The story of Australian-born Sir Hubert Wilkins and the Nautilus is usually a brief footnote, if mentioned at all, of Arctic exploration history. However, it is a tale of daring enterprise and of men captivated by the pursuit of noble deeds. Having leased and extensively modified a decommissioned vintage World War I U.S. Navy submarine, the Wilkins-Ellsworth Trans Arctic Submarine Expedition of 1931 was marked by controversy from its inception. Many considered it a huge publicity stunt, especially the planned rendezvous at the North Pole with the German airship Graf Zeppelin. The Nautilus did make it into the Arctic but suspected sabotage ended Sir Hubert's quest to be the first to use a submarine to cross the Arctic Ocean by way of the North Pole. An oceanographer, historian and author, Dr. Nelson is a Fellow of the Marine Technology Society, a member of the Explorers Club and the former president of the American Oceanic Organization.
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