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Have you heard about the Dyatlov Pass incident mystery? An incident that terrorized the world by killing many people. So has the mystery been solved? 

Bodies of the missing hikers in the Ural mountains were found with strange injuries and missing body parts. Who or what killed the young experienced hikers? 

This had created so many ?onspiracy theories and the tragedy is debated and analyzed by many scientists but was not solved for many years. What really happen? What is Dyatlov pass incident? 

What was the Dyatlov pass incident? 

Dyatlov pass incident victims

It was in January 1959, that Igor Alekseyevich Dyatlov a 23-year-old,  went with a team of eight experienced hikers who were from the Ural  Polytechnical Institute, to reach the peak of Otorten,  a mountain in the Northern Urals of Soviet Russia. 

Before going on the adventure he told the sports club that he will be sending a telegram as soon as they return.  But the sports club never received a telegram,  and none of the hikers return back. 

A search party was sent to search them. And all they found was that the hikers have cut their way out of their own tent and had laid out their personal items perfectly,  and they saw the fresh meal that was ready to be eaten.

it was found that the hikers have fled in panic leaving their shoes while some left their socks. They have left their cold weather clothes without wearing them even when the temperature was -13 degrees. 

Several sets of footprints were found in the deep snow but they seemed to vanish just meters from the tent. 

The Gruesome discoveries

When they continued searching a few hundred yards away they found two bodies and several hundred yards away they found another two bodies under a Tall Tree clothed only in underwear. 

One of the body’s heads had a third-degree burn and a chunk of flesh from the right hand was in the mouth.

The bodies were covered with bruises, cuts, and scratches.  But the rest of the bodies were found after months and they never knew the greatest mystery behind it.

The investigators were confused looking at the strange and gruesome injuries.  One of the bodies had missing eyes, while another with missing tongue. In one of the victim’s skulls, they found a small crack. And it was found that most of them were struck by a force compared to a speeding car.

dyatlov pass incident mystery tent

The bodies of the four remaining hikers were revealed when the snow melted. All four bodies were found at the bottom of the ravine in a running stream of water. It showed that they met a violent, and brutal end.

The youngest member, the 20-year-old Lyudmila Dubinina, and the oldest one Semyon Zolotaryov, a 38-year-old had both broken ribs and severe chest trauma. 

Aleksandr Kolevatov’s neck was twisted with missing eyebrows. 

The investigation was closed and was declared a top secret. Only a thin explanation was given by the Soviet government saying that the hikers died due to hypothermia because of inexperience. But the tragedy became one of the nation’s most enduring and most debated mysteries. 

Why is Dyatlov Pass incident mystery?

Some cameras and diaries were discovered at the site of the hikers’ death to find out the Dyatlov pass incident mystery.  The investigators were able to make the pieces together and find the story they could. 

On February 1st,  the team began to make their way through the pass leading to Otorten. They went through the hostile climate toward the base of the narrow base and were hit with snowstorms. The team lost the sense of direction because of the lack of visibility, and so instead of going towards Otorten they got deviated to the west direction and ended up on the slope of the nearby mountain. 

The mountain is called the Kholat Syakhl which means the Dead mountain. This means the language of the indigenous Mansi people of the region.

The group of hikers made their camping in the mountain.  

On February 20th, there was no communication from the hikers. Their family members and loved ones started to call the university and the local bureau of the Communist Party. 

A search party was immediately sent assisted by the local Munsi Hunters.  Along with the Soviet military, prison guards, police, and some fellow students joined to find the members. After finding out the bodies, the investigators assumed a homicide has taken place but there was no evidence that pointed to the presence of anyone. 

There were no murder weapons and no signs of foul play.  All of the hikers were well experienced, the path they chose was difficult, and accidents on these tricky mountains were dangerous. 

The cause of death was not proven accurately because Doroshenko was brown purple in complexion and had gray foam coming from his right cheek and gray liquid coming from the mouth.  The hands of the two hikers which were under the cedar were scrapped away and the branches were torn down as if the two men had tried to seek shelter from something or someone in the tree.

A hiker called Slobodin had head injuries which were something like someone falling and hitting their head over and over again.  Two hikers were generally under-dressed and wore some of each other’s clothes that showed that they fled suddenly without adequate preparation into the freezing night. 

What killed the hikers and what are the theories?

The original investigation has raised many questions that were not able to be answered.  According to the studies,  the area where they pitched the tent was unlikely to be avalanche terrain. And there were no patterns in the snow around the tent to show that one swept through. The Soviet Union remained with an unexplainable conclusion, but conspiracy theories began to flourish. 

Dyatlov pass incident mystery

The psychedelic mushroom 

Russian investigative journalist Svetlana Oss wrote in the book that local Hunters could have murdered the hikers while high on psychedelic mushrooms.  

One attacking the others

On the other hand, a Russian news station formed a theory that one hiker would have turned against the others in a fit of rage.  But the fact was no human being will possess the strength to cause the damages found on the body.

Or they thought that a blunt force trauma one human had could have done the damage, but there was no evidence of any footprints on the mountain beyond the hikers. 

Aliens or mythical yeti

Some theories were, that they could have been abducted by aliens, could have been attacked by a mythical yeti, or gravity could have fluctuated.

The idea that the hikers were killed by the Yeti came due to the few pieces of evidence. There was a photo taken by one of the hikers which showed a dark humanoid figure that was seemingly skulking by a tree. 

But maybe this figure could be a blurry image of another hiker or from the annals of cryptozoology. 

There was a parody newspaper the hikers wrote during the expedition that contained the line ‘the Yeti lives in the Northern Urals, near Mount Otorten. This is intended as a joke, but there are other stories in the parody newspapers that exaggerated accounts of things the hikers did. 

So that the yeti theory was inspired by a real sighting of the creature that stalked and killed the nine hikers. 

The military test 

There is another conspiracy theory that says that the young hikers had fallen victim to the military test as the soviet union is in the grip of the cold war with the west. The USSR forces would have tested weapons in the remote Urals without knowing that people were asleep on the stages on the slopes of the dead mountains.

Due to the burns and the radiations on this possession. Some experts assume that it is due to the radioactive weapons used by the military.

Burnt due to chemical contamination 

Some assumed that they may have burnt themselves trying to light a fire in the forest to keep warm after they left the tent. 

The clothing could have contaminated the presence of the chemical thorium in the gas lanterns. Or the parachute mines which explode in the air would have caused the kind of gruesome internal injuries suffered by hikers. 

Violent avalanche

Another theory was that the sound of snow would have warned them to come out and they would have got frightened the hikers out of their tents. An avalanche would also have been powerful enough to cause damage and inflict injuries that killed the group of hikers. 

But there was no such physical evidence of an avalanche and the locals said that such a natural disaster would not simply sense in the Dyatlov pass. When investigators found the bodies, they noted no evidence that an avalanche had occurred any time recently in the region. Because there was no damage to the trees and no debris. 

Moreover, no avalanches had been recorded at that site before, and have there been no any since.

Among all the conspiracy theories, the hypothesis of avalanche was found to be one of the possible theories that could have happened. It offered a quick and plausible solution to some aspects of history but it failed to account for others. 


Hypothermia could be a possible reason,  because of the strange behavior of the hikers and the lack of clothes on their bodies. Hypothermia shows a few common early signs of irrational thinking and behavior, and when they approach death they will paradoxically perceive themselves to be overheating causing them to remove their clothes. 

But this doesn’t explain why the hikers left the tents in a panic and fled outside in the first place. But this was the reason said by the government closed the case. 

Was the mystery solved? 

It is said that the hikers ripped open the tent and fled without their shoes and coats.  They tried to build fire to stay warm at the edge of the forest but failed.  Then they would have known that they were in trouble.

tombs of dyatlov victims

At a point, the group would have separated when some hikers try to find their way back to the tent and get their belongings.  But with a lack of visibility, they would have lost each other in the Black night and the cold weather. 

The four remaining hikers would have wandered in the forest before falling into the ravine and their missing body parts would have been eaten by the creatures or washed away by the stream.  This was the neat resolution they found because sometimes nature is too great to cause harm to humans. 

But for some, this doesn’t fit perfectly.  And others insisted that no experienced hiker will leave the tent without clothes, even after an avalanche. 

So the mystery of the Dyatlov incident remains unsolved without an accurate explanation of what would have happened. 

The name Dyatlove pass bears its name because the group’s leader 23-year-old Igor Dyatlov was the one who planned the ill-fated adventure for his friends.  It is also believed that the 9 friends fought against the force of nature and didn’t leave each other.

Final thoughts 

The Dyatlov pass incident mystery has made many people in shock and confused about what had happened to the nine young well-experienced hikers. 

Six of the hikers are said to have died of hypothermia and three died of injuries. They died separately where two of them were found under a cedar tree near the remains of a fire, while three others were found in intervals of hundreds of feet from the tree, and four more were in a ravine another 250 feet away.

Officials have considered three theories and they are snow slab, hurricane, and an avalanche. In July 2020, the investigators said that the hikers died of hyperthermia after an avalanche that pushed them out of their tent and into the cold. But the mystery remains unofficially unsolved because there is confusion that something would have happened beyond that.  

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