Artifact of Early Antarctic Aviation Found
January 5, 2010 1:32 PM Subscribe
posted by filthy light thief (11 comments total)
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Early in the days of exploration of Antarctica
, Australian geologist Douglas Mawson
turned down an invitation to join Robert Falcon Scott's Terra Nova Expedition
in 1910 (Cool Antarctica previously
). Instead, Mawson lead his own expedition, the Australasian Antarctic Expedition
(December 1911 to December 1913), an expedition to chart the 2000-mile coastline directly south of Australia, one of the least-visited parts of the continent throughout the early years of Antarctic exploration. The group's efforts and activities are well documented
, and many remnants of the expedition remain on Antarctica. The conservation of Mawson's Huts
is now an ongoing effort from Association of Australasian Palaeontologists
(AAP) Mawson's Huts Foundation
. While most efforts were focused on the recovery and treatment of artifacts inside the main hut, the group also searched for the Vickers
that was modified to become an "air tractor", or motorized sledge. The remains of the plane were last seen in 1975. Now the plane has been found
, thanks to an exceptionally low tide and a bit of luck.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald
It was found by a heritage carpenter, Mark Farrell of Hobart, who was looking for a suitable landing spot for a cruise ship to bring visitors to the historic huts at the site in January, he said.
Though the Mawson's Huts Foundation Latest News page
doesn't include reference to the find, it does provide more details about the known history of the plane, as well as earlier finds.
* Photos of the original expedition
, courtesy of the State Library of New South Wales
* Mawson's Huts Conservation Programme Part 1
and Part 2