TONY HALIK & ELZBIETA DZIKOWSKA=FI’93
Vice Chairman of the EXPLORERS CLUB, Polish Chapter, 1993-1998
Capt. Tony Halik (deceased in 1998) was one of the leading Polish explorers of this century. Among many discoveries, the most important discovery, was finding the lost Incas Capital of VILCABAMBA in Peru in 1976. He is the author of 10 books, many articles and he produce over 600 documentary films. For past 20 years, he is the most important Polish and Eastern European promoter of explorations and our Explorers Club.
Tony Halik was born on January 24, 1921 in the town of Torun, the home town of Nicholas Copernicus. His first expeditionary excursion took place, when at the age of ten years, he run away from home on board the lumber-jacks raft, prying the waters of the Vistula River towards the open seas of the Gdansk harbor.
The second excursion was forced upon in 1939 by the invasion of the Nazi troops into the Polish territory. He then chose not to submit to the Nazi yoke, instead, he escaped to France, where after attending the military school, he joined the British Royal Air force. He was shot down twice. The second time he parachuted in France where he promptly joined the French Underground. There he married and after the war he ended up in Argentina, where he organized and managed a school for pilots.
His first expedition was sailing up in Parana River in search of unknown Indian Tribes, about which he wrote and photographed for the Time & Life magazine. Later he became a foreign correspondent of the NBC.
He explored the Amazon region in searching again of unknown Indian Tribes, such as Hinam, Bororo and others, that have disappeared since. His documentaries were aired on the NBC’s TV programs. During this period of exploration in north Argentinean jungles, he discovered and large cave which he named „the White Eagle Cave” after the national symbol of Poland.
Still in the 1950’s in South America, Halik dared to trail a long passage, where roads did not exist, with a WW II surplus jeep. He started from Tierra del Fuego, on the southers tip of South America, then pioneered through the Andes Mountains, Amazon jungle, and Panama/Colombia jungle, where from necessity he constructed a serious bridge over a Darien region river, known today as The Halik Bridge. He then continued through the Central America territory infested by pirates and sinking mud-holes to Alaska and then insisted on a similar return trip to Argentina with his then broken-down jeep.
From 1960 till 1976, Halik was the NBC correspondent in Mexico and Central America, where he leads and participated in numerous expeditions.
Latter he married a Polish woman, Elzbieta Dzikowska, who was an explorer be her own right. Since then, for these past twenty years, Halik and Dzikowska, create and run an important television program on the main Polish TV station in Warsaw, as well as many other TV stations all the way from the Urals Mountains and the Ukrainian steppes to the Atlantic Ocean and Great Britain, via satellites.
This program, known as „Pepper and Vanilla” similar to the NBC’s program „In Search of Adventure” is of expeditionary and wild life nature and about the roots and origins of civilizations. This program induces and generates interest within thirteen to fifteen millions viewers of all ages.
In 1976 Halik and Dzikowska were the founding members of the Professor Edmundo Guillen=s expedition in search of the last capital of the Incas, VILCABAMBA. They trailed through mountains and jungles of Peru, using notes and improvised old maps of the original Conquistadores. They partially starved and often survived on nature. Halik filmed the expedition and they then discovered ruins of Vilcabamba, which later he presented to the world.
Halik always promotes our Explorers Club activities and ideas. During his programs he exhibits our E.C. flag, and emblem, and verbally promotes The Explorers Club across Eastern Europe. He especially promotes our Club with the European youth, and at every opportunity he encourages them to participate in explorations, which he promises will hopefully lead them to be future memberships of our Explorers Club. Halik also writes and lectures widely, and he promotes our Club with the European press members, where he has considerable influence.
At this time, Halik pressed into service all those Polish explorers and scientist who reside in Peru and there are many of them, as well as many Peruvian explorers, such as Professor Edmundo Guillen, Professor Alva Silva, and others in order to form a Peruvian chapter of our Explorers Club. They all are excited with this project, and Halik shall be in touch with our club=s soon, regarding this important matter.
Capt. Tony Halik continues to promote the Explorers Club in Poland as well as across Eastern Europe and South America.