National Geographic : 1981 Jan
OME MONTHS before the Polish workers' strikes of last summer cap tured world attention, I had the oppor tunity to visit their country. After days of traveling by car and bus and talking with dozens of citizens and officials, I felt I had learned something about their society. Still, I was unprepared for the richness and the in sight in Yva Momatiuk's account of her re turn to a mountain village in southern Poland she had known as a girl. It is the kind of reporting that distin guishes our approach to topics of current interest-behind-the-headlines, personal statements that deal with the lives of people on the familiar daily level. While Yva and her husband, John Eastcott, report on dis content with the economic situation several months before the strikes, they also note much else that escaped the news accounts the pride and character of the people, their loyalty to the land. Our commitment to in-depth reports is nowhere better displayed than in the lead article of this issue. We are aware of your interest in the Mount St. Helens cataclysm; many of you wrote to ask why we had not published. Rather than rush into print, we opted to wait until we felt we had the most complete and best documented account of the eruption and its aftermath. I hope you will agree the wait has been worth it. Author Rowe Findley, while working on another assignment in the area, became aware of the restiveness of Mount St. Helens weeks before its massive eruption and was there to witness the drama and tragedy. Only because he interrupted his volcano watching for a Sunday visit with friends did Rowe avoid the certain death that claimed his friend Reid Blackburn, who stayed to man his radio-fired cameras. Ten photogra phers were assigned to cover various aspects of the eruption, but eventually the work of 21 photographers was brought together in this article. Among the most unforgettable images are those of a free-lance photogra pher, Robert Landsburg, who was killed by the explosion. In the 64 pages that follow, you will find the results of a team effort that has produced a memorable and lasting look at a stupen dous event. EDITOR NATIONAL THENATIONALGEOGRAPHICMAGAZINEVOL. 159, NO. 1 COPYRIGHT© 1980 BY NATIONALGEOGRAPHICSOCIETY WASHINGTON,D. C. INTERNATIONALCOPYRIGHTSECURED January 1981 ERUPTION OF MOUNT ST. HELENS Mountain With a Death Wish 3 In the Path of Destruction 35 The Day the Sky Fell 50 A snow-cappedpeak in the Cascadesshuddersand explodes, blasting1,300feet off its top, scything down forests and sending ash cloudsacross the Northwest. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC documents a stunning geologicevent, combining a three-partfirsthand narrativeby Assistant EditorRowe Findley, detailedmaps, and extraordinarypictures by 21 photographers. Ancient Ashfall Entombed Prehistoric Animals 66 PaleontologistMichaelR. Voorhies unearths a burialground of ten-million-year-oldcreaturesof the GreatPlains.Photographsby Annie Griffiths, paintingsby JayMatternes. They're Redesigning the Airplane 76 Eight decades into the airage, bold new ideasand electronicwizardryare revolutionizinghow man flies. By Michael E. Long andJamesA. Sugar. Poland's Mountain People 104 Fiercelove of the land and ways of the past shape the life of the proud "gdrale"of southernPoland. Polish-bornYva Momatiuk andhusbandJohn Eastcottreturnto visit the rugged hinterlandshe knew in heryouth. The Indomitable Cockroach 130 There arequalitiesto admire in thatmuch maligned,ancient,andfar-traveledinsectpest, AllenA. Boraikoand Bates Littlehalesdiscover. COVER: Clouds of ash billow above a flowering hawthorn in Ephrata,Washington,on May 18, 1980, three hoursafter Mount St. Helens' eruption 145 miles away. Photographby DouglasMiller.