stefansson-wrangel-09-28-006

OverviewTranscribeVersionsHelp

Facsimile

Transcription

Status: Indexed

109

- 46 -

route, and had instead contemplated a flight only a little north of the Trans-
Siberian Railway. With that route they found there would be considerable
difficulty because high mountain ranges would have to be crossed. They had got
so far in their arctic thinking as to say to each other what a pity it was that
the Arctic was so prohibitively cold, since the route across it had no mountains
and was also much shorter. But what really stopped this planning was the tragic
death of General Maitland in the explosion of the dirigible ZR2. When I turned [in margain: ?]
up with my gospel of the friendly arctic, insisting that we forget the ancient
views of the terrible north inherited from the Greeks and base all our thinking
and planning on the actual verified principles of modern meteorology and the
reliable observations of travelers, General Brancker resumed the interest in the
London-Tokyo plans that had been interrupted by General Maitland's death. We went
into the question very thoroughly - length of jumps, prevalence of fogs, direction
and violence of winds, absence of mountains, advantages and disadvantages of the
polar temperatures both in summer and winter. The conclusions were crystallized
in a speech made by General Brancker at Sheffield in which he said that regular
mail service by dirigible between England and Japan over the Arctic was a
probability of the next ten years.

During the summer 1923 I took the time for discussions of every
arctic problem with whoever would listen, because they had a bearing on creating
public interest in the pressing situation of the men on Wrangell Island. I also
wrote articles for the Spectator, Times, Manchester Guardian and Observer, for in
a democracy it is necessary to convince not only the Government but also the people who
support the Government with their votes and who are likely to register disapproval
at the polls if the facts and reasons behind the actions of the Government are
not made clear to them.

My intercourse with the Government continued smooth and pleasant,
but progress no longer appeared to be rapid. I speak with no authority but I
blamed the delays upon the slowness of diplomatic correspondence, since the Foreign

Notes and Questions

Nobody has written a note for this page yet

Please sign in to write a note for this page