Expedition 99

 

We had a great time on our trip, even though we met with limited success. The fog was quite dense for most of the trip and we were very thankful we had a GPS unit. (Global Positioning System) It allowed us to continue our search. We were also very fortunate have the fog lift on our last day. We experienced the vast beauty of the barrens and also seen a number of moose and caribou.

One of our primary waypoints we were interested in traveling to was a point on a 1950 aerial photograph located to the north-northwest of the crash point. On this photo was a small image about (.05 mm) across. The scaled size of the object would have been about 8 ft across. It was our thinking that it perhaps it may be a cabin and being north-northwest of the plane we thought it would be important if Tommy would have seen it. We also created a transition sequence from the 1950 photo and later and better quality aerial photo from the 1960's and found no trace of the same object. The suspected cabin was near a river but was on the other side of the crash site. The height of this river in the spring would make it very difficult for Smith to cross. Our theory was that if Smith seen a cabin on the other side of the river he most likely would have risked the crossing and drowned in his attempt.

When we traveled to the waypoint we found the area around the river was very rugged. We were relying on the GPS so we could not follow the caribou trails and had to travel in straight lines, which I think was the worst route! When we arrived at the river we found it was low we were able to cross it without the aid of our inflatable kayak. We then arrived at the spot where we thought a cabin may have been and found no evidence of a cabin or any trace that there had been cutting in that area. With that mystery solved, our search continued.

On our trek across the barrens we found numerous crevices that could have been used for shelter, but no trace of Smith.

That night we discovered from a local resident the location of a large rock arrow which was on a section of the barrens about eight kilometers south of the crash site. The arrow was described as being 8-10 feet long and made up of a series of rocks both longitudinally and laterally with a large point. The people who discovered the arrow were puzzled as to it's origin and said that it looked like it had been there for quite some time since it was covered with lichen. They thought it must have been made to be seen from the air and they thought it was pointing in the direction of a coastal light. If this arrow was created by Smith then it means that he most likely traveled down the mountain for only about 1/2 of a mile and then turned south towards Burgeo. We are in the process of trying to determine it's age.

The quest continues.


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Expedition 98

Expedition 99

Expedition 2000


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