Why the group pitched their tent at this spot on the night of the incident

Theory 1
On January 31, the group arrived at the edge of a highland area and began to prepare for climbing. In a wooded valley they cached surplus food and equipment that would be used for the trip back. The following day (February 1), the hikers started to move through the pass. It seems they planned to get over the pass and make camp for the next night on the opposite side, but because of worsening weather conditions–snowstorms and decreasing visibility–they lost their direction and deviated west, up towards the top of Kholat Syakhl. When they realized their mistake, the group decided to stop and set up camp there on the slope of the mountain, rather than moving 1.5 km (0.93 mi) downhill to a forested area which would have offered some shelter from the elements. Yudin, the lone survivor, postulated that "Dyatlov probably did not want to lose the altitude they had gained, or he decided to practice camping on the mountain slope. "

Theory 2
It is judged, based on the weather information available, what had been written in their journals and on information about the group's progress by Yuri Yudin, that they would have reached the slopes of Kholat Syakhl sometime in the afternoon of 1 Feb. At that latitude and time of year sunset is 1658, so it can be reasonably assumed that they got to the point were they pitched tent 60 minutes or so before then in order to give them time to erect the tent in daylight. Their final destination was Mount Otorten, and it was not feasible for them to have continued on at night. We can never know precisely why Dyatlov ordered the tent pitched were he did, but I doubt it was because they were lost. They were in fact on the correct route to Otorten. Also, if they managed to find their way about 1,500m to the treeline in the dark and in some difficulty after leaving the tent in a panic, they why could they not find their way to the treeline in daylight, and in good order? It must be presumed, without evidence to the contrary, that Dyatlov had intended to pitch the tent on the slopes of Kholat Syakhl. It is of course speculation that this was to give the group an extra challenge. Another factor is that when dawn broke, their destination, Mount Otorten, would be visible from their tent. This, after a difficult journey, would be good for moral as they could see their destination. This of course is speculation, but I do not believe they were lost and bumbling about. And to re-iterate, if they were lost, why could they make it to the treeline in the dark in a panic, and not in daylight in good order.


How steep was the slope where the tent was pitched

Dyatlov Pass: Location of the Dyatlov's group tent
Dyatlov Pass: Location of the Dyatlov's group tent

Official protocol report on the Dyatlov group tent:
"Tent site is located on the North- eastern slope of mountain 1079 (Kholat Syakhl official term) meters at the mouth of river Auspiya. Tent site is located 300 meters from the top of the mountain 1079 with a slope of 30 °..."

Second read on the photos
Rescuers removed hikers belongings, folded the tent and carried them down the slope for the convenience of the subsequent evacuation. From beneath the tent they removed three pairs of skis, two of which were given to the hunters Moiseev and Mostovoy that were transporting the items and one pair was used to mark the location of Dyatlov and Kolmogorova's bodies. On the photos we can see captured this precise moment: the tent is completely disassembled and pushed to the side, out from under the skis of the hikers are removed, rescuers are moving down the slope.

The two people standing to the left are journalist Yuri Yarovoy and the prosecutor criminologist Lev Ivanov. This photo is especially valuable because it allows us to measure the steepness of the slope of the mountain Kholat Syakhl right where the tent was pitched.

The original photograph (above) is tilted to the left, but the standing straight figures of Yarovoy and Ivanov can be used as a reference points to straighten the photo and measure the slope which is only 15 degrees. This is not more than the angle of climbing for stairs and escalators.


Why the livor mortis spots did not match the position of some bodies?

Theory 1
On Doroshenko (found face up), Kolmogorova and Slobodin (found face down) the livor mortis spots were on the top surface of the body. This lead to speculations that the bodies were moved (turned over) after their death.

Theory 2
In "Судебно-медицинское исследование тела Рустема Слободина. Незаданные вопросы и неполученные ответы..." ("Forensic examination of the body of Rustem Slobodin. Answers not received on questions not asked...") - scroll to the bottom, the author speculates that the medical examiner Vozrojdenniy mistook frostbite erythema for livor mortis. Article is citing the forensic bible at the time "Forensic medicine" 1953 by M. I. Rayski where there is no mentioning of frostbite erythema but on p. 233 it says that livor mortis in frozen cadavers change color when carried in a warm room from purple to light red, and then darken again. Same thing happens with frostbite erythema when defrosting a corpse. So the author of the article says "it is not surprising that the medical examiner Vozrojdenniy thought that he sees livor mortis spots".


Maps with the ravine and den where Dubinina, Kolevatov, Thibeaux-Brignolles and Zolotaryov were found

Dyatlov Pass: map cedar den ravine by Rakitin
Map by Alexey Rakitin - authour of the book "Dyatlov Pass"
1 - cedar, 2 - cut pants and sweaters, 3 - bodies 4 - the den. "P" the direction to the tent. Distances: R1 - the distance from the cedar to the edge of the forest, R2 - the shortest distance from the cedar to the ravine, R3 - the distance from the cedar to the cut pants and sweater, R4 - the distance from the cut pants and sweater to where the bodies were found, R5 - the distance between the bodies and the den, R6 - the distance from the den to the cedar. The blue dashed lines show the area where the fir trees where crushed to carry branches for the flooring of the den.
Dyatlov Pass: map cedar den ravine by Sharavin
Map by Mihail Sharavin - member of the search party that found the first bodies of Doroshenko and Krivonishenko, 2m from the cedar, the tree being between the tent and the bodies. When the bodies of Dubinina, Kolevatov, Thibeaux-Brignolles and Zolotaryov were found Sharavin made a note of what he thought is the location of the bodies, a reconstruction made by NAVIG in 2009 shows den and bodies north-west from the tree and not south-east as shown in Rakitin's map.
Why are these maps so important? The slop of the ravine has a 5-7 m drop to a rock bottom of creek 1 (on Sharavin's map) which could have let to a dangerous fall in the dark and caused the traumas.


Notorious frame №33

Dyatlov Pass: Notorius frame №33

Theory 1
UFOs, massive alien invasion, alien sacrifice, face peering into the tent, fireballs, engine of a falling missile etc.

Theory 2
The technician in the crime lab was given a camera with a film inside which he has to develop and give back to the investigators. Old cameras have film in a cartridge, the camera makes a photo by (1) pressing the shutter and then (2) using the film advance lever to draw next blank frame from the cartrige. Some people did (2) right after (1), some did (2) right before the the shot. The technician has no way of knowing if the camera is in position (1) or (2). Rewinding the film is only possible in position (1). The technician can either use the film advance lever which will not work if the camera is in possition (2) or press the shutter which will not work if the camera is in possition (1). Pushing the lever too hard can damage the film. Usually the lab technicians pressed the shutter and if doesn't go off then the film can be rewinded. If it does go off then the film can also be rewinded but the there is one last technological photo which captures whatever is in front at that particular moment - wall, ashtray, table, papers, and a lot of undetifyable objects nearly always out of focus. The shutter of Krivonischenko's camera was cocked, so the notorious photo №33 came to life. Initially this frame was not presented in the investigation as pаrt of the film, and it should have remained that way, because introducing it at a later time inflated even further the monstrous significance that this photo was gaining.


Radioactive contamination on hikers clothes

2 sweaters and pants
The original report for all findings for radioactive testing are published here - https://sites.google.com/site/hibinaud/home/postanovlenie-o-naznacenii-fiz-tehn-eksp

Abnormally high readings show:

  1. brown sweater on Dubinina - 9900 decays/min 150 cm2
  2. trousers lower part on Kolevatov - 5000 decays/min 150 cm2
  3. the waistband of sweater on Kolevatov - 5600 decays/min 150 cm2

2 pants and a sweater
One sentence is copied throughout the net "Some of the hikers' clothing (2 pants and sweater) were found to be highly radioactive."



Dyatlov Pass: Open Discussion
Any thoughts on the matter?