Dyatlov Pass

“There is no wind, and yet the bushes and branches are bending, as if someone is nearby…” – Prokopiy Bakhtiyarov, a hunter

According to folk beliefs, Kul-no-yer, the king of demons, and Vor-Ne, the patroness of the forest, hold sway over the Chistop*Chistop means “howler” in the Mansi language mountain range. There also dwell invisible giants whom only children can see. The Mansi sometimes brought the kids along to Chistop as “watchers”.

Following some new concepts of the Soviet Air Defense command, construction of the radar site on the mountain began in 1978. It was after two years of laying the road on the mountain relief and erecting a fort, that it become evident that the radar is standing on top of a massive electromagnetic pocket. Semiconductors instantly burned out, copper and steel wires rapidly turned to ash. There would be a signal, and then, it would disappear; the site seemed to be under an impenetrable cap for several days. Balls of lightning would fly out of the telephones in the winter. Stunning light shows unfolded in the night sky; and during cloudless weather, rectangular shadows glided across the mountains. Someone’s presence could always be felt in the most deserted and impassible places.

“This same horror was in the sky when the masters of the mountain decided to show us some kind of spectacle. Quite frankly, I got cold feet and went into the house. I am not even sure what to compare this to: a mix of a laser and some sort of images… […] Then, the Mansi said that we should not see this, that the masters might take away my sight.” – From the evidence of Vladimir, the Commander of the Chistop radar site (1980-85)

THE HOWLER