September 2023 – Volume Twenty-Nine, Number Nine
Celebrating our 28th year!
EXPEDITION NEWS, founded in 1994, is the monthly review of significant expeditions, research projects and newsworthy adventures. It is distributed online to media representatives, corporate sponsors, educators, research librarians, explorers, environmentalists, and outdoor enthusiasts. This forum on exploration covers projects that stimulate, motivate and educate.
James McAlloon and his expedition partner Henk Morgans (L-R) training in the New Zealand Southern Alps for their trip to Antarctica in November 2024.
James McAlloon, 31, and his expedition partner Henk Morgans, 37, are currently planning a human-powered Sea2Summit Antarctica Expedition departing in November 2024. If all goes well, the 10-week 1200 km (746 mi.) trek will include a summit of Mt. Vinson (4892 m/16,050 ft.)
It will reportedly be the first human-powered expedition to summit the continent’s tallest mountain from the sea.
The route is planned from North Berkner Island through the Ronne Ice Shelf to Vinson Base Camp – skiing across remote areas, navigating crevasse zones, crossing glaciers and climbing mountains while dragging a combined 250 kg (551 lbs.) of gear and supplies.
The two Australians with extensive outdoor experience plan more than an inspiring adventure. McAlloon tells EN, “We have forged a partnership with esteemed polar scientists from the University of Canterbury to undertake an unprecedented climate data collection across the entire expanse of ice and snow, all accomplished solely through human power. This data will be used in official research to better understand the current and changing conditions in this fragile area.”
The team will consult with Dr. Wolfgang Rack of the University of Canterbury; Paul Bealing, who worked on the first attempt to locate Shackleton’s Endurance, and that expedition’s drone/UAV operator.
The expedition also hopes to raise awareness about mental health issues and the importance of seeking help.
Over the next 18 months, the two will refine their preparations with a Sea2Summit ascent of the tallest peaks in North and South America, as well as a planned Greenland Crossing.
“We will be taking with us two small devices attached to our sleds to measure wind speed and direction, temperature, air pressure and precipitation. We will have two additional small instruments in our sled to measure the surface terrain that we cross in our 1200 km journey to precisely map the surface profile of different areas around the Ronne-Filchner Ice Shelf and Ellsworth Mountains. This will be compiled with data from our InReach tracker and compass for more accurate timings and readings,” McAlloon says. 
The estimated USD $300,000 expedition includes support from Australian Geographic. Other sponsors are being sought to help pay for travel costs, logistics planning, training, gear, food and supplies.
For more information:,
+61 421 148 947
Artist rendering of planned Space Exploration Memorial in Huntsville, Alabama.
Construction Begins on Huntsville Space Exploration Museum
Huntsville, Alabama’s new Rocket Park will include a Space Exploration Memorial.
The Marshall Retirees Association (MRA) is creating a $1.5 million Space Exploration Memorial at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center to recognize and honor the Huntsville people and companies whose dedicated teamwork made America’s space exploration possible.
“This is just a part of making sure that we don’t lose that history and we preserve the legacy of all of those people that came into our community, that lived in the community, to make something like this possible,” said Madison County Commission Mac McCutcheon.
Groundbreaking has already begun.
Learn more and watch the conceptual video at:
"You can accomplish any goal, adventure or expedition in life if you put in the right planning and preparation, you implement all the safety measures possible to minimize the risk so you can proceed with confidence, you build a great team, and you have the courage to try and adapt on the fly, while adopting a resilient mindset and a 'never give up, never give in' attitude.

“If  you can do that, while being driven by a purpose greater than for self, you can overcome any obstacle and challenge and achieve anything, even the seemingly impossible." 
–   Chris Bertish, author of All In! The Atlantic Standup Paddle Crossing - 93 Days Alone at Sea (Chris Bertish-Impossible (PTY) LTD). The book features tales of his record-breaking 4,050-mile transatlantic solo and unassisted journey from Morocco to northern Florida from December 2016 to March 2017. He’s currently on a cross-country U.S. book tour with his 14-ft. craft, Impifish, in tow. (

Film restorer Ashley Swendsen
Colorado Film Bank Looks Back in Time
From a digital film laboratory in her home in Colorado Springs, Ashley Swendsen, 40, is preserving exploration-related footage of the 20th century. Her Colorado Film Bank contains images not seen in almost 100 years.
The former film archivist for the U.S. Air Force Academy has in her collection a restored 8mm movie of the 1933-1934 Chicago World’s Fair showing Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd’s City of New York ship turned into a floating museum. The footage shot by Charles Melvin Mack provides a view back in time that has not been seen since 1934, according to Swendsen. View it here:
Another Admiral Byrd film she has restored, one documenting Operation Deep Freeze and funded by the United States Navy from 1955-1956, is one of the last film recordings of Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd (1888-1957).

Swendsen and her volunteers use the proprietary “Ginger Lee,” a state-of-the-art 6K resolution movie digitization machine that they built to preserve other significant films including a Lowell Thomas documentary restored under contract with the Lowell Thomas Museum in Victor, Colorado.
The film was going to be discarded until Colorado Film Bank was able to correct for vinegar syndrome – when acetate film decomposes and gives off a distinctive vinegar smell. See it here:
Lowell Thomas biographer and documentarian Rick Moulton of Huntington, Vermont, says, “Ashley and I have worked on the restoration of Lowell Thomas Jr.’s Out of This World which documents the trek he and his dad made over the Himalaya from Sikkim into Tibet and up to Lhasa to meet with his holiness the Dalai Lama in 1949.
“Ashley is a conservationist preserving our past through her efforts to save and restore important cinematographic works that capture our history.”
Colorado Film Bank has also preserved the home movies of travel documentarian Bill Burrud (1925-1990), and treasure hunter, archaeologist, pilot and war hero Roy Roush (1924-2021).
That footage can be seen here:
Swendsen tells EN, “I have traveled to places across time that no one living today has ever seen, places that don’t exist anymore, and I figure I have about 40 terabytes – two years of non-stop footage of the American West, from the 1860s to the present.
“Colorado Film Bank has the capacity to preserve so much more history and with the only known handmade 6K film transfer machine in the country, I’m hoping to generate financial support for my efforts as I cannot afford to do this as a non-profit.”
For more information: Tel. 719 203 6398. View additional restorations at
Summit Journal is Back
Those of us of a certain age remember Summit Journal. Now it’s back. Founded in 1955 by Jean Crenshaw and Helen Kilness, SJ was THE climbing magazine of its day. For 40 years, the world’s best climbing writers filled its pages. Royal Robbins, Yvon Chouinard, David Roberts. Arlene Blum, Jon Krakauer, Chris Bonington, John Gill, to name a few.
The tales Summit published – of daring and dirtbaggery, of connection and commitment – are woven into the fabric of rock climbing.
It is coming back as print only, archival quality, large format (9.5- x 13-in.), two issues per year. 
Shackleton Story Comes to IMAX
Making the rounds of IMAX theaters is Shackleton: The Greatest Story of Survival – The IMAX Experience. The immersive film reveals the true story of polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton and the crew of the Endurance, told by the only man ever to have repeated their incredible feat - explorer and adventurer Australian Tim Jarvis. Following in the beset crew’s footsteps, Jarvis reveals the enduring legacy of Shackleton's crisis leadership in the face of impossible odds - a lesson more relevant to us now than ever before.
"Shackleton’s goal was to save all his men from Antarctica. Our goal now is to save Antarctica from man” - Tim Jarvis

It’s currently playing in Melbourne. Look for it to play elsewhere in the future.\
Attorney David Concannon (left) discusses the Titan disaster
with podcaster Wayne D. King.
The Sixth Passenger: David Concannon and the OceanGate Tragedy
Attorney David Concannon of Sun Valley, Idaho, is a trial lawyer practicing in the areas of commercial litigation, intellectual property, entertainment, sports and recreation, wrongful death, and product liability. He’s been called the “Sixth Passenger” because he was scheduled to be aboard the Titan when a last-minute business conflict forced him to give up his spot on the vessel's ill-fated voyage to the shipwreck last June.
No stranger to deep-sea exploration, Concannon is a veteran of several deep-water search and recovery expeditions, including multiple expeditions to the R.M.S. Titanic, and was project leader of the successful recovery of the Apollo F-1 engines that first launched men to the Moon in 1969.
After two months of silence, and turning down hundreds of media requests, he gave his first interview on Aug. 22 about the Titan tragedy to Wayne King’s Radical Centrist podcast on, published by the New Hampshire Center for Public Interest Journalism.
Concannon posts on Facebook, “It’s a difficult subject to talk about. Everyone seems to have an opinion, whether it’s informed or uninformed. The questions keep coming. From everywhere. So, here are my answers. This is what I know or what I think, based on what I know. This won’t make everybody happy, but at least it’s the truth as I see it.”
In the almost two-hour podcast, Concannon recounts the events that transpired after the Titan was launched, and when communications were lost; he reflects on the loss of the crew and the submersible, the inept, opaque, and feckless approach of the U.S. authorities in the Coast Guard, and the U.S. Navy; and the frustration and heartbreak of the outcome when it was finally revealed. And he makes the case for continuing the quest to explore the planet and the universe.
In his criticism of government's response to the tragedy, Concannon says, “The juxtaposition between the government and private sector was just stunning and difficult to handle.”
Watch on YouTube:

You scream, I scream ...
In Space No One Can Hear You Ice Cream  
Astronaut Ice Cream, the original source for freeze-dried astronaut ice cream developed with NASA in 1974, is now available for purchase on its redesigned website, the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, Disney Theme Parks, Universal Studios, Ron Jon Surf Shops, and Paper Source stores, as well as select outdoor retail stores.
“It’s so fun to see the curiosity that Astronaut Ice Cream sparks amongst kids, and we are excited to have it back in production and available for people to enjoy once again. It’s also an honor to support people and organizations whose goal is to push the boundaries of space exploration and discovery and ignite young minds in exploring the mysteries of space,” says Duane Primozich, CEO of American Outdoor Products and Astronaut Foods.
In case you were wondering, Astronaut Ice Cream is made through the process of lyophilization, commonly known as freeze-drying, to turn real ice cream into a crunchy, creamy sweetness.
Freeze-drying removes 98% of the original water content. It has a three-year shelf life, with no refrigeration necessary. Astronaut Ice Cream is available in two flavors, Vanilla and Neapolitan. Individual sandwiches are $4.99. 
The taste, somewhat akin to sidewalk chalk, is a bit disappointing for adults who remember buying it at the Smithsonian, but kids seem to gobble it up as an out-of-this-world treat. 
For more information on Astronaut Foods and to view comedian Stephen Colbert’s fun video about the product visit:
Out There: The Batshit Antics of the World’s Greatest Explorers
(Sutherland House Books, November 2023)
By Peter Rowe
Five nutty geographic quests preoccupied explorers in the 1800-1940 period. To our twenty-first-century eyes, it seems somewhat unbelievable that so much effort, so much goddamn blood, sweat, and tears were expended on these somewhat quixotic goals, for today, not one person in a thousand cares much about any of them. Nonetheless, back then, they were thought wildly interesting and important, according to author Peter Rowe.

The five fascinations were the search for mythical, mysterious Timbuktu; the attempt to find a Northwest Passage through the frozen Canadian Arctic; the quest to discover the source of the Nile River; the race to the North and South Poles; and the search for the legendary lost cities of Latin America.

Rowe continues, “These quests produced such extraordinary stories of almost impossible-to-believe suffering, bravery, hubris, and idiocy that made them fundamental to the batshittery of this entire era.”

Writes reviewer Ron Base, author of Death at the Savoy, and The Sanibel Sunset Detective Mysteries, “For anyone who grew up reading about the textbook versions of the world’s great – invariably male and British – explorers, Peter Rowe’s riveting Out There: The Batshit Antics of the World’s Great Explorers, is a jaw-dropping revelation. The word ‘great’ seldom shows up. ‘Crazy’ and ‘disastrous’ are most commonly used to describe the madness ­– and uselessness – of the expeditions that set out to discover everything and anything … ”
Author Peter Rowe is a Canadian filmmaker and author specializing in themes of history and exploration. He is the producer of the 49-part television series Angry Planet, which airs on streaming and television networks around the world. His book, Music vs The Man was published in 2020. The publishing date is Nov. 7, 2023. Out There is currently on pre-order through Amazon and other booksellers.
Even today, the Darién Gap is an imposing obstacle on one
of the world’s most dangerous migration routes.
Documentary Focuses on First Crossing of Darien Gap
In 1971, the Pan American Highway between Alaska and Cape Horn was broken by 250 miles of dense jungle, hills, and a vast swamp. Several attempts to cross the Darien Gap and the Atrato swamp had failed. The British Trans-Americas Expedition was launched under the leadership of Colonel John Blashford-Snell (who was Major at the time).
Using newly produced Range Rovers, a 100-strong team of servicemen (including Royal Engineers) from the Armed Forces of Britain, Colombia, Panama, and the U.S., set out with scientists and specialists to navigate this formidable obstacle and show how vehicles could drive the length of the Americas. Special attention was paid to the need to conserve the area and protect the indigenous people once the gap was bridged.
If you can’t get to London on September 26 to hear the Colonel talk about his epic adventure at the Scientific Exploration Society, this YouTube documentary is the next best thing:
Fourteen pound tickets to his live talk in London are available here:
Lots of stations streaming from South America. From Antarctica? Not so much.
Spend Some Time in the Radio Garden
You can have your Facebook, TikTok, or Instagram. Our guilty pleasure is Radio Garden which you’ll often hear beneath our open desktop files.
Radio Garden is a non-profit Dutch radio and digital research project developed from 2013 to 2016, by the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (under the supervision of Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg's Golo Föllmer), by the Transnational Radio Knowledge Platform and five other European universities. It gained popularity in 2016 when it surpassed the 8,000 registered station mark.
The site interface is a three-dimensional geolocation, where the user navigates through a representation of the globe, listening to streaming broadcasts of local radio stations.
Explore the world in real-time, listening to what local radio stations are broadcasting. This is especially good if you’re headed to Yellowknife to study wildfires and want to hear what CKLB 101.9 FM has to say. Or perhaps if you’re headed to the Darien Gap, listen to Faro de David Stereo 104.5 in nearby Panama City. Or BFBS Falkland Islands in Stanley.
Even if it is radio, you get the picture.

Doctrine of Discovery
It’s not the first time that we’ve seen this term in print, so we decided to look it up.
The Doctrine of Discovery refers to a principle in public international law under which, when a nation “discovers” land, it directly acquires rights on that land. This doctrine arose when the European nations discovered non-European lands, and therefore acquired special rights, such as property and sovereignty rights, on those lands. This principle disregards the fact that the land oftentimes is already inhabited by another nation. In fact, this doctrine was used in order to legitimize the colonization of lands outside of Europe.
More broadly, the doctrine of discovery can be described as an international law doctrine giving authorization to explorers to claim terra nullius – i.e. said inhabited land – in the name of their sovereign when the land was not populated by Christians.
(Source: Cornell Law School)

Dr. Alan Stern on the Titan in 2022.
Titan’s Last Successful Dive to the Titanic – A Special Evening Presentation by Dr. Alan Stern, September 18, 7 p.m., Dairy Arts Center, Boulder, Colorado
During the Titan submersible's last successful dive to the Titanic in July 2022, mission communications specialist Alan Stern, the late OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, and three other mission specialists collected water samples and photographed the sea life, and the Titanic itself. They brought back mud and water samples from the bottom, including the metal content of what's coming off the Titanic as it degrades.

Commercial submersibles are now carrying scientists and explorers to the deepest points in all five oceans. On the whole, it’s getting cheaper, safer, and more available. Such exploration certainly offers thrills, but its basic aim is to advance humankind through meaningful science. Still, is it worth the risk? What have we learned since the Titan disaster?

The one-hour talk will be followed by a Q & A session. Dr. Stern will be showing images of both vessels – the ill-fated Titan and Titanic.

Admission: $10 plus online service charges, Dairy Arts Center, 2590 Walnut Street, Boulder. Open to the public.

Proceeds will benefit the Rocky Mountain chapter's continued efforts to promote exploration on air, sea, space, and land.
Travel With Purpose, A Field Guide to Voluntourism (Rowman & Littlefield) by Jeff Blumenfeld ­– Travel has come roaring back and so has voluntourism. Be ready to lend a hand wherever you go. How to travel and make a difference while you see the world? Read excerpts and “Look Inside” at:
Get Sponsored! – Need money for your next project? Read about proven techniques that will help you find both cash and in-kind sponsors. If the trip is bigger than you, and is designed to help others, well, that’s half the game right there. Read Jeff Blumenfeld’s "Get Sponsored: A Funding Guide for Explorers, Adventurers and Would Be World Travelers." (Skyhorse Publishing).
Buy it here:

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