65. Dyatlov Pass Part 5

We conclude our investigation into the Dyatlov Pass mystery with our final theories about what happened to the hikers all those years ago.


Bedtime Stories


Avalanche Argument


Don’t Go There

1079: The Overwhelming Force of Dyatlov Pass

Death of Nine

Dead Mountain



Lights in the Sky


6 thoughts on “65. Dyatlov Pass Part 5

  1. I’m new to this podcast. Delphi led me to it. Now listening to everything you’ve done. Your application of common sense to these cases is terrific.

    I find that I agree with your analysis almost all of the time.The big exception is your conclusion on Dyatlov. I’m writing to ask that you consider another perspective or baseline assumption about Dyatlov. Please bear with me.

    IF you assume that hikers at this experience level would never willingly go into below zero temperature and snow cover at night with very inadequate clothing, then what are the options for What Happened? If you apply that assumption as an absolute rule, then it seems that the Mansi or 1079 theories are the only compelling options, at least of those presented so far.

    I pose this question based on my underlying complaint with the whole Dyatlov discussion — that most analysis (books, podcasts, tv) assumes the hikers — in a moment of extreme urgency — exited the tent so quickly that several of them did not grab socks, boots, other clothing that was within 5-10 feet. And then with some of them barefoot or in sock feet and as a group generally underdressed for the cold, they marched over a mile down the mountain. Doesn’t that combination of events defy common sense?

    Let’s take the common sense point one more step: even if they thought they had to rush out of the tent without socks, boots, etc,. they certainly could have gone back to the tent to get those things before marching down the mountain. Nothing so dramatic happened that the tent and everything in it was no longer available to use before the march.

    The bottom line is that even in an urgent emergency these experienced hikers were not going to outside so poorly clothed so as to mean what they had to know was certain death, certain death that, in fact, did happen.

    I’m one listener who thinks it would be interesting to hear you work through the theories based on that assumption. Would make for a good follow up show.

    Also, I’ll note both the Mansi and 1079 also explain the coins and other items on the ground outside the tent. Only 1079 explains why the labaz was apparently so oddly placed by these experienced hikers.

    Thanks for the read.


  2. I’ve been listening to your podcast for the past few months, since I discovered it! As a fellow attorney, I love your nuanced approach to cases. Have you seen the Expedition Unknown episodes on Dyatlov Pass? If not you may find them interesting. They start on Season 7 episode 4. I enjoyed an archeologists take.


  3. After listening to this I wondered if you had watched the expedition unknown episodes on the story. I found Josh’s approach as an archeologist interesting. What I loved was being able to see the actual area on video to get a sense of what you were describing. Season 7 episode 4 if you haven’t seen it.


  4. It is discussed that some of the clothing was radioactive and that some writers posit that this is due to the high elevation of the location. Please bear with the following, it is a bit pedantic but explains how this is not possible.

    First, we must understand the difference between “radioactive” and “radiation”. Radiation is energy that passes through the air and acts on the materials it strikes. A radioactive material produces or emits radiation.

    Instead of talking about nuclear radiation which many people may consider as an exotic thing, let’s think about something within the experience of most people, light. Light is a form of radiation; it is energy that passes through the air and illuminates what is strikes. Let’s use a glowing powder for discussion. The powder produces light, the light strikes a person and lights them up. When the source is removed, no light persists, and the person is in darkness. This is radiation.

    By contrast, a person gets the glowing power on their hands. The hands are lit up but also produce light because they have the material on them. This is radioactive contamination and is the only method that the clothing could still have been radioactive when tested.

    It is well known that at high elevations there is a higher dose of radiation from the sun because the protective shielding of the atmosphere is thinner. If we were trying to explain the effects of radiation, this might be viable. However, the phenomenon we are seeking to explain is persistent radiation being emitted by the personal property. The only explanation for this is that a radiation source would have to have been transferred to the property. Since the sun could not have rubbed off on the clothes, this cannot explain the radiation.


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