Fifty-four years after the tragic crash of the Air India Flight 101, copies of old Indian newspapers that are believed to be from the Boeing 707 named "Kanchenjunga" were found in the French Alps, carrying news of the historical moment of India's first female Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, taking power.
The copies dated January 20 and 21, 1966, were found last week by a cafe owner from the town of Chamonix, Timothee Mottin. "India's first woman prime minister", "Indira Gandhi to be Prime Minister" were the headlines on the front pages of those newspapers, including The Hindu, The Statesmen, National Herald and The Economic Time.
The Air India Flight 101 was a scheduled passenger flight from Bombay (Mumbai) to London which accidentally flew into Mont Blanc in France on the morning of January 24, 1966.
After leaving Bombay, the aircraft made two scheduled stops at Delhi and Beirut and was en route to its next stop in Geneva. The crew was instructed that after the aircraft had passed Mont Blanc, they would descend for Geneva International Airport.
Thinking that he had passed the Mont Blanc, the pilot started to descend and flew into the Mont Blanc massif in France; this miscalculation of his position caused the crash. In 1950, almost at the exact spot, Air India Flight 245 crashed with loss of all 48 on board that aircraft.
According to official report, the cause of the crash was a misunderstood verbal instruction from a radar controller to the pilot; however the pilot actually miscalculated his position and told the radar controller an estimated position.
All 106 passengers and 11 crew members were killed in the crash. One of the passengers was Dr Homi J. Bhabha, then chairman of the Indian Atomic Energy Commission. His death gave birth to many conspiracy theories. One of those was that the crash was a CIA assassination.
In the book "Conversation with the Crow", journalist Gregory Douglas claimed that the CIA officer Robert T. Crowley said the US Government had the CIA assassinate Indian nuclear physicist Homi J. Bhaba by planting a bomb in the cargo of flight Air India 101. In the book, Crowley said, "We had trouble, you know, with India back in the 60's when they got uppity and started work on atomic bomb."
In October 1965, Bhabha had announced that they could build an atomic bomb in 18 months if government permitted them.
"That one was dangerous, believe me. He had an unfortunate accident. He was flying to Vienna to stir up more trouble when his Boeing 707 had a bomb go off in the cargo hold," said Crowley about Bhabha.
Back in 2017, a Swiss Climber searched for wreckage of AI Flight 245 and 101. Human remains and wreckage along with a Boeing 707 aircraft engine were found in the search.