Pianosa: How Science Led Kim McCoy to Crime and Years of Hard Labor on an Italian Prison Island
Kim's latest campaign entwined ancient history, underwater archaeology
with cutting edge technology, autonomous underwater vehicles, NATO and science.
Working with hard criminals - Mafia hit men, bank robbers and murderers -
was a different kind of adventure, a grueling physical and psychological experience remembered fondly to this day.
Kim's dilemma: He needed to find an isolated spot in the Mediterranean
to install scientific research hardware valued at millions of dollars and
prevent it from being stolen or destroyed.
Kim found the perfect isolated spot - Pianosa - but there was a catch.
Most of the residents were criminals.
The island of Pianosa is in the Tyrrhenian Sea east of Corsica.
Inhabited since the Neolithic age, it has been known in infamy for over two thousand years.
Since the 1800s it has been off-limits to the outside world and its high security prison has isolated the toughest criminals from society...
the Italian version of Alcatraz.
The streets of Pianosa bear the names of Mafia victims.
At its peak, over 3,000 people lived on the island with over 1,200 prisoners.
The airfield was closed decades ago to prevent any breakout attempts.
Today Pianosa is almost a ghost town but it still has its charm:
scorpions, mosquitoes, ticks, snakes, murderers, two graveyards and his unexpected emotional ties, which still remain.
There was only one catch and that was Catch-22 - Joseph Heller.
Kim McCoy (Member #1126) was educated in England, the USA, Germany and France
and currently resides in Italy where he has worked with NATO and European governments as a scientist.
International academic commercial and government institutions have used his consulting services for decades.
Spending over a year in Polar Regions, he planned and executed submarine, icebreaker, ice-camp and helicopter operations.
He has been awarded several patents and has extensive experience in human diving physiology measurements,
including certification of many freediving world records for Pipin Ferraras and his ill-fated wife Audrey Mestre.
Nevertheless, he has managed to fit in some adventure where he:
endured a dislocated shoulder during an unsupported off-road motorcycle ride through 2000 kilometers of Baja;
sailed across the Atlantic;
climbed Mt Blanc du Tacul in winter;
swam across the upper Amazon River,
the entire length of the Cinque Terre (Italy)
and to Cuba from a Cuban research vessel.
A helicopter malfunctioned and left him stranded on an Arctic ice floe facing polar bears.
He has bicycled up the 3000-meter high Mt. Haleakela on Maui at night,
skied down the Mer de Glace into Chamonix, France
and appeared in the IMAX film OceanMen.
In his youth he hitchhiked extensively in Europe, South America and Africa,
where he was caught in the cross-fire of revolutions and almost died from amoebic dysentery.
In additional periods of naive enthusiasm he designed and tested human-powered boats,
closed-circuit rebreathers, manned submersibles, flew aircraft and lived to tell about it.
So far, Kim has been to all seven continents, six of them by sea and over 75 countries,
the most recent additions were India, Bosnia-Herzogovina, Serbia and Bulgaria.
This year Kim started paragliding while continuing to enjoy his more sedate long-term passions of
ancient history, paleo-climatology, wine and languages of which he speaks several fluently.
January 13, 2011 - John Collver - Warbird Airshows
John Collver has an aviation career spanning more than three decades and over 14,000 hours of flight time in over 50 types of aircraft.
His career includes time in the Goodyear Blimp, flying for television, as well as teaching and competing in the aerobatic arena.
In addition, John formally flew for the Northrop/Grumman corporation Supporting the U.S. Military for over a decade.
John and his Airshow operations are known and famous under the title name of "John Collver's Warbird Airshows."
Pilot John Collver and Color Guard with John's Primary Show Plane, War Dog
The Adventurers' Club of Los Angeles®
January 15, 2011 - Self Defense Class - 10 A.M. to 4 P.M. OUTSIDE ACTIVITY - non sponsored activity advisory
Past President Allan Smith has arranged a self defense class with Manny Gomes featuring street survival techniques
to include, disarming an assailant with a knife and gun.
Defensive moves, throws, blocks and so much more.
Open to members and guests, to be held at the Adventurers Club inside Chase Hall.
Loose clothing suggested and there will be no charge for this event.
Contact Allan Smith
for more information.
January 20, 2011 - David K. Lynch, PhD - San Andreas Fault How to Find it and What it Means
Everyone has heard of the San Andreas Fault, but almost nobody knows what it is. Or where it is.
Or what it looks like. Or what it means.
In the Carrizo Plain there is little ground cover and the fault has shifted in historic times,
so the fault is more beautifully exposed than any place in California.
In other regions like San Bernardino, no major movement has recently taken place so urbanization has covered much of the faultís surface trace.
Still, the San Andreas Fault is the most accessible plate boundary in the world.
The mighty rift and its attending landforms are there for anyone to see.
In this talk I will present photographs and detailed maps that highlight the fault based on a series of driving trips from
Cape Mendocino to the Mexican border, with emphasis on southern California.
David Knight Lynch received a B.S. in Astrophysics in 1969 from Indiana University and a
Ph.D. in Astronomy in 1975 from the University of Texas in Austin.
He is Senior Scientist at The Aerospace Corporation where he specializes in infrared spectroscopy of
comets, novae, supernovae, young stars and very old stars.
Dr. Lynch has also held research positions at Caltech, UC/Berkeley and the USGS.
He has published over 150 scientific papers and 10 books, much of it based on observations from telescopes on
Mauna Kea, Kitt Peak, Mt. Hamilton and in space.
Dr. Lynch also works with the USGS on plate tectonics with a focus on the southern San Andreas fault.
January 27, 2011 - Ladies Night - Bill Burke - Climbing Mt. Everest
On May 23, 2009, Costa Mesa resident, Bill Burke, summitted Mt. Everest from the South (Nepal) side of the mountain.
In reaching the summit, he became the oldest American to climb the highest mountain in the world.
Following his successful 2009 expedition, he presented a program for the Adventurers Club.
In 2010, Bill returned to attempt a summit from the North (Tibet) side of the mountain.
He turned around at the Second Step, less than 1,000 feet from the summit.
In 2011, he plans to attempt a double summit of Mt. Everest from both the North and South side, a feat which has never been accomplished.
Bill has already climbed the highest mountain on every continent.
On January 27, 2011, Bill will present a video/photo slideshow of his two trips to Mt. Everest
in which he will discuss his training and preparation for the climbs, his climbing equipment, and the dangers,
challenges and joy of climbing the world's highest mountains.
Biography: At age 68, Bill has been married 48 years, has 4 children and 14 grandchildren.
Practiced corporate law for over 40 years in Los Angeles, Newport Beach, Hong Kong, Tokyo and New York.
He retired in 2003 and now consulting.
Bill has climbed highest mountain on every continent.
Summitted Mt. Everest on the South (Nepal) side in a storm on May 23, 2009.
Oldest American to summit Mt. Everest.
Only person to climb the highest mountain on every continent after reaching age 60.
Attempted to summit Mt. Everest from the North (Tibet) side in 2010.
Reached the Second Step, less than 1,000 feet from the summit.