Tag: evidence

New Evidence In The Dyatlov Pass Mystery

In 1959, a team of experienced hikers in Russia went missing. When they were finally discovered, all 9 of them lie dead, under very mysterious circumstances. This event, known as the Dyatlov Pass incident, has gone down as one of the most mysterious deaths of all time. But some new data may have solved the mystery once and for all.


Maybe a similar story of a mystery that conjured up all kinds of crazy theories that turned out to be something basic and mundane.


Basic bitch version…

A couple of years back I did a video on 4 Mysterious Deaths and Disappearances, which no list of mysterious deaths would be complete without talking about the Dyatlov Pass incident.

So, I’ve covered this topic before, but there’s a lot more to the story than I was able to get across in just a few minutes, and there’s been some research in the last year that seems to kinda tie this mystery up in a bow. Most of it anyway.

So why waste time? It’s the Dyatlov Pass incident, it’s one of the weirdest internet mysteries in the world, and it might be solved, let’s talk about it.

On Jan. 27, 1959, seven men and women went on a hiking and skiing trip in the Ural Mountains of Russia.

Their plan was to hike from the city of Vizhay (vee-zhy) to the top of a mountain named Otorten. It was going to cover 306 kilometers (190 miles) over 14 days.

Let me stop for a second and acknowledge something I never hear people talk about when this mystery comes up, this was an ambitious and dangerous trip these guys were on.

They were going to be hiking, camping, and skiing for two straight weeks over nearly 200 miles of mountains in Russia, in January. I think it’s safe to say there were a lot of opportunities for things to go wrong.

The group consisted of graduates and students from Ural Polytechnical Institute. All of them were experienced hikers and skiers. Which they would have to be to attempt a trip like that. In fact, that’s one of the things that people point to, is that the fact they were such experienced hikers makes this whole thing even weirder.

To be fair, there are some super weird circumstances around this particular expedition.

Okay, so they left on January 27th. There was a 10th member of the group named Yuri Yudin. He got sick at the start of the trip and dropped out.

Dyatlov told Yudin he would send a telegram to their sports club when they returned to Vizhay.

This was supposed to happen by February 12th, but he told Yudin it could be longer.

So, that day passes with no message. Nobody thinks anything of it.

But then more and more days pass. Relatives got concerned and demanded a rescue mission.

The first rescue group of volunteers set out on February 20th. Then the army and police got involved.

The hiking group was located on February 26th. This is when things get strange.

Let’s start with an abandoned tent.

It was half torn, covered in snow, and all of the hikers’ belongings were still in it, including their shoes.

Even stranger: It looked like it had been cut from the inside.

Footprints were found. They lead to the woods nearby to the bodies of Doroshenko and Krivonischenko, who were beside the remnants of a fire.

Also, they were wearing only their underwear.

A nearby tree had broken branches up about five meters (16 feet) that suggested they climbed the tree to look for something.

Traces of skin in the bark supported that theory.

Searchers found Dyatlov and Kolmogorova’s bodies the next day between the tent and the woods. Slobodin’s body was found on March 5.

All three looked like they tried to return to the tent, and like the others, were found in only their underwear. Medical examiners named hypothermia as the cause of their deaths.

While the fact that they were found half-naked is strange, there is a logical explanation.

It’s called paradoxical undressing, and it’s something that happens a lot in the final stages of hypothermia.

As the nerves become damaged and brain functions start to dwindle, it creates a sensation of extreme heat. People feel like they’re burning up, so they strip off their clothes, which of course only accelerates the process.

The searchers found the rest of the bodies over the next couple of months. But more mysteries appeared.

It took the searchers longer to find the other group members because they were in a ravine covered in snow, 76 meters (250 feet) from the tree mentioned earlier and close to an improvised shelter.

These members were dressed better than the others, but they had fatal injuries, like chest fractures and skull damage.

One of them was even missing her tongue.

One doctor described the internal injuries as similar in force to what you’d receive in a car crash, but there were no external wounds.

The weirdest thing of all: Some of their clothes were radioactive.

The government’s official statement at the time was that Dyatlov committed a series of mistakes and the group died from overwhelming natural forces.

Some of the mysteries have logical answers.

We already talked about the reason for the disrobing. An animal may have taken the missing tongue.

But the strange jumble of other evidence has caused some wild speculation about what happened to the hikers.

Why did they abandon their tent, cutting themselves out instead of just unzipping it?

What caused the internal injuries with no external ones?

And what’s with the radioactive clothes?

So, there are a few theories about what exactly happened to them.

One is that an Indigenous people in the area called the Mansi attacked them. But the Mansi are known to be peaceful, and there were no indications of an attack.

Another theory is wild animals killed them. Investigators didn’t see any evidence to support this.

And then some people think the group ate psychedelic mushrooms, which lead to their disorientation.

Of course, some people believe things like a Yeti or aliens attacked them.

An interesting bit is that other hikers in the area did report seeing orange globs in the sky around the same time the hikers were traveling.

But that could be related to parachute mine tests the Soviet military was conducting at the time in that region.

Those mines are known to cause internal, but not external, damage to bodies. So, maybe that was it?

Or could infrasound lead to their deaths?

A wind phenomenon named the “Kármán vortex street” can create a powerful and terrifying sound.

Winds blowing through the pass could’ve been warped as they hit the sides of the mountain. This would’ve created a series of small tornadoes with deafening noise.

Under certain conditions, the noise can be subtle and produce infrasound, a vibration in the air with a frequency so low human ears can’t detect it.

Studies have shown that it can affect humans with sleep loss, shortness of breath, and extreme dread.

While that sounds interesting, I think the most plausible explanation is something more common than that: An avalanche.

Now, the area they were in wasn’t very steep. Plus, their diaries said the snow was thin at the time.

But there are some new findings that show it could’ve been a slab avalanche.

There are two main types of avalanches: loose snow and slab. And they behave very differently.

All avalanches have massive potential energy, how much depends on their height and the mass of snow.

For example, if a small avalanche contains 1,000 kilograms of snow, its force is 9,810 newtons.
Loose snow avalanches often start on a small area and expand as they move.

They are caused by snow getting deposited at a steeper angle than the snow’s natural angle of repose.

Slab avalanches are different. And way more dangerous.
With slab avalanches, instead of a little bit of snow slowly accumulating and spreading out, an entire layer of snow slides away all at once.

Basically the force of gravity overcomes the bond between the snow layers and they just separate.

This massive amount of snow falling all at once packs a giant whallop, and it doesn’t take a lot to trigger them; sometimes it’s the wind, sometimes it’s the victim themselves.

The avalanche theory for the Dyatlov Pass is the most plausible.

But it was the slab avalanche theory that was proposed by two scientists based in Switzerland in a study published in Communications Earth & Environment in 2021.

The scientists in question are Johan Gaume and Alexander Puzrin, and what they did was they scoured Soviet archives about the incident, and then applied computer avalanche simulations to it.

There were some questions they wanted to answer:

  •  Such as why there weren’t obvious signs of an avalanche when the search team arrived 26 days later,
  • whether the slope angle above the tent was steep enough for an avalanche,
  •  why the skull and thorax injuries weren’t typical for avalanche victims.
  • And whether the hikers made a cut into the slope for the tent,

That last one has been a bit of a debate for a while but that’s a common thing that campers do in the snow, they clear out a little space in a snow bank and then use that snow bank as a barrier against wind.

The theory is that the campers did that when they set up their tent, and may have triggered a slab avalanche that then fell on top of them.

The big question is what caused the delay in the avalanche? Why didn’t it trigger an avalanche right when they cut it? Why did it wait until several hours later before it fell on them?

Their theory suggests that there might have been a deeply buried weak snow layer that might have been strong enough to support the weight above at first, but that strong katabatic winds in the area slowly accumulated snow over the hours, eventually causing the weak layer to give way.

And according to their computer models, this would support the argument that an avalanche could have occurred between 7.5 and 13.5 hours after the hikers made the cut.
As the researchers wrote in their study:

“Dynamic avalanche simulations suggest that even a relatively small slab could have led to severe but non-lethal thorax and skull injuries, as reported by the post-mortem examination.”
They concluded that pitching a tent on an even mild slope of fewer than 30 degrees can be dangerous.

There were some objections to this theory.

These included that there wasn’t any snow cover on the slope, there wasn’t any wind the night of the incident, the slope is too flat, and avalanches don’t happen in that area.

They did find two Russian scientists to confirm that there was snow on the slope and that wind was present that day and night.

For the objection about how flat the slope is, the researchers helped organizers who were producing a documentary called “The Dyatlov Mystery.”

Two expeditions to the area were completed in March and September 2021. The winter expedition had snow cover, so they weren’t able to see the terrain’s topography.

But the summer session was clearer, and they were able to use a drone to create a high-res 3-D digital model of the area’s terrain.

And what they found was steps in the terrain with inclinations exceeding 28 degrees, and many steeper slopes of more than 30 degrees.

The slopes weren’t just local. They were everywhere, meaning you would likely be below one no matter where you pitched your tent.

To test the theory that avalanches don’t happen in that area, the organized another expedition to see for themselves, but it didn’t go well.

They set out on snowmobiles but hit some nasty weather. Like the wind was gusting so hard it was blowing them over kind of weather.

And when they finally got there, they found evidence of not just one slab avalanche, but two of them.

In fact, since the study’s publication, there have been several documented slab avalanches on the eastern slop away from the Daytlov group tent.

The mountain guides reported that one of the slab avalanches was invisible after less than an hour of snowing.

So the fact that they didn’t find any evidence of an avalanche three weeks after the incident, doesn’t really mean much.
As the researchers wrote:

“In such severe weather conditions the Pass cannot be easily accessed by hikers, while traces of small slab avalanches disappear within few hours.”

As for some of the other mysteries, like the fact that one of the bodies was missing a tongue… That’s not that unusual with bodies found in nature.

Yeah, when scavengers find a body, they often focus on the mouth and the eyes because… well, they’re holes.

Why spend the energy tearing a hole through the flesh of an animal when there’s a perfectly good hole right there? One with a big, loosely connected muscle just hanging out inside of it.

It’s an easy meal for a scavenger. So, there’s nothing really weird about that.

Another part of the mystery is that their clothes were slightly radioactive, which has led some to think that they were killed by some kind of nuclear test.

But the amount of radiation on their clothes was way too little to be harmful or be from a nuclear blast. My guess is they had some old items with glow in the dark paint on them.

I know old school clocks used glow in the dark paint that had radium in it – I did a whole video on the Radium Girls, which was insane.

But I imagine there could have been multiple pieces of camping equipment that had glow-in-the-dark paint on it so you can use it at night, and when impacted by the avalanche may have broken and scattered that paint on their clothes.

The only other bit of woo-woo around the story were the reports of seeing lights in the sky by other people in the area on the night it happened.

This is mostly unsubstantiated and most people believe that if there were any lights in the area they were probably from military exercises.

Which, to be fair, might have helped set off the avalanche.

I think mostly the avalanche theory wasn’t considered for a long time because they didn’t think there was enough of a slope, that’s just not something you see on areas that flat.

And these guys were experienced enough hikers to know what is a dangerous slope and what is safe.

But maybe in this instance, there might have been an optical illusion that made it look flatter than it was, they might have been a little off due to exhaustion, combine that with a hidden weak layer of snow and some unfortunate winds… Well there you go.

Now the researchers are quick to point out that they haven’t completely solved the case, there’s no way to definitively prove this is what happened. But they did show that it was plausible.

And in my experience with these types of cases, the most mundane answer is usually the most likely.

I know, I’m a huge buzzkill.

But I actually like finding answers like that, when you think there’s a big fantastical mystery and then you find out that oh, it’s just, you know, the guy tripped or something.

Kinda shows just how random life can be sometimes. And to me that’s the most interesting thing of all.

For the record, I don’t think there’s anything random about a group of hikers on a 2-week trek through the Russian mountains in January getting hit by an avalanche. In fact, I’d call it pretty darn inevitable in the long run.

All the same, rest in peace comrades.

The Somerton Man FINALLY Has A Name

This is a re-upload of my previous Somerton Man video with new information that has just broken in the case. Professor Derek Abbott announced that he and Colleen Fitzpatrick (I mistakenly call her “Fitzgerald” an embarrassing number of times in this video) have found the identity of the Somerton Man, an unidentified man found dead on an Australian beach in 1948.


On Tuesday of this week, July 26th, headlines around the world declared that the Somerton Man, the unidentified man found dead on an Australian beach in 1948, had finally been identified through DNA evidence.

And my inbox exploded; I literally got more links sent my way than I could count. And thank you to everyone who reached out and asked me to revisit this.

So here’s the deal – I was thinking of reuploading that video anyway because guess what… It got demonetized.

Yeah, YouTube’s been pretty bad about that lately.

Apparently one image we used of the body on the beach was a bridge too far for YouTube, the irony is that it wasn’t even a real photo, it was a photoshopped recreation, but anyway, I was thinking about taking that photo out and reuploading it, and now there’s new information, and a reason to do a new video.

So this video is an attempt to kill two birds with one stone, I’m going to include the original video in its entirety – with the exception of that one image – and then add the new information to the end of it.

So if you’ve already seen my Somerton Man video and just want to hear the new stuff, feel free to jump ahead, it won’t hurt my feelings, I’ll put time stamps so you can find it on the timeline here, or you can go to here… Just skip over to here… I don’t know as I’m recording this where here  is so…

But if you have the time I would encourage you to watch the original because I’ve always been proud of this video, it’s a real roller-coaster of a story, and I do think it provides some interesting context to the new info at the end.

So, without further ado, let’s roll that title sequence again and pick up where we left off.
Which brings us to the next darn thing.

All right, so as I said at the beginning, on Tuesday the 26th, Derek Abbott announced that they have an identity for the Somerton Man, and the name is… drum roll please…  Actually, we’re talking about a dead man, a drum roll doesn’t feel right – turn it off.  His name was Carl Webb.

Actually his name was Carl but he went by Charles, thus affirming that he’s Australian.

He was born in 1905 outside of Melbourne, actually, the youngest of 6 kids, and not much is known about his early life but he grew up to be an electrical engineer and instrument maker, and would have been 43 when he died, assuming he was the Somerton Man.

He married a woman named Dorothy Robinson, who went by “Doff” Webb – because Australia – and she filed for divorce from him in 1947, claiming he had disappeared. And in fact there are no public records of him after this point, including no death certificate.

The next record they could find of Dorothy was in 1951, showing that she lived in Bute, South Australia, which is about 144km from Adelaide.

So it’s possible that he was in Adelaide trying to track her down. But that is just speculation.

There is one other thing that ties him to the Somerton Man case, as I mentioned the name T. Keane that was found on some of the Somerton Man’s clothes, apparently Carl Webb had a brother in law named Thomas Keane, and those clothes could have just been hand me downs.

But, before we go too far, you’re probably wondering how they landed on Carl Webb, well Professor Abbott was working with an American forensic genealogist named Colleen Fitzpatrick of the group Identifinders International – her name pops up a lot on these cases because she’s like a badass at this.

And they used the DNA that Abbott had extracted from the hair follicles from the plaster cast, specifically focusing on the halogroup H1a1a1a.

Yeah, it’s important to note, they did exhume the body, but as far as I could tell from the articles I’ve read, this has nothing to do with any tests that might have been done on the body, this is only from the hair follicles, so I’m going to assume further tests on the body will be needed to verify all this.

ANYWAY, they ran these DNA results against a genealogical database and found a living descendant that would have been Webb’s first cousin three times removed on his mother’s side.

From there they constructed a family tree that started with 4000 names, and were able to painstakingly trace it back and triangulate it to Webb, a man who disappeared right around that same time.

And though Fitzgerald and Abbott claim that they’re 99.999% sure Webb is their guy, this has yet to be corroborated by the South Australian police, and like I just said, this needs to match up with the tests being conducted on the body.

And by the way in case you’re wondering, so far they’ve been unable to find any photos of Carl Webb to verify his identity.

But like any good mystery, this kinda just raises a lot more questions.

Like what happened when he disappeared in 1947? Where was he for those 18 months between the divorce and his death? Why and how did he die? If he was from just one state over in Australia, why did nobody come forth to identify him when his picture was being shared all over the place for nearly 75 years? Why was Jo Thompson’s number in his book? What was that code all about?

This is where we enter speculation time.

As for the code, they claim to have evidence that Carl bet on horse races regularly, so they may have just been him keeping track of horses.

As for why he disappeared, you know, they found stencils in his bag and one theory was that he may have worked on a merchant ship because they often used those to label crates – maybe he had been out to sea during that time, maybe that explains why he had some items from America that weren’t available in Australia.

Perhaps he and “Doff” had had a falling out so he took a job like that to get some space, and then when he came back he found out she had divorced him and moved and he went to Adelaide to track her down.

As for Jo Thomson… Maybe Dorothy knew Jo, maybe they’d met in their past and she turned to Jo for help after her divorce, maybe moved in with her briefly. And in the course of tracking her down, he found Jo’s number and wrote it down in his book.

By the way, I didn’t mention this in the previous episode, a lot of people focus on how coincidental it is that there are multiple copies of this obscure book of ancient Persian poetry in this case, it was actually fairly popular back then, it had experienced a bit of a resurgence of interest in literary circles so it wasn’t that random.

To go deeper into speculation territory, and this is just the storyteller in me taking over… I can’t help but wonder if his relationship with Dorothy was toxic… Maybe even abusive. Maybe she took the first opportunity to divorce him and then moved away trying to escape him and turned to Jo for help.

Jo claimed to not know who the person was, but her reaction to his death mask suggested otherwise. Now that could have just been her being uncomfortable looking at a dead man’s face, but she did later tell her daughter she knew him but couldn’t say anything. Maybe she was protecting her friend.

And if he was someone unstable enough to pose a danger to her, then maybe he was also a danger to himself. And took himself out.

Like I said… more questions than answers.

Abbott and Fitzgerald haven’t found any living relatives that ever knew Carl Webb, and after all this time it’s unlikely they will but with 5 siblings, I find it hard to believe that there’s no photo of him out there somewhere. That’s what I want to see, I want to see a photo.

Maybe with this new exposure, someone in that lineage has an old photo album laying around that will come forward. That would be cool.

But what this new evidence does seem to prove is that Robin Thomson and his daughter Rachel Egan are definitely not descended from the Somerton Man. Which Abbott says is actually a relief to finally know the answer for her.

And I will say, you know, Derek Abbott had a theory that he had been working on for decades, and when the evidence pointed in a different direction, to his credit, he didn’t try to change the evidence to fit the theory, he changed his theory to fit the evidence. That’s admirable.

But the South Australian police have not made a statement on this yet – it’s only been a couple of days but as far as I know they’re still doing tests on the body, it’ll be interesting to see what they come up with. And like I said, there could still be some photo evidence out there that would help tie this up with a bow.

So, it’s not 100% over. There’s still many questions to answer and a lot of investigations taking place. It’ll be interesting to see what darn thing happens next.

And when it does, I’m sure I’ll get a million emails about it.

All right, thanks for watching – again – we’ll see if YouTube buries this one as well, but I’ll put links in the description to some articles so you can go check it out for yourself. And I’ll see you next time. Love you guys, take care.


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