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Two fatal Air India crashes on Mont Blanc: jewels and conspiracies
April 25, 2014 10:42 AM   Subscribe

On November 3, 1950, an Air India flight crashed into Rochers de la Tournette (Google maps), a face of Mont Blanc, killing all 48 people on board. A second Air India flight crashed at nearly the same location on January 24, 1966, killing the 106 passengers and 11 people in the flight crew. It is generally assume that the second crash was due to the pilot mis-judging their location based on faulty equipment and limited visual cues (embedded PDF), leading to a premature descent and the death of the 117 people on board. Also on board were 100 precious emeralds, sapphires and rubies that were recently discovered, but have been kept out of sight of the public and journalists, possibly to allow the Mayor of Chamonix and climber who found the jewels to split their loot. Then there is the conspiracy theory that the second crash was caused by a collision with an Italian aircraft that had gone missing the same day, with the goal of killing Dr. Homi Bhabha, the father on India's nuclear program. This theory is supported by Daniel Roche, a property consultant by trade who has spent years collecting a ton and a half of objects from the crash sites (French article; Google auto-translation). And of course, there's the theory that the CIA was trying to silence Dr. Bhabha as he was on his way to "stir up more trouble" in Vienna.
posted by filthy light thief (9 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

Shhhh, please don't tell CNN.
posted by Fizz at 10:49 AM on April 25 [7 favorites]

The one link says the climber handed the box immediately to the police who are trying to locate the family the jewels belonged to. So how could there be a conspiracy to split them between the mayor and the climber?
posted by spicynuts at 11:30 AM on April 25

For his coverage of the story with BBC, Patrick Bodenham tried to see the stones in person. He learned that the police handed the jewels straight to the mayor of Chamonix, who stored them in a vault below the town hall. Bodenham tried to find out who would allow journalists to see the stones and learn more about the efforts to identify the rightful owners, and this is when he started getting the run-around. Finally he got an answer from Francois Bouquin, head of the mayor's office in Chamonix:
"I don't want to have to tell you 'No'. But you cannot see the stones. At this time, it is a question of security. We are handling our own investigation into the case. We do not feel the media are useful or necessary at this time."
A local author who researched the 1966 crash thinks it's a ploy to keep the jewels for 2 years, the amount of time the rightful owners have to claim the stones as theirs. After this time, the person who found them is allowed to keep them as unclaimed goods.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:35 PM on April 25

Fizz: "Shhhh, please don't tell CNN."

Why not? It would be good to eliminate once and for all the possibility of a black hole being involved.
posted by chavenet at 1:20 PM on April 25 [1 favorite]

as for google translate, I see what it did here:

Daniel Roche: in the bowels of the Bossons
Ringworm is how Daniel Roche has willingly. "When I want something, I do not let go."
posted by chavenet at 1:25 PM on April 25

Fascinating story, I'd be interested to find out what happens to the stones in the end.
posted by arcticseal at 8:11 PM on April 25

Why not? It would be good to eliminate once and for all the possibility of a black hole being involved.

Holy fuck!
posted by juiceCake at 7:48 AM on April 26

Such a juicy and interesting post. Lots of interesting layers. Thanks filthy light thief.
posted by nickyskye at 10:05 AM on April 26

Shhhh, please don't tell CNN.

CNN Do the Right Story
posted by homunculus at 9:29 PM on April 26

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