Skip to comments.Adventurer Thor Heyerdahl Dies
Posted on 04/18/2002 12:31:21 PM PDT by blam
Adventurer Thor Heyerdahl dies
Norweigian adventurer Thor Heyerdahl has died in his sleep in Italy, aged 87.
He became famous for crossing the Pacific ocean from Peru to Polynesia on a balsa log raft in 1947.
His book "Kon-Tiki" about the harrowing, 101-day feat made him world famous.
Mr Heyerdahl stopped taking food, water or medication in early April after being diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour at a hospital near his family retreat in Italy.
He spent his final days surrounded by family at Colla Michari, a Roman-era Italian village he bought and restored in the 1950s. His permanent home since 1990 was on Tenerife.
Though he lived and worked abroad for decades, Mr Heyerdahl was a national hero in Norway, where one newspaper crowned him Norwegian of the Century in a millennium reader poll.
Mr Heyerdahl is succeeded by his third wife Jaqueline, four of his five children, eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Experts scoffed at his trans-Atlantic crossing plan, saying it would get waterlogged and sink within days.
After 101 days and 4,900 miles, he proved them wrong by reaching Polynesia from Peru, in a bid to prove his theories of human migration.
Throughout his life, he continued to challenge accepted scientific beliefs, with expeditions aboard the reed boats Ra, Ra II and Tigris, as well as archaeological studies around the world.
Story filed: 19:28 Thursday 18th April 2002
Time for one final voyage.
The true mark of success for any adventurer. About the only thing better would have been to die in the saddle -- and who knows...?
When I grow up I want to be an adventurer too. I'm not sure that anything conclusive came from his work, but I suspect he had a hell of a great life.
Since Heyerdahl's pioneering work we now see the globe connected by many possible ocean crossings in pre-history... spreading of human culture and settlement among the continents.
and more possibilities discovered every year.
He was a brilliant and courageous.
Fair winds and following seas to Thor Heyerdahl.