The first time i read this word was in the book "Fatal Passage" by Ken McGoogan, when, as the result of the conversations between John Rae and some inuit, and trying to find any evidence of the ill-fated Sir John Franklin Expedition, some of then mentioned that they watched how some kabloonas walked to die in the proximities of the river Great Fish.
I wish to publish this blog to order and share all those anecdotes that I´ve been finding in the arctic literature about arctic expeditions. My interest began more than 15 years ago reading a little book of my brother about north and south pole expeditions. I began reading almost all the bibliography about Antarctic expeditions and the superknown expeditions of Scott, Amundsen, Shackleton, etc. After I was captured by the Nansen, Nobile and Engineer Andree. But the most disturbing thing in that little book, full of pictures, was the two pages dedicated to the last Franklin expedition of the S.XIX, on that moment I thought that given the time on which this and others expeditions happened, few or any additional information could be obtained about it. I couldn´t imagine that after those two pages It would be a huge iceberg full of stories, unresolved misteries, anecdotes, etc. I believe that this iceberg, on the contrary than others, would continue growing instead melting.
domingo, 6 de septiembre de 2020
miércoles, 12 de agosto de 2020
The mystery associated to the Franklin expedition drama has haunted many many people since it happenned in the mid nineteenth century, and the storm rised didn´t calm over time but more the contrary, it grew and grew stronger, so much that now, not hundreds but thousands of people, are absolutely intrigued with the matter, the intenstiy of the effect reached its climax after the releasing of the TV Serie.
The impact in the general audience of the TERROR serie was so strong, that for a while that I had to become used to answer to this question coming from my closest colleagues and friends :
"Wasn´t this the story you have been always talking (boring us) about?"
And yes, that happened to me some years ago, not sure about when was planted the original seed, I have been asked about this many times but still have not a definitive answer. I have been hooked by polar exploration since I was a teenager, and have crossed several stages at that time. I was originally captivated, like many, by Robert Falcon Scott and Amundsen race to the south pole (tragedy included), almost at the same time I had started to read about Shackleton expeditions and of cours. Then I also read about Amundsen´s life which transported me back in time to Nansen. From Nansen I became interested in Jeannette expedition, Andree´s attempt to the pole. Andree took me to Nobile, Wellman, Bird, etc. The chain reaction had begun.
Once you put a step inside the ninetheenth century there is no way back. My friends were surprised about my interest in early polar exploration, and I used to fascinate them talking about horrible tragedies and other formidable tales about what by the time I thought were "old" stories coming from the beginning of the Twentieth century. That was nothing, and now I know that, that was the mere tip of the iceberg. There is a world underneath, a net of amazing stories weaved together at the bottom of the narrow stairs which lead you to the origins of polar exploration. The discovery of the Northwest passage, Franklin & Co expeditions are only the hall to Dante´s ninth circle, the frozen hell. But I must warn you, BEWARE OF CROSSING THE TRESHOLD or you may not be able to come back to the sunny and warm surface again.
Not few of those people who I mentioned above were bitten so wildly by the Franklin bug that they , at certain point, produced an inmense amount of work of an impressive and excellent quality. Some of them are professional historians who have just stopped in the Franklin expedition for a while to start and finish some specific campaign but others are ordinary people like I am, amateurs who have put apart their rakes and have taken their stronger shovels to dig fiercely on the surface of the Franklin mistery and have reached certain depth in the process.
I am maybe feeling myself now in the eye of this storm, I am possibly exhausted after some years of such a intense relation with the Franklin expedition. I wouldn´t say I have lost interest, one can´t lose interest in something which has inspired you so strongly, but perhaps I needed to put some distance for some reason... it is wonderful however to witness that when one put the shovel apart for breathing or to rest, new hands, fresh eyes, no matter from where they have come, relieves you frnm the task and keep on digging with renewed strength new galleries and deep wells which haven take them to new findings but also to be surroundend into new darkness.
That´s the case of the wonderful blog by Logan Zachary who humbly describes himself as "Upper Midwest truckdriver, only reads audiobooks, & shoots a Leica Q." but who is maybe now one of the most prolific searchers among others.
I have had the opportunity of interchanging some conversations with him and see his work posted in the Facebook group about the subject, and I must tell I am very pleased to see he has decided at some point to publish all his findings and thoughts in a blog, where all this information will last longer than in a Facebook group, is easier to read and check and can be used for everybody who whant to continue the necessary searching.
(Note for Randall Osczevski: I am still waiting to see your thoughts in the shape of a permanent website....)
Another excellent researcher is Alison Freebairn, she also started a new adventure the past year and shared with all of us her magnificient work in her blog so appropiately named "Finger post"
As in the case of Logan, I also had the chance to chat a bit with her and again I am very satisfied to see that the Franklin mistery is in good hands.