The Dyatlov Pass Incident

The Dyatlov Pass Incident

Maybe it’s best no one will ever know what happened with this case; the evidence is chilling enough.

In 1959, a group of experienced Russian hikers went missing on a skiing trip. When their camp was discovered, their tents were found torn open from the inside, and they were wearing very little clothing (in Russia, in winter). It gets weirder. The bodies were stained orange with massive internal injuries from a force that a doctor studying the incident compared to that of a car crash. There were no signs of struggle, despite victims with fractured skulls, broken ribs, and one woman missing her tongue, eyes and other parts of her face.

As you’d imagine, all sorts of theories to the cause of the deaths have been tried and tested over the years, but the final verdict was that the hikers died of a “compelling natural force”. What does that even mean? Never has something so ambiguous been so horrifying. (Source)


The Dyatlov Pass Incident occurred in the Ural mountains of Russia nearly 60 years ago. 9 experienced hikers were found frozen in the snow with unusual injuries and even more unusual circumstances surrounding their deaths.

A hiking group from the Ural PolyTechnical institute, lead by Igor Dyatlov, were hiking to Ortem, a category three hiking trip(the most difficult) The trip was no worry to the hikers(originally 8 men and 2 women) as they were all experienced hikers and skiers.

Before they set out on what would be the last leg of their journey one of the men, Yuri Yudin, did not feel well and had to leave early. This illness would save his life.

The group of 9 set up camp on the base of the mountain called Kholat Syakhl, also known as “Dead Mountain) in Mansi. It is unknown why they camped on the slope and not down near the forest where they would have more shelter from the elements. By the next morning all the hikers would be dead. Some of the bodies wuld not be found for 3 months.

Here is where their deaths become a mystery. It was determined they froze to death(6) or died of fatal injuries(3) however their bodoes were scattered up to 3000 meters from their tent, which had been cut open from the inside. 

Yuri Krivonischenko and Yuri Doreschenko were found 2000 meters down the hill huddled together with a dead fire. Branches on the tree they were under were broken up to 5 meters high suggesting one of them climbed up the tree. They were both shoe less and only in their underwear. Between the cedar tree and the camp the bodies of Igor Dyatlov,  Zinaida Kolomogorova, and Rustem Slobodin were found in positions suggesting they tried to return to the camp. All of these bodies were found February 26, 1959.

It wasn’t until May 6 that year that the last four hikers would be found dead under 4 meters of snow in a ravine 2075 meters away from the tent. Lyudmilla Dubinina had been found face down in the ravine missing her tongue, lips, and eyes. She had also sustained a major chest fracture along with Zolotaryov, though neither had bruising on their bodies or soft tissue to suggest anything causing the fracture. Thibeaux-Brignolles had also sustained a major skull fracture. The injuries Thibeaux-Brignolles, Zolotaryov, and Dubinina sustained that lead to their deaths were made with a force as strong as a car crash said  Dr. Boris Vozrozhdenny when asked.  Those who had died first had relinquished their clothing to the other as Zolotaryov was wearing Dubinina’s faux fur coat.

The nine hikers were the only people on the mountain that night, they had all died within 6-8 hours of their last meal, and they all left the tent by their own accord. Some hikers camping on a mountain a few kilometers away reported seeing strange orange orbs in the sky that night and the last picture on Krioneschenko’s camera showed some blurry orbs. It was also reported that at the funerals for the hikers their bodies held a deep tan, an almost orange one. Ultimately their death was ruled to be caused by an unknown force and may remain a mystery forever. 

  • what they say: i'm fine
  • what they mean: what happened to all those skiers up at dyatlov pass all those years ago. who or what killed them why were there traces of radiation and why had their skin tanned what is the "compelling natural force" that killed them and what had the force of a speeding car that severely damaged their insides but didn't break any skin. was it an avalanche? was it aliens? was it a government cover-up? this happened 56 years ago and i'm still not over it.

Here’s a list of weird/strange articles on wikipedia in no particular order for you to read and just add more useless knowledge in your puny human brain. General murder/death trigger warning for most.

Bloody Mary || Kennedy curse || Taman Shud Case || La Voisin || Greyfriars Bobby || Pripyat || Albert Fish || Mary Toft || The Cure for Insomnia || Roanoke Colony || John Murray Spear || Arecibo message || Nuckelavee || Phaistos Disc || Tanganyika laughter epidemic || Mad Gasser of Mattoon || Murder of Junko Furuta || Peoples Temple || Ed Gein || Stargate Project || Jackalope || Numbers station || UVB-76 || Bélmez Faces || Donner Party || Adam || Mariana UFO incident || Valentich disappearance || Cleveland Torso Murderer || Trepanning || Dyatlov Pass incident || Grey goo || Overtoun House || The Garden of Earthly Delights || Wilhelm Reich || Starchild skull || Original Night Stalker || Owlman || Ararat anomaly || British big cats || Jack the Ripper || Clapham Wood Mystery || Pope Lick Monster || Shadow person || Out-of-place artifact || Black Dahlia || Jersey Devil || Crawfordsville monster || Koro || Philadelphia Experiment || Glasgow smile || Roswell UFO incident || David Parker Ray || D. B. Cooper || Total Information Awareness || Goatman || Grey alien || Joachim Kroll || Peter Kürten || Gilles de Rais || Alien abduction || Joseph Vacher || Mothman || Polywater || Catacombe dei Cappuccini || Villisca Axe Murders || Grace Sherwood || Loveland frog || The Hermitage || Jatinga || Sankebetsu brown bear incident || Mongolian death worm || Devil’s Footprints || The Sick Child || H. H. Holmes || Dysaesthesia aethiopica || Bloody Benders || Lamia || Black Paintings || The Monster with 21 Faces || Shirime || Lina Medina || Exploding head syndrome || Quantum suicide and immortality || Mokele-mbembe || Spontaneous human combustion || Dulce Base || Chandre Oram || Oscar || Men in Black || Vladimir Demikhov || The Great Red Dragon Paintings || Bloop || Retroactive continuity || Elizabeth Báthory || Delphine LaLaurie || Silverpilen || Polybius || Guided rat || Robert J. White || Chelyabinsk meteor || Armin Meiwes || Big Crunch || Belchen Tunnel || Moberly–Jourdain incident || Boy Scout Lane || Princes in the Tower || Rosenheim Poltergeist || Peter Stumpp || Bermuda Triangle || Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery || Hill of Crosses || Self-immolation || Lycaon || Burke and Hare murders || Pykrete || Kate Morgan || List of unusual deaths || Sawney Bean || Rogue elephant of Aberdare Forest || Yoshio Kodaira || Incorruptibility || Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus || Toynbee tiles || Rat king || Sailing stones || Thalidomide || Jersey Shore shark attacks of 1916 || Tunguska event || Head transplant || List of cryptids || Borley Rectory || Sedlec Ossuary || Alien hand syndrome || Capgras delusion || Mellified man || Atuk || Monster of Glamis || Spring-heeled Jack || Allagash Abductions || Aokigahara || Raymond Robinson (Green Man) || Premature burial || Brain transplant || Nightmarchers || Decompression illness || Midgetville || Zombie || Mercy Brown vampire incident || Necromancy || Lamkin || Harry K. Daghlian, Jr. || Icelandic Phallological Museum || Neisseria meningitidis || Unit 731 || Bunny Man || Bubbly Creek || Malleus Maleficarum || Moll Dyer || Original Spanish Kitchen || Charles Bonnet syndrome || Voynich manuscript || Black Annis || True name || Dorothy Talbye trial || Black dog || Wandering Jew || Sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway || Yara-ma-yha-who || Rod Ferrell || The Juniper Tree

So I’m totally sitting here, geeking out about the Dyatlov Pass Incident. All because a fellow tumblr user told me about Kholat, an indie horror game focused around this very real event. 

I’d read all about it after watching the move Devil’s Pass forever ago. And I loved the mystery behind it all. It’s so unnerving to know that there are some things in life that we still can’t figure out. HOW CREEPY. 

I love it <3


The Dyatlov Pass Incident 

On February 2, 1959 nine young students went hiking in the Ural Mountains of Russia, and never returned. The deaths of the nine hikers remains a phenomenal mystery to this day. Investigators found the abandoned tent ripped open from the inside, with all of the hiker’s belonging still inside. Five of the hikers were found frozen to death near the campsite; the bodies were found with nearly bare, suggesting the hikers ran from the tent in a terror, leaving behind shoes, jackets and other necessities to survive the mountain. There was no sign of a struggle. The last victims were found over 80 yards away from the campsite.

These four bodies were found with strange injuries including internal damage, crushed skulls, and According to Dr. Boris Vozrozhdenny, the force required to cause such damage would have been extremely high. He compared it to the force of a car crash. Notably, the bodies had no external wounds, as if they were crippled by a high level of pressure.

One victim was even missing her tongue. The clothes of these victims were found to have high levels of radiation. Another group of hikers reported that they saw strange orange spheres in the night sky on the night of the incident. Some reports suggest that there was a lot of scrap metal in the area, leading to speculation that the military had utilized the area secretly and might be engaged in a cover-up.

Soviet investigators determined only that “a compelling unknown force” had caused the deaths. The case files were sent to a secret archive, and the photocopies of the case became available only in the 1990s, with some parts missing. 


Kholat is an indie survival horror video game developed by Polish developers IMGN.PRO, in which the player controls a protagonist who is tracing the steps of a group of nine Russian college students who went missing on Kholat Syakhl in the northern Ural Mountains on February 2, 1959. The game is based on the Dyatlov Pass incident, a true event that involved ten Russian students, nine of which went missing on Kholat Syakhl and were found dead in the time span of four months (the tenth student had walked back earlier due to illness). The experienced trekking group, who were all from the Ural Polytechnical Institute, had established a camp on the slopes of Kholat Syakhl when disaster struck. During the night something made them tear their way out of their tents from the inside and flee the campsite inadequately dressed in heavy snowfall and sub-zero temperatures.Soviet investigators determined that six victims died from hypothermia while others showed signs of physical trauma. One victim had a fractured skull while another had brain damage but without any sign of distress to their skull. Additionally, a female team member had her tongue and eyes missing. The investigation concluded that an “unknown compelling force” had caused the deaths. Access to the region was consequently closed to amateur hikers and expeditions for three years after the incident (the area is named Dyatlov Pass in honor of the group’s leader, Igor Dyatlov).

Холатчахль (“Kholat Syakhl”) is a transliteration in Russian of Holatchahl, meaning “Dead Mountain” in Mansi.


At long last, here’s my newest urban legend/conspiracy theory zine, Polybius!  The Polybius cabinet is a (supposedly) real arcade game/theorized mind control device that appeared briefly in 1981, wreaked havoc and then quickly disappeared.  

I am planning on keeping these conspiracy zines going, so if you guys have a subject you’d like to see discussed in one of these little books in the future feel free to leave me a suggestion!

Did you miss the first zine in the series?  Click here to read all about the Dyatlov Pass Incident!


The Dyatlov Pass incident is when the mysterious deaths of nine ski hikers took place in the northern Ural mountains on the night of February 2, 1959. The incident happened on the east shoulder of the mountain Kholat Syakhl. The mountain pass where the incident took place has been renamed Dyaltov Pass after the group’s leader, Igor Dyatlov.

Without any eyewitnesses to this event inspired many speculation. Many Soviet investigators simply determined that a “compelling natural force” had caused the incident. Access to the area was barred to skiers and adventures for three years after the incident.

Investigators determined that the hikers tore open their tent from within, leaving barefoot in the heavy snow and a temperate of -30 °C. Although the corpses showed no signs of struggle, two victims had fractured skulls, two had broken ribs, and one was missing parts of her face due to postmortem decay.

Journalists that reported on the available parts of the inquest files claim that it states

  • Six members in the group died of hypothermia and three fatal injuries
  • There were no indications of other people nearby apart from the nine travelers
  • The tent had been torn open from the inside
  • The victims had died 6 to 8 hours after their last meal
  • Traces from the camp show that all group members left the campsite willingly, on foot
  • To dispel theories of an attack by the indigenous Mansi people, Dr Boris Vozrozhdenny stated that the fatal injuries of the three bodies could not have been caused by another human “because the force of the blows had been too strong and no soft tissue had been damaged”
  • Forensic radiation tests had shown high doses of radioactive contamination on the clothes of a few victims
  • Released documents contained no information about the condition of the skiers’ internal organs
  • No one survived

There are lots of controversy surrounding the investigation. Such as when Yury Kuntsevich, head of the Yekaterinburg-based Dyatlov Foundation, attended five of the hikers’ funerals, and recalled their skin had a “deep brown tan”. Some of the hikers’ clothing were found to be highly radioactive. Another group of hikers, about 50 km south of the incident, reported that they say orange spheres in the night sky to the north on the night of the incident. Similar sightings were observed in Ivdel and adjacent areas continually during the period from February to March 1959, by various independent witnesses. These were later confirmed by Eugene Buyanov to be test launches of R-7 intercontinental missiles. Some reports suggest that there was a great deal of scrap metal in and around the area.


The Dyatlov Pass Incident

February 9 1959, 9 young experienced Russion hikers set out they were a ski instructor, engineers and students from the former Soviet Union’s Ural Polytechnic Institute in Sverdlovsk. The leader, 23 year old Igor Dyatlov organized the team of female and male skiers. They set off January 28, on February 11 the team were supposed to have reached Vizhai, but once a week had gone by with no word from the hikers family informed the police. And what they found was a horrific sight.

The search party that were sent out found the abandoned campsite (as pictured above), on the Kholat Sykahl, roughly translated in the native tongue as “Moutain of the dead”. All what was left at the campsite was the badly damaged tent, and footprints from eight different people that spiraled around the campsite. The groups belongings and shoes were left inside, was baffled the search team was the fact that the sent was ripped, and that many experienced hikers had left, in freezing conditions, without their shoes or clothes.

At a fire nearly 1500 feet from the campsite two dead bodies were found, frozen – both men naked and without their shoes. Their hands completely mashed into bloody pulp, as they had attempted to climb the pine trees until eventually their skin had tore away from their hands (DNA tests later proved this, by the skin found on the bark of the broken branches around the area). Found 900 feet away from the campsite was leader Igor Dyatlov, found frozen in a position which suggested he was covering his face with his arm, to protect himself from an unknown assailant. And the rest of the bodies began piling up…

An engineer found with a fracture 7 inches deep in his skull.

One of the female hikers was found the furthest way, though there were no signs of a struggle on her body.

Two months after the snow had thawed, the four remaining hikers were discovered, their chests had been crushed, and it was a described has having the same impact and strength as a ‘car crash’. The last corpse found was that of a female, her face frozen in a silent scream but upon closer inspection it was found that her tongue had been ripped out of her mouth.

There are two factors which have never been explained and result to why these nine deaths remain such a mystery. The tent, had massive claw like rips but these rips, came from the inside and were the only point of entry or exit during the mad dash – the zip on the tent was still closed. And second, the clothes found had tracings of radiation on them.

So what caused these nine highly experienced hikers to be in such a mad dash that they left their tent, clothes, and shoes in sub zero temperatures? And what caused their injuries?

Some say aliens, another thought is a mad yeti on the loose in the mountains. And others think that it’s a military experiment gone wrong.


The Dyatlov Pass incident refers to the unexplained deaths of a group of 9 highly experienced hikers from the Ural Polytechnic Institute.  They died on an expedition in the Ural Mountains in 1959.  The official report was that an “Unknown Compelling Force” caused the hikers to run from their tent in the middle of the night.  Six of them died of hypothermia.  Another had a fractured skull.  One died of brain damage but without any trauma to the skull and a female hiker was missing her eyes and tongue.   Four of them had high levels of radiation detected on their clothing.  To this day, the true cause of their deaths remains unsolved.