1909 depth soundings...
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Measurements of the ocean depth (soundings) taken by Peary on the trek from Cape Columbia to the Pole contribute significantly to the much-debated question of where his track lay. These data were no help to Peary in proving his case in 1909, since a profile of the Arctic Ocean in the vicinity of the 70th meridian did not then exist. Now of course it does. The Defense Mapping Agency made available to the Foundation a number of relevant bottom depths obtained by U.S. submarines operating under the Arctic ice, and these were used to refine a recent chart of the area issued by the Office of Naval Research. 

A computer-generated model based on these data show that if Peary’s track was close to the 70th meridian, he would have twice crossed over a major feature of the ocean bottom, the Lomonosov Ridge, during the trek to the Pole. Sure enough, a series of deep-shallow-deep soundings by Marvin indicates that the party passed over a southern leg of the ridge.

A sounding made by Bartlett at 87° 15' north indicates that he was over the canyon just west of the ridge, and Peary’s sounding at 89° 55' showed that he had by that point crossed the ridge again. Thus he was on or very close to the track he describes in The North Pole.

In any event, he could not have been on the track described in NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC by Herbert; Marvin’s soundings could only have been made some 20 miles to the east of Herbert’s suggested track. Moreover, Peary’s own sounding of 2,743 meters without reaching bottom, made at about five miles from his Pole camp, Camp Jesup, rules out at least one of Herbert’s three suggested locations for Camp Jesup. 

Note: Excerpts above are from New Evidence Places Peary at The Pole
By THOMAS D. DAVIES Rear Admiral, USN (Ret.)
Used with permission of Douglas R. Davies.

There is a strange cult of conspiracy theorists who claim that Peary and Henson could not have reached the Pole. Some are called "Cookites" or "Cookies" by the press. A few seem motivated purely by a need for attention. Certain others may, as Harvard's Dr. Allen Counter said, "need therapy".

We will eventually publish an entire article on this subject detailing the origins of Peary critics. Unfortunately it is an ugly history of slander, class hatred, racism and jealousy that started with the polar hoaxer and convicted felon Fred Cook. His descendants carry on that effort with a trust fund. There is also Britain's little "Sir" Wally who slandered Henson as an "unreliable witness";  polar man-hauler Randy Fiennes who failed 6 times to walk to the Pole; the bitter Richard Weber who can't believe Peary reached the Pole without skis; and even a librarian who is now declaring himself the world's "leading authority" - yet has never left his library.

Those who have nothing better to do with their time have created all these ridiculous theories and made endless insults against two great American heroes. Now, we are making time to straighten out the record. Enough is enough. The lunatic fringe and the racists have to move aside. Henson & Peary are great Americans who accomplished something truly noble. The critics may need therapy, but that is not our concern.

Matthew Henson and Robert E. Peary did exactly what they said they did for 18 years in the Arctic. No one has ever produced any evidence that they didn't. In fact the evidence that they did reach the Pole is overwhelming.

Bradley Robinson, January, 2002

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