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The Story Of How Nine Hikers Died Remains Unsolved

What happened at that campsite in 1959?

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On Feb. 2, 1959, nine skiers were found dead near their campsite next to Otorten Mountain, Russia. This is the chilling story of their deaths:

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On Feb. 26, 1959, the group's campsite was discovered by a rescue team. The condition of the campsite and the skiers' bodies was so unsettling it led to several theories on how they could have died.

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The group of nine was led by Igor Dyatlov, who was also found dead among them.

Two of the nine bodies were found by the tree line, about a mile away from camp. The oddest part? Despite the freezing temperatures, the bodies were wearing nothing but underwear.

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Three more bodies were found between the campsite and the tree line. One of the bodies had a fractured skull, but doctors ultimately determined all five deaths were due to hypothermia.

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The remaining four bodies were not found until two months later. One body had a fractured skull, one had crushed ribs, and one had both crushed ribs and a missing tongue...

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...and perhaps the oddest part? The four bodies that were found later were discovered wearing the clothes of the bodies found near the tree line.

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To top it all off, when the clothes were tested, there were traces of radiation found on them, as well as all around the campsite.

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Oddly enough, there was no outward trauma to the bodies. The trauma was caused by what experts at the time said was a force too strong for a human to cause.

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There was also no evidence of an outsider entering the tent, and the tent was ripped from the inside.

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So, what happened to the nine hikers? One theory says an avalanche buried the tent. This would explain the tent's damage as well as the death from hypothermia.

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And the undressed hikers? This could be explained by a phenomenon called "paradoxical undressing," in which disoriented hypothermia victims remove their clothes because they feel like their bodies are burning.

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What the avalanche theory does NOT explain is the radioactivity detected and why one woman was found with a missing tongue.

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Theory #2 explores the possibility that a Soviet test missile caused the deaths, which would explain some of the injuries found on the bodies.

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However, no evidence of an explosion was found, and there were no records of a missile launch.

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Also, now's a good time to tell you the expedition originally had 10 skiers. But one of them, Yuri Yudin, left early due to an illness. This made Yudin the lone survivor of the trip.

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Yudin helped identify items found at the campsite. But there were a few items he could not explain...including a piece of cloth that he said looked like it had military origin.

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This led him to believe that maybe the military found the bodies of his friends before the rescuers did...suggesting that maybe they were trying to cover something up.

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The third theory (stay with us) was that a yeti killed the skiers. This theory even led to a two-hour Discovery Channel special. Butttt, there was no real evidence of a yeti at the campsite.

Theory #4, and perhaps the most interesting one, is that aliens played a part in the deaths of the skiers.

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This could be supported by the reports that there were spheres seen in the air in February and March.

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Lead investigator Lev Ivanov even said he thought there was a connection between the flying spheres and the group's death. However, he was ordered by Soviet officials to close the case.

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The alien theory could explain the radioactivity and inhuman trauma the bodies underwent. But would we really know what to look for when looking for presence of an outside life form?

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Regardless of all the theories brought forward, authorities determined the deaths were caused by an "unknown compelling force," leaving the crime unsolved.

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What truly happened to the skiers? Well, the world may never know.

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  1. Which theory do YOU believe?

    Correct
    Incorrect
    Obviously it was the avalanche.
    Correct
    Incorrect
    It was a military cover-up, for sure.
    Correct
    Incorrect
    IT WAS A MUTHAFUCKIN' YETI.
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Definitely aliens. There's no way we're alone.
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Which theory do YOU believe?
  1.  
    vote votes
    Obviously it was the avalanche.
  2.  
    vote votes
    It was a military cover-up, for sure.
  3.  
    vote votes
    IT WAS A MUTHAFUCKIN' YETI.
  4.  
    vote votes
    Definitely aliens. There's no way we're alone.
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