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HasTkeNortkPole Ever Deally Been Discovered ?
How the Recent Failure of Explorers to Find Mysterious Land Crocked Has Opened Up the Whole Vast Question The Evidence That Peary Did and Cook Didn't, That Cook Did and Peary Didn't, That Both Did and Both Didn't Although congress !?a3 officially recognized Roar-Admiral Peary as the discoverer of the North role. advancing him to the Tank ho holds as a reward for his feat, there are men in Con press who irr-ist that his ad miral's uniform should h^ strip ped frnrn him. Recent develop ments in connection with other discoveries claimed hy I'eary, thoy oontond, are sufficient if) throw so muf li doubt on his voracity and competency as an explorer that his discover*' of the North I'ole ought now to be repudiated. Or. the other hand, while there are still a number of sci entific men who believe that r>r. I- roderick a. f'ook actually discovered the Nor:h I'ole. thor'e Is considerable evidence that his claims in that respect are abso lutely false. Dr ( <?ok s claims have been repeated ly presented to Congress, but no definite derision has over been delivered. At the present time Congress is more or less divided on the question as to whether either Peary or Cook really dis covered the I'ole. and the question that now hangs in the balance is "Has the North I'ole ever been reached by anv body?" This question may shortly be threshed out a^ain in Congress as a result of the uncertainty in which the whole subject is now enshrouded. Here are presented the conflicting views of two prominent Congressmen who have been taking an active part in the North Pole conflict. On the one hand. Congressman Helprsen. of North Dakota, insists I'eary did not succeed. On the other. Congressman Fess is equal ly^ insistent Dr. Cook is an impostor. The Congressional Investigation which may follow the revival of the controversy may settle the matter once and for all time. In the meanwhile, however, it may he regarded as an open question as to whether the North I'ole has ever been discovered at all. By Hon. Henry T. Helgesen, Representative in Congress from North Dakota. I AM satisfied that Peary did not dis cover the North Pole for two rea sons: (1) For all the talk there has been about "scientific data" brought back by him and furnished as evidence, the fact is that his claim to the discovery in ques tion is backed by his unsupported word, and bv nothing else. (2) All of the other claims to dis coveries in the Arctic region by Peary have been proven false. Why. then, should wo accept :;s true his unsupported statement that he arrived at the Pole? So much for my reasons for believing that Peary did not discover the Pole. Now it remains for me to prove that these reasons are based on facts,and not on mistake or personal prejudice. Peary claims to have discovered the Peary Channel?an alleged northern boundary of Greenland and therefore to have been first to establish the fact that Greenland is an island. That discovery alone, if a true one, would bo sufficient to establish for Peary a reputation as an explorer. Hut, unfor tunately for him, it has been proved by explorations subsequent to his that no such channel exists. The Peary discovery of the channel was made incidentally to his expedition of 1001-2. Five years later the Danish explorer Mylius Erichsen looked in vain for this interesting geographical feature. In 1012 this denial of its existence was verified by another explorer. Knud Ras mussen. who reported that ho found, where the channel was alleged by Peary to be, no water a^ all. but "an ice-free upland, abounding in game." In view of this and other evidence. Pcarv Channel has been struck off the maps of our Navy Department and off the charts of the Coast Survey. The Peary Channel was alleged to open at one end into a groat, body of water, which Peary called the East Greenland Sea. This sea was mapped by Peary in 1001-2 as extending from 82", 10' north latitude and .?.1? west longitude to about 12o west longitude. Here, undeniably, was another and very important geo graphical discovery. Hut, again unfortu nately, the Mylius Erichsen expedition, five years later, ascertained definitely that the vast water-space in question was all of it dr)/ land. This was verified by the later expe Admiral Peary in the Uniform of Rear-Admiral Which Congress Granted Him When They Officially Recognized Him as Discoverer of the North Pole. His Opponents Wi?h to Take This Uniform from Him. Map of Crocker Land Which Peary Claimed to Have Discovered in IDOfi. In 1913, an Expedition Sent Out hv the American Museum of Natural History to Explore Crocker Land Reported That There Was No Such Place. The Site of the Supposed Crocker Land, They Said, Was a Broad Expanse of l'olar Sea! I'pon the Strength of This Develop ment, Suspicion Has Been Levelled Against All I'eary's "Discoveries" In cluding That of the North Pole! d it ions of Mikkelsen and Rasmussen. Consequently, the East Greenland Sea has been removed from our Government maps. But the Navy Department charts of the Arctic still show, to the northwest of Grant Land, an undefined land-mass marked Crocker Land, which Peary claims to have discovered in l90t>. To geographers, Crocker Land offered an ob vious and tempting invitation: and, ac cordingly, in 19n, an expedition was sent out by the American Museum of Natural History to explore it. The expedition got back not long ago. with the report that "there was no such place." The site of the alleged Crocker Land was wholly oc cupied by a broad expanse of Polar Sea. So Crocker Land, like other Pearv dis coveries. must vanish from the Govern ment and other maps. In 1900 Captain Otto Sverdrup, a Nor wegian explorer, discovered a big island off the coast of Greenland which he map ped under the name of Axel Hoiberg Land. Subsequently Peary declared that he had "seen it first," two years earlier, and gave it the name of Jesup I>and. It was put down that way on our Government maps. Peary, in his book. "Nearest the Pole," published in 1907. says (page 202) that, in July, 189S, he saw this land-mass "from the heights of tho Ellesmere Land ice cap." This statement is really rather remark able: for. on pages 29(1-7 of the sanio book, Peary says that he spent all the time from July 1 to August 1.1 of that year In making the (rip from New York to Cape York, and in "hunting walruses and assembling my party of natives" in the immediate neighborhood of the latter place. lie was thus simultaneously in two places, separated from each other by MO miles. Rut, even though gifted with su pernatural vision, he could hardly have seen Axel Heiberg Land (alias Jesup Land), where he locates it descriptively, Dr. Frederick A. Cook in the Wreath Given Him by His Admirers in New Vork When They Recognized Him as the Discoverer of the North Pole. His Opponents Wish to Pre vent This Wreath from Being Placed Hack Over His Head. The Above Sketch Shows lite Two Routes by Which I'eary and Cook Respectively Claimed to Ilave Reached the North l'ole. Claims Are Now Made That Neither of Tl???m Kv<?r r? because it is much farther south and a groat doal farther west. Evidence in this case being deemed ample, the Government maps and the maps of the National Geographic Society have eliminated .lesup Land, and have put Axel lleiberg Land in quite another place, the Geographic Society giving Sverdrup full credit for the discovery. Pcarv Channel being proved a myth, it follows that Peary is mistakenly credited with having discovered that Greenland is an island. Undoubtedly Greenland is an island. The fact, however, was not proved by Peary. It was satisfactorily determined by the Greely expedition of 1SS2?ton years beforo Poary. Inasmuch as Peary's other so-called dis coveries have, each and every one, been disproved, how can his latost claim to the discovery of the Polo be accepted on his unsupported word, which is all he has to back him up? ;"iary himself says that an explorer's Copyright, 1010, by the Star Cotnpj proof must bo fundamentally based on his p: st record. But what has been Peary's record? Is it not shown by incontrovert ible evidence?open to everybody's knowl edge, and independent of anybody's per sonal opinion or prejudice that his ?ecord is one of claimed discoveries which in every instance have been proven false? Why, then, believe his claim that he discovered the North Pole.' Certainly ho has offered no proof. Two Secretaries of the Navy (the service in which he was employed) have said that they have never received an> data from Peary to substantiate his statement that he reached the Pole. Peary claimed that all his data were Kiven to the Coast Survey. The only proofs received by the Coast Survey from Peary were a set of tidal observations, all made at coast points, and none of them made on the sledge ex pedition en route to or returning from tho place Peary chose to call the Pole. In ad iny. Great Britain Rights Reserved. <] it ion to these there was only a series of alleged soundings, respecting which the story he tells is so contradictory as to discredit them, prima faric. At a Congressional "hearing" Mr. Titt tnan, then Superintendent of the Coast Survey, was asked: "What evidence is there that this party, consisting of Peary and others, reachcd within striking dis tance of the Pole?" Mr. Tittman replied: "I have no evi dence of that, except the line of sound ings under Peary's signature." Peary brought hnek nothing?no wit nesses. no worth-while scientific proof, nothing hut his unsupported word to back up his ejaim to have discovered the Pole. Hut, inasmuch as his reputation for ve racity has been completely shattered by the fact tiiat every other claim of dis covery made by him has been proven false, then is nothing the world can ac cepttas demonstrating that at. any time ho has been anywhere near the Polo. By Hon. S. D. Fcss, Representative In Congress from Ohio. IN* what I am about, to say I shall voic? my sentiments not only as a Member of Congress, but in the spirit of an educator?a college president, a teacher of history, and as a citizen jealous that there should be no perversions of our American history. It is well for us to remember that the forum selected by Dr. Cook for the de termination of bis claims was the Uni versity of Copenhagen. He sent it what he declared were his proofs of bis alleged discovery of the North Pole. The committee's linal verdict and the verdict of the university consistory is ex pressed formally iu the finding of the latter: "The documents handed the university for examination do not contain observa tions and information which can be re garded as proof that Dr. Cook reached the North Pole on his recent expedition." Rasmussen. a noted .Arctic explorer who has favored Dr. Cook's claim, jyas called in as an expert by the university's committee; he is reported as saying: "When I saw the observations, I real ized that it was a scandal. The docu* iaentH which Or. Cook sent to the uni versity are most impudent. It is the most childish sort of attempt at cheating.1' As \o the position of Amundsen, tho discoverer of the South Pole. 1 quote as follows from the report of an interview with him: "There was absolutely nothing in thesa alleged observations of Dr. Cook," said Captain Amundsen. "It was all fake and could have deceived nobody. Thus, in sorrow, was I forced to the conclusion that my old comrade was lying." After the University of Copenhagen found that Dr. Cook had utterly failed to establish his claim, it will be remembered that he was discredited by and expelled from membership in America's leading or ganizations of explorers. Would not a man of a keen sense of honor, if ho had a righteous claim and really believed it should be investigated, instead of maintaining a lobby in Washington and besieging Congress, pre sent his facts to tho organizations of ex perts in exploration, which had expelled him. and ask them to reinstate him? Dr. Cook's contention that he ascended in the summit of Mount McKinley two or tbree years prior to his claim with rc spoct. to the North Pole is a matter with which the; public generally is so thorough ly familiar that it is hardly worth while to comment thereon extensively. It will be remembered that upon Dr. Cook's return from the Arctic regions in 1909 the guide who he alleged went to the top of Mount McKinley with him an nounced that they never had been to tho summit and that the picture Dr. Cook took with this guide holding a flag on the top was miles from tho peak. Dr. Cook, with respect to this, asserted that this was merely a plot of Admiral Peary to ruin him. Anyone, however, who takes the trouble to examine the newspaper tiles of that period can readily ascertain for himself that this guide repudiated Cook's claim before it was even known that Peary had reached the North Pole, for at the time ho had not yet been even heard from. Kvery true American educator must resent the recent efforts to poison tho minds of the children of this country with respect to the discovery of the North Pole. Many newspapers seem to havo been misled and have fallen into tho trap of offering Dr. Cook's book as prizes for essays from the children upna the subject of the priority of the dis co very of the North Pole, and then, while the children were in the act of writing such essays, printing a mass of material furnished by Dr. Cook and giving a wholly distorted idea of the facts. Further comment upon such activities is unnecessary. I would not close 'tho door of investigation even to Dr. Cook, but he is not entitled to one in any direction until lie acts in :> manner that accords with his pretensions. It' he has any bona tide claims t>i? :e is hu; tine honest course for him .?> pursue, l.ot him in a straightforward manner submit them to tlie forum he hims. lf selected, the University ot' Copenhagen, or lay them before the American organisations of scientific experts which l::r.<? < xpel'.od him from membership and secure rein statement, Until he has done o .mi removed the stigma which n - s upon, him as a result of hi', cxpulsijn from the organizations of American explorer* and experts upon Arctic conditions ho should not, through a lobby, press his claims upon the attention of Congress men. who know little, if anything, of polar research and less of the scientific obsw> vations necessary to prove,Lhem. i-i