Everest historian Tom Holzel thinks he might have the data to upset Everest history: Holzel believes he's found the body of George Mallory's companion Andrew Irvine in a satellite photo. Irvine is believed to hold the camera that could prove whether Mallory beat Hilary and Norgay to the summit by 30 years.
Holzel scanned hundreds of hi-res satellite photos with microscopes and found an anomalous shape that corresponds to a spot where Chinese climbers say they spotted a "dead Englishman" back in 1960. This "oblong blob" is about the size and shape of a human body, and is also near Mallory's route.
Holzel plans to organize an expedition to the spot this spring to find out if his theories are correct. If he succeeds in finding Irvine, he could solve one of mountaineering's most enduring mysteries.
Of course, as many have pointed out, it's a bit of a dubious distinction: Assuming Mallory and Irvine summited, they didn't survive, which is sort of the whole point.
Could a frozen camera dethrone Hilary and Norgay as first to summit Everest? (SciAm)
via The Goat