National Geographic : 1963 Jan
National Geographic, January, 1963 with his precious plants and two .45-caliber pistols beside him, while brigands prowled around the walls of a village his "army" had occupied. Dr. Rock brought home valuable zoologi cal and botanical specimens, including a blight-resistant chestnut tree. He also ex plored, mapped, and photographed regions new to Western cartographers. Botanist Discovers Awesome Inferno Part of the fascination of research is that it often produces totally unexpected results. For example, one would not expect a botani cal expedition to discover a physical wonder of the world. But it happened. In 1915 the Society sent a small party to Alaska under botanist Robert F. Griggs. Three years earlier Mount Katmai had liter ally blown its top, and Dr. Griggs wanted to study the explosion's effects on vegetation. NATIONALGEOGRAPHIC PHOTOGRI Having recorded some interesting phe nomena, Griggs's team returned in 1916. While making a routine field trip along the Katmai Pass trail, Dr. Griggs saw a puff of smoke rise from behind a hill. He climbed the hill and looked down into a seething miles long inferno. Plumes of steam, thousands of them, rose high in the air from the boiling, hissing caldrons of fumaroles. "It was as though all the steam engines in the world, assembled together, had popped their safety valves at once," Dr. Griggs wrote later in the Magazine. He named his discovery the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes. The Society sent four more expeditions to the Mount Katmai re gion, and articles in your journal on the val ley's weird sights so stirred public interest that President Wilson in 1918 preserved the area as Katmai National Monument. Katmai is one of seven areas that the So ciety has helped the Gov PHER RICHARDH. STEWART ernment to establish or enlarge as either nation al parks or monuments. Willis T. Lee explored the dark and labyrinthine passages of Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico,for the Society and the U. S. Geological Survey during the early 1920's. NATION AL GEOGRAPHIC descrip tions and photographs of its underground wonders led to Carlsbad becoming a national park in 1930. Individual members of the Society contributed $100,000 to save the big trees of California's Sequoia National Park. El Rey-so named because he was the king of 11 huge heads found in southern Mexico-gets his colossal face patched. A National Geographic Society-Smith sonian Institution expedi tion found the 30-ton basalt image in 1946. Created by long-dead Indians, the flat nosed idol wears a cap sug gesting a football helmet.