National Geographic : 1962 Feb
Exploring Antarctica's Phantom Coast the canvas version of the quonset, with a sign: "Minneapolis, Minn., 8,140 miles." Checking with U. S. Antarctic headquar ters at McMurdo Sound by radio, we learned that a party led by Dr. Campbell Craddock, a geology professor from the University of Minnesota, had been surveying the mountains after a 600-mile flight from Byrd Station. They had evacuated the camp by plane about a month earlier. Another American group, the Ellsworth Highland Traverse party, was already crawl ing toward it by tractor. Its members were to be flown out from Camp Minnesota. The proposed name for the range, we learned, was the Jones Mountains, honoring Dr. Thomas O.Jones, head of the Office of Antarctic Pro grams, National Science Foundation. Ice Explorer Scorns Hot Shower Later, as we circled the camp by air, we saw men and vehicles (page 268). The traverse party had arrived. We landed and met the leader, Dr. Charles R. Bentley of the Univer sity of Wisconsin. Bearded and lean from the 90-day journey by Sno-Cat from Byrd Sta tion far in the interior, the six-man party was in high spirits - perhaps because planes were to pick them up in 24 hours. There were other reasons, too. Their seis mographs had proved that a large chunk of the Antarctic Continent was not continent at all. They had found that the land beneath the ice over which they traveled was mostly below sea level, indicating that perhaps the area between Bellingshausen, Weddell, and Ross Seas is, like the area that lies off the Eights Coast, a group of islands. I invited Bentley to fly aboard Glacier for a shower and a hot dinner-both luxuries in the Antarctic. "I'll be glad of the dinner," he smiled, "but as for the shower, I haven't Weather balloon tugs for take-off from Staten Island's flight deck. Suspended in struments transmit data on temperature, humidity, and wind velocity. Glacier looms like a shadow in the mist. Conical nets fluttering above Glacier's ventilation blower scoop the winds for in sects. Canadian entomologist Robin Leech found no insect life among the islands off the Eights Coast. had these clothes off for weeks and I couldn't bear to put them back on." After the Bentley party was flown out, the Phantom Coast was all ours once more. We continued our mapping and measuring, our sampling and dredging, our balloon-borne examination of the upper atmosphere. Then began the storm I have already de scribed, and our work came to a howling halt. After the rescue of the marooned shore party, we found solid sea ice blocking any further penetration to the east. The season was ad vancing; it was high time to sail back west, toward the Amundsen Sea. But first we had to pick up the equipment that the shore party had been forced to aban don. Four men set out in a copter to get it. While they cruised 3,000 feet over an ice clad island, the engine began making weird noises. Black smoke poured from the exhaust. The pilot, Lt. (j.g.) R. N. Franks, reduced speed and started looking for a place to land. HS EKTACHROME(ABOVE) AND KODACHROME) N.G.S.