28 октября 2015. Все права принадлежат AiF-Chelyabinsk. Author Eldar Gizatullin
Chelyabinsk resident Yuri Bondarev was confronted by fate with Igor Dyatlov's hikers more than 50 years ago. Then a student of the Ural Polytechnic Institute was instructed to pick up the bodies of the dead hikers from the morgue. He remembers this order to this day. As well as one of the members of the Dyatlov group, Rustem Slobodin, with whom he was friends with studied together.
In 1959 Bondarev studied in Sverdlovsk in the fifth year of the mechanical department of the Ural Polytechnic Institute, he was member in the athletics section. Fellow student Anatoliy Glazunov introduced his friend to hiking, so that the interests were common even outside of classes. Yuri knew that Rustik (this is how friends called Slobodin) went on an expedition.
"After an industrial practice in Taganrog, my classmate Victor Lebedev and I got stuck in Moscow," Yuri Anatolyevich recalls. - We returned to Sverdlovsk, went into our dorm room, and a Glazunov was sitting there, downhearted, saying: "Rustic is gone! There is no contact with the group."
Various rumors spread around the institute, although there was no news about the fate of the group. Until finally they found the bodies of three people - Igor Dyatlov, Zina Kolmogorova and Rustem Slobodin. In early March, Bondarev was summoned to the Komsomol committee.
"I was told that I had to pick up the bodies of the dead from the Dyatlov group from the morgue and bring them to the funeral at the institute, and then to the cemetery. "Aren't you afraid?" - said my countryman. - And added: "You can refuse." I was surprised: what do they mean should I refuse? And they answered me directly: "Three students got frightened already." I am not easily unnerved, so agreed. They gave me a truck, and I went to the morgue. I had to go somewhere at the far end of the city, on Shchors Street, I think. I recognized Dyatlov first, although I had seen him only a couple of times before. I was struck by the fact that more than 90% of the bodies of the dead were of some kind of dark, almost chocolate color, even with a purple tint - I remember, because teeth stood out sharply against this background. And the texture of the skin was like corrugated photographic paper. And somehow they seem to have become smaller, as if shrunken."
The bodies in the coffins were loaded into the open bed. One of the employees of the morgue told Yuri to climb into the back and keep the coffins stable during the trip. This is how Bondarev rode all the way.
"There were a lot of people at the ceremony, - continues Yuri Anatolyevich. - I remember that Rustik's mother without raising her voice was muttering his name over and over again. His name was misspelled, the plaque having Ruslan, while his name is Rustem. I drew attention to this and asked to correct it. In general, all this made a very strong impression on me – I was absent for a week after. Lebedev wanted to go to the pass at the end of April to look for the rest, but then the news came that they had found everyone. I didn't go to the second funerals, the first ones were enough for me."
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The story began to be forgotten when, in the summer of 1959, Lebedev suggested that Bondarev go on a hike - at first they were going to the Tien Shan, but then they chose the easier option, to the Caucasus. After the death of the Dyatlov group, many tried to choose simpler routes.
"The leader of the group was Pyotr Bartolomey, later he became a professor," says Yuri Anatolyevich. - In July we went to the Caucasus. And there, somewhere in the middle of the way, we met with a group from Kharkov. They lost two backpacks while crossing a river, so we shared our food with them. Bartolomey and the head of the Kharkov group at some point stepped aside for a conversation. When the group from Kharkov left, Bartolomey told what a colleague had told him: in May they gathered all the heads of the hiking sections and instructed - they say, the Dyatlov group got to training ground."
By the way, recently Bartolomey was on Andrei Malakhov's TV show dedicated to this tragedy, but for some reason did not say anything about it. Perhaps the episode fell out during editing. This is the only statement that got into the program: "Today they have no idea what hiking was like in the 1950s and 60s!" I understand him: the discipline then was really very tough! The composition of the group, the route was coordinated, approved with the party bodies. Many versions are absurd, for example, that hikers from the Dyatlov group got drunk and fought! We had a case, a girl got her feet wet, so we soaked her socks in alcohol and put them on - that's the only moment when we used alcohol! Drinking while camping was out of the question!
Bondarev subsequently worked at the Chelyabinsk Pipe Rolling Plant, rose to the rank of deputy head of the department. There were many business trips, up to 26 per year. Of course, that tragedy of 1959 gradually faded into the background, but it was never forgotten. In the mid-1990s, our countryman had an unexpected and strange meeting.
"I was sitting in Domodedovo, waiting for a flight," Yuri Anatolyevich recalls. - I am reading a newspaper with an article about the Dyatlov group, and a elderly man was sitting next to me. He saw the article and said: "I should have been with them!" The man sitting next to me turned out to be Yuri Yudin - the same member of the Dyatlov group, who, due to pain in his leg, could not continue the hike. I tried to question him, but he answered very reluctantly."
The discussions that flared up with renewed vigor about what happened to the Dyatlov group, and the publications with versions that came out in our country made Yuri Bondarev also think about explanations. He believes that perhaps the cause of the death of the group was the testing of a vacuum bomb:
"I read that when such a bomb explodes, people in the epicenter are torn to pieces, and those who are further away have a strong rush of blood to the skin - and immediately remembered the strange color of the bodies. It didn't look like a burn. I also remembered how in 1965 I was on an expedition in the Sayans. The snow was waist-deep there, and we were advised to go along the ski track, where the snow was thicker. The tracks differed depending on the snow. I think that from the explosion of the bomb in front of the guys a real hell was formed, from which they fled. Traces were preserved, as the explosion melted the snow. But then the liquefied snow ended. I suspect that some of the guys just froze to death, while others were killed after all."
This is just a theory, to which experts may have their own comments. In the meantime, even for those who studied with the Dyatlov group, this mystery remains unsolved.