Found Deceased Spain - Esther Dingley, from UK, missing in the Pyrenees, November 2020 #5

Discussion in 'Located Persons Discussion' started by FrostOwl, Nov 29, 2020.

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  1. poirotoupierrot

    poirotoupierrot Active Member

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    Good knowledge. And yet one of the primary defences about her disappearance at the beginning was the great weather. I think, based on the authorities not wanting to risk staff at high altitudes in winter's variable conditions, I'd be very wary of walking in the Pyrenees in winter. I mean, I personally wouldn't anyway but committed hikers may need to consider the possibility that if something goes wrong they could be alone. For days. Perhaps weeks. Summer, and the local policies due to topography in that area might not present such a problem. I do worry that she may have died alone and in pain and away from people. I really hope those endorphins made her drift off comfortably. Perhaps it's what she wanted. I guess we'll never know. I was haunted by her "I could stay here forever" message too.
     


  2. poirotoupierrot

    poirotoupierrot Active Member

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    Good knowledge. And yet one of the primary defences about her disappearance at the beginning was the great weather. I think, based on the authorities not wanting to risk staff at high altitudes in winter's variable conditions, I'd be very wary of walking in the Pyrenees in winter. I mean, I personally wouldn't anyway but committed hikers may need to consider the possibility that if something goes wrong they could be alone. For days. Perhaps weeks. Summer, and the local policies due to topography in that area might not present such a problem. I do worry that she may have died alone and in pain and away from people. I really hope those endorphins made her drift off comfortably. Perhaps it's what she wanted. I guess we'll never know. I was haunted by her "I could stay here forever" message too.
    Isn't this a reference to the shooting incident during a hunt in Italy? Although admittedly less likely away from woodland...
     
  3. Liz40

    Liz40 Active Member

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    How do you account for the lack of clothes though?
     
  4. Steve13

    Steve13 Former Member

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    Yes. That's the thing. DC has always insisted it would have been "impossible" for an experienced ED to have got lost in the benign prevailing conditions; that's why he says he suspects foul play. Indeed, he was so confident of his facts that he waited 3 days to report ED missing in a mountain range. That of itself is an extraordinary detail. She may well have been alive for some of this time. Yet it was -2 degrees on the 22 Nov; SAR are saying ED's route has no underlying logic and are implying she was out of her skills comfort range. It really has to be one or the other. If she had an accident because of poor conditions, the dossier and DC's views are of less value that they may otherwise be.
     
  5. Steve13

    Steve13 Former Member

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    At the moment, it seems that the bone is part of a skull (not very nice but there it is). It was most likely not covered at the moment ED came to her end. If and when her equipment is found, there is a good chance that much of her remains will be there too. You're quite right to imply, as I think you do, that if ED's equipment and clothes (damaged) were found with no remains, or her remains were found with no equipment, this would suggest foul play I think.
     
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  6. otto

    otto Verified Expert

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    The scree is not off-path. That is the trail - straight down 500 meters of scree. You can see faint switchbacks in the image. There was no other option. In November, late in the afternoon, as that side of the mountain was in growing shadow, it would have been slipperier and riskier (according to the Keeper of the Refuge de Venasque).

    Regardless of whether she approached the Port de la Glere from France or Spain, she would have reached that location in the afternoon.

    Switchbacks on trail

    upload_2021-7-30_8-36-18.png

    Close up of the Port de la Glere ridge trail

    upload_2021-7-30_8-40-59.png

    Approximately 550 meters of scree

    upload_2021-7-30_8-39-35.png
     
  7. Steve13

    Steve13 Former Member

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    It's not really a possibility Poirot. I mean this in the nicest possible way, but while rural France is, like Mexico, very beautiful and with many tourist attractions, genteel and rural France does not share Mexico's recent history of tens of thousands of people being mown down and hung up in public view as collateral casualties of internecine, inter-cartel violence. The SAR guy is salt of the earth; all he cares about is saving lives. All that said, I am instinctually attracted to your dark take that we cannot be 100% sure he isn't an underworld drug kingpin or master of violence.
     
  8. Steve13

    Steve13 Former Member

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    Ah, I see what you mean. Very well-made point. Thanks very much for this, Otto. More super photographs, too!
     
  9. Ironside

    Ironside Well-Known Member

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    Easily. She was picked apart by animals.
     
  10. searancke

    searancke Well-Known Member

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    Or removed them while suffering from hypothermia....also very common.
     
  11. pentimento

    pentimento Active Member

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    Well, neither are the Americans who live in my area of Mexico and have businesses, properties, and services to sell to tourists. Come, stay, have another margarita! Most Mexicans are good salt of the earth people too, and worry about the violence, but they've also got to survive. There is clearly no direct comparison to be made -- Mexico has way more violence -- no doubt about it -- but less so in rural or mountainous areas. My original post mentioning where I live was just pointing out that people may not be so forthcoming when their livelihood depends on it. BTW as far as people getting shot and hung from bridges with narcomensajes, that is usually directed at the police forces that they try to intimidate, and you'll have to go to the bigger cities to see that kind of thing happen. Anyway, with all due respect, I meant no direct comparison and feel your exaggeration a bit off point of what I was trying to convey.
     
  12. Herat

    Herat Way out West

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    My condolences to the family and frients of Esther Dingley.

    I think the possibilities were high that the bone fragment found was hers. But it's still a very sad thing that happened.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2021
  13. otto

    otto Verified Expert

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    Esther should have turned back as soon as she saw that section of the trail. If she approached from the ridge, from Spain, she could have lost her footing as soon as she started the trail. If she approached from France, she should have understood from the valley below that it was too risky and better to return to the Refuge de Venasque.

    I lean towards Esther approaching the Port de la Glere from Spain. She could have run into trouble within minutes and been in a situation where neither up nor down was an option.
     
  14. Steve13

    Steve13 Former Member

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    Fair enough, Penti. Maybe Patrick Laglieze is an underworld Don. If it's ok with you, though, I'll pass on going to big cities to find people hanging from bridges with narcomensajes on their chest. ;-)
     
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  15. Jmoose

    Jmoose Well-Known Member

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    Well, I can’t account for it yet, because I don’t know where the rest of her remains might be. And what state they’re in. They found part of the skull and another bone which I suppose could be part of the cervical spine, and I’d imagine that these bones could easily be absent of clothing. And in any event, the rest of the remains might have been scattered by animals, with her clothing and other belongings now nowhere near them.
     
  16. Steve13

    Steve13 Former Member

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    Just the one bone is ED's, apparently. Skull, which would have been exposed at the end.
     
  17. Herat

    Herat Way out West

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    But they are up there, somewhere. Hiking poles aren't going to be of a great deal of interest to scavengers. Bits of clothing fasteners, shoe soles and treads, plastic bottles, phone are all non-degradeable things that are not of food or nesting interest and seem to be items that pop up years later.
     
  18. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

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    It doesn't surprise me at all that the yellow tarp tent didn't show up. It's so frail, it could have just blown away. It's just a piece of ultralight fabric. One night, ED used it as a coverlet. But it could also just get whipped away if you stepped out of it, or while you were setting it up. IIRC it's held up by trekking poles, maybe even just one; not at all stable in wind, and not for "serious" weather.
    The pack is a different matter. If ED brought the "kitchen", the pot was also lightweight enough to be carried very far down that slope. However, a pack has stays that likely wouldn't fly anywhere; and if there was a stove, that's not flying anywhere, either..... I'm thinking they would use drones for a search like this and maybe metal detectors.
    If there's fabric left of the pack IMO it will be small shreds. Any scintilla of food or aromatic anything, even sweat, would have attracted marmots, mice, etc. They nibble right through the pack. All that stuff like clothing, down, etc. is great nesting material.
     
  19. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

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    Those carbon poles are PERFECT sticks for a vulture nest IMO.
     
  20. otto

    otto Verified Expert

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    This stands out for me:

    "According to our information, two bones found were found to be of "animal origin", but the piece of skull , which had remains of long hair, was indeed human. And these DNA and morphological analyzes carried out by Toulouse specialists confirmed that it was Esther Dingley's." (link)
    Recent discussion about the bearded vulture, lammergeier, fits with the bones found. Yesterday, links were shared with video showing the birds dropping bones on rocks from a high elevation to access the bone marrow. Animal bones and human bones in one location has me leaning towards birds dropping the bones in that area.

    The birds are large, with a 7-9 foot wingspan. That eliminates small spaces and crevices.

    What might be true is that the bird that found the skull will retrieve more bones and bring them to the same location.Perhaps watching bird activity in the area will reveal the location of the rest of the bones and the equipment.

    The video showed two types of birds - one that eats soft tissue, and the lammergeier that arrives late and takes the bones.
     
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