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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 5, Issue 1 (May 1, 1930)

Civilisation's Frontiersmen

Civilisation's Frontiersmen.

Invention has not removed the romance of adventure, but has considerably altered it. Four exploration parties (American, British, Australian, and Norwegian) have been busy in the Antarctic, using all methods, old and new. Sir Hubert Wilkins now says that Stefansson, as ling ago as 1913, foresaw that the Polar use of the aeroplane would be limited to reconnaissance work. Wilkins insists on the practicability of the submarine in the icefields of both Poles. Sir Douglas Mawson has returned to Australia from his first year's work in the Antarctic, and it seems that the Commonwealth Government, notwithstanding Australia's depression, is prepared to continue its financial contribution to a second voyage. In view of the slaughter of whales, importance may belong to this explorer's statement that” we made a complete investigation into whaling.” In U.S.A., Carl Ben Eielson, flying associate of Wilkins, was buried beside his mother in a North Dakota cemetery. Crossing from Siberia to Alaska with a cargo of furs, Eielson crashed (probably owing to a lying altimeter) on the Alaskan side of the Strait. The bodies of Eielson and his companion, Borland, were found, after a Canadian-American search costing £20,000, with Soviet help. Otherwise their end would have been an unsolved mystery, like that of Mon rieff and Hood, or the lost training ship Kobenhavn, whose ghostly appearance off Tristan da Cunha is still affirmed by the lonely islanders.