Евгений Буянов
Mystery of the Dyatlov group death

10. For data we report that the UPI saving group is thrown in the mountain area Oyke-Chakur under the direction of O. Grebennik (6 people) besides, systematic air photography of all district of an emergency route is conducted.

    Head of searches colonel Ortyukov.

Dumped Maslennikov's note when Slobtsov's group already found ski traces in a valley of river of Auspiya a bit later and conducted active search by three links diversely.

E.Maslennikov's note (The original is contributed to by Vadim Brusnitsyn Fond DyatlovDyatlovtsev in March 2007 г., the Text with скана notes is dumped 26.02.59):

To data of group of Slobtsov.

1. By this helicopter we dumped Axelrod and Sogrin's group (5 persons) on Otorten's top for the purpose of its detailed inspection together with all slopes. Therefore to rise once again by Otorten as about it tells a yesterday's task, to you doesn't follow. By the way, further try to leave at emergence of the plane on an open place at the price of loss of 10–15 minutes or instantly kindle a smoky fire (bark(for bonfire) keep in readiness).

And that yesterday we turned more than half an hour while you well considered. On Otorten there will be a good radio station (by the way the radio operator B. Yaburov asks to say hello V. Halizova).

2. Other helicopter threw out group of captain Tchernyshov today in the 1st half of day in 8 km below sources of Vishera, from where it will rise by a watershed, will go down on other party (leaves a note about what you know), then you catch up with it on ridge and further move together.

3. Tomorrow morning to the region of Sampalchakhl with a task to survey it, and also both slopes – to Vishera and Neolsa will be lowered Karelin's group (6 tourists).

4. Along east slope of ridge to the north there are on sledge Bakhtiarova's brothers. On the western slope of ridge there were several points hunters of the river of Komi.

    I wish success. With greetings E.Maslennikov.

Down notes: Unfortunately, Muncie Suyevata (from village Suevatpaule – note) only today left Auspiya's mouth. We counted that they will meet you still yesterday, but they were late.

After inspection of a valley of Lozva Slobtsov's group 24.02 turned to the south, rose by a dividing spur and on a short way on February 25 left through a taiga in Auspiya's upper course. Here carried out investigation up and down down the river and in five kilometers found the remains of parking of DyatlovDyatlovthe Dyatlov group below. And on its left coast found hardly appreciable, ski trace swept up by snow which vanished in an upper course. 26.02 carried out investigation already three links up according to Auspiya. One link surveyed transition from a valley to the south, – here DyatlovDyatlovThe Dyatlov group could go after an ascension on Otorten. The second link undertook searches in a valley, – looked for both traces of DyatlovDyatlovthe Dyatlov group and their possible storage of products (warehouse). Slobtsov's third link, having taken an approximate azimuth of a ski track of DyatlovDyatlovetses, went towards top of Holatchakhl and to the pass to a valley of sources of Lozva.

Gora (Mountain) 1097 (and on small-scale charts 1096,7) – in transfer from vogulsky (Muncie) of language the fatal name «Mountain of dead persons» ("Holatsyakhl" or "Holat-Syakhyl") has Gore Holatchakhl. However, according to other accord, the version of its name was not so such ominous: «Auspi-Toomp», or «The bald mountain on Auspiya» (the mountain which has not been covered with the wood). Also there is one more version of an origin of the name without the letter «T»: the mountain «Hola-Chakhl» that in transfer from the mansi meant «The average mountain», – the average mountain of sources of Lozva (this explanation is given by Karelin, – the expert on local toponymics).

There are the hypotheses connecting the name of the mountain of "dead persons" with burials available there, but locals reported nothing about them. There were also the hypotheses connecting the name of the mountain and with death of nine Muncie still during ancient times, and with death of «9 Red Army men» during civil war. These assumptions too aren't confirmed with any exact data yet. Near the mountain Holatchakhl no sacred or ritual places under certificates of locals existed, and isn't present.

Two links in Auspiya's upper courses found nothing. Slobtsov's link moved towards the mountain Holatchakhl to the pass on Lozva's sources, and his search appeared successful.

Slobtsov wanted to see «this Otorten», to see possible options of movement to its top. Assumed that failure of DyatlovDyatlovthe Dyatlov group could occur on Otorten because of a collapse of snow eaves or group falling in «failure», – this hypothesis was stated by forester Pashin ("Ivan"). Whether there are eaves on Otorten, and whether there is there "failure"?

Excerpt from Slobtsov's story:

«… The coordinated search plan assumed regular radial deviations from the main direction by groups of two-three people for the purpose of detection of traces or places of parking of DyatlovDyatlovets. Next day ski traces and some signs of stops and parking which we isn't so sure started to come across to us, but nevertheless carried to DyatlovDyatlovsky group as no other tourists in this area should be at this time. After the second spending the night in a valley of the river of Auspiya and loss of traces of unknown group, we decided to make radial searches by small groups on two-three persons. Our way with Sharavin and hunter Ivan lay on the pass in a valley of the river of Lozva and further on ridge from which hoped in the field-glass to consider Otorten's mountain. On Sharavin's pass, looking through in the field-glass east slope of ridge, saw on snow the something similar to filled-up tent. Decided to rise there, but without Ivan. He told that not very well feels and will wait for us on the pass (we understood that it is simple afraid). As approaching tent the slope became more abruptly, and the crust is more dense, and we had to leave skis and the last tens meters to go without skis, but with sticks.

At last, rested against tent, we stand, we are silent and we do not know what to do: the tent slope in the center is broken off, inside the snow, any things, skis stick out, at an entrance will thrust during snow an ice axe, people it is not visible, terribly, already horror!. ("" Rescue efforts in the The Northern Urals, February, 1959, DyatlovDyatlov's pass», the EKS magaZina, No. 46, 2007).

Group of tourists on a search route in a taiga of a valley of Auspiya: Mikhail Sharavin (at the left), Vladimir Strelnikov, Boris Slobtsov (in the center), Vyacheslav Halizov (on the right with the card). V. Brusnitsin's photo from 25.02.59)

Were after all and suspicions that someone attacked DyatlovDyatlovets. What there, in tent?.. Whether there are in it people, live or lost? The stress and internal tension captured rescuers – all remembered «instructions» undesirability of contacts to strangers and observance of measures of care. Warned that in the area there can be convicts, wild animals. And didn't understand everything, what for trouble, – why DyatlovDyatlovThe Dyatlov group was gone?..

The tent stood in the destroyed condition, covered with snow. Outside stuck out only a corner over the resisted rack from an entrance turned to the pass, fabric scraps in the middle (acting from under snow), pair of skis, an ice axe and separate edges of ski sticks on which delays fastened. This tent was the long, double, sewed joining of two tents lodges. The back rack failed, – the fallen part of tent behind was closed by a snowdrift. Didn't keep it in the middle and two racks from the skis, thrust at an entrance in tent (according to Sharavin). Rescuers carefully examined tent inside through a rupture of a roof. Furrow snow in and along tent, using an ice axe which stood at its entrance. People inside didn't appear. The external slope of a roof of tent appeared is broken strongly off, large pieces of a roof were absent. The entrance in tent in its gap from a slope had a fur jacket which force pressed into slope snow.

Participants and heads of search groups

Participants of searches and consequence. From right to left: Koptelov, Lebedev, Halizov, Tchernyshov, Sogrin, Atmanaki (below), Brusnitsin (behind), Axelrod, Slobtsov, Tipikin (below), Sharavin? (for Sharavin), Cheglakov,? (for Cheglakov), Ivanov (wearing spectacles),? Anyamov

From above in tent the blankets thrown in a disorder which crumpled and have frozen together rolled. On a forward rack in tent Slobodin's jacket-storm from which pocket took a box from under sugar candies fruit drops hung. In a box there were documents, train tickets and money. Traces on snow at tent didn't notice, – traces were visible and began in 15–20 m from tent, and order directly down, to the wood. Attentively these traces Slobtsov and Sharavin didn't begin to study and didn't begin to dig out an entrance, – they hurried up to return on the parking before dark and to manage to report to companions about the find. Searchers felt better, without having found in tent of victims and in the absence of robbery signs as money, alcohol and valuable things were in tent. Having taken a box with documents, a flask with alcohol, an ice axe and the camera as "material evidences", Slobtsov and Sharavin on skis returned to the camp.

Earlier Slobtsov had no radio communication, but at 13.00 26.02 radio operator Egor Nevolin of a northern geological expedition of Sulman approached to Slobtsov's camp (a call sign: «Border», Nevolin's call sign: «Raup», Ortyukov's call sign: "Mole"). Nevolin reported at 13.00 about connection of groups on Auspiya. And about 18.00 Nevolins reported in a search staff on a find of tent of DyatlovDyatlov Slobtsov's group. Already in the dark four Muncie – Kurikova and Nikolay Anyamov with a cervine team too left to camp on Auspiya. On a radio communication session with a staff at 23.00 rescuers specified an arrangement of tent of DyatlovDyatlov and camp of searchers at the mountain Holatchakhl. The staff instructed Slobtsov to prepare a platform for helicopter reception, to choose a place for the equipment of big camp on 50 people and to be since morning on communication.

Decided to celebrate a find in the evening, having drunk on a half-glass of the diluted alcohol. Someone lifted a toast: «For health of DyatlovDyatlovetses!». On what local conductors (Pashin – «Ivan» and Cheglakov – "Alexey") gloomy objected that: «It is necessary to drink "for the peace of" …» rather. Polytechnicians nearly didn't beat them, – all students while were sure that anything serious DyatlovDyatlov with group didn't happen, they simply didn't want to trust in it …

"Star" flight

Participants of group of Karelin told any strange story about flight supervision «a fiery sphere» in seven mornings on February 17 when it was still dark. «Sphere» with an asterisk in stars in the night sky as «the full Moon» within 2–3 minutes with increase of force of light, and then its luminescence began to decrease, didn't go out yet absolutely. They at that time were in a campaign, – they were woken by the persons on duty Atmanaki and Shavkunov who have noticed the extraordinary phenomenon of «sphere» shining in the sky with concentric rings around, the size in 5–6 «moon diameters». The woken tourists jumped out of tent in what slept, – without footwear, in socks, and in ski suits without jaket-storm and padded jackets. Probably, after the first discussions of this phenomenon someone stated a hypothesis about its communication with failure of DyatlovDyatlovthe Dyatlov group. «The riddle of fireballs» so arose. After all DyatlovDyatlovetses too jumped out of tent «in what slept», – in sweaters and ski suits, without jackets and without footwear… This assumption will be supported also soon with indications of other witnesses, and new supervision of «star flight». And the authentic explanation of this phenomenon to us will manage to be found only in February, 2007.

Don't leave me in terrible trouble,
When my strength is coming to the end, —
The person consists of people,
Who give a helping hand in the hour of need!


Tragic finds and questions without answers

Having got the message about the found tent, Ortyukov and Maslennikov began to draw up rescue forces to Mount Holatchakhl (1096) for localization of the search zone. The Karelin and Tchernyshov groups were transferred here from Ivdel and upper reaches of the Vishera already on February 27th together with Moiseyev and Mostovoy with guard dogs. After receiving a message with a pendant from the plane, on February 27th the Tchernyshov group made all ready for the journey in the morning and set out for Mount Holatchakhl (it was 25 km away from this place). The flown-up helicopter picked them up and delivered to the outlier on the pass at Mount Holatchakhl. The Grebennik group was given a signal with a pendant from the plane while approaching Mount Oyko-Chakur, and they started descending along the Toshemka in the direction of Vizhay. The next day the helicopter took them off. The Grebennik group also had a “double” tent which looked like the Dyatlov group’s tent.

On all grounds, it was the tent, which the aviators (Karpushin, Patrushev) saw, who spoke of it much later as of the Dyatlov group’s tent, near which “the dead” were lying. However, it was the Grebennik group’s tent, and it was the tourists of the Grebennik group, who were lying in a conventional sign near it, not “the dead”. And it was on February 27th, when the aviators saw the tent, not on 25th, – already after discovering the Dyatlov group’s tent by the Slobtsov group.

The Dyatlov group’s tent after its partial excavation (Yury Koptelov is near the tent, Vladislav Karelin is behind him). A photo by Tcheglakov A.S., February, 27

The Axelrod group was ordered with a pendant from the helicopter to prepare for the departure. Having learned of finding Dyatlov’s tent, experienced Axelrod and Sogrin understood that the Dyatlov group was gone. They couldn't go far away from the accident site without skis, and couldn't survive without clothes, provisions and equipment. Accident! All three companions bared the heads and kept silent, remembering the lost friends. The Axelrod group arrived in Ivdel by helicopter on February 28th, and on March 1st they arrived at Holatchakhl.

After February 28th, 1959 the search was officially headed by the regional executive committee led by Pavlov. But the role of Ortyukov and Maslennikov’s operative guide wasn’t changed, – they continued to work, giving a report to the committee and getting help from it in regard to collecting, providing and changing of search groups at the place of accident. It wasn’t the «former» staff (headquarters) in Ivdel any more as all its main organizers constantly moved between the place of accident, Ivdel and Sverdlovsk.

On February 27th in the morning Mikhail Sharavin and Yury Koptelov got over the pass and went down to the woods. The natural slope led to a large cedar, where at the distance of 1,5 km from the tent the searchers found the first victims near the remains of a small fire. Two of them were lying together under a blanket, almost undressed, – only in underwear. The cedar branches were found around and under the bodies, – the tourists got firewood, climbing up the cedar (at the height of about 3 m) and breaking off medium-sized branches at the height of up to 5 m. Thick lower branches were bent down for capturing by the companions from below and broken by joint efforts. From this desperate work there were traces of blood of the frozen hands on the bark. The dead had traces of burns on their hands and feet. After identification it turned out to be «two Yurys», – Doroshenko and Krivonishchenko (At first Doroshenko was taken for Zolotaryov by mistake). The forensic medical examination established that they had died of freezing. Nearby there were found cuts with a knife with demolitions of young firs and cuts on birches. The cut-off tops of firs and the knife weren’t found.

Krivonishenko and Doroshenko snowed under the cedar

(photo made by Evgeniy Serditykh, Karelin-s group)

Doroshenko and Krivonishchenko covered with snow under the ceder

Igor Dyatlov’s forearm and elbow peeking out of snow

Igor Dyatlov died near a birch

Dead Zina

Dead Rustem Slobodin (a dense structure of snowballs can be seen on the photo)

The helicopter near Mount Holatchakhl

The searchers returned to the pass and found the helicopter which had set down the part of the Karelin group and the guides Moiseyev and Mostovoy with search dogs. The air over the Dyatlov pass shivered with the roar of engins: helicopters arrived and departed one by one. The Tchernyshov group and the rest of the Karelin group «karelintsy» arrived a little bit later. Maslennikov and the investigation team: the prosecutor of Ivdel Tempalov with the staff reporter of the regional newspaper Yuri Yarov arrived by the evening, – they began their work next day on February 28th.