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April 12, 2016 , , , , ,

An Expert Opinion

After scrutinizing the details of the Criminal Case of the Dyatlov group Natalia Sakharova, a Criminal expert whose very important comments I posted here and here, has come to her own conclusion. Here is what she said

“I let myself make an assumption based on the analysis of the photo of the tent we have. The area around the tent was intentionally covered with snow in order to disguise the possible prints (those of footwear, fight, dragging, and the real way of exit from the tent).

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With the way the snow covers the tent it was not possible to perform linear cuts of the tent side because it had to be straightened. So the cuts are performed before the snow was brought there. It seems that the actions had the following subsequence – first the standing tent was cut, the actions near the tent were hided under the snow brought there to cover the prints, than the tent was checked inside with the flashlight which was found on the lay of the snow, than the whole tent was covered with snow which caused sagging. Than the flash light was cast upon it.
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April 5, 2016 , , , , ,

The Tent cut from inside?

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T]he investigation of the Dyatlov Pass case concluded that the abandoned tent was cut from the inside. Modern experts, however, express some doubts about the accuracy of this conclusion and the expertise of the investigators. Natalia Sakharova, a retired criminal expert with 25 years of service, says there had to be at least two experts according to the procedure. In this particular case the examination was performed at a very low professional level. There is no general photo of the tent stretched out in the laboratory to be examined. The diagram of the damage doesn’t fit its actual location on the tent; there is no detailed description of the inner and outer sides (burns, scratches, traces of mending, blood). The damage is described selectively, which is a serious violation because it distorts the general picture of the traces; there are no descriptions of common signs of damage which would allow the grouping of the signs in order to define the group characteristics for the tools used (knives or ice breaker). There is no description of general signs for the tears, the direction (or angle) of force applied (from inside or outside); no description of the initial point of the impact (from which the cut or tearing started); no microscope photography to confirm the main point that the cuts were made from the inside. There is no such photography in the criminal case! And it has been in full use since the 1930s! There is no reliable description of what was seen through the microscope: the direction of the scarf parts of the cuts, the separation of their fibres, or the direction of the thread sockets. Nothing at all! I think the expert didn’t use the microscope because for this she would have had to dissect part of the fabric and enter a relevant record about it in her report. What is also extremely unusual is that they didn’t invite any experts to view the place of occurrence. It is also important to mention that there were no expert experiments performed with the same kind of tent. They should have cut a tent from the inside in exactly the same way and have several people exit it in order to see if it is possible to exit the tent in this way at all, and how it would affect the tent. Would it fall, or spring back, or remain standing? This kind of experiment usually proves or disproves a theory of the investigation. It was never done. Why? It was absolutely not OK to come to any conclusion based on just visual examination. The very fact that they used this inexperienced and poorly trained “expert” is an alerting sign for me because the results of the expertise were crucial for the whole case. I believe that this investigation is absolutely not trustworthy and the conclusion that the tent was cut from inside is not proved.
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March 31, 2016 , , , , , ,

Missing Photo Scales

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Some notes on the forensic photography and missing packages.

Natalia Sakharova, a retired police colonel with 25 years of service, used to be an expert in a police department in one of the most criminal districts of Irkutsk. She also has additional education as a medical doctor and currently works at the Criminal Expert Bureau. Having scrutinized the full Criminal Case for the Dyatlov’s group, she now shares what she thinks. She has a lot to say about the investigation and her comments are very interesting. I am currently updating my book with them and wanted to share some with you.

“The photography allows us to obtain the most objective picture of the place of occurrence and thus is the most trust worthy information. But this is exactly what is missing in this case. Instead we have many subjective and controversial testimonies of the witnesses.

The professionally performed photo scales are missing altogether. Photo scales are special photos performed in accordance with the rules of forensic photography (they are to be taken from several different points. Main points would be – the tent pictured from 4 sides, things inside and detailed pictures of the damage with the scale ruler). But what we have is just random amateur pictures.
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April 29, 2015 , , , , , ,

The Dyatlov Pass Mystery

A view of the tent as the rescuers found it on Feb. 26, 1959. The tent had been cut open from inside, and most of the skiers had fled in socks or barefoot.

This is my original article about The Dyatlov Pass Mystery published in 2008 in The Moscow Times newspaper.

EKATERINBOURG – Nine experienced cross-country skiers hurriedly left their tent on a Urals slope in the middle of the night, casting aside skis, food and their warm coats.
Clad in their sleepwear, the young people dashed headlong down a snowy slope toward a thick forest, where they stood no chance of surviving bitter temperatures of around minus 30 degrees Celsius.
Baffled investigators said the group died as a result of “a compelling unknown force” — and then abruptly closed the case and filed it as top secret.
The deaths, which occurred 49 years ago on Saturday, remain one of the deepest mysteries in the Urals. Records related to the incident were unsealed in the early 1990s, but friends of those who died are still searching for answers.
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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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An Expert Opinion
The Tent cut from inside?
Missing Photo Scales
The Dyatlov Pass Mystery
February 1959