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Climber Found Box of Gems on Mont Blanc in 2013. Now, a Windfall

He receives half of the treasure, valued at nearly $170K
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 6, 2021 3:02 AM CST
Climber Found Box of Gems on Mont Blanc in 2013. Now, a Windfall
Mont Blanc   (Getty Images / Razvan)

(Newser) – In 2013, a mountain climber on France's Mont Blanc discovered a metal box full of precious gems and turned it in to authorities. Eight years later, the unidentified climber is being rewarded for that move: Authorities split the treasure in half and gave one half to the climber; the loot is estimated to be worth nearly $170,000. Authorities believe it originally belonged to someone on board a 1966 Air India flight that crashed into the mountain as it flew from Mumbai to New York, but their attempts to identify the original owner and locate family to give the gems to were unsuccessful, the BBC reports. Authorities praised the climber's integrity in turning in the stones, as required by French law, the Guardian reports.

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Another Air India flight crashed into the mountain in 1950; over the years, human remains, baggage, and debris from both flights have been found on Mont Blanc, some of them having been frozen and only revealed by melting ice from the mountain's Bossons glacier. A bag of diplomatic mail from the 1966 flight was returned to India in 2012. As for the unnamed good samaritan, the climber said earlier this year he never regretted being honest, and he would use part of his reward to renovate his apartment. (Read more uplifting news stories.)

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