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Fredrick Fabian Smythe, ACE Reporter – North City Bugle

fabian_gottlieb_von_bellingshausen.jpgMy place of birth, thought to be unusual by most, seemed perfectly ordinary to me, taking place in Central Antarctica during an excavation expedition not far from the South Pole. As I sat drinking a cup of Java at the corner Starbucks, I remembered that the expedition was headed by Fritz, the great great grandson of Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen, of the same surname. Fabian, an admirer of Captain James Cook, was approved by Czar Alexander I of Russia to lead that second expedition exploring the southern most continent from 1819-21. A wise choice as a graduate from the Kronstadt naval academy at age 18 who rose quickly to Captain than Admiral in the Imperial Russian Navy.

My mother, the late Gleda Heyworth-Smythe, born in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, was a liberal woman’s rights activist and early birth control advocate, educated in Oceanography from Colombia University. Often arrested by the police for her public protests, she was a descendant from a family of Dutch Aristocrat emigrates who met my father, Terrance Smythe , a Theoretical Biologist from Bristol, England, while in chemistry class at Colombia. They soon fell in love and both applied and were accepted for the expedition, posted on the University bulletin board by Fritz Von Bellingshausen: ” Seeking Scientists to retrace my ancestors circumnavigation of the globe – Three years- Funded by the Von Bellingshausen foundation.”

antarctica.jpgMom and Dad were married by uncle Fritzi, also Captain on the vessel, Suvorov III. The ships logs recorded the event. I was conceived during their two year exploration of Antarctica. My birth certificate read Fredrick Fabian Smythe . It was during this expedition that several green inscribed stone tablets near the south pole were found in 1947. I suppose it seemed natural that I would become an Investigative Journalist with an interest in photography, especially when I applied, years later, for a position at the North City Bugle, a newspaper periodical.

Odd occurrences, unexplained curiosities were my interest. Cultural mysteries that defied explanation. This is where it all began, as I started the chronicle of experiences during my career, gazing at the half eaten piece of apple pie that lay before me on the Starbucks counter.

It all started as soon as i began working at the Bugle with my first story, recorded in my journal, Uncovering The Tail Of Nothing. “It was nothing that was circular, two-sided and dark. One could only describe it as something six meters high that hovered without movement.” This investigation led me to earn the title of the Bugle’s ACE reporter. My career had begun in earnest.