WARNING!! This article contains pictures of human corpses that may not be appropriate for all ages!! Parental discretion is advised!!!
Continuing our investigation into the unexplained deaths of 9 hikers in the Ural Mountains in 1959 the remaining four hiker remains were found on 5 May 1959 in a ravine under 75 meters (246 feet) into the wooded area from the cedar tree. They were dressed warmer than the others reportedly and there were indications that those who died before the others had given their clothing to those who were still alive OR they were stripped of their clothing by the survivors. The body of Zolotaryov was found wearing Dubinina’s faux fur coat and hat. Dubikinina’s foot was wrapped in a piece of Krivonishenko’s wool pants. Discovery of these four remaining bodies changed the investigation.
Of these four remaining bodies evidence was found on 3 of them that death was due to fatal injuries. Thibeaux-Brignolles had MAJOR skull damage and the bodies of Dubinina and Zolotarev showed evidence of MAJOR chest fractures! The lead medical examiner Dr Boris Vozrozhdenny stated that the force required to cause such damage would have to have been extremely powerful. He compared it to the force of a car crash! These 4 bodies had no signs of external wounds and it was as if they had been crippled by some high level or pressure. Dubinina’s body was found to be missing her tongue!
It became evident to investigators at the time that these 4 people realized the threat they were up against and tried to do everything they could to survive until help was found. Somehow they even managed to dig out a den in the deep snow and placed tree branches from the cedar tree in it to help keep them warm. Remains were found only a few feet away from this shelter in a deep ravine about 4 meters (13 feet) away! Astoundingly, 2 pairs of pants and 1 sweater worn by the hikers were found to be RADIOACTIVE!! Further, some of the clothing taken from the bodies found under the cedar tree had been placed on the cedar branches inside the shelter but apparently were never worn by the survivors. These 4 obviously knew they had to do anything they needed to do to keep warm and survive until help was found. So why did they not put on the clothing found in the shelter?
Medical Examiners conducted autopsies on the remains of the 9 hikers and the following evidence was found:
–Remains found between the tent camp and the cedar tree—
Igor Dyatlov –age 23, he was 175 cm (5 ft 7 in) tall. His body was very lightly dressed. He was barefooted and was wearing a knitted vest that belonged to Yudin, the group member who was forced to return home due to illness. Yudin had given this clothing to Doroshenko before he left, originally. The cause of death for Dyatlov was determined to be “Hypothermia.” His body was found between the camp and the cedar tree along with the remains of Slobodin and Kolmgorova. Apparently, these 3 were going back towards the camp where the tent was when they died. Medical evidence revealed that Dyatlov was vomiting blood at some point. In his shirt pocket researchers found 4 pills of Streptocide which is an anti-inflammatory agent used for wound infection still found in their container. His Zvezda wristwatch was stopped at 5:31 (remember in 1959 you had to whined your watch!). He had minor abrasions on his forehead and upper eyelids. He had abrasions on his left eyebrow and on his left cheek. Brownish-red abrasions were noted on both cheeks. He had dried blood on his lips and his lower jaw had a missing incisor suggesting the tooth was removed long before the hike. His knees were bruised without bleeding and both ankles had abrasions with bleeding into the surrounding tissue. His right tibia revealed a 4×2 cm incision in the lower third part of the tibia. On his right forearm and palm it was noted he had several small scratches. The back side of his right hand was discolored a purple-gray color. The metacarpophalangeal joints on his right hand had brownish-red bruises. This is COMMON INJURY in HAND TO HAND FIGHTS! This is the part of the fisted hand you hit someone with!! His left hand was brownish-purple in color with brownish-red bruises. His 2nd and 5th fingers on his left hand showed superficial wounds. A skin wound was also noted on the palmar surface of the 2nd and 5th fingers of the left hand. He had NO INTERNAL INJURIES! Dyatlov looked like he’d been in a fist fight and his injuries were on his knuckles and face primarily. His injuries are consistent with that and it looks like he was hit repeatedly on the left cheek by someone or something but who? Who or what was he fist fighting? It appears he and 2 others were headed back to the tent camp maybe to get more clothing or food or something but they didn’t make it because they died of hypothermia on the way. But, they weren’t that far from the tent camp to being with! Also note the below pic of Dyatlov’s body. Did he die in a fighting position???
Rustem Slobodin — age 23, he was dressed warmer and better than the previously found hikers but he only had on
one felt boot called a “Valenka” on his right foot. His cause of death was ruled as “Hypothermia.” His skull was fractured and his body had multiple areas of edema and abrasions on his face and arms. Chief Examiner Dr Vozrojdenny conducted the autopsy on Slobodin alone. He concluded that the skull trauma seen in this corpse could NOT be attributed to clumsiness nor disorientation! He concluded that SOMEONE HAD HIT Rustem on the head! His body was found face down in 12-15 cm (4.7 inches) of snow. Medical examiners noted he had hemorrhages in the temporalis muscles and minor abrasions on his forehead. He also had bruising on the upper eyelid of his right eye with hemorrhaging in the underlying tissue and traces of blood discharge from his nose. Did someone hit him in the eye and nose giving him a “black eye”? Frankly, Rustem like Dyatlov appears to have been in some sort of fist fight with something or someone! He had swelling and a lot of small abrasions on both sides of his face. His knuckles were also bruised as one would expect to see in someone who had
had a fist fight! He had bruises on his left arm and left palm of the hand. His lips were also swollen as if someone had hit him in the mouth. Skin was torn from his right forearm and he had a fracture to his frontal skull bone. Did someone hit him in the head with some object or did he fall and crack his skull? Dr. Vozrojdenny suggested that the skull fracture was due to being hit with some blunt object! He also suggested that Rustem likely had lost coordination due to the initial shock after the blow to the head and this could have sped up his death by hypothermia! In the end report, however, all bruises and scratches were deemed as the result of last minute agony!! Just how he managed to injure his hands and legs, however, was left unexplained. Even in an irrational state a person who falls typically lands on the palms of their hands and injuries to the head are less common especially bilateral injuries such as Rustem had. It is also unusual to harm the face and sides of the skull while the back of the head has no damage! In Rustem’s corpse we see THE OPPOSITE!!! His injury pattern is opposite of what you would expect to see and find in a freezing man in the last minutes of his life. He could have repeatedly fell and hit his face and skull along the way as he was escaping the tent walking/running down the mountain but even this would be highly unusual for a man who was most likely in better physical shape than anyone else in the group! Even a long ski trip would not account for such “clumsiness.” Rustem’s body was the only one found with an icy bed under it due to thawing and hardening of underlying snow! That means that his body fell relatively still warm and that there was a noticeable exchange of heat! In other words when he fell HE WAS STILL ALIVE! Remember he was found face down BUT livor mortis spots were found on the top of his body meaning his back! This is NOT POSSIBLE unless someone had turned him over after death! This is also true of Kolmogorova (found face down) and Doroshenko (found face up). The livor mortis is on the opposite sides of their bodies meaning someone or something had turned them all over after death!!
Zinaida Kolmogorova — age 22, was dressed warmer than other hikers but she had on no footwear. Her cause of
death was ruled as “Hypothermia due to VIOLENT accident.” Autopsy evidence showed that she had a baton shaped bruise on her waist. Yet, the examiners apparently did not suspect foul play which was odd! Her body was found 630 meters (2066 feet) from the cedar tree and face down. Her head was in the direction of the tent encampment. She had two sweaters on and one had a torn cuff on the right sleeve. She may have torn it herself or it could have been torn by someone else. Investigators found a military style protective mask on the left side of her chest between the top sweater and the checked shirt she was wearing. She had abrasions on her face (did someone hit her in the face?) and a braze on the bridge and tip of her nose. Skin on the right side of her face was bruised and she had on both hand her knuckles, finger joints, and finger tips had abrasions. Was she fist fighting with whomever or whatever it was too? On the back of her right hand at the base of the 3rd finger a wound with jagged edges was noted along with missing skin. Her fingers were frostbitten. Examiners also noted a strange long bright red bruise 29×6 cm in the lumbar region on the right side of her torso at the waist. They noted that this bruise looked like one that would have been left by a police BATON!! She was not sexually active at the time of her death examiners noted. Did this woman die fighting like Dyatlov and Slobodin perhaps did? She also had numerous abrasions to her face and eyes as if someone had beat her up!!
— Remains found under the large cedar tree —
(bodies found here were found under the cedar tree & close to the campfire pit; evidence suggests these two had climbed the cedar tree to get away from something or someone OR to see something in the distance; fir and birch trees had been cut with a knife nearby but the cut off tops and the knife were never found; evidence at the scene also suggested that more than just these two men were once at the cedar tree and that together they made a great effort to gather wood for protection against the elements)
Yuri Doroshenko — age 21, his height was 180 cm (5ft 9 in). He was the most sturdy and tallest member of the hiking group. His was one of two bodies found under the large cedar tree. He was in his underwear. He had a shirt on but no shoes. Dyatlov was wearing the knitted vest Yudin had given him suggesting Doroshenko died before Dyatlov. His death was ruled as “Hypothermia.” Medical examiners reported he had pulmonary edema also known as “Wet Lung.” Caused by excess fluid in the lungs making it hard to breathe. Most of the time this condition is caused by heart problems but can also be caused by pneumonia, exposure to certain toxins or medications. Trauma to the chest wall can also cause this condition as well as just living at or exercising at high elevations. He also had pulmonary contusion resulting from blunt trauma. This condition is also known as “Lung Contusions or bruises. It is the result of damage to the capillaries in the lungs. Blood and other body fluids collect in the lungs and interferes with gas exchange which may lead to inadequate oxygen levels in the body (hypoxia). His body was found face down. He had burns on his foot and on his right temple. His hands had numerous minor injuries, bruises, and abrasions. The position his remains were found in DO NOT match the livor mortis on his back! Both his body and that of Krivonischenko were laid side by side next to each other. Examiners concluded these two bodies were laid next to each other after death. Most likely their surviving comrades laid them in this position. When found the complexion of his corpse was “brown-purple.” Particles of moss and pine needles were found in his hair and it was noted that on his right side of the head the hair was burned. His ear, nose, and lips were covered in blood. His upper lip was swollen and had dark red hemorrhage. A gray foam was observed covering the soft tissue of his right cheek. There was a gray liquid coming out of his open mouth. He also had bruises and abrasions under his right armpit and on the upper third of his right forearm. On the soft tissue of his right hand (rear side of hand/back of hand) it was noted that he had swelling and small abrasions. There were bruises and bleeding into underlying soft tissue on the back of his right hand near the 2nd metacarpal bone. Soft tissue of both hands and finger tips were noted as being especially dark purple! All of his fingers and toes were severely frostbitten. Had he survived his ordeal all of his digits would have had to have been amputated. On the inner surface of his left shoulder an abrasion was noted as having a brown-red color. The inner surface of his left elbow had minor abrasions of brownish-red color as well. His left forearm on the inner surface revealed a surface wound covered with dried blood. He also had bruises of a pale red color on the shins of both legs. Examiners extracted a volume of urine from his corpse that was smaller than what would be expected from a person who died of hypothermia. Apparently, even at the time of his death his body was still trying to fight the freezing cold weather! Typically, however, a greater volume of urine is found in people who die of hypothermia. The foamy gray fluid found on his right cheek suggested that perhaps prior to his death someone or something had pressed on his chest cavity. It must be noted that this was a common method used by the KGB and Soviet Special Forces during interrogations! However, a nasty fall from a tree could have also caused this. In the final report the examiners ignored this aspect and ruled he died of hypothermia. However, other experts believe his injuries were NOT life threatening! They believe he could have gotten these injuries from him hitting himself on rocks and ice or other objects in the forest while in a state of agony. Examiners ruled that he died within 6 to 8 hours after his last meal (dinner).
Yuri Krivonischenko — age 23, his body was one of two found under the cedar tree along with Doroshenko’s. He was also in his underwear with a shirt on but no shoes. Dubinina had taken his sweater apparently after he died and she had also torn a piece of his underpants off so she could wrap her foot. She most likely did this after he died. His cause of death was ruled as “Hypothermia.” During the autopsy it was discovered that Krivonischenko had apparently bit off a piece of his own knuckle perhaps in an effort to stay awake or stifle a cry. He had 3rd degree burns that CANNOT be sustained if you fall asleep while you are still alive! This means he had to have fallen dead into a fire or someone put him into a fire! His body was found face up. He had burns on his left leg and left foot. His hands had numerous minor injuries, bruises, and abrasions. His body and that of Doroshenko were laid side by side next to each other. Examiners concluded these two bodies were laid next to each other after death. Most likely their surviving comrades laid them in this position. He had bruises on his forehead. He had diffuse bleeding in the right temporal and occipital region due to damage to the temporalis muscle. He also had bruises around the left temporal bone. The tip of his nose was missing with no apparent loss of blood suggesting it was likely bitten off by some animal after he died. He was found face up and his ears were frostbitten. Portions of his skin from the right hand were found in his mouth! The back of his right hand was swollen and his fingers were of a brownish-purple coloring. The tips of his fingers on his right hand were dark brown with minor skin abrasions on the soft tissue. The palm of his right hand was a bluish-red color and examiners noted dark brown skin wound with jagged edges at the base of the thumb. The middle phalanx of fingers 4-5 showed a cutaneous wound with hard edges and a charred surface. On the back of his left hand examiners noted some skin had been torn off (approx. 2 cm or 0.7 inches). On the right side of his chest it was noted he had an abrasion pale red in color approx 7.2 cm and 2 x 1.2 cm. He had pale red abrasions along the middle clavicular line at the edge of the rib on the right hypochondrium. Dark red abrasions were noted on the left wrist and the back of the left hand was swollen. On his left buttocks were pink and brownish-red bruises approx 10×3 cm. Three linear lesions with straight edges and sharp corners 0.3 cm in-depth were noted on the inner side of the upper third of his left thigh and left hip. His right femur and tibia showed 3 cutaneous wounds with sharp corners and he had dark brown abrasions on the front of his right femur and tibia as well. On the front inner left thigh examiners noted dark brownish-red abrasions. Edema was noted on the left leg and foot. A burn was noted on the entire outer surface of his left leg measuring about 31 x 10 cm. On the back of the left foot it was noted he had patches in the area peeling from his left foot. The skin was brownish-red and the burn measured 10×4 cm. The 2nd toe on the left foot was charred to a dark brown color and the tissue was dense to the touch. The fact that skin was found in his mouth from his hand suggests he tried to stay up in the cedar tree for as long as he could for some reason and perhaps he was trying to awaken his irresponsive hands by biting himself OR he may have been biting himself to stifle a cry!! But a cry for what? Was this man scared out of his wits for some reason? Had he been gripped by a panic he could not even imagine? These two bodies were undressed AFTER THEY DIED! Therefore, this was not “paradoxical undressing” as is seen in some people dying of hypothermia.
THE SNOW DEN dug by some of the survivors:
The snow den dug by some of the survivors is a KEY ISSUE in this case because it means some of them were still sane enough to dig it out in an effort to survive. Yet, it is still unclear as to just why their survival efforts did not work! These survivors dug out a shelter (snow den) and had campfires and they died of hypothermia even with warm clothing? That doesn’t make sense!
The snow den was dug out by 4 surviving members of the group. Hardly the activity of a bunch of people severely injured and dying of hypothermia! It was located approx 70-75 meters (229-246 feet) from the cedar tree. It was in a ravine that was hidden from the cold winds. Likely it was the idea of Zolotarev and it was a common way of survival in harsh winters at the Russian Front. The den offered the best chance for the survival of the group particularly for the 4 members who dug it out. It indicates that these members of the group clearly realized the threat of freezing to death so they made provisions to prevent that from happening. They gathered cedar branches and brought them to the den and laid them out on the floor to minimize contact between their bodies and the cold snow. Ludmila Dubinia was wearing the pants and sweater belonging to Krivonischenko if you recall and both pieces of clothing tested positive for RADIATION! All but 3 members of the group had MAJOR INJURIES to their bones having been crushed by some powerful force! Medical Examiners compared their injuries to those seen in car crashes or to someone having been hit by a speeding car. When searchers found the bodies at the den they were found a few feet away from the shelter in a deep part of the ravine and in an area only 4 square meters (13 feet)! Further, some of the clothing taken from the two bodies under the cedar tree were found hanging on cedar branches at the location of the den. Apparently, the survivors at the snow den did not use the clothing! Now if they were freezing to death the question is WHY NOT?
At the location of the snow den searchers first found the body of Dubinina. She was found on her knees with her face and chest pressed up against a large boulder! They found the bodies of Kolevatov and Thribeaux-Brignolle embraced chest to back! The body of Zolotaryov was found down the creek in the bottom of the ravine. There was a camera around his neck. Man abandons his tent in haste and doesn’t forget his camera? Recall he was one of the two men who had gone outside after dinner to relieve himself so he likely already had the camera around his neck at the time the group had to flee. The film in the camera, sadly, was severely water damaged. Apparently, he captured a photo of something on the mountain slope with this camera on the day they fled but we do not know what it was.
For Part 1 go to: