- CASE FILES
6 March 1959 investigator of Ivdel district in Sverdlovsk region lawyer I class Kuzminyh interrogated on the premises of the Vizhay logging department P.O. 240 as a witness, in compliance with art. 162-168 Code of Criminal Procedure
Warned about the responsibility of the first part of Art. 92 of the RSFSR Criminal Code for refusing to testify and under Art. 95 RSFSR Criminal Code for knowingly giving false testimony.
Al. Cheglakov (signature)
The witness testified: At the end of January 1959 the exact date can not remember, I saw at the club in village of Vizhay a group of hikers, among them there were 2 girls. These hikers left in a truck to 41st district of the Forestry Energolesokombinat. No one lives in the village of 2nd North mine. In the third week of February 1959 on the orders of the Chief of the logging branch Hakimov, together with the forester Ivan Pashin I flew by helicopter to the site of the death of a group of hikers near Mount Otorten. With us together in the same helicopter were 4 people and from Ivdel the same day came another 5 people. We start to carry out the assigned tasks same day we arrived. The search of hikers started in two groups. One person left on the protection of belongings and tents. On the first day of our search we found the ski tracks of the hikers. On the second day we found the tent of the hikers which was located in the upper reaches of rivers Auspiya and Lozva at the height of the mountain Verhuspiya. It was badly drifted by snow. We did not go inside.
We couldn't see any ski tracks of the hikers around the tent. Mansi ski tracks we have seen 10 km from where the tent of the of the hikers was found. One kilometer from the camping site of the hikers we found new Mansi stand.
The first stop of the hikers from the location of the tent was at a distance of 17-20 km. The same distance was from Vizhay River. On the fifth day of searching we found 4 bodies, one of them female. After that we were taken home by helicopter to village of Vizhay. The mountain where the tent and the dead bodies were found is not a Mansi sacred place. Mansi sacred places are very far from there. While Stepan Kurikov and other Mansi helped with the search their behavior was normal and they even regretted that what happened to the hikers was so bad. What I saw and the circumstances under which they died I can only assume that they perish from the elements. Mansi should not be prosecuted for the death of the hikers. The group of hikers could have frozen because of a hurricane that tore the tent and broke loose and they try to fix it, or even managed to do that before being blown by the wind and dragged in the ravine, where they lost orientation and couldn't get back to the tent and died from the cold. I have nothing more to add.
Al. Cheglakov (signature)
Interrogator Assitant Attorney Lawyer I Class Kuzminyh (signature)