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Special Report: Making News Where There Is None
Hello all out there,
A news service sends us a package of news on a daily basis and our Communications Operator formats it into ‘Aurora News’ for people on board to read. Funnily enough after a while we tend not to have much interest in what’s happening elsewhere so the paper is quickly scanned and passed on. Recently we were getting heartily sick of some political news seemingly endlessly repeated so Gordon and another guy put their heads together and decided to create something of real interest.
So, over five issues of the paper with an item every two or thee days the paper ran the following story which we thought you might enjoy. The early episodes started some chatter, some disbelief but ‘who knows what those Americans will do’.
Episode 4 was the one which really got the conversations running. Even now some are not at all sure whether this was real or a hoax or some making a hoax of a real story or .....
Enjoy, Rookey (for those who know him) and Gordon had a lot of fun putting it together. We don’t know if the word escaped the ship but people outside must have been puzzled at comments or questions coming from here. The Captain and Voyage Leader were told after Episode 2 in case they decided official communications became appropriate!!!!
Australia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer and Defence Minister John Moore welcomed the development as another element in bilateral cooperation and said there were significant spin offs for Australia’s interests in the region, but did not elaborate.
As he did in the recent arguments over the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland Premier Beattie was furious over the Federal Government’s attitude. He was however not supported by fellow Labour Premier of Tasmania Jim Bacon who welcomed the initiative. "We need to continue to enhance Tasmania and Hobart’s reputation as a haven for visiting ships of all types, and especially those involved in Antarctica", Mr Bacon said.
US officials were quick to say that the trials posed no threat to humans or animals and the ice was a great absorber of energy. A spokesperson for various Ethics Committees around Australia said the American statement was laughable and they should put up for international scrutiny the bases on which they had made their judgement.
Greenpeace International immediately began plans to deploy the Rainbow Warrior 2 and the Gondwana captained by veteran Antarctic sailor Arne Sorensen to the area and called upon all sister organisations to rally to support Greenpeace. A spokesperson for the organisation said that this was the greatest affront to international efforts to make Antarctica truly a land of peace and science.
At the same time in Hobart, a bemused Robert Clifford founder of International Catamarans said he found the whole idea of using nuclear submarines laughable. He said that on the slips at the Company’s yard in Derwent Park was a new generation high-speed semi-submersible hydrofoil catamaran which would more than adequately deal with the sort of trials the Americans were talking about and would also be ideal craft for resupplying Australia’s bases in Antarctica and more than capable of apprehending any number of fish poachers.
The statement said that Russian investigators had established that the whole matter was an elaborate hoax. The perpetrator, who went by the shadowy nickname Viktor, had genuinely worked in the interests of his mother Russia by shifting focus to the antics of the Americans and the western world in general. In fact in doing such a service to Russia, Viktor who had done time in the Davis area of Antarctica during the 1980s was to made a Hero of Russia.
The Americans and Australians were suitably red faced and concerned people on the Aurora Australis are no longer concerned.
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