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Author Topic: The radioactive trace on the Dyatlov Pass  (Read 2446 times)

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September 29, 2023, 04:16:06 AM
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The radioactive trace on the Dyatlov Pass

The radioactive contamination in the Dyatlov case is one of the most complicated, controversial and unclear subjects we could come across. On top of the mind boggling fact why did the lead investigator order a radioactive test only on the last four bodies found in May and not on the first found in February-March, why order the tests on first place and then not taking in consideration the outcome at all, we can not agree on what the results tell us. I have discussed the subject with seasoned Russian nuclear physicist Igor Pavlov, and nuclear power researcher graduate from Arizona State University Brian Pierce. From what I can understand their opinions on the Radiological Analysis Report do not overlap.   Read more →
The following users thanked this post: Morski, marieuk, Manti

October 02, 2023, 06:53:35 AM
Reply #1


Thanks, Teddy, for the opportunity to comment on this!

I'm saddened that any further "debate" between me and Igor is impossible due to his passing. I would have loved to discuss all this with him, especially because I believe what I am hypothesizing would fit in with his and Teddy's theory published in their book 1079. While there are a few areas of disagreement, I see we also do agree on a lot.

I wrote what I did before being able to review Igor's notes, and I see we both came to the same conclusion that Levashov's radiological analysis does not necessarily require that a pure beta emitter contaminated the clothing, which would be extremely rare, but instead we both suggest that a combined beta/gamma emitter did it, such that beta emission was above the limit of detection and gamma emission below the limit of detection. Igor and I both consider a pure beta emitter, which he notes Rakitin suggested, as highly unlikely. Now I am not aware of Rakitin's hypothesis. I'd appreciate it if someone could please point me to it.

I am currently in grad school, so my time to respond is limited. But I'll address what I can over time here. To start, Igor and Teddy both note the nagging question of why Ivanov ordered the tests in the first place. Ivanov himself addresses this in the case files:

It seems Ivanov is referring here to criminal procedure, specifically "Articles 63 and 171 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the RSFSR." I have no idea where to find the version of this Code of Criminal Procedure that would have been current in 1959, and it would be interesting to see what it says. Still, it seems to me by context that Ivanov did this because the procedures require it. Clearly, this kind of analysis can't be done on every unexplained death. It's my impression that Ivanov first became aware that the bodies' clothing, and possibly the bodies themselves, were emitting radiation, so it obligated him to order such an analysis. This makes sense. Dead bodies shouldn't be found wearing clothing with that much radioactive contamination, so it is important for a prosecutor to investigate. The prosecutor, once told, can't simply decide to ignore it.

Now how could Ivanov have known? Who told him? How did they know? Those are excellent questions, and I don't know.

I did speak with an acquaintance who does search and rescue in mountainous terrain for living hikers, and forensic search and recovery of hikers who likely died. She thought it very odd that anyone would bring something like a Geiger counter on a search and rescue mission. People who do S&R in this kind of terrain typically want to keep their weight down, so they carry the bare minimum essential gear. A Geiger counter, especially in 1959, is completely unnecessary weight so I can't picture anyone wanting to take one into a mountain range on a S&R mission.

Why did Ivanov order testing on just the last four bodies? My guess is that this has to do with timing. The first five bodies had been found, removed from the mountain, autopsied, returned to the families, and buried before the four in the ravine were found. If a Geiger counter were present, either on the mountain or at the morgue in Ivdel, but only after the last four bodies were discovered, and someone decided to switch it on and check the bodies for some unknown reason. found radiation to their surprise, and reported it to Ivanov, it sounds like this would have obligated Ivanov to order the analysis on these four bodies and their clothing.

It looks like Ivanov was doing the minimum amount of work necessary here. Levashov's report is very curious, but it doesn't suggest an acute health hazard either to the hikers when they were alive or the rescuers and investigators. A person trying to find the truth would want to know whether the other five bodies had contaminated clothing, too, or if it was just limited to the four in the ravine, but a prosecutor may be motivated to close the case quickly with minimal work and expense. I don't know whether the clothing found on the first five bodies was retained as evidence. If so, I'd think it would be easy to check. But the key here is that if the first five bodies were never initially checked with a Geiger counter, then they weren't known to be contaminated, and they weren't found in the same place as the bodies with contaminated clothing, so it would not have obligated Ivanov to investigate. In other words, Ivanov couldn't have ignored someone telling him that they found radioactive contamination on the last four bodies without violating criminal procedure. But if nobody ever checked whether the first five bodies were contaminated, nobody could have told him that they were contaminated too. Criminal procedure didn't require Ivanov to check, so he could safely ignore it and nobody could fault him for doing so. And why make extra work for himself and a technical expert if doing so wasn't required?

Because we don't know the circumstances around all this, we can't really know if the first five bodies were contaminated too but nobody bothered to check, or if only the four in the ravine were contaminated. This would be very interesting, but unless someone finds their clothing bagged up on a shelf in a dusty police warehouse somewhere, we'll probably never know.

October 02, 2023, 02:59:08 PM
Reply #2


Fascinating information, to me at least. Ive largely ignored the radioactive element of the case, mostly as I know little about the topic and most of what i have read seems to be contradictory ( as is everything).

I've been reading and looking at old posts but I'm not sure of the chronological appearance of the Geiger counter.

Do we know when it was first introduced or reported being used at the search area?.

There is the report of it being a dosimeter,which I understand is a different tool to measure exposure to radiative transfer over a period of time. I don't know if that's a translation error and if its meant to be Geiger counter.

Perhaps the reason for taking a measuring device to the area ,( it has been suggested before) was that there had been numerous reports of balls, lights and large objects in the sky , these were told directly to Ivanov by the other hiking groups and first searcher's. The dates of these sightings coincide with the timeline of the dp9 .

There would seem to have been rocket or missile activities in the Urals  and the need for a dosimeter may have in the first instance  just been precaution?.

I guess it all depends on how the reports come in to those making the decisions and then , their reactions?

The first bodies are buried quite quickly, the main suspicion is that they froze after having to leave the tent . There's speculation of various theories within the search teams and one is the missile and Ivanov may have ordered the testing of the clothes as a result of having come to dead ends. He was just exploring all avenues perhaps.

As to why they found results on the clothes is definitely strange. I would have thought that the items , clothing in the tent and the tent itself should have been tested also?


October 02, 2023, 07:21:17 PM
Reply #3


Another thought or reason for testing may have been the reported colour changes in the skin. If Ivanov wasn't aware of the changes to skin colour , this might be another reason to request the tests.

October 03, 2023, 11:47:01 AM
Reply #4


Hi Ryan,

I've read your letter with your thoughts about potassium hydroxide (a cousin of lye, sodium hydroxide) as a possible explanation for the test results.

I have zero knowledge about your field of expertise but you explain it in a way that I can understand. ( I think) .

I'm probably going to embarrass myself but I'd like to ask a couple of questions, they may either lead to a possible reason for the contamination or stop my reasoning in its tracks.

Is it a possibility that any potassium hydroxide contamination could come from a clinical, cleaning formula?


What would be a significant amount of potassium to get the results?

My reasoning is that I've read potash, lye or potassium is used in cleaning products. Obviously, an autopsy room will need cleaned and the ravine 4 were decomposing.
I don't know what chemicals they would have at the time for disinfecting rooms or tables etc, but I think there are two possible accidental opportunities for contamination.

My first thought would be applying or covering some chemical over the ravine 4 bodies before putting them in bags for the helicopter transportation.

My second thought comes from the nurse that stated the bodies were filthy and they were washed. ( I'll need to double check) but could strong cleaning chemicals containing potassium be enough to get those kind of readings? If concentrated?

It is your thoughts regarding all the 9 clothes were contaminated and the problem of how this could occur that has influenced my thoughts.


October 03, 2023, 01:45:47 PM
Reply #5


Question 2 / Answer
"No, he did not say anything about why he decided to check their clothes for radiation. He changed the topic. Much later, almost this year, I learned from a lawyer, that another lawyer told him that Ivanov ordered this examination because he noticed how the hikers' clothes which lay on his floor in his office were glowing."

October 03, 2023, 02:03:40 PM
Reply #6


Question 2 / Answer
"No, he did not say anything about why he decided to check their clothes for radiation. He changed the topic. Much later, almost this year, I learned from a lawyer, that another lawyer told him that Ivanov ordered this examination because he noticed how the hikers' clothes which lay on his floor in his office were glowing."

I don't understand the dialogue in the link.

I'm not sure who's asking who what and when these lawyers come into play? Why would Ivanov have clothes lying on his floor ? Were they clothes from the tent? Were they the clothes from the first 5 bodies found in march or the clothes from the ravine 4?.

I need help here , what radiation causes a glow? If any clothes were "glowing " why did others not see "glowing" items?

October 03, 2023, 02:10:51 PM
Reply #7


 I don't think the human eye can detect / see radioactive glow? , Hence Geiger counters ....

October 03, 2023, 02:14:21 PM
Reply #8


To add, I think this is why dosimeters exist.( I could be completely wrong)

October 03, 2023, 02:35:31 PM
Reply #9


From a quick Google

Do radioactive things glow in the dark?

The short answer to your question is "no," radioactive things do not glow in the dark - not by themselves anyway. Radiation emitted by radioactive materials is not visible to the human eye. However, there are ways to"convert" this invisible energy to visible light. Many substances will emit visible light if "stimulated" by the ionizing radiation from radioactive material. These materials are known as "fluors" or "scintilators." So, by mixing some radioactive material with such a fluor, you can make a substance that glows. This kind of material has been used in things like the faces of clocks, watches, and instruments on ships and airplanes to make them visible in the dark. This is why most people think of glowing things when they think of radioactive materials.

Someone is talking bull to ell a book or two or if clothes are glowing , something serious is going on.

October 04, 2023, 01:49:57 PM
Reply #10


We now know that there is a magnetic anomaly on the Dyatlov Pass, the whole area appears to be peppered with them. Some of these may be caused by uranium ores and similar radioactive minerals, that presumably is part of the reason for the search, so if someone from a rescue party gets out a geiger counter rocks beneath snow may trigger a reading higher than normal background radiation, like radon gas does when it seeps into the ground floor of some houses.

This may have caused the area to, quite innocently, be declared radioactive, as in naturally occurring, and gossip spread among the rescuers about a military cover-up. And then when articles of two hikers clothing were found to be much higher than background radiation, and even when following a decontamination process of being saturated by running water for 3 months, it was further suggestive of the idea that a nuclear device was used on the pass, when, perhaps, all that happened was two coincidental things, both with a simple explanation, came together.

Dead Mountain, a barren peak, may be so-called because no substantive vegetation grows there due to the radioactivity in the rocks?
My DPI approach - logic, probability and reason.

October 04, 2023, 02:41:43 PM
Reply #11


Totally agree that many of the reports or theories will come from coincidence . It's half the battle to unwind when things were said, by who and why.

However, we do have something tangible with the radioactive reports. It's a factual document and it is recorded in the case files.

If I understand Ryan correctly, he is surmising through a process of elimination. All 9 pieces of clothing were above background levels. 3 of these 9 samples were above expected safety levels at the time. If the contamination to these clothes happened before they were found in the ravine, the question is where did it come from. What has been proposed in the past i,s that the contamination may have come from two of the hikers that worked in nuclear work places, however it seems that radioactive contamination can't jump from one set of clothes to another that easily.

Plus we have the argument that if the contamination happened pre discovery of the ravine 4 , then all the readings would be much higher as the water would have some what cleaned the clothes that were tested.

As I understand it, it doesn't fit with the nature of radioactive contamination or exposure.

So we have an anomaly ( to add to all the others) . Were the clothes some how contaminated after the ravine 4s discovery. The readings were taken after in a controlled environment. Were they moved by stagers and then placed as teddy and Igor's theory , then covered in pot ash. Hence the odd readings.

It's a quandary I've never given much thought to in the past but Ryan has put a new observations to it.

October 05, 2023, 11:40:04 AM
Reply #12


.Igor Pavlov is apparently right and on clothes dirt from EURT. 
The container with nuclear waste that exploded in September 1957 contained mainly r/nuclides: ¹⁴⁴Ce, ¹⁴⁴Pr, ⁹⁵Nb, ⁹⁵Zr, ⁹⁰Sr, ¹³⁷Cs,
Of these, the first 4 are short-lived - T½ from 17.28 minutes. (¹⁴⁴Pr) up to 291 days (¹⁴⁴Ce) Thus, by May 1959, only long-lived ¹³⁷Cs (T½ = 30 years) and ⁹⁰Sr (28 years) were active
Strontium 90 is a pure β emitter. Cesium137 also decays in beta and only the product of its decay - Ba¹³⁷m transforms into stable ¹³⁷Ba with the emission of a γ-quantum with  an energy of 661.7 keV, which is 4.5 times lower than the γ-sensitivity threshold of the TISS radiometer that was used by expert Levashov.

Accepting this hypothesis would limit the flight of fantasies about the mechanism and circumstances of infection to two or three variants. One of them was once proposed on taina li by a user writing under the nickname Yellow horror, and looked as follows: As part of measures to minimize the consequences of the 1957 Kyshtym accident, r/nuclide-contaminated items, primarily clothing, were confiscated from residents of evacuated settlements on a compensatory basis. These items had to be stockpiled somewhere before burial. The natural solution would have been to store them at collection points for so-called secondary raw materials, i.e., any, mostly textile, junk suitable for recycling. Since there was no proven method of action in a situation that had arisen for the first time, there was no strict sequence in actions, and a pile of rags dumped somewhere temporarily could well have been forgotten so tightly that it may still be there. One of Kolevatov’s fellow students who had access to such a point (who worked part-time as a janitor there, for example), having learned from Kolevatov about problems with warm clothing for a hike, remembered a bunch of pretty good things in the far corner of one of the warehouses. Of course, he had no idea where the clothes came from or what they represented in terms of nuclear physics...
This is exactly how three sweaters appeared in the memory of Kolevatov’s sisters, Rimma, which he got somewhere on the last day before leaving and brought home “smuggled” - putting all three on himself. One of them later ended up on Dubinina, and the third went unnoticed. Bottom of ski pants. Kolevatov “powdered” strontium-90, when was sorting through a pile of clothes, choosing the best. Dubinina's jacket, with which Zolotarev was covered, and his vest picked up what the stream washed out of Kolevatov's sweater, and Thibault lay in the middle of the stream, where the speed of the water flow was greatest, and almost nothing lingered on him

Quote from: Ryan
It seems Ivanov is referring here to criminal procedure, specifically "Articles 63 and 171 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the RSFSR." I have no idea where to find the version of this Code of Criminal Procedure that would have been current in 1959, and it would be interesting to see what it says.
Code of Criminal Procedure of the RSFSR. 1923 - 1961

Art. 63.  Experts are called in cases where special knowledge in science, art or craft is needed during an investigation or consideration of a case.

Notes 1. The calling of experts is mandatory to establish the causes of death and the nature of bodily injuries, as well as to determine the mental state of the accused or witness in cases where the court or the investigator has doubts about this.

2. The procedure for calling and giving an examination is determined in these cases by special instructions issued by the People's Commissariat of Justice in agreement with the People's Commissariat of Health

Art. 171. The investigator outlines to the expert the points on which an opinion should be given. The accused has the right to present in writing those questions on which an expert should give an opinion. The expert has the right, with the permission of the investigator, to get acquainted with those circumstances of the case, the clarification of which is necessary for him to give an opinion.

Note. If the expert finds that the materials provided to him by the investigator are insufficient to give an opinion, he draws up a report on the impossibility of giving an opinion. In these cases, the limits of the preliminary investigation materials that must be provided to the expert are resolved by the prosecutor or the court with jurisdiction over the case.

As for Ivanov’s motive for appointing a physical and technical examination, it was most likely an intuitive reaction to talk of strange observations on February 17 and March 31. For the fewliterate Kuzminov and Syunikaev, they were transformed into a “cannonade”, into fireballs hitting the mountain tops, into clouds with hypnotic abilities, and for Ivanov, who may have heard something about the Kyshtym accident, they gave rise to a desire to check the corpses for radioactivity.
Just in case.

Quote from: eurocentric
Dead Mountain, a barren peak, may be so-called because no substantive vegetation grows there due to the radioactivity in the rocks?
Information about dosimetering of Mount Kholat-Syakhyl in 1959 exists only at the level of vague rumors. There is no reliable information on this matter.
In our time, dosimeters were not carried there only by the blind, deaf, and mute.
They didn’t find a single extra micro-roentgen.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2023, 01:43:36 PM by Partorg »
The text was created by the joint efforts of Coogle, DeepL, and Yandex translates, which are far from being standards of eloquence, and the author, who is also not Cicero, from which follows a compelling request, do not hesitate to seek clarification from the author of all unclear places in the text.