Theories Discussion > Murdered

Frame N°20 of Slobodin's camera

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In the the hypothesis of a murder committed by the young loggers from District 41, here are my thoughts about this very special photo :

There are two antagonistic groups. Dyatlov's group is composed of young people coming from the city, well educated young people, students and graduates, having the privilege to hike during their vacations, proudly considering themselves as "tourists". Ognev's group is composed of outcasts : "Recruits after the army, after serving time (to earn some money and stayed, or for free). Many don't last, - they quit They work The majority has primary school or no education at all."

In both groups, authority is not obvious. In Ognev's group, there is a "master",  Evgeniy Venediktov (1), but not "mastering" anything : "They live in a dormitory. No order whatsoever, but people are everywhere.". In Dyatlov's group, there is a leader, Dyatlov himself (1), but using his official position of authority to fulfill his romantic goals with Zina and unable to behave like a true leader. And in both group there was a de facto leader, unofficial but having the true abilities of leading and considered by the group as its true leader. In Dyatlov's group, Yudin (2) was the de facto leader. In Ognev's group, at first I thought it was Ognev, but now I think he was no more than a kind of spokeperson or civilized face the group pushed forward to represent it (3). I think now the counterpart of Yudin, the other unofficial and de facto leader, might have been the man at the back (2).

It is very interesting to see on this photo that the two females (F) are precisely at the border of Dytalov's and Ognev's groups... and more precisely on Ognev's side. And because the man with a mustache went down the stairs to place himself between Igor and Lyuda. And also interesting to see that the man on the right (4) is handling three ski poles, two in his left hand and Zina's ski pole in his right hand. When the "locals" begin to manipulate the belongings of the tourists... it is a sign... another they could not read. And what are "locals" doing behind the corner of the house in Krivonichenko's photo N°20 ?

When Dyatlov's group arrived at District 41, the loggers assessed the availability of the two girls for romance and sex. This is absolutely certain, it could not have been otherwise. And we could think that their conclusion was not easy to find given the complexity of the relationships between the hikers but doubt and uncertainty was enough for the ones calculating their chances. And the girls even tempted the loggers, the way they looked at them and even Lyuda openly provoking and frustrating Valya: "And then there is Valya, who plays the guitar well (many play) and about whom I jokingly said that I like him". I think they quickly understood that none of the girls was involved with any of the hikers, that the girls were available for romance and sex, and also that there will not be any romance and sex in the end (because of social status difference and because the privileged "tourists" went on their way).

I think the loggers also assessed the strength of the men in Dyatlov's group and the strength of the hikers as a group. And here, the presence of Zolotaryov, a war veteran, could have been more a kind of protection for the hikers, an argument in favor of not messing with the hikers (but the loggers mocked him and played with him as if he was a child). The loggers certainly easily understood that Dyatlov was a weak leader, as weak as the dormitory "master". And they might have been also aware that Yudin was a specially wise man. The defection of Yudin could have been a trigger: the sheperd left the sheeps alone in the wild... they belong to us now.

For me the photo is intermediate between a snapshot and a posed photo. It is posed but tensions are so strong the posing cannot hide them and some spontaneous realities are shown despite of the posing. Like the man handling three ski poles: he wanted to pose with ski poles, as a hiker, okay but why the need to grab Zina's pole ? So intermediate between spontaneous and posed.

If you can understand why did Vladimir Mayakovsky commit suicide, then you can understand why Ognev's loggers could have murder Dyatlov's tourists.

Here is a try to name the two groups according to correct oppositions:

Lumpenproletariat/Soviet elite

They named themselves "tourists" (on several occasions), "hikers" (twice) and "outsiders" (Yudin).

When reading Yudin's diary :

"Strike. Everything is possible, but there is no good intelligent leadership. "

at first, I understood that he was talking of the strike as a possibility, but I was wrong:

"Everyone is singing, the workers living in barracks, did not go to work, they sing." (Zina, Jan 27)

"Now most of the guys sit here and sing songs to the guitar, on the occasion that they do not work today." (Lyuda, Jan 27)

This is the same day off, described as a "strike" by Yudin and as an "occasion that they do not work today" by the two girls. The loggers told Yudin that they were on strike and Venediktov complied with a great smile, they just wanted to spend time with the girls. The tourists were supposed to leave at 10:00 with two horses, they finally left at 16:00 :

"We helped Uncle Slava unload hay from a carriage and waited for the horse (it went to get more hay and wood)" (Doroshenko in group's diary)

Valyukyavichus was an accomplice, he lied to Dryahlyh who never learned that the tourists were actually allowed just one horse, he lied to Ryazhnev who never learned that the tourists actually left at 16:00 (instead of 10:00). Valyukyavichus made as many trips for wood and hay as needed to delay the time of departure and allow the loggers to enjoy the two girls. That is to say, on the photo N°20 of Slobodin's camera and related photos, the tourists are undergoing the will of the loggers. Valyukyavichus pretends he has to get more hay and wood before departure, the hikers help him unload the carriage in the hope of hastening the departure, Venediktov is smiling despite of the "strike", and the loggers sing for the girls and have a lot of fun... they actually have the tourists in their hand, it depends on the loggers to keep the tourists for one more hour or to release them... They do not only grab Zina's ski pole, they exercise actual power over the whole group of tourists.

And in Yudin's writing, as "strike" is a fact and not a possibility, the following words have a completely different meaning. "Everything is possible, but there is no good intelligent leadership." becomes a consequence. If they can be on strike, thus everything is possible - more than just a strike - but there is no good intelligent leadership to operate this unlimited possible... The mention of "no good intelligent leadership" being immediately followed by a description of Venediktov who could not finish the Forestry Institute.

In the list of oppositions between the two groups, there is one hidden by the clothes. If the hikers were healthy and athletic young people, the loggers were made of a different material, they were young as well but made of iron. Here on the left, a photo of soviet workers handling logs and on the right a photo of Doroshenko:

It is very likely that the level of strength and stamina of these young loggers of the Ural was of todays special forces or Thai kickboxers. And the athletic qualities of the hikers could not be compared, because of their urban lifestyle, because of all the days spent sitting int the warmth of  libraries and engineering companies. Same difference as between amateurs and the best pros. On the photos, we don't make the difference, we see them all wearing winter clothes, in reality, there was a wide gap in physical strength..


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