Sir John Franklin and the lost expedition: A Fate as Terrible as the Imagination Can Conceive


The story of Franklin in the Northwest Passage is the stuff of legend. In fact, the entire expedition of 129 men and two ships simply vanished in 1845. It was the MH370 of its time and dominated the newspaper headlines and coffee shop scuttlebutt for years.


Just this week we have heard that a Canadian team - a partnership between Parks Canada, the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, the Arctic Research Foundation, the Canadian Coast Guard, the Royal Canadian Navy and the government of Nunavut - have discovered one of the two ships.

Approximate route of Franklin's 1845 expedition
But what about the backstory? How did they end up in such a plight and to what lengths were the men prepared to go to survive?

One of the many search parties discovered some remains and sent a report back to the Admiralty in 1854 describing "A Fate as Terrible as the Imagination Can Conceive."

So terrible was this report that Lady Franklin and the Admiralty - point blank - refused to accept it.

Just what was it that so enraged the sensibilities of Victorian England?


Travel writer and photographer, Roderick Eime, travelled to the Canadian Arctic in 2012 (and followed up with a second voyage in 2016) aboard the ice-strengthened ship, Akademik Ioffe, to retrace part of the route likely used by Franklin more than 160 years ago. What did he find?

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Comments

  1. It has been a great Canadian story and mystery.Franklin's ships are major part of Canadian history.These ships are taken place nearly 200 years ago.In this one of the ship is missed and found after 160 years.Finding these ships, the Canadian Government started searches since 2008.These Franklin Expedition ships are missed during an 1845 quest for the Northwest Passage.It is too exciting and a big break.
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