Another victim? Tourist disappears in Dyatlov Pass, where 9 hikers mysteriously died in 1959
A tourist has disappeared without a trace at the Dyatlov Pass in Russia’s Ural Mountains. The area, which is shrouded in mystery, is notorious for the unexplained death of a group of hikers back in 1959.
A man from the Russian city of Ekaterinburg, identified as Aleksandr Andreev, has been reported lost in the pass, after venturing on an individual journey to this remote region, Russian media cite local police sources as saying. According to the reports, the tourist has not checked in for about three weeks.
The tourist was expected to return from his hiking trip on February 27, but never did. A group of local volunteers have launched a rescue mission in an attempt to find the missing man. So far, the group has only found a message from him dated February 17, in which he said that “everything was going well,” Moskovsky Komsomolets daily reports.
Andreev also failed to register with the local search and rescue service before setting out for his trip, the media report, adding that the route of his trip is unknown. The search and rescue team became aware he was missing only after his relatives sought assistance.
Dyatlov Pass haunted by unresolved mysteries of its past
The tourist braved one of the most impassable regions of the Urals, which is still haunted by unresolved mysteries of its past. The pass was named after Igor Dyatlov, the leader of a hiking group that went missing there in 1959. All were eventually found dead.
The group of graduate students from of the Ural Polytechnic Institute, who were also experienced hikers, planned to trek 350km on skis through the forest and northern Urals to Mount Otorten (which is translated from the local Mansi language as ‘don’t go there’). On February 12, 1959, the nine failed to report to the scheduled end-point at the village of Vizhay.
Killed by an 'unknown compelling force'
As a result of a rescue operation that was launched soon afterwards, the group’s tent was eventually found on the slope of Mount Kholat Syakhl (‘Mountain of the Dead’ in Mansi) on February 26. The investigators of the incident later determined that the tent had been cut with a sharp object from the inside.
The trekkers also left all their belongings in the tent while apparently trying to urgently flee the campsite. The bodies of the five group members were subsequently found down the hill some 1.5km from their camp. Some were wearing only underwear and socks, while others were even barefoot.
The bodies also showed signs of struggle, such as fractured skulls and broken ribs. One of the women was missing her tongue. The search for the rest of the group took more than two months, but they were also eventually found dead further in the woods on the mountainside.
The incident remains one of the most chilling unsolved mysteries of the 20th century, as the Soviet criminal investigation in 1959 failed to establish the causes of the deaths. The final report stated only that the people had been killed by an “unknown compelling force.”
The incident has sparked many theories over more than half a century. Some said the group died because of an avalanche, while others blamed secret military tests, an encounter with an unknown creature, paranormal activity or even a UFO.
Meanwhile, the ominous place continues to lure the curious, as well as those willing to test their resolve against its austere environments. It also still occasionally reaps its grim toll. In January 2016, a group of tourist-hikers found the unidentified body of an approximately 50-year-old a man at the pass. He was later identified as a local “hermit,” Moskovsky Komsomolets reports. Investigators also established that he died from hypothermia.
In September 2017, a member of another tourist group “died suddenly” while hiking in the area. The details of the incident were not revealed at the time. It was established later that the 58-year-old died from a cardiac arrest.