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Russia's Dyatlov Pass Incident May Have Been Explained By Modern Science

Soulskill posted about 6 months ago | from the i-blame-the-schools dept.

Science 110

swellconvivialguy writes "Fifty-five years ago, nine young Russians died under suspicious circumstances during a winter hiking trip in the Ural mountains. Despite an exhaustive investigation and the recovery of the group's journals and photographs, the deaths remained unexplained, blamed on 'an unknown compelling force.' Now American film and television producer Donnie Eichar believes he has solved the mystery of the Dyatlov Pass Incident. Working in conjunction with scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Boulder, CO, Eichar developed a theory that the hikers died because they panicked in the face of infrasound produced by a Kármán vortex street."

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Some Of Us Already Know What Happened! (3, Interesting)

rueger (210566) | about 6 months ago | (#46130401)

Highly recommenced a pretty cool movie based on the same story: Devil's Pass. [imdb.com] Netflix has it, plus the other usual places. [google.ca]

Re:Some Of Us Already Know What Happened! (1)

icebike (68054) | about 6 months ago | (#46130441)

Because movies have ALL the answers.

Re:Some Of Us Already Know What Happened! (5, Funny)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 6 months ago | (#46130583)

David Cameron believes so.

Re:Some Of Us Already Know What Happened! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46133371)

What is this a reference to? Ronnie Ray-Gun style Star Wars?

Re:Some Of Us Already Know What Happened! (1)

kriston (7886) | about 6 months ago | (#46137525)

Not based on, but actually total fiction inspired by.

Re:Some Of Us Already Know What Happened! (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 6 months ago | (#46130509)

Because Lord knows fictional movies are where I go to get all *my* facts.

I see it got lousy reviews, too.

Re:Some Of Us Already Know What Happened! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46130615)

You're a fucking moron. Suck my cock.

Re:Some Of Us Already Know What Happened! (-1, Flamebait)

EdIII (1114411) | about 6 months ago | (#46131269)

You're a fucking moron. Suck my cock.

This has always confused me. If you know they are a moron, why would you let them near an ostensibly important piece of non-serviceable equipment?

You're a fucking moron. Stay away from my cock.

Now that makes more sense.

Re:Some Of Us Already Know What Happened! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46131469)

Some people prefer stupid partners.

Re:Some Of Us Already Know What Happened! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46131805)

you might want to look up "non-serviceable" ...

Re:Some Of Us Already Know What Happened! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46133421)

Just tear out his teeth before to minimize the risk...

Re:Some Of Us Already Know What Happened! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46135759)

I think it's likely that the person demanding his cock be sucked by someone he supposes to be a moron is unable to get his cock sucked by anyone who is even of average intelligence, and should not be allowed unsupervised access to vulnerable people in psychiatric wards, or near children.

Re:Some Of Us Already Know What Happened! (0)

cavebison (1107959) | about 5 months ago | (#46135051)

You're a fucking moron. Suck my cock.

This has a hopeful quality to it, as one who has finally identified the type of person who may be inclined go near their genitals.

Re:Some Of Us Already Know What Happened! (1)

peragrin (659227) | about 6 months ago | (#46131337)

damn straight. I am this close to building an Arc reactor. I am long way from electric thrusters with thrust greater than 3 newtons, but I almost have the power.

Re: Some Of Us Already Know What Happened! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46134693)

Me too! Signed, D Cameron

Some Of Us Already Know ... And It Wasn't That (4, Informative)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 6 months ago | (#46130519)

Occam's Razor says very strongly that we already have a far more likely answer [cracked.com] .

Re:Some Of Us Already Know ... And It Wasn't That (1, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 6 months ago | (#46130729)

All of the "obvious answers" there were written be complete idiots ignoring the facts of the situation.

But then, it was Cracked. So you knew that was the case going in.

Re:Some Of Us Already Know ... And It Wasn't That (4, Informative)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 6 months ago | (#46130781)

Not all of the authors at Cracked are idiots, and many of their articles (but of course by no means all) are well-researched. Did you bother to check the references in the story? It's an old article so some of the links are broken.

But the Cracked author did not think this up. He was simply echoing what many others have been saying about the incident. Every "weirdness" that was actually documented at the time has a rather mundane explanation. There has been a lot of build-up of the story over the years that doesn't appear anywhere in the official record.

And, as I stated earlier: Occam's Razor suggests that the more mundane the explanation, the greater the likelihood of its truth.

Yes, I read it before (2, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 6 months ago | (#46130931)

He was simply echoing what many others have been saying about the incident. Every "weirdness" that was actually documented at the time has a rather mundane explanation.

I read the whole thing before after reading through the facts of the incident.

None of the explanations given make the slightest bit of sense when the actual facts are considered, when you look at the real facts of the thing every single one of the mundane explanations is absurd.

Paradoxial undressing doesn't explain why someone would be wearing SOMEONE ELSE's clothes for example.

But the pointing to an avalanche to explain anything is just really the most idiotic thing of all. It utterly ignores the terrain of the area. It ignores the experience of the hikers (who would not camp in an area that could be affected by an avalanche). Even if there WERE an avalanche it doesn't explain why they would walk, not run, from the camp. In a real avalanche they would simply be gone, not have time to partially dress and then just stroll away. It's also utterly stupid since nothing at all was buried.

The tanning explanation is horrifically stupid, and ignores an entire civilizations history of what happens to corpses after they die. Oh I see it was just a long tan that happened even after they were dead! Try putting a dead body out in the sun under any conditions and see if you can reproduce a tan.

Basically the very existence of that article offends me with such egregious and unnecessary levels of complete idiocy. I am ever sadder that anyone else bought into the pack of poorly made up conjectures.

Re:Yes, I read it before (0)

ArchieBunker (132337) | about 6 months ago | (#46131539)

You're a pretentious cunt. The last stages of hypothermia cause people to UNDRESS. Check medical sources and Wikipedia if you want.

Re:Yes, I read it before (4, Interesting)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 6 months ago | (#46131757)

"Paradoxial undressing doesn't explain why someone would be wearing SOMEONE ELSE's clothes for example."

Sure it does. Let's say that I'm freezing, and as a result, I'm losing any semblance of rational thought. I throw away one or more articles of clothing. You may or may not be close enough to see me throw it away, but you do find that article of clothing. You're also colder than hell, but you have retained the ability to think rationally. Do you pick up the abandoned clothing, or walk past it? I suspect that you will pick it up, and put it on. Reverse our positions, and I know damned well that I'll pick up YOUR shirt, or whatever you have abandoned.

The avalanche is perfectly reasonable. Remember, the party got kinda lost in the bad weather, and when they realized where they were, they set up what might be called an emergency camp site. They were resting up after a strenuous day, and making plans for the next day. An avalanche need not be extremely massive. A few mere tons of snow breaking loose at a higher elevation, and sliding down to an area with little snow on the ground is hardly noteworthy. There is no reason to assume that an avalanche must contain thousands of tons of snow, or rock for that matter. Enough snow to knock over a half dozen people, and to stun them, won't necessarily bury the tent - they were likely lying down, resting.

Tanning - I don't have any explanation for. That's kind of left field for me.

Even more confusing, is why the entire group abandoned the camp site. I can understand that one or more of the party took a bump to the head. But, it's not reasonable to believe that ALL of them were knocked almost senseless. If I were awakened in the middle of the night to find myself half buried in snow, I think that I would take the time to grab my boots, and a coat. Certainly my boots. I know that much from experience with being awakened from a sound sleep to deal with an emergency. Of course, to be fair - the tent has been flattened, and the boots may be difficult to locate - fear may move me out of the tent before I locate my boots.

Re:Yes, I read it before (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46132647)

Tanning - I don't have any explanation for. That's kind of left field for me.

They'd been walking in the sun, for days, over a lot of white, fluffy, high-albedo substance. They acquired a tan.

Even more confusing, is why the entire group abandoned the camp site. I can understand that one or more of the party took a bump to the head. But, it's not reasonable to believe that ALL of them were knocked almost senseless. If I were awakened in the middle of the night to find myself half buried in snow, I think that I would take the time to grab my boots, and a coat. Certainly my boots. I know that much from experience with being awakened from a sound sleep to deal with an emergency. Of course, to be fair - the tent has been flattened, and the boots may be difficult to locate - fear may move me out of the tent before I locate my boots.

The small-scale avalanche that mangled their tent got snow into and around their boots rendering them useless. When you're covered in snow @-25C, along with all your clothes and footwear, your best bet is to build a fire real quick. The first group were found under a tree, not far from the thrashed campsite, probably the first location they could find with anything remotely combustible.

Re:Yes, I read it before (1)

ultranova (717540) | about 5 months ago | (#46133403)

Enough snow to knock over a half dozen people, and to stun them, won't necessarily bury the tent - they were likely lying down, resting.

Any amount of snow must necessarily affect the tent to affect the people inside it. Unless they were chilling by a campfire when it hit, but then wouldn't they still be dressed for the outdoors, and thus not die of hypothermia? Also, wouldn't the Russian investigation had noticed massive blunt trauma?

the tent has been flattened

Was it?

Re:Yes, I read it before (1)

estestvoispytatel (1091583) | about 5 months ago | (#46133999)

The avalanche version is quite unrealistic— the terrain is actually low hills with gentle slopes, and the tent, of course, was erected on a flattest spot around. The 'tan' as far as I remember, was described not like a sun tan, but rather a reddish or purple dye, and I can remember the conclusion that it's because of thawing waters running through the rocks with inclusions of some dyeing minerals — so, nothing mysterious here. The traces of radioactivity on some clothes were documented in the materials of the investigation. The level was not very high but still significant to be detected with quite a crude device detecting just gamma rays (with no further analysis of contamination, so no data on which isotope was involved). Also you shouldn't forget that it was few months later, when isotopes were partially decayed and rinsed by water from the thawing snow. The investigation was closed a day or two later after that finding, so it could be actually the reason to stop the efforts (or just a coincidence). The thing is, at least one of the group was an engineer working for the absolutely secret facility producing nuclear bomb grade materials (Mayak in Chelyabinsk-40).

Re:Yes, I read it before (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46138071)

The only real mystery is why they left the tent. Nothing else about the incident isn't easy to explain by prosaic means. This is an excellent overview, and on p. 2 ("Theories"), it lays out how the entire incident can be explained without "weird" phenomena. http://www.aquiziam.com/dyatlov_pass_1.html

I tend to believe that they thought they heard the cracking sounds (like rifle shots) that mark the beginning of an avalanche, so they cut their way out of their tent and ran like hell without shoes or proper dress. They rendezvoused under a tree about a mile away, with minimal clothing, and built a sort of "nest" with a platform to get up above the snow. They started a fire. They were freezing to death. As some died, others took their clothing. Two climbed the tree to see if they could see signs of an avalanche, but fell, suffering internal injuries (there were remnants of both their clothing and human skin on the lower branches of the tree). The three left in the best shape tried to get back to the tent, but failed and died.

The two with traces of radiation on their clothing had previously worked in a lab with radioactive materials--they brought it with them. And the reason one woman was missing her tongue was that her body wasn't found until four months later, and most of her face had been eaten off by foxes or other wildlife. As to the "orange skin", some of the bodies had been laying in the sun, but frozen, for extended periods of time.

Re:Some Of Us Already Know ... And It Wasn't That (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46133269)

Not all are idiots? Really?

Go back to sleep.

Re:Some Of Us Already Know ... And It Wasn't That (5, Insightful)

TrekkieGod (627867) | about 5 months ago | (#46134587)

Occam's Razor suggests that the more mundane the explanation, the greater the likelihood of its truth.

Although I agree the Cracked explanation is perfectly plausible and very likely, Occam's Razor says no such thing. It's a pet peeve of mine when people state it that it that way. Occam's Razor makes no claims at all on likelihood of correctness.

What Occam's Razor does say is that when choosing between hypotheses which all give the exact same predictions, you should pick the one that involves less variables. Not because it's more likely to be true than the others (it's not, there's no requirement on nature to make things simple), but because there's no point in doing extra work to achieve the same result. The moment there's any difference at all between the predictions, Occam's Razor can no longer be invoked. At that point, you've got to eliminate theories by attempting to falsify their predictions. For example, if one theory says the incident was the result of an avalanche and another says it wasn't, you should now look for characteristic signs of an avalanche at the site. The evidence should rule out or support an avalanche theory, but "an avalanche is the simpler explanation" isn't evidence for anything.

When you do invoke Occam's Razor is when the hypotheses make no testable difference. For example, you and I examine a black box that allows us to input a number via a keyboard, and watch a screen for an output. We type in 1 and get 3. We type in 24 and get 26. We type in 127 and get 129. Now you develop a hypothesis: "The black box outputs the input plus two." I develop a differnet hypothesis: "the black box first adds 5 to the input, then it subtracts 3." The predictive power of both hypotheses are exactly equal, and you can't devise a test to figure out what the exact computation happening inside the black box is. So, Occam's Razor says we should pick your hypothesis in order to make predictions, because adding the extra work is unecessary. However, it could very well be that my hypothesis is the one that is right...it just doesn't matter.

Re:Some Of Us Already Know ... And It Wasn't That (1)

unitron (5733) | about 5 months ago | (#46135581)

Perhaps I could persuade you to choose the one that involves fewer variables.

Re:Some Of Us Already Know ... And It Wasn't That (5, Informative)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 6 months ago | (#46131151)

As you'd expect from Cracked, they jumped to conclusions based on only a partial understanding of the facts. Go read Wikipedia's page on the topic [wikipedia.org] and you'll note that they misstated the basic facts on which they based most of their assumptions. For a quick example, Cracked mentions a tongue missing from one of the victims and provides an explanation for it, but neglected to note that it was actually the entire face missing, and that the cause for why it was missing was well-established: they found the woman face-down in a ravine on the edge of a stream that would have caused her face to essentially decompose and liquefy off her skull. The wounds and loss of other soft tissue were consistent with that idea, rather than predation or scavenging, as Cracked suggests.

And the orange glowing spheres that Cracked claims were just people adding a spooky factor for the sake of doing so? Those spheres were actually reported by a wide-ranging group of people spread out over the region, and the reports came in repeatedly over the course of a couple of months. They were later confirmed to have been ICBM tests being conducted by the Soviets. Whether or not they are relevant remains to be seen, but dismissing them as ghost stories just shows that they didn't bother doing their homework in the least.

The theory in the summary doesn't seem to address why they would need to cut their way out of their tent, so Cracked's theory at least has the advantage there. And claiming that they were witless as a result of infrasound doesn't seem to jive with the fact that they had enough wits about them to try and send out a smaller group loaded up with the warmest clothing in order to try and bring back help for the others.

Re:Some Of Us Already Know ... And It Wasn't That (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 6 months ago | (#46132053)

"...but neglected to note that it was actually the entire face missing, and that the cause for why it was missing was well-established: they found the woman face-down in a ravine on the edge of a stream that would have caused her face to essentially decompose... "

No, it wasn't the entire face. And while the Cracked author might have been wrong about that, the point remains that her situation wasn't "extraordinary" in any way.

"And the orange glowing spheres that Cracked claims were just people adding a spooky factor for the sake of doing so? Those spheres were actually reported by a wide-ranging group of people spread out over the region, and the reports came in repeatedly over the course of a couple of months. They were later confirmed to have been ICBM tests being conducted by the Soviets."

These aren't original records. You are quoting a Russian news story that was written 50 years later. (Well, okay... 49 years.)

Re:Some Of Us Already Know ... And It Wasn't That (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 6 months ago | (#46132071)

Pardon me. I meant to add:

About the only thing that cannot be easily explained was the crushing fractures that some of the party displayed. Although the (again, rather mundane) theory of an avalanche could explain that too.

To the best of my knowledge, the story of radiation is not supported by any of the original records.

Re:Some Of Us Already Know ... And It Wasn't That (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46132489)

Once again, Occam's Razor never was, is not, and never will be an indicator of probability.

Re:Some Of Us Already Know ... And It Wasn't That (1)

Mike Frett (2811077) | about 5 months ago | (#46133223)

People with "obvious answers" are usually quite closed minded.

Re:Some Of Us Already Know What Happened! (1)

x_t0ken_407 (2716535) | about 5 months ago | (#46136109)

The build-up was awesome, but I was ultimately disappointed. Good watch for a night when you have nothing better to do.

No No No!!! (0)

phayes (202222) | about 6 months ago | (#46130403)

A forthcoming revelation from the Snowden files will prove conclusively that the NSA did it!

Re:No No No!!! (1)

icebike (68054) | about 6 months ago | (#46130429)

There is already plenty of speculation on the Wiki Page, first link.
No need to wait for more.

Re:No No No!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46130437)

An anti-government paranoiac like me much better after reading the article. I have felt this sensation twice, once while
hiking at a trail punctuated with peaks and valleys, the other while at some cliffs near the beach, and both on windy days.

I thought for a second that it was a byproduct of government weather-control ELF or a Navy test of a kind of active denial system now used to disperse crowds or public address.

-- Ethanol-fueled

Re:No No No!!! (1)

Jarik C-Bol (894741) | about 6 months ago | (#46130489)

Shush! don't give them any more ideas! The last thing we need is infrasonic terror rays controlled by the government!

Re:No No No!!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46131043)

Infrasonic terror rays are already in use every time Skrillex drops the bass.

Rumble in Avalanche Country ? (5, Interesting)

icebike (68054) | about 6 months ago | (#46130409)

If you hear it, You just run.
Cross hill.

Maybe there is no real avalanche, but at night, are you going to wait around to see?

Re:Rumble in Avalanche Country ? (1)

reve_etrange (2377702) | about 6 months ago | (#46130521)

Bingo. It also explains why they ripped their tent open from the inside, and why some of the hikers had pressure injuries. There's a chance such an avalanche had a non-natural cause however (see speculation on wiki page [wikipedia.org] ) .

Re:Rumble in Avalanche Country ? (4, Informative)

icebike (68054) | about 6 months ago | (#46130595)

Often not mentioned is that four of hikers, including the three most beaten up, were all found at the bottom of a rocky ravine. The tent itself wasn't covered with that much snow, but even a small slide accompanied by something sounding like a rumble would have an experienced hiker slashing his way out of the tent and running.
The temperature was such that dressed as they were, they probably had less than 30 minutes to get back to shelter, and if they couldn't find their tent, they were screwed,

Yes you are going to wait (1, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 6 months ago | (#46130721)

Because they were not IN an avalanche area, and experienced hikers would not set up tents in an avalanche area. So if year heard a rumble you would exit cautiously, knowing that you were in a safe place.

Re:Yes you are going to wait (3, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 6 months ago | (#46131807)

The party had been half lost in bad weather, and stopped when they realized that they weren't where they expected to be. It was an unplanned, emergency camp site. The tent was knocked down and partially buried. That seems to indicate that they believed that they were in imminent danger of being swept away when they exited. They were pretty obviously NOT in a "safe place". If they really wanted to be in a "safe place" they never would have gone hiking into the mountains in the winter time. As a group, the party believed itself to be capable of meeting life threatening challenges.

Sometimes, shit happens.

Re:Rumble in Avalanche Country ? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46133405)

I've never camped in an avalanche zone, but how the heck do you know whether you're running into the avalanche instead of away from it?

Re:Rumble in Avalanche Country ? (1)

icebike (68054) | about 5 months ago | (#46135021)

In the dark, you don't, but since their tent just got knocked over by snow, sitting where they were
would be considered unsafe. They ski/hiked in, they had a rough idea of the lay of the land.
This wasn't their first rodeo.

From Wikipedia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46130427)

Three of them had fatal injuries: the body of Thibeaux-Brignolles had major skull damage, and both Dubinina and Zolotarev had major chest fractures. According to Dr. Boris Vozrozhdenny, the force required to cause such damage would have been extremely high. He compared it to the force of a car crash. Notably, the bodies had no external wounds related to the bone fractures, as if they were crippled by a high level of pressure.

Not infrasound, sorry. Even if that explains why they left their tent, it's not the whole story.

Re:From Wikipedia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46130479)

The three with injuries were at the snow covered bottom of a 20 foot high cliff. Seems consistent.

Re:From Wikipedia (5, Informative)

Jarik C-Bol (894741) | about 6 months ago | (#46130481)

In the comments of the OTHER article on the same site about this same subject (i guess its an earlier interview with the author) someone clearly and intelligently outlines the details of the injuries to the bodies, and explains the causes in context. Turns out, dying of falling off a cliff, combined with extreme cold exposure, can make you look pretty gnarly. http://failuremag.com/feature/... [failuremag.com] look for a post by user 'Dee' as I decline to repost the entire comment here.

Re:From Wikipedia (1)

estestvoispytatel (1091583) | about 5 months ago | (#46134165)

Of course, but I see a problem with statistics here: just 3 out of 9 persons in the group which I expected should die by freezing, have more or less 'natural' picture of injuries. Others have very heavy traumas — broken skulls, broken rib cages (not single ribs but entire cages), missing tongues etc. At least three of them couldn't move after being hit by lethal force — the death was instant or close to it. But not a single of them was found on the clear scene of such action, not under a big rock, not under a cliff and so on. It's strange when you expecting to find two broken ancles, three broken wrists, injured knees, bruised heads but have such a treasure trove of really heavy injuries.

Tornado did it? (3, Insightful)

paziek (1329929) | about 6 months ago | (#46130433)

So he claims that tornado produced infrasounds and it itself would be scary, but probably not that much with all that wind and hikers inside tent. From what I read, it is not confirmed that infrasounds induce fear or anxiety in humans, at least not to everyone. Those were experienced hikers and I guess they are used to bad weather... hard to believe that all of them would run away like that just cause of some noise outside of tent.
He wrote a book, wants to sell it, so we have this story as promo.

Re:Tornado did it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46130543)

Not to mention that anybody who's watched the Russian dashcam videos on Youtube knows that Russians are fearless... Agreed it's a promo but this one I don't mind cause I didn't know about this incident.

Re: Tornado did it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46130601)

From your comment its obvious you didn't read the article and are commenting off of speculation strictly from what you saw passing by.
What a fag.

Re: Tornado did it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46136891)

I was okay with your comment until you thought it would be a good idea to use that word. Grow up.

oh no... not again (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46130487)

infrasound produced by a Kármán vortex street

I can't even count the number of friends and relatives I've lost to Kármán vortex street infrasound :(.

We've got to DO something to stop this bloodbath.

Freaky (2)

alaskana98 (1509139) | about 6 months ago | (#46130499)

The Dylatov Pass incident is one of the more freaky, but lesser known horror events of the 20th century. I'm a paranormal buff and I only learned about it in 2008. Whether the outcome was just the result of a series of unfortunate but scientifically explainable events or something more of the paranormal variety, here are some key takeaways from its Wikipedia page:

-Six of the group members died of hypothermia and three of fatal injuries.
-There were no indications of other people nearby apart from the nine travelers on Kholat Syakhl, nor anyone in the surrounding areas.
-The tent had been ripped open from within.
-The victims had died 6 to 8 hours after their last meal.
-Traces from the camp showed that all group members left the camp of their own accord, on foot.
-To dispel the theory of an attack by the indigenous Mansi people, Dr. Boris Vozrozhdenny stated that the fatal injuries of the three bodies could not have been caused by another human being, "because the force of the blows had been too strong and no soft tissue had been damaged".[2]
-Forensic radiation tests had shown high doses of radioactive contamination on the clothes of a few victims.[2]
-Released documents contained no information about the condition of the skiers' internal organs.

No matter how you slice it (no pun intended), this is some freaky shit.

Re:Freaky (2)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 6 months ago | (#46130789)

That saves everyone paying attention a trip to Wikipedia.

Wouldn't a link have been less typing for you?

Re:Freaky (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46130983)

That saves everyone paying attention a trip to Wikipedia.

Wouldn't a link have been less typing for you?

Yes, and, Thank You alaskana98

Re:Freaky (1)

Bite The Pillow (3087109) | about 6 months ago | (#46132135)

Unexpected, certainly. But how does one make the jump to freaky? Bodies in a ravine, avalanche, icbm testing, and hypothermia can explain every oddity, and with some uncommon yet mundane events it could be further simplified.
I don't claim to have an explanation of exactly what happened, but multiple plausible scenarios exist.
Being between missle testing and a nuclear facility during active testing might make for a freaky experience, but third party descriptions lose that perspective.
I guess with your last bullet I could see how it could be freaky, the rest is just extra ordinary.

Re:Freaky (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46132413)

-The tent had been ripped open from within.

How exactly do you tell which direction a tent has been ripped open from?

Nuclear test still most likely (5, Interesting)

reve_etrange (2377702) | about 6 months ago | (#46130505)

The infrasound speculation is interesting, but IMHO the known facts appear to support a low-yield nuclear bomb test.

In that hypothesis, which you can read about in the speculative wiki [wikipedia.org] and talk [wikipedia.org] pages, a test of a low-yield warhead launched from Baikonur triggered a small avalanche which induced the hikers to flee and gave some of them pressure injuries.

I recommend you read the Wikipedia pages and judge for yourself. If nothing else, the incident is truly bizarre and the facts and speculation surrounding it make for fascinating reading. The pressure injuries are just the beginning of the strange nature in which these nine people died.

Re:Nuclear test still most likely (1)

PNutts (199112) | about 6 months ago | (#46130659)

And even more interesting from your second link is that in 2010 someone proposed infrasound.

Re:Nuclear test still most likely (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 6 months ago | (#46130825)

So even if we decide to go with the avalanche theory, the likelihood of the humans campers disturbing the snow pack is still only one plausible argument.

Damn!

This dispelling of conspiracy theories is a tough row to hoe.

Ahhhh memories... (4, Funny)

CODiNE (27417) | about 6 months ago | (#46130541)

Fondly recalling the time I hooked up a speaker to a frequency generator in electronics class and experimented on the rest of the classroom. *evil laugh!*

It really doesn't take very long for people to start weirding out and having strange sensations. The instructor found out and made me stop.

I was unable to prove the existence of the brown note. :_(

Oh the other hand! Maybe I can volunteer to DJ for the next class reunion!! *much grinning and skipping about!*

Re:Ahhhh memories... (1)

CauseBy (3029989) | about 6 months ago | (#46131987)

Scott? Is that you? My friend Scott did the exact same thing in high school physics class.

Re:Ahhhh memories... (1)

CODiNE (27417) | about 6 months ago | (#46132013)

Not Scott. Great minds think alike.

Solved, my ass (0, Flamebait)

fnj (64210) | about 6 months ago | (#46130555)

What horse shit. So some bird brain thinks they died because they heard a scary sound.

Just WTF.

Re:Solved, my ass (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 6 months ago | (#46130589)

Have you got a better theory? And it's still only a theory:

Russia's Dyatlov Pass Incident May Have Been Explained By Modern Science

American film and television producer Donnie Eichar believes he has solved

Re:Solved, my ass (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46130669)

What horse shit. So some bird brain thinks they died because they heard a scary sound.

From what i understand, they died because "they didn't heard a scary sound" - because of the shape of some mountains in the area, wind blowing created infrasound (low level sound) that could not be heard but could be "feeled" in a weird way, so that group panicked and left in a hurry the safaty of the camp at the middle of the night... and eventually died (it was in Siberia!!!)

I am Greek - sorry for my English!

Re:Solved, my ass (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46132443)

I encourage you to test the effects of infrasound on yourself.

Infrasound for fun and profit! (2, Interesting)

Jonah Hex (651948) | about 6 months ago | (#46130597)

Well now I know why it's not used for effects in movies, I always thought it was just because speakers to produce infrasound would be too large and expensive for anything except theme parks. I suppose even a horror theme park wouldn't want to cause actual illness. I wonder how close to causing unease and discomfort lower frequencies that modern theaters can play over their sound systems comes to causing these types of effects. *runs off to layer a 20-30hz waveform over a youtube video of kittens* - HEX

Re:Infrasound for fun and profit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46132549)

Why do you think that infrasound is not used in movies? If you did a google search you'd have no trouble finding out that it's commonly used and that some people spend ridiculuous amount of money on systems able to reproduce them.

Re:Infrasound for fun and profit! (1)

Jonah Hex (651948) | about 5 months ago | (#46136141)

I did do a google search, and found one reference to infrasound being used in Irreversible and a bunch of allegations that it has been used in other movies. Not exactly proof is it? http://truthseekers.cultureunp... [cultureunplugged.com]

Re:Infrasound for fun and profit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46137209)

Allegations?
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1333... [avsforum.com]

There you have a forum thread with discussion of bass tracks in movies and if you bother to read it you will see that some movies have significant infrasound even down to at 2 HZ in rare cases.

Found that on the first page of my google search...

acid? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46130617)

Nobody seems to have put forth a theory that they set up camp, dropped acid or some other very bad drug, went nuts, then got hypothermia, stripped naked and wandered off, hurt themselves walking through the snow while high. Seems really plausible. Perhaps someone should closely examine the life of the one survivor, who would have certainly known about this, but would have had a compelling reason to cover it up from everyone he knew and take the secret to his grave.

I had the same reaction (1)

PNutts (199112) | about 6 months ago | (#46130631)

to 21 Jump Street.

A Kármán vortex street? No way! (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 6 months ago | (#46130649)

It's FAR more likely they accidentally depolarized the dilithium matrix, resulting in a sudden inversion of the quantum warp field.

20 Hz sounds? (1)

Snufu (1049644) | about 6 months ago | (#46130663)

Wouldn't this be very common? Why aren't there more documented incidents of "infrasound" induced hysteria?

Wait. Died from panic? (1)

stevegee58 (1179505) | about 6 months ago | (#46130683)

Maybe if you're old.

Re:Wait. Died from panic? (1)

Greyfox (87712) | about 6 months ago | (#46130969)

Lots of people die from panic. It causes very poor judgment. It causes people to forget the safety procedures they were drilled in. It causes people to miss obvious things that could save them. It causes you to burn vital resources faster. If you panic, you die. You might still die if you don't panic, but your odds are a whole lot better.

You gotta wonder at what stage of our evolution, stampeding in the face of danger was a good thing. Sure the adrenaline from the fight-or-flight reflex is somewhat useful, but the down-sides are pretty damn deadly. I'd rather have full control over my meatputer, which should be my number one asset for resolving deadly situations, not just ten pounds of useless fat.

Re:Wait. Died from panic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46132623)

You gotta wonder at what stage of our evolution, stampeding in the face of danger was a good thing.

The stage where we weren't sufficiently smart? Our evolutionary history is very long. We've only been Homo Sapiens for about 200 000 years, Homo for about 2.5 million years, Hominidae for about 15 million. Our ancestors are estimated to have started moving independently about 600 million years ago.

"Brown Note" (1)

whoever57 (658626) | about 6 months ago | (#46130757)

I thought that the Mythbusters broke that myth?

Re:"Brown Note" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46132885)

The "brown note" is a frequency that's supposed to make you involuntarily defecate because you lose bowel control. Not induce panic from the unpleasant feeling you get when you "hear" it (what's the right term when you cannot consciously detect the sound...)

Don't you remember the movie? (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 6 months ago | (#46130841)

The explanation is simple..... the researchers came across a secret bunker; they dared open it and go in. They were eventually accosted by teleporting alien creatures who shredded their bodies, ripped out one of theirs' tongues; there was some teleportation and time-travel involved, and finally -- their boddies got dumped on the side of the mountain away from their tent, by the russians. The End.

Yep, infrasound/vibrations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46130901)

A number of years ago there was construction of a new housing development going on behind my house. Bulldozers and other heavy equipment all day time. I damn near went insane.

It didn't bother me consciously but I was ridiculous anxious all the time, had horrible "brain fog", couldn't sleep, daytime felt like a dream, panic attacks, etc. It took me several months to figure out what was causing it and that fucking construction went on for nearly 2 years and practically ruined my life. Again, I thought nothing of the sounds and vibration consciously but it triggered some sort of primortal fear response. Probably an evolved natural reaction to earthquakes. Studies show other animals suffer the same way when exposed to low frequencies (eg. windmills).

Re:Yep, infrasound/vibrations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46131709)

I have the same reaction to helicopters. I get woke up several times a night with those damned things flying too close to the ground. Problem is the helicopters are run by the law enforcement authorities and a sports stadium; no-one can tell a Helicopter Pilot not to fly low over neighborhoods just as one cannot tell a TSA agent to keep their hands off your groin.

The answer (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46131105)

my friend, is blowing in the wind.

Dead Mountain--the name (4, Interesting)

minstrelmike (1602771) | about 6 months ago | (#46131115)

I find the idea of infrasonics plausible. Certain tribes worship mountaintops for their sounds.
I wonder how long the place has been called Dead Mountain. If it's an indigenous name, then I'd suspect some kind of natural forces (such as a vortex) at work.

Re:Dead Mountain--the name (1)

CauseBy (3029989) | about 6 months ago | (#46131995)

Like, a polar vortex?

Re:Dead Mountain--the name (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46132651)

Oooh, he said a sciency word! Maybe I'll look smart if I say a phrase containing that same word that I heard in a different place!

Re:Dead Mountain--the name (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46132901)

I think that lots of other people have died there before them and that would be an even more plausible explanation for the name.

Film producer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46131211)

When a film producer "believes he has solved the mystery", it usually means he has made up a film he wants to sell.

Is well known (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46131263)

That they were exploring "the zone", as in "Roadside Picnic".

Easy! (1)

presspass (1770650) | about 6 months ago | (#46131293)

Don't know why it took so long to figure this out...
They were all in the same tent no?

One of the girls yelled "Spider!" or "Mouse!" and panicked, knocking down the tent. Someone cuts the tent open to get out. They all flee, but it's dark and everyone gets turned around, not able to find there way back to the tent
Seriously, once you have some kind of panic event the rest of the events seem to be quite ordinary.

Kármán vortex "street" ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46131849)

Ah, had the simply not camped in a street, they may have lived.

(still don't know why its a street - Strouhal instability with a von Kármán vortex sheet)

Cut Tent From Inside (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46132979)

I hadn't heard about this before, so being interested I've read the links in the story, the Wiki page and the Cracked article.

Nearly every story mentions something about the hikers cutting their way out of their tent. From the inside. Hmmmm.

I can't imagine what evidence there is for this. The site was not found for weeks and the photos show that the tent is a shambles. Did they do microscopic examination of the cut fabric and decided that it was sheared from a particular side?

Anyway, after reading all the information I think I'm ready to put this one to bed. The hikers experienced a small avalanche, or the sounds of one, and this lead them to believe they were getting trapped. Since the investigators found footprints around, we can't assume that the tent was burried and then "unburried" in the interval between the event and discovery. I think that no one has appreciated how much influence the behaviour of others has in a stressful situation. It would only have required one or two of the hikers to panic, shouting at their friends in the middle of the night to "get out, we're all going to die" and you would have had everyone piss bolting into the night, wearing whatever little they had.

In the confusion they got separated, some made a fire, and others stumbled into a ravine.

Put a handful of people outside in -20C and you're going to find a whole lot of batshit crazy by the time they die.

All the other speculation about this event is irrelevant. Did a weapon/rocket test cause the avalanche? Did a weapon/rocket create the sensation that there was an avalanche? I don't know. There isn't much evidence for the radiation, but maybe that person was fond of bananas and pissed themselves while it all happened, hence the traces of radiation on their "underwear".

Case closed.

Avalanche still a compelling theory (1)

guacamole (24270) | about 5 months ago | (#46133291)

There are many strange circumstances under which group died, but the simple "death from avalanche" theory is still quite plausible, and that's the one described in the first paragraph here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D... [wikipedia.org]

The traces of radiation on some clothes could be something that the group picked up on the way to this trip, though the train or train station. (Soviet Union always treated its radioactive materials quite carelessly. There have been instances of people finding dangerously radioactive devices, such as portable electricity generators, out in the wild left out there by the military many years ago.) As for the missing tongue and dark skin, that's something that can happen to a dead recomposing body out in the wild and in freezing temperatures.

one gigantic piece missing (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 5 months ago | (#46134301)

So why were some of the hikers' clothes extremely radioactive?

Re:one gigantic piece missing (1)

guacamole (24270) | about 5 months ago | (#46134521)

Soviet Union handled its radioactive materials quite carelessly. I have heard of many stories of people finding radioactive materials in the junk-yards or somewhere out in the woods. Once was a story of a farmer finding a metal device that seemed to emanate warmth when approached. It turned out to be a piece of a portable nuclear powered power station used in the military, and I guess just abandoned somewhere. The guy who allegedly poisoned Russian dissident Litvinenko in London left a radioactive train on the planes he flew TO and FROM London. The Chernobyl meltdown incident first became known in the west not from news, but from traces of radioactive contamination somewhere in Sweden. So picking up radioactive contamination in USSR sometimes was not as hard as some think. Anyways, considering this, I think it's quite plausible some of the group members could have picked up the radioactivity somewhere on the way to the trip, such as at a train station or in the train or at work. Who knows. Because of this hypothesis, I wouldn't want to discount the Dyatlov Pass theories that don't involve nuclear weapon blasts or aliens.

I still think it was the local jets making noise (1)

kriston (7886) | about 6 months ago | (#46137511)

Some folks still think it was local jet traffic that made the noise that scared them all so much that they ran out of the tent, lost their lights and senses of direction, and died of exposure. It's just much more likely than a freak sound event.

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