Found Deceased Spain - Esther Dingley, from UK, missing in the Pyrenees, November 2020 #6

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

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  1. otto

    otto Verified Expert

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    Although I can't find the link right now, I recall an article from months ago stating that all bears in the mountains are tagged. None were in the area where Esther was believed to be hiking.

    "Other Civil Guard units including specialists in telecommunications are believed to have been asked to probe Esther's disappearance. But the force has remained tight-lipped about the work they are doing.

    They have privately dismissed the idea the hiker could have been attacked by a bear and have made no comment on reports they are hunting a man travel blogger Esther said in her online travel diary had given her a lift down from the mountains in the days before she vanished.
    Hunt for missing British hiker in the Pyrenees could be called off 'until spring' | Daily Mail Online
     
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  2. fridaybaker

    fridaybaker Well-Known Member

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    Yes, there will certainly be different opinions and recitation of the facts of any case like this. However, I'm still of the opinion that Matrosova did not have a PLB (her husband was quite unfamiliar with hiking and the related equipment, I believe). She had a SPOT, which kept sending signals. That was what sent SAR on a wild goose chase. They thought she was moving, and realized that she likely had fallen and kept activating the SPOT herself. In the final SAR report, it states this, including the fact that the SPOT was activated 11 times. A PLB, at least at the time of this accident, is only activated once.

    I found the particular information about the SPOT vs. PLB quite reliable, as it was very detailed and came after the initial responses. The information about whether she had hiked it before or nearly done so wasn't really the point of the article, so I don't put much weight into that.

    However, all this is just to say that I'm of the opinion that Esther may, indeed, have been saved by having a PLB. We will never know.
     
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  3. Grouse

    Grouse Well-Known Member

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    We could do with someone like a Kathy Reichs on here! As well as using it a lot in her fiction, isn't she an actual qualified expert in forensic anthropology with a specialism in bone analysis? Hopefully the teams currently analysing the skull fragment will be able to glean more over the coming weeks.
     
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  4. otto

    otto Verified Expert

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    I hope so. I was disappointed that the initial analysis of the bones did not provide any information, such as scratches made by teeth, beak, or claw.
     
  5. Hexe

    Hexe Well-Known Member

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    Maybe it did, it's just that the LE is not obliged to share all their info with the public. We have to wait patiently.
     
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  6. pineapple23

    pineapple23 Active Member

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    I have not see any murder theories. So far as I am aware, they think accident the most likely explanation.
     
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  7. otto

    otto Verified Expert

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    From the quoted comment:

    "Have animal bites or any other marks been found on the skull? And if so, were they from before or after her death? According to the head of the public prosecutor's office in Saint-Gaudens, it is too early to say anything. But according to various sources, Esther Dingley's skull was not whole. It was only the upper part, with long hair, which made it possible to quickly carry out the DNA tests."​
     
  8. Grouse

    Grouse Well-Known Member

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    Hi, good to see you posting again after your all too brief introduction earlier in the week. As you said previously "someone thinking outside the box could just provide the vital clue." but personally I agree that an accident is the most likely explanation here.
     
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  9. Pahorb

    Pahorb Former Member

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    I read police walked along paths so see where Esther Dingley walked of path but there is no sense and cannot search. She is not having accident it turns out. She as also thin. I think she maybe met a man and died?
     
  10. Mel79

    Mel79 Active Member

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    I still think it more likely to have been an accident at the Port de Glere, but the lack of anything else but part of a skull associated with some animal bones, by the path so high up is strange. If they slid out in water from snow melt from a "cavity", where an animal had found or left them, gravity narrows down the area where this cavity should be, but it still hasn't been found. Disparate bones would not still all be together if they had just 'weathered out' from a cavity. You'd expect more scattered bones to be found, with some sorting by size/shape and mass, en route downwards. The find is maybe an animal association but I am not so sure about the vulture and bear theories either.

    Bone smashing vultures (ie bearded vultures/lammergeiers) are really pretty rare, including in the Pyrenees (The bearded vulture, King of the National Parks - FCQ ) and a human head is just about at, or above the weight limit for such a vulture (human head wt 3.6kg-5.4kg, max wt for a bearded vulture to fly with is about 4 kg, nearly their own weight).
    Much more common are Griffon vultures (about 2000 breeding pairs across the Pyrenees, Massif Central and Alps Griffon vultures no longer in danger of extinction in France ) but they devour a carcass on the spot, and you'd expect the remains of the body and clothes/boots and equipment all to be left at the same spot. There has been one case that I know about where these vultures were involved (following a fatal fall in the Pyrenees in 2013 Woman eaten by vultures after plunging 1,000ft to her death in the Pyrenees | Daily Mail Online. )

    Bears are rare too in the Pyrenees and not usually found above the tree line plus they start hibernating in October (mild winters can delay this a bit though) Le point sur la population d'ours des Pyrénées (France - Espagne - Andorre)

    Until they find something more, this case is wide open.
     
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  11. windrower

    windrower Well-Known Member

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    After reading a few accounts of Matrosova’s last climb, I think it’s too bad there isn’t one definitive telling of the incident. I like facts in nonfiction work, and unfortunately, almost every account had a few facts that didn’t line up with those in other articles. I see why we differ in our impressions of what happened.

    I’d love to read that final SAR report, would you mind linking it? I didn’t find it in a quick Google search.

    As you said, we’ll never know if a locator beacon of some sort would have helped ED. Whatever problem Matrosova’s beacon had that resulted in pings many miles apart (extreme cold, cloud cover, blowing snow, technological, device being in her backpack, etc.), a dependence on them seems a cautionary tale.
     
  12. RedHaus

    RedHaus Well-Known Member

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    @Pahorb, welcome to WS and this fascinating but tragic case. Can you say more about what you are thinking? Especially about this man ED might have met?
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2021
  13. Grouse

    Grouse Well-Known Member

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    It has been considered and debated at various points up thread I think Pineapple, and of course it still has not been ruled out.
     
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  14. Pahorb

    Pahorb Former Member

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    Yes, I see about Esther Dingley's bone. I read here that maybe baby vultures dropping bones or maybe she is trapped in vertical position with body not exposed. But these are silly ideas. If you walk of path it is easy to now. This is why police cannot make, sense I think. I read another website. I think she maybe met a person in another place. The bone at the track is very strange.
     
  15. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

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    Welcome!
    It sounds like you're suggesting that ED met someone at another place, and this person did something to her. You are saying we and the police have trouble understanding what happened because we are starting with the wrong idea.

    Could you please say more? If you put "in my opinion" in your paragraphs, you can give your ideas.

    I hope my English makes sense to you. From my experience, it's difficult to communicate on topics like mysteries if English is a new language for you.
     
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  16. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

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    This—combined with LE's description of ED being "inexperienced" and, as they surmise, a likely scenario that she left the trail—gave me an idea that we may have missed all this time. If ED died in that slabby area on the trail beneath the PdelaG (either because she accidentally ended up there or because she thought it was the trail), she might have been buried by shifts in the slabs, but she could also have been out in the open. Once stripped of flesh, the bones will have percolated through the rock slabs to the spaces below. If that is the case, it seems unlikely the remains will ever be found.
    What might end up happening is that LE examines the bones for bleaching from the sun or discoloration from specific rock types, ores, etc.

    IMO the odds are ED was descending the scree slope below the PdelaG where she was found. The vast majority of accidents occur on a descent, and the steep terrain (60-70 degrees), featurelessness of the scree slope, especially if light was low, along with the likelihood of frost (it was below freezing at dark), made for a high likelihood of catastrophe.

    But there were rocks plates in the scree-ish area. IMO it's very possible, one way or another, that ED ended up in those rock plates. If she had somehow found a weather-protective place there, she might indeed have been very difficult to see, especially from the actual trail. She could even have been standing.

    Even drones passing directly overhead would not be able to see ED if her remains had percolated through the rocks. From there, the bones could also have been moved, out of sight, along with rivulets of snow melt.

    DC's perspective notwithstanding—that ED couldn't be out there because he hadn't seen her on his searches, and there was nowhere a person could vanish to in that area—there were uncountable places where exactly that was possible. Thus LE's steadfast references to how mountains swallow up remains.

    Apologies if my thoughts here seem bald. I have tried to step gingerly, but that's not easy when discussing human remains when a hiker has gone missing.

    Photo from Port de la Glère : Photos, Diagrams & Topos : SummitPost Note the cliff amidst all the scree as the trail goes forward. The switchbacks may no longer exist (see @otto 's maps). Note the green patches: this area will be dewy in summer and frosty in shoulder seasons (ED was firmly into winter).

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2021
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  17. pineapple23

    pineapple23 Active Member

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    Yes I guess everything remains on the table until/unless proven otherwise. But I believe the authorities still believe accident the most likely. I hope for the sake of Dan and the family that it can be resolved somehow. Unfortunately we may never be sure 100%.
     
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  18. Pahorb

    Pahorb Former Member

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    English is not really new to me I learn at work for a long time now. But I write not much mainly.

    Thank you for 'in my opinion'. I understand. I do not think is possible Esther would have not known she was walking of path. Is obvious when you walk of path there. Very rough. I walked there in November. She would not now be hidden so, or her pack and the rest, high up above path. I used to think accident but with no sign now I do not think so. I do not believe baby vultures or bears. Maybe, I think in my opinion, she went back down hill. Her body could be anywhere but exposed to animals also so someone goes back and takes a bone to high path for police to find. When women are killed or hurt it is probably a man they know mainly. Maybe a strange person but probably not in my opinion. Esther Dingley met someone before she goes missing I think. The police think this also in my opinion.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2021
  19. pineapple23

    pineapple23 Active Member

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    Interesting. Well we can't rule anything out. What makes you think the police are working on this as the most likely scenario?
     
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  20. otto

    otto Verified Expert

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    Did you hike up, or down, the Port de la Glere in France in November?
     
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