For every scent of time travel, a little bit of radiation lingers in the air. Bend temporal reality enough and you'll have a group of hikers wander out into the snow to catch a sight of who knows what's going on that it's still a mystery 55 years later.
Half of the time when a time traveller ends up spreading cheeks-naked on the other end it's because all the radiation burns from their clothes was too much to handle (cf. Terminator). That or it disintegrated from the energy of displacing oneself from the spacetime continuum. Discharge everywhere. Depend on your diapers. (The phone booth used by Bill & Ted, and the DeLorean from Back to the Future, act as Faraday cages and keep the occupants clothed.)
So in the Ural mountains, on the night of 2 February, 1959, nine skiers cut open their tents and wandered about in the snow. They died weeks later, with their clothes found saturated in high levels of radiation. This is known as the Dyatlov Pass incident. Why? Because a 23-year-old by the name of Igor Dyatlov organised the whole expedition and when someone dies in a spectacular way it's customary to name their death trail after them. If there's a group, the most photogenic or the leader takes the prize. Why did they die though? Who knows but a half century of speculation.
Since their clothes were soaked in radiation, and not vinegar (a natural laundry additive (ask an old lady)), and that they set out in the middle of a mountain pass, the evidence is clearly pointing to something.
A decade and some earlier, The Philadelphia Experiment. At the end of 1943, the US Navy allegedly disappeared the USS Eldridge. USS Allegedly, in some hoax reports, was not just cloaked in an invisibility spectrum, but actually displaced itself in both time and space. Of course, the crew on board were reportedly (in those that report the certain version) fused into the hull and ship's core when it reappeared.
Bodies appearing in the middle of things is another one of those warnings you'll hear from time travel booking agencies. (These agencies are becoming obsolete as the Internet and local papers are the preferred methods to locate such services). If you don't set your coordinates correctly you could end up on the wrong side of a mountain, banging away at the door while your Eloi girlfriend is dragged away by mid-Ferrigno Hulk, post-civilisation type creatures.
University students on a mountain side, soaked in radiation days later and all dead. A military vessel unaccounted for and then accounted for.
One prevailing theory on the Dyatlov Pass group is that they fell victim to an avalanche.
It's obvious what really happened on that pass.
Most of the hikers were from the Ural Polytechnical Institute and Dyatlov himself was an engineering student. H.G. Wells' The Time Machine was published in 1895, plenty of time for it to find its way into one of their reading lists. One of them must have devised such a machine, and took the group out to test it.
Unfortunately, a calibration error reaches back in time instead of pushing it away. Reaching back to the United States it dials back into the USS Eldridge in port.
When a stinking big navy ship appears out of nowhere, it's going to cause a ripple in the atmosphere. One large enough to cause a massive vibration in the continuum and shock a mountain slide.
The sudden appearance of the nautical war beast also brought with it the radiation that surrounds a time-travelling object. All that radiation ended up soaked by the students.
Baffled investigators said the group died as a result of "a compelling unknown force" — and then abruptly closed the case and filed it as top secret.
With enough force you could probably go back in time to watch all the people from the future/present falling over each other trying to kill Hitler, (or some other baby his nanny would replace Hitler with (spoiler alert: it was in a story)). And over by the courtyard you would hear the cantillation as they place bets on who would be first to the idea of using time travel in such a way.
Either you end up in line to kill Hitler or you end up dead from the radiation poisoning when you're outside the vehicle. Worse if it's just passing through.
This is why you don't meddle in time travel.
Written on Friday, 7 March 2014