In 1897 a lone balloon set off across the arctic landscape, its over-burdened basket frequently dipping into the frigid waters. The three passengers, members of a swedish arctic exploration team, were seen by observers dumping sand overboard whilst the heavy guide ropes hanging over the sides twisted and pulled until they eventually tore off the craft altogether. Some three days later, the balloon crashed onto the ice. Decades later the remains of the balloon crew and their belongings, including many photographs illustrating how they hunted polar bears for survival, were discovered on the remote island of Svarbard.
Alec Wilkinson’s book chronicles the expedition of S.A Andrée, a swedish explorer that in 1897 attempted to reach the Geographical North Pole by hot air balloon.