The Caribbean Expedition (Part 1/3)

N
ot long after the commencement of the spring semester, 1932, various American university campuses saw the posting of the following:

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“Restless young men with wanderlust wanted for the Caribbean Motion Picture Expedition. Cost to applicant $250 payable at the dock in Baltimore before sailing. Must be healthy, dependable, resourceful, imaginative, and adventurous. No tea-hounds or tourist material need apply.”


[Picture] Would-be wayfarers were directed to contact a Mr. Philip W. Browning of Port Huron, Michigan or Mr. L. Ron Hubbard of Washington, DC. Respondents were further informed this Caribbean expedition would set sail aboard a motorless four-masted schooner—actually one of the last of such schooners—and involve the filming of pirate haunts for movie house newsreels. Among other projected ports of call were the islands of Bermuda, Martinique, St. Thomas, St. Croix, Jamaica and Puerto Rico. Also of interest was what Ron described as “data concerning the terra and inhabitants of these little civilized islands,” as well as photographs from the rim of active volcanos—for but a modest investment of $250 per student. Not advertised, but immediately plain to all participants, were the financial difficulties in launching such a voyage through the depths of the Great Depression. Then, too, it was to be a wholly independent venture—manned, funded and directed by the fifty-six students themselves. Nevertheless, and notwithstanding all attendant difficulties, including dishonest chandlers and recalcitrant leasing agents, this was the Caribbean Motion Picture Expedition.


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The Caribbean Expedition Continued...


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