Epi 21: Worst Hike Ever

This evening, Tessy and McDub are taking a listener’s request and talking about the INSANE story of the Dyatlov Pass incident – AKA – Worst. Hike. Ever.

Investigators at the time never found conclusive evidence of what happened to these 9 hikers, and even today, rumors and speculation still surround the deaths of the expedition members.  Why were they separated in 3 groups?  Why was one group wearing another groups clothing?  Why did they escape their tent wearing almost nothing in sub-terrain temperatures?  Why was there radiation on their clothing?  Why were all of their injuries so inconsistent?  Why were investigators forced to close the case less than 3 months after the incident?  So many questions, ah!

WTF Moments:

  • The Dyatlov Pass incident refers to the mysterious, unsolved deaths of experienced hikers in the northern Ural Mountains on February 2, 1959.
  • The area in which the incident took place was named Dyatlov Pass in honor of the group’s leader, Igor Dyatlov.
  • Dr. Boris Vozrozhdenny stated that none of the injuries on the bodies could have been caused by another human being, “because the force of the blows had been too strong and no soft tissue had been damaged.”
  • Forensic radiation tests revealed high doses of radioactive contamination on the clothing.
  • The tent was ripped from inside with a knife – whatever “spooked” the hikers was inside the tent, as there was no evidence of a fire or external forces such as outside attackers or an avalanche.
  • Most of the group’s belongings, including warm clothes and food, were left behind.
  • Nine sets of footprints, some barefoot, were found, in a single file line – (weird), leading towards the nearby woods.
  • At the edge of the woods, the remains of a small campfire were found. There was a large pine tree close to the campfire, with broken branches up to five meters high.
  • The group had separated into 3 groups and were all found in different areas.
    • Both Yuri’s were found next to the small campfire dead from hypothermia, lying only in their underwear.
    • Igor, Zima and Rustem were found between the slope and the campfire, trying to return back to their tent. They died from hypothermia, in different distances (300, 480 and 630 meters) from the campfire.
    • The remaining bodies weren’t discovered until months later.
  • Injuries in the group included fractured ribs, a fractured skull, frostbite (duh), 3rd degree burns, gouged out eyes and one even bit his own knuckle off – ouch!  Strangely, no external wounds (besides the knuckle), not even scratches on the skin. 
  • Lev Ivanov, lead investigator – “I suspected at the time and am almost sure now that these bright flying saucers had a direct connection to the group’s death.”
    • Not long after, Ivanov was ordered by Soviet Officials to close the case – hey sketchy.
  • Yuri Yarovoi (the 10th hiker that got away) published a novel entitled “of the highest rank of complexity” which he based on this incident.  He had actually been involved in the search for the group and the Inquest.  He had also acted as the investigations official photographer.  Details of the incident were kept secret by the Soviets as usual – duh.
  • Yarovoi died in 1980 and all of his archives, photos, dairies, and manuscripts became “lost.”  mmmhmmm


What we’re drinking tonight: White Russians!



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