As of five years ago, when this diagram was made, drillers had made a 2.2-mile (3.5-kilometer) shaft. (Illustration courtesy Nicolle Rager-Fuller, NSF) via: NationalGeographic
You might recall the post a couple days ago about the Russian team of scientists in the Antarctic who hadn’t been heard from in several days. RIA Novosti, a Russian news agency, published a story today that said the team had finally breached the lake, implying they’ve actually been in contact with someone. However, their source is unnamed:
After decades of drilling , Russian scientists have finally managed to pierce through Antarctica’s ice sheet to reveal the secrets of a unique sub-glacial lake, Vostok, that has been sealed there for the past 20 million years, a scientific source said on Monday. “Yesterday, our scientists stopped drilling at the depth of 3,768 meters and reached the surface of the sub-glacial lake,” the source said. — Russian Scientists Drill to Sub-Glacial Antarctic Lake | Science | RIA Novosti
Great? Not so fast say other scientists:
…Mahlon C. Kennicutt II, a professor of oceanography at Texas A&M University who leads several Antarctic research groups, said the report should be viewed with skepticism until an official announcement is made.
“I would be surprised if it was announced officially this quiet. Also, the one source [in the article] is unnamed, so it is hard to tell,” he said.
Montana State ecologist John Priscu echoed Kennicutt’s caution. “There are a lot of rumors going around about penetrating the lake, and we need the Russian program to make the official announcement,” Priscu told National Geographic News via email.
And this from MSNBC: It appears there has been no official confirmation of the team’s success. There are no press releases on the website of Russia’s Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, the government agency that oversees the country’s polar science expeditions.
You would think the announcement would be on their own website. I wonder if the American scientists are more skeptical about the Russian team breaching the lake or their having made contact with someone?
Sidenote: also learned from that RIA Novosti story, there are rumors of a Nazi secret base there. Seriously?
With the current events happening at Lake Vostok, an old theory saying that German Nazis may have built a secret base there as early as the 1930s, has resurfaced.
It is thought that towards the end of the Second World War, the Nazis moved to the South Pole and started constructing a base at Lake Vostok. In 1943, Grand Admiral Karl Dontiz was quoted saying “Germany’s submarine fleet is proud that it created an unassailable fortress for the Fuehrer on the other end of the world,” in Antarctica.
According to German naval archives, months after Germany surrendered to the Allies in April, 1945, the German submarine U-530 arrived at the South Pole from the Port of Kiel. Crewmembers constructed an ice cave and supposedly stored several boxes of relics from the Third Reich, including Hitler’s secret files.