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Russia's Dyatlov Pass Incident May Have Been Explained By Modern Science 110

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-blame-the-schools dept.
swellconvivialguy writes "Fifty-five years ago, nine young Russians died under suspicious circumstances during a winter hiking trip in the Ural mountains. Despite an exhaustive investigation and the recovery of the group's journals and photographs, the deaths remained unexplained, blamed on 'an unknown compelling force.' Now American film and television producer Donnie Eichar believes he has solved the mystery of the Dyatlov Pass Incident. Working in conjunction with scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Boulder, CO, Eichar developed a theory that the hikers died because they panicked in the face of infrasound produced by a Kármán vortex street."
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Russia's Dyatlov Pass Incident May Have Been Explained By Modern Science

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  • Re:From Wikipedia (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jarik C-Bol (894741) on Saturday February 01, 2014 @06:32PM (#46130481)
    In the comments of the OTHER article on the same site about this same subject (i guess its an earlier interview with the author) someone clearly and intelligently outlines the details of the injuries to the bodies, and explains the causes in context. Turns out, dying of falling off a cliff, combined with extreme cold exposure, can make you look pretty gnarly. http://failuremag.com/feature/... [failuremag.com] look for a post by user 'Dee' as I decline to repost the entire comment here.
  • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Saturday February 01, 2014 @06:39PM (#46130519)
    Occam's Razor says very strongly that we already have a far more likely answer [cracked.com].
  • by icebike (68054) on Saturday February 01, 2014 @06:54PM (#46130595)

    Often not mentioned is that four of hikers, including the three most beaten up, were all found at the bottom of a rocky ravine. The tent itself wasn't covered with that much snow, but even a small slide accompanied by something sounding like a rumble would have an experienced hiker slashing his way out of the tent and running.
    The temperature was such that dressed as they were, they probably had less than 30 minutes to get back to shelter, and if they couldn't find their tent, they were screwed,

  • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Saturday February 01, 2014 @07:32PM (#46130781)
    Not all of the authors at Cracked are idiots, and many of their articles (but of course by no means all) are well-researched. Did you bother to check the references in the story? It's an old article so some of the links are broken.

    But the Cracked author did not think this up. He was simply echoing what many others have been saying about the incident. Every "weirdness" that was actually documented at the time has a rather mundane explanation. There has been a lot of build-up of the story over the years that doesn't appear anywhere in the official record.

    And, as I stated earlier: Occam's Razor suggests that the more mundane the explanation, the greater the likelihood of its truth.
  • by Anubis IV (1279820) on Saturday February 01, 2014 @08:38PM (#46131151)

    As you'd expect from Cracked, they jumped to conclusions based on only a partial understanding of the facts. Go read Wikipedia's page on the topic [wikipedia.org] and you'll note that they misstated the basic facts on which they based most of their assumptions. For a quick example, Cracked mentions a tongue missing from one of the victims and provides an explanation for it, but neglected to note that it was actually the entire face missing, and that the cause for why it was missing was well-established: they found the woman face-down in a ravine on the edge of a stream that would have caused her face to essentially decompose and liquefy off her skull. The wounds and loss of other soft tissue were consistent with that idea, rather than predation or scavenging, as Cracked suggests.

    And the orange glowing spheres that Cracked claims were just people adding a spooky factor for the sake of doing so? Those spheres were actually reported by a wide-ranging group of people spread out over the region, and the reports came in repeatedly over the course of a couple of months. They were later confirmed to have been ICBM tests being conducted by the Soviets. Whether or not they are relevant remains to be seen, but dismissing them as ghost stories just shows that they didn't bother doing their homework in the least.

    The theory in the summary doesn't seem to address why they would need to cut their way out of their tent, so Cracked's theory at least has the advantage there. And claiming that they were witless as a result of infrasound doesn't seem to jive with the fact that they had enough wits about them to try and send out a smaller group loaded up with the warmest clothing in order to try and bring back help for the others.

We warn the reader in advance that the proof presented here depends on a clever but highly unmotivated trick. -- Howard Anton, "Elementary Linear Algebra"

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