Tragic discovery under melting glacier linked to plane crash

·2-min read

Newspapers that were believed to be onboard a plane that crashed in the 1960s have been discovered under a melting glacier.

On January 24, 1966, a London-bound Air India plane crashed into the French Alps, killing all 106 passengers and 11 crew members on board.

Now, 54 years after the tragedy, a local restaurant owner recovered a number of newspapers dated just days before the fatal crash on the Bossons glacier, which is about a 45-minute walk from Timothee Mottin’s restaurant.

Relics from a 1966 plane crash were found in the French Alps by a local restaurant owner. Source: Getty Images
Relics from a 1966 plane crash were found in the French Alps by a local restaurant owner. Source: Getty Images

One of the papers found was a copy of the ‘National Herald’, with India’s first female Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, featured on the front page after her win.

In addition to the National Herald, Mr Mottin also found copies of other daily Indian newspapers, dated either the 20th or the 21st of January, including The Statesman and The Economic Times.

Mr Mottin told AFP the newspapers were drying but they were all in good condition and soon the relics would be consulted.

A picture taken on July 9, 2020, at the Bossons glacier near Chamonix in the French Alps, shows a 1966 copy of Indian newspaper The Herald with a healdline announcing the election of Indira Gandhi, likely to have been on board the Air India Boeing 707 "Kangchenjunga" aircraft that crashed in the nearby Mont Blanc massif on January 24, 1966. -
A dozen newspapers dated January 20 and 21, 1966, were found on July 7, 2020, by the manager of a nearby cafe-restaurant. Source: AFP

However, he said he often finds items from the crash whenever he walks the glacier.

“It is not an achievement. Whenever we walk on the glacier with friends, we find vestiges of the crash. With experience, we know where they are,” he told Le Daupiné Libéré newspaper.

According to Ouest France, Mr Mottin said it was lucky he found the newspapers, as the glacier had probably just begun to melt – and if left exposed to the elements they would have deteriorated quickly.

Thimotee Mottin, manager  Cabane du Cerro near the Bossons glacier, poses with copies of Indian newspapers likely to have been on board the Air India Boeing 707 in 1966.  Source: AFP/Getty Images
Timothee Mottin poses with copies of Indian newspapers likely to have been on board the Air India Boeing 707 in 1966. Source: AFP/Getty Images

Mr Mottin has a collection of items which have been recovered from the plane crash displayed in his restaurant and the newspapers will soon join the exhibit.

According to the BBC, in 2013 a box of valuable stones including rubies, emeralds and sapphires were found and were also relics from the crash.

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