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Thread: The Secret Land - The official Documentary about Operation Highjump

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    Avalon Member uzn's Avatar
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    Default The Secret Land - The official Documentary about Operation Highjump

    THE SECRET LAND OPERATION HIGHJUMP U.S. NAVY ANTARCTIC EXPEDITION 1946 ADM. RICHARD BYRD 24972



    That´s the official Documentary about Admiral Byrd´s Operation Highjump. Of course that´s Propaganda but interesting nethertheless. No mentioning of confrontation, losses, withdrawing of enemies.

    Here the official description:

    The Secret Land is a 1948 American documentary about an American expedition code-named "Operation High Jump" to explore Antarctica. It won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.

    The movie was entirely by military cameramen. The expedition was under the overall command of Admiral Richard E. Byrd, no stranger to the Antarctic. This was a large undertaking involving 13 ships and over 4000 thousand men. The fleet departed from Norfolk, Virginia traveling through the Panama canal and then southward to their final destination. The trip through the ice pack was fraught with danger and forced the submarine that was part of the fleet to withdraw. The trip was a success meeting all of its scientific goals. The film is narrated by three Hollywood stars, all of whom served in the US Navy: Robert Taylor, Robert Montgomery and Van Heflin.

    In 1946, the U.S. Navy launches "Operation Highjump" to explore and map the Antarctic region and, in the process, test men, ships and equipment against the harsh climate. Chester W. Nimitz, Chief of Naval Operations, directs the expedition. Three groups make up the expedition: The central land-plane group, headed by Rear-Admiral Richard E. Byrd, will explore and map the interior from a base in Little America, while two other groups will explore and map the eastern and western coasts. The teams must finish their work before the end of the brief Antarctic summer. In addition to scientific equipment and other supplies, the ships carry sled dogs to provide land transportation. At the equator, men and dogs who have never crossed the equator are initiated in humorous King Neptune ceremonies.

    When strong storms hit the ships in the southern hemisphere, many sailors are injured and several seaplanes are lost. The rough seas prevent the central group from landing at Scott Island, but despite this setback, the men onboard celebrate Christmas with a traditional dinner and gifts. The central group now depends on an icebreaker to cut a path through the ice pack in the Ross Sea to the Bay of Whales and the base at Little America on the Ross Ice Shelf. Meanwhile, the western group has reached Peter Island. From there, seaplanes scout the coast, where they find explorer Robert Scott's former camp. The progress of the central group is hampered by ice, and the submarine accompanying the ships is caught between two ice flows. The icebreaker returns to free the submarine, which is sent home.

    While the western group waits for the icebreaker's return, they observe and capture for further study penguins, seals and other Antarctic wildlife. When the central group reaches Little America, the explorers unload their equipment and, making use of the twenty-four-hour summer daylight, quickly build a tent city and airstrips. Admiral Byrd flies in on the first airplane, which lands perfectly, but the remaining planes must take off at night in order to beat an approaching storm. After the blizzard clears, ice is cleaned off the planes, and a man crawls down a shaft to an earlier base buried under the snow. The cold, dry air of Antarctica has perfectly preserved the supplies that were left behind. While mapping expeditions fly over the land, divers test cold-water survival suits in the frigid ocean. On flights from their base in the Bellany Islands, the eastern group spots Mt. Aramis, the only active volcano near the South pole, and near the Shakleton Ice Shelf, the explorers discover 500 miles of snowless land heated by warm water lakes, which they name Bunger's Oasis.

    The short summer is ending, and the fleet near Little America is becoming frozen in the ice. After the fleet is freed by an icebreaker, it departs, leaving behind Byrd and some volunteers to continue explorations by air. During the eastern group's mapping of the Phantom Coast, mountains made of coal are discovered. A crew is lost during one flight, and after a search of two weeks, the survivors are found. Three men die in the crash and one, badly burned, loses his legs to frostbite. The icebreaker returns to pick up Byrd and his men, and the successful expedition returns home, having learned much about this largely unknown territory.


    The most interesting part is about 50 minutes in when they show how they found snowless and iceless lands at least 300 square miles in the middle of Antarctica.
    Here is a clearer and crispier version of that part:




    here is another Avalon Thread about Operation Highjump:
    https://projectavalon.net/forum4/sho...ichard-E.-Byrd

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    Default Re: The Secret Land - The official Documentary about Operation Highjump

    Here is the Documentary about Admiral Byrd´s second expedition to the south pole, 1933-35 before Operation Highjump.



    Also known as "Into Little America", this film shows Admiral Richard E. Byrd's second expedition to the South Pole. Paramount Pictures sent two cameramen along to film this expedition, and appears to have liberally re-created certain aspects of the journey (as the set pieces at the start of the film demonstrate). Ont his second expedition, in 1934, Byrd spent five winter months alone operating a meteorological station, Advance Base, from which he narrowly escaped with his life after suffering carbon monoxide poisoning from a poorly ventilated stove. Unusual radio transmissions from Byrd finally began to alarm the men at the base camp, who then attempted to go to Advance Base. The first two trips were failures due to darkness, snow, and mechanical troubles. Finally, Thomas Poulter, E.J. Demas, and Amory Waite arrived at Advanced Base, where they found Byrd in poor physical health. The men remained at Advanced Base until 12 October when an airplane from the base camp picked up Dr. Poulter and Byrd. The rest of the men returned to base camp with the tractor. This expedition is described by Byrd in his autobiography "Alon"e. It is also commemorated in a U.S. postage stamp issued at the time, and a considerable amount of mail using it was sent from Byrd's base at Little America, which was powered by a Jacobs Wind 2.5 kW.

    Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd, Jr., USN (25 October 1888 – 11 March 1957) was an American naval officer who specialized in feats of exploration. He was a pioneering American aviator, polar explorer, and organizer of polar logistics. Aircraft flights, in which he served as a navigator and expedition leader, crossed the Atlantic Ocean, a segment of the Arctic Ocean, and a segment of the Antarctic Plateau. Byrd claimed that his expeditions had been the first to reach the North Pole and the South Pole by air. However, the majority of polar experts are now of the opinion that Roald Amundsen has the first verifiable claim to each pole. Byrd was a recipient of the Medal of Honor, the highest honor for heroism given by the United States.

    The best sources on this expedition are: the official account by Richard E. Byrd, “Discovery, the Story of the Second Byrd Expedition,” published in 1935 by G. P. Putnam; and the only contemporary account written during the expedition, by Stuart D. Paine, “Footsteps on the Ice, The Antarctic Diaries of Stuart D. Paine, Second Byrd Expedition,” compiled and edited by M. L. Paine, and published by the University of Missouri Press in 2007.

    ¤=[Post Update]=¤

    And part two of the "Discovery" Documentary.


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    Default Re: The Secret Land - The official Documentary about Operation Highjump

    This book is a riveting adventure of Tom Crean; an enlisted man's perspective of Antarctica expeditions. A nice precursor of a generation before Admiral Byrd's adventures. I was absorbed by this story and finished it in only a weekend.

    Smith, Michael (2000). An Unsung Hero: Tom Crean – Antarctic Survivor

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