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The Mystery of Andree


We place little faith in the alleged discovery of Prof. Andree. If an aeronaut were to start out in a balloon to go across the Atlantic from the continent of America to the continent of Europe, the chances are that after he had disappeared from the sight of those who saw his leave-taking, if this were done, say, off the coast of Newfoundland, he would never be seen or heard of again, and this in spite of the fact that he would be endeavoring to cross a much frequented waterway. In the case of Prof. Andree, the voyage was undertaken over an absolutely unpopulated area. The only way in which tidings could be obtained was by the return of the aeronaut, since no one could search in an effective manner the desolate, but constantly changing, waste of ice and ocean which lies between the northern shores of Europe and Asia and the northern shores of the American continent. In that area a million men might be swallowed up and lost forever; how much more an aeronaut and his two companions. The report from Siberia would appear to indicate that the air voyagers brought back their balloon with them, and the scientific instruments with which they started on their voyage; but as the voyage was begun more than a year and a half ago, the hut with the balloon paraphernalia must have been built more than a year ago, since the balloon could not have sustained a hard exposure of months. If Andree landed in northern Siberia a few weeks after his departure, in July of 1897, and one of his companions had his head, as the statement appears, crushed in the landing, the ordinary usages of civilization would have required the burial of the dead companion even before a hut was constructed. It is quite improbable that the two survivors would have kept the body of their dead companion with them without burial until they, too, died, presumably of starvation. The entire statement, although it comes by cable from Russia, seems entirely improbable.

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:

Boston Herald, Boston, MA. Feb. 12, 1899


Jennifer Holvoet, Ph.D.
University of Kansas

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