Mont Blanc climber received half of the jewelry he found at the Air India crash site in 1966 – .

Mont Blanc climber received half of the jewelry he found at the Air India crash site in 1966 – .

Divides the value of 100 sapphires, emeralds and rubies found in a metal box in the receding crystal

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A young man was hiking the Bossons Glacier on Mont Blanc in 2013 when he saw a metal box on the ice and, inside, found a bag marked “Made in India”. It contained 100 colored gemstones – sapphires, emeralds and rubies – which had been buried in ice for 55 years.

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As required by law, he turned them over to the police, who over the years tried unsuccessfully to locate the owner. Today, the treasure – valued at around US $ 340,000 – is shared equally between the climber and the landowner, who in this case are the local authorities.

An Air India plane, Malabar Princess, crashed on the southwest face of Mont Blanc on November 3, 1950, killing 58 people. And almost in the same place 16 years later, on January 24, 1966, an Air India Boeing 707 crashed after verbal miscommunication of flight controls on its route from Mumbai to New York, killing all 117 people. (Among those on board was Indian nuclear program pioneer Homi Jehangir Bhabha.)

According to, investigators say the markings on the jewelry bags suggest the box belonged to a passenger on the 1966 flight, who may have taken jewelry to New York City to sell.

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This 2012 photo provided by the Office de Haute Montagne de Chamonix shows a diplomatic bag belonging to the Indian government and found by French mountain guide Arnaud Christmann, reading in part “Courrier diplomatique, Ministère des Affaires Étrangères”. Photo by Arnaud Christmann / OHM / AFP / Getty

The highest mountain in Europe, Mont Blanc rises to 4,809 meters. It is located in the southeast of France, near where its border meets Switzerland and Italy. The climber, originally from Bourg-Saint-Maurice, was not identified at the time for his own safety due to the value of the find.

After being informed earlier this year that he would receive part of the jewelry, the climber told Le Parisien newspaper that he “did not regret being honest” and that he would use part of the money. to renovate his apartment.

Over the years, other climbers have found suitcases, clothing and human remains. In 1956 part of the landing gear of the Malabar Princess was recovered, and in 2008 an engine. Last year, logs were discovered in the melting ice.

They were discovered by another local, Timothée Mottin, who said at the time that “they are drying now but they are in very good condition. You can read them. The headlines announced the election of Indian Prime Minister Indira Ghandi.

“It’s not unusual,” Mottin told Le Daupiné Libéré newspaper. “Every time we walk on the glacier with friends, we find vestiges of the crash. With experience you know where they are. They are dragged by the glacier according to their size.


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