Andrew Irvine disappeared in June 1924, while attempting the summit with George Mallory. For 29 years, no further expeditions set out, because of hostility by the authorities, who have always considered their mountain to be sacred, and that foreigners were violating the sanctity.
Tibet then once again became a forbidden country, but Nepal opened her borders, and teams then set out from Katmandu to attempt the southern approaches. So it was in 1953 that the first successful climb was made by Hillary and Tenzing.
However, there has always been a keen desire to establish if Mallory and Irvine were the first to set foot on the top of the highest mountain in the world. Finally, in 1999, the body of Mallory was found, but it yielded no clues. If Irvine's body could be found, the camera might also be located, and this could provide the evidence.
The photographer in 1924, John Noel, had provided each climbing pair with a small Kodak camera, in addition to a cine camera capable of recording 2 minutes of moving film, which would be enough to prove that the pair had reached the summit. It is possible that either Mallory or Irvine were carrying their own pocket camera, so there could be evidence that the mountain was first successfully scaled in 1924. But that evidence has hitherto not been found, so teams continue to set out, in a quest to locate Irvine's body, find a camera and have the film carefully developed, in the hope that it will reveal the final truth about the mystery of 1924.