Евгений Буянов
Mystery of the Dyatlov group death

Traces – «platforms» down from the tent

Trace of soce and «trace» of «boot»

It becomes clear from the searchers’ statement about the traces that the Dyatlov group after their exit from the tent receded approximately 15–20 m down from it, there they gathered and lost some small things (slippers, hats). Here «the traces were settled down closely». Then 6–7 people went down in a rank. It seems that two of them went down 40 m separately (separately or together) before or after that, and then changed the direction of movement a little and joined the main group. The attentive analysis of the traces shows that there was an organized retreat by a dense group, but in any way it wasn’t the Dyatlov group’s chaotic «panic» flight from the tent. After all they would run up in different directions, dispersed, or went separately at the «panic», unaccountable flight.

The criminalists looked for the traces of the crime and at first they didn't understand, why the tent was cut and torn. They assumed that the attack was made on it. But the witness, invited by the inspector, – a professional seamstress, – said that three cuts on a slope are made with a knife from within, and not from the outside. After that the tent was given to the skilled expert Churkina who confirmed the seamstress’s evidence. Apart from many ruptures, the tent had three knife cuts from within on the external slope, 32, 89 and 42 cm long. It became clear that the tent was cut by the Dyatlov group, not by strangers.

Cuts (No. 1,2,3) and ruptures of the tent, – page from the criminal case protocol

After the analysis of rupture arrangement we came to the conclusion that 42-cm-long Cut #3 could be continuation of 89-cm-long Cut № 2, – a piece of fabric was absent between them. On all grounds this long cut passed over a fold of the lateral slope of the tent crushed by snow. A short 32-cm-long cut, probably, was the first unsuccessful attempt to cut the tent. The cut was made with a knife, but the knife was set against the tent folds, then they began to cut along the fold, but further the cut went too low. Therefore they made a new cut along the tent fold, having started it much higher. Two pieces of the slope are obviously pulled out by force, and the medium part of fabric between the extractions remained. The parts of the ruptures coming out of snow appeared uncombed, – they were blown about violently by the wind for a long time. The tent also had a roof crack along the back side of the external part of the slope and a crack of the internal slope of the roof at the entrance (where the fur jacket was pressed into the slope).

Unsuccessful searches of four members of the Dyatlov group continued up to the beginning of May until snow melted on most parts of the slope of Mount Holatchakhl. The Moscow tourist- masters Bardin and Shuleshko advised to stop the searches before snow melting, leaving only a small group of searchers at the place of accident. But from above, from the regional executive committee it was ordered not to stop the searches! The groups of mountain-climbers came there to replace the tourists (Kikoin's group arrived on March 6), so did the group of military personnel, and new tourists. The outskirts of the place of accident were unsuccessfully «combed» several times and explored by probes.

From the Dyatlov group’s diaries it became clear that a day before the accident they came out to the Lozva and Auspy's watershed (nowadays it is the Dyatlov pass), but met a strong western wind here «just the same as when a plane takes off». For an overnight stop they went approximately 1 km down in the Auspiya's valley and spent the night in a wood zone, in the heat. They warmed the tent, stoking the furnace. Next day they built a warehouse to lessen the weight of their backpacks at the radial exit towards Mount Otorten. At the beginning of their campaign this load was still considerable, and male backpacks weighed over 30 kg. Discharge for 60 kg allowed the group to reduce this weight by 5–6 kg. After a storage construction in the afternoon the Dyatlov group moved towards Mount Otorten along the slopes of Mount Holatchakhl. But they walked a little, – about 2 km. The group stopped on the slopes of a northern spur of Mount Holatchakhl.

Why did the Dyatlov group stop at the mountainside, instead of going down to the wood, which was nearby? There are some reasons. It must be dark soon, and it took 1,5–2 hours to equip the camp. Dyatlov could decide that it wasn’t enough daylight and could refuse to make the same decision, as the day before. It is not excluded that visibility sharply became worse, and in foggy weather conditions the group didn't see the way and didn't see the wood below (the thick forest was at the distance of 1 km). It is possible that Dyatlov didn't want to lose height before transition to Mount Otorten next day and to go down to the zone where snow was not firm, but it was more friable, heavy for the group movement. Perhaps, stone ridges could cause difficulties while passing through them on skis. The group could decide to "be trained" in tent installation on an open slope according to the proposal of the group leader, – after all it was only Dyatlov who had experience of similar lodgings for the night before that. The Dyatlov group took firewood with them, – this fact unequivocally indicates the decision to stop in a treeless zone. The wood was at the distance of less than 1 km, and they wouldn't have taken firewood with them if they had planned to stop in the forest. In general the training to equip camps in unusual places is a normal practice of difficult campaigns, and there is nothing “strange” in such decisions. And Dyatlov could decide that the fate gives him a good chance for such a training. Maslennikov assumed that Dyatlov didn't want to withdraw the group from protection of a mountain spur on the part of ridge more blown out by the wind. Probably, these reasons were the main when Dyatlov decided to stop here, on the slope of a northern spur of Mount Holatchakhl. The decision was made, and the group stayed here, on the eastern slope of the mountain spur.

The films were taken from the found cameras of the Dyatlov group and then developed, – these photos, which were taken the last, were also found on them. In the first picture we figured the most important details to which attention was paid at the thorough examination of the photos. Later, in the course of statement, it will become clear why these circumstances are of great importance. The condition of snow cover, the slope relief, the peculiarities of tent installation on the slope and weather conditions at the night of the accident were the main factors of the critical, and later, emergency situation on Mount Holatchakhl.

The Dyatlov group equipped a platform and put the tent on the upturned skis. Some of them put on slippers apart from warm socks, – the feet froze even in socks as they set against a cold wall of the tent. Everybody understood that such an overnight stop without a furnace will be very cold. On all grounds the group specially underwent such a severe test for getting experience of a cold overnight stop on an open slope of the mountain, blown by the wind.

While the others were equipping the tent, Zina Kolmogorova and Yura Doroshenko sawed firewood and filled the furnace with it. It was supposed (according to Axelrod's testimony) to warm the frozen ski boots on the furnace and to put them on in the morning. And, of course, to heat some drinking water for breakfast. Weather permitting, the group could reach Otorten with light baggage for some hours and come back again. And under unfavorable weather conditions they could approach the mountain closer and climb it after approaching. After the newspaper issue «Evening Otorten», dinner composed of brisket and crackers, and cheerful conversations before falling asleep, the tourists quietly went to bed. The most skilled tourists, Dyatlov and Zolotaryov, might have lain near the tent sides. It being known that Dyatlov or Slobodin lay at the entrance. The jacket with Slobodin's documents covered the entrance from the wind, – they also used additional bedsheet shutters for this purpose. The tent entrance was closed by double boards which were clasped by toggles (wooden sticks – "buttons"). The place at the entrance, surely, is the coldest, but also the most convenient for the group leader from the point of view of observing the weather conditions in the morning, without disturbing the other participants.

The danger artfully approached the Dyatlov group from both sides.

Last photos of the group. Platform clearing for the tent.

The photos are taken otos by V.D. Brusnitsyn from the Dyatlov group’s films

From all evidence the accident occurred at night, in the dark. The results of examination also pointed to it (6–8 hours after the last food intake), as well as the condition of their clothes. They urgently left the tent «dressed in what they slept», – in ski suits and sweaters. The watch found there (according to shutdown time) and the lost lanterns indicated a night-time. And the mode of their activity showed the conditions of low visibility Some evidence showed that darkness and bad weather interfered with their actions. According to the inspector and experienced tourists, only direct risk of fast death could make the tourists cut, tear up the tent and recede from it into the woods.

The birth of legend

On March 31 at 4 in the morning Sergey Sogrin left the tent and saw in the sky a bright star that had a shining halo of «fiery sphere». He gave a signal to Mesheryakov, a man on duty, and then Mesheryakov passed on the signal to the sleeping searchers who jumped out outside and observed the «star» was slowly moving across the sky. The «star» light became considerably stronger, so everyone thought that it was flying directly towards them. But then the light began to die away, and the «star» disappeared behind the mountain. Silent flight lasted long enough – about 22 minutes and only after the «star» had disappeared behind the mountain slope 905 a short flash, «as if made by electric welding», took place. People were influenced by this phenomenon in different ways: some apprehended it rather quietly and the others were stressed.

Having observed this phenomenon that confirmed the earlier story by Karelin’s group, many participants of the search believed that the accident with Dyatlov’s group could probably be connected with flights of «fiery spheres». There were plenty similar moments in behavior of Dyatlov’s and Karelin's groups and search teams: they ran out from the tent «what they slept in” feeling stress and fear caused by the strange phenomenon. One can reasonably suggest that the similar phenomenon has a stronger impact on Dyatlov’s team, and their behavior became clearer. It can be clear why after receiving a signal from their companion outside the tent they cut, tore the tent apart and ran out of it, escaping from danger. And then after instinctive flight in the dark, they have lost, couldn't find their way back to the tent and have been frozen by severe cold without warm clothes. The searchers and investigator Ivanov imagined this accident something like the one described above. But the absence of four victims prevented any final conclusions. That’s why the searchers were looking for them and missing evidences: the Finnish knife by which the tent was torn apart and the young firs were cut off. Everyone believed that discovery of all victims and missing evidences will allow us to reconstruct the accident as it happened.

The searching operation was being held in difficult conditions of winter in taiga. The working hour were limited by a short winter day and moreover before their camp was relocated to the valley of the Lozva’s head the researchers had to take more than 2 hours to get the site and back to the camp at Auspia river. As the wind was getting stronger the works had to be stopped: it was common when one working day was followed by the day of waiting and sometimes bad weather made it very difficult landing of helicopters which arrived to supply works and change the members of search teams. Due to the strong wind helicopters often couldn’t land on the mountain pass and had to fly back without landing and the cargo has to be either dropped at a speed or taken back. The helicopter was sometimes drifted aside by a strong crossing wind with power around 1 ton – this drift could provoke heavy touchdown and damage of gear legs. In many cases such kind of damages can be accompanied by the vehicle falling aside and the rotor coming against the earth. In this case the accident could lead to the complete vehicle wrack with possible injuries and victims among people. The helicopter pilots were fully aware of this fact and didn’t risk unduly and followed the flight instructions. As a consequence during searching operation there weren’t any plane crashes (the accident described in the film by REN-TV about the crash of helicopter carrying the bodies of the victims is not true).

The morale of new searchers was not always in line with the conditions of the rescue operation and the nature of performed tasks. One part of young students who were inspired by the romantic side and came to “see” and become a “searcher” were about to go back home when they have been faced with the first difficulties of living and working in taiga. Not everyone was ready to perform this day-to-day hard, routine and dangerous work in difficult conditions. Arising from that “excursion atmosphere” some conflicts between several searchers and teams leaders took place. Grigoryev, a staff writer (in his “Notebooks”) mentions how Ortyukov was indignant with the behavior of one of the UPI turns (Ural State technical university) who were preparing to leave for home soon after arrival. One can understand that in difficult situations not many people can act like heroes. In big companies you can meet different people including those who are just emotionally and physically unprepared for such specific kind of activities like rescue operation In fact, at that time the emergency rescue services have not yet existed, professional rescuers were not trained and not all tourists with little expeditions experience had enough morale and strength to be a true rescuer.

Searching works have taken place during all April – the taiga and slopes of the Holatchakhl mountain began to release from snow, and the circle of search was getting narrower. At the site where the tent was located they found some small objects, in particular, a textolite sheath from a knife. But victims have not been found yet. Monotonous unsuccessful work began to fatigue and affect the rescuers, the discipline changed for the worse, their interest became dull. People started to look for "entertainments"– not only “innocent” but also for idle ones (unfortunately sometimes it happens).

Finally due to the snow melting separate pieces of clothes have been discovered from under the snow (Krivonishenko's burned trousers and a jacket). As well as scrapings of firs branches and its needles let the rescuers define a proper direction of search. They led them into a stream hollow approximately 70 m from a cedar. The hollow has been strongly snowed under so it was necessary to lengthen avalanche probes to 3 m. Only after that it became possible to seize the new findings under snow 15 m from discovered earlier pieces of clothes. The excavation of the suspicious places allowed rescuers at a depth of 3 m to detect flooring consisted of 14 trunks of small firs and one birch 2 m in length. There were fir twigs and some pieces of clothes on the flooring. According to A.G. Mokhov the positions of these objects on the flooring showed four spots which have been made like «seats» for four persons. The missing tourists haven’t been found there. A new riddle they had! But the searchers were close to succeed.

The place called “cut fir woods”: cut firs’ tops (marked by five triangles). In the background one can be seen two cedars where the victims have been found

Victims have been found with probes in 4–6 m below and slightly away from a flooring at a depth of 1,5–2 m. A searcher Vladimir Askinadzi has found Luda Dubinina's remains – she was stiffened kneeling with her face turned to the slope by the falls of the stream. The other three victims were found next to this place – their heads were situated over 1 sq.m. area. Kolevatov and Zolotaryov were embracing each other in the position «breast to back» by the stream edge, probably trying to warm each other till the end. Thibaut-Brinyol was below than the rest of the team in the stream water. The bodies had decomposition signs but other visible damages haven’t been seen when inspecting on the death spot, making decontamination and detailed examination in Ivdel. They found small wounds on the Kolevatov’s head and scorch marks on his hands and sleeves. Some of the victims didn’t have eyeballs, and Luda Dubinina didn’t have a tongue – later this «detail» caused mystical horror and numerous incorrect guesses about the reasons of such «strangeness» (which was explained later). During transportation at first the helicopter pilots rejected to accept this «cargo» saying that it didn’t comply with their job instructions and Ortyukov argued with them. After receiving special bags the victims were packed «properly» and sent to Ivdel.

The most tragic and unclear riddles arose after forensic medical examination of last four bodies conducted by the forensic scientist Vozrojdenniy and pathologist Hans. They discovered that Kolevatov as well as previous five people died from freezing. But the other three victims had severe internal injuries which have not been identified during the external examination. Nicolay Thibaut-Brinyol had «…the depressed fracture of the right parietotemporal area in the site 9x7 cm in size… with dehiscence of the bone edges from 0,1 to 0,4 cm…». They have also found a crack in the base of skull 17 cm in size, as a result of a compression fracture (as concluded by the examination). Nicolay’s death was caused by these fractures having lifetime origin under cold weather conditions (they couldn’t discover the main reason because of tissues decomposition). In the right shoulder there was a diffuse bruise 10 by 12 cm in size on the anterior-internal surface against middle lower third of the shoulder.

Flooring excavation in a stream hollow (B.E. Suvorov is standing by the flooring)

The excavation in the site where the victims have been found (the flooring excavation can be seen in the hollow above)

From Zolotaryov: «… the fracture of II, III, IV, V, VI ribs is determined along the absternal and middle axillary line together with hemorrhage into the adjacent intercostal muscles… The death was caused by a multiple fracture of ribs on the right side with internal bleeding into pleural cavity in the presence of cold weather… The above mentioned multiple ribs fractures … were life-time and resulted from strong exposure on Zolotaryov’s thorax at the moment he was falling, was being squeezed or thrown back…»

And from Dubinina: «… On an external and anterior surface of the left hip in the middle third there is a diffuse bruise of cyanotic-lilac colour in the site 10(5 cm in size… with hemorrhage of thickness skin integuments… The size of the heart is 12(4(5. The right ventricle has the wrong oval hemorrhage 4(4 cm in size along with a diffusive impregnation of the right ventricle muscle… at the right there is a bilateral fracture of ribs II, III, IV, V along mid- clavicular and middle axillary lines, at the left there is a fracture of II, III, IV, V, VI, VII ribs along mid-clavicular line. There are diffuse hemorrhages intercostal muscles in the site of ribs fracture. The right presternum has a diffuse hemorrhage… Dubinina's death was caused by extensive hemorrhage in the right ventricle of heart, multiple bilateral ribs fracture, excessive internal chest hemorrhage. The described injuries could possibly result from strong exposure which has caused a heavy closed fatal injury of Dubinina’s chest. And life-time injuries are also a result of severe impact after which Dubinina fell, threw herself or injured her chest».

And as a result, all three victims had severe injuries: «Death of [surname] is violent».

The investigation was puzzled by the information provided by forensic medical examination. There was no explanation how these internal injuries have been done without any visible external damages in the load points. Prutkov, a skilled surgeon, didn't find these injuries when he conducted the external examination and palpated victims in Ivdel. One cannot understand how these injuries could arise from falling because the slope they went along didn’t have any abrupt faults and large stones. And falling from your own height cannot cause injuries of that kind. «Squeezing» or "throwing back"?.. What, why and how?..

The positions of victims on the slope of 1096 Kholatchal mountain

There were other questions which the investigation didn't find answers to. At first investigation was conducted by the district prosecutor's office in Ivdel, and then by the regional one in Sverdlovsk. The police didn’t take part in it. «Parallel» investigations at that time didn’t exist. Before 1961 the police didn’t have a legal mechanism of preliminary investigations; they carried out only operational search actions but did not investigate. KGB could take the case away from prosecutor's office but it didn't happen.

Initially the investigators from the prosecutor's office were looking for traces of criminal offense, but could not find them. They didn't find any credible evidences confirming the presence of any strangers in the accident site before arrival of search groups. The investigators interrogated all people who were near to the place of the accident, first of all, hunters and locals. According to these evidences the investigation followed the track of Dyatlov’s group on their way to the Second Northern mine.

The investigators quickly came to the conclusion that locals and hunters weren't involved in the tragedy. As well as there were no «strangers» next to the accident site. The hunters Anyamov and Sheshkin who saw the traces of «narrow» skis of Dyatlov’s group on the Auspia definitely said that they would know if there was someone. According to the evidences of hunters (in particular, Cheglakov and Pashin) when Dyatlov's group went along Auspia river they were following a hunter-mansi footprints who was trailing an elk. But then approximately at a distance of 10 km from the place of the accident they went separate ways – the hunter went aside following the elk’s trace and Dyatlov's group went further along the river.

Hunters and locals couldn't tell anything certain regarding the causes of the group death. But everyone pointed to the danger of strong winds on an open woodless top of mountain ridges. They noticed that on the ridge hurricane force wind is capable to freeze a person for a very short time if one cannot take a shelter in woods, in a hollow, i.e. in the place protected from wind. A forester Pashin said that when such winds were blowing he had to wait in the hollows up to 6 days being warmed by the fire. The hunters mentioned that the hurricane force wind could blow within 10 days and more atop, and some old residents noted that they knew the cases when people died from a strong wind in the local mountains. Ryazhnev, Dryakhlykh, Popov and others witnessed that at the beginning of February they observed unusually strong winds and frosts under 30 degrees. Therefore according to evidences of the locals wind played a fatal role in this accident especially taking into account visible causes of Dyatlov’s team death from freezing.

The investigation hasn’t found any objects by which Dyatlov’s group has been injured in such a strange way; nothing in particular didn't help to identify their cause. They failed to discover the place where the injuries have been made: atop, near the tent, on the slope or down in the woods. Vozrojdenniy has concluded that Dubinina could live no more than 10–20 minutes having her heart injured and this seemed to exclude the possibility of receiving any injuries in the tent zone. In fact, 8 or 9 pairs of footprints going down have been found, but it seemed obvious that Thibaut, Dubinina and Zolotaryov couldn't walk down injured like this. They also didn’t find if the wounded were being carried or transported. The slope near the tent was not steep, from 15 to 20 degrees, by different estimates, and a snow like a hard crust didn't suggest that there was a possibility of avalanche descending on the tent. Well, no trace of an avalanche on the slope was found. Although anyone was not looking for this trace thinking that the slope is insufficiently abrupt.

In addition the investigation found that members of Dyatlov’s team died approximately 6–8 hours after the last meal. Three watches out of four on their wrists showed close time: Slobodin-8.45, Thibaut – 8.14 and 8.39 (he had two watches), and Dyatlov’s watch showed 5.31. According to the practice of rescue operations the watches usually stop on a hard frost approximately one hour after the death of the person. But it doesn’t always happen. Nevertheless the watches stop time showed that Dyatlov’s team were lost about 7.00-8.00 in the morning on February, 2th.

The funerals of three victims took place on May 12 on the Mikhaylovskoye cemetery and Zolotaryov was buried later on the Ivanovskoye cemetery next to Krivonishenko.

Lev Nikitich Ivanov, the investigator of the prosecutor's office who conducted the case of Dyatlov’s group couldn't find an explanation for the causes of the accident. He could not overcome contradictions, connect the known facts and construct a scene of the accident.

In the case one can certainly notice a few «lines» that the investigators developed in order to make up different versions based on different assumptions. Such was a line checking absence or presence of outsiders on the Tragedy place, including, first of all, local residents. Such was a line checking actions of the leader relating to compliance of expedition arrangement and actions en route. As well as checking of absence of some nonlegal and conflict behaviour of Dyatlov's group that could result in the accident during expedition. It is important to understand that all these lines have been checked but they gave a negative result, that is why assumptions that created them didn't become «working drafts» of Dyatlov's accident. At the same time other «lines» of the investigation were not «completed» because of lack of information that the investigators didn't have access to or couldn't find. For example, there was incomplete data about meteorological situation on the Tragedy day, launches of missiles and nuclear tests on Novaya Zemlya. Of course, considerable part of information was not available and it was very difficult or impossible to obtain it those years.

Having studied the evidences of several witnesses (of meteorologist Tokareva about «fiery sphere» flight observed on February 17, the evidences of Atmanaki, Karelin, militaries Savkin, Anisimov, Malik, Novikov, witness Skorykh and evidences of other searchers about viewing of «fiery spheres» on March 31) Ivanov started to assume that the accident with Dyatlov’s group could be connected with some kind of «experiments». He tried to understand the nature of those «experiments», visited the place of the accident once again and investigated the woods. In one place he noticed that branches of fir-trees were scorched. A strange skin color of the victims also evoked some suspicion. That’s why Ivanov decided to make an expert examination and investigate bodies and belongings of victims for radiation. These are his words written down by the journalist Bogomolov for the article «Secret of fiery spheres», a newspaper "Lenin way", Kustanai, of November 22 and 24, 1990: «…Having agreed with the scientists of UFAN (Ural branch of Academy of Sciences of the USSR) I carried out very extensive research of clothes and different body organs of the victims for the presence of «radiation». Besides we made the comparison with clothes and internal of the people who were killed in the car accidents or died a natural death. The results turned out to be surprising. The non-specialists will not be able to understand the analysis results but I will mention only the following ones: the brown jersey of one tourist who had bodily injuries showed 9900 disintegrations per minute, and after the sample has been washed – 5200 disintegrations, i.e. these data point to the radioactive «mud» which could be washed off. It has to be said that before these corpses were found they were intensely washed by meltwater under the snow – actually there were rivers. Therefore at the moment the tourist has died the radioactive «mud» was many times more…". "…When I reported Eshtokin on my findings, fiery spheres and radioactivity, he gave me absolutely explicit instruction: everything to be classified, sealed up, and handed over to a special service and for me to forget about it all. It is needless to say that I executed this order to the letter…»

As a result of all these actions the case was closed by date of resolution on its extension till May 28, 1959. After having been checked in Moscow by the USSR prosecutor's office the criminal case was returned on July 11, 1959, and according to the order of Klinov, the prosecutor of Sverdlovsk, for some time it was kept in the confidential archives (pages 370–378 of the "criminal case" were handed over to the top secret archive). But then it was declassified and handed over to the archives of Sverdlovsk region. There were all indications that Klinov's instructions to Lukin, a head of investigation department in the prosecutor’s office, and to Ivanov, the subordinate of Lukin, to classify the case, were a direct consequence of that Eshtokin's order Ivanov mentioned (and in the beginning of investigation A.P. Kirilenko's instructions not to disclose the facts). After all it is clear that Ivanov reported about progress of the case both to Klinov and Eshtokin. He couldn't «ignore» Eshtokin’s and Kirilenko's instructions as well as he couldn’t hand over them to Klinov as they were orders both for Ivanov and for Klinov. And Klinov followed the order of the second secretary of regional committee to classify the case. It is evident that Eshtokin's decision was based on the information provided by Ivanov. Obviously he had no other information. After having checked the case the prosecutor's office of RSFSR (the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic) didn't report any new information and didn't give any instructions to classify the case.

Trying to classify the materials of the case the authorities wanted to hide the information which could be a source of various gossips and, first of all, to suppress the facts about «fiery spheres» and results of radiation analysis. After all such gossips somehow accused authorities that the causes of the accident weren’t still found. The main argument for case was lack of elements of crime. The investigation hasn’t found any direct evidences of crime and they also couldn’t make any certain conclusions on causes of death of the tourists. The results of investigation were limited by the description of events of the accident and represented an ambiguous statement that «death of tourists was caused by force majeure circumstances». But in the description the investigation didn't specify what kind of «force» it could be and the course of events of the accident.

For some years the authorities didn't allow the organized tourist groups to visit the accident site. But several tourists without official route request visited the place of accident trying to find new evidences and a key to an accident. The first organized group (Valya and Toma Yakovenko, Yura Yudin, Zhora Kuntsevich, Sasha Danilin, Volodya Andrushechkin, Olya Khvatkova, Ira Tkachenko) visited the place of Tragedy in August 1963 and on the island hill fixed up a memorial gravestone made by a sculptor A.F. Karas upon the project of Gennadiy Ptitsyn and Yakov Ruvimov.

And right at the beginning of the article Ivanov made a conclusion: «…True causes of death were kept from people, just a few persons knew about them: the former first secretary of regional committee A.P. Kirilenko, the second secretary of regional committee A.F. Eshtokin, prosecutor of the region N.I. Klinov and the author of these lines, who were engaged in a legal investigation. At the moment neither Kirilenko nor Eshtoknn nor Klinov are not alive…».

Pictures from cameras and belongings of Dyatlov’s team made it through to the investigator Ivanov, and after their studying Ivanov allowed Vadim Brusnitsin and Yury Yudin assisted by Boris Bychkov and Evgeny Chubarev to make photos for victims relatives. So there were "photo albums" about Dyatlov’s group which belonged to the families, searchers and case investigators. Over time they were also «added» by pictures from the previous campaigns of Dyatlov’s group and pictures of participants of the search. The photos in the albums were mixed as for time and place. There was no «privacy» in procedures regarding pictures. In 2009 L.N. Ivanov’s daughter handed over the films she kept to the «Dyatlov’s group Fund» (Fund of Dyatlovtsev) to the investigation volunteers Yu.K. Kuntsevich and A.A. Koskin. Some of these pictures can be seen here. In the belongings of Dyatlov’s group there were found 4 cameras which were given back to the relatives of victims, but numbers of all cameras and their owners are known from materials of volume 2 of the case.

A. Mokhov and Buyanov are standing at the memorial gravestone in the island hill of Dyatlov pass in August 2008

25 years after termination the case of Dyatlov’s group death could be erased "under the normal procedure" according to retention period. But the prosecutor of the region Tuykov instructed not to erase a case like "socially significant". Therefore it was kept safe in the archives of Sverdlovsk region and remained intact.