The radio message
received from Levanevsky in N-209 at Yakutsk on 13 August 1937 after
radio message number 19 about the failure of engine number 4. They
intended to land in map 34 (Canadian Archipelago). The message read:
"I am going on two, at lower altitude, we see ice mountains ahead."
The crew saw land and reported this. The next day at 12:25 p.m. wireless
operator Solovei in Yakutsk received the number 83 on Levanevsky's
frequency 2654, which was repeated three times. Thus, they had landed,
established their position and passed the coordinates on the radio.
Vague signals with "RL" call sign on the frequency of N-209
had been received by many radio stations around the World, during
a month and a half. On September 30, 1937 coordinates "North
83, West 179" (could this have been West 079) were again received
by the motor vessel "Batum" in the Sea of Okhotsk. And in
Kuibushev's region. "Send help, we're on 96 degrees."
key words "Canadian Archipelago", "ice mountains forward"
"83-rd degree" give reason to believe that the aircraft
N-209 landed on the northwest coast or one of the many fiords of Ellesmere
Island (83 07 North latitude) of the Canadian Archipelago. Ellesmere
Island is a very large island with glaciers up to 2500m high. The
Northern part of Axel Heiberg Island is situated Southwest of Ellesmere
Island 250 km's farther from the North Pole (81 23' North latitude).
The mountains are not higher than 1800m. Alaska's coast and mountains
are situated 70 North latitude, much farther to the South. N-209 could
not have reached Alaska's shores after the failure of number 4 engine
a second engine failure, against a strong headwind without refueling.
Levanevsky and his crew would have understood this. If N-209 reached
the Western shore of Ellesmere with its long fiords it may have been
possible to land on old raised beaches which reach up to 200m above
present sea level in the Canadian Arctic. It is also possible that
they would have been able to land on ice in the many fiords, as this
area remains frozen year around. Having studied the map of Ellesmere
Island, the most obvious place to land N-209 is the south shore of
McClintok Inlet. The inlet is 5-6 km wide and nearly 50 km long. There
are several long inlets cutting deep into the coast of Ellesmere all
with glaciers and high mountains. The mountains and glaciers on Ellesmere
can be seen for many kilometers while approaching the island.
The possible landing place of N-209 on the shore of McClintok Inlet
(N82 32' W76 00') is covered with uninhabited mountains with glaciers
of the British Empire Range and Challenger Mountains. There should
be metal or other material left by the crew to lighten the aircraft
when they tried to take off. Metal detectors could be used to survey
the potential landing and take off area. If the aircraft tried to
take off, it may have gone into the ocean or onto the ice and then
melted through over time. The aircraft N-209 may be on the bottom
of McClintok Inlet, not far from the place it took off from.
Modern geophysical methods should be used to search the area of the
ocean floor and potential landing areas. The underwater search is
much more difficult, but the following methods should be tried. Side-sonar,
magnetometer or gradiometer and infrared camera. Anomalies could be
confirmed by mini-sub with infrared camera, magnetometer or gradiometer
with directional and position control. If the magnetometer does not
work as we have experienced during search for N-209 in Sebyan-Cuel
Lake in Yakutia Mountains in 1986, we may need side-sonar underwater
infrared camera, magnetometer or gradiometer with mini-sub. Possibly
newer technology will be developed such as under water or under ice
methods or other devises that can be used by aircraft or helicopters
to locate this aircraft, including biolocating methods