Bibliography Texts

New York Times

November 20, 1934

The text below has been re-typed for clarity, with edits as indicated.


Phillips Lord, Radio Artist, Says Wittmers,
Reported Dead, Visited Him Recently.


Doctor Recalls Hospitality of Eloise Bousquet de Wagner
on His Visit to Island in 1923 [sic, 1933].

The mystery surrounding the identity of the man and the woman reported found dead on a lonely beach on Marchena Island, one of the Galapagos group, was deepened yesterday. Captain Manuel Rodriguez, skipper of the fishing schooner Santa [sic, Santo] Amaro, which reported the discovery of the bodies, advised the Mackay radio station in Los Angeles that he had definitely identified the man as Arthur [sic, Heinrich, or Heinz] Wittmer, a German.§

§ The ship captain was actually William Borthen. Rodriguez was Fishing Captain (supervisor of fishing crew and presumably second-in-command to Captain Borthen).

Captain Rodriguez said that the woman was probably Herr Wittmer's wife. Descriptions of the couple had been furnished by Captain G. Allan Hancock, an explorer who knew them, according to The Associated Press. Captain Hancock will sail for the island on the cruiser Velero III on Friday.

But Phillips Lord, radio broadcaster, who is cruising in the South Pacific on his schooner Seth Parker, declared last night in a program re-broadcast here by the National Broadcasting Company that he felt sure the Wittmers were not the victims.

“They were my guests on board ship a week ago,” he said. The bodies found on the island had evidently been dead considerably more than a week, according to Captain Rodriguez. Mr. Lord said that he had visited the Wittmers at Charles Island, 100 miles south of Marchena Island.

The radio broadcaster expressed the belief that the bodies might be those of Baroness Eloise Bousquet de Wagner, who went to the lonely archhipelago three years ago, “and her companion.” It was not clear whether this reference was to Robert Philipsohn [sic, Philippson] or Alfred Rudolph Lorenz of Paris, both of whom went to the islands with her. They disappeared in the middle of last June. The Santa Amaro, the sole source of the reports about the finding of the bodies, sailed away yesterday from the waterless island, according to a message from it to the Los Angeles radio station through which all its messages have been relayed.

Baroness Charming Hostess.

Dr. Robert Millen, an interne [sic, intern] at Roosevelt Hospital, recalled last night how he and sailing companions on the sloop Blue Dolphin stopped at Charles Island in the Galapagos on Feb. 18, 1933.

The Baroness, Eloise Bosquet de Wagner, whose disappearance added to the Galapagos mystery, was a charming hostess, he said. She broke out her last bottle of schnaaps and passed drinks to him, to Amory Coolidge of Boston, skipper of the [Blue] Dolphin, and to F. S. Whitlock, a Wall Street man who was in the party.

She told her visitors how she had tired of life in Paris, where she ran a successful dress shop, and how she left for the Galapagos with Robert Philipson and Alfred Rudolph Lorenz, who had worked for her. Lorenz, an invalid, was to do light jobs on the island. Herr Wittmer (the doctor was almost certain the correct spelling is Widemann)§ arrived on the island two months ahead of the Baroness.

§ The correct spelling is of course Wittmer.

“As we understood it,” the doctor said, “when the Baroness landed, she did not know the Widemanns were on the island. Widemann had with him his son, a boy of 12 born of his first marriage; his new wife and her baby. The baby was called Prince Charles.§ He was born on the island on Jan. 2, unattended except by the family, of course.

§ The baby was Rolf (January 2, 1933-September 11, 2011). In her What Happened on Galápagos?, Margret Wittmer noted that American newspapers dubbed him Prince Charles, presumably after the English name of Charles Island.

“We didn't see the Ritters (the other residents of the island) but the Widemanns told us they were acutely jealous about dividing up the land with others; wanted it all to themselves. The Widemanns told us that the Ritters, instead of helping the newcomers made things disagreeable for them.”