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Alfred Reidel, of Baltimore, Md., Submits His Proposition To the Johns Hopkins' Faculty.

Trials At Spitzbergen.

Would Submerge Vessel Where Fram Froze In The Ice and Proceed Underwater.

Merits Seen In His Plans.

Baltimore, MD., Saturday. --

Alfred Reidel a young Baltimorean, held a conference today with Daniel C. Gilman, president of Johns Hopkins University, and members of the faculty with reference to an expedition to the north pole by means of one of the Lake submarine boats. After listening to Mr. Riedel's plans the faculty expressed the opinion that they deserved consideration.

Mr. Reidel explained that, after a close study of the reports of scientists and explorers, he believes there is no land at the pole, and that the sea there, if not open, is covered with ice of a moderate thickness. He believes that the climatic conditions at the pole are different from what popular belief would have them.

Because Dr. Nansen encountered bear and other life he argues there must be open water, to some extent, for without it their food would not be obtainable. If these ideas are correct he says there will be no difficulty carrying a boat like the Argonaut beneath the ice to the much sought for Pole.

He plans that the vessel be taken to Spitzbergen and there tried beneath the ice, such changes in the boat as would then be suggested being made. From Spitzbergen the boat would proceed along the path of the Fram to the front, where it was frozen in the ice, which is estimated about 650 miles from the Pole in a direct line.

Submerging the boat at this point, the submarine voyage would begin. The vessel could proceed one hundred miles without the necessity of a renewal of the air supply. Within this space, it is believed, clear sea would be encountered. It it (sic) was not, the projector says, it would make no difference.

An augerlike screw would be used in such a case to bore a hole through the ice, and air could be pumped through this into the storage batteries of the boat, or, if it was necessary, a torpedo would be fastened to a point on the under surface of the ice, the boat backed away to a safe distance and a hole blown in the ice. The same tactics could be pursued at the Pole.

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.


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Original Source:
  New Herald, NY: Jan. 30, 1898.  
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  Jennifer Holvoet, Ph.D.  
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