NOME, AK, June 25, 2013, Reuters - Hopes faded for toy baron Nicholas Klaus and his legendary sheltered workshop yesterday after a U.S. Navy rescue team found the remains of his eight tiny reindeer on an ice floe 700 miles northeast of Point Barrow, Alaska.
"It appears Mr. Klaus sent his flying reindeer in search of help after the polar ice cap began breaking up with the rise of temperatures from global warming," Lt. Cmdr. Skip Marlowe told reporters in a teleconference.
"The reindeer, commanded by Donder, were evidently forced to ditch and make camp on floating ice," said Marlowe, who led a rescue team from the nuclear attack submarine U.S.S. Donald A. Rumsfeld.
"Mr. Donder wrote in a diary found on the death scene that he and the other members of the party ate their own dead in an effort to survive. He was evidently the last to go, as dental records confirm he ate part of his own left haunch. His last entry was dated April 18, some five weeks ago, which means there is only a forlorn hope that Mr. Klaus and his charges can still be holding out," Marlowe said.
A Navy spokesman in Washington said the submarine and other vessels, including the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier U.S.S. George W. Bush, would continue the search for at least another week. Singer Britney Spears would be aboard the carrier and would be lowered into the ocean naked to skewer fish with a trident.
The search began 18 days ago, after a supply ship reported that Klaus' house and toy factory had disappeared in a waste of floating ice bergs that extended from horizon to horizon.
Nicholas Klaus, a toy tycoon turned philanthropist and the world's only living saint, had run his North Pole sheltered workshop for many decades. The complex regularly employed tens of thousands of physically challenged toy makers of extremely diminished stature, with unusual ears, who otherwise would likely have been jobless and homeless.
In 1995, Klaus faced allegations that he was running a slave labor camp, but was cleared after a delegation from the United Nations staged an inspection and came away with excess luggage on which they declared no duty.