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The Mystery of Andree


There have been many rumors of tidings from Andree, the lost Arctic explorer, proceeding from widely separated points along the southern shore of the circumpolar sea. The Taimur peninsula of Siberia, whence comes by an indirect route the latest story of discovery, is eighty degrees of longitude to the eastward of Andree's starting point at the northerly extremity of Spitzbergen, and to have traversed the intervening distance by balloon would have been an aeronautic feat more astounding than the successful accomplishment of Andree's projected transpolar trip. Further investigation by Russian officials will disclose whether the bodies of the missing adventurers have really been found, or whether the report must be added to the gradually increasing list of baseless and gratuitous fabrications which have been sprung upon the public from time to time in regard to Andre's (sic) sensational dash for the pole.

The new mystery of the perpetually frozen north promises to endure and to inspire deeds of exploration and tales of Arctic romance for many years to come. The fate of Andree, Strindeberg (sic) and Frenkel (sic) challenges the curiosity of the scientific world, and awakens a lively interest among all the denizens of the far north. Up to this time, notwithstnding eager research and constant watchfulness, nothing definite has been learned of the course of the great balloon which sped to the northward from Dane's Island on that fateful day of July, 1897. There have been two reported captures of pigeons bearing messages from Andree; a story, by a United States mail carrier in Alaska of dispatches received in April last from the explorer at Departure Bay; a report in the following December that the balloon had crossed the Ural Mountains, and now this latest tale from Northern Siberia.

There have been sent out already three unsuccessful exploring expeditions in search of Andree, and a fourth party is now being organized at Copenhagen for a renewal of the almost hopeless quest. So it will be, no doubt, year after year until the eternal ice shall have yielded up its secret or the longing for Arctic adventure shall have ceased to animate the breasts of devotees of science the world over.

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:

Burlington Gazette, Burlington, IA. Feb. 16, 1899


Jennifer Holvoet, Ph.D.
University of Kansas

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