Glaciers melt, human remains and wrecks that have been forgotten for decades emerge-

from Paolo Virtuani

Traces of the past reappear in the Alps: a bullet in Cervinia, Switzerland, the bones of climbers and parts of a plane crash in 1968

On the Marmolada and on the Adamello it happens often: every year they appear from the glaciers remains and residues dating back to the First World War. Bones, bombs, shreds of uniforms, rusty cans, bullets: things like that. In recent months, however, with the high temperatures that have affected the entire Alpine arc – in Swiss at the end of July, freezing reaches almost 5,200 meters – the phenomenon repeated and expanded.


TO Cerviniaat 3,090 meters above sea level with the merger of the Ventina glacier a World War II artillery shell appeared. Partly oxidized, it has a length of 30 centimeters and a diameter of 5. It was a citizen who reported the discovery in recent days to the carabinieri, who requested the intervention of the army bomb squads. On 23 July 2015, human remains emerged from the glaciers of Val Malenco, in Lombardy, at 3,100 meters above sea level, perhaps belonging to a mountaineer who died several years ago without excluding that it was a soldier of the First World War.


Three finds in Switzerland in Canton of Valais. On 26 July, thanks to the melting of the Stockji glacier, in the Goms valley, the mummified remains of a mountaineer who had been dead for about thirty years were seen. The corpse was mummified and slightly damaged, but almost complete. On 4 August the glacier ofAletsch returned some parts of a Piper Cherokee registered as HB-OYL. The tourist plane crashed on June 30, 1968, the three people on board had died and were recovered, the plane was not. On 8 August, two French mountaineers found human bones while climbing the Chessjen glacier near a path that has not been used for about ten years. In the two cases of human remains, the police stated that the identification attempt through DNA analysis is underway. The Valais police have a list of around 300 people who have disappeared since 1925, including the German supermarket chain millionaire Karl-Erivan Haub, who disappeared in the Zermatt region while training for a ski hike on the Matterhorn on 7 April 2018. According to the German media reports the body discovered on the Stockji Glacier that of Haub. But one of the hikers who found the remains said the clothes were in the style of the 1980s. In 2018, the remains of an American C-53 Dakota plane that crashed on November 18, 1946 while on its way to Pisa from Austria appeared. The crew lost their way and ended up crashing on the Gauli glacier in the Bernese Alps. The eight passengers and four crew members survived the impact and were rescued five days later, but the plane was considered lost.

August 10, 2022 (change August 10, 2022 | 14:24)

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