In July 1897, three men, Salomon August Andrée, Nils Strindberg, and Knut Fraenkel attempted to reach the North Pole from the Svalbard archipielago in the Arctic Ocean by a hydrogen balloon. After lift off, the balloon lost hydrogen quickly and crashed just two days later. While they survived the crash unhurt, they tried to return south on foot through the pack ice. Inadequately prepared for the march that lasted almost three months, they ended up in Giles Island (now Kvitøya), and perished three days later.
For the 33 years, the fate of the expedition was a mystery. It was not until 1930 that the expedition remains were found. Among the remains were letters written in shorthand by Strindberg to his fiancée, Anna Charlier. They were engaged 8 months before the expedition’s departure. Louis Leslie talks about the incident and the findings. I rewrote his article in Centennial Gregg.