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On Them He Based Some of His Calculations.

[Special Dispatch to the Transcript.]

New York, Feb. 18 -- Dr. Nansen sailed for the Arctic Sea on June 24, 1893, to carry out a plan of exploration that was based upon a theory of Arctic currents which he had deduced in part from the drift of alleged relics of the Jeanette expedition from north of the West Siberian Islands to the southwest coast of Greenland. The story of the Jeanette relics has for year been accepted by practically every Arctic authority whose opinions were recorded in the many publications of geographical societies. The Sun prints a statement today to the effect that the relics were fraudulent. It says that the relics were prepared as a joke by some of the younger officers of the United States steamer Yatic when she was on her northern cruise and that when they found their joke had been taken seriously they decided to maintain a discreet silence for fear of court-martial.

The story says in part: Dr. Nansen's calculations were that it would take four years to drift across the pole. He based his theory upon the fact that a pair of trousers and some papers left near the New Siberian Islands by a member of the De Long expedition were found four years later in southwest Greenland. They must have travelled (sic) all the way on the same piece of ice. The wife of the man who found them burned the papers, not knowing their importance. Dr. Nansen appears to have been left to embark on his venture without the slightest idea that he was the victim of an imposition prepared on board of a United States man-of-war. So for twelve long years the geographers of the Old World have been duped by a joke played upon them by minor officers in the United States navy. The contributions to scientific geography will become famous.

The Sun gives Dr. Dall, the Arctic expert of the Smithsonian Institution, as its authority for the story.

Reproduced with permission: L.L. Dyche, Explorations (Newspaper Clippings Related to Polar Exploration), Vol. 1 & 2. University Archives, Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas Libraries, Lawrence, KS.


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Original Source:
  Boston Transcript, Boston, Mass, Feb. 18, 1896.  
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  Jennifer F. Holvoet, Ph.D.  
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