More than six decades after the mysterious deaths of nine Russian hikers in the Ural Mountains, a new investigation has now discovered that an avalanche was the cause.
The incident on the Dyatlov pass in February 1959 sparked wild rumors and conspiracy theories. For example, there was speculation about the intervention of aliens, ritual murder or a secret missile test.
The engineers and students were found dead in their nightwear at the time. Some bodies showed signs of apparently inexplicable injuries.
Initial reports from the authorities said that the skin and hair of some of the deaths had turned gray and that radioactivity had been measured on their clothing.
More than a year ago, a new study started on what really happened 61 years ago. Andrei Kuryakov, the spokesman for the regional prosecutor’s office, announced the results today.
According to the new research, the deaths are due to natural causes. According to Russian news agency Ria Novosti, Kuryakov said the most likely explanation was that an avalanche had occurred when the group slept in the mountains of about 2,000 kilometers east of Moscow.
The walkers were able to leave their tents and find shelter under a slope. But when the wall of snow hit them, they eventually froze to death, he said, adding that the temperature was then around minus 40 degrees Celsius. The injuries were also characteristic of avalanche victims, Kuryakov said.