Ice, Ice and More Ice: My Days on Ice Island T3

Our Camp on T-3
Our Camp on T-3

Update Sep 2020

Thanks to Bill Grothe, who sent me a number of pictures, which I have uploaded to my smugmug account.

T3 photos

They are all downloadable.



Looking at today’s North Atlantic Ice situation in preparation for our journey across the Atlantic, it seems there is too much ice to take the great circle route to northern Europe.  For Dauntless, the only real danger is sinking and the only real way to sink it to hit or get hit by something, be it another boat, a whale or an iceberg.  We can’t make a passage through iceberg-strewn waters.  Other ships we can avoid, while praying to the Poseidon  that we don’t come upon a sleeping whale.

Besides my 10 years in Alaska, I also spent 6 months living and working on an iceberg: a giant, tabular block of ice, roughly 3 miles wide, 4 miles long and 80 feet thick, called Fletcher’s Ice Island T-3.  I was 22 and it was my first work experience after college, unpaid except for room and board.  Looking back, I think that iceberg is part of the reason I’m willing to cross the Atlantic on a 42-foot boat, and even see it as a comfortable experience.  I was attracted to Alaska and the Arctic because it was a place of mystery. No cell phone in those days, and so little communication.  Later, even living in Alaska 20 years later, in the 90’s meant no communication for 300 miles between Fairbanks and Anchorage.  In high school, when I read Jack London’s “To Build a Fire,” I was struck by the consequences of simple mistakes.  But the Arctic is full of people who survived on wits, knowing what mistakes could cost them.

I arrived on T-3 only three years after running out of gas in eastern Washington (see last blog posting).  Little did I dream on that day that I would be sitting on the top of the world, literally.  Well, almost the top. At the time, T-3 was about 400 miles from the North Pole.  Our camp was situated on the edge of the iceberg.  We were there to collect zooplankton from the ocean and make sonar maps of the bottom of the Arctic Ocean.

People wise, there were eight of us:  4 of us from the University of Washington (UW), a researcher from Lamont Geophysical Laboratory, Arnie Hansen from the Naval Arctic Research Laboratory (NARL), and the camp manager, Bill Hallett, and his Eskimo assistant,  both also from NARL.  The assistant was a master at driving our CAT and our Grader, which were the main vehicles of the camp and used to move virtually everything, including our trailers, which had to be moved twice during the summer to avoid the fate of being left on an ice pillar (see picture below).  Bill himself was a remarkably resourceful man I’ll talk about later.

We UW folks split up and pretty much worked in pairs. My partner Chris and I collected zooplankton from various depths of the Arctic Ocean while the other two analyzed water chemistry.  In fact, we ended up collecting the largest number of zooplankton samples the UW had ever collected.

I also, took one weather observation a day, which although it sounds meager, really helped me during the rest of my forecasting career and even today, 40 years later!!!

Our camp on T-3 consisted of about a dozen ATCO trailers, roughly the size of a 40 foot truck trailer. There used to be hundreds of these stacked up along route 509 as it crossed the Duwamish in Seattle, but looking now at Google Satellite (do they have their own actual satellite yet?), sadly they are gone.  Though from above, you can still see the impressions they left on the ground after sitting for probably 30 years.  They were probably last used in building the Alaska Pipeline.  I’ve driven countless friends past these trailers to show them how I used to live.

So, back to T-3.  I had just graduated from the UW, but had to miss my graduation to make the flight from Barrow to Resolute, NWT, Canada.  From there, we flew on a Twin Otter to Eureka, where we refueled and waited to make sure the plane could receive the radio beacon that T-3 transmitted.

The UW had allowed women one year and it didn’t turn out well.  Think Many Men behaving Badly Over a Couple of Women.  The only women within thousands of miles. It was the winter, when the camp expanded to about 40 people: 40 men, 2 women, and did I mention guns and alcohol.

The UW in their mode of “let’s not kill people to make a point,” (remember this was back in the early 70’s before we let Political Correctness trump Common Sense) decided after that, no more women. Since I was arriving in the summer there were many less people, as the camp had to be supplied by air drops by airplane.

U.S. Air Force Alaskan Command C-130’s would fly from their home base at Elmendorf (near Anchorage), fly to NARL  at Point Barrow, pick up our supplies, that had been put onto pallets and then left in the 24/7 summer sun for a day or two,  and then fly 2000 miles, drop our stuff on pallets tied to big parachutes, do a wing wave and fly off to Thule, Greenland, about 1000 miles to our south southeast.

A few asides:

By the way, I stopped drinking milk for these six months.  While other’s drank it sour or not.  Interesting.  Moving to Italy three years later, totally ended my milk drinking.  Italians don’t drink milk, only babies and they don’t get it from a carton.

Another interesting tidbit that you will wonder how you could have lived so long without knowing, in Korean, the translation for breast is milk tank and fish is water meat. Sometimes literal is best.

Back to the T-3.  These airdrops were scheduled for every three weeks starting in July until we got the hell out of there, when it was cold enough to build an ice runway and the C-130’s could land.  We would be getting low on food at the end of three weeks, so we did not like any delays, at all.  Winds too high?  Drop anyway.  The Air Force guys also didn’t want to have to come back, so pretty much we almost always got a drop close to schedule.  Obviously, they needed to be able to see our camp and the one time they did drop with 40 knot winds, we did lose a pallet that took off across the ice never to be seen again (well, Artie, the intrepid NARL guy I mentioned, who is featured in some of the polar crossing books of the 1960’s, did retrieve our mail).

So we got deliveries and mail, but could send nothing out until the ice runway could be built.  Think of a situation in which you can get a letter every 3 weeks, but there is no way to send anything out—unimaginable today.  It was four months before we could get our mail out.  How was anyone to know they were still loved? How mankind survived 500,000 years without cell phones if not unimaginable, is certainly cruel and unusual punishment.

So no cell phones, no fax, no games, no TV, no nothing.  We did have a building, the old observatory, which was filled maybe a thousand paperbacks.  That was the entertainment.

Daylight was constant by the time we got there, having flown for two days all over northern Canada (NARL didn’t trust our 30-year old DC-3 plane to fly over the ocean).  The sun was up all the time.  The sun was actually hot and sometimes we would be out in T-shirts, even though the air temperature on the hottest days never goes above freezing!  Most days, temps were in the teens or low 20’s F.

We occasionally walked on the sea ice. Our work hut was on sea ice, because the sea ice was only 8 feet thick and we had a little derrick set up with a winch to haul nets and Nansen bottles in and out of the ocean.  During the height of the summer, there were melt ponds all over, like little, or sometimes big, lakes.  The blue ones were just on top of ice, but the black holes looked just like they sound, black, and I was terrified to go near them.  They were black because the ice had melted all the way through to the ocean, so one was looking at the arctic ocean.  Seals would occasionally pop their heads out. Falling in would have been a matter of life and death.  Sea ice grows from below and melts from above. So by August we needed to keep a heat lamp on in our hole for our net, otherwise it would freeze over within hours.

The camp did have one rifle, which we took with us whenever on the sea ice in case we encountered a polar bear.  Never did, much to my disappointment, but I stopped taking the rifle, because I thought I was going to shoot any bear anyway. Same reason I won’t have a weapon on the boat.  I never saw a polar bear, but I did see a few seals.

As the summer wound down, much of August was cloudy, very little snow though.  The arctic region is pretty much a dessert.  Just windy and cold.

The first sunset was September 7th; the last sunrise was September 14th. So within a week, we went from total day to total night. Temperatures in September were often below 0°F, -17°C.

The next two months were colder still,  minus 20 to 30°F with winds almost always.

We built an ice runway under those conditions that ended up having a large lake in the middle, which we found with the CAT one night. Took us 24 hours to get the CAT out.

My adventures on T-3 ended when a  Markair C-130 came to pick us up in the middle of November.  I arrived in Fairbanks after a direct flight form T-3 to Fairbanks International,  with two dollars in my pocket.  (Mark Air did not have the same fears of NARL about flying their planes directly over the top of the world, they were in a hurry, this wasn’t a government flight after all!)

What influenced me the most on this experience?  Our camp manager, Bill Hallett. He was the epitome of what Alaskans were in those days. He saved the camp twice, once when a fire broke out near the generator hut and the second time, in late October, when we had all expected to have been gone a month earlier and our generator gave out. He literally rebuilt the thing within a day, as we stood by and helped as best we could, as the camp got colder and colder. With no electricity to run the heaters, they would still burn, but could not distribute the heat, thus the few feet around the heater in each trailer would be roasting, while each were below freezing and getting colder, with the outside temperature of -35°F.  All we had was a single HF radio, Single Side Band, but we would go days without being able to raise anyone.

Bill understood the consequences of not being resourceful and knew there was nobody to help. No calling home when we got hungry, no helicopter taking us off the mountain, no reality-show bs with a producer holding a safety net off camera.

We had to solve our problems with what we had.  That’s what Bill did, and what I aspire to do.  It was as simple as that. Maybe that’s why I’m willing to cross the Atlantic in a boat that is probably similar in size to Columbus’s Nina and Pinta.

I think I’ll add some books to my Kindle.


T3 Pedestal Building
Our Grader
T-3 picture ice_islandT3
T-3’s drift over the Arctic Ocean from early 1950’2 to 1975 When I was there in 1973, it was just near the top of Greenland
A close up of our ATCO trailers
C-47 on Pillar April 1962 T-3
Air Transport Command crew Departure on May 16, 1944, C-47-A 43-15665. U.S.Army Air Force * Picture taken by Arnie Hansen 1962 * Correct aircraft ID thanks to Raymond Frankwick





















Sad End Notes:

Bill Hallett died in Fairbanks a few years later.

T-3 made another circuit of the arctic and then got caught in the current east of Greenland and moved south into the North Atlantic, where US Navy Ice Patrol planes watched it melt.  I know this because  11 years later, in 1984, I had the small world luck that the same navy crew spent a week at Eielson AFB at my weather station.  So over many beers, we toasted T-3 and all that made her special.


Author: Richard on Dauntless

I’m an eclectic person, who grew up in New York, lived overseas for many years and have a boat, Dauntless, a 42 foot Kadey Krogen trawler yacht. Dauntless enables me to not only live in many different parts of the world, but to do it in a way that is interesting, affordable, with the added spice of a challenge. Dauntless also allows me to be in touch with nature. As the boat glides through the ocean, you have a sense of being part of a living organism. When dolphins come to frolic, they stay longer if you are out there talking to them, watching them. Birds come by, sometimes looking for a handout; sometimes grateful to find a respite from their long journey. I grew up on the New York waterfront, in the West Village, when everything west of Hudson St. was related to shipping and cargo from around the world. For a kid, it was an exciting place of warehouses, trucks, and working boats of all kinds: tugs and the barges and ships, cargo and passenger, they were pushing around. My father was an electrical engineer, my mother an intellectual, I fell in between. I have always been attracted to Earth’s natural processes, the physical sciences. I was in 8th grade when I decided to be a Meteorologist. After my career in meteorology, my natural interest in earth sciences: geology, astronomy, geography, earth history, made it a natural for me to become a science teacher in New York City, when I moved back to the Big Apple. Teaching led to becoming a high school principal to have the power to truly help kids learn and to be successful not only in school but in life. Dauntless is in western Europe now. In May and June, I will be wrapping up the last two years in northern Europe, heading south to spend the rest of the year in Spain & Portugal. Long term, I’m planning on returning to North American in the fall of 2017 and from there continuing to head west until we’re in Northeast Asia, Japan and South Korea, where we will settle for a bit. But now, my future lies not in NY or even Europe, but back to the water, where at night, when the winds die down, there is no noise, only the silence of the universe. I feel like I am at home, finally.

87 thoughts on “Ice, Ice and More Ice: My Days on Ice Island T3”

  1. Hi Rick, seems to me you don’t go over one night ‘s ice (dutch) but nevertheless: safe trip to Europe!
    xxx Helle3/Stavanger

  2. Sending people to live on an iceberg without cellphones, and it gets funnier.
    Jack London wasn’t funny.
    We could benefit from more Inuit jokes, but it is so hard to find the right place and the right time. And so far, from my point of view, the best Inuit jokes seem to involve being in the right place at the right time.
    The search goes on for Arctic humor. Meanwhile, it seems like a scary place.

  3. After my service days ( US Army) I was accepted to Overseas Operations of the USWB- My first fun trip was to T-3, followed by a LONG tour to Antarctica & then up to the Canadian Arctic…I spent time at Alert, Isachsen, Resolute & Mould Bay–all of them unique & interesting. Of all my cold weather experiences T-3 ranked the highest–watching our runway melt & having the DC-3’s kick the 55 gal fuel barrels out & watching some of them burst as they hit the ice….Needless to say, I couldn’t continue to oscillate between the poles so I cashed in my hand & bought an Inn in Northern Vermont

    1. Mike, something in common. T-3 and Northeast Kingdom (Vermont) both frigid. Navigated from Thule to T-3 1959, no contact with T-3 for about 30 days so I had to DR the island to where I thought it was, and DR most of the way there from Thule. We found it, made good delivery .. left engines running at -30F, C-54 based in Newfoundland, staged Thule.. Retired 1976 to Lyndonville, Vt.. -40F for a week our first winter there!!! email:

      1. Which makes it hard for me to watch these “reality” shows, in which they have sat phones, GPS and a helicopter hovering over the horizon.

        And when the going gets tough? They call Mom.

        It will be an interesting world when the North Koreans detonate the EMP.
        I wonder if this generation can even feed themselves without their smart phones.

  4. I was one of the women that was sent by the UofW to T-3. The camp didn’t explode. Men didn’t riot in the mess hall. The only major catastrophe was the plane that crashed on landing that was supposed to take us home. I think the story must have grown in the re-telling.

    1. Of course, that goes without saying.

      An ill fated plane.

      They replaced the wings and center section while I was there that summer, finally flying it out a few months after I left.

      Not much more than a year later, while unloading fuel at a pipeline camp, someone couldn’t get the electric fuel pump to work, so they fired up a gasoline powered pump.

      The exhaust sparks ignited the fuel and the plane was engulfed in flames within seconds. Sadly, the cockpit crew were trapped and didn’t make it out.

      1. C-130 crashed in July 1972. Damaged on ice island T-3, 1,000 kilometers north of Point Barrow, Alaska, February 1973, repaired. I worked as an expediter for NARL April 1971 – April 1973 and loaded the C-130s with supplies going to T-3. Packed the para-drop boxes in summer and loaded Air Force C-130s for air drops to T-3

  5. That is a sad ending for the plane and crew. It was astounding that no one was injured during the crash at T-3 considering that a piece of prop passed through the fusilage directly in front of where the passengers were seated (on top of the diesel fuel barrels) Ironically, the plane was filled with FAA and Ministry of Transport officials who were there to assess the safety of the runway. It took us a month of very hard work to move the plane far enough off the runway to land supply planes. Its landing gear had collapsed during the crash so it was dragging belly down. Michelle and I were standing at the side of the runway with our duffel bags when it crashed- an image that will be forever burned in my memory.

    1. And I was standing on the side of the runway when a month after we had arrived on T-3 via Twin Otter because the runway was deemed too soft for a C-130, AIA brought a 130 in with a wing they had finagled from the US Navy. On takeoff the next day, the right side gear sunk to the fuselage and the outboard prop hit the ice destroying the engine as it flew past us.

      We then spent the next two weeks scrapping the runway down to bare ice to get the now three engine plane out of there.

      Then we spent the next month dealing with the massive lake that drained thru the camp due to that runway.

    2. Hi Trisha
      I remember seeing you at T3 when we brought officials and stuff in after the crash. I was the engineer on the Twin Otter. I’ll never forget the roller coaster ride on landing. I can still see pieces of propeller and engines strewn on the runway and the huge divots made by the landing gear on the bumps! I wish I could turn my thoughts into pictures. Did you fly out with us when we left?

      1. Hey Bill,

        Sadly there was no room on the Twin Otter to take us out (wasn’t it Canadian?). We had to wait for almost a month before they could safely land an R4D that took us to Reykjavik. From there we hooked a ride back to Barrow. With no room on the last commercial flight to Anchorage, I grabbed a ride on a DEW line flight that took me back east across Alaska and then eventually southwest back to Anchorage. It was a very long trip.

      2. Hey Trisha
        Good to hear from you. Yes, we were Canadians and the a/c was owned and operated by Wardair Canada Ltd out of Yellowknife NWT. I left the North in March of ’75 and Wardair Northern Operation shut down in ’78. I guess the oil exploration petered out and too much competition for a little work. I’ve been reviewing the adventures of my life and that time period was the most exciting from ’70 to ’75, looking back of course before we knew better. I’ve always been curious about the fate of the station and the Herc.

    1. Hi Doug!
      I was the engineer on the Wardair Twin Otter that flew into T3 after the incident. I remember the flight out and back as I was at the controls. The pilot, Jan Bake, was bored. I always wondered what happened to the Herc! I’d love to see some pictures of that time because I didn’t have a camera at the time. Thanks!

  6. Art Walker is your man to go too. He rebuilt the dang plane . Won awards for his work. Aircraft genius, that’s my spouse! He is working on a picture show of it. liz. walker

  7. My Dad Herb Hart spent 6 months on T-3 back in 1970. He worked for NOAA . He launched weather balloons and maintained the weather equipment.Still have some video he made .

    1. Yes, I had heard that there were real weathermen there, but I had not realized they were still there in 1970, only three years before I got there.
      It was clear that the weather stuff was well organized and we had over 10 years of records.

      The dome building that was used to launch the Rawinsondes was now being used as our library with thousands of books. All quite welcome.

  8. I was up on T-3 during the summer of 1964 with the McGill plankton/ocean water mass study with Marty Weinstein. Max Dunbar obtained the ONR funding and selected us to carry out the mission. I came across this web site while reminiscing
    about our T-3 experience because Marty passed on last week on Vancouver Island, BC.

  9. I was one of the two Naval Arctic Research Laboratory personnel that were there early in 1971. I have lots of photos from those days. I remember the crashed AF plane well. We messed around on that quite a few times. Guido Monzino made his trek from Greenland to T3 when I was there. He kept supplies and some dogs there. I recall the day he arrived and also the day he made it to the North Pole. He had a small plane at T3 to fly over the exact pole when he was close. We circled the pole many times waiting for the expedition to get right under so they could raise their flag. I was the radio operator there and myself and an ET built the radio shack.
    Bill Grothe

    1. hello William we must have been on t-3 at the same time, good to hear from people from so long ago, would love to see some pics from this time period of my life.

      1. I believe you may have been on the plane that carried me off the island. I was there when Guido arrived and I was not there when he left. Who operated the Navy radio shack when you were there?

      2. Hello Bill! I was there also when monzino came back. My cousin Ronald and I were there and she got a dog from them. I remember we got wasted on some of their mint-flavored alcohol. I remember that you were the operator for the radio. And the camp manager. Or at least there was a man named Bill who did all that.

      3. MIke.. I was not the camp manager. I was one of two Navy personnel there. I was a radioman however.

  10. thank you for the pictures and stories, I can relate, I was one of the support staff from Barrow over a period of a couple years there including a summer about 71-72, Larry was the camp manager, late Jimmy Kaigilak was the heavy equipment operator, some young guys from UW (one of them had badly colored hands), ‘Twitch’, (Twitchell), ‘Heck’ (Hekerlay sp.) I was there when the two young ladies were there. and when the herc crashed. some other memories: the outhouse with the two 55 gal. barrels for the crap. My cousin Ronald Brower and I were there when Monzino and his Greenland eskimo guides came back from reaching the north pole by dog team. A russian plane landed for a short while and dropped off scientists. This was about a year or two after a guy got shot dead on the island. was there not too long after a loader operator went berserk and crushed several buildings. the movies we watched in the mess room on the 16 mm projectors, the 8 track tape with only two tapes (Jefferson Airplane was one of them), the summer paradrops with supplies. The ‘rock pile’ several miles away where it looked like a few acres of earth covered with rock. The flight back to Barrow on a herc piloted by the guy who had crashed landed there. great memories but no pics, thanks for posting.

    1. Mike – -I was there when he was sledding north to the pole. I flew with his pilot when Guido was close to the pole. We circled the exact pole and he and his group were under us and raised his flag. I have a couple photos but do not know how to post them here.

      1. Hey Brower. Merry Christmas. I spent a lot of time with Charlie Hopson, who must be a close relative of yours.

        Do you know when Glenn Sheehan left NARL? And where he went? I came through Barrow some 15 times between 1966 and 2011, first for the three times on T-3, and then 5 cruises on the Healy mapping the extended continental shelf between 2003 and 2011.

        Best regards

        John K. Hall
        Jerusalem, Israel.

      2. Charlie is my cousin, he is still in good health and owns an oilfield related company doing surveying or something like that. I left Barrow 1973 didn’t know a Glenn

  11. Richard and Brower… A polar bear did come around when I was there. Got into the food so it became quite dangerous to go out all. It was very early morning when I hear a lot of noise outside my hut. The bear was spotted about 100 yards away. The camp manager (only one with a gun) shot the bear. I have pics of that also. The Eskimo workers had to skin the bear and make sure that authorities were aware. I would like to post some photos here, How is that done?

    1. I don’t know. Really what I need to do is make a T-3 Web page, as well as separate my Dauntless adventures from my travel adventures, like now in Vietnam.
      Anyone who has some ideas about this feel free to email me.
      Yes, we had to carry that 30-06 when we went out on the sea ice, like to the GM camp.

      1. Memories, memories. I painted the yellow store hut door red in 1967. The inside of the T-House… Is the copy of the Sears Roebuck catalog still inside? Wonderful reading material with all the goodies that might be ordered upon return to stateside. If you have an e-mail address I’ll send you pictures and my best T-3 lecture Power-Points by WeTransfer. Also my PhD thesis on T-3’s work 1962-1970.

        Dr. John K. Hall
        Marine Geophysicist
        Geological Survey of Israel (Retired)

      2. Lawrence Douglass, US Army Sig C/T-3, 1958-1959 (retired from the world) says:

        Sears Catalog ??? I didn’t have THAT MUCH time on a “throne” to read a catalog..especially if the canvas cover was open on windy nights(days). Too much possibility of frostbite on “important” parts.

      3. In Spring 1967, when the US Army Antarctic Support Huey helicopter unit came, a back room was added to the T-House. A muffin fan in a hole in the wall brought the temperature in the back room above freezing. The catalog was brought up in 1966 by a new Weather Bureau guy, Lee something.

  12. Air Transport Command crew Departure on May 16, 1944, C-47-A 43-15665. U.S.Army Air Force not Navy.

    1. T-3 1967-1968- i was with the USWB- sending up balloons and
      Eating well- it was thoroughly enjoyable

      1. Hey Mike, we must have overlapped. I was on T-3 from March through September in 1967, and then in the Fall of 1968 to make a cave near Lamont’s “Palace”for a tiltmeter from an Atlas missile to see what the tilt of the ice was during a frontal passage. Also to break in a new crew for the Fall-Winter shift.


  13. Jimmy Kaigilak and I were the ones who worked on the runway where the C-130 crashed. All we had was a drag to flatten the snow but there were too many larger drifts and the drag could not take them away. The little grator we had was broke down. The drifts were mainly on one third of the runway. If the plane had landed in the other direction it probably would have been a good Landing. But it landed on the side where all the drifts were they were in the series and the plane flapped its wings like a bird going over them and cracked its back. I remember it was a very tense time between the crew of the plane and the camp people. Yes Mark air got insurance money, bought the wrecked plane. Fixed it up and flew it back to Fairbanks.

    1. Gentlemen. I was not there when the plane crashed. I did not know it even happened. Must have been some tough days.

    2. Hey Mike- sorry to hear about Jimmy but good to know that there are still members of the crew around. I remember the hard work you put in trying to level the runway without the grader and the way the plane bounced off the drifts and eventually landed with her back broken and her wings drooping down. It was a sight I will never forget.


  14. Thanks Richard for this website and pictures. Brings back 40+ years old memories. Amazing how many people are still around to share their experiences there. I did a search for T-3 ,and Fletchers Ice Island and there is quite a bit of info out there. I personally dont have a single picture of that time.

    1. MIke or anyone else out there who was on T3…. I have photos. Email me It may take me a bit. I have a new scanner coming and will then scan and send you some.

      1. Hi Bill! I was the mechanic on board the Wardair Twin Otter that came in after the Herc messy landing. Do you have any pictures to the a/c or of our Otter? Thanks! Bill Mc.

      2. I am not sure what you mean by the a/c.. I don’t believe so. I was gone when the messy landing took place. I had not even it occurred until recently.

    2. i have a lot of photos including our camp wishlist dropped to Santa when we circled the NP until Guido got right under us and raised his flag.

  15. Mike and Brower.. I have scanned my T3 photos and I will send via email. I would like to upload some of them to this website but not sure how to do that. Anyone know how to do this?

    1. William: i was able to post your pic by hitting reply, then in the email app pick attach file, navigate to desired pic, attach and send. Actually pretty easy.

    2. Sorry, I was wrong about being able to post a pic. Looks like I just sent it email back to you. Looks like there is no way to post a pic on dauntless at sea

  16. Trish: I remember you and Michelle. The redhead and blond/brown haired girls. We had discussions on religion and music. Thats about all i recollect. It was a miracle no one died on that landing and i also will never forget the sights and sounds of that night. I remember there were about 30 or 40 Drums of fuel on that c130. They were held back from the seating area by a chain and the chained held in the crash otherwise they would have all been crushed. Somebody put out a fire i heard. There were some NARL bigshots on that flight including Kenny Toovak. The camp was crowded and the tension was great. There was a lot of finger pointing. Now it is one of the many tall tales of T-3.

  17. Hi everyone. I did my PhD on the work of T-3 from 1962 to 1970. My thesis was on the geophysical results. The USGS has recently made available the hourly positions of T-3 1962-1974. At Lamont we worked up the celestial fixes from the reoccupation in 1962, and then from 1967 we were acquiring up to 52 fixes a day with the AN-SRN-9 satellite navigation rig Lamont built. I spent over a year all told in 1966, 67, and 68. The hourly positions are derived from interpolation between fixes using the hourly weather wind speeds and directions, and then solving for the average Ekman drift angles to the right of the wind, and the fraction of the wind speed (usually 30 degrees and 2% of the speed).
    I have all the Lamont data (seismics, bottom photos etc.) here in Israel. Also many photos (viz. the airphoto of the camp above from spring 1967). Our hovercraft SABVABAA was built to get back to the Alpha Ridge, but in a decade of work (2008-2018) failed to get into the area, which is still untouched since the 53 day CESAR work in 1983.

    Dr. John K. Hall
    Marine Geophysicist
    Geological Survey of Israel
    Jerusalem Israel

  18. Press release here: The T-3 Ice Island heat flow dataset (356 stations) collected by the US Geological Survey between 1963 and 1973 was published this week by an American Geophysical Union (AGU) journal, with Art Lachenbruch, the lead USGS scientist for that project, as a coauthor and myself, a research geophysicist at the USGS, as lead author. The data have never been fully published before now, and we also did full data releases with supporting metadata and released Lamont’s 1-hour navigation/gravity/magnetics file provided by J.K. Hall. If you or a parent worked on T-3 and have photos of USGS heat flow and coring gear, the inside of the USGS hydrohut, USGS personnel, or related information, we are attempting to archive this material for preservation now (with attribution to you of course). I am happy to send a copy of the published manuscript to anyone interested who contacts me by email. Thank you to those who endured tough conditions to advance early science in the Western Arctic Ocean through service on T-3 in the 1960s and 1970s.

    1. I spent about 4 months on T3 in early 71. I have many photos taken there during that time.

  19. I spent about 3 months on t-3 in the summer of 1972 just out of trade school. I was a camp maintenance person. I worked with ron Ittta and joe ningeok from barrow and jimmy kaigelak,paul twitchell. Bob stoltze was the radio operator,pete larson was the cook and his son terry.People thought i was crazy to take a job way up there but its an experiance i will never forget.

    1. I ran into Pete Larson in North Pole Alaska in 1985. He and Terry were also there in my summer of 1973.
      He put me in touch with Larry Zervos who was by then a lawyer in Fairbanks and who also did camp maintenance to help since AIA had 7 plane mechanics up there replacing the wing in the C-130.

    2. Fred.. most likely there were on one or two tours between you and I. I left in early summer of 71. I was Navy personnel. One of two actually. The other was a electrical technician. We set up the radio shack.

  20. Lawrence (Larry) Douglass, 227 Royal Palms Ave, Kingsland, GA 31548 912-576-9800 says:

    Served 5 months on T-3 during IGY, 1958/59. was in US Army Sig C. Purpose of trip was Ionospheric studies. Lots of data, optical of Northern Lights and D,E, F regions reflections. Also, watched classified data in all regions. Later attributed to Kamchatka activities.

    1. I saw the more recent photos and read, with interest, comments re: activities on T-3 recently. When I was stationed there, Air Force personnel were the support people. US Weather, Argentine Research Personnel and my 2-man (US Army) crew (me included) were there for extended IGY research. T-3 became an excellent research platform. A total of 18 men were there. Temperatures were cooler (-64 F), winds were appx 140 knots, and yes, the water tasted like diesel fuel(caused by fuel leaking from the bull dozer while pushing snow/ice up the ramp for melting/drinking). I would love to “look at it again” but am now too D— old (83) to go. I enjoyed the photos.

  21. Was entirely underwhelming for me. Summer of 74. Quit UAF soon after returning to Barrow. To me, DOD stands for Dear Old Dad and SOS stands for Son Of Satan. Glad to hear more about the flusterkluck I missed, there at Max’s summer camp for Admiral’s Sons.
    Sidenote* Before he died Col. Joe Fletcher confided “When I heard about the crash at Roswell, I borrowed a plane from March Field and flew myself there.” And then “refueled my plane and flew to Wright Field.” Where he reported to Base Commander Marcellus Duffy.
    Regarding Col. Blanchard’s initial press release he stated “Butch was an idiot!” So it was.that he and his rawin balloons became the cover story for what the Navy now calls UAPs … Guess I’ll stop here cuz you-all’s thinking I’m nuts or something.

  22. Brower.. are you still going to publish some of those photos I sent you?

    1. Dear Fellow Arctic Heroes:

      I invite you to view our video on the FRAM-2014/15 50 week drift of the R/H SABVABAA.

      The background can be seen at:

      It won Best Documentary at NYCIFF March 8th, 2018 in Times Square. The award is reported in:

      The video can be seen via the link below. Password: SoaFO

      An earlier video on our work in 2012 can be seen by Googling ‘North into the Mist’. Or opening , unless you want Hebrew Subtitles.

      Best regards,


      Dr. John K. Hall

      Marine Geophysicist

      Geological Survey of Israel (Retired)

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