My Crocker Land Fixation Has Melted Now

I’ve posted the last page in the chilly Charting Crocker Land annex of I became a bit fixated on this project, doing research and writing for it when other things — book-related things — probably should have taken precedence. But maybe it’s out of my system now, and I can focus more effectively on those other projects.

In that last page, I explore whether or not Robert Peary was intentionally lying about having seen Crocker Land. There’s some very good evidence to support the conclusion that he was, and I lean toward agreeing with that conclusion. Still, to my knowledge, the famous explorer left no written confession. No icy gun. Despite this lack of conclusive evidence, I’ve seen sources suggesting that Peary’s having made up Crocker Land is an undeniable fact, not a speculative attempt to mind-read a dead man. There’s the blunt description of Crocker Land on Wikipedia’s page about phantom islands: “A hoax invented by the famous Arctic explorer Robert E. Peary to gain more financial aid from George Crocker, one of his financial bankers [sic].” There’s the even blunter statement in the tellingly titled essay “Lies of the North,” by Duncan Frye: “It was all bullshit.”

Map of the Crocker Land Expedition

My own research into the matter certainly didn’t settle the issue, but I did find a couple of points that inspired me to squint and tilt my head. You can find out exactly what those points are on the page titled Was It All an Arctic Apparition — or a Cold Calculation? If you haven’t been following my progress on this project, it makes sense to start at the base camp of Charting Crocker Land.

— Tim

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