Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Flight of the Eagle - Per Olof Sundman

The Amazing Story of an ill-Fated Balloon Flight from Norway to the North Pole

this lens' photo
I read this book a few years ago in paperback form. I found it on a dusty stall at a Rastro (Spanish Flea Market) and after reading it I lent it to my neighbour and like my hedge trimmer, drain rods and chest expander, the neighbour has since disappeared forgetting to return my goods, unlike the other items, I've often wanted to revisit the place this book took me and an even stronger desire to get a copy of the fully illustrated version.

Twice, I have made an online purchase for this book from a book shop, and both times the book was lost in the post, so now I really need to get a copy.

I have been waiting for a copy to come available from a more reputable source, like Amazon or Ebay, of which I have now found, but as my birthday is coming up, I have it on my wish list, and so I can't buy it for myself, just in case.

The Story

In 1897 an attempt to fly to the North Pole in a hydrogen balloon was undertaken by the explorers Andrée, Fraenkel and Strindberg.

Their peers were skeptical of their success and it was said that they had a slim to no chance of succeeding.

30 years later their bodies were found along with documentation and photographs, up to the point where they had died in their final camp. Until they were found, huge mystery and speculation was thrown out there about what had happened to them.


Evidence found suggested that they died from eating the uncooked flesh of a polar bear, which was infected with trichinosis.

This is an interesting read and a fascinating story.

The book has been translated from its original Swedish version by M. Sandbach.

Many of the photographs of this failed expedition of 1897 was recovered in 1930.

Eagle Crashed The Balloon crashed after only two days on the pack ice after leaking hydrogen another thing Andrée's ignored.
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Planning stage with Swedenborg, Strindberg, Fraenkel and Andrée

Balloon Explorers Andrée, Fraenkel and Strindberg a few minutes before they take off on July 11, 1897.
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Frænkel and Strindberg The explorers shoot their first polar bear, which eventually would kill them.

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Trichinosis Once their bodies were discovered, it was ascertained that they died from trichinosis, infected with the larvae of a species of roundworm, a polar bear nearby, had parts of its carcass infected with Larvae of Trichinella spiralis.

Trichinella spiralis, commonly called the trichina worm.

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Andree Expedition

S. A. Andrée


Knut Frænkel


Carrier Pigeon,_1903.jpg The explorer's balloon had two ways of communicating to the rest of the world - homing pigeons and steel cylinder buoys encased in cork.

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 The Flight of the Eagle
Max von Sydow, Göran Stangertz and Sverre Anker Ousdal
Nominated Best Foreign Language Film for the 55th Academy Awards

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