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Tag: backstory

Antarctica or Bust!

New York (AP) - World famous explorer James Starkweather announced today that he would lead a party of scientists and explorers into uncharted parts of the Antarctic continent this fall. Starkweather, accompanied by geologist William Moore of Miskatonic University in Arkham, Massachusetts, intends to continue along the trail first blazed by the ill-fated Miskatonic University Expedition of 1930-31.

The Starkweather-Moore Expedition will set sail in September from New York City. Like their predecessors, they intend to use long-range
aircraft to explore further into the South Polar wilderness than has ever been done before. "This is not about the South Pole," Starkweather explained this morning, in a prepared speech in his hotel in New York. "Many people have been to the Pole. We're going to go places where no one has ever been, see and do things that no one alive has seen."

James Starkweather, gentleman-explorer. "We are going back."

The expedition intends to spend only three months in Antarctica. Extensive use of aeroplanes for surveying and transport, according to
Starkweather, will allow the party to chart and cover territory in hours that would have taken weeks to cross on the ground. One goal of the expedition is to find the campsite and last resting place of the twelve men, led by Professor Charles Lake, who first discovered the Miskatonic Range, and who were killed there by an unexpected storm. The mapping and climbing of the mountains in that range and an aerial swey of the lands on the far side are also important goals.

"The peaks are tremendous," Starkweather explained. "The tallest mountains in the world! It's my job to conquer those heights, and bring home their secrets for all mankind. "We have the finest equipment money can buy. We cannot help but succeed."

Starkweather, 43, is a veteran of the Great War. He has led expeditions into the wilderness on four continents, and was present on the trans-polar flight of the airship Italia, whose crash near the end of its voyage on the North Polar ice cap received worldwide attention.

Moore, 39, a full Professor of Geology, is also the holder of the Smythe Chair of Paleontology at Miskatonic University. He has extensive field experience in harsh climates and has taken part in expeditions to both the Arctic and the Himalayan Plateau.

"We're going back," Starkweather said. "The job's not done. We're going back, and we're going to finish what was started and bring the whole lot out to the world. It will be a grand adventure and a glorious page in scientific history!"

Professor Moore, sitting quietly to one side, was less passionate but just as determined. "A lot has changed in the past three
years," he insisted. "We have technology now that did not exist three years ago. The aeroplanes are better, brand new Boeing craft, sturdier and safer than before. Professor Pabodie's drills have beenimproved. And we have Lake's own broadcasts to draw upon. We can plan ahead, with better materials and a knowledge of the region that none of them
had when they prepared for their voyage. Yes, I am optimistic. Quite optimistic. We will succeed in our goals."

When asked what those goals were, the two men looked briefly at one another before Starkweather answered, leaning forward intently.

"Leapfrog, gentlemen! " he smiled. "We shall leapfrog across the continent. A base on the Ross Ice Shelf; another at the South Pole. One at Lake's old campsite, if we can find it; and, gentlemen, we plan to cross over those fantastic mountains described by Dyer and Lake, and plant our instruments and our flag right on top of the high plateau! Imagine it! Like a landing strip atop Everest!

"We'll have the finest equipment, and skilled men. Geologists-paleontologists- we've got Professor Albemarle from Oberlin, he wants to study weather. Glaciologists, perhaps another biologist or two; the team's not all made up yet, of course. We're not leaving for another five months!"

"It is important," added Moore, "to try to find Professor Lake's camp and bring home whatever we can from the caverns he discovered. The prospect of a wholly new kind of life, a different taxonomy, is extremely exciting. It would be a shame if, having found it once, we were unable to do so again."

The two explorers plan to land thirty men on the southern continent, half again more than the Miskatonic Expedition. The expedition is privately funded and owes no allegiance to any school or institution.
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