According to popular history, two Americans have claimed to be the first to reach the North Pole, but even in the day, their feats were questioned as less than truthful. It is a certainty that neither "explorer" set foot on the iced cap of fable.
The first claimant to discovery was Frederick Cook who made his announcement 15 months after the fact which allegedly occurred April 21, 1908. Why he waited so long is not entirely clear, but he announced his achievement on September 1, 1909.
The second claimant to being first to the North Pole was Robert Peary, Admiral US Navy, who asserted his arrival date as April 6, 1909.
A spirited and ferocious rivalry broke out in the papers as the former friends jostled for first position, but the fact is that neither one of them reached the pole as it was all an intelligence operation conducted by the US Navy and others. Subsequent analysis of their records and witnesses condemned them, both men being of tawdry moral character.
The same newsfakers as we have today aligned with each party, the New York Times backing Peary; the New York Herald supporting Cook. Neither paper could vouch for the claims, yet they were adamantly making pronouncements from fake journals and data.
Finally some brighter minds demanded proof of discovery for which the University of Copenhagen Commission was impaneled. It concluded in December 1909 that there was no tangible documentation in Cook's records to substantiate his claims, the navigation records being fragmentary and sparse. Peary flatly refused to submit any of his documents. Both men should have been booed off the stage, but lies have a tenacity which can only be labeled ferocious.
In fact we would see the same kind of criminal fraud when NASA claimed to have lost the original film footage of the moon landing, along with all of the design documents for Apollo space craft, knowing full well that if anyone ever saw any of its handiwork that the whole set of lies would evaporate into a mist of flatulence.
The first sign of fraud comes from Cook and his grossly over the top drivel he wrote in his diary. Part of this purple prose explains his long absence after his alleged feat. He wrote
Constantly and carefully I watched my instruments in recording this final reach. Nearer and nearer they recorded our approach. Step by step my heart filled with a strange rapture of conquest. At last we step over colored fields of sparkle, climbing walls of purple and gold - finally, under skies of crystal blue, with flaming clouds, we touch the mark.
Who writes this kind of claptrap in temperatures 50-120 degrees below zero when every moment is a matter of life and death? The only person we can think of is Dr Cook who was holed up in a cozy bungalow in the Shetland Islands from where he cabled his triumph.
One of Cook's Inuit guides testified in writing that his party was traveling south during the last days of the trip, and not because they had overshot the North Pole (for those of you who believe in a ball earth.)
Cook tried to salvage his lies by publishing some of his sextant records, but those too exposed more of his insidious crockery.
Peary's records were sequestered for decades by that redoubt of truth known as the National Geographic Society which was waist deep in the admiral's lies. When the Society finally released them, they were discovered to be so skimpy and scant that not even strip tease artist would find any value in them.
For example, the records had missing dates and claimed that star Betelgeux was present when it was impossible to observe at his alleged location. Truly, there is nothing to see here folks; move along.
Both Cook and Peary made fantastical claims for speed as they headed for the pole, the former's being contradicted by one of his Inuit guides who stated that they stayed in the same place for two nights, but Cook claiming that they were traveling at 21 - 29 miles per day. Peary would up the ante by claiming speeds of 71 miles per day.
If you aren't rolling on the floor laughing, you just might be an idiot. As any soldier knows, travelling 20 miles per day in favorable climates is a heroic feat, but claiming to travel that distance in the ferocious climate of the arctic is a complete Pinocchio moment.
It is reminiscent of NASA's claims of hundreds of thousands of photos taken in the barren freezing wilderness of the moon with a 1960s camera. Even if all 3 astronauts stayed up 3 days straight without sleep, they could not have taken all of the fantastically clear photos NASA alleges.
Cook had no excuse for his idiotic lies since he had practiced the art in 1906 by claiming to be the first man to top Mount McKinley. It was later shown that his staged photo was taken at an elevation of around 5338 feet. One would have thought that he would learn to make his lies more plausible, but he must have figured that people reading the newspapers would have no reason to doubt his preposterous claims. Baaaaa.
Luck finally ran out for Dr Cook when he was convicted of business fraud involving some oil companies for which he sold stock - nonexistent startups. He was sentenced to nearly 15 years in prison.
Quoting from Eric Dubay's article on the subject from which we draw our own, the following remarks on Peary are quite a propos
As Peary had once written in a letter to his mother, "I must be the peer or superior of those about me to be comfortable." Historian Fergus Fleming called Peary, "the most unpleasant man in the annals of polar exploration," and polar researcher and author Beau Riffenburgh wrote that, "He was perhaps the most self-serving, paranoid, arrogant, and mean-spirited of all nineteenth-century explorers. He was suspicious of and hateful to those he considered rivals either in actual geographical discovery or as heroic figures. He was condescending and insensitive to his subordinates, and he was ingratiating and servile to those he felt could help his quest for personal glory."
One would do well to read Dubay's article in full as it exposes even more crooks than Cook and Peary. One cannot omit Admiral Byrd from the annals of fraud, plus several others all making claims about northern exposures which don't pass the laugh test.
Eric Dubay, Modern Polar Discovery Frauds, The Atlantean Conspiracy, January 27, 2021, (accessed: The Atlantean Conspiracy: Modern Polar Discovery Frauds, 2/28/2021)
Copyright 2021 Tony Bonn. All rights reserved.