Thursday, September 26, 2013

Still searching for Franklin? These metal scraps will make you wonder . . .

Searchers for the two lost ships of the Franklin expedition, which disappeared into the Arctic in 1845, have been struggling for decades to keep hope alive. Experts have suggested that even if both ships got crushed by ice, the metal engines, boilers, and pipes will have survived intact at the bottom of the sea. Magnetic imaging will discover them, and those relics will reveal crucial secrets. I thought, well, maybe. . . . And then I went for a ramble along the northwest coast of the Orcadian mainland.

The pieces of junk you see in these photos (courtesy of Sheena) constitute all that remains of a sturdy ship, the Monomoy, that sailed out of New York and went aground in Marwick Bay on January 6th, 1896.  The waves, the wind, and the ice have obliterated the rest. And these scattered pieces, half a century younger than anything from the Frankln ships, lie 30 metres apart. Maybe there is another chunk of rusty metal 40 metres down the coast, held fast by rocks. Such scraps, if located, could tell us what, I wonder?

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