Friday mystery – What happened to the nine skiers in the Urals

Read about this on Abovetopsecret. The case is about nine experienced cross country skiers, on a skiing expedition, whom were all found deceased in mysterious and eerie circumstances. To this day it has yet to be explained. The following information is from diary entries and phtographic evidence, which gives a basic picture of the events leading up to the mystery.

The Story

Ten skiers, eight men and two women, set off on a skiing expedition to Otorten Mountain in the northern Urals on Jan. 28, 1959. Yury Yudin (the only surviving member), fell ill at the last stop before their destitination, and left the group. Little did he know at this time, it would be the last time he saw his friends alive.

At approximately 5:00pm on February the 2nd the group, led by Igor Dyatlov, pitched tents on the slopes of Otorten Mountains neighbour, Kholat-Syakhl. The site of the camp was unusual for an experienced cross country skier, considering that it was out in the open, rather than in woodland nearby. Yury Yidin assumes that Dyatlov’s decision was down to having practice at camping on a mountain slope.

Dyaltov was supposed to send a telegram back to the Ural Polytechnic Institute, where the skiers set off from, on February the 12th. This was the time the group had expected to be back from their expedition, and sent from Ural town, Vizhai. According to Yudin, Dyaltov told him (as he was left behind), to expect the group to be a day or two late, just in case. No telegram ever came, and on February the 20th, the relatives of the skiers raised the alarm to the army and the police, who in turn launched a search and rescue team.

What they found

On the 26th of February, rescuers found the camp. Strangely it was completely abandoned. Even more alarming, was the fact that searchers found that all the skiers personal belongings, including there shoes, and cold weather gear, still inside the their tents. The tent was half torn down, and partially covered with snow. There were some indicators that the tent had been sliced open from the inside. No evidenc of a struggle was found either, yet it was clear the skiers had left in a hurry.

In the metre or so of snow, investigators found 9 sets of footprints, giving the impression that the only people present at the camp site, were in fact those that were meant to be there. What was strange about this, was that some of the tracks left, were left by people wearing socks, one shoe, or no footwear at all.

The Bodies

About five hundred metres down slope, at the edge of the nearby forrest, the investigators found the first two of the bodies, under a very large pine tree. Georgy Krivonischenko, and Yury Doroshenko, were barefoot and dressed in their underclothes, and it was determined they had died from hypothermia.

Broken branches around the base of the tree and the bodies, indicated that one of them had climbed the tree. This was confirmed when broken branches to five metres on the tree were discovered. Possibly they were searching for the camp, or other members of the group, or maybe something more sinister. It was also evident that the duo had tried to start a fire, as charred remains of branches had been found.

Approximately half way between the edge of the forrest and the camp, three more bodies were found. Igor Dyatlov, Zina Kolmogorova, and Rustem Slobodin were discovered facing towards the camp. Officals determined that it was probable that the trio, were attempting to return to the camp. Although Slobodin’s skull had apparently been fractured, doctors determined that it wasnt a fatal injury. Again, these three all died of hypothermia according to autopsies.

Two Months Later

This is where the story becomes extremely bizzare. Two months after the discovery of the first five bodies, the remaining four were found. Under four metres of snow, in a ravine, and 75 metres away from the pine tree mentioned earlier.

Nicolas Thibeaux-Brignollel, , Alexander Zolotaryov, and Alexander Kolevatov, had all suffered serious injuries, and traumatic deaths. Thibeaux-Brignollel’s skull had been crushed, and Dubinina and Zolatarev had numerous broken ribs. All four of the skiers had died from massive internal injuries, doctors compared to those found if someone had been hit car. However, unlike a car accident, the bodies showed no signs of external injury, including bruises or soft tissue damage. The most disturbing thing of all was that Ludmila Dubinina’s tongue had been removed!!!

These four were a lot better dressed than the other five. It had appeared they had made it back to camp, or taken clothes from those that were deceased. Another point to be made, was that there were high levels of radiation found within the clothes when they were tested.

A few months later, the case was closed, and the files were allegedly sent to a secret military archive. The investigators found no evidence of wrong doing against one another. Also soon after area was closed off for three years to skiers and other adventurers.

Flying Spheres

Most of the details of the event, were attempted to be hidden from public view. One of the reasons for this was that, according to Lev Ivanov (head investigator), regional officials had been worried by reports from civilians, weather service employees and even the military of “flying spheres”, in the area over February and March, 1959. Ivanov speculated that the spheres had something to do with the mysterious cirumstances of the event.

So, what are peoples ideas on the what happened there? Were these flying spheres the cause, or was it something more?

via The Frightening, Unsolved and Disturbing Incident of Nine Dead Skiers, page 1.
I think the orig. source is The Moscow Times

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