In search of the missing Yak
Interview with Gamatina (Patrusheva) V.N. from the movie "In search of the missing Yak". Transcription by the "Internet Center of the Dyatlov group tragedy" on 19 June 2007.
Gennadiy Patrushev with a Yak 9 fighter
Narrator: In the aftermath of the terrible tragedy and the mystery surrounding it, 26-year-old Sverdlovsk pilot Gennadiy Patrushev made an independent investigation into the causes of the death of the Dyatlov group. He knew personally the students, met them in Ivdel, he warned them about the danger of the route to Otorten and he also first discovered their bodies on the mountainside.
Gamatina: After very long interrogation, he said "they questioned me, then made me sign a non-disclosure" ...I finally understood what he was telling me. We went outside, walked along the street and he said that: "the guys still went, apparently, on the route that I advise them not to go. When we were raised on alert and flew, I remembered them discussing going there, and I flew in exactly the direction they must have gone. I saw the tent with slits and two bodies. The bodies lay with their heads to the tent. I could not set down, because the plane (he flew on the Yak-12 ) could not land, there was no strip, so he gave the coordinates to the nearest helicopter, and they landed with the helicopters". He returned to the base, because he was running out of fuel. He saw these corpses. He said that somewhere in March he flew with two corpses. Two corpses were in his plane. This Lyuda and Kolya, he called them only by name. And he said "I can't forget their faces. Their faces were distorted in some kind of horror." Then he flew away again and apparently decided to investigate on his own, because everything was covered in mystery.
Narrator: Judging by further tragic events concerning the fate of Gennadiy Patrushev he must have reached too far in the his private investigation and seems to have got to the bottom of the truth, but he told no one about it.
Gamatina: No, only he said that "I asked Mansi". As I understand, he tried to find for himself, but they said that Mansi have nothing to do with the the death of these guys. There is something else... And I say: What else? And he said: "I don't know, I can not tell you, because I'm not sure of anything, and I'm afraid for you and for Zhenya." Cause of death in Gennadiy's autopsy: "Fracture of the base of the cranial vault with extensive hemorrhage." We buried him in a closed coffin. What is in the coffin, we do not know, we didn't see. And anyway, I do not know why I'm dating ... I'm so hurt. Because after the death of Gennadiy there was an attack on me. Recently, before his death, he somehow told me: "Lera, for God's sake, for Zhenya's sake, be silent, do not tell anyone anything, forget about this story and never mention it.I'm not afraid for myself. I will just disappear and I won't be anymore, but I'm afraid for you and for Zhenya." When Gennadiy died, I was summoned to the political department and asked all the time whether he told me anything. I said: "He was very afraid of something, which I do not know." I do not know what he was afraid of, but he kept saying, do not tell anyone anything.
Gamatina: Mansi hunters told Gennadiy that somewhere on the ridge, he called everything with Mansi names, 38 years ago, I certainly do not remember the name, that they also saw some gods, as they said that they were in the form of people, resembled the silhouettes of humans, but at the same time they had clothes that were glowing ... so ... well, now it could be assumed that this was related to a UFO. When Gennadiy and I talked, he said that, you know, there is some truth in this legend. I say: "Gena, what do you think?". He graduated two schools, military and civil aviation, and civilian with honors. As he said, there are some deposits probably, some radioactive ones, which, when disintegrated, gives some kind of glow, and weird sounds ... He met with Mansi hunters, they said that Mansi don't have anything to do with this tragedy, it's the mountain, where a pagan deity lives according to legend that is passed from generation to generation, from elderly to children, so you can count on the fact that it was not only under Soviet rule, but it existed even before the Revolution - the legend goes that in the mountain lives a God, who when angry makes sounds and smokes a pipe, and Mansi see it in the form of light balls.
Narrator: According to Valerya Nikolaevna in the 59-60's, Gennadiy Patrushev, who worked in the 123rd air squad of small aircraft, often flew to the area of Dyatlov Pass, as if he was being driven there. In general, the 123rd detachment was stationed in the port of Uktus in Sverdlovsk, but Patrushev worked in a unit based in Ivdel. He was in involved in extinguishing forest fires and planting forests. To his wife, Gennadiy said that he saw luminous spheres in the sky in the vicinity of the Pass, and then the plane began to shake, the instruments danced like crazy, and the pilot's head was hurting. Only then did he turn aside, but whenever there was enough kerosene, he returned to the Mountain of the Dead. He was not afraid of engine failure. He said that if worst comes to worst, he can put his YaK even on a pillar. In the Sverdlovsk KGB, there was a friend of Gennadiy Patrushev, Sergey Misharin. Gennadiy sucked the KGB captain into his investigation and Sergey went too deeply into this secret covert topic. It is not known what did the two detective friends dig, but both of them soon died.
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Dyatlov Pass is rumored to always take a death toll of nine. The Dyatlov group were nine, then an MI-4 helicopter piloted by the commander of the crew Petr Gladyrev crashed, who at one time transported the bodies of the dead hikers in his helicopter. With the commander in the MI-4, four more people die, making total of five fatalities. After that an AN-2 plane crashes close by. The story is similar - the commander of an aircraft and 2 people perish. That makes eight fatalities. The ninth was Gennadiy Patrushev. He crashed his Yak-12 on May 22, 1961. It happened 65 kilometers north of Ivdel, that is somewhere in the area of the Chistop mountain range. More precisely, it is impossible to say, since the death of Gennadiy Patrushev was immediately enveloped in a veil of secrecy. The Mountain of the Dead is located 30 kilometers north of Chistop, but according to the version of Gennadiy Patrushev's widow that day the pilot allegedly visited the area of Dyatlov Pass. However, this is not proven. According to the official version Patrushev flew the Yak-12 from Ivdel to seed the forest in the taiga at low altitude. The plane collided with the tops of trees and crashed. Plane and pilot burned to the ground. But there is an unofficial version. Allegedly on that fateful day, Gennadiy Patrushev was transferred to another Yak-12, allegedly his plane to be repaired. And allegedly his technician Mihail Petuhov tampered with the elevator in this other Yak and made this treachery at the orders of the State Security. Petuhov was not tried, of course, and this version was not voiced anywhere.
Gamatina: Why his plane was replaced? Why is his technician, who is also dead now, accused him that supposedly in the morning the weather was not good for flying and civilians came to his hotel room bringing alcohol and allegedly Gennadiy drank with them and was not sober when he flew out.
Narrator: Examination of the brain of Gennadiy Patrushev proved that he was not drunk when he died. In general, according to Valeriya Nikolaevna, her husband Gennadiy Patrushev was an absolute nondrinker, but one day, shortly before his death, he drank a bottle of vodka in one gulp and did not even get drunk. Obviously, he was in a state of constant stress and, perhaps, was waiting for death. He felt that the KGB would not forgive his excessive curiosity in Dyatlov case. Did Gennadiy Patrushev really have been killed and is it really because of his private investigation, that we can no longer tell. But his widow believes in this version of death. Moreover, believes that the Gennadiy facing death begged God to take his life in exchange for her life. 19 days before the death of Gennadiy Patrushev, his wife was in hospital on the verge of death. Severe ectopic pregnancy, a critical condition, but she lived.
Gamatina: At that time, I almost did not regain consciousness all the time. On May 3, I was discharged from the hospital after a serious operation, after which I miraculously survived. And on the 22nd my husband was brought to me in a closed coffin. I was - to identify who? I was called to the political department and asked one question: "Did he tell you anything?". When they brought him in a galvanized coffin, they brought us to watch, and we with my mother-in-law went to the airport, and from there we buried him. He is buried in the cemetery in Bolshoy Istok (village in Sverdlovsk region - ed. note).
Narrator: Soon after the tragic death of Gennadiy Patrushev, his friend and assistant in the investigation, Sergey Misharin, went to the bath and shot himself in the mouth. What drove him to commit suicide, a young captain of the KGB, is now hard to prove. But there is a hypothesis that the obstinate and extremely curious officer was forced by his superiors to commit suicide. Say, you are deep into this secret to the chin, do not lead us to sin, do it yourself as an officer. It could be proclaimed that the deaths of Patrushev and Misharin were not connected with Dyatlov case. One simply did not cope with the elevator, the other just shot himself. Is it unheard of KGB agents to become suicidal. But the fact is that there were two attempts made on this simple civilian woman, Valeriya Gamatina, at that time - Patrusheva by first husband. Who wants an ordinary woman dead, if of course she is not the wife of a man who has solved a terrible military secret, leading to nine deaths?
Gamatina: I walked from work and almost got hit by a motorcycle. I managed to escape into the forest and hide there. What prevented them from finding me in the forest, I don't know. One that stayed with the bike at some point shouted at the two who were looking for me: "Guys, come back, we can't stay here any more." After that, my mother-in-law forbade me to walk, I lived in army peatland, until I was given a room at the Airport, and she forbade me to walk from work and ride on passing cars. I burned all the letters from Gennadiy. But there was nothing like that in letters, sometimes in letters it said "I met with friends and talked about something, you know, I'm very interested in. I'll fly back- I'll tell you." But I don't know anything else.
The area where in 1959-1961 9 pilots crashed, Patrushev being the 9th