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Tibet monks, Lhasa
Tibet pilgrims, Lhasa
Tibet monks, Lhasa

Images from the 2016 expedition to Tibet


As the dust was still settling after WWII and the Cold War began to divide the world, the mysterious and impenetrable mountain kingdom of Tibet sent out a plea to help stop the invasion of their country by the communist forces of China. They chose the most well known newsman of his day to document their plight, in the hopes that it would garner international support to protect their borders from the overwhelming Chinese Red Army. Lowell Thomas, along with his son, became only the seventh and eighth Westerners invited to walk through the Western Gate of Lhasa.  They ventured for weeks from the monsoon rains of Sikkim, India, over the Himalayas to the high, dry plains of southern Tibet. Meeting the fifteen year old Dalai Lama was an adventure of a lifetime for father and son, and the start of a relationship between His Holiness and the Thomas family that has now spanned three generations.

Lowell Thomas produced a feature length documentary during this trip to Tibet, which was forgotten about for decades, but after the discovery of an original film print from the 1950's, we are now digitizing and re-releasing the film for a modern audience. This will include new scenes and information, as well as some of the photographs from the original trip and those from our 2016 expedition.

A password protected version of the original Out Of This World film is available online. For permission to view, please email David Wright

Images from the 1949 expedition to Tibet

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