Last Logs of 1912 Northeast Passage Expedition Found

Sep 13, 2010
Outside Magazine

USGS Photo

Courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey on Flickr.

Today Russian explorers announced that they had recovered the logs from Georgy Brusilov's ill-fated 1912 expedition through the Northeast Passage, the New York Times reports. The logs were discovered among human skeletons on Franz Josef Land, the northernmost landmass of Europe.

The recovered journal was dated May 1913 and recorded from the St. Anna, the Brusilov expedition's vessel. The St. Anna famously ran aground on the Siberian coast, and 11 of the 24-man crew abandoned the trapped ship in search of solid ground. Only two of the 11 survived.

The rest of the crew disappeared. Now it seems they've been recovered. Details of the journey found in the well-preserved sailor's log remain largely obscure, but other artifacts found in the immediate vicinity - a watch, a knife, a spoon engraved with a sailor's initials, and sunglasses fashioned from spent rum bottles - confirm its provenance.

One telling line has been released: "Today we got our last brick of tobacco; the matches ran out long ago."

--Riley Blanton

Filed To: Exploration

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