Indian Newspapers From 1966 Recovered From France’s Mont Blanc Glacier

by Sanjana Shenoy
Indian Newspapers From 1966 Recovered From France’s Mont Blanc Glacier

Newspapers that herald the first women Prime Minister in India were recovered from a melting French glacier. Copies of Indian newspapers like ‘The Herald’ and ‘The Hindu’ dating back to 1966 with headlines announcing the election win of Indira Gandhi were found. It is likely that these newspapers were in the Air India Boeing 707 “Kangchenjunga” aircraft that crashed in the nearby Mont Blanc massif on January 24, 1966. A cafe owner, Timothée Mottin discovered these newspapers from the melting French glacier of Bossons in the Mont Blanc range. Currently, Air India flight will operate to the Netherlands, Singapore, UK, Germany in July under the Vande Bharat Mission.

indian newspapers france glacier
Picture Credits: AFP

Indian Newspapers Dating Back To 1966 Recovered In France’s  Glacier By Cafe Owner

Indian newspaper copies with headlines like “India’s First Woman Prime Minister”, pertaining to Indira Gandhi’s election win in 1966, were recovered from the melting French glacier of Bossons. This glacier is located on the Mont Blanc range in western Europe. An Air India plane crashed here 54 years ago after which these newspapers came to light. They were recovered from the site where the Air India plane crashed into Europe’s highest mountain on January 24, 1966. Timothée Mottin discovered these newspapers. He runs the cafe-restaurant La Cabane du Cerro at an altitude of 1,350 metres above the French resort of Chamonix. When it comes to glaciers, Iceland’s Vatna glacier is the largest ice cap in the world. 

indian newspapers france glacier
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Cafe Owner Mottin Found Remains Of Plane Crashes On The Glacier

Mottin spoke told the local French daily ‘Le Daupine Libere’, quoted by The Guardian newspaper and other agencies in the UK, “They are drying now but they are in very good condition. You can read them…It’s not unusual. Every time we walk on the glacier with friends, we find remains of the crash. With experience, you know where they are. They are being carried along by the glacier according to their size,” he stated.

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Air India Plane Crashed In 1966 Near France’s Mont Blanc Alps Resulting In Death Of 177 Passengers

The Air India Boeing 707 crashed into the range after a verbal control miscommunication. It resulted in the loss of all 177 passengers and crew. Mottin discovered copies of the “National Herald” and “Economic Times” among a dozen others. His cafe nestles around 45 minutes by foot from the Bossons glacier.

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Mottin remarked that he was lucky to get the papers when he did. Because the ice, encased for nearly six decades had probably barely melted. Once the papers have dried out, they’re going to join a growing collection of things from the crash that Mottin has placed on display at his cafe to share it with visitors.

indian newspapers france glacier

Precious Gems, Air India Logo From 1966 Crash Found In The Glacier

Since 2012, a variety of finds concerning the 1966 Air India crash emerged from the melting ice caps. That year, people recovered bag full of diplomatic mails, stamped “On Indian Government Service, Diplomatic Mail, Ministry of External Affairs”. And in 2013, a French climber found a metal box containing the Air India logo. The box also had emeralds, sapphires and rubies worth between ₹1,10,74,435 to ₹2,17,70,258 Other than the items mentioned, even human remains have been found in the area in 2017. People believe that these also belong to the 1966 crash or that of another Indian plane; the Malabar Princess, that crashed in the area in 1950.