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The Mystery of Andree


The three explorers. Black and white drawing. Links to larger version of the graphic with more description.



Has Andree crossed the north pole? Has he discovered an open polar sea? These are the questions that the scientific men in every country are discussing. But, aside from the scientific results, the success of the expedition, the most daring in modern times, is of interest to the world at large.

Professor Andree is not a novice in balloon traveling, but one of Europe's most skillful and daring aeronauts, having made several long-distance journeys by means of a balloon. There is some doubt as to the third member of the expedition. As first mentioned as having sailed in Svensksund for Spitzbergen were Professor Andree, Dr. Nils Strindberg and Dr. Ekholm, with Messrs. Fraenkel and Svedenborg as substitutes should any of the other members be prevented for some reason or other to take part in the balloon journey. The cable dispatches stating that the balloon left Spitzbergen July 11 only mention Professor Andree and Dr. Strindberg. Later cable dispatches claim that Dr. Ekholm is now in Stockholm. As there are two scientific men of the same name in Sweden and both having been identified with Professor Andree's attempted balloon journey last year, it is at present uncertain if Dr. Ekholm or Mr. Fraenkel is of the party.

Mr. Fraenkel is a civil engineer, while Mr. Svedenborg is a lieutenant of artillery in the Swedish army and a son-in-law of Professor Nordenskjold. Both of these men are experienced aeronauts and as ardent sportsmen are accustomed to hardships. If they have not left Spitzbergen with Andree they have probably joined the Swedish expedition of scientific men who are now at Spitzbergen for exploration purposes, having been sent out by the Swedish government. Professor Andree's expenses for his balloon journey this year and the attempted journey last year are paid from a fund subscribed by King Oscar of Sweden, Baron Oscar Dickson and Robert Noble, the two latter recently deceased. The balloon itself cost $10,000. Altogether about $50,000 is represented in the undertaking. Through means of an imperial ukase the news of the attempted balloon journey has spread all over northern Russia by the Russian imperial interior department of state, giving a detailed description of the balloon, the travelers and their journey and commanding every inhabitant "to render them every service.

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:

Chicago Chronicle, Chicago, IL. July 25, 1897


Jennifer Holvoet, Ph.D.
University of Kansas

Graphics digitized by:
Patrick Harper
University of Kansas.

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