Non-fiction - Dyatlov pass

Discussion in 'Other Literature' started by Jack Brewhouse, Dec 23, 2016.

  1. Jack Brewhouse

    Jack Brewhouse Well-Known Member

    I've recently had a new idea for a story which has prompted me to do some research. I've been reading about the 1959 Dyatlov pass tragedy and the scores of missing people that go missing from American national parks. It's caught my interest to the point where what was going to be a short story is now blossoming into an idea for a full-on novel.
    Dyatlov pass is a really fascinating case. The 'Dead Mountain' book on the subject was the best but the while the first two thirds of the book are excellent, the last third loses momentum fast and ends up being a bit of a disappointment.
    For those not aware of the incident, 10 hikers in Russia went off to the Siberian mountains in 1959 and vanished. One turned back due to health concerns but the others never arrived at their destination. Their tent was found, cut open from inside, they had left without shoes or clothes and run into pitch black night in sub-freezing temperatures. Several died of hypothermia, not straight away, they had tried to light a fire. Several others suffered massive internal injuries despite having no outward symptoms of distress. One girl had her tongue removed. Their clothes were found to be radio-active, they photographed an enigmatic light source but too poorly for it to be made out and made an odd comment in their diary that the 'Snowman exists.'
    The book refused to acknowledge anything but a rational explanation and finally settled on a sound phenomenon causing temporary insanity. It ignored a great deal of evidence for the convenience of his narrative.
    The American stories are actually more interesting but I'm finding them out in pieces. What was really fascinating was a statement by an Australian service-man that he'd been in tunnels discovered in Cambodia after the Khmer Rouge war. He'd seen creatures in there eating the victims.
    Fascinating stuff.
     
  2. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    Sounds fascinating and gruesome. Not sure if I'd want to read a whole book on it (non-fiction), but if you know of a documentary on it, then I'd like to track that down.
     
  3. Jack Brewhouse

    Jack Brewhouse Well-Known Member

    The book I read was very much a multi-layered narrative so it was quite easy going. It detailed the known events of the hikers in a story format intertwined with the events of the author's investigation as he followed along in their (literal) footsteps. The other book went into the details of the various conspiracy theories, none of which join up all the dots. It's an enduring mystery since nobody has managed to come up with an explanation that covers all the evidence. The author willfully ignored a lot of points to get his idea to fit which felt quite jarring after the rest of the book being quite well balanced.
    There are several documentaries but how good they'd be, I don't know.
     
  4. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    There's a full documentary on Youtube plus various other shorter clips. This'll make good watching one of these evenings.

     
  5. Jack Brewhouse

    Jack Brewhouse Well-Known Member

    It's a fascinating subject. There are hundreds of similar cases all around the world, thousands in fact. A researcher has recorded 1400 in the US alone. I've got a working theory of what's behind it which is good enough for the plot of a scary book.
     

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