TWELVE FLAGS SOUTH
a story of adventure and exploration
narrated by james condon
sound by geoffrey daniels
cameramen eric white and bill grimmond
film editor walter batty
script by ivan chapman
produced by keith fraser
executive producer w. s. hamilton
The continent on this planet on which the Cold War is not being fought is the white wilderness of Antarctica.
There scientists of 12 nations are working together to explore the secrets that Nature has locked away in that vast, unknown region. Under the Antarctica Treaty, signed in 1959, the 12 nations – Britain, America, Russia, Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, Belgium, Norway, Japan, New Zealand and South Africa – have agreed that Antarctica should have no borders, no passports and no military armaments. Instead it has remained a vast laboratory of science.
This Intertel programme, filmed under the cruel conditions of Antarctica’s unique weather, records how science has been mobilised to fight the last, unyielding continent.
AN INTERTEL PRODUCTION ◦ TIME SLOT 55 MINUTES
Global Television Services Ltd.,
3 Vere Street, London, W.1.
Phone: MAYfair 1167
Cables: Helpful, London
Antarctica is the last continent, a white wilderness, where nations work together in complete cooperation to further man’s knowledge of his planet. It is a continent of 5½ million square miles, more than 600 miles from South America, 1,400 miles from Australia, 2,000 miles from Africa. It is here that 12 nations work together, using it as a vast laboratory for peaceful exploration and research. This 60-minute feature programme shows the work which is being carried out in Antarctica.
The nations — Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, Belgium, Norway, Japan, Britain, the United States, the Soviet Union, New Zealand, and South Africa — are signatories to the Antarctica Treaty which has “frozen” all territorial claims in the continent. Scientists of many lands work at the bases on upper atmosphere research and ice cave exploration.
Antarctica belongs to the world. The only frontier is the frontier of science — there are no passports, no borders, no military armaments, no nuclear explosions and no dumping of atomic waste. The continent has been known for less than 200 years — since the time when Captain James Cook first crossed the Antarctic Circle into its seas in 1773.
After the whalers and sealers who followed Captain Cook came the first groups of explorers — Bellinghausen (Russia, 1920), D’Urville (France, 1840), Wilkes (U.S.A., 1838) and James Clark Ross (Britain, 1839).
Today there is another generation of explorers in Antarctica. They work in an atmosphere of unparalleled amity and co-operation. And man has learned to survive there. He is going under the surface, using ice to build his bases, and using planes, helicopters, tractors and mechanised toboggans to cover distances. Even the tourists come — on cruises from Argentina.
But Antarctica is still the cruellest of continents, demanding of those who would live on it the utmost endurance and determination. Why do men go there?
Robert Scott gave the answer as he was dying in a tiny blizzard-swept tent.
“How much better all this has been than lounging in too great comfort at home”.
“Twelve Flags South” is the story of the work of 12 nations in Antarctica. The nations — Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, Belgium, Norway, Japan, Britain, U.S.A., U.S.S.R., New Zealand and South Africa — are signatories to the Antarctica treaty which has “frozen” all territorial claims in the continent, leaving it a vast laboratory for peaceful exploration and research. “Twelve Flags South” goes with the first U.S. convoy to Antarctica after the winter of 1962.
The ships battle for 900 miles through the thick pack ice to America’s biggest base, McMurdo — a base with a summer population of 1,000 which uses power from a nuclear reactor.
It visits the Russian base, Mirny, and the U.S. base at the South Pole, where in an underground township, marigolds and carrots have been grown experimentally in a hot-house.
“Twelve Flags South” shows the scientists of many lands at some of the many bases working on upper atmosphere research and exploring ice caves. The camera team follows New Zealand explorers with dog sledges and a huge American expedition equipped with Sno-cats.
Historic film shows the early explorers, Shackleton, Mawson and Byrd. The only frontier in Antarctica is the frontier of science. There are no passports, no borders. Antarctica belongs to the world.