National Geographic : 1909 Oct
THE DISCOVERY OF THE POLE W Eprint herewith the reports of Dr F. A. Cook and Commander Robert E. Peary announcing the discovery of the North Pole April 21, 1908, and April 6, 1909. Before the National Geographic Society can, however, accept the conclusions of either Commander Peary or Dr Cook that the North Pole has been attained, it will be necessary that the scientific records and data of each explorer be carefully examined by its Committee on Research or by some body or commission acceptable to the Board. The Society takes this position not from any distrust of the personal integrity of either explorer, but because of the many calculations that enter into the determination of the pole. The National Geographic Society urges Commander Peary and Dr Cook speedily to submit all their observations, notes, and data to a competent scientific commission in the United States. FIRST REPORT BY DR FREDERICK A. COOK, SEPT. I, 1909 (Copyright, 1909, by the New York Herald Company. All rights reserved. Repub lication in whole orpart prohibited) FTER a prolonged fight against famine and frost we have at last succeeded in reaching the North Pole. A new highway, with an interesting strip of animated nature, has been ex plored. Big game haunts were located which will delight the sportsman and extend the Eskimo horizon. Land has been discovered upon which rest the earth's northernmost rocks. A triangle of 30,000 square miles has been cut out of the terrestrial unknown. The expedition was the outcome of a summer cruise in Arctic seas. The yacht Bradley arrived at the limits of naviga tion in Smith Sound late in August, 1907. Here conditions were found favorable to launch a venture for the pole. Mr John R. Bradley liberally supplied from the yacht suitable provisions for local use, and my own equipment for emergencies served well for every pur pose of Arctic travel. Many Eskimos had gathered on the Greenland shores at Annootok for the winter bear hunt. Immense caches of meat had been gathered. About the camp were plenty of strong dogs. The combination was lucky, for there was good material for an equipment, ex pert help, and an efficient motor force, and all that was required was conven iently arranged at a point only 700 miles from the boreal center. A house and workshop was built of packing boxes. The willing hands of this northernmost tribe of 250 people were set to the problem of devising a suitable outfit, and before the end of the long winter night we were ready for the enterprise. Plans were matured to force a new route over Grinnell Land and northward along its west coast out on the polar sea. Soon after the polar midnight the campaign opened. A few scouting par ties were sent over to the American shores to explore a way and to seek game haunts. Their mission was only partly success ful, because storms darkened the January moon. At sunrise of 1908 (February 19) the main expedition embarked for the pole. Eleven men and 103 dogs, drawing II heavily loaded sledges, left the Green land shore and pushed westward over the troubled ice of Smith Sound.