Body of German mountaineer found in Swiss Alps
The body of Thomas Flamm, a German mountaineer who went missing 32 years ago, has recently been found in the Swiss mountains near the resort town of Zermatt. Authorities have labelled Flam’s death an accident.
Body of German man found near Zermatt resort
The body of a German man has been found near the Zermatt ski resort in the Swiss canton of Valais. Mountaineer Luc Lechanoine told The Switzerland Times how he and another climber spotted coloured items on a stone while on a tour of the Stockji glacier. "It was clear to us that these things do not have a natural origin. So, we decided to take a closer look at these items. So, we went down, also to find out if there was still someone there and if we could help them," Lechanoine said.
The two climbers found the man’s body near the equipment. Lechanoine said that the body was mummified and slightly damaged although “still complete.” The climbers then returned to Zermatt, where they gave the police the exact location of the body and a photo. The body was then brought down from the glacier.
Swiss police said the body was revealed due to the glacier shrinking over the past few years. Already, several other bodies and a plane crash have been revealed in the glaciers this summer, due to the excessively high temperatures in the mountains.
German mountaineer missing for 32 years
The body has been identified as Thomas Flamm, who went missing in August 1990 after hiking alone for several days in the Swiss Alps. Flamm, who was 27 years old at the time, had begun his multi-day mountain tour at the resort town of Chamonix in France, located at the base of Mont Blanc. Flamm had planned to meet a friend in Domodossola, Italy, but never arrived at his destination.
Flamm, according to local newspaper Der Nürtinger Zeitung, had sent two letters just before his disappearance; one to his grandmother and one to his mother. The letter to his grandmother was dated July 29, 1990, and recounted his hike around Mont Blanc. The letter to his mother was dated August 1, three days before she reported him missing.
How Flamm died is still a mystery that will probably never be solved. It was reported that, at the time he went missing, Flamm had good equipment and was an experienced climber. However, a group of hikers from the German Alpine Club, who had been in the same area at the time of Flamm’s disappearance, reported that the glaciers were “as soft as butter” according to Der Nürtinger Zeitung.
Police investigation remains closed
The local newspaper reported that a search for Flamm was conducted jointly by both Swiss and Italian authorities. All known campsites were searched, while a helicopter was also dispatched to search for the missing German. By the end of 1990, authorities had given up the search.
"It was clearly an accident," police spokeswoman Andrea Kopp, after DNA evidence confirmed Flamm's identity. "Our investigation is closed."