Thursday, October 16, 2008

Byrd's Flight to the South Pole (1929)

Men hauling sledge in the frigid Antarctic night, 1929.
Richard E. Byrd Papers, #7809_38.

Conquering the Ice: Byrd's Flight to the South Pole:

The selection of the crew for the expedition was undertaken with careful consideration. In order to meet the goals of the expedition, a variety of men with a variety of skills would be essential. Ultimately, there were 4 pilots, 3 aircraft mechanics, three radiomen, five dog drivers, a doctor, three surveyors, 4 scientists, a tailor, a carpenter, news media experts, a cook and general hands, that totaled 42 men who wintered in Antarctica. In addition, a boy scout was selected prior to the expedition in a national search. Paul Siple was the winning scout, and accompanied not only this expedition, but all of the Byrd’s subsequent Antarctic expeditions. Siple eventually achieved prominence as a scientist in his own right.

The Byrd Polar Research Center Archival Program

Richard E. Byrd (1888-1957) led eleven expeditions to the North Pole and Antarctica. His 1947 flight over the Arctic became associated with a "secret diary" that describes a trip into the Hollow Earth. I've read what there is of this diary and felt it to be a fabrication. One can compare this with the online version of his notebook from 1925-27.

I'd love for there to be a world at the center of the Earth; I've read all the stories. I can't buy into the Hollow Earth theory but I think there could be a deep subterranean world inhabited by strange creatures that we would have no conception of. I suspect that they would be far weirder than dinosaurs or cavemen.

related news: Expedition set for 'ghost peaks'

It is perhaps the last great Antarctic expedition - to find an explanation for why there is a great mountain range buried under the White Continent....

"This region is a complete enigma. It's in the middle of the continent. Most mountain ranges are on the edges of continents, and we really can't understand what these mountains are doing in the centre."

Makes me think of this.

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