During 10 days of survey the expedition completed 1628 km of travelled line spaced at an average distance of 200m and conducted at an average speed of 10 km/hr. It covered 151 km2 of previously-unsurveyed area, essentially matching in the south the coverage which had been obtained in a similar time period in the north in 2001. In addition all seven high-priority targets from 2001 were surveyed at 50m spacing (five twice).

Post-expedition analysis of the magnetic data revealed that five of the 2001 targets were too large and widespread to be from a small wreck (i.e. – they are the result of geological deposits). One of the remaining targets, the best from 2001, remains the best target from the 2002 survey. The other was done once using a malfunctioning gradiometer and will need to be resurveyed. In the southern area six high-priority magnetic anomalies were found exhibiting characteristics consistent with those expected from one of Franklin’s ships.

In the southern area the expedition camped on an un-named islet in Wilmot Bay where a skull, later identified by a forensic specialist as that of a Caucasian male (from photographs) had been found in 1997. We named the islet "Skull Island" and managed to relocate the skull. In addition a thorough surface search of the islet disclosed three large rectangular tent sites identified as definitely non-Inuit by our guides, and a small piece of glass "prism" which may have originated in an optical instrument. Although very tenous these clues were heartening to the crew as potential evidence that we might be near the location of the wreck.

Figure 3: Skull and glass prism discovered on Skull Is. (photos Amie Gibbins)




Appendix 1: Irish-Canadian Franklin Search Expdition Team


Mr. Jim Delgado – Archaeologist and VMM Liason

Dr. George Hobson – RCGS Liason

Mr. Brad Nelson – Magnetometer data analysis

Field party:

Mr. Saul Aksalook

Mr. Kevin Cronin

Ms. Amie Gibbins

Mr. Tom Gross

Mr. John Murray

Mr. Bill Robinson

Capt. Dave Woodman

Guides and assistants: Colin Putuguq, Daryl Kovtek, David Shikshik



Figure 4: Tom Gross and sled with gradiometer (photo: J. Murray)