May 15, 1959 The city of Sverdlovsk Prosecutor criminologist Ivanov interrogated as a witness, subject to Art. 162-168 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the RSFSR
Warned on the responsibility for the first part of Art. 92 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR for refusing to testify and under Art. 95 Criminal Code of the RSFSR for giving knowingly false testimony.
The witness testified: I have been engaged in tourism since 1953. I have hikes III, II category of difficulty in the Urals, Sayan, the Caucasus mountains. I am well acquainted with Z. Kolmogorova, Y. Doroshenko. I was in the expedition II cat. under the leadership of Zina in the North Urals (Konzhakov Stone) in the winter of 1958. The participant of this campaign was also Y. Doroshenko. In addition, I went with him on the Eastern Sayan in 1957. With the rest of the members, except R. Slobodin, Zolotaryov, K. Tibo, all three years of my studies at the institute, we were doing things together.
The trip to the Northern Ural was conceived in the fall. The first organizers of it were Y. Vishnevsky, L. Dubinina and S. Bienko. At first they did not get along well: the organizer did not have enough experience and, most of all, could not complete the group in any way. This continued until Igor Dyatlov took up the cause to organize the group. Igor was considered the most experienced hiker in our section. All the difficult trips were held under his leadership and always successfully, except for one: a trek in the Caucasus in which all participants were dissatisfied with Igor as a leader. At that time, he was somewhat conceited, and the characters of the members of the group did not get along well.
- 2 -
Z. Kolmogorova was a regular participant in the expeditions organized by Dyatlov. Zina is the most experienced, the most popular member of our section, she organized almost all Sunday treks, evenings, various extracurricular activities held by the section. I do not know of any ocassion when someone would be unhappy or offended by Zina, only the best, the best, can be said about her.
Doroshenko was somewhat stubborn, but if he caught fire, he was ready to turn over mountains (and he did).
Very well prepared for the expedition. This of course applies to other participants - they are all physically and technically very well prepared for this expedition. In general, I think this area is not difficult in terms of tourism, completely passable
in all in any month of winter and summer. The only "but" is the sparse population in the area.
The control term for return of the group expired on February 12-13. Taking into account that Dyatlov told the returning Yudin, in communicate the pushing of the deadline to 16-17, and the snow storms at the end of February, reported by Y. Blinov, who returned from an expedition in the region, that could delay the progress of Dyatlov group, measures were taken only by the 18th. - In Ivdel flew L.S. Gordo and Y. Blinov. On February 21, our group was organized under the leadership of B. Slobtsov. We flew to Ivdel on the morning of February 22.
- 3 -
We were dropped off at the area of the incident only on February 23, in two groups. The second group was at the place of the drop in the second half of the day. Massif Mt. Otorten has three separate vertices, not much different from each other. In conditions of poor visibility, the pilots landed us erroneously under the eastern peak of the massif. At that moment, the task at hand was to determining whether the group reached the top, or we had to descend south into the valley of Lozva river, from which we assumed Dyatlov group would have began their ascent to the summit.
No traces of the group were found at the top, under which the pilots dropped us off.
The next day was devoted to an ineffectual search for traces along Lozva river.
On the same day (24) we went down to Auspiya river, where, according to the project, Dyatlov group had to arrange their food chache. On the left bank of the river, an old ski track was discovered almost indistinguishable. Despite the approach of the evening, the search group split into 2 halves. One went downstream, the other went up. 5 km from our base camp the lower group found an overnight campsite of Dyatlov group. There were no traces indicating what day they spend the night there and no storage of products. The upper group lost track.
- 4 -
The next day we decided to find the exit of the group from the valley of the river. To solve this problem, we split into three units. One had to find the lost track or establish its direction. Others were looking for the food warehouse and the exit of Dyatlov group from the valley of Auspiya river to the South.
The first group (Slobotsov, M. Sharavin and guide Ivan ....) went on the azimuth from the ski track of Dyatlov group to the pass Auspiya - Lozva. The guide persistently assured us that the group certainly fell into a crevice on Mt. Otorten. The guys left the guide at the boot rock and decided to at least approach the edge of the crevice if possible. The guys attempting to climb the ridge of height 1079 found an abandoned tent. They brought to the camp three cameras, Slobodin's jacket, an ice axe, which was stuck near the tent, a flashlight found near the tent and an alcohol flask.
At four o'clock Kurikov group carrying a walkie-talkie caught up with us. A radiogram was immediately sent about what happened and the coordinates of the tent. By radio, we were given the task of organizing a landing site for a helicopter and choosing a place for a camp for 50 people.
- 5 -
During the search for a place for the camp, M. Sharavin discovered two dead bodies covered with snow by the cedar. Nearby, a fire had been burning. A dozen small fir-trees were cut down with a Finnish knife in the vicinity. The lower dry branches of the cedar were broken off. The snow around was trampled. A few five-centimeter raw branches were also broken off the cedar at an altitude of 3-4 meters. Some of them remained lying around the fire.
At this time an operational group with dogs examined the tent. By the end of the day they found two more bodies: these of Kolmogorova and Dyatlov.
Our group and the two arriving groups of Karelin and Captain Chernyshev did not take part in the search that day. All were busy transporting gear from the pass to the Auspia valley, where it was decided to organize a camp.
On the next morning, the 27th, we continued our search with dogs. The rest, after dismantling the tent, began to probe the snow cover on the pass with ski poles.
After the prosecutor of Ivdel's protocoled the property of the group, it was ordered to me and M. Sharavin to collect things and transport them to the landing site of the helicopter.
The tent is set on the slope of height 1079. Entrance to the south. The steepness of the slope in this area approx. 20-25 °. Depth of snow up to 1.5 meters. A shallow pit is dug for the horizontal installation of the tent.
- 6 -
Under the tent were laid 8 pairs of skis with their fasteners facing down. Thanks to the dense snow cover, the tent was installed very firmly. Everything is covered with already clammy snow, except for the southern end, fortified on a ski pole and tied to a pair of skis. No stick was found under the northern end; there was no pole.
Snow was cleared with the help of skis and ski poles. Ten people worked without any system. In most cases
things everything was pulled out directly from under the snow, so it's very difficult to determine where and how each thing was.
First they took out several blankets, frozen in a ball, then buckets, a stove, 2-3 sacks of rusks, boots, etc. The things in the tent were arranged in the following order. At the bottom were laid rucksacks. Then 2-3 blankets. Next were the quilted jackets and personal belongings of the participants. Buckets, stove, ax, saw were lying at the entrance to the right. Here was part of the products: rusks, sugar, condensed milk, open bag with a loin. The rest of the products were in the far right corner. Most of the shoes
lying were placed on the left side of the tent. Two pairs - right in the middle. The rest of the things were in disarray in the tent.
Apparently the group was in the final stage of dressing and preparing for the night at the time of the incident. In the area of the tent near the entrance were found a few wedges from the loin. There are rusks scattered all over inside the tent.
- 7 -
On top of all things lay a ski pole cut into several pieces, on which, apparently, the northern end of the tent was stretched. Render a ski pole unusable, especially when the group didn't have a spare, is possible only under special circumstances.
On January 31, the group started from the place where we found their camp site on Auspiya river, reached the pass and ascended onto it. Bad weather prevented Dyatlov from making the pass the base for the ascend to Otorten. They had to retreat down the river valley. On this day the group was very tired: it was due to the constant ascent and deep snow in the area. It was late to dig a hole for a campfire so the dinner was cooked on logs.
They woke up late. The weather got worse. Given the backlog of the schedule for 1 day
all, it was decided to start the ascend. Dyatlov group definitely planned to make a cold night. Carrying out with the relocation of the products and setting up the storage (labaz) they finish at three o'clock. At the place To the place where the tent was set, were about 5 hours. Not in a hurry, they dug a hole, and calmly prepared for bed. About 7 o'clock something unusual and ineffably horrid forced the hikers to leave a tent in a panic. Running away undressed, in bad weather at night from the only warm place they had is possible only under thread of death. This is a strange phenomenon (light penetrating through the tent, sound, and possibly gases)
- 8 -
lasting for a while, chasing away the hikers.
The air temperature was -15°C this evening. The wind is about the same strength as in the early days of the search, low snow. Suppose that someone went out of the tent (barefoot!) A gust of wind could carried him down. The cry for help immediately raised everyone to their feet. Dyatlov and Krivonischenko, who were at the end of the tent, jumped through the hole made with Krivonischenko's Finnish knife.
Led by a single thought: "A comrade must be saved," a group of friends with one flashlight the other (Chinese) was dropped by Dyatlov at the entrance of the tent, ran to the first stone ridge. - nearly horizontal platform (up to 5°), covered with stones. On a site like that, no great effort is needed to resist any wind. Even at the tent, where the steepness of the slope reaches 20°, it is enough to lie down in the direction of the wind and you will remain in place. However, such an attempt was not made. The group, not stopping, continued to retreat. This is indicated by the traces discovered by us. I also can not imagine that in the ranks of such a group somebody might go crazy and drag everybody to their demise.
The protocol is filled by me personally. V. Brusnitsyn (signature)
Prosecutor criminalist Ivanov (signature)
Jr. counselor of Justice
C.S. [=Case Sheets] 370-378 are removed and stored as irrelevant in a special sector of the regional prosecutor's office
10.VII.59 Prosecutor criminalist Ivanov (signature)
[ed. note - pp. 370-378 were later (sometime before 1996) returned in the archive of the Dyatlov case]