Raiders of the lost farce

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Their ship's the Erebus and the Terror frozen to the Arctic Ocean for two winters, the survivors of the British Navy's expedition to chart a North West Passage in 1845 struggled to stay alive on King William Island; battling scurvy, lead poisoning and turning to cannibalism.
Then, leaving a few notes behind, they walked off King William Island and into oblivion. Inuit narrative described finding the ill-fated ships and of the dead still aboard. Debris fields, skeletal remains and graves on the island attest that some held off the same fate of their captain, Sir John Franklin, for a few years but all 129 men eventually died, leaving behind a mystery: whatever happened to the Erebus and Terror?
As the ice flows of the Arctic continue to free themselves and the prospect of a North West Passage seeming more a reality today than it did in Franklin's time, Stephen Harper's Conservative government is turning its attention to this long unsolved mystery. To find the Eros and Terror is not just a matter of solving a mystery but puts the Canadian stamp on history itself, positioning the nation in the public eye, at least, to having sovereignty over the North and any trading ship route that could bypass the Panama Canal.
Along with the Canadian Coast Guard and Parks Canada, Harper's Conservatives have launched an expedition to locate the Erebus and Terror. It's an adventure poised to spark the imagination but in reality Harper's government is gambling with tax dollars to portray itself as sensitive yet adventurous Indiana Jones-type archeologists when their motives lean more towards plundering.
The world stage considers the Arctic international waters while Canada claims sovereignty over any future passageway and oil therein. Were a North West Passage to open, Canada wants to position itself as benefactor to the commercial trading route and stake claim to offshore oil fields. Unfortunately, Canada is using a treasure hunt to create a sense of entitlement rather than use diplomacy.
If the Erebus and Terror are not found Harper's government will be roasted for throwing away tax dollars for political positioning and all hands could be lost.

Organizations: British Navy, Canadian Coast Guard, Parks Canada

Geographic location: Arctic Ocean, King William Island, Canada Panama Canal

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