14. The Dyatlov Pass incident
Russia’s Dyatlov Pass was the scene of the bizarre death of nine hikers in the winter of 1959. The team set off, pitched up and made camp on the snowy slopes of the somewhat aptly named Dead Mountain, or Kholat Saykhl on the night of February 1st… and nothing was heard from them again.
It was only weeks later that a search team found the tent, that had been cut open from the inside. Then, one by one, the nine bodies were found over the coming months, scattered around the area. Some in a state of undress, some with their skulls seemingly smashed open, others with missing eyes and one with a missing tongue.
At the time, an “unknown natural force” was blamed and the notoriously secret Soviet Union didn’t mention the case again. Since then, in 2019, Russia reopened the case and a “small, delayed avalanche” is now officially to blame.
That is, despite the injuries sustained being blunt force trauma injuries rather than asphyxiation, which is normally the case in deaths by avalanche. Or there being any recorded snowfall that night.
A freak and unusual avalanche? Or could that unknown natural force actually be something rather, unknown…? Maybe we’ll never know.