Thursday, 10 April 2014

Lost in the Pacific (IX)

This is just one of a series of around fifty old newspaper articles that I have been reading. I have been researching from old newspapers and magazines. Covering the last 200 years or so of life on the inland waterways. With particular interest in the major issues of the day that were effecting the canals. The most active periods for evaluation and change, has always been just prior, during and shortly after the two world wars. It should be remembered that between the wars the ownership of some of the canals changed hands as the railway companies bought up the waterways to get reduce competition. What is not clear is the effect this early form of asset stripping had on the viability of the inland waterways. Its good to take a look back at what people were saying and doing in the past. Most surprising of all are some of the problems that beset the canals back then - are still prevalent today. Reading old newspapers can throw up some rather interesting stories. Here is what we would call today a public interest story.

Caveat: Some of the articles are difficult to read and even using modern electronic  scanning and text conversion methods. The odd punctuation, word or character may have been transcribed in error.

By way of an epilogue and following on from the story of John Edwin Hogg and his recovery after being lost in the Pacific Ocean in a small boat. It was only three years later, came the mystery of the disappearance of the pioneering aviatrix Amelia Earhart. In her unsuccessful attempt to cross the Pacific Ocean in an aircraft. Amelia Mary Earhart was an American aviation pioneer and author. She was also the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She received the American Distinguished Flying Cross for this record. The Earhart story has generated more conspiracy theories than any other. Even today expeditions are still conducted from time searching for the remains of her aircraft  on various Pacific Islands. 

The Courier Mail
Tuesday 6th July 1937

Whether such flights as Miss Amelia Earhart (Mrs. Putnam) was attempting have now any value as contributions to the advancement of aviation is a question that can be decently deferred until effort succeeds in finding that brave woman and her companion, or has to be abandoned. Hope of their rescue is growing very slender, because it was on Friday evening that the Honolulu wireless station received their message: ''Half an hour's fuel, no landfall.' The flyers were making for an island only two miles long and a mile wide in one of the loneliest parts of the Pacific. Howland Island had no effective owner and nothing on it except sea birds and crabs until the United States Government, surveying an air route across the Pacific, decided in 1935 that it might be a useful landing station on a service between Honolulu and Australia or New Guinea and planted on it a 'colony' of four young men with equipment and supplies, to be replenished from time to time by a coastguard cutter.

At this little speck of land Miss Earhart and Captain Noonan are now long overdue, and several days must yet elapse before a thorough search of the surrounding ocean can be made by aircraft operating from the American air craft carrier Lexington. If wireless receivers are not mistaken in identifying signals, Miss Earhart was still calling for help over the weekend. Her aeroplane might be still floating in mid-ocean, or it might have found a harbourage in the lagoon of some reef. Present anxiety for the safety of Miss Earhart and Captain Noonan recalls to Australians Mr. Ulm's last flight in December, 1934.   Wireless messages were then received from the doomed airmen after they had descended to the ocean somewhere off Hawaii, but they were never found. 'Vox et praterea nihil' — a voice and beyond that nothing — was the wireless epilogue to that tragedy.

Sometimes the stories printed in those unenlightened times can bring a smile to our faces even today. At a time of widespread archaeological expeditions in Egypt. Comes a story with a flavour of early aviation and the Pacific.

The World's News
24th January 1925

Flying Machines 10,000 B.C.
Continent Lost in the Pacific.

Lieut Colonel James Churchward, of Mt. Vernon, New York, announces that the astonishing contents of 125 tablets discovered in India and translated by himself and other Buddhist scholars show that the motherland of mankind was in a tropical continent larger than North America, known as Mu, which went to the bottom of the Pacific with the inhabitants and their templed cities 13,000 years ago. The tablets say that the Garden of Eden was in that continent, more than 50,000 years ago, and not in Asia or Asia Minor.

The Empire of the Sun.

Colonel Churchward, who is described as formerly of the British Army, educated at Oxford, declares that the original civilisation of the Empire of the Sun, in Mu, its hierarchical or religious name, was perhaps the greatest that ever existed. "The ancients of 10,000 years or more ago," he continues, "were in possession of great secrets lost to subsequent civilisations during many centuries. Armies of 10.000 B.C. in India, the records state, had flying machines that would carry scores of men. These aerial vehicles were propelled by engines of great simplicity, that employed natural forces such as science today is seeking to harness. There is a record of the General Ram Chander having flown from the capital of Ceylon to Northern India in such a machine, one of a kind that was also employed to drop bombs on cities in wartime. The people of that day also employed gunpowder and firearms.


After two cataclysmic earth convulsions 13,000 years ago, the continent of Mu, with its stalking elephants and mastodons, its great cities and monumental temples and palaces, and its fertile plains, was swallowed up in the Pacific. Enormous subterranean gas pockets, which had held it up, burst out through fiery volcanoes. The continent collapsed, with the exception of islands that remained, because there were no gas chambers beneath them. Hawaii was one of the spots left above the surface with its volcanoes. Easter Island I and some of the South Sea islands were among others that remained. Survivors of the engulfing waters were left huddled on the islands without food, and resorted to cannibalism. This was the dawn of savagery on earth, that has continued in spots to the present time."

There are many ways to become lost in the pacific. One of the more obscure ways to become a Pacific looser was printed in the Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate on the 28th July 1950.

Hangman Lost Life On Pacific Island

Master-Sergeant John Woods, of Boise, Idaho, who hanged Nazi war criminals after the Nuremburg trials, was accidentally electrocuted. The widow said the Army had advised her that her husband had died on Eniwetok Atoll, in the Marshall Islands. No other details were given.

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