Miskatonic University Antarctic Expedition

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In September of 1930, researchers from Arkham's Miskatonic University set sail for the Antarctic continent on a bold venture of exploration and discovery. The Miskatonic University Antarctic Expedition, privately funded with support from the Nathaniel Pickman Foundation, left Boston Harbor in two ships. Two months later they landed in Antarctica near Ross Island: twenty men, fifty-five dogs, and five large Domier aeroplanes were set upon the ice. Their mission was to survey a geologic history of the Earth's last frontier, to chart from the air where no human foot had stepped, and to determine at last, once and for all, whether Antarctica was indeed one land mass or several. In much of this they were successful.

From November of 1930 until mid-January of 1931, the expedition achieved goal after goal, milestone after milestone. Their results were broadcast daily to the world, via the waiting ships and the great listening station at Kingsport Head. Thousands of square miles of previously unexplored terrain were overflown and mapped. Sled teams and aerial explorations led by Professors Dyer and Lake took core samples from scattered spots over nearly a quarter of the continent. Advanced lightweight drilling apparatus, designed and operated by Doctor Pabodie, enabled the teams to extract core samples from deep within the ice, as well as the ancient exposed rocks of that frigid land.

However, history does not remember the Miskatonic Expedition for its successes but for its final tragic failure.

The end of the expedition came just as the team seemed on the brink of their most spectacular triumph. On January 23rd, a large aerial party, led by the biologist Professor Lake, broke through into an unbelievable treasure-trove of ancient bones and fossils in a series of caverns at the foot of a hitherto-unknown mountain range. For two days they explored the caves, bringing up specimen after specimen in a fantastic palimpsest of earthly history. Some of the specimens uncovered by Lake's teams were utterly unlike any living things that have ever been studied by science-and they had been preserved, through some freak combination of the cold and the terrain, to such an extent that even tissue had remained intact after millions of years.

Lake's initial reports were seized upon by the scientific world. The photographs and samples he collected promised to lead to whole new fields of biological knowledge. The transcriptions broadcast of his first crude dissections have been copied untold times, and are available in every library of science worthy of the name. He would, it is certain, have gone on to report still greater marvels of science-but even heroic efforts must end, and Lake and the others chose at last to rest, after nearly two days of frantic activity.

They were never heard from again.

On the afternoon of January 24th, a tremendous Antarctic gale swept the campsite, killing every man in Lake's party and scattering his samples, notes and equipment beyond recovery. A rescue mission the following day found only silence, useless scraps of machinery, and a few pathetic remains of the tragedy. None of the men at Lake's camp ever returned home. The remainder of the expedition retreated north a few days later.

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