- Taschenbuch: 288 Seiten
- Verlag: Chronicle Books; Auflage: Reprint (1. Oktober 2014)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 1452140030
- ISBN-13: 978-1452140032
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 14,9 x 1,6 x 22,9 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 186.862 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 1. Oktober 2014
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A Junior Library Guild Selection
Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Donnie Eichar is a critically acclaimed film and TV director and producer, most notably of MTV's hit show The Buried Life.
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I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys mysteries and/or outdoor adventure or is simply looking for a engaging true story...just don't try and read it before your next ski trip!
Donny Eichar wrote the book as a combination travelogue and history. We get to see both his adventures in traveling to Russia to visit the people and locations and the history of what happened to the hikers. It's a unique resource in English because Mr. Eichar was able to talk to people who were there, either the lone Dyatlov group survivor, or many of the people who took part in the search and investigation. And if you read through much of the stuff on the internet about Dyatlov pass, this resource clears up tons of bad information. At first, I wasn't crazy about the travelogue nature of the book, but after a while, it does grow on you. It makes it more fun to both discover what happened, and to discover how we discover what happened (assuming that makes sense). The book is well written and the information is laid out in a logical fashion. All the photos from the original expedition are wonderful to see. Many of the myths around the mystery are absolutely explained away in clear and unequivocal fashion. But...
Mr. Eichar sort of, right at the end, suddenly, with not that much support, throws out a theory (removed to avoid spoiling it for others). While, as a theory, it makes a heck of a lot more sense than UFOs or mountain elves, it was presented with little lead in, no experimentation whatsoever, and nothing but some conversations with a scientist or two and lots of speculation. It seemed like Mr. Eichar had hit a page limit or something and wanted to wrap everything up. I'm not saying I don't believe it, but it just seemed to appear out of nowhere, landed in our laps, and poof, we're done with the book.
If I hadn't been so enamored with the rest of the book, this sudden stop ending might make me give this book three stars. It feels that abrupt and jarring. However, the rest of the book really is good. It's an a wonderful read. I just wish Mr. Eichar had taken a little more time and trouble at the end of it, especially after clearly putting so much time and effort into the rest of the book.
Such a sad and tragic story but it's wonderful to see the lives of the 9 brave individuals and expert hikers be immortalized this way. Eichar was incredibly respectful to the 9 hikers and their families and shares the information in the most objective manner.
What the author does NOT do is help in understanding what happened to them. The incident is considered a mystery, because experts of many stamps and varieties cannot figure out what happened. The author himself gives away his spectrum of considered possibilities by eliminating anything paranormal or "unscientific" in the sense of what we currently find acceptable in science. This is a sort of prima facie declaration of what bucket of possibilities he is willing to consider. In short the truth as he is willing to accept it or interpret it.
Spoiler alert. The author concludes that what was responsible was subsonic sound created naturally by the site. However, the searchers/rescuers spent months at the site and experienced nothing similar. In addition, arctic recovery teams were horrified and mystified by the condition of the bodies. Several of the bodies appeared to have been burned or exposed to radiation. This the author attributes to a post death suntan. Again, if this is at all usual you would expect that VERY experienced search and rescue teams (frankly, primarily body recovery crews) would have seen this before.
One thing that would have been extremely valuable was a topographic map of the site and the location of the bodies as found upon it. This was missing and I had to interpret from what I read and came up with entirely different conclusions as to who left the tent and when: (the team was in arctic conditions of sub 40 degree Fahrenheit with some wind) and leaving the tent for any distance improperly prepared meant certain death.
And yet we have three bodies of what I would interpret as the bravest and most impulsive leaving the tent first under NON panicked condition. Indeed, one of their ice axes was thrust into the snow as if it had been taken as protection and then thrust into the ground as if not needed. These are the team members with the "Sunburn". The rest of the team left through the back of the tent. There were four cuts, all pretty small and tentative. Again, if these people were out of their minds in fear wouldn't a slash be more expected? And why not out through the door? Again madness and mad fear covers a lot of unexplained facts, but when it doesn't LOOK like mad fear, then what?
Part of the team had horrendous physical injuries. "Blunt force trauma." as they called it, but one had thoracic damage congruent with being struck by a car at 60 MPH. This is supposed to have happened by falling into a ravine which seems to have been filled mostly with snow. Again, perhaps his information is better than mine, but it is odd to say the least. The clothing was tattered, and one woman was found with two stockings upon one foot and a sweater wrapped around the other, with part of her pants leg torn away. A logical substitution and explainable by people coming out this fear etc., but it still doesn't feel correct. Several of these kids were EXTREMELY hardy and tough minded and perhaps of near genius intelligence. They light a small fire instead of the whole tree? Also, clothing had been REMOVED and had high levels of radioactivity. This is barely explained in a believable way, but it also seems to be the clothing that was removed.
My analysis is that several members left the tent surprised but not in fear (the door flap was only half opened). The saw something terrifying but dangerous and the safely evacuated but without returning to the tent. While this was going on, the remaining members quietly (and in fear) surreptitiously exited through a small hole cut in the back of the tent (again, why not just out through the door?) Then they either fell into a ravine that didn't have snow into it OR there was some sort of explosion or something struck them. Once removed from the tent without skis or footwear the weather finished everyone off.
To cap it off, campers from nearby described fireballs over the area where the tragedy took place, and the last photo taken by the dead does indeed show a moving aerial object. This evidence is rejected out of hand by the author because he KNOWS that something weird took place, and to bring in the fireballs and burns and radioactivity also brings in the possibility of UFO's whatever they are. Eschewing this course out of hand he introduces the subsonic sound solution without supplying any other such incidents or accounts from nearby natives who have lived in the area for millennia, or from anywhere else in the world really.
I would have appreciated better maps and a forensic dissection and timeline for the deaths of the campers and such DO exist. In the end, while humanizing the story of the deaths the theory doesn't explain all of the evidence. There's a reason why this is considered a mystery. I would be very interested to hear from mountain climbers and extreme hikers if they have ever experienced panic and loss of their minds really from subsonic sound or any other rational sound (Not the sound say of a bear or avalanche.
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