Interpretations of the Franklin mystery - 2018

An expedition led by Parks Canada discovered the wreck of the HMS Erebus in September 2014, and the remains of the HMS Terror were found in September 2016. Though the locations of the missing ships are now known, the discoveries raised new questions about the disappearance of the famous Franklin Expedition. We invited a group of specialists to answer some of these questions. The expert interpretations were provided by:

Charles Dagneau, member of the Parks Canada Underwater Archaeology Team, who has been working in Arctic waters on excavations of the wrecks of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror.

Lyle Dick, a public historian who specializes in Arctic and Canadian history. The author of many refereed works and co-creator of the Franklin Mystery website, he wrote the book Muskox Land.

Ken McGoogan, a journalist and author of a dozen books – including four about Arctic exploration. His latest book is Dead Reckoning: The Untold Story of the Northwest Passage (Patrick Crean Editions / HarperCollins Canada).

Douglas Stenton, an archaeologist by profession and the former Chief Archaeologist, and Director of Heritage for the Government of Nunavut Department of Culture and Heritage. Dr. Stenton has conducted archaeological research in Nunavut since 1980.


We asked these experts the following questions:

  1. What do the discoveries of the wrecks, and your own knowledge and research, tell us about what happened to the Franklin Expedition?
  2. What new questions come to mind?
  3. What information are you hoping will be revealed by archaeological excavations of the wrecks and more research?
Sunken ship