Glacier Yields Newspapers From 1966 Plane Crash

They're still in 'very good condition'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 13, 2020 1:11 PM CDT
Glacier Yields Newspapers From 1966 Plane Crash
This diplomatic bag reading "Diplomatic mail, Ministry of External Affairs" belonging to the Indian Government, was found on the slopes beneath Mont Blanc in 2012.   (AP Photo/Arnaud Christmann/OHM)

January 1966 was an eventful month in Indian history: Indira Gandhi became the country's first female prime minister, and Air India Flight 101 crashed into Mont Blanc in France, killing all 117 passengers and crew. Melting ice on the mountain has now yielded remarkably well-preserved newspapers from the flight, with headlines about Gandhi becoming prime minister, the Guardian reports. "They are drying now but they are in very good condition," says Timothee Mottin, who runs a cafe about a 45-minute walk from the Bossons glacier. He says debris from the crash is being carried down from the summit by the glacier and he often finds objects in the ice.

Mottin says the newspapers are still readable, despite having been through a plane crash and more than 50 years in the ice. "For now, the newspapers will be displayed in the restaurant/cabin that is just by the glacier, and then, we will see, maybe I'll give it to a museum," Mottin tells CNN. The Air India flight from Mumbai to London crashed into the mountain while descending for a scheduled stop in Geneva. Investigators determined that the pilot had misinterpreted instructions from flight controllers and believed he had already passed the mountain. Another Air India flight crashed in almost exactly the same spot in 1950, killing 48 people. (Body parts from one of the crashes were found in 2017.)

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