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  Mallory and Irvine The Final Chapter: The Mail Bag 12/5/2004


We have received hundreds of e-mails on the Mallory and Irvine Story. Many are very interesting. We think you will enjoy many of them.

Looking down©EverestNews.com

Reader's Letter: Gentlemen, Thank you for your continued research and insight on the Mallory & Irvine mystery.  It's been fascinating.  What can we look forward to in 2005?  Will there be another expedition to the North Face? All the best and have a happy and healthy Holiday.

EverestNews.com:  Details. Nothing to announce for 2005 at this point. Tom West does plan on returning in 2006. If anyone would like to support his return please let us know . While some might return in secret, Tom West's return will surely be noticed. Therefore, there is no sense in trying to keep his return secret.

Reader's Letter:  I have enjoyed immensely your attempts to solve this mystery and may be one day someone will find evidence north of the second step.

Reader's Letter: Dear My friends, Your trying for clarify about History of Mallory & Irvine is very incredible and very honorable!!

I think when we can clarify this matter with out any thinking about it and first of all, we should send them our best respect & regards for their try to reach to the summit of EVEREST. Best Regards

Reader's Letter:  Hello again to EverestNews.com: First let me preface this by saying that I feel it is extremely significant that the picture of Mallory’s wife and the British Union Jack flag were not found on Mallory’s body.  If you take this detail and add it together with 1) Mallory and Irvine had probably separated earlier in the day and 2) the relatively good condition of Mallory’s body indicating a fall of a few meters instead of a fall of hundreds of meters and 3) the injury to Mallory’s head which very well may have caused his fall (rock fall) and 4) his goggles were tucked away inside a pocket in his clothing (indicating lateness of descent) and 5) the pack frame for carrying O2 bottles not being strapped to him indicating that it had been jettisoned at some point higher up and 6) eyewitness accounts of Irvine’s body much higher up near the ridge...............my thoughts are as follows. 

Mallory probably did separate from Irvine at some point and continued on alone taking with him as many of the O2 bottles as he could carry  Remember here that according to Odell, the pair was enveloped in a squall or afternoon storm at some point during the climb and they disappeared into the mists.  Since they were together at that point (assuming Odell’s credibility of the sighting) then the separation occurred sometime after that.  That leaves Mallory a few hours to somehow gain the ridge above the 2nd step or traverse the face and go through the Great Couloir alone and make his solo summit bid.  The summit area and ramps, and likely ascent and descent routes into and out of the Great Couloir need to be searched very carefully.  The former for the picture and the flag and the latter for the O2 pack frame.  But there is one more twist.  There is one spot very near the summit that, when the visibility is very poor, has been mistaken for the actual summit by modern climbers.  The spot was described by a Russian as ‘dropping away on all sides’ and assumed to be the top of the mountain with the true summit out of view due to white-out conditions some dozens of meters or so further to the Southwest.  This area needs to be searched as well.  If Mallory got up there in low visibility and assumed he had summited, he would have buried the flag and picture there and began his descent.  In my opinion, he either made the true summit or the false summit and left the things he had promised everyone for 3 years to leave at the top.  That these items were missing from his belongings when found 75 years later is the most significant evidence for me personally.  Hopefully one of these items will be found someday at or near the summit and settle the deal once and for all.  I personally don’t buy all this nonsense from Hillary that if you don’t make the round trip it doesn’t count.  If the guy managed to summit the mountain first and died in the process, he still is the first guy to summit the mountain...period.  And if that is proven at some point then he should get the credit for being the first and Hillary and Tenzing the second and third.    

            Here are a few questions for you.....how possible in your opinion will it to be to find anything so high up near or at the summit such as a buried picture or flag? 

EverestNews.com:  It is possible, but you would need the right men (and/or women!), the right amount of oxygen and hopefully a day when few are going up. You would need highly elite climbers who would go to do just that.

Reader's Letter:  How much does the terrain change that high with the passing seasons?  Does the summit snow cover erode and increase and decrease in depth over time?  Has anyone ever endeavored to study the physical topography of the summit area to gauge how it changes in depth and appearance?  And if a search team in the next few years does reach the summit early enough in the day in good weather to conduct a thorough survey, what will they actually do to find anything.....dig up the summit area or?????  Is there any technology in existence such as ground penetrating radar or other devices that are light enough to be carried to the top which would allow a search of the summit snow pack without digging?  I know all of this sounds ridiculous but they are legitimate questions in my view.  I mean....sure you can search the summit for a buried picture and flag but how exactly are you going to conduct that search?  Isn’t that stuff hard as rock below the shallow snow cover?

EverestNews.com:  A summit "dig". It would be interesting! All possible... Yes the amount of snow changes...

It would need to be carefully planned with all the climbers going up... Maybe in the Autumn...

Reader's Letter continued:  As far as the O2 pack frame, if Mallory did not tumble it over the brink then I am confident it will be found someday up near the summit area or in the descent area along the sides of the Great Couloir somewhere.

EverestNews.com:  Finding his frame up high would be interesting... No signs of his frame or oxygen bottles on what is referred to as the fall line or on the ledge below his (George's)  body....

Reader's Letter continued: In the matter of the camera, I have sensed that you are downplaying its existence in the first place in some of your postings.  If Mallory and Irvine separated along the way with Mallory continuing upwards then it would not make much sense for Irvine to keep the camera.  My conclusion is that if the camera existed and was in Mallory’s possession that it was probably lost during the fall forever. 

EverestNews.com: Yes, we think it is time to move on from the camera.  One, after researching this, no one knows for sure that there was a camera that day!  Two, with much of the mountain searched, the likelihood of finding Sandy's body and/or the camera is now very low.  We think it is time to look for “trace evidence.”  From the oxygen frame, to the pieces of their rope, there is a paper trail on Everest!

Reader's Letter continued: Great site and we have really enjoyed your regular discussions.  Please keep everybody informed as to your next proposed trip to the mountain.  Obviously I am consumed by the mystery!  Thanks and be safe..........

Reader's Letter:  Curious to know of any progress being made in examining the photos and film clips?

EverestNews.com:  We are making progress. There are some possible clues in the film, but yes there are only so many hours in the day.

There are two objects that the film clearly shows that our climbers did not see. Recall the climbers are at 8000 meter plus and these cameras are high definition lens. (Men cannot see that good at sea level.) One object is a piece of glass, shaped in a circle. We want that piece of glass. We haven't figured out what the second object is.  It was a small object that was under the oxygen bottle.

There are other possible items.  But we definitely would like to take a closer look at those two.

EverestNews.com: Thanks for all the e-mails and support. Feel free to submit your comments to and thank you for your support.

Dispatches

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