Part One is below...
Part Two is here..
Part Three is here.
It has been reported
that Everest climber Xu Jing
has stated that during his 1960 climb he found an old body high on Mt Everest
in a sleeping bag. Some believe he found Sandy Irvine; history says it had to
be Sandy Irvine. But those who interviewed Xu could not find Sandy in the
Spring of 2004.
vary on what Xu actually said. But clearly he stated that he found a body; a
body history says could only be
that of Andrew “Sandy” Irvine. The various reports of Xu Jing
did not match the statements of
our source who saw
"old dead" on the
Northeast ridge of Everest.
What is even more interesting to EverestNews.com is that the Chinese
in their own reports, the leader of the Chinese expedition
currently attempting to summit the 14 8000 peaks, Samdrup, has stated in
writing as far back as 1996, maybe before that the Chinese found a body,
assumed today to be George Mallory at 8100 meters. This appears to be common,
accepted knowledge among these early Chinese climbers. George Mallory of
course was found there again in 1999.
In at least one of the prior interviews of Xu Jing, it was reported that Xu
Jing said that Sandy Irvine was "on the northeast ridge". But the others seemed to
conclude he was not on the ridge. It was also reported that Xu Jing said the
location of the body was "with steep cliffs on both sides”. Where on Everest
is there an area "with steep cliffs on both sides” except the ridge we
wondered?? The BBC had interviewed Xu Jing before their search expedition in
Spring of 2004. The contents of that interview were kept a secret. Our source
told us that the "old body" was on the ridge, as we stated for those who read
close in our
theory of what happened to Mallory and Irvine. We needed to talk to Xu
Others items from the many bits and pieces of Chinese reports over the years
raised other questions; for example:
book “The Crystal Horizon” says the Chinese found two oxygen cylinders
somewhere high on Everest. And in “The
Second Death of George Mallory,”
Messner says the Chinese claimed to find oxygen bottles up high, but Messner
said he did not believe them. He also did not say who told him this
information. Oh Reinhold!
and many other questions
gnawing at us, interviewing the Chinese was high on our
list. The Chinese could give us critical information: not speculation, not
theories, but hard facts about what they found on Everest. These men
had first hand information on what was found on Everest.
We asked The Sunday Times (London) for a
reference of a high quality professional journalist
in China to
interview Xu Jing for EverestNews.com.com.
We checked out the journalist and hired him to interview Xu Jing.
Our journalist contacted Xu Jing and he agreed to the interview.
The goal of the interview was to clear up what was said and find out what the
Chinese really saw and found.
Xu Jing was the Deputy leader of the
leader of the 1960 Chinese Expedition to Everest. He
was also part of the 1958 expedition, and the leader of the 1964 Chinese
journalist describes Xu
"a sprightly 77-year-old man". "He is lucid and energetic."
Xu Jing did
not lose fingers and toes in 1960 as others told us. That information was incorrect.
The journalist performed the interview in Xu Jing's home. There
was no payment to Xu Jing for the interview.
a list of about 30 detailed questions to ask Xu Jing. Our plan was not to show
or tell Xu what the other climber (our source) had found. We did not want to
lead Xu. Our journalist
was not given the details from our source either. We wanted Xu Jing to tell us what he saw. At the same time, the
information our source (detail from another eyewitness)
had given us – along with the various objects we found last spring on Everest
-- would help us ask what we thought were the right questions. We know that
climbers sometimes get confused about altitudes when they are up high. So we
would ask Xu to describe landmarks, label a map, in addition to altitudes. Our goal was to get specifics, and then compare the stories. We had
no idea what Xu Jing would actually say.
The interview was taped and the tape was reviewed with a second translator to ensure correct translations.
journalist asked the questions in a conversation
type setting. The comments in quotes
[" "] are direct quotes from Xu
Jing. The comments in italics are the journalist comments or notes. Sometimes
Xu Jing answered more than one question at a time. Some questions he
answered without being asked!
Our journalist first comment after interviewing Xu Jing "he is truly an
amazing man with an incredible story".
Xu Jing, Deputy leader of the leader
of the 1960 Chinese Expedition to Everest.
Xu Jing was also part of the 1958
expedition, and the leader of the 1964 Chinese expedition. Mr Xu spent two
years in a labour camp during the Cultural Revolution (1968-1978), where he
was tortured and forced to perform demeaning tasks, including gathering human
waste to make fertilizer. During this period all his photographs were
belief in communal effort means he uses the Chinese word "women"
which means "we" a lot, instead of "wo" which means the singular "I". "Women"
can refer to either himself or to the group as a whole -- Chinese people are
often very inexact about these things, particularly older ones.
Therfore, on very important points, our
journalist had to
review, if Mr. Xu meant "I" or "we".
It has been reported that the Chinese found 2 bodies in 1960. Bodies now
believed to be Wilson just below what is referred to today as advance base
camp and Sandy Irvine high up on Everest. In 1975, the Chinese are reported to
have found a body at 8100 meters. If Sandy Irvine, is up high on Everest, then
that body was George Mallory as many believe. If you are adding that is 3
bodies: Wilson below ABC, Mallory 8100 meters and another body (Sandy Irvine) up high.
[" "] are direct quotes from Xu
Jing. Comments in italics are the journalist comments or notes.
Ok, Here we
Exclusive Interview with Xu Jing
start with his answers to the question
of the dead climbers that the 1960 Chinese expedition saw and question of the
oxygen bottles found.
“In 1960 we reached the former camp of the British and we
interviewed the Lamas (monks) at the temple. We saw ropes and a ladder
belonging to the group. The rope was very thick and strong and made of hemp, a
very good rope.”
“At the second site at 6,500 meters we found another camp.
There we found tents and oxygen bottles – there was still oxygen in them. They
were fairly rusted but you could still use the oxygen, it was still good
He said the
1960 Chinese expedition did not find two oxygen bottles near the Second Step,
as has been reported. Possibly this refers to the oxygen bottles mentioned
“100 meters below this
second site [6,500 meters]
we saw a body said to be a
British climber who had tried to climb Everest by himself but had run out of
food and oxygen. When we saw him we covered him with snow. He was lying on his
side on the ground, with his arms up around his face. His clothes were old and
his sleeping bag disintegrated when you touched it. Half of him was lying in
the bag, his upper half was exposed to the air, the corpse was very thin,
black, mummified and you could see some white bones. His head was pointing
“When we got back the
British embassy was very interested in this and we told them everything.”
The second body and the location of that body
The finding that many
believe to be Irvine’s body happened after the First Step....
“ I saw another body, although I didn’t see very much. It was very dark,
it was the 24th .....and we were trying to get on. We were all
completely exhausted and we were struggling to keep going. I would have buried
him if I could but I was completely exhausted.”
“What I thought when I passed the body was:
another unfortunate victim. So I thought that I myself should try to survive.
Not only me but also all of us....
They found the body between
First and Second Step.
“I saw the body on the side,
it was a good bit along from the First Step, on the Ridge.”
He was definite on seeing the body and that it was between
the First and Second Steps. He did not see a sleeping bag in this
location, only with the other body [Wilson].
“When we saw the (second) body we were definitely past the First Step. It was
on the ridge."
To the question of did
"he" see the bodies:
Mr Xu definitely said he saw both bodies, that is without question.
As a old friend
from Maryland would say, now you have it!
Thanks for all the e-mails and support. We ask you to hold your questions until after the
whole Xu Jing
series is posted.
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