Today I bring you a news salad. First, Subway tuna might not be tuna. A lawsuit brought against Subway alleges that independent testing of filling in Subway tuna sandwiches found that not only it’s not tuna, it isn’t fish. Subway has been accused of serving not-chicken before and recently Ireland classified Subway sandwich bread as cake due to it having too much sugar.
This is true. American bread served commercially contains a buttload of sugar. Sometimes I miss the Russian round bread. I’d bring it home from the store and it still would be crusty and warm, cut myself a gorbushka – the round chunk from the side that’s all crust – and eat it with cold milk. Mmmm… Bread, yummy. I bake my own but it’s not the same.
Jason Collier is in the news and in the memes. You don’t know who he is? I will tell you. Jason Collier is the police chief of the Stinnett, Texas, Police Department, who has 2 wives and 15 girlfriends. They all found each other on Facebook and things had hit the fan. And he’s been arrested. Read more here. So if you’ve been seeing memes where women are marking themselves safe from being proposed to by Jason Collier, that’s what that is all about. Oh, and apparently he is an ordained minister. Here is the Facebook post that started all this.
Fifteen girlfriends. Here I am, desperately juggling husband, two grown children, a pet menagerie, and work, and this dude has 15 girlfriends. How?
Some people from Switzerland claimed to have solved the mystery of Dyatlov Pass. This is a hell of a story. In February of 1959, nine Russian hikers, all experienced and fit, camped in Kholat Syakhl pass in Ural mountain range. This area was historically inhabited by an indigenous group called Mansi. Linguistically they are distantly related to Hungarians.
The Mansi people call that pass Holatchahl, which means Dead Mountain, but despite the scary connotations, it just means there is no game in the pass, so there is no need to bother hunting there.
So these Russian hikers go to sleep in the pass. And they never returned. Rescue efforts were mounted and when their bodies were found, some in the snow, and some, inexplicably, in a creek in running water, it was discovered that they cut away their tents during the night and ran into the wilderness. Two of them had cracked skulls, two had crushed chest, two were missing their eyes, one was missing a tongue, and one was missing his eyebrows. Some of them stripped naked and died of hypothermia. There were no signs of an avalanche or any other reasonable natural event.
Clearly, something happened during the night. There are many theories, icnluding weird winds, wild animals, attack by Mansi (no), and UFOs. Oh and some people claim they found elevated radiation levels and weird debris at the site. You can read the Wikipedia article here.
Now, a group from Switzerland believes they found an answer to the mystery: a very small dense avalanche. Both Gordon and Jeaniene Frost have rejected this theory. They are firmly on the Yeti train. Yetis came and ate the hikers. #TeamFactsBeDamned.
I personally think the avalanche theory is iffy, but yetis are iffier. So what think you, people, avalanche or yetis?
Diane Mc. says
Neither, it was space aliens!
P.S. Avalanche science is iffy.
Russia was the first time I had soft breadsticks dipped in smetana. I love smetana with all my heart and have never found it anywhere else sadly. Russian baked potatoes and potato stuffed breads are epic. And now I’m hungry. (Which is also about the only vegetarian food we could find when eating out, typically we used to take semi-cooked foods with us for anything longer than a day trip.)
I’m not sure about russia but in my language smetana means cream as in the thing you use to make whipped cream. You can buy it at any store.
Hi. Smetana is a sour cream, not cream or whipped cream. You can find it anywhere. Try few to find your best.
Smetana is sour cream. Our favourites involve a high fat percentage:
Western is 14%
Well, in Czech we say smetana to heavy cream and zakysaná smetana to sour cream. Slavic languages have many words that are same but have completely different meanings 🙂
I understand Spanish and Portuguese have the same thing. I met a Brazilian student when I was in Mexico and asked him about the language thing. He said it would happen semi-frequently that he’d have a perfectly intelligible conversation with someone and they’d only work out the issue when, for example, grocery shopping would have different food than expected/requested, or his date would be waiting for him on the other side of the city than where he was waiting…
Anne V says
You can make smetana – or what my family knows as smetana, which is extremely rich soured heavy cream – using heavy cream, proper yogurt (ie with living cultures) and a warm oven or a good sous vide.
If no-one makes smetana, also no-one gets blini or cold borscht around here, so…
Thank you for these! I googled with clearer expectations and found a way to make it with heavy cream and yogurt. I’d tried equating to sour cream but hadn’t factored in fat levels etc to match taste.
Maybe it was a situation like with the elephants in Africa who drank bacteria infestet water that had an influence on their neurosystem. They could have had halucinations and killed oneanother. You never know what those tiny things could do in an organism… That could be an awesome Thriller!
+1 for the water amoeba. Or like the hiker in Into the Wild, ate a hallucinogenic and toxic plant
Did they have canned food? There was a Franklin expedition where the crew went crazy because they ate contaminated canned food. It was in the 1800s. They found a frozen body more recently and found the man had lead poisoning. This made the scientist concluded that the crew made very bad decisions because of the poisoning. https://www.historytoday.com/archive/canned-food-sealed-icemens-fate
Lizz D. says
This, or the other theories below (contaminated food/water/lead posioning/toxic plants, ect.) were my thoughts as well! I read a Nora Roberts novel where guys were hiking a mountain, and got elevation sickness combined with drugs, and devolved into thinking they were Star Wars characters. Hiking in cold conditions is scary in itself. Add in the idea of losing one’s mind can be a deadly combo.
Laura KC says
What book was that? I might just read it!
Wave Seybold says
Northern Lights, good book.
I’m on the food contamination/drugs theory. And I was trying to figure out what the heck book you were referring to and remembered it’s Northern Lights, the characters referenced aren’t the main characters but it’s an event that happened long before the book is occurring.
So Laura KC: Northern Lights. It’s a bit different for Nora Roberts because she reverses the typical male/female roles in that we follow the hero around and the heroine comes in randomly and is the smaller character (but her backstory is what makes the eventual conflict). Also she’s a bush pilot who does things the cop (police chief I think) hero does not approve of.
The force that crushed their chests and skulls could not have been generated by a human. Not sure I have ever heard of an avalanche tearing someone’s tongue out, so I think that theory is wrong.
I read that they thought the eyes and tongue parts missing might have been scavenged by animals.
I read the article. It makes sense. Most dismissed avalanche because they thought the area was too flat, but the slope in that area was 30 degrees, which is enough for an avalanche. They were sleeping on their skiis, so there was a hard surface under them when this hard compacted snow sheet collapsed onto them. They weren’t killed by it but it caused the damage. The lost tongue could have been that the victim’s own teeth severed it when hit by the avalanche.
The lack of clothes could have been that sometimes with hypothermia people think they are hot and strip.
Agree on the bread. The one thing I missed when i was in North America was decent bread.
I’m for the boring avalanche theory (mostly because I’m Swiss haha) but honestly I heard that avalanches can be very silent and quick and if they were sleeping they should have all died? So I’m not so sure anymore…
So, Im thinking something in the air. Neither of the theories sound good enough.
Gaëlle from France says
More, more, more !!! I could read hundred of pages of your weird news
And seriously, nothing can beat the french bread, nothing ????
Baguette is the best bread made of white flour. I prefer darker bread. A good dark bread with butter can make my day????
I often use a cup of fresh milled rye flour, the rest wheat, fermented with a levain (but a vigorous one, so not sour as such). Nice and crusty, good flavor, just flour, water, starter and salt. Not only do I like the taste of the rye, but it helps keep it fresh.
Karen the Griffmom says
Bread. Good bread. Aaaaaahhhhh. My Russian grandmother used to bake all the bread for her husband and twelve children. In a woodstove, no less. I miss the farmer’s market and the local baker of cheddar cheese bread. Yetis.
Patricia Schlorke says
The Russian bread reminds me of a standard roll recipe I have from Fanny Farmer’s cookbook (the cookbook is a family heirloom). The rolls only have 1 tablespoon of sugar in the entire recipe. I put a small pinch in with the warm water and yeast mixture to make sure the yeast is alive. The rolls do not get really crusty since that meant they burned in the oven.
I use the roll dough for pizza when I want to have homemade pizza. It holds up to all the toppings and cheese.
As to the Russian hikers, could it be that someone hallucinated and bashed in the others during the night? The person could have dragged some of the bodies to the water to hide the evidence.
It sounds like what happened to the Donner family in California during the early 1900’s. The theory is that the family was stranded in the middle of a blizzard, ran out of food, and ate each other (I know…I know…it’s gruesome to think about it). That’s why there is a pass in the mountains called Donner’s Pass in northern California.
Would love a blog post from Collier detailing how the hell he kept the names, birthdays, anniversaries, and date nights straight.
I have thought up some titles because I am bored:
-“You Too Can Make Your Life Unnecessarily Complicated”
-“Managing A Modern Day Harem”
Yeah. I accept that there are many ethical polyamorists out there, but the logistics baffle me. Especially once they have kids.
Lots of drugs, leading to murder-suicide. Or, someone hunted them down, killed one of them and had to cover it up so killed the rest. Or, a serial killer…
I think they ate some hallucinogenic plants or mushrooms and went nuts.
Started to read the story about the Russian hikers yesterday but stopped before they went into the description of the theory and how they tried to prove it. The headline said they used something from the movie Frozen. Like I said, didn’t finish reading it.
Had also read the story about Subway. Their bread was also rejected as not being bread. Now their tuna isn’t tuna. Next you’ll say there are no subways in Subway.
Off to read the story about the horny minister. I’ve always wondered why Stupidity wasn’t considered one of the Deadly Sins. The Darwin Awards alone were enough to prove it should be elevated to a Deadly Sin.
Sara T says
+1 on stupidity
I vote for hallucinogenic mushrooms uncovered in a mini thaw or mini avalanche.
Ahhhh, good call. So there’s a mini avalanche but it misses the hikers by a very small distance. However, it uncovers hallucinogenic mushrooms. Which they consume because clearly mother nature is blessing their outing when the killing snow bypassed their camp and revealed a wonderful bounty of nature’s “friday night lights”. Hijinks ensue.
lol i was going to say mushrooms as well
Mary Beth says
I have no idea on The Pass Incident. It’s one of those bizarre events that may never be solved.
I’ve been a steady reader of David Paulides work on missing people from National Parks across the US for many years. He’s a facts guy, and he still keeps an open mind about phenomena that has no current explanation. I guess he’s even dug into the whole Sasquatch subject, too.
Personally, I have no opinion or interest outside finding out why so many people are vanishing from the few wild places left.
As for Captain Can’t Keep-it-in-his-pants? What did he think would happen? I mean, really?
I know what you mean about breads. My Hubby spoiled me with home baked to the point I can’t stand commercial made loaves. (Add in his are GF and sugar free and it’s no contest.)
Hope the writing goes better today. I’m working on painting the white bats of Costa Rica. (God they’re cute.)
Oh I read about the white bats, tent bats, cause they use a huge leaf for shelter. They are very cute, but don’t say that too loudly cause people will start catching them and selling for export.
Mary Beth says
Yeah, I know. A few years ago a friend of mine was into making wool felt animals and she sold a bunch of those little white bats. (It was for an animal charity. We both love bats.)
Hubby sent me some photos as source material. He’d bought me some black watercolor paper to use with gouache, and the white bats would be perfect for it.
Clearly, Yetis. Just because I think an avalance would not have the dexterity co cut off someone’s eyebrows.
I love батон bread 🙂 But, sadly, it doesn’t taste the same any more.
Lol best comment. Re eyebrows. ????
I think the Yetis started the superdense avalanche to give themselves cover!
amber dawn says
They were drinking vodka made from contaminated grain. Or it was some sort of virus. I kept waking up because I was chewing on my tongue during my covid last week, and I was obsessed with solving a puzzle that didn’t actually exist.
+1. Moldy grain causes hallucinations. It has also been hypothesized that moldy rye grain was the reason for the Salem witch trials
After the rye plant contracts ergot, the fungus grows and replaces shoots on the grain with sclerotia. Ergot sclerotia are purple-black growths that contain lysergic acid and ergotamine. Since medical knowledge was sparse, the presence of darker shoots on rye was probably thought to be the product of overexposure to the sun, so it was most likely eaten despite being poisonous.
Once contracted from rye bread, ergotism (also called St. Anthony’s fire) causes severe convulsions, muscle spasms, delusions, the sensation of crawling under the skin, and, in extreme cases, gangrene of the extremities.
Patricia Schlorke says
Uh, that could explain why I don’t like rye bread. ????
Pfft, please….. it was totally Bigfoot ????
Ilona, you should check out the podcast on the Dyatlov Pass Mystery by Stuff You Should Know. It’s pretty fun and goes through the various theories (although it predates this most recent theory).
I vote for ergot (despite the fact that this likely testable and has probably already been eliminated as an option)
You said: “Fifteen girlfriends. Here I am, desperately juggling husband, two grown children, a pet menagerie, and work, and this dude has 15 girlfriends. How?”
Sadly, I think we as women are taught to accommodate and that others’ needs supersede our own. (This is a gross generalization, but it’s that whole ‘girls are supposed to nurture’ thing.) And I think we tend to make excuses for someone we’ve decided to believe in, because thinking we’ve been duped is very very painful.
(I recommend Deborah Tannen’s YOU JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND, where she has studies that show the differences between how boys socialize and how girls socialize and the pressure we as women put on each other from childhood on–it’s fascinating. It’s an old book — someone else may have updated it, but it was an eye-opener for me in my 20s.)
[Meaning, I recommend it just because it’s fascinating reading, NOT that I think you didn’t already know this stuff.]
I agree, I’m neural atypical, so growing up I noticed things no one else did, and was completely oblivious to what others found obvious.
One of puzzlers for me were the different directions my sister would get before playground and school. And no matter how I asked, my parents thought they were telling us the exact same thing.
I vote for the alternate reality aspect. Maybe they were at a congruence of overlapping planes in the multiverse and it caused mass insanity.
I vote that there hikers died for the same reason that there was no game.
Or nocturnally distributed psychoactive mold spores.
Margaret R says
Probably a lot of vodka, and a fight would be my guess…or vampires.
Isn’t Russia full of vampires (or is that Romania?) Werewolves maybe? It couldn’t be Yetis. Everyone knows Yetis are gentle creatures – Harry and the Hendersons – so it couldn’t be Yetis. Brainwashing experiment gone wrong maybe. Mouldy bread – hallucinations. Ghosts perhaps? Yes that’s it – Ghosts. The ghost of long lost hikers ripped their eye brows off. The ancient spirits of the long dead will have their vengeance! (Can you tell it’s Friday)
Wouldn’t a yeti have eaten more? They left all the good parts. It’s probably magnetic fields or something they ate (this is why I do not eat mushrooms).
The bodies sound like they were munched on by birds or like and entire landing party of red shirts ? If yeti’s ate them I think they would be at least a few missing and more munching and crunching of body parts. Honestly it sounds like the party ate weird mushrooms or that mold on Rye? bread that makes you crazy.
I read some articles on it sometime in the past year, and avalanche was pretty well indicated. I don’t know where that “no sign of an avalanche” came from, except people who really want an avalanche-free explanation.
In fact, the photo of the investigators at top shows a scene remarkably resembling avalanche damage. And all of the damage to the corpses can fall under the headings of avalanche damage, scavenger damage, or hypothermia induced behavior.
1) Mmmm! Homemade bread!! I truly miss my mother’s homemade bread the most of all the foods from my childhood. Warm bread with butter and brown sugar!
How the generations change: my mother and her siblings wanted “store bought bread”, and my siblings and I wanted homemade bread instead of the store bread that smooshed flat when you made sandwiches with it.
2) Could there have been something in the food the hikers took with them that was spoiled and that affected them somehow? Also, animals and birds of prey might have scavenged the dead bodies.
3) The police chief? Total sociopath. And pathetic. His scarlet letter “A” should stand for “a**h***” as well as adultery.
Was the Russian Bread made with wild yeast starters made with whole grain wheat and rye flours? It makes a crusty brown bread with very little (none) sugar. And the Russian hikers? Being from the lands of Big Foot- I go with angry Yeti.
Tiger Lily says
I think a Yeti would have eaten the livers and hearts and all of the good stuff not eyeballs and eyebrows. Why go to the trouble of killing them just to leave all the good stuff behind. Maybe they were killed in an avalanche (resulting in cracked skulls and chests) and then later birds scavanged them (eyeballs, tongue) although I don’t know why even a bird would want the eyebrows. . . maybe as soft material to help build their nest?
I heard this on the radio. So spooky. They went with aliens.
Why can’t it be both Yeti and Avalanche?
The Yetis came and attacked/ate/mutilated the half with the missing body parts and then when the rest ran away (naked/half dressed since they were sleeping in their tents at the time), the Yetis caused an Avalanche to cover their crimes.
I’m going with ergotism. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ergotism
Hmm some drug they took (early version of PCP) or an infection / disease that drove them mad? Maybe they were unknowing participants in some mad scientist’s experiment. Like those horror movies where you win a trip to a resort and then get picked off one by one by a serial killer. So my vote is people.
I had only heard the sheriff had 1 wife and 2 girlfriends. He was busier than I thought. Some of them were probably booty calls rather than girlfriends I suspect. A life built on a web of lies eventually collapses. If he’d been a pilot imagine how many gf he would have had then.
Bread – nothing matches a fond memory. I get this ginger sauce when I order Thai food. So good. I can’t duplicate it at home. I suspect they use more salt and oil than I would ever use myself. I guess that is why it is a yummy treat.
Ha! Yes! I was reading through the theories and thought “my guess is PCP”.
It is probably Russian chupacabras. There are no animals because they already drank all the blood of the animals. So now they prefer delicacies like tongues. And like racoons, Russian chupacabras wash their food. Hence the bodies in the water.
I’m just saying that here in Texas, it is always chupacabras.
Danielle Tobin says
I am going to steal #TeamFactsBeDamned to address how the teachers union for my kid’s school district is dismissing science and every medical and epidemiological expert including Dr. Faucci. They are refusing to return to school to teach children and threatening to go on strike. They are doing this in spite of signing a 5-year contract just over a year ago that explicitly states they will not go on strike for the term of their contract. #TeamFactsBeDamned
Ariel Forstner says
This entire year since we entered covid world could hit that hashtag
In fact I’m amazed my patients believe anything I say anymore given the current attitude
Maybe poisonous plants?
I read about the hikers once…. I’m thinking the radiation theory was plausible, especially with them stripping their clothes and scratching at their eyes, etc… like their skin was itching/burning, and they were trying to get it off…. who knows, I’m not willing to go there to try to find out!
Hypothermia can do that too. A lot people get really warm at one stage and try to strip off all there clothes, it’s as if they are being burned by them.
My bread maker was fabulous. I managed to gain 40 pounds before I moved it to the garage. Saw it last week.
Stuff You Should Know did a great podcast on the Dyatlov Pass.
Also, I think a lot of commercially sold fish is mislabeled. Though I’ve never seen it categorized as “not fish” before. Gross.
Janine Wood says
Why would yetis want just eyeballs or eyebrows, or just a tongue? And an avalanche wouldn’t be that specific. Sounds like they just went do-lally for some reason and went after each other. Doesn’t explain the crushed chests or broken legs. That could be yetis or avalanche. Oh, to be a fly on the wall!????
I’d have to say avalanche. If yeti’s had eaten the bodies, surely there would have been evidence – like partially devoured corpses? Not as much fun to consider, obviously!
Esther Altman says
Sounds like they ate some kind of drugs and attacked each other in the insanity.
I don’t know about Yetis and multiple girlfriends, but the delicious bread corners are called “cantuccio” here! ????????????????
I think it is neither yeti nor avalanche. This Holatchahl story reminds me a bit of Mistress of the mountain tales only the dark version – she saw all those handsome men, went out to play and the game turned deadly.
I have a good local bakery, luckily.
But my Publix is also surprisingly honest, they’ll tell you exactly which loaves have added sugar (I think it’s their Chicago white), none of my stores in Texas or Cali would do that. Though I do miss fresh tortillas…
Susie Q. says
Try HEB in Texas. Great breads with ingredient information posted.
Elfs. It had to be elfs ????
Disney + snow + frozen people?
It’s gotta be Elsa, right?
Orlana Curry says
Very enjoyable read. Thanks so much. Most days my brain tracks like your stories. Strange but interesting. Have a good day.
i think they took some magic mushrooms and had a party
Mary Beth says
That would explain the crushed ribs. +1
Jessica A says
Angry yeti. I mean, did no one wonder why there were no game in that pass? Animals aren’t stupid, they’re not going to hang around with short tempered cryptids.
I read the long-ish scientific report and will have to go with avalanche. I know, not near as fun as a Yeti.
Wow! None of those stories include Florida. I had heard about the tuna case as it was filed not too far from me. I also had seen a story about the hikers, sad case.
2 wives and 15 girlfriends, just blows my mind. Where does he get the time to be with them and hold a job.
Lisa B says
Well thank you for clearing up the Jason deal. I have seen it and we to lazy to Google ????.
I’m gonna go with the pass is haunted with evil spirits(hence the no game)
Lynn Thompson says
Thank you, Ilona Andrews, for the entertaining post.
Law enforcement in my opinion is a stressful job with long strange hours. I can easily see how he managed to have 2 wives and 15 girlfriends. Hopefully no offspring. Score one for social media.
Interesting news about Subway. I will have to go read. Thank you.
Titan, my Rhodesian Labrador, will not eat Turkey bacon, Turkey sausage, Turkey deli meat or Turkey pepperoni. I had no clue some places used Turkey pepperoni instead of pork pepperoni on pizza until he started picking pepperoni off his pizza slice and ate pizza. He swiped and ate Turkey drumstick off thanksgiving Turkey that was cooling on top of stove. Thus I suspect it a spice issue.
Gordon is usually correct. But I have to disagree this time. I am somewhat familiar with hypothermia and high altitude hallucinations from hiking Appalachian trail. Plus there is small problem of this pass being known not to have wildlife. No idea what really happened but not yeti.
This was my second belly laugh today. First was Subaru cross trek ad on mind games.com this am. The one with driver waving the jerky stick around directing music and the boxer in back seat — waiting. My sister who hates camping likes the frozen camping one better.
An Ilona Andrews book with unruly BDH members making demands happened to them – rocks fell from the sky. They all died. HA. (^:^)
The veil thinned and they went nuts. 🙂
Kelly B says
I don’t know how someone juggles 15 girlfriends! Despicable.
As for, Dyatlov Pass, time of year would be right for avalanches….but at 3.5 thousand feet in elevation, ehhhnnnnnn now I’m having a harder time thinking an avalanche is the culprit. I just don’t see it. So now curiosity peaked….I found a pretty good description of the more likely reason. Strong katabatic winds contributed after a suitable time to the slab release, which my brain interpretation was rock slide. Yes, this is more believable for me. Crazy wind, rock slide = dead people.
Megan Ryder says
There was a book about the Russian hikers and they said something about the way the sound traveled in the pass that could make it sound different and might have made them think someone/something was coming after them? Of course that gave rise to the UFO rumor and the wild animal Yeti rumors but it was a really interesting story. I’m with Gordon and Jeaniene. Something strange happened in those hills….
Isn’t rye bread a staple bread in that area? What about ergot poisoning from the rye, leading to hallucinations? Lots of historical examples of that.
Kelly B says
Link to article….
It was both. A yeti was on top of the mountain and caused an avalanche then continued to chase the survivors.
Maybe the Russian hikers were camping in a place with volcanic gases and were intoxicated?
Mushrooms of the not good to eat variety
am I missing something? why has no one mentioned the winter queen and her court playing games???
Hallucinogens (either intentional or food poisoning) made everyone run wild and several of them attack each other?
I’m liking the Yetis. I feel like every culture across the world there are these types of beings mentioned Big foot, Yeti, Abominable Snowman so maybe there is something out there really good at huding. These hikers got in their way or met up with a carnivorous group????????♀️
I thought Yeti were vegetarian? I vote for secret Russian military experiment gone awry! It’s always the secret Russian military, isn’t it? Thanks for the post. You keep me sane despite reality. Well…..my definition of sane.
Something is in the water. They were cold so they made themselves hot drink. Then they halucinate realy hard. There aren’t any animals because the water source is contaminated. Yetis are too sensible to do such a thing. They still evade capture after all and there wasn’t enough food for yeties.
Karlyn Nerthling says
Sounds like the Missing 411 cases. David Paulides has spent years investigating the disappearances of people in US national parks. He’s written several books about it. Some of the bodies that have been found are in a similar condition to what you described in the Dyatlov Pass case.
This makes me think of the things I hear from friends in SAR.
…but that reminds me of how many times I’ve heard various of them mutter something about Seattle’s really high number of serial killers.
Hypothetically, if you were of a mind to be a serial killer, or give it a go, Seattle would not be the worst place. I was there during the Grunge years and the street kid/transient population was the highest I’ve ever seen. Not to mention the area dubbed “the Jungle.” Not sure if it’s called that because it’s heavily wooded or if it’s a throw back to when they used to call homeless camps Hobo Jungles. You could, if you were careful prey on the homeless or transient population for years before being caught. Yes, it’s sad and I’m terrible for saying it, but it’s true. Alternatively, it could also be a Sasquatch, driven out of the woods and adapting to hunting the homeless in an urban environment. Who would believe any witnesses?
How do you know some of the people from that Grunge period weren’t really Sasquatches (Sasquatchis?) in disguise?
And if you thought things were getting too hot, head up to Alaska.
I live in South Florida. If it were here I’d say drugs, bath salts. We’ve had two cases in recent years of people flipping out and eating peoples faces off. They tend to get naked when they do it too. One of them was my dentist’s son. The family is claiming schizophrenia, but I’m still thinking bath salts. #TeamFactsBeDamned
Colleen C. says
I think they accidentally ingested a hallucinogenic and went nuts.
Rizel Olleres says
Yetis! Hands down!
I saw the Expedition Unknown episodes about the Dyatlov Pass deaths & therefore was interested the news article today. I vote for avalanche. I love your stories, but don’t believe in UFOs or ghosts.
Kristan Paige Hall says
I say no to both avalanches and yetis. I say something caused them to hallucinate.
Aman Sidhu says
Best thing I’ve read today. Thank you!
Subway tuna sandwiches are my favorite. It tastes like tuna to me, and my cat likes it too. That’s always a good test. If your pet won’t even eat it, there’s a problem.
Big Mike says
The Mansi call it the “Menk” not Yeti. My vote is for avalanche. “Forest giants,” like our own Sasquatch, the Australian Yowie, and the Menk, seem to be aware of the ability of Homo sapiens to kill at a distance, so outside of trying to intimidate us to get us to leave their territory when we intrude, they leave us alone.
I reject avalanches and yetis, and instead am voting for a not-nearly-as-extinct-as-we-thought woolly mammoth – because why not.
I say Serial Killer.
Omar Mtz says
I saw spirit possession that let them to hunt each other or radiation that may them crazy…? It’s an interesting story that we might never know what happened, until we learn necromancy.
I first read that as spirit possum and thought “that’s a different theory”.
Spirit possum then made me think of spirit animals and I wondered what it would be like to have s spirit possum. That reminded me of Ilona’s stories of the raccoon, so spirit raccoons!
And that’s what happens when you let your mind wander off the trail.
Mary Peed says
Can I propose ergot (which kind of goes along with your bread section) which is a rye mold that causes hallucinations.
When I was in Russia in the 90s I **loved** the black bread. I’ve been trying to recreate it ever since. I think I might be closer with my recent sourdough starter but the color and texture is still wrong…but flavor is closer. Every recipe I’ve found is the right color but the wrong flavor…
Jackie Dee says
There was a “documentary” about this, I watched a few weeks ago. It made the case for the yeti. I’m very team yeti, it was a very compelling “documentary”. All kinds of reasons for this being the only thing possible. #teamyeti
Iirc, it was a pretty experienced team at the pass, so most of the idiocy based explanations seem unlikely. I’d heard avalanche before, and also some theories about intense weather. ????
I’ve been in polyamorous relationships before… but darn, trying to find the time for one other person is really hard these days*, on top of research, the cats, the place, and various hobbies. Being deceptive about it would have to be a lot harder?
(And anyone living with me now would probably be about ready to push me off a cliff from how frustrated I am by a part on my spinning wheel breaking and the replacement not being here yet. Should I dye more wool, only to have it taunt me?!! Should I knit something? Of course the chunky alpaca I’m kind of looking at might get traded to a friend’s for mead…)
* to be fair, being able to send a partner off with their other partner often helped with this? Go, go, please watch those movies that you both love and that mostly irritate me!
Potato water. Save water from boiling potatoes and use for the bread. Magic ingredient
Elizabeth KW says
Love this post!
They ate something that affected their brain function and they went crazy.
I am more inclined to think Yeti or ufo.
Definitely Yetis !
They are very territorial and tend to overeat , which would explain the poor hunting conditions.
Hint … if no wildlife would stay in a area , then you might not want to make camp in the area !
Note to self: cancel winter camping trip
Christina Hanley says
Have you seen the Netflix remake of unsolved mysteries? They have an episode about this occurrence:
One of the theories was called Folie à deux. Which describes a condition that is exhibited usually by a couple where they share a delusion.
People up in the dark on a cold mountain… a shared hysteria or madness seems reasonable to me.
I presume hypothermia has been considered? Taking off one’s clothes and running off are potential symptoms of being near-fatally cold. If they were inadequately prepared for the cold, perhaps they died of hypothermia? Doesn’t explain the injuries, though, especially the crushing.
Dixie M McIlwraith says
I will leave the yeti question to the fableists. But I totally agree with you in the bread discussion. I have looked for great black bread and the only thing I find (I now live in Costa Rica) is a dry sort of rye, sort of dark brown bread. I have wonderful memories of eating raw oysters and clams at a outdoor restaurant in Paris and our bread bowl was filled with black rolls. With sweet butter!
Stacy McKnight says
Subway is not food! I’d love to try the dark Russian bread as I love the dark bread flavor and color. I’d vote Yeti just because I’d like there to be Yetis.
Sara B. says
How about a “ghost wind” as in Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Darkover series?
Like that idea.
I’ve never met an avalanche with teeth, sooo I’m team Yeti.
I’ve never met an avalanche with teeth, sooo I’m team Yeti.
The Dyatlov Pass incident reminded me of this article I’d read last year on a Valley of Death (another place with no game) in eastern Russia: https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/russian-valley-of-death. But in Kamchatka’s case, there was just death. Then there was this episode of NCIS where a guy was dosed with BZ gas hallucinated and swallowed one of his eyes.
I think that what caused their injuries could be separate from what put them in a situation to be injured and then killed. So my hypothesis: the Dyatlov Pass hikers all ate some plant/fungus similar to one they were familiar with or drank some contaminated standing water/snow and then they all tripped out.
Inés Heinz says
i have no comment on the yeti, but my weird news fact of the day is that parrot fish poop sand. This casts those beautiful “white sand” beaches in Hawaii in a whole new light. Yes honey. We are stunning ourselves on this beautiful poop beach! LOL!
Sara S says
The Hills (mountain pass) has eyes.
JoAnne K says
I saw the article yesterday and read it not knowing much about the mystery. A small avalanche could cover the tent causing them to cut their way out. Hard ice could cause concussion and confusion. Not sure why one of them wouldn’t have decided to go back in the tent for supplies. Missing body parts could be from animals but you say native people say no game. Blows that theory. Unless there are birds. Yeti would have caused more damage. Hubby says hypothermia can cause people to feel too hot and shed their cloths. Maybe we need a time warp to go back in time.
Something they ate. With lots of hallucinogen in it. Without them knowing it. Some of them got a good trip (Oh, its so nice and warm here, lets shed our clothes!), some not so much, have been suddenly struck with paranoia.
I’m going to be boring and say hallucinations caused by bad food. Ergot poison anyone?!?
M.S. Linsenmayer says
It sounds a lot like hypothermia, to me.
There was a guy on YouTube called lemino who did an excellent analysis of the dyatlov pass incident, and its the only time it has been resolved to my satisfaction.
Basically and briefly, bad tent warmer catches (happened already that trip) scares people into the snow semi dressed, least dressed huddle under the trees while the most dressed search for material to start a fire. While wandering around, the three are killed by a collapsing snow band, leaving the others to expire due to hypothermia.
Excellent watch, extremely well sourced, would highly recommend.
Sounds possible. More than yetis anyway.
It’s Friday and we get a treat from Ilona Andrews .
I am firmly on TeamFacts be Damned. All aboard the Yeti train ????!!
My friend eats Subway tuna
Don’t even want to think about 2 wives and 15 girlfriends.
Valentine’s Day must have interesting!! Did he buy flowers and candy in bulk?? Or use Costco??
#TeamFactsBeDamned strikes again! ????????
In the minority, but I like the theory that winds generated a sub-audible frequency that made them edgy and nervous. Combine with alcohol or recreational drugs to lower their mental resilience and one or more of them just went crazy. Some were killed by the crazy, and some died of exposure getting away, including dying of the shock of falling into extremely cold water. I think the avalanche came after.
Yetis..definitely Yetis…They’re like the polar bear cousin of Bigfoot. LOL
Nicole B. says
I literally just saw an article about the Dyatlov Pass mystery being solved by using modified “Frozen” movie technology. They adjusted the way the special effects people made snow onscreen to see different ways an avalanche would move. What an incredibly small world, and it sounded like a super cool way to accomplish some research! (Because research isn’t quite as well-funded as Disney movies… ????)
La Crimson Femme says
I think they are a batch of psilocybe mushrooms and went on the crazy train. During this trip, they felt attacked and basically either attacked each other or themselves and died. https://www.verywellmind.com/what-are-magic-mushrooms-22085#:~:text=Drug%20Class%3A%20Psilocybin%20is%20classified,panic%2C%20hallucinations%2C%20and%20psychosis.
Jen H says
Yetis. If the avalanche story is iffy, I see no reason to be reasonable about it. Why be boring and logical when the logic is flawed and you can have fun instead!
Also bread baked by others is always more enjoyable. My grandma makes very simple yeast rolls that I cannot eat enough of. (Seriously, had an eating contest with an older male cousin and I thoroughly trounced him). I have the recipe and make them several times a year, but will go to town on any rolls she makes. Mine do not taste different and are equally adored by my family but hers are just better to me because I did nothing to bring them into existence.
Beth Hoover says
If something tragic happens, having an awesome story is always the better way to go. It is like saying, I slipped in my driveway and broke my ankle…BORING. OR saying, I was chased down a mountain by a pack of wolves while skiing, shot off a small cliff to safety but broke my ankle on the landing (so much better, in my opinion)… YETI IT IS!
“ Fifteen girlfriends. Here I am, desperately juggling husband, two grown children, a pet menagerie, and work, and this dude has 15 girlfriends. How?”
Well, clearly he is a bouda.
Best comment yet????????????
I read a National Geographic article on the hikers/avalanche theory. It sounded a lot more reasonable than yetis (sorry Gordon) or ufos. Apparently a lot of computer modeling was done for avalanches and also some interesting comparisons drawn from human injury data from car crashes. It was the first I’d ever heard of the incident. Sure held my attention.
As to the Subway story, no idea if it’s true but I have never liked their sandwiches, so my feeling there was meh.
Have to laugh about the small town sheriff/minister/bigamist. And of course my jaw dropped. I can never figure out how these people carry it off for as long as they do.
Thanks! Have been avoiding all news in my attempt to reduce stress. But this was fun.
SoCo Mom says
Space aliens chasing Yetis, who ran amok in the camp and tragically started an avalanche. Why choose?
Also, one of their group survived, because he was ill and left early. Ill with what? Could it have blown up into somethings else in one of the other hikers, leading to a catastrophic berzerker fit? Was their food contaminated?
Any event, how awful that this happened. It is a haunting mystery.
Lex Keating says
The military angle catches my attention and gets most of my suspicions. Calling those wind conditions “hurricane” is a little overdramatic (tropical storm levels, yes), but the very cold temperatures would make this quite dangerous. I also find the avalanche hypothesis hard to believe.
Here’s what gets me: they’re startled in the night, enough to leave the tent without essential gear, right? The tent was cut with a knife from the inside out. But they had time to attach a lit flashlight to a pole. Presumably so they could come back. They didn’t expect the tent to be buried in snow. Someone climbed a tree, possibly looking for that flashlight glow. And the girl with chest trauma wore her friend’s burned trousers.
It smells of a military exercise gone wrong. To me, anyway…
I would love #TeamFactsBeDamned start to trend.
As I was reading the news about Subway I was filled with the smug tingle of conformation bias. I knew it. I KNEW IT!
Dyatlov Pass? Brain amoebas that made people go crazy and die. Yetis is a ridiculous theory.
I read a book about the hiking disaster that theorized it was sound deeper than your ears can hear, but your body can feel. It’s said to invoke terror. Theory was that it was caused by wind.
I vote avalanche theory coupled with something like this:
Some sort of gas pocket that caused hallucinations etc.
I vote avalanche theory. The avalanche killed the ones in the stream, ( I think they were the last out of the tent and got caught) fish & birds caused the soft tissue damage. Hypothermia killed the others within a few hours since they ran out of their tent in the middle of the night with no provisions and no way to find them in the dark.
Hannah Williams says
It would be interesting to see if any of the plants in the area were hallucinogenic, they may have eaten something and freaked out or stung/bitten by something. Not discounting the yetis but I always hoped they would be more Harry and the Henderson’s than bloodthirsty beasts!
Bill G says
Yetis? Avalanche? Pfui; this was obviously the Grays testing some new weapon. Biologic, chemical, electronic or sonic waves? There’s no telling now, but they’ll have added it to their arsenal now!
They did not disappear after the Dulce Debacle!!!!!
I miss Russian bread as well? black bread mostly. But I can at least get a good substitute in German Rye Bread…
There is a program on Netflix called Ancient Aliens, there was one episode where they talk about Dyatlov Pass incident, I don’t remember which one, but I think it’s in the episode about Evil Places.
So apparently Aliens did it 🙂
The Mansi are actually the closest relatives of the Hungarians linguistically. The second closest being the Khanty, and…that’s about it, end of list of Ugric languages.
(Of course, the realationship is distant in the sense that these three languages were separated sometime around 1200 B. C. -or that is the scientist’s best guess as of now. Next of kins are the Finnish, but that connection is another thousand years back in time, so even more distant. 🙂
Fun fact: Mansi and Hungarian are the only two languages in the world that have two different declintaion systems for verbs. If you think Russian declination is complicated, you probably do not speak Hungarian. Or Mansi :))))
And if you are a Russian-Hungarian kid, English will be your favourite language ever. :)))))
Also: I advise everyone to think long and hard before marrying a linguist. Risks include having your grammar corrected even in your native tounge, your apartment being filled with books, and your brain picking up all sorts of unnecessary information about obscure language topics :)))
Also, Yeti :))))
Julia Brough says
Neither – I think magic mushrooms
What the hell explains missing eyebrows? A yetti with a fetish?
And also, anyone need a hat for the more ridiculous theories?
Kathi Moran says
I reject Yetis and avalanche and vote for magic mushrooms gone wrong…
I don’t bake bread myself, but as far as I know Dutch bread does not normaly contain any sugar.
I like the bacteria / amoebe theory (not that I believe it is true but it’s just a ‘nice’ concept
Bliss Crimson the Mooncatx says
I don’t think Yeti would kill just one small group of hikers and no one else. If Yeti are carnavores, they’d have eaten more, and if not gonna eat them, why kill them in their sleeps? I think they probably got a bacteria or something that made them nuts – like when people smoke that stuff that had the people eat each other under the influence. In any case I wouldn’t sleep there. Maybe it was demons. Or traveling serial killers.
George Bailey says
An avalanche OF yetis.
It was a hallucinogenic that they were somehow exposed to. The missing eyes and tongue went the way of hungry somethings that skitter in the shadows. Cracked heads and crushed chests came from hysterical fleeing, falling, and flipping the noggin onto rocks.
Mushrooms. They get you every time:)
Diane Wilson says
Years ago there was a news story about a detective who specialized in arsenic poisoning. He confronted the man’s wife, and she confessed, showing the detective the rat poison she used. However, the detective knew that this brand of rat poison did not contain arsenic. It turns out the man in the hospital had a girlfriend, and she was the one poisoning him with arsenic.
RENE OWENS says
Hungry Brown Bear, Werewolf or Yet I. You pick!????
There was so much there to take in. Fake tuna, not- chicken, cake served as bread -> darn. There goes that “this is a semi healthy choice”. 🙂
Just going to skip that weird man with 15 galfriends. No I am not actually. Here I 100% side with you. HOW on earth did he manage to keep that going!!? Husband, 2 grown kids, house, work,not even pets. And struggling at times. So no – no way in hell.
I am in Team Yeti. Why? you might want to know. Because it is more interesting. It is the weekend, I am starting my winter vacation. Facts be damned. I will be responsible adult again Feb 8th ca. 9 am when I put on my big gal pants and start working again. Hah!
As to Dyatlov Pass mystery – neither Yeti, nor avalanche. Traces of camping were discovered at the foot of the mountain slope where the tourist tent was erected. Some of them survived whatever happened and decided to build a shelter and start a fire in the snow instead of going uphill to the tent (that was undamaged when the rescue team came, except for having one wall cut open from the inside). I myself am inclined to the hypothesis of a failed missile test.
As to bread – I’m from Poland. I have it on daily basis <3
You might try a recipe for a round loaf called a cob. I’ve seen it on one of the baking shows with Paul Holliwood. One of the recipes online calls for a pan of water in the oven while baking to make steam. Apparently the steam makes the crust good. I have not made it since my family likes my usual honey saffron egg bread more than anything else. It is made with milk and butter.
Sounds like a really bad acid trip or perhaps bath salts (as happened in FL where police shot a man who was eating another’s face!)! Was a thorough blood analysis done I wonder?
Judy Schultheis says
The world is weirder than anybody can possibly believe, but I think I’m with you on this one. Yetis are a lot iffier.
TIA JAH says
I think they ate something that made them go crazy, maybe even attack each other. I think that’s a plot I read somewhere, sometime, so I’m sticking to it!
I really enjoy your blog (not to mention your books!).
Jan Nelson says
Yetis, of course. You can do so much more with yetis.
Johanna J says
Yeti attack first, followed by an avalanche (which was triggered by the yeti attack).
Wendy S says
Bread. Raised in a family of 14 kids, I learned to make bread, or at least knead bread pretty young. Our mom would start a huge batch by heating milk and butter one the rest on stove and leave for work. When we got home from school, one of us would add the flour and mix, then knead it out. Let it rise, shape and plunk into several loaf pans and wait to put in the oven. Warm bread smeared with butter is the best. First one to get the heel, or crusty end, was the winner!
Ok, so there must be a reason that no animals worth hunting could live there, or they would have! I bet the locals knew to avoid that area. So, something bad in the water or hallucinogenic spores carried by the breeze? Or a necrophiliac yeti, cause why just eat the eyes? Or a family of black witches. Too much Patricia Briggs, can you tell? Her black witches are scary! Shudder.
neal bravin says
Yeti’s are not what they seem. They are actually shifters, so, yes, rogue shifters in their half form from the Mansi werewolf pack.
maria schneider says
The avalanche theory had some holes in it. I, personally, think a yeti brought some home-brew by; they all got drunk. Humans can’t handle yeti brew. Some ran out into the snow and died of hypothermia. Two of the guys decided to teach the yeti to ski. Unfortunately, the yeti was a little drunk. He ran over one guy, crushing his chest. The skiis went airborne when the yeti careened across an elevated slope. As the skiis and the yeti came down, the skiis slashed a guy in the head, fracturing his skull. At last the yeti managed to stop, but only because he hit another guy, crushing his chest on impact.
A rogue white wolf (not a shifter) heard the noise, showed up and chewed on a few body parts. I’m not sure about the second crushed skull. He might have been hit by the yeti’s flailing ski pole in a completely freak stroke of bad luck.
The yeti cut down the tent in despair. He hadn’t realized that the humans couldn’t tolerate the home brew.
I’m pretty sure that is what happened.
maria schneider says
Oh–I forgot. For the bread, it turns out with that perfect crust if you grill it on an outdoor grill. Most residential ovens do not get hot enough, nor retain enough heat to cook bread correctly. We put a cast iron skillet on the grill to get the bread off direct heat and then the bread pan or pizza pan (because we do pizza crust this way too.) It is a delicious crusty bread, especially with olive oil and herbs, but butter ain’t bad either!
Kat in NJ says
I’m changing my vote to the skiing yeti theory because it made me laugh out loud! I love it!! ????
Where did the missing body parts go if it was the hikers that went nuts? Unless they ate them?
Now the weird imaginative part of my brains says…eyes..you can’t see what happened. Tongue…can’t tell what happened. Eyebrows? Don’t raise your eyebrows at my logic!
Crushed chests, that’s a lot of strength…
If they killed each other, someone must have been the victor. Those that got nekkid and went swimming to remove blood? That still leaves, where did the missing parts go? The weapon used to remove those parts?
Yeti, it works for me! LOL
Hm I have to say the small avalanche kind of works for me. They heard it and cut out of the tent in attempt to run. The crushing injuries and skull fractures fit with the force of the avalanche. Tongue could have been bitten off from the force force of the snow. Also the force of the snow could have ripped clothes off and could explain the nakedness (because plane crash victims are seldom fully clothed when found). But the eyebrows is kind of weird.
LOL!!! Maybe the yeti came and caused the micro-avalanche to cover their tracks. (Queue theremin as Patrick Stewart speaks) “There are things in this world beyond man’s ken.”
As for the Texas overachiever…. Yikes!!! Can’t even.
Bread, sigh. We have a couple local bakeries that are very good. Jacque Pepin’s no knead recipe is my go to at home – very simple/no sugar. Bread, sweet butter and the thinly sliced vegetable of your choice and flaky sea salt…it’s the best.
My theory based on nothing more than a ahndful of facts which consist of:
1) tent was torn from within
2) they died within hours of their last meal
Makes me wonder if they ate or were exposed to something that caused accute biochemical reactions that caused them to panic, have intense hallucinations, and essentially go insane. Especially as there was something about radioactive traces on one of their clothes. (Sure radioactivity is around us all the time, but I’m assuming by the fact it was specifically mentioned it was higher than normal levels).I also seen no information (at least in English) that a toxin screen was done on their bodies to rule out certain things.
That to me is more believable than yetis, aliens, or an avalanche…
Neither. It was the aliens.
Seriously though (or not), since they had eaten, it’s almost safe to assume something was in their food. Let’s say something like ergot poisoning. If they had bread or flour with them it’s very possible. Ergot causes hallucinations. When they started hallucinating they attacked each other, causing the various injuries.
Monaleaisa Phillips says
Sorry all, but drugs could have been involved. They could have eaten a plant that had dangerous chemical properties, or had their own and we may never know,
I’d opt for they all ate some wierd, hallucinogenic fungus for dinner and flipped out during the night.
Diane F says
Poisonous or hallucinogenic plants.
Michelle Vogelsang says
Blake Crouch wrote a book called “Abandon” set in Colorado that sounds like it took its cues from the Dyatlov Pass mystery. I think that in his story, the spooky folk did it.
I’m going with avalanche, with survivors dying of hypothermia. Stripping is not unknown in hypothermia.Bodies munched and parts removed by animals enjoying an unexpected treat.
For some reason Oprah is dancing through my head chanting “I love bread!”
I’m on the Keto lifestyle so bread=bad.???? I miss it.
As for our Russian Hikers … I just watched a program on some discovery channel or another for this story, and I think it was a love triangle gone wrong with some bacteria infested drug usage and they hallucinated an avalanche. Then in the trees they started a fire to get warm with lantern fuel and caught on fire. so the one person lost his eyebrows the others jumped in the water to put the blue flames out and the others ran back towards the tent to get more fuel got lost and froze to death.
Thats my story and I’m sticking to it.
The EPFL did the research? Okay, I believe them. I’m Swiss. EPFL is where our geniuses go to grow and think and do weird research on strange things.
Yetis, though… hmmmm.
I think the probably added the wrong mushrooms to their stew.
Micro avalanches huh?
I do very much like the Yetti mobbing. Go Tettis.
Brooke Frazier says
the same thing that caused the dancing plague of 1518….
Audra N Carr says
Seriously, was missing his eyebrows…that’s just wrong. So I’m leading towards someone like Dr. Frankenstein. So many missing body parts, makes you wonder what he(or she) is making. ????
The slab avalanche mechanism seems plausible, and rare enough that even an experienced group might not have considered it. (there is a depiction in the Nature article online that shows how it may have occurred, and 2 videos in the Wired article that are even more illustrative.)
It’s easy for even highly experienced campers to die in the backcountry in winter. That they managed to get away from the site, with the horrific injuries they’d sustained, is a testament to their strength and know how.
For me, one of the most difficult parts of the “willing suspension of disbelief” required to fully enjoy your great stories is always the unreal physical strength of the main characters. And their insanely rapid comebacks from dire injury. I know – they are magic beings in magic alternate worlds. But, many of the most daring, athletic and physically accomplished people I’ve known live with injuries or frailties that never completely dissipate. Perhaps in some ways, the ‘perfect bounce backs’ in these stories are soothing to me, and healing despite the unreality of it.
Joann K says
Dunno. The missing eyes and tongue can be reasonably explained by 6 words: scavengers eat the soft bits first.
That bread sounds delicious!!!!
I saw a horror movie about Dyatlov years ago (might have been Devil’s Pass, I’m not completely sure), and things got really weird. Like never saw that one coming weird. I’m going with the movie’s theory about what really happened.
Yes to fresh bread! I grew up in Germany, and sometimes would be lucky enough to get a loaf of bread at the bakery that had just come out of the oven and was still warm. I’d cut the very end off of the loaf/round, which of course was the crust, and eat it with butter. Yum!
I worked as a NYC EMT when I was in college in the mid-80’s. I’ve seen a lot of weird and violent responses to drugs and allergies. I think they ingested something either accidentally or deliberately that created hallucinations and was perhaps neurotoxic. It would account for the variety of injuries and the stripping.
Most people don’t stop to consider that in winter, drinking water becomes scarce. Hikers used to bring containers, which they’d pack with snow, then place inside their coats to warm it up to have drinking water. We all know that snow contains whatever was in the air it fell through, and if it contained poisons, that would lead to whatever happened to the hikers. Since some bodies were found in a running creek, I’m going to go with the creek being snowmelt, as well, and the same problem arises. Keep in mind that in 1959, “pure as driven snow” was still a saying implying cleanliness. If the water in that creek were poison, that would also explain the lack of game animals available in the area. I’m not buying the avalanche theory. I’m also not buying into the yeti theory. It’s too bad they can’t disinter those bodies and check them for poisons. Then again, it was 62 years ago, and anybody who ever cared deeply about it is probably long gone, too. If radiation was actually in the area, you can bet it was accumulated in the snow. None of which explains missing eyes, eyebrows, and tongue. But insanity would explain a lot of it. I’m going with the damage to bodies being self-inflicted in panic.
The guy with two wives and 16 girlfriends is clearly insane. I looked at the pictures of him and he’s not all that, so he must surely have some good lines, and it boggles the mind why women would fall for it all when he’s a public figure, easily found online if anyone cared to look, and he used his correct name, which he apparently did. It amazes me that his first wife didn’t know what was going on. Then again, perhaps she did, and she was just glad he wasn’t home with her very much. We’ll likely never know.
The Subway thing made me laugh. My husband loved those stupid tuna sandwiches. I never saw the appeal. But I’m not fond of Subway, anyway, so there it is.
Sandra F says
I read about this previously. I suspect it was a hidden radiation test site that the hikers found themselves burning up from within and ran out naked and being nigh crazy from radiation to the brain, killed themselves rather gruesomely.
Kat in NJ says
I’ve been baking bread for about 50 years, but always stuck to the same few basic recipes. Lately, I’ve been expanding my repertoire by trying new recipes. Anyone that loves crusty artisan-type bread should try making “Jim Leary’s no-knead bread”…it’s awesome!!(Just do an internet search on that term and you’ll find the recipe on many sites.)
It’s baked in a Dutch oven which is covered and placed inside your regular oven, which gives it that lovely crust, and it’s very easy to make (though you have to plan ahead since it proofs overnight.) Highly recommended! ????
Oh, and I vote for the ‘parachute mines’ scenario mentioned in the Wikipedia article (why not!) I guess we’ll never know. Just one more reason to stay inside where it’s warm during cold, snowy winter nights!
Kat in NJ says
Sorry, typo in my post: the baker who invented the no-knead bread is Jim Leahy, not Jim Leary! ☺️
Chiara (Chandramas) says
That is the only #TeamFactsBeDamned I wanna be part of.
Lynell Gordon says
Yeti of course!
Ashley F says
I’m not sure I buy that an avalanche removed their eyebrows. These could’ve happened with an avalanche – cracked skulls & in river, clothing gone (maybe they were sleeping like that in the cold). I’d buy yetis over the avalanche theory. It’d make more sense to me if they ingested something or the oxygen levels were low & they went cuckoo.
I was wondering about the Jason Collier thing. That’s crazy, I have a hard enough time keeping 1 husband happy ????
Eh, Avalanche and animal predation sounds most likely, if not as thrilling. Those poor people.
The guy with the two wives and 15 girlfriends – I am in awe of how he juggled that. Having to account for your time with 17 women? How do you find time for all of them? Wives tend to require more time aka coming home at night. You’ve got 17 women and only 7 days in a week. You’ve also got calls and texts coming in the day.
I’m team yetI
Scott B says
They say there is no game in that pass on Dead Mountain. They were wrong. This is obviously a Truth or Dare game gotten wildly out of hand. This is why you don’t save your dares for last!
Can I pick neither? I think some foraging misshap with a hallucinogen and then scavangers.
Oops, apparently I should have read the comments before trying my hand at the answer. Oh well. *shrug*
L Hanna says
Space aliens are good – or the Yetis. They’re good too. Maybe the space aliens are graduating from cows to humans?
My theory is those hikers got into some sort of psychedelic drugs and started tearing into themselves and the others in their party ????????????. Maybe the food or drink was made with iffy ingredients?
Pervitin overdose. Nazi methamphetamine. Still, supposedly all over Russia for years after the war. They take it to get warm. One or more have a bad reaction and things ensue. Or methanol from home-made hooch.
Janet Hughes says
My vote is for ergot – a kind of fungus – in their bread and/or porridge grain.
“The neurotropic activities of the ergot alkaloids mcard cause hallucinations and attendant irrational behaviour, convulsions, and even death. Other symptoms include strong uterine contractions, nausea, seizures, high fever, vomiting, loss of muscle strength and unconsciousness.”
It grows on the ears of rye and related cereals.
Google ergot poisoning… you get some freaky behaviour!
Definitely yetis. Or mages from one of the Houses that induce panic like a Psionic. Or maybe the yetis are their totem animals and helped out.????
Totally Desandra Kral’s ancestors.
Angel Mercury says
I’m going to go with cursed swamp gas. Along the lines of the Higurashi variety. Causes Paranoia and gruesome homicidal urges.
I do actually wonder if they were swarmed by some kinds of bugs or ate some kind of mushroom/psychedelic that sent them all on really bad trips leading to chaos, some murder and some accidents.
Maria Narancic says
They may have eaten something that caused hallucinations. The men may have run off, stripping clothes in some cases, fallen off ledges, cliffs because of the hallucinations. The missing eyes and tongue could be birds eating the juicy bits of humans (to birds anyway).
So funny that you would mention Dyatlov Pass! Yesterday I got a Kindle notification of a suggested book on Kindle Unlimited that I might like. It is “Dyatlov Pass” a novel by Alan K Baker. I was very vaguely familiar with the incident and decided to read it. I’m about half way through. In it, a Russian reporter is given the assignment to investigate what happeneed in 2009, for a 50th anniversary feature. Not spoiling anything, but it looks like it may be headed into Slavic myth territory and I definately thought of you guys.
I can’t recommend it yet, because the second half might suck, but so far I’m quite enjoying it. This actually surprised me, because I wouldn’t have just pulled this off a shelf. I only grabbed it to try because it’s included in my monthly fee. Also, I usually like pretty descriptive writing, but this is very pared down. It works surprisingly well, maybe given the location and subject matter.
So… something you might be interested in.
Ugh! It was a bait and switch! Horrible book. Can’t unrecommend enough.
Bethany Burns says
I saw a TikTok 😉 about this (dyatluv pass) that said one explanation theorized something about the winds through the pass achieving a frequency or vibration (there was some scientific name for that) that might cause people to become very disoriented and even hallucinate – the explanation then being that they did this to themselves and/or each other because why else would they leave their tents and remove their clothing?
But regardless, I definitely think Yetis were involved!
There is a phenomenon, when you suffer hypothermia, although I don’t remember what it’s called, that makes you feel like you are overheating. So the clothes are easily explaind, but not the rest.
Donna A says
I am wracking my brain to remember if this is an actual thing or if I’ve read it ina novel somewhere but isn’t there a mythological creature that drives you mad if you hear it scream?
Sort of like a banshee or siren?
Problem is I have read lots of books and also about lots of different cultures’ mythologies. I was trying to recall rusalka but definitely not, harpies no, sirens hmm, however I really feel I remember something that you hear it and it drives you insane.
Trying to remember it is driving ME mad!
Also sort of reminds me of Kelley Armstrong’s Rockton series, no spoilers, but if you’ve read them you know what I mean.
The avalanche theory is more than iffy and I don’t understand how people from Switzerland could propose it. I live in a mountainous area which shares a mountain border with Switzerland an we have a lot of avalanches every winter, although most are caused artificially through explosions, so that they may not reach the streets uncontrolled. I am sure, that avalanches can crack heads and chests, but I really would like to know how an avalanche removes eyes, eyebrows and a tongue. Sure, there often is a lot of wood and other debris in an avalanche but what are the odds?
I love your news salad post!! It made me smile, go Hmm?!, and do independent research. Woohoo! ????
I wish for more news salad but don’t want to ask b/c I want more Hugh and Julie more. (That’s lots of mores)
This was in my mail this morning ???? Awesome sauce!!!
Ellen D says
I’m on the yeti train. A magic wave hit and it became party central.
Dyhanne S. says
A slab avalanche is plausible….It would explain the damaged tents, the lack of clothing (clothing can be ripped from the body during an avalanche), broken branches, and injuries.
They camped on a slope. Degree of slope, lighter snows topped with wet heavy snow layers, wind loading of snow, slope face, etc. all play a part in avalanche prediction.
Hypothermia can make the patient believe that they are actually over heated to the point where they will lay down in freezing cold water to “cool” off.
Small animals will commonly eat the soft tissues of the face. It doesn’t take long for a scavenger to come across a dead body in the wild.
So, based on my 20 years as a paramedic and an AVA1 certified backcountry skier……I believe the Yeti did it ????
I think avalanche is more likely than Yeti’s, but I like the Yeti theory. 😀
Yetis. How would an avalanche cut out eyes and a tongue?
Sydney Girl says
Honestly, you people have too much time on your hands – (the BDH, definitely the BDH) – which makes for very funny conspiracy theories with a few factual gems thrown in.
I’m team Yeti all the way!!! Only cause there’s no drop bears in Russia.
OK Here’s my theory on the hikers: Russian secret science project combined human, gorilla, and polar bear DNA to create large humanoid creature which looks very much like the old stories of Yeti’s. This creature escaped the lab and attacked the hikers before the military could capture it and bring it back in.
So Yeti-adjacent.. ????
No, considering the odd behavior it sounds more like they ate or drank something that drove them first crazy then killed them.
A Yeti who had been shunned by the wider Yeti community for being a psychotic carnivore rather than a socially-acceptable vegetarian was haunting the mountain pass. She sneaked in, spiked the hikers’ already-dubious homebrewed “vodka” with ergot, waited for the inevitable results, finished off the survivors, then triggered a small avalanche to cover her traces. She then moved to Seattle to hook up with an equally psychotic Bigfoot. They have been happily living in the “Jungle” there ever since, murdering scores of homeless.
Yeti, yet…… No, definitely a Yeti.
Omg I have watched all the shows on the Russian hikers!! From Ancient Aliens to What on Earth and more … lol I can’t believe it was an avalanche but … this is my dilemma… I’m also a scientist/biologist so I argue with myself. Both team facts (are unsatisfactory) and team viscious space Yeti !
I read this book about the hikers – his guess is sound – it was super interesting!
Chris W says
Something was in the coffee or something else they may have ingested. Those that were missing body parts did it to themselves or those who died of hypothermia killed them in interesting ways before running off into the cold.
Jill Dolbeare says
Yetis, but still perseverating on the sheriff and how he handle his harem.
Oooo, maybe it’s because I read the articles on the pass, but this article came up on my news feed.
Frozen the animated movie helped solve the mystery of the Dyaltov Pass.
I’m thinking someone brought some bad booze or bread that was contaminated with ergot.
An avalanche of yetis. Yetilanche.
I enjoy the complexities of dual membership in #TeamFacts and #TeamFactsBeDamned
I’m thinking a hallucinogen, either a gas or something they ate or something in the water. It would have to be something intermittent, or investigators would probably have found it. There is a disease called ergotism caused by a fungus on grain that causes hallucinations, delusions, loss of parts of the hands, feet, or earlobes, up to loss of arms and legs. Maybe the victims thought it was something on their skin and tried to wash it off.
There is something comforting about the yeti theory. If it wasn’t the yeti, then there’s some catastrophic cause of this world that can lead to this bizarre result of events. And that’s a bit disconcerting. So, here’s another for team yeti!
Laura Martinez says
Justice for yetis!!! Everything is blamed on the yetis. I think it was aliens. The little green kind.
I’m Team Yeti all the way.
Amanda in Austin says
You haven’t lived until you’ve read through those Jason Collier Facebook posts. Apparently it’s a smallish town, too! How the heck?? Not sure how well it will attach, but one lady went so far as to make a helpful infographic. I can’t imagine!
Short answer, it won’t. Helpful self reply:
I recently listened to an Audible book where the leader of the werewolf pack loudly declared, “We are not like Them. we will never be like them. We only ever hunt for food!” The “Them” were humans who were slaughtering thousands of gray wolves
out west, because the wolves had just been taken off the endangered species list.
Any question who killed the hikers?
Jim Huffman says
The hikers thing sounds like they had some sort of hallucinogen, turned on each other and themselves. Wonder if there is a hallucinogenic plant nearby. Maybe they ate it accidentally.
I’ve read an article on the Dyatlov pass incident a while ago that supported a theory that they got involved in some government business, either by accident (e.g. they witnessed something in the forest) or one or more of them were spies (which explained the radiation since they probably carried some material to pass to someone in a secret meeting). So the theory went on that they were found by the government forces, tortured (hence the missing tongues etc.) and then killed. I don’t know if this is legit, but it sounded interesting for sure.
Hey i know im late to the party but I’m on the yeti train.
I have seen a few shows were this story has been brought up. The group was warned not to go were they went by locals. That bad things happen there and it wasn’t safe. And being smart city people, they ignored the locals and went anyway. In one of the storys it was brought up that some of the bodies were radioactive.
This story is so serious and chilling. Those poor people died too soon and they were terrified. I have not yet come across any proposed cause that sounds remotely right. My condolences to their families.
Sarah Farmer says
Tough call. I’m think mushroom tea is at play here.
Chris Powell says
Um…. hard no on the Yetis. (No offense to Hubby or BF.)
“Maybe” on the avalanche.
Leaning toward death by dementia-due-to-hypothermia orr avalanche, with scavenger after-effects. (More sold on the first, due to the tents being cut away.)
Take my totally-not-an-expert opinion as you will. 🙂
Mary Peed says
Mary B. says
I’ve read several books about the Dyatlov Pass incident. I’ve often wondered what the local Mansi people think happened. They know the area and would, to me, be the ones most likely to have pertinent information.
I read in the Wikipedia article that there were 11 persons listed in the route book. However, only 10 bodies were found. Where is the other one?
The 11th person apparently turned back because his knees and joints were hurting. I thought the group consisted of carefully selected groups of experienced hikers who were completing their grade iii certificate (the highest in the soviet union). I wonder what happened to that person. I hoped they followed up on him through the years. I’m not saying he killed them, but maybe he knew something he didn’t reveal during those first years of investigation. I’ve been watching (too many and too much) crime shows and the last person who saw the victims alive usually was the key to solving the mystery.
Obviously it was a Primal Shifter that may or may not have gone Loup, after crash-landing during his escape from a dying world.