Kazirn From inside the book. However, due to the dangerous outcome from his initial trip to the island, the government refused to assist with the expedition. His reputation was severely tainted by this disaster and that of the Karluk. A tireless proponent of settlement in Birobidzhan, Stefansson appeared at countless Ambijan meetings, dinners, and rallies, and proved an invaluable resource. Three ships, the Karlukthe Mary Sachsand the Alaska were employed.
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His parents had emigrated from Iceland to Manitoba two years earlier. After losing two children during a period of devastating flooding, the family moved to North Dakota in He was educated at the universities of North Dakota and of Iowa A. During his college years, in , he changed his name to Vilhjalmur Stefansson. He studied anthropology at the graduate school of Harvard University , where for two years he was an instructor.
Early explorations[ edit ] In and , Stefansson did archaeological research in Iceland. Anderson undertook the ethnological survey of the Central Arctic coasts of the shores of North America from to In , Stefansson made a decision that would affect the rest of his time in Alaska: he hired the Inuk guide Natkusiak , who would remain with him as his primary guide for the rest of his Alaska expeditions. George B. Stefansson, though, preferred the term Copper Inuit.
Three ships, the Karluk , the Mary Sachs, and the Alaska were employed. However, William Laird McKinley and others left on the ship suspected that he left deliberately, anticipating that the ship would be carried off by moving ice, as indeed happened. The ship, with Captain Robert Bartlett of Newfoundland and 24 other expedition members aboard, drifted westward with the ice and was eventually crushed.
It sank on January 11, Four men made their way to Herald Island , but died there, possibly from carbon monoxide poisoning, before they could be rescued.
The remaining members of the expedition, under command of Captain Bartlett, made their way to Wrangel Island where three died. Bartlett and his Inuk hunter Kataktovik made their way across sea ice to Siberia to get help.
Stefansson continued exploring until Wrangel Island fiasco[ edit ] In , he encouraged and planned an expedition for four young men to colonise Wrangel Island north of Siberia , where the eleven survivors of the 22 men on the Karluk had lived from March to September Stefansson had designs for forming an exploration company that would be geared towards individuals interested in touring the Arctic island.
Stefansson originally wanted to claim Wrangel Island for the Canadian government. However, due to the dangerous outcome from his initial trip to the island, the government refused to assist with the expedition. He then wanted to claim the land for Britain but the British government rejected this claim when it was made by the young men.
The raising of the British flag on Wrangel Island, an acknowledged Russian territory, caused an international incident. The four young men, Frederick Maurer, E. All perished on the island or in an attempt to get help from Siberia across the frozen Chukchi Sea. Ada Blackjack had taught herself survival skills and cared for the last man on the island, E.
Lorne Knight, until he died of scurvy. Blackjack was rescued in after two years on Wrangel Island. Stefansson drew the ire of the public and the families for having sent such ill-equipped young men to Wrangel. His reputation was severely tainted by this disaster and that of the Karluk. His journeys and successes are among the marvels of Arctic exploration.
He extended the discoveries of Francis Leopold McClintock. From April to June he lived on the ice pack. Stefansson continued his explorations leaving from Herschel Island on August 23, Clothing and food from the cache was in excellent condition despite the harsh arctic conditions.
Stefansson joined the Explorers Club in , four years after its founding. He later served as Club President twice: — and — In , he became the third honorary member of the American Polar Society. Stefansson is frequently quoted as saying that "An adventure is a sign of incompetence One of the organisations prominent in this campaign was the American Committee for the Settlement of Jews in Birobidjan , or Ambijan, formed in A tireless proponent of settlement in Birobidzhan, Stefansson appeared at countless Ambijan meetings, dinners, and rallies, and proved an invaluable resource.
Ambijan produced a page Year Book at the end of , full of testimonials and letters of support. Thomas of Utah , and Soviet ambassador Andrei Gromyko. A public dinner, attended by the delegates and their guests, was hosted by Vilhjalmur and spouse Evelyn Stefansson.
Vilhjalmur was selected as one of two vice-presidents of the organisation. Budenz , a Communist-turned-Catholic. Perhaps Stefansson himself had by then some second thoughts about Ambijan, for his posthumously published autobiography made no mention of his work on its behalf. Nor, for that matter, did his otherwise very complete obituary in The New York Times of August 27, The diet technically contains a very low amount of carbohydates as the fresh fish that the Inuit ate would have contained a small amount of glycogen.
He found that he and his fellow explorers of European, Negro, and South Sea Islands descent were also perfectly healthy on such a diet. Stefansson returned to the Arctic with a colleague, Dr. This they declined, electing instead to live off the land.
In the end, the one-year project stretched to four years, during which time the two men ate only the meat they could kill and the fish they could catch in the Canadian Arctic. Neither of the two men suffered any adverse after-effects from their four-year experiment. It was evident to Stefansson, as it had been to William Banting , that the body could function perfectly well, remain healthy, vigorous and slender if it used a diet in which as much food was eaten as the body required, only carbohydrate was restricted and the total number of calories was ignored.
While the Inuit diet derived a percentage of its calories from the glycogen found in the raw meats , the native Inuit ate a diet of primarily stewed boiled fish and meats while occasionally eating raw fish. For the rest of an entire year, paid observers followed them to ensure dietary compliance. But unlike the pathology of diabetes, in this particular study, glucosuria was present in Anderson for 4 days and coincided only with the giving of a gm of glucose for a tolerance test and with the first 3 days of his pneumonia, where he received fluids and a diet rich in carbohydrate.
Once that situation resolved, the glucosuria disappeared. Stefansson noted that in the North, very lean meat sometimes produced "digestive disturbances". Stefansson attributes the fast onset of illness due to the usually lean meat that he was served versus the fattier caribou meat he consumed previously.
However, the initial disturbance was followed by "a period of persistent constipation lasting 10 days". During this experiment his intake had varied between 2, and 3, calories per day and he derived, by choice, an average of almost eighty percent of his energy from animal fat and almost twenty percent from protein.
Arctic Manual by Stefansson Vilhjalmur