Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Ah, for just one time I would take the Northwest Passage...

To find the hand of Franklin reaching for the Beaufort Sea:
Franklin's vessels are among the most sought-after prizes in marine archaeology.

Tantalising traces have been found over the years, including the bodies of three crewmen in the 1980s.

The bodies of two English seamen, John Hartnell, 25, and royal Marine William Braine, 33, were exhumed in 1986 and an expedition uncovered the perfectly preserved remains of a petty officer John Torrington, 20, in an ice-filled coffin in 1984.

But the ships have never been seen.

Experts believe the ships came to grief in 1848 after they became locked in the ice near King William Island and the crews abandoned them in a hopeless bid to reach safety.

Relief efforts financed by Lady Franklin, the Royal Navy and even the Hudson's Bay Company vainly scoured the region for more than a decade.
An expedition has been launched to try and find the remains of Sir John Franklin's mid-1840s expedition to find the Northwest Passage, which they think might be easier to find now due to "global warming."
Westward from the Davis Strait 'tis there 'twas said to lie
The sea route to the Orient for which so many died;
Seeking gold and glory, leaving weathered, broken bones
And a long-forgotten lonely cairn of stones.
[Lyrics by Stan Rogers.]

1 comment:

  1. When a ship gets locked in the ice, it is ground to bits in short order. If they find anything it will look like a pile of kindling on the ocean floor.

    I saw pics of the bodies they did find. They were really well preserved.