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'U' Team of Scientists Located in Antarctic

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‘U’ Team Of Scientists Located In Antarctic

A team of University of Michigan scientists reported missing in Antarctica last month has been found.

Charles Swithinbank, head of the U-M Glacial Geology and Polar Research Laboratory and a veteran of Antarctic expeditions himself said that word has been received here that a plane located the six-man party on Nov. 18 and provided them with needed supplies.

A breakdown of the generator used to charge batteries for the expedition’s radio transmitter had been responsible for the scientists losing radio contact with McMurdo Station, the main U. S. base in Antarctica, according to the message. New equipment was flown to the party on Nov. 24.

When the U-M group failed to make its daily radio contact with the McMurdo base after Nov. 13, at which time the men had requested additional supplies, a supply plane was sent out on Nov. 15 but failed to locate the researchers. A second attempt was to locate the missing scientists was called off on Nov. 16, because of bad weather.

Swithinbank said the men reported in their message that they were all in good condition and that they were making satisfactory progress despite fog (a term for blowing snow in Antarctica) and subzero temperatures. At the time contact was made the U-M group was 150 miles from McMurdo on the Ross Ice Shelf and traveling in three parties of two men each five miles apart. The U-M scientists, on skiis, are towed by motorized sleds.

The researchers are studying the ice movement, accumulation and loss on the Ross Ice Shelf. The shelf is the world’s largest unbroken mass of floating ice, ranging in thickness up to 1,000 feet or more and covering an area the size of Spain.

Prof. Walther Hofmann of West Germany's University of Munich is directing this year’s six-man U-M party on the ice. Included in the party, in addition to Hofmann, are William Campbell of Seattle, Wash., Egon Dorrer of Munich, Germany; John Heap of Great Britain; Klemens Nottarp of Frankfort, Germany; and Arthur Rundle of Sheffield, England.