© NGO "INTERNET CENTER of the Dyatlov group tragedy", 2008
Transcript of the interview "CENTER for civil investigation of the Dyatlov group tragedy" (NAVIG, ALATAO) with Georgiy Vasilyevich Novokreshchenov, in the text of the GVN, (former judge of the city of Ivdel in 1959) in the case of the Dyatlov Pass incident August 9, 2008, Yekaterinburg
Georgiy Vasilyevich Novokreshchenov, 2008
GVN: We often met on the train. He often went to his garden (editor's note: we are talking about Vladimir Korotaev).
NAVIG: Maybe he's in the summerhouse not answering his phone?
GVN: Most likely in the garden, but he does not stay there for extended periods of time. We usually met with him on the train, we didn’t talk about this issue (ed. note: about Dyatlov case), on this issue I spoke with him ten years later, I met him by chance and we started talking about his visit to the pass, for maybe a week.
NAVIG: He told us 3 days.
GVN: After the discovery of the tent, it can be 3 days, and before that they were searching for quite a while.
NAVIG: Тhe search started somewhere from February 20.
GVN: That's it.
NAVIG: From the plane.
GVN: Helicopters and hunters were also used, and Mansi, skiers were equipped. The search was serious. The Ivdelag management took part. The military was also involved. Found them from a helicopter. Pieces of the tent dangle in the wind. Vladimir Ivanovich told me about all this. Then he himself came, because an investigator had to be present. And he said that the tent was covered with snow, and the snow was very hard.
GVN: They to use an ax, cut down with an ax and, of course, damaged. They took the tent to Ivdel and I was lucky that I ended up in the prosecutor's office, this was the case in the morning, a woman expert from the Ural Bureau of Expertise arrived, this tent was pulled up in Korotaev's office, the prosecutor of the region Nikolay Ivanovich was present.
GVN: Yes, the expert, the prosecutor, Korotaev and I pulled stretched the tent, the expert looked from the inside, it really was cut with an ax.
NAVIG: With an ax?
GVN: Indeed, she was cut down with an ax.
NAVIG: There were such cuts... then there was a piece missing...
GVN: The cuts, of course, were studied later.
NAVIG: A large piece of tarpaulin was missing, you can see it in the picture. Why? Did they tore it away after cutting it?
GVN: But maybe they cut it down with an ax, then a month passed. During this time, the wind blew mercilessly, and everything was tamped down, it turned into ice, that's the thing, and for some reason no one takes this into account. The expert looked in and it’s clear that they cut it with a knife, they cut it, stab it, and jumped out, and it must have been a major event since everyone was wearing just what it happens to be on them, one felt boot, or with no shoes whatsoever, someone pulled on warmer pants, and someone jumped out like that, in the tent the floor was covered with skis, ten pairs of skis, how many of them are there?
GVN: The tenth returned ill, and why I say this, Korotaev told me this. Korotaev learned this from the diary that this woman had...
NAVIG: Everyone had diaries, except for Kolevatov, there were two women there, Dubinina and Kolmogorova.
GVN: Which was more experienced, older, so she kept a diary, Korotaev read this diary and he told me this. It was written in the diary that we had passed half the slope, the wind was 20 m/sec, the frost was strong, we were very tired, they are the end of their rope, we decided to stop.
NAVIG: This was the 31st.
GVN: Yes, on the 31st, the last day, but it was frosty, the wind was 20 m/s, blizzard was blowing, the slope is bare, all this complicated the situation, especially their condition, these events, and for some reason Korotaev himself did not remember this diary.
NAVIG: These diaries have been published, I have read them.
GVN: Given the weather conditions and their state, it was already dark.
- 2 -
NAVIG: They returned and made a camp, and the next day they began to climb up again. Next thing we found their torn tent. But the previous day they went back and made a cache site, which is a temporary storage, they reached half the slope and then the wind was, as you said, it is written in the diary on January 31, they went down, made a cache site and all the entries end, there is no entry for January 1, you see...
GVN: I understand perfectly where they spent the night, the first night they reached the slope.
NAVIG: and went down.
GVN: Went down, and where they spent the night?
NAVIG: They wanted to climb over the ridge that day, but they decided to go back down, make a fire, they have an entry in their diary that everything is fine, there was a birthday.
GVN: I may have missed this during the conversation with Korotaev, that after climbing halfway, they were forced to go down.
NAVIG: To the river, Auspiya. The next day they climbed the ridge again.
GVN: By the way, I used to fish in Auspiya.
NAVIG: Mount Kholat-Chakhl, mountain of the dead, 1079.
GVN: They call it mountain of the dead, women were forbidden to go there, the Mansi knew that they had two women in the group, so the Mansi attacked them. I knew Stepan Kurikov, we were friends. I asked him: did you go, what did you see there? But he couldn't say anything...
NAVIG: Did he ever said anything about the case?
GVN: No, he didn't say anything.
NAVIG: The case file contains information that was given to the chief of police, Bazyaev.
NAVIG: Check the rumor that in some Mansi village, whether the Dyatlov group went there and allegedly the Mansi saw them flying off the mountain, and chief of police Bizyaev stamped "top secret" on the document...
GVN: Of course, he was not only furious, but also agitated... I want to note that on the first day they overcame half of the slope, the next day they climbed again and pitched the tent as far as they reached on the next day, this is what I know. Something took them by surprise, everything in the tent remained in its place, they did not have time to put on half of their clothes, which indicates that the evacuation was instantaneous.
NAVIG: Why did they run down, way not just move aside?
GVN: Listen further, this is my opinion, the expert said right away that the tent was cut from the inside.
NAVIG: Expert Churkina.
GVN: Churkina is a pretty middle aged woman.
NAVIG: From Sverdlovsk?
GVN: From Sverdlovsk.
NAVIG: And then they invited someone from Leningrad, they sent the histology there.
GVN: If they cut it with a knife, I would also say that from the inside, you cut a centimeter with a knife, you can't cut it all the way, the corpses were found, it’s known where, near the cedar, there were three bodies?
GVN: Two were barely clad, they tried to kindle a fire, there were broken branches of cedar, Korotaev noted that they gave what they had on them to the women, but they themselves remained naked.
NAVIG: The clothes were all mixed up.
GVN: The woman on the slope, here she is.
GVN: Her diary was, she tried to climb on the mountainside, climb again, for some reason Korotaev believed that she, along with those two, descended to the cedar, and then tried to return back to the tent, went halfway before freezing to death, could not cover this area. This is also a very important fact, because the danger was over, the danger was instantaneous.
NAVIG: Instantaneous, but it did not injure them, because those had the severe injuries, Thibeaux had a 6x10 cm fracture.
GVN: Which group was he?
NAVIG: The second.
GVN: This is a different conversation, I'm talking about the three, including this woman, and those two at the cedar. These are the first ones that were discovered. I was fond of hunting, and I knew the area well, Auspiya, Ushma. The conclusion is obvious - fright, only fright, well, it means the most dangerous, by shaking this unfortunate mountain, only fright could cause them to flee their tent in this state - barefoot, naked. So whatever the weather was then they setup a tent and started getting ready to sleep. The weather conditions couldn't have changed drastically, but listen further, the most respected Vladimir Ivanovich [Korotaev] said: "you know, Georgiy Vasilyevich, we made a request and received a message from the weather station, there is a record of sighting of some some kind of body on the southern slope of the mountain..."
- 3 -
GVN: "... it rose, moved to the north side, increasing in size of a Moon and disappeared towards the North, decreasing in size to the star." This, of course, stirred something in the minds, where did the flying object come from, then the prosecutor Vasily Ivanovich Tempalov, who was present at the examination of the tent, and flew on a helicopter over the area said: "What can I say, rockets had fallen, craters all around, I'm an artilleryman." he has been on the front-lines, a commander... batteries, 76 mm batteries, awarded with an order.
NAVIG: In what part did he see the craters during the flight?
GVN: In the same area, at the same time, on the same days.
NAVIG: There is no such information anywhere..
GVN: He also said: "There are craters there, I'm an gunner, I can tell when I see one!" said Vasiliy Ivanovich Tempalov, the prosecutor. This also led to a certain look at this event. It is clear that there is an explosion of a rocket, large or small, directed, whether it reached its target or not we can't say, of course, a test, not enemies...
NAVIG: What tests, hikers were trekking there?
GVN: Maybe they [the hikers] didn't registered.
NAVIG: There were others, and not for the first year, that went there... was anyone shot at?
GVN: Maybe, maybe it was something else...
NAVIG: By the way, what was the registration procedure in the Ivdellag, was it mandatory?
GVN: No, people [convicts] were sent in the camp from all over the Soviet Union... What is the question?
NAVIG: It was necessary for an outsider to register in the special settlements?
GVN: I don’t remember how many camps were located in Ivdel, I don’t remember now, well, 12 or 14, the the number of prisoners changed, in Ivdel, most of them, too, at least 50 thousand people were kept there for various reasons. Some of them could meet with relatives, and relatives visited their children without any passes, there was no need to register anywhere, it was only necessary for the prisoner to have the right to be visited by relatives. The relative wrote that he would come, then checked that the meeting took place and nothing more was needed.
NAVIG: An UPI book was published about the Dyatlov group and it says there that after arriving in Ivdel, the group was registered and moved on, and Yudin went back alone. Did he check out? Or did he went on directly. Nobody knew about him...
NAVIG: Did Tempalov report his observation about the craters somewhere?
NAVIG: Did you know pilot Patrushev?
GVN: I didn't.
NAVIG: He flew on a plane, he found them from the air, and then he crashed nearby.
GVN: I heard that he crashed... well Tempalov, and not just Tempalov, because the sighting about the flying object approaching and disappearing, so sudden, where could it come from in the taiga, only from the sky, that's all. Also at the end of my service as a judge in 1970, I had to go often out to consider cases, and that was in the year 70 or 69, I was there with one captain, I ended up there at the end of September, the beginning of October, Cheklakov, captain,... and here I was fishing on Toshemka, 6-7 km in the west, where it forks into Bolshaya and Malaya, goes around Otorten, two old Mansi went fishing with me, they were fishing, suddenly people appear, the place is deaf, there is nobody, 4 people.
NAVIG: What are they wearing?
GVN: Half civilian, half uniform, maybe not everyone, but at least one.
NAVIG: Shoulder straps were?
GVN: No, they are good looking, tall, sporty. They pulled inflatable rubber boats, two boats, stopped and talked, I didn’t ask where are they headed, and so I understood that these were military people.
GVN: They ask me what kind of fish is that with a red tail, I asked how big, so it's taimen, we caught it on spinning I knew this place - pit mountain, they caught taimen and didn't know what it was, so they were not neither fishermen nor hunters.
NAVIG: What can you say about the situation in Ivdel at the time of the search, was there an arrival of high ranks, generals?
GVN: The prosecutor of the region came and so no. The army did not show any interest, did nothing. I think the case was withdrawn not by the regional prosecutor's office, but most likely by the KGB. They immediately examined the tent and soon forced them to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
NAVIG: The searchers?
End of recording.