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The Mystery of Andree


It is almost certain that another tragedy has been added to the Arctic list. It seems almost hoping against hope that Andree will ever come back. It is 13 months since his balloon took its flight in the direction of the Polar Sea, and only one message from the daring explorer has come back to civilization. That was brought by one of Andree's carrier pigeons, and announced satisfactory progress so far as the daring navigator of the air had gone, but only o (sic) small portion of the journey had been accomplished when this bird was liberated. Other carrier pigeons may have been dispatched since, but only that one ever delivered its message, and after that event silence fell upon the intrepid men who thought they had marked out a new path by which to approach the North Pole..

Predictions of failure were plentiful enough when Andree made his project known. But such was the case, too, when Nansen announced his intention to build a ship calculated to resist the enormous ice pressure of the vast frozen fields, and to drift with the ice across the polar basin. Nansen's theories proved practicable, and this encouraged the hope that Andree's theories, also, would justify the conclusions he had reached.

A search party is now looking for traces of Andree's expedition. It was sent out by the Swedish governmet (sic) and has already traversed a large part of Northern Asiatic Russia. The last information from this party that has reached Europe was dated June 2. It was then on the Upper Lena river, and about to leave on its long voyage down that stream. The party's journey from St. Petersburg had been a tedious one, although it began with a fortnight's ride on the new Siberian railroad, and although the journey by sledges had been accelerated as much as possible by orders from the Russian government. The expedition expected to get to the Polar Sea in time to reach the New Siberian Islands while the sea was free from ice. If this expedition fails to find traces of Andree, it will have its own story to add to the annals of Arctic exploration.

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:
Pittsburgh Chronicle Telegraph. Pittsburgh, PA, Aug. 5, 1898

Jennifer Holvoet, Ph.D.
University of Kansas

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