DRIVERS OF THE BETTER LIFE
Innovation and Ideas
In 1938, a biological expedition sponsored by the American Museum of Natural History arrived in West New Guinea. Expedition leader Richard Archbold was to survey the area by seaplane, in the first such attempt. His second survey mission took place on June 23, when, after hours of flying over nearimpenetrable jungle, his plane passed over the Grand Valley of the Balim River. The valley was occupied by fifty thousand Papuans, until that point unknown to—and unknowing of—the outside world. After six weeks of ferrying men and equipment to the nearest landing point for his seaplane, patrols from the Archbold expedition met with the inhabitants of the Grand Valley. This meeting was the last ...