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April 29, 2015 ,

Unidentified Footprint

There was a print of a boot at the scene. This seems rather starnge, considering that the students left the tent barefoot or in their valenki. Some think it was an army boot or a third party footprint. If you read the full autopsy report of Zolotariov which is available in the red cover version of my book, you will see that Zolotariov had “Black quilted felt boots with leather soles with woollen brown socks in them“.

This is how I translated a Russian word БУРКИ which is a name for a certain kind of boots. You can google images for БУРКИ.

And it is understandable why the rescue group was confused with this footprint; because they saw it in March when all thefound bodies were barefoot or in Valenki. But Zolotariev with his boots was found only in May.


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April 29, 2015 , , , , ,

The Controversial Shots

There is one controversial shot ─ the 34th frame from Krivonishenko’s film.

The picture was taken with Zorky camera and he probably used a tripod bs the camera was found attached to it.

I also own one Zorkiy camera. Some have speculated that the photograph was taken with a standard Zrokiy Industar-22 as in bright specks 8 borders are clearly seen and there are eight pedals of the diaphram of the lens. The photo was taken with a covered diaphragm and most likely not with an extended tube. This supports the assumption that the frame was randomly taken by a forensic expert to rewind the film back into the case, as the unit was stored loaded.

Here is what my online friend Alessandro Fabbri says. “My father was born in 1931 and it’s a longtime photography enthusiast. In 1950 circa he bought a Leica IIIa, which happens to be exactly the model upon which the Zorki cameras, the one used by our friends hickers, were based. The lens are fully collapsable, so in order to start to take pictures you have to extract the lens. When the lens is fully out, in the moment you aren’t able to extract it anymore, you must turn the lens a little until the lens comes a little more out, then turn it backward until you lock the lens itself and it secures firmly. When I was young my father allowed me to use his camera and very often, while taking a pic, I extracted the lens but forgot/didn’t verify that the lens was fully pulled out. Why I’m telling you this? Because the resulting pictures are similar to the last picture taken by our friends. I mean, there was a rounded shaped frame inside the picture and the picture was blurred even if I measured the focus correctly. Yuri Kri saw something but in the excitement of the moment he didn’t have the time to verify the full extraction of the lens. Thus, even if the object was very far and he set the focus correctly to infinite, the picture resulted blurry in that exact way. Hope this helps to better understand the 33 frame”.
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April 28, 2015 , , , , ,

The Otorten News

There is an interesting document, which is a typewritten copy of an improvised newspaper called the Otorten Evening News. There is evidence that this spoof newspaper, the Otorten Evening News, found in the group’s tent, had been created by the hikers themselves for fun.

It’s believed that the student’s humorous news sheet was pinned to the inside of the tent, but none of the rescue party stated seeing it. However, Moses Axelrod, who shared a tent with Ivanov, later wrote in his memoirs that Ivanov showed the original to him.

There was one rather strange paragraph: “…lately in scientific circles there has been a very lively debate about the existence of Yeti. According to the latest data, the snowmen live in the Northern Urals, in the area of the Otorten Mountain“.

Together with the last but one shot from Tibo’s camera (above) this passage makes some think the group had an encounter with a snowman.

It is important to keep in mind that the document we are talking about had a character of a joke. The tradition of creating this kind of ‘newspaper’ was typical of that time. In every school and institution, the students regularly made posters with headings articles and drawings. The point was to present news, or a social problem, in a satirical way, and was a popular method to gently hint at some criticism, or to bring something of interest to light.
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April 28, 2015 , , , , , , , , , , ,

February 1959

February 1959, Ural Mountains, Russia. Nine missing skiers found dead. Cause: unknown.

The story sounds like something out of a low-budget horror movie: nine young students go on a skiing holiday in Russia’s Ural Mountains but never return. Eventually, their bodies are discovered – five of them frozen to death near their tent, four more bearing mysterious injuries – a smashed head, a missing tongue – buried in the snow some distance away. All, it seems, had fled in sudden terror from their camp in the middle of the night. Casting aside skis, food and warm coats, they dashed headlong down a snowy slope toward a thick forest, where they stood no chance of surviving bitter temperatures of around –30ºC (–22ºF). At the time, seemingly baffled investigators offered the non-explanation that the group had died as a result of “a compelling unknown force” – and then simply closed the case and filed it as ‘Top Secret’.

After half a century, the mystery remains. What was the nature of the deadly “unknown force”? Were the Soviet authorities hiding something? And, if so, exactly what were they were attempting to cover up? In the intervening years, a number of solutions have been put forward, involving everything from hostile tribes and abominable snowmen to aliens and secret military technology.
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Unidentified Footprint
The Controversial Shots
The Otorten News
February 1959