November 30, 2022, 01:48:35 PM
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Author Topic: Frame N°20 of Slobodin's camera  (Read 747 times)

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June 05, 2022, 08:42:10 AM
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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.

« Last Edit: June 21, 2022, 01:52:08 AM by Charles »

June 05, 2022, 02:25:49 PM
Reply #1


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

June 19, 2022, 12:23:39 AM
Reply #2


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).
« Last Edit: June 20, 2022, 02:19:53 AM by Charles »

June 19, 2022, 12:34:45 AM
Reply #3


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.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2022, 09:42:44 PM by Charles »

June 19, 2022, 06:05:50 PM
Reply #4


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..
« Last Edit: June 22, 2022, 12:31:21 AM by Charles »

June 21, 2022, 02:37:56 AM
Reply #5


When shooting Fitzcarraldo in the Amazon, Werner Herzog had to suffer the delirious tantrums of his actor Klaus Kinski, Herzog says in the documentary :

(from 49:27 to 57:42 - activate English subtitles)

Kinski’s raving fits strained things with our Indian extras. They were Machinguengas, these two, and a lot of Campas, too. Normally, they speak very softly and physical contacts are gentle. They were afraid. They would sit huddled together, whispering. Towards the end of shooting, one of the chiefs came to me and said: "You probably realized that we were afraid, but not for one moment we were afraid of that screaming madman, shouting his head off." They were actually afraid of me, because I was so quiet. (…) Towards the end of shooting, the Indians offered to kill Kinski for me. They said: "Shall we kill him for you?" And I said: "No, for God’s sake! I still need him for shooting. Leave him to me!" I declined, at the time, but they were dead serious. They would have killed him, undoubtedly, if I had wanted it. 

So we have one of the numerous examples where locals killed outsiders but with the very rare feature that the killing was a proposal made by the locals to one of the outsiders.

Could it be possible that DPI was a variant of this case with the difference (variation) that the offer was not about killing one but the whole group of outsiders ?

In the Urals, the "locals" of District 41 were hosting "outsiders" in their barrack, and the locals were so outraged by some behavior, that they told to one of the outsiders that his friends deserved to die and that they should kill them... the one outsider answered "Could you?" and the local said "Want you ?"... This kind of dialogue is realistic and is more than a pure possibility as Herzog told us it actually happened once.

In the Machinguengas/Kinski/Herzog's case, the proposal was straightforward and the answer was a firm no. But we can imagine a more complex dialogue in the Ural, where an hypothetical proposal and an hypothetical answer reinforce each other to produce an actual decision:

- How can you be friend with such arrogant nobs?
- They are not my friends.
- But they seem to like you.
- They can't have feelings.
- Really?
- I have nothing in common with them.
- How could it be?
- I can't explain it to you, but it is.
- Anyway, that thing they did, you don't do that.
- I know, they are not real Persons, they don't have souls.
- They pissed me off and not only me: some of the boys began to say they'd like to kill them.
- Could they?
- Would you like them to?
- No they could not.
- Yes we can, it would be easy for us, we own this place, we do what we want, everything is possible.
- They wrote a denunciation, in our group's diary, of your illegal prison songs.
- The tall one with a fake smile, I bet ! We already knew these gentlemen were snitches.
- They were not worthy to hear the songs.
- And would you not be sad to know them dead?
- As I told you: they have no soul, they are not Persons, but they are like machines, they are not real humans.
- Will you do your job?
- Yes, but we would just need to buy a few hours.
- And I would just need an excuse not to die.

But how to come to such hatred? Were present two of the most powerful motives: sexual desire and class humiliation... materialized in tease and denial, temptation and frustration, as we can read in the diaries. It is written in Hamza Syunikayev testimony: "Then he pulled out a gorgeous sable skin from his bosom. I was jealous - I wish I had one!" The two girls had a much stronger effect on the locals. And the ambiguity of romantic relationships inside the group of tourists was ground for conflict with the locals who "challenged" the male tourists during 24 hours. Were humiliating words spoken in a low voice? Words like: "Whatever, they go with us and you, you stay in your hellhole"? But why a tourist would like to see the rest of his group die? This question is not precisely the right one. The right one being: In cases of mass murder targeting students, did it ever happen that the author was not a fellow student? Aren't students the usual mass murderers of their fellow students?

So, the Machinguengas/Kinski/Herzog case would have a Locals/Tourists/Yudin variant or Loggers/Hikers/Yudin variant. There is a "Zolotaryov's Meltdown" hypothesis, why not a "Machinguengas/Kinski/Herzog variant" or "Locals/Tourists/Yudin" hypothesis.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2022, 05:08:17 AM by Charles »

June 21, 2022, 04:19:07 AM
Reply #6


Inconsistencies in Yudin's account (1)

1) Yudin said in his April 15, 1959 testimony:

In the evening of January 27, 1959 we arrived in the village Second North, where we spent a night in an abandoned hut. My leg began hurting, I could not participate in the campaign, so on January 28, 1959 I left Second North and returned to Ivdel.

but Dubinina wrote at District 41:

Now we sit and wait for the horse to carry the backpacks, and we go on skis. (...) Yuri Yudin got sick, something with a nerve of his leg, in general he has radiculitis and he is going home. (...) At the moment we are sitting and singing songs. (Dubinina, Jan 27)

Dubinina's diary contradicts Yudin's testimony that his leg began to hurt once arrived at Northern 2.

2) Yudin said in a recent interview:

When we drove in the back of the truck there was a strong draft, he explained hurriedly. - I have radiculitis from a young age... At first I thought that this was temporary, it would pass, this happened to me many times. One time when we went with Dyatlov Altay the doctor wrote a referral to me there, and where I could get help from first-aid posts on the trip. They wrote that I had "erythema", it was summer, I could warm my leg and lower back in the sun. But then in the back of the truck we had no cover, the wind was blowing on us, I reached 2nd Northern, and then it got even worse...

But Doroshenko wrote in Jan 27 Group's diary:

Yuri Yudin is still with us. He suddenly fell ill and he can't continue with the trek. He wants to gather few minerals for the University and return.

Doroshenko statement contradicts Yudin's late account of a progressively growing pain.

3) Yudin said in his 1959 testimony:

In the evening of January 27, 1959 we arrived in the village Second North, where spent a night in an abandoned hut. My leg began hurting, I could not participate in the campaign, so on January 28, 1959 I left Second North and returned to Ivdel.

but Dubinina wrote at District 41:

Now we sit and wait for the horse to carry the backpacks, and we go on skis. (...) Yuri Yudin got sick, something with a nerve of his leg, in general he has radiculitis and he is going home. (...) At the moment we are sitting and singing songs. (Dubinina, Jan 27)

but Kolmogorova wrote at District 41:

Yes, Yura Yudin is leaving us today. His sciatic nerves inflamed again and he is leaving. Such a pity. Such a pity. We distributed his load in our backpacks. (Kolmogorova, Jan 27)

and had to write a second time at Northern 2:

Uncle Slava is leaving today on his horse, and Yura Yudin is leaving too. (Kolmogorova, Jan 28)

Dubinina's and Kolmogorova's diaries contradict Yudin's testimony that the decision to leave was made after arrival at Northern 2.

Kolmogorova's two successive accounts of "Yudin is leaving us today" on Jan 27 and Jan 28 means that something made Yudin change his mind and go to Northern 2 in contradiction with his first decision.

4) Yudin explained in a recent interview:

(Already in route, his sciatic nerve inflamed.) The pain was unbearable, I had to go home.

Yudin said in his April 15, 1959 testimony:

In the evening of January 27, 1959 we arrived in the village Second North, where spent a night in an abandoned hut. My leg began hurting, I could not participate in the campaign, so on January 28, 1959 I left Second North and returned to Ivdel.

Yudin wrote in his diary and specially at Jan. 27 entry:

Nothing about a painful leg.

The pain in the leg is said to be "unbearable" a long time after the event, but at the very time of the event Yudin does not even write a single word about it.

5)Yudin said in a recent interview:

(Already in route, his sciatic nerve inflamed.) The pain was unbearable, I had to go home.

But Valyukyavichus said in his testimony:

One of the hikers put a rock core in the duffel bag from the drilling and asked me to take it to the 41st district. At the same time, he said that I should head back, and he would catch up with me, since he could not go on a trip further due to illness, his leg ached. Hikers in my presence talked about the trek route, but I do not know the details of their heading. I heard that they mentioned mountains, rocks, forests in the conversation and what places to take pictures of. I left the village around 10 o'clock in the morning, the group stayed behind. At 41st district I arrived about three o'clock in the afternoon and after a while there was one hiker who collected the material.

If the pain was "unbearable", why not use the sledge to safely make the way back to District 41 ? There are 24 km from Northern 2 to District 41… a 5 hours long run in the Ural winter... 24 km to ski alone with an "unbearable pain" in the leg and absolutely no way to call for help if needed ? For what motive ? To spend two more hours with his beloved friends ? Yudin didn't write a single word about the separation from the hikers, he who wrote so well about "the Person", "soul" and "feelings", but he wrote a long description of his "idyllic" encounter in Vizhay with the much more interesting artist Herzen. Kolmogorova, Dubinina and Doreshenko wrote about Yudin leaving their group, Yudin wrote nothing about the group he had to leave... They were more interested in him than he was interested in them. I think leaving Herzen was more painful to him than leaving the hikers.

Yudin left 2 hours after Valyukyavichus but only arrived "after a while": the unbearable pain did not restrain him of skiing at the pace of a healthy skier.

6) Timeline:

Jan 27 - District 41 Scheduled Departure 10:00

Jan 27 - District 41 Actual Departure 16:00

Jan 27 - Northern 2 Arrival 23:00 (7 hours long)

Jan 28 - Northern 2 Wake up 08:00

Jan 28 - Northern 2 Departure (Slava) 10:00

Jan 28 - Northern 2 (Yudin) Departure 11:45

Jan 28 - Northern 2 (Group) Departure 11:45

Jan 28 - District 41 Arrival (Slava) 15:00  (5 hours long)

Jan 28 - District 41 Arrival (Yudin) before 17:00 (5 hours long)

Kolmogorova wrote in her diary at Northern 2:

It's time to go out, but they are still digging and digging. I do not understand what's taking so long. The first 30 minutes are over. (Kolmogorova, Jan 28)

In that morning, Yudin's desire to collect geological samples was causing a more than 30 minutes delay before 10:00. The hikers were ready to go as Zina wrote and were waiting for Yudin, Doroshenko and Thibeaux to return. We know that they returned before 10:00 because Valyukyavichus left at this time with the core sample in his sledge. Then there is another 1:45 delay as the group finally departed at 11:45.

The tourist lost 6 hours at district 41 because of hay and more than 2:15 hours at Northern 2 because of Yudin's pyrite.

« Last Edit: June 21, 2022, 11:56:29 PM by Charles »

June 21, 2022, 11:19:20 PM
Reply #7


Inconsistencies in Yudin's account (2)

In a recent interview, we could read:

"Guilty without guilt

Until the end of his days, the surviving member of Dyatlov group from Solikamsk was tormented by guilt not only because of the death of the girl, but also of the other eight comrades.
— Then he used to live all his life, came every year on February 2 to Yekaterinburg at the cemetery and was saying to his friends with tears in his eyes: “I should have been with you,” recalled Sergey Sogrin, one of the rescuers who took part in the search for the group in 1959.
Maybe things could have been different had he continued, maybe they could have lived?

The survivor guilt or survivor syndrome is now debunked and had been removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV (DSM-IV) and redefined as a significant symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Survivors have issues not because they survived but because they were exposed to the same violence which was able to kill people around. That is to say for Yudin to have survivor syndrome it would have been necessary to be on the slope of Kholat Syakhl. And surviving itself does not produce guilt but euphoria, self-confidence, and increased sexual activity... It seems that Yudin learned about survivor guilt and talked about it because he thought it was relevant with his position of survivor, not because he actually felt guilty for surviving... and that Yudin was posing as a survivor according to hearsay description of what should be a survivor and posing as a victim he was not.

Then how "things could have been different had he continued" if also "Yuri Yudin didn't believe that the cause of the death of his friends was a natural disaster, in particular an avalanche. He adhered to the theory that they were victims of tests of super-powerful weapons, after all, not so far from the pass, now called after the leader of the group was a military testing ground." ?

This account about guilt seems to be non necessary, inconsistent and not clear at all.


So, in summary, reality was:

Yudin made a deceitful or erroneous statement in his testimony record.

Yudin's leg dit not begin to hurt after arriving at Northern 2, the decision to leave was not made after arrival at Northern 2, the unbearable pain did not restrain him of skiing alone back to District 41 at the pace of a healthy skier, at the very moment of the event Yudin wrote about many subjects but did not even write a single word about the painful leg that was about to cause the cancellation of his participation to the trek.

Something made Yudin change his mind and go to Northern 2 in contradiction with his first decision to leave when at District 41.

Yudin could have been posing as a survivor according to hearsay description of what should be a survivor and posing as a victim he was not.


In the end, these inconsistencies could involve Yudin in the fate of the hikers, making of Dyatlov's Pass Incident a variant of the Machinguengas/Kinski/Herzog case. But Yudin could have not been involved as well... as if the murderers came from District 41, they had to move much faster than skiers and should have already been beyond the hikers on the route to Kholat Syakhl in the morning of Jan. 28.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2022, 06:34:03 AM by Charles »

June 22, 2022, 08:23:35 AM
Reply #8


Mansification of the loggers (1)

This hypothesis of tourists killed by locals from District 41 stands only if the locals had fast, reliable and stealth mean of locomotion in the taiga, allowing them to quickly pass by the tourists sleeping at Northern 2 and head to the Pass to set up their ambush.

Yudin opened a door when writing:

they ride all kind of They gave us the only horse available here to take our backpacks tomorrow to 2nd Northern (Yudin)

We know that Mansi had a lot of reindeers:

I have 1,200 heads of deer to take care of, and I have to shepherd (Bahtiyarov Nikolay Yakimovich)

and that the locals who were fluent in Mansi were friends with some Mansi people.

We also know that Ognev, for example, was perfectly able to ride a reindeer-sledge:

he drove limestone stones on a reindeer sled along the winter road from a lime quarry to the Yatriya River for firing to lime

This hypothesis stands on the deep Mansification of the loggers, of those ones who didn't "quit" like most of the workers ("many don't last" wrote Yudin) but were tough enough to stay and begin a process of acculturation. Speaking fluently the Mansi, having Mansi friends - "pashte/pache-rum - hello friend", being invited to eat at Mansi houses and seat and drink vodka near the "chuval - open chimney in the corner" (please open the link) and to hunt with their friends, knowing where were the "ushnik - Mansi hunting house for warming" in the area. The word "chuval", the guys knew it because they were at a Mansi house. As Ryazhnev testified: "When the hikers came to 41st district there were no Mansi there and in general they don't come to us often", the loggers became fluent in Mansi when socializing with the Mansi in other places than District 41, the had to spend time at their houses and in the taiga. So there was a core, at District 41, of loggers who stayed long enough to enjoy the life of the other side of the world (a side without CPSU, Pravda and KGB). This core had probably access to anything needed to set up a successful ambush against the tourists.

The locals were able to go fast on the snow with such teams:

3 reindeers + sledge or 2 reindeers + sledge:

Also with this one specially interesting in our case:

1+skier :

In this configuration, the team could be very fast:

But only trotting, a team reindeer-skier would easily outclass any tourist skier. The locals could easily make the 24 km at night and pass by the tourist before dawn of Jan. 28. The haste at the beginning offered a comfort to the locals because they knew the position of the tourists when they had to pass them by at Northern 2. If the locals missed this occasion, they would have been forced to go very carefully not to bump into the tourists. But once Northern 2 was passed by, it was clear and easy ride to the Pass.


When the tourists' diaries tell about following a Mansi trail, they were putting their skis in the tracks of their murderers:

January 29
Second day of our hike. We made our way from the Lozva river to the Auspiya river. We walked along a Mansi trail. GD

January 29
We go first to Lozva then we turn to Auspiya. Along the Auspiya Mansi have passed. A trail is visible, grooves, a path is visible. We often see Mansi signs on the trail. I wonder what they write about? Now the Mansi trail goes south. ZKD

January 30
We went on the bank on a sledge-deer trail. GD

January 30
Deer trail turns into а trodden path, and then ends. GD

I think the tourists were unable to make the difference between "trail", "trodden path" or "beaten trail". It was even difficult for the Mansi themselves to read the clear narrow tracks of the Russian hikers: And only saw tracks of hikers - on the road there were tracks of narrow skis. How many people could not be determined. (Anyamov Andrey Aleekseevich) I think the tourists were completely unable to read the tracks of the wide and smooth Mansi skis, sleds and sledges.

January 30
We go on Auspiya Mansi trail ended. Pine forest.  All day long we walked along Auspiya. Will spend the night on a Mansi trail. ZKD

January 30.
Today as yesterday were are following the path of Mansi. Here the trail takes us to the shores of the river. We lose track. In the future, the trail follows the left bank of Auspii river, but the team of deer crossed the river and we are going through the woods. UD

That right turn, I marked it in red on my map:

January 31
Yesterday it seems we stumbled upon his resting stop. Deer didn't go any further.

January 31
Got back on the Mansi trail. (Up to now we are following a Mansi trail on which not so long passed a hunter with deer.)
The hunter took the beaten trail by himself, we are following in his steps.

On Jan. 31, the tourists were high in the Auspiya valley, just two days from their death, and there was still an unknown man just beyond them, opening the trail for them, who came here on a reindeer that died and was left behind... I think now that forerunner and opener of the trail was part of the ambush... his tracks should have climb to te Pass and go down straight to the Ravine.


So the realism of this aspect of the hypothesis depends on the depth of the Mansification at Ognev's barrack. And we have another clue with the difficulty for Mansi elders to understand the event.

Kurikov tried to think the ambiguous nature of the murderers:

Kurikov said that near the holy mountain, where this mountain is located, he didn't say, there live five Ostyaks. They are like savages, they are not friends with Mansi or with Russian people. They never come to Ivdel. And these Ostyaks could kill the hikers because they wanted to ascend the holy mountain or because they thought that hikers could kill their deer and moose, which they feed on. Gorbushin Artemiy Vladimirovich

Neither Russians, nor Mansi, of a different kind.

And then there is this full account of the murder made by a Mansi:

I asked him: “How come you live your door open? The meat lies next to the tent. And you are not hiding anything.” He answered me: “We don’t need to hide anything. We are the owners here. And if someone takes something, we will find it. We had one case. Hikers in the mountains looted our sacred place. Shamans and hunters found out, tracked them down. And in the middle of the night, when they fell asleep, 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. They were 9 or 10.
- And did that Mansi said in what year it happened?
- He didn't say and I didn’t ask. I then said: so you should have been punished for the murder? And he answered: "The hunters were catching the hikers and passing them to the shamans. We own this place and we do what we want. We will never offend people, we will always help, but there is no need to violate our sacred places.
Aleksandr Koshkin in defence of the Mansi they wouldn't leave the alcohol. Then he start going on about a red shirt that was found at the cedar that belonged to one of the victims with fractured skull (Thibeaux-Brignolles) who had his jacket on and why would he take off his shirt and put back the jacket on. In short - the shamans would not re-dress the bodies.

The story is a reconstruction from at least two sources. The contemporary part being: The hunters were catching the hikers and passing them to the shamans. They could not invent this part of the story. And therefore, some Mansi were close to the murderers. There was a link. The scene did happen in reality, the Mansi just transcribed the event in Mansi schemes. They would tell the same story about the massacre of Katyn where the NKVD killed Polish officers one by one, hands tied in the back with a lace and with a bullet in the neck: the hunters were catching the Poles at the trucks and passing them to the shamans at the trench.

- Five Ostyaks. They are like savages, they are not friends with Mansi or with Russian people. The hunters were catching the hikers and passing them to the shamans -

is the correct account, according to Mansi culture, of:

- A Kentovka of young outcasts, they are like savages, they are not friends neither with the Mansi elders nor with the Soviet regime. The Boyeviks were catching the tourists and passing them to the Brigadier and his Lieutenant who killed them one by one. -

The bodies at the Ravine fit with The hunters were catching the hikers and passing them to the shamans but the Mansi have no knowledge about how the tourists were killed: when the hikers jumped out, we killed them all does not fit the crime scene. The storyteller is mixing two contradictory accounts.  The hunters were catching the hikers and passing them to the shamans corresponds to the walk from the Cedar to the Ravine, and when the hikers jumped out, we killed them all does not correspond to any material evidence. One of these two contradictory versions has to be omitted - the second one obviously.

And there is a second source, a mythological one. Maybe the story with the loot, the dope and the cut is related to a completely different event. Maybe not with hikers, but with soldiers, pilgrims, Ostyaks, who knows ? One century before 1959, two or three centuries centuries before ? The description Hunters surrounded the tent. And when the hikers jumped out, we killed them all corresponds to the most effective tactic used in wars between primitive tribes around the globe (see Lawrence H. Keeley: War before civilization, Oxford University Press, 1996). And the accusation of looting a sacred place is an extremely old excuse to launch an attack on an individual or a group. In the Bible, Benjamin and Akran were accused of looting precious and sacred objects and the accusation was a set up: they set up a precious vase in Benjamin’s bag, they set up sacred objets in Akran’s tent. In this Mansi story, there is this kind of extremely old mythological material and it allows us to suppose that the account was the adaptation of old literary material to a much contemporary event.

At the beginning, only a few Mansi, the few ones who were related to District 41 and the group of loggers, knew the truth. Then, there was the elaboration of a Mansi version. Kurikov’s version, the one of the Five Ostyaks, neither Russian nor Mansi, was the closest to the unthinkable reality. It was difficult for Kurikov to understand why young Soviet loggers would slaughter young Soviet hikers, but his poetic attempt to think the unthikable was the best hypothesis. He created a myth corresponding precisely to the reality, just as Plato did with his Timaeus, using poetry to design a theory, a theoretical model. In Kurikov’s model, the murderers were intermediate between Russian and Mansi, something else… and he found that "Ostyaks" was the best word. The number five, though, might have been absolutely correct. In the second and longest Mansi account, the only realistic part is The hunters were catching the hikers and passing them to the shamans and the rest is a mythological context. Mansi did not kill the tourists, but it was impossible for them not to assume the killing as it implied so many Mansi cultural aspects. They could not accept the ambiguity of Mansified Russians of which Kurikov had the intuition and made a purely Mansi account of the event.


The elementary Mansi dictionaries written by the tourists in their diaries tell us a lot about their logger teachers. For example, in Slobodin's list, the word "hul" or "ul" (meaning "fish") appeared twice. First in a conceptual group of words about food:

nyan - bread
emas - good
saka emas - very good
mol – bad
sol - true
solval - salt
at - negation
at-sol - not true
pud - pot
vat - water
hul - fish (ХУЛ - Also in Zina's list: "ХУЛ")
neul - meat
sali – deer

second in a conceptual group about outdoors derived from a previous group about commercial exchanges:

neks – sable
kutya - dog
suevat - pinery
suy - pine
vor - forest
vorhum - bear forest man
ul - fish (УЛ)

That is to say, the Mansi speaker knew about fish either in context of fishing in the river (УЛ) and in the context of cooking and eating at home (ХУЛ).There is an akin distinction in English caused by the use of French words after William's conquest and the establishment of French elite over England with sheep/mutton (from French "mouton"), ox/beef (from French "boeuf"), chicken/poultry (from French "poule"), pig/pork (from French "porc") : the old anglo-saxon word remained in use at the farm, but at the table of the elite, a second French word was introduced. When Lyuda wrote We learn some Mansi words from the guys she tells us that these "guys" at the barrack had very close relationship with the Mansi.

I have read that a few pages of Dubinina's diary containing lists of Mansi words have not been translated: it is a pity because these lists give us the depth of the guys' Mansification. And the more they were Mansified, the higher the probability that loggers of District 41 could have murdered the tourists. Because the more Mansified they were, the easier they had access to reindeers.

« Last Edit: June 26, 2022, 05:15:09 AM by Charles »

June 24, 2022, 09:42:31 AM
Reply #9


Mansification of the loggers (2)

We see on this photo that the Kurikov invited Russians to join them for the hunt:

Is it possible that some of the loggers of District 41 who were fluent in Mansi already received this kind of invitation ? Not for prestige hunt with the godfather Stepan Kurikov himself, but for semi or non official adventures with his son Nicolai Stepanovich ? Whatever, it shows that the Mansi were opened to outsiders. Chagin said in his testimony:

From an early age until 1953 he was engaged in hunting. Mansi I know well because I had to meet them while hunting and they often call in to me as a hunter. I am also well familiar with their lives, habits and customs, rituals. (Egor Ivanovich Chagin)

We can imagine a much stronger bind between young Mansi and Russians of the same generation. And with these photos:

we can understand that mansification was not such an extraordinary process, Mansi were slowly becoming Russians, nothing would restrain Russians to slowly become Mansi. On that photo, we can see Cheglakov (at the right), the Chief of the Firefighters of Vizhay Forestry, a RUSSIAN WEARING MANSI CLOTHES:

with Aleksei Anyamov at the center smoking his Belomorkanal.

Zina herself began to use the word Mansi "ayserm" (cold) in her diary:

We go on Auspiya, ayserm. Mansi trail ended. Pine forest. There was sun in the morning, now is ayserm. All day long we walked along Auspiya. (Jan. 30)

just after a few days...

And finally, if there was a Mansi involvement in the killing, that is to say if some young Mansi friends of the loggers participated in the ambush, we could relate to the ambush that incident when Nikolai Stepanovich Kurikov killed Prokopiy Vasilyevich Anyamov in what was called a "hunting accident" :

KURIKOV Nikolai Stepanovich (born 1937) - son from the first wife of S.N. Kurikov. He lived in the village of Suevat-Paul. In the early 60s, he accidentally killed Prokopiy Vasilyevich Anyamov, brother of Nikolay Vasilyevich Anyamov, while hunting. Sentenced to one year probation.

Nikolai Stepanovich Kurikov was 22 years old in 1959, same generation as the young loggers of District 41, he once worked for a Russian geological exploration party. Was it bad luck and a common hunting accident? Was Prokopiy Vasilyevich Anyamov about to speak to the police? Whatever, there was a man who killed another man with a gun, and given the context of the 9 deaths at the Pass, establishing a link is not irrational. If so, Prokopiy Vasilyevich Anyamov would be the tenth victim of the Dyatlov's Pass Incident. We can see on this photo Nikolai Stepanovich Kurikov posing  with Nikolay Vasilyevich Anyamov of whom he killed the brother. And the godfather of the family, Stepan Kurikov, the one involved in politics, handed himself his son to the police immediately after the accident, in a successful attempt of damage control.

« Last Edit: June 27, 2022, 09:48:42 AM by Charles »

June 25, 2022, 04:00:26 AM
Reply #10


The role of Nicolay Ognev

As I already mentioned in my post All 10 photos of Nicolay Ognev in chronological order, there are 10 photos of Nicolay Ognev who did not even belong to the hiking group (some hikers do not appear as often on the rolls), the tourists all wrote about him in their diaries, and it obviously makes of Nicolay Ognev a term of the problem...

Because of Ognev's talks with the tourists:

Ognev, Nick? since 1931. - long beard. He knows the whole of the Northern Urals. He was a participant of many geological expeditions. Quite knowledgeable on many issues. (Yudin)

We talked with Ognev. He knows a lot and is interesting with him, now he talks about where we are going and more like this. (Dubinina)

the loggers knew the intended route of the tourists. And more than just theoretically knowing the route, they knew it by experience, they had already been there. The tourists walked on loggers’ ground.

So, if the loggers wanted to set up an ambush, they perfectly knew where to wait for the tourists.


But did Ognev participated in that hypothetical ambush ? I don't think so. In his biography, we can read:

OGNEV Nikolaï Grigorievitch - presumably born in 1931.  Graduated from the Ufa (mining) technical school. Until 1957, he worked for several years in the Tolya Party of the Ural Geological Administration. In 1957, the Tolyinskaya party was transferred to the Tyumen Geological Administration, the work was closed, and all the workers were fired.

The start was good but suddenly there is a sort of accident:

He worked in cooperation as the head of the site in the village of Khurumpaul from the Berezovsky district industrial complex (he drove limestone stones on a reindeer sled along the winter road from a lime quarry to the Yatriya River for firing to lime).

Form «head of the site» to «driving stones on a reindeer sled» !!!! Like a punishment. And after that, the same mediocrity:

Later he was hired by the Northern Expedition (Ivdel). In 1958 - assistant tractor driver of the convoy of the Northern Expedition from Ivdel to Tolya; in January 1959 he worked in the 41st quarter. In 1959 lived: Tyumen region, Berezovsky district, Nyaksimvol settlement, handyman. Later, he agreed to move to work in the Subpolar Urals, in one of the ground detachments of the Aeromagnetic Party, which were based close to the center line of the Ural Range in the region of the Turman-Nel and Yaruta-Syakhal peaks; in December 1961 he worked in the ground detachment of geophysicists of the party of A.A. Latypov in the upper reaches of the Nyais (Nyaksimvol) river ; in 1961-62 - a worker / tractor driver in the aeromagnetic party of the Yamalo-Nenets expedition (base in Saranpaul).

Assistant tractor driver, handyman, worker, tractor driver… and always in the North.

It looks like Ognev had a fate:

he drove limestone stones on a reindeer sled along the winter road from a lime quarry to the Yatriya River for firing to lime

he drove the murdered cook of the party from Man-Nyais to Ivdel on a reindeer team and buried her there

Very poetic, tragic, mythical… like if he was cursed… the reindeer sled, the tragic burden, the burial… What strange coincidences ! We are in Greek mythology. Sisyphus on a sledge… And at the heights of Russian litterature: the 250 km expiatory journey from Man-Nyais to Ivdel in a reindeer sled with a dead woman is at the level of Dmitri Karamazov's tragic fate. And so Ognev was involved in a murder...

I can tell what happened in Man-Nyais. There was a woman cook in a place populated with men, and the status of such a woman is very determined, she can be either the woman of all (a prostitute), either the woman of none (a sacred virgin) but she can't be the woman of one. There is a famous old French military song describing this kind of position, the story of a young waitress named Madelon and a regiment:

A corporal in a fancy kepi
Went to find Madelon one fine morning
And, madly in love, told her she was pretty
And that he came to ask for her hand
La Madelon, not stupid, in short,
She answered with a smile:
And why would I take just one man
When I love a whole regiment?

My friends will come. You won't have my hand
I need it way too much to pour them wine

The lyrics could have been even more explicit: And how could I be free to take just one man When a whole regiment loves me? My friends will come. They won't allow you to have my hand but it was already clear enough to anybody. Ognev fell in love with a cook and there was a reaction of all the men she was belonging to as a common good.. They murdered her the same day she accepted an exclusive relationship with a man. The French waitress was "not stupid" indeed, she refused the offering of an exclusive relationship, she avoided jealousy and fight inside the regiment, and to be caught in the crossfire. But Ognev was a "true Romantic" as wrote Lyuda in her diary. He wanted that very woman who was forbidden and they paid the price for the transgression. And that journey:

he drove the murdered cook of the party from Man-Nyais to Ivdel on a reindeer team and buried her there

is really at the heights of Romanticism. So Ognev could have inform the loggers about the tourists' route, but I don't see him participating in the ambush: he had his own tragic fate to accomplish. He had to bring to reality the scene with the stone in a reindeer sled at the Yatriya River which was a figure of the dead woman in the the sled.

« Last Edit: June 25, 2022, 02:06:19 PM by Charles »

June 25, 2022, 10:07:43 AM
Reply #11


Motives (1)

So, according to me, the murders belonged to a wide category of violences generated by envy. What Hamza Syunikayev said in his testimony: Then he pulled out a gorgeous sable skin from his bosom. I was jealous - I wish I had one!, the loggers experienced it when the two girls appeared. And we can also categorize the murders as outsiders killed by locals. These are two were universal grounds for murder and violence. It is not unknown territory, it is old story, very ancient story, very archaic path that generations have gone through. From Abel and Cain to contemporary school shootings.

I. Context: tourists as preys

I think the hikers were easily spotted as tourists and outsiders when they left the city center of Sverdlovsk and went into small towns and  deep country :

I, as always, was approached by some countryman. (Kolmogorova)

In the train cart a young drunk accused us of stealing his booze from his pocket. (Yudin)

Then out of the blue a young alcoholic came to the boys and accused them of stealing a bottle of vodka. He demanded her return and promised to punch them in the teeth. In the end, he did not prove or get anything and got lost. (Lyuda)

They attracted attention of the locals, they were easy to spot as outsiders.

II. Temptation and revenge

1. Children teased and denied

There is a first incident which is a figure of the next tragedy. When the tourists tempted the children and denied them, with the "expected" outcome according to Yudin, that there was an outburst of tears, screams, cries, when the kids were suddenly frustrated by the adults who lit desire in their innocents hearts. You get tears when you tease and deny children, you get a brutal blow back when you tease and deny loggers of the Urals.

That "tease and denial" is called skandalon in the Gospel and double-bind after Gregory Bateson's research with the School of Palo Alto. When being cornered in a double-bind, you only have two possibilities: either you collapse (tears, depression, schizophrenia, possession) either you get violent (and violent to the extreme).

2. Loggers teased and denied

I think there was a double dimension in the loggers frustration, I think it was both social and sexual.

The tourists brought with the truck images of dozens of women thighs and two live women. They watched Symphony in gold with Venediktov and the loggers in the evening of Jan. 26, a display of many thighs, miniskirts, panties, feathers, shaking butts, cleavages, naked flesh… The tourists had dinner with the loggers : Lunch was served, we ate and now we are resting. Some of the group is watching a movie in the adjacent room. (Krivonischenko), they watched the movie and then they all went to sleep, the loggers in their chaotic dormitory and the two girls (the two pairs of real thighs) in Valyukyavichus's room. The next morning, the loggers declared a day off and Venediktov had to comply. Yudin mentioned it as a "strike" but the two girls just wrote "they don't work". And they didn't work because of the girls. The loggers spent the day "challenging" the tourist men, singing for the girls, "dancing" with them, telling them about the taiga and Mansi language... They danced according to Ryazhnev's testimony :

While the hikers were in 41 district they had good time, sang and danced with the loggers.

But none of the camera owners had the idea to take a photo. Why not take a photo of their women dancing with these men. I think the tourists had poor interest in their girls (except for Dyatlov). Among the tourist boys, three or four of them could have made a career in Hollywood as actors: Yudin, Slobodin, Doroshenko and Dyatlov. And the other boys were not bad. But the two girls, Lyuda and Zina, it was very different: the boys were much more attractive as boys than the girls were attractive as girls. But the girls were largely good enough for the loggers who lived in a remote place where there were "no women at all". And as the tourists were challenged by the loggers, they could begin to rise their level of interest for the girls. They neglected the girls, but suddenly, when they saw the loggers trying to seduce the girls, dancing with them, they reacted as they understood they could be wronged. And thus, the status of the girls:

we are together and yet we’re not together (Zina's diary)

became a real problem. The general ambiguity of the relationships inside the tourists group was the best ground for conflict with the loggers. The tourists came at District 41 with Zina and Lyuda, and none of the boys was dating any of them, but they came with the girls as their girls, and the more the loggers seduced the girls, the more the girls smiled at the loggers and found them cute, the more Lyuda said she liked Valya as a joke, the more they danced together, then the more the tourists thought about Zina and Lyuda as their girls. And then, even though the tourists were not that much in love with the girls, they were about to react and claim the girls as theirs. We can read that cruel note about "illegal prison songs" written by Zina's ex-boyfriend in the group's diary, we can read about the late and pathetical attempt of Dyatlov to claim Zina as hers in the next morning... And maybe words were spoken, mean and humiliating... it was easy for the well educated young engineers to take verbally the advantage on poor workers.

For example, Zolotaryov brought an issue of the magazine Krokodil, which one we don't know, but some could read in the most recent issue before the beginning of the trek:

Krokodil 1959, N°2, Jan. 20

Does not this caricature talk about these workers who stayed "for free" according to Yudin's diary : The workers are very different. Recruits after the army, after serving time (to earn some money and stayed, or for free). ? Does not the lad look so much like the man N°4 on farewell photo? And could not we add this caption to the drawing: "Social parasites are sent to District 41"?

How easy to be mean with them? To harm with a few chosen words? Insisting on the poverty, the lack of education, the misery of the dormitory, the total absence of hope of the loggers? The tourists could be perfect douchbags as the incident at the station proved it. Krivonishenko was the main protagonist:

Also Georgiy was good friends with the majority of Dyatlov group, who often visited the spacious apartment of his parents in the city centre of Sverdlovsk. Krivonishenko’s parents were well-educated and influential people, and they often welcomed students to their place. His father was the chief construction engineer of the Beloyarski Hydro-Electro Station.

He was arrested by the police:

We were not allowed in the station with the backpacks. We settled nearby the station. The boys cross the treasurer, that's me, with accusations of stinginess and greed. Alas, the canteen at this point is a great luxury for us. There was one small incident - Yurka K. was taken by the police charging him with deception. Our hero decided to walk around the station handing a cap for change after singing a song. Yuri had to be rescued. (Dubinina)

So the young privileged had fun playing to be poor. It was not "funny" as wrote Zina, it was stupid and arrogant. And the incident was not "heroic" at all. It was betraying the trust of the policeman who hesitated and finally let them enter the station, they had already benefited of a grace but they abused of the benefactor… they behaved like spoiled kids. And the policeman had certainly previously expelled some real beggar from the station...  It was class contempt: rich having fun playing to be poor… We can be sure Krivonishenko would not have pretended to beg for money in a hat, for the fun, at the central station of Sverdlovsk or in Moscow Red Square or in Paris… They didn’t pay attention to the locals: that was the ultimate sign of contempt… allowing themselves to behave without shame because they had low consideration for the people who could look at the scene, as if their look meant nothing, as if these people were nothing. This arrogance, they bring it wherever they go, and it was spotted by the locals…. Cameras around the neck, boasting of being "tourists", rich having fun playing to be poor, hypocritically complaining they were restrained to sing their songs but denunciating for real in their diary the counter-revolutionary crime of singing illegal prison songs (double standard morals) by the very loggers who welcomed them… and heading with two maidens straight into the outcasts' camp site, straight into the loggers' barrack.

The Soviets made a very big effort to purge cities from lumpenproletariat. Security in the cities was a priority for Soviet authorities, and they cared much less about the countrysides, and even much less about the Urals. What was lumpenproletariat ?

Most of them belonged to lumpenproletariat which, in all big cities, is a distinct group from industrial proletariat, hatchery of thieves and of criminals of all kinds, living from the rubbish of society, individuals without avowable professional activity, prowlers, people who are not trustworthy and without hotbed. Karl Marx, in The Struggle of classes in France (1848-1850)

Lumpenproletariat, this scum of deviant individuals of all classes, who establish their headquarters in big cities, is the worst of any possible allies. This scum is absolutely venal and importunate. Friedrich Engels, preface to The war of peasants in Germany (1850)

The sort of people who ended at the foot of the Urals, at District 41 which was a mix of all the waste of Soviet society. And it might have been not easy to find a greater opposition than between these two groups: the tourists and the loggers, Soviet elite meeting lumpenproletariat... and two girls in the middle as the challenge. I think the tourists made some big mistake at District 41, that infuriated the locals and the locals made the tourist pay the toll. I can't tell what, but it was very probably about the girls and using social status as a mean to harm. Was it an addition of offenses and a final one exceeding the limits? Yudin wrote at District 41 about Symphony in Gold: Maybe that's why everybody that saw the movie was saying: "It feels so good, nothing is missing", they say "like life itself". What could have been the feelings of the loggers when hearing such nonsense? "Are they serious? Is the life of these students so happy and so beautiful ?" And with a kind of unrealism of the tourists that they would never have to pay for the consequences.

« Last Edit: June 26, 2022, 04:12:35 AM by Charles »

June 26, 2022, 02:33:46 AM
Reply #12


So the weak link in that story remains the possibility to use reindeers. That teen drama, Uralic version of contemporary school shooting, supposes that the young loggers had reindeers at District 41 or just nearby. If not, then the whole story falls appart. And my conclusion is that this hypothesis cannot stand. Neither internal strife, nor conflict between two groups of young people... the answer is to be found elsewhere.

« Last Edit: June 30, 2022, 02:20:39 PM by Charles »