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Mysteries

Russia’s Prosecutor-General’s Office reopens mysterious 1959 Dyatlov Pass case

Russia's Prosecutor-General's Office reopens mysterious 1959 Dyatlov Pass case 86

© Public domain

RFE/RL

A Dyatlov group tent, as it was discovered on February 26, 1959

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.

RT provides a bit more detail of the investigation:Army test, UFO or deadly blizzard? Russia reopens 60yo probe of mysterious Soviet hiker deaths

Dyatlov Pass

© perevaldyatlova.ru
Dyatlov Pass

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.

Dyatlov Pass

© perevaldyatlova.ru

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.

Dyatlov Pass

© Wikipedia

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.

Mysteries

Subconscious Games: Eliza Müller’s Martian Language

Subconscious Games: Eliza Müller's Martian Language 99

The Swiss psychologist Theodore Flournoy did not know that, having accepted an invitation from a colleague to attend a seance, he would spend five years of his life studying the secrets of the medium’s subconscious. A tall, beautiful woman sat at a round table, glaring at those who came.

Eliza Müller recently turned 33 years old, but she never got married. At the end of the 19th century, this was considered a tragedy. Eliza did not take money for the sessions, earning good money in the accounting department of a famous trading house. Talking about her, Flournois hid her real name, giving Frau Müller the pseudonym Helen Smith.

During the session, she was transformed, falling into a trance. Her eyes opened wide, her gaze rushed into space or wandered senselessly. At this moment, Eliza’s dilated pupils did not react to the bright light, and her face turned into a lifeless mask. A few minutes later, Eliza began to speak on behalf of the “spirit” that had infiltrated her – Cagliostro, Marie Antoinette, Victor Hugo and other celebrities.

At the same time, her voice completely changed, imitating those whose “spirit” was embodied in her. Sometimes Eliza spoke in a normal voice, describing the visions that appeared to her. In a trance, Frau Müller spoke to only one of those present, answering his questions. The rest of the people did not exist for her.

When Cagliostro moved into Eliza, she stood up, proudly straightening herself up, and began to speak, majestically crossing her arms over her chest. Her voice became loud and low, like that of a man, and her pronunciation was similar to Italian, with ancient turns. Cagliostro answered questions familiarly, referring to the interlocutor on “you”.

Subconscious Games: Eliza Müller's Martian Language 100

Another “spirit” that entered the medium was the Indian princess Simandini, the daughter of an Arab sheikh and the eleventh wife of Prince Nayak Sivruk of the Canary Islands, who built the Chandragiri fortress in 1401.

“The real daughter of the East appeared before us,” recalled Theodore Flournoy. – She sat on the ground with crossed legs; her solemn kneeling before the invisible incense burner, full of religious feeling, her arms crossed reverently on her chest and threefold bows gave the impression of inimitable naturalness; the melancholic tenderness of her songs, the free flexibility of her serpentine movements – such a varied facial expression, distinguished by a purely exotic character, all these movements bore the imprint of originality and ease. Unwittingly, bewilderment arose, how could a woman who did not know the East at all learn them.

During the sessions, Simandini uttered words and whole phrases that no one understood. When they were recorded and contacted by specialists, it turned out that she spoke Sanskrit. Once Eliza, in a trance, wrote a few words in a strange language. Experts in oriental writing told Theodore that this is an Arabic proverb: “A little friendship is already a lot.”

At the end of the session, announced by three knocks on the table, Frau Müller gradually returned to her normal state. It did not come immediately – it was preceded by several short awakenings, alternating with falling asleep. The woman who came to her senses did not remember what happened in the trance.

Flights to Mars

Subconscious Games: Eliza Müller's Martian Language 101

On November 25, 1894, immersed in a trance, Eliza saw a bright light at a high altitude. Then she felt herself pumped.

An example of a text in “Martian language” as presented by Helen Smith

It seemed to her that her head was empty and her body was gone. Some force was carrying her up. Then Frau Müller saw a beautiful ball and was on its surface.

– Where I am? – She asked the familiar “spirit” who was nearby.

“On a planet called Mars,” he replied.

Eliza began to describe her first impressions. She saw carts without horses and wheels, which, sliding, scattered sparks; aircraft similar to coach lights; houses with water fountains on the roof; people who spoke a strange language and, greeting each other, gave clicks in the nose; children who slept in a cradle, which instead of curtains had an iron angel with outstretched wings …

Frau Müller began to visit Mars during almost every trance. Little by little, she learned to speak and write in Martian. It turned out that one of the rulers of the planet, a certain Astane, lived on Earth in a past life and was familiar with Simandini.

Once Eliza in the company of Astane attended a magnificent local celebration. Dressed in a sequined dress (she imagined it was a Martian one), she entered a large square hall, lit by lamps at the corners.

Many ornamental plants hung everywhere. In the middle of the room was a grove surrounded by small, shiny tables. Inside was a cheerful crowd of young men and women, whose hairstyles bore the appearance of a pink, blue, or green moth.

At a sign given by Astane, everyone sat down at the tables decorated with flowers. Two men placed square plates and forks without handles in front of the Martians. Then they served strange-looking dishes, but the taste was excellent. The holiday ended with dances and songs.

Even stranger things were said by Eliza about her visit to the Martian foster home. In the huge hall along the walls there were “cradles” that resembled changing tables. In each “cradle” lay a child.

Martians walked around the hall with domestic animals, which had a wide, flat, almost hairless head and large kind eyes, like those of seals. Their large udders were inserted into a square tube milking unit. The Martians now and then stuck a pipe into the mouths of babies, feeding them milk.

On the way to the solution

Subconscious Games: Eliza Müller's Martian Language 102

Trying to find out as much as possible about the past of the medium, Flournoy found the family doctor Frau Müller. After talking with an elderly doctor, the psychologist showed him a note with an Arabic proverb. The doctor replied that this was his writing style. Several years ago, he traveled to Arabia and knew Arabic well.

Every time he gave a book about travel to friends, he would add an Arabic saying to his autograph. Eliza saw one of the autographs and in a trance drew it from memory from left to right, and did not write, like a real Arab woman, from right to left.

When Flournois invited a famous linguist to the sessions, the scientist said that Simandini’s language is not real Sanskrit, but a mixture of it with words similar in sound, but at the same time meaningless. The linguist got the impression that Eliza somehow saw the Sanskrit dictionary or grammar and leafed through it out of boredom.

Frau herself, of course, had forgotten everything a long time ago, but the subconscious mind kept the words it saw in its memory and then used them during the trance, plugging the blanks with words of its own invention.

Then it was the turn to find out if Princess Simandini and her husband Sivruk existed. All historians amicably answered that these names were unfamiliar to them. Flournoy was ready to give up, but then an old book on the history of India, written in 1828, fell into his hands. Everything that the princess said to herself turned out to be exact quotes taken from there!

Flournoy was able to prove that the source of information from the “spirits” were books that Frau Müller read as a child and forgot. During her trance, her brain would extract pieces of forgotten memories and build plots from them – of course, without the knowledge of her sanity.

Scientists were presented with a fantastic game of the mind and subconscious, surpassing everything that they had previously encountered. The process, when fragments from long-forgotten memories float out and are perceived by the subject himself as something alien, otherworldly, Theodore called cryptomnesia.

Subconscious games

The scientific assault on the “Martian language” was short-lived. Linguists said that the Martian language completely copies the grammar of the French language.

“This is a language that a young child could compose by replacing every word in the French dictionary with an arbitrary combination of letters and each letter with an arbitrary sign,” the experts said. “The language is childish, but as an effort of memory it is a miracle.”

Eliza Müller’s subconscious was trying to get out not only in a trance state. Sometimes she switched to the “Martian language”, not noticing that the interlocutor did not understand her. There could be several such interruptions during one conversation. Even in business correspondence, Frau Müller often inserted phrases or individual letters in “Martian” without noticing the mistake.

In 1900, Flournoy’s book “From India to the Planet Mars” was published, where the author summed up the five-year work of a team of scientists. After reading it, Eliza was furious. Since then, no specialist has received permission to attend her sessions.

A year later, a wealthy American woman gave Eliza financial support so that she could quit her job and focus on developing her mediumship. Frau Müller, who is so good at drawing, has a new talent. Going into a trance, she took up brushes and painted pictures on religious themes. Eliza’s paintings are considered a prime example of art brut – art of non-professionals, which has a spontaneous character and does not depend on cultural traditions.

Frau Müller died on June 10, 1929 in Geneva. Until her last breath, Eliza believed that she was the chosen one of spirits, aliens and saints, called to bring the truth to our lost world.

Mikhail GERSHTEIN, magazine “Secrets of the XX century”

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Mysteries

Mysterious Lake Funduji: why you can’t take water from this African lake

Mysterious Lake Funduji: why you can't take water from this African lake 103

In the northeast of the Republic of South Africa is the picturesque, but mysterious and ominous Lake Funduji. The local population considers the lake sacred and tells legends about it.

Despite the problems with fresh water in Africa, the tribes never settled on the banks of the Funduji, did not fish there and did not even replenish the water supplies from this lake.

This is because, according to local legends, it is impossible to take a drop of water from Lake Funduji, and anyone who touches the water, or even more so drinks it, will soon die. Also, people made sacrifices to the mythical monster Funduji to appease him.

The general public learned about Funduji at the beginning of the 20th century, when deposits of chrome ore were found in the vicinity of the lake. When expeditions from Europe began to come to this area, the lake was finally mapped.

Scientists listened to the stories of the locals about the ominous lake and the monster, but in the course of geological research, nothing mystical was found.

Mysterious Lake Funduji: why you can't take water from this African lake 104

In 1955, Professor Henry Burnside and his assistant Thacker decided to check the legend about strange water that cannot be carried away from the lake. Scientists collected water in several containers made of different materials – glass, porcelain and plastic, and walked several kilometers, intending to examine the samples.

But it was not possible to carry out the analysis: in the morning all the containers were empty. Then the scientists decided to return to the lake and take new samples. This time, Burnside dipped his finger into the water and tasted it: the taste of the water was bitter-rotten.

Throughout the day, scientists observed the containers, but no changes occurred, and by morning the vessels were empty again. Burnside intended to go back to the lake and examine water samples on site, but the plans were prevented by a sudden deterioration in his health: the professor was hospitalized, and a week later he died – as it later turned out, from intestinal inflammation.

It would seem that there is evidence of sinister legends, but there is still a scientific explanation for the phenomena of Lake Funduji. In fact, chromium ore deposits are the cause of the anomalies.

Chromium salts are very toxic to humans, and the concentration of chromium in the lake was so high that a couple of drops killed Professor Burnside.

Mysterious Lake Funduji: why you can't take water from this African lake 105

The disappearing water phenomenon is also explained by the high chromium content. At temperatures below 19 degrees Celsius, chromium particles in water crystallize (therefore, the water “disappeared” at night, when it was cooler). In fact, the liquid from the vessel does not go anywhere, but turns into a solid state, scattering along the bottom and walls of the vessel.

To be fair, some of Funduji’s riddles have not yet been solved – for example, it is not clear why a large number of crocodiles live in the poisonous lake. It is also unclear what these reptiles eat, because there are no fish in the lake, and other animals do not go there to drink.

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Mysteries

Descent into the Unknown: Blogger revealed the secret of the mysterious tunnel in the pyramid of Cheops

Descent into the Unknown: Blogger revealed the secret of the mysterious tunnel in the pyramid of Cheops 106

The pyramid of Cheops is one of the seven wonders of the world. This is one of the largest ancient buildings, which contains many secrets. Recently, some experts have been worried about what hides the blocked tunnel near the underground chamber.

Blogger Ben van Kerkwick, who hosts the UnchartedX YouTube channel, managed to get into the tunnel. The video is two hours long and shows the entire journey. Ben was surprised that the tunnel helped to find the descending and ascending passages, although, according to the idea, they cannot be found.

The blogger explored the Cheops pyramid with his team. All passages were covered with granite blocks. The group followed to the Great Gallery, and Ben van Kerkwick – to the underground chamber. 

Archaeologists noted that the mysterious passage crosses the rock on which the base of the pyramid is located. The blogger was struck by the skill of the engineers: the discovered 87-meter passage turned out to be perfectly straight.

The underground camera was incredibly deep. There was a mysterious door there, where it led is still unknown. This confirms the opinion that the structure keeps many secrets.

The pyramid was erected 4.5 thousand years ago for Pharaoh Cheops, who was the ruler of the 4th dynasty.

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