Thursday, September 10, 2009

In the Ural mountains in 1959 nine hikers died under mysterious circumstances. They got lost in a snowstorm and set up camp somewhere unfamiliar, and they never came down again. Three of the hikers had terrible internal injuries--skull damage, chest fractures--but no external wounds. One was missing her tongue. They were all found outside of their tent, under dressed for the snowy conditions, and their footprints the only ones around, their tent ripped open from the inside.

Officially, they all died because of an "unknown compelling force".

They were all maybe blinded and maybe covered in radiation, maybe all rendered gray haired that night. They were maybe killed by military testing or avalanches or UFOs or a yeti or the Iron Giant, irradiated and angry about being blown up. The Soviet government closed the area for three years and made all the files secret for thirty years, piling mysteries on top of tragedy. There could be an explanation out there somewhere, buried under everything else, but not one that would suit. Mystery always tastes better than fact.

In case you were wondering what I've been thinking about, lately.

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