Personal message Margreet Wilson regarding DNA test

So many kind people around you.
So much compassion. Impressive.
Often the question: How are you?
The answer was invariably: Yes and no.

Still one moves from hope to despair,
from despair back to a little bit of hope,
from a little bit of hope to a very little bit of hope.

The words that came to me regularly were words by David from one of his Psalms: For everything, however complete, I have seen an ending.
And then I think that for all the efforts – however complete – to find Christiaan, an ending has been seen. You have been able to read how many efforts were made.
The result: nothing. Only a helmet fragment.
But the Psalm goes on thus: But … Your order is unlimited.

And then we keep on praying. Many of us. And I have (still) not found an answer.
Neither, I think, have others.

And the days creep on.
And another small ray of hope. The result? Still nothing.

Then, a request comes along to provide DNA. That took place the day before yesterday. It could be that my DNA matches the DNA they found on the helmet fragment.
We will hear the results next week.

Margreet, Christiaan’s mother.


Margreet, after Christiaan's depart at Schiphol Airport

Margreet, after Christiaan’s depart at Schiphol Airport

What now?

It’s slowly getting more quiet. There are less messages, less ideas for further search. Last week, we came back from Nepal as the last group. All nine friends have returned now, landed at Schiphol airport, without Christiaan. Life goes on.

Unfortunately, at the moment it is too dangerous to continue searching around the Swiss camp/Italian camp. So with a group of Dutch people we decided to stop looking in he area of Beni. In any case, chances that Christiaan has arrived there are very small. The search by Westerners may also backfire. The same questions you ask, they will ask you.

Our presence in Nepal during the last weeks enabled us to create very good contacts with the right people over there. The locals are well aware of the disappearance of Christiaan. If tips come in, we can ask Saron to further investigate. However, we should review all tips we get critically. The amount of $ 500 triggers people to respond, regardless of whether they saw something. If we promised more money, all of Nepal would start calling us.

And what now? Do we keep searching when the monsoon is over in September? Who? How? With what kind of techniques? These are the questions we are considering right now. If you have any ideas that might help us, please let us know through our tips page.


First result analysis helmet fragment

Frank van de Goot is a forensic pathologist and is specialized in the field of reconstruction and the cause of breaking patterns. He has investigated the fragment found on the mountain by Paul. He has answered three questions.
1. Did the fragment originate from a helmet?
2. If so, could this be Christiaan’s helmet?
3. Can anything be said about how this fragment came to be?

Because Christiaan owns a Petzl Sirocco: EPP helmet, the fragment has been compared to a new identical helmet. Based on the comparison of openings, the nature of the material and the color, it was determined with probability bordering certainty that the fragment was part of a Petzl Sirocco: EPP helmet.

The fragment could have come from Christiaan’s helmet. Investigations have determined that the fragment has been exposed to outside air for less than three months. It is also very well possible that this period has been one or a couple of weeks.

DNA investigations currently taking place could provide more certainty about whether or not the fragment was part of Christiaan’s helmet.

Based on investigation of the break edges, it was determined that the helmet was compressed, in forward-backward direction. This caused the helmet to be distorted sufficiently for it to break. The lack of skin cells and blood make the assumption that Christiaan was wearing the helmet less likely. This can however not be excluded. Other possible causes for fractures like this include a fall on top of the helmet (during which the helmet is not on the head), a fall of the helmet or the helmet getting stuck between, for example, moving rocks.

The DNA analysis is currently still in process.

Personal report search Felix

We are meeting each other at the Yak hotel in Beni. Ruben has gone to meet Paul this morning and I expect them to arrive along with two guys from Sardog. John and Ben are coming from Tukuche. They went to the army in Jomsom yesterday and have spent the night at Patrick from Dutch Bakery in Tukuche. They will be arriving shortly as well. For the first time, all five will be in one hotel. I am looking forward to this and can’t wait to hear their stories.

The previous days have been filled mainly with taking small taxis over impossible roads. There are generally three roads crossing the valley. The road from Beni towards Marpha and Jomsom, Marpha is where the trail towards Base camp of the Dhaulagiri starts. The road from Beni towards Tacam, the trail from Base camp via Italian camp back down the mountain runs along part of this road. And the road from Beni towards Pokhara. One can take a bus or airplane to Katmandu from Pokhara, where the international airport is located.

Flyers in hand and with the taxi driver’s help, who spoke some English, we stopped at every house, in every hamlet and at every village.
“This is our friend, he is missing. Have you seen him? Can we leave a flyer here?”

We received all the cooperation the local people had to offer. They listened intently and discussed things among themselves. Sometimes, we were redirected to other people. We were allowed to post flyers nearly everywhere. At hospitals and police stations, at the place where people meet in the village (often a tree) and at tourist checkpoints or in the local buses. Sometimes people would think they recognized Christiaan, giving us hope. Each time, the track led to a dead end…

The situation is known in the valley. Thank you, Karna and his colleagues at Sardog. Thank you, Facebook.

The search in Nepal brought together hope and despair. But in a weird way also a privileged knowing.
Privileged to know Christiaan as a friend.
Privileged to be doing this with so many people.

For that reason, Christiaan!
Christiaan, thank you!

Personal message Paul

The past few weeks Paul together with a big group of friends searched for Christiaan in Nepal. He wrote the following message after his search.

Dear friends, the feelings I have about being back are mixed. I wanted to bring Chris back to us, to not leave Nepal without him. To bring my good friend back, plan new things with him. But here I am again, without Chris.
Only a small piece of orange helmet gave me the sudden hope that Chris was close. I got scared. Hadn’t I seen Chris with one of those helmets on one of our trips? In the area where he had walked, by the river, on the ice berg, I often felt him so close. But no matter how hard I looked , I never found him. I searched along the river but after the twelfth time I slowly started finding the same plastic scraps, the same candy wrappers and strange stones as the previous times. How could I find all these small useless things but I couldn’t find Chris, his bag, his sleeping bag?
So many scenes played in my mind, I have to get a grip, what’s the most logical? Chris, where have you walked, which choices did you make, which choice would I make? Where could you have slipped, where was there a rockfall, were there any crevices, where could you have landed in the river? From simple to extreme illogical paths entering the valley, we searched. No matter how many times we searched the river, under, next to and past the rocks, I found no further signs of Chris. Even the various teams with which I climbed up didn’t know where to look anymore. Everything between Daulagiri base-camp and Italian base-camp had been searched many times. The whole valley to the road had been walked, all the villages visited…
In that aspect, I feel a little at peace, the luxury of having seen with my own eyes that with so many hands and eyes, at this moment, he could not be found.
Thankfully, most hands and eyes are not back in Holland, but still there. The local residents in the whole area know about Chris. They have promised to call us or the police with any new sign or indication of him. They will be there the following week, month, year and know about our situation in the case that something is found or maybe even if a Chris comes by the village one day.
Without the endless effort and support of our family and friends back home and the financial support we would have never been able to organize a search such as this one in Nepal. Without the local support of Ruben, Felix, Ben, John, Pieter, Sander, Michel, HP, all contacts and organizations in Nepal, I would have never climbed that mountain and there would not be any flyers or info about our Chris in that whole region in Nepal.
I went to Nepal because I know that Chris would have done the exact same for me. That Chris would have forgotten time and expense to find me. It was Chris himself who taught me many things that I unexpectedly turned out needing these past weeks in the search of my good friend.
I am very sad not to have Chris in my arms, but I feel happy and privileged that I was allowed and able to search for him.
I wish everyone, especially Margreet, Pieter and especially Christiaan himself much strength.