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Episode 38: The Mountain


Humans have always wandered off into unexplored territory. It’s a key part of our identity to leave safety behind in pursuit of adventure. Those journeys, though, don’t always end in success. In fact, sometimes they end in horrible tragedy.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
In February, of two thousand ten restoration specialists were trying to preserve the heart used by earnestly. and his team during their Nimrod Expedition a century ago when they found something beneath the floorboards keep in mind. Shackleton is, being of Legend born in Ireland in eighteen. Seventy four raised, London and exploring arctic regions by his twenty fifth birthday. This man was about as tough as they come. He was a naval officer, a real life explorer a best selling author and even had the honor of being knighted, my a king, Think of any one more interesting to invite to a party. So when
duration began on the Nimrod Base Camp hot in two thousand ten, there was a sense of all. It was the structure that had once play host to impossible dreams and a spirit that few today are willing to embrace that little hut was a refuge against a hostile environment, and it was also apparently the hiding place for a treasure buried by Shackleton himself. It wasn't gold or silver, though it wasn't a relic or some piece of history. No beneath those bear. Floorboards restoration is found something else. Three cases of scottish whiskey and this whisky trapped in the permafrost for a century was insanely valuable, not just because of its age and not just because of the opportunity offered to explore a rare lost blend of scotch. This wish
was valuable. You see because it offers the chance to taste the liquid fuels. The legend we're obsessed with those who venture out into the while we resonate with, though who risk their lives and while the successful ones often live on as legends in their own right, it's the ones that fail then often stick with us. The longest for some people Nothing is more frightening, then, when the natural world reaches out and crushes our best laid plans, I Aaron. Maybe this is lore
when Sir John Franklin set sail from England in eighteen, forty five, it was his fourth expedition into the arctic circle were years. Nations had been looking for the mythical northwest passage, a route from the Atlantic to the Pacific. It didn't wire sailing self to the Tipp of South America before heading back North Franklin and his team were never seen again some ways it shouldn't of surprise anyone. After all, the expedition set sail into ships, one called the terror The other named after the greek God of darkness and chaos, Airbus, they were practically begging for tragedy and until a decade later, when another explore John RE learned of the expeditions fate trapped in the ice. The crew had made their escape on foot, cold and lack of food was their undoing and some believe the party succumb to cannibalism before the last of them perished. Nevertheless, Franklin and his crew have gone down
history as heroes. History has along love affair with tragedy. Maybe it's the haunting nature of these lost expeditions and journeys gone wrong, seem to elevate them in popular culture. maybe it's our obsession with anything that has, seen resemblance to in Indiana Jones Movie, or maybe it Just the simple fact that there are so many of them to talk about norwegian exe or rolled. Amazon was the expedition leader for the team that beat Robert Scott, the South Pole and nineteen eleven. He and his team returned from their journey as heroes, and while he participated in more adventures, it was the south pole that earned him his place. In history nearly two decades later in nineteen, twenty eight, an expedition to the North pole, crashed in the ice and vanished Robinson, fifty five years old at the time, climbed into a rescue plain and headed north to find them barely, you can take the explore out of the wild, but you can
the while that of the explore ombudsman was never seen again, For us, it was an explorer, an archaeologist from England who spent much of his professional life in the jungles of Brazil and South America. Be perform tasks for the Royal geographic society and served as a member of the british secret service for a time, Fawcett and formed a close friendship with popular author h, rider haggard, who wrote the equivalent of Indiana Jones novels for late nineteenth century readers. If you ve ever or seen the league of extraordinary gentlemen, the character of Alan quarter Main was a haggard creation. Maybe it was that friendship that filled faucets head with visions of cities of gold and adventure in eighteen, twenty five. He managed to raise enough funds to set off for Brazil with his oldest son Jack in want of Jack's close friends together they plan locate a lost city that Fawcett had named Z. It was supposed to
the real life location of the legendary city of El Dorado. There are a lot of theories about what happened, some say that the explore and his partners were all killed by natives of the region. Others say. that they set up a commune in the jungle and lived out the rest of their lives there. There are even stories that say the end was much less exciting. Fawcett in the others just walked into the jungle and vanished In one thousand, eight hundred and four Alexander Hamilton entered a duel with United States. Vice President Aaron Burr Hamilton same as off bubbers wasn't. As a result, Hamilton died from his wounds. The phone
they lived a long life after the duel, but suffer through the mysterious disappearance of his daughter theodosia. In one thousand, eight hundred and twelve, she boarded a ship that was meant to carry her away from South Carolina, where her husband was the governor to see her father in New York and incredibly fast schooner known as the patriot left, the Georgetown harbor in December of that year, and it was never seen again one of them. That travellers take upon themselves is that they might never reach their destination. Whether the journey is one of exploration, personal travel, recreation, there's always the chance for failure, farther from civilization. The worse those chances become, which is why, when a group of hikers March
off into the ural mountains in nineteen fifty nine the odds were decidedly and tragically stacked against them. If there was ever a textbook example of whiteout conditions, the night of February second, one thousand nine hundred and fifty nine would have been it. The team of ten were huddled together inside their tent against the wind and snow and freezing rain. I realize it would be on to refer to a blizzard as hell, but just because it lacked flames and heat
mean it wasn't a place suffering. The trip hadn't started out like that, though they had intended to be a pleasant expedition into the mountains, no glorious mission or treasure to seek this was meant to be a recreational trip. That's not how it ended, though, then again, life rarely turns out the way we imagined it would does it The team was comprised of nine college students from Europe Polly Technical Institute, all of whom were led by their instructor eager. Their journey had actually begun on January twenty seven a week prior in the northern russian Village, a Vivian J East of the Euro mountains. They had been transported there, my truck along with their camping equipment and supplies, because. Small village was the most northern settlement in region yon. Those borders would enter into the while a literal, no man's land. This was a region
Russia that had once been called home by the indigenous people, known as the monster, sometimes called the vocals centuries ago. rule, the northern lands even fighting against the Russians until they were finally assimilated in the thirteenth century today, Most Muncie I live in Moscow or other large cities and their very you who remain in their northern homelands and these travellers were well prepared. Aside from the expected camping supplies that you might expect, they also set up a communication. Plan. The trip was there and back again journey with gold. reaching Mount towards, and within a week, returning to video J by February twelve, if they fail to check in eager, had told friends start to worry It is going to be a dangerous expedition. Without a doubt, the train was hostile and there was no support network north of the village still It began smoothly enough in the team made good progress, headed east and when they reached the foot
the mountains they stopped and set aside a supply of food for their return trip that was January thirty first, the next day they started their climb, but whether in the mountain wasn't helping them out, it was clear early on the trip was going to take longer than they expected, but that didn't stop them. Instead, they hikes slow and daddy into the wind and snow Amy, nor four mount tortured by the end of the day on February. though eager and the others realized they were more than a mile off their course. Somehow, thanks in to the disorienting blizzard, they had drifted west. If themselves on the northern slope of the mountain known as call it. She echo Our decision would have been a hike north less than a mile instead of camp in the line of trees below, but they had worked hard to reach such a high altitude- and it would be I seem to have the climb back up the next day, so the team does I did to ride out the storm where they stood, exposed to the wind
on the bare mountain with temperatures as low as negative? Twenty five degrees, Fahrenheit. It going to be a long, cruel night. It must have been frustrating for them. Your day, they would have been able to see mount a torch for where they stood. They knew it too. They were so close to their goal, and yet it must have felt like they were miles away instead of feeling like they had accomplished, something they were left to. Making the most of their mistakes they set up their tent on pact a meal and then settled in for the night. We know all of this, because its documented in her journals. We haven't notes about their travel decisions, the weather reports and the challenges they face. We even have photos of the team setting Camp right there on the snow covered side of the mountain. After that, though, the records of the team led by ignored the outlaws arse,
Island, we have no more words from the team members, no more reports in no way to speak to them now about what happened to all of them. All we have left now our corpses. Let me be up front here. We don't know what happened to the hikers well, that's not entirely true, we know they died, but we don't know how their deaths were brought about. What we do know is that the details that were uncovered by a later investigation seem to point towards something odd, something that doesn't fit with the preconceived notions of hiking accidents. In the end, though, all were left with our assumptions on provable theories and a feeling of dread.
ed, because the obvious explanation isn't something that leaves people with warm fuzzy feelings. The night of February second had been cold and snowy, but when the sir party. Finally located the hikers camp on February, twenty sixth He found the scene of a disaster, not a storm. The tent was covered in snow, something one might expect, but it was also empty and there is evidence that it had been torn in half from the outside. Scattered in the snow around the remnants of a tent the search party. The items that had belonged to the hikers items that included clothing and warm shoes. Which went a long way towards explaining why so many of the footprints that could be seen exiting the area of the tent had been made by bear, or at least Soulis Feet, the prince all led down the slope of the mountain toward the line of trees that should have been the teams campsite for the night had
made the right decision investigators followed along in that direction, with hopes of finding the missing hikers when they reached the trees, though, when they discovered only added to the mystery the first two bodies they uncovered were located at the outer edge of the forest, both were clothed in nothing more than their underwear. They discovered signs of a campfire their hinting, they had perhaps walked down the mountain side in search of better shelter from the storm, but other clues didn't support. This branches in your by tree had been broken or snapped off as high as five meters above the snow had, or some one had tried to climb them or something else had broken them. Some have suggested that something very tall had chase the hikers into the trees, breaking the limbs If, as it enter or exited the woods, three more bodies were found in the snow on the slow between the torrent, tens and broken trees. The five hikers we're all said to have died of hype with them
According to later medical examinations, but what had happened to the rest of the party. and it would take another two months of searching the past- define the remaining four on May forth of nineteen fifty nine a full three months after the blizzard that ended their journey. They were located in a ravine just two hundred and fifty feet from the camp, but their discovery introduced far more questions than answers. These four were better. Love than their friends, but they hadn't died of hypo Thermidor, although what killed them remains a mystery to this day. The evidence points to something unusual. One of the high costs was said to have been missing her tongue. Some historians have suggested that she simply bit it off in a moment of panic that wouldn't explain why her eyes were missing. well many others had suffered major skull trauma and their chests had been crushed them
cal examiner, who studied the body, said that the amount of force required to create such injuries was on the same level as a high speed automobile accidents. Some experts have suggested an avalanche or perhaps a deadly fall, but there was no evidence of either at the sight of the bodies, That same medical examiner also ruled out the theory of an attack from near by Muncie a people according to him, the Injuries could not have been caused by other humans because the force of the blows had simply been too powerful, in other words, the injuries that these hikers suffered were unexplainable, inhuman and miss areas. These are, of course, all the ingredients. A story needs to truly become legendary today, region- is referred to as the outlaws pass and, The unknown element of the tragedy there than has pushed the events deep into the mind of popular culture, the story, way of leaving. Many of us feeling haunted haunted
because it could very well happen to us. We can plan for things. We understand we can find safety in those plans. The unknown, though, can leave us as vulnerable as hikers in a blizzard exposed and unprepared our obsession with lost parties in expeditions with people who wander off and disappear is as strong today as its ever been movies Television shows and comics. If all spent time and effort to recapture the mystery and thrill of that dangerous unknown world seems to be formed.
Loose ends have a way of making people feel uneasy, though. We want answers because answers make us feel safe, but we also want the thrill of a good mystery. We not knowing, and yet we also love the idea of the unknown. Its ironic, I know the true decades after the train city. We still have far more questions than answers. We don't know what frightened the hikers enough to cause some of them to flee undressed from their tent in a sub zero blizzard. We don't know what caused the severe trauma to their heads and chests. We don't know well. What we don't know vastly outnumber is what we do, and most people don't like that. Maybe something deeper was going on, though there are those who believe the russian government knows. The truth is he, after the end,
instigation was completed in May of nineteen. Fifty nine, all of the related documents were packed up and shipped to a classified archive when they were finally released for decades later many of those reports were incomplete with pages or paragraphs missing. One last thought, as I mentioned before, the hikers word deepened. I see a territory when the tragedy happen. The lazy explanation early on was to blame the indigenous people of the area for the deaths of a hikers. It's been a common crutch for many lost expeditions. Civilized people wander too far into unexplored untamed wilderness and their killed by native tribesmen, who feel threatened by the newcomers. There was, of course, no evidence of an attack. No clues pointed toward a group of outsiders. No footprints were found that didn't belong to the hikers and none of it
Greece could be explained away with a theory like that anyway, but in the end, the answers might very well be found among the months here. After all, interestingly the name for Mount a torch. The mountain where they had been hiking toward but never reached, is translated, don't go there. Where the monster hiding a warning in plain sight. Along do they know. Of some reason. Why travel that mountain might not be the safest idea, tar to say for sure, and what about coal at Seattle, where the hikers camped and died that final night That happens to be a month, you name as well, given too.
mountain many centuries, perhaps even millennia ago, it literally means mountain of the dead. This episode of Lore was researched, written and produced by me. Aaron monkey lore is much more than upon gas. There's a book series in bookstores around the country and on. and the second season of the Amazon Prime Television show was recently released, check them both out. If you want more lore in your life by also make two other upon, casts Erin making Cabinet of curiosities and unobserved, and I think you enjoy both each mine explores other areas of our dark history, ranging from bite sized episodes to season long dives into a single topic. You can learn about both of those shows in everything
going on all over in one central place, the world of lore dot com. Slash now. And you can also follow the show on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, just search for lore podcast, all one word and then click that follow button. When you do say hi, I like it when people say hi and as always thanks for listening.
Transcript generated on 2022-03-12.