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

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

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  1. Tanzanite

    Tanzanite Well-Known Member

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    Very happy to read that the Mystery Hiker came forward and spoke to the police. (I thought as much.)

    Yes, this had been a distracting factor for me to this point, even with the timelines and so on. I'm glad he came forward and has spoken with the police.
     
  2. Kike76

    Kike76 Active Member

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    Apologies if re-posted but here is a very nice blog with a highly detailed map of the area. Best I have seen.

    Chemin de l'impératrice entre l'hospice de France et le cirque de la Glère AA - ONVQF.over-blog.com

    I think it is perfectly plausible after descending from Pic de Sauvegarde that she went down to the area of the refuge at the Boums du Port lakes and camped. She likely would have left no trace as a responsible hiker and was not reported missing for several days anyway. She might even have descended quicker than anticipated and camped further down the evening of the 22nd. The natural route on (perhaps next day) is then towards Hospice de France. If she had wanted to go up to the Cirque de Glere (I think this was a possible intended area of travel or would have been of interest, then on the map in the blog she would have perhaps taken the red route through woods (Bois de Sajust) up to Cirque de Glere. This passes a small waterfall marked on the map (Parisien waterfall).

    From my skiing experience, mobile phone batteries run down very fast in cold and it is entirely plausible she had no phone battery after the first day of her trip and as you can see the search area is huge. I would have thought that while the immediate search area is a small search area between Sauvegarde and refuge area, the possible area is much more extensive and includes the above (plus other areas of water).

    There is a nice video on the blog that shows some of the route up to Cirque de Glere. While the route seems easy mostly there do seem to be some parts with steep sides immediately next to the path so a fall is quite possible and there is a a lot of wooded area. The blog mentions that further up the path there are areas with “mains courantes” which means running hand holds (ropes) to hold on. It says the path is vertiginous in places. To me this seems a much more likely place for an accident than on Pic de Sauvegarde.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2020
  3. ZaZara

    ZaZara AstraZaZara

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    Great pictures, thanks for the link. Beautiful landscape. Those rocky paths through the woods though.... brr shivers. I know I stumble easily.

    Been thinking a bit about phones and batteries. Even if the battery runs out, a phone can be used to reflect the sunlight and flash. You can do the same with a wrist watch of course, but the screen of a phone is bigger.

    Out in the open mountains, Esther would have seen the helicopter, and the crew in the helicopter would have noticed the flash.

    Except that it did not happen.

    One scenario could be that she fell downhill, and is hidden somewhere in the woods between rocks.
     
  4. CoverMeCagney

    CoverMeCagney Well-Known Member

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    I agree, the entire loop needs to be searched thoroughly. However, we now know from what Dan said, that there's no reception at the refuge but it should have connected when she set off along the loop on Monday. She's done several hikes lasting for a few days and presumably maintained her phone battery enough to keep in touch. Do refuges usually have electricity? I guess only her family and friends can attest to her usual habits, it sounds like she made contact whenever and wherever she could.

    I also agree about phone batteries draining in the cold, totally true - and annoying! Was it colder than any previous overnighters she'd done?
     
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  5. Kike76

    Kike76 Active Member

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    Yes it is quite a stunningly beautiful area and the Cirque de Glere route seems like a nice day trip so it would be an attractive and interesting route to follow that I think most hikers would be keen to follow.
     
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  6. ZaZara

    ZaZara AstraZaZara

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    You keep the phone warm and cozy in your sleeping bag of course.

    If there is electricity, it would be solar, just like on the top of the Salvaguardia.

    Refuge de Venasque, during summer. Has solar, but does not offer electricity, nor in summer, nor in winter.

    And during the winter season, there is no water according to the website, so Esther could have known this in advance.

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. CoverMeCagney

    CoverMeCagney Well-Known Member

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    I keep mine switched off and under my pillow. Remember the old Nokias that would last days without charging? I wonder if serious hikers carry something like that as a back up.
     
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  8. ZaZara

    ZaZara AstraZaZara

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    I still miss the Nokia that had both Snake and Bantumi on it. Don't get me going... best version of Bantumi ever.

    Serious hikers may carry a solar charger or a powerbank, but everything is weight. So perhaps for a few days, you leave those at home.
     
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  9. patCee

    patCee Well-Known Member

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    The mayor made a statement that was reported further back.
     
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  10. Recliner

    Recliner Active Member

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    Last edited: Dec 15, 2020
  11. mrjitty

    mrjitty Well-Known Member

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    I mean this is not such a big deal though. I remember Dad and his Antarctic mates use to keep their batteries in an internal pocket next to their skin - and that was in the olden days. Of course if you get careless, you could zap your battery - but it doesn't look like it was super cold?
     
  12. mrjitty

    mrjitty Well-Known Member

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    If anything this just deepens the mystery IMO

    Logically one of the assumptions must be incorrect, otherwise they would have found her where they expected. So either she set off as expected and didn't contact anyone, so left the area, or she went somewhere else. The other options seem unlikely?
     
  13. Hatty

    Hatty Well-Known Member

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    Something I’ve been considering is this. It is quite a coincidence that Esther has gone missing shortly after the BBC article. Her personal FB profile as well as the Esther and Dan FB profile provides a lot of information about her personality and her whereabouts. She is clearly a friendly, trusting, lovely lady who isn’t afraid to hitch rides. Has she potentially been targeted by a stalker to whom she unwittingly disclosed her planned route? Was she even followed up the mountain - from a distance?

    My heart goes out to Dan and to Esther’s family. The torture of not knowing must be unbearable.
     
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  14. mrjitty

    mrjitty Well-Known Member

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    I just don't see how you can abduct someone off a mountain.

    Either she walked off, or she went off the track.

    My 02c
     
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  15. otto

    otto Verified Expert

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    We know that she met a nice young man on Nov 19 at the summit. He took her photo, she hiked down the valley with him <modsnip: Not victim friendly>

    She was silent on Nov 20. <modsnip: Not victim friendly> silent for a day, then to the Sauvegarde peak again on Nov 21. She'd already been there on Nov 19 and had her photo taken.

    Nov 21, she caught a lift with a local to the trailhead, she hiked the Sauvegarde peak again and then allegedly walked to Port de Vanesque and Refugio (hostel) de Vanesque.

    She intended to descend the summit at 4PM and trek to the Refugio de Vanesque within 90 minutes when she was losing light in Winter mountain conditions. <modsnip: not victim friendly>

    She stayed overnight on the mountain Nov 21 - 22 in an area that she hoped was safe, but wasn't sure, and was seen hiking to the Pic de Sauvegarde a second time at 3PM on Nov 22, even though she was photographed by a stranger at the peak on Nov 19.

    I think it's possible that the invisible photographer from Nov 19 suggested they meet again on Nov 21-22. Even though the Nov 22 olympic athlete saw no one else ascending the mountain, that doesn't mean someone wasn't ascending on the French side of the border.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2020
  16. Hatty

    Hatty Well-Known Member

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    I totally agree, but she may have gone willingly if she recognised the person, or was cold or had no water or anything else - and a lift was being offered. She made a similar decision on 19th November with the other hiker she met.
     
  17. Hatty

    Hatty Well-Known Member

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    Except the police have traced the guy from 19th....

    But it could have been someone else she had disclosed her plans to as I mentioned above.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2020
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  18. otto

    otto Verified Expert

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    What is the "Soham model?" Familiar with Ockham's Razor, the math equation, but not Soham. Is that a new thing and if so what is the origin?

    "Occam’s razor, also spelled Ockham’s razor, also called law of economy or law of parsimony, principle stated by the Scholastic philosopher William of Ockham (1285–1347/49) that pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate, “plurality should not be posited without necessity.” The principle gives precedence to simplicity: of two competing theories, the simpler explanation of an entity is to be preferred. The principle is also expressed as “Entities are not to be multiplied beyond necessity.”​

    Occam’s razor | Origin, Examples, & Facts
     
  19. otto

    otto Verified Expert

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    Read Meredith Emerson. She was hiking in the mountains with her well trained dog when she was approached by a man who accompanied her down the trail where she was abducted, transported, held captive, murdered and beheaded.
     
  20. otto

    otto Verified Expert

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    Have investigator's located the mystery photographer from Nov 19?

    If so, is there a link? The last information that was published is that police wanted to locate him.
     
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