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1959 Dyatlov Pass Tragedy May Have Been a KGB Experiment

The Dyatlov Group
The Dyatlov Group

In news from Ekaterinburg, the head of the Dyatlov Group Memory Public Fund, Yuri Kuntsevich says a new report may help solve the mystery surrounding the ill fated Igor Dyatlov Expedition in 1959. According to the report, members of the expedition who died under mysterious circumstances in the remote Urals may have been on a mission for the KGB. 

The real fate of an experienced trekking/research group from the Ural Polytechnical Institute in 1959 has a mystery for more than half a century. Based on recent information expedition members who died may have been carrying out a secret experiment. Some members of the group were found carrying sophisticated photo equipment, which was unusual considering the need on such expeditions for lightening loads. According to one of the researchers, the group was tasked with reaching Otorten Mountain, or the "Mountain of the Dead" in the local Mansi language. The researcher was cited on TASS: 

"Most likely, the tourists reached their intended destination and waited for a technology-induced moment, which they were apparently expected to capture with photos. But it went off in an unplanned and extraordinary way, which was possibly the cause for the death of the group’s members. They, of course, courageously held on to the last and didn’t run away or panic."

Yudin hugging Dubinina prior to leaving the expedition.

Lost Imagery

Researchers believe six of the ten rolls of film that should have been in cameras went missing, as only four have been discovered. Yuri Kuntsevich says one roll of film actually captured a glowing ball believed to have been part of the technology-induced phenomenon mentioned. Each member of the group also maintained a diary, but only three survived to tell researchers today what might have happened. Kuntsevich also confirmed that the leader of the group had official identification labeling him KGB.

From the camera of Thibeaux-Brignolles - Evgeny Venediktov “The Beard” at the top of stairs. Dyatlov middle lower frame and Yuri Yudin on right.

The researchers plan on releasing an almanac of the Igor Dyatlov expedition during the new academic year. The almanac will be in two volumes featuring the photographs and more than 1000 pages. The Dyatlov Group Memory Public Fund intends to request official investigators to relaunch a probe into the hikers’ deaths. They also intend on appealing to the FSB to try and get missing data confirming the true nature of the tragedy. 

On July 1st, a memorial plaque was inaugurated  in Solikamsk, in the Ural’s Perm Region, dedicated to Yuri Yudin (above) , the expedition’s tenth member, the only one to have survived. Yudin survived because he was forced to leave the group after sustaining an injury. He was the first to identify the personal belongings of the dead expedition members. Up until his last days, he maintained close contacts with the researchers investigating the causes of the Dyatlov group’s deaths.

A view of the tent as the rescuers found it on Feb. 26, 1959. (Public Domain)

The Dyatlov Group Mystery

A mountain pass in the Sub-Arctic Urals was named after Dyatlov, the head of the expedition. Dyatlov (below left) and the other eight members of his group died at the pass near Otorten Mountain during the early morning hours of February 2, 1959 under mysterious circumstances. As the story goes, something made the members of the group tear their ways out of tents without taking time to don their cold weather gear. Expedition members were found almost a mile from the tent they had cut their way out of, frozen to death, missing their cold weather gear and footwear. There were also signs of bodily injuries.

Since the tragedy, there have been dozens of theories as to what really happened to the group, including stories about the notorious abominable snowman, and even encounter with aliens. The first official inquiry reported "some unknown compelling force" having caused their deaths. The initial investigations pointed to several members of the group having sustained "bone crushing" injuries. Investigators determined that these bone crushing injuries were so severe, that they could not have been caused by another human being. Interestingly, the clothes of the victims also showed high levels of radiation. A nearby group had also reported "strange orange spheres" in the night sky over where the hikers had died. Even the Soviet military had reported similar spheres about the time of the incident. Lev Ivanov (Лев Иванов), the police investigator who led the official inquest in 1959, later reported how the "sphere" reports were squashed by government officials. 

According to the official forensic study, most of the hikers froze to death, but some were found to have died because of their injuries. The Dyatlov Group Memory Fund, in existence since July 2000, has been carrying out its own investigation into the causes of the Dyatlov group’s deaths.

Special thanks to the people at the Dyatlov Pass website for these wonderful images.