Mystery Musings – Dyatlov Pass Incident.


Mystery Musings – Dyatlov Pass Incident is the first in a series of posts about complicated and unsolved mysteries. Some may be more famous than others. Please read the disclaimers about this series below before commenting, and make sure to leave any of your own theories and opinions in the comments or tweet me on Twitter. I want this series to be respectful whilst also putting my own ideas into the cases. I want people to come together to think about their own theories, as I believe curiosity can create amazing communities.


Mystery Musings posts are researched and written by me. Pictures and photos used in the posts are taken from various websites online and are not my own. Sources of all information found and used are listed at the end of each post with links. I try my best to involve every detail in each case as to not cause fake rumors. I try to use the most reliable sources such as original quotes from people involved or official websites. My opinions on these cases are just my opinions, and I am interested to hear everybody else’s.


This article contains links to a website which may have pictures of real dead bodies. Please be careful if you are scared by pictures such as these.

Dyatlov Pass Incident.

The Dyatlov Pass Incident is one of the first mysteries that I fully threw myself into and got involved with. It is extremely complex, full of detail, and at points it is difficult to keep up. I am going to try my best to write this in a way that is easiest to follow, but if you need more information on any of the points I mention throughout the post, there are sources at the bottom which are numbered like this: [1] as to which source you may want to read. I’ll also highlight all important dates and names in red for easier reading.

Diagram of layout of bodies positions.

On February 2nd 1959, 10 ski hikers set off across the Northern Ural Mountains for an expedition [1]. This group consisted of 2 women and 8 men, one of the men went home before this incident occurred due to illness. You can see their faces and names in this graphic below [1].

Igor Dyatlov was the leader of the group, and Yuri Yudin is the gentleman who went home early. The other 9 died on the expedition in mysterious circumstances, which is clearly now known as the Dyatlov Pass Incident. No action was taken on their disappearances until 24 days later on the 26th February, as it was common for expeditions to take longer than their expected duration.

To make it easier to visualize as I tell you about each persons death, here is a diagram of where each body was found in relation to their tent, and the forest. [1]

The first thing you should know is the tent that they were staying in was ripped from the inside out. It was also covered in snow when they found it. Belongings and shoes were left behind but the tent itself was empty. Even though they found the tent first, they didn’t find the two closest bodies until a few days later.

The first bodies found were of Yuri Krivoshenko and Yuri Doroshenko, near the forest edge. They were shoeless and only in underwear. There were the remains of a fire near them, and the cedar tree branches were broken as if someone had climbed up it. It is presumed they did this to either get away from something/someone, or to look for where they were in the snow. It is important to note that these bodies are believed to have been turned over after death (possibly by the other hikers). You can read fully about each autopsy of each body in source [2], however I will quickly mention that both of these bodies had various bruising and abrasions. Cause of final death was hypothermia. Take that as you will.

The next two bodies were found on February 27th Igor Dyatlov (Leader) and Zinaida Kolmogorova. They were found in poses and positions which strongly suggested they were walking back towards the tent from the tree line. Presumably, after finding and/or looking for their friends. It’s important to remember that Zinaida and Igor were believed to be in a romantic relationship, which comes into play throughout one of the theories mentioned later on. Note that the pose Igor Dyatlov was found in particular is very strange, read about that on source [3].

On March 5th, another body was found in roughly the same area. Rustem Slobodin was also assumed to have been walking back up towards the tent, and he was the only one out of the 3 who had a skull fracture. It is believed this was caused by him constantly falling on his face whilst walking in the snow towards the tent. All 3 of these people have their cause of death down as hypothermia, but this is controversial. Due to Rustem‘s injuries, there may have been another force that aided the hypothermia.

2 months later on May 5th, the last 4 bodies were found. Those of: Lyudmila Dubinina, Semyon Zolotaryov, Alexander Kolevatov, and Nikolai Thibeaux – Brignolie. Before I tell you about these deaths (possibly the most puzzling part of this mystery), I’ll tell you about the snow den.

This part of the story is the part where most theories about this case fall apart. Up to now, each part of the mystery can rationally be explained (even if the explanations seem slightly out-there). The snow den was made by the remaining 4 people in a bid to survive. This proves that they were not insane, and they still had some sort of sense. Below is a picture of the snow den. [4] The black mass in the middle are twigs and branches which were put there to minimize contact of skin with snow. The knife that was used to cut these was never found.

The Snow Den when it was found.

The mystery about this snow den, is why did all four of the survivors decide to leave the snow den? Their bodies were not found inside this den, in fact they were found in a ravine a few feet away. I won’t include the pictures of that as they are quite graphic, however if you want to see those pictures please head over to source [4]. Just a warning that the descriptions of some of these people’s deaths may be graphic and/or triggering.

Lyudmila Dubinina was found in the ravine, her chest pressed against a rock and her arms up against it. Her death seems like the most violent of the 4. She had several broken ribs, bruises, and a hemorrhage in her heart. The most shocking part of her death was that her tongue and eyes were missing, as well as the soft tissues of her lips and teeth. This could be explained by animals eating her after death, but this is disputed in some theories due to how she was found. You can read more about her death at source [5], but I won’t list it all here.

The other three were all found with traumatic injuries which you can read about at source [5] also. The injuries that these 4 had were compared to being hit by a car. Kolevatov was found with a ‘deformed neck’ which seemed like it had been snapped in such a way that is used in the special forces.

Photo’s and Camera’s

There were 5 camera’s found, and a lot of pictures were able to be recovered. The only camera that was too damaged to get any good pictures out of was Zolotaryov’s which was found around his neck after being submerged in the ravine water with him for 2 months. Pictures were recovered from it, but they are all extremely damaged. They do show some… puzzling and creepy photo’s. Here are three examples:

Note that the first one seems a lot like three heads, almost peering over Zolotaryov as he lay down. The other two are examples of many pictures of some sort of orb of light. See source [6] for more examples of these photo’s.

Aside from there being some distorted photo’s on other films from other camera’s, there is a picture on the camera that belonged to Thibeaux-Brignolle that is questionable. According to source [7], there is a trail that can be seen in the picture, meaning this is likely another hiker who walked away from the photographer and was captured turning to come back towards them. However this was disputed and many have used this picture as ‘proof’ that something along the lines of a yeti, or even another human, had something to do with the mysterious deaths.

A pretty creepy photo of a human (or yeti!)

There were also 6 diaries found which mainly aren’t of interest regarding anything mysterious or creepy. If you are interested in reading their diaries you can find them at source [8].


There are so many theories that it would be impossible for me to go through each one on this blog post. There are about 13 theories on the official Dyatlov website that I have used for my sources, and a couple of them are theories that have come out of forums and things like that. I will list the main theories here, with a link on them to the page on the website. If you’re interested in a theory, you can click the link of it to read more about it.

  1. KGB Agents
  2. Criminals
  3. Mansi
  4. Shrooms
  5. Avalanche
  6. UFO
  7. Secret Launches
  8. Yeti
  9. Infrasound wave
  10. Teleportation 
  11. Ball Lightning 
  12. The Stove
  13. Gravity Fluctuation 
  14. Fight Inside The Tent (Only explains parts before the snow den)

My Theory/Conclusion

I think the most annoying thing about this mystery is that there are so many theories, yet none of them really explain the entire thing. Some of them explain just the beginning of the mystery. Some of them explain ONLY the snow den part. I do believe it’s likely to have involved some sort of infrasound wave. Whether this was the cause of them cutting themselves out of the tent, or whether it caused other things (like altered their mentality) afterwards.

I think there was quite obviously something that shocked and scared them into cutting themselves out of that tent. That is still a mystery to me. I think the positioning of Dyatlov, Kolmogorova and Slobodin proves that Dyatlov may have taken a stance as a leader and headed back to the tent alone for supplies. When he didn’t return, Slobodin and Kolmogorova (who was in a relationship with Dyatlov) decided to go and look for him.

They sadly passed away before they could find him. When the others realised those people weren’t coming back, they made the snow den. Or maybe, they made the snow den whilst they waited for those people to come back. When they never came back, they decided to leave the snow den for supplies. The question is, why did they leave the snow den all at once? The smart, rational thing to do is have 2 people leave the snow den and 2 people stay in the snow den. How did all 4 of them fall and hurt themselves in the same spot of the ravine? How could that short fall have caused such dramatic injuries?

As for the more ‘spooky’ details like Dubinina missing her tongue and eyeballs, I think those things can be explained by animals or decomposition. As for most of the hikers being half-dressed, not dressed, or wearing weird pieces of clothing: Some people say this could be paradoxical undressing due to hypothermia. I don’t necessarily agree with that, as that would mean the hikers needed to be mentally unstable to a certain extent. The 4 hikers who made the snow den were definitely stable to an extent. I don’t believe they would be able stable enough to make an entire snow den whilst also being made by hypothermia to take their clothes off.

I think the various stages of undressing was due to two things. 1. The hikers left the tent in an extreme hurry because of something. This means they didn’t have time to put on many clothes in the first place. 2. Clothes were clearly stolen from already dead hikers after their deaths.

In conclusion, this mystery is definitely just that, a mystery. However, I think this may be a case of a lot of things going wrong in weird circumstances, which has then caused this absolute shamble of an unsolved case. If you think about all the things you do in a day that would seem weird if you died right now, it kind of explains how I feel about Dyatlov Pass. Yes, there are many (many) unexplained things which I don’t think all add up in a perfect line; but I do also know that some things got lost in translation.

Maybe it’s just bad luck?









Hi! I'm Chaz. I'm the Founder of The Green Button Project, I run my own mental health blog, and I'm also a mental health volunteer with Time to Change and I also love dogs.


  1. Interesting theories you have. Although it can’t be known for certain, I do believe they were in a hurry for something.
    Also, you’re right about everyone doing strange things throughout the day. I never thought of that. I bet if someone were investigating my bizarre death and traced my day, they find a bunch of strange behavior. And usually, the reason for that behavior would be because I was bored.

    • Haha you’re completely right. Even though we’ll never know, at least it’s interesting to try and speculate about it.

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