Sunday, January 31, 2010
I was going throught my files and found some pics of my friend "Jungle Wil" and me with our Aeta Negrito friend "Tata"(Cashew) Kasoy.
He lives at the pastolon Village near Subic Bay ,PI. He is a good old guy and very knowledgeable n the forest.
We went on many trips into the jungle with him over the years and learned a lot about living in that environemnt from "Tata" and another Friend Miguel.
Id like to get back there in the next few months and take another overnight trip into the woods with my Aeta friends.
Tomahawk - Scouts out!
Saturday, January 30, 2010
The vaquero pulled his tired saddle mule to a halt at the hitching rail, He cupped his hands around the hand rolled cigarette he was lighting, then inhaled deeply.
It had been a long ride and an even longer fight Against the Apache, He and his men had slain 5 Broncho Apache in the sierra Madre Mountains near nacori Chico, Mexico. The Ranchers and Vaqueros of the surrounding area joined punitive action in retaliation to the raiding the Broncos had been doing in the area for more than 40 years.
Sitting in front of him on the saddle was a small girl no more than 2 years old, She was the sole survivor of their attack on the Apache Raiders. The Vaquero had named the child “Buho” (Owl in English) due to her large frightened eyes.
The year was 1935.
Apache people obtained food from four main sources:
• hunting wild animals,
• gathering wild plants,
• growing domesticated plants
• trading with or raiding neighboring tribes for livestock and agricultural products.
The Western Apache diet consisted of 35–40% meat and 60–65% plant foods.
As the different Apache tribes lived in different environments, the particular types of foods eaten varied.
The gathering of plants and other foods was primarily a female chore. However, in certain activities, such as the gathering of heavy agave crowns, men helped. Numerous plants were used for medicine and religious ceremonies in addition their nutritional usage. Other plants were utilized for only their religious or medicinal value.
In May, the Western Apache baked and dried agave crowns that were pounded into pulp and formed into rectangular cakes. At the end of June and beginning of July, saguaro, prickly pear, and cholla fruits were gathered. In July and August, mesquite beans, Spanish bayonet fruit, and Emory oak acorns were gathered. In late September, gathering was stopped as attention moved toward harvesting cultivated crops. In late fall, juniper berries and pinyon nuts were gathered.
The most important plant food used by the Chiricahua was the Century plant (also known as mescal or agave). The crowns (the tuberous base portion) of this plant (which were baked in large underground ovens and sun-dried) and also the shoots were used.
Other plants utilized by the Chiricahua include: agarita (or algerita) berries, alligator juniper berries, anglepod seeds, banana yucca (or datil, broadleaf yucca) fruit, chili peppers, chokecherries, cota (used for tea), currants, dropseed grass seeds, Gambel oak acorns, Gambel oak bark (used for tea), grass seeds (of various varieties), greens (of various varieties), hawthorne fruit, Lamb's-quarters leaves, lip ferns (used for tea), live oak acorns, locust blossoms, locust pods, maize kernels (used for tiswin), mesquite beans, mulberries, narrowleaf yucca blossoms, narrowleaf yucca stalks, nipple cactus fruit, one-seed juniper berries, onions, pigweed seeds, pinyon nuts, pitahaya fruit, prickly pear fruit, prickly pear juice, raspberries, screwbean (or tornillo) fruit, saguaro fruit, spurge seeds, strawberries, sumac (Rhus microcarpa) berries, sunflower seeds, tule rootstocks, tule shoots, pigweed tumbleweed seeds, unicorn plant seeds, walnuts, western yellow pine inner bark (used as a sweetener), western yellow pine nuts, whitestar potatoes (Ipomoea lacunosa), wild grapes, wild potatoes (Solanum jamesii), wood sorrel leaves, and yucca buds (unknown species). Other items include: honey from ground hives and hives found within agave, sotol, and narrowleaf yucca plants.
The abundant agave (mescal) was also important to the Mescalero who gathered the crowns in late spring after reddish flower stalks appeared. The smaller sotol crowns were also important. Both crowns of both plants were baked and dried. Other plants include: acorns, agarita berries, amole stalks (roasted and peeled), aspen inner bark (used as a sweetener), bear grass stalks (roasted & peeled), box elder inner bark (used as a sweetener), banana yucca fruit, banana yucca flowers, box elder sap (used as a sweetener), cactus fruits (of various varieties), cattail rootstocks, chokecherries, currants, dropseed grass seeds (used for flatbread), elderberries, gooseberries, grapes, hackberries, hawthorne fruit, hops (used as condiment), horsemint (used as condiment), juniper berries, Lamb's-quarters leaves, locust flowers, locust pods, mesquite pods, mint (used as condiment), mulberries, pennyroyal (used as condiment), pigweed seeds (used for flatbread), pine inner bark (used as a sweetener), pinyon pine nuts, prickly pear fruit (dethorned and roasted), purslane leaves, raspberries, sage (used as condiment), screwbeans, sedge tubers, shepherd's purse leaves, strawberries, sunflower seeds, tumbleweed seeds (used for flatbread), vetch pods, walnuts, western white pine nuts, western yellow pine nuts, white evening primrose fruit, wild celery (used as condiment), wild onion (used as condiment), wild pea pods, wild potatoes, and wood sorrel leaves.
The Jicarilla used acorns, chokecherries, juniper berries, mesquite beans, pinon~ nuts, prickly pear fruit, and yucca fruit, as well as many different kinds of other fruits, acorns, greens, nuts, and seed grasses.
The most important plant food used by the Lipan was agave (mescal). Another important plant was sotol. Other plants utilized by the Lipan include: agarita, blackberries, cattails, devil's claw, elderberries, gooseberries, hackberries, hawthorn, juniper, Lamb's-quarters, locust, mesquite, mulberries, oak, palmetto, pecan, pinyon, prickly pears, raspberries, screwbeans, seed grasses, strawberries, sumac, sunflowers, Texas Persimmons, walnuts, western yellow pine, wild cherries, wild grapes, wild onions, wild plums, wild potatoes, wild roses, yucca flowers, and yucca fruit. Other items include: salt obtained from caves and honey.
Plants utilized by the Plains Apache include: chokecherries, blackberries, grapes, prairie turnips, wild onions, and wild plums. Numerous other fruits, vegetables, and tuberous roots were also used.
The Navajo practiced the most crop cultivation, the Western Apache, Jicarilla, and Lipan less. The one Chiricahua band (of Opler's) and Mescalero practiced very little cultivation. The other two Chiricahua bands and the Plains Apache did not grow any crops.
Friday, January 29, 2010
For anyone out there suffering from Lycanthropic disorder be advised that Tonight's full moon will be the biggest and brightest full moon of the year. It offers anyone with clear skies an opportunity to identify easy-to-see features on the moon.
This being the first full moon of 2010, it is also known as the wolf moon, a moniker dating back to Native American culture and the notion that hungry wolves howled at the full moon on cold winter nights. Each month brings another full moon name.
Ill be viewing it through my Binoculars while sipping a Canteen cup full of Hot chocolate and Tequila.
Ill also have my Ruger 357 mag loaded with silver bullets.
Tomahawk - Scouts out!
But why will this moon be bigger than others? Here's how the moon works:
The moon is, on average, 238,855 miles (384,400 km) from Earth. The moon's orbit around Earth – which causes it to go through all its phases once every 29.5 days – is not a perfect circle, but rather an ellipse. One side of the orbit is 31,070 miles (50,000 km) closer than the other.
So in each orbit, the moon reaches this closest point to us, called perigee. Once or twice a year, perigee coincides with a full moon, as it will tonight, making the moon bigger and brighter than any other full moons during the year.
Tonight it will be about 14 percent wider and 30 percent brighter than lesser full Moons of the year, according to Spaceweather.com.
As a bonus, Mars will be just to the left of the moon tonight. Look for the reddish, star-like object.
Many people think full moons cause strange behavior among animals and even humans. In fact several studies over the years have tried to tie lunar phases to births, heart attacks, deaths, suicides, violence, psychiatric hospital admissions and epileptic seizures, and more. Connections have been inclusive or nonexistent.
The moon does have some odd effects on our planet, and there are oodles of other amazing moon facts and misconceptions:
A full moon at perigee also brings higher ocean tides. This tug of the moon on Earth also creates tides in the planet's crust, not just in the oceans.
Beaches are more polluted during full moon, owing to the higher tides.
In reality, there's no such thing as a full moon. The full moon occurs when the sun, Earth and the moon are all lined up, almost. If they're perfectly aligned, Earth casts a shadow on the moon and there's a total lunar eclipse. So during what we call a full moon, the moon's face is actually slightly less than 100 percent illuminated.
The moon is moving away as you read this, by about 1.6 inches (4 cm) a year.
Finally, be sure to get out and see the full moon as it rises, right around sunset. Along the horizon, the moon tends to seem even bigger.
Full Moon Names for 2010:
By Joe Rao
Full Moon names date back to Native Americans, of what is now the northern and eastern United States. Those tribes of a few hundred years ago kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to each recurring full moon. Their names were applied to the entire month in which each occurred.
There were some variations in the moon names, but in general the same ones were current throughout the Algonquin tribes from New England on west to Lake Superior. European settlers followed their own customs and created some of their own names. Since the lunar ("synodic") month is roughly 29.5 days in length on average, the dates of the full moon shift from year to year.
Here is a listing of all of the full moon names, as well as the dates and times for 2010. Unless otherwise noted, all times are for the Eastern Time Zone.
Jan. 30, 1:18 a.m. EST -- Full Wolf Moon. Amid the zero cold and deep snows of midwinter, the wolf packs howled hungrily outside Indian villages. It was also known as the Old Moon or the Moon after Yule. In some tribes this was the Full Snow Moon; most applied that name to the next moon. The Moon will also arrive at perigee (it's closest point to Earth on its non-circular orbit) less than three hours later, at 4:04 a.m. EST at a distance of 221,577 mi. (356,593 km.) from Earth. So this is the biggest full moon of 2010. Very high ocean tides can be expected during the next two or three days, thanks to the coincidence of perigee with full moon.
Feb. 28, 11:38 a.m. EST -- Full Snow Moon. Usually the heaviest snows fall in this month. Hunting becomes very difficult, and hence to some tribes this was the Full Hunger Moon. .
Mar. 29, 10:25 p.m. EDT -- Full Worm Moon. In this month the ground softens and the earthworm casts reappear, inviting the return of the robins. The more northern tribes knew this as the Full Crow Moon, when the cawing of crows signals the end of winter, or the Full Crust Moon because the snow cover becomes crusted from thawing by day and freezing at night. The Full Sap Moon, marking the time of tapping maple trees, is another variation. In 2010 this is also the Paschal Full Moon; the first full Moon of the spring season. The first Sunday following the Paschal Moon is Easter Sunday, which indeed will be observed six days later on Sunday, April 4.
Apr. 28, 8:18 a.m. EDT -- Full Pink Moon. The grass pink or wild ground phlox is one of the earliest widespread flowers of the spring. Other names were the Full Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, and -- among coastal tribes -- the Full Fish Moon, when the shad come upstream to spawn.
May 27, 7:07 p.m. EDT -- Full Flower Moon. Flowers are now abundant everywhere. It was also known as the Full Corn Planting Moon or the Milk Moon.
Jun. 26, 7:30 a.m. EDT -- Full Strawberry Moon. Strawberry picking season peaks during this month. Europeans called this the Rose Moon. There will be also be a Partial Lunar Eclipse that coincides with moonset from the western and central sections of the US and Canada and coincides with moonrise for parts of eastern Asia. At its maximum the Moon will be overhead for observers in the South Pacific;nearly 54-percent of the Moon's diameter will become immersed in the Earth's dark umbral shadow.
Jul. 25, 9:37 p.m. EDT -- Full Buck Moon, when the new antlers of buck deer push out from their foreheads in coatings of velvety fur. It was also often called the Full Thunder Moon, thunderstorms being now most frequent. Sometimes it's also called the Full Hay Moon.
Aug. 24, 1:05 p.m. EDT -- Full Sturgeon Moon, when this large fish of the Great Lakes and other major bodies of water like Lake Champlain is most readily caught. A few tribes knew it as the Full Red Moon because when the moon rises it looks reddish through sultry haze, or the Green Corn Moon or Grain Moon. Since the Moon arrives at apogee about 12 hours later, this will also be the smallest full moon of 2010. In terms of apparent size, it will appear 12.3-percent smaller than the full Moon of Jan. 30.
Sep. 23, 5:17 a.m. EDT -- Full Harvest Moon. Traditionally, this designation goes to the full moon that occurs closest to the Autumnal (fall) Equinox. The Harvest Moon usually comes in September, but (on average) once or twice a decade it will fall in early October. At the peak of the harvest, farmers can work into the night by the light of this moon. Usually the moon rises an average of 50 minutes later each night, but for the few nights around the Harvest Moon, the moon seems to rise at nearly the same time each night: just 25 to 30 minutes later across the U.S., and only 10 to 20 minutes later for much of Canada and Europe. Corn, pumpkins, squash, beans, and wild rice -- the chief Indian staples -- are now ready for gathering.
Oct. 22, 9:36 p.m. EDT -- Full Hunters' Moon. With the leaves falling and the deer fattened, it's now time to hunt. Since the fields have been reaped, hunters can ride over the stubble, and can more easily see the fox, as well as other animals, which can be caught for a thanksgiving banquet after the harvest.
Nov. 21, 12:27 p.m. EST -- Full Beaver Moon. At this point of the year, it's time to set beaver traps before the swamps freeze to ensure a supply of warm winter furs. Another interpretation suggests that the name Beaver Full Moon come from the fact that the beavers are now active in their preparation for winter. It's also called the Frosty Moon.
Dec. 21, 3:13 a.m. EST -- Full Cold Moon. On occasion, this moon was also called the Moon before Yule. December is also the month the winter cold fastens its grip. Sometimes this moon is referred to as the Full Long Nights Moon and the term "Long Night" Moon is a very appropriate name because the nights are now indeed long and the Moon is above the horizon a long time. This particular full moon makes its highest arc across the sky because it's diametrically opposite to the low Sun. In fact, the moment of the Winter Solstice comes just over 15 hours after this full moon, at 6:38 p.m. EST.
Last, but certainly not least, this will also be the night of a Total Lunar Eclipse. North Americans will have a ringside seat for this event (totality will last 73-minutes) and, depending on your location, will take place either during the middle of the night or during the predawn hours. Observers in Western Europe and western Africa will see the opening stages of the eclipse before the Moon sets; South Americans will see the Moon set either during the total phase or as the Moon emerges from the shadow. At mid-eclipse, the Moon will appear almost directly overhead for observers in southern California and Baja Mexico.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Damper is an Australian bush bread made without yeast(but you can add a beer to the mix) that dates back to the early settlers and bushmen who cooked the bread over a hot campfire.
I believe it was first made by Drovers the Aussies call cowboys. To me it is just a large version of ash cakes(which I covered in an earlier post).
For me using a Dutch Oven or steel covered pan to bake the bread in is Ideal, I dont really care for the ash and grit when it is cooked straight on the coals.
But Dutch Ovens are heavy so Im sure most times the Drovers would cook the dough right in the hot coals.
The dry ingredients were easily carried as they traveled the outback and with the help of some water from a billabong (Pond), it was quick and easy to make. Along with their billy tea or coffee, it would keep them fed during a cattle "Muster".
Since I dont have any pics of mking Damper of my own, I borrowed a few from the Net.
Give this type of bread a try, it is quick and easy to make and tasty too.
Tomahawk - Scouts Out!
150 g Wheat flour
100 g Corn flour
2 teaspoon Baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
200 ml Milk
20 ml Oil (here:safflower oil)
Make a campfire from dense wood, like mesquite, something that will burn down to hot ashes. Wait for the fire to burn down to hot white ash.
Stand the bottle of beer beside the fire until it is nice and warm-around body temperature is ideal for the yeast to do its work. If you heat the beer too much you will kill the yeast. Warm your mixing bowl as well.
Mix the flour, sea salt and baking powder in a large bowl. When thoroughly blended, make a well in the centre and gradually mix the beer into the flour in a circular motion with a wooden spoon. Different flours absorb different amounts of beer. When the flour begins to form clumps and come away from the bowl, mix it with your hands until it becomes a dough. If the dough is too dry, add milk or water.
Spread a little flour on a clean work surface, turn the dough out and knead rhythmically. Kneading activates the gluten (starch) strands that give the dough its strength. Flatten the dough out into a round disk about one inch thick.
With a shovel, make a valley in the ash the size of the dough. Carefully sprinkle white ash onto the base about 1/4 inch deep. Place dough on ash and shovel coals on top. Check after 40 minutes or so by flicking your finger on the dough. If it sounds hollow it is ready, if not bury with more ashes
Remove damper from ashes with shovel. Brush away the ash, pick out any coals that may be attached to the bread. Slice and enjoy!
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Back in November 2008 just after my Chinese Green card Whore X-wife had filed for Divorce I was heading out Geronimo trail road from Douglas, Arizona toward the peloncillo(bald)mountains to do a little camping with my Dog Lilly.
I was someplace near the Malpias Ranch when I saw a 10 horse trailer full of hay broken down on the side of the road. I saw that it was a lone man and none other than Warner Glenn, who is somewhat of a living legend in the area.
In 1996 Mr. Glenn made the first reported sighted sighting of the Jaguar in Arizona since 1936(I think). As Luck would have it I had just bought his Book "Eyes Of Fire" about his encounter with the Jaguar.
I had been staying at the Historic Gadsden Hotel in Douglas and noticed the Book for sale at the front desk.
Anyway, I pulled my truck over to see if I could render any assistance to the man. As I remember it he was pretty spry for a man his age and looked very fit - one of those guys who is always naturally "in shape".
When I asked if I could give him any help he told me his wife was on the way and was going to help him move the hay into another trailer then "Head 'er home".
I told him again Id be glad to help, and my dog Lilly would lend Moral support but Mr. Glenn said "Naw...we'll getter".
After a few more mins of shooting the shit his wife pulled up with another truck and trailer, they allowed me to take this picture of them. I have posted a couple pics of the books cover and some other info for your enjoyment.
I hope you like it.
Tomahawk - Scouts out!
Monday, January 25, 2010
George Drouillard was another interesting member of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Unlike Pvt. John Colter, Drouillard was a military contractor and not a soldier , he was hired for his skills with Languages, specifically sign Language. I read someplace that aside from Shawnee he could speak, English, French, and spanish ; and of course the Indian sign language in common usage at that time in all of north america.
The man must have also possess some wonderful woodsmanship skills like hunting, tracking and surviving in a hostile environment etc. Im sure Drouillard would have been a great companion to have around the fire and could share some amazing stories of his adventures.
Tomahawk – Scouts Out!
George Drouillard, the 28-year-old son of a French Canadian father and Shawnee Indian mother, was recruited by Captain Meriwether Lewis upon reaching Fort Massac in November 1803. Captain Daniel Bissell, who had been ordered by the War Department to recruit volunteers for the Corps of Discovery, recommended Drouillard as an excellent hunter with a good knowledge of the Indians’ character and sign language.
In his job as civilian interpreter, Drouillard was offered a stipend of $25 a month. He also received a $30 advance from Lewis for transporting eight volunteers from South West Point, Tennessee, to Fort Massac to join the Corps. Drouillard and York, the slave, were the only non-military members of the Corps to complete the expedition from camp Dubois to the Pacific and back. Drouillard generally accompanied Lewis on scouting missions. He was superior in situations of danger, where nerve, endurance and cool judgment were needed. Lewis praised him highly as the most skilled hunter among the men.
Because of his sign language skills, Drouillard often played a key role in establishing relations with the various Indian tribes that the Corps encountered. In late July 1804, just north of the Platte River’s entrance into the Missouri River, Drouillard and Private Pierre Cruzatte were sent by the captains to scout out the villages of the Oto and the Missouri Indians. They found the principal Oto village and fresh tracks but no people, as the villagers were off on an annual buffalo hunt. Days later, Drouillard came into contact with one Missouri and two Oto Indians, with whom Lewis and Clark sought to have council.
In early August 1804, Drouillard was one of four men named to a search party charged with locating Moses Reed and La Liberte, both of whom had deserted the Corps while en route to council with the Oto tribe. Drouillard and the other members of the search party succeeded in bringing Reed back to the Corps. Intent on making peace, nine Oto Indians, including Little Thief and Big Horse, returned with the Americans.
During the winter of 1804-05, Drouillard’s interpretive and hunting skills were integral to establishing friendly relations with the Mandan Indians, with whom the Corps survived a incredibly cold winter. He was often assigned to small hunting groups, who would be charged with collecting meat to feed the Corps and to trade with the Mandans for other foodstuffs. In November 1804, Drouillard and six other unnamed men traveled upstream in a pirogue, navigating a freezing, ice-coated river to deliver the dressed carcasses of 32 deer, 11 elk, and five buffalo to Fort Mandan.
In February 1805, after recovering from having been bled and purged for pleurisy, Drouillard and three other men were assigned to transport some buffalo meat that had been cached downriver. The team headed down the river on the ice with two sleighs, three horses and a colt to where the hunting party had stored the meat in log cribs, safe from predators. One evening during this trip, the team was attacked by over 100 Sioux Indians, who stole the two sleigh horses and some of the team’s weapons. At Drouillard’s advice, the team wisely held their fire. It was enough that the Indians could claim to have stolen two horses from the powerful white men. The Americans, although short of needed supplies, were safe, and arrived back at Fort Mandan without the needed meat, which was later retrieved.
After departing Fort Mandan on April 7,1805, the Corps reached the mouth of the Yellowstone River. Lewis and Clark decided to examine and map the river’s coordinates for transcribing onto Clark’s strip maps. Lewis led a team that included Drouillard, climbing to the top of the Missouri’s southern bluffs. They were amazed at the amount and variety of wildlife. Lewis recorded “immense herds of Buffalo, Elk, deer and Antelope [were] feeding in one common and boundless pasture.”
June 11, 1805, Drouillard accompanied Lewis, Joseph Field, Gibson, and Goodrich, up the south fork, eager to locate the Great Falls and therefore prove once and for all that the south fork was the true Missouri. On June 13, Lewis, upon sighting the falls, declared them “this sublimely grand specticle.”
Drouillard provided vital interpreter services to Lewis when the captain and an advance party were scouting for the Shoshones. Comenting on Drouillard’s sign language skills, Lewis, on August 14, 1805, wrote: “The means I had of communicating with these people was by way of Drewyer [Drouillard] who understood perfectly the common language of jesticulation or signs which seems to be universally understood by all the Nations we have yet seen. It is true that this language is imperfect and liable to error but is much less so than would be expected. The strong parts of the ideas are seldom mistaken.”
In early July 1806, Lewis and Clark divided the Corps into two groups at Traveler’s Rest, near present Missoula, Montana. Lewis would head northward to determine the upper limit of the Maria’s River; in turn, his exploration would help determine the northern extent of the Louisiana Purchase Territory. Clark would lead a detachment to explore the Yellowstone. Drouillard and Joseph and Reuben Field accompanied Lewis into the northern country, where they skirmished with some roving Piegans, a band of the Blackfeet tribe. Attempting to steal the weapons and horses of the white men, two Piegans perished. Lewis was nearly shot by one of the Indians. Writing later, Lewis explained: “He overshot me, being bearheaded, I felt the wind of his bullet very distinctly.” The explorers escaped, managing to reclaim their horses, together with taking several of the Indians’ horses. This incident would allegedly spark the Blackfeet’s desire to avenge the two Indians’ deaths during later U.S. trading expeditions.
When the Corps safely reached St. Louis on September 23, 1806, Lewis entrusted Drouillard with the delivery of the first letters containing reports of the expedition to the postmaster in Cahokia. These letters were then sent on to President Jefferson. Later, after the Corps was disbanded, Drouillard returned to the Three Forks region of the upper Missouri as a member of Manuel Lisa’s 1810 fur trading party. It was there that Indians killed Drouillard, horribly mutilating him.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Clayton Hutton "Official secret"
I have read every book on POW escape I could find, my favorites are the stories from WW2 and especially the story of the Men Imprisoned at Colditz Castle in Germany.
In the book "Escape from Colditz" there are numerous stories about how these allied officers managed to escape from the prison and be repatriated to their respective armies.
My favorie part was how they forged papers, made German uniforms and civilian clothing,compasses, and back packs etc. from their own uniforms and issued equipment.
They also recieved equipment, maps and money in the Red Cross parcels they recieved from home.
Clayton Hutton of MI9 was responsible for the invention of several escape aids used by the Allies. you can read about Claton Hutton in the book "Official Secret".
But I think my favorite story from Colditz is the Glider made from scrap wood and bed sheets , it was not flown in ww2 due to the war ending but in 2000 a replica of the glider was constructed from the exact materials the POW's used and was successfull flown. pretty cool.
I have attached some detailed info about Colditz and the Successful and unsuccessful escape attempts.
Tomahawk - Scout out!
Prisoners made numerous attempts to escape Oflag IV-C, one of the most famous German Army prisoner-of-war camps for officers in World War II. The camp was located in Colditz Castle, situated on a cliff overlooking the town of Colditz in Saxony.
The German Army made Colditz a Sonderlager (high-security prison camp), the only one of its type within Germany. Field Marshal Hermann Göring even declared Colditz "escape-proof". Yet despite this audacious claim, there were multiple escapes by British, Canadian, French, Polish, Dutch, and Belgian inmates. Despite some misapprehensions to the contrary, Colditz Castle was not used as a Prisoner-of-War camp in World War I.
Prisoners contrived a number of methods to escape. They duplicated keys to various doors, made copies of maps, forged Ausweise (identity papers), and manufactured their own tools. MI9, a department of the British War Office which specialized in escape equipment, communicated with the prisoners in code and smuggled them new escape aids disguised in care packages from family or from non-existent charities, although they never tampered with Red Cross care packages for fear it would force the Germans to stop their delivery to all camps. The Germans became skilled at intercepting packages containing contraband material.
There was also a form of black market whereby the prisoners used items from their Red Cross parcels to buy information and tools from the cooperative guards and townsfolk. Since the Germans allowed Douglas Bader to visit the town, he took chocolate and other luxuries with him for trading. Flight Lieutenant Cenek Chaloupka traded goods for information and even had a girlfriend in the town. David Stirling later took control of the black market operations.
There was only one fatality during the escape attempts: British Lieutenant Michael Sinclair in September 1944. The Germans buried him in Colditz cemetery with full military honours — his casket was draped with a Union Jack flag made by the German guards, and he received a seven-gun salute. Post-war he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order, the only man to receive it for escaping during WWII. He is currently buried in grave number 10.1.14 at Berlin War Cemetery in the Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf district of Berlin.
Most of the escape attempts failed. Pat Reid, who later wrote about his experiences in Colditz, failed to escape at first and then became an "Escape Officer", charged with coordinating the various national groups so they would not ruin each other's escape attempts. Escape Officers were generally not themselves permitted to escape. Many tried unsuccessfully to escape in disguise: Airey Neave twice dressed as a guard, French Lieutenant Boulé disguised in drag, British Lieutenant Michael Sinclair even dressed as the German Sergeant Major Rothenberger [an NCO in the camp garrison], when he tried to organize a mass escape, and French Lieutenant Perodeau disguised as regular camp electrician Willi Pöhnert ("Little Willi"):
On the night of 28 December 1942, one of the French officers deliberately blew out the fuse on the lights in the courtyard. As they had anticipated Pöhnert was summoned, and while he was still fixing the lights, Lieutenant Perodeau, dressed almost identically to Pöhnert and carrying a tool box, walked casually out of the courtyard gate. He passed the first guard without incident, but the guard at the main gate asked for his token — tokens were issued to each guard and staff member upon entry of the camp guardhouse specifically to avoid this type of escape — with no hope of bluffing his way out of this, Perodeau surrendered.
Dutch sculptors made two clay heads to stand in for escaping officers in the roll call. Later, "ghosts", officers who had faked a successful escape and hid in the castle, took the place of escaping prisoners in the roll call in order to delay discovery as long as possible.
Camp guards collected so much escape equipment that they established a "Kommandant's Escape Museum". Local photographer Johannes Lange took photographs of the would-be escapers in their disguises or re-enacting their attempts for the camera. Along with the Lange photographs, one of the two sculpted clay heads was displayed proudly in the museum. Security officer Reinhold Eggers made them a regular part of Das Abwehrblatt, a weekly magazine for the German POW camps.
The Red Cross Tea Chest:
Because of his very small stature Dominic Bruce was always known ironically as the "medium-sized man". He arrived at Colditz in 1942 (after a daring escape from Spangenberg Castle disguised as a Red Cross doctor). When a new Commandant arrived at Colditz in the summer of the same year he enforced rules restricting prisoners’ personal belongings.
On 8 September POWs were told to pack up all excess belongings and an assortment of boxes were delivered to carry them into store. Dominic Bruce immediately seized his chance and was packed inside a Red Cross packing case, three foot square, with just a knife and a 40-foot (12 m) length rope made of bed sheets. Bruce was taken to a storeroom on the third floor of the German Kommandantur and that night made his escape. When the German guards discovered the bed rope dangling from the window the following morning and entered the storeroom they found the empty box on which Bruce had inscribed Die Luft in Colditz gefällt mir nicht mehr. Auf Wiedersehen! — "The air in Colditz no longer agrees with me. See you later!" Bruce was recaptured a week later trying to stow aboard a Swedish ship in Danzig.
In late 1940, British officer Peter Allan found out that the Germans were moving several mattresses from the castle to another camp and decided that would be his way out. He let the French officers moving the mattresses know that one would be a little bit heavier. Allan, a fluent German speaker due to his schooling in Germany before the war, dressed himself up in a Hitlerjugend (Hitler Youth) uniform, stuffed Reichsmark in his pockets, and had himself sewn into one of the mattresses. He managed to get himself loaded into the truck, and unloaded into an empty house within the town. Cutting himself out of the mattress several hours later, when all he could hear was silence, he climbed out of the window into the garden and walked down the road towards his freedom.
Along the 100 mi (161 km) way to Vienna via Stuttgart he got a lift with a senior SS officer. Allan recalled that ride as the scariest moment of his life, "To be vulgar, I nearly needed a new pair of trousers." Allan had been aiming to reach Poland, but soon after reaching Vienna he found he was out of money. At this time the Americans had not yet entered the war, so Allan decided to ask the American consulate for assistance; he was refused. Allan's stepmother Lois Allan (founder of Fuzzy-Felt toys in the UK) was a U.S. citizen and he felt that they would provide sanctuary because of this. Allan had been on the run at this point for nine days; broke, exhausted, and hungry, he fell asleep in a park. Upon waking he discovered he could no longer walk due to his starvation. Soon after he was picked up and returned to Colditz, where he spent the next 3 months in solitary confinement.
The Bed-Sheet Rope:
On 12 May 1941, Polish officers Lieutenants Miki Surmanowicz and Mietek Chmiel, attempted to abseil down a 36 m (120 ft) wall to freedom on a rope constructed out of bed sheets. In order to get into position, both men put themselves into solitary confinement. After forcing open the door and picking the locks, they made their way to the courtyard where they climbed up to a narrow ledge. From the ledge they were able to cross to the guard house roof, and climb through an open window on the outer wall. Reusing their bed sheet rope, they lowered themselves towards the ground; they were caught when the German guards heard the hobnailed boots of one of the escapees scraping down the outside of the guardhouse wall. Reid makes much of the fact that the guard who spotted the escapees shouted 'Hände hoch!!' [Hands up!!] to the men as they were descending the rope.
The Canteen Tunnel:
Early in 1941, the British prisoners had gained access to the sewers and drains which ran beneath the floors of the castle. Entrance to these was from a manhole cover in the floor of the canteen. After initial reconnaissance trips, it was decided that the drain should be extended, and an exit made in a small grassy area which was overlooked from the canteen window. From here, they had planned to climb down the hill, and drop down below the steep outside eastern wall of the castle. Knowing which sentry would be on duty during the planned night of the escape, they pooled their resources and collected 500 Reichsmark for a bribe (100 of which were paid up front). This plan took three months of preparation. On the evening of 29 May 1941, Pat Reid hid in the canteen when it was locked up for the night. He removed the bolt from the lock on the door, and returned to the courtyard. After the evening meeting, the chosen escapers slipped into the canteen unnoticed. They entered the tunnel and waited for the signal to proceed. Unknown to the prisoners, they had been betrayed by the bribed guard. Waiting on the grassy area was Hauptmann Priem and his guard force.
Pat Reid recalls:
"I climbed out on to the grass and Rupert Barry, immediately behind me, started to follow. My shadow was cast on the wall of the Kommandantur, and at that moment I noticed a second shadow beside my own. It held a gun. I yelled to Rupert to get back as a voice behind me shouted, Hände hoch! Hände hoch!. I turned to face a German officer levelling his pistol at me."
Behind him were seven British and four Polish officers. On his order the remaining men backed up the tunnel to evade detection, but the Germans were waiting for them outside the canteen. Not wanting to give their captors any satisfaction the British burst into laughter as they came out, much to the bemusement of the guards.
Hauptmann Priem ends the story:
"And the Guard? He kept his 100 Marks; he got extra leave, promotion and the War Service Cross."
The French Tunnel:
Nine French officers organized a long-term tunnel-digging project, the longest attempted out of Colditz Castle throughout the war. Deciding that the exit should be on the steep drop leading down towards the recreation area, outside the eastern walls of the castle, they began to scout for a possible location for the entrance. The problem was solved by Lieutenants Cazaumayo and Paille, who had gained access to the clock tower in 1940.
Their tunnel began at the top of a chapel's clock tower and descended 8.6 meters (28.2 ft) into the ground using an old dumbwaiter shaft. They found that the weights which used to hang down the shaft, and the chains, had been removed. This left an empty shaft which extended from the clock to the cellars below. After the previous escape attempts of Cazaumayo and Paille, the doors (one on each floor) which provided access to the tower had been bricked up in order to prevent further escape attempts. However, by sealing up the tower the Germans had in essence provided a secure location where escape tunnel work could be done without notice. The French this time gained access to the tower from the attics, descended 35 m to the cellars, and began work on a horizontal shaft in June 1941. This shaft work would continue for a further eight months.
The horizontal shaft towards the chapel progressed 4 m (13 ft) before they hit rock too hard to dig. They then decided to dig upwards towards the chapel floor. From here the tunnel continued underneath the wooden floor of the chapel for a distance of 13.5 m (44.3 ft). For this to be achieved, seven heavy oak timbers in the floor, measuring 0.5 m (1.3 ft) square had to be cut through. Homemade saws, assembled from German table knives, were employed for this task. With this completed, the tunnel dropped vertically from the far corner of the chapel a further 5.2 m (17 ft). The tunnel then proceeded out towards the proposed exit with two further descents, separated by shafts in the tough stone foundations of the castle. The tunnel now ran a horizontal distance of 44 m (144 ft), reaching a final depth of 8.6 m (28.2 ft) below the ground.
Tunneling continued well into 1942. By then Germans knew that the French were digging somewhere, based on the noise of their tunneling reverberating through the castle at night. The French thought that its entrance was undetectable. However, on 15 January the Germans eventually searched the sealed-off clock tower. Noises were heard below, and after lowering a small boy down the shaft three French officers were found. After searching the cellar thoroughly, the entrance to the tunnel was eventually discovered a mere 2 m (6.5 ft) short of completion. The French were convinced that they had been betrayed by one of their own countrymen but this was denied by the guards who demanded the French pay to repair the damage (estimated at 12,000 Reichsmark).
The tunnel itself was a major engineering feat. It had electric lighting along its whole length, the power being diverted from the chapel's electricity supply. Not only did this allow the tunnellers to see what they were doing, it was also used as a system with which to signal to them the arrival of any sentries. The entrance to the tunnel in the wine cellar was concealed by five large stones covering a small door, which left little trace of any hole. Debris was transported from the working area by means of several sacks hoisted up the clock tower and disposed of in the castle's attics. The wine cellar was regularly cleaned and redusted using dust harvested from the attic, so as to hide the reddish clay dust which was not present in the cellar ordinarily.
The "Colditz Cock" glider:
Main article: Colditz Cock
In one of the most ambitious escape attempts from Colditz, the idea of building a glider was dreamt up by two British pilots, Jack Best and Bill Goldfinch, who had been sent to Colditz after escaping from another POW camp. They were encouraged by two army officers, Tony Rolt and David Walker, who had recently arrived in the camp. It would be Tony Rolt who would recommend the chapel roof, since he noticed it was obscured from the view of the Germans.
The plan was to construct a two-man glider part by part. The glider was assembled by Bill Goldfinch and Jack Best in the lower attic above the chapel, and was to be launched from the roof in order to fly across the river Mulde, which was about 200 feet (60 m) below. The runway was to be constructed from tables and the glider was to be launched using a pulley system based on a falling metal bathtub full of concrete, using a gravity-assisted acceleration to 30 mph (50 km/h).
The officers who took part in the project built a false wall, to hide the secret space in the attic where they slowly built the glider out of stolen pieces of wood. Since the Germans were accustomed to looking down for tunnels, not up for secret workshops, the prisoners felt safe from detection. However, they still placed lookouts, and created an electric alarm system, to warn the builders of approaching guards.
Hundreds of ribs had to be constructed, predominantly formed from bed slats, but also from every other piece of wood the POW's could surreptitiously obtain. The wing spars were constructed from floor boards. Control wires were made from electrical wiring in unused portions of the castle. A glider expert, Lorne Welch, was asked to review the stress diagrams and calculations made by Goldfinch.
The glider constructed was a lightweight, two-seater, high wing, monoplane design. It had a Mooney style rudder and square elevators. The wingspan, tip to tip, was 32 ft (9.75 m), and it was 19 ft 9 in (6 m) from nose to tail. Prison sleeping bags of blue and white checked cotton were used to skin the glider, and German ration millet was boiled and used to seal the cloth pores. The materials they had to work with caused it to weigh a mere 240 lb (109 kg). However the war ended before the glider was finished.
Although the Colditz Cock never flew in real life, the concept was fictionalized, depicting a successful flight and escape, in the 1971 TV movie The Birdmen starring Doug McClure, Chuck Connors, Rene Auberjonois and Richard Basehart.
A replica of the Colditz glider was built for the 2000 Channel 4 (UK) 3-part (150 minute total) Escape from Colditz documentary, and was flown successfully by John Lee on its first attempt at RAF Odiham with Best and Goldfinch in tearful attendance. It is currently housed at the Imperial War Museum in London. The Channel 4 material was edited to 60 minutes and shown in the US in 2001 as Nazi Prison Escape on the NOVA television series.
Pat Reid claims in Colditz: The Full Story that there were 31 "home runs". It should be noted that he includes prisoners from the hospital and prisoners being transported, who were not directly under Colditz staff control. Henry Chancellor in Colditz: The Definitive History claims 32 escaped but only 15 were "home runs": 1 Belgian, 11 British, 7 Dutch, 12 French and 1 Polish. The difference is that Reid claims any successful escape by an "official" Colditz POW a "home run" where most other historians only consider escapes from the castle or castle grounds itself as a "home run". Also a subject of debate is whether or not Lieutenant William Millar's escape should be considered a "home run", but since he is listed MIA (unofficially he is assumed deceased), Chancellor does not count him as such.
At the end of May 1943, the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (Armed Forces High Command) decided that Colditz should hold only British and Commonwealth officers. Because of this decision, all of the Dutch and Polish prisoners and most of the French and Belgians were moved to other camps in July. Three British officers tried their luck by impersonating an equal number of French when they were moved out, but they were later returned to Colditz. German security gradually increased and by the end of 1943 most of the potential ways of escape had been plugged. Several officers tried to escape during transit, having first caused themselves to be transferred for that purpose.
Some officers even went so far as to fake illness and mental retardation in order to be repatriated on medical grounds. A member of the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC), Captain Ion Ferguson, wrote a letter to an Irish friend where he suggested that Ireland join the war; the letter was stopped by the censors but his wish to be moved elsewhere was granted. In Stalag IV D he certified a number of prisoners as insane, who were consequently repatriated, and then convinced the Germans of his own insanity and returned to Britain the same way. Four other British officers claimed symptoms of stomach ulcer, insanity, high blood pressure and back injury in order to be repatriated. However, there were also officers who went genuinely insane.
From Colditz Castle and Grounds:
French Lieutenant Alain Le Ray escaped April 11, 1941. He hid in a terrace house in a park during a game of football. First successful Colditz escaper and first to reach neutral Switzerland.
French Lieutenant René Collin escaped May 31, 1941. He climbed into the rafters of a pavilion during exercise, hid there until dark and slipped away. Made it back to France.
French Lieutenant Pierre Mairesse Lebrun escaped July 2, 1941. He was captured trying Collin's method. Later vaulted over a wire in the park with the help of an associate. He reached Switzerland in eight days on a stolen bicycle.
Dutch Lieutenant Francis Steinmetz escaped August 15, 1941. He hid under a manhole cover in the exercise enclosure, emerged after nightfall, took a train to Gottmadingen, and reached Switzerland in three days.
Dutch Lieutenant E. Hans Larive also escaped August 15, 1941 with Steinmetz
Dutch Major C. Giebel escaped September 20, 1941 using the same method as Steinmetz.
Dutch Lieutenant O. L. Drijber escaped September 20, 1941 with Giebel.
British Lieutenant Airey M. S. Neave escaped January 5, 1942. Crawled through a hole in a camp theater (after a prisoner performance) to a guardhouse and marched out dressed as a German soldier. He reached Switzerland two days later. Neave later joined MI9.
Dutch Lieutenant Anthony Luteyn escaped January 5, 1942 with Neave.
British Lieutenant H. N. Fowler escaped September 9, 1942. Slipped with four others through a guard office and a storeroom dressed as German officers and Polish orderlies. Only he and Van Doorninck reached Switzerland.
Dutch Lieutenant Damiaen Joan van Doorninck escaped September 9, 1942 with Fowler.
British Capt. Patrick R. Reid escaped October 14, 1942. Slipped through POW kitchens into the German yard, into the Kommandantur cellar and down to a dry moat through the park. He took four days to reach Switzerland.
Canadian Flight Lieutenant Howard D. Wardle (RAF) escaped October 14, 1942 with Reid.
British Major Ronald B. Littledale escaped October 14, 1942. Slipped through POW kitchens into the German yard, into the Kommandantur cellar and down to a dry moat through the park. He took five days to reach Switzerland.
British Lieutenant-Commander William E. Stephens escaped October 14, 1942 with Littledale.
British Lieutenant William Millar escaped January, 1944. He broke into the German courtyard and hid in a German truck intending to go to Czechoslovakia. He never reached home and is listed missing on the Bayeux memorial. There is speculation that he was caught and executed in Mauthausen concentration camp.
From outside Colditz Castle:
French Lieutenant J. Durand-Hornus escaped while on a visit to the town dentist December 17, 1941.
French Lieutenant G. de Frondeville escaped while on a visit to the town dentist December 17, 1941.
French Lieutenant J. Prot escaped while on a visit to the town dentist December 17, 1941.
Polish Lieutenant Kroner was transferred to Königswartha Hospital where he jumped out of the window.
French Lieutenant Boucheron fled from Zeitz Hospital, was recaptured, and later escaped from Düsseldorf prison.
French Lieutenant Odry escaped from Elsterhorst Hospital.
French Lieutenant Navelet escaped from Elsterhorst Hospital.
British Captain Louis Rémy escaped from Gnaschwitz military hospital. His three companions were captured, but he reached Algeciras by boat, and later Britain.
British Squadron Leader Brian Paddon escaped to Sweden via Danzig when sent to his previous camp for a court martial.
French Lieutenant Raymond Bouillez escaped from a hospital after an unsuccessful attempt to jump from a train.
Dutch Lieutenant J. van Lynden slipped away when the Dutch were moved to Stanislau camp.
French Lieutenant A. Darthenay escaped from a hospital at Hohenstein-Ernstthal, later joined the French Resistance, and was killed by the Gestapo on April 7, 1944.
Indian RAMC Captain Birendra Nath Mazumdar M.D. was the only Indian in Colditz. He went on a hunger strike to have himself transferred into an Indian-only camp. His wish was granted three weeks later and he escaped from that camp to France and reached Switzerland in 1944 with the aid of the French Resistance.
Royal Navy ERA W. E. "Wally" Hammond (from the sunken submarine HMS Shark) campaigned for a transfer from Colditz, arguing that he was not an officer. He was transferred to Lamsdorf prison, escaped from a Breslau work party, and reached England via Switzerland in 1943.
Royal Navy ERA Don "Tubby" Lister (from the captured submarine HMS Seal) campaigned for a transfer from Colditz, arguing that he was not an officer. He was transferred to Lamsdorf prison, escaped from a Breslau work party, and reached England via Switzerland in 1943.
I cant really tell you why John Colter is my favorite mountain man in history, it might be partly because of his role in the Lewis and Clark Expedition and his subsiquent solo exploration of Jacksons hole or his escape from the Blackfeet Indians;I dont know but I found the history of this man and his exploits pretty cool. Im not the type of person to place anyone on a pedistal or even look up to anyone but If I had to choose a person to be like Id pick John Colter.
Take a look at the Info I have posted below and make you own decisions about the man and the Legend.
Tomahawk - Scouts Out!
Written by Charles Scaliger;
The sinewy, bearded man raced up the brushy hillside, blood streaming from his nose from the terrific exertion. He did not consider himself a fast runner, but on this occasion the terror of sudden and agonizing death lent wings to his feet.
Somewhere not far behind, his pursuers, their lean bodies more accustomed than his to the severe terrain, were closing in, determined to avenge the death of one of their own. They carried weapons, though they were unlikely to grant their quarry a quick and easy death if they caught him.
All of these thoughts coursed through frontiersman John Colter’s mind as he ran for his life. Although an able shot and capable fighter, Colter’s only assets at the moment were the muscles in his already-exhausted legs. His pursuers had taken his gun and knife, and had stripped him of every last stitch of clothing. The sagebrush and scrub oak tore at Colter’s thighs as he ran, and sharp stones gouged the soles of his feet, but he paid the pain no mind; any torment was preferable to what the Blackfoot warriors would inflict on him if they captured him again.
John Colter (c.1774 – May 7, 1812 or November 22, 1813) was a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804−1806). Though party to one of the more famous expeditions in history, he is still best remembered for his explorations made after being honorably discharged in 1806. During the winter of 1807–1808, Colter became the first known person of European descent to enter the region now known as Yellowstone National Park, and to see the Teton Mountain Range. Colter spent months alone in the wilderness, and is widely considered to be the first mountain man.
John Colter was born in Augusta County, Virginia, near the town of Stuarts Draft around 1774. Sometime around 1780, the Colter family moved west and settled near present day Maysville, Kentucky. As a young man, Colter may have served as a ranger under Simon Kenton.At 5 feet 10 inches (1.78 m), Colter was a tall man for his time. The outdoor skills he had developed from this frontier lifestyle impressed Meriwether Lewis, and on October 15, 1803, Lewis offered Colter the rank of private and a pay of five dollars a month.
With Lewis and Clark:
Prior to the expedition leaving their basecamp, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark were away from the main party securing last minute supplies and making other preparations, leaving Sergeant John Ordway in charge. A group of recruits including Colter disobeyed orders from Ordway. Upon hearing of this infraction, Lewis confined Colter and the others to ten days in the base camp. Soon thereafter, Colter was court-martialed after threatening to shoot Ordway. After a review of the situation, Colter was reinstated after he offered an apology and promised to reform.
During the expedition, Colter was considered to be one of the best hunters in the group, and was routinely sent out alone to scout the surrounding countryside for game meat. He was instrumental in helping the expedition find passes through the Rocky Mountains and once located members of the Nez Perce who provided details of rivers and streams that would lead further west. Once at the mouth of the Columbia River, Colter was among a small group selected to venture to the shores of the Pacific Ocean as well as explore the seacoast north of the Columbia into present-day Washington state.
After traveling thousands of miles, in 1806 the expedition returned to the Mandan villages in present-day North Dakota. There, they encountered Forest Hancock and Joseph Dickson, two frontiersmen who were headed into the upper Missouri River country in search of furs. On August 13, 1806, Lewis and Clark permitted Colter to be honorably discharged almost two months early so that he could lead the two trappers back to the region they had explored.
After reaching a point where the Gallatin, Jefferson and Madison Rivers meet, known today as Three Forks, Montana, the trio managed to maintain their partnership for only about two months. Colter headed back toward civilization in 1807 and was near the mouth of the Platte River when he encountered Manuel Lisa who was leading a party which included several former members of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, towards the Rocky Mountains. Colter once again decided to return to the wilderness, even though he was only a week from reaching St. Louis. At the confluence of the Yellowstone and Bighorn Rivers, Colter helped build Fort Raymond, and was later sent by Lisa to search out the Crow Indian tribe to investigate the opportunities of establishing trade with them.
Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Jackson Hole:
Colter left the Fort Raymond in October 1807 and over the course of the winter, he explored the region that later became Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Colter reportedly visited at least one geyser basin, though it is now believed that he most likely was near present-day Cody, Wyoming, which at that time may have had some geothermal activity to the immediate west.Colter probably passed along portions of the shores of Jackson Lake after crossing the Continental Divide near Togwotee Pass or more likely, Union Pass in the northern Wind River Range.
Colter then explored Jackson Hole below the Teton Range, later crossing Teton Pass into Pierre's Hole, known today as the Teton Basin in the state of Idaho.After heading north and then east he is believed to have encountered Yellowstone Lake, another location in which he may have seen geysers and other geothermal features. Colter then proceeded back to Fort Raymond, arriving in March or April 1808. Not only had Colter traveled hundreds of miles, much of the time unguided, he did so in the dead of winter, in a region in which nighttime temperatures in January are routinely -30 °F (-34 °C).
Colter arrived back at Fort Raymond and few believed his reports of geysers, bubbling mudpots and steaming pools of water. His reports of these features were often ridiculed at first and the region was somewhat jokingly referred to as "Colter's Hell". The area Colter described is now widely believed to be immediately west of Cody, Wyoming, and though little thermal activity exists there today, other reports from around the period when Colter was there also indicate similar observations as Colter had originally described. His detailed exploration of this region is the first by a white man of what later became the state of Wyoming.
The following year, Colter teamed up with John Potts, another former member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, once again in the region near Three Forks, Montana. In 1808, he and Potts were both injured fighting the Blackfeet Indians as they led a party of Crow Indians to Fort Raymond. In 1809, another altercation with the Blackfeet resulted in John Potts' death and Colter's capture. After debating how to execute him on the spot, a chief led Colter away from the group of several hundred armed Indians. He was stripped of his clothing and allowed to run for his life. A fast runner, Colter managed to elude most of the group with only one assailant still gaining on him. He then managed to overcome the lone man:
“ Again he turned his head, and saw the savage not twenty yards from him. Determined if possible to avoid the expected blow, he suddenly stopped, turned round, and spread out his arms. The Indian, surprised by the suddenness of the action, and perhaps at the bloody appearance of Colter, also attempted to stop; but exhausted with running, he fell whilst endeavouring to throw his spear, which stuck in the ground, and broke in his hand. Colter instantly snatched up the pointed part, with which he pinned him to the earth, and then continued his flight. ”
—John Bradbury, 1817.
In 1810, Colter assisted in the construction of another fort located at Three Forks, Montana. After returning from gathering fur pelts, he discovered that two of his partners had been killed by the Blackfeet. This event convinced Colter to leave the wilderness for good and he returned to St. Louis before the end of 1810. He had been away from civilization for almost six years.
After returning to St. Louis, Colter married a woman named Sallie and purchased a farm near New Haven, Missouri. Somewhere around 1810, he visited with William Clark, his old commander from the Lewis and Clark Expedition, and provided detailed reports of his explorations since they had last met. From this information, Clark created a map which was the most comprehensive map produced of the region of the explorations for the next seventy-five years.During the War of 1812, Colter enlisted and fought with Nathan Boone's Rangers.Sources are unclear about when John Colter died or the exact cause of death. In one case, after suddenly turning ill, Colter is reported to have died of jaundice on May 7, 1812 and was buried near New Haven on private land.Other sources indicate he died on November 22, 1813.
Last of the Breed - What a great book! I can remember readng it in 1984 while I was on a bike and hike trip in New Mexico and Arizona. This book (to me) has to be the best book ever written by Luois L'Amour;There is maybe a Sackett story or two that is OK to read but no other story about wilderness tavel and survival has ever kept my interest like Last of the breed.
I think it is the combination of Military and wilderness skills and perhaps the USA vs. Soviet union thing but whatever, the story is a good one and I would recommend that if you are making any type of wilderness or adventure travel trip to get this book and stick it in your pack for those slow days or if you need to ride out some weather.
Im sure you can locate a copy or two at your local used Book store, The attached Photo is of the last book cover I have seen for this book in paper back; it is a poor choice for a cover in my opinion but, Never Judge a Book by its cover.
Tomahawk - Scouts out!
Last of the Breed, a book by Louis L'Amour, tells the fictional story of Native American USAF pilot Major Joseph Makatozi (Joe Mack), shot down over Soviet airspace. Although the exact time is never stated, it must be in the mid- to late 1980s, the time Gorbachev was in power.
The start of the book chronicles Joe Mack's daring escape from captivity, but also introduces another captive, an English chemist. The chemist is mentioned later, as the first of their captor Zamatev's mistakes, because it turned out he was after all only working on developing insect repellents.
The success of his subsequent foot travel across Siberia to the Bering Strait is dependent on his Native American hunting, tracking, and evasion skills. It is mentioned several times in the text that these skills were learned by his people, and taught to each generation across thousands of years. Now the skilled flyer of aircraft must remember and practice bow and arrow, fire-making, tracking, stalking, hunting, skinning, and ambush skills taught by his elders. Knowing that "a man with a knife can survive," he sneaks into a miner's cabin, and leaving no evidence he was there, he steals preserved food, a heavy sweater, and a knife. Although this knife is needed for Mack to survive in the wilderness, his stealing of the knife gives the Yakut tracking him a clue as to where to begin searching for Mack.
He also has strong attachments to his people's discipline and self-mastery. When he comes upon an army patrol he crawls inside in an old hollow tree to hide. His pursuers make camp in the same area, and he must remain motionless until it gets dark and only the sentries are awake. When captured, he receives a very rough beating from his pursuers, but true to his heritage, he never makes a sound. A man who previously informed on him unlocks the shed he is in and allows him to escape. He ends up killing Alekhin the Yakut, who was following him, and sending his scalp back to Colonol Arkady Zamatev with a note written on birchbark that reads "This was once a custom of my people. In my lifetime I shall take two. This is the first."
At the end of the book, the success of Joe's 90-mile kayak ride to Alaska (given a good kayak) is left unresolved. The resolution of the story is left to the imagination of the reader.
Major Joseph Makatozi (Joe Mack) - Aged 31, and a test pilot in the United States Air Force. He is a Sioux, Native American; one grandfather was a Scotsman.
Colonol Arkady Zamatev - Aged 35, of an old Ukrainian family that had moved to Siberia to escape the Great Purge of the 1930s. Both his father and grandfather have been generals; his father a close acquaintance of Marshal Vasily Blücher before the Marshal's execution during the Purge. Zamatev is intensely ambitious, and hopes to become a Field Marshal in 15 years; capturing Joe Mack is his only hope for his future.
Alekhin - A Yakut, the Siberian counterpart of the American Indian.
Yakov - A mysterious man, who although raggedly dressed is an AK-47, whom directs Mack to the hidden village in the woods.
Evgeny Zhikarev - A furrier in the town of Aldan. After Natalya's father dies, he becomes a father figure toward her. He leaves for China with Natalya.
Kyra Lebedev - An ambitious woman who works for Col. Zamatev. Katerina's sister.
Stegman - Kyra's assistant. A KGB officer.
Katerina - Kyra's sister. Ostap's wife.
Professor Stephan Baronas - Father of Natalya, and a resident of the village in the woods which takes in Mack.
Natalya - The "girlfriend" of Joe Mack. He is planning to send back for her once he escapes.
Lieutenant Suvarov - Colonel Zamatev's adjutant.
Pennington - A chemist from England
Shepilov- A Russian officer who hopes to capture Joe Mack before Col. Zamatev.
Friday, January 22, 2010
I found this picture of a Double bow I made Several years ago (1991 or so). I made the double bow from Oak using elk and deer raw hide for the bindings and string.
Some folks might know them as a "Penobscot" bow.
the length of the main bow was from the ground to my chin and was 2 fingers wide. the smaller "reverse" bow was arm pit to finger tip or a little longer in length and was about 2 fingers wide also.
the arrows I made to use with this bow were constructed from willow and river cane. They were as long as the distance from my sternum to my fingertip , give or take.
the fletchings were either goose or turkey feathers attached with moose, deer or elk sinew and moisture proofed with milk weed plant latex. I only used the cherokee 2 feather fletching method due to its simplicity and ease in construction.
I think the heads were knapped glass and or deer bone, I used several different types of arrow heads back then, Ideas I got from native peoples from around the world.
I had fishing tips, bird points, blunt tips, broad heads made from band steel or copper, Flat wear spoons pounded out and cut to shape, and even a few made from wire taken from Hog fencing.
anyway, i thought you might get a kick out of this pic and was wondering if anyone else has ever made a bow of this type.
Tomahawk - Scouts out!
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
I can vaguely remember the story of Chris McCandles AKA “Alexander Supertramp” when it hit the news in 1992; Back then I really didn’t give it much thought because to me it sounded like a “Hippy back packer” just got into trouble and died as a result.
Recently I read the John Krakauer book about Chris and then watched the movie “Into the wild” and I began to realize that Chris was an adventurer and possessed some survival skills , even tho people like to make negative comments about the man you have to face the fact that he was able to survive for around 120 days in the Alaska woods with not much more than a .22 rifle and a 10 pound bag of rice; I’ve never done it for that long, and neither have the majority of the people I call friends.
Anyhow, I think Chris is worth a mention on my Blog due to his Adventurous spirit and his ability to survive living on the edge of society all over the North American continent.
Take a look at the Info I have posted below and form your own opinions.
Tomahawk – Scouts out!
Christopher Johnson McCandless (February 12, 1968 – mid-August, 1992) was an American wanderer who adopted the name Alexander Supertramp and hiked into the Alaskan wilderness with little food and equipment, hoping to live a period of solitude. Almost four months later, he died of starvation near Denali National Park and Preserve. Inspired by the details of McCandless's story, author Jon Krakauer wrote a book about his adventures, published in 1996, titled Into the Wild. In 2007, Sean Penn directed a film of the same title, with Emile Hirsch portraying McCandless.
After graduating in 1990, he donated the remaining $24,000 of the $47,000 given to him by family for his last two years of college to Oxfam International, a charity, and began traveling under the name "Alexander Supertramp" (Krakauer notes the connection with W. H. Davies, Welsh author of The Autobiography of a Super-Tramp, published in 1908). McCandless made his way through Arizona, California, and South Dakota, where he worked at a grain elevator.
He alternated between having jobs and living with no money or human contact, sometimes successfully foraging for food. He survived a flash flood, but allowed his car to wash out (although it suffered little permanent damage and was later reused by the local police force) and disposed of his license plate. He also paddled a canoe down remote stretches of the Colorado River to the Gulf of California. McCandless took pride in surviving with a minimum of gear and funds, and generally made little preparation. He was, however, frequently fed or otherwise aided by people he met on his travels.
For years, McCandless dreamed of an "Alaskan Odyssey" where he would live off the land, far away from civilization, and keep a journal describing his physical and spiritual progress as he faced the forces of nature. In April 1992, McCandless hitchhiked to Fairbanks, Alaska. He was last seen alive by Jim Gallien, who gave him a ride from Fairbanks to the Stampede Trail. Gallien was concerned about "Alex", who had minimal supplies (not even a magnetic compass) and no experience of surviving in the Alaskan bush.
Gallien repeatedly tried to persuade Alex to defer his trip, and even offered to drive him to Anchorage to buy suitable equipment and supplies. However, McCandless ignored Gallien's warnings, refusing all assistance except for a pair of rubber boots, two tuna melt sandwiches, and a bag of corn chips. Eventually, Gallien dropped him at the head of the Stampede Trail on Tuesday, April 28, 1992.
After hiking along the snow-covered Stampede Trail, McCandless found an abandoned bus used as a hunting shelter and parked on an overgrown section of the trail near Denali National Park, and began his attempt to live off the land. He had a 10-pound bag of rice, a Remington semi-automatic rifle with 400 rounds of .22LR hollowpoint ammunition, a book of local plant life, several other books, and some camping equipment.
He assumed he could forage for plant food and hunt game. Despite his inexperience as a hunter, McCandless poached some small game such as porcupines and birds. Once he killed a moose; however, he failed to preserve the meat properly, and it spoiled. Rather than thinly slicing and air-drying the meat, like jerky, as is usually done in the Alaskan bush, he smoked it, following the advice of hunters he had met in South Dakota.
His journal contains entries covering a total of 112 days. These entries range from ecstatic to grim with McCandless's changing fortunes. In July, after living in the bus for three months, he decided to leave, but found the trail back blocked by the Teklanika River, which was then considerably higher and swifter than when he crossed in April. There was a hand-operated tram that crossed the river 1/4 of a mile away from where he fell in. McCandless was unaware of this because the only navigational aid he had possessed was a tattered road map he had found at a gas station, but he had left it on the dashboard of Jim Gallien's truck. McCandless lived in the bus for a total of 113 days.
On August 12, McCandless wrote what are assumed to be his final words in his journal: "Beautiful Blueberries."
He tore the final page from Louis L'Amour's memoir, Education of a Wandering Man, which contains an excerpt from a Robinson Jeffers poem titled "Wise Men in Their Bad Hours":
Death's a fierce meadowlark: but to die having made
Something more equal to centuries
Than muscle and bone, is mostly to shed weakness.
The mountains are dead stone, the people
Admire or hate their stature, their insolent quietness,
The mountains are not softened or troubled
And a few dead men's thoughts have the same temper.
On the other side of the page, McCandless added, "I HAVE HAD A HAPPY LIFE AND THANK THE LORD. GOODBYE AND MAY GOD BLESS ALL!"
His body was found in his sleeping bag inside the bus on September 6, 1992, weighing an estimated 67 pounds (30 kg). He had been dead for more than two weeks. His official cause of death was starvation. Biographer Jon Krakauer suggests two factors may have contributed to McCandless's death.
First, he was running the risk of a phenomenon known as "rabbit starvation" due to increased activity, compared with the leanness of the game he was hunting. However, Krakauer insists starvation was not, as McCandless's death certificate states, the only cause of death. Initially, Krakauer claimed McCandless might have ingested toxic seeds (Hedysarum alpinum).
However, extensive laboratory testing proves conclusively there was no alkaloid toxin present in McCandless's food supplies. In later editions of the book, therefore, Krakauer has speculated the poisonous fungus Rhizoctonia leguminicola could have grown on the seeds McCandless ate, aggravating his already weak physical conditions and leading to his possible death by starvation.
Krakauer's book made Christopher McCandless a heroic figure to many. By 2002, the abandoned bus (No. 142) on the Stampede Trail where McCandless camped became a tourist destination. Sean Penn's film Into the Wild, based on Jon Krakauer's book, was released in September 2007. In October 2007, a documentary film on McCandless's journey by independent filmmaker Ron Lamothe, The Call of the Wild, was released. McCandless's story also inspired an episode of the TV series Millennium, the album Cirque by Biosphere, and folk songs by singers Ellis Paul, Eddie From Ohio, Harrod and Funck, and Eric Peters.
Unlike Krakauer and many readers, who have a largely sympathetic view of McCandless, some have expressed negative views about those who romanticize his fate. Alaskans have been particularly skeptical.
McCandless has been a polarizing figure ever since his story first broke in 1992. Because he chose not to bring a map and a compass (items which most people in the same situation would have considered essential), McCandless was completely unaware that a hand-operated tram crossed the otherwise impassable river 1/4 mile from where he attempted to cross. Had McCandless known this, he could easily have saved his own life. Additionally, there were cabins stocked with emergency supplies within a few miles of the bus, although they had been vandalized and all the supplies were spoiled, possibly by McCandless, as detailed in Lamothe's documentary.
Yet Ken Kehrer, chief ranger for Denali National Park, denied that McCandless was considered a vandalism suspect by the National Park Service. The most charitable view among McCandless's detractors is that he was somewhat lacking in basic common sense, i.e., venturing into a wilderness area on his own without adequate planning, preparation, and supplies was almost guaranteed to end in disaster.
Alaskan Park Ranger Peter Christian wrote: "I am exposed continually to what I will call the 'McCandless Phenomenon.' People, nearly always young men, come to Alaska to challenge themselves against an unforgiving wilderness landscape where convenience of access and possibility of rescue are practically nonexistent [...] When you consider McCandless from my perspective, you quickly see that what he did wasn’t even particularly daring, just stupid, tragic, and inconsiderate. First off, he spent very little time learning how to actually live in the wild.
He arrived at the Stampede Trail without even a map of the area. If he [had] had a good map he could have walked out of his predicament Essentially, Chris McCandless committed suicide.
Jon Krakauer defends McCandless, claiming that what critics point to as arrogance was merely McCandless's desire for "being the first to explore a blank spot on the map." Krakauer continues that there remain extremely few areas on the world map that would be called 'blank'.
My old buddy Sticks sent me this Nettle soup recipe that I thought you all might enjoy. I love nettle soup and this post is kinda making me hungry. Right now I dont have nettels but I have potatos, onions, garlic and Lentils, Ill have to throw those in a pot with some Bacon and bang out some soup of my own.
Tomahawk - Soups on!
This is Sticks recipe for nettle soup so it not an exact science.
Large bowl of nettles[U.Dioica.]
2 medium fine sliced onions.
2 of chopped cloves of garlic.
2 medium cubed potatoes
I pint of Vegetable stock.
300 grams Double cream or creme fraiche.
1] Lightly fry onions and garlic in nut oil.
2] Add potatoes,nettles and half the veg stock.
3]Simmer for 20 minutes.
4]Add the rest of the veg stock.
5]Add Double cream and season with salt and pepper to taste.
This recipe is surprisingly tasty and very good for you.
My good friend "Sticks65" was at it again and banged out the cool looking woodsmans kit. I believe that I could survive for an indefinate period just about any place in the world if I had the gear in this well thought out kit.
Check out the pics and let me know what you think.
Tomahawk - Scouts out!
"Sticks65" Woodsmans Kit;
I was given these tubes the other day and this is what i decided to do with them.
Instead of having kit lose in my pack i made a compact woodsmen's kit.
Id argue that with this set up you could make a lean to shelter with a fire reflector at the front,eating bowl,kuksa,spoon,fork,you can make furniture for the camp.tap a birch tree for sap and even have two containers to collect it in.
I also added some wire for snare and some jute.
Man, I love Jerky, Biltong, tapa, or what ever you choose to call it.My Friend "Sticks65" was at it again and made some beef jerky from a simple recipe that I thought you all might enjoy.
Right now, Im heading to the Market to get some beef, I have a hankering to make some jerky too.
Tomahawk - Scouts out!
"Sticks65" Beef Jerky Recipe;
I went shopping today with my good lady Wife and while i was there i picked up some frying beef,the cuts were a quarter inch thick.
Time to experiment
So i slice the beef wafer thin with my home made chefs knife [what a knife] and removed any fat.
Then i rubbed sea salt into the beef and made a spice mix which consisted of Paprika,garlic,ginger,chilly powder,a pinch of cumin and a pinch of garam masala,i then rubbed this into the beef also.
Then i got a plastic tube and put a layer of beef and a splash of soy sauce and kept doing this in layers,i then let this marinate for 3 hours.
I put my gas oven on the lowest setting and hung the meat from a rack in the oven.
I left the oven door a jar so the moister could escape.
4 hours later and it was ready,it was not so done that it would break but you could still bend the meat which is perfect.