On a July morning, over 70 years ago - eight aircraft took off into the skies from a secret airfield in Greenland. They were military planes, destined for a mission in Europe. However, they ran into a heavy storm, and the squadron became lost and ran
low in fuel. The result was that the pilots were forced to land on the vast Greenland ice sheet. One made a crash landing and the others made safe landings. The crews of these aircraft were rescued nine days later, but the planes were abandoned.
Over half a century later, several
Atlanta businessmen, decided to try finding those airplanes that had been abandoned on the glacier fifty some years earlier. In a joking way, one of them is reported to have said that, "All we'd have to do is shovel the snow off the wings, fill them with gas, crank them up, and fly them off into the sunset."
As it turned out, it was not quite that simple. First of all, was the work of finding the planes. Old photos were available showing them on the ice at the time they has landed. However, fifty some years later, they were nowhere to be seen. Using available radar technology, and after a long, painstaking search, one of the planes was found - under 250 feet of ice!
During those fifty some years, the planes were buried by incessant snow storms. Layer after layer of snow was built over them, resulting in a layer of glacial ice, 250 feet deep.
It was only after twelve years of hard work, and millions of dollars later that the partners succeeded in drilling a shaft down to one of the aircraft, dismantling and hauling the plane to the surface. Certainly not a matter of starting it, and flying it off into the sunset!
The story of this account can be found various places, including a book, "The Lost Squadron - A True Story", by David Hayes.
The depth of ice in which these craft were buried, has called into question some of the standard interpretation of ice cores that have been drilled in the ice at the polar caps. Is this evidence that it does not take hundreds of thousands of years for glaciers to build to significant sizes?
Does this past "hard winter" with larger than usual snowfall in many places, give us indication that fears of global warming may be somewhat unfounded?
I do not claim to know all the answers to these questions. However, as Christians, we believe in a sovereign God holding sway over His created earth. And as long as the earth remains, seedtime and harvest are a promised part of God's attention toward us.
As I see the snow melt, and springtime coming, when we can plant seeds again, I realize God has kept his promise. For this I thank God!
Will polar ice melt finally raise ocean levels and destroy coastal cities? I don't know, but I thank God for the faith we hold as Christians, that this world is not our final destination. Someday, God will bring to an end this earth as we know it, and He will establish according to His promise . . . new heavens and new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. (Read 2 peter 3:13)