by John Tierney, New York Times Magazine, July 26, 1998."
2) "Historical reference
source, Northwest Passage, September 17, 1998"
probably won't print this: they never do, but if you don't fire you
can't hit the target."
Date: Tue, 18 Aug 1998
They probably won't print this: they never do, but If you don't fire
you can't hit the target.
The following sent today to the New York
RE: Explornography by John Tierney,
New York Times Magazine, July 26, 1998.
Once again a glib amateur has seen fit, almost casually and in passing,to
slander an American hero, a great and good man who spent a lifetime
of hardship and separation in a courageous and successful effort to
discover the North Pole for his service and his country. With little
evident knowledge of the subject he informs his readers that Peary
"couldn't have navigated his way to the Pole," and "didn't
have enough time to cover the distance.." Thus, he concludes,
"Peary apparently lied."
Let's forget for a moment that Peary was an officer in the Navy of
the United States with a lifetime reputation for absolute honesty
and integrity who had previously reported the failures in his explorations
with the same exactitude as the successes, and that he had by 1909
been navigating for some twenty years and 10,000 miles across the
high arctic with the professional precision of of the engineer and
surveyor that he was. And never mind that modern day explorers,including
especially the most accomplished of them all, Will Steiger, have no
doubt about Peary's sledging speeds, or that every one of the six
official investigations conducted since 1909 have confirmed his discovery
of the Pole.
Ignored by Mr. Tierney and career Peary detractors is existing mathematical
confirmation of Peary's success. It comes in the analysis of the photographs
taken on April 6, 1909. The process, which uses the focal length of
the camera, the shadows cast by the sun, and the visible horizon to
obtain a band of positions, is called photogrammetry, and it places
the 1909 photographer within three miles of the Pole.
Physical evidence also exists, as incontrovertible as the notorious
stain on the dress which annihilated half a year of spin and sputter.
Five miles south of the Pole, far down on the frigid bottom of the
Polar Sea, lies several thousand feet of weighted steel wire, deposited
there on 7 April 1909 when Peary's sounding apparatus broke at a kink
in the wire and was lost. One day, as certain as the sunrise, a refinement
of the technology that located the Titanic and the Bismarck will be
used to locate and recover that wire.
This Peary grandson is taking extra good care of himself in the hope
that he will still be around on that day to relish the massive ingestion
of crow that will ensue.
Edward Peary Stafford
#2 To Northwest Passage
Hello to all of you at Northwest Passage.
After months of false starts and outright procrastination I have finally
acquired an e-mail address. Thanks again for the great trip to the
Arctic in Spring, 1997. I loved the dogs, the ice, the company, and
even the food. What an adventure! Hopefully, there will be others.
I look forward to hearing from you
on issues related to Robert E. Peary in particular and arctic exploration
and the North Greenland Eskimos in general. My E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org. My first comment of historical nature is to
reply to the person who wrote asking why Frederick Cook was not mentioned
along with Peary in your materials.
You might point out Cook is not mentioned
for the same reason that astronomers do not feel compelled to mention
the Flat Earth Society when they discuss the solar system, and historians
do not feel to compelled to mention King Arthur when they talk about
British Royalty. Cook's claim falls in the same category as the assertion
that the earth is flat, both are untenable in light of any objective
analysis of the facts. For the mythical (King Arthur) version, feel
free to contact the Cook family. They will be happy to tell you: "There
really is a 'controversy' because he (Cook) really made it to the
Pole." And "We can explain the falsified photographs, the
adamant denials of his Eskimo companions that they ever left sight
of land, and the bogus (and erroneous, and second hand) navigational
calculations he attempted to foist off on an unsuspecting public as
his own." And "We can also tell you all the dark conspiratorial
reasons why even some of Peary's harshest critics term Cook's claim
'pathetic'," If you buy into all that, please contact me directly.
I have a bridge in Brooklyn that I will let you have for a fraction
of its real value.