Chapter 1

Iamforcedintospeechbecausemenofsciencehaverefusedtofollowmyadvicewithoutknowingwhy.ItisaltogetheragainstmywillthatItellmyreasonsforopposingthiscontemplatedinvasionoftheantarctic-withitsvastfossilhuntanditswholesaleboringandmeltingoftheancienticecaps.AndIamthemorereluctantbecausemywarningmaybeinvain.

Doubtoftherealfacts,asImustrevealthem,isinevitable;yet,ifIsuppressedwhatwillseemextravagantandincredible,therewouldbenothingleft.Thehithertowithheldphotographs,bothordinaryandaerial,willcountinmyfavor,fortheyaredamnablyvividandgraphic.Still,theywillbedoubtedbecauseofthegreatlengthstowhichcleverfakerycanbecarried.Theinkdrawings,ofcourse,willbejeeredatasobviousimpostures,notwithstandingastrangenessoftechniquewhichartexpertsoughttoremarkandpuzzleover.

IntheendImustrelyonthejudgmentandstandingofthefewscientificleaderswhohave,ontheonehand,sufficientindependenceofthoughttoweighmydataonitsownhideouslyconvincingmeritsorinthelightofcertainprimordialandhighlybafflingmythcycles;andontheotherhand,sufficientinfluencetodetertheexploringworldingeneralfromanyrashandover-ambitiousprogramintheregionofthosemountainsofmadness.Itisanunfortunatefactthatrelativelyobscuremenlikemyselfandmyassociates,connectedonlywithasmalluniversity,havelittlechanceofmakinganimpressionwheremattersofawildlybizarreorhighlycontroversialnatureareconcerned.

Itisfurtheragainstusthatwearenot,inthestrictestsense,specialistsinthefieldswhichcameprimarilytobeconcerned.

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