A new theory about one of the Arctic's great unsolved mysteries.
David Woodman re-evaluates the importance of Inuit oral traditions in his search to reconstruct the events surrounding Sir John Franklin's tragic 1845 expedition. He shows that often-misunderstood tales of white men travelling through Inuit lands may in fact refer to survivors of the Franklin expedition.
In 1868 American explorer Charles Francis Hall interviewed several Inuit hunters who spoke of strangers travelling through their land. Hall immediately jumped to the conclusion that the hunters were talking about survivors of the Franklin expedition and set off for the Melville Peninsula, the location of many of the sightings, to collect further stories and evidence to support his supposition. His theory, however, was roundly dismissed by historians of his day, who concluded that the Inuit had been referring to other white explorers, despite significant discrepancies between the Inuit evidence and the records of other expeditions.
In Strangers Among Us Woodman re-examines the Inuit tales in light of modern scholarship and concludes that Hall's initial conclusions are supported by Inuit remembrances, remembrances that do not correlate with other expeditions but are consistent with Franklin's.