"By Aeroplane to Pygmyland" Accounts of the 1926 Smithsonian-Dutch Expedition to New Guinea

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Journal of Matthew Stirling
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May 16, 1926 : Albatross Camp (Base Camp) ; Mamberamo River

May 16th

Today has been a day of difficulties. The military men and most of the others object to the plane making the trip up the Rouffaer because of the danger to the few men who must be there on first contact with the natives. The plane likewise will not carry as big a load from the river as it was able to do at Soerabaia from the bay. We found also that the trip is quite a bit longer then indicated by the map, the round trip requiring a good four hours. Hans and I had just three quarts of gasoline left in the tank when we returned from our trip, not enough to have circled the camp. Of course, 35 gallons more can be put in the reserve tank but this will decrease the carrying capacity of the plane. The result is that it is taking a long chance to establish our head camp by this method. It is a disappointment not to be able to do so as it would have saved us more than a month of time.

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