Stuff They Don't Want You To Know
From UFOs to psychic powers, history is riddled with unexplained events.

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What happened to the hikers at Dyatlov Pass? | March 19, 2010

Male Speaker

From UFOs to ghosts and psychic powers, history is riddled with unexplained events. You can turn back now and learn the stuff they don’t want you to know. Here are the facts: On February 26, 1959, a rescue team searching for nine missing hikers in Russia’s Euro Mountains Ural Mountains stumbled across an abandoned campsite. The signs did not look good. To begin with, the tent was torn apart. Following footprints in the snow, investigator’s found two male bodies clad in their underwear barefoot near the remains of a fire. Three more bodies lay in between as though trying to return to camp.

Coroners originally determined the cause of death was hypothermia. Two months later, the other four bodies were found about 250 feet away buried under more than 13 feet of snow. Some bodies had broken ribs or crushed skulls. One corpse had no tongue, but there were no external wounds, and these corpses wore pieces of clothing from the earlier bodies. The nine travelers had all been expert skiers, but the Kholat Syakhl Mountains in winter is harsh terrain. Almost from the beginning, rumors abounded. The clothing of the hikers was said to exhibit high levels of radiation.

At the funerals, their flesh reputedly bore a strange orange cast and their hair was gray. Another group of hikers about 30 miles south at the time of the incident swear they saw glowing orange spheres to the north. Keep in mind, this event took place in Soviet Russia at the height of the cold war. When investigators closed the case three months later, the files went into a classified archive, and all other citizens were barred from the area for three years. As rumors grew into legend, the location came to be known as Dyatlov’s Pass named after the leader of the ill-fated expedition.

To some skeptics, this tragedy is the result of a disastrous avalanche, and the eerie details can be attributed to a range of other phenomenon. However, the Soviet investigators weren’t convinced, and in the end their report famously concluded that these nine unfortunate souls fell victim to an unknown compelling force. What could it be? Here’s where it gets crazy. No one knows. While skeptics rightly point out the possibility of an avalanche, it’s difficult to explain the lack of external wounds and the missing tongue.

While some conspiracy theorists may sight a possible attack by extraterrestrials, there’s still no conclusive proof that such creatures exist. One of the original conspiracy theories that the young hikers had been attacked by the locals was debunked early on. Where does this leave us? Some theorists believe an Alma or Russian Sasquatch tracked the campers, frightened and killed them. To support this claim, theorists point to the odd location of the final campsite out in the open away from the forest. They also alleged the ominous phrase, “From now on we know that snowmen exist,” was found scrolled on a nearby scrap of paper.

The internal injuries allegedly indicate the embrace of a gigantic creature, but the most compelling conspiracy theory and in its way the most terrifying, involves no little green men, no giant hominids. Instead some theorists and longtime researchers present at the original rescue party believed the Soviet government is to blame. They believe the campers stumbled across a testing ground for exotic weaponry. That the Soviets would be testing strange weapons is not in itself extraordinary. After all, the same government experimented with psychic powers and beam radiation for decades.

The high levels of radiation in the area could support this theory, and the testimony of the hikers to the south could also correlate with the testing of a thermobaric bomb, which can cause internal injuries consistent with those found on the corpses. But even this theory is imperfect. Consider the missing tongue. Additionally, why would the Soviets test the weapon domestically when there are already plentiful more isolated testing areas in central Asia especially Kazakhstan. And this theory isn’t the only one with holes in it. How would an avalanche hit the campers but miraculously leave their footprints intact?

Why didn’t the rescuers find traces of an Alma? In February of 2008, a team of 30 experts gathered with surviving members of the rescue party to evaluate newly disclosed evidence from the former Soviet government. After filtering through the evidence and firsthand accounts, the panel made two intriguing conclusions. First, they concluded that the most probable cause of the disaster was a secret weapons test, which combined with the frigid weather minus 30 degrees Celsius killed the campers.

Second, and here’s the interesting part, they concluded that evidence was missing from the files, several documents, and in particular a mysterious envelope referred to in the existing evidence have simply disappeared. Due to the amount of time that has passed in the notorious secrecy of the Cold War Soviet Union, we may never learn what actually happened at Dyatlov’s Pass. Amidst all the evidence and speculations surrounding the tragedy, one fact remains. There’s something they don’t want you to know.

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