Benjamin Morrell

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Benjamin Morrell

Post by wangrong on Sat Nov 06, 2010 8:48 am

Benjamin Morrell (5 July 1795 – 1839) was an American sealing captain and explorer who between 1823 and 1831 made a series of voyages, mainly to the Southern Ocean and the Pacific Islands, which are recorded in a colourful memoir A Narrative of Four Voyages. Morrell's reputation among his peers was for untruth and fantasy, and claims in his partly ghost-written account, especially those relating to his Antarctic experiences, have been disputed by geographers and historians.

Morrell had an eventful early career, running away to sea at the age of 16 and being twice captured and imprisoned by the British during the War of 1812. He subsequently sailed before the mast for several years before being appointed as chief mate, and later as captain, of the New York sealer Wasp. In 1823 he took Wasp for an extended voyage into sub-Antarctic waters, and it was from this first voyage of a sequence of four that much of the controversy surrounding his reputation developed. Many of his claims—the first landing on Bouvet Island, a Weddell Sea penetration to 70°S, an extremely rapid passage of 3,500 nautical miles (6,500 km) at improbably high latitudes, and the discovery of a coastline he called New South Greenland—have been doubted or proved false. His subsequent three voyages, in different ships, were less contentious, although his descriptions of various incidents have been dismissed as fanciful or absurd.[2] His unreliability is also aggravated by his acknowledged habit of working the experiences of others into his narratives.

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Re: Benjamin Morrell

Post by nirvana on Sun Nov 07, 2010 12:11 pm

Nazi war criminal Michael Seifert dies in Italy

Seifert as an SS guard
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Canada sends ex-SS guard to Italy
Michael Seifert, a former Nazi SS prison guard known as 'the beast of Bolzano' for his cruelty, has died in an Italian hospital aged 86.

He was serving a life sentence in prison in southern Italy, and died in hospital in Caserta where he was admitted several days ago.

Seifert was convicted in absentia in 2000 by an Italian military tribunal of 11 murders at a prison camp in Bolzano.

He was extradited to Italy from Canada in 2008.

Seifert admitted to having been a guard at the camp but denied being involved in atrocities.

Witnesses accused him of leaving a prisoner to starve to death, raping and killing a pregnant woman and gouging an inmate's eyes out.

Towards the end of World War II, the Bolzano camp in Italy's Alpine South Tyrol region was used to house Jews, resistance fighters and German army deserters who were being transported further north.

Concealed past

Seifert disguised his past while living in Canada
Seifert was born in Ukraine and went on to work as a Nazi guard after the German occupation. After the war, he concealed his past and entered Canada in 1951.

In 2002, he was arrested after a request from Italy. His attempts to resist extradition reached a dead end in Canada's Supreme Court when it refused to hear his appeal.

Seifert had been transferred to hospital from the nearby Santa Maria Capua Vetere prison. He had a fractured femur and underwent an emergency operation for a gastric complication days ago, Pasquale La Cerra, the medical director at the Caserta hospital, told AP news agency.





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