Monday, October 13, 2008

Franklin Expedition

I just watched a very interesting program about the ill-fated Franklin Expedition airing on Discovery HD. Sir John Franklin, his two ships, and 128 men disappeared in the 19th c. in search of the Northwest Passage. This documentary brings the story up-to-date, including rumors of cannibalism, the cause of the crew's death, and the numerous archaeological expeditions over the years. I first learned of this Victorian mystery when I bought a copy of Frozen in Time, which features color photographs of three members of the expedition excavated from the permafrost by forensic anthropologist Owen Beattie 138 years after their deaths (which evidence suggests were caused by lead solder from their canned provisions). Neither Franklin's body nor his logbook have ever been found--and some are still looking. Brrrrr.

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