In February of 1959, nine hikers died while on an expedition in Siberia. When their bodies were found, no one could make sense of the injuries and no theory could explain what had happened -- 63 years later the tragedy remains one of the greatest outdoor cold cases. Known as the Dyatlov Pass Incident, the event will be the focus of the Cleo Redd Fisher Museum's next Speaker Series event. Mountaineer and writer Adam Fox will walk through the leading theories and give a mountaineering perspective on what really happened that night.
What the world does know is that it was around -20 degrees F and the group’s tent had been cut open from the inside. Footprints in the snow show nine hikers, some without boots, walking away from the tent in the night, down the mountainside, towards the forest. Rescue teams found two nearly-naked bodies, with burnt hands and feet, by an extinguished fire. Three others were found staggered, frozen to the snow, seemingly headed back up the mountain to the tent. Their corpses showed wounds similar to that of a street fight, including cut and bruised fists and fractured skulls. The remaining four were found in a ravine with crushed ribs and head injuries, but shockingly missing eyes and a tongue. Finally, radiation was found on their clothing.
What happened to the group, and what other evidence do their remains provide? Were the hikers involved in Soviet weapons testing in the area, or perhaps victims of a native Mansi hunting party? Some believe the evidence points toward a Yeti attack, while prisoners in nearby Gulags reported strange orbs and lights in the skies that leading many to suggest aliens. Fox will explore these theories and submit his own.
Fox works locally for Source Media Properties and is currently on a highpointing quest of the United States, summiting the highest point in every state. He is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati, with graduate work at Ohio State and Harvard. He has been involved in films that have premiered at Sundance, SXSW and Tribeca.
The event will be held on Monday, March 21st at 7 PM in the CRF Museum. Doors open at 6:30 PM. The event is free and open to the public, with support for the Cleo Redd Fisher Museum provided by Ohio Humanities, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
The Cleo Redd Fisher Museum is a subsidiary of the Mohican Historical Society. All rights reserved.
The Mohican Historical Society is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. 203 East Main Street Loudonville, OH 44842