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Eskimos tell the real story
Dr. Cook's went south, not north. Never left sight of land...Cook lied to white men.
(left) Typical newspaper mistake: the correct names are Ahpellah [Ah′-pel-lah] and Etookashoo [E-took′-ah-shoo]. Image from a December 22, 1909 front page report. Source of "know it all" pronunciation is A Negro Explorer.
"We know Dr. Cook very well and also his reputation...he was never good for a hard day’s work; ...He probably has spun this yarn to Mr. Whitney...to make himself look big..."
Matthew Henson, 1909
Eskimo Testimony: These never before published pages are from one of Robert Peary's notebooks. They are the most direct evidence about the 1909 Cook hoax because this is the first recorded testimony from the Eskimos after Cook left the area.
From Matthew Henson's 1912 book [P.90]
"August 17, 1909, Etah, North Greenland...I learn that Dr. Cook came over from Ellesmere Land with his two boys, Etookahshoo and Ahpellah, and in a confidential conversation with Mr. Whitney made the statement that he had reached the North Pole. Professor MacMillan and I have talked to his two boys and have learned that there is no foundation in fact for such a statement, and the Captain and others of the expedition have questioned them, and if they were out on the ice of the Arctic Ocean it was only for a very short distance, not more than twenty or twenty-five miles. The boys are positive in this statement, and my own boys, Ootah and Ooqueah, have talked to them also, and get the same replies. It is a fact that they had a very hard time and were reduced to low limits, but they have not been any distance north, and the Commander and the rest of us are in the humor to regard Mr. Whitney as a person who has been hoodwinked. We know Dr. Cook very well and also his reputation, and we know that he was never good for a hard day’s work; in fact he was not up to the average, and he is no hand at all in making the most of his resources. He probably has spun this yarn to Mr. Whitney and the boatswain to make himself look big to them." [End Henson's 1909 account]

Robert Peary's Eskimo interview notebooks are a remarkable document about the North Pole hoax. These 2 men had served as Cook's hunting guides for an entire year away from their homes. Everything that is now known proves that this is the correct account of what Cook did. One may find it ironic since it took a junior college librarian 8 years to produce his 1100 page tribute to Cook that arrived, finally, at the same conclusion. Cook & Peary, by Robert M. Bryce, simply confirms what Ahpellah and Etookashoo said to Matt and Commander Peary in 1909. So take your choice; 15 hand written pages or 1,150 of text.

Peary and Henson were friends with the Smith Sound area Eskimos tribes over an 18 year period. The Eskimos that accompanied Cook finally reached their village the same summer that Peary's North Pole expedition was returning to the United States. They willingly discussed everything that had transpired. Henson spoke their language fluently and Peary understood much of it. This is the testimony they dictated.

Eskimos readily understood map sketches. They could orient themselves to one and relate distances by lengths of a daily march. Each march meant one night's sleep. Thus they referred to distance in "sleeps." They pointed out on maps the major coastal features they had passed, including where they wintered at Cape Sparbo.

The men said they saw Peary's rock pile "cairn" at Cape Hubbard. Cook told them they did not see it (!) and that Peary had never been there. This is very interesting because Cook is recorded in interviews (New York Times, September 1909) saying that he passed Cape Hubbard. Initially he said he did not see the cairn. When provoked by reporters as to Peary's very visible rock pile he finally admitted that he saw it in the distance.

This admission outraged reporters because all explorers stop and retrieve the records stored at a cairn, then place in it their own record. This is how each would prove the others geographical achievement. But Cook not only did not do this but later claimed Peary had never been at Cape Hubbard. He did this in his book even though the Eskimos had seen the cairn, and Cook had even admitted to a reporter that he saw it but did not stop because he was in a hurry to reach the North Pole!

Years later the Cape Hubbard cairn was visited by another explorer who retrieved Peary's notes and thus settled the charge Cook made that Peary had never been there. This makes the comments of the Eskimos even more interesting because they were on record in 1909 stating "Cook says they did not see it. Said Peary had never been there." The point being that Cook not only lied about going to the North Pole but lied to the Eskimos about Peary, told the Eskimos to lie, lied to the Newspapers about the cairn, and even accused Peary of fraud by claiming Peary had never been to Cape Hubbard because Cook did not see his cairn!

This single incident is a perfect example of the low character of Frederick Cook and the extremes of which he was capable.
Read the 1909 New York Times explanation of how Cook's "Box Hoax" worked.
Peary's record of the Smith Sound Eskimo interviews comprises over a dozen pages. It is part of  the National Archives Peary deposit made in 1970 by Cdr. Edward Peary Stafford, USN (ret).
(below) The infamous Cook denial that he saw Peary's Cape Hubbard rock cairn. Click for supersize
 

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