Fut Jensen's notes from Kosmos III
the eight month voyage of Kosmos III, Fut Jensen kept made notes which
record his many observations. His typewritten notes, which appear to be
complete, offer a vital commentary to the silent film which survives. The
notes are note written as a commentary, in style and standpoint they resemble
his letters home to friends. But they were written as part of the Kosmos
assignment - Hakon Mielche, who expected to join Fut and Kosmos III in
Curacao, asked him to film, take stills pictures, and keep notes. Although
Mielche was delayed in joining the voyage, he did eventually meet Kosmos
III - possibly in Walvis Bay.
Mielche was a productive and moderately succesful writer, having already published several travel books, all of which had been translated into English. Three years after the voyage, in 1952, Mielche's book "There she blows!" (original in Danish "Hval i sigt!") was published. The book is an account of the Kosmos III voyage, written as if the writer was present for the entire trip - which documentary evidence seems to contradict. That Mielche left Fut to work alone on Kosmos III for several months, seems to be the cause of some disagreement between the two in 1949. Their second contract for the Kosmos assignment, dated 5th December 1949 (though unsigned by Fut) gives Mielche the rights to Fut's photo and written material to be used in Mielche's book. Fut's notes - along with his stills photographs - found their way into Mielche's book and were published as Mielche's own observations.
Fut's notes were kept in a coil-spring exercise book, and later
(presumably following his return to Denmark) typewritten on thin "onionskin"
A4 sheets, folded into A5 format and placed with a similar folded page,
with intervening carbon paper so that 4 copies could be typed at once.
Most of the original typewritten notes survive in 3 or 4 copies. An exercise
book with handwritten notes is also amongst the collection. The typewritten
notes are in three sets. There seems to be some chronology - as if Fut
Jensen saw his writings as a travel diary, though he underlines in the
text that he "could not be
bothered to keep a diary", a task which he had set himself before leaving
for the voyage - as the weeks pass however, his notes begin to take the
form of a diary. Interpreting the chronology is further aided by the numbering
of the pages of the different sets - although each set is numbered from
page 1 upwards, it has been possible to separate and sort these sets into
the correct chronological order because the pages of each set were numbered
in a different manner - maybe intentionally to aid Fut himself. The first
set is page numbered = = 1 = = = = 2 = = etc., the second set
is numbered -1- -2- -3- etc., whilst the third set is numbered 1 2 3 and
so on. There are also some unnumbered pages which do not appear to belong
to these three sets. These documents are scanned and can be viewed by following
the links below.
To appreciate the full chronology of Fut Jensen's story, his personal letters, which were written throughout the voyage must also be studied.