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Mawson: Science and Survival (2012) Antarctic Documentary

The Australasian Antarctic Expedition was a 1911–1914 expedition headed by Douglas Mawson that explored the largely uncharted Antarctic coast due south of Australia. Mawson had been inspired to lead his own venture by his experiences on Ernest Shackleton's Nimrod expedition in 1907–1909. During its time in Antarctica, the expedition's sledging parties covered around 4,180 kilometres (2,600 mi) of unexplored territory, while its ship, SY Aurora, navigated 2,900 kilometres (1,800 mi) of unmapped coastline. Scientific activities included meteorological measurements, magnetic observations, an expansive oceanographic program, and the collection of many biological and geological samples, including the discovery of the first meteorite found in Antarctica. The expedition was the first to establish and maintain wireless contact between Antarctica and Australia. Another planned innovation – the use of an aircraft – was thwarted by an accident before the expedition sailed. The plane's fuselage was adapted to form a motorised sledge or "air-tractor", but it proved to be of very limited usefulness.

The expedition was organised into three bases: one on the sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island and two on the Antarctic mainland. The main base, under Mawson's command, was set up at Cape Denison, about 500 kilometres (300 mi) west of Cape Adare, and a western base under Frank Wild was established on the Shackleton Ice Shelf, more than 2,400 kilometres (1,500 mi) west of Cape Denison. Activities at both mainland bases were hampered by extreme winds, which often made outside work impossible.

The expedition was marred by the deaths of two members during an attempt to reach Oates Land: Belgrave Edward Ninnis, who fell into a crevasse, and Xavier Mertz, who died on the harrowing return journey. Mawson, their sledging partner, was then forced to make an arduous solo trek back to base; he missed the ship, and had to spend an extra year at Cape Denison, along with a relief party of six. This sojourn was made difficult by the mental breakdown of Sidney Jeffryes, the wireless operator. When Mawson returned from Antarctica, he was given a hero's welcome and received many honours, including a knighthood. The scientific studies provided copious, detailed data – which took thirty years to completely publish – and the expedition's broad exploration program laid the groundwork for Australia's later territorial claims in Antarctica.



AKA Home of the Blizzard: Part 1

The NFSA’s Chief Cinema Programmer Quentin Turnour examines fact and fiction behind the making of the official film of Sir Douglas Mawson’s Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE) – the iconic first film shot by Frank Hurley and known to most Australians as Home of the Blizzard.


Posted by Conspiracy Cafe on March 2, 2023 at 2:51 PM 66 Views