A new Discovery Channel documentary may provide answers to the many questions surrounding the disappearance of nine college students in 1959.
“Russian Yeti: The Killer Lives” airs on the Discovery Channel this Sunday, June 1, and in it, American explorer Mike Libecki attempts to piece together bits of evidence that he thinks may prove not only the existence of the Yeti, but also that the Yeti was responsible for these past disappearances.
On February 2, 1959, nine college students hiked up the Dyatlov Pass in the Ural Mountains of Russia. Alhough they attempted to make it through the snow and ice, none of them returned from their trip and their bodies were later discovered badly mauled. Some of the students had broken ribs and fractured skulls, and one girl was even found with her tongue missing and her eyes gauged out.
Since then, investigators have been unable to determine what caused the deaths. Many people have come up with their own theories, but none have been able to prove anything definitively. In the new documentary, however, Libecki goes on a quest to prove that a Russian Yeti killed the students and says he hopes to provide some answers to loved ones of the murdered students.
“I’ve spent a lot of time alone in the mountains and have had my share of near-death experiences,” said Libecki. “I know if I went missing, I’d want my family to know what happened to me.”
In the documentary, Libecki interviews 73-year-old Igor Burtsev, an expert on the alleged Russian Yeti.
“He's the world's leading expert on the Russian Yeti," said Libecki. "He's dedicated his entire life to search for this creature."
Burtsev is convinced that the Yeti is real, and in the documentary, he seeks to prove that it was responsible for the students' deaths.
"They have bigger foot than the human, and they have short necks, almost without necks," said Burtsev. "[The footprints are] everywhere. For last 50 years, I've find signs of Yeti, confirmed by reports of eyewitnesses. They're about 5,000."
Libecki commented, "That's a huge number of sightings for a creature that supposedly doesn't exist.”