There are so many decisions the Dyatlov Group took that I don't understand... but one of them is not taking a gun with them.WAB
We know from photos that they took shotguns on previous hikes.
The area of the incident is inhabited by bears, though they would have been hibernating, and moose. In my mind this is the main reason to take a gun... if a curious moose approaches, just shoot a warning shot into the air. This is the safest for both parties... the moose will leave you alone.
If you don't have a gun and meet a moose in the forest, you're in trouble.
There was a Mansi "chum" with moose antlers found nearby so we know there are moose in the area.
once gave some remarks
on the Dyatlovites' choice not to bring a gun with them, and he considered it a reasonable choice. The thing is, the discussion in that thread was concerned with the danger of bears, not moose. Dyatlov & Company wouldn't need a weapon to deal with bears, because the brown bear is dormant in late January & early February, and polar bears don't range that far south.
So, what about moose? In the "Elk(s) attack" thread
, it's suggested that perhaps moose were not regarded as a serious danger in late January & early February, since that's neither rutting season nor the time when cows would be defending young calves. On the other hand, as that thread's OP reminds us, a wild animal might attack a human at any time. I guess I can see the possible threat of moose as a reason why Dyatlov & Company might have wanted to bring a firearm with them.
It is widely believed that none of their possessions were stolen but.. is it possible that they actually did take a gun and it went missing?
I did read an article from a Russian newspaper saying that Igor did have a gun. Obviously, this doesn't mean it was true. I'll try and find it, but yes you're right, if you're heading off to the wilds inhabited by bears etc make sure you have a gun with you!
I do seriously doubt that Igor Dyatlov was carrying a firearm on his final trek. If I correctly understand WAB
in the first thread I linked, civilians (except those who hunted for a living) would only be able to obtain shotguns, or smooth-barrel long guns that fire small-caliber rifle rounds. No such weapons are visible in any of the photos, nor mentioned in any diaries, nor documented as having been recovered from the scene of the Incident. Such weapons are not easily concealed, either.
Might it have been a handgun? From what I can tell, the Russian word used in that KP article, "ружье", refers to small arms in general (although input from a fluent Russian speaker would be welcome on that point), so that doesn't help to narrow down what type of weapon it might be. I very much doubt that it was a handgun, though. AFAIU, handguns were strictly controlled in that time and place, and there was no legitimate way an ordinary Soviet civilian could obtain one.
And if they did have a gun, it not only makes a Menk attack or animal attack an unlikely cause, it also provides a motive for another theory.... Guns must have been very hard to obtain and valuable at that time... Anyway, that's speculation for another thread.
Yeah, maybe we do need a separate thread to continue this line of discussion.