As a student of history I am always keen to evaluate both sides of an argument. Unfortunately
Cook is such a joke, a fraud it was proved, that you site is an accurate historical evaluation owing to its
"facts only" approach. If there are still those who disagree with
they should state their arguments in a mature fashion which is
ridiculous on the face of it given Cooks pathological acts. The Brits
never did reach a Pole and return alive. Calling the four man trans-Arctic expedition a "camping holiday" is an
If anything one should not blindly respect other people's endeavors
when they are so self serving. Poor little Wally riding on his
sledge is a royal hypocrite to accuse Peary of being nothing but a
passenger, etc. Herbert was, in fact, willing to go along with
Cook's daughter if he could scrape up a few dollars for his polar
holiday. Poor Wally Herbert was recently referred to by Ranulf Feinnes,
the South Pole masochist who emulated Scott (and sawed off his
fingers trying to emulate Peary!), as "one of if not the
shortest of all Arctic tourists" - whatever that means.
Balanced evaluation is paramount to rid the world of nonsense like
Cook, and expose Herbert's attempt to make himself the "first at the
North Pole". Hopefully those who draw funds from Cook's daughter's
vendetta fund will stop filling the internet with pathetic one sided childish whining
against Peary. I applaud you for your website, accurately quoting the parts of Wally Herbert's arguments
that expose his folly. Jack Hass
1st Class MA (Horns) Glasgow University 1962, MA Intelligence & International
Security (Candidate 1943) King's College London.
Lindbergh wasn't the first man to fly across the Atlantic
clearly you have some heartfelt issues with British re-writing history to suit their own purposes. You have so much
knowledge in you, can't you spare a little for your own country? If truth is so important why don't you educate your compatriots that Lindbergh wasn't the first man to fly across the Atlantic, that Henry Ford didn't invent the motor car, that Edison didn't invent the lightbulb, that Franklin didn't invent electricity, a list to which I could add a thousand other firsts that Americans didn't achieve but Americans widely believe did.
Speaking specifically of exploration and due credit why is it that Americans idolise Lewis and Clark yet ignore the much greater explorations of North America by LaSalle. Answer because he wasn't American. No country has turned its own history into so much mythology as the USA has, not even the British. A mythology that with its attendant self esteem has been used as a reason to kill far more poor and dark skinned people than the British ever did and is now threatening the very existence of humankind, Polar or otherwise.
were a joke! This is not the only site which says it....I think more
will finally end the old nonsense about Scott and Shackelton being
heroes. They were failures plain and simple. The English gave them far
too much attention to compensate for the disgrace England felt. Scott
was a total fool! Shackelton had to reach a whaler's factory to effect
his rescue. Hello? Antartica had commercial enterprises there! If not
he'd have died.
The UK "Empire" is forever disgraced by Franklin, Scott, and
Shackelton who proved that the upper crust may have had the money to
finance their adventures but nature rewards those who understand her
lessons. Peary did that, Amundsen did it and they carried off the
eternal prizes of priority. Yet 100 years later it is the Brits who
are making movies and re-enactments of their pathetic failed "heroes."
Only a national inferiority can explain why they care who got to the pole first.
If it had been Brits you'd think they'd be charging rent to anyone else going up/down there.
Your bias towards Peary and Henson is a fitting reminder of how
"history" has glorified the failures and frauds! From the Scott death
march to the Shackelton fiasco-- British expeditions were a farce. The
English have so much pride even in their failures that Sir Raymond Priestley commented: "For
scientific leadership, give me Scott, for swift and efficient travel give
me Amundsen. But when you are in a hopeless situation, when you are
seeing no way out, get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton." That is
clearly a dismissal of the man who brilliantly led an expedition to
the South Pole in favor of a man who sunk his ship! Your insightful critisisms about Shackleton
may in time balance things out. Why do we glorify failures in order to
pave over success? Is it because England has more writers and the
Norwegians simply erected statues to honor Amundsen? Haha, its all
rather pathetic really, alot of British "stiff upper lip" rubbish. If
more people opened
their "history" eyes they might see this, but we're too stuborn for that.
Great site with material few else would have the guts to present, but don't worry, I've informed the
relevant people and I shall be using your site again to show others the true
facts. Bravo! Ben & Jerry
[Ben, your words are simply brilliant. I'd add
to Sir Raymond Priestly's remark: "When you don't want failure &
misery get down on your knees to pray for Peary, Henson, MacMillan,
Borup, Bartlett, Marvin, Dr. Goodsell, Ootah, Seeglo, Ooqueah, and
Canadians set new North Pole dash record
McNair-Avery proved that Peary & Henson only had to go 1/2 way,
not the full round trip back to land! Henson could have just called
for an airplane to fly home like Tommy Avery did.
People who have no real stature in history, such as Herbert and now Avery,
use the greatness of Henson & Peary to make themselves appear great.
Every year NorthWinds,
http://www.northwinds-arctic.com/polarex.html, takes clients to the
North and South Poles. Only Avery takes all
the credit for himself, as if these were his own expeditions, even
though he has paid NorthWinds to guide him to BOTH Poles!
The real hero here is Matty McNair--a superb athlete. She and husband
Paul Landry do this stuff for fun and even take the kids Sarah and
Eric. In fact, while she was being paid to take Avery to the North
Pole her South Pole vacation trip with Sarah and Eric was on The
Science Channel (DirecTV satellite). When you see mom and her
teenagers kiting to the South Pole for a lark it makes the "stiff
upper lip" Brits "proving Peary" look like the charlatans I believe
they really are.
hilarious site! best coverage of this nonsense on the internet. thanks for not having any pop-up ads, etc.
The McNair-Avery expedition has been plagued by the same problems
Peary & Henson encountered with airplanes--they are unable to fly them
in to the departure point during storms. That is why Peary finally
built the ship Roosevelt to get his team to the starting point
regardless of weather. Peary gave up on airplanes as all the UK
historians well know. Anyway, Avery & Matty and the boys are starting
several weeks later than Peary did, weeks later than the Canadian team
of Landry & Crowley. Ice conditions deteriorate, the gravitational
effects of the full moon will open up leads of open water. The only
known reason is to ensure that leads will open up is so they can
practice arctic swimming just as Matty did with her group of British
housewives (see her book "On Thin Ice"). After all, if a dog sledge
dash to the Pole were a "cake walk" any fool could do it. In order to
entertain readers of Avery's books (and his lecture audiences) he has
to suffer all kinds of nightmarish problems from drowning to eating
his dogs to cutting off frozen body parts.
Reaching the Pole as Peary did is like climbing Mt. Everest -- it
requires great skill, practice, and experience. Arctic experience is
something Avery and company can only obtain from this misadventure.
Peary & Henson had traveled on the Arctic Ocean over a 10 year period,
including their 1,000 mile trek around Greenland (mapping unknown
coast), before they succeeded. In 1909 Peary had 24 men, 133 dogs;
teams that blazed trails and made camps. The parties returning to land
continued to build the trail, knitting it together where it broke from
shifting ice. In light of the massive assault Peary employed to
achieve the Pole it is pitiful and insulting for publicity seeking
adventurers to stand upon the shoulders of the 1909 expedition and
call their meager efforts "In the footsteps of Peary." Or "Ultimate
I wrote a comment yesterday
ranting and raving about that so-called hero (and teen idol) Tommy
Avery! Why are you the only place on the Internet with the balls to
tell the truth about his sledding party with matty? All the other news
media simply regurgitate the drivel fed to them by the press releases
without any thought about what is really going on. Good to see this is a well balanced and impartial forum
where Brits can't slur the greatest of all Arctic legends! Peary &
Henson made Brits look like the upper class twits they were just as
Amundsen made poor dear old South Pole Scott look like a complete ass! You know what's a great deal worse than British Explorers failing to recreate epic journeys - cowardly nerds
who hire Landry's wife to beat the Canadian record, who have never even been dog sledging before!
I'm not commenting on the men who are actually out in the field and
know that Landry did the run his first time out in 42 days. Landry
didn't have four teams out ahead paving a trail as Peary & Henson did!
Christ, Landry could have beat Peary & Henson's 37 days if he had!. Its pathetic how
English upper class have to live vicariously through real explorers.
Brit twits should stop pointing fingers at everyone else and get off
their asses and try it the way Peary & Henson did it. Or at least stop
paying Canadian professionals to make them look like explorers to the
sponsors back home! If Avery & company read the books Peary and Henson
wrote, and had the benfit of their experience, then maybe someone in
the UK would take them seriously...
Holy snow cones! Your website told the truth about the Avery trip! You
are not supposed to tell the truth, you dolts! What would the dear
fans back home think? All those hearts of all those teen age girls
crushed to learn their idol pays the Landry family to make him look
like a real explorer? Oh my GOD! Keep it up. Where do I donate funds?
Wednesday, December 29, 2004
just came across this site and am not surprised at the negative comments made about British Explorers and Brits in general. To call Scott a bungler is
the obvious truth. Being the first man to the South Pole was the primary objective of Scott's expedition--he
was a fool to ignore the work of Robert Peary. But Scot wasn't trying to carry out important scientific work. Its
obvious, from the success of Amundsen, that they should have taken dogs. The main cause of death was because they
were short on intelligence, lacked skill, lacked proper clothing,
lacked dogs, and ran out of fuel. They suffered far more severe weather then was expected on the return journey
because they were so naive about the Antarctic. The return weather from the pole limited their progress. Secondly, the terrible conditions those explorers had to face only goes to show their
idiocy and not really endurance and bravery. Full credit to Amundsen for getting their first. However,
his ease of the trip does make Scott look stupid. A lot of the negative remarks about Brits seem to stem from
the arrogance of an entire country in decline, and comments from that beer company
slurs about Henson. No Brit has earned the right to speak about Henson.
But its really the view of the entire country. What do you think the rest of the world would think if
they took every word coming out of our Queen's mouth as that of every
As for the negative comments about Brits and British Explorers, they deserve it
after the negativity they have expressed for the polar winners. Otherwise, i feel sorry for
Scot, Shackelton, Fiennes, et al - having a site exposes to public
scrutiny their failed deeds or ignorant remarks.
Jack the Ripper, London, England.
I am a big supporter of Henson and Peary and I think this site is fabulous! There really needed to be something done about this Cook disgrace and the Herbert distortions to history! Bravo! I wish I could to read in tomorrow's paper that the Cook Society and Herbert had apologized for what they did and would fund a scholarship program with their ill gotten gains. No one else on the Internet, or in print, can say what needs to be said because of advertisers, etc. The damage done to these incredibly brave men who reached the Pole has become a source of international disgrace. But I saw the web published 1915 Fess speech to the US Congress and had no idea how vile Cook was! And the sentencing from Judge Killits--he knew Cook was hiding the money and would pass it on to his daughter. The judge was correct! How incredible that those stolen funds were used by Cook's con artist daughter to actually pay men to write this anti-Henson/Peary trash! Some publisher should grab this and make a book. Bravo!
From: jess tauber <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Cook/Bridges
Hi. Still email@example.com. I have no problem with your putting up my letter. It would be nice if I could get anti-Cook people to help with Yahgan language revitalization, but I guess that's just wishful thinking.
Endangered language funding organizations have lots of competition for grants, and some believe Yahgan, with only two people, is too far gone. But the materials I have, though not as comprehensive as they might be (because Cook may have managed to lose the rest) are, combined with newly gleaned materials and the integration of all of them, adequate to bring the language back better than 95%, which is lots better than the situation Hebrew was in. One can always improvise the rest, as scholars did with the latter.
So I keep trying to imagine possible linguistics-external funding sources, but I'm still scratching my head.
Cook may not have been responsible in the end for all the losses- history is a bit fuzzy here- correspondence has been lost, German invasion of Belgium (where some of the materials may have been- there was unfortunately no inventory kept anywhere), etc. But Cook is the prime suspect. His pique at having been discovered trying to credit himself as author (when merely editor) of the dictionary @1908-9, combined with his personality, would have given him motive to destroy any evidence of his actions. We may never know.
Hi. I've been personally involved in trying to undo some of the damage done by Cook in another area- the loss of most of the life work of the Reverend Thomas Bridges on the language of the Yahgan natives of Tierra del Fuego. The Bridges family entrusted these to Cook after the 1898-9 Belgica expedition to Antarctica, on the promise that he would see certain of the materials published in the US.
This now impacts directly on the future survival of the Yahgan language, now critically endangered with just two elderly speakers. Although nobody knows for sure, Cook (or other supporters) may have "disappeared" most of these materials after he tried to make it look as if he was the primary author of the massive dictionary of Yahgan by Bridges (Cook on his specimen title page did put in fine print at the bottom that Bridges "had been instrumental in collecting the words". How magnanimous). The materials may have included many letters from literate Yahgans, myth texts, the 32000 headword final dictionary draft and a grammar manuscript.
Surviving materials are all of much lower scope and quality (early drafts, etc.) making it that much harder to put together adequate teaching materials to help save the language. I keep hoping that Cook did not destroy or throw out what he had on hand (which he had promised to return to the Bridges family, but never did), but perhaps lent, gave or sold them to some collector somewhere who might be willing to let them see the light of day again. Maybe he's buried with them. Who knows?
I've already contacted the Cook people- they claim to have no knowledge of the whereabouts of the Bridges works, and examination of the inventories of the Cook collections in various libraries has turned up only odd tidbits, all by Cook himself, concerning them.
One bad nightmare I've had is that Cook took them to the Arctic to work on them (he was supposed to retranscribe the dictionary), and they ended up feeding a fire.
what a hilarious roast of that con man crook. good work.
Only Peary & Henson made it to the North Pole - Not Cook! But "in 1948 Pavel Kononovich Sen'ko, Mikhail Michailovich Somov, Pavel Afanasyevich Geordiyenko and Mikhail Yemel Yanovich Ostrekin were the undisputed first people to reach the North Pole over land" according to the 1997 World Guinness Book of Records.
But the Guinness people forgot that there is no land going to the
Pole! They corrected this error in later editions by stating Peary
first reached the Pole. Of course it wouldn't be politically correct
for an Irish beer company to claim that Russians were first to the
North Pole as well as being first in space. Wouldn't do the Huge Irish National Ego any good whatsoever.
And not for nothing but I would put one Brit up against a hundred
Scots in any pub any day of the week. Brits can out drink anyone.
For good reasons you don't think much of the British in polar exploration, and neither do I! Your very appropriate quote "Just because a beer company prints a book that declares recent British polar adventurers the "Greatest in the world" does not mean anything outside of their tiny island." is hilariously true! You call the UK a "tiny island", and it really is--in mentality as well. British explorer nonsense like the "rescuer" Shackleton is an example. He never explored, he just fought for survival and yet the Brits have used him to over shadow the truly great Polar Explorer Roald Amundsen! Shackelton may have not achieved his aim, his 1914-1916 expedition was only a success in that he managed not to kill his men, which is no mean feat in the history of polar exploration for British now is it! Scott killed all of his! You site Scott as a "bungler", yet that was something historians did--so I appreciate that you are mearly amplifying what was said for decades. Scott is an important lesson in ego, stupidity and failure to learn from those more experienced. If Scott had spent a month with Matthew Henson and Peary in the Arctic he could have saved not only his own dumb ass but that of his pathetic team who followed him to an agonizing, horrible death. Obviously this is what Peary & Henson avoided in all of their expedition. Bravo! Keep up the great website!
Regards, Simon Nattrass, Britain
RE: Inuit or Eskimo
I appreciated your sensitive dissertation on Eskimo vs. Inuit.
Political correctness is a funny thing. Eskimo was not a European
epithet for those people, but rather the term used by the Labrador
Native Americans (Native Canadians? or does America refer to the whole
continent? How do distinguish among a Native American Mexican, a
Native American U.S. American, and a Native American Canadian. Maybe
Native Americans don't.)
If it was demeaning, that is not to different than other Native
American tribal names that have crept into usage. As I recall, the
Adirondack tribe was so called (derogatorily) by another tribe, and
means those who eat bark. Referring to the Inuit as "those who eat raw
meat" might or might not have been derogatory, but it was certainly
accurate (although obviously it is not any longer). I am not sure
Inuit is much better. Yes, it simply means "people," but its use to
apply only to the people in question reflects their ignorant belief, a
couple of centuries ago, that they were the only people in the world.
Certainly they don't believe that any more.
I suppose we could call Germans Volk, French people Gens, etc., but
then we would be stuck calling Brits, Canadians, Australians and New
Zealanders (leaving aside the controversial issues of Scots, Welsh and
Irish, Northern and otherwise) all by the same term we use for
ourselves. That would never do. Like you say, who cares?
Hey Doctor Crook! I think you are very NOT cool. What a scam artist you were. You must have had balls of iron to say you found the north pole. But as they say, "All wicked people get their comeupance."
Another myth perpetuated, they're not 'Eskimos' but 'Inuit'...
Eskimo is a white man's version of what they thought of the Inuit,
they were 'meat eaters' or 'Eskimos'. Sandy Wallace, firstname.lastname@example.org
what a marvelous site. you are a rare talent--keep it up. You must use
Viagra, huh? Hey! Did you hear this one? What happens when you give
Viagra to a Cookite? Huh? Give up yet? They get taller. Get it?
I've just stumbled across your Polar Controversy site (thinking about getting a friend a title for her birthday and there was a link on your page... anyhow) and you seem to have a serious problem with English people.
I've only skimmed across the site and can't comment on much of it but just hoped to explain a few things. In England we love a glorious failure - that's why the base is named after Scott rather than Amundsen (you know, the successful one who didn't actually die). Hell, look at the way we idolise Earnest Shackleton. Don't know why we do, but we do. And, like most other people, we do tend to laud our own above others who may deserve it more.
This is a wonderful new idea
Hello Dr. Cook. Where have you been for so long? We have missed you.