"Early in January, 1948, Milton Reynolds, stocky, dynamic, millionaire Chicago manufacturer, announced an expedition to China. Its pupose was to seek the Amne Machin mountain in western Tibet, rumored to overtop Mount Everest; to map the region and try to discover the sources of the Yellow River; and to try and find some trace of American Army fliers who had mysteriously disappeared in trips over the Himalayas.
The United States Government quickly offered help and the President arranged for the services of an Army officer, an American-born Chinese in several explorations in this region.
But when Reynolds sought maps from the Chinese embassy, he learned they had none. The only ones he could find were made by the Russians.
He bought a C-87 that had been the command plane of Admiral Nimitz and christened it The Explorer. He engaged the services of the noted airman, Bill Odom. As co-pilot, he selected Tex Sallee. Daredevil Odom and Sallee had piloted his plane on the record-breaking Round-the-World flight. He also engaged the services of Ed Lear, a young radio operator. The plane was flown to Altus, Oklahoma, where they started converting and servicing it.
Three noted scientists – Professor Walter McKay of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Professor Richard G. Goldthwait of Ohio State University and Dr. Bradford Washburn of the Boston Museum – were enlisted for mapping, observations and photography.
Then Leighton Stuart, the American ambassador in Nanking, cabled Reynolds that Dr. Sah Pen-tung, director general of the Academia Sinica, objected and demanded that he come to Nanking to make the necessary arrangements before the expedition could proceed.
Descended from Han Lin Academy, founded in 754 and the only national academy in the world for a thousand years, was an important department of the Chinese government, and its director, Dr Sah, was one of the China’s most important officials."