December 05, 2021, 03:44:04 PM
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Author Topic: Possible new truth about the tent and my comprehensive theory.  (Read 2568 times)

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May 28, 2020, 05:08:34 PM
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jsmith


The belief that the group cut the tent in order to escape is largely held as a fact. That's because it seems to make sense. The cuts are made from inside the tent, the tent was left with huge holes in it, therefore the logical explanation is they sliced the tent in order to quickly escape.

However, I don't think this is certain. In fact, I think another explanation may be likely.

If I gave you a cutting instrument and told you to quickly cut your way out of a tent what cut would you make? I am assuming you would make a vertical slice, put your hands in between the cut, pull the fabric apart and escape. If I asked 100 people to quickly cut their way out of a tent I would bet that 99 of them would do that.

How many of you, upon being directed to slice your way out of a tent, would make three relatively short horizontal cuts that were spaced a long way apart from each other?  None of you would do that, because making those cuts wouldn't allow you to escape.

Well, those three cuts are the cuts that Dyatlov's group made. The group only made 3 cuts with the cutting instrument. The red ink in this picture shows the cuts: https://dyatlovpass.com/resources/340/gallery/Dyatlov-pass-case-files-Churkina-photo-01-en.jpg. The sections that are crosshatched are actually tears, not cuts. The report on the tent in the 1959 investigation plainly states that only these 3 cuts were made and all other damage is a tear. From the report: As a result of the foregoing, and when examining the edges of all the damages on the tent, one can conclude that three damages /conditionally marked № 1, 2, 3 / came as a result of contact with some sharp weapon /knife/, i.e. are cuts. Yet the rest of the damage is a tear.

So, working on the assumption that they cut the tent to escape - why on Earth would they make those 3 cuts then attempt to tear the rest? Look at the picture, this makes very little sense. It is a bizarre strategy.

I believe the cuts may have been made to save the tent.

We know from reports that the tent was already damaged. It had several holes in it. One functioned as a ventilation hole, one hole was in place for the stove exhaust (when the stove was assembled), another hole was stuffed with a piece of clothing, and the group repaired their tent daily. My theory is that extreme, possibly hurricane force wind, was blowing with terrifying force into their tent via a pre existing hole(s), with nowhere to escape. Perhaps it was coming from the tent entrance as well, and the sheer force of the wind rendered them unable to secure it. This was causing a balloon effect inside the tent, making the group believe their tent was in danger of being destroyed. This is why investigators later find clothing stuffed in holes. The group originally tried to plug the pre existing holes with their clothing. They were successful in doing this on at least one hole, but wind was still coming in and it was starting to tear the tent.

How do you rectify this situation? Well, if you can't repair the pre existing holes, you cut openings on the other side of the tent, so the wind can zoom through your tent with less resistance. It doesn't become trapped in a secure pocket of the tent, ripping things apart. It is a desperate measure, but we know the group had the ability to sew and repair cuts to their tent - so they decide to try - because the wind is making them very quickly fear for their lives.

From this point one of two possibilities occur:

1. The wind causes the poorly placed cuts to rip apart, and very quickly the side of the tent is torn open.

or

2. The cuts don't help to rectify the situation, so the group panics and evacuates the tent. The tears are caused by the wind later or caused by the group burying their tent after they leave.

After the group had left the tent, they (or one of them, probably the well dressed Zolotaryov - which footprint evidence suggests he was walking behind the other members down the slope) quickly buries part of the tent with snow. There is strong evidence to suggest this. From the report: On the side of the tent on top of 10 cm of snow laid Dyatlov's flashlight..."we couldn’t understand why the snow under the flashlight was 10 cm thick, yet there wasn’t any on the flashlight itself". The answer to this is that the group put the snow on their own tent to protect it from being blown to pieces by the wind. If they left the tent in its original state, they think the wind will utterly destroy it. They need to lower the tent's profile and its resistance against the wind to save it from wind. So they slice it, they tear it, they collapse the middle of it, and they throw heavy clumps of snow on top of it. The flashlight is thrown on top to serve as a marker or a beacon.

They leave, with intentions to return when the weather subsides and try to salvage the tent.

Okay, but why didn't they put their shoes on if they had time to save the tent?

Explaining human behaviour during an emergency is often hard to do. But, here are my thoughts as to why they don't have shoes on. I think the answer is a combination of all 5 explanations.

1. Time. I believe these extreme force winds emerged quickly. We can tell by the group's last photograph that when they were preparing the tent sight the wind was very strong. You can see it plainly in the picture. However, at some point during the night I think the wind went from strong to emergency within the space of a few minutes. Maybe their actions in slicing the tent and burying it literally occur in the space of 30 seconds. When it is all written down plainly in a post like mine, it gives the false idea that these actions occurred logically and thoughtfully over a long period of time. This probably all occurred so quickly that those without shoes didn't have time to get them.

2. Danger. Not finding their shoes may have been the correct decision. The wind posed a legitimate threat to their lives on the slope. Once they were out of the tent, the thought of standing up there, digging through the collapsed tent in the dark and finding their shoes was not even on the table. I like to imagine it as being inside a room that is ablaze with fire. Sure, you can probably last a few extra seconds if you are determined, but most people are going to be screaming to leave ASAP.

3. Mob mentality. All it could have taken was one or two members of the group to scream "FORGET THE SHOES! WE NEED TO LEAVE!" and others follow. In a life or death emergency, the first people to act are the ones who set the standard of behaviour. Perhaps it was Igor himself who made the decision that they didn't have the time to find their shoes. It is interesting to note that the oldest member of the group, Zolotaryov, was the one who did have valenki boots on. This is completely speculative but maybe he was old/wise enough to prepare better than the younger members?

4. Poor communication. The majority of the group may not have realised that they were going to have the leave the tent until they were already outside of the tent. This works strongly in conjunction with the time explanation. Most of them were probably sitting there, terrified beyond belief by the wind, not exactly sure on what the ringleaders were doing. If this all occurred within meer seconds, this is almost certainly the case. It is unlikely that all nine members were truly in synch with each other. 

5. They didn't even consider it. This ties in with the time and danger explanations. They may have been filled with so much adrenaline and severe panic that they didn't even think to get their shoes on until they were already outside. By then, they deemed it safer (or easier) to just keep going. "We'll be okay once we get into the trees" sort of mentality.

Okay, but why did they walk down the slope slowly as a group? If their lives were in danger on the slope, wouldn't they run - not walk - away?

I have been in hurricane force winds before. The absolute last thing you will ever do is run (especially down a slope) when you feel wind so strong that it feels as if it can pick you up and throw you at any moment. Especially when you factor in night time conditions with bad visibility. The group had enough experience and enough sense to know that staggering down the hill together was the correct decision.

Okay, but what caused the injuries?

1. Superficial injuries were caused by foraging for branches, panicking, seeing friends die, and running around a forest during extreme weather in the middle of the night. (As an aside, when I was a teenager, in pleasant Australian conditions, I was drunk and running around the bush with my friends at night whilst camping. I remember waking up the next day and it was amazing how many cuts and bruises I had. It looked like I had been mauled by a bear. I had a huge bruise across my thigh. It all came about from running around and being an idiot at night in the bush. Combine this times 100 and that's what the group was going through)

2. Serious injuries were caused from severe impact with ice, debris, trees due to wind/falls. People may have been blown and pushed by the wind at various stages throughout the night. If this occurs at the wrong time you can be badly injured.

3. It is highly possible the den collapsed on some of them, crushing them with snow. It is also possible that many of the injuries occured post moderm.
 

May 28, 2020, 09:31:22 PM
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brad112


Mihail Sharavin, the first searcher to find the tent said the following:

"We found an ice ax and broke all the snow on top and cut through the skate of the tent ... this is the damage that we partially inflicted on it ... we needed to get to the inside and make sure that nobody was there."

"We cut down part of the tent with an ice ax, i.e. we cut from the top through the bottom. We did damage, you could say it was necessary .. we had to find out if there was somebody inside"

"Mihail Sharavin: Maybe we would have behaved differently if the ice ax was not perched there at the entrance, the tent was encapsulated with firn snow, we saw the ax, we needed to get inside the tent, of course, we grabbed an ice ax and started chopping. We did not have an ax or even a knife. Because we carried nothing but dry rations.

Questioner: So on the surface [of the tent] that is drawn there in the case, part of it are your holes?

Mihail Sharavin: Yes of course. There are two slots obliquely and down, these holes were made with a knife, but on the ridge of the tent, in the center, for example, there is another big hole - we cut it. There, there’s still some sort of lost flap, this is what inflicted..."

BOLD added

I'm not sure anyone is completely certain which cuts were made by searchers and which were already present when found. Teddy could probably clarify.

Brad
 

May 29, 2020, 02:04:32 AM
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Nigel Evans


A problem here is that Churkina's drawing doesn't match with the photograph - https://dyatlovpass.com/1959-search?flp=1#the-tent
But the centre cut (marked 3) has large vertical tears on each side which fits with creating a large exit hole. Cuts 1+2 could be explained at creating ventilation in panic conditions.
 

May 29, 2020, 02:57:13 AM
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sparrow


Loosecannon mentioned in an earlier post that the tent was dragged about one half mile to the landing zone of the helicopter.  Some of the tearing could have come from that.
 

May 29, 2020, 12:34:04 PM
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WAB


Loosecannon mentioned in an earlier post that the tent was dragged about one half mile to the landing zone of the helicopter.  Some of the tearing could have come from that.

And that here the surprising?
After it dismantled on that place where it have found, it should be transported to the Ivdel city by the helicopter. The platform for landing was in other place, therefore it there have dragged in common with all things which were in tent.
 

May 29, 2020, 12:38:22 PM
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Tony


A problem here is that Churkina's drawing doesn't match with the photograph - https://dyatlovpass.com/1959-search?flp=1#the-tent
But the centre cut (marked 3) has large vertical tears on each side which fits with creating a large exit hole. Cuts 1+2 could be explained at creating ventilation in panic conditions.

I have noticed this too. But it is almost as if the either the photo or the schematic drawing of the tent were flipped. It is possible that additional damage occurred after the initial examination. Either way, the examination of the tent could have been more precise. The tent is long gone and we'll probably never know what damage occurred on that night.
"If there exists a fact which can only be thought of as sinister. A fact which can only point to some sinister underpinning, you will never be able to think up all the non-sinister, perfectly valid explanations for that fact."
- Josiah Thomson
 

May 29, 2020, 09:01:46 PM
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RidgeWatcher


I still think they all went out the cut/sliced side of the tent. The way the searchers described what they found inside and outside describe a scene more indicative of a fast scramble out the side. They found bread and meat sliced and ready to eat still in place. If 7 or 9 undressed adults left out the side of the tent then I think the searchers would have found the items inside the tent in more of a disarray pattern and accumulation of items closer to the end opening, spilling out to the side of the tent outside.
 

May 29, 2020, 11:24:31 PM
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sparrow


Hello Ridgewatcher.  They did find miscellaneous items outside the tent (and I believe it was the front).  I also think that one of the rescuers said the the toggles on the front of the tent were not completely done up.

As soon as I learn how to print quotes on the computer, I will start printing them. loco1
 

May 31, 2020, 09:22:36 PM
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PJ


The report on the tent in the 1959 investigation plainly states that only these 3 cuts were made and all other damage is a tear. From the report: As a result of the foregoing, and when examining the edges of all the damages on the tent, one can conclude that three damages /conditionally marked № 1, 2, 3 / came as a result of contact with some sharp weapon /knife/, i.e. are cuts. Yet the rest of the damage is a tear.
I think that forensic expert Genrietta Eliseevna Churkina inspected only three cut to figure out if they were made from inside or outside. On the drawing from forensic examination they show only 3 cuts to indicate which one was inspected. The rest as is written in the files are not listed at all. Probably it was hard to figure out if some of it is cut or torn/ripped fabric, specially if they just made small cut and after torn/ripped it more. It was canvas tent, so hard to cut even with sharp knife. And as all fabrics is easy to torn/ripped in one direction - looks like that in this case vertically, so probably they just start doing small cuts and after torn/ripped more.
Looks like that after checking three cuts, and finding that all of them was made from inside they concluded that all cuts was made from inside and what most important in this case that they cut/torn/ripped the tent from inside to escape.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2020, 09:49:40 PM by PJ »
 

June 02, 2020, 11:02:46 AM
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Tony


The report on the tent in the 1959 investigation plainly states that only these 3 cuts were made and all other damage is a tear. From the report: As a result of the foregoing, and when examining the edges of all the damages on the tent, one can conclude that three damages /conditionally marked № 1, 2, 3 / came as a result of contact with some sharp weapon /knife/, i.e. are cuts. Yet the rest of the damage is a tear.
I think that forensic expert Genrietta Eliseevna Churkina inspected only three cut to figure out if they were made from inside or outside. On the drawing from forensic examination they show only 3 cuts to indicate which one was inspected. The rest as is written in the files are not listed at all. Probably it was hard to figure out if some of it is cut or torn/ripped fabric, specially if they just made small cut and after torn/ripped it more. It was canvas tent, so hard to cut even with sharp knife. And as all fabrics is easy to torn/ripped in one direction - looks like that in this case vertically, so probably they just start doing small cuts and after torn/ripped more.
Looks like that after checking three cuts, and finding that all of them was made from inside they concluded that all cuts was made from inside and what most important in this case that they cut/torn/ripped the tent from inside to escape.

This sounds like what happened. Churkina noted in the examination that there were more than three cuts made to the tent - "Not all cuts are shown on the scheme."
"If there exists a fact which can only be thought of as sinister. A fact which can only point to some sinister underpinning, you will never be able to think up all the non-sinister, perfectly valid explanations for that fact."
- Josiah Thomson
 

June 02, 2020, 06:10:22 PM
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sparrow


Loose cannon had an earlier post about the damage to the tent.  Interesting read.
 

June 02, 2020, 10:14:04 PM
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Naufragia


 

June 02, 2020, 11:55:50 PM
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sparrow


If I remember right, Churkina was a seamstress.  So, how would she know that cuts had been made from the inside?  Did she assume it because there were scratch marks on the inside, that she assumed were made by one or more knives and that she assumed  were made on the night they died?  Maybe she ended up doing a lot of assuming like we do (so often) on this site.  Do we have any proof that she may have really known what she was talking about?  Do we know anything about  her? bang1 bang1 bang1 bang1
 

June 03, 2020, 09:57:59 AM
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WAB


If I remember right, Churkina was a seamstress. 

No, it's not right. Henrietta Churkina was very qualified expert in forensics. Talks about the "seamstress" began with Korotayev's statement, but he said so much that you can write 10 detective novels. Unfortunately, almost none of his statements are confirmed. Although the case of the seamstress may have been available, but it does not affect anything.
The examination of the tent was.
It was conducted by qualified expert.
So where the need for it came from is not important reason.

So, how would she know that cuts had been made from the inside? 

For the expert Churkina it is usual job. Such experts are specially trained in such processes.

Did she assume it because there were scratch marks on the inside, that she assumed were made by one or more knives and that she assumed  were made on the night they died? 

This is not an expert's job, it is the investigator's job to analyze expert examination result and suggest theories. They have this division of work. This is what they do all over the world: the expertise provides information, and investigator draws conclusions and creates theories.

Maybe she ended up doing a lot of assuming like we do (so often) on this site. 

She didn't draw any conclusions. It's not her job.

Do we have any proof that she may have really known what she was talking about?


If you think that qualified Expert Advisor has made mistake, then you should tell us what the mistake is and why (what are the reasons for that)?

Do we know anything about  her? bang1 bang1 bang1 bang1

https://dyatlovpass.com/resources/340/Dyatlov-pass-Genrietta-Eliseevna-Churkina.jpg

https://taina.li/forum/index.php?topic=935.0

Just please translate from Russian yourself. I have very little time for right now. The most important thing there is the first two messages. There is short.
 

June 03, 2020, 10:48:22 AM
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MDGross


The sudden occurrence of hurricane-force winds is a plausible scenario. With an arctic wind rushing through their tent, wouldn't they put on coats, hats, gloves and shoes since they were already freezing and the tent was still intact? Also, as underdressed at they were, how long could they survive a wind chill of 50 below zero or more in hurricane-like conditions? I believe they would have all died from hypothermia before reaching the trees that were almost a mile from the tent. Just my opinion.
Then why would they exit the tent in the way they did? Perhaps they didn't leave voluntarily, but were forced outside. Or maybe they were no longer thinking rationally because of something they ate, inhaled or heard, or even thought they heard. Incontrovertible proof is what we need, but what we'll never get.
 

June 03, 2020, 11:43:33 AM
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neni_cesty_zpet


Leaving the tent by slashing it with knives and without proper clothes to escape hurricane is not plausible scenario to me. What was their plan? To camp few hours half-dressed in woods, then return half-frozen to slashed tent and repair it with stiff hands? I believe something else happened... neg1
 

June 03, 2020, 12:08:57 PM
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Tony


If I remember right, Churkina was a seamstress.  So, how would she know that cuts had been made from the inside?  Did she assume it because there were scratch marks on the inside, that she assumed were made by one or more knives and that she assumed  were made on the night they died?  Maybe she ended up doing a lot of assuming like we do (so often) on this site.  Do we have any proof that she may have really known what she was talking about?  Do we know anything about  her? bang1 bang1 bang1 bang1

I don't think Churkina was assuming anything; just stating the facts. As stated in the case files, on either end of the cuts was a small scrape that were found using a microscope. A scrape occurred as the knife began the cut and as it left the cut. There were also small punctures, near the main cuts, that also had these scrapes. The punctures were probably a result of an attempted cut and the knife slipping out and not completing the cut. All the evidence points to the cuts being made from the inside of the tent. For what it's worth, in Sharavin's interview he stated that, when they found the tent, it was obvious to him that the cuts had been made from the inside.
"If there exists a fact which can only be thought of as sinister. A fact which can only point to some sinister underpinning, you will never be able to think up all the non-sinister, perfectly valid explanations for that fact."
- Josiah Thomson
 

June 04, 2020, 12:52:45 AM
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sparrow


Thank you WAB and Tony.  Thank you for the sites to check, WAB.  I did not mean to infer that Churkina was not an expert, that is why there are question marks. cry2

I do have another question about the tent.  In the color picture of it, it appears to have some pretty big holes on both sides.  Maybe there were some cuts or scratches  on the other side too?
 

June 05, 2020, 03:54:19 PM
Reply #18
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WAB


Thank you WAB and Tony.  Thank you for the sites to check, WAB.  I did not mean to infer that Churkina was not an expert, that is why there are question marks. cry2

I understand that these are questions that you have not yet found the answers to and have tried (as far as I can) answer them in as much detail as possible.
It's up to you decide how well I did it.

I do have another question about the tent.  In the color picture of it, it appears to have some pretty big holes on both sides.  Maybe there were some cuts or scratches  on the other side too?

Colored images are not original, I think there are enough of those that were original. But that's not the point.
 https://dyatlovpass.com/resources/340/gallery/Dyatlov-pass-case-files-Churkina-photo-01-en.jpg .
Scheme from the expertise on the shawl.
I had picture of the tent in the DA's office somewhere else, made up of few pictures of the other side, but I can't find it now.
Essentially this section of the question: I'm not sure we're talking about the same thing, but you can see three different types of holes in the original photo (and the schemes from the examination).
1. These are the holes that are indicated in the diagrams, but are poorly visible in the photo,
2. Square hole on the side where there were cuts + there is a gap further to the back of the tent (left).
3. Rupture on the other side (similar in #2).
In the diagram from the examination of the tent, on the right of the second rectangular torn flap you can see another vertical not complete tear. This is where two identical tents of 2m x 2m (they were called PT-4- ПТ-4 in Russian) were stitched together into one large tent of 4m x 2m. This gap had nothing to do with what happened in the pass. It was the result as fact that it was moved and transported not very carefully. The threads that were used stitch the two tents couldn't take it, so this gap appeared. This joint was sewn by hand, not on sewing machine. The same tear could have been on the other side. However, no cuts or gusts on the other side were mentioned in the examination, so it can be considered (with very high probability) that there were no cuts, and the breaks were considered to be the same as on the other side. The expert could not help but notice the cuts if they were visible. And inconspicuous cuts or scratches do not change the picture of the incident at all.
 

June 06, 2020, 01:04:01 AM
Reply #19
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sparrow


If the hikers  sewed the holes in the tent up one night, why would they have to sew it up again the next night?  What could possibly cause that much damage during a day of hiking?
 

June 06, 2020, 03:11:32 AM
Reply #20
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Gorojanin


If the hikers  sewed the holes in the tent up one night, why would they have to sew it up again the next night?  What could possibly cause that much damage during a day of hiking?
No one sewed up the tent. The expert report does not contain a single word about sewing up holes on the tent.
 

June 06, 2020, 03:43:47 AM
Reply #21
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sparrow


In Zina's diary,22/8/58, she said "I mended the tent."  In the unknown diary (which I believe is Alexander's), it says "And so they had a long argument, of who will sew the tent."  The diarist also went on to say "And we sewed the hole (and there were so many that there was enough work for all except two attendants and Lyuda.".  The two previous quotes were dated January 30.
 

June 06, 2020, 05:07:40 AM
Reply #22
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WAB


If the hikers  sewed the holes in the tent up one night, why would they have to sew it up again the next night?  What could possibly cause that much damage during a day of hiking?

Mm-hmm. There's a few different aspects that can explain this obscure and cloudy story.
1. It's written in a diary that doesn't know who it belongs to and feels like it's someone very new in their group. Okay, let's just say it was real. Let's try find out the reasons from the point of view of what happened and is happening in similar travels. They could only close holes very big. Small holes of 1...2 or up to 5 millimeters (that's ~0.04 to 0.2 in - they come from sparks from their stove pipe) make no sense. It turns out that they sewed only hole that came from the fact that the threads burst at the joint, where two tents were sewn to one. Usually this kind of work takes about half hour.
2. If they did it well, they don't go back to it again, and if it's bad, it's their punishment for the next day. Usually it's enough just once, because this kind of work in the frost is very painful.
3. The reason why they had to do it was very simple. They only got tent very short time before they started their journey, but at that time they took their in half year exams at university. It was difficult for them find time inspected the tent, and sometimes they just ignored it. Students always remain students.
4. They couldn't damage the tent during the day. They could only do that if they were rude to it while it was being built. But usually it doesn't happen if they sewed the hole well once.
Whether this story was real or not (other journals don't describe it or even hint at it) can't be set up now, but all the options and all the consequences I have painted down in detail.
 

June 06, 2020, 05:44:24 PM
Reply #23
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Star man

Case-Files Achievement Recipient
The belief that the group cut the tent in order to escape is largely held as a fact. That's because it seems to make sense. The cuts are made from inside the tent, the tent was left with huge holes in it, therefore the logical explanation is they sliced the tent in order to quickly escape.

However, I don't think this is certain. In fact, I think another explanation may be likely.

If I gave you a cutting instrument and told you to quickly cut your way out of a tent what cut would you make? I am assuming you would make a vertical slice, put your hands in between the cut, pull the fabric apart and escape. If I asked 100 people to quickly cut their way out of a tent I would bet that 99 of them would do that.

How many of you, upon being directed to slice your way out of a tent, would make three relatively short horizontal cuts that were spaced a long way apart from each other?  None of you would do that, because making those cuts wouldn't allow you to escape.

Well, those three cuts are the cuts that Dyatlov's group made. The group only made 3 cuts with the cutting instrument. The red ink in this picture shows the cuts: https://dyatlovpass.com/resources/340/gallery/Dyatlov-pass-case-files-Churkina-photo-01-en.jpg. The sections that are crosshatched are actually tears, not cuts. The report on the tent in the 1959 investigation plainly states that only these 3 cuts were made and all other damage is a tear. From the report: As a result of the foregoing, and when examining the edges of all the damages on the tent, one can conclude that three damages /conditionally marked № 1, 2, 3 / came as a result of contact with some sharp weapon /knife/, i.e. are cuts. Yet the rest of the damage is a tear.

So, working on the assumption that they cut the tent to escape - why on Earth would they make those 3 cuts then attempt to tear the rest? Look at the picture, this makes very little sense. It is a bizarre strategy.

I believe the cuts may have been made to save the tent.

We know from reports that the tent was already damaged. It had several holes in it. One functioned as a ventilation hole, one hole was in place for the stove exhaust (when the stove was assembled), another hole was stuffed with a piece of clothing, and the group repaired their tent daily. My theory is that extreme, possibly hurricane force wind, was blowing with terrifying force into their tent via a pre existing hole(s), with nowhere to escape. Perhaps it was coming from the tent entrance as well, and the sheer force of the wind rendered them unable to secure it. This was causing a balloon effect inside the tent, making the group believe their tent was in danger of being destroyed. This is why investigators later find clothing stuffed in holes. The group originally tried to plug the pre existing holes with their clothing. They were successful in doing this on at least one hole, but wind was still coming in and it was starting to tear the tent.

How do you rectify this situation? Well, if you can't repair the pre existing holes, you cut openings on the other side of the tent, so the wind can zoom through your tent with less resistance. It doesn't become trapped in a secure pocket of the tent, ripping things apart. It is a desperate measure, but we know the group had the ability to sew and repair cuts to their tent - so they decide to try - because the wind is making them very quickly fear for their lives.

From this point one of two possibilities occur:

1. The wind causes the poorly placed cuts to rip apart, and very quickly the side of the tent is torn open.

or

2. The cuts don't help to rectify the situation, so the group panics and evacuates the tent. The tears are caused by the wind later or caused by the group burying their tent after they leave.

After the group had left the tent, they (or one of them, probably the well dressed Zolotaryov - which footprint evidence suggests he was walking behind the other members down the slope) quickly buries part of the tent with snow. There is strong evidence to suggest this. From the report: On the side of the tent on top of 10 cm of snow laid Dyatlov's flashlight..."we couldn’t understand why the snow under the flashlight was 10 cm thick, yet there wasn’t any on the flashlight itself". The answer to this is that the group put the snow on their own tent to protect it from being blown to pieces by the wind. If they left the tent in its original state, they think the wind will utterly destroy it. They need to lower the tent's profile and its resistance against the wind to save it from wind. So they slice it, they tear it, they collapse the middle of it, and they throw heavy clumps of snow on top of it. The flashlight is thrown on top to serve as a marker or a beacon.

They leave, with intentions to return when the weather subsides and try to salvage the tent.

Okay, but why didn't they put their shoes on if they had time to save the tent?

Explaining human behaviour during an emergency is often hard to do. But, here are my thoughts as to why they don't have shoes on. I think the answer is a combination of all 5 explanations.

1. Time. I believe these extreme force winds emerged quickly. We can tell by the group's last photograph that when they were preparing the tent sight the wind was very strong. You can see it plainly in the picture. However, at some point during the night I think the wind went from strong to emergency within the space of a few minutes. Maybe their actions in slicing the tent and burying it literally occur in the space of 30 seconds. When it is all written down plainly in a post like mine, it gives the false idea that these actions occurred logically and thoughtfully over a long period of time. This probably all occurred so quickly that those without shoes didn't have time to get them.

2. Danger. Not finding their shoes may have been the correct decision. The wind posed a legitimate threat to their lives on the slope. Once they were out of the tent, the thought of standing up there, digging through the collapsed tent in the dark and finding their shoes was not even on the table. I like to imagine it as being inside a room that is ablaze with fire. Sure, you can probably last a few extra seconds if you are determined, but most people are going to be screaming to leave ASAP.

3. Mob mentality. All it could have taken was one or two members of the group to scream "FORGET THE SHOES! WE NEED TO LEAVE!" and others follow. In a life or death emergency, the first people to act are the ones who set the standard of behaviour. Perhaps it was Igor himself who made the decision that they didn't have the time to find their shoes. It is interesting to note that the oldest member of the group, Zolotaryov, was the one who did have valenki boots on. This is completely speculative but maybe he was old/wise enough to prepare better than the younger members?

4. Poor communication. The majority of the group may not have realised that they were going to have the leave the tent until they were already outside of the tent. This works strongly in conjunction with the time explanation. Most of them were probably sitting there, terrified beyond belief by the wind, not exactly sure on what the ringleaders were doing. If this all occurred within meer seconds, this is almost certainly the case. It is unlikely that all nine members were truly in synch with each other. 

5. They didn't even consider it. This ties in with the time and danger explanations. They may have been filled with so much adrenaline and severe panic that they didn't even think to get their shoes on until they were already outside. By then, they deemed it safer (or easier) to just keep going. "We'll be okay once we get into the trees" sort of mentality.

Okay, but why did they walk down the slope slowly as a group? If their lives were in danger on the slope, wouldn't they run - not walk - away?

I have been in hurricane force winds before. The absolute last thing you will ever do is run (especially down a slope) when you feel wind so strong that it feels as if it can pick you up and throw you at any moment. Especially when you factor in night time conditions with bad visibility. The group had enough experience and enough sense to know that staggering down the hill together was the correct decision.

Okay, but what caused the injuries?

1. Superficial injuries were caused by foraging for branches, panicking, seeing friends die, and running around a forest during extreme weather in the middle of the night. (As an aside, when I was a teenager, in pleasant Australian conditions, I was drunk and running around the bush with my friends at night whilst camping. I remember waking up the next day and it was amazing how many cuts and bruises I had. It looked like I had been mauled by a bear. I had a huge bruise across my thigh. It all came about from running around and being an idiot at night in the bush. Combine this times 100 and that's what the group was going through)

2. Serious injuries were caused from severe impact with ice, debris, trees due to wind/falls. People may have been blown and pushed by the wind at various stages throughout the night. If this occurs at the wrong time you can be badly injured.

3. It is highly possible the den collapsed on some of them, crushing them with snow. It is also possible that many of the injuries occured post moderm.

Sounds unlikley to me.  If one side of the tent was damaged by the wind, destroying the other side too doesn't sound ,like a good survival tactic.  If your life boat sprang a leak you would not make another hole to let the water back out?

There is a simple explanation why the hikers may not have thought to cut vertical slits to escape - they may not have been thinking or planning to escape and their actions were that of panic.  Desperately slashing out at the side, then cutting with a sawing action, followed by pulling and tearing at the fabric.  Much of the damage was likely caused by the tent recovery, but the three highlighted cuts with evidence of scratching on the inside are more interesting.  To me it seems that something scared and panicked them, and they fled not even thinking to collect boots and better clothing.

Regards

Star man