Story from Corriere de la Sera. – A mysterious skier who has resurfaced from the Matterhorn Ice has been identified, thanks to Facebook. He has disappeared in March of ’54: he was called Henri Joseph Leonce Le Masne, a 35-year-old Frenchman. He was identified with a DNA test. His niece Emma, who lives in Paris, replied to the Italian police’s Facebook appeal
There is a woman, Emma Nassem, who is driving through the streets of Paris; it is the beginning of July, a month ago. Suddenly the radio hears about a strange cold case, an almost impossible mission attempted by the Italian police, which on its most popular Facebook page, Agent Lisa, launched an appeal on June 29: “Help us to give a face and a name to the skier found in 2005, at 3,100 meters above sea level, on the Matterhorn, in Valle D’Aosta ». Here, we will say, what are the social media: a post that in a few hours becomes viral made the record of shares and rebounds throughout Europe.
In addition to the appeal, there is also the description of the equipment that the mysterious skier brought with him the day he died, miraculously reappearing with his poor remains on the White Peaks of Valtournenche on July 22, 2005, after the melting of the glacier of the Ventina. All the exhibits have been photographed: the “Rossignol Olympique” 50s luxury skis, the metal sticks, the “Le Trappeur” leather boots, a pair of glasses, the Omega watch and the light gray fabric shirt green, also this of French brand, “Fabriqué specialment pour Boudrigue-Par de Marly”, with the initials of the owner embroidered above: MM And Mrs. Emma, then, while driving bounces: «I know this person, he is my uncle … » MM: Monsieur Le Masne! The woman immediately contacts the Italian police on Facebook. Henri Joseph Leonce Le Masne, born in Alençon on March 26, 1919, civil administrator of the Ministry of Finance in Paris: if the mysterious skier now has a name, it is also due to the extraordinary work done since 2005 by the agents of the Police Headquarters of Aosta and the Turin Scientific Police, who came back to his DNA from the bone of a foot left in the boot and then compared it last Tuesday with that of his brother, the father of Emma, the literary and mathematician Roger Le Masne, 94 years, president of the Association friends of father Jean Carmignac. The test was successful.
On the day of his 35th birthday, March 26, 1954 , “a day of great storm,” Emma remembers, Henri Le Masne came out of the hotel of his single holiday, the “Gran Baita” of Cervinia, to go skiing. He deposited 35 thousand lire and 5,000 French marks in the room assigned to him on his arrival on 13 March. He went out and disappeared. His brother Roger is now “happy”, so he tells the Italian police, because finally after more than 60 years he will be able to “embrace Henri and bring him back to Paris, assuring him a worthy burial in the family tomb”. “I was his younger brother of 4 years – he says – and for over a month I wandered between Turin and Cervinia. I searched for him for a long time. In vain. ” Mrs. Emma also sent a photo of her uncle to the police, to compare the glasses with those found on the Matterhorn. They were his.
We have written before of people that have disappeared in the snow and then appeared, as the story on British John Bromel (but he was discovered much sooner), and on lots of avalaches, that year after year, claim lots of lives in all the mountains, such as the ones in Switzerland in Arolla, or the ones that happened in Verbier.
With the retrieving of the glaciers, each year you can read on the papers lots of stories of people lost many years ago that are started to be uncovered on the ice.
If planning to travel to Cervinia or to Zermatt, both sides of the Matterhorn, let us prepare your trip- Travel with us!
Featured Image: Monte Cervino/Matterhorn, where Henri Joseph Leonce Le Masne was recovered and finally identified thanks to Facebook.