Duck Hunt – Digging Down

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Fjords scar the already rugged coast of Southeast Greenland.  Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Dan Bender
Fjords scar the already rugged coast of Southeast Greenland. Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Dan Bender

After the long trip from the states to the Southeast Coast of Greenland the team searching for our missing air crew from World War II took helicopters out to the beautiful but desolate icecap where they made camp.

The team's camp consisted of eight tents for sleeping and a larger community tent for preparing meals and planning the search.  Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Dan Bender
The team's camp consisted of eight tents for sleeping and a larger community tent for preparing meals and planning the search. Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Dan Bender

After scientists locate anomalies in the ice with ground-penetrating radar, the first step is using an ice drill to create a pilot hole for the probe.

The first step in exploring an anomaly is drilling a pilot hole.  Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Dan Bender
The first step in exploring an anomaly is drilling a pilot hole. Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Dan Bender

The probe is essentially a pressure washer with an extended hose that squirts hot water into the hole and melts down to the desired depth.

The probe squirts heated water into the hole to melt down to the desired depth. Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Dan Bender
The probe squirts heated water into the hole to melt down to the desired depth. Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Dan Bender

Once the hole is done a camera is lowered down to the target depth.

The video camera to be lowered into the hole is attached to a recording device and a monitor.  Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Dan Bender
The video camera to be lowered into the hole is attached to a recording device and a monitor. Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Dan Bender

The team is able to view the ice below the camera through a monitor.  LED lights around the camera housing allow the team to see deep into the ice.

The camera is lowered into one of the many holes marked by red flags.  Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Dan Bender
The camera is lowered into one of the many holes marked by red flags. Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Dan Bender

After a long day on the ice, the 15-person team heads back to the 12-foot community tent to review the days information, plan for the next day and enjoy a hot meal before hitting the rack.

The crew enjoys dinner after a long day.  Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Dan Bender
The crew enjoys dinner after a long day. Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Dan Bender

Although the team did not definitively locate the wreckage on this trip they have a lot of new data to sort through as the search for the missing crew continues.  We’ll have more updates soon. Stay tuned!

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