Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Sept. 15, 2015


Mitten may reveal fate of Andrée’s doomed balloon flight
A mitten discovered this month on Kvitøya by participants of this year’s Svalbard Cruise may be from the ill-fated 1897 balloon expedition by Swedish researcher Salomon August Andrée, possibly allowing researchers to determine how the three men died on the island. The mitten, at the exact location as the explorers’ campsite, will be retrieved next year for analysis, conditions permitting, said Snorre Haukalid, a cultural heritage and archeological advisor for The Governor of Svalbard. The expedition was attempting to reach the North Pole, but the ballon crashed after only a few days and the men spent three months on ice and land before perishing.

10K reward for info about burglary at Better Moments  
A 10,000-kroner reward is being offered to anyone providing information leading to the recovery of about 50,000 kroner worth of equipment stolen from Better Moment’s office at Sjøområdet. Two laptop computers, several wireless keyboard and two GPS units were stolen from the tour company last Thursday, according to General Manager Niklas Gerhardsson. He said the company does have backup copies of the data, but the equipment was new or nearly new. The Governor of Svalbard is also investigating the case. The company can be contacted through its website at

Kindergarten playground again closed due to vandalism
Kullungen kindergarten’s playground is again is again closed to minors unaccompanied by adults during afternoons and evenings due to vandalism to a climbing tower that will cost at least 10,000 kroner to repair, according to Gunnhild Antonsen, head of the kindergarten. “We are witnessing daily the equipment at the nursery being subject to heavy use, such as many young people using the swings simultaneously,” she said. “But this is more than hard use. It is malicious vandalism.” The vandals cracked a large window officials say present a safety threat. There have been several recent vandalism incidents at Longyearbyen’s kindergartens.