December 18, 2017, 04:42:29 AM
Dyatlov Pass Forum

Author Topic: The DEN...I know, I know..  (Read 490 times)

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October 04, 2017, 02:22:03 PM
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Lyndasez


The dens whole existence is a mystery to me. No shovels were recovered. You wouldn’t exhaustively dig a den an not build a fire where everyone could warm themselves and swap clothes off to those who ventured back to the tent for investigation and supplies.

The searchers dug down a dozen feet to uncover an immaculate seat with torn clothes at the corner, no, doesn’t make any sense. 

At this point I have to consider the possible reason it exists is to cover up something that had occurred there.

October 04, 2017, 06:59:41 PM
Reply #1
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Loose}{Cannon

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I have a HUGE issue with the den!

#1. its reported that the clothing supposedly used for butt protection were actually found in the melting snow somewhere between tue cedar and ravine and were placed on top of the reconstructed twig floor of the den.

#2.  I find it INCREDIBLY hard to believe the search team just happened to not only know to dig, but to know exactly where to dig, AND hit an exact bull's-eye perfect location.  I mean... They didn't find the corner and then shift the trench in that direction.  No....  I have several major issues with the 'den' in general.   bat1

October 04, 2017, 07:25:30 PM
Reply #2
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Lyndasez


LC,
I’ve been wondering, did the searchers, police or military take a photo of the view from the tent position down towards the ravine, well any we can view now? Also, I don’t mean to cause extra work but if you do know of any could you label it, I have trouble identifying what I am looking at exactly in some photos.

Like the den. I have a photo where someone drew in the den position, and it seemed like it was a the end of the ravine, or rather came after it, where all along I had thought it was alongside an a path came between...them?!

October 04, 2017, 07:55:46 PM
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Loose}{Cannon

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At the bottom of the ridge from the tent site, in the valley, there is a seasonal drainage area for melting run-off.  In the valley floor area and mainly on the treeline side there are small random and sparse bush/saplings (where igor was found) that eventually turn into a full blown large tree line. Set back into the treeline a little ways and 300m from Igor is the cedar.  If you go 75 yards farther past the cedar and slightly to the left, you drop down into the ravine that also carries melting run-off from melting snow. 

Basically if you walk down the slope away from the tent, you hit the valley floor which is a washout area, then small saplings start, then they turn into a real forest at the cedar. If you continue in the same straight line past the cedar in 50m you come to a ravine that runs from your right to left and at an angle... Like your 4 o'clock position to your 10 o'clock position.  If you follow the ravine downstream (10 o'clock direction) another 25m....  Your at the den. 



« Last Edit: October 17, 2017, 07:56:44 AM by Teddy »

October 12, 2017, 08:08:29 AM
Reply #4
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mk


I'm not following the objections y'all have. 

Digging a snow den without shovels? I just figured they used their hands and sticks and stuff.  And likely that's some of the reason for the scratches and cuts on their knuckles.  If the snow hadn't melted and refrozen, then it wouldn't be too solid to dig through.  In my experience, snow that falls in far northern climates is generally lighter and fluffier than snow that falls here in the south.  And, out in the wilderness like that, it wouldn't have been packed down by feet.

A huge coincidence to place it in the ravine in the middle of the night? I didn't assume they were necessarily aiming for the ravine--though, if one is looking for protection, it makes sense to go downhill.  As it turned out, the ravine didn't offer them the protection they needed, so it wasn't exactly a brilliant move on their part.  Also, of course, a lot of the snow that the rescuers dug through fell after the fatal night, obscuring it even further than it would been have for the Dyatlov group.

I'm confused about the idea that the rescuers found them quickly and easily in the ravine, or that they seemed to know where to dig.  The ones in the ravine were so well hidden that the rescuers didn't find them until three months later, after the snow began to melt.  Of course they began by digging: the search crew knew that the bodies would be under at least a couple months' snowfall by that time.

"Immaculate seats"???  What do you mean?

And what sort of cover-up?  By the government?  By the search crews? I'm confused.

At this point, I'm convinced there was no organized governmental cover-up.  First, my understanding is that the Soviet Government of the time generally only tried to cover up things that would make them look incompetent; not things that would make them look cruel or threatening.  Second, that's a pretty shabby attempt at a cover-up; I'm absolutely certain the Soviet Government could have done better. 

There's a distinct feel of uncertainty about the whole thing, though.  Authorities seemed confused and edgy, unclear which information to suppress and which to allow.  If they were determined to cover it up completely, they would have.  They would have gotten in there before the amateur rescue crews arrived, wiped it clean, and invented a plausible story for the whole thing.  At the very least, they would have prepared a reasonable explanation for the deaths and then stuck to it.  But I can definitely see middle management getting scared that they might accidentally leak something that was supposed to be secret, and so just calling off the investigation or hushing things up in order to protect themselves.

It amuses me to imagine a conversation, much later, among officials:
"Why did you go to so much trouble to cover it up?"
"Well, if you'd done it, wouldn't you want it covered up?"
"But no one did it--it was just some kids on drugs [or lightning, or scary noises, etc.]"
"How was I to know that?  I was just doing my job!"

Anyhow, I'm not trying to present and defend a position, here.  I'm just inviting you to explore your thoughts on the den and help me understand them.

October 16, 2017, 09:39:25 AM
Reply #5
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Lyndasez


You think they dug a 9ft den with their hands then constructed a seat and did not attempt a fire, after fleeing in mortal fear?! twitch7

This was a government cover-up for sure...they bungled up anything they could, they didn’t preserve the scene, took minimal pictures and measurements..then hid the rest in secret files, and there’s the 3yr ban on travel to the area....

For instance:  “a film of a nuclear test conducted by the Soviet military on Sept. 14, 1954, in which an atomic bomb was exploded in the air near 45,000 Soviet Army troops and thousands of civilians in the Ural Mountains. In the film, which was shown in Paris as a part of a documentary, Soviet veterans said that soldiers had never received adequate medical treatment for the radiation exposure. "Many died not knowing the reason why," said Mikhail Sokolov, left, a veteran. (Photographs from "Human Nuclear Guinea Pigs") “

This info wasn’t known till the ‘90s.

October 16, 2017, 10:54:13 AM
Reply #6
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Loose}{Cannon

Global Moderator
MK..  I think there may be a misunderstanding here, so I will attempt to clarify. 

Quote
Digging a snow den without shovels? I just figured they used their hands and sticks and stuff.  And likely that's some of the reason for the scratches and cuts on their knuckles.  If the snow hadn't melted and refrozen, then it wouldn't be too solid to dig through.  In my experience, snow that falls in far northern climates is generally lighter and fluffier than snow that falls here in the south.  And, out in the wilderness like that, it wouldn't have been packed down by feet.

I would normally agree. Accept the very facts of how you describe the characteristics of snow in these circumstances as easy to dig, light and fluffy etc would also make it nearly impossible to dig out a mini cave without the opening sliding/falling in on itself to begin with. For the den to even have existed means the snow would have to have a certain level of 'pack-ability'.  Make sense?   So in my mind, either the snow was not soft, fluffy, and powder like, or it wasn't dug in the first place.  I would tend to think you are correct in the characteristics of the snow, which would indicate..... there was no den.


Quote
I'm confused about the idea that the rescuers found them quickly and easily in the ravine, or that they seemed to know where to dig.  The ones in the ravine were so well hidden that the rescuers didn't find them until three months later, after the snow began to melt.  Of course they began by digging: the search crew knew that the bodies would be under at least a couple months' snowfall by that time.

I wasn't implying the bodies were found quickly or that they seemed to know where to dig for the bodies. I was talking specifically in reference to the den.

The body of  LYUDMILA DUBININA was found using an avalanche probe fixed with a meat hook on the end to pull up flesh as they know the victims at this point would not be alive...... thats how they found the rav4.

The 'den' on the other hand had no bodies within it and was meters away from the rav4 bodies.

My quote
 
Quote
#2.  I find it INCREDIBLY hard to believe the search team just happened to not only know to dig, but to know exactly where to dig, AND hit an exact bull's-eye perfect location.  I mean... They didn't find the corner and then shift the trench in that direction.

Point being... how are you to know a den floor exists under meters of snow when a probe does not bring up flesh or anything else for that matter.... how would you know its there to begin with?  You wouldn't.  On top of that... I am expected to believe the crew dug down on the EXACT location on the first attempt to locate said den they didnt know was there without shifting the hole in any direction after finding part of it? No, apparently they dug the exact size square hole corresponding to the size of the 'den' floor and precisely hit all 4 corners.  I call major BS.


Quote
"Immaculate seats"???  What do you mean?

What I think Lyndasez was saying, is that we know they staged the pictures with the den floor and the clothing located at all 4 corners... why should we believe it existed in the first place?  The clothing was found in melting snow some distance from the 'den' and they staged the 'seats' with the clothing. They also "reconstructed" the branches that made up the 'den floor' itself.

Why would the search crew apparently dig a hole, put branches in it, put clothing in the corners, and say see... lookie, we found a den, we dug one hole in all of the urual mountains and hit paydirt.  The entire 'den' IMHO was staged, and you only stage something to create a false narrative.   

October 20, 2017, 06:43:25 PM
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mk


Thanks for clarifying, LC.  I see what you mean about the snow.  I wish I had more first-hand experience with cold climates in order to understand those kinds of details better.

A quick google of building snow caves with hands indicates that, of course, it is very difficult and not generally recommended.  However, most sources note that, with sufficient motivation and several people working, a small emergency snow cave is certainly possible.  Also, it seems that powdery snow hardens once it's been disturbed; it doesn't exactly have to melt and refreeze in order to harden.  http://www.survivopedia.com/how-to-build-a-snow-shelter/ 

Obviously there's more to it than what I've read, but I would expect Russians who frequently go on winter hiking & camping treks to be pretty familiar with building a snow cave in less-than-ideal circumstances.  In other words, if it could be done, I'd expect these guys to be able to do it.

And, of course, if you're going to do some kind of difficult and nearly-impossible feat, it would only be in a situation similar to fleeing in mortal terror.  You don't go digging snow dens with your bare hands for fun.

Lyndasez, I'm not sure I understood point about the fire.  You mean, as you see it, they ought to have built another fire rather than a snow cave?  Fair enough.  Except that they already had a fire, right?  Under the cedar.  So, presumably, they thought another one was unnecessary or ill-advised.  Or, is that your point: that they wouldn't have needed a snow cave since they already had the fire and/or could build another one?

BTW, I googled "snow den" first, and got all kinds of stuff on the military and Snowden!  waaaaaaaaay off track, lol!

October 21, 2017, 08:15:13 PM
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kenne


Thanks for clarifying, LC.  I see what you mean about the snow.  I wish I had more first-hand experience with cold climates in order to understand those kinds of details better.

A quick google of building snow caves with hands indicates that, of course, it is very difficult and not generally recommended.  However, most sources note that, with sufficient motivation and several people working, a small emergency snow cave is certainly possible.  Also, it seems that powdery snow hardens once it's been disturbed; it doesn't exactly have to melt and refreeze in order to harden.  http://www.survivopedia.com/how-to-build-a-snow-shelter/ 

Obviously there's more to it than what I've read, but I would expect Russians who frequently go on winter hiking & camping treks to be pretty familiar with building a snow cave in less-than-ideal circumstances.  In other words, if it could be done, I'd expect these guys to be able to do it.

And, of course, if you're going to do some kind of difficult and nearly-impossible feat, it would only be in a situation similar to fleeing in mortal terror.  You don't go digging snow dens with your bare hands for fun.

Lyndasez, I'm not sure I understood point about the fire.  You mean, as you see it, they ought to have built another fire rather than a snow cave?  Fair enough.  Except that they already had a fire, right?  Under the cedar.  So, presumably, they thought another one was unnecessary or ill-advised.  Or, is that your point: that they wouldn't have needed a snow cave since they already had the fire and/or could build another one?

BTW, I googled "snow den" first, and got all kinds of stuff on the military and Snowden!  waaaaaaaaay off track, lol!


 IIRC there is no evidence of a den being dug, just speculation.  A fire in the ravine would of been out of the wind and much better for warming if they would have started one there. but In guess they did not start one.
kenne

October 22, 2017, 05:06:16 PM
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itWasTheCIA


How do we know how deep the den was dug? Reading a few comments here, people seem to be certain about the deepness the den was dug by hand or at most by knife. However, how do we know how much snow  was laying around a few weeks before? Since the hikers did not die in the den, I initially thought the vertical distance between the hikers bodies and the flooring on the den would give us the depth they had to overcome. But bodies had enough time to shift vertically, so this logic is flawed. I'm curious anyway:
  • How far above solid ground has the den flooring been found?
  • How far above solid ground have the 4 bodies been found? Were they vertically all in the same height?

October 29, 2017, 08:43:46 PM
Reply #10
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Loose}{Cannon

Global Moderator
I don't think anyone knows these answers because the investigation was a sham.

Also, the den digging is supposedly sideways and not straight down..... Not a hole.  Basically into the side of a snow drift, I'm guessing a big one.  I'm not really the person to explain it in detail, because I don't believe it existed.

November 07, 2017, 09:58:18 PM
Reply #11
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SimplyMadness


Hollowing out a place to get out of the blistering winds and huddle together to preserve body heat isn't an illogical action to take in my opinion nor do I think they would need shovels to dig out a small area in the snow. Getting a fire to start is not guaranteed and it's possible they tried but just couldn't. I'm not sure if the "seat" is immaculate either considering it is just a piece of clothing set atop some sticks.  Unless I'm missing something..

What I don't quite understand is where the den is supposed to be. If it is truly in the ravine, does that mean it was built after the 4 hikers had stumbled into it and received their mortal injuries? 2 of them have cracked ribs, one a cracked skull and they're down there digging out a den? Makes no sense. The website does mention that the bodies were found a few feet away from the den, "in the deep part of the ravine". How deep is "deep"? Are we talking deep enough to fall onto rocks and cause serious injury? If that's the case, it makes a bit more sense. They had built the den, but perhaps decided that they weren't warming up fast enough so they decided to keep moving and then walked a few feet in the darkness and stumbled off into the deeper part of the ravine smashing into rocks at the bottom. This is bad luck on par with some kind of looney tunes sketch.. I'm surprised a cargo plane overhead didn't accidentally drop an anvil on one of their heads to top it all off... Of course, it's also possible that Kolevatov, luckily only sustaining a broken nose from the fall, dug out a place for his hurt comrades to take shelter in only for them to die off one by one from their injuries near/in the den but eventually all of their bodies washed down stream a bit by the thawing water.

I wish we had better maps, some parts of this tragedy are very hard for me to conceptualize without a proper sense of scale and depth.

Maybe I'm not thinking clearly and missing something very obvious..






November 20, 2017, 06:55:00 PM
Reply #12
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TDGS7147


After fleeing the tent:
The parties met up again.

Kolya, Lyuda, Sasha and Kolevatov head in the opposite direction, (perhaps they were searching for their storage shelter, but they were in the wrong valley, Lozrva, instead of Auspiya)

They were just north of Georgy and Doroshenko. Kolya injures himself at some point, probably on the rocks hiding just
inches beneath the snow, causing him to lose his ability to walk. He also loses his flashlight in the
process, and now the four must grope blindly through the darkness. Sasha and Kolevatov carry the
injured Kolya over the snow in the general direction of the trees, but without warning, they encounter
a 24-foot precipice and tumble into the rock-lined ravine below. Kolya, Lyuda and Sasha hit the
rocks with massive force—all three sustaining grave chest injuries while Kolya’s skull is dashed on
the rocks. Somehow, Kolevatov has managed to avoid seriously injuring himself in the impact—perhaps
because Kolya cushioned his fall—and his only concern now is to save the lives of his friends.
Perhaps he is able to communicate with them as they are losing consciousness, and in order to keep
them warm, he spreads out a bed of fir twigs for them to lie on. He doesn’t bother to build a fire, as
there is no fuel, and the wood of the surrounding birch and fir trees holds too much moisture to ignite.

November 22, 2017, 07:51:49 PM
Reply #13
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Loose}{Cannon

Global Moderator
The ravine



Closeup of the "den"



This is the RECONSTRUCTED den floor



The Rav4 bodies were found just right out in front of the so called den...... closer to the camera








November 24, 2017, 08:48:10 AM
Reply #14
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Armide


LC, where are the modern pictures from? Was there ever some kind of secondary-investigation or was it just taken by some Dyatlov Pass-enthusiats?

November 24, 2017, 08:59:39 AM
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Loose}{Cannon

Global Moderator
LC, where are the modern pictures from? Was there ever some kind of secondary-investigation or was it just taken by some Dyatlov Pass-enthusiats?

Ah...   I found it some time ago on a russian forum etc.  Its not from an investigation per-say, but like you said 'enthusiasts'.  The DP from what I can tell has become quite the tourist attraction for all those interested.  Many people seemingly go there and poke around etc.

I have some pics of the cedar in modern day aswell on my computer somewhere.

November 24, 2017, 09:10:21 AM
Reply #16
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Armide


Has the cedar not been chopped down right after the case closed? I thought I remember reading somewhere that after the bodies had been found it had been cut down so as to avoid making it a morbid tourist attraction, but I really could be wrong. Anyways, modern photos could always be useful in pinning down and understanding what exactly happened. I feel like just reading descriptions of how the terrain is laid out remains pretty abstract and hard to imagine for most of us.