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‘Midway: An Unnatural History of a Hawaiian Atoll’

Situated at the far northwestern end of the Hawaiian archipelago, Midway Atoll is a place of paradox — a strange mix of the wild and the very much trammeled. This rich wildlife refuge was a naval fortress for most of the years that passed since an American whaler put it on the map in 1859.

So, while the small, fragile landfall has been used and plundered in ways similar to many remote Pacific islands, its role as strategic North Pacific post and Cold War spy station cloaked the atoll in secrecy and resulted in a partly hidden legacy of damage.

Big Island author Pamela Frierson (“The Burning Island,” “The Last Atoll”) spent time on Midway between 1995-2011 observing, researching, assisting in cleanup efforts and documenting the current and changing state of this remarkable ecosystem.

From 7-8:30 p.m. Monday, July 7, at the Lyman Museum in Hilo, she will share her impressions of Midway and its legacy through the present day.

The nationally accredited and Smithsonian-affiliated Lyman Museum showcases the natural and cultural history of Hawaii. Located in historic downtown Hilo at 276 Haili St., the museum is open 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday,

For additional information about this special exhibit and museum admission, call 935-5021 or visit


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