The complex subject of climbers memories above 8000 meters.
intrigued by the difference in the posture of the body believed to be that of
Sandy Irvine as related by Mr Xu Jing and your (I think) unidentified other
climber/source you used to help develop your intriguing theory of M&I's last
Jing described the scene thusly: "The body was lying straight, facing up and
the feet were pointing towards Everest."
However, one of your others sources described the scene as: "In another
interview he said the body was 'leaning like this' as he leaned to his left
and put his hands up to the left side of his head and pulled his knees towards
his chest. He also said that he was on 'lot of snow'. i.e., a snow slab, not
explanation for the seeming disparity, do you think? Could
have changed the body's position at some point?
A. EverestNews.com: If you ever get 2 climbers at 8000
meters, even in 2004 to tell you the SAME story, be worried. Does that help?
Q. [follow up]: I hear you. I've spent most of my adult life
interviewing people who have witnessed various crimes,
accidents, public events and so on. There's always overlap but seldom to never
is there agreement ... sometimes even on major details, never mind the
And that's at ground level.
Anyway, I can't tell you how much
I'm enjoying this. I still think you're theory is mostly, if not completely,
right about what happened that day.
First of all, let me tell you that I've been following your dispatches since
last spring, when your team was still high on Everest looking for evidence.
The interview of Xu Jing is
very interesting, but only if you believe him 100% I've been reading about the
M&I mystery for 10 years now, and up until now, I had never heard of his
story, In fact, the only Chinese report claiming to have found a body was the
one of Wang in 1975.
if they saw Irvine's body but the description of how it was laying doesn't
agree with the description given previously reported? So is there a third
body that is an "old dead" or isn't it a matter of translation? The
accounting given by EverestNews.com was that the body was in a sitting
position legs pulled up to the torso. Xu's account is that Irving was lying
flat with his feet pointing to the summit. I am confused.
A. EverestNews.com: We received probably around 5-6 emails
on this issue, of why climbers stories vary. To your point about 100% of Xu
statements. If you try to analyze 100% of any Everest climber's statement
about minor details, you will certainly error many times. Look at the big
picture and then the small details... Let's see if we can explain in simple
terms which all can understand and using examples.
Let us tell you a story. A
climber told us he summited alone on Everest. He saw lights ahead of him all the way to
the summit. He wondered what the lights were, but he said never passed any climbers.
No climbers ever passed him, he said. He
said he was on the summit alone.
In his pictures, other climbers are in his summit pictures!!!
Somewhere around 25 climbers passed him on the way down or were on the Summit
with him. He never saw them. Ok, that is a bit of an extreme case. Let's look
at other cases.
Another story, a few years back some climbers said
these others climbers (Koreans) did not reach the summit of Everest. We
politely asked the Koreans if they had some summit pictures, and they promptly sent them over, and Yes,
you got it, the same climbers who were saying the Koreans lied, were on the
summit with the Koreans in the summit pictures!!! We could tell you probably a
100 stories like that.
Let's look at this another way: While some rush to report
when a climber posts a "death report" on a web site or tells someone, anyone
it seems about it, some report it as FACT. What do we at EverestNews.com do? We call the mountain, we call
people we can trust, and even then we want CONFIRMATION. What is normally
released by many others is normally a rumor, because the climber does not
"KNOW", that the other climber has died, he had just "heard" it.
Hearing something does not make it true. The result
in the last 3-4 years is that there have been around 20 FALSE deaths reported
by others on 8000 meter peaks. EverestNews.com has never reported a
FALSE death. This is not rocket science. In our opinion, rushing the news out,
without confirmation and hoping to get a few visitors to your rag or sell a few
newspapers is simply irresponsible! But it continues... Judge
Let's look at another case just a few years ago. In this
case, note climbers with
oxygen, Sherpa support, fixed lines, etc. There is a rescue, some claim
others did not help. However, they are not sure who these climbers were that
did not help (FLAG
ONE), they seem not to know how
many climbers climbed by them (FLAG TWO), and yes all of them have different stories
(FLAG THREE). The
TRUTH is there, but not one of the climbers knew it correctly with all the
details it appeared. For sure there was no agreement. What is really weird
about that story is the guy who was rescued seemed to know more than the
Some clearly don't get it why climbers tell different
stories. We have talked to thousands of Everest climbers. The mind clearly does
not function well above 8000 meters for many of these climbers. So why are climbers wrong, how can they report something
wrong. They are human! Many are out of their element. Most are exhausted and
at their mental and physical limit.
For most it is their first and only time up there. They don't know where they are
going. They make mistakes, and
many do not always know the world is watching. Are climbers liars? No, not most
anyways.... Do they recall things well from above 8000 meters? Generally no. Sherpas appear to recall things
much better and are clearly on
average much stronger than western climbers, but that is another story.
Does this mean all climbers stories are this bad, no. So
what does it all mean? Again, we suggest you look at the big picture. If you
look at the rescue we mentioned above. The man was rescued. Climbers went by him, did they help
or not? Need to check to see. Need to figure out who all was there (always a
good place to start). Get as many stories as possible and compare. See what
the big picture says. Sometimes even then not everything adds up. We still have
questions about that rescue.
Let's look at written reports of Wu's death. They vary all over the place.
Wu died in 1975. We found his body in 2004.
If you look at the various reports over the years, these stories of where Wu
died and was found range all over the North face of Everest. Hundreds of
meters differences. When our guys
found Wu and we were looking at these earlier reports, these reports frankly had us very confused along with the English writing in his boot.
We even wondered aloud,
could history be wrong about who all died up there? No, history was not
wrong. Climbers and/or writers of climbers stories were wrong. We have Wu on
film. Wu is where Wu is, not somewhere else. He was not covered
with rocks, nor was he in a crevasse. Did Wu's body move to that location? No one
knows. But that still would not account for the various stories on Wu that are
just plain wrong.
Who else found Wu over the years? Who knows. It is very hard to tell from
their stories. However we would guess that some saw Wu's body from a distance
and they got the story
wrong; or the writer of the story got it wrong.
To the big picture, back to Sandy Irvine. Are there any
other climbers dead up there? History say no. No evidence to date has shown
unknown dead climbers up there. All of the eyewitnesses to date put Sandy
on the ridge on Mt Everest. It seems certain to us that Sandy died on the
ridge. We can't believe all of these climbers are wrong. We see no evidence
that he died elsewhere. 5 men say Sandy's body and/or an "old dead" climber was on the
ridge of Everest. Bingo! None say this climber was in a down suit, etc. We
believe them, if others don't it is a free world, well most of the world...
You have heard 2 accounts on our web site, and they vary
somewhat. If we gave you 5 accounts, you would have 5 accounts that vary
somewhat. If you had 5 accounts that were the same, then run!
What is interesting in our opinion is that the Chinese
bodies… They don’t say ”old dead”, they say "Mallory" and "Irvine". They studied the British expeditions and actually give credit to the
We could have given you more details on Xu; yes the
interview was much longer than those brief statements we released. We could
give you much more detail on the others. But our goal is to move forward. We
are moving forward. New information is coming in weekly.
To the question of Chinese reports: Actually if you dig deep and look you
will find there are a few Chinese reports out there. For example, in 1996, Samdrup
the leader of the Chinese expedition to summit the 14 8000 meter peaks and an
Everest Summiter himself in 1975, reported that Wang found a body at 8100
meter in 1975. Much of what the Chinese said over the years, has not been
Did Xu find Sandy Irvine? Yes we believe he did. Can he
recall every single detail correctly from over 40 years ago, of course not.
Does he know the basics, yes. We believe Xu is a good man, a man who has been
through a lot, a man who did not become famous because he did not make it up the
final meters. A man with little to lose now and a man ready to tell the truth.
The question is, can some handle the truth?
Q. [Question continued] Secondly, if Jing indeed
found a body between the first and second step, why has nobody else found it
again in all of these years, in a so well known route?
A. EverestNews.com: Others did find the body, believed
to be Sandy Irvine, later.
Others saw a body up there. There is no question as to this fact.
[Question continued] As
you have quoted many times, people can get easily confused at high places...
A. EverestNews.com: People recall things differently, all
the time on Everest....
Q. [Question continued]:
In your theory, your source
found the body below the first step, in an off route location.
A. EverestNews.com: We never said that. We said he said he found
"old dead" on or near the northeast ridge, above 8400 meters quite far from
where George Mallory's body was found.
And that is really what is important here in our opinion.
While those wanting to find the camera and the potential
riches that it may hold, surely want to know exactly where this location is,
what does it really mean?
If Sandy died this way or that way 50 meters or 100 meters??
The big picture is, that these climbers are stating Sandy died on the ridge
very high up on Everest and George Mallory's body is NOT at "on or near the
northeast ridge, above 8400 meters" nor is George Mallory's body on the ridge
of Everest or anywhere near the ridge of Mt Everest, nor do we believe there
is even a chance George fell all the way down from the ridge to where his body
was found by the Chinese in 1975. The evidence clearly shows George Mallory
did not fall from the ridge on Mt Everest. We see that, as what is important in all of this. These
climbers clearly died very far apart. Why?
We understand those who have been selling their fall theory
might not like this. But we can't change the fact, George Mallory did not fall
from the ridge of Mt Everest. It did not happen.
Q. Did any of the people you
interviewed mention finding anything above the 2nd step? I would think there
would have to be something up there if anyone went beyond this point. Maybe
its not been found yet. I sure wish Odell's sighting had been documented
better but, at the time, he could not have known how important this event
would become. If Odell put them above the second step it solves a lot of
problems and creates one or two. If Odell puts them above the second step
then they summited and had some disaster down climbing the second step which
brings in the Mallory down climbing with injures as stated above. If Odell
puts them above the 3rd step its the same, they made it! If Odell puts them
at the first step then the summit deal is much more difficult figure out.
Keep up the good work as each
piece of the puzzle make it more intriguing like the Mallory Ice Axe
discovery. I sure would like to see that Axe right beside Irving's in a
Museum some day.
Thanks again for your hard
work and efforts
A. EverestNews.com: We did not really
ask many questions on that subject. You see sometimes the answer a climber
gives are based on the questions asked and how they are asked. We focused on
Some assume because a climber "did not say that", that
did not happen. Was the question asked? Ask the question and then listen... Then
ask others. Ask the questions multiple times to the same climber, different
ways. See if the answer is the same or different. Listen, tape it.
seem to recall, in your earlier stuff a month or two ago, your placing the
body at about 8400. The mitten was at 8440, the axe at 8450. The 1st step is
higher still at about 8550. Yet, without seeming to spot this discrepancy,
yesterday, you put Andy above the 1st step.
A. EverestNews.com: Sorry, we never have put a specific location to
the Sandy's body publicly, as we have discussed and we do not plan to.
Based on what we have been told to date the
search for Sandy Irvine's body appears to be over. We certainly are not going
to go hunt for body parts. May
Sandy Irvine rest in peace. The next Chapter for us will focus on where George
We ask that you hold your questions for now,
but feedback and thoughts are always welcome at EverestNews.com
Next The Ice Axe
We went to Mount Everest in search of an answer.
Digital Altimeter, Barometer, Compass and Thermometer. Time/Date/Alarms.
Chronograph with 24 hour working range. Timer with stop, repeat and up
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backlight. Water resistant. 4" x 2-1/4" x 3/4" 2 oz. Requires 1 CR2032
See more here.