I love a mystery, especially one like this, which is true, as true as any mystery can get, I suppose.
In 1959 ten students from Polytechnical University in Eastern Russia, near Siberia, decided to hike to the Ural Mountains and back before school started. It was sort of like a Scout's club where you receive a badge for technical difficulty. All of the nine members were experienced skiiers, climbers, hikers. There was seven men and two women, the group was being led by Igor Dyatlov, a twenty-three year old natural leader. The group of nine started their hike in Ivdel, taking on another person who wanted the tough adventure as well. He was the oldest at 38. The number remained nine as one of the students decided he could not go on due to serious back and knee pain. If he didn't leave now he'd never have the chance. He waved off his friends, the last to ever see them alive. On February 20th, parents started to worry when the crew had yet to arrive. School had already started and parents went to officials at the school asking questions. No one was really concerned at this time thinking the students were just behind in their arrival, perhaps due to weather. Eventually, a few students were asked to go in search of the missing party. On February 26th the men came upon the tent which was partially collapsed and frozen. They used an ax to get inside, where they found no bodies, alive or dead, but only the nine pair of boots lined up as if ready for the next day's hike. On one side of the tent were three rents giving the impression something had tried to get inside. It seemed to the searchers the group had left the tent in a mad rush. As they searched the area, they found two bodies about 500 metres away from the tent. Another few metres away they found three more bodies. Most of the students were in half dress as if whatever frightened them was enough for them to leave unprepared. Not until April did they find the four remaining bodies which had been found down a ravine. The bodies had blunt force trauma, and Lyudmila, one of the two women, was missing her tongue and eyes. The bodies were examined with the conclusion that the first persons found had died of hypothermia- the latter, blunt force trauma.
There were no other prints around the site, human or animal. A flashlight was found on top of the tent, an ax by the opening. What drove the nine out of the tent that night, and what kept them from returning? The mystery continues to this day. There is so much speculation about what might have happened. By the way, those rents in the tent were not made from someone or something trying to get in, but someone trying to get out.
I found the book, 'Dead Mountain,' written by Donnie Eichar, who has his own theories.
Like I say, I love a good mystery and this is one that may never be solved. That doesn't mean me and a boatload of people will ponder this strange true tale.