Henri le Masne/the Matterhorn (Italian State Police/iStock/Paratha)
Social media has contributed to the solving of the mystery surrounding the identity of a skier who went missing in the Italian Alps in 1954.
The man remains were discovered on the Matterhorn in 2005, according to the Italian State Police. Skis, a watch, some clothing and found his glasses near. However, the Italian authorities were not able to identify the remains that were found of more than 10,000 feet above sea level.
The Independent reports that the discovery was made on a glacier in the Valtourneche resort.
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In 2017, officials used advances in DNA analysis technology to gain fresh insight into the mystery, according to the Italian State Police. The skier was a man with an age between 30 and 35 years old. Experts noted that his clothing, which was not particularly heavy, indicating that he had died in the late winter or early spring. The objects found with the body indicated that he died sometime in the 1950s, and may have been French.
Henri le Masne (Italian State Police)
The Guardian reports that the prosecutor in Italy, valle d ‘ Aosta placed of the research the findings on his Facebook page in the last month, and asked others to share the information. The Italian Police, used their social media channels to spread the word and also contacted their French colleagues.
The mystery of the unknown skier quickly went viral, and the story was also picked up by the media. Within a few hours someone posted on an Italian Police Facebook page to say that they could identify the man.
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“A woman claimed to be sure of knowing the identity of the man: they had heard the French radio program in which the appeal was made by the Italian State Police,” explains the State of the Police, in a statement. The woman said that her uncle was gone on the Matterhorn in the 1950’s.
Items found near le Masne the remains of the (Italian State Police)
The frenchwoman Emma Nassem said that the man was her uncle, Henri le Masne, who went missing in 1954, The Guardian reports.
After the Italian police contacted Nassem her father, 95-year-old Roger le Masne, provided a saliva sample that solved the decades-long mystery.
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The saliva sample confirmed that the remains indeed belong to Henri le Masne, who died in the Alps on March 26, 1954, the day of his 35th birthday.
File photo – the Matterhorn (iStock)
The skier, worked at the Ministry of Finance in Paris, and was an avid skier. Two years before his death, he had survived an accident in the Alps.
“He loved the solitude of the mountains, which he often ventured for hiking or skiing”, said the Italian State Police, in her statement. He often told his brother, that of the mountain hazards are not afraid of him.
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“We have been able to reconstruct the existence of a man who was buried in the mountains, for more than 60 years,” says the Italian State Police, in their statement.
Tutto era iniziato nel 2005, con il ritrovamento dei resti di uno sciatore sul Cervino.
Pochi are oggetti intorno al corpo facevano supporre che la persona, un uomo, avesse press. la vita durante una discesa con gli sci https://t.co/adehCmuSre
— Polizia di Stato (@poliziadistato) July 29, 2018
DNA technology is of crucial importance in shedding new light on events in the past, and is a valuable tool for the US in the identification of the remains of military personnel.
The technology can also offer new insight into the world of the ancient times. Last year, scientists announced that they had found a genetic trail back to the Biblical Canaanite civilization. By the sequencing of the genome of five of the Canaanites, who lived 4000 years ago, with the genome of 99 people that live in the modern Lebanon, researchers have identified a strong genetic link to the mysterious civilization.
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DNA analysis is also helping to reveal new details about the ancient Minoan civilization on the island of Crete and their counterparts on the Greek mainland, the Mycenaeans.
Vous rappelez le #mystère du skieur disparu? Grâce à vos partages la nouvelle est’arrivée à sa famille en France et, au moyen de l’extraction de l’ADN par la police scientifique de Turin, nous savons que le skieur est M. Henri le Masne, qui said that he had disparu sur le Cervin en 1954 pic.twitter.com/qw4Vzo85JL
— Polizia di Stato (@poliziadistato) July 29, 2018
DNA of a baby who died in Alaska, some 11,500 years ago is giving scientists the best look yet at the genetics of the ancestors of the current indigenous peoples of the Americas.
Last year, a separate collection glacier in the Swiss Alps found the remains of a couple who disappeared in 1942.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers