USSR: Dyatlova Pass Incident (1959) and the Triumph of Reason!

Students Consulting Maps

This tragic event probably happened during the night by 2nd of February, 1959, in an area now known as the Dyatlova Pass, situated on the Sverdlovsk region of the Northern Ural mountains.  A group of nine university students (7 men and 2 women) from the Ural State Technical University (UPI) Tourist-Skiing Club – led by Igor Dyatlova – were skiing in the area (aiming to reach the Otorten mountain – 10 kilometres north of the site of the incident), when a disaster struck their camp which led to the deaths of all nine participants. This incident occurred three years after (Trotskyite) Nikita Khrushchev took power in the USSR and controversially ‘denounced’ Joseph Stalin (initiating the Sino-Soviet Split), and two years before the Cuban Missile Crisis. Although life continued to evolve and improve in the post-WWII  USSR for the Soviet people, the capitalist West (led by the United States), pursued its policy of attempting to bring-down all Communist regimes by any means possible. The generally disregardful treatment of the deaths of nine young Soviet citizens in 1959 in the West, is very much part of that undermining process. I reject this bourgeois process, and attempt here to bring respect back to the passing of these nine Soviet students, most of whom were born in the late 1930’s – just prior to the dark-days of WWII, and the brutal Nazi German occupation of their country.

Students at Base-Camp 


Although accidents of this type are not uncommon in the mountainous areas of modern Russia and the former USSR (with similar incidents occurring in 1975 and 2004 which involved 111 deaths), Western researchers, as part of the previous ‘Cold War’ policy of pouring scorn on every happening in the USSR, and the modern anti-Russian racism originating from within the USA, have fixated on this quite routine set of unfortunate events, and projected all kinds of imagined and non-sensical speculation on what may have happened. In reality, there were no UFOs, undeclared nuclear bunkers, or exposure to any ‘secret’ Soviet technology.

Happier Times!

This bizarre body of Western folklore (which is supported by some modern ‘capitalist’ Russian researchers) includes secret KGB experiments (denied by the KGB), secret Soviet nuclear tests (denied by the government of the USSR), the brutal action of over-zealous Soviet border guards (denied by the USSR Border Guards), attack by UFOs, and alien abduction and return, etc, and so on. As Western (bourgeois) researchers are wedded to the capitalist system they serve, the USSR and modern Russia are depicted a priori as being despotic, tyrannical and untruthful. The fact that modern Russia is now ‘capitalist’ makes no difference to the Western powers, which want to colonise Russia and take away its independence.

Bodies of the Students Found After the Thaw

During 1959, it saw the last period of official Soviet governmental support for amateur tourism throughout the wilderness areas of the USSR. Groups of Soviet students were trained and encouraged to venture out into the wilderness to build character and confidence. This developed social responsibility, leadership, group co-ordination and concern for the welfare of others, as well gender equality and an appreciation for the power of nature. This system of outdoor exploration was organised nation-wide by the Sports Committee of the Union of Sports Associations and Organizations (SSSOO), but was gradually phased-out and replaced with more localised activities, because it was decided that the national government could not ensure the over-all safety of the primarily ‘young’ participants that generally operated in an independent manner, free of older adult supervision. In other words, in 1959, expeditions into the Soviet hinterland was very common, and although there was the occasional tragedy (as occur yearly on Western ski-slopes), by and large the teams of exploring Soviet youths gave good accounts of themselves, often surviving to tell tales of prevailing against the odds through the use of logical thought processes.

Soviet Authorities Recovering the Bodies on Dyatlov Pass

Official searching began in March, after it was assumed that something untoward had happened to Igor Dyatlova’s group, and immediately some bodies and equipment were found. In April more bodies were discovered further away from the last known campsite, with the final bodies being discovered with the thaw that had set-in in May. Having recovered all the dead bodies and equipment (which included functioning cameras), the Soviet Authorities tried to piece together the series of events that had led to this tragedy. One of the tents recovered exhibited signs of being cut-open from the inside (which many Western researchers equate with foul-play), when in fact it is commonly observable in tents that have been subject to avalanche – with their occupants trying to find a way out.


Soviet autopsy reports suggest that all nine students died of exposure to very low temperatures, with three suffering broken bones such as fractured ribs, and in one case a broken-skull. These three students had been struck by a great force or weight (such as avalanching snow and/or dropping rocks, etc). All had extensive external wounds to their soft-tissue, much of it caused by exposure to low temperatures and the elements post-mortem, with one body showing evidence of 2nd and 3rd degree burns possibly experienced during and just after the dying process. All had died around 8 hours after their last meal, and there was no evidence of alcohol consumption. On May 28th, 1959 the Medical Examiner B. A. Vozrozhdennyy (Б. А. Возрожденный) was questioned about the injuries found on three of the bodies (found in the river), and the possible duration of life after receiving such injuries. His opinion was that the skull-breakage was odd as there was no corresponding damage to the external (soft-tissue) of the skin and other structures around the skull. He felt that the bone-breakages of the skull and ribs might of have been caused by a very high impact (which caused massive internal damage) such as that found after certain auto-mobile accidents. One other student had a skull-breakage, but had died not of that fracture, but rather of exposure to low temperatures. Many of the bodies (if not all) had extensive soft-tissue damage to the exterior skin area, together with limb and torso damage – but the Russian language Autopsy Report that I have read, makes no mention of one of the women missing her tongue (an assertion common in Western sources). However, B. A. Vozrozhdennyy further stated that some of the students may have been alive (or conscious) from anything from 10 minutes to 3 or 4 hours after the catastrophic events that over-whelmed their group, before succumbing to shock, blood-lose and the cold. However, it was later revealed that  B. A. Vozrozhdennyy had not been in possession of all the surrounding environment facts – together the chronology of events – that had led to the accident, until after he gave his considered verdict. Such information may have led to a re-assessment of the ‘impact’ comments, but whatever the case, the general thrust of the autopsy would not have been effected. Finally, there was no evidence of radiation pollution on any of the bodies in the official medical report. As the students died in unusual circumstances, many were buried in zinc coffins, in an attempt to contain and retain the remains for possible future analysis.

Soviet-Era Monument to the Nine Students – Mikhailovsky cemetery

Official ‘natural’ reasons for this accident include:

  1. Sudden avalanche
  2. Sudden strong and freezing wind.
  3. Localised but sudden and heavy deluge of snow onto the tents.
  4. A combination of the above three reason.

Western sources also speculate an ‘animal attack’.

As the Soviet Union rejected the inverted mind-set of the bourgeois system, such notions of a theistic nature involving ghosts, spirits, ghouls and UFOs, etc, were not even considered as being viable or valid explanations of the Dyatlova Pass Incident during the days of the USSR, although today such explanations are common currency. However following the collapse of the USSR in 1991, and the subsequent sweeping of capitalist market-forces across Russia, the trends of exploitation and monetary gain were re-imported from the West, and all kinds of nonsensical and far-fetched theories about the Dyatlova Pass Incident. These nine brave Soviet students were brought-up within the logical environment of Scientific Socialism. They did not entertain any psychological fear originating from the belief in things that do not exist. They were intrepid and prepared to take on the elements using logic and reason. Soviet society had equipped them with good training and equipment of the highest quality – they wanted for nothing – this is how we know that what happened to them was sudden, violent, unexpected, and out of the ordinary, but not ‘unnatural’. In fact, the forensic investigation of the tent-site and subsequent attempt to leave the area after the disastrous event, clearly suggests that the group was moving in good order, and following logical thought-processes until they were finally over-whelmed (and killed) by natural conditions that they apparently could not have reasonably been expected to predict.

The name of the nine students that died are:

Igor Alekseievich Dyatlova (Group Leader), born January 13, 1936 (aged 23)

Yuri Nikolaievich Doroshenko born January 29, 1938 (aged 21)

Lyudmila Alexandrovna Dubinina born May 12, 1938 (aged 20)

Yuri (Georgiy) Alexeievich Krivonischenko born February 7, 1935 (aged 23)

Alexander Sergeievich Kolevatov born November 16, 1934 (aged 24)

Zinaida Alekseevna Kolmogorova born January 12, 1937 (aged 22)

Rustem Vladimirovich Slobodin born January 11, 1936 (aged 23)

Nicolai Vladimirovich Thibeaux born July 8, 1935 (aged 23)

Semyon (Alexander) born February 2, 1921 (aged 38)

Russian Language References:Гибель_тургруппы_Дятлова


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