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Dyatlov Pass (Part 2 of 2)

Episode description


Part 2 of our Special on Dyatlov Pass:  On January 27, 1959, a group of outdoor enthusiasts, known as "tourists" in Russia, consisting of seven men and two women, mostly students and graduates of the Ural Polytechnical Institute (which is now the Ural Federal University) left the village of Vizhay in the northern Ural Mountains on a two-week ski trek, through a region called Sverdlovsk Oblast, the "gateway to Siberia" in Russia.  In Russia a "tourist" is a serious outdoorsman. The goal was to reach Otorten Mountain at the end of their journey.  Their planned route would rank as a "Category III," the most difficult classification for a hiking expedition in winter, which if successful, would qualify them as "Masters of Sport."  On February 1st as they started to move through a mountain pass on their last leg of the trip, bad weather and decreasing visibility forced them off course, and the group decided to make camp on the eastern slope of a small mountain called Kholat Syakhl by the indigenous Mansi peoples, which translates to "Dead Mountain" due to the area's lack of wild game.  Sometime during the night of February 2nd, the group suffered an unimaginably terrifying ordeal, sealing their fate.  When they hadn't been heard from by February 20th, a search party was formed to look for the missing youths.  On February 26th the search party reached their camp and what they found would bring more questions than answers.  It appeared as though something had scared the hikers so badly, that they panicked and ripped a hole in the side of their tent in order to escape, shoeless, into - 20º F (-29º C) snowfall.  It was determined by Soviet authorities that the group had met with a "compelling unknown force" causing them all to flee and ultimately die of exposure with some also suffering significant internal injuries such as broken ribs and fractured skulls.  There have since been many theories put forth as to what this force actually was, but we may never know what was so horrific that it caused this group of experienced adventurers to take leave of their senses and take their chances in the deadly wilderness.  Following the incident, the mountain pass was named "Dyatlov Pass" in honor of the group's leader, Igor Dyatlov.

Tonight's Quote:

"An unknown compelling force should be considered the cause of the hiker's deaths." - Lev Ivanov, Lead Prosecutor, Dyatlov Pass Incident

Show Links:

(Links work best in iOS on iTunes or on our webpage at

Archive of a very comprehensive website about the whole Dyatlov story Supplemental documentation and analysis of the incident Dyatlov Pass on Wiki Terrific archive of all the photos from the group, in English and Russian Forum on the Dyatlov incident - in Russian - you'll need a browser that can translate Donnie Eichar's "Authors at Google" interview about his book, "Dead Mountain" Book Review of "Dead Mountain" Song: Pixies "Wave of Mutilation" from the album, "Doolittle" YouTube vid about Dyatlov - text pulled from Wiki entry but has good photos Interesting story about a family living isolated for 40 years in Siberia Russian Yeti at Dyatlov? Snowboarder Bigfoot Incident Nazi UFO's Foo Fighters More on the Foo Fighters Even more on Foo Fighting The Actual Foo Fighters (Because you were expecting that right?)



Episode 024 - "Dyatlov Pass (Part 2)" Produced by Scott Philbrook & Forrest Burgess; Ryan McCullough Sound Design; Research Assistance by Tess Pfeifle.  Copyright Scott Philbrook & Forrest Burgess 2015, All Rights Reserved. 

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Collections and Connections

May 30th, 2015


Have you ever collected anything?  Have you ever been a fan of anything or anyone?  If so, how serious were you about it, how far would you go to …

Are We Ever Alone?

May 16th, 2015


Have you ever taken a camping trip by yourself? A trip to get away? Were you alone? Are you sure?


Tonight we interview retired …

Spring-Heeled Jack

May 2nd, 2015



In 1837, someone or something leapt into history in nine foot bounds, assaulting women and men, breathing fire and tearing at their clothes. …

What's Gotten Into You?

April 17th, 2015



Technically an invasive species has to kill off a pre-existing species to meet the definition of being invasive. After you hear this …

The Laughing Indian

March 20th, 2015



There are many different levels of torment that some ghosts seem to offer, but what could be worse than mocking?


When our …

John Titor and Other Time Travelers

March 7th, 2015



Time traveler stories have abounded throughout history, but one of the most enduring ones of the past hundred years is the legend of John Titor, a man from the year 2038 who's story of how time travel works …

The Flirting Ghosts of Norway

February 19th, 2015



In the 1890's an illicit affair centered around a hotel in Norway ends badly. Are the departed lovers still hanging around the original …

The Cackowski Intruder

February 6th, 2015



A spirit visits two siblings multiple times a week for several months during their highschool years. Neither one of them knew it was …

The Birds, The Psychic and Ollie the Crime-Fighting Dog

January 22nd, 2015



Bird flies at the window, death knocks at the door.

According to legend, if a bird crashes into a window in your house and dies from the …

The Devil in the Diner

January 9th, 2015



Have you ever encountered someone other-worldly? Someone who seemed to exude a dark charisma that frightened you with their ability to …

A Krampus Christmas

December 20th, 2014


All pictures from The Running of the Butt Mandle in Bertchesgaden, Germany, Dec 6th 2014. Photos property of Astonishing Legends/Scott Philbrook & Forrest Burgess 2014 - All Rights Reserved


Christmas, …

Celebrity Cemetery

December 11th, 2014



Marc D'Andre our Correspondent at Large, is back with one of his special tours of the final resting place of not only Marilyn Monroe, …

Amelia Earhart Vanishes (Part 2)

November 27th, 2014



Did Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan live short lives as castaways, or were they lost at sea after running out of fuel and ditching their Lockheed Electra 10E? Maybe they were taken prisoner, interrogated and …

Amelia Earhart Vanishes (Part 1)

November 14th, 2014



Amelia Earhart is one of the most famous aviators in the world and she flew into the history books in July of 1937 when she and her …

Greyfriars Kirkyard Halloween Special

October 30th, 2014


Welcome to episode 3 of Astonishing Legends!

This episode is about the most well documented ongoing physical haunting in the world at the legendary …

Queen Mary & The Haunted Valentine

October 17th, 2014


Welcome to episode 2 of Astonishing Legends!

This episode is about the floating hotel that the RMS Queen Mary has become and how she treats a couple of guests who've selected her for a romantic Valentine's Day getaway. 

Hollywood Ending

October 2nd, 2014


Welcome to the first episode of Astonishing Legends!

This episode is about what The City of Angels gives back when you come here seeking fame and …

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