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May 2010

The Adventurers' Club of Los Angeles

May 6, 2010 - Cynthia Mackay - On Two Wheels 11,000 Miles Across Mexico Solo

Ever get a whim to do something you know almost nothing about? Cynthia Mackay did just that when she purchased an old motorcycle with the idea of going to Mexico.

Cynthia had never ridden a motorcycle before and did not speak Spanish, yet she managed to absorb the local culture and camp in some very interesting places and make friends wherever she went. She took four months and covered eleven thousand miles on a two wheel odyssey you just might want to do after hearing about her varied adventurers.

Solita through Mexico; 11,000 miles, a woman alone on an old motorcycle with very little riding experience and almost no Spanish. Sounds crazy? It was. But it was also beautiful, friendly and delicious. Come see her photos and hear her story. You may decide that you want to do it too!

© 1921 - All Rights Reserved
The Adventurers' Club of Los Angeles
2433 North Broadway, P.O. Box 31226, Los Angeles, CA USA 90031-0226
(323) 223-3948

Photo of Cynthia Mackay
Cynthia Mackay

The Adventurers' Club of Los Angeles

May 13, 2010 - Inspector Perez - Counterterrorism on United States Soil,
the Worst Biological Attack in US History

Inspector Perez is from the US Postal Inspection Service. Hear this first hand account of Counterterrorism on United States Soil by one of the agents who tiresely worked to prevent more killings.

Soon after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, letters laced with anthrax began appearing in the U.S. mail. Five Americans were killed and 17 were sickened in what became the worst biological attacks in U.S. history.

The ensuing investigation by the FBI and its partners—code-named "Amerithrax" - has been one of the largest and most complex in the history of law enforcement.

In August 2008, Department of Justice and FBI officials announced a breakthrough in the case and released documents and information showing that charges were about to be brought against Dr. Bruce Ivins, who took his own life before those charges could be filed. On February 19, 2010, the Justice Department, the FBI, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service formally concluded the investigation into the 2001 anthrax attacks and issued an Investigative Summary.

The Amerithrax Task Force - which consisted of roughly 25 to 30 full-time investigators from the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and other law enforcement agencies, as well as federal prosecutors from the District of Columbia and the Justice Department’s Counterterrorism Section - expended hundreds of thousands of investigator work hours on this case. Their efforts involved more than 10,000 witness interviews on six different continents, the execution of 80 searches, and the recovery of more than 6,000 items of potential evidence during the course of the investigation. The case involved the issuance of more than 5,750 grand jury subpoenas and the collection of 5,730 environmental samples from 60 site locations. In addition, new scientific methods were developed that ultimately led to the break in the case - methods that could have a far-reaching impact on future investigations.


© 1921 - All Rights Reserved
The Adventurers' Club of Los Angeles
2433 North Broadway, P.O. Box 31226, Los Angeles, CA USA 90031-0226
(323) 223-3948

Letter being extracted from envelope
Letter Being Extracted from Envelope

The Adventurers' Club of Los Angeles

May 20, 2010 - Steven Bein and Joe Fuhrman - Midway Atoll

In Early March 2010, Photographers Steven Bein and Joe Fuhrman visited Midway Atoll. They are both wildlife photographers and both have talked at the Adventurers Club before. Steve is a published photographer, and past President and Program chairman of our club. Joe is a world class photographer who has taken the only known photograph of a previously thought to be extinct bird in Ecuador. Both enjoyed the wildlife and historic aspects of Midway and will be sharing their photographs and experiences at Midway.

Laysan Aalbatross Pair
Photo credit:
Suzanne Canja

Photo of Laysan Aalbatross Pair - Photo credit: Suzanne Canja Midway, part of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, is one of the world's most spectacular wildlife experiences. Nearly two million birds call it home for much of each year, including the world's largest population of Laysan Albatrosses, or "gooney birds". Hawaiian monk seals, green sea turtles and spinner dolphins frequent Midway's crystal blue lagoon.

Midway became an "overlay" refuge in 1988, while still under the primary jurisdiction of the Navy. With the closure of Naval Air Facility Midway Island in 1993, there began a transition from bullets to birds, a change in mission from national defense to wildlife conservation.

Midway is one of the most remote coral atolls on earth. Yet, it is much, much more!

  • the last link in a global telegraph system, inaugurated by a message from President Teddy Roosevelt on the Fourth of July, 1903 (five years before he and friends met for the first time about forming an "Adventurers Club" from which our club evolved.
  • a landing site for Pan Am Clippers en-route across the Pacific Ocean in the late 1930s
  • the focus of a 1942 battle that changed the tide of war in the Pacific
  • from July 1942 to the end of hostilities, Midway served as a submarine base that aided in bringing the war to a close
  • naval air facility that played a pivotal role in support of the Korean War, the Cold War and the Vietnam War

© 1921 - All Rights Reserved
The Adventurers' Club of Los Angeles
2433 North Broadway, P.O. Box 31226, Los Angeles, CA USA 90031-0226
(323) 223-3948

The photos shown below are some from Midway - the sign, a lonely pillbox on a sandy beach, Laysan Albatross mating dance, Red footed Booby in flight, Pacific Golden Plover in flight, a laysan Albatross, and blackfooted albatross in flight.

Photo of Midway Atoll Sign

Photo of Pillbox at Midway Atoll

Photo of Laysan Albatross Mating Dance

Photo of Red Footed Booby in Flight

Photo of Albatross Flying Down the Sight Line
Albatross Flying Down the Sight Line
Notice the "green" clouds, they are green from the reflection of the water

The Adventurers' Club of Los Angeles

May 27, 2010 - Steve Lawson - California Wreck Divers

Twenty-five years of wreck diving Southern California. Steve Lawson will share his dives, research, underwater photos and videos of local shipwrecks and plane wrecks. Steve will speak on his experiences of wreck diving, provide an overview of local shipwrecks, focusing on some little known and recently discovered wrecks, including a ship in Santa Monica Bay discovered just last year.

Steve Lawson #1032 has been diving shipwrecks for 27 years, a member of the California Wreck Divers for almost as long and one of its past presidents.

In high school, Steve became and arm chair treasure hunter and began diving wrecks shortly after obtaining his scuba certification and found "treasure" on his very first wreck dive. A couple of years later, he dived Mel Fisher’s famed Spanish treasure galleon, Nuestra Senora de la Atocha and its ill fated fleet member, the Santa Margarita.

Diving with the wreck divers, he dived the wrecks from the submarine S-37 near the Mexican Border, the ill fated fleet of destroyers lost off Honda and countless wrecks in between. After purchasing a small boat, he went in search of local shipwrecks, tenaciously collecting coordinates of wreck sites. He located the ACE I, a 160’ long former Landing Craft sunk off San Pedro. After acquiring the coordinates for the infamous Torrey Pines P-38, Steve invited fellow Adventurer's Club member Mike Smith to join him in diving the site. In turn, Mike invited Steve to collaborate on his treasure hunt to locate a lost drug plane believed to contain money. The plane was located and dived, but only bags of marijuana were recovered. Often joining fellow AC members David Finnern, Peter Jensen and Tom Oedy, Steve has dived sites around Lake Tahoe, the Sacramento delta, Lake Mead and the Colorado River collecting bottles and other relics.

Steve joined the Adventures’ Club in 1993 shortly after Ralph White delivered a presentation on the Titanic to the California Wreck Divers.

There is something inherently fascinating about man-made objects underwater. Learning about their history and how the crumbled wrecks originally appeared has been a never ending task. In addition to diving, Steve has done extensive research on local shipwrecks and has been able to indentify several previously unknown wrecks, including several members of the "Hollywood Navy" sunk for the silver screen.

Technology has changed the way wrecks are found, resulting in more wrecks being found in recent years than in past decades. Similarly, advances in dive gear and breathing gases have allowed for deeper, longer and safer dives.

© 1921 - All Rights Reserved
The Adventurers' Club of Los Angeles
2433 North Broadway, P.O. Box 31226, Los Angeles, CA USA 90031-0226
(323) 223-3948

Photo of Steve Lawson on Deck
Steve Lawson on Deck

Photo of Steve Lawson with some of his Treasures
Steve Lawson with some of his Treasures

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