G1 – Canadians find a legendary ship that disappeared in the 19th century

The ship became stuck in Arctic ice in 1845; more than a hundred died.
The Eskimos claim that the crew must have resorted to cannibalism.

The sonar image shows the ship on the sea floor; ship disappeared in 1845 during an expedition to the Arctic (Photo: AP Photo/Parks Canada, via The Canadian Press)

In a discovery that helps clarify a historical mystery, Canadian explorers have found the carcass of a ship that disappeared during a tragic and legendary expedition in 1845, the country’s Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, announced this Tuesday (9). It is one of two ships lost during the so-called Franklin Expedition in the Canadian Arctic.

At the time, Sir John Franklin and his crew of 128 were boarding the British ships HMS Erebus and HMS Terror to search for the famous Northwest Passage between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans when they became stuck in ice . They are all dead and the ships are gone.

Canadian divers and archaeologists have been trying to find the ships since 2008. They were stuck between King William Island in Victoria Strait and the Arctic territory of Nunavut.


Researcher Ryan Harris explains the ship's discovery during a presentation (Photo: AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Sean Kilpatrick)Researcher Ryan Harris explains the ship’s discovery during a presentation (Photo: AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Sean Kilpatrick)

The mystery has fascinated Canadians for generations, in part because of the fate of the crew. The Eskimos who live there claim that these desperate men resorted to cannibalism before dying.

A member of the team shows the underwater equipment used during the expedition to search for the missing ships (Photo: AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Adrian Wyld)A team member demonstrates underwater equipment
used in ship search expeditions
(Photo: AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Adrian Wyld)

“I am pleased to announce that this year’s Victoria Strait Expedition has solved one of Canada’s great mysteries, with the discovery of one of two ships that belonged to the Franklin Expedition,” said Prime Minister Stephen Harper in a press release.

According to Harper, experts are still unsure whether the ship found was the Erebus or the Terror.

They were difficult to find because they floated in the ice for hundreds of kilometers and local people gave conflicting information about where they were shipwrecked.

“Finding the first ship will undoubtedly help find the sister ship and learn more about what happened to the crew of the Franklin expedition,” he added.

Grayson Saunders

"Typical thinker. Unapologetic alcoholaholic. Internet fanatic. Pop culture advocate. Tv junkie."

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