March 31, 2016 , , , , , ,

Missing Photo Scales


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.

There are no correctly made photos of the footprints. Those present are made at angle without light filters, without ruler or even a match box for comparison). No photo footage of stage by stage fixed process of the removing of the bodies from the places of their discovery, no photos of the items found around the bodies, the details of the clothes.

The rules for the court photography were in effect since late 30’s; so of course they were to be followed in 50’s so it is not possible to even imagine such a violation for this particular case, which was under Khruschev’s supervision.

Let me make an assumption. The photo scales relevant to the view of place of occurrence did exist but they were removed from the file. I can almost certainly claim it on the basis of the following: There is a note to the Prosecutor of the Sverdlovsk Region that is attached to the documents file. The note itself is a list of items enclosed:

“1. Criminal Case (1 volume)

  1. Аlbum
  1. (shaded) copy of the letter to comrade Slobodin.”

Despite this list, all what is there is №1 (the Criminal Case) while № 2 and №3 are missing. The Аlbum (№2) – usually contains the photo scales relevant to the view of place of occurrence

There is also a resolution (written with the same ink that shaded №3) on how the file should be kept (stored).
“The Criminal Case – in a secret archive» and “The package – in secret proceedings».

Where is this “package”?

The package could contain the films made during the examination of place of occurrence AND notebooks of Dyatlov, Zolotarev, Kolevatov. No notebooks of men were found by the rescue. There could be written some previous events or recording ongoing situation. These notebooks could have been destroyed immediately or removed.

I also noticed that the case file was stitched twice. Look like after it was stitched for the first time, there was a necessity to unstitch it, to remove or add something and re-stitch it again.

You can read why Sakharova doubts that there is a proof that the tent found on the slope was cut from inside here

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  • Ms Natalia Sakharova,

    Long have I wondered if anyone has the actual and true co-ordinates of the Dyatlov tent location on Dead Mountain. I wish we could get the true co-ordinate because they would discount several theories in this case. For one, if the tent was moved to a different location when it was pitched. Additionally it would also discredit the avalanche theory. I have conferred with several witnesses/authors and all claim that they do not have any. Yet, in the book … “Dyatlov Pass Keeps Its Secret” by Irina and Vlad Lobatchev and Amanda Bosworth, there is a whole chapter on Co-ordinates. My other question is ……. How accurate are these Co-ordinates reported by the Lobatchevs???


    • I doubt that the co-ordinates in the book you mention are accurate. If you use the co-ordinates from p. 115 of their book and locate the places on Google maps than, looking from the tent, the cedar is on the left, the ravine on the right. This is just the opposite to the reality. The fact is that the ravine is on the left from the cedar. For what it worth check my post about Directions and Co-ordinates

  • I do not make much about the “missing photo scales. The reason for this is simply that the original search was for (hopefully) living students / hikers and not dead ones. You can not start by assuming that every mountaineering accident is a murder. (and I don’t think this one is, either) For this reason there is nothing suspicious about the photo scales not being used — I doubt that they were even brought along.

    Let me make an example — would you bring photo scaled to a movie ? Probably not — but what if you found out that someone died at the theater that night, and so then you took some pictures of the scene. Would it be suspicious that you did not use photo scales ? ………………… No……………. same here.

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