The incredible research of the EIRA and its history
The EIRA is a steamship that sank in the archipelago Franz Josef Land in 1881. Its incredible adventure has been forgotten by History.
This boat represents a key moment in the discovery of the Arctic, place more and more under the spotlight of the geopolitical news because of the current climate changes. This was the platform for many scientific studies and the Royal Geographical Society awarded a prize to Benjamin Leigh-Smith, one of the first to suspect the influence of ocean currents on global climate.
The success of this campaign shall allow me to travel in various countries (Switzerland, France, England, Russia, United States and Norway) to collect archives and interview specialists of Benjamin Leigh-Smith and his boat.
With the images and archives collected, I will produce, in collaboration with professionals and scientists, a short film of about 20 minutes. This will be an introduction to this incredible journey that turned into polar survival. It will also be a way to draw a parallel, with scientists, between the climate experienced at that time by the crew and current climate change, highlighting the impact of these on this part of our planet.
I will also be able to start the steps (authorizations and logistics) that will allow me to go to the Franz Josef Land in the summer of 2019, especially where I located the probable position of the EIRA and to conduct research, with the hope of finding the wreck in good condition like a certain Titanic.
The reality of things is that a project whose profitability is not the primary motivation is unlikely to be funded academically, but I have, during my years of research, obtained the academic support of a certain number of people including in particular Mr. Peter Capelotti author of the book: Shipwreck at Cape Flora: The Expeditions of Benjamin Leigh Smith, England’s Forgotten Arctic Explorer.
And if together we went further?
If the campaign exceeds my expectations, I can go in August 2018 in Terre François Joseph, especially in Cape Flora with the Rangers of the Russian Arctic National Park to film the places where the boat sank and where the crew survived during ten months in the polar winter.
The ultimate goal of my project, which will take place over many years ( And which will not be founded by the actual campaign), is to dive on the spot, film the wreck and create a documentary film around this incredible adventure and add an highlight to this underestimated part of the history.
This could be the beginning of an incredible adventure with a lot of interests and I hope with all my heart that you will accompany us throughout our journey.
You will find some support letters that came to me in the «more information» section;