The Dyatlov Pass Incident and the deaths of nine hikers have been perplexing the public for decades, despite the fact that the Russian government claims that the tragedy was merely the result of an avalanche, though an all-new clip from the documentary An Unknown Compelling Force presents some complications with this explanation. While the new film might revisit some of the inaccuracies with various reports about what happened to the hikers, it also shines a light on some underexplored ideas that might be the key to solving the decades-old mystery. Check out a clip from An Unknown Compelling Force above before the film is available digitally on June 15th.
"There's been an incredible amount of press recently surrounding a recent scientific paper suggesting that the case has been solved and that hikers were killed by a small slab avalanche. Although the science is solid, and such an avalanche was possible at that location, it misses out huge facts that render it an entirely impossible explanation in this case," director Liam Le Guillou shared with ComicBook.com about the clip. "The injuries suffered by at least three of the hikers were so bad that they would not have been able to walk any distance after receiving them. (One girl's heart was actually punctured by her own broken ribs.) And yet the hikers' footprints were clearly found in the snow leading away from the tent, and that all of them walked on their own two feet for almost a mile in deep snow."
He added, "I walked there in the same conditions and it would have taken around an hour to walk that far, clearly they didn't do that with their injuries. I have no doubt in my mind that something else drove them from the tent that night."
An Unknown Compelling Force digs deep into the so-called Dyatlov Pass incident, which took place in the Ural Mountains in 1959. After a group of hikers failed to report back, search parties led by their peers and the Soviet Government uncovered their grizzly remains, which were found a mile from their shredded tent. It appeared as though the hikers fled into the freezing temperatures without their winter clothes or boots. Adding to the mystery, many of the bodies had suffered inexplicable injuries, and some even showed traces of radiation. The case was closed by investigators at the time, who declared that the hikers died from 'an unknown compelling force.' In the ensuing six decades, all manner of conspiracy theories have sprung up, involving everything from UFOs to a government murder and cover-up. The New Yorker recently explored the strange deaths in an exhaustive article that posited several explanations.
"The internet loves a good conspiracy and the fact that traces of radiation were found on the clothes of two of the hikers, led to all sorts of theories surrounding UFO's and secret military weapons," Le Guillou pointed out. "During my investigation, I found out that Russia had suffered a major nuclear disaster long before Chernobyl, known as the Kyshtym Disaster, and it was entirely covered up at the time. So it was really exciting to discover documents that prove that at least one member of the Dyatlov Group actually worked at this site as part of the clean-up team. Proving to me that the radiation contamination was simply a red herring and had a much more earthly explanation."
An Unknown Compelling Force will debut digitally on June 15th.
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