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Home>Polar Scientists... >Theories Far and Wide>N.Y. Evening Post

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Dr. Dall, the Arctic expert of the Smithsonian Institution, has furnished evidence in support of a statement made by him yesterday that the alleged relics of the Jeannette expedition, picked up on the southwestern coast of Greenland in 1884, and which have been used in support of the argument of a current and ice-drift from the West Siberian islands across the pole, were bogus. Dr. Dall says that when the articles were found and exhibited by the Danish government he and his assistant, Dr. Emil Bessels, surgeon of the Polaris Expedition, questioned a number of seamen who had been on the United States man-of-war Yantic in its trip to Greenland in 1883. Among them were Ninderman and Noros of the Jeannette party. The sailors united in the statement that some of the midshipmen and ensigns on the ship got up the alleged relics and put them on an ice-floe near the ship, intending to fool their superior officers. The floe drifted off and the officers did not find the relics, which fell into the hands of the Esquimaux the following year and thence into the hands of the Danish government. The seriousness of the joke then became so apparent that, to avoid a probable court-martial, the culprits pledged to secrecy all the sailors, and Drs. Dall and Bessels never learning their names, but Dr. Dall wrote to Nordenskjoöld about it, and gave an account of it to Dr. Ringe of Copenhagen, and the relics were destroyed. Dr. Dall believes that Dr. Nansen knew that the relics were not genuine, and that whatever thought he may have given to Arctic currents must have shown him that a drift across the pole was unpracticable.

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:
  New York Evening Post, NY, Feb. 18, 1896.  
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  Jennifer F. Holvoet, Ph.D.  
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