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The Russian Prosecutor-General’s Office has reopened the investigation into the mysterious deaths of nine young hikers in the Ural Mountains some 60 years ago.
Prosecutor-General’s Office spokesman Aleksandr Kurennoi said on February 1 that investigators were looking into the notorious Dyatlov Pass deaths and hope to establish the truth of how the hikers died.
He said that although some 75 theories have been put forward, prosecutors believe the most likely cause of the deaths was either an avalanche or a heavy storm.
The hikers died on February 1-2, 1959, at a place that was later named Dyatlov Pass after the group’s leader, Igor Dyatlov. Information about the case was classified by the Soviet authorities until the 1970s.
Soviet investigators concluded that during the night, an “unknown, compelling force” prompted the two women and seven men to cut their way out of their tents and flee the campsite without shoes or warm clothing, despite the freezing cold.
They determined that six of the hikers died of hypothermia, while three had signs of physical trauma including skull fractures and chest injuries. One of the women had her tongue and eyes removed.
Conspiracy theories and speculation about the case have circulated widely in Russia and around the world for decades.
After the investigation concluded that an “unknown compelling force” had caused the deaths, numerous theories, including conspiracy ones, have circulated in Russia for decades. Some theories include animal attacks, infrasound-induced panic, and military testing.
A 10th member of the excursion, Yury Yudin, turned back after becoming ill on January 28 and died in 2013 at the age of 75.
Kurennoi said a group of investigators and forensics experts will visit Dyatlov Pass in March to determine the exact location of the group’s campsite, the gradient of the slope, the depth of the snow, and other data.
Russian investigators are set to re-examine the chilling mystery of a deadly hiking trip made by group of Soviet students in 1959. The story spurred more than 70 theories and even inspired Hollywood thriller, ‘The Devil’s Pass’.
Known as the Dyatlov Pass incident the deaths of a Soviet student hiking group in a remote area in the Urals six decades ago remains one of Russia’s most chilling unsolved mysteries. It shocked and bewildered investigators right from the start. After the original probe failed to produce any results, the case was shelved and, by some accounts, even classified.
The eerie story inspired Hollywood director Renny Harlin to make the thriller Devil’s Pass in 2013. Now the authorities are determined to finally uncover what happened.
Investigators are officially reopening the probe, spokesperson for the Prosecutor General’s Office, Aleksandr Kurennoy, announced on Friday. The victims’ “relatives, media and the public want to know the truth,” he said.
A group, led by Igor Dyatlov, embarked on their last hiking trip in February 1959. They were mostly in their 20s, graduate students at a local technical university. All were well-equipped, experienced hikers. The plan was to trek 350km (217 miles) through extremely harsh terrain in the northern Urals.
One student had to drop the hike due to leg pains, returning home early. That decision saved his life. Others went on. They took pictures along the way and kept journals, describing the trip’s joyful atmosphere and other fairly mundane things hikers do. All seemed like a typical trip to the mountains.
The hikers failed to send a signal from the scheduled endpoint however and a rescue team was dispatched to find them. The scene the rescuers stumbled onto was gruesome and puzzling at the same time.
The tent was found on a slope, which translates to ‘The Mountain of the Dead’ in the local dialect. It was empty, cut open from the inside by a sharp object. All belongings, including shoes, had been left there, intact. This led many to believe the students were forced to flee in terror, desperately trying to get out as quickly as they could.
The first two shoeless hikers, dressed only in their underwear, were found lying under a pine tree about 1.3km away from the tent. Three more bodies were then located on the way out from the tent. The last four victims were found several months later – buried under meters of snow in a creek nearby.
Four hikers sustained massive internal injuries, skull fractures and chest damage. One woman had her eyes, tongue and part of her lips missing.
The Soviet criminal probe could never establish why the hikers suddenly left the tent half-naked or explain their conditions. The notes and photos, made by the victims, offered no clues. The final report only stated that everyone was killed by “an unknown overwhelming force.”
The case sparked more than 70 theories on what caused the hikers’ deaths, ranging from secret military tests and radiation, to UFOs and paranormal activity. The prosecutors are aiming to sort through them to find a plausible explanation.
The crime-related scenarios have already been discarded due to lack of evidence, prosecutors say. They plan to start by examining if the hikers could have killed by an avalanche or a snow storm. Kurennoy said a group of investigators and forensics experts will visit Dyatlov Pass in March to determine the details of the tragedy.
Mystery Boom Heard, Felt Across Four Western Illinois Counties Remains Unsolved
What’s certain is that dozens of people across at least four counties heard a loud boom or felt a shaking Thursday afternoon.
What’s a mystery is where it originated.
Emergency and law enforcement agencies in Greene, Morgan, Scott and Pike counties received numerous reports of a loud, explosion-like sound that shook the ground and buildings about 1 p.m. Thursday.
Some who felt it quickly took to social media looking for clues. Although there were a few erroneous reports of explosions, most people were left scratching their heads.
“It sounded like a jet or something that blew up,” Joe Harwick of White Hall said. “It echoed for some time.”
Greene County Chief Deputy Cale Hoesman said there were reports about the sound, but the source could not be verified.
“I heard what I thought was thunder, but further north in White Hall there were reports of a loud boom,” Hoesman said. “So far the cause is unknown.”
The boom was heard throughout Greene County and along the edge of Pike County. It was heard as far east as Jacksonville and as north as Naples.
Mary Jane Steelman of White Hall said the boom shook her house.
“I wasn’t sure what it was, though. It was a loud boom — an explosion,” Steelman said. “Then my grandson texted me, he thought it was a [sonic boom].”
Angie Heberling of White Hall said it felt as though something hit her house.
Pike County Sheriff David Greenwood said his agency received calls but no one had reported any damage or fires.
Theories being looked into include that it was a sonic boom from an aircraft or some type of gas explosion, Hoesman said.
The U.S. Geological Survey did not have any reports of activity near the region that could have produced the sound. National Weather Service representatives said there was nothing atmospherically that would have caused the sound.
There have been hundreds of similar reports scattered across the U.S. over the past few months, from Block Island, Rhode Island, to Liberty, Ohio, and Louisville, Kentucky. The Louisville boom was attributed to someone legally using the explosive tannerite.
The others, like the one Thursday, remain mysteries.
Marco Cartolano contributed to this report.
The Mystery Surrounding Abraham Lincoln’s Assassination
A great deal of mystery still surrounds the Knights of the Golden Circle (KGC). At the time before the Civil War and US President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination at the hands of John Wilkes Booth, they are a Southern loyalist group that was devoted to the defense of their supposed values such as slave ownership. However, there is much more to them than people know.
They had plans to conquer Cuba, Mexico, and Central America. The goal was to create a Confederate empire beyond what the Confederacy had accomplished. It was an ambitious goal for them, and they had many infamous members including the aforementioned Booth.
Jesse James was another well-known name. Supposedly, his robberies could have contributed to the increase of gold the KGC had. From the beginning, people have said Lincoln’s assassination may have been a KGC plot from the get-go since it was Booth who did it. This comes from the legends that have been passed on down the decades by word of mouth.
It stands to make sense that the KGC could have pulled off something like this. Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio and founded by George W.L. Bickley, who was an Indiana-born editor and doctor, the group started allegedly in Lexington, Kentucky by five men who came together because of Bickley’s request.
This comes from records of that KGC convention held in 1860. Bickley made his way to the east and south to push for a Mexican expedition and wanted to create a force to colonize the West Indies and Mexico.
They wanted to raise an army of 16,000 men to southernize Mexico and conquer it. The group expanded in 1859, as Confederate States Army Brigadier General Elkanah Greer started KGC castles in Louisiana and Texas.
During the spring of 1860, he became a grand commander and general of 4,000 KGC military knights in the 21 castles of the Texas division. When Lincoln was elected president, the KGC focused their support on the secession of southern states in the US from the Union. The KGC came into conflict with US Marshall Ben McCulloch, a former Texas Ranger when he began his expedition toward the San Antonio, Texas federal arsenal.
The arsenal had a force of 550 men, 150 who worked for the KGC from the six different castles there. US Army Brevet Major General David E. Twiggs chose to surrender to the cavalry force. These members also were important to the 1861 takeover of New Mexican territory by Lieutenant Colonel John Robert Baylor.
May 1861 saw the Confederate Rangers and KGC attack a building owning The Alamo Express, a pro-Union newspaper. The newspaper was owned by James Pearson Newcomb, a journalist and eventual Texas Secretary of State.
He did not have a phone transmitter at the time. Some KGC members also went with Brigadier General Henry Hopkins Sibley on the 1862 New Mexico Campaign. Word had it that Franklin Pierce, a former US president, was also a member of the KGC
The KGC began to spread into Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, and Ohio. This is where the KGC took a different turn. In 1863, the KGC became the Order of American Knights. 1864 saw it undergo another transformation into the Order of the Sons of Liberty, led by Clement Vallandigham, an Ohio politician and their supreme commander.
They allegedly went underground after The Civil War and Lincoln’s assassination without a phone transmitter. It was reported they sought to start a second confederacy against the US Government.
American Unearthed, a History Channel show, alleged the James-Younger Gang was the source of money for a second US Civil War. While there has been no further evidence out there, it definitely fits in with what the KGC has been responsible. Their greatest act appears to be the death of Lincoln.
What became of them after is left up to speculation. They might have furthered plots to overthrow the US government while others such as National Treasure: Book of Secrets allege there is KGC/Confederate gold, buried somewhere throughout the USA.
A California couple once found gold coins that are believed to have originated from the KGC. While the group’s crimes remained in secret, it is obvious there is much more this group could have possibly done beyond the killing of one of America’s greatest historical leaders.
About author: Tommy Zimmer is a writer whose work has appeared online and in print. His work covers a variety of topics, including politics, economics, health and wellness, consumer electronics, and the entertainment industry.
Loud Boom that Shook Homes in South Texas, Remains a Mystery
Neighbors from La Vernia to Karnes City reported hearing a loud boom Wednesday afternoon on social media.
While many people are speculating as to what it may have been, right now the loud boom continues to remain a mystery.
Wilson County authorities said they began getting calls into dispatch reporting the boom around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. Sisters Bailey and Molly Runty were at home in their home in Adkins when they heard it.
“We were just sitting in the room, and then we just heard it and then I started freaking out,” Bailey said.
The girls described the boom as being so huge that it shook their house.
“I was terrified,” Bailey said.
“She jumped out of her skin,” said her sister.
The family’s home video security captured the moment when the boom startled their dog, Yogi.
“He was barking a lot and ran up to our door because he got freaked out,” Bailey said.
Other people reported their houses shaking and windows fluttering.
Taylor Gault said that, the salon where she works, the floors shook.
“It was so big, it opened our door,” she said. “I thought someone hit the door and hit the wall.”
At another salon, patrons were still talking about what they heard, speculating on what it could have been.
“I was a little alarmed, but I figured, ‘Well, okay, there’s no terrorist attack,’ why would they want to blow up La Vernia?,” said a patron who only identified herself as Karen.
Neighbors in La Vernia said there are a lot of theories about the boom, but nothing has yet been confirmed.
“The officials can’t tell you what it is, I went as far as to call the city council,” Karen said.
Wilson County Emergency Management officials said they had reports of the boom from Karnes City to New Berlin, but they didn’t have any information as to what it may have been.
Some people say it may have been a sonic boom. However, officials with Joint Base San Antonio said they weren’t responsible.
There’s also a theory that a local company may have been using explosives to test materials. KENS 5 reached out to the company, Baker Risk, and company officials said the sounds were not produced by them.
So, for now, the loud boom reported by so many people, will remain a summer mystery.
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