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The Washington times. [volume] (Washington [D.C.]) 1902-1939, September 10, 1922, SUNDAY MORNING, Image 59

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84026749/1922-09-10/ed-1/seq-59/

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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
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.
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
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
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.

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