A Mystery Soon To Be Resolved
Scientists are all set to get to the core of the tragic story behind British sailor John Franklin’s mysterious expedition, 174 years after the incident! People will soon get informed by the scientists about the death of 129 passengers, including Franklin, onboard two ships. Although those ships were traced in 2014 and 2016, scientists have recently been able to know about the situation inside those vessels with a remote-controlled device. They are surprised to find that everything inside those ships is in good shape even 174 years after the incident…
Scientists are of the opinion that a good research work would certainly aid them on knowing about the situation during the last days of those 129 passengers onboard the ships. It may also be possible to know what the two ships had observed during the mysterious expedition!
Franklin (April 16, 1786 – June 11, 1847) was not only a renowned sailor, but also a Senior Officer of the British Royal Navy who had supervised quite a few expeditions! Under his supervision, the Royal British Navy launched an expedition in 1845, mainly to find new sea routes along the North-Western part of the world.
Sir John Franklin
Franklin had departed with two ships, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror. Reports suggest that enough food supplies were stocked in those two steam engines-powered vessels, so that the sailors could spend at least three years in the then unexplored Arctic coastline.
Actually, the British Government sent the well-equipped Arctic expedition in order to complete the Charting of the Northwest Passage. The main purpose of the expedition was to reach the Pacific Ocean after exploring new sea routes in and around Arctic Canada. This was one of the most well-planned and well-organised expedition launched by an European nation, till 1845!
Inside the ship
The Franklin Expedition started from Greenhithe (England) on May 19, 1845, with a crew of 24 officers and 110 men. First, the ships travelled north to Aberdeen and the Orkney Isles for supplies. From Scotland, they sailed to Greenland, with HMS Rattler and a transport ship, Barretto Junior. As they misjudged the location of Whitefish Bay on Disko Island, the expedition got somewhat backtracked. The two ships harboured in that far north outpost in an attempt to prepare for the rest of their voyage. Five crew members were discharged and sent back to home on the Rattler and Barretto Junior, reducing the number of crew members to 129. Europeans had seen the vessels, on with their expedition, for the last time on July 26, 1845, as Captain Dannett of the whaler Prince of Wales encountered Terror and Erebus near an iceberg in Lancaster Sound. The British Government believed that the expedition wintered on Beechey Island in 1845-46. The two ships became trapped in ice off King William Island in September 1846, and could never sail again! As per a note later found on that island, Franklin passed away there on June 11, 1847. However, the exact location of his grave is still unknown!
Scientists traced the two ships for the first time in 2014. They discovered the wreckage of Erebus 36ft under the sea near King William Island. A couple of years later, the Terror was found 80ft away from this island. During a search operation in 1848, the British officials found a note, written by Captain Francis Crozier, at the bottom of the rock in which it was written that the ships “have been stuck in thick ice for the last one-and-half years”. Captain Crozier, who had commanded HMS Terror during the Ross Antarctic Expedition of 1841-44 and was appointed Executive Officer and Commander of Terror ahead of the Franklin Expedition, also mentioned in the note that 24 people, including Sir John, had already died! He hinted that he would try to reach Canada by foot. However, no one was known to be able to do that!
It still is not conclusively known as to what happened to those two ships, or how the ships sank, or even how the crewmembers had perished! The remote-controlled device has helped the scientists confirm that there is no sign of the ships being hit by something. They have informed the media that as the bottom of the sea, where the wreckages were found, is very cold and dark, many important maps and data might still remain intact… Scientists are hopeful that they could unravel the mystery of the Franklin Expedition by analysing those maps and data! They have only failed to see beyond the door of the Captain’s bedroom. Scientists are anxious to know what are there inside that room…
This revelation will certainly help enrich the History of the British Navigation and Command of the sea that remained unchallenged for so many years…
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