A mystery of two mummified bodies found lying deep in an outback cave continues to haunt a remote sheep station.
The bodies were found slumped against the walls of Mullamullang Cave on the Nullarbor Plain in Western Australia on July 11 and 30, 1991.
Police couldn't determine how, or even when, they died and the case was buried in the station's archives until the report was unearthed recently.
Forensic and anthropological evidence could only confirm the men were Aboriginals living a traditional lifestyle, and could have died as early as the 1880s.
Never reported missing and almost forgotten by time, the bodies lay in their rocky graves until a cave explorer stumbled upon them by chance.
The body of a 35 to 40-year-old full-blood Aboriginal found in Mullamullang Cave on the Nullarbor Plain in 1991. Who he was and how or when he died is still a mystery
The remote area now lies within the 712,000 hectare Madura Plains Station, the third biggest sheep station in Australia which sold for $10 million in 2016.
Australian National University Caving Club member Greg Lane was one of six students exploring the 12km main cavern.
He and his friends photographed the shocking discovery, found about 2.4km from the entrance, and led local police to the first body the next day.
'The body was decomposed and in a mummified state. There was no obvious sign of clothing, footwear, or other property upon or near the body,' major crime squad's Detective Sergeant Carey wrote in his report.
After removing the body from the cave, police mounted a second expedition on July 30 that found the second body about 80m away on the other side of a rockfall.
This one was propped up against the cave wall and the head and legs had fallen off the torso.
Never reported missing and almost forgotten by time, the bodies lay in their rocky graves until a cave explorer stumbled upon them by chance. Pictured is a more recent photo of the cave
All post-mortem examinations were able to determine was that the first body was a 20 to 25-year-old man of mixed race, and the second an Aboriginal man aged 35 to 40.
No skull fractures or other injuries to bones that would have contributed to their deaths or even caused discomfort were found, and there was no evidence of criminal activity.
The leading theory, which DS Carey's report concluded was most likely, was that the men got lost in the cave when their firesticks burned out, and starved to death.
'I tend to favour the option that both men perished after becoming stranded inside this cave following the expiration of their source of light,' DS Carey wrote.
Firesticks are made from myaparium or sugar tree, a type of sandalwood, but it was not clear why the men ventured so deep in the cave.
The remote area now lies within the 712,000 hectare Madura Plains Station, the third biggest sheep station in Australia which sold for $10 million in 2016
The only clues police found were fibres under where the men's bodies would have been, a decaying strand of knotted rope, and a floppy hat 3m from the first body.
Frustratingly, each of these clues was found to be a red herring, or raised more questions than answers about the identities of the bodies.
The fibres were eventually discovered to be human hair and grass, the same material used to make loin cloths by Aboriginals living a traditional lifestyle.
Police wondered if they used the rope to tie themselves together to avoid being separated in the cave when their firesticks went out.
However, this theory assumed the two men entered the cave together, which could not be conclusively proven.
The hat appeared to hold the most promise for a breakthrough, and police traced the manufacturers label to Maxford Pty Ltd, in Perth's Osborne Park.
However, the company said the hat was not one made or imported to Australia, but was popular in Asia.
Mullamullang Cave, formed about 30,000 years ago, was right in the middle of the Meahineng tribe's ancestral lands and well known to them
DS Carey thought the hat was therefore likely brought into the cave by a tourist and lost there long after the men died.
Fresh out of leads, police turned to Albert Carlisle OAM, 74, an expert who lived for many