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2007 "South Pole" Marker

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I was watching a rerun of a show on the History Channel called "Pawn Stars". He brought in a 1997 South Pole marker, which is abasically a bench mark and pawned it, along with a receipt from an ATM at the South Pole. I did some reading and the ice shifts about 10 meters a year, so every year on January 1st, they put a new marker out. I read that they are left out and stored inside.



From email correspondence with producers of the 'Pawn Stars' show:


"I will attach some URL's that talk about what these are and what they mean to the National Science Foundation. I do know where all five were distributed back then, one of which went to me.


http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/li...ole/marking.jsp If you wait, the pictures of the markers from 1999 to present will appear at this site.


http://astro.uchicago.edu/cara/vtour/pole/poles/ If you scroll down, you will see pictures of the 96 and 97 markers. I have one of the 1997 markers.


This site talks about how the markers came about. The earliest was 1959 that anyone remembers



I can send copies of the emails from from Kat Misko of the Discovery Channel regarding my taking 1st place in the competition "prize possession' where I won $5,000 worth of Security."


AS for the South Pole Marker, here is the story:


I was working for ASA, Antarctic Support Associates, as one of two USAP MAPCON Administrators. I was the Admin for the Operations side which kept the Computerized Maintenance Management System - MAPCON - running. When I first hired on I was just the South Pole Admin, but by the time I got to the Ice for the first time I had been promoted to USAP - United States Antarctic Program - Admin. In 1996 I was sent to the Pole from McMurdo to update the CMMS. They send us there during the Christmas Holidays while the Station population is at its lowest. They hold a Christmas party and distribute gifts that are usually crafted at the pole. You can choose a wrapped gift or one that has already been opened. The person that made the marker, Dave Pernic, made three of them originally. One for the pole, one for a gift at that party and one he kept for himself. During the gift giving I acquired the marker he built for the party, but right away someone took it from me. I was lamenting the fact that that was one of the coolest things I had ever seen and marveled at how neat it would be to have one. I was tapped on the shoulder and asked if I would like one. Dave Pernic, sitting behind me, had heard me and appreciated how much I would like to have one. He said I had to pay for the material and get permission from the station manager, David Fisher (I am not sure of the spelling). I paid for the material and got permission. Next to me that night was one of the VIP executives who asked Dave if he could have one also, so Dave built two more. These two others were different from the first three in that I asked David if he would inscribe my name and his on the marker. He did that for me and the Sr Exec with me. He dated the marker 12/28/96, that is different from the original three as well.


As to their worth, people pay thousands of dollars just to fly there for an hour. I know there is a market for these, its just a matter of getting the word out. Pawn Stars is the vehicle for that.


I guess the pawn shop is asking $6000, for a replica.

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On December 21st, 1969 a close relative of mine along with another USGS surveyor reset the South Pole.

I believe this was the third time it was done! (Roald Amundsen was the first in about 1911 or 1912.)

Here's an article from the "The School Times", dated May 15th, 1970 published by the New York Times.




At the Bottom:

New Pole's Up!


At the exact bottom of the world - by our usual way of looking at maps and globes - there's a new six-foot wooden "South Pole." Since the last marker was put up in 1957 the polar ice cap had carried it 800 feet away from the correct location of the geographic South Pole.


Which pole is the bottom of the world, and which is the top, depends on your point of view and the mapmaking custom of putting North at the top of the page. Are people on the other sided of the world hanging with their heads down? Are we? Does anybody really know which way is up?


In the picture below, an engineer for the U.S. Geological Survey stands beside the new South Pole marker. A year from now this polar pillar probably will have wandered 65 feet from its proper spot.


In what direction? It can only move north; it can't get any farther south. All longitude lines come together at the pole. In one second flat you can "go around the world," crossing 360 degrees of longitude just by spinning on the heel of your thermal boot.


Marking the South Pole exactly is part of plans for a new U.S. scientific station. Observations made there give the greatest possible accuracy to rocket firings and space explorations now being planned.


The U.S. has several Antarctic bases. The one right at the pole is small. About 20 men "winter over," never out of earshot of hundreds of clicking scientific instruments - or the whine of constant wind.


Here's a few mementos he brought back:






All mail from the South Pole station was stamped with this.



Bronze replica of the mark given at retirement.

I'll be happy to sell this replica for $6,000!



(Pretty similar to the 1976 Bicentennial monument)



~ Mitch ~

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