THE KRASIN AFFAIR Lakhtin's concern over imperialist attempts to annex Russian territory were justified to some extent by foreign polar expeditions in 1927 and 1928. In 1927 Hubert Wilkins had flown from Point Barrow in Alaska to a point in the Russian sector. The objective of this flight was to ascertain whether there might be land in the area between the course of the Fram (1893-6) and that of the Jeannette (1879), two ships which had been drifting with the pack ice. The drifting of these ships and the flight of the Norge in 1926 (see p. 29) drastically reduced the area in which land could be expected. Wilkins wanted to search some of the remaining area. On 29 March 1927 he flew with his pilot Eielson to a point (77°45'N, 175°E) in the East Siberian Sea where they landed on an icefloe. By means of an echo sounder (at the time a very sophisticated tool) Wilkins measured a depth of 5,440 metres, which meant there could be no land near. Nevertheless, it was beyond doubt that Wilkins had been consciously looking for land within the limits of the Soviet sector (Wilkins 1928: ch. 4, 527).