You could waste many days reading through Wikipedia's Unusual Articles . If you like aliens, here are two worthwhile reads:
Good luck sleeping with the lights off tonight :)
I've seen my share of "weird shit in the sky". I've seen a bolide in broad daylight, which was literally a "holy shit drop to your knees in awe" moment, but I've also on a few occasions seen patterns of lights moving in impossible fashions - high speed motion, instantaneous vector changes, followed by insane acceleration and disappearance. They're usually orange. An explanation I've heard for this sort of thing is car headlamps reflecting in a temperature inversion - but the last I saw these was while camping in the taklamakan, a long way from anything or anyone else.
I'm a physics graduate, an amateur astrophotgrapher, a pilot with an expired license, and I can identify aircraft, satellites, and so-forth - but some stuff I can't explain.
I also saw bona fide ball lightning and St elmo's fire a few years back driving across the Russian steppe, between astrakhan and volgograd - huge electrical storm, but as we were heading towards it, we kept seeing little sparks of bright white light zooming up from the road into the clouds, and as we were coming into the storm, we noticed the barbed wire fences along the road glowing with purplish plasma. Cows in the field were sporting furry plasma pompons on the tips of their horns. Absolutely nuts.
Anyway. I reserve all judgment on the question of LGM, but it'd be foolhardy to say all unexplained phenomena simply don't exist.
Also, the Taklamakan is a desert, not a sea...
Thankfully I still had the hard drives full of footage, got it home, transferred it to my nas, raid 5, started backing that up online (several tb...), during this, two drives in the array fail (seagate. Flood batches. Sigh), all footage lost.
A year later I shot drone footage amidst the hongs in Thailand, flying through caves, launching from a kayak - crazy stuff, amazing footage - until I had another pair of disks die in another raid 5 array.
So, I now just enjoy the experiences and don't try to document them.
I actually blame seagate for me giving up, as it's their toxic disks that kept dying on me.
You are not a UFO-expert so your appeal to authority is out of place.
Gosh, looking at your comment history, you do appear to be an expert in curmudgeonry.
You know, you could try contributing to conversations rather than calling people trolls and swearing at them for their grammar?
Also enjoyed Arthur C Clarke's Mysterious World .
Later, it turned out that the dead grass circles matched the diameter of his patio table and the UFO model had been superimposed in those photographs.
I found the naïveté of adults really disturbing.
You can also watch many military and government witnesses in the Out of the Blue documentary https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYPCKIL7oVw
A lot of these things are military aircraft. In my region, there were a lot of UFO sightings that were Tomahawk missile terrain navigation system testing.
Depending on weather, once you are 10+ feet from the tent in the dark, you could be in big trouble. The trail of bodies flows from there. Some walk, some stay put, others move later, some fall/slip and are injured... nothing here seems very odd.
Now, what happened to freak them out? It could be any number of things. The sound of a suspected avalanche coupled with a tent pole failing could start a panic. An aircraft could sound like an avalanche. An aircraft dropping a few flares could also put them in fear of incoming weapons. Or it could just have been someone shouting something at exactly the correct time. The power of suggestion is hard to fight in such a group. The group feeds on itself. Someone says "run" and the herd moves.
If you read a copy (unverified)  of the autopsy report, there's indications of violence. Falls might account for some of the reported injuries but not all of them.
So what caused these injuries, and why did only some of the bodies have them?
This is the main mysterious part of the event for me.
And animals could also do further damage both after a fall, and in cases where falls are ruled out.
Felt pretty silly when I noticed a large herd of deer not far away the next day.
I suspect having more people with me would have made us react even more irrationally. I'm a pretty experienced hiker and generally fairly level headed....
We became increasingly nervous until it turned out that we'd camped on the wrong side of a fence and curious horses were approaching our campsite in their paddock. Probably didn't help that I had a childhood fear and recurring nightmares about horses. Later, we woke up to them licking the tent.
Unzipped the tent and took a look out. The sound was a bear ripping my cousin's backpack open. He did not leave any food inside, but had let some food touch the pack and left a scent.
I quickly closed the tent and let the rest of the group run the bear off.
It's a common argument with these things that the proposed explanation is improbable. I don't get it. We are looking at something improbable (otherwise it wouldn't be interesting in the first place), the question is just figuring out which improbable thing it is.
"Something" convincing 9 experienced outdoorsman to slice open their tent (why not open the door?) and flee is a pretty crazy story. Add the other things that don't easily fit a plausible explanation, and it's really interesting.
The hikers are awoken by some disturbance. They discuss among themselves briefly, and decide to go out--a few people start putting on shoes, while someone is attempting to open the tent door. Something spooks them, and they all panic and want out now. A convenient knife to the wall provides a faster exit point, and they run out and make for shelter of trees.
I have some experience hiking and backpacking, but the information given in the Wikipedia article is way too sparse for me to attempt to derive a coherent explanation. For example, there's no indication of where the clothing was located for those who were undressed; more importantly, there's insufficient explanation to posit when the group broke into the two who stayed at the tree, the three who tried to return, and the four who died in the ravine.
I think it's suggested that some might have taken clothes from those that froze to death, explaining those left naked. If some climbed trees and fell, or fell into a ravine, that could explain most of the injuries.
Yet even on this very page there are multiple "rational" explanations; different people with different suggestions involving more-or-less ordinary reasons.
That lack of consensus alone makes it odd.
"Why did X have an omelette for lunch?" Many possible, non-weird explanations.
I was saying this is most definitely an odd incident. It's certainly not routine. How many hiking trips do we know of which ended up like that?
You are being circular in your reasoning. The OP is saying that for an event that is not so odd or eventful, it receives a disproportionate amount of attention including its own Wikipedia article. He goes on to explain why it's not odd or eventful.
You're saying, "Of course it's odd and eventful! It has its own Wikipedia article."
The military tested some weapon in a remote area, unaware or indifferent to the fact that people were around; the students are awoken in their tent in the middle of the night by loud explosions and shockwaves; heck, I'd get up and run like hell, too.
Then hypothermia and/or a fall into a ravine did them in.
When the armed forces realize that a whole group of students died as a result of weapons testing, they were probably more than happy to leave it as a mystery, rather than stepping forward and claiming responsibility.
There. No yeti required.
Wouldnt these leave some evidence via empty canisters? The wiki said scrap metal was found near by. But I'd imagine there would be some more obvious evidence near the ground when the rescue team arrived.
The brain damage is not out of the question if they were victims to a close range weapons test.
A halfway decent examination should show if it was torn on bitten through... Writing this I realise it must have been bitten through by either external means (animal) or localized (bit off own tongue) or it would have been mentioned as another mystery.
But for me, one thing that is harder to explain is the skull fragment. For that, there would have definitely been tooth or tool marks. Unless of course, she fell....
The bigger mystery IMO, is the absence of reported blast marks or damage to the terrain one would expect from testing explosives.
For me, plausible explanation is that indeed somebody did not want them alive but wanted it to look natural. Scared them away from their tent at gunpoint. Had to hit their toughest guy in the head.
They also had some people with stange past in that group.
-Because you are sound asleep one moment, only to find yourself in the midst of a number of explosions the next? That would unsettle me no end, for sure.
Not saying that I know for sure what happened; only that the simplest explanations often are the best.
I do find it rather unlikely that Soviet armed forces (if they were testing something suffiently secret to 'justify' killing any accidental spectator, even their own citizens) would even let people enter the area; much easier (and less drastic!) to just tell people to turn around 'for security reasons' and be done with it than letting them get too close, then killing them.
Now, death by negligence/indifference in the course of military action, on the other hand, would hardly be a first.
(And if someone WANTED them dead, the area does appear to lend itself well to making people disappear; doubly so when under a regime which had taught people not to ask too many awkward questions.)
It would be rather surprising if anyone but Soviet authorities of one variety or the other was involved in activities which couldn't be allowed to come to light in the area, so I (perhaps too lightly) discount options like a secret CIA infiltration mission, yetis, aliens, poachers, rum runners...)
"What, that pass, in februari? Not like anybody will be stupid enough to be hiking there."
"No, if we tell people not to go, they'll want to know what we're doing over there. Best just keep quiet about it."
or a combination of both.
This is practically uninhabited area and it is really huge and cold. Even of Soviet armed forces wanted, they could not "tell people to turn aroud".
Hypothermia doesn't just happen to experienced mountaineers - they need to make mistakes; usually one member is affected before others. There are steps you take to deal with the condition - of which tent cutting and nude running really isn't one. Massive simultaneous delusion might be possible, but it needs a much better supported explanation
And while there are steps you take, those are things we have learned since 1959. It's not clear at all that this group's 1959 best practices (even given their considerable experience) was on par with what we would do now.
The trauma injuries are explained by falls or by misinterpretation of damage done to the bodies by passing animals after the fact. Paradoxical undressing isn't just a leisurely comfortable stroll in the buff; it can be a panicked race toward the nearest place where a dip into freezing water might be sought (by a deluded person who forgets that the water will be frozen solid), such as into a ravine.
This is very unlikely in negative temperatures in the -30-20 range.
> It's not clear at all that this group's 1959 best practices (even given their considerable experience) was on par with what we would do now.
Even supposing the unlikely event that 9/9 did get hypothermia before other symptoms, you are still saying that they all became simultaneously delirious to the point that not even one of them was found dead in a position that indicated some kind of normal reaction one would expect from an experienced person (I'm not saying a life-saving reaction - we know no one survived, but anything remotely bordering on rational)..
"Simultaneously" is your own bizarre projection, not something I said or would say.
According to him wounded Arab soldiers left behind told a story of seeing sightings in the sky that had caused the mass panic.
Of course this is to be taken with multiple grains of salt as this is an but maybe someone here can find more.
make sure you hit the play button if the music does not play automatically
It's plausible, as it happens elsewhere, but has anyone checked to see if this does actually ever occur on Холатча́хль?
The book's on my short list of reading.
It's also an interesting look at young people in the Soviet Union at that time.
I've resolved myself to never knowing the truth of what happened both here and for many other things. It's really hard to let it go like that, but at some point you're just making a bigger and bigger intellectual itch that can never be scratched.
If I'm remembering correctly, one theory is that their canned food was tainted with a bacteria (not terribly uncommon for the time) that caused mental issues which triggered the bizarre chain of events of them leaving their shelter is various states of undress.
I do love the name Kholat Syakhl (Dead Mountain). That must mean EVIL!!! (asks native) Oh, yeah, nothing to hunt on that mountain, try that one over there called Lunt-Husap-Sjahyl (Mountain of Goose Nests).
an avalanche+hypothermia is the most likely explanation.
It's kind of hard to explain why they did not take boots or at least return for them.
-That's presumably just what (probably, obviously this is pure conjecture on my part) the three bodies found apparently heading back to the tent were trying to do? Return to retrieve their kit, that is?
I'd reckon fleeing in panic is why they didn't pause to put on their boots and kit in the first place; something caused them to leave in a hurry. What that something was, however, we obviously do not know; my money would be on munitions testing, but YMMV.
Now, I didn't see any details in the Wikipedia article or on the (fabulous!) looo.ch site that the rescuers found any inexplicable tracks in the snow, suggesting either that whatever tracks there was had blown over OR that whatever scared them was airborne or at the very least a fair distance from their tent - or, for that matter that the rescuers happened to be encouraged to leave out some details, further indicating the authorities were involved.
I agree an avalanche sounds very unlikely, though - both based on the terrain and the fact that at least some of the victims were experienced mountaineers; they simply wouldn't have set up camp anywhere they deemed vulnerable to an avalanche in the first place.
The military let slip that they knew of the hikers at least 2 weeks prior to their being found. I really can't think of any military exercise that would have people running in circles without shoes. Nor causing some to run one way to hide, while others run as if being chased. And then there's that one pic of a two-legged hairy creature watching them. Rescuers, if you can call it that, found a slip of paper left in a tent that read in russian, " the snowman exists". Locals call it the migu and say for a fact these 'yeti' like soft flesh and they find deer with their heads ripped off and tongue missing.
Yeah, Im going with the migu. Sorry guys.