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Antarctica, The Mysterious Continent

I was surprised to discover that Antarctica is only the fifth largest continent on planet Earth with an area of around 14,200,000 km2  but because of it’s location and the predominance of polar deserts there, it has a mysteriousness that only increases the more one explores it.
This land is cold, it holds the record for the coldest recorded temperature on Earth (−89.2 °C) while it’s coastal regions can reach a little over 10 °C in the Summer.
Seven nations have territorial claims in Antarctica.. France, UK, New Zealand, Norway, Australia, Chile, Argentina. Other nations (including the US) have reserved the right to make a claim.
It’s said that there are deposits of coal, hydrocarbons, iron ore, platinum, copper, chromium, nickel, gold and other minerals in Antarctica, but not in large enough quantities to extract.

I prefer to believe that if valuable resources do exist in that region then they are probably there in abundance and the fact that hydrocarbons (oil) are there at all is probably one of the reasons for the increased interest in Antarctica in recent years. It’s known that the Southern Ocean has vast untapped reservoirs of oil beneath it’s floor and Antarctica is very likely to have the same.

In 2017, there were more than 4,400 scientists undertaking research in Antarctica and there are over 70 permanent and seasonal research stations on the continent. The United State’s McMurdo Station, is the largest, capable of housing more than 1,000 people.
So there is currently a huge amount of interest in the coldest place on Earth, so much so that it begs the question, why?

Operation Highjump

In 1946 the US embarked on a bizarre endeavour called Operation Highjump (also called Task Force 68). It was a United States Navy operation to establish the Antarctic research base called Little America IV.
The official objective was to..
Train personnel and test equipment in frigid conditions, and Consolidate and ‘extend the United States’ sovereignty over the largest practicable area of the Antarctic continent.

To achieve this it employed a task force that included 4,700 men, 13 ships (including an aircraft carrier and an assortment of warships), and 33 aircraft. The central group of ships reached the Bay of Whales on January 15, 1947, where they began construction of Little America IV.
All that is factually known is that some men died and shortly later the operation was abandoned. To this day, mystery has surrounded the whole event which has never been thoroughly explained other than by Admiral Byrd who made an official statement on return to the US.
His ambiguous and seemingly confused statement talked about forces coming from or across the South Pole and dangers to the US.

In more recent times a book was reportedly found that is the missing diary of Admiral Byrd.
A body of speculation has grown up, about and from this book that describes entrances into a subterranean realm from which aircraft were dispatched to send Admiral Byrd and his military operation packing.

It’s always interesting when the official narrative just doesn’t add up and you know that important information is being withheld.
The sending of such an armada of military might into a region occupied primarily by whales and Emperor penguins indicates to me at least that these imperialists were expecting something other than whale song to greet them. Perhaps they did meet resistance in Antarctica and more than they bargained for.

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