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The Mystery of Andree


It is rather definite news that comes from Krasnovarsk(sic), Siberia, concerning the finding of the remains of Prof. Andree and his two companions, who started for the North Pole in a balloon nearly two years ago and were never heard from afterward save through one brief message by carrier pigeon, sent soon after the balloon sailed from Dane's Island. The report that a cabin made of the cloth and ropes of a balloon has been found by natives in northern Siberia with the remains of three men and numerous instruments, etc., lying beside it, has an appearance of probability, and if such a discovery has in fact been made there is no longer any mystery concerning the fate of the Andree expedition. Investigation will be made at once and the truth will be known before long. Great interest in Prof. Andree's attempt to reacht (sic) the Pole has been manifested all over the world, not because there is a widespread conviction that the Pole ought to be discovered, but because of the high standing of Andree as a man of science, the hazardous nature of the undertaking and its possible value as a means of determining the limitations of aerial navigation by balloons. Strange as it may seem, many of the scientific friends of Prof. Andree in Sweden had not, up to a very short time ago, given up hope of the safe return of the party. They have held that after abandoning the baloon (sic), as of course they must have been obliged to do very soon, as it was not expected that it could remain afloat many days, the party would be compelled to make a long journey on foot over Siberian ice and snow, which would necessarily occupy many months. But all the cherished theories of the explorer's friends will have to be dropped if the report from Siberia is verified, and it seems highly probable that it will be. But whatever the investigation of the report may show, it would be unreasonable to hope longer for the safe return of the Andree party. It seems sufficiently clear that polar exploration by balloon will never become profitable or popular.

Reproduced with permission: L.L. Lewis, Explorations (Newspaper Clippings Related to Polar Exploration), Vol. 1 & 2. University Archives, Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas Libraries, Lawrence, KS.



Original Source:

Rochester Union and Advertiser, Rochester, NY. Feb. 11, 1899


Jennifer Holvoet, Ph.D.
University of Kansas


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