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Byrd's heroic 1926 North Pole failure

  • Dennis Rawlins (a1)

Richard E. Byrd's record of the 9 May 1926 flight on which he claimed to have reached the North Pole was unsealed several years ago by the archives of Ohio State University. A close examination of Byrd's writings, calculations, and erasures in this diary shows clearly that, although he and Floyd Bennett achieved a farthest-north-seen and made a heroic attempt to attain the Pole, they never reached that destination. Despite efforts by some organisations and individuals to pretend that there is still a serious controversy, Byrd's own diary data variously confirm the belief long held by most polar experts: that the expedition on the dirigible Norge—led by Roald Amundsen and Lincoln Ellsworth, and piloted by Umberto Nobile — was the first to attain the Pole, on 12 May 1926.

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Polar Record
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  • EISSN: 1475-3057
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