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French Balloonists in the Klondike, 1898

Vancouver Daily World (Vancouver, British Columbia)
Monday, October 17, 1898
What Became of the Frenchmen Who Left Vancouver for the North With a Balloon Is a Mystery.

    What has become of the party of French scientists, who went in a balloon expedition to Klondike, is a question that is agitating the minds of a good many people. It is now nearly three months ago that the party of Parisians left this city for the north. Three of the members of it embarked from Vancouver while M. Varicle, the head of the expedition, was to follow it few days later from San Francisco. This part of the party left from here by the Rosalie. Their plan, as explained to a World reporter, on the morning of their departure, was that a week later they would depart from Skagway in their balloon and they hoped to reach Dawson in 30 or at the most 48 hours later. Now they have never reached Dawson. To repeated enquiries of Klondikers the same answer is always given, that within the knowledge of the speaker nothing has been heard of them. What has become of them is, of course, a mystery so far. It is hardly reasonable to suppose that their lives have been lost, as they were all expert aeronauts and if anyone could go in that way they surely could. They had an elaborate outfit, beautiful and well made scientific instruments and their other appurtenances were in every way first-class.

    Prof. Nordenskjold, who has just arrived in the city from Dawson, is a scientist and knowing that the Frenchmen were coming was on the lookout for them, but their arrival was never reported during the three months of his stay there.

Northern Aviation History