The Dyatlov Pass Incident


The Dyatlov Pass Incident is a case concerning the mysterious deaths of nine skiiers in the Ural Mountains. The hikers original intentions were to climb Mount Otorten. They ascended first over Kholat Syakhl through a nameless mountain pass that was later named after the expedition leader, Igor Dyatlov.

After realizing the hikers had passed their supposed date of completing the climb without contact, a search team was sent out to find them, presuming the hikers lost.

Their tent was eventually found, the side being cut open, and the search team found multiple pieces of clothing and shoes in the tent. Numerous footprints, some of bare feet, were leading away from the tent toward a wooded area. Diaries and cameras found around the site and with the bodies that were found recorded their last date as February 1st, 1959.

The hikers had set up their tent on a slope of Kholat Syakhl, and despite the freezing temperatures, decided to forgo a fire. This leads some theorists to believe the hikers eventual deaths may have been a result of hypothermia, which causes delirium and confusion, explaining the lack of sufficient clothing and wandering from the tent.

The first five bodies found, including that of Igor Dyatlov, could have supported this theory, though there multiple small abrasions and bruises on the bodies, as well as evidence that Dyatlov had frantically tried to climb the tree he had been found underneath. The final four bodies were not found until later, and their state gave rise to multiple questions.

The last four bodies were found in a shallow ravine after two months of searching. Each had multiple bruises and abrasions, but one had a heavily fractured skull, and two had heavy internal concussive damage around their chests, that of which would require “impressive force” similar to that of a car crash. One of them was missing her tongue. Their injuries could not be satisfactorily explained.

Other hikers from a large distance away that night, as well as other witnesses throughout the month, also described seeing suspicious large, orange-yellow spheres in the sky. While this event was explained as Soviet rocket testing, most are unwilling to rule out UFO involvement.

Theories range from hypothermia and avalanches, a creature, aliens, and Mansi natives of the mountains. The deaths themselves are simply described as being caused by an “unknown compelling force.”