DINNER MEETING - Friday, January 23, 1998, University Club, San Francisco, California
Palpung Monastery, presently being repaired
Dege town, the cultural center of Kham
Of special interest is: my book Among Warriors (personal home page), the art conservation work at Baiya (CERS site) especially report #2, photos posted with the Dege tour material (KAF home page), and the Silk Road project home page (from my personal home page).
Parallel to her career as a scientist she has developed a talent for photojournalism, publishing articles and photographs in China Geographic Monthly, Asia Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, The Christian Science Monitor, Far Eastern Economic Review, among others. She has recorded the landscape and traditions of inhabitants of ten countries scattered across the globe, with special emphasis on the minority nationalities of China.
Conservation of Buddhist mural art at Baiya Monastery
In 1991 Dr. Logan embarked on a project to investigate warrior tribes of eastern Tibet. To prepare for this journey, which was sponsored by the Durfee Foundation of southern California, she studied both the Mandarin and Tibetan languages, acquiring a working knowledge of both. For more than one year she traveled over by train, truck, horseback, mountain bike, yak-hide coracle, and on foot. Her book about these adventures, Among Warriors: A Martial Artist in Tibet, is published by the Overlook Press (1996).
In the spring of 1993, again funded by the Durfee Foundation, she returned to China to explore Inner Mongolia. That year also marked the start of her full-time involvement with the China Exploration & Research Society (CERS). Based in Hong Kong, CERS conducts a variety of interdisciplinary field projects in China. In the summer of 1993 Dr. Logan took part in a CERS expedition to Tibet's Changtang plateau, and to the southern Silk Road.
Tibetan women farmers at work in the fields, Dege
In 1994 she was named director of a CERS project whose aim is architectural conservation of Tibetan monasteries in western Sichuan province. Since then she has led three expeditions composed of international conservation specialists and Tibetan support personnel to two sites (both accessible only by horse caravan) where conservation work is underway. There she has also established a training program in mural conservation for young Tibetans.
In 1995 Dr. Logan was invited by the Golden Griffin Foundation to join an archeological dig in Tuva, southern Siberia, as expedition journalist. Then in 1996 Dr. Logan was named "Woman Explorer of the Year," an international prize awarded by the Scientific Exploration Society of Great Britain and sponsored by Mr. Eric Hotung of Hong Kong. The following year she established the Kham Aid Foundation, an organization dedicated to cultural preservation and economic development on the eastern Tibetan plateau.
On the trail in Kham
In 1997 Dr. Logan established the Kham Aid Foundation to support the monastery conservation work and pursue other Kham-related projects. She is also helping to create the Eurasian Origins Foundation, which pursues archeological research in Central Asia in collaboration with CERS. In this role she is working with NASA to use Spaceborne Imaging Radar to identify Silk Road ruins under the sands of the Taklamakan desert. She has given invited lectures for the Royal Geographical Society, Hong Kong's Foreign Correspondents Club, the Silk Road Foundation, California Institute of Technology, the World Monuments Fund, the China Society, the Sierra Club, and other organizations.
At the December 5 meeting Scannon described, and showed his very graphic underwater photos of, the ship which he and his diver-colleagues found and documented, in about 40 feet of water, still in fair condition, considering that it sank more than 50 years ago. At least partly because this was Bush's "kill", the wreck has now been declared a national underwater monument. Scannon described that, after having been told that the wreck had never been found , he was able to study aerial photographs in the National Archives, of the ship after it had been hit and before it sank. Comparing the position of the ship and the names of the adjacent islets, he and his colleagues were able to determine that the ship's position had been mistakenly identified as adjacent to an islet a few miles away. Using underwater side-scanning sonar, they were successful in locating the wreckage on the first day they went out there to do so.
While in Palau, Scannon, with the help of a few knowledgeable Palauans, also found wreckage from several downed US planes, apparently two B-24 bombers, and at least one Corsair fighter. US records for that period are not good, but he believes he has been able to identify most of the actual planes represented by the fragments he found and recorded.
Scannon has made his documentation of the war effects on Palau a special mission, and has been to Palau to dive almost annually since 1993. Since little is known of the ultimate fates of the US airmen who were downed over Peleliu, his present effort is to try to trace the families of those lost men, to bring them up to date on his findings. From old military records he has been able to obtain their names and home addresses from more than 50 years ago, but has little expectation that he will be able to locate still-living family members.
The George Bush Presidential Library was dedicated, to much fanfare, on November 6, 1997. The library is located in College Station, Texas, adjacent to the Texas A&M campus, on a compound which will ultimately house the library, a museum, a school of government building, and an apartment for George and Barbara Bush. Attending the dedication were Robert Stinnett, MN-91, of Oakland, and his wife, Peggy. Stinnett was a major contributor to the World War II exhibit at the library. Stinnett served on the aerial combat team of the carrier USS San Jacinto with George Bush, who was the aerial photo officer at the time.
Stephen Jett, FN-80, has written in, in response to encouragement in the last Newsletter, to tell the membership that he spent much of last summer, not only on research projects involving the Navajo Indians, but also on a new book, tentatively titled Across the Ancient Oceans: Pre-Columbian Contacts Reconsidered. Since these were not enough to keep him occupied, he also has been preparing a guidebook to the Indian Country. Stephen will give us more details when his books are in print.
Bryan Jonson, FN-88, spent his summer in Spain. Bryan is interested in anthropology, and visited 2000 year old Roman ruins in the Pyrenees in northern Spain, as well as viewing works of Gaudi, Miro and Picasso. Presently he remains in Spain, though he will always consider the Northern California EC Chapter his home.
Julia Amaral, MN-88, spent three weeks in Egypt this summer, followed by a trip on the Russian Icebreaker Sovyetsky Soyuz to the North Pole. The itinerary involved journeying to Murmansk, then a stop-off at Franz Josef Island, then on to the North Pole, and back in reverse order.
Joan Bekins, FN-86, and Don, also visited Palau last year, for the diving, and are already planning a return trip for 1998.
Mort Beebe, FN-78, has recently returned from a photographing assignment in Rheims, France, where his task was to photograph the Caves du Vin there. Not only was the countryside beautiful but he was treated to generous samplings of the Vins along the way.
Alan Hutchison, MN-67, spent twelve days on Thursday Island, during October. Considered the best diving site in the world by many, it can only be visited from October to December, when the trade winds are down, as at other times the water is too rough and roiled for diving. He did describe an encounter with a Queensland Grouper, a member of the bass family which grows to several hundred pounds. The one he met was a full adult. A colleague diver, frightened by the proximity of the huge fish, pulled his knife in preparation for a fight, but the fish merely looked bored and swam away. "I have spent 20 years on the New York Police Force, and I know aggressive behavior when I see it," was his comment.
Jim Prigoff, MN-67, has recently published his latest book, Painting the Town, which chronicles the Public Art of the (mostly) small towns in California. Jim had a few copies at the meeting, which were sold in short order, but the photo book is available at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Elsa Roscoe has just returned from her seventh trip to Huahini Island, in French Polynesia.
Dan Dvorak, who had been on Bob Schmieder's Easter Island Expedition, reported that during that trip he met Elaine, who recently became his wife. They spent their three week honeymoon this summer on- you guessed it- Easter Island.
Tom "Swede" Larson, E-52, writes from Klamath Falls that he wishes he could be here to visit with his many Bay Area friends. He is presently involved in writing a memoir, to be titled I Chose Adventure, of his extensive involvement in WW II, beginning with his scouting activities in Europe in 1937, through his personal involvement in the events of December 7, 1941, and his presence in Tokyo Bay in 1945.
Stanford University Travel Program has already begun to advertise this offering to its alumni, in the presumption that some of these trips will be made up entirely of Stanford alums. The first Northern California Chapter E.C. member to go will be afforded the oppertunity to describe the trip at an early gala meeting. Here is your chance to be the first to take the Explorers Club Flag into Space?
Reservations: MAIL BY Tuesday, January 13, 1998
Please Return To:
William F. Isherwood
The Explorers Club
Northern California Chapter.
37 La Encinal
Orinda, CA 94563
Bill's Phone: (510) 254-0739
Please reserve spaces for the Pamela Logan talk, at the University Club on Friday, January 23, 1998.
$40/person... $45 if postmarked after January 16. Cocktails, 6:30 PM, Dinner, 7:30 PM, Speaker, 8:30 PM.
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