February 2024 – Volume Thirty, Number Two

Celebrating our 30th 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.

The TGCE team stops in Alberta, Canada, en route to the North Pole.




The Transglobal Car Expedition (TGCE) has embarked on a reportedly first-ever driving journey to circumnavigate the Earth via the North and South Poles. Departing northward from The Explorers Club in New York on Jan. 10, the eight-person expedition will traverse both Geographic North and South Poles and return to New York from the south over 18 months later. At press time the project, which boldly combines adventure and environmentalism, was on day 25 in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, approximately 10,600 km from its starting point.

One of the expedition vehicles: the beefy 3,152 lbs. Yemelya 6x6 Amphibian.

The TGCE team will utilize a fleet of specialized vehicles built to withstand the punishing terrain found around the world. For much of the journey, they will use a battery-electric hybrid truck developed and built by Arctic Trucks based on the Ford F-150. For the Arctic tundra and Antarctica, Arctic Trucks has developed and built several six-wheel-drive trucks based on the Ford F-350.


For the North Pole and Greenland, the team will use four hand-built “Yemelya Special Mobile Units” - engineered by Transglobal crewmember Vasily Elagin. The fleet has been carefully designed to improve range efficiency while also being environmentally conscious to ensure minimal impact or disturbance to the various ecosystems.

The Transglobal Car Expedition is a combination of extreme sport adventure, technological innovation, scientific data collection, and educational initiatives. The crew is expected to contribute to sustainability and scientific knowledge by collecting accurate, in-field data along the way, from measurements of the polar ice caps to the detection of cosmic rays coming from distant regions of the universe.


The expedition will deploy cosmic ray (muon) detectors, utilizing the open hardware design of Cosmic Pi, on its vehicles. These detectors have been adapted to endure the environmental extremes encountered in the hottest and coldest parts of the world, promising insights into cosmic ray activity throughout the expedition.


Expedition partners include Arctic Trucks, Good Gear, and National Geographic.

For more information: https://transglobalcar.com


Car geeks can learn more about the vehicles in Car & Driver (Jan. 27):






The Kaxaan plaque reads in part: Living Museum of the Sea – On eternal patrol … U.S. Sunken Military Craft / U.S. Navy, Protected by the National Institute of Anthropology and History by virtue of the UNESCO convention of 2001. "Only take photos and only leave bubbles."

Lost Submarine from WWI Memorialized

Last November, The Kaxaan Nautical Foundation installed a memorial plaque on the site of the sunken submarine H-1 Seawolf to establish a Living Museum of the Sea and commemorate lives of four seamen lost while serving their country after the First World War. (See EN, July 2021).

On the night of March 12, 1920, the submarines H-1 and H-2 were traveling on the surface seeking the shelter of Bahia Magdalena in Baja California Sur, Mexico, to carry out repairs when H-1 ran aground on Isla Margarita. During salvage efforts, H-1 sank and was abandoned in 60 feet of water.

It was not until 2017, when local fishermen stumbled on the submarine after snagging a lobster trap on the wreck, that H-1 was registered for its protection and preservation. The project was a collaborative effort among the nautical preservationists at Kaxaan, the U.S. Government, the Mexican Navy (SEMAR), Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), and the University of Indiana.

For more information: www.kaxaan.org


Community conservationist and wildlife ecologist Eric Reson from Kenya is one of the 50 honorees selected in 2024. He’ll be speaking at 7 p.m. on Feb. 17, 2024, at the Fjallraven store in Denver. Admission: free.

(For more information: www.explorers-rm.org)

EC50 2024 Honors Alchemists, Advocates,

Guardians, Innovators, and Storytellers 


Each year, The Explorers Club recognizes 50 extraordinary people who are doing remarkable work to promote science and exploration but remain under the radar and out of the limelight.


These 50 individuals are exploring, inspiring, and creating the future – the future of the planet, life upon it, and the boundless possibilities that await us all, according to the Club’s announcement earlier this month.


Now in its fourth year, this latest class of “Fifty people changing the world, the world needs to know about,” joins another 150 previously honored.

Winners represent 23 countries; 52% identify as women; and 28% employ artistic means to express their research findings. The fifty are identified as Alchemists, Advocates, Guardians, Innovators, and Storytellers.


Winners include a Ukrainian museum curator; the first-ever double above-knee amputee to summit Everest; an underground astronaut; an indigenous master weaver; a biochemist who doubles as a professional surfer; and a blind nature acoustic engineer.

“These individuals are heroes, heroes for their communities, for disappearing species, for rivers and oceans, for the planet we call home. Their work is defining the next frontier of exploration as we know it,” says the statement. 

View the latest honorees here:


Mars is so Yesterday; Time to Set Sights on Saturn’s Titan

The newly established Explore Titan, based in Berthoud, Colorado, is a nonprofit organization seeking to explore the potential for Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, as the next human destination after Mars.

Explore Titan is intended to be the catalyst for discussions about the technologies needed to achieve a human presence on Titan. The group plans to foster communication amongst the space flight, planetary science, and academic communities to identify and develop strategies necessary to put humans on its surface.  

NASA’s Moon-to-Mars strategy is “a blueprint for sustained human presence and exploration throughout the solar system” (NASA, 2022), but how will this strategy get us beyond Mars? Adding Titan as a waypoint for human exploration and expansion throughout the solar system can be the answer to this question. 

Explore Titan will be the vehicle for information sharing about the ringed planet’s moon. Says William O’Hara, executive director, “We plan to conduct regular conferences and workshops to foster and motivate discussion. We will also hold events and develop outreach materials that stimulate the imagination about Titan as an exciting, new destination for human exploration.”

In 2005, the Huygens probe took these images of Titan at

four different altitudes as it descended to the surface.

The successful landing of the Huygens probe in 2005 revealed stunning surface images suggesting Titan is a real, tangible destination for human exploration. More than that, Titan is arguably the most Earth-like place in the solar system outside of Earth itself, O’Hara believes. 

“Its dense atmosphere provides the best natural radiation shielding of any solar system destination. Available water ice and hydrocarbons provide much needed resources so far away from Earth.”

For more information visit www.exploretitan.org, or email info@exploretitan.org

Geleff and Christensen at Union Glacier base camp located in Antarctica's Ellsworth Mountains, roughly 600 nautical miles from the South Pole.

Blind Athlete Completes Last Degree to South Pole

PolarExplorers, based in Chicago, announced last month that Team Blind completed their 60-nautical mile Last Degree Expedition to the South Pole. Team Blind consists of Arne Christensen, a 70-year-old 100% blind Danish cross-country skier, and his ski partner, Claus Geleff. The expedition was led by PolarExplorers guide Taylor Sweitzer.

Team Blind began the Last Degree ski expedition on January 6, reaching the Pole on January 13. En route, they experienced temperatures of minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit and frigid headwinds at an altitude of roughly 9,000 feet.

Christensen is a five-time Paralympian in cross-country skiing and biathlon. He has completed the 90 km Vasaloppet cross-country ski race in Sweden, the 54 km Birkebeiner in Norway, and the 160 km Arctic Circle Race in Greenland. 

Christensen has been a devoted advocate and trailblazer for blind athletes. On the subject of his motivations for the South Pole expedition, he writes, “I want to promote the sighted's knowledge of what blind people can do and be a role model for other blind people.

“I want to show that it is important to work with objectives if you want to

achieve your personal goals. Sports are moving more and more towards extreme sports, and I want to show the world that blind people can also take part in that movement,” Christensen says.

Learn more about Team Blind at https://www.polarexplorers.com/dispatches-and-blogs/dispatches-and-blogs

Search the Globe for a Volunteer Dig

Each year thousands of students and volunteers go into the field to experience an excavation firsthand thanks to the Archaeological Fieldwork Opportunities Bulletin. AFOB is one of the largest fieldwork resources in the world, featuring hundreds of listings for archaeological projects around the globe.

The listings are continuously updated throughout the year and provide full details, including in-depth project description, project size, age requirements, academic credit availability, accommodation information, bibliographies, and more.

Sign up for digs at the weirdly-named Heads-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump in Alberta; the Lubbock Lake Landmark Quaternary Research Program in Texas; the Hawai‘i Indigenous Archaeology Field School 2024 in Waimea; conduct bioarchaeological fieldwork of an underground funerary crypt of the San Mateo Church in Cadiz, Spain; or pursue dozens of other opportunities.

Learn more here:


Love at First Flight: Pixy Mini Drone Recalled

It seemed like a great idea: selfies without one of those annoying sticks. What appeared to be the perfect camera for solo expeditions was the new Snap Pixy drone. Explorers hold the pocket-size camera in their palm and select a flight mode via a dial on the device’s body. It then flies for a minute, taking photos and videos that it downloads to the user’s private Snapchat device before landing back in the user’s palm.

On Feb. 1 Snapchat recalled all of these $229.99 flying gizmos – the lithium-ion battery in the camera can overheat, posing a fire hazard. Currently off the market, it’s best to wait until they’ve straightened the thingy out before handing over your hard-earned dosh.

Watch the video here:



“It is not the length of life, but the depth of life. He who is not every day conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life.”


– Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), American essayist, lecturer, philosopher, and abolitionist. 



The Explorers Club Establishes Task Force to Optimize the Effects of Members’ Problem-Solving Expertise

Special report with contributions from The Explorers Club Preparedness and Rapid Response Task Force lead Synnøve Marie Kvam Strømsvåg


Explorers are problem solvers. Rarely has this been more visible than during the loss of the Titan submersible and subsequent search operation in June 2023. This was an unprecedented crisis and was met by a remarkable level of engagement from the exploration community. In those critical hours, one could witness the extensive power of the problem-solving skills and reach of explorers.


Rooted in these unwavering and substantial contributions of the exploration community to the Titan disaster, while looking towards the future, with safer exploration, active problem solving, and contributions to crisis mitigation and management as its main goals, The Explorers Club has launched the Preparedness & Rapid Response Task Force - where explorers can exchange experiences and expertise. 

The initiative was started by a group of members who witnessed the impact of the exploration community first-hand during Titan search and rescue. The Task Force is part of The Explorers Club´s World Center for Exploration efforts.


This Task Force is not intended to replace traditional preparedness or response. When existing first-response protocols fail, or in the case of unprecedented events with no contingency plans, the network can support outside-the-box thinking and novel solutions.


The Task Force will make efficient use of the problem-solving skills and connections of the exploration network, reaching global experts who may not be on a traditional call list, in real-time, to ensure a prompt response during a crisis.


The initiative not only attracts first responders, the Task Force members can also contribute to active problem-solving and exchange of expertise outside of urgent situations. One of the first tasks will be to develop best practice solutions for various scenarios and facilitate collaborative discussions between members on how to best prepare and carry out risk mitigation and crisis management.


The online Task Force Community network members exchange insight into expedition planning, safety, and expertise in various areas of interest. So far there are dedicated community groups in Ocean Exploration, Space Exploration, Expedition Medicine, Mountaineering, Polar Exploration, and one for Radio Operators. 


For more information email: taskforce@explorers.org


Beatriz Flamini emerges from Los Gauchos cave, near Motril, Granada, Spain, on April 14, 2023. (Jorge Guerrero/AFP)

Time Practically Stood Still for Woman

Who Lived in Cave for 500 Days

A year and half alone in a cave might sound like a nightmare to a lot of people, but Spanish athlete Beatriz Flamini emerged with a cheerful grin and said she thought she had more time to finish her book.

She had almost no contact with the outside world during her impressive feat of human endurance. For 500 days, she documented her experiences to help scientists understand the effects of extreme isolation.


One of the first things that became apparent on April 12, 2023, when she emerged from the cave, was how fluid time is, shaped more by your personality traits and the people around you than a ticking clock, according to ScienceAlert when it reported about her emergence last year.


When talking to reporters about her experiences, Flamini explained she rapidly lost her sense of time. The loss of time was so profound that, when her support team came to retrieve her, she was surprised that her time was up, instead believing she had only been there for 160 to 170 days.


Read the extensive profile of this amazing feat of self-depravation in The New Yorker (Jan. 21) by D.T. Max:



Josh Gates meets one of his fans in Denver.

Josh Gates: Adventure’s Everyman 


Josh Gates, the TV presenter who supplied Discovery Channel with an enormous amount of unscripted adventure content leading up to, during, and following the pandemic, has sustained a nearly 20-year career as a modern-day Indiana Jones – if Indiana Jones was a full-time reality TV star instead of a tenured professor of archaeology, writes Matt Zoller Seitz in Vulture (Jan. 5).


“His series merges the TV-adventure-show template with elements of the Hollywood action-comedy blockbusters that he used to watch as a child of the 1980s: Romancing the Stone, Jewel of the Nile, The Goonies, and yes, the Indiana Jones franchise.”


Seitz continues, “In the end, Gates knows he’s not going to solve the disappearance of D.B. Cooper or conclusively determine if the Yeti is real. The quest is usually just a pretext; he and his crew go places where other people have already been and are at the mercy of inclement weather, illness, and air-travel red tape just like the rest of us.”  


Says Gates, “There’s something about seeing your host, your Everyman, out there. There’s a Schadenfreude thing where people want to see you as a real person.

“If there’s a flat tire on my show, they shoot me changing the tire and struggling to get the bolts off. One of the things I think people forget about Indiana Jones is that sometimes he misses the ledge.”

He continues, “ … people who watch the show need to know that if we’re gonna go look for the lost tombs of the Snake Kings of the Maya empire, I’m probably not going to find the lost tombs of the Snake Kings in the next 43 and a half minutes.”


Gates adds, “The history of the world is this incredible Game of Thrones–like drama and you need the right person to clue you into how interesting it all is. If I’m doing that even a little, I’m thrilled.”


In the Explorers Club archives, Gates shows the reporter a copy of Teddy Roosevelt’s membership application.


“It’s so goofy that he had to fill this out,” Gates says, pointing to a list of accomplishments that includes serving as governor of New York and president of the United States.


Read the story here:


Arctic Ascent with Alex Honnold 

Alex Honnold embarks on an epic quest of unclimbed walls in one of the most remote corners of Greenland, a country on the frontline of the climate crisis, in this new three-part series. Joining Honnold on his quest are world-class climbers Hazel Findlay and Mikey Schaefer, Dr. Heidi Sevestre, Greenlandic guide Adam Kjeldsen, and renowned adventurer Aldo Kane.

In the film, the team attempts to summit Ingmikortilaq, a virgin Arctic seacliff rising out of the frozen wilderness, nearly 1,000 feet higher than El Capitan.


All episodes stream starting this month on National Geographic, Disney+ and Hulu. Honnold is the founder of the Honnold Foundation, an environmental nonprofit devoted to fighting climate change by promoting solar energy for a more equitable world.


Watch the trailer:




Going, Going, Gone


Want to know what your space memorabilia is worth? If you had a signed Buzz Aldrin Tranquility Base lithograph you'd be $4,550 richer based upon the recently closed space auction from Julien*s in Beverly Hills.

Or maybe you have a Chuck Yeager signed Bell X-1 model rocket research plane, which went for a winning bid of $5,200. Collectors are paying big money for many obscure items, including a Command Module Leak System Calibration Unit for $650.

See the winning bids here:


Postage Stamps Are Going Sky-High

The cost of postage may be skyrocketing, but at least they sell you stamps with some inspiring images.  

The U.S. Postal Service last month celebrated NASA’s continued exploration of deep space by issuing two new stamps featuring images captured by the James Webb Space Telescope. A $9.85 Pillars of Creation Priority Mail stamp is being released along with a $30.45 Cosmic Cliffs Priority Mail Express stamp.

The Priority Mail stamp features the Pillars of Creation, a trillions-of-miles-tall formation that lies 6,500 light-years away from Earth within the vast Eagle Nebula. Flush with gas and dust, the Pillars enshroud stars that have formed over many millennia. The Webb Telescope snapped this eerie image in 2022, revealing a new view of a vast stellar landscape.

The other astronomically pricey stamp shows the Cosmic Cliffs of the Carina Nebula, a stellar nursery – a birthplace of new stars and planets. Also captured by the Webb Telescope, the vivid image on the Priority Mail Express stamp reveals an area of powerful energy and activity within the Milky Way galaxy.

Read the announcement here:



No honey. Not tonight.

Himalayan Viagra


Imagine our curiosity when we read in The Explorers Log (Fall 2023) that an Explorers Club flag expedition to Dolpo National Park in Western Nepal last summer that involved a 40-day trek crossing six passes exceeding 6,000 meters, was launched to study, in part, the impacts the yarsagumba (aka “Himalayan Viagra”) had upon the region’s fragile high altitude alpine landscapes.


It seems it’s a caterpillar fungus, a herb that grows in the pastures between 3,300 meters and 4,000 meters in the Himalayan regions of Nepal, Bhutan, India and Tibet. It’s a combination of a yellow caterpillar and a mushroom (fungus). As temperature increases and the snow melts, yarsagumba emerges. During the rains, the herb is often swept away.


High medicinal and commercial value attributed to this plant has earned it the reputation as “Himalayan Gold” or “Himalayan Viagra.” 

<"margin: 0;">According to Medical Daily, Himalayan Viagra is mainly used as a treatment for impotency in many countries. It is believed to address premature ejaculation and sexual incapacity by gradually empowering internal energy of the body naturally. But these claims are highly disputed, and somewhat of a buzz killer when you think of its creepy-crawly source.


"Explorers Uncorked" Online, March 6, 2024, 6 p.m. Central


A fundraiser for the Roy Chapman Andrews Society, this online journey through the world of wine is a virtual wine tasting from ONEHOPE Wine. Taste a handpicked selection of wines while listening to updates from renowned explorers about their recent work and expeditions.


Featured explorers are J. Kelly Cluer and Dr. M Saandar, both Honorary Distinguished Explorers of The Roy Chapman Andrews Society. Cluer has worked with the American Museum of Natural History on a project to recapture and compare images photographed a century ago along the route of the Roy Chapman Andrews Central Asia Expedition in Mongolia. Saandar is a mapping specialist in Mongolia whose recent work includes development of the nationwide GPS network.


Tickets to the online Zoom are $25 for non-members of the nonprofit society. For more information: https://roychapmanandrewssociety.org/news-events/explorers-uncorked/


Purchase wine in advance of the event at https://www.onehopewine.com/event/202465 and ONEHOPE will donate 10% of your order to the Roy Chapman Andrews Society. 

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: tinyurl.com/voluntourismbook

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:


Advertise in Expedition News – For more information: blumassoc@aol.com


EXPEDITION NEWS is published by Blumenfeld and Associates, LLC, 290 Laramie Blvd., Boulder, CO 80304 USA. Tel. 203 326 1200, editor@expeditionnews.com. Editor/publisher: Jeff Blumenfeld. Research editor: Lee Kovel. ©2024 Blumenfeld and Associates, Inc. All rights reserved. ISSN: 1526-8977. Subscriptions: US$36/yr. available by e-mail only. Credit card payments are accepted through www.paypal.com. Read EXPEDITION NEWS at www.expeditionnews.com


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