Theories Discussion > General Discussion

Bathing in alcohol - fact or fiction?

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There are several accounts (maybe there is only one.. just quoted by others?) that say morgue staff and those present at the autopsies were made to take a bath in a vat of alcohol.

This always seemed bizarre to me and I don't know what purpose it can serve. The more I look into it the stranger it seems... Not only does alcohol dry out the skin, thus increasing the possibility of infections via superficial cracks in the skin, it is also poisonous in large quantities. It seems like full body immersion results in acute alcohol poisoning due to the amount absorbed via the skin plus the fumes breathed in.

For disinfection, it is enough to wash affected areas with soap and water. Are there any dangerous compounds that are not dissolved in soapy water, and aren't absorbed by the skin (in which case taking a bath in alcohol will be pointless anyway), but are dissolved in alcohol? I can't think of any. Radioactive dust is carried away by taking a shower in water much more effectively. Anyway if the bodies were radioactive, the safest thing to do is wear protective lead, or better yet, freeze them and wait a few weeks until the radioactivity reduces to safe levels, instead of conducting an autopsy without any protection and then bathing in alcohol... If there were nerve agents present on the bodies, these are absorbed into the skin, taking a bath is ineffective.

To me it seems like this episode is pure fantasy?


--- Quote from: Manti on February 04, 2022, 12:07:48 AM ---There are several accounts that say morgue staff and those present at the autopsies were made to take a bath in a vat of alcohol.

--- End quote ---

I know it was in a movie but do you have more "accounts" handy? I mean the first thing to tell if something legit is to examine the sources.
So who said that?
I am not arguing, I can do some digging myself. It is interesting subject but since you raised the question - who said about bathing in alcohol?

I have found a reference to it here:

--- Quote ---"One more interesting detail regarding May 1959 autopsy was provided by Vladimir Korotaev, at the time a recent law school graduate working for the Ivdel Prosecutor's Office. He was helping Vasily Tempalov for the first few days of the investigation. He claimed that he was present as a corpsman during the forensic examination of the last four bodies. According to Korotaev, "...there were two barrels with alcohol, and after every autopsy we, naked, plunged into them. It made me think: what was going on..." Korotaev's testimony looks somewhat doubtful: dipping naked into the barrel with alcohol, besides being a very painful experience, would not make any sense - other, more efficient and less traumatic decontaminating agents were available at the time.
Lobatcheva, Irina. Dyatlov Pass Keeps Its Secret (p. 105). Parallel Worlds' Books. Kindle Edition. "
--- End quote ---
But it's unclear who Korotaev made this claim to and when...

Excellent, I will add it on this page. Thank you for quoting the source.

But as you pointed out, it is still not the primary source. Carry on with the discussion, I am picking what I need for the site...

It was nagging at me that I have heard it somewhere before and there it is:
Search for "alcohol" and you will find the following paragraph: Oleg mentions one more anomaly – a big barrel of alcohol was delivered before the autopsies, which he believes investigators used as a primitive form of protection against radiation.
There are claims in this interview by Oleg Arkhipov that are simply not true.
"He has unearthed some interesting documents after making friends with the former prosecutor, Lev Ivanov, who first investigated the deaths and led the official inquest in 1959."
Arkhipov didn't know Ivanov, Korotaev did. Since Korotaev died in 2012 Arkhipov steals his tunes, and Korotaev was making some things up to start with. Arkhipov speaks and writes about the confiscation of histological analyzes and samples of March bodies.
He was allegedly told about this by veterans of forensic science who worked with Vozrozhdenniy and Gants.
He does not name the veterans, does not give a full record of the conversation, there are no supporting documents.
So we have Korotaev talking about "bathing in alcohol" and then Oleg Arkhipov, who steals Korotaev show, having witnesses seeing big supplies of alcohol being delivered to the Ivdel hospital. It is not just a morgue there.
You tell me, how do you derive from this that there were dipping into alcohol after the autopsy?

I added three points from this podcast to the Controversy on the site:

Is it true that local people were not allowed to graze their animals in the area?

Were hikers banned from going to the area after the incident?

Histological analysis results of the first five bodies never made it to the case files

... and will add one more after we are a little further into the discussion of the subject in hand.


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