By Members of
THE EXPLORERS CLUB
wish Bill Mann was here today. All that expansion at his Zoo in Washington has kept him too closely confined and we dont see enough of him around the Long Table.
There is one question I particularly wanted to ask him. I wanted to know if it was possible for a man to wrestle with a full-grown Kodiak bear and come out on top. I have heard that they are rather unrefined and that most people have been advised to stay away from them. Yet there is a persistent rumor around town that our redheaded Captain Ron Hubbard goes out of his way to pick wrestling matches with Kodiaks. It has even reached the point where ballads are being written about his prowess.
Now, Captain Hubbard left these parts recently on a supposedly scientific expedition. He was even allowed to carry the Club flag, which meant that his purpose was scientific. His schooner Magician was well equipped to carry on some badly-needed radio studies and research, but we havent heard anything about that. Bears are all we hear about.
Have you anything to say for yourself, Ron?
When considering all the major accomplishments of L. Ron Hubbards Alaskan Radio Experimental Expedition, it is fascinating that the first word of his activities to reach the Explorers Club in New York City was rumor of a supposed wrestling match with a Kodiak bear.
It was not surprising, therefore, that the topic of conversation upon Rons arrival at the club was not about his recharting efforts, navigational breakthroughs, or the physical accomplishment of his challenging voyage but it was the bear that everyone wanted to hear about.
Was it true? Ron denied it.
No matter, the rumor persisted. Did Ron wrestle a Kodiak bear? Songs were even composed about the encounter. And the question is still being asked, even turning up in newspaper stories as late as 1983.
To help set the matter straight, the editor of the Explorers Club anthology, Through Hell and High Water, asked Ron to write an official account. Here is his reply, as printed in those pages in 1941 you decide for yourself what really happened!