Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1777-1963 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the
National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. external link Learn more
Image provided by: Library of Congress, Washington, DC
Newspaper Page Text
And Why Science Believes It May Be a Living
Page of the Past, Where Monsters Still Roam Through Hidden Vajleys and Where a Race That Ruled When the Pole Was Tropical May Still Exist Hill man and other types of men now extinct The Pithecanthropus of Java is the only known animal that shares the characteris tics of man and ape, and we have merely a portion of his skeleton, so that the existence of a race of this kind rests on rather slender evidence. Science is also seek ing for other links running back from this creature to the point where the ancestry of man and apes branched off. If the hairy mammoth survives In the Arctic Con tinent, it would be most reasonable to expect to And the Neanderthal type of men who existed In Europe and other parts of the world at the same time as the mammoth, the woolly rhinoceros, the cave-bear, the aurochs and others of the extinct .animals mentions. ' It would be a most amazing experience for a mod ern man to come upon a community of these very primitive, terrifying, extinct men, who were very dif ferent from any existing human beings. Their reced ing foreheads were hidden under shaggy hair, and they had tremendously projecting eyebrow r^dgeB and protruding jaws, giving them a ferocious and brutish appear ance. Their bodies were huge and mus cular and covered with hair, their legs short and bowed. They had no con ception of clothing or house-building. They lived in caves, when they could find them, or under bushes, If the eaves were not to be found. They fought with rough clubs and stone spearheads, and conquered their huge huge animal neighbors?like the cave-bear and cave Uon?who often struggled with them for the posses sion of their caves. The sudden disappearance of these early pre-hlstoric men is as much a puzzle as the disappearance of certain races of animals. Among all the tribes that dwell in Northern Siberia, among the Eskimo, snd, in fact, all the primitive peo ples living in the harsh but habitable lands this side of the lost continent, there are ancient and persistent legends of a great race that once dwelt in the far north near what is now the Pole. I All these legends unite in the dec laration that once the now frozen north had a mild and equable cli mate, In which men were able to work and to live easily. All of them make the interesting statement that at this time "the men of power" lived in this land toward the north and that the countries which they themselves now inhab ited were wildernesses. Science knows that they are right in ascribing to the Pole a different climate than now. It has no evi dence of any civilization once existing there. But it has many rlddlea of man's past that would be riddles no longer if Amundsen found evidence that a civiliza tion did once flourish In the far north. There came a time, according to these legends, when a sudden, terrific cold set in. and when for months and years gigantic storms raged about this land. When the storms abated, what had been open ?ea was a frozen waste, and those who knew of this country of "the men of power" were unable to reach It, and no one ever again came out of It This may well describe a sudden, cataclysmic arrival of a glacial age upon the polar continent, a catastrophe which also dropped a curtain be tween it and the rest of the world. Hut man is adaptable, lie surmounts vast diffi culties and he manages to survive under the most hostile conditions. It is not at all impossible to imagine that these "men of power." whoever they were, found a way of continuing life on their stricken land, even though they could not leave It If Amundsen finds them ?what a triumph! What mysteries of our origins - may be made plain! A whole new history of mankind will be written! That there have been, within historic times, brief modifications of the Polar rigors, we have indubitable evidence. It is told in some of the written records of the Norsemen that about the year 800 there came to the far north a period of unusually warm Summers and mild Winters. So warm was It that the Ice which had been locked In solid sheets for centuries, melted and broke up in Summer and the Winters were not cold enough to freeze again the polar sea. It appears that In about the third and last year of this warmth, a large expedition, carrying women and children, made Its way from Scandinavia, lured by the legends of an unknown land to the north. After they had gone and within the time they could hare had opportunity to reach the lost land, the unusual weather ended. The old cold set in again, the seas froze and none of the expedition ever returned to report what It had found! But at the same time no slightest trace of It was ever discovered In floating Ice or bergs or In the trade currents on the shores of the Arctic. And Amundsen may see from his plane cities of the descendants of these Norse men as they lived In Iceland hundreds of years ago, when the intrepid explorers set forth. The Norse Vikings of that time were the most daring and adventurous people of which history has record. and there Is no doubt that they explored and culti vated all the lands within their reach. Furthermore, they were a sturdy, hardy stock, well fitted to cope with conditions even on the lost continent There 1% a story that seems to show that the his torlc voyage of Lelf Erick son, son of Eric the Red, in 999 to America really was begun with the idea of lo cating that expedition, which had gone forth al most two hundred years before. He could not get to the lost continent, but be did discover the mainland of America, landing at what is now called Vineland. in 1006 another Green land Viking, T h o r f i n n Karlsefni, searching for the lost continent, made a set tlement on the American continent His son, Snorre Karlsefni. was born there, and was taken by his par ents on a visit to Rome, the first child born of European parents on the American continent Owing to maiiY misfortunes the American settlement was soon abandoned. Early in the middle agi s the Norse settlements on the coast of Greenland became very weak. They were attacked by European pirates, said Co be mainly Eng lish, in 1448, and those^f the population who were not killed were driven away. Many of them became merged with the Eskimos. European settlements were not re-pstablished in Greenland until the eigh teenth century, when the Danes went there and found the ruins left by their Norse kinsmen. If Amundsen should discover the Arctic Continent it is understood in Washington that he will raise the United States flag over the territory. The map shows that Alaska is the nearest large body of land to the hypothetical location of the lost continent, although Canadian territory is also close at hand. It is signifi cant that Canada recently claimed possession, through Stefansson, of Wrangel Island, which lies nearer to the supposed continent than Alaska. It is possible that an International agreement would be necessary to settle the possession of the new land. t From geological conditions already known in the same latitude It is certain that Immense treasures of mineral wealth await development In the Arctic Conti nent The Immense deposits of gold in Alaska and the adjacent Canadian territory point to the proba bility that great deposits of the precious metal exist on the Arctic Continent also. With the assistance of aeroplanes a great "gold rush" to this unexplored country may be witnessed in a few years. Ivory Is another precious product which should be found In great abundance on the Arctic Continent. On the New Siberian Islands, which lie off the north coast of Asia, there are literally mines of the finest ivory fn the world. These Islands were the favorite "dying place" of the huge mammoths, and their remains fur nish an Immense supply of ivory. These and other Islands which surround the North Pole form the largest archipelago in the world. One of the most Important islands Is Spitsbergen, which lies north of Lapland, within 700 miles or the Pole. This Island possesses Immense supplies of fine coal. The coal has been mined to some extent by an English company In recent years, and it Is expected that when suitable ships are available It will be widely marketed. No voyage of discovery within recent years has had quite such a flavor of romantic adventure as Captain Amundsen's expedition. This famous explorer has already to his credit the glory of having discovered the South Pole. But this expedition. If It results In dis covering the unknown continent will have accom plished still more. One of the Ferocious Flesh-Eating Dinosaurs, Long Extinct in the World We Know, But Which Amundsen May Still Find Alive. ABOVE.?-Painting of Siegfried, the Hero, Killing the Dragon. BELOW.?The Fore Leg of a Mam* moth, Whoee Body Wat Dug Up from a Frozen Siberian Marth?It* Fle?h Still So Fresh and Well Preserved That the Natives Ate It.