The 1959 Dyatlov Pass Incident

The 1959 Dyatlov Pass Incident

This article will be taking a look at the 1959 Dyatlov Pass incident, when a group of hikers met a grizzly and mysterious end during their expedition to the remote Mt Otorten in the Northern Ural Ranges…

The Exciting Expedition

A group of ten students from the the Ural Technical University set off on an exciting expedition in late January, 1959. The university had arranged the trek with an objective of reaching Mount Otorten in the northern Ural Mountains.

A short section of this journey was set to pass through Mount Kholat Syakhl…a mountain that the locals refer to as ‘The Dead Mountain’.

Out of the ten who made up the group of young explorers, only one would return home alive.

A Photographic Journey

The students were warned beforehand that the journey was listed as a category 3 hike – this meant that it was not really suitable for amateurs.

The difficulty did not put any of the group members off, they were young and they felt they would have no problems in reaching their destination.

dyatlov pass russia

A day into the trek, and one of the group members fell mysteriously ill. Thankfully there was a village nearby, and the sick member was able to stay behind when the remaining nine carried on with the journey.

The details regarding the remainder of their doomed journey, are captured in photographs recovered from rolls of film found, some log diaries, and forensic evidence.

The Dead Mountain

A few days after the group had left the ill member in the village, bad weather conditions had apparently put them off course, as they were descending The Dead Mountain.

When they realized they had taken the wrong route, they decided to set up camp on the mountainside…but ignored the more wooded area nearby which would have offered much more protection from the elements.

When this camp was being set up, one of the final photographs was snapped by one of the group members. It was around the time of 5pm, on Feb the 1st, 1959.

What happened next…remains a mystery.

The Dyatlov Pass Mystery

The group of hikers was led by a student named Igor Dyatlov, and he had made arrangements that stated he would inform authorities of their success or failure on February the 12th. He did point out that there could well be a few days delay on this date, due to the group’s slow progress.

By the 20th of February, the local authorities were concerned – they had not been contacted by Igor Dyatlov.

A professional search team was put together, and six days later they eventually manged to locate the group’s camping tent. It was badly damaged, and full of their supplies.

The tent seemed to have been torn from the inside, and there was a trail of footprints leading to the wooded area below the campsite.

They followed the footprints to a burned out campfire where they discovered two bodies – both in their underwear.

The Dyatlov Pass Mystery

Another three bodies were then discovered, including that of group leader, Igor Dyatlov. They were also semi-naked, and seemed to have been heading back towards the original campsite.

The remaining bodies were found months later in a ravine.

These final gruesome discoveries were shrouded in mystery…

For a start – three of the bodies carried fatal internal injuries…but no surface wounds (Fractured chests and fractured skulls).

dyatlov pass theories

The forth body was female, and discovered in a nearby stream. Her lips, tongue and part of her skull had been removed!

All four of the bodies seemed to be dressed in clothing that they had stolen off the other group members. Traces of radioactivity were found on this clothing, and the bodies had a strange tan to their skins.

The Dyatlov Pass Theories

Most skeptics believe that a snow slide was behind the mysterious incident. It had hit their campsite and they had all fled the tent in a panic…only to die in the cold environment.

Many ufologists believe that the radiation is key to this mystery, that the group were victim to an alien encounter. It is noted that several other hiking groups in the area reported seeing strange lights in the sky.

The Russian authorities claimed that the lights were nothing more than missile testing exercises…but this explanation did not convince everyone.

Another theory involves a government testing area in the mountain – did the group wander into this area…and end up being killed off by some sort of ‘experiment’?

Now it’s over to you…

There are several popular theories linked to this incident – Yeti attack, government testing, UFO’s…

Please leave your opinions in the comment section below.

16 thoughts on “The 1959 Dyatlov Pass Incident

  1. Hey there! Thanks for sharing these exciting, mysterious stories with me. It is interesting that some of them can be traced with forensic investigation but even with this technology what really happened still can’t be determined. With the Dyatlov Pass Incident, I think the first theory makes sense that there was a snow slide that caught them while they were sleep but why would they be sleeping in their underwear if they were camping in the cold weather? I’m not a camping expert but I don’t think there’s any way to warm up a tent to be that warm? Or I may be wrong so perhaps someone or something did stage it to appear as if that happened.

    Very interesting article,


    1. Glad you enjoyed it Marlinda,

      Yeah most campers wouldn’t opt to sleep in their underwear, in that sort of weather…so it slightly tarnishes the first theory (in my book anyway!).

      Thanks for reading our work! 

  2. I absolutely believe in conspiracy more than aliens.  However Im not saying that aliens do not exist.

    I am convinced that many governments have, do and will always have secrets that they are willing to kill for.  In this case as I have read a bit more about it recently I am absolutely leaning towards some government secret.

    This was a great article and its stuff like this that keeps me interested.  Thanks.

  3. Great post,

    This kept me on the edge of my seat, well written. This is tragic yet insightful all at the same time. I am somewhat of a conspiracy theorist myself. It makes me wonder if the government covers these occurrences up more often nowadays. I would have to say yes. The way technology has advanced I believe the population would freak out. Causing catastrophic war. 

    Great post! Thanks for sharing.



  4. This is really mysterious and there are a lot more cases out there of people been victims to incidents that cannot be explained. It is really strange because what was discovered would rule out some of the reasons of their deaths.

    That person with missing lips and tongue would obviously rule out been killed by the government testing areas. I don’t want to say I do not believe in aliens but I don’t see any other reasonable explanation except if they probably encountered a psychopath that did all those things to them without thinking twice.

    1. I’ve heard the psychopath angle a few times now Jay and I agree with it to a point. The only problem is – what would he be doing out there in that weather, and how did he manage to overpower them all?

  5. That’s such a horrible way to die. I’m sad for the families of the hikers because they will probably never know how exactly their loved one’s died. To me, it’s still so surprising that to this day this hasn’t been solved. This is certainly a mystery, one that is frightening to think if something like this could happen again.

  6. This is a rather chilling story, and one that we will most probably never know all the answers to, which is quite frustrating to say the least. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the Dyatlov Pass Incident and watching the video, as I haven’t heard about this story before.

    The most strange thing to me was the condition that the tent was found in, cut from the inside with a knife or knives. That in itself is strange. Whereas the missing tongue could have been eaten by a passing predator. 

    This must have been devastating at the time for all those families involved, especially not getting concrete answers as to what really happened.

    1. Yeah the tent is definitely a head-scratcher isn’t it Michel, then again, most of the case is really! 

      I doubt it will ever be solved now. 

  7. Hi,
    What a fascinating set of events and so tragic.
    I would agree with your evaluation and conclusion.
    I am not the hiking type and snow and conditions of that type I don’t not like to challenge. I also think they were ill prepared, sometimes these hikes under estimate how strong and relentless nature can be.
    A great article, enjoy the read and the video.
    Thank you,
    Lady Esther

  8. In the Urals, no one shares Buyanov’s opinion that it was an avalanche. Buyanov repeats the words of two consultants from Moscow, who in order to hush up the question just blurted out about the avalanche, because they were not tourists, and climbers. Kuntsevich keeps silent now. All passionate about books Ural researcher Ivlev, which is well understood in the past and told in the books what happened.

    1. Thank you both (Ирина and Шатун) for the information you have added to the article!
      I’m glad I don’t have to pronounce your names 🙂

  9. Bravo. In 2013 Stanislav Ilev of nuclear Ozersk , where he was krivonischenko, published the first slim version with these findings. Only then it was not accepted to say that tourists still heated the stove. Everyone was convinced that it was a night without a stove. But in 2019, Ivlev published a book ” the Real story of the campaign group Dyatlov.” And here is the reason of the smoke of the tent because the tarp got on the stove. The reason for leaving the tent was. Further waste in the forest and injured at the bottom. Bravo. Adequate people began to study the causes. It is a pity that in Russia such a theory is forgotten by lovers of fairy tales.

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