Drill Close to Reaching 14-Million-Year-Old Antarctic Lake
By Duncan Geere, Wired UK, Jan 7, 2011
Lake Vostok, which has been sealed off from the world for 14 million years, is about to be penetrated by a Russian drill bit.
Sick US man awaits medical flight from Antarctica
Sep-13-10 5:34am 2010-09-12T21:34:55 From: ap.org
An American in serious medical condition waited for blizzard conditions to ease Monday so an airplane could land in Antarctica to evacuate him to hospital in New Zealand, officials said. A New Zealand air force Orion airplane was on standby to fly to the U.S. McMurdo Station science base on the north Antarctic coast to pick up the man, said Matt Vance, a spokesman for government agency Antarctica New Zealand.
Officials would not identify the man or give details on his medical condition…
The lake, which lies 2.5 miles below the icy surface of Antarctica, is unique in that it’s been completely isolated from the other 150 subglacial lakes on the continent for such a long time. It’s also oligotropic, meaning that it’s supersaturated with oxygen — levels of the element are 50 times higher than those found in most typical freshwater lakes.
Since 1990, the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute in St Petersberg in Russia has been drilling through the ice to reach the lake, but fears of contamination of the ecosystem in the lake have stopped the process multiple times, most notably in 1998 when the drills were turned off for almost eight years.
Now, the team has satisfied the Antarctic Treaty Secretariat, which safeguards the continent’s environment, that it’s come up with a technique to sample the lake without contaminating it. Valery Lukin told New Scientist: “Once the lake is reached, the water pressure will push the working body and the drilling fluid upwards in the borehole, and then freeze again.” The next season, the team will bore into that frozen water to recover a sample whose contents can then be analysed.
The drill bit currently sits less than 328 feet above the lake. Once it reaches 65-98 feet, the mechanical drill bit will be replaced with a thermal lance that’s equipped with a camera. Time is short, however. It’s possible that the drillers won’t be able to reach the water before the end of the current Antarctic summer, and they’ll need to wait another year before the process can continue.
When the sample can be recovered, however, it’s hoped that it’ll shed light on extremophiles—lifeforms that survive in extreme environments. Life in Lake Vostok would need adaptions to the oxygen-rich environment, which could include high concentrations of protective enzymes. The conditions in Lake Vostok are very similar to the conditions on Europa and Enceladus, so could also strengthen the case for extraterrestrial life.
Finally, anything living in the lake will be at least 14 million years old, so it could offer a snapshot of conditions on Earth long before humans evolved.
Now, the Real Story, from 2003…
The Lake Vostok Mystery
Recently there have been several media reports about an anomaly discovered in the Antarctic region near Lake Vostok. Apparently, the site has been sealed off to the media and other scientists due to “environmental concerns”. The fact that the NSA has assumed jurisdiction over an environmentally hazardous site is raising eyebrows about may be happening there.
Update: Click here | Download “Antarctic Sun”, McMurdo Base publication Feb, 2001 (page 6)
From a NATO official:
“You know, they have classified Lake Vostok. They took it away from JPL who were monitoring it. Are you familiar with Lake Vostok in Antarctica? Under the ice in Antarctica there is a fresh-water lake deep, deep down under the ice, that’s 100 miles long and 50 miles wide. Fresh water. The temperature in the damn lake is about 65 degrees, which is pleasant swimming, you might say.
“But at the end of Lake Vostok is what’s known as a gigantic masscon—a mass concentration of metal, very similar to the masscons they discovered on the Moon — a gigantic, circular-shaped, metallic object deep under the ice at the end of Lake Vostok. The National Security Agency took it away from JPL. It’s one of the most sensitive things in the world now, the anomaly at the end of the lake. It’s now classified, top secret.”
“When we first saw this huge magnetic anomaly, that was very exciting.”
—Michael Studinger, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
The most intriguing news coming out of Antarctica before the news blackout had to do with the discovery of an extremely powerful “magnetic anomaly” located in the northern end of the lake’s coast. This discovery gave rise to much speculation and comparisons with the fictional TMA-1 (Tycho Magnetic Anomaly-1) in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, and John Carpenter’s 1982 movie, “The Thing”
The electronic newspaper Antarctic Sun (www.polar.org), which soon became the main source of information on the Lake Vostok magnetic anomaly, stated that during the initial flight of the SOAR (Support Office for Aero-physical Research), aimed at conducting magnetic resonance imaging over the area, the magnetometer recorded an increase of 1,000 nanoteslas beyond the 60,000 nanoteslas which characterized the Vostok Station. Scientists had expected to find magnetic anomalies in the range of 500 to 600 nanoteslas in areas where volcanic material could be located, but the ranges encountered were simply startling. “This anomaly is so large that it cannot be the product of a daily change in the magnetic field,” stated Michael Studinger, one of the researchers involved in the mapping endeavor.
Also significant was the sheer size of the anomaly: 65 by 46 square miles. According to the mission’s geological team, the anomaly’s size and severity pointed to the fact that geological changes had taken place under the lake, suggesting the possibility that it was a place where “the earth’s crust was thinner.”
Professor DeLaurier’s paper discussed the existence of a structure so vast that it defied imagination—a quasi-cylindrical loaf of an object measuring 65 miles long by 65 miles thick at a staggering depth of 80 miles. The huge structure had been detected by seismic equipment located at Alert, one of the U.S.-Canadian Distant Early Warning (DEW) stations in the Arctic wilderness. Studies showed that the object, which straddled the earth’s mantle and crust, was the source of some sort of disturbance—similar to the situation encountered at Lake Vostok 30-odd years later—affecting the magnetic field at the Alert facility and “inducing a strong flow of electricity.”
Official sources have not provided much additional information regarding the mysterious Antarctic lake, and the controversy rages on across the Internet, while hundreds of different opinions clash over the nature of the goings-on at this remote location…
John Carpenter’s “The Thing”, 1982...
Members of an American scientific research outpost in Antarctica find themselves battling a parasitic alien organism capable of perfectly imitating its victims. They soon discover that this task will be harder than they thought, as they don’t know which members of the team have already been assimilated and their paranoia threatens to tear them apart…
Meanwhile: Barbara Marciniak and her Pleiadians wrote about a very ancient and evolved civilization whose remains are buried under the polar ice cap in the Antarctic. [See page 4 of her book entitled EARTH. THE PLEIADIAN KEYS TO THE LIVING UNIVERSE. This civilization existed more than 500,000 years ago.
So what is really happening there today. Perhaps this ancient civilization had advanced nuclear technology for their base, probably for their communications beacons, and this equipment may now be leaking and threatening the entire region. This ancient civilization was from another galaxy and was non-human but similar to us. The civilization existed half a million years ago and left about 300,000 years ago when new cosmic wars broke out over the control of this planet. The base was abandoned and has been under the ice ever since.
Information about this base is again being kept secret from the people to perpetuate the denial about our ancient history and our connection with other cosmic races.
In early March 2001, a U.S. channeler known as Lady Kadjina replied to a series of questions regarding the mystery of Lake Vostok. Regarding the nature of the magnetic anomaly, she declared that long before the Antarctic became icebound, the continent had been used as a landing site by extraterrestrials. The ever-benevolent aliens built what we would call an observatory, explained the channeler, equipped with a signalling device capable of broadcasting coded messages. More and more such observatories would be discovered in coming months, and Earth governments would try to seize them. Lady Kadjina added that the observatory contained vast crystals which put forth a certain kind of magnetism, which had been employed as a guidance system so that large spaceships could land at that location…