Articles for Explorers Web

Lately, with the readership doubling, mainly new readers from the U.S (USA and Alaska has passed Sweden as number one in visits this past month), I have had quite a few readers asking which articles I have written exactly for ExWeb, since there´s no bylines. I know that this fact will change soon, since ExWeb is forever developing. However, there´s a tab for ExWeb which is updated every time I have published a piece. Just bookmark this tab!

Writing for Explorers Web is a joy and the piece I have put most work, research and work into, is the one just written about the controversial The Long Walk To Freedom. The one about Slavomir Rawicz claiming he has done the famed Long Walk for Freedom. An Amazing journey and escape from one of Stalin´s gulags. Slavomir Rawicz claims that he and six other fellow prisoners escaped a Soviet labor camp in Yakutsk, in the year of 1941, a camp where enduring hunger, cold, untended wounds, untreated illnesses, and avoiding executions were everyday feats. Their march, over thousands of miles by foot, out of Siberia, through China, the Gobi Desert, Tibet, and over the Himalayas to British India is a remarkable statement about man’s desire to be free. It was done. But not by him. But by another Pole named Witold Glinski according to three Young Poles who have  just recently returned from Calcutta after they traced the steps of the journey to prove he was the real hero. Read this extra ordinary story here!

Anyway, so far I have written 23 stories. Some good, some bad. So far it has been a real joy and challenge. See below:

1. Helen Lloyd is going to Congo. Published 15/9/2010.

2. Arita Baaijens Search For Paradise! Published 20/9/2010

3.Charlie has made it to Siberia! Published 23/9/2010

4. Sherri Jo Wilkins World Ride! Published 28/9/2010

5. The Trans-Kalahari Run. Published 1/10/2010

6. Successful Kenya Run, 44 days! Published 3/10/2010

7. Sean Burch pushing boundaries in Nepal. Published 7/10/2010

8. Sean Burch crossed Nepal in record time. Published 11/10/2010

9. Interview with Todd Carmichael about his Death Valley Trek. 14/10/2010

10. Peter Gostelow, Africa on a bicycle update. 18/10/2010

11. Exclusive interview with Sean Burch. 21/10/2010

12. The Vogel Family´s bicycle trip from Alaska to Argentina. 29/10/2010

14. New record from London to Cape Town! 01/11/2010

15. Oli Broom on a bicycle from London to Australia! 05/11/2010

16. Dave Cornwaithe´s 25 Expeditions around the world. 09/11/2010

17. Sherri Jo Wilkins; Naked men everywhere! 13/11/2010

18. Solo Expedition in East Africa from the lowest to the highest. 17/11/2010

19. Interview with Amazon walker, Ed Stafford. 21/11/2010

20. Oli Broom made it in time for the opening Ashes Test at The Gabba. 25/11/2010

21. The Long Walk To Freedom.28/11/2010

22. Equestrian World Ride halted due to animal abuse. 2/12/2010

23. Charlie Frew Update; He has made to the home of Santa Claus. 5/12/2010

8 comments

  1. Hi Richard!

    I understand from your second name, that you are are a relative to Slavomir Rawicz. If you in any way feel offended, I can to a certain degree understand that. Am sorry for that. I am ready to see what I can do to help you.

    I can also say I have received a lot of personal mail regarding that article. It is definitely a subject which enthralls.

    First of all, are you asking if there´s any proof if Witold Glinski is the right one, or if the whole story if fabricated or if Slavomir still is the one who actually did this extra ordinary trip and you have proof?

    I would be honored indeed, if you could give me your opinions, your proof, your story and if you have any proof that Witold Glinski isn´t the right guy as he for example claims in http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2009/05/16/the-greatest-escape-war-hero-who-walked-4-000-miles-from-siberian-death-camp-115875-21364916/

    I would also appreciate if you have facts which proves BBC and many others wrong about Slavomir having “borrowed” the story. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/6098218.stm

    I personally don´t have any proof, but know Siberia very well, and when I read the story, I liked it, but found quite a few discrepancies in it the way Slavomir told it. I have trudged through Siberia in winter myself. Well fed, strong, trained and prepared, compared to 7 haunted, run down prisoners. I haven´t really found anywhere where Glinski backs up the details of the story exactly. There´s a lot which doesn´t match up whoever did it.

    But please prove us doubters wrong. Nobody would be happier than me.

    I found this as well, when researching (in English) as a reference:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/6098218.stm

    http://www.allreaders.com/board.asp?BoardID=8276

    http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=303344

    http://www.armchairadventurista.com/2010/12/01/retracing-the-steps-of-the-long-walk/

    http://outsideonline.com/outside/features/200301/200301_adventure_canon_9.html

    However, I do trust the 3 Poles who say they will die to prove that Glinski is the right guy. But, I will ask them to prove their point and I will adjust my article until than. I will take away to say that it is a case of fake and cheat until all fact so far laid out are proven different. I know very well, there´s more than one truth out there and that i could be all wrong. Please just tell me.

    I will also update the ExWeb Story.

    Thanks Richard, look forward to hearing from you!

    M

  2. Hi,
    ok, so here are the facts:
    1) there is no last and decisive proof that Glinski was the one whose story was described in “The Long Walk”. The reason is simple: documents which confirm that such a prisoner escaped from labour camp haven’t been found yet. However, it’s possible that they would never be discovered becasue a lot of documents from lagier’s administration vanished or were destroyed. It concernes especially the prison camps which were not gathered in bigger “camp groups” (e.g. Siewwostlag governed by Dalstroj company in Kolyma range) and which functioned like independent units. To the best of my knowledge almost all lagiers in Yakutia were such an “independent entities” so very often there are not even the evidence of their existance, not mentioning the register of their prisoners.

    BUT, there are circumstantial evidence:

    1) the testimony of MI 5 officer Rupert Mayne who was was serving at that time in Calcutta and interrogated the group of people claiming that they escaped for GULAG and reached India on foot. His report is extremely similar to Glinski’s story.

    2) we “interrogated” Glinski ourselves and make an interview for Polish Public TV (in March). We spent three days listening to his story and trying to find out if he is telling the truth or not. Ty my mind his story was really coherent and full of details that were very often not very important but same time very difficult to imagine. And what is even more important his words were so emotional that it seems almost impossible for elder and very ill person (he is blind and undergo a serious surgery revently) to lie in such a sophisticated and convincing way.

    FINALLY, there are extremely strong proof that Rawicz cannot escaped for the lagier:
    1) he was released from GULAG on the basis on so called Sikorski-Majski Agreement which inter alia stipulated setting free Polish political and war prisoners.
    2) there are documents that point out that that Slavomir Rawicz real name was Roscislaw Ruscicki and his biography was totally diffferent from the one described in “Long Walk”. However, these hypothesis is quite commonly known and it wasn’t discovere by us.

    For me it’ll be of course a pleasure to discuss this problem with Richard.

    Best,
    Tom

  3. What I fail to understand,if the journey was so impossible for Slav.Why is it so possible for Glinski?

    Richard Theodor Rawicz

  4. Dear Richard,

    The more I dig into the story, I can just, at this moment, say that there´s a major lack of evidence on both sides. As Tomasz writes in his reply above. He will provide more backup in a story I will publish here o Friday. Richard, could you write a story that proves Slavomir did it?

    I don´t think the issue is whether the amazing walk has taken place, it is more, how much is true and who did it?

    I know Slavomir stood by his story to the end of his life. And Witold by his. So we just have to stick with the evidence we have right now. And try to keep the debate healthy and clear.

    M

  5. Hi all,
    French adventurer/author Sylvain Tesson left in June 2003 froma Gulag on the steps of Slavomir Rawicz. He wanted to feel also if it was possible, true or not what was in the book.
    He wrote “L’axe du Loup” (In ENG, it would be “the path of the wolf”)
    He tried to contact Slavomir Rawicz didn’t succeed meeting him.
    He came to this: Slavomir Rawicz well indeed has some facts that seems not true, not sure he did it or didn’t do it.
    The only thing he’s sure of is that people have been escaping from the gulags, it was possible and some got the freedom at the end after arriving in India.

    Sylvain Tesson was is France 2 weeks ago. Now ? if you need to contact him for maybe his findings in 2003 or earlier, drop me a line, I have his email. He’s member of the Society of French explorers is one should contact them.

  6. I have been trying to contact my namesake for years. I somehow ended up in a deadend in England. Please contact me.

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