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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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May 1, 2015 , , ,

Cameras and Films

There are 6 films available today in The Dyatlov Pass foundation. There was one more film but it is lost. They have developed it and the pictures are exist but the film itself is missing. Apart from the well known pictures available on the Internet, the films have some rather srange shots which we will discuss below.

The exact number of the cameras in the group is not known. The inventory of the scene lists  3 cameras and there is one tetimony of yet another camera.

The camera № 488797 (Krivonischenko’s) was found with it’s color filter broken and it was attached to a tripod.

We know from the Criminal Case that the tent was pitched at around 5 p.m. At 7:42 pm according to the  weather data available there was a Moonless night there. It is interesting that the students still used their cameras after the darkness fell upon the ground. All the cameras were found in the tent like if they were put handy, not in their backpacks. Some say that the last shot of the group (below) was made without using a tripod. I don’t know if we can state this for sure…
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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 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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An Expert Opinion
The Tent cut from inside?
Missing Photo Scales
Cameras and Films
The Dyatlov Pass Mystery
The Controversial Shots