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100 years ago a Big Fraud...twice!

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  • 100 years ago a Big Fraud...twice!

    A hundred years ago this month Peary and Cook both came back from the North claiming the North Pole, forcing Roald Amundsen to head South and and nip the loser Scott at the pole.

    But as we know now both fiddled with the truth.

    'Mr. Rawlins and another prominent polar scholar, Robert M. Bryce, doubt that Peary got much closer than 100 miles to the pole. Mr. Bryce, who recently discovered the draft of the Cook telegram that started the controversy, figures that Cook stopped more than 400 miles short.'

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/08/scien ... nted=print

  • #2
    Re: 100 years ago a Big Fraud...twice!

    Originally posted by Conor Dary
    A hundred years ago this month Peary and Cook both came back from the North claiming the North Pole, forcing Roald Amundsen to head South and and nip the loser Scott at the pole.

    But as we know now both fiddled with the truth.

    'Mr. Rawlins and another prominent polar scholar, Robert M. Bryce, doubt that Peary got much closer than 100 miles to the pole. Mr. Bryce, who recently discovered the draft of the Cook telegram that started the controversy, figures that Cook stopped more than 400 miles short.'

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/08/scien ... nted=print
    (From earlier threads I know you are very much into mountains/ mountaineering). Reading through some of that stuff, I got the impression that outright fraudulent claims to be the first to climb (important) peaks, centered primarily on Denali. Why, in your opinion, do the frauds in such cases come predominantly from one country?

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    • #3
      When it comes to fraud and Denali, our old friend Fred Cook shows up again. After claiming the prize it was later discovered he had faked that too.

      Cook is hard too understand. He was on the first expedition, the Belgica, to winter in the Antarctic, and according to Amundsen, who was on that ship, saved the entire crew.

      He also had original ideas on tents, goggles, etc. that Amundsen later used.

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      • #4
        There was a compelling (or at least I found it so) Cook/Peary made-for-TV show in the early '80s, with Richard Chamberlain as a rather sympathetic Cook and Rod Steiger as a rather evil Peary. Def. left one with the feeling that Cook got screwed.

        Brian Dennehy also did a good turn as Cook (cameos) in what's the best frozen-exploration thing I've ever seen, The Last Place On Earth, a chronicling of Amundsen vs. Scott.

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        • #5
          I remember that Peary/Cook show. It was good and did make Peary quite the ogre, which from I have read isn't far from the truth.

          Cook's big problem at the time, besides being a fraud, was Peary's ruthless backers, especially the National Geographic Society who relentless attacked Cook.



          The Last Place on Earth mini-series really is compelling. I have the dvd and have watched it many times.

          Great cast, with Martin Shaw doing a superb job as Scott. Hugh Grant is even in it as the rather hapless Aspley Cherry-Garrard, who later wrote The Worst Journey in the World.

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