Explorers Club, Northern California Chapter

The Northern California Chapter of the Explorers Club presents:

Ronald Reuther

LTC AUS (Ret), FN-74

Aviation in Exploration

DINNER MEETING - Friday, January 27, 1995, St. Francis Yacht CLub

6:30 PM-Coctails
7:30 PM-Dinner
8:30 PM-Speaker

Come join us for our first program in the New Year. This program will feature Past Chairman Ron Reuther with an illustrated presentation on the very important role aviation has and is playing in exploration, from balloons, to aircraft, to spacecraft. Ron graduated in 1951 from the University of California at Berkeley where he was a member of the National Championship Junior Varsity Crew and Air Force ROTC. He was also a PFC in the California Air National Guard. Graduating from Air Force Pilot School in 1954, he flew light bombardment and cargo & troop carrier aircraft in Europe, Africa, the U.S. He flew with the Air Force Reserve and Army National Guard in California, Ohio, and Indiana and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. He is the founder and President Emeritus and current board member of the Western Aerospace Museum at Oakland Airport. Ron Concurrently served as Manager of the Micke Grove Zoo in Lodi, California Assistant Director of the Cleveland Zoo, Director of the Indianapolis Zoo, the San Francisco Zoo, and the Philadelphia Zoo as well as President of the National Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums. Currently he is writing a history of aviation of Northern California.

Last Meeting:

Dan Liebowitz gave us a wonderful presentation with a projected videotape of the trim he and his wife Rusty took to Zaire. They carried Explorer's Club flag #46 to study domestication of African elephants. Dan topped off his presentation by coming down with malaria the day after he gave his presentation to us. We hope he is doing well now.

The Chapter held elections last meeting. The Nominations Committee, consisting of Nonna Cheatham MN-90 (chair), Jerry Athearn MN-82, Dan Liebowitz MN-66, Jim Prigoff MN-67, and Jim Weil MN-79, presented the Chairman with this list of candidates: Chairman, Robert W. Schmieder, Ph.D. FN-86, Vice Chairman, William F. Isherwood, Ph.D. FN-70, Treasurer: Morton P. Beebe FN-78, and Secretary, Michael F. Diggles FN-92. The candidates were elected unanimously. The Committee joins the new Chairman in expressing thanks to Ron Reuther FN-74 for the many years of service he has given the organization. Ron has served continuously in office since 1980 as vice-chairman, secretary, and treasurer prior to accepting the chairmanship in 1989. The committee expressed its appreciation of the fine work of the three officers who are willing to continue for another term: secretary and treasurer Mike Diggles and Mort Beebe; and Bob Schmieder who graciously accepted nomination for advancement from Vice Chairman to Chairman. We appriciate Bill Isherwood's willingness to join this team as Vice Chairman.

Norman news

Norman Vaughn made the summit of Mt. Vaughn in Antarctica! A pre-climb article is included on Page 5 of this newsletter. Norm was unable to do the climb in 1993 due to the crash of Allcair Air Transport's DC-6 that Vaughn's group had chartered; injury of a party member; and loss of four dogs. Norm returned to Antarctica in 1994, leaving Alaska on November 16 for Punta Arenas. They set up their base camp on November 22 in the Patriot Hills which they reached by C-130. A week later they flew the 750 miles to the base of Mt. Vaughn in a Twin Otter. Norm celebrated his 89th birthday on the summit on December 19 with his 52-year-old bride, Carolyn Muegge-Vaughn, and a veteran Seven Summiter, Vernon Tejas, age 41. He sent messages back via one of the most remote Macintosh computers in the world and posted his notes on Prodigy through a feature called "Mountain Challenge." Norm was on Good Morning America on January 10, 1995.

Greetings from the New Chairman!

It is with great pride that I assume the Chair of the Northern California Chapter. Although this transition will be almost invisible at first, in the long run it will bring some changes in style and content to our Chapter. I want to communicate a few of the ideas that we have been discussing, and ask for your input and counsel.

First, please join me in extending to Ron Reuther our individual and collective appreciation for his remarkable Chairmanship. He has brought our Chapter into the position of leadership within the International Club-our activities are the envy of, and are imitated by, many others. His personal style has brought us many new members and guests. In addition he has worked fruitfully on many important Club projects, such as rewriting the by-laws, that serve to enhance the International Club. Thank you, Ron, for bringing us to where we are!

Here are a few ideas that we have been discussing:

-- We plan to maintain the same schedule of meetings, and to continue the practice of having one meeting on the Peninsula, one meeting as a garden party, and if possible a field trip during the year. Generally, we will meet at the Saint Francis Yacht Club or the Officer's Club on Treasure Island.

-- We want to make it easier to bring in new members. We will help you by providing information and materials; please think about anyone you know who might be a potential member, or a guest.

-- We have talked about making the meetings more participatory. For instance, allowing members and guests to stand up and share some of their experiences with the speaker.

-- We will be expanding the use of electronic communication. It has been suggested that we set up a computer that anyone with a modem can log into. It will present a set of images, information, and sounds, related to our Chapter and its members. If you have a Web-page URL, let Mike Diggles know.

-- We would like to establish an office, possibly in San Francisco. For several years we have been negotiating for space in the Presidio, but that is uncertain. We would most like to have a room where we could put up our flag, establish a library, host visitors, and maintain our archives. If you can help in finding such an office at nominal cost, please let us know.

-- We would like to complete plans for an educational program, probably in the form of a grant to a young explorer. Additionally, it was proposed to pay for any student memberships out of Chapter funds.

-- We will be writing a set of by-laws, and considering establishment of a separate 501(c)(3) nonprofit status for the Chapter.

-- We have proposed establishing a series of Occasional Papers. These would be reports by members of expeditions, published in an attractive format under the Explorers Club logo, and circulated to a wide audience of scientists and explorers.

-- We would like to host a new members reception at the ECAD in New York. If you plan to attend, we will ask if you would join us at the Club HQ on Saturday morning.

-- We have discussed upgrading the quality of the membership roster, and publishing a Chapter Profile, which would be a description of the members and their activities. It would be a good publicity item.

-- We have proposed compiling an Operating Handbook for the Chapter, to assist with the operations of the Chapter.

Please consider these items, and let me, or another officer, know your thoughts. If you have other major items we should consider, please bring them to our attention. Mostly, please continue to come to the meetings; I think you will find them increasingly creative and interesting, and you'll be able to be more of a participant than a spectator. I wish you a very Happy New Year, and look forward to seeing you next time. --Robert W. Schmieder, PhD, FN-86


Mike Diggles FN-92 has accepted an invitation to join the Explorers Club Internet Committee. The New York office is now on limited Internet through CompuServe. They have email addresses for Membership, Administration, and the Manager. They also have ability to use File Transfer Protocol (FTP) and access newsgroups. We would like to add file-search ability through Gopher, Archie, and similar routines and we hope to create a Mosaic server somewhere. There exists the possibility that the Northern California Chapter may get this very newsletter on Mosaic if Mike figures out how to do it. Stay tuned.

Email addresses for Headquarters are:
Membership, 75452.2472@compuserve.com
Administration, 75452.2473@compuserve.com
Manager, Eileen Harsch (for messages specifically to her), 75452.2471@compuserve.com

We will be compiling the new Chapter roster in the next few weeks. We'd like to get it out at the February meeting and mail it to those who do not attend. Please look at the current roster and let Mike Diggles know of any changes or additions you would like to have made in your entry. In particular, edit the section on "interests" and "email address" for the next roster.

News of Members

Congratulation to Don Johanson FN-76, Director of the Institute of Human Origins for receiving approval of his Flag application for his Hadar Research Project.

Mort Beebe FN-78 has gained approval from the San Francisco Arts Commission to install Dr. Bodo Rasch's United Nations Umbrella in Justin Herman Plaza at the Embarcadero Center.

Ron Reuther received a letter from Tom Larson E-52 of Klamath Falls in which he sends wrote that he, Don McLean LF-53, Don's wife Miki, and son Hunt did work in Africa. They flew to London, to Nairobi, to Harare, and by train to Victoria Falls and then down to Gaborone, the capital of Botswana. Tom went up to do field work on social change of the Hambukushu up along the Okavango River. Don and his family came out later and photographed animals and natives in the Okavango Delta and along the Okavango River. Tom concentrated on photography of the Hambukushu up at Shakawe and Gaugwe. They made a short trip in Namibia down to Windhoek where they visited Scientific Society people. It was Tom's first time back to Windhoek since he was part of a U.C. Expedition in 1947. That expedition was led by the late Wendell Phillips, a fellow Explorer. Tom is finishing up his article for National Geographic who gave him the research grant.

Welcome home to Charlie Southall MN-91 who has been living in Casablanca for the last year or so on business. He is back in San Francisco and we hope to see him soon.

Congratulations and welcome to new Member Gary Larkins FN-94 of Auburn who's interest is Aeronautical archaeology. His sponsors are Ron Reuther and Peter Hess.

Congratulations to Richard Bangs MN-81 on the recent quarter-page article in USA Today on his adventure travel business and experiences.

Dr. Robert A. Wharton FN-84 has been named Vice President of the Desert Research Institute. His responsibilities include developing new research programs and science initiatives for DRI with federal, state, and private sector sponsors. He will also work closely with other research components of the University and Community College System of Nevada to increase collaborative research opportunities for the system. Dr. Wharton's research interests range from Mars to Antarctica. He is a biologist with an international reputation in environmental studies. Our congratulations to Rob.

Upcoming Meetings

. -- February 24, 1995, topic to be established
-- March 23-26, 1995, Explorers Club Annual Dinner in New York
-- March 31, 1995, Mike Diggles FN-92, Wilderness geologic mapping
-- April 28, 1995, Jim Murphy FN-80, Forest fires

The Chapter is going to subscribe to an electronic newsletter called EXPEDITION NEWS. It is a monthly review of world-class expeditions, research projects and adventures. Here are some excerpts from the December issue:

NORMAN'S CONQUEST - Norman D. Vaughan, 88, the Alaskan dog musher, explorer, and WWII hero, has arrived safely at Patriot Hills, Antarctica en route to Mount Vaughan, the peak named in his honor by Adm. Richard E. Byrd (EN, October 1994). Team members located a buried cache of tents, ropes and snowshoes left a year ago after the crash of an Allcair-Air-Transport-owned DC-6 supply plane cancelled the first attempt. The team hopes to celebrate Norman's 89th birthday by reaching the 10,302-ft. summit on December 19. A National Geographic Television film crew is covering the expedition for an "Explorer" documentary scheduled to air March 26, 1995.

ARE WE ALONE? - Project Phoenix, the largest-ever scientific search for radio signals emitted by technological civilizations, will kick off in Australia next month. The U.S.- based SETI (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) Institute will use two mammoth radio antennas and sophisticated digital receivers at the Parkes radio astronomy observatory in New South Wales to search the Southern Hemisphere skies between January 16 and May 15. The SETI search will look for specific types of radio signals emanating from almost 200 nearby stars that are most like our sun. If a likely-looking signal is found, it will be rigorously tested to rule out accidental radio interference, a hoax, or a signal from some natural process. "A detected signal is the property of all humanity," said astrophysicist Jill C. Tarter, manager of Project Phoenix for the SETI Institute. "Information about a detected signal will be made public as soon as it has been thoroughly checked and verified." Scientists at SETI successfully raised private funds for Project Phoenix after Congress killed the program due to deficit reduction pressures in October 1993.

To submit an item to EXPEDITION NEWS, contact Jeff Blumenfeld at 0004210571@mcimail.com

We are sad to say that we recently got a letter from Ramona Heinrich that her husband Milton Heinrich FN-79 passed away last June. Milt was active in developing the Space Station for Lockheed. His interests were aeronautical engineering, space life sciences, and biochemistry. He succeeded in battling cancer for 13 years and was in fairly good health until the beginning of 1993. We all send our sympathy to his family.

For reservations to the dinner meeting, please return $35.00 payment to Bill Isherwood, 37 La Encinal, Orinda, CA 94563, (510) 254-0739. The deadline is postmarked by January 20, 1995 after which the cost is $40.00

Date created: 1/27/1995
Last modified: 12/05/2002
Created by: Mike Diggles, Secretary, Northern California Chapter of The Explorers Club
Copyright (c)1995; Explorers Club, Northern California Chapter.

c/o U.S. Geological Survey, MS-951, 345 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025. (650) 329-5404 email to mdiggles@usgs.gov

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