When the Search for Amundsen Expedition got underway a few weeks back, the plan was to scour a specific area of the Arctic Ocean where the team felt that the remains of the explorer and his plane, the Latham 47, had gone down back in 1928. According to this post on the National Geographic Adventure Blog, they have now returned home empty handed.
The team took a host of sophisticated equipment with them, including several underwater robots, a specially designed search vehicle, and sophisticated sonar equipment. Over the course of a two week period they searched a 35 square-mile area of the Barents Sea, which Amundsen was passing over while attempting a rescue mission of other stranded explorers, when he went missing. At the end of the search, the only thing the crew could confirm was that the remains of the plane were not in that area.
There was a lot of hope in Amundsen’s home country of Norway that his remains could be found, and possibly recovered, so they could be returned home for a final resting place. For now though, that looks like it won’t be happening. The expedition leader, Rob McCallum offers two reasons as to why they were unable to find the missing plane in his final blog post. First, he says that perhaps they were searching in the wrong place do to an error from a 1933 report from a ship that found a large piece of metal attributed to the plane. The other possibility is that the plane was indeed there, but has been destroyed or moved from the over abundance of commercial fishing in the area.
For now though, the mystery of Amundsen’s final resting spot will remain just that, a mystery.