Dyatlov Pass Mystery In Which Nine People Died Has Been 'Solved'
A mystery that prompted a bunch of outlandish conspiracy theories has finally been solved, according to Russian officials.
More than 60 years ago, nine cross-country skiers died in the Dyatlov Pass incident in the Ural Mountains in Russia.
According to a Soviet investigation, the group fled from an 'unknown compelling force'. The case sparked wild and weird conspiracy theories after grim details of the victims were released.
Some of those who died had fractured skulls and chest injuries, while the tongue and eyes were missing from Lyudmila Dubinina, 21, and Semen Zolotarev, 38. Others were found dead in just their socks and underwear.
Over the years, there have been various claims about what happened in the 1959 incident - with everything from aliens to avalanches being blamed.
Some claim they were killed by yetis while others say members of the group had KGB connections and were on a mission to meet US agents at the time of their death.
However, now an investigation by the Russian prosecutor-general's office claims to have solved the mystery and says the group died of hypothermia.
Senior state prosecutor Andrei Kuryakov said the group's tent was in danger from an avalanche, so the party rushed to shield behind a ridge.
He said: "This was a natural avalanche limiter. They did everything right. But here is the second reason why the group was doomed.
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"When they turned around, they could not see the tent. Visibility was 16 metres (52ft)."
He said the group lit a fire and started a search for their tent but it had completely disappeared in the whiteout caused by the avalanche and, tragically, the group froze to death in temperatures between -40°C and -45°C.
Investigators conducted an experiment to try and recreate the circumstances the group would have faced.
Kuryakov added: "It was a heroic fight. There was no panic, but they had no chance in these circumstances."
The group were graduates from the Ural Polytechnic Institute and were led by a 23-year-old man named Igor Dyatlov. They had planned to travel 220 miles on skis to Mount Otorten in the Northern Ural.
When they failed to complete their route a rescue team was sent out to search for them - what they found was a chilling and grisly scene.
Investigators said at the time that the nine had 'fled in terror' running through the snow for a mile or so down the mountains in the night not having time to get dressed.
At the time there were accusations of a cover-up by the government, which led to a plethora of conspiracy theories.
Whether the newly published report will put such theories to bed once and for all remains to be seen.
Featured Image Credit: East2West