The Happiness Quotient

What Is China Hiding? - Jochen Hemmleb, Everest Historian on Everest Sightings of Mallory & Irvine and Maurice Wilson

May 05, 2022 Thom Pollard Episode 100
What Is China Hiding? - Jochen Hemmleb, Everest Historian on Everest Sightings of Mallory & Irvine and Maurice Wilson
The Happiness Quotient
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The Happiness Quotient
What Is China Hiding? - Jochen Hemmleb, Everest Historian on Everest Sightings of Mallory & Irvine and Maurice Wilson
May 05, 2022 Episode 100
Thom Pollard

Jochen Hemmleb follows up on recent video with Mark Synnott about reports that the body of Sandy Irvine had been discovered, possibly removed (video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glMT08zmAP0 ). Jochen has written extensively on this topic and is as knowledgeable as any person in the world about the Mystery of Mallory & Irvine. He has personally interviewed many key players from the Chinese expeditions that report having seen the bodies. 


Jochen Hemmleb's website: 
https://www.jochenhemmleb.com/english/mundi/index.php

Mark Synnott's Salon article about the camera and Sandy Irvine:
https://www.salon.com/2022/04/08/the-third-pole-mount-everest-mark-synnott-mystery-china/

The Happiness Quotient podcast: https://thehappinessquotient.buzzsprout.com/

Thom's Patreon for exclusive content:
https://www.patreon.com/thehappinessquotient

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Show Notes Transcript

Jochen Hemmleb follows up on recent video with Mark Synnott about reports that the body of Sandy Irvine had been discovered, possibly removed (video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glMT08zmAP0 ). Jochen has written extensively on this topic and is as knowledgeable as any person in the world about the Mystery of Mallory & Irvine. He has personally interviewed many key players from the Chinese expeditions that report having seen the bodies. 


Jochen Hemmleb's website: 
https://www.jochenhemmleb.com/english/mundi/index.php

Mark Synnott's Salon article about the camera and Sandy Irvine:
https://www.salon.com/2022/04/08/the-third-pole-mount-everest-mark-synnott-mystery-china/

The Happiness Quotient podcast: https://thehappinessquotient.buzzsprout.com/

Thom's Patreon for exclusive content:
https://www.patreon.com/thehappinessquotient

Send us a Text Message.

Support the Show.

Thom Pollard:

following is a conversation with Jochen Hemmleb, Everest historian, author of books on mountaineering history. He is a lecturer, a filmmaker, and a world expert on the mystery of Mallory and Irvine. Thanks for visiting this is Thom Pollard, I always appreciate so much to the bottom of my heart that you would take time out of your day to visit me here on the happiness quotient. Today, I'm going to share with you an episode that is currently on my YouTube page for the happiness quotient. It's an interview with Jaco when I asked you often if he would comment on my recent interview with Mark Senate about his article in salon.com. About the Chinese possibly having found the body of Sandy Irvine high upon Everest dating back to 1960, or 1975. Y'all can being a student of all things Everest, and especially the Mallory and Irvin mystery was the first person I thought of. And his insight and research from the past has certainly added to fill out the broader picture of this story. And I hope you'll enjoy it before I bring you to Yaak. And I hope you'll take a minute out of your time to subscribe to this podcast wherever you're listening, and also to like, and leave me a review. It helps get it in front of more people who might have similar interests. And as you know, the real theme of all these episodes is to bring people inspiration, and some understanding that following their heart and their passion is really the only way to live a life. Well, at least it is for me. And those are the people I endeavor to bring you on this podcast. Also, if you have a minute, check out my YouTube channel called the happiness quotient. My interview with Mark Sennett hit some stride recently, and it's got over 23,000 downloads, which is pretty amazing given the fact that it was just a quick interview we did on Zoom and I cranked it out and put it on YouTube. And on this podcast, this interview with the aka and already has over 3000 downloads on YouTube. Which if I could do that on this podcast, I would be doing something I have never had even half that many downloads on any of my episodes. Even my most downloaded episode happening to be with Michael Palmisano of guitar gate hasn't had that many. So I'm greatly thankful and eternally grateful to YouTube for giving us a platform for more people to find out about inspiring stories, and about the mystery of Mallory and Irvine Bruce means stories from Ukraine amazing stories. Here's my interview with Jochen Hemmleb from his home in northern Italy.

Jochen Hemmleb:

So ya can Did you read or hear the interview with Mark about this? Suppose it new information about Irvine and the camera? Yes, I did. And I also read marks new postscript to the third poll. And I have to say it. Nothing of this came as a surprise to me because Mark had kept me in the loop as his research progressed. And so yeah, what what can I say? It was something that I saw coming for some time because the rumors had been out there for a while. It started more or less immediately after my 2010 Search expedition when we returned empty handed. And there was this just more or less flippant remark by our camera person who said well, the Chinese probably took over and down. And over the years, I picked up more and more of those rumors from different sources. So I slowly came to the feeling and to the conclusion. There's probably something to it. Although I have to say even after marks revelation. None of this is absolutely certain it's still full of ambiguities and contradictions. What I was really surprised in in Marks postscript was that he explicitly stated based on that Pandu interview and everything thing that it was sent the Irvin's body that was found by the Chinese in 75. And that is something I don't quite believe. Because after all we had seen in 99 and later in 2001. It seems fairly certain to me that Wang hong bao, who found the Old English dead in 1975. In all likelihood, he found Mallory and Conrad rediscovered him in 99. So, the question is, is this just a confusion? Did the Chinese find in fact Mallory and not even as marks postscript says, or did they in fact find both of them and Irvine is still up there buried by rocks as the interview and the postscript state. Personally, I don't think so. I think for me, it's far more likely that the Chinese did in fact find Mallory and 75 and probably according to Mark's postscript, recovered Mallory's camera, but this still leaves the question open. What happened to Irvin and who was the body seen by to Jean in 1960. And there are indications also coming from marks research that that body was also removed, probably in the early 2000s. But that's a different story from what is told in in MOCs postscript Yeah, that he the body was they had said it was at 8200 meters. And so that would put it in a different place than Mallory. Right? So not No, no, no to really 8200 is really close. I mean, that's just 50 meters above. Hmm, yeah. And the body choosing saw in in 1960 was definitely higher. I mean, he said trudging said twice it was up on the ridge. So So that's different in relation Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, go up but in so shooting said it was the body was on the ridge it were in relation to the first or second step below the first step. Yeah. Okay. So is it in? This is really just a totally little quick side shoot. So is it possible that when Norton saw the two surmounting the ridge, it was actually before the first step. Now, the human beings rising up as they were walking, I mean, Odell was was certain that he saw them climbing a step in the rich. So it was either first, second or third, and definitely above the body location. Well, there was they didn't say anything about a third step back then it wasn't necessarily called the third step in 1924, was it? No, but Odell was definitely aware that there was a third step that it was a step higher than the second because there's this one account by him in the in the alpine journal, where he was elaborating more about where he saw them. And he said, that was the last step but one, but it was at 28,300 feet and 28,300 was the established altitude of the second step in 1924. So that account makes it very plain that Odell in 1924. A believed he saw them at the second step. And be there was another step above the second step before the final pyramid. Incredible, incredible. So at that account was written before the official expedition account, when he raised the first doubts that he might have seen them at the first step. So that precedes that account. So jumping around a little bit, now back to 1960, or particularly 75. So they come across a body, essentially on the route. And now it's easy for us to put modern day standards on what the route is, but

Thom Pollard:

Some your your surmising that it was Mallory that they found and not Irvine. Correct? No. They they found both. They found both. They found Elgin in 1960 up on the ridge. Gotcha. And they found memory around the 1200 level or 1100 in 1975. So the the body on the ridge in 1960. Then they

Jochen Hemmleb:

what did they do with him there? What happened from the testimony by to Gene, he just passed the body had a look at it made a mental note. But that was it. Because trudging was alone. He was descending from the high camp, he was very exhausted. So he didn't do any investigation. In 2001, when we interview to Jim for the first time, we had the impression and he said so that this was the first time he talked about it. But then Thom Pollard Zell uncovered this report by the St. Petersburg Alpine Club, that Vang foo Chow, one of the summit climbers in 1960, mentioned in 65, in St. Petersburg during his lectures, that they had found the body at 8600 meters. So apparently, it was knowledge among a few Chinese climbers that they hate had found a body high up on the ridge back in 1960. Wow, it's always still always complications with those Chinese testimony. Sometimes you suspect that there's a mix up with the discovery of Morris Wilson, because sometimes the descriptions are fairly similar and so on. But to Jim, he was adamant both in 2001. And more so in 2008, when I interviewed him for the second time, that they definitely found two bodies on the mound in 1960. Low Down near ABC, Morris Wilson and the other one high on the rich. And speaking of the route, I had one statement from trudging in 2008. During my interview when he said the body was on the rich but not on the route. He said he was up to the left he was to the left and above the the route.

Thom Pollard:

The reason why only he passed the body and inside surmising that the Irvin presumably didn't start heading down and went past the the path if you will, and and missed it. Yep. And then sat down and passed away of exposure. Yep, yeah. So there's a lot there. And I don't want to try to unpack this whole thing. And as a person who rightfully admits, and claims to completely lose track of all the details and, and being so thankful for people like you to remember the details, because it's like, in one ear and out the other, but I get it, I get all of this going on, in terms of a lot of people listen to these stories. They're like, Yeah, well, that's just a story of this guy, a story of that guy. And then I hear from some people. This is absurd to even think that the Chinese would remove a body from the mountain. Why would anybody ever want to do that? And, and it's, I come from a different perspective. I think it's entirely possible, but can you answer that and why would they do that and what interests would it serve them to at least get rid of anybody let alone Mallory and Irvine? Well, as far as Mallory and Irvine is concerned, the standard answer is they want to they don't want to have any sort of evidence that they were not the first to climb Everest from the north. And I had to talk with with a colleague of mine with whom I was on the 2010 search expedition.

Jochen Hemmleb:

And he said, it's really interesting because if there was any evidence on the body, that memory and urban did not make it to the summit, then they could have used that discovery to prove their point about their 1960s. And so he he asked the provocative question, was there perhaps anything on the body that suggested otherwise. And that's why they felt it necessary to remove that evidence. It's all speculation. And I'm not the one who feels totally qualified to go into the Chinese minds. With that regard, it's definitely that they have a different way of thinking about such such things. But all we can say at this point is apparently they found someone Boone and, and also Mallory on the mountain. And at least, Irving is no longer there. Because the location that to Jing indicated with some measure of error. That was searched repeatedly now. And nothing was there. And so we can only speculate what happened. And as my colleague said, Well, if he was there in 1960, he was frozen in place, and there is no way that he was moved by wind or something like that. And that's something that needs to be considered. And but whether they actually did it the Chinese or not, it's not something I would point my finger to, but you definitely have to ask, what did they see in 1960 and 75. And what is now there, or is no longer there? Real quickly. Let me elaborate a bit more on the on the memory discovery in 75. There is a much clearer picture there because we have the account by Wang hong bao to Hasegawa Japanese that he came across an English dead at 8100 meters. Approx approximately in 1975. We had the confirmation made to Tom hotel by Wang's tent partner Senjem, Jen, that when her told him when he came back from that solitary excursion onto the north face that he told him later on the descent, found the body of a foreign mountaineer out there. Senjem John, I interviewed him also in 2001, and he confirmed that he had made that statement to Tom Hall sell in 1986. Interestingly enough, he denied it in 2008, when I interviewed him again, Chinese. And so that's that a two points of confirmation. And then three weeks later, because we know that Wang made this discovery during the first Chinese summit attempt, because his, his reason for going out of the tent was one of their climbers had been missing has gotten missing on the way to the high camp near the first step. And so they were searching for him. And so he went out onto the North Face and looked around. Three weeks later, almost three weeks later, they mounted their summit attempt. And it was either during that summit attempt on the way up or on the way down from that summit attempt. One of the Chinese climbers, he looked down as he was descending, and he saw that red spot down there on the north face. So he climbed down and he found the body of that missing climber, and that is a good song, yay, who was found by by tap in 99. And so we know where that body is. And from that we know that the Chinese went at least into the upper part part of the Mallory basin. So it's probably not a big leap of faith. To think it possible that the Chinese also visited Mallory that Vang hongbao told the other climbers on the way down. I found this for a mountaineer. So three weeks later when they were up on the mountain again, they went down and took a look. But that's speculation. There's no Direct confirmation whether that is just an assumption I'm making, but we know one hongbao statement of finding an old English dead. We know Sang Jun Jen statement that year one hongbao told me so. And we know loads of statement when of the 1975 summit climb, that he had been down into the upper Mallory basin, and found the body of woods on Ye, whom we know is just 50 metres above Mallory's body. So that's what do we know?

Thom Pollard:

Wow, you know, it's interesting. So when I went there with Andy, on the 16th of May, we must have just missed that body because I think I circumvented around the top and went west, and then came down and back over. So I think I did a big zigzag around and completely missed that, because we're, obviously very close to it. But is it possible that when Wang had mentioned the hole in his cheek, that that was the hole in Mallory's head that I observed?

Jochen Hemmleb:

I find it unlikely because it's not entirely clear what Wang meant, by pointing to to his cheek, that was just dimensioning of a hole in the cheek was just just an interpretation. It wasn't a spoken statement. It was just his hand hand gesture that ran has a GABA described. So. And that was the interpretation, but it was no clear, clear account. And then of course, as far as the hole in the head is concerned, that would have meant that when you had to look underneath the body, and highlight you, he certainly didn't turn the body over, because you have that constant damage pattern on Mallory's back, you have all the closing layers thrown away by the wind, but you have no such damage to the front. So you must have been left in that position all the time from 1924 to 99. And I don't think that when we in some way, lifted the body up and looked underneath like you and Andy did.

Thom Pollard:

Yeah, so that's, that's all we can say. So the report that Mark talks about in the first book, if you will that not the postscript, he talks about how does any mention how the Chinese like taken an ice axe to the body or something like

Jochen Hemmleb:

that that statement is, of course something. It might be political propaganda. And it might also refer to Maurice Wilson, even though Mark makes a distinction here that they also speak of finding a body close to the summit. I wouldn't bet too much on that. On that statement. I still think that the most likely explanation for what you observed is that either Mallory was hit by Iraq or even the Tomahawk missiles scenario that he was hit in the head by his own eyes X. But that of course, would would mean that he had clung to his eyes x all the way through his his long slide. Whilst the ICEX near the body and wasn't removed by weighing there's I think, no definitive statement that would confirm that. It is a plausible scenario. It is a possible scenario, but it's not a proven scenario.

Thom Pollard:

Thanks for visiting on the happiness quotient. I am honored that you would take time out of your day to visit. As always, I'd like to thank the wood brothers and their management for the use of their song, happiness Jones for our theme song here on the happiness quotient and their publicist Kevin Calabro, Kevin, I will see you and you will be a guest on this podcast very soon. mark my word. For more information about me. I hope you will take some time to visit my Patreon page at patreon.com/the happiness quotient where there is some exclude Use of content there also you can email me at Tom dot Dharma dot Pollard at Gmail. Thanks everybody for visiting the happiness quotient. I look forward to seeing you again real soon my answers que

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