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The Mystery of Mount Everest – Bodies were transported on the mountain

The Mystery of Mount Everest – Bodies were transported on the mountain

Mount Everest.

Image: Wikimedia

“It will be a great adventure”George Mallory, 37, wrote to his mother 100 years ago.

Mallory then set out, along with 22-year-old Andrew Irvine, to become the first people to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

The last time they were seen alive they were 240 meters from the summit. Then they disappeared up the mountain.

Since then, there has been speculation as to whether the pair has managed to reach the summit or not. It has remained a mystery – but recently another mystery has emerged surrounding Mallory and Irvine.

George Mallory.

Image: Wikimedia

“It's not there anymore”

Edmund Hillary, along with Tenzing Norgay, became the first to reach the summit of Mount Everest in 1953. Seven years later, Chinese climber Xu Jing found a dead person on the mountain, believed to be Irvine.

Mallory's remains were found on the mountain in 1999 by American climber Conrad Anker. He left them where he found them.

But Jamie McGuinness, who has reached the summit five times, says extensive search efforts in 2019 showed the remains were now gone.

– Irvine's body is almost certainly no longer there. “We searched the area thoroughly using drones and saw several other bodies so we knew we hadn't missed anything of the right size,” McGuinness says.

His conclusion was that the bodies of Mallory and Irvine must have been moved sometime in the past twenty-five years – but who had done it?

Andrew Irvine.

Image: Wikimedia

“It doesn't make sense at all.”

Mark Sinnott was on the same expedition. They used GPS coordinates to determine the exact location where Mallory's remains were found in 1999 as well as the location indicated as the most likely location for Irvin's remains. They found nothing.

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-If Mallory's body was still there, we would have seen it. It's completely illogical to move it, Sinnott says.

They suspect that Chinese authorities were behind the recovery of the bodies from the mountain, but they have never been able to confirm this.

In 2012, McGuinness asked a representative of CTMA, the body responsible for Everest expeditions from the northern Tibetan side of the mountain, whether Irvine's remains had been moved to avoid negative publicity surrounding the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

He received the answer that the remains had been removed from the mountain “much earlier” – but he did not receive an answer as to who had moved them.