Martin Szwed admits manipulating South Pole photos

Martin Szwed admits manipulating South Pole photos

Posted: Feb 27, 2015 05:43 pm EST


(Newsdesk, edit Feb 28, 2015 01:15 am EST to reflect manipulated metadata on South Pole marker photo. See details below)


As previously reported in the story about Martin Szwed’s two contradictory South Pole diaries, a photo provided by the adventurer featuring himself by the yellow South Pole sign has no metadata. 


German media, amongst them, Spiegel, now report that Szwed has admitted to Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA) that the photo is manipulated ("a montage”). 


About metadata


Metadata is a large set of invisible embedded original information stored with the photo. This information is helpful to trace back the original author, location, camera used, and much more information that is unique to the photo. 


This data stays attached to a photo no matter where it is moved around. It can only disappear from a photo when it is manually deleted, a professional photographer told Explorersweb after examining the Szwed South Pole photos two weeks ago. 


No explanation 


While now admitting that the picture is manipulated, Szwed provides no explanation for the forgery, states "it was no secret" and continues to claim the record.


South Pole marker photo


[Editor note, update Feb 28, 2015 01:15 am EST to reflect manipulated metadata on South Pole marker photo.] 


According to the metadata on the photo with the 2012 South Pole marker, which Szwed provided with his 2015 press releases, the photo was taken by Ralf Dujmovits, Szwed’s Mt. Vinson guide. Explorersweb checked in with Ralf to confirm that he took the photo. He stated, "I didn’t take the photo and I have never been to the South Pole.”


Previously Ralf confirmed to Explorersweb that he took other photos published by Martin, taken at Mt. Vinson and Union Glacier (sledge-hauling).


Every year members of the winter-over team at the South Pole Station design and make a unique sign for the next year. The sign is changed on January 1st each year.



Explorersweb/AdventureStats have repeatedly offered Mr. Szwed to provide exact details regarding his start point, start date, end date and more, to verify his speed ski claim. We will publish them if/when they are made available.


German Martin Szwed, claims that, in January 2015, he had broken the solo speed ski record to the South Pole by 10 days. The current record is 24 days 1 hour 13 minutes, set over 1130 km on the classic Hercules Inlet route in the 2010-11 season by Norwegian Christian Eide. Szwed gives his alleged time as 14 days 18 hours 43 minutes.


Szwed climbed Vinson with Amical and left the continent. He claims he returned for the skiing trip on a later date. Both logistic operators that transport skiers and climbers to Antarctic, ALE and TAC, confirmed that they didn't fly Martin Szwed to attempt a ski expedition.


The yellow sign used in this manipulated photograph is located about 5 km before the Geographic South Pole (90ºS). The NSF (National Science Foundation) said no one in the South Pole staff had seen or heard of Mr Szwed.


Union Glacier is ANI/ALE’s base camp on Antarctica at 79° 45'S, 083° 14’W and is accessed from Punta Arenas, Chile, South America.


Gateway port Cape Town, South Africa to ALCI /TAC base camp Novolazarevskaya / Novo 

70° 46’37”S, 011° 49’26”E


Hercules Inlet is located at 80°S near Union Glacier, and 1130 km from the Geographic South Pole (90ºS).





The Ghost skier update: Martin Szwed’s Diaries


Norwegian record-holder Christian Eide calls out German Martin Szwed on polar speed claim


Ghost skier? No trace of Martin Szwed's claimed South Pole speed record


AdventureStats and Rules of Adventure (Polar Statistics)


Breaking news: Christian Eide bags the South Pole solo speed ski world record


Antarctic ski wrap-up: More about Christian Eides world record


Martin Szwed’s diary on Aranea+


Christian Eide on Facebook


Szwed’s personal Facebook


Szwed’s website [currently: “new homepage coming soon"]


Szwed’s Outdoor Recreation Facebook [removed Feb. 13, 2015]













Martin Szwed has admitted to Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA) that he manipulated this photo.
courtesy Tespack Press Release, SOURCE
Martin Szwed sent out this image of the Geographic South Pole marker with his alleged 2015 speed claim, but the marker is the 2012 marker. [Edit Feb 28, 2015 01:15 am EST: 2012, not 2013 marker as reported previously. Also, see updated details about this photo’s manipulated metadata in the text on the right.]
courtesy Tespack Press Release, SOURCE
Image of Szwed received by his sponsor, Aranea+, on January 13, 2015, with a note claiming he was closing in on the South Pole, completing allegedly a 1130 km speed run to the Pole. But on January 9, Mr. Szwed left Antarctica with his Mt. Vinson climbing mates. All metadata on the image has also been deleted.
courtesy Aranea, SOURCE
Antarctica ski and kite-ski routes.
courtesy Map compiled by Explorersweb, SOURCE