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Victims of Dyatlov Pass Incident
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Vladimir L. Shunin
(Friend of Igor Dyatlov, Zina, Nikolay. He often joined them, but
this time he had to skip the trip.)
Who were they- the studentsof the
These werethe childrenof war (World War II).
Everyonewas raised inthe hungrypost-warchildhood.Butthey didn't worship money. They believed in the
ideasof fraternity, equality,
freedomandfaithin the "bright
realm of socialism."
Study,andworkfor the sakeof all
people ... In those days,there were
Allwere equally poor.
Studentsearned moneywhere everthey could.Basically they worked
loading and unloadingof railwaywagons. They weren't very well dressed
either.Mainly inski suits... Butthey had lots of
fun.Wehad great degree of curiosity thathelpedus study, learn,
Hiking played particularly important part in our
lives.A cult of tourism, risk taking and
courage in a face of challenges was influencedby such booksas "Dersu
"Ural- the landof gold" and others,which we readas a
children.None of these was done for the
money. We did it for the romanticism of taiga, mountains and
for the good ofthe
Igor Dyatlov (Игорь Дятлов)
born on January 13th, 1937. 23 years old. Not married.
Igor Dyatlov is the group's leader. The name of the Dyatlov Pass and the whole incident is named after him.
Igor Dyatlov was a student of the 5th Faculty of Radio Engineering UPI university.
By all accounds he was a talented engineer. Her designed and assembled a
VHF radio during his 2nd year in school, that was used during hikes in 1956 in Sayan Mountains. He also designed a small stove that was used since 1958 by Dyatlov himself. It was taken during the last trip since it proved its functionality.
According to some sources Dyatlov was offered to stay in school
and take the post of the deputy dean of the faculty.
People who knew Igor described him as a thoughtful man who never rushed with his decisions.
He had great deal of experience in long distance hikes with
variable degree of complexity. His decision to establish a tent
on the side of the Kholat Syakhl mountain was a calculated one.
He knew of the difficulty sleepin on the open surface without
protection of trees, but he felt that the group needed some
practice before climb of the final Otorten mountain.
He courted Zina Kolmogorova who also took part of the hike. Apparently she liked him as well. Igor Dyatlov was one of the most experienced athletes in the group who also traced the path of the group.
Body of Igor Dyatlov was found on Fenruary 26,
1959. He was lying on his back, his hands embracing a small tree
trunk. He managed to walk 300 meters from the fire under the
cedar in a futile attempt to reach the tent. Official conclusion of his death is hypithermia
(freezing) without internal or external damage to the body.
There is a version that his mild traumatic brain injury was due
to tiredness and exhaustion. It could also be due o convulsions
before his death.
Igor Dyatlov was buried in a former Sverdlovsk,
today Yekaterinburg at the Michaylovsky (Saint Michael) Cemetery.
It should be noted that
Dyatlov was obsessed with the Mansi culture and language. He even
created his own dictionary of Mansi Russian words. Let me know if
you want to me to post the entire dictionary.
Last letter sent my Igor Dyatlov
on January 26th right before his departure. He informs his
friends about upcoming journey and promises to return from a
trip on February 12- 15
Zinaida Kolmogorova (Зинаида Колмогорова)
Kolmogorova was born
on January 12th, 1937. 22 years old. Not married.
Zinaida was born in 1937 in a village of Cheremhovo,
Kamensky district of Sverdlovsk region and lived there until 1948. She was 4th year student at UPI University at Radio Engineering Major. She was an experienced hiker
with six major trips into the wilderness who had her share of difficulties. During one of her trips she was bitten by a viper. Despite pain and suffering that this bite caused her she refused lighten her load, unwilling to cause hardship to others.
She was very outgoing and energetic. People who knew her say that
she was the "engine of the University" or "the soul of the
company". She was always full of
ideas and was liked by everyone. Despite her popularity in school
she always treated everyone with interest and respect. As a result
people were naturally drawn to her. Diary events mention that
incredible gift. According to the eye witnesses after the hike Zina
intended to return home and see her parents whom she missed.
Her body was found on Fenruary 26th, 1959 in 630 meters from a
fire under the cedar and a tent. She came closest to the tent.
Cause of death was ruled as hypothermia with internal and
external damage to the body. Additionally there was noted that
she had minor traumatic brain injury, probably due to
hypothermia. It is possible that she could hit her head during
convulsions immediately before her death.
She was buried in Yekaterinburg on a Michaylovsky (Saint Michael)
Lyudmila Dubinina (Людмила Дубинина)
Dubinina was born on May 12th, 1938. 21 years old. Not married.
Lyudmila was born in 1938. She was a third year student in UPI university in Engineering and Economics Major.
She was active in tourist club, liked to sing and take pictures. Many of the pictures of the last trip were done by her.
Ludmila Dubinina was very experience, courageous and well
respected leader. Just a year earlier she was chosen as a leader
of the tourist group that went on category 2 (intermediate
difficulty) trip in the Northern Urals.
During an expedition to the Eastern Sayan Mountains in 1957 she received an accidental gunshot from another tourist who was cleaning a rifle. She endured a painful injury courageously. During long and very painful transportation she did not complain and even felt sorry for causing too many troubles to the group.
Picture of Ludmila Dubinina as she is helped by her friends after
the gunshot wound
Body of Ludmila Dubinina was found on May 4th, 1959 about 75
meters away from the campfire at the bottom of the ravine under
a layer of snow 4- 4.5 meters thick. She is part of the "last
four" or "four in the creek" group that probably died the last.
Her body showed evidence that it was moved after her death.
While collection of blood under her skin showed that she was
lying on her back immidiately after he death, she was later
moved. Search party found her courpse face down in the water of
the small creek formed by melted water.
Cuase of death- extensive hemorrhage in the right ventricle of
the heart, multiple bilateral fracture of the ribs, profuse
internal bleeding in the chest cavity. One of the strangest
details of her
autopsy is the missing tongue and lack of description of
these injuries. We don't know if the entire tongue was missing
with the tongue diaphragm or was it just the intrinsic muscle
that were missing. Additionally we don't know whether the tongue
was ripped out, cut out or simply scavanged by animals. It is
one of the greatest mysteries of the Dyatlov Pass Incident.
She was buried on the Michaylovsky (Saint Michael) Cemetery.
Alexander Kolevatov (Александр Колеватов)
or Sasha (short nick name) Kolevatov was
born on November 16th, 1934. 25 years old. Not married.
Alexander or Sasha was born in 1934. He was a 4th year student at a Physics Major in UPI University. Priory to moving to Sverdlovsk he finished Sverdlovsk Mining and Metallurgy Collegy majoring in metallurgy of heavy nonferrous metals.
Alexander Kolevatov distinguished himself as a good student and moved to Moscow
in August of 1953 to work in secret institute of the Ministry of Medium Machine Building that was called merely by its serial number of I 3394.
This institute was involved in a research in the field of
materials used in the nuclear industry. Later he moved to Research Insitute of Inorganic Materials that was engaged in producing materials for the growing nuclear industry.
While working there he enrolled in the All- Union Correspondence
Polytechnic Institute and completed one year of school. For his
second year in September of 1956 he moved back to Sverdlovsk and joined UPI. His friends described him as diligent, pedantic, methodical with clear leadership qualities.
Alexander Kolevatov was an experienced tourist who went on the
long range hikes in the Polar region of the Ural mountains.
Many witnesses claim that Kolevatov always kept a separate
personal diary to all his hikes. His diary was never discovered.
Body of Alexander Kolevatov was found on May 4, 1959 at the
bottom of the ravine along with bodies of Dubinina, Zolotarev
and Thibault- Brignoles about 75 meters south- west of the
cedar. He was buried by a snow layer 4- 4.5 meters thick. He was
part of the group known as the "last four".
Casue of death- hypothermia. Internal and external damage to the
body were not significant.
He was buried on the Michaylovsky (Saint Michael) Cemetery
Rustem Slobodin (Рустем Слободин)
born on January 11th, 1936. 23 years old. Not married.
He was born in 1936 and graduated from UPI University in 1959. He was a very athletic man, honest and descent, although quiet at times.
He was a well experience climber and a camper that participated
in many long distance hikes. Additionally he liked to run at the
long distances. It might the reason why he was chosen to walk
back to the tent as he was in a perfect physical condition. He liked to play mandolin that he often took during long hiking trips.
His mandolin was found in the tent
After graduation Rustem worked as an engineer on Plant number
817 (also known as "Mayak"- "Lighthouse" in Russian). The plant
is a closed regime facility that belonged to Chelyabinsk- 40.
Among other things this closed plant worked with weapon grade
plutonium. He came to work to this secret facility a year before
His father was a professor at another Sverdlovsk University. Although Rustem was ethnically Russian his father gave him a traditional Tatar name following a popular fashion of international friendship
among all men. Although some proposed that Slobodin's parents
might have given their son to honor a long period when they
lived in a Central Asia, where name Rustem is quiet common.
The body of Rustem Slobodin was found on March 4, 1959 on a line
between a fire under a cedar and a tent. His body was found 150
meters from Kolmogorova body and 180 meters from Igor Dyatlov
body. He walked 480 meters from the cedar and was second to
collapse on the way to the tent. His corpse was discovered face
down. Few abrasions suggest that he fought the elements to the
least heart beat and died probably on his feet or shortly after
Cause of death is ruled as hypothermia. However there have been
damage to the cranial vault. The damage is mostly on the right
side, which made many hypothesize that he was attacked by
someone who had left hand as the dominant. More detailed
information on the Rustem's autopsy can be found
He was burried at the Michaylovsky (Saint Michael) Cemetery
or Georgiy Krivonischenko (Юрий Кривонищенко)
or Georgiy Krivonischenko was born on February 7th, 1935. 24 years old. Not married
Yuri was born in
Zuhres, Ukraine and until 1941 he lived in Donetsk Region of
Eastern Ukraine. However after German invasion and breakout of the
World War II his family was forced to move to Saratov and then
again in 1941 he was evacuated beyond the Ural mountains along
with the factory infrastructure.
He graduated from UPI University in 1959.
graduation he started working on Plant number 817 (the "Mayak")
along with Rustem Slobodin. While working in Chelyabinsk- 40 a secret nuclear facility he experienced a disaster that became known as Kushtumkoy Accident. On September 29, 1957 plutonium plant experienced radioactive leak. Yuri Or George Krivonishenko was among the people who was sent to clean it up. His body will wear clothes that have traces of radioactivity that some trace to this particular event. However being an engineer Yuri had more knowledge about radioactivity than most people at the time and it is highly unlikely that he kept any of the clothes that he was wearing two years prior to the trip.
Another possible source of radioactivity might be contact of the
spilled radioactive material around the plant.
He was a close friend of
Igor Dyatlov and participated in all his camping trips. He is
known under name Yuri that are simply Russian variation of the
name George or Georgiy and should not be treated with suspicion.
Krivonishenko body was found by Slobtsov on 26 Fenruary 1959 along
with Yuri Doroshenko under a cedar tree and about half kilometer
from the abandoned tent. He was stripped to his underwear by the
remaining members of the group. We make this conclusion, because
his clothes were found in the ravine by the bodies of the last
four members. Clothes were cut with a knife since his body was too
stiff to move. This fact is the reason for a "paradoxical
undressing" theory. In reality the remaining members of the
Dyatlov Pass simply tried to save themselves by all means
carried marks of burns. Presumable these burns were made by a fire
found under the cedar that apparently burned for an hour or hour
and a half. What forced the tourists to abandon the fire is hard
to explain. Theoretically they could have stayed by the fire until
the sunrise when they could easily make it back to the tent.
conclusion on cause of death is hypothermia (freezing) and
fatigue. He was burried in Yekaterinburg on the Ivanovo cemetery
in March 1959 along with Zolotarev who was buried here two months
Yuri Doroshenko (Юрий Дорошенко)
Doroshenko was born on January 29th. 21 years old. Not married.
born in 1938 in Strelecky region of Kursk Oblast (state) in a
family of three siblings. Yury's father graduated from the Kiev
Institute of GMI. When World War II broke out his whole family
was moved with their factory beyond the Ural mountains to escape
the German occupation and bombing. His
father died in 1954 from a heart attack. The next year in 1955
Yury graduated from High School with straight A's and a medal
for examplary achievements.
Doroshenko was a student of the same UPI university on a faculty
of heavy machinery. It was last 4th year.
Doroshenko was involved in a relationship with Zina Kolmogorova and even went to met her parents in Kamensk- Urals. Although they broke up he kept a good relationship with Zina Kolmogorova and Igor Dyatlov.
Yuri Doroshenko was an experienced hiker
with several long range hikes. He himself headed
several groups in the Middle Ural Mountain range of varying
degrees of complexity.
His body was found on February 26, 1959 under the cedar with
George Krivonischenko by Slobtsov.
Official cause of death is hypothermia, although his autopsy
mentioned presence of strange foam around his mouth that might
be indicative of pulmonary edema, a very rare diagnosis among
young athletic individuals.
He was buried on the Michaylovsky (Saint Michael) Cemetery
was born on June 5th, 1935. 24 years old. Not married
Nikolai or Nicholas or simply Kolya was born in 1934. He graduated in 1958 with major in Civil
Engineering from UPI University. He
began working as acivil engineer and a foreman.
From his personal file: "Thoughtful and shows initiative.
Nikolai Thibeaux- Brignolle was
a son of a French Communist who was executed during Stalin years. He himself was born in concentration camp for political prisoners.
His friends liked
Nikolai Thibeaux- Brignolle for his energy, good sense of humor and generally friendly open character. All people who knew him and went on camping trips with him, an incredible sense of care about all members of the group. He often helped younger or weaker members of the group to carry their things. He fixed their bags to reduce the pain and make more comfortable. Yuri Yudin (only survivor of the group who cut his trip short) mentioned that Nicolai helped him in his first serious trips into Siberian forest. Nicolai promised his mother that this would be his last hiking trip.
His body was discovered 75 meters South- west of cedar in the
Cause of death- coumound fracture of the skull bones and
concomitant copious bleeding.
He was buried on the Michaylovsky (Saint Michael) Cemetery
"Alexander" Zolotarev was born on February 2nd, 1921. 37 years old. Not married.
or Alexander Zolotarev was born in 1921 in Udobnaya village
of Krasnodar region in the South Russia. He was son of a doctor.
He was the oldest and also the most mysterious member of the
Dyatlov group. A native of North Caucasian Kuban Cossacks he survived the Great Patriotic War
served in the active duty from October 1941 till May 1946
in the 48th army of the Second Belorussian Front
Some researches point a strange inconsistency between him
joining the Red Army on October 10th 1941 and reaching the front
on May 10th 1942. And these months were marked by some of the
heaviest fighting between Soviet Red Army and German Wehrmacht.
He should have been fighting within a week or so. Is it possible
that he was trained as a ranger or a special forces soldier? We
don't have a proof for that, but judging by official reports of
his officers he was one hell of a soldier. No fear, no
hesitancy, yet very disciplined and thoughtful.
Survival rate for generation born in 1921- 22 was 3% so Semen Zolotarev was very very lucky man.
Additionally he received four medals including the Order of the Red
Star, "For the Defense of Stalingrad", "For the capture of
Konigsberg" (today Kaliningrad), "For the Victory over Germany".
Below is an official document
stating one of his feats for which he was awarded government award (Order
of the Red Star).
Sergeant S. (! Semen)
Zolotarev crossed the river along with his nine men during the night
from 21 to 22 April 1945 on a pantone raft. As he was crossing his
raft was targeted by artillery and mortar fire from the side of the
One he got to the other
side he managed to construct a ferry for transport of more troops.
Enemy zeroed on the group with mortar fire and machine gun fire. One
of his soldiers was wounded and Zolotarev took his place in an
attempt to secure the ferry. His fearless example inspired other
troops to complete the task as soon as possible. One of the piece of
destroyed ferry laid about 300 meters from the group landing.
Zolotarev left security of the landing site at the river and
ventured into a deep swamp to retrieve it.Another of his men
(private Korneev) followed him with out his order and helped his
commanding officer to retrieve necessary piece of the ferry from the
The task was completed and
ferry started to operate. Badly needed ammunition and tanks were
transported across the river on the other bank of the river.
For the skilful and brave
command of his unit, for the bravery and courage that he showed in a
combat mission Sergeant Zolotarev was awarded government medals.
Haunted, abandoned and weird travel
destinations in Europe
One of the
most strange aspects of this man is his unexplained choice of
introducing himself under a fake name. His real name was Semen while everyone called him "Sasha" or "Alexander". There is no credible evidence of why he chose to introduce himself by a different name.
It is known
whether he joined a Communist party after the war
or not. In April 1946 Zolotarev transferred to Leningrad Military Engineering
University. Here he completed two years of college in physical
education. Later he transferred to Mink Institute of Physical Education (GIFKB). In the yearly 50's he worked as a guide for
a tourist base of "Artybash" in Altai in South Siberia.
Although his carrier might seem usual it is hard to explain certain points in his biography. He could have stayed in the army, but left it. He could have stayed and work as a tourist guide at one tourist base and yet he moves across the country repeatedly without explanation. Additionally being a Cossack from the South it is highly unusual that he never got married, never had any kids and had numerous strange tattoos that he hid under his clothing.
Family members who knew him were suprised to find out that he even
had them. So either Zolotarev was so good in hiding them or he added
them just recently.
These tattoos included his birth year "1921",
letters "Г.С." and letters
on the rear left forearm. The last was common among Soviet soldiers who served together for a long time. Russian letter
"Д" stands for
or "friendship". Three letters were first letters of the three soldiers
who served with Semed Zolotarev.
"С" stood for
or "Semen" in Russian. Although some suggested that
Russian letter "C" might also stand for Sasha (Саша) Zolotarev.
Sasha is a more casual name for Alexander. Others two names are unknown. We can only make guesses.
On his rear right forearm he had a tatoo of a heart and a letter
"C". Another tattoo "ДАЕРММУАЗУАЯ" seems like a complete gibberish.
No body knows what it stands for, but there have been many theories.
We will probably will never know the true meaning of these letters.
At the rear of the right hand at the base of the big toe a tattoo
It is a Russian name, short for
Genady. It is plausible that one of the letters in the
combination was Genady.
Ironically he was supposed to celebrate his 38th birth day on February 2nd. This also becomes the date of his death.
He was burried in Yekaterinburg on the Ivanovo
On the left picture Semen Zolotarev
with his friend during World War II, right picture Zolotarev with
Yuri Yudin (Юрий Юдин)
Yuri was born in 1937 (June 19th). He was a 4th year student of UPI. Yuri left the expedition before the tragedy struck due to medical reasons. His back that
was previously hurt during another hiking trail started to cause pain again.
Yuri Yudin criticized the official criminal investigation until
his death. He believed that Dyatlov Pass Incident was a murder
that was carefully hidden by the officials, either because the
murder was carried out by the Soviet special forces or because
Soviet intelligence allowed Western spies to kill the group.
He passed away on April 27th, 2013. He was buried on May 4th at
the Michailovskoe Cemetery along with his other seven friends.