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MYSTERY OF DEAD SKIER: WHO WAS MR M? - Jane Peel, Chief Reporter
Monday July 2, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

It's baffled Italian police for a decade. Now they're getting closer to identifying human remains thought to have lain undiscovered in a glacier for 50 years.



The remains of the skier and his equipment were found at 3,100 metres altitude in the Aosta Valley in a glacier at Valtournenche in the Cime Bianche on 22nd July 2005.

All efforts to identify him failed and in 2017 the Italian National Police called on their historical and scientific experts in Turin who have just released their findings.

They've concluded that the man was probably not Italian and was more likely to have been a well-off Frenchman aged about 30.

The police had previously focused their efforts on Italian records of missing people.

They hope that, although it's now more than 60 years since the skier died, the power of social media may at last help them solve the mystery.

The man was 165cm (5ft 5ins) tall and the green shirt his was wearing had the initials M  M embroidered on them.

Initials embroidered on shirt Initials embroidered on shirt











He's believed to have died not before the winter of 1950.

A 5 lire coin, struck between 1946 and 1950, was found in the pocket of his ski pants.

His skis were high-end Rossignol Olympic 7200-210 for expert skiers that were sold between 1940 and 1950.

His poles were metal rather than bamboo, which the police say suggests he had money.

Skis and polesSkis and poles












He had a ticket for 60 journeys on the Breuil-Plan-Maison cable car in Cervinia, and glasses to correct short-sightedness in his right eye.

Lift passLift pass















GlassesThe skier's glasses











The police believe he may have been French because of the watch he was wearing.

The Omega had a serial number 11666171 which was intended for the French colonies of Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.

Omega watchA Frenchman's watch?












They were able to find out exactly when the watch was sold - 8th February 1950.

This Italian National Police video has more images of the items found, with commentary in Italian:

ALL IMAGES  - Italian National Police (Polizia di Stato)

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