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Raimond Goerler on: Byrd's Condition at Advance Base
Raimond Goerler Q: Does he make a note about his condition in his weather diary? How bad does it get for him and why?

RG: The conditions are very brutal in Advance Base. You're looking at outside temperatures sometimes minus 70, the temperatures in the shack are quite uncomfortable. They're made even more uncomfortable when Byrd discovers or thinks he discovers that he's being poisoned from the stove and has to reduce the amount of heat from the stove, shut off the stove at night and suffer the severe cold because he realizes that he's going to die of poisoning. If he keeps the heat on, he also reduces the light for the same reason to try to keep carbon monoxide fumes out of his shelter and we do have a meteorological log that Byrd kept daily and in the period, May 30th to June 4th, there's an apology in that log, in which Byrd states that "my physical is quite desperate" and in this case he was apologizing for the lack of a daily entry in that period.


Q: He's floating in and out of consciousness and calls himself a fool on a fool's errand, do you think he was?

RG: I don't think Advance Basewas a fool's errand at all. Byrd new exactly what he was doing and needed to do so to make the Second Expedition viable. Keep in mind that Second Expedition is not financed fully at first. He's dependent on revenues after the expedition so you know that expedition needs to have a public success, a public drama. Knowing what we know of Byrd, he was not a person to put himself foolishly at risk. This was a circumstance that developed unexpectedly and one that almost cost him his life.

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