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Just An Opinion
- Publié sur Amazon.com
If you dislike my review, then please feel free to write your own, but the following is my personal take on the book.
The book is written in workmanlike fashion, and almost overwhelms you with details, as well as Russian names that you cannot pronounce.
It is set against the backdrop of the cult-like, insular, and highly paranoid world of the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War. The military had installations virtually all over the countryside. Some were secret, some not, but there appeared to be no limit to the number and kind of weapons systems they were experimenting with in order to get a leg up on NATO and the United States. Could this have somehow been a factor in the tragedy? Perhaps.
When you examine something like this, you need to avoid the two extremes: What I (and others) refer to as "know nothing skepticism", where you insist there MUST be be a "simple" explanation (there may not be). You also need to steer clear of wild speculation, where you assume there MUST be some paranormal, or extraterrestrial, "answer" even when there is no hard evidence for it. While the freaky and wholly inexplicable "light show" observed by two other credible individuals in that same general area in later years would definitely be enough to seriously spook anyone, there is nothing to indicate the doomed hikers ever encountered it, or anything like it.
Three things - but little else - seem certain. The first is that none of the theories of what happened - however mundane or fantastic they may be - seem to fit all the facts. That is part of what makes this story so captivating.
The infrasound theory is intriguing, but remains unsubstantiated. We can say that infrasound is capable of this, or that, but so what? Absent empirical evidence, it remains a somewhat plausible, but speculative, and to some extent, inadequate scenario in my estimation.
The second is that whatever the perceived threat was, it was not likely viewed by the group as emanating from the forest below. Otherwise, it would have made no sense for them to descend the slope and attempt to find some cover at the treeline. Thus, the danger was probably either at - or approaching - the tent, or somehow above them; either in the sky, or higher up the hill. I have not personally seen anything that points to a Yeti - or any other animal for that matter, real or mythical - being involved in this. I think some people like the abominable snowman scenario because it would definitely provide the requisite fear level that could cause otherwise sane people to panic.
Lastly, whatever transpired, something extraordinary occurred that was bizarre enough to cause intelligent, experienced back country skiers to completely lose their wits and behave in an irrational way that essentially ensured their own destruction.
When you add up all the evidence, including the condition and location of the bodies when they were found, it really does appear that something very strange took place here. Remember, this was not some clueless suburban family out for a weekend trip to the snow. These were fit, equipped, and capable people who knew exactly what they were getting into. Yet, they all perished under mysterious circumstances.
The fact that high ranking Soviets were so involved in the search - and that the government closed off the area for years after the incident - suggests the authorities knew (or at least thought they knew) more about what had actually happened than they were willing to admit publicly.
A enduring, genuine true life mystery and an entertaining read.