Podcast Episode 196: The Long Way Home


When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, the crew of an American seaplane were caught off guard near New Zealand. Unable to return across the Pacific, they were forced to fly home “the long way” — all the way around the world. In this week’s episode of the Futility Closet podcast we’ll follow the adventures of the Pacific Clipper on its 30,000-mile journey through a world engulfed in war.

We’ll also delve into the drug industry and puzzle over a curious case of skin lesions.


In the 18th century Italian artist Giovanni Piranesi began to turn out etchings of fantastic prisons.

Spanish philologist Valentín García Yebra contends that this six-word Portuguese poem can’t be translated effectively into another language.

Sources for our feature on the Pacific Clipper:

Ed Dover, The Long Way Home, 2010.

Archie Satterfield, The Day the War Began, 1992.

C.V. Glines, “The China Clipper, Pan American Airways and Popular Culture,” Aviation History 18:1 (September 2007), 69-70.

C.V. Glines, “Clippers Circle the Globe,” Aviation History 17:4 (March 2007), 34-43.

John A. Marshall, “The Long Way Home,” Air & Space Smithsonian 10:2 (June/July 1995), 18.

Wolfgang Saxon, “Robert Ford, Clipper Pilot of 40’s Who Circled Globe, Dies at 88,” New York Times, Oct. 19, 1994.

“World Travelers Pearl Harbor Turns a Routine…

Sasha Harriet

Sasha Harriet

As content editor, I get to do what I love everyday. Tweet, share and promote the best content our tools find on a daily basis.

I have a crazy passion for #music, #celebrity #news & #fashion! I'm always out and about on Twitter.
Sasha Harriet

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