Ron Carlson Arctic Expeditions

Ron Carlson Arctic Expeditions
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Saturday, January 15, 2011

A New Beginning - Permits being filed

C. F. Hall
Many years ago I became interested in the the Franklin Expedition after reading about a man who became famous not only as one of the first searchers to uncovered the earliest clues to their disappearance, but the mystery that was solved in more recent times surrounding the ominous circumstances of his own death.  He was apparently murdered by the ship's doctor, by arsenic poisoning.  His name was Charles Francis Hall and the book is called "Weird and Tragic Shores", by Chauncey Loomis.  1968 Loomis set up an expedition and traveled to Hall's grave.  They took samples of hair and fingernails from the still largely intact corpse. Analysis showed "an intake of considerable amounts of arsenic by C.F. Hall in the last two weeks of his life."

I then said to myself  "What happened to these Franklin men?"  I came to find out that some parts of their disappearance was still  a mystery and much of their remains have still not yet been found.  The area where much of this had happened, which is in the northern arctic, is not easily accessible.  This is where my intrigue began.
The first exploratory expedition was in 2003, through Cambridge Bay and on to Gjoa Haven, with zodiac boat and side scan sonar system inside an older and smaller amphibian seaplane.  Mainly wanted to do some recon on the conditions and logistics for planned sonar searching for one of the two missing Franklin ships.  After concluding work, met with the Elders of Gjoa Haven, held ceremony and received blessing to continue master plan work in future years.  Gifts were exchanged.  Gifts brought included relics and a sacred pipe from the Lakota people of Pine Ridge, South Dakota.  These relics had the year before been blessed at the Wounded Knee grave site by Jasper Bigfoot, grandson of the great Sioux Lakota Chief Bigfoot.

Shortly after returning home late that summer, found that future expedition plans would be sidetracked for a few years looking after a new son, who was born shortly thereafter in 2005.

Now it is time to start again.  Will postpone looking for a ship for now.  Have some other exciting ideas and plans.  Will be flying up through Cambridge Bay in my DeHavilland Beaver N888BH, configured with tundra tires.

The required permits for my upcoming summer 2011 expedition to the King William Island region of Nunavut are now in the process of being filed with multiple governmental entities.

All work is dedicated to the residents of Gjoa Haven.  Any relics found by anyone should be donated to Gjoa Haven.  Discovery of relics increases knowledge and adds to recording of history, in addition, may increase potential tourism to the Gjoa Haven area, in turn, helping that local economy.

The work for this particular phase will primarily be aerial scanning and recording with some newer advanced airborne technology.  Have spent a lot of time studying the alternatives on where Franklin's tomb and/or the ships' papers may be (if they even exist).  An extensive amount of ground searching may also be anticipated, depending on progress, which will be dictated on weather conditions and logistical challenges.

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