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Dyatlov Pass Forum

Author Topic: The ravine deaths - a theory  (Read 22865 times)

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May 08, 2020, 04:43:51 AM
Reply #120
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Nigel Evans


Just remembered, Nicolai was found with his jacket unzipped and his gloves in his pockets suggesting he was warm.

May 08, 2020, 05:38:37 AM
Reply #121
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PJ


From photos looks like the floor of the Den  has size 2m x 1.5m or something like that, so exactly same size as I usually dig out to have comfortable sleep and it take about 1h to do it. I made it about 1.5m high as well from comfortable sitting. How high was inside the Den nobody knows...
The floor of the Den is in the middle of the snow so it is not possible that the bodies were moved from it further down the raving by water. As well the bodies was found in organized positions if they will be moved after dead by anything like water or snow they will be messed up. It is clear that they die where they were found.

But there is no doubts that the bodies was under 4m of snow.. I just looked very carefully on photos, and now I know where the bodies were but do not have idea where was the Den...


links to original images:
https://dyatlovpass.com/resources/340/gallery/Dyatlov-pass-1959-search-347.jpg
https://dyatlovpass.com/resources/340/gallery/Dyatlov-pass-1959-search-348.jpg
https://dyatlovpass.com/resources/340/gallery/Kolevatov-Zolotaryov-Thibeaux-Brignolle-post-mortem-3_1.jpg
https://dyatlovpass.com/resources/340/gallery/Dyatlov-pass-1959-search-367.jpg
https://dyatlovpass.com/resources/340/gallery/Dyatlov-pass-1959-search-346.jpg

so was the Dan somewhere higher or almost in the same place as bodies? Or even over the bodies??

May 08, 2020, 06:29:03 AM
Reply #122
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Nigel Evans


From my skiing experience i've seen snow follow water courses (ravines) that seems to have slowly "flowed" over the winter so i'm happy that this and the force and buoyancy of spring water could "shuffle" the bodies along from the point of death to another place in a tight knit group.

I don't think your 4m vs my 3.5m is very important.
It's a fair comment to say that the photos don't easily locate the den, all we have is eye witness descriptions that contradict each other. (1m vs 6m).

May 08, 2020, 07:33:55 AM
Reply #123
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PJ


From my skiing experience i've seen snow follow water courses (ravines) that seems to have slowly "flowed" over the winter so i'm happy that this and the force and buoyancy of spring water could "shuffle" the bodies along from the point of death to another place in a tight knit group.
I agree that the bodies could be moved by spring water from place to place all together but it sounds not possible that they was moved from the Den floor without moving the floor as well.

I don't think your 4m vs my 3.5m is very important.
It's a fair comment to say that the photos don't easily locate the den, all we have is eye witness descriptions that contradict each other. (1m vs 6m).
Sure, 4m or 3.5m do not matter at all. It is much more important to find out where was the Den. From Radiograms from May 1959 looks like that they not found the bodies very close to the den. But there is no info about 6m anywhere. There is just info on the website:
"20 m from the den, a probe 4 m deep came out with a fragment of flesh. They started to dig. Dubinina's body was found in the ravine on may 5th, 1959."
https://dyatlovpass.com/the-den
but there is no source for it. From where the 20m comes?

EDIT:
I found:
"Up the creek in a distance of six meters along the tracks a den was found at a depth of 3 to 2.5 meters"
it is from Protocol of inspection of the scene where the bodies were found https://dyatlovpass.com/case-files-341-343?rbid=17743
the 6m is written in text and map/plan is made as well. So is more likely 6m, I cant find anywhere info about 1m...
« Last Edit: May 08, 2020, 07:50:10 AM by PJ »

May 08, 2020, 07:46:59 AM
Reply #124
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Nigel Evans


I agree that the bodies could be moved by spring water from place to place all together but it sounds not possible that they was moved from the Den floor without moving the floor as well.
It would be possible if the snow "flows" down the side of the ravine as well as along it's length. This sideways flow would be assisted by the meltwaters removing the snow at the bottom.


Sure, 4m or 3.5m do not matter at all. It is much more important to find out where was the Den. From Radiograms from May 1959 looks like that they not found the bodies very close to the den. But there is no info about 6m anywhere. There is just info on the website:
"20 m from the den, a probe 4 m deep came out with a fragment of flesh. They started to dig. Dubinina's body was found in the ravine on may 5th, 1959."
https://dyatlovpass.com/the-den
but there is no source for it. From where the 20m comes?
That seems erroneous, as you've discovered it PM teddy and if she agrees she'll edit it.
The 6m comes from here - https://dyatlovpass.com/case-files-341-343?rbid=17743 but n.b. Askinadzi disagrees and says 1m.

May 12, 2020, 04:50:43 AM
Reply #125
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sparrow



May 12, 2020, 06:14:52 AM
Reply #126
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Nigel Evans



May 12, 2020, 03:37:48 PM
Reply #127
Offline

PJ


Maybe everyone agrees with my theory?  loco1

Nigel,
No, and yes...

So 100% NO to the idea of extremely heavy object to passes over the top of the den. Object like that will leave many marks all around, mostly in damaged small trees(driving over it) that will be spotted during the search/investigation. And probably object like that will get stuck in the ravine till summer as well.

But 100% YES to the fact that they die in the Den or Ravine due to injuries from snow/den roof collapse. Just few numbers: the den floor was about 3m2 (2m X 1.5m), they found it under 3.5m of snow so if they have 1.5m height inside, it mean the roof was about 2m. Wind packed snow weights about 350-400kg/1m3, so just take the 350kg/1m3.
Calculations: 2m x 1.5m x 2m = 6m3(volume of snow over the heads in the Den). 6m3 x 350kg = 2100kg... over 2tons of snow could fall on them suddenly from the height of 1.5m, I think it is enough to make deadly injuries like broken ribs etc. Even if this roof broken into few pieces before impact on them it will be enough to kill.
After being crushed they die under the snow in Den and was moved by water/snow flow few meters down(as you suggest) or they managed to dig out from under the pieces of snow and just crawled out a bit where they die. I do not really matter.

After studied all picture from ravine, investigation reports and witness statements I believe that conditions in the ravine could cause the dead of this 4 hikers without any help from third person.

May 12, 2020, 11:55:34 PM
Reply #128
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Nigel Evans


over 2tons of snow could fall on them suddenly from the height of 1.5m, I think it is enough to make deadly injuries like broken ribs etc. Even if this roof broken into few pieces before impact on them it will be enough to kill.
Hi there PJ, it's good to see new posters walking through old paths... The problem with the "two tons of snow roof dropping 1m plus" theory is that it is inconceivable that this would not result in broken limbs/necks. But of course there aren't any. That's the advantage of the "approaching object" theory, as it got close the den walls would deform pushing (possibly gently) the victims into position to be shortly followed by a crushing force transmitted through a layer of snow which although it squeezes hard (deformed throats) does not apply snapping forces except on the main volumes of the body directly underneath, namely two rib cages and a skull. The skull being protected from more extensive crushing by the two rib cages. Semyon's shoulder blade fractures fit with him lying on his back on top of the poles of the den floor.
If you want to consider a snow mass theory it could be worth considering a "snow slip" where all the snow in the ravine slides forward a short distance but with enough mass to crush. But that doesn't give you the strength of impact that seems to be the case here or it's locality, as i've shown the best fit is that this crushing force is confined to a narrow width so that Alexander escapes broken bones. The 30cm width of a tracked vehicle being perfect!

May 13, 2020, 01:49:27 AM
Reply #129
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sparrow


Has anyone ever wondered why the rav4 didn't have frost bite?  Could it be that they died fairly quickly,  before they had a chance to get it?  nea1 

May 13, 2020, 05:10:40 AM
Reply #130
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Nigel Evans


Has anyone ever wondered why the rav4 didn't have frost bite?  Could it be that they died fairly quickly,  before they had a chance to get it?  nea1
Because shortly after leaving the tent they split into two groups, the rav4 making a swift descent to the shelter of the forest and a fire. The other group got whacked probably by a missile, three died on the slope but were quickly sheltered from the windchill by snowdrift forming around them. The 2 Yuris (YuriK having a badly burnt leg) struggled on slowly. By staying erect they got the wind chill the worst.

May 13, 2020, 11:22:22 AM
Reply #131
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Tony


It seems extremely unlikely that a solitary, tracked military vehicle would be wandering around in such a heavy-forested area on that particularly cold and windy night. It also seems unlikely that searchers would find so much activity from the hikers themselves but no obvious signs that would have certainly been left by a several ton tracked military vehicle. I could be wrong but it would seem that any vehicle (tracked or otherwise) would have an extremely tough time in deep snow. I've gotten stuck numerous times on a snowmobile and it's no easy task getting them out. Just think how easy it would be for a large vehicle to get stuck and how hard it would be to get out.

Both the medical expert that conducted the autopsies and a recent examination of Zolotoryov by a forensic pathologist concluded that the resulting injures were cause by an instant overwhelming force (similar to that of a blast wave or car crash) and not by a slow compressing force (like a large vehicle passing over top).
"If there exists a fact which can only be thought of as sinister. A fact which can only point to some sinister underpinning, you will never be able to think up all the non-sinister, perfectly valid explanations for that fact."
- Josiah Thomson

May 13, 2020, 11:48:21 AM
Reply #132
Offline

Tony


Maybe everyone agrees with my theory?  loco1

Nigel,
No, and yes...

So 100% NO to the idea of extremely heavy object to passes over the top of the den. Object like that will leave many marks all around, mostly in damaged small trees(driving over it) that will be spotted during the search/investigation. And probably object like that will get stuck in the ravine till summer as well.

But 100% YES to the fact that they die in the Den or Ravine due to injuries from snow/den roof collapse. Just few numbers: the den floor was about 3m2 (2m X 1.5m), they found it under 3.5m of snow so if they have 1.5m height inside, it mean the roof was about 2m. Wind packed snow weights about 350-400kg/1m3, so just take the 350kg/1m3.
Calculations: 2m x 1.5m x 2m = 6m3(volume of snow over the heads in the Den). 6m3 x 350kg = 2100kg... over 2tons of snow could fall on them suddenly from the height of 1.5m, I think it is enough to make deadly injuries like broken ribs etc. Even if this roof broken into few pieces before impact on them it will be enough to kill.
After being crushed they die under the snow in Den and was moved by water/snow flow few meters down(as you suggest) or they managed to dig out from under the pieces of snow and just crawled out a bit where they die. I do not really matter.

After studied all picture from ravine, investigation reports and witness statements I believe that conditions in the ravine could cause the dead of this 4 hikers without any help from third person.

There is no doubt that snow is heavy. That said, the overwhelming cause of death in a snow shelter collapse is asphyxiation. I have yet to hear/read of an instance where someone died in a snow shelter collapse as a result of anything other than asphyxiation. Snow shelters tend to collapse in chunks rather than a single, massive slab of snow. Also, it seems your numbers are based on the snowpack when the hikers were found and not what it would have been at the time of their injuries - all this assuming that they were in a snow shelter when the injuries occurred in the first place (which we don't know). The medical examiner that conducted the autopsies stated that Thibeaux-Brignolle could have been alive for several hours after his head injuries. If this were the case, and his injuries were cause by collapsing snow, he more than likely would have died of asphyxiation.
"If there exists a fact which can only be thought of as sinister. A fact which can only point to some sinister underpinning, you will never be able to think up all the non-sinister, perfectly valid explanations for that fact."
- Josiah Thomson

May 13, 2020, 03:59:06 PM
Reply #133
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PJ


The 350kg/m3 is for the time when they die, in May the weight of snow was about 700-800kg/m3. Yes, snow is very heavy, except the powder - freshly fallen snow.
I agree that overwhelming cause of death in a snow cave collapse is asphyxiation, to be honest I never read about dead in snow cave from injuries but I know one case when person got serious back injuries in a snow cave collapse, this case was not fatal. As well, in all cases that are reported as asphyxiation there is usually no info if there was some other, non life-threatening injuries.

May 14, 2020, 12:13:31 AM
Reply #134
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sparrow


Nigel, if it was a missile, why wasn't there any shrapnel found in any of the bodies?  If it could cause major injuries like broken bones when it exploded, wouldn't the fragments of the missile  have left injuries too?  If the concussion from the missile did cause broken bones, why weren't there more?  I would think that that kind of concussion would also have caused internal injuries (not counting the ones from the broken bones themselves).   bang1

May 14, 2020, 12:41:49 AM
Reply #135
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sparrow


Could someone explain to me why Simon,Lyuda and Nicholas had hemorrhages in the skin?  In re-reading the autopsies of those three, I found it mentioned. I don't think any of the three had any . thumb1 neg1

May 14, 2020, 03:27:40 AM
Reply #136
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Nigel Evans


It seems extremely unlikely that a solitary, tracked military vehicle would be wandering around in such a heavy-forested area on that particularly cold and windy night. If the cause of the DPI is military (missile) activity then it's somewhat more likely....

Both the medical expert that conducted the autopsies and a recent examination of Zolotoryov by a forensic pathologist concluded that the resulting injures were cause by an instant overwhelming force (similar to that of a blast wave or car crash) and not by a slow compressing force (like a large vehicle passing over top).As said several times now, the approaching vehicle would deform the structure of the den pushing the victims into position and collapsing the roof creating a crater. The front corner of the vehicle would fall into the crater "punching" the snow below it. Ditto the rear of the vehicle creating two events. At least one pathologist who has looked at the case believed that two events best explained Lyudmila's injuries.

May 14, 2020, 07:57:12 AM
Reply #137
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Nigel Evans


Nigel, if it was a missile, why wasn't there any shrapnel found in any of the bodies?  If it could cause major injuries like broken bones when it exploded, wouldn't the fragments of the missile  have left injuries too?  If the concussion from the missile did cause broken bones, why weren't there more?  I would think that that kind of concussion would also have caused internal injuries (not counting the ones from the broken bones themselves).   bang1
It would all depend on the distance away from the group. If the missile explosion(s) were far enough away and upwind then only small lightweight metal fragments travelling at windspeed would reach the victims creating superficial cuts and wounds. (Just like Zinaida (hand), Igor (face), YuriK (thigh) had. Ditto for fuel components creating chemical burns (Zinaida nitric acid?) YuriK (both hypergolic components).

May 14, 2020, 11:01:40 AM
Reply #138
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Tony


It seems extremely unlikely that a solitary, tracked military vehicle would be wandering around in such a heavy-forested area on that particularly cold and windy night. If the cause of the DPI is military (missile) activity then it's somewhat more likely....

Both the medical expert that conducted the autopsies and a recent examination of Zolotoryov by a forensic pathologist concluded that the resulting injures were cause by an instant overwhelming force (similar to that of a blast wave or car crash) and not by a slow compressing force (like a large vehicle passing over top).As said several times now, the approaching vehicle would deform the structure of the den pushing the victims into position and collapsing the roof creating a crater. The front corner of the vehicle would fall into the crater "punching" the snow below it. Ditto the rear of the vehicle creating two events. At least one pathologist who has looked at the case believed that two events best explained Lyudmila's injuries.

Ah, ok - I see. I guess it is possible. But there was no evidence of a missile or tracked military vehicle in the area. All we can go off is what is in the case files and there is nothing in the case files to suggest that a large, heavy track vehicle was roaming around the area.
"If there exists a fact which can only be thought of as sinister. A fact which can only point to some sinister underpinning, you will never be able to think up all the non-sinister, perfectly valid explanations for that fact."
- Josiah Thomson

May 15, 2020, 04:04:21 AM
Reply #139
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Nigel Evans



Ah, ok - I see. I guess it is possible.


No i would submit that it is a perfect fit for the evidence. That doesn't mean it happened of course and there's the minor matter of no evidence of a tracked vehicle. But if you assume that they died under the snow then this is as perfect an explanation as you'll get and this is for an event that defies explanation.



But there was no evidence of a missile or tracked military vehicle in the area. All we can go off is what is in the case files and there is nothing in the case files to suggest that a large, heavy track vehicle was roaming around the area.


Well there's no evidence for any theory except perhaps ball lightning. N.B. a ball lightning roller would be a good substitute for a tracked vehicle.




May 15, 2020, 04:17:03 AM
Reply #140
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Nigel Evans


Just a small addition to my last post. Askinadzi states that whilst they were deployed at the DP in 1959 the official explanation for the incident was that is was caused by a missile, but workers such as himself assumed this was a cover story.

July 17, 2020, 02:11:04 PM
Reply #141
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RidgeWatcher


Niglel,

I have been in a 500 year flood in El Paso, Texas August 1, 2006. I learned two things. Water can do almost anything and all water has memory, it doesn't care what humans have built to constrain it and it will follow its ancestors down a specific geological path. I have no doubt that a stream if it widened over an area of a meter X 2-3cm by spring could move a water logged body over time.

I do have a question, if anyone can answer this. In Alaska we had what we called Williwaws and Chinook winds (Foehn) and these could cause the snow and later ice to become treacherous. I do not know if the Urals have these phenomena, being that they are very interior mountains. If you hd a Chinook wind, then a freeze and then a subsequent Chinook wind then you could literally create an ice conveyor belt apparatus under the soft surface snow that moves quite well.

July 18, 2020, 12:29:07 AM
Reply #142
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Nigel Evans


Niglel,

I have been in a 500 year flood in El Paso, Texas August 1, 2006. I learned two things. Water can do almost anything and all water has memory, it doesn't care what humans have built to constrain it and it will follow its ancestors down a specific geological path. I have no doubt that a stream if it widened over an area of a meter X 2-3cm by spring could move a water logged body over time.

I do have a question, if anyone can answer this. In Alaska we had what we called Williwaws and Chinook winds (Foehn) and these could cause the snow and later ice to become treacherous. I do not know if the Urals have these phenomena, being that they are very interior mountains. If you hd a Chinook wind, then a freeze and then a subsequent Chinook wind then you could literally create an ice conveyor belt apparatus under the soft surface snow that moves quite well.
Sounds like you're discussing graupel which i understand to be ubiquitous - https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graupel#Graupel_and_avalanches
I've wondered if the ravine snow could have suddenly "slipped" and caused the crushing. This would help explain the localisation, i.e. only upper body fractures.

July 19, 2020, 04:16:44 AM
Reply #143
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Nigel Evans


Just a post to add some relevant thoughts..

In Nicolai's autopsy - https://dyatlovpass.com/case-files-352-354?rbid=17743 Vozrozhdenny notes the bath skin which i assume = wrinkled but makes a special comment on the wound on the left side of the face as having "convoluted borders" - "On the upper left jaw there is a defect in the soft tissue, which has an irregular oval shape with a size of 3 x 4 cm with drawn out, convoluted borders exposing the alveolar edge of the upper jaw"..

This all fits very well with the "crushed narrative", his head was pushed onto the floor of the den with the left side of his face in contact with the poles. The crushing force drives the left side so hard against the poles that the the upper jaw cuts through the upper cheek and fractures the right side of the skull and base etc. The interesting bit is why "convoluted"?
.

And a good answer is the twigs making up the seats which are by this point scattered across the poles..

What is still unanswered is the lack of bruising on the right side of the head.  The autopsy notes - "There is a 10 x 12 cm blue-green diffuse ecchymoma in the area of the right shoulder on the antero-internal surface at the lower middle and bottom thirds. In the area of the ecchymomare is hemorrhaging into the surrounding soft tissue"..

So the shoulder bruises but the scalp doesn't.... A good theory perhaps is the cold, the skin on the shoulder is protected by clothing but the scalp isn't and so the respective capillaries have a substantial difference in blood volume and hence behave quite differently when tested by pressure. Another theory perhaps is that the crushing to the skull wasn't instantaneously applied but more gradual whilst the shoulder was more immediate (multiple events). At least one pathologist attributes Lyudmila's fractures to multiple events.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2020, 04:28:32 AM by Nigel Evans »

July 19, 2020, 01:15:48 PM
Reply #144
Offline

Nigel Evans


But just thought wrt multiple events. Semyon was holding a notebook and pencil? So if that was the case at the "event" then either it was instantaneous with no time to react or it's a sick joke by their killers?

July 19, 2020, 11:23:41 PM
Reply #145
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sparrow


When I first saw that picture, I thought it was staged by one of the people at the scene as a morbid joke.

July 20, 2020, 01:22:48 AM
Reply #146
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Nigel Evans


When I first saw that picture, I thought it was staged by one of the people at the scene as a morbid joke.
I think you're refering to photo #425? If you look carefully in #416 you can see Semyon's right hand holding a thin rod like object and #414, #415 show this object in various positions appropriate to the arm's range of movement. Presumably they moved the arm as they worked to free the bodies.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2020, 01:29:50 AM by Nigel Evans »

July 20, 2020, 01:50:26 AM
Reply #147
Offline

sparrow


Hello Nigel. 
If they were able to move his arm (body thawed), then would not his fingers also be thawed?  If they were, then his fingers wouldn't be able to hold the pencil and notebook. Just a question.
I am going to go back and look at the pictures now.  I just wanted to write this post before I forgot.

July 20, 2020, 02:57:39 AM
Reply #148
Offline

Nigel Evans


The bodies were in running water for some time so definately thawed. Post mortem the grip would relax but the fingers still trap the pencil perhaps? If not it would be long gone downstream?


When i move from my pad to my laptop the numbering scheme for the photos changes?So to be clear -
 


.
and in situ -

 
« Last Edit: July 20, 2020, 03:01:57 AM by Nigel Evans »

July 20, 2020, 04:48:59 AM
Reply #149
Offline

sparrow


If you look at Simon's right hand in your top photo, his fingers are curled but not tightly.  I see what you are talking about in the bottom photo but I am having trouble seeing that as a pencil.  It does not appear to be near his right hand which would be underneath him.