While searching for a lost climber on Mexico’s highest peak, rescuers found two mummified bodies buried in the ice and snow. There could possibly be a third body still to be discovered.
The search party was looking for a climber who went missing recently when they saw a frozen skull sticking out of the snow at 1,000 feet from the peak of 18,491 foot Pico de Orizaba.
According to Juan Navarro, mayor of Chalchicomula de Sesma, after examining the remains, the group of 12 civil protection mountaineers made a second gruesome discovery. Around 500 feet away was another frozen, mummified body.
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While there is no firm identification as yet, authorities believe that the two mummified bodies are climbers who went missing over half a century ago.
The climbers were last seen heading for the summit back in 1959 when they were hit by an avalanche. Of the party, four climbers survived, but three were reported missing and presumed dead. The recovery team believe that there is a third frozen and mummified body up on the peak, which would make up the group of three missing people.
According to the Metro, rescue efforts are being hampered by bad weather, but the two found bodies will be taken to the Puebla State Prosecutor’s office to undergo DNA testing. Also, the remaining clothing found on both bodies could help in the identification process, according to Navarro.
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Navarro said authorities will continue the search once the weather improves.
“The ice is crystallized, they are practically planted in concrete. The idea is to get them out… but yesterday the weather was a bit complicated, because of the fog.
“It is a very difficult area where people normally don’t go. It is an area where there is only snow, and no route.”
Once they have managed to dig the mummified bodies out of the ice, officials from Chalchicomula de Sesma are hoping to use a government helicopter to bring the corpses down from the peak.
In the meantime, the Independent reports on one of the 1959 team, Luis Espinoza, 78, who was himself caught in the avalanche, but managed to dig himself out of the ice and reach safety. Espinoza has studied the photographs of one of the frozen bodies and says he is confident that these are two of his missing teammates.
Since the authorities released the news, they have received calls from relatives in Germany and Spain who are hoping to get closure on the loss of their family members so long ago.
In other mummy-related news, the Inquisitr recently noted that the mummified remains of a Tibetan monk had been discovered inside a 1,000-year-old Buddha statue using CT-scan imaging.
[Image: CC BY 2.0 Jose Francisco Del Valle Mojica]