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"I realized that was a scandal."
  Knud Rasmussen
“The documents which Dr. Cook sent to the university are most impudent. It is the most childish sort of attempt at cheating."
Dr. Cook stands today exposed as the chief imposter of the age.
Congressman Fess

Briefly, even the Scientific American was fooled by Cook's tale.

December, 1909. This was the end of Cook - he went into hiding when his fraud was exposed.
Cook's biography, 1000 pages of Fred
Lest History Forget
The librarian at a Maryland junior college, with help from the Frederick A. Cook Society, amassed overwhelming evidence of the previously well known historical fact that Cook was a criminal fraud.

The return journey was made more quickly than the outward journey. There was a trail easily distinguishable, and both men and dogs realized that they were returning to land.
Peary covered 27 outward marches (413 miles) in 16 return marches with the pick of Eskimos and dogs all in good condition, 25 ½ miles per march.
MacMillan, of the first supporting party, covered 7 outward marches (82 miles) in 4 return marches, 20 ½ miles per march.
Borup, of the second supporting party, covered 12 outward marches (136 miles) in 7 return marches with partially crippled men and poor dogs, 19 ½ miles per march.
Bartlett, of the fourth supporting party, covered 22 outward marches (280 miles) in 13 return marches, 21 ½ miles per march.
Bartlett returned from his farthest, 87° 47', in the same number of marches (13) as Peary did from that same point.
Later in the season MacMillan and Borup returning from Cape Jesup with the same dogs used on the northern, trip, covered 275 to 300 miles in 8 marches, and on more than one occasion covered, over 50 miles in a march.
Shackleton, on his outward journey, made marches of 18 and 20 miles. He returned without dogs, and he and his men, dragging their own sledges, made marches of 20, 26, and 29 miles.

“There was absolutely nothing in these alleged observations of Dr. Cook,” said Capt. Amundsen. “It was all fake and could have deceived nobody. Thus, in sorrow, was I forced to the conclusion that my old comrade was lying.”
Amundsen's narrative is as "all that polar bungler Robert Falcon Scott's is not". How right he is! Amundsen relates a fascinating tale of fortune, misfortune, hardship, and ultimately—success. Complete with numerous photos, maps, and scientific data, this book should be considered one of the great narratives of exploration. The great moral lesson of this tale is that preparedness ultimately leads to success. Is it any wonder that Roald Amundsen and his comrades won the race to the South Pole?
Amundsen Repudiates Dr. Cook
As to the position of Amundsen, the discoverer of the South Pole, I quote as follows from the report of an interview with him in the Detroit News: Capt. Amundsen, himself unsuccessful in a search for the North Pole generously joined in the acclaim that at first hailed Dr. Cook as the discoverer, and remained firmly convinced that Cook was telling the truth until he (Amundsen) was given an opportunity to examine the data and observations that Dr. Cook laid before the University of Copenhagen. “There was absolutely nothing in these alleged observations of Dr. Cook,” said Capt. Amundsen. “It was all fake and could have deceived nobody. Thus, in sorrow, was I forced to the conclusion that my old comrade was lying.”

Cook's North Pole claim was impossible
basically because he had no experience on the treacherous Arctic Ocean. Even today, large expeditions with snowmobiles have failed for the same reason—lack of understanding about the difficult ice conditions. Cook certainly had no idea how difficult it is to travel over the broken surface with 50 foot high pressure ridges of ice blocks. In fact, his Eskimo companions agreed that Cook only went 2 days travel from land before giving up.
High clearance sledge used for light loads in deep snow. The spindly supports will not survive heavy loads on rough ice. Yet Cook claimed he used this to carry 800 pound loads to the Pole.
(below) 1969 sledge repairs prove what Peary asserted in 1909. Only the Peary design sledge can withstand the rough ice condition on the Arctic Ocean.
This is exactly what Peary was telling the world! Cook had the wrong type of sledge.

See how Wally Herbert's boys have to make major sledge repairs? And those are the super tough "Peary Design".

Cook, who had never even seen the Arctic ocean, thought people would believe that his spindle leg model made it to the North Pole. Experts immediately knew he was lying.
Cook had the wrong type of sledge. Every experienced arctic traveler who saw his sledge, or this photo (above) knew it would have broken. Those spindly runner legs would not last a day traversing the ice blocks on the polar ocean surface while carrying 800 pounds of supplies. (below) Here is a correctly designed Peary sledge for comparison. Peary kept them loaded with under 400 pounds, with a low center of gravity. (See also Landry's aluminum version)
This is the sledge Peary and Henson  designed from many years of experience. This style is still used today, with the runners made of welded aluminum.

Cook's inadequate equipment, coupled with a lack of support teams made his journey impossible from the outset. It would be the equivalent of trying to drive a car from New York to Los Angeles and back on a single tank of gas. His childish story about how he pulled off this miracle is analogous to claiming that when the car ran out of gas he coasted down hill for 2500 miles to California, then used a sail to returned to New York by wind power. Many polar expert of the day, such as Rasmussen, Amundsen, Baldwin, Greely, Fiala, etc. eventually repudiated Dr. Cook when they realized he was lying.

Travel over the Arctic ocean was almost impossible.
The ice may split open unexpectedly into "leads" of open ocean, or immense tidal/wind pressures rupture the surface explosively upward into "pressure ridges" with deafening noise. It had taken Peary and Henson 10 years of trial and error to learn the techniques that one must master to accomplish it. They had searched east and west along Ellesmere Island and Greenland's northern edge learning the ocean currents and ice drift directions. They mastered the sheer bravery needed to travel across rubbery "new ice" (that forms as a lead freezes) by shuffling "bear style" (from observing polar bears) using skis or snowshoes to spread their weight over the largest possible area. Peary re-designed their sledges and Matt built the ones they adapted to this task. They found they could cross leads by ferrying equipment across on large floating ice cakes. All of this experience from several attempts allowed them to finally lead a series of support teams to the Pole.

It is 30 to 50 degrees below zero with a wind chill approaching 100 degrees below zero. Over the centuries hundreds of men died and hundreds more had their frozen hands, ears, noses, etc. amputated trying to reach the Pole. Not one expedition in hundreds of years had succeeded in getting closer than about 200 miles from the Pole. That is, until Peary devised his system of logistical support that coordinated 24 men with 133 dogs.

The heaving ocean ice
frequently breaks apart leaving open water, or it heaves up into long pressure ridges 50 feet high that force the traveler to carry hundreds of pounds of supplies over and down the other side in a repetitive, exhausting manner.
Fields of "ice rubble" can only be crossed by chopping a path through. Even the toughest hardwood sledges must be repaired as they are bashed apart. In fact. Peary & Henson had redesigned and strengthened the sledges from their years of experience. Steel strips were added to the runners made of solid hickory planks. 1903 Cook roast by the man who first documented Fred's pathological nature.
Teams hack their way through ice rubble field on Peary's 1909 expedition.
Tremendous amounts of supplies are needed for this 826 nautical mile (absolute minimum straight-line distance from Ellesmere Island) round trip. Large quantities of alcohol fuel must be carried as it is used to melt snow into drinking water as well as warm the food - without this supplied heat a person would become hypothermic and die. One simply can not eat snow at 50 degrees below zero, or eat frozen food and expect the body to melt them. This requires too many heat calories. Men and dogs in the arctic consume large amounts of fat & meat to replace calories lost from the strenuous effort while breathing sub-zero air. All of this adds up to a large amount of supplies, and the dogs to haul it all.

"Borup returning from Cape Jesup with the same dogs used on the northern, trip, covered 275 to 300 miles in 8 marches"

It is facts such as that which make fools of armchair "experts" who said Peary & Henson traveled impossibly fast. Anti-Peary authors over the years devoted many pages trying to "prove" they could not have done this. Then Landry & Crowley achieved these distances on their first attempt!

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