Film: 9848

Science | 1960 | Sound | B/W


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Antarctic Expedition by Australia in the 1970's

A group of men, well-protected against the cold. An icy landscape. Snow vehicle with the inscription: 'US Antarctic Research Program'. Close-up, smiling man, hooded, wearing sunglasses. The men greet one another, shake hands. Snow 'tractors' leaving base. Driver in cab interior. Driver's P.O.V. A drill penetrating the ice and snow. Scientists collecting samples of snow; recording readings. Weighing the samples, which requires gloves to be briefly removed. Man looking through instrument (theodolite?). Snow tractor towing trailer containing equipment.

Inside the base. Communications or radio room. Operator hands colleague note, sits down and types text for telegram, "South Pole..." clearly visible. Woman in Vikran(?) (US) office reads message as it comes over the wire. Walks to the window. Busy street. Woman in shades walks towards camera. 'Ice-breaker', the "Nella Dan" in dock. Dock worker in overalls stacking crates. Winch taking supplies aboard. Close-up of middle-aged man wiping sweat from his brow.

Captain on gang plank in conversation with well-groomed gentleman in suit and tie, sporting goatee beard. He turns, and, in close-up, addresses the camera. Wipes his brow with handkerchief. Ship is now(?) the 'Magga Dan". Pan to dockers loading supplies. 2 flags on ship's mast, Australian and (French?) Farewells. The Magga Dan departs. A crowd of people wave from the pier.

Close-up Antarctic explorer, a photo, (almost definitely Douglas Mawson). Earlier footage (probably 1910-12) of fully rigged ship being loaded with provisions. Attempt to load rowing boat ends in disaster, boat tipped into harbour! The ship thick with curious sightseers. The expedition poses for the camera. One holds a life ring with the ship's name, " (S.Y. Aurora)" The men sport thick clothing, balaclavas, beards, and a pipe, cigarettes.

Sailors in the rigging. The ship at sea. The horizon rises and falls. Deep swells. [Aurora: Douglas Mawson's ship for expedition December 1911- Australian.] Close-up: The ice- breaking prow. On the ice, a rowing boat carried by a dozen men. Hauling supplies on sleds. A single explorer dragging a sled, chasing, catching and riding a large seal. A second man riding a seal down the water. The wind has risen. Packing a tent round with snow, to secure it [End of 'archive' footage]

Base camp. Two flags, Soviet and Australian. Men in discussion. The ice- breaker, alongside the camp, in poor weather, a solitary figure. A snow storm hitting the camp, covering equipment and stores. A man with an ice (?) struggles against the blizzard. Digging out a snow tractor buried by a drift. The tractor pulling several trailers and a portakabin(?).

Seaplane takes off. Aerial view of ice floe. Rowing boats on the ice floe. Disembarking. Carrying and raising the Australian flag. Penguins. Beneath the flag, four men call out 'hip, hip, hooray', and waving their hats in the air. A man examining his ice carving of a penguin. Penguins "dancing" (courting), swimming in numbers, being netted, tagged and bagged. Seal and her cub. Seal disappearing through ice hole into the water. Men arrive in truck, noose a seal and fix a 'tag'.

On board ship, sailing past 'mountains'. One man plays an accordion, another a guitar. An admiring crowd, two men dance some middle-aged women look on. A waiter shakes a cocktail mixer. Two children at the rail.
Seals on an island of ice. A man looks through binoculars. A crowded boat moving through icy waters under engine power. Laughing women and children. Disembarking on wooden pier. Men on tractor and trailer wave. Examining whale bones.

Map of Antarctic Peninsula showing expedition sites. Helicopter ferrying in supplies. Huskies and men leave helicopter. Train of huskies pulling sledge, man on snowshoes alongside. Hauling sledge up a steep slope. Securing a rope on an ice-pick. Hacking a passage over the ice.
Snow mobiles. Trans Antarctic Expedition. British flag visible. Snow mobile stuck over a crevice; clambers out. Convoy vehicles. Flags, including 'Yale' and 'Geographic Society'. Pilot climbs into 2- seater aircraft: "Polar Star. North Transatlantic Flight". Passenger gets into rear cockpit. The aircraft takes off from the snow- packed 'runway'. Aerial views (and including aircraft). Ice- breaker under way. Military airman (prob. US) speaking into microphone. US flag flying over base. Snow tractor enters a tunnel (under the ice) Diagram of the base under the ice. Personnel . A man pulls a sledge. Steel- reinforced tunnel. Ice drill. 'Shower' of snow spewed out behind. From a hatch in the ice, a man emerges. He sets up meteorological equipment. A man descends a ladder into the underground base. He cuts, weighs and tests the tolerance of the ice. Two men have a 'chat' in the 'mess-room' (dartboard, ect.) G.V.S. Antarctica.

A single figure , as though in thought, against a vast landscape. He stops, and picks up a rock that he strikes with his ice pick. He holds his hand to shelter his eye from the sun as he views his surroundings. Sunset.

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