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While Dr. EKHOLA, who was associated with ANDREE last year, is inclined to frown upon the first of the carrier pigeon stories, that from the neighborhood of Soevda, in Rifylke, the second tale about a second bird, from near Tromsoë Island, in Norway, whence ANDREE started for Spitzbergen, seems to be credited. The message carried by this bird is said to be: "North Pole passed, fifteenth." The first message is surely authentic if the second is. It read: "North Pole, 142 W., 47 minutes, 62 degrees," indicating, supposedly, that ANDREE had crossed the pole and reached that meridian of longitude, which is the longitude of points on the northern coast of Alaska. The statement of the seconds in the observation of longitude made in a balloon speeding at the rate of 22 miles an hour puzzles people who know about such things. It is declared that ANDREE would not care to be so particular, and that he could hardly compute so exactly in the circumstances. But that judgement is to be classed together with Dr. EKHOLA'S statement that ANDREE'S pigeons are not like the one described as being caught at Soevda. Perhaps the doctor does not know all ANDREE'S pigeons. Perhaps ANDREE had plenty of time to make minute observations before he sent the bird away.

Until we receive contradictory advices (sic) we may be justified in assuming that since their balloon started from Spitzbergen, in longitude about 20º east, July 11, ANDREE, STRINDBERG, and FRAENKEL have journeyed through the air to a point not far from the northern coast of Alaska; that they have, perhaps, crossed the north pole; that they are probably safe, and will make their way home by way of the Mackenzie River, if, indeed, they do not find it worth while to stop over in Klondike for a little mid-summer prospecting.

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


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Original Source:

New York Times, New York, NY. July 23, 1897

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Jennifer Holvoet, Ph.D.
University of Kansas

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