National Geographic : 1953 Apr
502 U . S . Air Force, Official Air Explorers Cross Admiral Peary's Sledge Trail on Ellesmere Island Admiral Peary fixed the date of his arrival at Cape Columbia as June 8, 1906 . Other members of a subsequent Peary expedition erected the marker in 1909. Flying from Fletcher's Island, the author (left), Colonel B enedict , and First Lt. Herbert C. Thompson (background) landed to investigate strange objects on the ground. Be sides the Peary memento, they found a cairn left by Danish Adm. Godfred Hansen in 1919. Cotell, who set up hydrographic equipment on the thin sea ice. They measured tempera- tures and salinity at various depths. Up to the time we moved onto the island, depths had been measured at only a few places in this vast sea. We took scores of soundings, using seismic equipment. Although the bottom was generally flat and more than 12,000 feet down, here and there mountains rose to within 7,000 feet of the surface. Submarine Grand Canyon Discovered Crary discovered a giant submarine canyon; altogether T-3 drifted seven times over its sheer precipice, which was more than 4,000 feet high. Samples of the bottom were brought up; plankton was strained out of sea water from many depths. Fresh water was plentiful. All we needed to do was locate a subsurface lake, a pocket of crystal-clear water trapped in our glacier, and dig down to it. During the cold period , we noticed that we developed a craving for fatty foods. Two of the versatile weasels, tractor-type vehicles ideal for snow travel, were flown in. They were kept in a garage of snow blocks, in which we also set up the electric-generating plant. Heat from the generator kept the weasel engines warm, so they started easily. With them we smoothed a landing strip. One day we had visitors from the Navy. Out of the polar sky dropped two planes of its Ski-Jump II project, which is devoted primarily to oceanographic research. One had engine trouble; its crew stayed with us three weeks while a new engine was flown in by the 54th Troop Carrier Squadron.