Flat-Earthers think there hasn’t been anyone who has circumnavigated the Earth by traversing both the north pole and south pole in the process. All we have are explorers who have circumnavigated the Earth to the east or west, parallel to the equator; explorers like James Cook or Ferdinand Magellan. They don’t really have the choice, because if polar circumnavigation is possible, then the flat-Earth assumption falls flat.
But, like a lot of assumption in the flat-Earth community, it is simply not true. There are in fact many people who have done a polar circumnavigation, and the information can be easily found on the Internet.
November 14-17, 1965, Capt. Fred Lester Austin, Jr. and Harrison Finch took off from Honolulu, the United States to circumnavigate the Earth through both the poles.
Route: Honolulu, United States – North Pole – London, England – Lisbon, Portugal – Buenos Aires, Argentina – South Pole – Christchurch, New Zealand – Honolulu, United States.
In 1977, PanAm Flight 50 circumnavigated the Earth through the North and South Pole in order to celebrate PanAm’s 50th anniversary.
Route: San Francisco, United States – North Pole – London, England – Cape Town, South Africa – South Pole – Auckland, New Zealand – San Francisco, United States.
In 1979, Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Charles R. Burton set out from Greenwich, England to the South Pole, and then headed north to the North Pole and back to Greenwich. This journey is recorded by the Guinness Book of World Records as the first surface polar circumnavigation.
Route: Greenwich, England – Cape Town, South Africa – South Pole – Auckland, New Zealand – Sydney, Australia – Los Angeles, United States – Vancouver, Canada – Yukon River, Canada – North Pole – Greenwich, UK.
In 1988-1989, Dick Smith circumnavigated the globe through both poles using a Twin Otter plane.
In 1992, Michael Palin made a documentary for the BBC featuring his travel from the Arctic to the South Pole.
Route: North Pole – Nord Base, Greenland – Svalbard, Norway – Norway – Helsinki, Finland – Leningrad, Soviet Union (now St. Petersburg) – Kiev, Soviet Union – Odessa, Soviet Union – Istanbul, Turkey – Limassol, Cyprus – Cairo, Egypt – Khartoum, Sudan – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – Nairobi, Kenya – Serengeti, Tanzania – Lusaka, Zambia – Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe – Cape Town, South Africa – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Santiago, Chile – South Pole.
In 2009, the TAG Transpolar08 flight circumnavigated the Earth through the North and South Pole, at the same time breaking the speed record, with an average speed of 822.8 km/h.
Route: Farnborough, England – North Pole – Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada – Majuro, Marshall Islands – Christchurch, New Zealand – South Pole – Punta Arenas, Chile – Sal, Cape Verde – Farnborough, England.
At the time of this writing (October 2019), Mike Horn is attempting the same feat. He had already traversed the South Pole and is on his way to the North Pole. It is estimated his trip will be completed in December 2019.
On July 9-11 2019, commemorating the Apollo Moon landing, the One More Orbit team broke the polar circumnavigation record using the Gulfstream G650ER aircraft.
Route: Kennedy Space Center, FL, USA – North Pole – Nur Sultan, Kazakhstan – Port Louis, Mauritius – South Pole – Punta Arenas, Chile – Kennedy Space Center, FL, USA.
- The Rockwell Polar Flight Archives – This Day in Aviation
- 1982: First Surface Circumnavigation via Both Geographical Poles – Guinness World Records
- Transglobe Expedition – Wikipedia
- Pole to Pole – Wikipedia
- TransGlobe Expedition
- TAG Global claims record for polar circumnavigation – AINonline
- How Antarctica debunks the flat earth – Metabunk
- Pan American World Airways – Wikipedia
- Flat Earth Theory Debunked by Short Flights (QF27 & QF28) From Australia to South America – Metabunk
- Michael Palin’s Pole to Pole
- Dick Smith Circumnavigated the Earth via the North and South Pole – YouTube
- Pole 2 Pole – Mike Horn
- One More Orbit