Sunday, 9 September 2012

The Matty Island wreck

The chart showing the track of the Sir Wilfrid Laurier on the excellent CBC Franklin search website brings to mind what David Woodman described as 'One of the most unlikely of the Inuit tales'. The story, collected by Major Lachlan Taylor Burwash during several visits to King William Island between 1925 and 1929, concerns the wreck of a ship and a cache ashore near to Blenky Island to the North East of Matty Island.

Burwash's analysis was that the wreck was of one of Franklin's ships remanned after the 1848 abandonment. To my mind, the problem of the Inuit testimony giving three different locations for where one of Franklin's two ships sank is no more of a problem than the white man's testimony stating that the two ship's engines came from three different railway companies. I wholeheartedly agree with Woodman's comment that the tale "However, it is so simply and straightforwardly told, and has such telling internal consistency, that it is hard to discount entirely."

In my opinion it warrants further investigation.


  1. It does make you wonder....The Inuit testimony is really more valuable than gold!

  2. Is It supposed that the ship sailed till this point? or was the drift which carry them?

    It is a strange place to sail if they were trying to scape, isn´t it?

    I don´t know nothing about the drift or the currents in that area or if the strait is clear of ice in summer, but I suppose that it would be a miracle that the ship could have passed through the strait without being stuck in any of the numerous inlets.