December 06, 2021, 07:46:29 PM
Dyatlov Pass Forum

Author Topic: The devil is in the details  (Read 1770 times)

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July 14, 2021, 06:16:34 AM
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MDGross


There are many baffling details in the Dyatlov case. I'll mention two that really bug me:
• The flashlight on top of the tent. If it was placed there by the hikers as a beacon to find their way back to the tent, why wasn't it turned on (the batteries still worked when the searchers found it weeks later)? Why was there snow under it, but not on top of it? Was it placed there not as a beacon, but for some other reason? If a third party was involved that fateful night, why did they allow the flashlight to be placed there? Or did someone from the third party put it there? Or as put forth in "1079," did someone involved in the staging place it there and then forgot it was there?

• Why was Dyatlov's heavy coat found outside the tent (I believe I read that somewhere, but if I am mistaken, forgive me)? Did he grab it and then drop it rather then put it on? Did it get caught on another hiker's foot or leg when they all fled the tent? Did someone from a third party force him to take it off and drop it? Or again as suggested in "1079" did the staging team not know they dropped it as they hurried to place things back in the tent?
 

July 14, 2021, 10:29:16 AM
Reply #1
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KFinn


Sadly, when chain of custody can't be proven, we just don't get the conclusive answers we need.  The scene was contaminated and we are left with these puzzle pieces that we aren't even certain are for the puzzle we are piecing together.  Was the urine stain in the snow from the Dyatlov group, a searched, an animal?  We just won't know.  Where did the flashlight come from?  It could be the clue that solves the mystery but no one was ever able to definitively say.  Its these little things that bug me so much, lol!!!!
-Ren
 

July 14, 2021, 12:33:43 PM
Reply #2
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Mars


The only thing that gives us hope is that there is still someone alive who has been around and that he will tell the truth after so many years. Igor Pavlov said it was possible. Because a person (if one exists at all) is now supposed to be around 80 years old.
 

July 14, 2021, 02:52:52 PM
Reply #3
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MDGross


I agree with you Ren. An answer to a detail like the flashlight on top of the tent could start a chain of events that solves the mystery. The problem, of course, is getting a conclusive answer to that first, crucial detail.
 

July 16, 2021, 09:01:43 AM
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Manti


No snow on top of the flashlight means it was placed there in recent days before the tent was found, with no snowfall in between.

It could also mean that sunlight that penetrated the snow a bit warmed up the dark material of the flashlight to melt the snow on it... Given the weather reports I looked at, days were quite short and most of them were cloudy at the time, so I don't think this explanation is viable.

So it was not a Dyatlov group member who placed the flashlight there.

I would also say that extensive snow cover on the tent, but not on the flashlight would mean that it also were not the "stagers" because even if the tent was staged by them, the flashlight must have been placed there much later after a snowstorm.
Or did they forget something and went back for it weeks later, perhaps at night?



I think we can also assume it was placed there at night, otherwise whoever left it there would realise their "mistake" and put it in the tent or put some snow on the flashlight.

Having said all this, imagine this incident happened today and a competent investigation is carried out, fingerprints are taken, and the person who last touched that flashlight is found. This still wouldn't link them to the incident... it is most likely someone who found the tent weeks later and may not even have taken anything, just looked in and then left their flashlight or one they found in the tent there... They probably didn't even know there were bodies down in the forest as they were under snow. So even if this piece of the puzzle is solved, I'm not sure it unravels the entire mystery.
 

July 16, 2021, 09:05:32 AM
Reply #5
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Manti


And the coat outside, well I've also read that Igor's coat was found tucked into a hole in the tent. So which one is it?  But even if it was found outside the tent, it might have been left in the tent and subsequently the wind might have blown it out a few meters and then it got snowed on. So unfortunately this might also not tell us anything conclusive.
 

July 21, 2021, 04:29:13 PM
Reply #6
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Investigator


Any case with a lot of "moving parts," like the DPI, is likely to have things that are puzzling in some way.  In this case, because they were under time pressure to do what was necessary to survive, some decisions might not have been made if they had the opportunity to sit around for an hour debating it.  As to your specific quetions, the flashlight was likely left on top so that if they went back there during the night, they would be able to see crucial details, such as where to start digging out the tent.  We know three tried to get back there (or one or two did, and one or two tried to get them to come back, to go to the "den" instead).  And as to the coat in the hole, the most obvious explanation is that you aren't going to survive the night with no heat and a large hole in your tent under those conditions.  However, it could have been the hole the stove exhaust pipe went through.  It's also necessary to vent a tent under those conditions so that condensation does not occur; if it does, that would then ice up and could cause all kinds of major issues.
 

July 22, 2021, 11:39:33 AM
Reply #7
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Monty


Perhaps the three hikers found on the slope died on the way down, ie descending?
 

July 23, 2021, 09:38:13 AM
Reply #8
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Manti


Perhaps the three hikers found on the slope died on the way down, ie descending?

It is possible, but either way they were outside with some of their clothes left in the tent.

That we know for certain and it is hard to explain, whether they were descending or attempting to return to the tent or even if the tent was in the forest and a tree fell on it.. they could have still put on more clothes before attempting to ascend.

Rustem wearing one valenki only... not even carrying the other one. This hints at a very sudden exit from the tent, not even enough time to grab the other pair or their coats, and no immediate possibility to return. Even if the solution doesn't lie here, at least many scenarios can be ruled out based on this, and that the tent was still half-standing when found... you can basically rule out almost every single theory.
 

July 23, 2021, 06:55:56 PM
Reply #9
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Investigator


Perhaps the three hikers found on the slope died on the way down, ie descending?

It depends upon what you are trying to do.  Often, in an investigation, you will make a couple of charts of possible explanations, ones that are likely and ones that are far-fetched.  With the far-fetched ones, you can include interpretations of evidence that seem highly unlikely.  In this case the three were found in positions that seemed like they were heading back up to the tent.  But more than that, there is no reason to think that they couldn't get down to the tree line without freezing, as it wasn't that far.  Some of the others were able to dig out a "den," start a robust fire that lasted at least an hour, and take clothing from the bodies of the "two Yuris," but these three couldn't even get to the tree line?  If that was the case, they would have secured the tent while the others went down to the tree line, but it doesn't seem much was done with the tent.  However, I wouldn't concern myself too much with this, one way or the other, because it doesn't interfere with the most likely explanation of the "incident."
 

July 24, 2021, 12:27:01 AM
Reply #10
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Manti


Some of the others were able to dig out a "den," start a robust fire that lasted at least an hour, and take clothing from the bodies of the "two Yuris," but these three couldn't even get to the tree line? 
I don't think the 'den' can be regarded as fact. The branches with 4 pieces of clothing on top might have simply been laid on top of the snow, perhaps in an area with some wind cover.

In fact if they had a den, it would be highly unlikely for them to end up outside of it, all of them near each other. If it collapsed, some might not be able to dig themselves out and would be found on top of the branches. If it didn't collapse, how did they sustain their injuries?

That they started a fire is more likely, but again is anecdotal, as far as I know there is no photograph of the fire's remains. Presumably these were found under snow.. however due to all the other Mansi items found near the cedar under snow, it could be that the fire predates the Dyatlov group and was from Mansi hunters who have been there months before, or... weeks after the incident. Or the half-burnt tree branch might have been struck by lightning in a storm and is not from a campfire.

However, I wouldn't concern myself too much with this, one way or the other, because it doesn't interfere with the most likely explanation of the "incident."
The most likely explanation of the incident being?
 

July 24, 2021, 01:14:41 PM
Reply #11
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Monty


I concur with Manti in all points
 

July 24, 2021, 05:46:27 PM
Reply #12
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Investigator


Some of the others were able to dig out a "den," start a robust fire that lasted at least an hour, and take clothing from the bodies of the "two Yuris," but these three couldn't even get to the tree line? 
I don't think the 'den' can be regarded as fact. The branches with 4 pieces of clothing on top might have simply been laid on top of the snow, perhaps in an area with some wind cover.

In fact if they had a den, it would be highly unlikely for them to end up outside of it, all of them near each other. If it collapsed, some might not be able to dig themselves out and would be found on top of the branches. If it didn't collapse, how did they sustain their injuries?

That they started a fire is more likely, but again is anecdotal, as far as I know there is no photograph of the fire's remains. Presumably these were found under snow.. however due to all the other Mansi items found near the cedar under snow, it could be that the fire predates the Dyatlov group and was from Mansi hunters who have been there months before, or... weeks after the incident. Or the half-burnt tree branch might have been struck by lightning in a storm and is not from a campfire.

However, I wouldn't concern myself too much with this, one way or the other, because it doesn't interfere with the most likely explanation of the "incident."
The most likely explanation of the incident being?

Well I'm not going to argue the point about how the group thought of what is now referred to as the "den" among apparently nearly everyone who talks about this incident in any kind of detail, but there certainly does seem to be only one way the evidence fits together into a coherent story.  Now if one wants to claim the evidence isn't real evidence, that is a different endeavor, and would require strong evidence to refute the apparent evidence, which in an old case of this nature is highly unlikely to ever exist.  As to the obvious interpretation:  problem with the tent that they thought required immediate action, decision to try and survive the night by starting a fire, decision to do the "den" idea (either due to lack of confidence in the fire or some other reason), fall onto the rocky creek after taking some clothing off the "two Yuris" and trying to get back to it, three returning to the tent but freezing to death before getting there (I think Zina got angry and decided to go back on her own, then the other two went after her, to try and convince her to go to the "den," but it's not relevant to the "big picture").
 

July 25, 2021, 08:28:54 AM
Reply #13
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Manti


As to the obvious interpretation:  problem with the tent that they thought required immediate action,
But the tent was found a month later with one side of it still standing, and one cut or tear. That is a problem but not an immediate one, it can be repaired like they have done on previous nights. And even if, let's assume, the tent was shredded to pieces somehow, that is still not an immediate emergency, they could still take 3 minutes and put on footwear, coats, gloves, and grab the saw and then walk down to the forest to start a campfire. Even a shredded tent is no worse than being outside with no shelter at all.
 

July 25, 2021, 01:15:46 PM
Reply #14
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Monty


Reply #12 is my preferred explanation but needs to explain why they left so ill equipped. Manti raises again the points I would harmonise. No chance in hell would they walk off and then one hour later think, oh my toes are cold.
 

July 27, 2021, 02:41:55 PM
Reply #15
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Investigator


As to the obvious interpretation:  problem with the tent that they thought required immediate action,
But the tent was found a month later with one side of it still standing, and one cut or tear. That is a problem but not an immediate one, it can be repaired like they have done on previous nights. And even if, let's assume, the tent was shredded to pieces somehow, that is still not an immediate emergency, they could still take 3 minutes and put on footwear, coats, gloves, and grab the saw and then walk down to the forest to start a campfire. Even a shredded tent is no worse than being outside with no shelter at all.

This is where so many make mistakes in investigations, and I have mentioned in other threads an example from the Pat Brown book on profilling (the suicide that required 3 experts before they could figure it out, and in that case there were two good possibilities!).  If you want to try and recreate the two canvas tents sewn together under similar weather conditions with several people inside and no heat, then we would have something to talk about.  Before that is done, all we can do is look at what we have.  We do know that tents can develop icing or hard snow on their exteriors, and if part of the their tent was collapsing, they may have thought they had to attend to it ASAP and left it in a situation that they believed was "secure."  We also don't know what was frozen, such as the boots they used during the day, and what they could have put on, even if they wanted to dress better.  They (at least some of them) clearly thought they could survive by getting to the trees and starting a fire, so that is a key point here, even if they were 100% wrong about that, as we look back upon it.  What they thought of the tent when they left it is less clear.  Stay with what is clearer and then work back to the less clear elements of the case/incident.