For most people, the most horrifying thing to happen on a hiking/camping trip would be too many bugs or running out of toilet paper.
For nine Russian skiers on a short trip through the Ural mountains in 1959, however, it got much worse. Sometime in the middle of the freezing winter night, something absolutely destroyed their tents and left their bodies strewn at various distances – up to a mile – from the campsite, half dressed and shoeless.
Most of them froze to death – their bodies were only discovered once the snow thawed months later. But for others, the cause of death was more of a mystery. One of their heads was bashed in, two had shattered ribs, and one – get this – was missing his tongue and eyes.
So, at this point, you’re thinking it’s got to be either a Yeti or an Ice Dragon to blame, right? Maybe the Russian government was thinking that too. The Soviet military opened an investigation into what happened, but abruptly closed it after three months, claiming “The spontaneous power of nature” was the culprit. Then, the investigation was classified and kept locked down until the 1970s.
It’s vague conclusions like this that get the conspiracy theorists worked up, and I’ll be the first to admit I’m one of them. After all, there was absolutely no evidence of foul play, so some theories had already posited it could have been a hurricane, an avalanche, or a freak wind storm that had caused all the devastation. If the report had found that it was any of those things, frankly, you’d think that it would have said, “These nine people were killed by an avalanche.”
But instead, we’re getting “The spontaneous power of nature” ripped this guy’s eyeballs out and left all of these half-naked skiers for dead in the snow?
If that’s what nature does, I’m never leaving my house again. Thanks, Russia.
It seems like the explanation wasn’t good enough for modern researchers, either. The investigation was reopened in 2019, but only to investigate the three “most likely [theories],” all of which are “somehow connected with natural phenomena.” That’s fine if you really still think it was an avalanche, but if you’re one of the theorists who think it was aliens, or that it was all staged to cover up an advanced weapons program? Well, no contemporary technology in the world is going to uncover something the Russians want to keep secret.
Including Ice Dragons.