- CASE FILES
March 7, 1959 I, Head of the Polunochnoe Police Station Ivdel GOM Chudinov interrogated in the village of 100 district as a witness, with the observance of art. 162-168 Code of Criminal Procedure of the RSFSR
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.
The witness testified: On approximatelly 26th of February 1959 I was sent by the Chief of the 8th forestry Hakimov went to the Bahtiyarov settlement where five Mansi families live. This settlement is at a distance of 36 km from 100 district. The purpose of my visit was to find out from the Mansi if there are sightings of narrow ski tracks from the hikers between the mountain range of the Urals and their settlement. Upon arrival at the settlement, where at that time all Mansi were home, including Timofey Bahtiyarov, Nikolay Bahtiyarov, Aleksander Bahtiyarov, Kiril Bahtiyarov Kiril and Sonya Bahtiyarova. Timofey and Pavel Bahtiyarov on the eve of my arrival came from Ivdel, where they traveled for personal reasons. I talked with Bahtiyarovs if while hunting they saw narrow ski tracks, as well as people. On this Pavel, Timofey and Kiril Bahtiyarov said that they were hunting a week ago in the low places in the direction of the Ural ridge and saw no trace of narrow skis, as well as people. They didn't know about the death of the hikers before my arrival , this is waht they said. I didn't ask Bahtiyarovs if they had seen any other Mansi while hunting. Pavel Ivanovich Bahtiyarov said that he was hunting alone in the period when the blizzard started and the other Mansi men were
home. I suggested that Pavel Ivanovich Bahtiyarov take part in the search for the dead hikers, but he refused on the grounds that he got sick and also that in the area where they hunted there was no trace of the hikers and therefore there is no reason search there. He said that in the area where Mansi are constantly hunting and reindeer herding, narrow ski tracks would be noticed. I do not know if Bahtiyarov hunted in the period from January 30, 1959 to February 1st, I did not ask. Pavel Bahtiyarov said to me that if the hikers perish, it must have happened on the other side of the Ural mountain range which is avalanche prone. In addition, he said that a month ago a group of nine hikers from Moscow spent a night in their settlement, from whom he received letters and photographs. I personally read one of the letters. Where in the Ural mountain range do Mansi have sacred places I do not know, and they never talked to me about that. On 1st of March 1959 all Bahtiyarovs came to 100 district, I met with them, they even spent the night with me, they inquired whether the missing hikers were found, they themselves knew nothing on the matter. Around March 4th 1959 Matorin Alexei came to me, who said that he is coming from the Mansi settlement and that there was nobody home.
I have nothing more to add, it is recorded correctly and I have read it. And verified with my signature