2 Oct

31 Ghost Stories – Day 2: The Dyatlov Pass Incident

Posted by Bryan White | Saturday October 2, 2010 | 31 Ghost Stories

The Dyatlov Pass IncidentOn January 30th, 1959, nine seasoned hikers in Russia hit the trails in a portion of the Ural mountains that the Mansi tribes of the region called The Mountain of the Dead (srsly). They never made it home alive.

It should come as no surprise that hiking the mountain ranges of Northern Russia in the dead of winter carries with it greatly increased chances of freezing to death, even for expert winter survivalists, but the facts, or lack thereof, surrounding this event tell a story that is anything but your average lethal case of hypothermia.

The hikers, Igor Dyatlov, Zinaida Kolmogorova, Lyudmila Dubinina, Alexander Kolevatov, Rustem Slobodin, Yuri Krivonischenko, Yuri Doroshenko, Nicolai Thibeaux-Brignolle and Alexander Zolotarev departed from the settlement of Otorten for the mountains. All went well until day 2 of the trip when blizzards threw them off course. When they realized what had happened, they set up camp and planned to back track the following day. By morning they were dead. A couple of weeks went by before search and rescue went out looking for them with groups of hikers, dogs, planes and helicopters. Six days into the search, the abandoned campsite was found. The hikers’ tent had been torn open from the inside and footprints were followed away from the camp before they disappeared. A half a mile away, the first bodies were found under a large pine tree near the remains of a camp fire. Krivonischenko and Doroshenko were found dressed only in their underwear. Backtracking to the camp from the pine, the bodies of Dyatlov, Kolmogorova and Slobodin were found positioned as though they were trying to return to camp. The remaining four bodies were found months later under 12 feet of snow in a ravine a little further out from the pine, away from camp.

The abandoned camp siteSo what happened? Anyone experienced with extreme cold is going to tell you that this is clearly a case of nine deaths as a result of acute hypothermia. A symptom of hypothermia is something called paradoxical undressing. That is, as your body temperature slips, you become confused, feeling unbearably hot. Those suffering from this phase of hypothermia take off their clothes in the cold to bring what they think is a spike in body temperature down but they’re actually facilitating the hypothermia and die sooner. However, if all nine had died of hypothermia, would this story be listed in my spooky story blogathon? I think not!

Prior to discovery of the four bodies in the ravine, medical examinations concluded that the group had obviously succumbed to hypothermia but the discovery of the remaining bodies was a game changer. Three of these bodies had sustained major internal trauma. Thibeaux-Brignolle had major skull damage, and both Dubunina and Zolotarev had major chest fractures. Additionally, Dubunina was missing her tongue! Fucked up? Here’s where it gets even weirder, my friends. Not one of these three bodies exhibited external injuries of any kind. This is to say, no one had inflicted these wounds on them from the outside. Forensic investigation suggested that the force required to cause these kinds of injuries would have been something like being hit by a car yet not one of them exhibited signs of trauma to the soft tissues around the injuries. How Dubunina’s tongue had been severed and where it went is anybody’s guess. Can this story get any stranger? Word. The clothing recovered from the bodies exhibited signs that it had been exposed to a particularly strong dose of radiation. Want to get even weirder? Of course you do.

The official inquest concluded that an “unknown compelling force” in the night had caused the hikers to burst out of their tent rather than just open it. There were no signs of any struggle, so it’s not like some of them lost their minds and hurt the others or forced them to do anything weird. The paradoxical undressing theory came under scrutiny when it was revealed that not everyone was discovered undressed. Some had died partially dressed, as though their death was  sudden. Some were wearing scraps of clothes taken from those who presumed to have died first. The Soviet government sealed off the area for three god damn years following the discovery of the bodies and when no guilty party could be found, the case was closed for good and sealed up in secret archives. Only in the 90’s was the case declassified with portions either redacted heavily or missing, entirely. At the funerals of the hikers the families of the deceased remarked that each one of them seemed to have a bizarre orange tan and their hair had turned completely grey. Reports from other hikers in the area, as well as the state meteorological survey and the Soviet military installed nearby, observed strange orange spheres in the sky near what is now known as Dyatlov Pass on the night of the hiker’s deaths. Since that time, tremendous amounts of scrap mental have been found in that area.

The Dyatlov Pass MemorialWhat could have happened in those mountains to drive these people from their tent in such a manner that they tore their way out and ran wearing whatever they happened to be wearing at that time? What was so awful about this that the Soviet government sealed the area and classified all documents related to the investigation top secret? No one will ever know.


  1. October 11, 2010 2:10 pm


    Wow. Wow – incredibly creepy.

  2. October 17, 2010 6:48 pm



  3. January 11, 2011 1:38 am

    Bernie Watts

    OK consider this

    1) They all bed down for the night in a huge blizzard.

    2) 9 in one tent! Probably had heat on and maybe a lantern for light.

    3) They all fall sleep – snow building all the time – oxygen becomes depleted.

    4) Someone wakes up and realizes they are suffocating, panic sets in and they all scramble up and out, tearing the tent, as the snow is now almost at the top.

    5) On the way out some grab clothing –any –as, even in their deathlike state they realize its cold and stagger out into the blizzard.

    6) Outside temp is so low they rapidly deteriorate and become disoriented and lose the tent. (I don’t buy the footprints away from the tent being found – weeks later – after a massive blizzard – footprints don’t survive blizzards.

    7) They all enter an area where there are pine trees and someone is compos mentis enough look in their pocket and find matches – they build a fire and try to get warm.

    8) T,B D and Z recover somewhat and realize that if they stay outside in the cold they’ll die so they head off to the tent – they think – but are actually going in the wrong direction, and sadly walk over the edge of a ravine. I would guess that this group was wearing more clothing than the others and as they hurtle down the ravine reach an impact speed of around 50Km/h (“unknown compelling force”) or (like being hit by a car) they thud into the snow, which dulls a massive impact, hence minimal external trauma, as D falls she hits her head or jaw and bites her tongue off. If any of them are alive after the fall the cold gets them. It continues to snow and snow and the ravine gradually fills up. Hiding all traces of the event until they were discovered

    9) D, K and S also realize that to stay is foolish and as they recover they determine that the others must have made it back and set off, this time in the right direction but sadly they deteriorate even more rapidly and die of cold on the way back.

    10) This leaves only K and D who sadly die when the fire is blown out.

    11) The colour skin is conducive to a body that has been frozen and then thawed out.

    12) Description and direction of the Orbs are minimal so I would guess that these would be stars or planets low on the horizon and viewed through atmospheric haze which filters out blue light.

    Bernie W

  4. February 7, 2011 3:38 pm

    Bryan White

    Way to kill the fun, Buzz Killington.

  5. February 25, 2011 7:51 am

    Bernie is a tard

    Bernie, explain the radiation. Right now.

  6. April 23, 2011 9:41 pm

    alan silver

    Interesting narrative Bernie, but still doesn’t add up IMHO

    ..So you reckon they dive out of the tent in a blizzard in their underpants and decide to wander off for half a mile, some not bothering to grab so much as a single sock? Yet they still are sensible and capable enough to gather wood and light a fire.Cos thats a smarter idea than immediately retracing your footsteps to get warm clothes back on? Besides how many mountaineers strip down inside their tent in minus 25 conditions in the first place?
    The other group meanwhile decides to wander off in another direction and all three simultaneously fall down a ravine smashing their breastbones without leaving so much as a bruise?
    Besides, if its so readily explicable why didn’t the investigators suggest a similar narrative, at least in part?

  7. September 29, 2011 1:28 am


    From whut i saw they was found in the bodies that is damaged in ODD ways as in radiation burns. permature ageing.few bodys had no tissue damage on the outside but their inside basicly looked like how someone hit by a car seemed as in ribs shatter even bones found in heart and other parts. How does that go with it just being something natural like freezeing to death. Or the one man who wouldnt sign off on it being them freezeing todeath so he was droped because pure and simple he wouldnt lie about the results?

  8. April 6, 2012 6:05 pm

    Paranormal Blog

    Hollywood has finally taken up this story – they are filming a movie about it:


  9. November 9, 2012 9:32 pm


    Hey guys, thought I’d share this with you. An episode of the battle of the extrasense (russian show) just released an episode covering this particular Dyatlov incident.
    All five contestants (including Vit Mano, Osho’s student and a psychic) have told the story of each of the 9, and the 10th that did not make the hike because of a cold and hence stayed alive. I will not share more about the show, but usually one particular extrasense (psychic) stands out in the account of what has happened, each to his ability. One that stood out is a 24 year old mag (shaman), who accounted the following. First of all, in this area where the death occured, on two occasions in the past, incidents have occurred where 9 people, one case I remember were 9 pilots who have gone missing and crashed in the area, there were more, but I do not remember. The shaman started out with saying that if the tenth participant came, it could have been that the incident could have been avoided. The group were heading towards a mountain which was called by the local indigenous tribe (Mansi tribe) the death mountain, the pass following where the group was headed was named, as translated from the mansi language as “do not go here” or place of no return. So, what the psychic saw, at least in part, was that this group was together in the tent warming up by the fire, there could have been an avalanche. There was a sudden sound which startled the group on the way out, or trampled in the tent some received burns, the avalanche then threw the rest around, which is how one ended up in the tree, and others with certain breaks inside their body with no outer evidence, etc. The lip and tongue easily could have been chewed off by wolves, or other wild animals, as that is the first thing and the most attractable to eat for these animals. Other psychic offered a version that there was a bright light that accompanied the sound, which could have easily been the work of mansi shaman or some other force I will not try to explain. Bottom line is, the group knew where they were heading, and it might be a fact that this number of hikers, 9 had something to do with their death.

  10. January 12, 2014 2:08 am

    nicholas royals

    The movie they made after is devils pass and if they bite there tongue off don’t you think they would have a part of it left? The whole thing was missing.

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