Alaska Film Archives

McCall Glacier Project
McCall Glacier Project
AAF-20835: “McCall Glacier Project,” copyright 1974 by the Geophysical Institute of the University of Alaska, was presented as a contribution to the International Hydrological Decade. The film covers scientific studies on the McCall Glacier, and includes detailed explanations of scientists’ activities, equipment used, and data analyzed. Director of photography and editing is Milan J. Alexander. Narration by William Huhn. Sound by Steve Browne. Music by David J. Rychetnik and Gary Westcott. Studies on McCall Glacier were supported by grants from the Atmospheric Science Section, National Science Foundation. Senior Scientists were Gerd Wendler and Carl Benson. One title screen reads as follows: "We express our appreciation to the Naval Arctic Research Laboratory, Point Barrow, for logistic support, the Air National Guard for two excellently executed air drops, and the skillful Alaskan Bush pilots Chuck Meggill, Lowell Thomas Jr., Mike Van Hutten, Merrill Wien, Richard Wien and Al Wright.” According to Dr. Carl Benson in 2016, the film includes scenes of departure from Fairbanks and a flight to the Romanzof Mountains in the Brooks Range, the McCall Glacier on Mount Hubley, and scientists – including University of Alaska Fairbanks professors Will Harrison and Gerd Wendler, graduate students Dennis Trabant and Charlie Fahl, Yuji Kodama of the National Institute of Polar Research in Tokyo, and scientists from the Institute of Low Temperature Science at Hokkaido University in Japan – using instruments to study weather conditions and glacier depths.
[Miscellaneous Alaska scenes]
[Miscellaneous Alaska scenes]
The donor’s original number and title for AAF-20844 are: “RW 109. Travel Scenes, St. Moritz, Skiing.” This film features scenes outside Alaska, which include a road trip in the United States and skiers at St. Moritz in Switzerland. Scenes in Alaska include the Russian Orthodox Church and Spirit Houses at Eklutna, Skagway street scenes, Skagway Inn, Kirmses Curios shop, White Pass & Yukon Railroad train trip, men at a fancy dinner, aerial views of mountains, a boat trip to a glacier, competitive downhill skiing, people eating and huddling around newspapers, men being served an extravagant meal including wine and caviar on an airplane, a series of historic black and white photographs, a group of Alaska Native children eating, William Egan meeting with people, entertainer Burl Ives at Alaskaland, cabins and carnival rides and games at Alaskaland (also known as A-67 or Alaska 67 Centennial Exposition), and Alaska Native people dancing with masks. This is followed by scenes of a lighted sign for Alaska Airlines Golden Nugget Jets followed by "Golden Samovar Service" aboard a Boeing 727 Golden Nugget Jet. Passengers are served an extravagant meal that includes hors d’oeurves, wine, caviar, soup and a main course. Alaska Airlines introduced “Golden Nugget Service” in the early 1960s as a tribute to the 1890s gold rush era. Passenger planes were decorated in red and gold wallpaper and plush red seats. In the early 1970s, Alaska Airlines added the extravagant samovar service to highlight the fact that it had recently begun offering charters to the Soviet Union. This is followed by black-and-white scenes (striations indicate this may be Kodacolor film) of an Alaska town (possibly Rampart?) and flowers, well-dressed people at a conference or meeting, soldiers fighting in Vietnam, William Egan and Henry "Red" Boucher talking to men and women at a dinner, “Egan for Governor” sign, a map of the Bay of Bengal, a moose, the Santa Claus House in North Pole, people on go karts on a track in downtown Fairbanks, Woolworths Building in the background of the track, a log cabin visitors center in Fairbanks, an airplane taking off in Fairbanks and landing at Umiat, a Wien airplane, and a small totem pole.