No sign of other people.
Nobody was looking for signs of other people until the area was flooded with people. Once the area was flooded with people it would have been nearly impossible for anyone to determine which tracks were from the search party and which were from someone else. Another issue is that if it was a military unit, whether Soviet or western they would have been able to cover their tracks well enough for them not to be noticed until someone stated looking and by then it would be too late.
Nothing taken from the tent.
And aparently the tent was not in complete chaos as one would expect from 7 hikers cutting their way out and running away in the dark. Just because nothing was missing doesnt mean noone was there, it just means they were not there for theft.
The way they left the tent and what they took with them - some well dressed, others half naked.
Some were better dressed then others, none were aparently dressed for the elements, even the guys who were likely outside at the time of the incident were wearing only the bear mininmum.
Some with boots, some with socks, some bare foot. Rustem took one boot.
The boots the once who had them on were wearing would not have kept them warm for long.
They took knives, matches, a camera, a flashlight, news paper, pens etc. These are not the sorts of things you would allow people to take if you were sending them to their deaths in the cold?
They had pocket knives, their real knives were in the tent along with their remaining ax. Everyone had matches but that would have helped them survive for a while not for days or weeks. I don't remember them having a flashlight as for the rest? That's all in the pockets, those people were in a life or death situation, all of those things could have helped them but ultimately this would also help any attacking force to get them to the cedar tree. If I was attacking the Dyatlov group I would leave them with just enough to give them hope but not enough to actually do much with, the whole point is to get them away from the tent, not have to shoot them or stab them in or around the tent. They could have forced them to strip down to their boxers and nothing else but that would just have forced the hikers into a brawl right by the tent and might have led to one or more of them being stabbed or shot which eliminates the mystery and narrows the suspect pool.
Leaving them with some cloths and a pocket knife or maybe even a finish knife would be a choice between certain death right now, or almost certain death in a few hours and most people will take the extra hours hoping against all hope that maybe something will fall their way in the few hours and they can get a chance to survive. But if you strip them of all their clothing and even their pocket knives they would have zero chance of making it to the trees let alone surviving the night. The Dyatlov group would have been the most dangerous if they were completely cornered with no way out and their only 3 options are stay and get killed, do as their told and die of the cold or fight and die but take some of them with you.
Besides, they were in a desolate location, it was dark, in bad weather, with poor visibility.
And if someone had followed them they would have known that it was desolate(no witnesses, no chance of rescue), dark(cold, hard to find your way back to the tent), bad weather(hard to survive when only partially dressed) and poor visibility(cant see them come, cant find your way back into the tent).
Not the ideal place or time to man an attack, or even to find them.
That is precisely the place you want to stage an attack, they are isolated, dozens of km from help, under dressed, already exhausted, terrified, and they know no one is coming to save them. Sound travels further at night, and the hikers would have no reason to maintain light and sound discipline which means that there would be a way to find them even in the dark, go towards the sound.
There is no motive. Why would anyone do it?
- maybe they were in the wrong place at the wrong time(Mistaken Identity)
-This could have been a murder because the wrong group of people just happened to cross the Dyatlov group and they felt like there would be no repercussions
- This could be an attack by the Government of the USSR, the KGB, the CIA, Soviet or western special forces for some betrayal by a member of the group.
-The group might have seen something, or they may have gone by something they didn’t notice but someone couldn’t take the chance.
-It could also have happened because one or more of the party were on the hike for something other than love of the sport and were working for the Soviet Government and/or the American government.
-One or more of the people in critical jobs could have been trying to defect.
-One of the girls could have been raped or someone important attempted to rape her and this was revenge for fighting them off or reporting them(read up on Lavrentiy Beria)
- This could have been a powerful person whose child was rejected from the hiking club(Wanda Webb Holloway).
- This could have been a powerful person whose child was rejected by one of the girls or guys and subsequently
committed suicide and this was retaliation.
-Zolotaryov could have made enemies during his time in the Soviet Military, just long enough for one of them to gain rank and power to retaliate.
-Maybe they met someone on the trail, a fight happened and they were subsequently ambushed later that day and killed because of that fight.
-This could also be something as stupid as one of the hikers telling somebody off at some point during the trip and that person could not take that insult so that person and their friends came to kill them.
- It could be completely random with a group of soldiers or special forces on an exercise in the region, cross the group, it might have started as a fun game for the attackers to scare them and one of the hikers died so subsequently they
decided to get rid of all the witnesses.
-Could have been prisoners who had escaped the gulag years ago and are living in the mountains, the group crosses them and they cant let them report the escaped convicts to the authorities so they kill them.(There were Japanese soldiers on various islands in the pacific that fought the war against the allies into the 70’s and 80’s)
-It could have also been retaliation for something one of the parents had done years before and this seemed like the perfect revenge, kill their child and leave them without knowing what happened for the rest of their lives and make sure no one gets suspicious by covering it up with 8 other murders.
-This could have been a message for the soviet government from another government and the Dyatlov Group just happened to be the unlucky one that was chosen.
-There could be hundreds of reasons, many of which would be so incredibly stupid that would make your brain hurt, but if you have someone powerful who is a psychopath, sociopath, extreme narcissist or some other personality disorder with access to trained killers it wouldn’t matter if it was a valid reason or not because to them its worth it. How many people have committed mass killings for incredibly stupid reasons?(eg:James Ruppert, Adam Lanza, George Pierre Henard, Marc Lepin etc… ) What is the motive to go into an elementary school and kill a bunch of 6 year old’s?
The list of potential motives is very long and worse, we might not consider a lot of things as motive for mass murder but someone who does not value human life much or at all and who believes himself to be above the law, might consider them valid reactions and if that person is in a position of power that gives them an outlet it gets done. Think about some of the terrorist attacks that were committed in the US and Canada over the last few years(Toronto van attack 2018, 2014 Isla Vista Killings, 2017 Las Vegas shooting) and tell me if they make sense or if there is motive you can get behind. Why would anyone do it? Why would anyone kill a bunch of people because he couldn’t get a girlfriend?
Just because we don't have a clear motive doesn't mean its not there, and just because we cant pinpoint a solid motive doesn't mean this wasn't murder.
They have injuries that strongly suggest a fight happened, they left the tent under dressed in the middle of the night and walked down to the treeline, if they were running they would have been falling all over the place and it would have been obvious. The only event that could have had the universal reaction of everyone going to trees would be human attack, if it was infrasound what are the chances that everyone would have the same reaction? If it was the yeti, why didn't it destroy their tent? What else causes an orderly exit from the tent but makes them leave their shoes and outerwear inside?