Antarctica: Tales, Travels & News

Kondoru

Antediluvian
Joined
Dec 5, 2003
Messages
8,250
Reaction score
3,685
Points
239
I thought the Polynesians sighting icebergs was long known about in polar exploration literature.
 

Bigphoot2

Not sprouts! I hate sprouts.
Joined
Jul 30, 2005
Messages
10,248
Reaction score
38,509
Points
314
The search for Shackleton's ship continues

Renewed quest to find Shackleton's lost Endurance ship​

_112909951_jonathanamos.jpg
Jonathan Amos
Science correspondent
@BBCAmoson Twitter

Published6 hours ago
Share

It's arguably the most famous shipwreck whose location has yet to be found.
The Endurance vessel, which was lost on Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton's ill-fated expedition in 1914-17, lies at the bottom of the Weddell Sea.
Many have thought about trying to identify its resting place; a few have even had a go. But sea-ice cover in the region makes navigation very tricky.
Dr John Shears and colleagues, however, are undaunted. Having been beaten on their last mission, they're returning.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-57725493
 

Trevp666

It was like that when I got here.........honest!!!
Joined
May 29, 2009
Messages
6,048
Reaction score
16,760
Points
299
Location
Welwyn Garden City (but oddly, not an actual city)
I reckon they'd be more successful if they used people instead of penguins though.

The crew of the Agulhas proved itself adept at threading the sea-ice in 2019

1625652273355.png
 

ramonmercado

CyberPunk
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
53,424
Reaction score
30,895
Points
314
Location
Eblana
Interesting article on the 1946-47 U.S. expedition to Antarctica.

In a combined effort not long after World War II, the U.S. Navy employed ships, airplanes and helicopters to explore and map Antarctica’s frozen reaches.

The celebrations surrounding the end of World War II had barely ended when the Cold War commenced between the Western Allies and their Soviet former partner. The war’s end also signaled the onset of the atomic age and a corresponding desire among the victorious nations to secure supplies of uranium and other natural resources. With its vast mineral deposits amid largely unexplored territory, Antarctica was considered a promising potential repository of those vital resources. As such, the United States sought to establish a presence in Antarctica and explore the frigid continent using naval and air assets.

On August 26, 1946, chief of U.S. naval operations Admiral Chester Nimitz announced that a massive combined military expedition dubbed Operation Highjump would be launched into Antarctica in December during summer in the Southern Hemisphere. The operation involved 13 ships, more than 4,700 personnel and a variety of aircraft, including newly purchased helicopters. The naval contingent, known as Task Force 68, was commanded by Rear Adm. Richard H. Cruzen and Rear Adm. Richard E. Byrd commanded the scientific and research elements, with six Douglas R4D-5L aircraft (Navy C-47As) at his disposal. ...

https://www.historynet.com/operatio...dition-to-explore-antarctica-from-the-air.htm
 

Kondoru

Antediluvian
Joined
Dec 5, 2003
Messages
8,250
Reaction score
3,685
Points
239
That's the thing about Antarctica, isn't it?

Its a bonanza of minerals.
 

blessmycottonsocks

Antediluvian
Joined
Dec 22, 2014
Messages
6,390
Reaction score
11,944
Points
289
Location
Wessex and Mercia
The story of The Belgica Expedition and how a charlatan's reputation may be restored. A long article excerpted from Madhouse at the End of the Earth: The Belgica’s Journey Into the Dark Antarctic Night, by Julian Sancton.

I first heard of the Belgica expedition in the spring of 2015, while procrastinating at my desk at Departures magazine.

I was flipping through the latest issue of The New Yorker when I found a headline that caught my interest: “Moving to Mars.” It was about an ongoing experiment taking place on Hawaii’s Mauna Loa—about as close as the earth gets to a Martian environment—in which six volunteers lived in isolation under a geodesic dome for a NASA-funded study on team dynamics, in preparation for eventual missions to the Red Planet.

In classic New Yorker fashion, the author, Tom Kizzia, backed into the story. The first few paragraphs were about an expedition that took place 120 years ago, involving the first men to endure an Antarctic winter. Kizzia mentioned the “‘mad-house’ promenade” around the ship, a phrase that immediately jumped out at me. I was intrigued to find out what possible connection there might be between the Belgica and far-flung space exploration. But even more fascinating to me was the character of the physician, Frederick Albert Cook, known as one of America’s most shameless hucksters, who through relentless ingenuity nevertheless managed to save the expedition from catastrophe.

I’ve always been drawn to heroic antiheroes: Sherlock Holmes, Butch Cassidy, Han Solo. When I looked further into Cook’s story and learned that he lived out his final days in Larchmont, New York, in a house I pass every time I walk my dog, it felt like a sign: there was no way I wasn’t writing this book.

Thus began a five-year obsession that took me across the world, from Oslo to Antwerp to Antarctica, on the trail of the Belgica and her men. The narrative that unfolded before me, through diaries and other primary sources, turned out to be far richer than the simple good yarn I’d imagined at first. The expedition shaped two future giants of exploration, one rightly revered, Roald Amundsen, and one unfairly maligned, the aforementioned Cook. It culminated with an epic breakout from the tenacious Antarctic pack ice that, in its scale and ambition, rivals the greatest man-versus-nature struggles in history and literature. And its legacy proved much more consequential than the mere survival of (most of) its men.

One of the challenges I faced in recreating a journey that took place so long ago, and in such extreme isolation, was getting access to the sensory quality of the experience. Not just what happened day to day, or what coordinates the ship reached along her circuitous drift, but what it must have been like for the men aboard, both to discover such splendors and to endure such hardship. To my delight, it soon became apparent that the Belgica voyage was among the most well-documented polar missions of the heroic age, in which no fewer than ten men kept detailed diaries or logs (even though one was later burned). ...

https://lithub.com/polar-nightmare-on-one-of-the-first-international-expeditions-of-the-modern-era/

Just finished the book last night. Well worth reading, despite the author employing a slightly quirky style, that cuts abruptly from past tense authentic history book narrative to present tense dialogue.
He certainly works hard to restore Cook's tarnished reputation who, just might be remembered more now as a courageous and pioneering medic rather than a self-aggrandizing huckster of dubious honesty.

The mystery at the end of the book is worth a mention here, as I don't believe it's been covered elsewhere on this forum.

For more about this mystery see:

Arctic Expeditions & Explorations
https://forums.forteana.org/index.php?threads/arctic-expeditions-explorations.42925/
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Top