Torn-Out Tongue, Shattered Skull Peppers 1950’s Radioactive Russian Mystery

Posted by on February 19th, 2011

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A few friends go hiking in the Russian wilderness on an early February night in 1959. The Ural Mountain area is desolate, but not unmanageable for these nine veteran hikers.

On a larger scale, the Soviet Union continues to ascend in global power. Cuba is weeks away from succumbing to Communist revolution. Secrecy and corruption in all levels of government continue to run unchecked in an Iron Curtain system which it’s own citizens don’t dare question and the rest of the world fears.

Those nine hikers were found dead. Two of them had fractured skulls. Many of them were in various states of undress. One of them had her tongue ripped out of her mouth. All of their clothes had trace levels of radiation.

Their tent was ripped open. From the inside.

What were they trying to get away from? Were they running from something? Or someone? Did top secret chemical weapons testing cause them to go psychotic? Did a group of indigenous people brutally, torture and murder the friends?

Why was the subsequent investigation sealed under high level secrecy for decades?

The intervening 52 years haven’t provided hard answers, but there are plenty of theories ranging from UFOs to high-tech military testing.

The snow swept scenery is now called Dyatlov Pass in memory of Igor Dyatlov, the leader of those who died under such odd circumstances. Read about them AFTER THE JUMP…

There are two great resources we could find on this incident. The Wikipedia article and a fantastic expansive collection of information and photos at

The theories below are our summaries, but if you’re interesting we highly recommend checking both of those pages out:

They Mistook Fighter Jets For A Coming Avalanche, Panicked, And Were Overtook By The Elements While Trying To Survive

This theory sees the group terrified after a sound resembling an oncoming avalanche. They slash their tent to escape and scatter. They realize simultaneously that there is no incoming snow wave and they are horrifically ill prepared to deal with the -15 degree weather.

Slips and falls during the search for survival supplies and each other in the dark, harsh terrain explains their injuries and the missing tongue is credited to a scavenging animal.

The secrecy of the investigation would be blamed on military brass who didn’t want records of jet testing as part of public record.

Natives Attacked, Tortured, Killed Them

The Mansi people are indigenous to the Ural Mountain region and although there was a reported cultural distrust between them and more city-dwelling Russians, what is accused here is the stuff of horror films.

In this version of history, a group of very angry Mansi find our nine and decide to attack them. They brutally beat two of them and then force the others to sit in the cold without a full set of clothes on. For unknown reasons, they rip the tongue out of one of the hikers.

So why cover it up? According to legend, to protect Russian expansion into oil-rich territories. You can’t make a deal with the locals of your populace believes them to be the Texas Chainsaw Massacre family.

A Crazy Concussion Blast Chemical Weapon Drove Them Insane/Poisoned Them To Death

Annnnd now we begin the kookier possibilities. In this scenario, a top-secret Russian weapon is fired in a thought-to-be deserted area unwillingly killing our nine hikers after driving them bat-poop crazy and slowly killing them with radiation.


Since we have no hard proof of how aliens behave, let alone how they went about their business in ’59, details on this one are pretty freeform.

So let’s make something up. A pack of wild jerk aliens find some Russians camping. The put an alien mouse in their tent for laughs. Since alien mice are 20 lbs. and resemble a gigantic pile of french toast, the hikers freak the freak out and slash through the tent to get away.

The aliens laugh.

The hikers then accuse one and other of playing a prank on each other and get into an elaborate Three Stooges-style fight that legitimately damages them all physically.

The aliens laugh even harder.

The humans die from their wounds.

The aliens stop laughing.

One of the aliens takes the tongue out of one of the girls head for a souvenir. He’s eventually fired from the alien crew for such a senseless act. Also, for being drunk during the trip to Earth.

He later dies alone on his home planet, always regretting the way he lost his favorite job. The tongue gained sentience when introduced to the foreign planet’s atmosphere and went on to a successful career in news broadcasting.

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