Weekend Gallimaufry - Stranded On An Ice Floe in 1938 - A group of Russian scientists, studying the Arctic, were stranded on an ice floe and adrift for several months before finally being rescued before the ice floe broke apart. Interviews with the scientists who took part in the expedition. Shortwave from Moscow - March 23, 1938.
March 25, 2012

Scientists Krenkel,Papanin, Fyodorov and Shirskov. Stranded on an ice floe was no picnic.

In 1938, the year Radio grew up, on-the-spot news coverage was unheard of, but Shortwave broadcasts and the immediacy of the news were relatively new and somewhat novel. So subsequently, every news event that took place in some distant locale had to be covered. The crisis at Munich was the big news story for 1938. But there were a lot of others.

This particular news story was about a Soviet scientific mission gone terribly wrong. A group of Soviet Scientists, studying the Arctic were stranded when an Ice floe they set base camp up on broke off and went drifting into the ocean. The floe was in constant danger of breaking up and, if it wasn't going to break up, it was in the process of slowly melting, as it was heading south into warmer waters. A rescue attempt by Dirigible failed, killing the commander and crew when it was lost in a blizzard. The drama lasted for a long time before the Scientists were finally rescued and brought home on February 19, 1938.

This broadcast, a shortwave interview with the surviving Scientists was conducted between New York and Moscow by CBS Radio and Radio Moscow on March 23, 1938.

Not only is it a historic document of early Actuality broadcasting, but it's also a historic document of a scientific mission to learn more about the North Pole which, prior to that time was still a mystery.

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