|From Matthew Henson's 1912 book
|"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
reached the North Pole. Professor MacMillan and I have talked to his two
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-five miles. The boys are positive in this statement, and my own
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
distance north, and the Commander and the rest of us are in the humor to
Whitney as a person who has been hoodwinked. We know Dr. Cook very well
also his reputation, and we know that he was never good for a hard day’s
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
make himself look big to them." [End Henson's 1909 account]
Robert Peary's Eskimo
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
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
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
|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