Posts Tagged ‘jonas qvale’

Update! One person killed, four people injured in polar bear attack on Spitsbergen, NRK and VG reports

August 5, 2011

One person is reported dead, according to this VG article. The party of 13 that were attacked in their tent camp near the Von Post Glacier early this morning was british, and consisted of youths from British Schools Exploring Society.

Several persons were injured when a polar bear attacked people near the Von Post Glacier approximately 40 kilometers from Longyearbyen.

It has been a busy situation for ambulance personell at Longyearbyen, and assistance from the mainland was immediately sent northwards.

This article on nrk.no first broke the news of  the incident which was reported to the Sysselmann at Spitsbergen around 07:30 AM today, August 5th. The polar bear is now dead and health personell have arrived on site, the Sysselmann reports.

“We have received four patients. All of them have moderate to serious injuries, mainly head injuries”, says Jon Mathisen, director of the department for acute medicine at the University Hospital in Tromsø to VG Nett.

Liv Ødegaard, information consultant with the Sysselmann office, tells NRK that they don’t have a complete overview of the situation so far, including how seriously hurt the persons involved are.

“We can now confirm that they were camping there, but if they were tourists or scientists is too early to say. At this stage we have made a priority of getting the injured persons medical help”, Ødegaard said earlier this morning.

None of the involved people are identified so far, and the British department of foreign affairs does not have an overview of the situation yet.

Starvation and lack of food is the most common motivation for a polar bear to attack people say Jon Aas, scientist at the Norwegian Polar Institute.

“All polar bears are potentially dangerous, but there are higher numbers of young and starving bears involved in attacks”, Aas says.

Kjersti Norås, tourism coordinator on Spitsbergen says that the Von Post Glacier is a common site for tourists to visit. “You can go there on snowmobiles in the winter to get to Pyramiden”, she informs VG Nett.

It is recommended to carry guns when out in the field on Spitsbergen, and the company who met the bear have killed the animal themselves.

Since 1971, four people have been hurt and four people killed by polar bears on Spitsbergen, Margrete Nilsdatter Skaktavl Keyser states in her master thesis on the subject.

Polnytt comments:

When situations with polar bears arise, the only solution is to kill the animal if possible, or else get killed.

We should now ask ourselves: Is tourism on Spitsbergen OK? Perhaps travelling in these areas should be restricted to personell with real business in the area? Useful activities like science, hunting and industry? Perhaps we should keep tourists and adventurers off these pristine nature reserves?

Jonas Qvale

Film from Amundsens 1925 aviation expedition restored and released on DVD

February 16, 2011

“Roald Amundsen – Lincoln Ellsworths flyveekspedisjon 1925” is a new DVD release of film footage from the nearly disastrous 1925 aeroplane expedition led by Norwegian polar hero Roald Amundsen. Financed by american businessman Lincoln Ellsworth, who also was a member of the expedition, the aeroplanes were registered as N24 and N25 and subsequently equipped for polar flights. They took off from King´s Bay in Svalbard on May 21st in an attempt to carry out the first transpolar flight of the North Pole, in order to establish once and for all whether there was in fact land in the area.

After only eight hours in the air, engine trouble caused them to make an emergency landing at 87° 44′ north, in which the N24 was broken beyond repair. Trapped on the constantly moving ice, the crew of six did not know if they would survive. The film shows them struggling to make a temporary runway long enough for the remaining aeroplane to take off, which took them more than three weeks. It was the northernmost latitude reached by plane at that time.

Shoveling over 600 tons of ice while consuming only 400 grams of daily food rations, the crew finally managed to take off in the N25 piloted by Hjalmar Riiser-Larsen, barely becoming airborne above the cracking ice. They managed to reach a fjord on the coast of Nordaustlandet at Svalbard before running out of fuel,  making this one of the most exciting episodes in the history of aviation.

The newly restored film is released by The Norwegian Film Institute and The National Library of Norway as a feature length documentary and has a new soundtrack by Matti Bye and Kristian Holmgren and a choice of norwegian, russian, german or english text.

You can buy the DVD from the Norwegian Film Institute here.

Short clip from the film here

I have not seen this DVD yet, but several short clips have been featured in documentaries before. As an owner of a copy of the excellent release “Roald Amundsens South Pole Expedition 1910-1912” also by the Norwegian Film Institute, I am certain this release holds up to the same high technical and historical standard.

Jonas Qvale/Hornorkesteret

Sources:
Aftenposten article

The Nansen-Amundsen-Year article

Wikipedia article

A detailed account of the expedition can be found here

Norwegian parliament ratifies Barents Sea agreement tuesday February 8. 2011

February 8, 2011

Today, the Barents Sea agreement between Norway and Russia will be ratified in Stortinget, the Norwegian Parliament. It was in October last year that the delimitation deal for the Barents Sea was signed by the Norwegian and Russian Foreign Ministers in Murmansk, after decades of disagreeing on this border.

Norwegian minister of foreign affairs Jonas Gahr Støre said this on the matter to his Facebook friends yesterday:

“Historical day in Stortinget tomorrow, as the delimitation agreement with Russia in The Barents Sea and the Polar Sea is being processed with unanimous recommendations from the Foreign affairs and Defense comittees.”

Hornorkesteret congratulates both countries with a piece of the arctic!

Russia was originally set to ratify the agreement at the same time as Norway, but the processing of the agreement is still not scheduled in the Russian State Duma.

Read more here, at Barents Observer.

Look at an interactive map of the agreement as of april 2010 here, at Dagbladet.

Jonas Qvale

Proposal for a Monument to Roald Amundsen at Microgaleria Sur, Canary Islands

December 13, 2010


Hornorkesteret’s Jonas Qvale made a proposal for a “National Monument to Roald Amundsen” in a contest earlier this year (he has a background in visual arts). A fund collected after Amundsens disappearence back in 1928 was now seeking proposals for a worthy monument to the world’s greatest polar hero. The entries were juried and later exhibited at the Fram Museum. Qvales proposal was not chosen, but he is still looking for financing and a place for this monument.

“Roald Amundsens Verden” (Roald Amundsen’s world) shows what could have been “Amundsens view of the world”, with an exaggerated emphasis on the polar regions, shrinking the continents except Antarctica to a narrow band around the planet’s waist. The continents would be polished Iddefjord granite with rougher surfaces on oceans. The ice caps would be inlaid and slightly raised in Rennebu ice green granite. Amundsens main expeditions would be carved and painted as red dotted lines crisscrossing the globe.

Rather than as a stone monument at Bygdøynes outside of Oslo, the work “Roald Amundsens Verden” is now being presented in styrofoam and papier maché as a miniature at the origami republika run MICROGALERIA SUR in San Fernando, Gran Canaria, Spain. Thanks to Tore H. Boe for running both the gallery and the republika, you are an inspiration to a lot of people!


The exhibition opened December 14th 2010, on the 99th anniversary of the conquest of the South Pole. At the modest but festive vernissage, the Norwegian emissiaries met with the directors and local MICROGALERIA SUR staff and officially unveiled the Amundsen monument proposal as well as additional rooms with fascinating miniature art by fellow Origami artists Origami Kanaria A195/A242, Jens Stegger Ledaal A178,  Origami Boe A22, and Magne Rudjord A286. See all of it here.

We are still seeking funding to realize the piece “Roald Amundsens Verden” in the anniversary year of 2011 -contact us at hornorkesteret@lavabit.com if you can help.