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ANSWERS TO COiiKESPONDENTS.

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EDITED BY "UNCLE WILLIAM."

THE NORTH POLE.

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THE NORTH POLE. PROPOSED BALLOON EXPEDITION. Mr. Andree. the projector of the balloon expedition to the North Pole, Avill have for companion Mr. Nils Ekholm, of the Royal Swedish Meteorological Office, an honorary member of the Meteorological Society of Lon- don. Mr. Ekholm is to be one of the three persons who will join Mr. Andree. The ex- pedition will start not later than July, 1396, and the ascent will take place from a Avooden house which will be erected in the neighbour- hood of Inglefield Gulf, North-west Greenland. Every precaution will be taken for the safety of the aeronauts, and the Swedish Academy of Science will not give its consent to the expe- dition until it lia.s carefully examined every detail. Mr. Ekholm says that, while he fully understands the great dangers of the enter- prise, it must be remembered that the whole business will be managed by men who are ac- customed to the difficulties of such work. In contrasting Mr. Andree's expedition with that of Profeesor Nansen, Mr. Ekholm argues that his risks are not nearly so great as those of Professor Nansen. Mr. Andree, he says- will trust to winds which are a great deal quicker and in many ways safer than those of the ocean, and he does not consider that the members of the balloon expedition will incur any unusual risk of life. The balloon is to be of sufficient bearing capacity to conve- the adventurers, their scientific instruments, and supplies for four months, a sledge, canvas boat, arm,, and ammunition, and ballast, of a total weight of 6,6001b., through the regions of space for a period of 30 days. The material of the balloon will be so close that waste of gas will be reduced to a minimum, while its car will be a two-storeyed concern, containing a bed-chamber, store cupboards, and a dark room for photographic purposes. M. Gabriel Yon, of Paris, a celebrated maker, is quite wil- ling to construct a balloon, to meet Mr; Andree's requirements. The gas employed would be hydrogen, manufactured in the Arc- tic regions in a transportable apparatus, or conveyed in a compressed state to the spot-, the amount necessary for inflation being 6,000 cubic yards. The balloon would be furnished with cocoanut fibre baskets, to be towed on water, and so diminish speed when required? as well as ballast ropes which would regulate the height of the balloon above the surface, some 272 yards, therefore beneath the lowest layers of cloud. The only attempt at sur- veying and gapping the unknown Avastea would be by the aid of photography, as it IS presumed that the rate of travel would be too great to allow of other observations being made. The flight would be made from "The Noiways," some islands off the north-west coast of Spitzbergen, and, if all went well, the Polo would be passed in 40 hours or there- abouts, if the moderate pace of 17 miles an hour were maintained, while if the current was as strong as that which blew the twO French aeronauts in 1870 from Paris to the Lifjeld Mountains in Norway, five or six hours would suffice for that part of the trip- The journey would be contin.ued to the north- western shores of America, and the return home accomplished, no doubt, in some fear sible manner.

A FAMILY BUTCHERED.

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