The connections to Denmark

The businessman and the widow

There were two connections of Denmark to the Parker expedition.

Johan Millen

The first was Johan Millen who was a key mover in the expedition. Although he was a Swedish national he was described as a resident of Denmark in all of the formal documents which set up the syndicate. Johan Millen was the stepfather of Arne Basilier who met Valter Juvelius for lunch in Helsinki. Arne suggested that his father had connections and could help raise finance for the expedition. Millen met with Juvelius and later wrote that Juvelius’ presentation of his work to him ‘was so factual, clear and compelling that he did not for a moment doubt it’. There were many motivations that drove individuals to join the Parker expedition. For Millen, the first person to help Juvelius, the inspiration was his devout Christian faith. Millen wanted to prove the doubters of the Bible wrong. He believed that finding the Ark would do that.

Millen had explored several other routes to secure funding in England before he met Parker. He approached the Duke of Norfolk for investment. He had also tried to get financing from British newspapers. He approached a well-known writer and journalist called William Le Queux. He approached Sir C. Arthur Pearson the owner of the Standard newspaper who agreed to provide funding for the expedition. However, in the meantime Millen secured funding through the syndicate and withdrew his offer to Le Queux. It was not a complete waste of time for Le Queux, he decided the idea would make a great book. He later published the book as a Daily Mail sixpenny novel in Britain entitled The Treasure of Israel. In America it was entitled The Great God Gold. Many of the detail in the book were borrowed from Juvelius’ proposal.

Olga Andersson

The second was a shareholder in the company which the expedition set up in 1911. Her name was Olga Andersson and she was listed on the share register as a widow living at 4 Herluf Trolles Gade in Copenhagen. She was a very small shareholder with only 25 shares in J.M.P.F.W Ltd. Given the nature of the shareholders in the company it is highly likely that she was a friend or relative of one of the members. This is most likely to be Johan Millen, however, this cannot be certain.

Note: In most documents Olga is described as a widow but in some as a spinster.

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