The 13th Floor

Has Russia’s Infamous “Devil’s Pass” Claimed a New Victim?

In two previous features, we’ve examined the nightmarish mystery involving the bizarre and unexplained deaths of an entire 1959 hiking expedition to the peak of Otorten Mountain in Russia’s Ural range.

All nine members of Sergei Dyatlov’s highly-trained expedition were later found frozen to death — most of them stripped of protective gear, and some bearing gruesome injuries, their corpses scattered across the region. We followed up with a 2016 update in which some pieces of the macabre puzzle might have been found, though the case remains unsolved to this day.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The area has since been named Dyatlov Pass in honor of the lost climbers, but some have nicknamed it “The Devil’s Pass” — and for good reason.

Now, according to Russian news agency TASS, it seems Dyatlov Pass may be linked to a more recent disappearance.

The report cites police spokesman Valery Gorelykh from Yekaterinburg, who states that a 49-year-old tourist has gone missing after hiking out to the Pass on February 11. The unnamed traveler was reported missing by his wife on February 28, after which authorities embarked on a search-and-rescue mission. As of this writing, no trace of the tourist has been found.

This is not the first time climbers and hikers have gotten lost in the region, but most of them have been recovered before hypothermia or starvation (or any other dangers we might not know about) claimed their lives.

In a possibly related story from MiceTimes Asia, a man who has dedicated himself to researching the 1959 Dyatlov Pass incident claims to have stumbled upon an unnatural formation in the same region while studying Google Earth images of the Northern Urals.

Nizhny Tagil posted close-up views of the anomaly at coordinates 61.988230° by 59.507525° — and the images seem to suggest a large, symmetrical pyramid-shaped structure, which he estimates at 13-14 meters in height.

Image Credit: Valentin Degteryov via YouTube

Though experts on the regional geography aren’t rushing to conclusions without more definite data, Tagil points out in his report how the object’s symmetrical design and appearance suggest it’s not a natural rock formation… at least not made of materials native to the region.