Great Controversy Who Discovered the North Pole Part 4 Pro Peary

About the controversy over who really discovered the North Pole, arguments for Peary's story.

GREAT CONTROVERSIES

WHO REALLY DISCOVERED THE NORTH POLE?

THE CONTROVERSY

PRO PEARY

Peary's reputation as a 20-year veteran of Arctic exploration is impressive. The National Geographic Society, and many other scientific bodies supported his claim. And in 1911 the U.S. Congress formally gave Peary recognition for having reached the North Pole.

Peary's exhaustive scientific and astronomical observations are further proof of his accomplishment. His book The North Pole is a dry yet thoroughly convincing diary of his well-planned assault on the pole.

Peary was convinced Cook's claim was fraudulent. He claimed that he had talked to Cook's two Eskimo companions and that both of them swore that Cook had journeyed a short distance north, then swerved west and south. In 1918 Donald MacMillan reported that he too had been told by the two Eskimos that Cook had not come within 500 mi. of the pole; however, MacMillan had been a member of the Peary expedition.

In his report to the University of Copenhagen--the authority on the Arctic--Cook included no scientific or astronomical observations. The university therefore concluded that he had no proof that he had discovered the pole. And when he did release some of his data, it contradicted known scientific facts concerning Arctic astronomy.

Later, when other Arctic explorers tried to retrace Cook's path, they found none of the landmarks described in his journal and book.

The most damaging evidence against Cook concerns Mt. McKinley, not the North Pole. In 1909 Cook's companion at McKinley, Edward Barrille, swore in an affidavit that Cook had never reached the summit. A 1913 expedition which reached the top of Mt. McKinley proved that Cook had climbed a lesser peak, which they named Fake Peak in his honor. Since To the Top of the Continent was therefore a fantastically well-written hoax, Cook's book and claim of discovering the pole are considered by many to be similar hoaxes.

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