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Phantom Travelers

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Phantom Travelers by Cristina Nuta -

Despite the fact that explorers and great travelers tend to be hard-headed and practical, many of them have sensed a ghostly companion on their travels. Marco Polo was one of the first to describe this. During the thirteenth century, he crossed the Lop Nor desert on the way to China and told the following spooky tale:

'When a man is riding by night through this desert and something happens to make him stop and lose touch with his companions…then he hears spirits talking in such a way that they seem to be his companions. Sometimes, indeed, they call him by name…'

Other explorers have also written about this feeling. Despite the failure of Ernest Shackleton's Antarctic journey- his ship broke up in the ice- the written account of it, S outh has become famous. T.S Eliot was inspired by it when he wrote The Waste Land: 'Who is the third who walks always beside you?/When I count, there are only you and I together/But when I look ahead up the white road/There is always another one walking beside you.'

Shackleton wrote: 'I know that during that long march of thirty-six hours over the unnamed mountains and glaciers it often seemed to me that we were four not three.'

Explorer Steve Martin and his two team mates even made 'the fourth man' an official member of the party when they were crossing Greenland. Even though there were only three men on the expedition, they felt a fourth presence who always walked to the left of the party. They called him Fletch and even got into the record books. 'It was a bit of a joke'. Martin says, 'but having a fourth member along meant you could always blame something on Fletch!' Despite feeling his presence constantly, Martin never actually saw Fletch.

It is unlikely that so many serious explorers were lying. Were their minds affected by the difficult conditions experienced during their travels, or could there be another, more mysterious explanation? How could we be able to find the answer at this question it is difficult to say but one solution would be to ask for a logical explanation of explorers and men of science.

Phantom Travelers written by Cristina Nuta for FamousWhy.com
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Tags: phantom, travelers, explorers, marco polo, lop nor



Category: Travel  - ( Travel Archive)

Date Added: 11 February '07


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