YEKATERINBURG, February 4. /TASS/. All conspiracy theories explaining the mysterious death of nine ski hikers in what is now called the Dyatlov Pass incident back in 1959 are ruled out, a local prosecutor’s office official said on Monday.
Andrei Kuryakov, chief of justice administration oversight directorate of the Sverdlovsk region prosecutor’s office, stressed that government agencies had nothing to do with that incident.
On February 1, or 60 years after the incident, Russia’s prosecutor general’s office announced yet another check on the Dyatlov Pass incident case. Most probable out of the 75 existing theories are the ones about a hurricane or a snow avalanche.
"A large part of these 75 versions stem from conspiracy theories this or that way alleging that the entire incident was engineered by the authorities. It is absolutely out of question and we have proved that 15 theories explaining the hikers’ deaths by secret activities of law enforcement agencies are ungrounded," Kuryakov said.
"All fantastic theories have been dropped," he stressed.
According to Kuryakov, the prosecutor’s office has requested all documents that has anything to do with the incident, directly or indirectly. Some of the documents were declassified 20-30 years ago, others have never been classified, he added.
"We have documents about the search operation (back in 1959). Say, we have 15 boxes with correspondence between the prosecutor and Ivdel’s [a local town] tourist club and we are beginning to look it through. Maybe we will find something linked with the incident," he said.
In February 1959, a group of nine ski hikers disappeared on the eastern shoulder of Otorten Mount (meaning Mount of the Dead in the local Mansi language) in the Sub-Arctic Urals. The mountain pass where the incident occurred has since been named Dyatlov Pass after the group's leader, Igor Dyatlov.
All members were experienced in long ski tours and mountain expeditions, triggering a search when the group failed to make a scheduled arrival. Three weeks later, five bodies were found, some hundreds of meters down the slope from the original camp. It took two more months for investigators to find the other four bodies.
Investigators at the time determined that the hikers tore open their tent from within, departing barefoot into heavy snow and a temperature of minus 30 C. Although the corpses showed no signs of struggle, two victims had fractured skulls, two had broken ribs, and one was missing her tongue. It was determined only that the deaths had been caused by "a compelling natural force."
Possible explanations included an avalanche, an attack by fugitive criminals or the indigenous Mansi people, a brawl among the tourists, let alone all sorts of conspiracy and alien theorists.