Dec 4

SC EP:713 Dead Mountain

The Dyatlov Pass incident was an event in which nine Russian hikers died in the northern Ural Mountains between 1 and 2 February 1959, in uncertain circumstances. The experienced trekking group, who were all from the Ural Polytechnical Institute, had established a camp on the slopes of Kholat Syakhl, in an area now named in honour of the group’s leader, Igor Dyatlov. During the night, something caused them to tear their way out of their tents and flee the campsite while inadequately dressed for the heavy snowfall and subzero temperatures.

After the group’s bodies were discovered, an investigation by Soviet authorities determined that six had died from hypothermia while the other three showed signs of physical trauma. One victim had a fractured skull; two others had major chest fractures, one body was missing both its eyes, and one was missing a tongue. The investigation concluded that a “compelling natural force” had caused the deaths. Numerous theories have been put forward to account for the unexplained deaths, including animal attacks, hypothermia, avalanche, katabatic winds, infrasound-induced panic, military involvement, or some combination of these.

Russia opened a new investigation into the incident in 2019, and its conclusions were presented in July 2020: that the cause of death was hypothermia due to a combination of an avalanche, forcing the group to leave their camp, combined with low visibility. Andrey Kuryakov, deputy head of the regional prosecutor’s office, said: “It was a heroic struggle. There was no panic. But they had no chance to save themselves under the circumstances.

Tonight I am joined by Kerry Arnold from the Bigfoot Odyssey to discuss the Dyatlov Pass incident. There have been many theories put forth on what happen to these hikers. Tongiht we share our take on what happen and the answer might surprise you.


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102 Responses to “SC EP:713 Dead Mountain”

          • Linda B

            Yep. The first t v program about this happened the night before I was to go on a night squatch hunt in bailey colo. The guide is our friend and i text him but he didn’t get my message i wasn’t coming, and he waited too long for me to come up there that night. I felt bad about their wait but I’m no dummy. Wasn’t going after watching these poor kids being massacred, no matter what it was (combination). Gruesome, but I think the soft tissue became a squatch meal after they died, just a theory. Also think the government and ufos have a contract, see Missouri caves being built for the elite before the harvest.
            Ok, it’s my birthday, I’m going to lighten up.
            Thanks Wes!!! Every episode is like a gift.


    snow didnt crush the hikers…. look up the weight of snow per square foot…. heavy wet snow is not heavy much less fluffy snow. also the didnt the student suffer there injuries before they died???

  2. Richard W

    UFO’s? Didn’t see that in the original telecasts. Menk is the name they gave for the local Sasquatch. The locals said the Menk liked to eat tongues. I recall the girl with the missing tongue was found in the tent no fire in the tent. Tent was cut from the inside to exit the tent. What about the foot prints that were found that did not match the hikers? Sorry Wes, but you theory doesn’t equate from the other analysis given after the initial findings. Black feet and hands? Frost bite! I personally agree with you and Kerry.
    Forget the individual degrees in science. They were students and recent graduates; so, they were not proficient in their fields of study.
    You do present more information than I’ve seen previously. Don’t think we still know what happened.

  3. Doug K

    Hey Wes! Thanks for this very interesting show. And thanks to Kerry for sharing his thoughts on what may have happened to this group of young people. Thanks guys! YEEEEEEEEEEE HAWWWWWWWW!!!

  4. Tom A

    Great theories here
    There was panic even though they left single file on account of the slashed tent.
    Also, the photos of the ufos or military drills etc,
    Also, the YETI journal entries
    As far as the bear tracks, maybe those came after the fact or MAYBE the story was classically twisted

  5. Tom A

    Just read the bbc article, awesome.
    It says their hair was gray in the open coffin which doesn’t happen after death
    Also, it talks about all the wildlife/animals around the sight that were dead too
    Also, the Mansi elders who said they personally saw fireballs in the sky that night that were of bad omen
    Listen to the elders… I think it was either Russian government activity or extra terrestrial

    • Jan F

      Yeah..and the mansie people had carved sasquatch faces in some trees before the maountain.
      And they also havd an argue whit the mansie people about not going there.

      And that part whit the note:::now we know they are Real ,,,that note was found in her hand.

      But i agree what a WERID case.

  6. Tracy C

    I remember reading about this incident years ago. I couldn’t really process it so I placed it on the back burner – when I saw the post on SC facebook page a while back I wasn’t surprised.. now I’ve been forced to ponder the case! Thanks for the show Wes and Kerry.
    I do not think the Mansi had anything to do with the deaths (some killers join in a search to hide in plain sight). If anything they were probably close by to keep an eye out on things going on in their own backyard. After the fact they may have been hired or bribed to help. What struck me most is the tear in the tent. My first impression was it may have been made from the outside. Was it a clean cut or tear or burn? If the wind was so strong the tents would have been gone or moved. I guess I can see taking the time to cover it with snow, if that’s the case why didn’t they grab more clothing or sleeping bags or shoes- and how could the flashlight survive the kind of storm that would cause debris to fly around and injure people. I’m sure 13 feet of snow and ice can come down with the force of a car crash.. but I also remember reading that some of the hikers imploded? (enters the google rabbit hole) You have a group of college students with a wealth of knowledge and a WWII vet. Yes, they were all young, but twenty year olds in the fifties were quite different than today. Especially in that part of the world. The camaraderie of embarking on this venture was enough to get them high…
    High ranking officials observing the autopsy? Yeah, this mystery will most likely be solved any time soon.

  7. Tracey F

    I’m trying to figure out how there was running water in that weather. Otherwise, this explanation / theory is surprising. Especially walking single file and cutting open the tent, that sounds plausible. I have learned over the years that when an area is named Devil’s something, or Dead Mountain,that there’s a reason for it. Similar to, if someone tells you who they are, believe them.

  8. Matthew J

    Very strange story that may never been solved. Both Kerry and Wes theories seem plausible. 20-25 years ago, I saw a made for TV movie on this subject. At the end, the producer had a picture of a possible Yeti allegedly in that area. About 1-2 years ago, I heard someone talking on this subject state that the Yeti picture shown at the end was an invention that most certainly was not part of any picture the group of 9 took.


  9. Charles R

    I like your theory Kerry, kind of parallels mine. The crush under heavy snow for a few months and body dehydrating probably makes sense. Too bad they had to use junk Soviet style camping stoves that are prone to misfunctions and fires. Should have had dependable American Coleman stoves at that time. Good luck, Soviet authorities would never allow it. I do have a Russian compass and it works well and is quite heavy for its size.
    Katabatic winds, very useful Wes. Something I have never heard of. They can rush down at hurricane speed and that would certainly cause a great deal of stress to a group not familiar with them. Man, Wes, you have put some great research into this with a theory I have never heard and I think it is a great one.

  10. Brian R

    If there were high winds snow would have drifted and obscured or completely hidden the footprints.
    The radiation theory is intersting but – would he have worn his hiking clothes to the lab? Or class? And…if he had enough radiation in/on his body to transfer to his hiking clothes I would expect him to be exhibiting some signs or even significant signs of radiation sickness.
    If there was problem with the stove why not remove the stove from the tent? Was there evidence of smoke or fire damage in the tent?
    It’s a mystery. Good show.

  11. m99

    Well, I thought I’d go ahead and listen, and gotta say, Wow, I’m impressed. This is one of the best interviews about the subject.
    Thanks Wes.

  12. Nathan H

    I’ve read Donnie Eichar’s work on Dead Mountain; his take on the wind around boot rock is convincing though admittedly its not what I wanted the cause to be. I read the book because of the bigfoot theory, heck they even had the picture right? However the book is so well done you really get to know the hikers personalities- they were fub loving kids and a lot of the pics show them goofing around and having a good time – also the journal entries would support or at least mention that bigfoot picture. Being said, my gut instinct is military testing. I dont buy the wind driving then nuts. At any rate, i def recommend the book.

    • Julia P

      I have the book to. There may have been bad winds that night but thats not proof that is what leaf to their deathes. They run like scared willies over some high scary winds?It dosernt add up.

  13. Jill T

    Guys, this mystery has been solved. I will not give away the story here but John Vivanco and his remote viewer examined this event for years. John has a show on called Chronicles of a Psychic Spy. He told the entire story and it all comes together perfectly. It does include the military and it DOES include a yeti!!! Check out the story on or Wes have John Vivanco on the show and let him tell your members what happened. It is an amazing story!!

    • Julia P

      Check out ‘Coral Hull and the DYattov incindent” on the internet……. She really goes into this. She suspects yeti to as do i. Crazy windss? Disfunctioning stove? It seems a bit neat and tidy to throw it off on that.

  14. Robert V


    Want to say love the show. I think the problem here is everyone wants one thing where it’s a combination. I’m convinced it’s a Yeti. But where the radiation comes from is the Russian Government Killing it after. I believe they were attacked and beaten. I’ve also read they carved into a tree the name Yeti in Russian on a side of the tree.

    My theory…Yeti attacked them. They cut out of the tent. Yeti attacked one or more. The others hid. The guy in the tree was either scouting or tried to climb the tree to get away from it. Instead said creature yanked him down. The others went into hiding. There mistake was making a fire. This is where this group was beaten. That night or later the Soviets arrived where they killed the yeti using a powerful weapon. They would have cared less if it was radioactive because all of the campers were dead. This idea covers everything. I’m making the assumption the Soviet Government knew the hikers were there. Soviets were great at survalance. Imagine the Military guy at the base going to a leader…Military term in Russian…”Hikers dead.” Military leader saying, “How come?” Then the military guy says, “Yeti.” Imagine that reaction. It would be the same as the ones we hear rumors of about Cryptids killing people here in the US. Military quickly sends planes and kills the yeti and tries to get rid of all the evidence. But if they used a weapon with radiation the Military would have had to wait to get the bodies. What they were not expecting is family looking for them and people finding them before the military could get the bodies out.

    I realize this is thin. I think it fits better. Being honest this is a far more exciting theory than “winds.” LOL.
    Who knows, none of us were there.

    • Julia P

      I did not like this show. I respect Wes but he dropped the ball on this one. I hope he does another with experts that actually have a open mind about this. I suspect Yeti to.

      • Shane M

        I have to agree. Both Wes and the guy from Bigfoot Odyssey completely disregard the possibilities and info in there own work and research etc. So these creatures aren’t something more now and aren’t far more intelligent than anyone wants to admit. So there aren’t many cases where footprints just disappear or aren’t found at all even tho people witnessed the creature and there should have been. Wtf Wes…your blowing off the Yeti possibility because your ignoring all the interesting stuff like So many haters of the subject. What about the accounts of there actually being tons of other footprints and they were covered up? What about the fact locals talk about the Yetis eating tounges of victims? And how can you honestly believe a single word from the Russian military…come on meow! Unbelievable….

  15. Tammi C

    Wes, I love your deductions. Having had read a couple of interpretations a while ago and having thought it could have been due to an avalanche (lost a brother in law to an avalanche in the 90’s) and maybe a Sasquatch you present some very good theories, provide interesting back up, and wrap them up nicely. Very interesting show. Thanks also to Kerry, whom I sub to on YouTube. ❤️

  16. theresa m

    Happy Birthday! Hey Wes and Kerrie! What a treat to have you both together! Really enjoy your regular show, Kerrie. Daniela is awesome, too! So, from what I’ve seen on documentaries, these hikers were in the wrong place at the wrong time. You know, native people in this country will have nothing to do with areas they have knowledge of bad auras. The native Russians called this area Dead Mountain for a reason. They reported seeing lights and sasquatch is known to be in that area. The question still begs to be answered, “Is there a Sasquatch/UFO connection?” Wes, you mentioned something about smoke not being so bad the hikers would have to cut their way out of their tent. I have a wood stove that acted up last week and we were overtaken with smoke in the house. We had to open windows and put fans in them to draw the smoke out. Tents are small. It wouldn’t take much smoke to overcome people in such a small space. It seems plausible that one of the hikers cut a way out of the tent if there were other things like high winds or UFO activities taking place at the same time. The hikers could have hit a tipping point and just had to get out fast. How sad in the end for them all. I cannot imaging the horror of those frigid temperatures coupled with little clothing and being mentally taxed at what was happening. Thanks for talking about this tonight, guys. You had a good point about the winds. I just think with the orange colored bodies, grey hair and premature aging, something other worldly happened to them. For the Russian Army to show up? That speaks volumes just like it does in our country with the 411 Missing and the FBI showing up!

  17. Steve E

    I’ve seen many, many TV shows on this and read dozens of articles on this incident. And it seems others have come to the same conclusion, which is: This was a simple tragedy, with logical explanations that DO NOT involve BIG FOOT or UFOs, no matter how much people try to spin it…!

  18. L. Oriana S

    Kerry Arnold’s explanation makes the most sense. Wes” version doesn’t explain the ORBSs, the radiation (to my satisfaction), or the strange military behavior. Sound effects don’t.make up for all the wholes in the story.

  19. Ann V

    Great Show. I think the Katabatic Winds theory is the best explain of what happened the Russian hikers I have heard so far. Keep up the good work, Wes and thank you.

  20. Julia P

    Wes i like u… i like ur show..But this dissapointed me. U seemed a bit closed minded. U talk of orbs.Thease peopel caught what looked like orbs on camera. The strange picture of a possible sasquatch seems dimissed or noty spoken of. Im sorry…. but i suspect there was criptid activity that night. Theres holes in this theory. I wish u do a better deeper show on this exploring the possibility of a Yeti type attacking those kids. Think about it. I really like u but this show didnt do it for me at all. Hope u do another.

  21. Matthew T

    I’m not a fan of this episode, the theory that it was simply a military weapon being tested is beyond weak.

    Many of the details of what happened to the one woman’s body is consistent with animal and human mutilation cases. The jaw strip, the eye removal(s), internal organs removed.

    “Chest caved in” most likely because their internal organs were missing!

  22. Nancy R

    The skin of the young rock hounds could have been exposed to the Sun for years causing premature aging. especially if they were dehydrated making more wrinkles. Very interesting.

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