Jun 23, 2019 I Paul Seaburn

Another Theory on the Dyatlov Pass Incident — This One Involves Crazed Deer

The mysterious deaths of nine skier/hikers in the northern Ural Mountains of the former Soviet Union which have come to be known as the Dyatlov Pass Incident have been investigated, debated, covered up, exposed, re-investigated and blamed on everything from an avalanche to Yeti to military tests to aliens to forest spirits to anything and everything in-between. What is generally accepted is that the primary cause of their death was hypothermia … but why did they run out into the cold? A new video connects dots from other theories and comes up with a new one involving crazed deer.

“Morning February 1, 1959, about 10 hours. After the construction of the warehouse, a group of Igor Dyatlov came out along the road to the valley of the r. Lozva to walk along the river (according to the route developed by yourself) to the foot of Mount Otorten. Having reached the lowlands of the river, the group was forced to drastically change the route due to unknown circumstances (presumably due to the fact that it was impossible to pass the stretch of track in the lowlands).”

As you may have figured out, that’s a Google translation of the Russian introduction to the video uploaded to YouTube by Pohvistnevo-Inform. (Watch the video here.) It combines real photos from Igor Dyatlov’s team with a narration to build its case for what the makers of the video believe happened after the hikers became trapped on Mount Holatchakhl.

“Someone on duty saw a rocket in the sky and took a picture, which many received the lighted part of the frame.”

The first dots connected are a photo of a bright light in the sky which is linked to an actual launch of a military R-5M rocket at the same time on the same date. According to a document identified as the RVSN Handbook “on which the chronological index of rocket launches for the period 1947-1959 is published,” that particular launch “ended in an accident.” However, the consequences were far worse for the hikers on the mountain, one of whom photographed what may have been the flash.

“Not far from the tent at that time, according to the testimony of witnesses, Anyamov deer grazed. Frightened deer rushed in the direction of Mount Holatchahl. When a herd of deer runs into a snowstorm with a visibility of 1-2 meters, they stumble upon a tent of tourists, who receive fatal injuries when a three hundred pound carcass of a deer falls.”

There you have it. The flash of an aborted military rocket launch spooked a nearby herd of deer, causing them to severely panic (one headline used the word 'rabid' but it appears they meant 'crazed') and run in the darkness directly into the tents containing the hikers -- who sustained some of the serious and puzzling injuries later found on the corpses -- who then panicked themselves and cut their way out of the tents, walking and stumbling confused and wounded into the frigid darkness.

Plausible? Yes. Have these dots ever been connected in this way and that theory been presented before? That’s possible. Has anyone ever produced a video proposing it? No, which is why we’re talking about it now. While that scenario could explain the start of their end, what happened next to the hikers?

“What happened next and how the tourists died (as a result of frostbite) is described in detail in the materials of the criminal case.”

That’s not exactly true. While it’s been generally accepted that there was no crime associated with the deaths, there’s still no general agreement on the causes for the many strange circumstances found at the site over time and through various investigations.

It’s an interesting video and theory. It’s still a few dots shy of a proof.

Paul Seaburn

Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.

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