The Ra Expeditions:
Presented by Captain Norman Baker

Date: Monday, November 6, 2006
Time Details: 6:30 PM Lecture
Location: The Auditorium of the Missouri History Museum


Norman Baker

Captain Norman Baker was the second-in-command, radioman, and celestial navigator for legendary anthropologist Thor Heyerdahl on all three of his reed boat expeditions, the two RA voyages and the Tigris. Here are just a few highlights from his life so far.

Captain Baker met Thor Heyerdahl in Tahiti after a lifetime of adventure. Mr Baker began flying lessons at the age of 13 and flew his first solo at 17. After graduating from Cornell with a Bachelor of Civil Engineering degree, Norman’s first job was in the gold mines of Alaska, initially as a laborer and later as an engineer. His second job was in the desert country of Colorado and New Mexico where he staked out that last state boundary in the nation that had never before been surveyed.

He served two and a half years in the Korean War on a destroyer.

After the war Mr. Baker earned a commercial multiengine pilot license, but instead of flying airlines, he sailed the Trans-Pacific Yacht Race as a deck hand, rising to first mate and finally professional captain of the ship. He sailed her from Honolulu to Seattle for the owner. He learned to scuba dive while working as underwater assistant and celestial navigator for a marine biologist on a research expedition that started in Hawaii and finished in the South Pacific islands. It was here he and Dr. Heyerdahl met.

Mr. Baker returned to New York where he started a construction company with his brother, also a Professional Civil Engineer. That same year he took up skydiving.

Dr. Baker is a Fellow and Ex-Director of the Explorers Club.

Walk-Ins Welcome: Yes
Reservation Deadline: None
Reservation Contact: Please contact David Isserman for more details (
Member Dinner Ticket: N/A
Guest Dinner Ticket: N/A
Lecture Only Ticket: FREE

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