Synopsis from the Publisher:
New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller! — What happened that night on Dead Mountain?
In February 1959, a group of nine experienced hikers in the Russian Ural Mountains died mysteriously on an elevation known as Dead Mountain. Eerie aspects of the incident—unexplained violent injuries, signs that they cut open and fled the tent without proper clothing or shoes, a strange final photograph taken by one of the hikers, and elevated levels of radiation found on some of their clothes—have led to decades of speculation over what really happened.
This New York Times bestseller, Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident, is a gripping work of literary nonfiction that delves into the mystery of Dead Mountain through unprecedented access to the hikers’ own journals and photographs, rarely seen government records, dozens of interviews, and the author’s retracing of the hikers’ fateful journey in the Russian winter.
Dead Mountain is a fascinating portrait of young adventurers in the Soviet era, and a skillful interweaving of the hikers’ narrative, the investigators’ efforts, and the author’s investigations. Here for the first time is the real story of what happened that night on Dead Mountain.
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Publication Date: October 22, 2013
Source: Borrowed from the Library
Rating: 5 Stars
I first heard about the Dyatlov Pass Incident a few years ago, and since then I’ve been fascinated by this unsolved Soviet-era mystery.
The backstory: In January 1959, a group of 10 hikers (eight men & two women), mostly current and former students from Ural Polytechnical Institute, set out on a skiing expedition through the northern Ural Mountains in Russia. Nine of them died under suspicious circumstances on February 1 or 2, all of them having abandoned their tent during the night in sub-zero temps without shoes or proper outerwear. The 10th hiker survived because he had turned back for home days earlier due to health issues.
What would cause all nine experienced hikers to run from their only shelter in the dark of night without adequate protection from the freezing elements? What about the internal injuries found on a few of the hikers, along with radiation in their clothing? In May of 1959, the lead investigator concluded that the party died due to an “unknown compelling force,” but of course that really doesn’t answer anything.
The author’s account of this tragedy in DEAD MOUNTAIN is thoughtful, compelling, and well-researched. He tackles the main theories about what may have happened, including avalanche, murdered by outsiders, secret weapons testing, UFOs, and even Yeti attack. In the end he presents his own theory of events which I found quite plausible.
I loved the inclusion of expedition photos and diary entries from the hikers, which added a deeper human element to the telling of the Dyatlov Group’s tragic story. A captivating and haunting read for unsolved mystery fans.