The rumors that the deadly Himalayan flood tragedy was connected to a mountain-buried Cold War nuclear device continue in the area.
Earlier this month, after part of a Himalayan glacier broke off and sent a wall of water and debris rushing down the mountains in northern India, hundreds of people were killed and over 100 were reported missing.
Experts also indicated that a rock slide was behind the tragedy caused by melting glaciers linked to global warming.
But many people hold a long-held suspicion that it was connected to a decades-old covert spy mission, the BBC reports.
It focuses on how, in the 1960s, the US Central Intelligence Agency collaborated with India to install nuclear-powered surveillance systems across the Himalayas to spy on Chinese nuclear tests and launches of missiles. In 1964, China detonated its first nuclear bomb.
An American and Indian climbers’ expedition encountered a snowstorm on the mountain in October 1965 and was forced to turn around, hiding the plutonium-powered unit in a crevice where it could later be retrieved.
But it is assumed that the nuclear monitor fell down the mountain in a landslide and has never been retrieved.
Some villagers in the region today fear that the long-lost system might be working and that it will stay hot enough to melt the tons of snow and ice above it.
He was afraid of more avalanches, Sangram Singh Rawat told the Times of India.
If the device is hidden somewhere in the area under the snow and radiates heat, then there will, of course, be further snow melting and more avalanches,”If the device is buried under the snow somewhere in the area and is radiating heat, then of course there would be more melting of snow and further avalanches,”
But mountaineer Captain Mohan Singh Kohli, the Indian leader of the expedition, said the device was “very unlikely” to explode itself.
He said it can not be triggered on its own, even though the case that ensures it is broken. The system is most likely stuck among the glaciers. Because it is immobile, it must lie in a dormant state, said Captain Mohan.