First, though there are many threads on Antarctica on ATS, I did a quick search and didn't find anything on this topic, all by itself... so, since
it's interesting, I figured that I should start one.
I'm sure you guys all know who Admiral Richard Byrd was. In a nutshell, he was a famous aviator who explored both the north and south poles... in
his time he was a rival to Lindbergh when it came to public recognition.
He conducted several expeditions to Antarctica -- though an officer in the US Navy, he was usually acting on behalf of non-military groups for his
initial expeditions. That changed for his last Antarctic adventure, however...
Though he had only used the 'minimum' needed in terms of men and equipment before (he even manned one station by himself, once... though that was
also somewhat of a publicity stunt), for the 1946-47 'Highjump' expedition, Byrd led a small fleet of US Naval vessels to photograph and map
Antarctica's coast and interior. This fleet included destroyers, cruisers, submarines, and AN AIRCRAFT CARRIER along with the utility craft
(icebreakers, oilers, supply ships) one would expect to find on a scientific survey mission.
This has led many people to speculate that Byrd was really dispatched to destroy a secret Nazi base that had escaped detection at the end of WW2
(wouldn't it have been embarrasing to declare and end to major combat operations and then find out that the war wasn't over.... oh, yeah...).
Others have argued that Byrd was sent to find an ET/UFO base...
Now... I thought this was an interesting story when I came across it this morning, so I did a SMALL amount of research during my lunchbreak at work.
It turns out that Byrd DID command a relatively large task force in the Antarctic region for HIGHJUMP... but that the carrier, USS Phillipine Sea, was
only in the area long enough to launch Byrd's heavier cargo planes.
Still... there might be more to the story... so I'm providing these links as a starting point for the conversation:
Ships that were in HIGHJUMP (others may have been rotated in and out):
the history of the carrier in question (look below the history of the modern ship of the same name to find the WW2 era ship):
Movements of the USS Phillipine Sea:
A giant land cruiser used in the expedition (note the weird fact that Byrd was at the Japanese surrender in 1945):
Now... when I went looking for conspiracies related to this, I really only found stuff that told amazing stories... but without back-up evidence
(there are many stories regarding air to air battles and commando raids out there).
As a sample of the conpsiracy stories I found, I'm providing these links:
Now... I haven't found any solid evidence that proves that an actual battle of some sort occured... But I DO believe that it's weird to bring
several submarines and destroyers along for a survey mission. So, what are your thoughts: Was this a secret battle group... or just a display of
american mobility intended to scare the Soviets?
[Edited on 28-5-2004 by onlyinmydreams]