into a ravine and into deep snow. They are trapped and die. Over the course of 10 days the bodies begin to sink further into the ravine and as snow piles on them they receive their crushing injuries. Much like the crushing injuries of people and camels trapped in quicksand once extracted from the bottom.

    That is the most reasonable explanation I could think of without seeking the paranormal. Do with the theory as you wish, pick it apart, maybe you can extract a better theory yourselves using some of those observations.

  32. ANC Says:

    Believe me, your opinions were very much like mine were several years ago. When you start talking with people who have studied this subject for years, you really start to learn more and weed out the chaff. The only beef I have is about the darker hair turning white in that environment at that altitude. I do not buy it within 30 to 120 days. Possibly this could occur in Death Valley over a summer but not in the Urals over four months. I have seen too much to believe this could happen. The only thing I know of that could turn hair this white (nee: photos) would be a laser of some kind. I like where you have begun though and I think you would be a good candidate to go deeper because of the intelligent way you have tackled the facts.

  33. evie Says:

    Joe is the only one that sounds absolutey right it was an avalanche we all just have boring as lives and nothing interesting going on so we make up all these theories to entertain our dull minds.



  34. Art Says:


    You made some excellent points as well and you keep a very objective and open mind. I haven’t heard much else from the little research that I did find over the course of one day. I have noticed that there are some assumptions that tend to skew the story into different and often conflicting directions, such as the actual radiation levels, and the burned skin condition.

    I know the hair whitening is a little far fetched, I just attributed it to the higher elevations and lower UV protection. Maybe there is a study out there that can explain conditions where dark hair can become whitened. I will start my search there and maybe that can lead to possible considerations that can coincide with other facts about what is known at the time. I will try and combine that with the orange skin phenomenon, I think they two conditions are one and the same. I’ll pop in again once I find something useful. Thanks again Bonne.


  35. mastip.blogspot.com Says:

    It is the last day of 2012 . Think again .The Russians were not as smart as US government to cover up THINGS like ROSWELL . In 1959 Russians hardly managed to build nuclear weapon.

    In general , it seems to be something very odd. Those young were no ordinary people to be frightened so easily. It could have been something far imaginable.



  36. leo Says:

    The obvious answer to me is that one of the males went beserk and said he had a gun or had a gun so everyone freaked out and ran. After 5 minutes some tried to return to the tent as they had no other option and the others fell into a ravine.

  37. ANC Says:


    You dishonor the memory of the nine skiers in the Dyatlov Pass incident. The probability of an avalanche occurring was nil. It was officially ruled out by the lead inspector and all searchers upon first finding the scenes of the tent. Any intelligent person who spends any amount of time looking at the photos taken by searchers could easily see why an avalanche was ruled put completely at the time. This group would not be so easily frightended by the sound of a MIG in the Urals, either, as suggested by a friend. Most of them were students in the sciences and well entrenched in the Soviet manufacturing of military equipment made during the cold war, especially in Sverdlovsk/Ekaterineberg. These were smart people and we need to give them their respect due. I do not think that the Russians were any more or less intelligent than the Americans in 1959, they worked and lived hard for the love of their families also.

  38. TJ Says:

    I like everyones explanations and attempts at possible human instances causing the whole ordeal. All I can say is looking back to science- the easiest, most simple and plausible answer is usually the right one. But there isnt one.

  39. Rook Says:

    I have to disagree with any notion that it was human error. First off experienced climbers know the difference between sounds of avalanche and the feel of the earth vibrating under you as tons of snow cascade down a mountain at break neck speeds. Even small ones.Besides picture show no Snow damage.
    Second in -30 below, why the (F) would you ever have your socks off EVER!!! Unless its to change them(them being wet), other then that theirs no other reason to have them off period. And does anyone, including that green beret know what it takes to run bare footed in -30 for little over a mile . I was a world class athlete for years, and I have done a ton of brainless things that should have killed me, but I certainly never would have run from my base camp in the dark of night barefoot. That’s just plain stupid, I could possibly understand one of them doing it. But all of them. No the fear of god was coursing through their veins. And when they reached the forest line they even had their wits about them long enough to climb trees for dead branches to start a fire. NO one stands around for hours after a 30 second event before they decide to risk going back to base camp, No they were afraid of something, but they also knew they had to get their gear or they were dead. Remember these weren’t some soft as American college kids with cell phones and wiki BS, these people were hard, intelligent, and stubborn. They were survivors and they had to rely on their wits, and instinct. Besides an experienced climber would rather just die in his tent from an avalanche then suffer in -30 below without gear. Being knocked out and dying blissfully is a hell of a better way to go then running around half naked outside after the fact knowing your going to die. Arm chair researchers never seem to understand high risk mind sets. (Always choose the lease painful way to die if given the option).
    I do agree that hypothermia played a role in their deaths at the end, but it was not the cause. With the evidence laid forth and taking it for face value, I truly suspect whatever (being) killed them was using some type of microwave device to stir them up and make them run by cooking them inside their tent. And it was selective. But before I go into how I see this, first let me state that just because someone can travel the stars does not make them some how less violent. Just because I am intelligent does not mean I wouldn’t shoot a tiger (Just for example) just for the thrill. Especially if you look down on another species as lesser (like cattle). I agree that the being whom invented star travel probably is not a killer, but that doesn’t stop a murder from buying a car either. How many people here can open the hood of their car and describe how everything works? Or even better the Saturn V Rocket.
    I do not believe foul play happened here either, the evidence points to panic and fear not attack, rational explanations do not make sense in either case with experienced people, and I am pretty sure if the Russians wanted to cover this up. Nobody would have been found. Case close they just disappeared. Though I do believe some of the internal injuries can be accounted for by compacted snow around a body. The skin is a great organ, but bones will pop and crack with pressure long before the skin ever ruptures. The missing tongue maybe was a trophy (I don’t know, just a guess) Then again it could just be a case of (S) happens. Either they died horrible deaths.
    So now onto what I think happened…
    During the night something was heating them up during their sleep before it got to hot. They begun to disrobe themselves unknowingly half awake.(their socks, and maybe some of their clothes). Then when the heat got real intense they woke up in a sweaty panic, fleeing the tent in haste freaked out by the heat. Scared out of their minds. Imagine waking up and your insides are burning up. Your not going to spend a minute to two untying the canvas to run out of the ten, I would just cut open the tent, cold air might have helped and it seems some of them had enough fore thought to grab a flash light and don their shoes. Whatever caused them to burst from the tent evidently effected some of the people to lesser degrees, or they were just that stubborn and ignored the pain, either case a split second decision, and a good one. Cause they were fleeing this intense heat for the forest the flash light probably help keep them together. Just a note (1 mile on even terrain with clothes on at 65 Degrees f at sea level is probably gonna take a fit person 6 to 7 minutes. Now add snow, -30 under dressed, darkness, high elevation and being chased. The air would literally burn your lungs and I bet few if any could do that without proper training unless under duress. The amount of calories needed to fuel a run without clothes would have devastating consequences on your energy system. NO one stands around for hours after a 30 second event before they decide to risk going back to base camp, No they were afraid of something, but they also knew they had to get their gear or they were dead. Because why not go back as a group and get your gear.
    A. certain weaker members of the party probably had frost bite, and could not risk the trip.
    B. Some of them might have been blinded by the microwave and needed support to stay alive.
    These people were terrified by something they could not fight. And when they reached the forest line they even had their wits about them long enough to climb trees for dead branches to start a fire. No once the three able men disappeared into the snow for their camp and did not return within the hour the four remaining people huddled up and took the remaining clothes off their dead friends and then began to move out together. At this point they all knew they were going to die. The attacker most likely came back to finish the job, chasing them into a ravine. This was murder plain and simple, just because it was not by human hands does not make any less believable.
    The only question that will truly answer what really happened is why did they leave the tent unprepared? (No avalanche reported and even if it did it still does not explain the events that unfolded logically.)

  40. Rook Says:

    I would just like add.

    All those that think its an Avalanche, please stop. Seriously. think about it. If you were the Russia soldiers sent to dig all this up and figure out what happened, would it not be easier just to say it was mother nature and say glad it wasn’t me. Y

    Their is something to be said about seeing dead people,

    The simplest answer however unlikely is your answer.

  41. Rook Says:

    I would just like add. Sorry one Message was sent early.

    All those that think its an Avalanche, please stop. Seriously. think about it. If you were the Russia soldiers sent to dig all this up and figure out what happened, would it not be easier just to say it was mother nature and be glad it wasn’t you. Its insulting to all the people that actually had to take care of those poor souls. Besides their is something to be said about seeing dead people, you can look at them and get a sense on how they died, you can ignore it, but all those involved felt something was wrong out place for either mother nature, or foul play. Hell some of the chopper pilots didn’t even want them on-board their aircraft. That tells you how spooked these men were about the whole thing. The soldiers were decent men baffled by the brutal nature in which they found these people. That says a lot.

    The simplest answer however unlikely is your answer. What happened, they panicked, why did they panic? Why run from base camp only to turn around and try to get back to it. Smart, rational people do not panic like that, especially nine of them.

    Now they did say their was metal fragmentation nearby, could have been a explosive of some kind, but they would have seen trauma on victims. Scrap metal like ANC described earlier. Maybe they had a grenade and threw it at whatever was chasing them. And after it went off, the object kept coming scaring them witless.

    Lets also entertain the idea that their tent was hit by a small slide of ice, causing them to cut their way out of their tent and decide to head for the trees.
    Clearly the snow that hit the tent would have startled them, but once it stopped. Why panic, why the rush, unless something was pushing them. Experienced climbers to not run bare foot, shoe less and half clothed from base camp. Period!!!

    Either mother Russia had Microwave weapons, which is possible, but if they did successfully use that weapon then, the cold war would have ended very differently. It was an alien, corny as it sounds but it fits the description of how things played out to a degree that makes more sense then an other solution. The thing that killed them did it slowly and enjoyed it. If the folklore stories described on AA are even remotely true. What are you left with.

    Sometimes real life is stranger then fiction.
    PS. If someone has topographical map or pic link. I would be grateful.

  42. Dawn Says:

    Absolutely agree with you Rook. Your theory makes sense, do I believe alien in this case too? Yes I do without hesitation, there are some things that science can’t explain and too much evidence to support alien life existing, as well as we would be conceited to believe we are ‘it’ . There is nothing of it in evidence of this earth to cause the injuries unless weaponry and if so would simply have been covered up, not exposed in the free way this case has been.
    Doesn’t sound corny to me at all, it sounds realistic and logical. There is something else which brings me to my own very similar conclusion on what happened but as it involves belief in alien life I don’t wish to offend so I’ll leave it there, shame there isn’t a members type system so msg’s could be sent on a pm basis.

  43. Kelvin Crenshaw Says:

    This theory is incorrect in my opinion. The only plausible explanation relative
    to this incident as far as I am concerned is extraterrestrials. There are no radiation test that
    target the extraction of human tongues (with no sign of blood).
    You (author) are one of the many people who have been programmed by your goverment to only relate
    to and understand the bullshit that they feed you. Soon everyone will see that we are not alone.

  44. James Says:

    I believe this whole thing might be a hoax, because I offered a possible outcome to the disaster with proof of how bodies like that can sustain injuries without aliens involved at another website. Funny my posts never get posted, I guess mysteries generate more money and traffic then solved mysteries.

  45. ANC Says:


    Please repost your ideas because you have my curiosity now. You never know if just one word or just one phrase may help to solve what happened on Kholat Syakhl that night to the Dyatlov Group.

  46. james Says:


    You guys need to search the web and find the autopsy reports, cause if you examine them closer you will figure out how they died, the bigger problem is, I find it hard to believe because the necessary force required cave in a chest is in excess of what any normal human weigh can do. And last time I check 400-600 lbs men don’t really go around snowy mountains dead of night. You guys got your self a primate mauling, plain in simple. Whether you want to call it bigfoot, yeti, rainman, etc, I don’t care. The autopsy report screams primate behaviour, face deformation, dead bodies played with, Woman’s tongue was removed, etc Hell I suspect that she might even had been on her period, drawing the primates in, causing them to attack.
    The real question is, did the Russian special forces go in afterwards to hunt them down. Cause I wish I could go back in time to have joined them! I can prove how all the injuries were caused during the attack off the autopsy reports. It ain’t pretty but it works. And no special forces unit would be that sloppy. They had all the time in the world to stage it just right, and you sure as hell don’t waste time setting up this ridiculous scene. No set up here, just a plain and simple primate kill.

  47. ANC Says:

    James, I agree with you. I have read the autopsy reports, they are in Russina so a translator is needed. At one point I thought maybe two members fell out of the pine tree on to the two victims who had flail chest. I no longer can justify this because that type of injury would have produced massive visible external injuries which was not the case with Semen and Dubinina

  48. maid Says:

    i am student of astrobiology,,, we study about the origins of life and life forms on other planets,, unfortunately i was not able to read all the comments but i red most of them, i have red many things about this case since 9 month ago, first of all i should say that there are at least more than a 100,000 plants in which can support life forms only in our solar system, and among them may some be intelligent. now with the help of kepler telescope we have just headed to find them, but in this case of hikers nothing is certain yet. to me what is certain is that 1. they were 10 and in the last day, just before going toward the mountain a guy whose name was (yuri yudin) got sick and went back home,it will be interesting if you read his statement, once hi said: if i could ask just one question from god i would ask him what happened to my friends that night. later he said he attended the funeral of the first 5, and he said he was shocked to see the orange color on the skins, and he also mentioned that the volunteer rescue team was assembled in (20 feb) and the army joined the a few days later. but the crime investigation team was formed the same days!!!! 2. the second certain thing is that if there was some thing outside of the tent first they would have checked them by opening the tent main exit! i mean what ever the threat was it was inside the tent,, it was inside, may be some thing had entered from. . . ground! or… i do not know, but what ever it was it was terrifying and inside the tent. we should also consider the multidimensional things. i just wanna say, our electrons in our atoms are preventing us from crossing through an abject like a tent, but all the life forms are not the same. all life on earth of every kind is carbon based and have electrons. but yet it is not certain that extraterritorials were involved, it needs more proofs.

  49. maid Says:

    sorry, i have to correct that i meant to say 100,000 planets in our milky way galaxy. not solar system.

  50. Boban Says:

    I think there are a few things which are important
    1, They are contaminated with radiation….at least one of them
    2, The sun tan on their skin could be from the sun. They are on the mountain hike right?
    3, They are students of polytechnic institute, so they probably are familiar with the radioactive devices. Their contamination f.e. the clothes could be from the university….(One of them could spread the contamination to others)
    4, Something was happening in the sky that night. There are witnesses.
    5, There could be avalanche, in which one person bit out her tongue.
    6, The whole area was closed for the next three years…….by military.

    I presume that the whole group was in stress. Therefore they used the knife the cutout the tent. This is familiar with the avalanche warning or avalanche theory. They split to two groups. One of them was hit by avalanche the other were not. Simple……One thing on this whole story is really interesting. Nikita Chrushcev was the first secretary of the state. He ordered the full investigation and was briefed by the top army generals about it. The case was closed rapidly….So there was nothing interesting about it or there was something very interesting…..I think the truth is somewhere between. The whole area of Urals and area nearby the Sverdlovsk is very important from the army research. There were a lot of factories secret facotires and army industrial complexes. So I presume that this group was killed by the army, for example by the test of the rocket or small nuclear blasts in low altitude. Or it could be only the test of new nonnuclear bomb similar to the barometric bomb which use the air for combustion. Later as the army found the bodies or realized the deaths there were a mass coverup. And this coverup includes the radioactivity contamination and rumors about the tongue out and possible UFO connections. I think the whole story is much more simple and the whole story is fabricated by the people and by some agency. Probably by the KGB….