July 31, 2021, 06:50:11 PM
Dyatlov Pass Forum

Author Topic: Maslennikov notebooks  (Read 2796 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

July 26, 2019, 07:57:15 AM
Read 2796 times
Offline

Teddy

Administrator

This is the first time when they have been published in their entirety with full transcript in both Russian and English.

Notebook 1 (12 sheets)
Notebook 2 (brown cover)

Evgeniy Polikarpovich Maslennikov

Evgeniy Polikarpovich Maslennikov

Evgeniy Polikarpovich Maslennikov (1924-1978) Master of Sports, Head of the UPI sports club, leading the search operation in 1959. Graduated from the Faculty of Mathematics of the Ural Polytechnic Institute, PhD. One of the first masters of sport hiking in Urals. On his name are called high mountain peak in the Northern Urals. He is the co-author of several books on the hiking routes of the Urals.
Main publications:

  • Weekend routes around Sverdlovsk / E. P. Maslennikov, R. B. Rubel
    (Маршруты выходного дня по окрестностям Свердловска)
  • Routes of the Middle Urals / E. P. Maslennikov, P. I. Istomin
    (Mаршруты Среднего Урала)
  • Along Middle Urals / R. B. Rubel, E. P. Maslennikov
    (По Среднему Уралу)
  • Travels in the Urals / R. B. Rubel, E. P. Maslennikov
    (Путешествия по Уралу)
  • Ural - a tourist country: Guide / E. P. Maslennikov, P. I. Istomin
    (Урал - туристская страна: Путеводитель)

Maslennikov's notebooks were not part of the criminal case. They have never been looked at during the investigation.

6 months after Maslennikov's death his widow handed the notebooks to Karelin. They are in his possession to this day.

Vladislav Georgievich Karelin

Vladislav Georgievich Karelin

Vladislav Georgievich Karelin (born 1932) in 1959 UPI student, leader of a rescue group 25-Feb-1959 dropped off on Kholat Syakhl, he and soldiers from Lt. Potapov group found with their probes the body of Slobodin on 5-Mar-1959.

Here is his story, how he got involved in the case. Karelin group finished a trek to Mount Molebny Kamen from 9 to 24 Feb 1959. They started in the area of the upper sources Nyols river towards Mount Sampalchakhl 910 where Dyatlov group was supposed to end their trek at the same time. Both groups had discussed meeting near Oykachakhl 1322. When Dyatlov was a no show Karelin didn't made big deal of it and they continued their way. Two weeks later 25 Feb 1959 in a dining room at the train station of Serov city a man, calling himself a representative of Northern geological party, approached the hikers and asked casually "Aren't they searching for you?" They answered warily "What do you mean search? We are not due yet." They called hastily Sverdlovsk and learned from Orlov about the missing Dyatlov group. They were summoned to participate in the search operation. Two of the members, Goryachko and Granin, were in no shape to continue and were sent back to Sverdlovsk. The other six members: Vladislav Karelin, Georgiy Atmanaki, Boris Borisov, Evgeniy Serdityh, Vladimir Skutin and Vladimir Shavkunov joined the rescuers in Ivdel by train same day.

Back to the notebook in hand. It is not a diary, but the entries and radiograms are dated. Some are out or order, some are not present in the case files, no difference here as anything about this case - confusing and dubious. Not clear if intentionally or because of stress and harsh environment. It is a very interesting reading about the way search was executed, the moral climate and how time and findings affected the rescue members. Also the reaction of the leaders. Do you see any traces of cover up or attempts to obstruct the search or hide evidence? Don't just read other people's opinion, make up your own mind. Here are the writings of the man who lead the search. It's a good start. I will give you some pointers that I found interesting while reading.

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE ORIGINAL EVENING OTORTEN?

The original is not in the criminal case. Moreover, none of the searchers saw it in the tent. Maslennikov did not see the flyer in the tent himself. On 4.III (can be seen on previous page of the notebook) Pavlov radiograms from Ivdel to Maslennikov (who is on the pass leading the search operation): A satirical flyer was found "evening otorten" dated by Dyatlov group February 1. This radiogram is also not in the case files.

Dyatlov Pass: Radiogram from Ivdel on 4 Mar 1959

Radiogram from Ivdel on 4 Mar 1959

Only pilot Potyazhenko remembered that he had seen Evening Otorten in the tent. Most likely he took the searches plan for Dyatlov group's flyer. No one else remembers seeing Evening Otorten on the pass.

Dyatlov Pass: Items from Dyatlov tent, somewhere here is Evening Otorten - photo archive Lev Ivanov

Items from Dyatlov tent, somewhere here is Evening Otorten

Judging by the testimonies most likely the satirical flyer went into the backpack with small items gathered around the tent, hauled to the helipad, transported on 3 Mar 1959 to Ivdel, then the items were taken out and Pavlov sent the message noted in Maslennikov’s notebook on 4 Mar 1959. On that same page it says under 5. Investigation of items is not over.

Protocol inspection of items found at the scene
(Until this moment the search party members had the items randomly put in their backpacks) Scan

Atmanaki witness testimony - page 214 back
All remained undisturbed except for one backpack in which small things were gathered around the tent. Scan

page 215
...everything was packed in a backpack, except for the diary and documents sent to the base camp Scan

E. P. Maslennikov witness testimony
When the inspection was over the tent was dragged to the helipad at a distance of 600-700. Scan

It is believed that after inspection, items from the tent were put back into the tent and all were dragged to the helipad and lifted on 3 Mar 1959.

Why was Evening Otorten typed for the case files and nobody seen the original? Was it because it was falling apart from humidity? Could be, but most likely the reason for the retyping of the Evening Otorten is the same for the group diary and the unknown diary that were included in the case file and what that reason is will remain unknown.

WHERE ARE THE DIARIES NOW?

We are discussing this here because Maslennikov most probably didn’t see “Evening Otorten” but saw the diaries. He copied some of the entries in his 2nd notebook. The diaries that the prosecutor took away contained more records. The group diary ends with Dyatlov’s entry from 31/I, the unknown diary ends on 30/I. The originals of these two have never been published, only typed copies. The rest of the diaries were given back to the relatives and eventually ended up in Dyatlov foundation.

Kolmogorova - last entry from 30/II (obviously a typo in the month)
Dubinina - last entry from 28/I
Slobodin - he didn’t really write much
Yudin - last entry from 27/I, he turned back on the 28/I

Dyatlov Pass: Atmanaki witness testimony

Atmanaki witness testimony

Atmanaki witness testimony
...everything was packed in a backpack, except for the diary and documents sent to the base camp

Dyatlov Pass: Maslennikov making notes while looking through Dyatlov documents and diaries

Maslennikov making notes while looking through Dyatlov documents and diaries

  1. Group diary "In the country of mysterious signs". Unknown diary

    Dyatlov Pass: Unknown diary

    Unknown diary

  2. New tent construction. Dyatlov group diary

    Dyatlov Pass: Dyatlov group diary

    Dyatlov group diary

  3. New method of walking - 5 min w/o backpack, rest 10-15 minutes and catch up the group (nonstop method)
    31/I - Dyatlov: we came out of the tree line. Wind is western, penetrating, with a speed similar to the air draft created by a taking off airplane. I can't even start thinking of setting up a storage. It's close to 4 we are going down Auspiya river. Not enough firewood, frail damp firs, started fire with logs, supper in the tent. Warm. "It is hard to imagine such a comfort somewhere on the ridge, with a piercing wind, hundreds kilometers away from human settlements.”

    Dyatlov group diary

    Dyatlov Pass: Dyatlov group diary

    Last entry by Dyatlov in the group diary on 31/I

  4. 1/II Slobodin - didn't write anything. Slobodin’s diary

MISSING DOCUMENTS

Dyatlov Pass: Yuri Krivonischneko topos (schematic drawings of the route)

Yuri Krivonischneko topos (schematic drawings of the route)

Topo is a diagram of a mountain with details of routes marked on it. We haven’t seen these topos. Never published.

Dyatlov Pass: Unknown camera film 5 frame 7

Doroshenko, Zina, Dubinina, uncle Slava Velikyavichus on the sledge, Yudin, Dyatlov, Tibo, Slobodin, and most probably Yuri Krivonischenko in the back drawing topos

Yurka Kri is behind and makes topos of the route. Dyatlov group diary

Dyatlov Pass: Dyatlov group diary entry for 28/I

Dyatlov group diary entry for 28/I

HOW WAS TIME OF DEATH ESTABLISHED?

  • There is a radiogram from 1/III’59 stating that the date of death is established
    The date of the disaster is exactly established to have occurred on the night of February 2nd.

    Dyatlov Pass: Radiogram from 1/III'59

    Radiogram from 1/III'59

  • On 1/III all the bodies found (4) are still on the pass. They will be lifted off on 3/III.
  • On 1/III the tent and all belongings are still on the pass, they will also be lifted off on 3/III.
  • The satirical flyer (dated 1/II) will be found among the items from the tent only on 4/III, which coincides with the fact that on the 3/III the items are lifted off, and on 4/III they are taken out and protocoled in Ivdel.
  • There are no entries in any of the known diaries after 31/I

On the basis of what, by 1/III, it was precisely established that disaster occurred on the night of February 2nd?

There is also the problem with the sequence of dates of the radiograms the way they follow in both notebooks:

Notebook 1 Radiogram 2/III
Notebook 2 Radiogram 2/III
Radiogram 2/III
Radiogram 2/III
Radiogram 2/III
Radiogram 2/III
* Radiogram 1/III
Radiogram 3/III

* The date of this radiogram is correct. Same radiogram is in the case files and it was most entered in the investigation most likely from the journal of radiograms in Ivdel, and not from Maslennikov's notebook, which has never been of an interest to the investigation.

Dyatlov Pass: Radiogram dated 1/III from the case files

Radiogram dated 1/III from the case files

Apparently notebook 1 ended on 1/III. Notebook 2 could be started leaving blank pages that could be later filled in. This is how older radiograms got before the one dated 1/III. There were two radio operators at the time in the camp - Nevolin and Chernousov, and although Chernousov’s radio was not working, he could be helping Nevolin, hence the radiogram from 2/III inside the back cover on Notebook 1 and not in the new second notebook, which was in the hands of another person at the time. Something like that. The important thing is that we can verify the date on the radiogram marked with * because this is where the time of death is mentioned for the first time in the official investigation.

MONUMENT

It is still 3/III, only Krivonischenko, Doroschenko, Dyatlov and Kolmogorova were found. Maslennikov is planing a monument for the victims and yet Maslennikov is drawing a monument. Isn't it too early to make them martyrs? Monuments are built in recognition of somebodies death not to be in vain. To commemorate. To me it is sad to have a monument before they have found you, and before they figure out why and how one died.

Dyatlov Pass: Maslennikov is planing a monument for the victims.

Maslennikov is planing a monument for the victims.

The temporary monument was built in April. When Blinov arrived on 14/IV it was already in the area of the helipad on the pass.

Dyatlov Pass: Rescuers, Kurikov and the temporary monument

Rescuers, Kurikov to the right and the temporary monument drawn by Masslennikov in his 2nd notebook.

The temporary monument was (re)moved when Yakimenko installed the memorial plaque in 1963.

Dyatlov Pass: The memorial today

The memorial plaque on the Boot Rock nowadays

« Last Edit: July 27, 2019, 12:04:33 AM by Teddy »

January 26, 2020, 08:17:44 PM
Reply #1
Offline

Naufragia


Thoughts on Maslennikov notebook 2, scans 73-77

Maslennikov was questioned by prosecutor Ivanov on 10 March 1959 in Ivdel. This was the same date as his meeting with Ermash, Chernyshev, Vishnevskiy, Artyukov and Ivanov, apparently to arrange continuation of the search (scan 71). The next event recorded in Maslennikov's notebook is a meeting  with the City Committee of Physical Culture and Sport on 16 March 1959 (presumably in Sverdlovsk) (scan 79). Recorded in Maslennikov's notebook between notes on those two meetings were various points in relation to the hikers that he seems to have considered important, taken from the group's documents, plus the opinions of K.V. Bardin on the group's demise.

With regard to the points in scans 73-77, it is not clear whether Maslennikov had something particular in mind (such as preparation for discussions with others) or was just musing in writing. They do not appear to follow any particular sequence or have any logical arrangement. His official testimony to Ivanov was almost wholly concerned with the Dyatlov group's preparations for the expedition and then the search for them, with his brief expression of opinion on what might have happened the hikers only appearing at the very end. Throughout his notebooks, one can see him trying to make sense of the situation - without success - and it is interesting how many ideas about potential explanations of the case find early expression in his notebooks.

Below is the text of Scans 73-77 in black, with questions and a few comments in blue. Any illumination welcomed!

Scan 73
Two entries on the group's movements - went to post offices in Ivdel and Vizhay on 25 January, went to Vizhay office of Ivdel Forced labor camp, Ministry of Internal Affairs on 26 January.
Question: Why note these in particular? To fix movements with witnesses?

Scan 74
Topos Y. Krivonischenko:
Question: Why did Maslennikov mention these?  What could be learned from them?
Group diary "In the country of mysterious signs" [Note: This phrase is in the Unknown Diary, not the Group Diary.]
New tent construction.
Question: A reference to the tent being made from two smaller tents joined together?
New method of walking - 5 min w/o backpack, rest 10-15 minutes and catch up the group (nonstop method)
Question: Maslennikov attempting the understand the group's movements?
31/I - Dyatlov: we came out of the tree line. Wind is western, penetrating, with a speed similar to the air draft created by a taking off airplane. I can't even start thinking of setting up a storage. It's close to 4 we are going down Auspiya river. Not enough firewood, frail damp firs, started fire with logs, supper in the tent. Warm. "It is hard to imagine such a comfort somewhere on the ridge, with a piercing wind, hundreds kilometers away from human settlements."
Question: Maslennikov attempting the understand the group's movements and decisions?
1/II Slobodin - didn't write anything.
Question: Slobodin did not write much at all - just some Mansi words and song lyrics - so why note this in particular?

Scan 75
Evening Otorten No.1 newsletter.
Note: No comments from Maslennikov.

Scan 77
Conversation in Serov - gratitude.
Question: This does not appear to match any of the recorded diary entries, unless there is a translation issue?
Notebook with inscription.
Question: To what does this refer?
Манси: Auspi - Ya (creek)
Note: Maslennikov seeming to note that "Auspiya" is Mansi for "Auspi Creek".
Nyer - bare peak
Note: The spelling suggests this is from Slobodin's diary, as Kolmogorova uses "nyor".
Oyka - man
Question: Could be from either Slobodin's or Kolmogorova's diary, but why did Maslennikov record these Mansi words in particular?
Ekva - woman
Kolmogorova - 30/I tonight we'll set up a labaz
Question: Maslennikov perhaps attempting to fix dates and actions, as well as changes of plan?
Tibo: The opinion about the group is good, the group is friendly, well prepared. In general, great chaps.
Question: What is the source of this information? It does not appear to match any of the recorded diary entries. The Unknown Diary records Thibeaux-Brignolle writing in a diary on 30 January.

January 26, 2020, 08:19:14 PM
Reply #2
Offline

Naufragia


Maslennikov notebook 2, scan 57-59

"Reasons for leaving the group from the tent ...

3) Attack Mansi - knew about the group, went to Otorten, scare the infidels,

Shotguns, come out one by one, run (Caucasus).

Cons: No traces. Gone from above."

Has anyone been able to track down a reference to a crime like this in the Caucasus, such that Maslennikov considered it as a potential explanation of the Dyatlov group's demise?

January 26, 2020, 10:12:34 PM
Reply #3
Offline

NkZ



May 22, 2020, 10:04:55 AM
Reply #4
Online

Jean Daniel Reuss



Maslennikov notebook 2, scan 57-59
"Reasons for leaving the group from the tent ...
3) Attack Mansi - knew about the group, went to Otorten, scare the infidels,

Shotguns, come out one by one, run (Caucasus).

Cons: No traces. Gone from above."

Has anyone been able to track down a reference to a crime like this in the Caucasus, such that Maslennikov considered it as a potential explanation of the Dyatlov group's demise?

 • Has anyone been able to track down a reference to ...the Caucasus

--> According to my hypothesis N°2 (Attack by ex-zeks against Stalinist provokers) the reference to the Caucasus is obvious.
      https://forum.dyatlovpass.com/index.php?topic=635.0

First I will leave the floor to Nordlander, who was faster and better than me at finding out where the attackers came from.

Quote from: Nordlander  Re: Murdered > Resistance goup maybe?   -   March 27, 2019, 08:41:08 PM     -       Reply #29
I don't think it was escapees from a gulag. For one thing, trying to escape during winter was known to cause almost certain death for those who didn't have a nearby support network.

I just read an essay by an anthropologist about attitudes toward the gulags in the area, and she stated that the Mansi were used as bounty hunters of escapees. But she said that, from what she could tell, it happened far less often than it was threatened. The administrators of the gulags would tell prisoners that if they escaped the Mansi or Khanty would catch them. Like telling children the boogy man would get them.

Still, many of the "settlers" living in the area had been former inmates of gulags who remained there after the institutions were closed and they were freed. I think the loggers fall into this category--hence the comments in the diary about their roughness.

                                [inmates of gulags = zeks ; former inmates of gulags = ex-zeks ]

There were also people in internal exile--many Jewish people, some ethnic Germans like the forestry guy--to keep them from away from the European part of Russia to prevent them from defecting.

So a lot of area residents would have been exposed to the barbaric conditions in the gulags and to the forms of violence practiced there. That is one of the things that makes it hard to determine who the attackers may have been: many different groups would have the same "tool kit" because of Stalin's practice of mass incarceration, where political dissidents would be thrown in with common criminals and psychopaths.

 • Shotguns
--> No! the poor attackers had no firearms - it would have been easier and less dangerous for them.
(because in the end they received several big punches).
 The nine hikers were athletic and hit hard....

 • come out one by one
--> The leaving of the tent is  fully explained with all its details by the rapid deflagration of a mixture of potassium nitrate and sulphur powder : 2.KNO³ + 4.S --> 3.SO² + N² + K²S.
           This well known method of making the air in a small room unbreathable (and SO² is harmless if it is possible to get out quickly), is mentioned, albeit distorted, in Anatoly Stepochkin's narrative:
"... the shamans cut the tarp and  launched some kind of dope inside. Hunters surrounded the tent. And when the hikers jumped out we killed them all...."
           Here the translation is obvious:
« shamans ... hunters ...we » = anticommunist and anti-Russian attackers from Vizhay or settlement 41.
« some kind of dope » = Improvised Suffocating Device made with common products available in all drugstores.

 • run
-->  The only means available to the attackers to channel the hikers down the slope of the Kholat Syakhl were big sticks (length=110cm, weight=4kg) made of birch wood.
Eduard Tumanov calls these big sticks blunt objects...

 • (Caucasus).
--> This is a tenuous clue that Maslennikov left us.
     Maslennikov thought then that the attackers could be ex-zeks from the Caucasus (i.e. Chechens from Ingushetia or Ossetians) who were forced to stay near Vizhay.

But there were also other patriots in the Ivdel and Vizhay regions who had motives to hate the Soviet youth.
          Crimean Tatars, Poles, Czechoslovakians, Hungarians, Romanians, Moldovans, Ukrainians, Koreans, Germans, Bulgarians, Estonians, Latvians, Lithuanians, Finns..


Personally, I know a little bit about Poland. See for example:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katyn_massacre
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish%E2%80%93Soviet_War
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_invasion_of_Poland

 • Cons: No traces. Gone from above."
--> This objection is worthless:
The track in the forest near the Auspiya River which started from North 2 to the tent was easy for the attackers to follow on January 31, 1959.


And on 26 February 1959, the wind had been able to blow strongly for 3 weeks, which explains why the traces of the violent hand-to-hand fightings that had taken place had disappeared.
 

Jean Daniel Reuss

Rational guidance =

• There is nothing supernatural and mysterious about the injuries suffered by the Dyatlov group. They are all consistent with an attack by a group of professional killers who wanted to take the lives of the nine  [Per Inge Oestmoen].

• Now let us search for answers to: WHO ? WHY ? HOW ?

• The scenario must be consistent with the historical, political and psychological  contexts.

• The solution takes in consideration all known findings.

January 11, 2021, 09:44:16 PM
Reply #5
Offline

mk


I've been going over and over the radiograms, and today I began reading Maslennikov's notebooks & testimony.  I can't make up my mind about him.

The clearest thing I can say is that information we have from/about him feels--uneven. 

According to his testimony, he seemed almost reluctant to get involved at the beginning.  Ufimtsev comes to him concerned about university students who were on a difficult trek and have been missing a week.  Maslennikov goes home and does nothing because it's Friday and the work week is over.  Saturday about noon he goes to a meeting with other guys and they spend all day talking it over.  Sunday they take a day of rest because talking is hard work.  Monday at noon he finally gets around to checking whether there's been any word from the missing hikers. 

Noon!  If there were hikers missing for a week from your sports club, wouldn't you be really concerned and want to know first thing?  Okay, it's the Soviet Union in the 1950s: maybe the phone is in a different part of the building and you can't get away to call until noon.  Was he truly unconcerned, or was he waiting for his cue to play his role?  Or was he just really scared and one of those guys who tends to hope unpleasant things will go away on their own?

It was he who suggested that students ought to be sent as search teams.  He suggests that they might be more motivated to find their comrades. Is that genius psychology (but why would other search teams be lax about finding lost people?) or thrifty use of available resources, or a way of making sure that the people who found the bodies weren't professionals and would be too emotionally involved to notice inconsistencies?  Or was he just playing his role as instructed?

Once he gets involved, however, he seems to give it his all. Organizing, directing, searching, managing.  But the radiograms just don't feel... right. Sometimes they are plain, informative, proper, and impersonal.  And then there are those times he goes all out with something akin to passion.  It is so--strange, unexpected, almost inappropriate--that he jumps in with that early explanation about the hurricane blowing them out of the tent (sheet 146).  It's like he is very eager to get it off his chest.  Sulman coolly replies, "How could a hurricane blow the hikers down the hill and not move the tent?" After which, Maslennikov mutters something about there being heavy stuff in the tent.

(Why am I reminded of the kid who broke the vase eagerly suggesting that a strong wind through the open window blew the vase off the table?)

By radiogram sheet 167 he is talking at length about the mystery of why they left the tent and speculating about a meteorological rocket.

My suspicious nature wonders whether he was given a job to do, a role to play.  After all, it was he who had advised Dyatlov about the hike and route and other hikers.  He was a young guy in his mid-30s at the time.  Was it put to him that he might easily be made into a scapegoat unless he cooperated like a good citizen?  Go when you are told to go; look where you are told to look; find what you are told to find.

Or maybe he is just deeply stressed and exhausted, as anyone would be under such circumstances.  Finding frozen bodies of kids you know, trying to make sense of the crazy scenes, organizing men and supplies and locations and helicopters.

His notebooks are fascinating.  Almost I am convinced that he is genuine: a man who is truly struggling to make sense of it all.  And then I wonder whether he is struggling to make sense of more than we know.  He seems to have given up on his hurricane idea toward the end of the notebooks.  It is curious that he insisted on that idea in the first place.

February 01, 2021, 02:34:52 PM
Reply #6
Offline

KFinn


I personally think that Maslennikov was just afraid of being censured or brought up on charges if the hikers had died and it was shown that the UPI club and trade union had been complacent in following protocols (such as not ensuring Dyatlov had filed the route copies with all parties before being issued equipment, etc.)  When he realized that something bad was unfolding, I think he genuinely felt bad for the hikers, as he had known most of them, hence why he delved into the search. 
-Ren

February 03, 2021, 03:58:37 AM
Reply #7
Offline

Missi


I haven't read the radiograms in their entirety. But after reading this thread, I thought maybe my thoughts concerning some points could be helpful...

According to his testimony, he seemed almost reluctant to get involved at the beginning.  Ufimtsev comes to him concerned about university students who were on a difficult trek and have been missing a week.  Maslennikov goes home and does nothing because it's Friday and the work week is over.  Saturday about noon he goes to a meeting with other guys and they spend all day talking it over.  Sunday they take a day of rest because talking is hard work.  Monday at noon he finally gets around to checking whether there's been any word from the missing hikers. 

Noon!  If there were hikers missing for a week from your sports club, wouldn't you be really concerned and want to know first thing?  Okay, it's the Soviet Union in the 1950s: maybe the phone is in a different part of the building and you can't get away to call until noon.  Was he truly unconcerned, or was he waiting for his cue to play his role?  Or was he just really scared and one of those guys who tends to hope unpleasant things will go away on their own?

Of course this might be wrong, but as I understand decisionmaking in the USSR, it's pretty much asking for permission all of the time. Being informed on Friday he might be torn between his desire to get to action and maybe safe the students he know and the question whether their disappearance was important enough to disturb the weekend of his superior. This might also explain the talking on Saturday maybe with the decision that it was probably just a delay of the group and that waiting for just another two days might solve the entire problem or at least it wasn't weekend so the disturbing of superiors wasn't all that bad an issue.
I'm pretty sure the fact that the papers the group had filed were not complete also added to his reluctance to involve superiors into the problem.

Proposing to involve the students in the search for the group could also be a result of his involvement and his attempt to have as few officials as possible involved in the whole ordeal. Also his feeling guilty (not in a moral sense but in a sense of he neglected his duties and might be held accountable) could be the reason for trying to find explanations very quickly.

As to the older posts, I don't know whether the questions raised are still open or answered elsewhere. I just can't keep from adding my thoughts...

The planning of a monument
In my opinion it's not necessary to find all of the bodies before planning such a thing. They already found four victims. This is about half the group! As much as he might have hoped to find the other five students alive, there were already (at least one) voices suggesting, noone made it alive. (As in "better drink to their souls".)
Whatever course might be found for their deaths, in whatever one can find about their lives they seem to have been good communist students, interested in sports and not bad in their field of sport either. So having a monument for those fine communist individuals or rather those fine parts of the communist body sounds absolutely legit to me.

The questions of Naufragia
Below is the text of Scans 73-77 in black, with questions and a few comments in blue. Any illumination welcomed!

Scan 73
Two entries on the group's movements - went to post offices in Ivdel and Vizhay on 25 January, went to Vizhay office of Ivdel Forced labor camp, Ministry of Internal Affairs on 26 January.
Question: Why note these in particular? To fix movements with witnesses?
It might be possible he simply wanted to research who got the letters or postcards and have further texts as to what the group was doing and how they were feeling.

Quote
Scan 74
Topos Y. Krivonischenko:
Question: Why did Maslennikov mention these?  What could be learned from them?
There was still the issue of the missing files. He might have wanted to get a hold of those topos for adding to the files of the university's hiking club or maybe just for being clearer as to where the students were going exactly rather as to reconstruct via diary entries and photos.

Quote
Scan 77
Conversation in Serov - gratitude.
Question: This does not appear to match any of the recorded diary entries, unless there is a translation issue?
As far as I recollect, it does. The city of Serov was, where the group tried to pass the time at the train station and wasn't allowed to, resulting in them going to a nearby school where they had a conversation with the local students which showed gratitude and affection, which in turn made them (at least the one who wrote the entry, I believe it was Lyudmila) being grateful for the warm welcome.

Quote
%u041C%u0430%u043D%u0441%u0438: Auspi - Ya (creek)
Note: Maslennikov seeming to note that "Auspiya" is Mansi for "Auspi Creek".
Nyer - bare peak
Note: The spelling suggests this is from Slobodin's diary, as Kolmogorova uses "nyor".
Oyka - man
Question: Could be from either Slobodin's or Kolmogorova's diary, but why did Maslennikov record these Mansi words in particular?
Ekva - woman
Kolmogorova - 30/I tonight we'll set up a labaz
Question: Maslennikov perhaps attempting to fix dates and actions, as well as changes of plan?
This might be part of his research as to how probable it is that the Mansi were involved. I guess he knew of the problems concerning sacred grounds, traditional rules and indigenous peoples. I remember having seen one of the mountain tops in the area being something called as "no women" in the Mansi language.

I hope, I didn't forget anything...