May 26, 2019, 08:01:14 AM
Dyatlov Pass Forum

Author Topic: Methanol poisoning  (Read 119 times)

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April 06, 2019, 03:58:55 AM
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Teddy

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Methanol poisoning symptoms may include a decreased level of consciousness, poor coordination, vomiting, abdominal pain, and a specific smell on the breath. Decreased vision may start as early as twelve hours after exposure. Long term outcomes may include blindness and kidney failure. Toxicity and death may occur even after drinking a small amount. (Wikipedia)

Fans of this theory point out the following aspects of hikers behavior that might be explained with methanol poisoning:

  • cutting up the tent form inside - decreased level of consciousness, poor coordination
  • going down the slope abreast, instead behind each other i.e. holding hands - blindness
  • cutting up branches to make fire while there is dry wood laying around the cedar tree - blindness
  • high amount of urine in Dyatlov's bladder about 1000 cm3 - kidney failure

The way methanol made its way into hikers systems has into three versions:

  • Galina Tsygankova - local melting of snow in February 1959 and increased radioactivity in the area of the incident may have been caused by iodine-131 methanol spilled over the pass. Aircraft AN-8T was transporting methanol radioactive solution for research in Vuktyl.
    No confirmed data of melted snow, increased radioactivity or aircraft in the area.
  • Ben Fyrth - during the evening meal, when the group was hungry and thirsty, someone has introduced the methanol based stove fuel into the food, either maliciously, accidentally or to loosen the party up. There was no liquid stove fuel. Dry alcohol was known at the time but it was provided only to official expeditions.
    By all accounts Dyatlov group used only wood for their stove.

    Just to exhaust the topic - in the 60s dry alcohol tablets existed, but even if you say that somebody could have slipped a tremendous amount of tablets in their food, the main ingredient in the dry alcohol is not alcohol at all but Hexamine (Wikipedia). We have to scratch this theory because the stove was found in its case, disassembled, and because there was no liquid food to slip the tablets into. The hikers were cutting loin that night. There wasn't anything warm, like tea or soup.

    Galina Sazonova reached out to Askinadzi with the question did they use any dry alcohol tablets at the time. His answer is:
    "We never used dry alcohol, not to show off, but because it was difficult to get it, like everything else."

  • Rostislav Zhuravlev - everybody knows that hikers carry alcohol for medicinal purpose which they sometimes drink in small quantities to warm up. Since alcohol was very hard to find and Yudin complained that he couldn't provide alcohol for the trek but a flask with alcohol was found, which was only noted that the smell from the content dissipated so the searchers couldn't tell if it is vodka or alcohol, leave alone ethanol or methanol. This theory goes like this: Dyatlov group, after hard work to pitch the tent drank alcohol from their flasks to warm themselves, which turned out to be methanol. They were blinded, there was a panic and therefore they cut the tent. They ran down like blind kittens.
    But decreased vision may start as early as twelve hours after exposure.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2019, 01:17:25 PM by Teddy »

April 06, 2019, 11:41:32 PM
Reply #1
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Aspen


If they were able to head down the hill, start a fire and make a snow den, they were not so incapacitated.

Did they have a methanol stove?  I wonder how else they would thaw snow for drinking.  Quite essential to drink water after an exhausting day. 

But on the other hand, drinking alcohol in cold temperature is a bad idea.  It does not warm you up, on the contrary, it decreases your resistance to cold.