Now I understand why Jan Mayen was deserted by an unexplained occurrence shortly before my last vist. Natla most certainly had something to do with it. This volcanic island located in the Artic Sea has held a mystery my father was close to discovering. He took me there when I was a child, for he had adequate clearance. This island is protected and the little population that lives there are scientists.
After I arrived at age 8 with my father all those years before, I’ve visited Jan Mayen several times and took extensive notes. I can only hope that like my father left a journal for future use by me to aid in the discoveries he was close to making, as well as serving archaeology in general, I do hope this journal entry may aide someone else on a similar journey.
Jan Mayen, Norway ( I make this entry with much suspicion about Natla)
Facts about the Island
The island Jan Mayen is North of Iceland and East of Greenland, and officially became a part of Norway in 1930. In the far end there is a volcano known as Beerenberg (Bear Mountain in Dutch so named after the Polar Bears seen in the area by Dutch whalers in the past) that rises from the ocean to a height of 7,470’. Its last eruption was in 1985.
Something of particular interest is the geology of Jan Mayen. It is in fact similar geologically to Iceland, but there are also features that set it completely apart geologically from Norway and Greenland. Jan Mayen is a young Island in comparison with its neighbour Iceland, but both are a part of the middle Atlantic ridge system.
On farther observation from an aerial view, the island is shaped somewhat like a spoon. In fact, it is the only island with a unique shape such as this. The reason is because of a tectonic hot spot. Jan Mayen’s tectonic plate is in fact shifting toward this deep seated stationary hot spot. Studies show that when the active volcano Beerenberg erupted twice before in the twentieth century 1970 and 1973 the eruptions force did not come from the symmetrical cone or crater, but in fact it emerged from fissures on the northern tip of the island. These eruptions are sometimes referred to as “flank eruptions”
More about Beerenberg
This active volcano is not only the northern most active volcano in the world, but it also has many spectacular glaciers; five of them actually reach to the sea, and the longest (Weyprecht Glacier) is 4 miles and begins from a fractured area of the summit cone. According to historical reports, the earliest recorded eruptions of Beerenberg were in 1732, 1818 and 1851.
The Perspective on Jan Mayen
Jan Mayen is not open for tourism and has no accommodations, flights to and from the volcanic island or ships that make port. Though it is possible to make arrangements for a visit of this incredible place, you have to camp there if you wish to stay more than 24 hours.
There are some scientists and part of the Norwegian military that remain there year round. Partly to tend the weather station for Norway that resides on the southern side near Eggoya and has been operating from various locations since 1921. At one time it was also used for a radio station for fishing ships. Jan Mayen was declared a wildlife reserve in 2010 making it a lot more difficult to gain approval for visits. Currently, due to the declaration of it becoming a Wildlife reserve, there are only two places to dock your boat to get ashore. Then you are severely limited to where you can go, for the island is completely closed down. The best way to visit is to arrange or be part of an expedition. Though there are some excellent areas to hike and climb, a permit, and gps are required if one does decide to head out on an adventure. It is also not permitted to go alone, for there have been Polar bears on Jan Mayen before. They floated over on ice flows originating from Greenland, however, ice flowing from Greenland is rare these days.
Now I understand more about why Natla chose this area of the world, and why the mechanism known as the Jormungand, also known as The Midgard Serpent was built under Jan Mayen. The glacier I was told about by father years ago, the Weyprecht glacier that reaches 4 miles from the summit to the sea was of great interest to father. It was on that glacier I entered into the underworld of the Norse. He didn’t know everything yet, but he was on the right path to finding mother.
Note: Real archaeology from the mouth and experiences of Lara Croft.