David R. Gray ( ) is a wildlife expert and historian, who has studied birds and mammals in the Canadian Arctic for years. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Alberta. Borealis Press has published his book "Alert: Beyond the Inuit Lands: The Story of Canadian Forces Station Alert," which describes this northern scientific and military community on Canada's Ellesmere Island. He has also written "The Muskoxen of Polar Bear Pass." He is a fellow of Arctic Institute of North America.
197 pages, Paperback ISBN: 9781896133034 $19.95 CA
197 pages, Hardcover ISBN: 9781896133010 $34.95 CA
About the Book
Take a top secret military listening post, set it overlooking the incredible chaos of the arctic ice pack, add a range of crystal-bearing hills and a pack of fearless arctic wolves, then conjure up a three-day arctic storm, and you'll have the setting for the incredible story of CFS Alert, Canada's northernmost community. Alert: Beyond the Inuit Lands describes the fascinating life of this community born of scientific need and nurtured into a complex modern military base by the events of the cold war. A combination of historical and scientific information with personal anecdotes and feelings, this book will evoke memories, satisfy curiosity, and be a northern trip in itself for anyone who has spent time at Alert or has an armchair interest in Canada's arctic regions. It records the achievements of the units and individuals who have contributed to the success of Alert. Illustrated with photographs and maps, the book also gives an introduction to the human and natural history of the area.
Only 817 km from the North Pole, Alert, on northeastern Ellesmere Island, is near the site of the wintering quarters for the British arctic expedition of 1875-76 and Commander Peary's 1908-1909 expedition to the North Pole.
Alert was born in 1950 as a joint US/Canada weather station, and became an RCAF experimental wireless station along with Resolute Bay in 1956 as a site for Signals Intelligence collection. Alert Wireless Station became operational in 1958, and then developed into Canadian Forces Station Alert. In recent years home to some 200 military personnel involved in arctic communications and intelligence. Alert is kept alive by Operation Boxtop, a major air re-supply mission by huge Hercules aircraft three times a year. With the easing of Cold War tensions and the great advances in communications technology, CFS Alert is now being downsized dramatically. The publication of this book, prepared for CFS Alert by David Gray, commemorates the great contributions that Alert has made to Canadian security, sovereignty and arctic science.