Franklin Expedition, The Arctic

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Franklin Expedition, the Arctic

In 1845, explorer Sir John Franklin set sail from England with two ships, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, in search of a Northwest Passage across what is now Canada's Arctic. Instead, the ships and crews vanished and dozens of search expeditions over nearly 200 years failed to find them. For many long years, the mystery remained but in 2006, following information from Inuit oral histories, the graves of several of the expedition were found preserved in the ice. In September 2014 an expedition led by Parks Canada and again informed by Inuit knowledge, discovered the wreck of HMS Erebus in the south of King William Island in Nunavut. A third breakthrough happened in September 2016, when HMS Terror was found in Terror Bay. Now, underwater archeologists are working at the site and with the closest town of Gjoa Haven to unlock the history of the sunken vessels. Although technology has been critical to the success of these missions, much of the credit is going back to Inuit ancestors, for their people's oral history and Inuit knowledge.