March 01, 2024, 07:44:41 PM
Dyatlov Pass Forum

Author Topic: Footprint photographs misinterpreted?  (Read 5887 times)

0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.

February 26, 2021, 04:38:55 PM
Read 5887 times


The photos of footprints have been bothering me for a while and I've posted in threads about this before.
I thought a discussion about this might be worth its own thread.

Photo from Feb 28. The photo was included in the case files vol.2 sheet 114. It's possible that this could be a trace from a sled runner.

In the center there is a footprint (or more precisely, a valenki- or sockprint).The person who took this photo might not have known that the hikers perished about 4 weeks before. However, this print is not older than a few days. It has not been snowed on at all while the bodies found all were. With time, marks in the snow smooth out as you can see with the other features in the photo. The photo was included in the case files though, and Ivanov had a pretty clear idea about time of death:

  • Perhaps the subject of this photo is not the footprint, but the elongated mark next to it, which is older, as the footprint is most likely from the searchers themselves
  • Alternatively, I considered that this is an "accidental shot" with a camera. But then it wouldn't be included in the case files, would it?
  • I cannot see the investigator including this as a photo of a 4 week old footprint. Did he have some other scenario in mind, with someone else at the ridge around the end of February?

Photo from Feb 28. Is this a footprint with a heel?

This one was apparently not included in the case files. The print (bootprint?) itself is similarly fresh, at most a few days old. It has also not been snowed on unlike the bodies. This is either the print of a heel or an object with straight edges like a ski.
  • None of the bodies were found with boots. Again when the photo was taken, this wasn't known. But this can't be the print of the hikers
  • This could also be an accidental shot or the subject could be instead the surface of the snow in the right half of the photograph, which looks like something has been dragged on it recently.

However there are other marks on the snow, these are also recent and couldn't be from the time of the incident, but I thought it's worth comparing these to some common patterns:

For size comparison:

So, it's not a wolf print. Fox and dog prints are similar.


For size:

So, also not a moose print. Elk, deer are similar.

If the small marks in the photos are animal tracks, it looks most likely to be from rabbits. I've found this very useful:

One thing is that bear tracks can look similar to human barefoot footprints with toes:

Can be similar in size to human footprints:

Not suggesting anything by the way  nea1


February 26, 2021, 05:14:08 PM
Reply #1


The second picture with the boot heel.  To me, I'm almost seeing two prints; the boot heel, and what looks like a barefoot print sort of diagonally across right in front of the boot heel.  But the heel looks more fresh so how could the barefoot be on top?  Could it be a ski that traversed *over* the barefoot like print, so that the very back edge made the heel impression but the ski didn't mess with the other print?  Its really weird looking, lol!!  I've seen this one before but never really noticed the other print (and admittedly, it could just be a shadow effect or snow indents from that tuft of weeds.)

February 26, 2021, 05:30:21 PM
Reply #2


Case-Files Achievement Recipient
GKM started a post last December on footprints which is worth looking at if you havnt already done so. The Footprints issue crops up a lot in this Forum. The expert-criminalist Churkina who inspected the Tent also inspected the Footprints. Many Photographs were taken but it looks like many have also gone missing.

February 28, 2021, 11:31:00 AM
Reply #3


GKM started a post last December on footprints which is worth looking at if you havnt already done so. The Footprints issue crops up a lot in this Forum. The expert-criminalist Churkina who inspected the Tent also inspected the Footprints. Many Photographs were taken but it looks like many have also gone missing.
Yes I've seen this one. There is discussion about topics ranging from terror attack to ball lightning  grin1 , love this forum.

But I wanted to make a point specifically about the footprints. Footprints described and photographed by the searchers could not be the Dyatlov group's. And I don't see why searchers would photograph their own footprints except accidentally.

But contrary to the conclusion that because only the hikers' footprints were found, there was nobody else on the ridge, the very fact that footprints were found hints at others being there. Because the Dyatlov group's footprints wouldn't have lasted 4 weeks. Not in the condition seen in the photos.


February 28, 2021, 01:42:49 PM
Reply #4


Case-Files Achievement Recipient
Raised Footprints and animal tracks in snow have been fairly well documented. Given that the area where the Dyatlov Group met their demise had freezing temperatures for several months after the Incident I would have thought that Footprints and any other types of prints would have been likely to have been well preserved.

April 19, 2021, 11:14:42 PM
Reply #5


I think it's been snowed on the first footprint. The inside is not flat at the bootom ; it looks both very frozen, and melted.
For what it looks like on the picture, I would say we have no ways to know if it was from a boot, a blade foot or a boot ; But it broke the crust on top of the snow, while other footprint don't always.  Not sure it was more clear on-site.

More, I have a theory for the "stick shape" next to it : A ski.
The ski could have, the same way than the foot, broken the crust ; the skier then probably manage to take his ski of the snow and back on the crust again.
The snow had not melted enough yet to "raise" the print, because those print were deeper than the other ones. The snow crust can not be blown by the wind, so it stay "as a hole" that is filling slowly. The other ones were made on the fresh snow above the crust : and there was not enough pressure under the ski to mark the passage the same way it marked the footprints. ( understand as : the snow above the crust was already blown, so it was not like fresh snow. It was kind of solid, even if it was not as solid as the "crust" made from half-melted and frozen again snow.)

For the second photo, I agree : It looks like the heel is far better printed than the foot (and nothing but time difference can explain that). I note that either there is pretty much no snow there (long grass showing) or the personne walking didn't broke the snow frozen crust (and it's not grass, it's little trees branches.)
All the same : for me, at this place, ski would not have marked the snow so that somebody can still see them one month later (not with a little bit of wind/snowfall.)
And the boot is on top only because the footprint is deeper and the snow was more solid when the boot came than when the foot came.
Put to finger prints in slighly packed freezer snow, let it melt a bit, freeze it again : when you'll try again, your finger are not going as deep because the snow has hardened.

(for the urine problem some were talking about on another thread, i can confirm : the dog pee i had from november on my driveway's snow bank is still there this april ! sad1)

I explain the ski track by the fact the didn't just went down the hill when something happened. A few voluunteers went down for wood first with a "comrad Kolevatov's sled" (there was some wood in the tent, and I can't believe they would have carry wood from their previous camp when they were supposed to camp in the forest again that night).
(((((further imagination : It means the weather was good ; they would have stop because of a limited injury (kolevatov's ankle, who still seems to have required painkiller ?) and stayed because of the challenge to camp on the slop. The quiet tracks downhill is from the end of afternoon, when the snow was a bit melted. The up-hill track and the "in-the-panic" track are not marked because without sun the snow had hardened already. ))))))