ID Cards Coming in Handy Yet Again

Identification Card

ID Card and Passport

Technologies may have changed in four decades, but a newly discovered ID card from 45 years ago may answer a long held mystery surrounding the crash of an aircraft in the Indian Air Force.


A group of trekkers discovered the identification card of Arjun Singh, a pilot who disappeared after his plane supposedly crashed in the mountain of Lahaul Valley in India.  The plane in question took off in 1968 on a supposedly routine flight with over one hundred people on board.  There were supposedly no survivors, as a result of bad weather that could not be reckoned with.  The discovery of the card is particularly helpful because, according to Balbir Thakur, the magistrate who received Singh’s card from the trekkers, the wreckage of the plane can’t possibly be too far behind it.


“There are chances,” he said, “that aircraft’s major portion could be located… where the debris was spotted.”  This could be the final punctuation point on a case that has remained open ended for nearly half a century.  While the tragedy still leaves a bitter taste in the mouth of those who remember it, there is much to learn from it.


It goes without saying that identification has evolved greatly in recent history, and a news story such as this one provides a great opportunity to look at how cards used to be made, analyze them, and learn from any mistakes.  While the 45-year-old card has managed to stay relatively in tact, it is frayed in ways that are unheard of  by today’s ID card standards.  However, it does speak volumes about the potential durability of new ID cards, if even one that is 45 years old can withstand the hazards of a mountain range.  Imagine the potential that is right at your fingertips, waiting to be printed!


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