The above drawing shows the ravine four in three points in time, all three diagrams are in plan form, i.e. as if looking down from above. :-
BEFORE = before the deadly event, they are sat in the the den.
EVENT = the configuration of the bodies as the den collapses in on them. This forces them down and to lie on the floor as described. Then an extremely heavy object passes along the orange path in the snow above.
MAY = after death the bodies remain frozen in the den as shown above. However with the spring thaw the flow of water and melting of the ice above the bodies together with some buoyancy "shuffles" them downstream into the configuration with which they are discovered.Detailed discussion of the theory
- The ravine is full of snow (as at the end of Feb) but at the edge of the ravine the wind has created a vertical section of snow that allows it to be exploited to produce a snow cave.
- Lyudmila is only wearing socks and uses a jacket sleeve to protect her left foot and calf from the cold wall.
- Nicolai is on watch (wearing two watches) and sits across the entrance. He doesn't have his own jacket (which buttons up) so he borrows Lyudmila's zipped jacket. It's my preference that this act is consensual, in the Ortorten News they are linked romantically. Lyudmila sits at the back (warmer) and has two jumpers and two shirts. Maybe they huddle close.
Speculation as to the nature of the object
- An extremely heavy object passes over the top of the den. This causes the den roof to collapse and the walls to deform.
- This collapse results in forcing the four into the configuration as shown.
- The object moves upwards in the diagram along the orange band exerting a crushing force through the snow such that although no skin tissue is bruised the larger volumes of the chest and head as shown are crushed in the following time order.
- Lyudmila - lying on her right side, chest fractures to right side. Her neck receives sufficient down force that it dislocates the thyroid area of the throat. There is then a second crushing event that fractures the left side of her chest.
- Nicolai - his head is facing Semyon with the rhs of the head against the den floor but with his chest facing the den floor. The crushing force presses the head against the den floor until the rhs of the skull and the base of the skull fracture, deforming the shape of his head. His right shoulder receives internal bruising.
- Semyon - is lying on his back, receives a chest fracture on his rhs, right shoulder blade pressed on the den floor fractures and the rhs of his head is pressed against the den floor creating a wound.
- Alexsander - is lying on his right side. He is pushed down with such force that his mastoid process (conical area of bone behind the right ear) connects with the den floor creating a wound. His left leg is lying on the den floor and the rolling object presses it hard against the floor creating internal bleeding on the inside of the knee. Semyon's chest protects Alexsander's knee from further crushing. Alexsander's neck receives sufficient downforce to dislocate the thyroid area. Alexsander's face is pressed down hard enough that the pathologist records an oval defect in the right cheek.
Ball lightning could do this!
However the clear favourite has to be a heavy tracked vehicle.
- At least one pathologist has stated that Lyudmila's fractures require two events and a tracked vehicle fits this very well, as it got very close the den collapse would have created a crater. The front of the vehicle drops into the crater creating one fracture and then as the front climbs out, the rear of the vehicle also drops into the same crater creating the second.
- The "crushing zone" seems to be very narrow, googling this most WW2 tanks for example have a track width of approx 30cm.
Lyudmila suffers the worst predation from rodents. This is because as the spring thaw creates a trickle of water down the ravine into the river the scent of decomposition advertises the bodies across a significant distance. When these rodents follow this scent the first body they encounter is Lyudmila's.
Now was it a complete coincidence that a tracked vehicle was using the ravine that night to ascend to pas the tree line? Or was there a radar signature above Kholat Syakhl that the military were interested in? Did the surviving three at the cedar see a vehicle ascending the hill and set off to seek rescue?