Auckland - American scientists studying a hidden Antarctic lake say they can sample waters believed to be the world's purest without contaminating what environmentalists say should remain untouched.
Lake Vostok in Antarctica has spent 15 million years under four kilometres of ice and scientists believe it contains life - but ecologists fear drilling into it could destroy it.
The 14 000 square kilometre body of water, 1 300 kilometres from the South Pole, is one of the worlds largest lakes. Its waters have been sealed from light and air for up to 35 million years under the huge pressure of the continental ice sheet.
The US National Science Foundation (NSF) said the lake is thought to be home to unique habitats and micro-organisms.
Now a team of scientists led by Robin Bell of Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory say the hydrodynamics of the lake may make it possible to search for life in the ice layers on the lake's eastern shore.
In an paper published in the journal Nature, they say this would provide another avenue for exploring the lake's potential as a harbour of microscopic life, in addition to actually exploring the waters of the lake itself.
The NSF-backed research reveals that although the lake is perhaps millions of years old, its waters are relatively young.
Over a period of 13 300 years, all of the water was removed by the overlying ice sheet and replaced from other sources - although mysteriously scientists do not know where the water comes from.
The lake water captured by the moving ice sheet was carried as layers of ice over Lake Vostok's eastern shoreline, and then eastward away from the lake.
Exploring those ice layers, they argue, is equivalent to exploring the lake itself.
"Our study is a critical step in the exploration of Lake Vostok," Bell said.
"These frozen lake water samples will record the passage of the ice sheet and the processes across the lake. The data show that the location of the current research station on the lake may not be optimal for biological studies."
Bell said Lake Vostok was absolutely devoid of interference.
"The youngest water in it is 400 000 years old," she said.
"It doesn't know anything of human beings, fossil fuels, or plastics. It is a window into life forms and climates of primordial eras."
Discovered in 1994, Vostok was underneath a then Soviet Union base in the suspended Australian Antarctic claim.
The earliest push to drill into it came from the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) which wants to practice on Lake Vostok so they could prepare for a mission to one of Jupiters moons, Europa.
But environmental groups are continuing to campaign for a suspension on any drilling.
"It does seem strange to us that in order to find life on another planet they want to drill into Lake Vostok and contaminate it," says Barry Weeber, a New Zealand environmentalist. - Sapa/AFP
Located about three hundred miles from the South Pole in South Antarctica there is an enormous lake located under a one-and-a-half-mile thick crust of ice. The lake takes its name from the nearby Russian Vostok Station.
Lake Vostok is believed to be 300 miles long and fifty feet wide and scientists say that the encapsulated atmosphere should have the ability to cleanse itself through interaction with the lake and possibly plant life.
The best photo's of Vostok are from satellites where the outline is clearly visible.
One of the most exciting discoveries was made through satellite imaging. This revealed an extremely powerful force of magnetic energy located at the north end of the lake's shoreline.
As recently as February 2000, at least two international teams were planning separate probes of the lake. Both consisted of fairly similar robotic sensors that would have been lowered through shafts (to be drilled). The teams were sponsored by the US and British governments as well as NASA. These programs have been shelved indefinitely.
'Geothermal Boils' have been proposed as a possible route for atmospheric interaction with the lake's environment. These are thousands of bubbles in the ice sheet. The surveyed bubbles range from a few to several hundred feet in diameter. They were discovered by Russian scientist Ivan Toskovoi who was stationed at Vostok Base until he disappeared in March 2000.
A verified dispatch out of Casey Station (Australian) reported a pair of women adventurers were attempting to ski across the continent and were extracted by a plane during the last leg of their trip. They had not requesred intervention. "Over the protests of the Australian crew at Casey, the pair were airlifted via an extraordinary 48-hour flight by a USN Special Forces team out of American Samoa.
According to the dispatch, the women were intent on reporting something unusual they had seen. The latest news reports had the pair resting in seclusion.
In a brief announcement on February 21, 2001, it was reported in Nexus Magazine that NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory had decided to cease studies they had been carrying out on Lake Vostok. this allowed the NSA to take full control of what had been an international effort to explore the lake.
Admiral Byrd - Operation High- Jump
At the end of the war there were many stories of what became of the Nazi's purported supply of flying disks. One rumor was that a disk had been dumped at the bottom of an Austrian lake. The most popular theory was that they had been secreted to remote regions in South America and, more particularly, Antarctica. Some maintain that there is a German UFO base in the Arctic.
It is interesting to note that the allies, under Admiral Byrd, mounted an invasion of the Antarctic. There were 30 missing German submarines that came from the Baltic area at the end of the war. They had a snorkel system which allowed them to stay under water for extended periods of up to weeks at a time. It is theorized that these U-Boats could have been used to move the technology out of Germany.
4000 soldiers, a battleship, an aircraft carrier and a support team invaded the frozen continent. He was said to have been given eight months and unlimited funding to complete the exercise.
It was abruptly terminated after the loss of many aircraft over an eight week period.
Admiral Byrd explained that in the event of another world war we would be up against aircraft that can travel from pole to pole.
The following is from: http://www.thule.org/looksaucer.html
Secretary of the US Navy James Forrestal sent a naval task force to Antarctic including Admiral Nimitz, Admiral Krusen and Admiral Byrd, called "Operation Highjump".
It was touted to be an expedition to find "coal deposits" and other valuable resources, but in actuality they were trying to find the underground base of the Nazis in Neuschwabenlandt. The nazis had done a very detailed study of the Antarctic and were alleged to have built an underground base there. In this regard however, the aryans have had an underground habitation in Antarctic for more than a million years.
The task force of OVER 40 SHIPS, included the flagship "Mount Olympus", the aircraft carrier "Philipine Sea", the seaplane tender "Pine Sea", the submarine "Senate", the destroyer "Bronson", the ice breaker "Northwind", and other tanker and supply ships. An armed contingent of 1400 sailors, and three dog sled teams were also on board. The expedition was filmed by the Navy and brought to Hollywood to be made into a commercial film called "The Secret Land". It was narrated by Hollywood actor Robert Montgomery (Naval reserve Officer) .
There were three divisions of Operation High Jump: one land group with tractors, explosives, and plenty of equipment to refurbish "Little America", and make an airstrip to land the six R-4D's (DC-3's), and two seaplane groups. The R4-D's were fitted with jet-assist takeoff bottles (JATO) in order to takeoff from the short runway of the aircraft carrier "Philipine Sea". They also were fitted with large skis for landing on the ice field prepared for them. The skis were specially fitted at three inches above the surface of the carrier deck. When landing on the ice at "Little America" the three inches of tire in contact with the snow and ice provided just enough and not too much drag for a smooth landing. Admiral Byrd's team of six R4-D's were fitted with the super secret "Trimetricon" spy cameras and each plane was trailing a magnetometer. They flew over as much of the continent as they could in the short three month "summer" period, mapping and recording magnetic data.
Magnetometers show anomalies in the Earth's magnetism, i.e. if there is a "hollow" place under the surface ice or ground, it will show up on the meter.
On the last of many "mapping" flights where all six planes went out, each on certain pre-ordained paths to film and "measure" with magnetometers, Admiral Byrd's plane returned THREE HOURS LATE.
It was stated that he had "lost an engine" and had had to throw everything overboard except the films themselves and the results of magnetometer readings in order to maintain altitude long enough to return to Little America. This is most certainly the time when he met with representatives of the aryans and a contingent of nazis.
The task force came steaming back with their data which then became classified "top secret". Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal retired and started to "talk". He was put in Bethesda Naval Hospital psychiatric ward where he was prevented from seeing or talking to anyone, including his wife! After a short while he was thrown out the window while trying to hang himself with a bedsheet. It was ruled a suicide, case closed. He was telling people about the underground aryan base.
After serving as a pilot during the war, UFO researcher Wendelle Stevens was assigned to a base in Alaska were he debriefed pilots who regularly sighted disks. Crews apparently saw an object on the ice pack. They also described one as rising from the water and flying away. Various photographs were taken but films locked away and sent to Anders AFB. More on Col. Stevens.
Watch Streaming Video: Col. Wendelle Stevens (ret.) describes USAF gun camera UFO footage from Alaska that has never been released.