Appendix 4. Experience.

Major renovations were completed in early November 2017 but I expect that warts remain.
Thanks for your patience. Allan

Appendix 4. Experience.

Arthur Moffatt did not die due to lack of experience or poor leadership (a group of novices…an inexperienced party…indifferent leadership…poor leadership skills or poor planning) as asserted by James Murphy, Charlie Mahler and Bob Thum.
The cause of his death is documented in Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.

The opinion of James Murphy.

Grinnell and four other young men were led on a poorly planned and lackadaisically executed canoe trip by Arthur Moffatt… I…would recommend this one as an excellent example of how not to conduct a canoe trip. [Murphy’s review (1996) of Grinnell’s book].
Response. Murphy’s accusation is only peripherally related to the matter of experience and so I omit further discussion of it, here.

The opinions of Charlie Mahler and Bob Thum.

Source. The following articles (likely identical) of 2005.
http://www.ottertooth.com/che-mun/122/chemun122.pdf
http://www.canoeing.com/advanced/feature/deadmansriver.htm
Comment. I say that the accusations are opinions because neither Mahler nor Thum provided supporting evidence.
The opinion of Mahler.
…the Moffatt story unfolds as a tragedy just waiting to happen – indifferent leadership, an inexperienced party, bad chemistry, a plodding pace, and an apparent apathy to the season closing on them…
Thum, opinion 1.
Those guys had no business being up there. … They were a bunch of guys who didn’t know what they were doing and led by a guy with poor leadership skills. They fooled around and did a lot of crap and it finally came back to bite them. This was simply a group of novices led by someone more interested in film than travel, which squandered its time and resources and then made some tragic mistakes.
Thum 2, opinion 2.
Moffatt … had some experience, but not much.
Comment. One might have expected Thum, a lawyer, to provide evidence in support of these two assertions.

Item 1.

Thum.
… a group of novices and Moffatt … had some experience, but not much.
Mahler.
…an inexperienced party…
Comment 1.
As in nearly all the accusatory literature, no supporting evidence was provided, no source was mentioned.
Comment 2.
As I document in Ancillary 1. Accusations, Thum and Pessl had corresponded prior to the former’s 1966 Dubawnt trip; perhaps then much of the evidence provided below was known to Thum at the time.
Response 1.
…Art Moffatt was already an accomplished adventurer when other boys were still tying their first Boy Scout knots. At 17, he embarked on a major expedition, 700 miles down the Albany River from Sioux Lookout in western Ontario to the lower part of Hudson Bay. Incredibly, he made the trip alone. …
From 1950 to 1954, he led yearly trips down the Albany, studying the region’s geology and wild life as he went.
[Sports Illustrated, p 71, left column].
Response 2.
As well, Moffatt had paddled the Allagash, Androscoggin and Penobscot Rivers in Maine.
I suggest that he must have known what he was doing to make such demanding trips.
Response 3.
Pessl had made two Albany trips with Moffatt and other trips as well. Franck had tripped with Moffatt on the Albany. Grinnell had paddled but not tripped. Lanouette and LeFavour were young outdoorsmen but with no canoeing experience. [Pessl, p XIV].
Response 4. The matter of Grinnell’s experience.
The literature is contradictory and so I provide the following clarification.
(a) On page 14 of a follow-up to Kesselheim’s C&K article of 2012, Grinnell asserted the following. I was not the least experienced canoeist, but the most experienced.
That claim was denied by Pessl, in a later follow-up to the same article.
(b) In his book, Grinnell comments as follows regarding his experience.
But Joe Lanouette and Bruce LeFavour, my fellow bowmen and novices like me… [p 6].
But we novices in the bows… [p 33].
We three bowmen had never been on a long-distance canoe trip. [p 53].
Conclusion. Grinnell’s statement that he was most experienced paddler in the Moffatt party is at variance with his own evidence. Perhaps he was baiting Pessl.
Summary. The Thum-Mahler assertions
… a group of novices, and
Moffatt … had some experience, but not much, and
an inexperienced party
have no basis in evidence.

Item 2.

… didn’t know what they were doing … [Thum]
Again, the accusation is an opinion only.
Summary.
Early on 14 September (after 11 weeks on the water), the party had gotten through many rapids on the Dubawnt (some highly dangerous) without a wrap, without a dump, without serious damage to the boat.
Damage.
Results of an incomplete search.
I heard the stem crack…I heard the ribs cracking… [Grinnell, p 75].
A hole in one canoe [Grinnell, p 126].
There was a small dent in the bow…the real damage as from the rock in the tail. The inner planking had a cracked place and the canvas was scraped. [Franck, in Pessl, 26 July, p 53.]
…struck a rock…a brief check showed no water… [Pessl, 6 September, p 122].
…splintered a plank…[Pessl, 6 September, p 122].
…cracked a rib pretty badly [Pessl, 6 September, p 123].
…a little piece of planking knocked in, but the ribs weren’t broken and the canvas wasn’t cut; no serious damage. [Franck, in Pessl, 6 September, p 124].
Summary of the damage. … we had some scrapes / and dings … but no serious damage nor significant mishaps. [Pessl, private correspondence].
Swamps.
There were two swamps, neither in rapids. [Grinnell, pp 79 & 80. Pessl, p 168, 26 August].
Wraps.
None.
Dumps.
The only two dumps of the entire trip occurred in the rapids where Moffatt died.
Summary.
Thum’s assertion … didn’t know what they were doing … has no basis in evidence.
I repeat that the Moffatt party descended a dangerous river without serious incident, even a single dump, until the afternoon of 14 September.
To put the matter gently, evidence that I provide elsewhere in this document demonstrates that the tragedy did not result from inexperience (as asserted by Thum); the cause was rather incorrect information from a source (J B Tyrrell) that had proved trustworthy for weeks previously.
Reference. Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.
To put the matter bluntly, Thum was just mouthing off, building himself up in his own mind, at the expense of the reputation of a dead man.

Item 3.

…poor leadership skills…. [Thum]
Responses.
1. The accusation of poor leadership is an assertion only, a gratuitous judgment, one made without supporting evidence.
2. The burden of proof would appear to lie with the defamer. Evidently, Thum considers an assertion by himself to be proof; others might disagree.
3. As every paddler knows (I had thought), there are several ways to lead a party. Indeed, some groups have no leader; they work by consensus (sometimes not achieved). Some paddlers demand to be the boss, others resent being bossed. And a guided party is very different from a group of friends. As I see matters, the Moffatt party lay somewhere in the middle. Perhaps Moffatt could have been more assertive, but perhaps the others would have objected had he been. Who is to say, especially someone, like Thum, who was not there? In short, there is no one answer regarding which leadership style is best. Thum should have known that.
4. To me, the key question is whether/how the leadership affected the tragedy.
In fairness, I record Pessl’s comment
…the tragic disregard for time, distance, and season of the Moffatt leadership (and I include myself in that category)… [Pessl book, p 173 (2014).]
Response. I believe that Pessl was being overly self-critical here, as he was in other comments on nearby pages.
5. My reading of the literature leads me to conclude that the leadership was not poor at any time.
6. The evidence of Appendices 8 and 9 is that the cause of the tragedy had nothing to do with leadership, or experience, or planning, or blah, or blah, or blah. The cause was rather incorrect information from a source (J B Tyrrell) that had proved trustworthy for the entire trip up to the afternoon of 14 September 1955.
Appendix 8. Other rapids and
Appendix 9. Fatal rapids.

Summary.

Moffatt’s defamers Thum and Mahler asserted only that lack of experience was a cause of his death. But they provided no supporting evidence and so assertions are at best only opinions.
Certainly some participants were poorly experienced initially, but they acquired plenty of that in the 11 weeks on the river before Moffatt died. But, after 11 weeks in difficult conditions, likely all members of the party were sufficiently experienced by the afternoon of 14 September.
The challenge.
Let Thum and Mahler to explain why the only dumps of the entire trip on a dangerous river occurred in the fatal rapids. Let not hold our breaths waiting for either to respond.

Conclusion.

The assertions of Thum and Mahler, namely that lack of experience and poor leadership played a role in Moffatt’s death, have no basis in any evidence known to me.
The cause of the tragedy is described in Appendix 9. Fatal rapids.

Internal URLs.

Foreword and Forum.
Main text.
Appendix 1. Reality.
Appendix 2. Holidays.
Appendix 3. Equipment.
Appendix 4. Experience.
Appendix 5. Pace and weather.
Appendix 6. Food.
Appendix 7. Schedule.
Appendix 8. Rapids in general.
Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.
Ancillary 1. Accusations.
Ancillary 2. Lanouette excerpt.
Ancillary 3. Tyrrell excerpt.
Ancillary 4. Distances.
Ancillary 5. Loose ends and the future.
Ancillary 6. Addenda.
Ancillary 7. Moffatt’s Tyrrell sources.
Ancillary 8. Evidence regarding the tragedy.
Bibliography.

Notice.
With the exception of quoted material, copyright to the above belongs to Allan Jacobs.

Appendix 5. Pace and Weather

Major renovations were completed in early November 2017 but I expect that warts remain.
Thanks for your patience. Allan

Appendix 5. Pace and Weather.

Summary.

Arthur Moffatt did not die due to a plodding pace early in the trip, forcing him later to race in desperate haste…against winter and so to take the ultimate chance in the fatal rapids.
The cause of his death is documented in Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.

The assertions.

Comment. I call the following items assertions because in no case was any evidence provided in support of them.
Assertion 1.
Already nine days behind schedule, the Moffatt party races against winter on the Barren Grounds. The days grow colder, provisions dwindle, game grows scarce. In desperate haste, they take an ultimate chance. [Sports Illustrated article, bottom of the right column, p 76].
Assertion 2.
Arthur Moffat, a seasoned traveller, took a group of young men on a slow and undisciplined trip down the Dubawnt. [2000]
Assertion 3.
Their lack of schedule meant they took risks to catchup on time and Moffatt died of exposure after they dumped in a large rapid they did not scout. [2000]
Assertion 4.
They were a bunch of guys who didn’t know what they were doing and led by a guy with poor leadership skills. They fooled around and did a lot of crap and it finally came back to bite them. This was simply a group of novices led by someone more interested in film than travel, which squandered its time and resources and then made some tragic mistakes. [2005]
Assertion 5.
…the Moffatt story unfolds as a tragedy just waiting to happen – indifferent leadership, an inexperienced party, bad chemistry, a plodding pace, and an apparent apathy toward the season closing on them… [2005]
Assertion 6.
For half of August, they voted to take “holidays” and went nowhere. [2012]
Assertion 7.
The men talked less and took more risks…all three boats plunged over two sets of waterfalls the paddlers hadn’t bothered to scout…. [2014]

Responses to side issues.
I refer the reader to the following Appendices for the evidence regarding the corresponding parts of the assertions of Moffatt’s accusers.
Appendix 4. Experience addresses the assertions poor leadership skills, indifferent leadership, an inexperienced party and the like.
Appendix 6. Food addresses the assertion provisions dwindle, game grows scarce and the like.
Appendix 7. Schedule addresses the assertions Already nine days behind schedule, lack of schedule and the like.
Appendix 9. The fatal rapids addresses the assertion take an ultimate chance (which refers to the running of the fatal rapids without a scout) and the like.
Appendix 8. Rapids in general provides more general evidence regarding the Moffatt party’s approach to running rapids.

The pace/weather/schedule/holidays accusations.

The essence of the accusations is that the party travelled too slowly early,
in part out of laziness (that is, it took too many holidays),
in part because it lacked a schedule,
and who knows what else went on in the minds of Moffatt’s accusers.
Later, in desperate haste to make up time, the Moffatt party
raced against winter (perhaps even freeze-up),
and so it took risks to catchup on time,
and one of those risks resulted in the death of Arthur Moffatt.
The two lesser accusations are addressed in the following Appendices.
Appendix 7. Schedule.
The major accusations, those regarding pace and weather are addressed separately.
Part 1 (Pace) provides the pace-related evidence in the four legs of the trip. And so it addresses accusations that the early pace was too slow, forcing the party to take the ultimate chance by running the fatal rapids without a scout.
Part 2 (Weather) documents the weather experienced by the Tyrrell-Tyrrell party of 1893, as evinced by the books of J B Tyrrell and J W Tyrrell. It provides also a few pieces of weather evidence known to Moffatt from the 1893 trip.

Pace.

The evidence regarding the pace.
The trip breaks naturally into four legs.

Leg 1. 3 July to 16 July.
The Moffatt party started from Black lake (on the Fond du Lac River), then ascended the Chipman River (with its brutal portages), reaching the south end of Selwyn Lake (from which the basin of the Dubawnt River was reached by portage) on 16 July [Pessl, p 41]; part of the portage across the height of land was completed that day.
Comment of the Sports illustrated editor.
In the days that immediately followed, the expedition made good time despite erratic winds and rain, the back-stiffening portages and missed routes. The maps the party used – they were the only ones in existence – were never precise enough, and there were many times when, after long wearying hours of working up a stream, the canoeists would have to admit their mistake and painfully retreat. [SI article, bottom of right column, p 73]
Response.
The maps could be the government-issue maps of the time (not available to me) or (more likely?) J B Tyrrell’s maps. The latter for the reach from Black Lake to Selwyn Lake are the following.
https://barrenlands.library.utoronto.ca/zone.cfm?ID=1893&zone=1
https://barrenlands.library.utoronto.ca/zone.cfm?ID=1893&zone=2

The evidence of Grinnell’s book.
1. The long portage up to the Height of Land dragged on for weeks. [p 19]
2. After climbing up the rapids of the Chipman River for nearly a month, we approached the Height of Land. [p 41]
3. The next day [22 July], we completed the portage across the Height of Land. [p 48]
4. For the first month, we had been travelling upstream to the Height of Land… p 73]
Remark. These passages support my conclusion that Grinnell did not keep a journal.
In particular, the height-of-land portage was completed on 17 July [Pessl, p 43] (not on 22 July), and so Leg 1 was completed in 15 days (not nearly a month).
Summary for Leg 1.
The pace was not plodding.
The pace was not undisciplined.
The pace was necessarily slow, but the party nevertheless made good time, considering the difficult circumstances.

Leg 2. 17 July to 3 August.
The party completed the height-of-land portage on 17 July.
By barrens-basher, river-bagger, ego-tripper standards only, slow, plodding and undisciplined are fair comments for this leg. One piece of evidence suffices: Pessl described this leg as a leisurely summer vacation. [p 66, 3 August]
But much of that period was devoted to filming and photographing, the very reasons for making the trip in the first place!
Participant Lanouette speaks to the matter. On sunny days Art and Skip would often be off loping around filming scenery and wild life- why not? That was a major goal of the trip. Incidentally … Art’s film became a feature attraction on a television show called “Bold Journey”. It was repeated several times, to my knowledge. [private correspondence]

Leg 3. 3 August to 14 September.
1. At a group meeting on 3 August, the party decided unanimously to continue to Baker Lake, rather than return to Stony Rapids.
2. In the early part of Leg 3, the pace was not plodding and the trip was neither slow nor undisciplined.
3. In the later part of the same leg, the pace was never desperate, especially on 14 September. In more detail, there was never an OMG-we-gotta-get-outa-here-ASAP decision, as suggested by the Sports Illustrated editor’s gratuitous assertion Already nine days behind schedule, the Moffatt party races against winter on the Barren Grounds. … In desperate haste, they take an ultimate chance. [SI article, p 76, bottom of right column]
Response 1. The passage nine days behind schedule has no basis in any evidence known to me.
Reference. Appendix 7. Schedule.
Response 2. The SI editor provided no evidence to support her/his assertions races against winter, desperate haste and ultimate chance. Nothing in all the literature that I have read, most noteworthy of all the writings of the trip participants, provides any support for any of the three.
I conclude that none of the three is graced by a basis in any evidence known to me.
4. In fairness, I quote the following: After the initial “halfway” scare of time-distance regarding food supplies…we are slowly drifting back into our previous lethargy. [Pessl, p 84, 13 August]
5. In fairness, the start was unnecessarily delayed some mornings. The result of a less-than-thorough search:
(a) Grinnell book [top of p 68].
(b) Pessl [p 100 (23 August)].
(c) Franck [in Pessl, p 108 (28 August).
(d) Sports Illustrated [top left of p 82, second paragraph (6 September)].
6. The party took to getting up very early, to beat the wind (especially on Dubawnt Lake), as I document in Appendix 7. Schedule.

Leg 4. 14 to 24 September.
After taking two days to recover from Moffatt’s death, the party certainly pushed hard. Too little is documented to say much more. Indeed, what more need be said?

Weather.

Introduction.
One question is whether the Moffatt party had cause to expect the harsh weather that it experienced in early September.
The far more important question is whether the weather had anything to do with the death of Arthur Moffatt.
Given that weather early in the two trips is less relevant to the tragedy, I document only that met by the Tyrrell party in the lower reach, from Dubawnt Lake to Baker Lake inclusive.
Today, we are told (I believe) that recreational paddlers should exit the barrens early; perhaps incorrectly, I recall advice (I can’t find the source, if ever it existed) to be gone by mid-August.
Even Eric Morse and party ventured into the barrens only in 1959, four years after the Moffatt party.
Moffatt’s sources regarding the weather.
I remind the reader that Moffatt had access to both J B Tyrrell’s
book, which I was able to access, and also to his
journal (aka his report), which I was unable to access.
But I was not able to access the full Moffatt–Tyrrell correspondence, in particular what (if anything) JBT told Moffatt about the weather.
As well, Moffatt had accessed J W Tyrrell’s book.
I possess some evidence (known to Moffatt) regarding the weather experienced in the 1893 trip, as I describe later.
I am able to assess, and I do, whether the weather experienced by the Moffatt party differed significantly from that experienced in 1893. The latter evidence from my inspection of both JBT’s book (which provides little weather-related material) and that of JWT (which provides lots).
Preview.
I provide the following items.
1. Some J B Tyrrell evidence known to Moffatt.
2. The evidence of J B Tyrrell’s book.
3. The evidence of J W Tyrrell’s book.
4. Analysis of the evidence.
5. Summary.
6. Conclusions.

1. Some Joseph Burr Tyrrell evidence known to Moffatt,
as documented in the writings of the participants.
A cursory search found only two items.
Item 1.
Tyrrell…had constant rain and cold, also patches of old snow everywhere. But for us it has been very pleasant… [Moffatt, 16 August, top left of p 80 of the SI article].
Item 2.
Throughout Tyrrell’s journal, he speaks of seeing patches of snow well to the south and he suffered his first snow storm on August 10. [Pessl, 28 August, bottom of p 107].
Comment.
J B Tyrrell’s journal (available to Moffatt but not to me) is distinct from J B Tyrrell’s book (which both Moffatt and I were able to access).
Observation.
The weather experienced by the Moffatt party on Dubawnt Lake was milder than that experienced by the Tyrrell party 62 years earlier. In particular, the former saw no snow remaining from the previous winter. [Pessl book, pp 97-110]

The weather-related evidence of Joseph Burr Tyrrell’s book.
1. Dubawnt Lake. Eleven days were spent on the lake during five of which we were unable to move on account of heavy storms. [p 56F].
Tyrrell’s days for Dubawnt Lake were 7-17 August 1893, Moffatt’s 21-27 August 1955 [Pessl, p 129]. In partial explanation of the longer time taken by the Tyrrell party, I note first that it was ice-bound as well as storm-bound, second that it had to find the exit (a difficulty compounded by the ice).
2. Dubawnt Lake. On the shore of this and the adjoining islands the bases of the cliffs were often covered with an accumulation of old snow and ice. [p 59F]
3. Wharton Lake. The greater part of two days was spent in this lake, struggling against head winds, …looking for its outlet… [p 65F].
Comment. The date was before 23 August, when the Tyrrell party completed the portage between Wharton Lake and Marjorie Lake. [p 66F]
4. Aberdeen Lake. On 28 August, Tyrrell recorded the temperature as 40 F [p 69 F].
5. Below Schultz Lake (date not provided). A heavy storm, with rain, now set in… The storm continued to rage for three days, during which time we were unable to launch our canoes. [p 72F]
6. The Tyrrell party reached the west end of Baker Lake on 2 September; on 6 September, he recorded the water temperature of the lake as 41 F. [p 74F]
Observations.
J B Tyrrell’s book makes no mention of the following.
Moffatt item 1, in part. constant rain and cold, also patches of old snow everywhere….
Moffatt item 2, in part. …Tyrrell’s journal, he speaks of seeing patches of snow well to the south….
And so one sees that Moffatt had possessed Tyrrell information beyond that provided in Tyrrell’s book. I decided to take Tyrrell’s journal (in part 2) literally; I have been unable to access the Tyrrell part of the Moffatt-Tyrrell correspondence.

The weather-related evidence of James Williams Tyrrell’s book.
Note. I possess no evidence that Moffatt had access to any of the following.
7 August. …we broke camp early…down the river toward the frozen lake. … By this time, however, the wind was again blowing strongly, and a cold heavy rain setting in drove us to camp. During the night the wind increased to a gale, accompanied by torrents of rain… For three days the storm continued. On the fourth it turned to snow and the temperature went down to freezing—rather inhospitable weather for the 10th of August. … [p 95 & 96]
As we proceeded across the country we found the ground frozen and all the little ponds covered by new ice…it was a point of discussion with us whether the season of this land was spring or autumn. … The morning of the 12th broke cold and dreary. New ice everywhere covered the ponds… [p 97] …
On the morning of the 16th we were early aroused by the voice of a howling gale and the pelting rain… This storm continued with fury for two days…wet and shivering in the tents… On the afternoon of the second day, the rain ceased and the wind fell sufficiently to enable us to faintly hear to the north the roar of heavy rapids. [pp 102&103] Comment. These were the exit rapids from Dubawnt Lake.
On Aberdeen Lake, the party enjoyed fine weather—something unusual in the Barren Land districts for two days. [p 113]
On the morning of the 29th, enshrouded by a dense fog, we entered the river…we entered the west end of Schultz Lake… We were evidently in for a blow… No sooner had we reached shore than the storm burst upon us, but once in the river channel we were able to obtain shelter from the force of the gale if not from the pelting rain. [p 115]
After reloading the canoes…the wind beating the cold rain and the spray from the crest of the waves in our faces…our soaked and shivering party sought comfort… By the morning of the first of September, the rain had ceased and the clouds partially cleared away. The gale, however, continued to blow so fiercely as to frequently whip clouds of spray off the surface of the river, so that we were quite unable to travel in canoes. [pp 116 & 117].
The Tyrrell-Tyrrell party reached the encampment now known as Baker Lake on 2 September.

Analysis of the evidence.
1. The Moffatt party could have reasonably expected something like the foul weather that it experienced on 1, 2 and 3 September, at some time.
2. Before 9 September 1955, even apart from the matter of the ice on Dubawnt Lake, the weather appears to have been kinder to the Moffatt party than it was to the Tyrrell party by 9 September 1893.
3. At no time did the Tyrrell party of 1893 experience anything like the storm that struck Moffatt’s party 62 years later, on 9 September 1955. That storm (which destroyed one of the three tents) is described by both Grinnell [p 193] and Pessl [p 129].
Comment. The Sports Illustrated article [top right of p 82] reported that the winds of the storm of 9 September destroyed the anemometer in Churchill. That statement was repeated by Grinnell [p 193], whose source must have been the SI article.
I express elsewhere my opinion of the veracity of the SI editor and that of Grinnell, but I see no reason to doubt that the anemometer was destroyed.

Summary.

The Moffatt party knew there to be no possibility of freeze-up until well into October, that is, well after its scheduled arrival in Baker Lake.
In the morning of 14 September, the party was on track to reach Baker Lake within a week or so of the hoped-for arrival date of 15 September. Indeed, despite the tragedy, it arrived on 24 September, two days later than the deadline (set by Moffatt) before an air search was begun.
Reference. Appendix 7. Schedule.

Conclusions.

Pace.
Contrary to the unevinced statements of Moffatt’s accusers, the early pace played no role in his death, for he exercised due caution even on the day that he died
Weather.
The Sports illustrated editor’s the Moffatt party races against winter…In desperate haste, they take an ultimate chance is at best an exaggeration, given that freeze-up would not occur until well into October.
Reference for both items. Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.

Appendix. Earlier barrenlands trips.

1. Samuel Hearne, 1771.
As best I know, his was the earliest lengthy trip made by Europeans.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Hearne
http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/samuel-hearne/
http://www.hbcheritage.ca/people/explorers/samuel-hearne
McGoogan, Ken. Ancient Mariner: The Arctic Adventures of Samuel Hearne, the Sailor Who Inspired Coleridge’s Masterpiece.
2. Other early barrenlands trips are documented in the thread
http://www.myccr.com/phpbbforum/viewtopic.php?f=125&t=46158
3. Oberholtzer-Magee, 1912.
The party reached the north end of Nueltin Lake on or about 30 August, then continued down the Thlewiaza River to Hudson Bay and points south.
I doubt very much that Moffatt had access to the record of this trip. One fine day, out of curiosity, I might compare the weather experienced by the two parties.
http://www.wilderness.net/NWPS/Oberholtzer

Celebrating the Oberholtzer-Magee 1912 Journey to Hudson Bay


Source not consulted. Bound for the Barrens: Journal of the Ernest Oberholtzer & Bill Magee 2,000-mile Canoe Voyage to Hudson Bay in 1912. Edited by Jean Sanford Replinger with Nancy Paddock.
http://arcticjournal.ca/bound-for-the-barrens/ , etc.

Internal URLs.

Foreword and Forum.
Main text.
Appendix 1. Reality.
Appendix 3. Equipment.
Appendix 4. Experience.
Appendix 5. Pace and weather.
Appendix 6. Food.
Appendix 7. Schedule.
Appendix 8. Rapids in general.
Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.
Ancillary 1. Accusations.
Ancillary 2. Lanouette excerpt.
Ancillary 3. Tyrrell excerpt.
Ancillary 4. Distances.
Ancillary 5. Loose ends and the future.
Ancillary 6. Addenda.
Ancillary 7. Moffatt’s Tyrrell sources.
Ancillary 8. Evidence regarding the tragedy.
Bibliography.

Notice.
With the exception of quoted material, copyright to the above belongs to Allan Jacobs.

Appendix 6. Food.

Major renovations were completed in early November 2017 but I expect that warts remain.
Thanks for your patience. Allan

Appendix 6. Food.

Introduction.

I (perhaps most of all) regret the extreme length of this Appendix, but I felt it necessary to provide all the food-related evidence, as I know it and am able to report it, so that readers may judge the food situation for themselves.
I am grateful to Fred “Skip” Pessl, Joe Lanouette and his daughter Elizabeth Emge, and Bruce LeFavour for assistance in compiling and editing the following. But I am solely responsible for all errors.
I distinguish between
provisions/staples/supplies (oatmeal, hardtack, bully beef, dried potatoes, macaroni, sugar, salt, powdered milk, cornmeal) on the one hand, and
food from the land (caribou, fish, ptarmigan, mushrooms, blueberries) on the other.
Not all sources make the distinction, referring only to “food”. The distinction is significant, for provisions could not be replaced (except from the cache, as was done on 7 September). And, it seems necessary to state, food from the land was unpredictable; a major point here is that Moffatt counted on obtaining no food from the land.
As documented in part below, the food-related information available to Moffatt was that of J B Tyrrell’s book, J B Tyrrell’s journal (aka his report), correspondence with J B Tyrrell, and J W Tyrrell’s book. As well, Moffatt was experienced in outfitting canoe parties from the trips that he had taken and guided on the Albany river in northern Ontario.
Comment. Given the assertions that a shortage/lack of food was in large part responsible for Moffatt’s death, the important period is the seven weeks from 5 August (the shooting of the first caribou) to 14 September (the day of the tragedy). Nevertheless, I provide all the food-related information available to me.

Summary.
In the crucial seven weeks from 5 August to 14 September, food (both from the land and from provisions) was bountiful on the whole.
I suggest that this evidence refutes accusations that a lack/shortage of food was responsible at least in part for Moffatt’s death.
Indeed, on the day that Moffatt died, the party had so much caribou on board that it had no more need to hunt. And, at lunch that day, it added a 20 lb lake trout to the food supply.
Ancillary 1. Accusations exposes the food-related accusations (and others) to the light of the evidence.

Conclusion.
A shortage of food, much less a lack of food [Murphy], played no role in Moffatt’s death.
The cause is documented in Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.

Moffatt’s preparations.

Excerpt from Moffatt’s letter of 18 December 1954 to J B Tyrrell.
Of great importance also is the fact that we must carry sufficient supplies for the entire trip—the administration of the Northwest Territories will allow us to carry a rifle, but it is only to be used if we are in danger of starvation—which we feel is rather late in the game to begin living off the country. Nevertheless, we are prepared to travel under these conditions.
We shall, of course, attempt to take as many fish as we can, and here again we should appreciate specific information about the kinds of fish we shall encounter, places they may be taken, and methods used in taking them.

Reference. Ancillary 7. Moffatt’s Tyrrell sources.
Comment. My best efforts failed to obtain J B Tyrrell’s response to the above.

Excerpt from Moffatt’s letter of 14 January 1955 to J B Tyrrell.
Your suggestion that we will face starvation unless we have good rifles is certainly to the point, and I wish the Administration of the Northwest Territories realised that in forbidding us to use rifles until we are in imminent danger of death they are putting us in a very difficult position. However, if those are the terms on which we may enter the country, we will have to face them or stay home. I believe that by restricting our diet to oatmeal, hardtack, bully beef, dried potatoes and macaroni, we ought to be able to feed four men well enough for the three months we expect to be on the barrens. I’ve eaten worse food longer and survived. [Moffatt letter of 14 January 1955 to J B Tyrrell, written in response to a letter (not available) from Tyrrell].
Reference. Ancillary 7. Moffatt’s Tyrrell sources.

Excerpt from Art Moffatt’s Prospectus.
…In our journey north we will pass into the hunting and trapping grounds of the Chipewyan Indians and out into the Barren Grounds, beyond the northern limit of the trees. This is the summer range of the vast herds of caribou. The lakes and streams are reported to be full of trout up to 25 pounds in weight.

Two of the major problems we shall face are food and fire. The greater part of the route is through the treeless tundra, and what fuel there is often too green or wet to burn. We will not be able to pack enough gas to cook two meals a day.
Food may be even more acute. I have a letter from Dr. Tyrrell…He writes: “You will need to have a couple of high-powered rifles so that you can shoot game at long range, otherwise starvation is likely to threaten from early in the trip…”

Reference. Sports Illustrated, p 71 (1959]

Summary.
Moffatt’s experience (some obtained from six trips on the Albany River) led him to believe that the party could live entirely off the initial supply of provisions. But, as I document below, he had provided the party with equipment (rifles and fishing gear) to obtain food from the land.
That matter aside, the boats could not have carried much more of anything at the start and still have stayed afloat.
It turned out that Moffatt had severely underestimated the appetites of the five younger men, and so the party was hungry for much of the period before 5 August (when the first caribou, of five) was shot.
But, in the crucial seven weeks (5 August to 14 September) before the tragedy, bellies were not full on occasion, but on the whole the party enjoyed an abundance of food from the land: five caribou, many fish (three species), many ptarmigan, blueberries and mushrooms (these only earlier in that period). And it acquired a major resupply of provisions on 7 September.
Indeed, on the day that Moffatt died, the party had so much caribou meat on board that it had no more need to hunt. And it caught a 20 lb trout that day). [LeFavour]

The major food-related accusations.
Food was becoming the question now.
…provisions dwindle, game grows scarce. In desperate haste, they take an ultimate chance.
As the summer wore on, the men grew hungry before, during, and after each meal.
Lack of food… contributed to his [Moffatt’s] demise.
Slightly giddy from lack of food…
When Arthur Moffatt set off for the Barrenlands, he envisioned a land of plenty. He was plenty wrong.
The caribou were long gone.
A request.
I ask the reader to assess these assertions in the light of the evidence provided below.

Guide to the Sub-Appendices.
Sub-Appendix 1. Food planning and supply.
As documented above and also below, Moffatt was experienced in provisioning canoe trips.
Sub-Appendix 2. Fat and other food with high caloric content.
Sub-Appendix 3. Food in the period from the start to 4 August.
The evidence is unequivocal. Although some food from the land had been acquired, food was uncomfortably short, in large part because Moffatt had severely underestimated the appetites of the five younger men.
Sub-Appendix 4. Food in the period from 5 August to 14 September.
This period, the seven weeks from the shooting of the first caribou (5 August) to the tragedy (14 September), is the crucial one, for Moffatt’s defamers assert that a lack/shortage of food in this period was in large part responsible for his death.
The evidence is rather that food (both from the land and from provisions) was bountiful on the whole.
Sub-Appendix 5. Food in the period after 14 September.
After the tragedy, when most food was lost and also most means to acquire more, the survivors were hungry most of the time until the chance encounter with the Inuit family shortly before arrival in Baker Lake.

Sub-Appendix 1. Food planning, the initial supply, and related remarks.

Source 1.
I refer the reader to the evidence presented above, under Moffatt’s preparations.

Source 2.
The Sports Illustrated article (1959).
Comment. The article consists of selections from Moffatt’s journal, plus insertions made by the editor (who remained anonymous). Lacking full access to Moffatt’s journal, I am unable to comment first on the editor’s choice in making the selections, second whether those selections are appropriate.
For a week the Moffatt party waited. Grinnell, the last man to join the party, arrived at Stony Rapids on June 27 on schedule, but food supplies, which were supposed to accompany him on the Hudson’s Bay Company boat, were left off the manifest. Moffatt canceled the order, took what supplies he could get from the Hudson’s Bay Company post at Stony Rapids and set off by truck over 15 miles of rugged road for the jumping-off place at Black Lake. [Editor, pp 72&73]
Comment 1. As well as food (1,000 lb, much of it in wooden boxes [Pessl]), the party carried Moffatt’s camera box of 86 lb [Editor, p 72, bottom of right column]. That is a lot to carry in addition to the canoes, is it not?
Comment 2. Grinnell actually arrived by air; the requested supply of peanut butter in plastic jars arrived neither on his flight nor on the one two days later.

Source 3.
The New York Times article (1959).
…the explorers had provisions for 80 days. They have been gone 85 days… [Sports Illustrated article, top of p 71].

Source 4.
Grinnell’s article (1988).
Comment. Grinnell provides dates only occasionally; the evidence is that he did not keep a journal.
… In addition to oatmeal [for breakfast], we had three pilot biscuits for lunch with a ration of cheese, of jam and of peanut butter. For dinner Moffatt threw two pounds of macaroni into a five gallon pot which he flavoured with a couple of cans of “Spam”, “spork”, corned beef and the like along with a package of dehydrated soup. As a matter of principle, Moffatt believed in boiling everything. After eating the solid stuff, we then got to drink the juices. … After the first month, no food had ever tasted as good as Moffatt’s boiled “glops”. [pp 18&20]

Source 5.
Grinnell’s book (1996).
1. My discharge from the Army was slow in coming…and I did not arrive at Stony Rapids…until the 27th of June, about two weeks later than Art had originally planned to embark. The others had been waiting for me about a week, but we had not headed into the wilderness immediately. …our food had been left off the manifest [of the barge], and Art had had to scrounge three months supply from the Hudson’s Bay Post and from a private trader. He was able to fill the canoes to the gunwales, but the makeshift supplies were heavy; and the only case of peanut butter available was in glass jars. Art preferred unbreakable plastic jars for obvious reasons. He had radioed out to civilization, but the case of peanut butter in plastic jars did not arrive on my flight, nor on the next plane, which arrived two days later; and so, after too many delays, we loaded our ton of food and equipment onto Stony Rapids’ one truck and headed … to Black Lake with our peanut butter in glass jars. [pp 8&9]
Comment. Some jars were broken late in the trip.
2. On his previous trips, Moffatt … had discovered how much oatmeal is eaten each day: about three times as much as one would have believed possible. He had multiplied this figure by eighty, added a little extra for emergencies, …. Grinnell made similar remarks for lunch and dinner. [p 54].
Comment. And so Moffatt had planned a trip of 80 days on the water, I assume starting on 28 June. Well, 80 days after the morning on 28 June gets one to the morning of 16 September. It is then likely no accident that Moffatt had informed the RCMP to expect the party to arrive on 15 September.

Source 6.
Luste (1996).
1. The most I have ever carried in my canoes is seven weeks of food. … I don’t think one can carry food for three months. [Grinnell book, p 286].
Comment. The three months refers, I believe, to the Moffatt trip (planned for 80 days).
Response. I trust both Luste and Moffatt completely and so I don’t know what to make of the difference. Perhaps the Moffatt party used larger boats, but even then the difference seems too large. It may be relevant that Luste often soloed.
2. In reading George’s [Grinnell’s] account, it is evident that not enough food, or more specifically, food with high caloric content, such as fat, was purchased for the trip. [Grinnell book, p 286].
3. The Moffatt party was woefully short of provisions and caloric energy sustenance… [Grinnell book, p 288].
Comments on points 2 and 3. The initial supply of provisions certainly proved inadequate, but the Moffatt party could have carried little more and still have stayed afloat.
I don’t know how much fat was obtained from the five caribou.

Source 7.
Pessl’s book of 2014.
Comment. Five members of the party arrived in Stony Rapids on 22 June, Grinnell on 27 June. Provisions were purchased at the local HBC store, to replace those that had been ordered but had not arrived on the HBC barge.
We are carrying almost 1000 lbs. of grub, much of which is stored in wooden boxes … [p 17].
29 June, morning. The party was driven to the end of the road, at Black Lake; the party was on its own from then on. Misadventures and misfortune delayed the start of the trip to the evening of 2 July [p 26].
Pessl’s general comments about the food supply.
1. Our standard daily meals were generally minimal, approximately 2,400 calories … But even with these additions [long list, including food from the land] we were probably well short of the recommended 4,000 calories per day. [p 162]
2. I don’t think our food supplies were significantly compromised by the failure of our original order to arrive on schedule at Stony Rapids. [p 162]
Comment 1. I believe that Pessl’s 2,400 calories refers to provisions on board.
Comment 2. I don’t know the source for 4,000 calories per day.
Comment 3. To obtain food from the land, the party carried two rifles, a .22 and fishing gear. Again, Moffatt had planned to obtain no food from the land.

Source 8.
Lanouette, private correspondence, message 1.
Comment. Lightly edited.
Food: Always a hot topic of conversation. Initial supplies were insufficient. Art figured our appetites would double; actually they tripled! Eventually, as my diary makes abundantly clear, food became obsessive with us and at times quite divisive. Our final lunch enroute to Baker Lake: a moldy hardtack slathered with curry paste. Yum!
Comment. I don’t know what to make of the difference between the comments of Grinnell and Lanouette, but I consider that difference to be unworthy of discussion, for the party could not have carried much more than it did.

Source 9.
Lanouette, private correspondence, message 2.
Comment. Lightly edited.
… The food we left Stony Rapids with was insufficient for our ballooning appetites. Portions had to be stretched or diluted long before the accident. For one thing our original supplies by barge were delayed, so we had to leave Stony Rapids with locally available supplies. The supplies we had were kept in well-used packsacks we had to scrounge. The sacks were not altogether waterproof, so some foods got wet and deteriorated or spoiled (from weather or waves washing into the heavily laden canoes). … Our heavily laden canoes had very little freeboard and could not take waves of any significance. … We relished all the food we had – even liver, tongue, or half-rotted haunches of caribou, swarming with bot and blackflies. …
Comment. I assume that the group’s food had been shipped in their packsacks; that is why they had to scrounge packsacks (inferior ones) in Stony Rapids.

Source 10.
Lanouette, private correspondence, message 3.
Comment. The following was lightly edited; please excuse the overlap with the above, but I was reluctant to edit further.
…even before the accident our initial store-bought supplies were not adequate because:
1. Our appetites exploded.
2. Our canoes initially could barely carry what food we did have.
3. Waves and rain occasionally got into our supplies, sometimes deteriorating them.
4. Weather and filming delays impeded our schedule.

Comment. My thanks, and I hope also those of the paddling community, to Lanouette for these messages.

Sub-Appendix 2. Fat and other food with high caloric content.

Comments.
1. I thought the matter of fat, etc, important enough to merit its own Sub-Appendix.
2. I repeat Luste’s comment …it is evident that not enough food, or more specifically, food with high caloric content, such as fat, was purchased for the trip. [Grinnell book, p 286].
3. On the other hand, I repeat (yet again) the following excerpt from Moffatt’s letter of 14 January 1955 to J B Tyrrell.
I believe that by restricting our diet to oatmeal, hardtack, bully beef, dried potatoes and macaroni, we ought to be able to feed four men well enough for the three months we expect to be on the Barrens. I’ve eaten worse food longer and survived.
4. The lack of fat in our diet, on the other hand, probably contributed to a serious caloric deficiency that may have exacerbated our discomfort in the cold, wet late season and may have resulted in reduced energy and endurance. [Pessl, p 162].
Comment. Pessl appears to acknowledge the validity of Luste’s comment regarding fat. But neither he nor Luste suggests that such lack contributed to the tragedy.
5. We made a curious mistake early in the trip in not taking advantage of the Canada goose as a ready source of fat…
But, regarding periods later in the trip, when firewood was not available and fuel had to be conserved, Pessl remarked Cooking a sturdy goose on a smoldering heather/twig fire on a wet, windy day in the Barrens would probably have been a real challenge, no matter how much we craved the fat. [Pessl, pp 162&163]
Questions.
1. Does anyone know (I sure don’t) whether the importance of fat and other food with high caloric content on such a long trip (~12 weeks) was understood by the paddling community ca 1955? That is, should Moffatt have known to provide such food?
2. And, if then, could much fat have been carried, in addition to everything else? The canoes were already very heavily laden.
The availability of fat from food from the land.
5 August. Spent the day in camp … . Bruce and Joe shot a young spike horn… . This sudden presence of wildlife not only provides good protein and fat, it also makes the hope of adequate provisions more realistic. [Pessl, p 69].
10 August. Right now, my thoughts are constantly preoccupied with food to an alarming extent. What I miss is not fresh meat, because we have plenty of that. I crave fats, sugar and starch. I would like big slabs of cornbread with lots of butter, fat meat like bacon or pork, and chocolate. [Franck, in Pessl, p 79].
20 August. … we have had to cut almost our entire food consumption in 1/2. We still have plenty of meat, but the lack of fat and starches make dinner rather unsatisfying. [Pessl, p 100].
Interpretation. food consumption refers to consumption of provisions.
27 August. This caribou had more fat on him than the others and we could peel enough off the neck and shoulders to fry the meat without bacon. I never seem to grow tired of caribou as I think I would of beef. [Franck, in Pessl, p 106].
3 September. …I made four casts and got three fine trout. They are in lovely shape with lots of fat under the skin. [Franck, in Pessl, p 119].
Summary.
I lack the background in nutrition science to assess
first how much in the way of fat was provided by the caribou, fish (lake trout, arctic char and grayling) and ptarmigan,
second how much the participants needed.
But I refer the reader again to Moffatt’s earlier tripping experience.
The main point is that a caloric deficiency (or any other food deficiency), if indeed such existed, bore no responsibility for Moffatt’s death. The cause is identified in Sub-Appendix 3. Food in the period from the start to 4 August.

Summary.
The evidence is unequivocal: At times before 5 August (when the first caribou was shot) food was uncomfortably short.
Background.
Moffatt had planned that the party live entirely off the initial supply of provisions. To be specific, he had planned to acquire no food from the land for all of the planned ~80 days.
Yet again. I believe that by restricting our diet to oatmeal, hardtack, bully beef, dried potatoes and macaroni, we ought to be able to feed four men well enough for the three months we expect to be on the Barrens. I’ve eaten worse food longer and survived. [Excerpt from Moffatt’s letter of 14 January 1955 to J B Tyrrell.]
That is, Moffatt’s personal experience was that initial supply of provisions would suffice for the entire trip.
I mention again Luste’s remark The most I have ever carried in my canoes is seven weeks of food. … I don’t think one can carry food for three months. [Grinnell book, p 286].
Comments.
1. The party was certainly short of provisions in this period
first because Moffatt had severely underestimated the appetites of the five younger men (recall Lanouette’s tripled),
second because provisions had to be conserved for the remainder of the trip (recall that Moffatt had counted on obtaining no food from the land, for the entire trip).
2. Food from the land (blueberries and fish, but no caribou) was occasionally plentiful before 5 August.
3. Nevertheless, the participants were often hungry (even ravenous at times.
4. But they were never at each other’s throats, they were never starving, as evinced by Grinnell’s The hunger began to express itself at dinner with a friendly rivalry to be first in line… [book, p 23].
5. On 3 August, the party decided unanimously to continue to Baker Lake, rather than return to Stony Rapids.
6. Two days later, the food situation was much relieved with the shooting of the first caribou on 5 August. I point out that the Sports Illustrated editor omitted mention of that event; more generally, the editor mentioned the shooting of only one of the five caribou in the period from 4 August to 14 September.
Summary. The short-of-food claims of Moffatt’s accusers are reasonable for the period before 5 August, but the party was certainly far from starvation. More importantly, as I document below, food was plentiful in the seven weeks before the tragedy.

The evidence of the Sports Illustrated article (1959).
Comment. The article consists of passages alleged to be selections from Moffatt’s journal, plus assertions/insertions made by the anonymous editor. Lacking full access to Moffatt’s journal, and having learned to trust nothing in the SI article unless it is confirmed by a reliable source, I am unable to confirm that the following passages indeed come from Moffatt’s journal, much less whether they are representative of it.
8 July. The men tired of their diet of imported stores and wanted to hunt, but Moffatt, mindful of the dangers that lay in expending ammunition, clamped down on shooting. [Source not identified; p 73, lower part of right column].
15 July. The sharp talk at supper made everyone edgy. Heretofore we have all been equals. Now I have assumed the sergeant’s position. But someone has to stop the foolishness before it goes too far [Suggested to be a Moffatt comment, likely regarding food; p 73, lower part of right column].
26 July. We celebrated that night with a tremendous dinner of two-pound grayling per man, mashed potatoes and pudding. [Suggested to be a Moffatt comment; p 75, middle of left column].

The evidence of Grinnell’s article (1988).
Grinnell provides dates only occasionally; I concluded from other evidence that he did not keep a journal.
I have learned to trust nothing written by Grinnell. Unless stated otherwise, none of the following is confirmed by the evidence of other participants.
1. …Pessl announced that we had consumed half our sugar supply while covering less than one-third the distance to Baker Lake. It was clear that we would run out of sugar before reaching our destination unless… [Grinnell article, p 20, right column].
Confirmation. Had a grumpy outbreak over the sugar situation. We are now 1/2 through the supply and only about 1/3 of the distance to Baker Lake. After much discussion, we decided to give each man a 5-day ration from each 5-lb bag, thus allowing about 1/6 lb/day. Each will carry his own supply and use it according to his taste. Hope it works. [Pessl, 29 July, p 56]
Comment. Given the necessarily slow pace in the ascension of the Chipman River, a better comparison would have been to the time remaining. Added note. I confirmed that 1/3 applies to both time and distance.
2. The next fight was over how the powdered milk was mixed. …Moffatt had the rather cynical attitude, “He who controls the food controls the men.” …Moffatt always helped himself first before calling the rest of us to dinner. …the possibility that none would be left by the time the sixth man got his.
Then there was the oatmeal question… Moffatt had his own special dishes, which were considerably larger than ours. …
On August 22, Moffatt came to breakfast, and picked up one of the standard bowls, somewhat to our surprise…
[Grinnell article, p 21, middle of left column]
Response 1.
The statement He who controls the food controls the men appears in Grinnell’s article (top of left column on p 21) and in Grinnell’s book (top of p 7 and top of p 17). It has no basis in any evidence known to me.
Response 2.
Grinnell’s comments regarding the size of Moffatt’s bowl are confirmed by Pessl’s photo and his comment …Art…filling his controversial pannikin. [Pessl, p 85]
They are confirmed (indeed extended) by the following: …He uses a special aluminum pannikin instead of the common bowl, thus causing suspicion of larger portions. When frying meat, he always fries his separately, thus implying special pieces and extra preparation…[Pessl, p 86]
Response 3.
Given the accusations made of Moffatt, it seems necessary to state that none of the items
a shortage of sugar,
concern regarding how the powdered milk was mixed, and
the oatmeal question),
the size of Moffatt’s bowl,
was life-threatening; none was a factor in Moffatt’s death.

The evidence of Grinnell’s book (1996).
Introduction.
I have learned to trust nothing written by Grinnell. I lack independent confirmation of any of the following passages from his book.
Again, Grinnell provides dates only occasionally; this and other evidence convince me that he did not keep a journal.
As I document in
Ancillary 1. Accusations Grinnell must have possessed Moffatt’s journal, to which I lack access.
Given that the Sports Illustrated editor is known to have possessed that journal, and that the editor and Grinnell are known to have had been in written contact (at least; witness the Epilogue of the SI article), I suggest that the editor had supplied Grinnell with the journal.
If so, it appears that the two had cooperated to some extent. I find this possibility disturbing, given that Grinnell (in either article or book) objected to none of the assertions made by the SI editor.
Passage 1.
As the days passed into weeks, we burned off the fatty lining from our oesophagi so that we felt hungry before, after, and during meals. The hunger began to express itself at dinner with a friendly rivalry to be first in line… [Grinnell book, p 23].
Response. The evidence suggests
that this is a fair representation of the food supply from the start to 5 August, when the first caribou was shot, but
that it is not accurate for the crucial period from 5 August to 14 September.
Passage 2.
The food was not elegant, but we loved Art’s glops. … On the portages, we were burning up about twice as many calories as we were getting from our rations. The more calories we burned, the more we craved food, especially fatty foods. … For the first time in my life, I had experienced the reality of hunger, the long-term, gnawing reality of hunger that reminded me of things beyond our control. …When the last item was eaten out of the bottom of our canoes, what then, Art? [book, pp 24&25].
Comment. Given that Grinnell did not keep a journal, the passage When the last item…, what then, Art? was written after Moffatt’s death. I chose not to record my speculation regarding why it was written.
Passage 3.
In reference to the waters of the Dubawnt River, Grinnell wrote Every imaginable migratory bird nests there. The lakes are teeming with fish. The wolves follow the migrating caribou herds… [book, p 49].
Passage 4.
…which we felt was reasonable enough until we had spent forty days hungry in the wilderness; and then we went into revolt. [book, p 55].
Passage 5.
…after nearly forty days in the wilderness on short rations, I was bored. [book, p 57].
Passage 6.
…decided to make camp early so that we would have time to catch some fish before dinner. Bruce, Pete and Skip brought in fifteen fish thought to be grayling. [book, p 84].
Comment. The date for the last item is likely 26 July, as evidenced by Pessl’s journal (below).
Passage 7.
Art caught a lake trout that was almost as large as he was. [book, top of p 90].
Passage 8.
He (Moffatt) elaborated on what we already knew: at our current rate of travel we no longer carried enough food in our canoes to reach the outpost at Baker Lake. Our progress across the Barrens had been slower than he had anticipated, so that we were in danger of being trapped by freeze-up as well as by hunger.
Our only hope of survival lay in living off the land. If we were lucky enough to run across a herd of migrating caribou, we would probably survive: if not, we should expect the same fate as Hornby, Adlard and Christian, death by starvation
[book, pp 90&91].
Comments regarding Passage 8.
1. I expect that the date was on or before 3 August, when the party decided unanimously to continue to Baker Lake, rather than return to Stony Rapids.
2. The statement Our progress across the Barrens had been slower than anticipated… is supported by the following extract from Pessl’s book.
During dinner today, Art brought up the condition of the supplies and distance to travel, and for the first time made everyone collectively conscious of the situation. We discussed the possibility of returning to Stony Rapids before it was too late, but agreed to a man to continue, with the definite intention of longer, more strenuous travel days. The attitude of the party finally is changing from that of a summer vacation to the serious determination faced with an urgent objective, and serious consequences if it fails. [Pessl, pp 66&67].
3. In his preparations for the trip, Moffatt (based on his considerable experience in guiding and provisioning canoe trips) believed that he had purchased enough in the way of provisions that there would be no need to acquire food from the land.
That assumption turned out to be incorrect: Art figured our appetites would double; actually they tripled! [Lanouette, private correspondence]
And so the provisions on board from the beginning turned out to be insufficient to reach Baker Lake at a comfortable level of consumption; that is, the party would have to acquire food from the land, to some unknown extent.
4. To me, Grinnell’s Our only hope of survival … death by starvation is but melodramatic exaggeration. For one thing, the party had already obtained considerable food from the land, certainly fish and perhaps ptarmigan.
A repeat. Art caught a lake trout that was almost as large as he was. [book, p 90]
5. We (the Moffatt party) had spent forty days fasting in the wilderness together… [p 95]. The allusion is clear, but melodramatic. More importantly, the party certainly did not fast at any time in the period before 5 August. I refer the reader particularly to the evidence Pessl and Franck (provided immediately below) for that same period (before 5 August).
6. The sighting of the first caribou occurred on 4 August, the shooting of the first the next day yet.
7. There was no possibility of freeze-up until well into October (well past the outer limit of 22 September set for arrival in Baker Lake) as I document in Appendix 5. Pace and weather.
Summary of the evidence of Grinnell’s book for the period from the start to 4 August.
Food plentiful at times, but short overall until 5 August (when the first caribou was shot).

The evidence of Pessl and Franck.
1 July.
The glop is getting very tasteless without the tomato paste and with macaroni every God damn night. … good spot for lake trout and Bruce caught two around 4½ lb. [Franck, in Pessl, p 25].
Comment. The party had yet to start paddling.
2 July.
Some of the food got wet and we had to spread it out to dry. … we got water in and soaked a little oatmeal. … We spread the wet food out on a big rock shelf to dry… [Franck, in Pessl, p 27].
3 July.
We had a roast beef with all the trimmings. [Franck, in Pessl, p 28].
4 July.
… after the usual pause of hardtack, etc … . [Pessl, p 28].
7 July.
Art broke out one of the cans of ham and we feasted. [Franck, in Pessl, p 31].
8 July.
Two pounds of macaroni in the glop and it all disappeared in short order. [Franck, in Pessl, p 33].
9 July.
… the smell of boiling glop pervaded the hungry dreams of 6 tired, “not so iron men.” [Pessl, p 33].
10 July.
… after dinner, Bruce came back to camp with a 7-lb. lake trout … a morning supplement to the usual oats and coffee. [Pessl, p 34].
11 July.
Taking the lake trout supplement as the keynote for an outstanding breakfast… [Pessl, p 34].
11 July.
Skip fried the fish for breakfast. … We all ate so much that everyone laid around for an hour or two. Later, at camp I took George’s .22 and walked around … to see if I could find a spruce hen … I took a long shot and got her in the neck … a small meal for one man. [Franck, in Pessl, p 35].
14 July.
We all have ravenous appetites and are still hungry after even the largest meal. [Franck, in Pessl, p 39].
15 July.
… unsuccessful fishing … already the lack of food, or perhaps the psychological need for a little extra left in the pot is beginning to affect the party. … as the joke begins to wear off, the rush for an extra portion becomes tense. [Pessl, pp 39&40].
16 July.
The usual meal of glop fixed things up pretty well… [Pessl (in reference to feeling woozy) p 41].
22 July.
Made a detailed inventory of our food stock and we seem to be in good shape for about 50 more days. This brings us into the first part of September when we should likely reach Baker Lake. Sugar and other sweets pose somewhat of a problem in as much as the longer we are away the more intense the sweet tooth becomes. However, minor rationing should take care of this. [Pessl, p 48].
Comments.
1. 50 more days after 22 July gives 10 September, five days before the scheduled date for arrival in Baker Lake.
2. The phrase food stock clearly means provisions.
3. The party had yet to encounter the caribou; I note that Pessl was counting on obtaining no food from the land in making that estimate.
3. Given the accusations, it seems necessary to state that a shortage of sweets is not life-threatening.
23 July.
Cold, wet and the pot refusing to boil! At last the tell-tale bubbles and a hot meal of glop, pudding and tea. [Pessl, p 49].
23 July.
Windbound. George [went] to hunt grouse; the result was not documented. [Franck, in Pessl, p 49].
25 July.
The realization that prolonged periods of immobility eat into our supplies with no increase in mileage to balance the scale eats into the minds of everyone. [Pessl, p 51]
26 July.
We…have enjoyed excellent fishing … 13 grayling within 1/2 hr! [Pessl, p 52].
26 July.
We camped on the left bank, and Bruce and I got out fishing. The Arctic grayling were very abundant here and we had a tremendous meal. They must be scaled but they make excellent eating. [Franck, in Pessl, p 53].
27 July.
The end of firewood has not really touched us yet and we enjoy the fuel of the bush in the form of driftwood … [Pessl, p 54].
28 July.
Art seems somewhat overly cautious, probably due to the risk of the camera equipment…Art had swamped… very little damage… 1/2 bag oatmeal, some wet hardtack and considerable quantities of dampened pride. [Pessl, p 55].
29 July.
We continued drying our wet supplies…Had a grumpy outbreak over the sugar situation. We are now 1/2 through the supply and only about 1/3 of the distance to Baker Lake. After much discussion, we decided to give each man a 5-day ration from each 5-lb bag, thus allowing about 1/6 lb/day. Each will carry his own supply and use it according to his taste. [Pessl, p 56].
Comment. The earlier part of the trip had been slow, in part because of the difficult upstream travel on the Chipman River.
30 July.
Doled out the sugar ration into six small cans…great concern whether it should go over the oatmeal or into the tea. Not sure how Art feels about all this. … the gradually narrowing circle of men standing close to the campfire, holding steaming red bowls in both hands. [Pessl, p 58].
31 July.
The problem of catching fish and then cleaning them and cooking them became a major issue today … an argument developed into a battle … On the brighter side, I caught my first grayling today: fine jumpy, fighty fish but a great big lake trout is still my favorite; calories prevail! We are camped in the midst of blueberry heaven. …Tonight, we had a big meal of glop and blueberry bannock …. [Pessl, pp 59-60].
1 August.
Trees have disappeared for most practical purposes . . . firewood becomes the object of very passionate scavenger hunts; twisted stumps and watersoaked driftwood are treasures. [Pessl, p 61].
1 August.
… we found two jars [of peanut butter] out of twelve broken. [Franck, in Pessl, p 62].
2 August.
… the usual wind-bound day, highlighted by Art’s catching a tremendous 15# lake trout … a bountiful dinner of fish, mashed pots, bacon and tea. [Pessl, p 63].
2 August.
I am really beginning to get worried that we will run out of food before we get to Baker Lake. … After lunch, Art caught a huge lake trout…39”long, 15.5 lb. Then he caught one half that size and we had enough for a fish dinner. [Franck, in Pessl, p 64].
Comment.
Here food refers to provisions, only.
Interpretation.
Despite the catching of those trout, Franck was counting on obtaining no more food from the land for the remainder of the trip.
3 August. Pessl, passage 1.
Oats, fried fish and tea for breakfast … this lake is full of large lake trout … This is a big help to our supply inventory in as much as we have about 45 days of food left and we estimate that it will take us at least that long to reach Baker Lake. [Pessl, p 64]
Comments.
supply inventory and food refer to provisions, only.
17 September is 45 days after 3 August; the scheduled arrival date was 15 September, with a week’s grace period before an air search was started.
Interpretation.
Pessl believed the supply of provisions alone to be sufficient to get the party to Baker Lake by 15 September, but was concerned by the possibility of delays.
3 August. Pessl, passage 2.
On stay-over days …we have 1/2 ration oats + fish, fish chowder for lunch which needs only a package of dried soup and a little milk with boiled chunks of fish; and then fried fish and mashed potatoes for dinner. … During dinner today, Art brought up the condition of the supplies and distance to travel, and for the first time made everyone collectively conscious of the situation. [Pessl, p 65].
Comments.
(a) supplies refers to provisions, only.
(b) Pessl’s about 45 days) of provisions alone would get the party to Baker Lake on or about 17 September; the scheduled arrival date was 15 September, with a week’s leeway.
(c) The first caribou was seen the very next day, and so the food situation (apparently already deemed satisfactory) promised to improve.
Interpretation of the comment
Art brought up…conscious of the situation.
Moffatt thought that food (in the form of provisions alone) was sufficient to reach Baker Lake on schedule, but that the party would have to pick up the pace in order to do so.
Moffatt was counting on obtaining no food from the land for the remainder of the trip.
3 August. Franck.
We are not yet halfway, but we have consumed more than half of supplies. [Franck, in Pessl, p 66].
I believe that Franck’s halfway refers to distance, not time; as I mentioned previously, progress upstream on the Chipman River had necessarily been very slow.
4 August. Franck
…We went on down the river through a few small rapids when we saw our first caribou calmly grazing on top of a high bank. … We saw many caribou today, but all scattered along the banks in small groups. … I caught a few grayling for breakfast [for the next day]. [Franck, in Pessl, p 68].

Summary for Period 1 (start to 4 August).
Introduction.
Food from the land was obtained in the period, but the party was still often hungry, in part because there was no guarantee that much food from the land would be obtained later, and so provisions had to be conserved. In this connection, it bears mention first that the Moffatt party had only the journal of J B Tyrrell (I don’t know the relevant contents) to rely on for evidence regarding the caribou, second that encounters with them are far from guaranteed (as I know personally from six trips in the barrens, but ~100 years later).
As well, there was no guarantee that the party would arrive on schedule, namely on 15 September.
Items.
1. Lake trout, some large (two on 1 July, one on 10 July, two on 2 August, perhaps more on 3 August),
grayling (13 on 26 July, 1 one on 31 July, a few on 4 August).
2. a spruce hen (female spruce grouse) on 11 July (a small meal for one man).
3. blueberry heaven on 31 July.
Comments.
1. The shortage of food was far from life-threatening, but food from the land would be necessary in order to complete the trip in comfort.
2. Fat appears to have been in short supply, but it is unclear
(a) whether the importance of fat was generally known by recreational paddlers at the time, or
(b) whether the shortage was serious.
3. Concern regarding food was much reduced on 4 August, when the first caribou were sighted.

Sub-Appendix 4. Food in the period from 5 August to 14 September.

Summary of the evidence for the period.

Although food was occasionally short in this period (from the shooting of the first caribou to the tragedy), it was bountiful on the whole in the crucial seven weeks before the tragedy.
Moffatt’s journal (not publicly available), Grinnell’s book (1996) and Pessl’s book (2014), document that
five caribou were shot (the last on 5 September),
many fish (lake trout, grayling, arctic char) were caught,
many ptarmigan were obtained, and
blueberries and mushrooms were harvested (but these only earlier in the period).
As well, the Sports Illustrated article [p 82, lower left column and upper right column] and Grinnell’s book [pp 180&181] document the replenishment of provisions from the cache, this on 7 September.
At times during those seven weeks, the participants were indeed hungry; at others they were stuffed (as documented below in the entries for 22, 28 and 30 August).
Conclusion.
The assertions of Moffatt’s defamers that a lack/shortage of food contributed to his death have no basis in evidence.

A foretaste of the evidence for the period.
6 August. We had caribou steaks…and they were as tender as the finest filet mignon. [Franck, in Pessl, p 72].
7 August. … Caribou meat continues to dominate our meals; tongue and heart are top delicacies. [Pessl, p 72]
…still eating on our caribou. We tried smoking some and eating it for lunch and it turned out delicious. I think the meat gets better as it ages a little. [Franck, in Pessl, p73]
8 August. Latest fad finds us all preparing half-smoked, half-cooked meat…to supplement the lunch ration… First animal is running out; will be looking for a new kill soon… Saw first ptarmigan today… [Pessl, pp 74&75].
20 August. I went out and picked a tobacco-tin of berries for my breakfast tomorrow. I also brought in about 10 mushrooms, which, when boiled in with our bully-beef glop, proved to be the taste treat of the century. [Lanouette].
22 August (an extreme example). I was not feeling too well today, probably from eating too much caribou yesterday, … [Franck, in Pessl, p 99].
28 August (a second such). We … were so full we could hardly move. [Franck, in Pessl, p 108]
30 August (a third). …I had prepared such a huge breakfast that none of us could have moved much further than the tents anyway. I felt as if I would have crashed right through the bottom of the canoe and sunk like a stone if we would have been loading. [Pessl, p 110]
After 5 September (when the last was shot). Over the ensuing weeks… we killed our third, fourth and fifth caribous… [Grinnell book, p 156].
7 September. The resupply of provisions from the cache.
(a) …24 one-pound tins of dried Beardmore vegetables–carrots, beans, spinach, cabbage and beets. The guys went crazy…We took the stuff, figuring it had been left for us by Ray Moore…we celebrated with a huge mess of vegetables and caribou glop, carrots and beans mixed. Supper was wonderful. [Moffatt journal, as reported in the SI article, p 82, lower left and top right columns.]
(b) …It was a stack of cardboard boxes with cans of dehydrated vegetables inside… We raided the dump. [Grinnell book, p 180]
(c)…found a large quantity of dehydrated vegetables…took the whole shebang. [Pessl, p 125]
13 September. Skip caught 3 trout,…,lunch 2 fish chowder, 2 hardtack,.. Others portaged while I cooked huge glop, fish and bully, pudding + tea. [Moffatt journal]
13 September. As we sped through Wharton Lake… Up to that point we had shot five caribou and by doing so had saved enough meat to see us through. Now it was not even necessary to spend time hunting. [LeFavour article, 1955]
Please note in particular the statement that the party had no need to shoot another caribou.
14 September. At lunch that day, the party caught a 20 lb lake trout. [LeFavour, private correspondence, 2015]; also Lanouette, private correspondence].
Comments. The evidence of participant LeFavour was not available to Moffatt’s defamers.

Some food-related assertions of Moffatt’s defamers for the period, and some responses.
I ask that the reader assess the following assertions in the light of the evidence presented in the preceding paragraph.
Assertion 1a.
Food was becoming the question now. [Sports Illustrated, 8 August, p 76, top of left column]
It seems necessary to point out that the editor’s Food was becoming the question now was preceded immediately by the Moffatt passage All is well–enough food—or almost enough.
Assertion 1b.
…provisions dwindle, game grows scarce. [Sports Illustrated, 16-17 August, p 76, bottom of right column]
Partial response 1.
Nowhere in the article did the editor mention that the first caribou (of five) was shot on 5 August.
The editor noted the shooting of the caribou on 11 August [Moffatt journal entry for 12 August; Sports Illustrated, middle of left column, p 76]
Nowhere in the article did s/he mention that three more caribou were shot after 11 August, for a total of five.
In particular, as documented in Moffatt’s journal, three caribou were shot after 16-17 August (these on 20 August, 26 August and 5 September).
Some game grows scarce!
Partial response 2.
To spare the reader, I address below the assertion provisions dwindle.
Assertion 2a.
Lack of food… contributed to his [Moffatt’s] demise. [Murphy]
Assertion 2b.
Slightly giddy from lack of food… [Murphy]
Partial response.
These assertions were made in what was billed as a review of Grinnell’s book.
I suggest the evidence of Grinnell’s book, especially the passage Over the ensuing weeks… we killed our third, fourth and fifth caribous… [p 156], to be particularly relevant here.
Assertion 3a.
When Arthur Moffatt set off for the Barrenlands, he envisioned a land of plenty. He was plenty wrong. [Kingsley]
I point out that Kingsley’s primary source was Grinnell’s book, which provides the passage Over the ensuing weeks… we killed our third, fourth and fifth caribous… [p 156]
Assertion 3b.
The caribou were long gone. [Kingsley]
Again, Kingsley’s primary source was Grinnell’s book.
Assertion 3c.
As the summer wore on, the men grew hungry before, during, and after each meal. [Source Grinnell’s book, as edited by Kingsley]
Partial response.
Again, Kingsley’s primary source was Grinnell’s book, which documents a plethora of food (from the land and also from the cache) in the seven weeks before Moffatt’s death.
Confession.
I grew weary of addressing each accusation here, and so I refer the reader to the full evidence presented below.
Summary.
1. In defiance of the evidence, the Sports Illustrated editor, Murphy and Kingsley asserted
(a) first that food was very short in the seven weeks (5 August to 14 September) before the tragedy, and
(b) second that such shortage was a major contributing factor to Moffatt’s death.
Fully deserving of repetition is Murphy’s assertion that lack of food was a cause of the tragedy.
2. Not one food-related assertion regarding the six weeks immediately before the tragedy survives confrontation with the evidence of Moffatt’s journal (in the case of the SI editor) and Grinnell’s book (in the case of the others); as almost always though, Grinnell’s book is a special case.
3. Contrary to the assertions of Moffatt’s defamers, food was abundant on the whole in the crucial period from 5 August to 14 September. And that abundance was documented in both their primary sources, Moffatt’s journal in the case of the Sports Illustrated editor and Grinnell’s book in the case of the other defamers.

Conclusion.
Not one assertion of those made over 55 years (1959 to 2014), namely that a lack/shortage of food played a role in Moffatt’s death, is encumbered by a basis in evidence.
The tragedy had a very different cause, as I document in Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.

Sub-Appendix 4. The evidence of the participants regarding the food supply in the period from 5 August to 14 September.

Introduction .
This period, from the shooting of the first caribou (on 5 August) to the tragedy (on 14 September), is the crucial one because Moffatt’s defamers asserted (provided no evidence) that a shortage of food in it was largely responsible for his death.
Prime examples of the accusations.
1. Lack of food… contributed to his [Moffatt’s] demise
2. game grows scarce.
3. The caribou were long gone.

The primary sources
(defined as those based at least in part on the writings of participants) used by Moffatt’s defamers were the Sports illustrated article, Grinnell’s article, and Grinnell’s book.
Other primary sources.
Quite understandably, LeFavour’s 1955 article went unmentioned in the accusatory literature.
The evidence leads me to believe that Kesselheim’s Canoe&Kayak 2012 article (which contains evidence of Pessl) also went unmentioned in that literature, as did Pessl’s 2013 Nastawgan article and his book of 2014 (which contains also evidence of Franck).
Caution.
I have learned not to trust, in the first instance, any content of the SI article, or of Grinnell’s article, or of Grinnell’s book. And so I think it necessary to repeat that these three were the only primary sources used by Moffatt’s defamers.
On the other hand, I have learned to place full confidence in the following.
1. The evidence of Moffatt’s journal, but only as provided by Pessl in private correspondence.
If I may be explicit, I have no faith in the edited versions provided in the SI article). In particular, I note (as I do elsewhere) that the editor redacted the key phrase Following Tyrrell’s route from Moffatt’s last journal entry, that for 13 September.
2. The evidence of Pessl (his part of the Canoe&Kayak article, his Nastawgan article, his book and private correspondence with him),
3. The evidence of Franck (Source: Pessl’s book).
4. The evidence of Lanouette (the SI condensation of his journal for 14 September, and private correspondence).
5. The evidence of LeFavour (his article of 1955, and private correspondence).

Summary of the food supply in the period.
Food from the land.
The first caribou was shot on 5 August, the fifth and last on 5 September. As well, many ptarmigan were obtained, many fish (lake trout, grayling and Arctic char) were caught, and blueberries and mushrooms were harvested (both only earlier in the period).
On the whole, food from the land was abundant until the day of the tragedy. Indeed, on that day the party had so much caribou meat on board that it had no more need to hunt; and it caught a 20 lb lake trout at lunch.
Provisions.
As I remarked above, based on his considerable experience in outfitting trips, Moffatt had planned to obtain no food from the land, that it live entirely off the initial supply of provisions; that supply proved to be seriously inadequate, but far from life-threatening.
On 7 September, the supply of provisions was greatly augmented by those from the cache, as documented in both the Sports Illustrated article [p 82, lower left and upper right] and Grinnell’s book [pp 180&181].

Consequence.
The evidence summarised above, and presented in detail below, belies every accusation that a shortage of food played a role in the tragedy. Such shortage existed only in the minds of Moffatt’s defamers, who spread it into the collective mind of the paddling community.

Directory of the evidence of the six participants for the period.
The evidence (it is voluminous) is presented as follows.
Sub-Appendix 4a. The evidence of Moffatt.
Sub-Appendix 4b. The evidence of Grinnell.
Sub-Appendix 4c. The evidence of Pessl, Franck, Lanouette and LeFavour.

Sub-Appendix 4a. The evidence of Moffatt regarding the food supply.
Moffatt’s planning.
I believe that by restricting our diet to oatmeal, hardtack, bully beef, dried potatoes and macaroni, we ought to be able to feed four men well enough for the three months we expect to be on the barrens. I’ve eaten worse food longer and survived. [Moffatt letter to J B Tyrrell, 14 January 1955].
Comment. Based on his considerable experience in outfitting trips, Moffatt had reason to believe that the initial supply of provisions would suffice for the entire 11 weeks or so of the trip. But he severely underestimated the appetites of the five younger men.
Source 1.
Complete transcriptions of Moffatt’s journal entries for 4, 5 and 6 August,
plus excerpts from Moffatt’s journal, as provided by Pessl [private correspondence, 2015 & 2016].
Source 2.
Passages alleged to be excerpts from Moffatt’s journal, as provided in the Sports Illustrated article of 1959.
Comment 1. Lacking full access to Moffatt’s journal, I can comment on only a few of the editor’s selections.
Comment 2. I have concerns regarding the editor’s objectivity in making those selections.
Comment 3. Some selections from Moffatt’s journal have been edited, to Moffatt’s detriment.
The prime example is the editor’s redaction of the passage Following Tyrrell’s route from Moffatt’s last journal entry, that for 13 September. [SI article, lower right column, p 82] And so I have cause for concern that the editor redacted other evidence favourable to Moffatt.
Comment 4. Also of concern are editorial interjections alleged to be based on Moffatt’s journal.
An example is the passage Already nine days behind schedule… [SI article, bottom of right column, p 76] As I document elsewhere, the Moffatt party had no day-by-day schedule. Neither could any recreational party have such a schedule for travel in the barrens. Even the Tyrrell-Tyrrell party of 1893 had no day-by-day schedule.
Reference. Appendix 7. Schedule.
A general comment regarding the Sports Illustrated article.
I have learned to believe no content of that article that is not confirmed by a trustworthy source.

4 August. The evidence of Moffatt’s journal.
To set the stage, I provide evidence from the last day of the previous period.
We got up at 4:30, Skip made breakfast, while I took pix of sunrise. Our beautiful clear sky sailed – or was pushed – fast NE by heavy clouds, which brought light cold rain and NW wind. But we were under way by 6, and kept on till 10, having hard time following route through islands. I couldn’t tell where we were from map, but there was just enough current between islands, and bent weeds in the water, to show us we were right. Finally, at 10:30, we seemed to be definitely in the fast – moving river, and stopped to have cocoa – we were numbed with cold – soaked legs – hands raw from cold wind & rain – but fire and hot drink quickly brought us around.
Hills all bare here, only groves of spruce and tamarack here and there.
Then on, through many-channeled river, to fast little rapid, where we stopped to make cloudy day film – f4.5-5.6 – of Skip + Pete shooting rapid, and on again 2 or 3 miles, when Joe and I suddenly saw 2 caribou outlined against sky on ridge on left bank.
Stopped at once, jumped out with camera, got pix – ate lunch there, went on through more rapids, caribou now everywhere, till we saw big bull and cow swimming – got fine pix of Skip + Bruce chasing them in the water, of animals close by.
On to heavy rapid 1/2 way to Barlow Lake – 5:30 – good camp, island, sun, caribou everywhere – got great shots of herd on sky line, behind tents, of Bonaparte gull in tree top, and finally no pix but good view of long-tailed jaeger – now 2.
Also first Arctic ground squirrel, and white wolf – got shot of latter.

Source. Pages 82 and 83 of Moffatt’s journal, as kindly supplied by Pessl.

4 August. The evidence of Moffatt’s journal, as provided in the Sports Illustrated article.
Comment. The date, not stated by the editor, comes from the above.
…their first arctic ground squirrel, a white wolf, and then they met the caribou en masse. [lower left column, p 75].
Assessment. This is a bare-bones (less than a sentence) but nevertheless faithful condensation of the relevant portion of Moffatt’s journal for that day.

5 August. The evidence of Moffatt’s journal.
Poor morning, and I didn’t get up at 5 as I had planned. Because Skip didn’t get called, he slept until 11 – which rather teed me, since he had originally said he would cook breakfasts because I was hard to get out of sack in a.m.
Instead of moving – it was 1 p.m. when breakfast over – we decided to kill a caribou. Bruce + Joe went out, got small female – forked horns, in velvet – fine shot behind shoulder, Bruce, second in back, Joe – they finished her in neck, cut throat. I got pix, but it was cloudy all the time, and at 4-2.8, had rotten sun.
Made sequence – hunt, kill, skinning, butchering, hanging meat, and finally stew. Meat sour-sweet, tastes a little like the guts and stomach contents smell.
But before dinner I finished one more shot of caribou also looked at rapids – going to be tricky to shoot, and had bowel movement – been partially constipated for three days – today blood in stool. Can it be poor food – macaroni, bully, oats and hardtack – or have I got the hernia I worried about earlier, which still feels odd down in left groin. Not good if I have, but nothing much to do about it here.
Getting very anxious to be home, but tonight we are still south of 62nd parallel – have to go almost to 65° – and should do it in less than a month – but can we?
Weather gets steadily worse – sun very little – only in patches – wind constant and cold
[illegible] rain squalls every day.
We are not yet beyond limit of all trees – valleys + low places still have plenty in groves, but hills + ridges and meadows bare, stony, greenish with grass – creeping
[illegible]-bearing plants, and dwarf birch. Tamarack numerous, largest trees, bed rock almost non-existent.
Berries, weather, stony hills and long undulating horizons seem characteristic of this area.

[pp 83-85 of Moffatt’s journal, as provided by Pessl].

5 August. The evidence of Moffatt’s journal, as provided by Sports Illustrated.
I have nothing to report, for the SI editor omitted the complete entry for 5 August.
In more detail, s/he skipped from the 4 August entry caribou en masse to the 6 August entry We made good time…, thereby omitting mention of the shooting of the first caribou (partially consumed that day) on 5 August. To some, that might seem an important event, one worth mentioning. That is, some might consider the sighting of the first caribou (mentioned) to be a less important event than the shooting and partial consumption of the first (ignored by the editor), especially given the editor’s remarks concerning food.
That the editor omitted mention of such an important event perhaps casts doubt on the following two of her/his assertions.
1. Food was becoming the question now [9? August; top of left column, p 76] and
2. …game grows scarce. In desperate haste, they take an ultimate chance. [16-17 August, bottom of right column, p 76].
Indeed, such doubt is fully justified by the evidence presented below, for neither assertion is encumbered by a basis in evidence. In particular, three caribou were shot after 16-17 August (these on 20 August, 26 August and 5 September) all as documented in Moffatt’s journal.
That the editor redacted such exculpatory evidence suggests that s/he acted similarly in other matters pertaining to the tragedy. Only study of Moffatt’s journal (not publicly available) would settle the question. In this respect, I mention again the editor’s redaction of the phrase Following Tyrrell’s route from Moffatt’s last journal entry.

6 August. The evidence of Moffatt’s journal.
Comment. The following was transcribed from Moffatt’s journal, kindly supplied by Pessl.
Up at 7:30 – Skip had breakfast ready – we ate, I took films of Skip and Pete shooting the big rapid. This took quite a while, since high clouds covered the sun, but after they had passed, we had a clear, very windy day, with light windblown dew point clouds – a real rarity of a day in these latitudes. We made good time down the swift river – many boulders and easy rapids – and caribou in groups of 3 to 10 were grazing placidly in the meadows at the waters edge, or walking slowly along the stony yellowish ridges.
Those grazing would look up as we passed, and watch us curiously, and a few would put up their white tails and trot a few paces back from the river before turning again to stare.
We are already accustomed to their presence, and hardly look twice at them. It is surprising how easy they are to see. Sometimes if they are standing still, the light white winter hair on their backs still being shed, and the new dark hair underneath make them look like a boulder – or rather, the boulders can be mistaken for caribou. Their horns are still in velvet of course – the big bucks have huge racks, the cows and young bucks smaller sets – the cows without a central keel. Their white feet make them appear to be wearing gaiters.
Yesterday I could hear their ankles or hooves – I don’t know which as they trotted away from me.
It is not necessary to hunt them – all you have to do is sit downwind – be still – and they will walk up to you.
At lunch today got pix of Arctic Cotton, also good rapid – then into lake – Barlow – about 4 miles, and on into bay by 5 p.m. Wind strong beyond and I climbed hill at point.
[Moffatt describes a chipping site, with also scrapers and points.]
Cooked caribou steaks tonight – with mashed potatoes and tea. Then went on long walk with camera to hills back of camp, but saw nothing – a few caribou, one of which walked almost up to me.
Country very lovely – almost completely barren – blue and purple hills in distance, groves of birch in hollows, thin line of spruce here and there at edge of lakes and rivers.
Night absolutely calm – full moon one day old, loons crying in distance, distant roar of small rapid south of lake. Not a cloud in the sky.
Hills back of camp very stony, rough boulders in till, patches of yellow bare gravel, berries growing among boulders. Pothole lakes surrounded by muskeg which seems golden green and strongly in contrast with gray and buff hills. Trees stand out occasionally on side of ridge or skyline like sentinels.
Not a mosquito, not a black fly here as I write at 11:30 p.m. by moonlight and twilight. Very warm – first warm night in weeks. Three poles with
[I omitted the second “with”] caribou meat hanging from their apex at shore-Skip’s tent to left. Bank shallow and stoney.
A few weak northern lights earlier, nothing now – one star in north.
Saw five Canada geese today – big honkers. Makes 14 seen so far.
Joe doesn’t care for caribou – afraid of flies + parasites – rest of us think it’s fine. Not gamey at all – best fried.
All of us getting on each other’s nerves – as usual – six weeks out now – a long time. Have used about 3000 feet of film same amount to go. Plenty still of film to take yet.
Only 15 packs of cigarettes left and 1/2 can of roll-your-own. Sugar ration inadequate too.

[pp 85-87 of Moffatt’s journal, as provided by Pessl].
Aside. Perhaps readers who have not visited the barrenlands will enjoy them, if only vicariously, from the above.

6 August. The evidence of Moffatt’s journal, as provided by Sports Illustrated.
We made good time down the river. … It is not necessary to hunt them [the caribou]. All you have to do is sit downwind, be still, and they will walk up to you. [top right column, p 75].

Interjections.
1. I possess no more complete entries from Moffatt’s journal, only excerpts provided in the Sports Illustrated article and by Pessl (in private correspondence).
2. Pessl [private correspondence] states that Moffatt’s journal lists five caribou in total as having been shot, the dates being as 5 August, 11 August, 20 August, 26 August and 5 September (provided in Pessl’s book). Grinnell’s journal agrees with that number.
Comment. It concerns me that the Sports Illustrated editor omitted mention of four of the five caribou shot; s/he mentioned only the one shot on 12 August.

~8 August. Assertion of the SI editor.
Comment. The following, which refers to Moffatt’s journal for 6 August, was published in the SI paragraph beginning On August 8 the Moffatt party reached Cairn Point… [p 75, right column].
Among other things, the expedition’s provisions were beginning to run low. There were only 15 packs of cigarettes left and a half can of roll-your-own. The sugar ration was proving woefully inadequate.
Response 1.
I dispute the editor’s remark regarding tobacco. The passage Only 15 packs of cigarettes left and a half-can of roll-your-own was taken from Moffatt’s journal entry for 6 August, as provided above. It refers to Moffatt’s personal supply of tobacco only; other participants had their own supplies.
Further, a shortage of tobacco is scarcely a life-threatening matter, scarcely one worthy of such special note; indeed, in retrospect, that shortage might be argued to be beneficial, albeit in the long term.
Response 2.
Given that neither was responsible in any way for the tragedy, the accusatory literature (beginning with the SI article) has made rather too much of the shortage of sugar and of the distribution of its supply.
Response 3.
Some might consider the shooting of the first caribou (on 5 August, not mentioned by the editor) to be more worthy of publication than an incorrect suggestion that the party as a whole was running short of tobacco,

~8 August.
Passage attributed to Moffatt. … All is well–enough food–or almost enough. [SI article, top of the left column on p 76]. Caution. I lack confirmation from Moffatt’s journal.
As before, food refers to provisions only.
Analysis. Moffatt is satisfied, as best he could have been at this stage in the trip, with the supply of provisions for the remainder of the trip. After all, he was in charge of the procurement of provisions; that was a primary concern of his, and this is far from the only time that he comments on that supply during the trip, both before and after ~8 August.

8 or 9 August.
Editorial interjection. Food was becoming the question now. [p 76, top of the left column]
Response. Given his remark …All is…almost enough, Moffatt was clearly satisfied with the food supply at the time; the first caribou had been shot three days previously and there were many more around, easy pickings.
What then was the purpose of the editor’s question interjection?

10 August.
The evidence of Moffatt’s journal, as provided by Sports Illustrated.
Found could conserve sugar by pouring prunes on oats. Syrup sweet enough for one bowl. [p 76, left column].

11 August.
The second caribou was shot this day, as mentioned in the following.

12 August.
The evidence of Moffatt’s journal, as provided by Sports Illustrated.
Should have mentioned in yesterday’s log that Bruce [LeFavour] went hunting in the morning…and shot fork-horn cow caribou.
We cut up the loins for steaks. They were full of grubs and cysts of one kind or another, but who cares about tapeworm or worse when fresh meat as good as this is on hand and has not been for 30 days?
[p 76, left column].
Comment.>
Given that the second caribou was shot the previous day, Moffatt refers here to the first (shot on 5 August). I gather that it had aged not at all gracefully, perhaps like some of us.
Opinion.
I believe that the 30 days is an exaggeration on Moffatt’s part, given that the first caribou (shot on 5 August) must have tasted mighty good.
For the record,
caribou were shot on 5 August, 11 August, 20 August, 26 August and 5 September.

12 August.
The evidence of Moffatt’s journal.
… made blueberry johnny cake, cut up loins of caribou for steaks. They were full of grubs and cists of one kind or another, but who cares about tapeworm or worse when fresh meat as good as this is on hand and has not been for 30 days, and also when supplies are down to about 30 days with over 400 miles to go… [Pessl, private correspondence].
Comment 1.
about 30 days after 12 August gets one to about 11 September.
Given that the party was scheduled to arrive in Baker Lake on 15 September, Moffatt believed that the supplies were adequate for the remainder of the trip. The difference of four days is inconsequential, especially because about 30 days is only an estimate.
Comment 2.
Again, why then did the editor state that Food was becoming the question now? [SI article, p 76, top of the left column]
Comment 3.
I measured the distance from Cairn Point on Carey Lake to Baker Lake to be ~400 miles, in good-enough agreement with Moffatt’s value.
Reference. Ancillary 4. Distances.

13 August.
Went into a small bay, good wood, plenty blueberries. I steaked up most of one hind quarter of caribou, mashed potatoes, made chocolate pudding and tea… [Pessl, private correspondence].

14 August.
Most conversation revolves around food. Running low of staples, only 30 days’ supply left. [Sports Illustrated, p 76, left column].
Comment 1. Here, food refers to provisions (rather than food from the land), given that the second caribou had been shot on 11 August.
Comment 2. 13 September is 30 days after 14 August; arrival in Baker Lake was scheduled for 15 September.
Consequence. Moffatt believed the party to have enough provisions to reach Baker Lake within a few days of the scheduled arrival date. That is, on 14 August, the supply of staples (aka provisions) was believed to be adequate. Moffatt’s defamers allege the contrary.

15 August.
…painful discussion –salt running low, milk running low. How to save it? [Sports Illustrated, p 76, right column].
Comment. Again, Moffatt is carefully assessing the state of the provisions, even regarding minor items like salt and milk.

17 August.
Rain kept on to midafternoon, then everybody got busy getting together complete meal off the country, mushrooms (a kind of brown, large one, porous underneath rather than ribbed like usual ones) for vegetable, six 5lb. lakers for meat, also 3 ptarmigan via Pete for extra meat, blueberries for dessert and tea. [Pessl, private correspondence].

20 August.
The third caribou was shot this day, an event not mentioned by the editor.

21 August.
Only about 20 days’ food left. Lean caribou is temporarily filling but does not stay with you. We get five meals out of the caribou – four quarters and back meat, plus heart, tongue and liver. Neck and spareribs for lunch meat. Unfortunately, we do not have enough wood to make soup. No more onions, dried vegetables. …Ptarmigan plentiful here, … [Sports Illustrated, p 80, lower left and top right columns].
Comment 1. Pessl gives the date as 22 August, as below.
Comment 2. Since Moffatt says about, the difference from the previous estimate (that of 14 August) is negligible.
Comment 3. Several more caribou had been shot since 5 August.
Comment 4. Again, food means provisions. That supply would last until 10 September or so, if no food were obtained from the land. But much food from the land was obtained later in the period; moreover, provisions were obtained from the cache, on 7 September.
Comment 5. Moffatt continues his conscientious evaluation of the supply of provisions.

22 August.
Only about 20 days food left. Lean caribou temporarily filling, but does not stay with you. 5 meals on caribou: 4 quarters + back meat, plus heart, tongue and liver, and neck and spareribs for lunch meat. Not enough wood to make soup. [Moffatt journal, as provided by Pessl in private correspondence].

24 Augus.
Moffatt caught a 12-pound lake trout. [Sports Illustrated, p 80, right column].

26 August.
The fourth caribou was shot this day, an event not mentioned by the SI editor.

28 August.
On north side island stopped to cook lunch, fish chowder: 12 lbs. lake trout, 4 oxo cubes, 1 pack dry vegetable soup, salt, pepper and flour paste. Very filling. [Moffatt journal, as provided by Pessl in private correspondence].

5 September.
Only about 15 days of oatmeal left, five days of cornmeal, 18 days of hardtack, 18 days of sugar and 11 two-pack mashed potatoes or 22 one-pack days. Four days of macaroni, meat supply good, canned meat, fish and caribou. Should make it, unless weather turns very bad. [SI article, p 81, centre of right column].
Comment 1. As far as it goes, the above is a faithful version (as supplied by Pessl, in private correspondence) of Moffatt’s entry for the day.
Moffatt continues his conscientious evaluation of the supply of provisions. Yet again, he is optimistic regarding the supply. The party was scheduled to arrive 10 days later, on 15 September, but with a week’s grace period.
Comment 2. But the editor omitted Moffatt’s mention of the shooting of fifth (and last) caribou that same day.
Bruce killed caribou – leg shot, chase into lake, then neck shot – George & Skip & Bruce skinned and brought in the meat… [Moffatt journal, as provided by Pessl in private correspondence].

7 September.
The supply of provisions was augmented by those from the cache.
…24 one-pound tins of dried Beardmore vegetables–carrots, beans, spinach, cabbage and beets. The guys went crazy…We took the stuff, figuring it had been left for us by Ray Moore…we celebrated with a huge mess of vegetables and caribou glop, carrots and beans mixed. Supper was wonderful. [SI article, p82, lower left and top right columns.]
Pessl’s account [p 125] agrees with that provided above.

10 September.
The evidence of Moffatt’s journal, as provided by Sports Illustrated and by Pessl.
1. …Ten days’ sugar supply left, about the same amount of hardtack, 10 days’ oats, five days’ cornmeal. Joe broke two of three remaining peanut butter jars tonight on a portage. Even a little item of that sort is becoming vitally important to us. The food situation is poor, but we mean to get out of here as fast as possible now. About 200 miles to go. [SI article, p 82, centre of right column].
This a faithful transcription of Moffatt’s journal for the day, as supplied by Pessl. As before, here food refers to provisions, only.
2. I note the following yet again. On 14 September, the party had so much caribou meat on board that it had no need to hunt again [LeFavour]; and it caught a 20-lb lake trout at lunch that day.
3. Arrival in Baker Lake by the scheduled date of 15 September would have required five days at an unreasonable average of 40 miles per day. I expect the weather-enforced, non-travel days of 1, 2, 3, 8 and 9 September to be largely responsible for the delay. But arrival in Baker Lake by the end of the grace period (22 September) appears to have been achievable.
4. That distance of 200 miles, along the Dubawnt River to the junction with the Thelon River (between Beverly Lake and Aberdeen Lake) and thence to Baker Lake, agrees reasonably well with my measurement at Toporama. My point here is that Moffatt had corrected the distance given in his Prospectus. After the tragedy, rather than continue down the Dubawnt River to its junction with the Thelon River, the survivors instead portaged from Marjorie Lake to Aberdeen Lake on the Thelon.

13 September.
Note. Moffatt’s complete entry for the day is provided in Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.
I provide here only the evidence related to food.
…Skip caught 3 trout… lunch 2 fish chowder, 2 hardtack,… Others portaged while I cooked huge glop, fish and bully, pudding + tea. [Moffatt journal; via Pessl, private correspondence]

13 September.
I cooked fish and bully, pudding and tea. [Sports Illustrated, bottom right of p 82]

14 September.
The assertion of the Sports Illustrated editor, compared with the evidence of participant LeFavour.
In a clear reference to Moffatt’s death, the editor asserted the following
…game grows scarce. In desperate haste, they take an ultimate chance. [16-17 August, bottom of right column, p 76].
Interpretation. The editor suggests that food was so short, and the party was in such desperate haste to reach Baker Lake, that Moffatt took the ultimate chance by running the fatal rapids without a scout.
Response 1. As documented in Moffatt’s journal (possessed by the editor), three more caribou were shot after 16-17 August (these on 20 August, 26 August and 5 September).
Response 2. Participant LeFavour (in Sub-Appendix 4c) provided the following for the same period.
As we sped through Wharton Lake only the occasional snow flurry fell, an incentive not a deterrent. Up to that point we had shot five caribou and by doing so had saved enough meat to see us through. Now it was not even necessary to spend time hunting.
Comment. Perhaps the reader can imagine how the two statements could differ more greatly with respect to the supply of caribou meat.

Summary of Sub-Appendix 4a. The evidence of Moffatt.
The evidence of Moffatt regarding provisions.
Moffatt expressed concern only with the supply of provisions, ever. That supply was augmented considerably by those from the cache (this on 7 September, as documented in his journal, and as noted also by the SI editor [SI article, bottom of the left column on p 82].
The evidence of Moffatt regarding food from the land.
Moffatt’s journal documents also that the land was one of plenty in the period from 5 August to 14 September: five caribou (5 August, 10 August, 20 August, 26 August and 5 September), many ptarmigan, many fish (three species), blueberries and mushrooms (the latter two only earlier in the period).
But the SI editor recorded only the shooting of the second caribou, and made no mention at all of the ptarmigan, fish, blueberries and mushrooms.
The following was not recorded in Moffatt’s journal. At lunch on 14 September, the party had so much caribou meat on board that it had no more need to hunt. […we had shot five caribou and by doing so had saved enough meat to see us through. Now it was not even necessary to spend time hunting. [LeFavour journal for 14 September, as reported in the Evening Recorder, Amsterdam NY, 29 December, 1955]. To boot, the party caught 20 lb of trout at lunch that day.
Summary.
The party was occasionally short of food in the period from 5 August to 14 September, but on the whole it was well fed. And, as I document below, on three known occasions the paddlers were stuffed with food.
Requests.
I ask that the reader assess the SI editor’s assertion Food was becoming the question now in the light of the evidence presented above.
I ask that the reader assess the SI editor’s assertion game grows scarce in the light of the evidence presented above.
An open question.
What else does Moffatt’s journal contain regarding the supply of food, but escaped mention by the SI editor, who had full access to that journal?

Sub-Appendix 4b. The evidence of Grinnell.
Introduction.
1. For this period (from 5 August to 14 September), I provide a statement from Grinnell’s article of 1988, then evidence from his book of 1996.
2. Despite my reservations regarding his writings on other matters, Grinnell’s book provides an accurate (though abbreviated) description of the food supply in those crucial six weeks from 5 August (the shooting of the first caribou) to 14 September (the day of the tragedy). I say that his evidence is accurate because it is verified by the writings of Moffatt himself (Sub-Appendix 4a) and of the other four participants Franck, Lanouette, LeFavour and Pessl (Sub-Appendix 4c).
3. My key point is that the evidence of Grinnell’s book (available to every accuser in principle and known to have been used by Murphy and Kingsley in particular) refutes every accusation that a lack/shortage of food played a role in the tragedy. That book evinces that food (both from the land and from provisions, some of the latter obtained from the cache) was bountiful, on the whole, in the seven weeks preceding the tragedy.

The evidence of Grinnell’s article (1988).
…we had all discovered the caribou, the berries [blueberries], the mushrooms and the lake trout… [article, p 21, left column; undated].

The evidence of Grinnell’s book (1996).
My first awareness of Reality with a capital “R” came to me in the form of hunger, that everlasting hunger that must be satisfied or death will in time arrive; and my second awareness came in the form of freezing cold, which kills more quickly. [p 2; undated]
Comment. Food was short in the period from the start to the shooting of the first caribou on 5 August, because Moffatt had severely underestimated the appetites of the five younger men, provisions had to be conserved for the remainder of the trip, and food from the land had been insufficient to make up the difference. But the hunger in that period was far from life-threatening, death was far from imminent. And so I suggest that Grinnell made here a general, though hyperbolic, remark.
Caribou! … hundreds of caribou, then thousands more. … The hunters returned to lead me to their kill… We carried the butchered caribou back to camp and that evening gratefully ate forty-two steaks. [5 August, pp 97&98].
Comment. This was the first caribou killed, of the five; as I mentioned previously, the SI editor redacted mention of the event.
Full bellies… [a few days later; p 113].
…picked blueberries…Art’s blueberry “Johnny Cake”…caribou soup…dehydrated mashed potatoes…freshly butchered caribou steaks…full bellies [12 August, pp 115&116].
Comment. This caribou (shot on 11 August) and was the only one (of the five) to be mentioned by the SI editor.
…we took a holiday to kill our second caribou… [11 August, p 127].
Dinner was a splendid affair: delicious trout, … , the best cuts of meat from the caribou, … , savory mushrooms, … buckets of blueberries … . [After 20 August, p 135].
One day, Art pulled into an island to cook lunch. We were running out of hard tack and other luncheon supplies; so instead of a cold lunch, Art decided to boil up a pot of fish soup, the fish having been caught by Skip that morning. [p 146].
I picked up my .22 and went to shoot a ptarmigan I had spotted. [p 147].
Over the ensuing weeks… we killed our third, fourth and fifth caribous… [p 156].
Comment. Caribou were shot on 5 August, 11 August, 20 August, 26 August and 5 September.
1. … I went to hunt some ptarmigan. I killed five with my .22 before running out of ammunition, then killed two more with my hunting knife. [28 August, pp 156 & 157].
Grinnell’s account is confirmed by Franck [Pessl, p 108].
2. …we began to spend more and more time hunting, fishing and gathering berries.. [p 158]
3. Finally, the raiding of the cache (on 7 September) is described on Grinnell’s pages 180 and 181; that event is confirmed by the evidence of Moffatt [Sports Illustrated, p 82, lower left and upper right columns] and that also that of Pessl-Franck-Lanouette-LeFavour [Sub-Appendix 4c, below]
Question. Does not this evidence, alone and in itself, refute every accusation that there existed a lack/shortage of food in six weeks immediately before the tragedy? And so, does not it therefore refute every accusation that a lack/shortage of food played a role in Moffatt’s death?
But this evidence of Grinnell’s book was ignored by every defamer who wrote after its publication. In fact, many made food-related accusations that are refuted by that evidence. Worthy of explicit mention is Murphy’s article, billed as a review of Grinnell’s book.

Summary of the evidence of Grinnell’s book.
Although bellies were occasionally not full, food from the land was bountiful in the seven weeks preceding the tragedy; as well, more provisions were obtained from the cache.
A request.
I ask the reader to assess the assertions
Lack of food… contributed to his [Moffatt’s] demise. [Murphy]
Moffatt …envisioned a land of plenty. He was plenty wrong. [Kingsley]
The caribou were long gone… [Kingsley]
in the light of the evidence of Grinnell’s book.

Sub-Appendix 4c. The evidence of Pessl, Franck, Lanouette and LeFavour.
Introduction.
The evidence of Pessl, Franck, Lanouette and LeFavour, which is considerably more detailed that that presented in Sub-Appendices 4a (Moffatt) and 4b (Grinnell), became available starting only in 2014, when Pessl’s book was published.
The evidence of Pessl and Franck comes from Pessl’s book [2014].
That of Lanouette was kindly supplied by him and his daughter Elizabeth Emge in 2015.
That of LeFavour (kindly supplied by him in 2015) was published in the Evening Recorder, Amsterdam NY. Part 3 of 4, page 8, 29 December (1955).
Comment.
Pessl’s book confirms Grinnell’s account of the bountiful supply of food in those six weeks and adds much to it. Three extreme examples follow.
22 August. I was not feeling too well today, probably from eating too much caribou yesterday, … [Franck, in Pessl, p 99].
28 August. We … were so full we could hardly move. [Franck, in Pessl, p 108]
30 August. …I had prepared such a huge breakfast that none of us could have moved much further than the tents anyway. I felt as if I would have crashed right through the bottom of the canoe and sunk like a stone if we would have been loading. [Pessl, p 110]

4 August. The party met the caribou.
Actually, everywhere we looked groups of caribou could be seen. The horizon was a constant panorama of moving bodies and antlers. [Pessl, p 67].
5 August.
Spent the day in camp and although the weather was poor for filming, the caribou offered plenty of opportunity for excitement. After breakfast, Bruce and Joe climbed a nearby ridge, picked out a young, spike horn and shot it. …The prospect of firm, chewable meat for the next few days is very welcome. …This sudden presence of wildlife not only provides good protein and fat, it also makes the hope of adequate provisions more realistic. [Pessl, p 69].
Comment 1. The interpretation of the comment is unclear; Pessl may mean that the availability of food from the land requires less reliance on the provisions remaining from the initial supply.
Comment 2. The reader need not attempt to compare the above summary for 5 August with the account of the Sports Illustrated editor for that day.
5 August.
We had all the grayling we could eat for breakfast. …The water below is full of grayling, all good sized and eager for the fly. … Everyone sits up at night broiling it [the caribou shot after breakfast] and eating ‘til they can hold no more. The best pieces are the long roasts from the back. [Franck, in Pessl, p 69].
5 August.
… the day was gray, cold, and quite a wind was blowing over the plain from the southwest … It had been decided a few days before that we would need some caribou meat in order to stretch our supplies of food a little longer, and because the day was a bad one for traveling, we figured that this was as good a time as any to shoot some fresh meat. [Lanouette, private correspondence].
6 August.
Pan-fried steaks replaced yesterday’s delicious stew and for the second evening in a row, we enjoy fresh meat.
The abundance of caribou has already ceased to be cause for comment as we pass herd after herd on the river. … hundreds of caribou peacefully grazing … often during the night, we can hear the eerie echo of these rattling hooves as the caribou wander by our tents. …
Peter and Bruce have stirred up a few caribou just north of me and in their haste the animals run within 15 ft of the rock on which I am sitting…
[Pessl, p 71].
6 August.
We had caribou steaks…and they were as tender as the finest filet mignon. [Franck, in Pessl, p 72].
7 August.
At dinner tonight, Art … insisted … that the dinner cook should be entitled to extra sugar rations. He seems to be suffering more than the rest of us from the short rations due mainly to large amounts of tea and coffee that he relishes, …
Comment. Here, short rations clearly refers to sugar, rather than food in general.
… Caribou meat continues to dominate our meals; tongue and heart are top delicacies. [Pessl, p 72]
7 August.
…still eating on our caribou. We tried smoking some and eating it for lunch and it turned out delicious. I think the meat gets better as it ages a little. Caribou have been getting scarcer… [Franck, in Pessl, p73]
8 August.
Latest fad finds us all preparing half-smoked, half-cooked meat…to supplement the lunch ration… First animal is running out; will be looking for a new kill soon… Saw first ptarmigan today…the prospects of early arrival in Baker Lake seem good. [Pessl, pp 74&75].
8 August.
We had our last meal from the caribou tonight, but the chuck is still left and good, except… [Franck, in Pessl, p 76].
9 August.
Sugar again became an issue this morning, with Art “borrowing” from the cooking ration. Later he apologized…and all seems smooth again. …Berry picking led me within a few feet of a caribou this afternoon. [Pessl, p 76]
9 August.
…I flushed five ptarmigan. …Caribou are getting quite scarce with only an occasional one showing up. [Franck, in Pessl, pp 76&77].
10 August.
…there are lots of caribou here today. [Pessl, p 78].
10 August.
We saw more caribou today, but still only singles and pairs. …Right now, my thoughts are constantly preoccupied with food to an alarming extent. What I miss is not fresh meat, because we have plenty of that. I crave fats, sugar and starch. I would like big slabs of cornbread with lots of butter, fat meat like bacon or pork, and chocolate. [Franck, in Pessl, pp 78&79].
11 August.
Bruce bagged a caribou … . Once again we are well stocked with meat. … Blueberries are super and with the meat and fish provide a substantial part of our diet. This is my first experience of “living off the land”, substantially backed up by a can or two as needed. [Pessl, p 79].
11 August.
…Bruce came in…finally got a young cow about noon. …There was hardly any of that caribou left when we walked off. [Franck, in Pessl, p 81].
12 August.
…energies were spent preparing a beautiful blueberry johnny cake which was combined with two enormous slabs of “roast beef” to produce a fine banquet. The quantities of meat that we consume at one sitting are enormous…a boiling pot of soup stock made of caribou backbone chopped in chunks, reinforced by the usual pot of tea… [Pessl, 82]
12 August.
Around 4…Art set about making a johnny cake. I almost went mad with hunger sitting around watching him, so I went off to pick blueberries. We picked quite a pot full to put in the johnny cake and they really improved the flavor, but the cake itself sits so heavy once you eat two big slabs of it that I almost wished I was hungry again. [Franck, in Pessl, p 83]
13 August.
The usual morning oats…were supplemented with vast quantities of fried caribou liver… After the initial “halfway” scare of time-distance regarding food supplies…we are slowly drifting back into our previous lethargy. …In this land of fish, caribou and berries all seems well and so we mosey along. …enjoyed caribou soup for lunch…are camped again with the sizzle of cooking steaks. …today we once again saw the animals [caribou] grazing along the shore…[Pessl, p 84]
13 August.
We had a tremendous lunch of the usual hardtack and a soup made by boiling the backbone of the caribou. Delicious soup, and I had had a lot of caribou liver for breakfast, so I was quite full. This liver is excellent, but too rich and filling to eat for breakfast. … I am beginning to get a little tired of caribou and long for a glop dinner for a change. These blueberries that grow everywhere are delicious, especially with milk and sugar. [Franck, in Pessl, pp 85&86].
Comment. Franck records that both Moffatt and he were helping themselves to extra food.
14 August.
Pessl records his discontent with the way in which Moffatt handles the food situation, for his personal benefit; he remarks again on Moffatt’s use …of community sugar for personal use at times…. He expresses also discontent with Moffatt’s handling of the general plan of the day’s travel. [Pessl, pp 86&87]
14 August.
Caribou are getting more abundant for some reason. We have been seeing lots of them since we entered Markham [Lake]… I have an alarming tendency to look forward to lunch and especially a peanut butter and cheese hardtack as the high point of the day. I am beginning to think that…I am nothing but a big belly. I look forward to Baker Lake most because it means all I can eat. [Franck, in Pessl, p 87].
15 August.
… I picked blueberries; very ripe now. …This caribou seems to be going bad much faster than the other. It already smells high and some pieces are full of maggots. Caribou seem to be increasing. We see them all the time now… [Franck, in Pessl, p 89].
16 August.
We spent the entire morning scouting this very difficult rapid… The protection of our supplies dictates our caution …our awareness of the approaching winter is a huge burden on days like this.. Eventually, the party decided to stay put.
Milk became an issue yesterday; and again it seemed to be the four guys against Art; problem of rationing given to Skip. … After a touchy trial and error mushroom test in which I gulped down one raw specimen with some misgiving, but with no immediate after effects, mushrooms have become part of our “natural” diet. They are very plentiful in this area and when fried in bacon grease are a fine supplement with the caribou steaks. Food from the land has become so important that everyone walks with head down and a sharp eye for berries, mushrooms and other edible plants. An unfortunate result of this is that thoughts of food seem to dominate almost all other mental activity. Conversation, spare time and imagination concentrate on food. This is a sad state of affairs, considering generally how well we eat. [Pessl, pp 90 & 91]
16 August.
Bruce and I got out and caught some fish. The rapid is full of grayling and lake trout; fine big fish, the fattest I have ever seen. We had a caribou stew and threw the rest away as it was too high to stand any longer. …We still have 300 mi. to Baker Lake, after we get to Dubawnt Lake and only about thirty days of food left. [Franck, in Pessl, p 91].
Comment 1. 15 September (the intended arrival date in Baker Lake) is thirty days after 16 August. That is, on 16 August, the party had enough food to reach Baker Lake on schedule and in comfort.
Comment 2. I believe that food refers to provisions; it is unclear though to what extent, if any, Franck was counting on food from the land.
17 August.
Breakfast of oats, lake trout, bacon, blueberries and tea…storms continued to threaten so we remained at camp and spent most of the day getting food so as not to use much of our rapidly diminishing store-bought supply. Lunch consisted of a fish chowder utilizing 5 grayling, 1 C rice and I pkg. dried soup; also 1 hardtack with jam. Dinner was really a woodsman’s triumph, although it took all afternoon to gather. Five medium lake trout which we catch at will are served as the main course. A large bucket of mushrooms was fried for our vegetable and blueberries furnished dessert along with the customary tea. Later in the evening Pete came in with 3 ptarmigan which are hanging on a tent pole now and will serve as the beginning of another meal soon. … It is marvelous and quite fortunate how abundant food in the Barrens is at this season and how six quite inexperienced men are able to supply a substantial part of their diet with such ease. The recent hot weather has ruined a lot of our meat so that even boiling the worst parts is no longer too effective. However, a change to fish for a while is welcome. [Pessl, p 92].
17 August.
For lunch, we had a fish chowder made with five grayling; an excellent dish! …Joe gathered blueberries and mushrooms…They are quite good fried and took the place of starch at dinner. Bruce caught a lot of lake trout, and I shot three ptarmigan… Caribou are all over the place…A party of two could live off the country without caribou, but by shooting caribou as you went, you could supply almost any number. [Franck, in Pessl, p 93]
18 August.
… we spent the rest of a cold, disappointing day…speaking in cautious terms of food vs. time… a store-bought meal of glop and cocao… Grilled a ptarmigan…and was delighted with the taste, wild, almost salty. [Pessl, p 94]
19 August.
Nicholson Rapids were finally run, without incident. As we sped along, the caribou ranged the cliffs and ridges at the river’s bank… [Pessl, p 94]
20 August.
Wind and a serious need for meat dictate a day in camp. …Butchering and hanging the meat took most of the afternoon… [Pessl, p 96]
20 August.
Very cold and windy this morning, so Art decided to declare a day of rest and kill a caribou. …I took a long walk to pick blueberries. …Joe picked mushrooms and got a good pot full for dinner. …After hunting all morning, Skip came back with only one ptarmigan. …I went out and hunted all afternoon, and only killed one. …When I got back to camp, I found the caribou already butchered.
…We shall have to be living more and more off the country in the future. We have only eight meals of macaroni left and about twenty-five half-pound packages of potatoes. This our entire supply of starch.
[Franck, in Pessl, p 96]
20 August.
We got up this morning with all the intentions of making an early start so as to reach Dubawnt Lake before noon, except that during the night the wind had shifted once again to the northwest and by the time we got up it was blowing a small scale gale. …In the distance we could see whitecaps dotting the lake, so it was decided that we would remain in camp for the day. Bruce was to bring down another caribou and it was Art’s intention to follow him and get pictures of the hunter and the hunted. …the sky became solidly and dismally overcast—the wind increased. … I went out and picked a tobacco-tin of berries for my breakfast tomorrow. I also brought in about 10 mushrooms, which, when boiled in with our bully-beef glop, proved to be the taste treat of the century. [Lanouette].
21 August.
Not a single stick of wood in sight from the top of a hill. There is still grass and caribou everywhere though. …Somehow, the caribou are a great blessing and a softening of the land. It is its one source of plenty. [Franck, in Pessl, p 98].
22 August.
Used the primus stove for the first time today… With no fire to warm us and that magnetic pot of tea, we retire to our tents soon after eating. [Pessl, p 99]
22 August.
We are still flushing lots of ptarmigan but they are almost impossible to get a shot at. I was not feeling too well today, probably from eating too much caribou yesterday, … [Franck, in Pessl, p 99].
23 August.
We left camp at 4:30 PM in the face of this very cold N wind and after sneaking from one lee to another for a few miles we were again forced to make camp… Our feet and hands are continually cold and to get either wet has become a serious accident. …Our total mileage for the last few days amounts to about six miles. …With about 25 days left, we have had to cut almost our entire food consumption in 1/2. We still have plenty of meat, but the lack of fat and starches make dinner rather unsatisfying. …A good size caribou lasts about 4 days. [At] dinner this evening…only hot item is the tea. … I am confident we will arrive at Baker in good time with plenty of meat on our bones. [Pessl, pp 99&100].
Comment 1. 17 September is 25 days after 23 August; the scheduled arrival date in Baker Lake was 15 September.
Comment 2. I expect that food consumption refers to consumption of provisions, only.
24 August.
Heavy frost and a frozen milk pail greeted us as we shivered out of the sack at 4 AM; hurriedly gulped down hardtack and jam, and set off in a frosted canoe. …the day remained absolutely calm and we were able to continue paddling the entire day [with breaks for breakfast and lunch]. …Art… soon hauled in a 12-lb. lake trout which is boiling now for a chowder dinner. Lake trout have been quite easy to catch ever since we hit the river… we have enjoyed fish for breakfast most every day and every 3 days or so a fish dinner. Meat is certainly no problem. …supplies at present consumption should see us through. [Pessl, p 101].
Comment. Again, supplies must refer to provisions, I assume at 1/2.
24 August.
We bolted down a hardtack and loaded up in a hurry… . Oats [at breakfast] sure tasted good after a 6 mi. paddle in the cold. …Art caught a 12 lb. lake trout. …[Franck] caught an 8-lb. lake trout before dinner…[Franck, in Pessl, p 102].
25 August.
After dinner, another flare up; this time Art boyishly insisting that we have hot tea and finally, a complete breakfast before starting off at 4:30 AM mornings. [Pessl, p 103]
26 August.
Midmorning brunch break was rather exciting; covey of four ptarmigan killed with a hunting knife. …Made camp…bagged a caribou and enjoyed ptarmigan stew for dinner. [Pessl, p 104]
26 August.
While we were coasting…we spotted a caribou…Joe…missed with his 30/30. Decided to camp here anyway, as the wind was too strong to travel. Bruce went out after lunch and killed a caribou…[Franck, in Pessl, p 104]
27 August.
Questionable winds…another beautiful day in camp… Game was abundant. Everywhere I looked caribou were moving about… Mankind seems to find its proper place again as merely one member of the kingdom, and the false values of a blinded, hurried society easily fall away. The furious race for wealth and position seem ridiculous here and the contentment of simplicity certainly worth the sacrifice of an extra station wagon. [Pessl, pp 104&105]
Personal comment. Bravo, Skip!
27 August.
…I want to get enough food as soon as I can. But the country is so beautiful now, and it would be a shame to hurry through it… We saw a lot of caribou. … After a bit [of a rest], I looked up and saw a small calf not ten feet from me. Peeking over the rocks, I saw two does and a fine buck join it. I could have killed any one of them with a .22 or even a spear. …When we got back to camp, we found Bruce with two big fish, 6 and 8 lb.
This caribou had more fat on him than the others and we could peel enough off the neck and shoulders to fry the meat without bacon. I never seem to grow tired of caribou as I think I would of beef. [Franck, in Pessl, pp 106&107].
28 August.
A fine breakfast of oats, caribou liver, lake trout roe and tea… [At lunch] As the water for fish chowder heats on the beach…the .22 cracks frequently as George does his best to provide us with another ptarmigan dinner. [Pessl, pp 107&108]
28 August.
While I was walking up the hill, I saw a few sitting ptarmigan, easy shots. When I walked closer, a flock of nine got up. By the time that I got to the bottom of the hill, George had killed seven. Apparently, the whole island is full of them.
We had a fish chowder for lunch using 15lb. of fish Bruce had caught the day before and were so full we could hardly move. We have been living like kings off the land here. There is surely no danger of starvation as long as we can fish and hunt.
[At dinner]…We tried the ptarmigan in the glop, just boiled, and they were delicious; better than broiled. [Franck, in Pessl, p 108].
29 August.
…leisurely breakfast of another “day off”… Caught a few “lakers” for tomorrow’s breakfast and enjoyed a good portion of fried roe for lunch. We are able to cook small portions of food… The process is troublesome, but certainly worth a hot noonday meal.. [Pessl, p 109]
29 August.
Windy this morning so we stayed put. … the panic is off for a few days. …I got back to camp about 4:00 and was so hungry I succumbed to temptation to eat my entire supply of extra food I had saved up. They were only a drop in the bucket. …Bruce and I cut up the caribou meat and cooked dinner… . [Franck, in Pessl, p 109&110].
30 August.
Heavy winds and rain squalls chased us back into the tents this morning just as we were finishing our second cup of coffee, and a good thing it was, for I had prepared such a huge breakfast that none of us could have moved much farther from the tents anyway. I felt as if I would have crashed right through the bottom of the canoe and sunk like a stone if we had been loading.
…After lunch, skies cleared and we enjoyed one more rare “shirts off” day as we paddled … to the outlet of the lake
[Dubawnt]. [Pessl, pp 110&111]
30 August.
Raining when I woke up, but we had breakfast just the same, a heavy one with lots of fish and roe. We are getting low on gas now. Skip thinks that we have enough for less than a week at our present rate of consumption.
By lunch, things had begun to clear up some and we finally got off about 4:00 in sunlight, heading for the mouth of the river … catching fish on the way.
[Franck, in Pessl, pp 111&112].
31 August.
Scouting and running of rapids, then a lengthy scout of the gorge. Try as I may, I couldn’t impress upon the others the necessity to hurry [that is, to get on the river early in the morning]. …We were lucky to find some dry birch twigs…with five stoking and one cooking, were able to cook a meal without the use of our precious fuel supply.
It seems that we are continually faced with some shortage problem. Now that we have rationed food supply sufficiently for the remainder of the trip, we are running out of gas. Estimate about 3 days supply left. Woe is me…raw meat is not too bad, but raw oats and macaroni may be too much!
[Pessl, pp 112&113]
Comment. And so Pessl believed that the provisions, although rationed, would suffice for the remainder of the trip. The concern was now with the gas supply.
31 August.
Franck [in Pessl, pp 113-115] devotes most of his entry to the scouting and the running of rapids.
1 September.
It was a cold and miserable cook who crawled back into the tent after gulping a few spoonfuls of oats and quantities of hot tea. … bowl of soup for lunch … I caught enough fish for a late dinner of chowder and tea. [Pessl, p 115].
2 September.
Another bitch of a day, worse than yesterday by a long shot. …about noon, I crawled out and began preparing our first meal of the day. Hot oats seemed appropriate. Building the tiny birch fire in a high wind with wet twigs… At the very height of the storm, the pot somehow came to a boil…we all ate cold oats in the rain. … fish soup for dinner and then it [rain] came down again…”piss pot”! [Pessl, pp 115&116]
2 September.
After lunch … still too much wind to move. … I did a little fishing and caught a nice trout, perhaps an Arctic char. [Franck, in Pessl, pp 116&117].
3 September.
Another day of the same hellish weather, and after suffering through another breakfast, I crawled back into the tent and slept until 3 PM when soup was served for lunch. …bundled up, took an empty packsack and went on a long wood hunt. …Was quite successful with the twigs… [Pessl, pp 117&118]
3 September.
After lunch Skip and I got empty pack sacks and walked down river to gather driftwood. It is quite abundant in some spots and we had no trouble filling our bags. …The fishing is fantastic when you hit a good spot. Just before dinner, I made four casts and got three fine trout. They are in lovely shape with lots of fat under the skin. [Franck, in Pessl, pp 118&119].
4 September.
Snow greeted me this morning as I crawled out of the tent into a harsh flurry. …Water bucket was frozen solid…working [preparing breakfast] in the face of flurries. …By lunch the skies had cleared and the sun warmed things considerably. …Canoes were carried along the rim of the gorge in dazzling sunshine… [Pessl, p 119].
4 September.
The most beautiful portage [to Grant Lake] I have ever made and the most beautiful spot on the river so far. …After the cold stormy weather we have been having, this break was delightful and everyone was in high spirits and full of good predictions about the weather for the rest of the trip. [Franck, in Pessl, pp 119&120]
5 September.
Breaking ice in the water bucket and melting milk from the night before has become regular morning chore. The first one-half hour before the fire is really perking and the oats cooking is pretty grim business. …We spent the better part of the day completing the portage and the late afternoon killing and butchering what will probably be our last caribou. [It was the last]. The animals have very considerately kept right with us in spite of the cold weather. The berries and mushrooms have long since shriveled and disappeared, but the caribou remain for the pot. We are now cooking all our meals on the green dwarf birch twigs and have pretty well worked into the laborious collecting and stoking routine. Sugar ration has been cut again, while Art continues to snitch. [Pessl, pp 120&121]
5 September.
After lunch. Still Art was taking so long that we decided not to travel this afternoon, but to camp here at the end of the portage and kill another caribou. …I had caught only three tiny trout and grayling in an hour and was about to give up, but tried one more pool and hooked an enormous Arctic char on my first cast …he went a shade under 15 lb. We had this fish for dinner and he was enough for all of us. Bruce came in about the same time…saying he had shot a caribou and he went back to butcher it. [Frank, in Pessl, pp 121&122]
6 September.
Got a late start this morning due to our unconscious reluctance to head out amid cold, driving snow. But after an hour or so of vigorous paddling, we were warm enough to really enjoy a cold, brisk and remarkable refreshing day. …A heavy wind out of the North kept us from making an real progress and after a lunch of hardtack, etc., and tea, we were pushed against the shore.
Pessl then describes the encounter with the grizzly.
Made camp at the mouth of the Chamberlin River and were happily surprised to find large quantities of driftwood. Have plenty for morning in addition to two full packsacks which we will carry with us and hoard as long as possible. [Pessl, pp 122&123].
6 September.
Franck too described the encounter with the grizzly.
… Then Art settled down close to a ptarmigan to wait for the sun, while George shot two others. …One my way back [from retrieving the forgotten knife], I picked up a good bundle of firewood. …Working together, Bruce and I filled three pack sacks with good wood, in addition to what we needed for dinner and breakfast; enough for three days if we are careful. [Franck, in Pessl, pp 124&125]
7 September.
A sudden squall delayed the start for a few hours.
…we spotted a cache of oil drums… Along with the gasoline, also found a large quantity of dehydrated vegetables. The party helped itself. …only the self-centered joy of finding more food.[Pessl, p 125 (Grant Lake)].
7 September.
…we saw some red gas drums on the beach and pulled over. Behind them, we found a cache of dried vegetables …We tried the gas cans…we filled our five-gallon can and put the remaining white gas in jam cans. …From the cache, we had gotten twenty-four enormous cans of dried vegetables, more than we could possibly eat. We tried cooking one can for dinner and it filled two pots by the time we got all the meat and a handful of Catelli in. We started eating with relish, but the vegetables soon palled and only Joe could finish what was left. Even he nearly got sick that night. I don’t care if I don’t see another vegetable, except onions; I still crave them. [Franck, in Pessl, p 126]
8 September.
Rainy breakfast and the prospect of clearing skies in the near future send us to the tents for a lazy, relatively calm wait. …Intermittent showers kept us in camp until 4 PM. …We are camped above a rocky rapid on a very exposed boulder plain and as I write, the wind and driving snow-rain intensifies. The tent shudders and the nearby “tarp-cook house” flaps violently. Sleep tonight will be restless at best. [Pessl, pp 127&128]
8 September.
Cold and cloudy this morning. As did Pessl, Franck describes the archaeological site. [Franck, in Pessl, p 128]

Comment.
And so end the daily journals of Pessl and Franck (the latter as reported by Pessl). On the next day (9 September), a storm (reported to be of hurricane force in Churchill) struck the party [Sports Illustrated article, top of the right column, p 82].
From here until 9/17 our daily, chronological entries end. The days after 9/8 were filled with such horror and suffering that it was impossible to write anything at all. In one moment, this grand adventure had become a nightmare beyond my comprehension. The narrative that follows was written after we had arrived at Baker Lake, after the others had departed and I was alone with my recollections and my demons. [Pessl, p 129]
The sole Pessl/Franck entry regarding food in the period 9-14 September.
Up at daylight; four men breaking camp, the other two preparing breakfast of oatmeal with a carefully rationed teaspoon of sugar and a cup of tea, then into the canoes. [Pessl, p 130].

The evidence of LeFavour.
The following is an excerpt from his journal for 14 September, as published in the Evening Recorder, Amsterdam NY. Part 3 of 4, page 8, 29 December (1955).
As we sped through Wharton Lake only the occasional snow flurry fell, an incentive not a deterrent. Up to that point we had shot five caribou and by doing so had saved enough meat to see us through. Now it was not even necessary to spend time hunting.
As well, the party caught 20 lb of lake trout at lunch that day.
Comment. This evidence of LeFavour, alone and in itself, refutes every accusation that a lack/shortage of food played a role in the tragedy.

Period 2. Summary.
In this period, though short at times, food (from both provisions and the land) was bountiful from 5 August to 14 September. Nevertheless, Moffatt’s defamers asserted that a shortage/lack of food in this period contributed to his death.
Yes, the supply of provisions decreased as they were consumed; could they do otherwise? But even before the cache (with its considerable supply) was discovered and harvested on 7 September, provisions had been rationed to last for the remainder of the trip.
In this period, the party lived largely off the land, and the land was one of plenty for the most part. Hunting (caribou and ptarmigan) was excellent, as was fishing (lake trout, grayling and Arctic char). Blueberries and mushrooms were harvested, but only earlier in the period.
The caribou.
Over the ensuing weeks… we killed our third, fourth and fifth caribous… [Grinnell book, p 156] Pessl (who agrees with Grinnell regarding the number) records those dates as 5 August, 11 August, 20 August, 26 August and 5 September.
But the SI article records the shooting of only one caribou, that on 11 August.
Question.
Was the editor in such unseemly haste that s/he failed to notice the following?
…meat supply good, canned meat, fish and caribou. Should make it unless weather turns very bad. [Moffatt’s journal, as quoted in the SI article itself, 5 September, top of left column, p 82].
The assertions of the Sports Illustrated editor.
Food was becoming the question now.
…provisions dwindle, game grows scarce. In desperate haste, they take an ultimate chance.
These assertions do not survive confrontation with the evidence of Moffatt’s journal, possessed in full by the SI editor.
More generally, the bulk of Moffatt’s evidence (much of it exculpatory) regarding food went unmentioned by the Sports Illustrated editor.
The assertions of Murphy.
Lack of food… contributed to his [Moffatt’s] demise.
Slightly giddy from lack of food, a profound quietude and serenity has settled on your spirit.
A request. I ask that the reader assess these Murphy assertions in the light of the evidence provided in Grinnell’s book.
More generally, the bulk of Grinnell’s evidence regarding food (much of it exculpatory) went unmentioned by Murphy.
The assertions of Kingsley.
1. Moffatt …envisioned a land of plenty. He was plenty wrong.
2. The caribou were long gone.
A request. I ask that the reader assess these Kingsley assertions in the light of the evidence provided in Grinnell’s book.
And I note that the bulk of Grinnell’s evidence (much of it exculpatory) regarding food went unmentioned by Kingsley.
Additional evidence.
The evidence of Pessl-Franck-Lanouette-LeFavour [Sub-Appendix 4c, below], to which the accusers lacked access at the time, also lays waste their food-related assertions.

Period 2. Conclusion.
In the crucial seven weeks immediately before the tragedy, food (especially that from the land) was plentiful.
And so the food supply in that period bears no resemblance to that represented by Moffatt’s defamers.
And so every assertion that a lack/shortage of food played a role in Moffatt’s death has no basis in evidence.

Sub-Appendix 5. Period 3. 15 September to arrival in Baker Lake.

This Sub-Appendix provides food-related information regarding food in the period, from 15 September (the day after the tragedy) to 24 September (when the survivors reached Baker Lake).
Background.
Before the fatal rapids were run on 14 September, the party had enough food on board to see it through to Baker Lake; there was no more need to hunt, fish or forage.
Most food (most provisions, the remains of the caribous, and the 20-lb lake trout) was lost in the rapids. Also lost were both rifles and the .22 (the main means to acquire food from the land; perhaps though, the survivors would have lacked time to hunt), the stove, and all dishes, pots and pans.
The party had to make do with the little that remained; fortunately, that included fishing gear (one rod and one lure).
But even before the fortunate encounter with the Inuit, the food deficiency was never life-threatening, the party was never close to starvation. Even in these dire circumstances, there was no lack of food. [Murphy]

The evidence of Pessl.
14-16 September.
We had lost our leader, our mentor; both rifles, all our cooking equipment and most of our food, but we had a plan. [Pessl, p 133]
17 September.
Our food consists of some cans of meat which were salvaged, a quantity of wet oats and cornmeal, some dehydrated veggies, and, of course, fish (we were lucky to have saved one casting rod). Breakfast then generally involves a mixture of wet oats, fish and some milk powder cooked in a sort of pasty stew. The rest of the meals are much the same, although lunches are the usual fare of hardtack, etc, (these items having survived in Pete’s canoe). Dinner is usually a repeat of breakfast, with perhaps a chunk of bacon boiled in the stew. We are using large veggie cans to cook in and are eating out of tobacco tins and using knives and sticks as utensils. We are extremely lucky to have been able to improvise in this way, … . The food is all paste, horrible looking, and probably the most welcome dishes these five have ever had. [Pessl, pp 133&134].
18 and 19 September.
For these days, which were spent portaging eight miles from the NE arm of Marjorie Lake (on the Dubawnt River) to the south shore of Aberdeen Lake (on the Thelon River), Pessl records nothing worth mentioning regarding food.
20 September.
The party encountered an Inuit family. Pessl records little regarding food, except …traded knives for tobacco; gave them chocolate bars and dehydrated vegetables… [Pessl, p 138]
21 September.
We just finished our bad-weather breakfast of one hardtack with a spoonful of jam … . Just as we were finishing a cold dinner of a chunk of so-called canned ham and a few apricots in our tents, we were hailed from outside by our Eskimo friend [Alec] of yesterday. “Come, my canoe, tea.” …Soon, Alec came back with a huge kettle of caribou chunks. Meat and wonderful stewing broth after all these days of lean meals! It was marvelous. We stood around chewing on the chunks, drinking teas and talking with smiles and gestures. [Pessl, p 139].
23 September.
Dispatch of our carefully hoarded food supply was the highlight of the day. Breakfast began with two tins full of cornmeal instead of just one, one can of fish/roast beef/mashed potato glop and a large pot of tea. Even with our scanty larder we seem to have come up with a surplus. Lunch saw two extra hardtacks and a few extra hardtacks and a few extra spoonfuls of jam . . . great stuff. Dinner continued with spinach, canned beef glop and a batch of sweet cocoa. For the second time since the 14th, we go to bed with full bellies. [Pessl, pp 141&142].
24 September?
Our final lunch enroute to Baker Lake: a moldy hardtack slathered with curry paste. Yum! [Lanouette, private correspondence].
Comment 1. The party arrived in Baker Lake on 24 September.
Comment 2. In addition to the above, Pessl [pp 162&163] provides a most frank and informative discussion of both food and equipment.
Comment 3. I was struck by the party’s decision not to ask the Inuit party for food.

Summary.

Reminder of the Sports Illustrated editor’s assertion regarding food.
Assertion 1. Food was becoming the question now [p 76, top of left column]

1. The possessed Moffatt’s journal, which documents a plethora of food from the land in the seven weeks preceding the tragedy.
Moffatt’s journal documents that five caribou were shot in total. The editor mentioned the shooting of only one.
Moffatt’s journal documents also the acquisition of many ptarmigan, many fish (three species), blueberries and mushrooms. The editor mentioned none of this evidence.
2. Rather, the editor asserted the following.
Response. Food was never uncomfortably short in the crucial seven weeks before Moffatt’s death.
…provisions dwindle, game grows scarce. [p 76, bottom of right column]
2. The editor omitted mention of the fact that five caribou were shot in the six weeks before Moffatt’s death (the last on 5 September), all as evinced in Moffatt’s journal. This omitted evidence goes a long way to belying every accusation that a shortage of food played a role in the tragedy.
3. I grant that provisions dwindle as they are consumed. But the editor omitted to mention here that a great resupply of provisions was obtained from the cache, this on 7 September.
4. The evidence of Grinnell’s book lay in full view of every other defamer who wrote later regarding the matter, this from their use of other material in the book. His book evinces that food was bountiful (on the whole) in the six weeks preceding the tragedy. That is, the evidence of Grinnell’s book belies every accusation that a shortage of food played a role in the tragedy.
Nevertheless, no Moffatt defamer in the matter of food mentioned the exculpatory evidence that his book provides.
Deserving of particular mention is James Murphy’s assertion (likely influential) that Lack of food… contributed to his [Moffatt’s] demise (this in his review of Grinnell’s book).
4. The tragedy had a very different cause, one that went unmentioned by every accuser who wrote on the topic.
Reference. Internal URLs.

Foreword and Forum.
Main text.
Appendix 1. Reality.
Appendix 3. Equipment.
Appendix 4. Experience.
Appendix 5. Pace and weather.
Appendix 6. Food.
Appendix 7. Schedule.
Appendix 8. Rapids in general.
Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.
Ancillary 1. Accusations.
Ancillary 2. Lanouette excerpt.
Ancillary 3. Tyrrell excerpt.
Ancillary 4. Distances.
Ancillary 5. Loose ends and the future.
Ancillary 6. Addenda.
Ancillary 7. Moffatt’s Tyrrell sources.
Ancillary 8. Evidence regarding the tragedy.
Bibliography.

Notices.
1. The above excerpts from the journal of Arthur Moffatt were reproduced with permission;
copyright remains with the Moffatt family.
2. With the exception of quoted material, copyright to the remainder of the above belongs to Allan Jacobs.

ADD FOLLOWING SOMEWHERE
[James Murphy, 1996]
Response. On the day that Moffatt died, the party had so much caribou meat on board that it had no more need to hunt; and, at lunch that same day, it added 20 lb of trout to the food supply.
Prime example 2.
When Arthur Moffatt set off for the Barrenlands, he envisioned a land of plenty. He was plenty wrong. [A primary defamer]
Response. A nice turn of phrase but plenty wrong.
Point 1. As I document below, Moffatt had intended to obtain no food at all from the land.
His experience in outfitting trips led him to believe that the provisions on board at the beginning would suffice for the entire trip. In this he was mistaken, for the appetites of the five younger men far exceeded his expectations.
Point 2. Nevertheless, the land was indeed one of plenty in the six weeks before he died: five caribou, many ptarmigan, many fish, blueberries and mushrooms. On at least three occasions, the participants were stuffed with food.

Appendix 8. Rapids in general.

Major renovations were completed in early November 2017 but I expect that warts remain.
Thanks for your patience. Allan

Appendix 8. Rapids in general.

Foreword.
Some overlap of material presented here (Rapids in general) is unavoidable with that presented in Preliminaries.
1. Moffatt was fully aware of the difficulty of the rapids that lay ahead, as witnessed by his comment
Dr. J. B. Tyrrell left on July 2. Almost two and a half months later, after running scores of dangerous rapids, the party reached the coast. [Art Moffatt’s Prospectus, Sports Illustrated, p 71].
This remark went unmentioned in all the accusatory literature.
2. The Sports Illustrated editor was in full possession of Moffatt’s journal, which describes in particular Dubawnt rapids and how the party dealt with them. In this context, I refer the reader to my discussion (below) of Assertions 1 and 2 of the SI editor.
3. Moffatt’s last journal entry (that for 13 September) contains the passage Following Tyrrell’s route.
We shall soon see what the Sports Illustrated editor did with that passage.
4. The remark If the rapids were too rough, Art simply portaged around them of participant Grinnell [book, middle of p 75, 1996] went unmentioned in all the accusatory literature.
5. Lanouette’s journal for the day of Moffatt’s death contains the passage In a few minutes we heard and saw rapids on the horizon. This surprised us. Art had figured we had already shot the last two rapids into Marjorie Lake. Actually, what we had gone down were only riffles, and what lay ahead was the real beginning of the first rapids.
We shall soon see what Grinnell did with that passage.

The redactions.
1. The SI editor redacted the passage Following Tyrrell’s route from Moffatt’s last journal entry, that for 13 September. [SI article, p 82, lower right column].
A full discussion of this passage is provided below, but what conclusion is possible but that Moffatt had obtained route advice from Tyrrell (J B Tyrrell) and that he was following it?
A request.
I ask that the reader reflect on the editor’s reason for redacting this passage.
2. Participant Grinnell redacted the passage In a few minutes we heard and saw rapids on the horizon. This surprised us. Art had figured we had already shot the last two rapids into Marjorie Lake. Actually, what we had gone down were only riffles, and what lay ahead was the real beginning of the first rapids from his version [p 202] of the SI condensation of Lanouette’s journal for 14 September 1955. I note that Lanouette was Moffatt’s bowperson.
Begin aside. The full item (not the condensation) is provided
Ancillary 2. Lanouette excerpt. My opinion is that the condensation is a faithful one.
End aside.
Why were Moffatt and Lanouette were surprised?
Because J B Tyrrell had informed Moffatt, implicitly, that there were no rapids of significance in that reach. That is, Grinnell redacted evidence that Moffatt had been misled by Tyrrell’s advice.
A request.
I ask the reader to reflect on Grinnell’s purpose in redacting that passage,
3. Opinion. Given that both the SI editor and Grinnell redacted evidence that I believe to be exculpatory, it concerns me that the two had at least corresponded before the publication of the SI article, as evinced by the Epilogue on p 88 there.
4. Discussion of the passage Following Tyrrell’s route
redacted by the SI editor from her/his version of Moffatt’s journal entry for 13 September
Does the passage evince that Moffatt had followed the Tyrrell party in taking the eastmost of the two exits from Wharton Lake?
Or does it evince that Moffatt was only following Tyrrell’s advice when he ran the fatal rapids without a scout?
I confess that I don’t know.
The matter of the interpretation aside, again I ask that the reader reflect on the editor’s purpose in redacting the passage.

Information from the Tyrrell-Tyrrell trip of 1893.
1. Thanks to the kind, helpful and excessively patient staff at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library of the University of Toronto, I have a copy of the book (known to have been accessed by Moffatt)
Tyrrell, James Williams. Across the Sub-Arctics of Canada (Toronto, 1908)
for the entire reach from Black Lake to Chesterfield Inlet.
The material (largely ethnography) provided by JWT is fascinating in its own right but it sheds no light on the conditions that led to Moffatt’s death. Little mention is made of Dubawnt rapids in general, none of the fatal rapids in particular.
2. Thanks to the same staff, I have a copy of the book (known to have been accessed by Moffatt)
Tyrrell, Joseph Burr. Report on the Doobaunt, Kazan and Ferguson Rivers and the north-west coast of Hudson Bay and on two overland routes from Hudson Bay to Lake Winnipeg. S E Dawson, Ottawa (1897) for the same reach (Black Lake to Chesterfield Inlet).
Where appropriate, for example for the rapids immediately below Dubawnt Lake, I provide the relevant excerpts. Especially noteworthy is the excerpt regarding the reach just above Marjorie Lake, for it was in this reach that Moffatt died; as I document in Ancillary 3. Tyrrell excerpt, Tyrrell makes no mention of rapids in that reach.
3. But Moffatt had obtained rapids (and likely other) information from J B Tyrrell by other means. In particular, Tyrrell had advised Moffatt not to be concerned with the fatal rapids, as evinced by the following statements of trip participants.
(a) As mentioned above, Lanouette’s journal for the day of the tragedy contains the passage
In a few minutes … real beginning of the first rapids. [condensation of Lanouette’s journal for 14 September; Sports Illustrated, p 85]. I remind the reader that Grinnell redacted this passage, which I suggest to be exculpatory. [Grinnell book, p 202]
(b) Tyrrell’s river descriptions had proven dependable previously and indicated benign conditions entering Marjorie Lake following the last portage. [Pessl, private correspondence].
(c) His [Tyrrell’s] journal had been accurate to that point, namely lunch time on 14 September, immediately prior to the running of the fatal rapids. [LeFavour, private correspondence].
4. J W Tyrrell’s book and J B Tyrrell’s book not being the sources for the rapids information documented in point 3, the remaining possibilities are J B Tyrrell’s journal and private correspondence between Moffatt and J B Tyrrell. Unfortunately for a full understanding of the tragedy, neither source is available, as I document in
Ancillary 5. Loose ends and the future.

The assertions of the Sports Illustrated editor.
Assertion 1.
Increasingly, the men were taking chances. They now shot down churning chutes of white water, which, a month earlier, they would have scrutinized with a doubtful eye. [SI article, top of right column, p 82, between the Moffatt journal entries for 7 and 9 September].
Assertion 2.
Already nine days behind schedule, the Moffatt party races against winter on the Barren Grounds. The days grow colder, provisions dwindle, game grows scarce. In desperate haste, they take an ultimate chance. [bottom right of page 76, appearing between the Moffatt entries for 15 and 16 August].
Comment.
I call these assertions because the editor provided no evidence in support of either.

Guide to the discussion of the two assertions.
With respect to the rapids parts of the assertions (the entirety of number 1, plus parts of number 2), this Appendix addresses primarily rapids upstream from those where Moffatt died, whereas Appendix 9 is devoted primarily to the fatal rapids. Given the content of the assertions, some overlap is unavoidable.
I address here also, only briefly because I devote Appendices 6 (Food) and 7 (Schedule) to these matters, the passages provisions dwindle, game grows scarce and nine days behind schedule.
Summary.
As documented here and in Appendix 9. The fatal rapids, the editor’s assertions related to rapids (including the fatal ones) have no basis in any evidence known to me.
As documented in Appendix 6. Food, the editor’s assertions related to the food supply have no basis in any evidence known to me.
As documented in Appendix 7. Schedule the editor’s assertions related to the schedule have no basis in any evidence known to me.
Conclusion.
Given that no part of either assertion has a basis in any evidence known to me,
and that the editor redacted the phrase Following Tyrrell’s route from Moffatt’s last journal entry,
I have significant concerns regarding the objectivity of the Sports Illustrated editor.

Assertion 1 of the Sports Illustrated editor.

Restatement of Assertion 1.
Increasingly, the men were taking chances. They now shot down churning chutes of white water, which, a month earlier, they would have scrutinized with a doubtful eye. [SI article, top of right column, p 82, between the Moffatt journal entries for 7 and 9 September].
Comment. Given that the assertion appears between the Moffatt journal entries of 7 September and 9 September, perhaps I should have provided evidence for only the reach below Grant Lake (reached on 5 September [Pessl, p 120].
Well, I omit all mention of the evidence for the evidence for the reach above Nicholson Lake (reached on 14 August [Pessl, p 86]), but I decided to provide (for background) the evidence for the entire reach from the downstream end of Nicholson Lake to the downstream end of Wharton Lake (reached on 8 September [Pessl, p 127]).
The evidence for the reach (between Wharton Lake and Marjorie Lake) where Moffatt died is provided in Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.
Note.
Assertion 1 is a general remark regarding Dubawnt rapids below Grant Lake, but the suggestion is clear that Moffatt died because he had taken a chance in the rapids above Marjorie Lake.
Pessl’s opinion of Assertion 1.
unsubstantiated nonsense [private correspondence].
Reminder.
The editor redacted the phrase Following Tyrrell’s route from Moffatt’s journal entry for 13 September, the day before Moffatt died.
Comments.
It bears repeating that Moffatt’s journal was the only published source for the SI article.
The SI editor identified the locations of none of the churning chutes of white water. Given that the remark appears between selections from Moffatt’s journal for 7 and 9 September, and that no significant rapids were encountered on any of those three days, the SI editor must have been making a general assertion.
I surmise that this one is intended to provide background for the editor’s later assertions taking chances and desperate haste regarding the fatal rapids.
For completeness, I began a general search for churning chutes.
5 August (when the first caribou was shot) is about a month earlier than 7 September, and so I restricted my search (for candidates in Pessl’s book) for the churning chutes) accordingly.
6 August. The wind caused some difficulty, but there was no other problem. [Pessl and Franck, in Pessl, pp 70&71].
7 August. Some water was shipped. [Pessl and Franck, in Pessl, p 71].
8 August. The party portaged the rapids met that day. [Pessl and Franck, in Pessl, p 76].
10 August. Four rapids (one big one) were run. Pessl and Franck, in Pessl, pp 77&78].
13 August. One rapid was run.[Pessl and Franck, in Pessl, pp 84&85].
15 August. As described in the next paragraph, the next rapids were met this day.
I quit.
Out of impatience with the editor’s failure to identify locations of the churning chutes of white water, at this point, I gave up the day-by-day search of Pessl’s book and used other means.

Candidates for the editor’s Assertion 1.
For the entire reach from the downstream end of Nicholson Lake to the downstream end of Wharton Lake, I identified only three candidates for the editor’s churning chutes. The reach immediately below Wharton Lake (the reach where Moffatt died) is discussed in Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.
Candidate 1
is the rapids between Nicholson Lake (lake exited on 15 August 1955, rapids exited on 19 August) and Dubawnt Lake (entered on 21 August).
Candidate 2
is the rapids between Dubawnt Lake (exited on 30 August) and Grant Lake (entered on 6 September).
Candidate 3
is the falls above Wharton Lake (entered on 11 September).
Summary of the evidence for candidates 1 through 3.
The assertion Increasingly, the men were taking chances. They now shot down churning chutes of white water, which, a month earlier, they would have scrutinized with a doubtful eye has no basis in evidence for any of the rapids between the downstream end of Nicholson Lake and the upstream end of Wharton Lake.
Moreover, as documented in Appendix 9. The fatal rapids, the assertion has no basis in any evidence known to me with respect to the rapids where Moffatt died, those from the downstream end of Wharton Lake to the upstream end of Marjorie Lake.
Conclusion.
No part of the assertion of the Sports Illustrated editor
Increasingly, the men were taking chances. They now shot down churning chutes of white water, which, a month earlier, they would have scrutinized with a doubtful eye
has a basis in any evidence known to me.

Candidate 1. The Dubawnt River between Nicholson Lake and Dubawnt Lake.

I note that Nicholson Lake is the last major lake upstream from Dubawnt Lake.
For the corresponding rapids, I provide excerpts from J B Tyrrell’s book, Moffatt’s journal, the Sports Illustrated article, Grinnell’s book and Pessl’s book (which contains also the evidence of Franck).
1. The excerpt from J B Tyrrell’s book.
From the north end of Nicholson Lake, the river flows northward for two miles and a half down a heavy rapid, with a descent of about forty feet… Near the foot of the rapid the stream turns eastward, and for about six miles flows in the bottom of a valley from 150 to 200 feet deep. [p 55F]
2. The excerpt from Moffatt’s journal.
All along it was it was very heavy current and big waves. I was tired + hungry – it was now 5 pm. – and knew it was no time to make decisions -… [Pessl, private correspondence]
3. The Sports Illustrated version of Moffatt’s journal.
All along we could see it was a very heavy current and big waves. We were hungry. It was late now and I was tired. I knew this was no time to make a decision. [SI article, right column of p 76]
One sees that the SI version is a faithful version of Moffatt’s, but a gratuitous one.
4. The evidence of Grinnell’s book.
Passage 1.
The date was August 15th. We had been held up by a dangerous rapids that ran through a gorge ahead. There was a high cliff on our side of the river, which made scouting the rapids difficult. After spending an afternoon scouting, Art had been unable to decide whether to portage around the gorge or to shoot it. By the end of the day, he had decided to make camp and to take a second look in the morning.
The next morning, rain squalls were lashing our tents. Art decided to wait out the storm. He thought that if the weather would cooperate, the gorge could be shot; but the weather was not co-operating. The squalls blowing up the gorge created high waves in the rapids.
We set up the kitchen tarpaulin to wait out the weather. Wild storm clouds continued to blow this way and that… ; and thus we waited for four days for Art to make a decision about the gorge.
[p 122].
Passage 2.
The following is identical to the SI version apart from the addition of the date. August 15th: … All along we could see it was a very heavy current and big waves. We were hungry. It was late now and I was tired. I knew this was no time to make a decision. [p 132]
Passage 3.
Three days later, Art had still not made a decision…; but on the following day, Art loaded his canoe and took Skip down the rapids as his bowman. … As it turned out, the portaging had been an unnecessary precaution: the rapids in the gorge were no worse than many others we had shot. But perhaps Art had been right to be cautious, even though we had wasted the better part of four days. In the wilderness, it is both easy and fatal to get careless; and after the gorge, Art did get careless. [p 133].
As I remark also below, I caution that Grinnell’s Art did get careless refers only to the rapids of 20 August. In particular, it does not refer to the fatal rapids of 14 September.
Comment.
According to Grinnell, Moffatt’s caution regarding these rapids had resulted in the loss of the better part of four days. I agree that Moffatt had exercised great caution, but quibble that the storm cost one of those days.
5. The evidence of Pessl’s book.
15 August.
…We soon stopped to look over two rapids, both of which we decided to run. As I entered the first rapid it became evident that things were not entirely as they had looked from the shore. … By the time we reached the lower eddy, we crouched in a waterlogged, sluggish canoe and slowly made our way to shore. … Bruce and I helped the other two canoes portage. … We stopped for the night at the head of a heavy rapid… [Pessl, pp 88&89].
… we pulled over to look at the first rapid. There was about a quarter of a mile of swift water above it, but the main rapid is short, steep and narrow; no rocks, but full of bad waves. Skip ran it first, but almost swamped, … the river narrowed down and got very swift heading into a deep gorge. Here we pulled aside on the right and walked down half a mile or so to scout. This one is very bad. [Franck, in Pessl, p 89]
16 August.
We spent the entire morning scouting this very difficult rapids…large breaking waves and sharp curves…pulsating current…Returned to camp with two plans…The protection of our supplies dictates our caution. [Pessl, p 90]
For that day, Franck records plans for the rapids. [Pessl, p 91]
17 August.
The day was spent in camp, due to bad, then threatening weather.
The big rapid still remains a problem. Hope we can tackle it tomorrow. [Pessl, p 92]
No new decision has been reached on the rapid question… [Franck, in Pessl, p 93]
18 August.
Art and I spent the morning scouting the w shore after a tricky crossing and returned with the dilemma still unresolved. … We spent the rest of a cold, disappointing day huddled in the tent… [Pessl, p 94]
19 August.
…Well, we finally shot the rapid and the beauty and the pride and the confidence of overcoming a difficult obstacle pervades us all. …The rest of the afternoon was spent in an exhilarating ride down the swift, sharply defined river as it flowed thru beautiful bedrock canyons in long sweeping S turns. [Pessl, p 94]
Comment. Franck provides more details regarding the running of these rapids. [Pessl, p 95]
Summary regarding Candidate 1.
Please note Moffatt’s extreme caution regarding the rapids below Nicholson Lake, caution that Grinnell suggests to have been largely unnecessary. I’m not sure though that I agree with Grinnell’s assessment.
The important point is that the Moffatt party ran these rapids only after considerable scouting.
With regard to these rapids, the party was certainly not taking chances; it certainly did not shoot down churning chutes of white water.
Conclusion.
The Sports Illustrated editor’s
Increasingly, the men were taking chances. They now shot down churning chutes of white water, which, a month earlier, they would have scrutinized with a doubtful eye
has no basis in any evidence known to me with respect to the rapids between Nicholson Lake and Dubawnt Lake.

The rapids of 20 August.

Although these rapids, which lie several days’ travel below Nicholson Lake, are not candidates for the churning chutes, I discuss them because I found disturbing the editor’s representation of the evidence regarding them.
1. The relevant passage from Moffatt’s journal.
Off at 11 in am. Up little lake against head wind, into river, and down with swift current to couple of heavy but short rapids, of which I looked over the 2nd only. Shot both. [Pessl, private correspondence]
2. The corresponding excerpt from the Sports Illustrated article; the editor alleges this to be an excerpt from Moffatt’s journal.
Today we shot a couple of heavy but short rapids, only the second of which I looked over. Not very smart of me. I probably should have been more careful. [SI article, middle of the left column on p 80]
One sees that the fragment only the second of which I looked over. Not very smart of me. I probably should have been more careful is a fabrication of the editor.
3. On his page 133, Grinnell quoted verbatim the above passage from the SI article. I have no quarrel with that action.
But, in his introduction to that passage, Grinnell remarked …after the gorge, Art did get careless. I assume that Grinnell was deceived by the fabrication of the editor, with whom he had corresponded.
4. I caution that Grinnell’s Art did get careless refers only to the rapids of 20 August. In particular, it does not refer to the fatal rapids of 14 September.
Conclusion.
The passage Today we shot…more careful. is a fabrication on the part of the editor, yet another reason to believe nothing in the Sports Illustrated article unless it has independent confirmation.
That matter aside, the passage was written with reference to the rapids of 20 August, only.

Candidate 2. The Dubawnt River between Dubawnt Lake and Grant Lake.

Introduction.
The Moffatt party exited Dubawnt Lake on 30 August [Pessl, p 111] and entered Grant Lake on 6 September [Pessl, p 122]. Between the two lakes lies a gorge impassable by tripping parties.
I provide first the evidence of J B Tyrrell for the entire reach between the two lakes.
I provide then the evidence of the participants
for the reach above the gorge, followed by that
for the gorge itself, and finally that
for the reach below the gorge.

The evidence of J B Tyrrell for the reach between Dubawnt Lake and Grant Lake.
The river, where it leaves the lake, is about 200 yards wide. It almost immediately flows down two slight rapids, after which it has a current of four miles an hour… The channel rapidly deepens…and the stream rushes along in long swift rapids which required all the dexterity of our good canoemen to run. …
Seven miles below Doobaunt Lake, the river flows…and then suddenly contracts, and for two miles rushes as a foaming torrent down a narrow gorge about twenty-five yards wide, descending in the distance one hundred feet…
Past this heavy rapid, which is the most serious obstruction on the whole river, a portage two miles and a half was made on the south bank. …
At the foot of this heavy rapid the river discharges into Grant Lake. …
[p 63 F]

The evidence of Pessl and Franck for the reach between Dubawnt Lake and the gorge.
I provide the day-by-day evidence of both Pessl and Franck, as reported in Pessl’s book.
30 August. Pessl.
After lunch, skies cleared and we enjoyed one more rare “shirts off” day as we paddled the remaining 15 miles across the bay [Outlet Bay] to the, …as we approached the narrowing we gradually became conscious of the increasing current while in the distance the almost forgotten river sounds of rushing water and rumbling rapids gradually became audible.
We are back on the river now, floating on a current strengthened by the entire drainage of the huge lake and driving toward the long treacherous 2½-mile outlet rapid flowing through a steep canyon and finally settling in Grant Lake.
[Pessl, p 111]
31 August. Pessl.
Beautiful morning of sun and successful rapid shooting gave us high hopes that we would be camped this evening at the beginning of the long portage to Grant Lake.
Two long rapids before lunch and a long difficult one after were negotiated with little trouble and we then pulled up in a bay to scout the approach to the gorge.
I spent about 3 hours walking along the river, sketching routes through the remaining rapids and finally reached a high bluff where the portage follows the rim of the gorge. …Over my right shoulder the turquoise water of Grant Lake stretches as an enticing reward for the coming strenuous portage. …
The first rapid was run under very difficult conditions due to the wind and its effect on the waves and we were forced to make camp…
[Pessl, pp 112&113].
31 August. Franck
provides a more complete description of the approach to the gorge.
Still warm and sunny today. We got going down the river fairly early. I looked over the first rapid and then went ahead. …I just got through the first rapid… Then I stopped to look over one that went around a bend to the right. It looked easy to shoot on the right side, so I kept on going through the next two. Then I stopped to look one over that went around a bend to the right. It looked easy to shoot on the right side, so I walked down to look at the next. I didn’t really take a careful look, but what I did see looked easy, so I walked back to where I had left the canoe. By this time, Art and Skip had caught up. They got out to look at the first one, but took my word that the next one was easy, so I jumped in the canoe and shot down first. [Franck, in Pessl, pp 113 &114]
From this point (the top of p 114) to the middle of p 115, Franck recounts the group’s adventures in running rapids above the gorge.
1, 2 and 3 September.
The party was weatherbound for the entirety of the three days. [Pessl, pp 115-119].
4 September. Pessl.
After breakfast, we loaded in the snow, shot one rapid in the midst of a heavy flurry and then unloaded for the long portage. [Pessl, p 119]
4 September. Franck.
… we pulled over to the other side and stopped to look over the last rapid before the portage started. We ran it close to the right side, but by the time that we got through and over to the head of the portage, it was…time for lunch. … The most beautiful portage I have ever made and the most beautiful spot on the river so far. … [Pessl, pp 119&120]
5 September. Pessl.
We spent the better part of the day completing the portage and the late afternoon killing and butchering what will probably be our last caribou. [Pessl, p 121]
Comment. It was indeed the last.
5 September. Franck.
After lunch, it started to cloud over from the north but it was still quite calm. Still, Art was taking so long that we decided not to travel, but to camp here at the end of the portage and kill a caribou; … [Pessl, p 122]
Summary of the evidence regarding the reach above the gorge.
All rapids were scouted thoroughly before being run.
All serious rapids were portaged.
There were no dumps in the entire reach.
No member of the party took chances with regard to these rapids.
No member of the party shot down churning chutes of white water.
Conclusion.
The Sports Illustrated editor’s
Increasingly, the men were taking chances. They now shot down churning chutes of white water, which, a month earlier, they would have scrutinized with a doubtful eye
has no basis in any evidence known to me with respect to the rapids between Dubawnt Lake and the gorge.

The gorge itself.
Summary.
The entire reach of the gorge was portaged by every member of the party, beginning on 4 September and finishing on 5 September [Pessl, pp 119-122],
Conclusion.
The Sports Illustrated editor’s assertion Increasingly, the men were taking chances. They now shot down churning chutes of white water, which, a month earlier, they would have scrutinized with a doubtful eye
has no basis in any evidence known to me with respect to with respect to the rapids in the gorge.
Extraneous comments regarding the gorge.
impassable heavy rapids…enormous waves…never experienced such an expression of power and unalterable force…the infinite power of the river… [Pessl, pp 117-118].
…wonderful green and white waves, some ten feet high in the gorge itself. The green, white and cobalt-blue water was a beautiful sight… [Moffatt, Sports Illustrated, right side of p 81].

The Dubawnt River between the gorge and Grant Lake.

The evidence of Moffatt’s journal for 6 September for that reach.
The following excerpt was kindly provided by Pessl in private correspondence.
Breakfast at 8- cloudy, cold and snow flurries- but decided to move, very strong NW wind. Also decided to portage last 100 yds. of rapid, partly to get warm, also to avoid risk of wetting or hurting film & cameras…Also portage took some time…very shallow and swift stretch, but not really bad. …
Skip and Pete both shot it, both hitting rocks…Skip cracking rib, Pete cracking planking. Anyway, got past worst part, shot through last few riffles, turned north across mouth of river where north wind was working up heavy seas as it blew over strong current…

Comment. One sees that Moffatt took extra precautions to protect the film and cameras; that concern continued to his death. In fairness, though, Moffatt portaged in part to get warm.

The evidence of Moffatt’s journal for 6 September, as provided in the Sports Illustrated article.
Breakfast at 8. Cloudy, cold, snow flurries and very strong northwest wind, but decided to move anyway, despite the dangers. We haven’t much time left. Also decided to portage the last 100 yards of rapid, partly to get warm, also to avoid risk of wetting or of hurting film and cameras.
… Also portage took some time. Skip and Pete both shot it, both hitting rocks, Skip cracking a rib, Pete cracking planking.
[SI article, p 82, top of left column].
Comment. I don’t understand why the SI editor omitted the passage …very shallow and swift stretch, but not really bad from Moffatt’s journal for 6 September; that matter aside, the passage evinces that no major rapids existed below the gorge.

The evidence of Pessl’s book regarding that reach.
5 September. The portage around the gorge was completed [Pessl and Franck, in Pessl, pp 120-122], but there lay yet ahead rapids above Grant Lake.
6 September. First off, Bruce and I shot a rocky rapid flowing into the lake [Grant Lake]. We struck a rock just after leaving shore and were able to stop in an eddy to check for damage [none was found at that time]…we started out again, this time making it with no trouble. Art and Pete watched from shore. Art chose to portage. Pete shot the rapid, hit a rock in the shoals below and splintered a plank. …When we unloaded the canoe, I found that the morning rock had splintered the planking and cracked a rib pretty badly… [Pessl, pp 122&123]
6 September. Skip and I decided to shoot down through what is left of the rapid into Grant, while Art made a portage to warm up. Skip went first, but struck a rock at the head of the rapid. …I shoved off and got further out in the middle, but I struck head on and bounced off a rock about half way down. It sounded awful, but when we looked later, we found that there was a little piece of the planking knocked in and the canvas wasn’t cut; no serious damage. The rest of the rapid was all dangerously shoal, but we got though all right. Skip and I waited for Art… [Franck, in Pessl, p 124]
Comment. And so Moffatt chose to portage part of the lower reach; occupants of the other two canoes ran that reach in its entirety.

The evidence of Pessl’s first email message regarding the reach below the gorge.
For the reader’s convenience, I repeat the assertion of the Sports illustrated editor.
Increasingly, the men were taking chances. They now shot down churning chutes of white water, which, a month earlier, they would have scrutinized with a doubtful eye
Pessl responds. This is a rather large editorial leap from the reality of our situation, probably inspired by the fact that Peter and I shot the rapids at the entrance to Grant Lake on Sept. 6. We both hit rocks in that rapids and sustained minor damage to our canoes, while Art portaged the bottom part of the same rapids. But that was a considered strategy; Art choosing to portage “…partly to get warm, also to avoid risk of wetting or of hurting film and cameras.” [p 140 of Moffatt’s journal, reported faithfully in the Sports Illustrated article, top left of p 82].
Both Art and Peter watched from shore as I shot the rapids. Peter followed, then Art near the bottom of the rapids. This was all a pretty normal and shared situation: rapids examined, options discussed and decisions made. Not a risky departure from our standard procedure as suggested by the SI writer.

The evidence of Pessl’s second email message regarding the reach below the gorge.
Comment. The following is lightly edited from Pessl’s email message (of 26 November 2016), kindly and generously supplied, as always.
… I have spent considerable time reviewing the various pertinent journals and following the maps with the journal descriptions …
The rapid entering the southern end of Grant Lake which we encountered on 6 September is described as a “…very shallow and swift stretch, but not really bad.”
[Moffatt journal, pp 140-141].
I described that rapid as “…a rocky rapid flowing into the lake.” [Pessl, p 122].
Peter noted after bouncing off a rock and crunching a plank, “the rest of the rapid was all dangerously shoal with barely enough water for the canoe.” [Pessl, p 124].
My recollection is of a wide, shallow stretch of the river entering Grant with swift flow and many boulders. But nothing of the high energy flows and narrow channels that might be described as “churning chutes”.
Pessl’s summary.
From 6 September (when we entered the upper reaches of Grant Lake) until 11 September (when we entered Wharton Lake), the challenges to our travel were strong winds, snow and freezing temperatures, not difficult fast water, certainly not “churning chutes”.
Well, I hope this clarifies the circumstances of the early-mid Sept. Moffatt journey to the best of my knowledge and reference to the available journals. It was the weather, not the river channel/flow that challenged us while below the Dubawnt Lake outlet gorge into Grant Lake and then on to Wharton Lake.

Summary of the evidence for Candidate 2 (the reach between Dubawnt Lake and Grant Lake).
1. Waters above the gorge were run in their entirety by all members of the party, without difficulty.
2. Only the waters of the gorge are truthfully described as churning chutes of white water. But the entire gorge was portaged by all members of the party.
3. Four members of the party ran all waters below the gorge.
Moffatt (and so his bowperson Lanouette) portaged that reach …partly to get warm, also to avoid risk of wetting or of hurting film and cameras. [p 140 of Moffatt’s journal, reported faithfully in the Sports Illustrated article, top left of p 82].
Conclusions regarding that reach.
The Sports Illustrated editor provided no evidence in support of his/her assertion
Increasingly, the men were taking chances. They now shot down churning chutes of white water, which, a month earlier, they would have scrutinized with a doubtful eye.
The evidence of the participants with respect to the rapids between Dubawnt Lake and Grant Lake begs leave to differ with the assertion of the SI editor.

Candidate 3. The falls above Wharton Lake.

These falls (the Uksurlajuaq Rapids at Toporama) are located two unnamed lakes below Grant Lake.
As I now document, they were portaged in their entirety, by all members of the party, on 10 September (given incorrectly as 8 September in Pessl’s book).

The evidence of Pessl’s email message.
Comment. The following is lightly edited from Pessl’s email message (of 26 November 2016) supplied by him kindly and generously, as always.
… I have spent considerable time reviewing the various pertinent journals and following the maps with the journal descriptions …

We portaged around the falls above Wharton Lake on 10 September. On 11 September, we “shot last run of the rapid below falls, rough at first, green waters over boulders, then shallow, wide channel, hard to see in poor light, another rapid and Wharton Lake.” [Moffatt journal, p 150].
Pessl’s summary.
From 6 September (when we entered the upper reaches of Grant Lake) until 11 September (when we entered Wharton Lake), the challenges to our travel were strong winds, snow and freezing temperatures, not difficult fast water, certainly not “churning chutes”.
Well, I hope this clarifies the circumstances of the early-mid Sept. Moffatt journey to the best of my knowledge and reference to the available journals. It was the weather, not the river channel/flow that challenged us while below the Dubawnt Lake outlet gorge into Grant Lake and then on to Wharton Lake.

Summary of the evidence regarding Assertion 1, with respect to Candidate 3 (the falls above Wharton Lake).
In the reach between Grant Lake and Wharton Lake, the only waters that are truthfully described as churning chutes are those of the falls above Wharton Lake.
Every member of the party portaged those falls.

Summary regarding Assertion 1 of the Sports Illustrated editor.
0. Restatement of Assertion 1, provided for the reader’s convenience.
Increasingly, the men were taking chances. They now shot down churning chutes of white water, which, a month earlier, they would have scrutinized with a doubtful eye.
1. Review of the evidence presented above.
(a) Assertion 1 has no basis in any evidence known to me regarding any waters from the downstream end of Nicholson Lake to the downstream end of Wharton Lake.
(b) More importantly, the evidence presented in Appendix 9. The fatal rapids evinces that Assertion 1 has no basis in evidence regarding the rapids between Wharton Lake and Marjorie Lake; it was in these rapids that Moffatt died on 14 September 1955.
I mention in particular that he only dumps of the entire trip occurred in the rapids where Moffatt died.
Summary.
The Sports Illustrated editor provided no evidence, and I found none in all my research, that the Moffatt party took chances
in the reach above Nicholson Lake, or
in the reach between Nicholson Lake and Wharton Lake, and
in particular in the reach where Moffatt died (that between Wharton Lake and Marjorie Lake).
Conclusion.
The party took no chances at any time from the day that it exited Nicholson Lake to the day that it entered Marjorie Lake. In particular, it took no chances including 14 September 1955.
Neither exists there evidence that the party took chances in the reaches upstream from Nicholson Lake and downstream from Marjorie Lake.

Assertion 2 of the Sports Illustrated editor.

The statement of Assertion 2.
Already nine days behind schedule, the Moffatt party races against winter on the Barren Grounds. The days grow colder, provisions dwindle, game grows scarce. In desperate haste, they take an ultimate chance. [bottom right of page 76, appearing between the Moffatt entries for 15 and 16 August].

1. The nine days behind schedule part of Assertion 2.
In late August, the Moffatt party of 1955 was indeed behind the schedule of the Tyrrell party of 1893.
But the Moffatt party was not following the Tyrrell schedule! The Tyrrell party arrived in Baker Lake on 2 September, whereas the Moffatt party had scheduled arrival there on 15 September (with a grace period of seven days)!
The evidence suggests that, in late August, the Moffatt party was on track to reach Baker Lake within the allowed margin of seven days, that is by 22 September. Indeed, despite the tragedy and the unprecedented storm, the party reached Baker Lake on 24 September (two days after the expiry of the grace period).
A request.
I ask the reader to assess the nine days behind schedule part of Assertion 2 in the light of the evidence presented above.
Reference. Appendix 7. Schedule.

2. The …Barren Grounds. The days grow colder… part of Assertion 2.
I acknowledge
that the Moffatt party was indeed travelling in the Barren Grounds, and
that the days were indeed growing colder, on average.

3. The provisions dwindle part of Assertion 2.
I acknowledge that the provisions on board from the beginning dwindled as they were consumed.
But the SI editor omitted mention here of the discovery and harvesting of the cache on 7 September, as documented on page 82 of her/his own article.
Given that I have learned to trust nothing in the strong>SI article, I note that the liberation of provisions from the cache was documented also by Grinnell [pp 180&181] and Pessl [p 125].
Summary.
Provisions were bountiful from 7 September until most were lost on 14 September.
A request.
I ask the reader to assess the provisions dwindle part of Assertion 2 in the light of the evidence presented above and in Appendix 6.
Reference. Appendix 6. Food.

4. The game grows scarce part of Asssertion 2.
Moffatt’s journal, to which the editor had full access, documents that five caribou were shot in the period from 5 August to 14 September; the dates were 5 August, 11 August, 20 August, 26 August and 5 September. Moffatt’s evidence is confirmed by that of LeFavour’s article, Grinnell’s book and Pessl’s book.
Indeed, at lunchtime on 14 September (the day of the tragedy), the party had on board so much caribou meat that it had no need to hunt again; as well, it caught a 20 lb lake trout over lunch. [LeFavour].
And the party obtained many ptarmigan and fish.
A request.
I ask the reader to assess the game grows scarce part of Assertion 2 in the light of the evidence presented above and in Appendix 6.
Reference. Appendix 6. Food.

5. The races against winter…desperate haste…ultimate chance… part of Asssertion 2.
Analysis.
The editor all but states that Moffatt died because he was in such haste to reach Baker Lake that he could not afford time to scout the rapids where he died; the editor provided no supporting evidence. As I document in Appendix 5. Pace and weather freeze-up was not a possibility at any time until well into October.
Reminder.
As I documented above, the SI editor redacted the phrase Following Tyrrell’s route from Moffatt’s journal entry for 13 September, the day before Moffatt died. Why was that redaction made if to conceal the fact that Moffatt had route advice from J B Tyrrell and was following it?
A request.
I ask that the reader consider the light that this editorial action sheds on the editor’s triple-header assertion races against winter…desperate haste…ultimate chance.
Moffatt died rather because he had been misled by the advice of J B Tyrrell, advice that had proved trustworthy for the previous 11 weeks of the trip.
Reference. Appendix 9. The fatal rapids

Evidence relevant to both Assertions 1 and 2.
Please note
Moffatt’s cautious approach (described in Grinnell’s book) regarding the rapids below Nicholson Rapids,
and his portaging of rapids (run by others) immediately above Grant Lake,
and the party’s portaging of rapids/falls above Wharton Lake, and
and the party’s portaging of a set of rapids above the fatal ones, this on the very day that he died.
Are we to believe that Moffatt, at most a few hours later, panicked and in desperate haste to reach Baker Lake, took the ultimate chance and decided to risk everything, lives included, by running the fatal rapids without a scout?

Summary.
No part of Assertions 1 and 2 of the Sports Illustrated editor has a basis in evidence, save
that the party was travelling in the barrenlands, and
that the days were growing colder, on average.

After the tragedy.
Rather than attempt the dangerous rapids (Tyrrell’s London Rapids) below Marjorie Lake, and almost certainly also to save time, the survivors portaged from the northeast end of Marjorie to the east side of the peninsula in Aberdeen Lake on the Thelon River.
https://barrenlands.library.utoronto.ca/zone.cfm?ID=1893&zone=6
http://www.myccr.com/phpbbforum/viewtopic.php?f=125&t=46351

Internal URLs.

Foreword and Forum.
Main text.
Appendix 1. Reality.
Appendix 3. Equipment.
Appendix 4. Experience.
Appendix 5. Pace and weather.
Appendix 6. Food.
Appendix 7. Schedule.
Appendix 8. Rapids in general.
Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.
Ancillary 1. Accusations.
Ancillary 2. Lanouette excerpt.
Ancillary 3. Tyrrell excerpt.
Ancillary 4. Distances.
Ancillary 5. Loose ends and the future.
Ancillary 6. Addenda.
Ancillary 7. Moffatt’s Tyrrell sources.
Ancillary 8. Evidence regarding the tragedy.
Bibliography.

Notice.
With the exception of quoted material, copyright to the above belongs to Allan Jacobs.

Ancillary 1. Accusations.

Renovations are in progress; the completion date is well in the future.
Thanks for your patience. Allan

Ancillary 1. Accusations.

Foreword.
This Ancillary lists, then examines, every accusation known to have been of Moffatt.
Each accusation fades away to nothing when exposed to the light of the evidence, with the sole exception that the party did not carry a radio (which would not have averted Moffatt’s death).
In the following, the accusatory material and my responses are sorted by date.
Much of the following is provided also in the nine Appendices; a renovation in progress brings material provided here into agreement with that provided in the Appendices.

The accusatory literature.

Primary sources of the accusatory literature.
I define these to be publications with some basis in the writings of trip participants.
1. The Sports Illustrated article (1959), which contains selections (some edited) from Moffatt’s journal.
2. Participant Grinnell’s Canoe article (1988).
3. Grinnell’s book (1996); I possess no evidence that later editions (2005 and 2010) influenced the literature.
These are the only primary sources to have been used in the literature.
Much of the accusatory literature is based not on these sources, but rather on publications of previous defamers. In the process, errors were propagated, accusations were embellished.
The prime example of embellishment.
The Sports Illustrated editor’s game grows scarce, an untruth in its own right, is the only possible source for Kingsley’s the caribou were long gone, discussed below.

Primary sources unlikely to have been available to Moffatt’s accusers.
1. LeFavour’s four newspaper articles (1955).
2. The Kesselheim-Pessl article in Canoe&Kayak (2012).
3. Pessl’s Nastawgan article (2013).
4. Pessl’s book (2014). Contents include excerpts from his journal and that of Franck.
Comments.
Even now, only LeFavour’s third article is available, thanks to correspondence from him.
The evidence of Pessl (and so Franck) was almost certainly published too late to influence the Moffatt literature.
I corresponded extensively with Pessl, less with Lanouette and LeFavour, only a little with Grinnell.

Items of the primary accusatory literature.
1. The Sports Illustrated article (1959).
This is the second most influential item of the defamatory literature.
Contents include
material (in cases severely edited) from Moffatt’s journal, and
derogatory editorial insertions with no basis in evidence, but
a faithful condensation of Lanouette’s journal for the day of Moffatt’s death.
I point out that the editor redacted a key passage from Moffatt’s last journal entry, that of 13 September.
2. The book of Inglis (1978).
Inglis omitted mention of (rather than redacted) evidence that Moffatt was only following J B Tyrrell’s advice when he chose to run the fatal rapids where he died.
I found no mention of the Inglis book in other items of the Moffatt literature.
3. Participant Grinnell’s Canoe article (1988).
A significant contribution to the accusatory literature.
4. Grinnell’s book (1996).
The most influential contribution to the accusatory literature.
Contents include much material with no basis in evidence, indeed some with no basis in truth.
Like the SI editor, Grinnell redacted evidence, in his case that Moffatt was only following J B Tyrrell’s advice when he chose to run the fatal rapids where he died. And so it concerns me that the two had corresponded.
5. Accusations (defamers’ names unknown, sources unknown) quoted by Luste in Grinnell’s book.
6. The Murphy-MacDonald reviews of Grinnell’s book (1996).
These are reviews in name only, for they contain defamatory material with no basis in evidence.
7. The Mahler-Thum article/s (2005).
8. Kingsley’s articles (2012 and 2013) and book (2014).
Reference. Bibliography.

The Sports Illustrated article (1959).

Reference. Sports Illustrated, issues of 9 and 16 March 1959 (pp 68-76 and 80-88).

Comment.
The actions of the SI editor set the stage for the defamatory literature that followed. Indeed, some of that literature consists of little but rephrasing of the editor’s defamations.
The article is the second most influential item in the defamatory literature; only Grinnell’s book surpasses it in this respect.

Contents of the Sports Illustrated article.
Excerpts from Moffatt’s journal, Moffatt’s prospectus for the trip, photographs and a map, thumbnails of the participants, an excerpt from the New York Times, a condensation of Lanouette’s journal for the day of the tragedy, an Epilogue, plus several editorial assertions.
1. I recognize it to be unlikely that the editor personally took the actions that I ascribe to her/him.
But s/he bears ultimate responsibility for the content of the article, and who knows what actions s/he expected of subordinates (the staff writers of Pessl’s letter). And so the reader may wish to replace editor by editorial staff in what follows.
2. The editor omitted mention of items that falsify her/his accusations; the prime example is the shooting of the first caribou, this on 5 August.
3. Yet more objectionable are editorial assertions, such as
Food was becoming the question now. [p 76, top left, 8 August],
Already nine days behind schedule, the Moffatt party races against winter on the Barren Grounds. The days grow colder, provisions dwindle, game grows scarce. In desperate haste, they take an ultimate chance. [p 76, lower right, 15/16 August],
Increasingly, the men were taking chances. They now shot down churning chutes of white water which, a month earlier, they would have scrutinized with a doubtful eye. [p 82, top right, 7/8 September].
The evidence provided in the Appendices disagrees: no part of all three assertions has a basis in truth (save that the party was travelling in the Barren Grounds, and that the days were growing colder, on average).
I suggest it to be no great insight that provisions dwindle as they are consumed. But the editor omitted to mention here that a great resupply of provisions was obtained from the cache, this on 7 September.

Pessl comments on some content of the SI article.
Hello Allan,
Your previous inquiry re the source of Grinnell’s quotes Aug. 15 & Aug. 20 nudged me to take a further look at SI quotes and the Moffatt journal sources.
That was a rather depressing exercise resulting in my conviction that the SI article is composed of heavily edited paraphrases of the Moffatt journal. In no way an accurate nor objective account of that journey. I probably shouldn’t have been surprised, but I really hadn’t taken a close look before.
The staff writer committed two journalistic sins throughout the article. Paraphrasing under the guise of direct quotation. And then just adding random phrases included in the quotation format. The Aug. 20 entry I have already sent you is an example.
Here are a few more examples of staff-writer add ons which do not exist in the Moffatt journal.
Aug.15: “And anyway it is too late for that now. We will have to live with what we have.”
Aug. 24: “Still haven’t moved since the 21st.”
“It turned out a great day for a change.”
“An ominous note crept in, however.”
“Summer is definitely over.”
Sept. 8: “…despite the dangers we haven’t much time left.”
Sept. 10: “But we are going on anyway. There is no time now to sit around waiting for the niceties of weather.”
“Even a little item of that sort is becoming vitally important to us.”
And the staff-writer comment between entry Sept. 7 and Sept. 9 is unsubstantiated nonsense.
“Increasingly, the men were taking chances. They now shot down churning chutes of white water which, a month earlier, they would have scrutinized with a doubtful eye.”
So it goes, Skip.
[email message, 29 May 2017]

Pessl comments on “The Aug. 20 entry” mentioned above.
Re Grinnell’s quotes from Moffatt’s journal, both are direct quotes from SI. And both are problematic.
The Aug. 15 “quote” is more of a paraphrase than an accurate quote. Here is the Moffatt entry “All along it was it was very heavy current and big waves. I was tired + hungry – it was now 5 pm. – and knew it was no time to make decisions -…”.
The Aug. 20 “quote” doesn’t exist in the Moffatt journal. Closest approximation is: “Off at 11 in am. Up little lake against head wind, into river, and down with swift current to couple of heavy but short rapids, of which I looked over the 2nd only. Shot both.” Absolutely nothing about “…Not very smart of me. I probably should be more careful.”! Outrageous!!
Hope some of this might help, Skip.
[email message, 25 May, 2017].

Moffatt’s journal entry for 13 September.

Moffatt’s complete journal entry for 13 September, as written.
Comment. The tragedy occurred the next day.
Off at 10:15 across outlet bay, Skip caught 3 trout, then down 15 foot very swift rapids, no rocks but very rough. Took water, had to bail. Following Tyrrell’s route, down 6’ rapid, back in (?) map, lunch 2 fish chowder, 2 hardtack. Then along island, water in channels, very fast, no looking it over, about 5 miles of it. Sun out more than for 6 days, but spotty. Pulled into bay by esker, I found good dry portage while canoes unloaded above last very rough + rocky part of rapid. I carried canoe across to little valley below bay, where we camped. Others portaged while I cooked huge glop, fish and bully, pudding + tea. Then, in darkness, I made last portage trip for load of wood, (?), 2 poles. Thought of wolves. Saw none!
Good distance today, Marjorie Lake tomorrow.

Note. The above was kindly supplied by Pessl [private correspondence].

The Sports Illustrated editor’s version of that entry.
After a portage around rapids, Art Moffatt wrote “I cooked fish and bully, pudding and tea. Then, in darkness, I made the last portage trip for a load of wood, my packsack and two poles. I thought of wolves on the way back but saw none. Good distance today. Marjorie Lake tomorrow.” And this was the last entry Art Moffatt was to make in his diary. [SI article, p 82, lower right column]

Comparison of the two versions.
One sees that the SI editor redacted the phrase Following Tyrrell’s route from her/his version of Moffatt’s journal for 13 September.
The interpretation of that phrase is problematic.
It could mean that Moffatt had detailed advice from J B Tyrrell regarding Dubawnt rapids, and that he followed it, to his death, in the rapids above Marjorie Lake. The phrase would then be exculpatory.
On the other hand, it could mean only that the Moffatt party chose the east/rightmost exit (of two) from Wharton Lake; I believe this to be the correct interpretation.
The matter of the interpretation aside, Moffatt had certainly obtained route advice from J B Tyrrell, and was following that advice.
Summary.
Whatever the correct interpretation, only the most credulous could believe the redaction to have been an accident, a slip of the pen.
Possibility?
The redaction and Accusations 1, 2 and 3 (discussed below) were intended to discredit Moffatt, perhaps to make interesting copy.

Accusation 1 of the SI editor.
Food was becoming the question now. [top left of p 76, date 8/9 August].
Responses.
1. The editor failed to mention that the first caribou was shot on 5 August (at most 4 days earlier), as I document in Sub-Appendix 4a. Moffatt’s journal and the Sports Illustrated article. of
2. On 8 August, the Moffatt party ate the last of first caribou [Pessl, p 79]. That event was recorded in Moffatt’s journal, but the editor made no mention it.
3. The editor failed to mention that four more caribou were shot before 14 September (the day of the tragedy), for a total of five.
4. The editor failed to mention the bounty of other food from the land: many ptarmigan, fish (three species), blueberries and mushrooms.
5. The party had provisions remaining from the initial supply, and it had liberated provisions from the cache, as mentioned elsewhere in the SI article.
Summary.
The evidence, in the first instance that of Moffatt’s journal (the editor’s only source), later that of Grinnell, Pessl, Frank, Lanouette and LeFavour, begs leave to disagree with Accusation 1.
At times the party was hungry, at others it was gorged. On the whole, food (in the form of both provisions and food from the land) was bountiful in the six weeks before the tragedy.
Reference. Appendix 6. Food.
Conclusion.
The editor’s assertion Food was becoming the question now has no basis in truth.

Accusation 2 of the SI editor.
Already nine days behind schedule, the Moffatt party races against winter on the Barren Grounds. The days grow colder, provisions dwindle, game grows scarce. In desperate haste, they take an ultimate chance. [bottom right of p 76, for the period after 16/17 August].
Preliminary response.
The accusation is false, from first word to last.
Correction 1. The days did indeed grow colder, on average.
Correction 2. The party was indeed travelling on the Barren Grounds.
Comment.
My response to Accusation 2 being so lengthy, I split it into four parts:
Response 2a. The item schedule.
Response 2b. The item provisions dwindle.
Response 2c. The item game grows scarce.
Response 2d. The items races against winter, desperate haste and ultimate chance.

Accusation 2a of the Sports Illustrated editor.
The Sports Illustrated editor asserted (that is, provided no evidence) that the Moffatt party was nine days behind schedule. [bottom right of p 76, for the period after 16/17 August].
Responses.
1. The Moffatt party had no day-by-day schedule. Given the vagaries of the weather, no recreational party can have such a schedule in the barrens.
2. The Moffatt party was not following the schedule of the Tyrrell party or anything close to it.
(a) The Tyrrell party reached Baker Lake on 2 September 1893 [Robertson, p 162], continued to the coast of Hudson Bay (at Chesterfield Inlet), then went down it to Churchill (the last part by sled) and beyond.
(b) Moffatt had planned to reach Baker Lake (the endpoint of the trip) on 15 September; and he had arranged a grace period of seven days before a search was started.
Indeed, in late August, the Moffatt party was on track to Baker Lake, certainly within the grace period arranged by Moffatt with the RCMP station there, perhaps even by 15 September.
The dates for Dubawnt Lake; an example.
On his page 129, Pessl provides the following actual (not scheduled) dates for Dubawnt Lake.
The Tyrrell party of 1893. 7-17 August.
The Moffatt party of 1955. 21-27 August.
Conjecture. The dates for exiting Dubawnt Lake were the unspecified source for the editor’s nine days days.
Conclusions.
The editor falsely represented the schedule of the Moffatt party (1955) to be that of the Tyrrell party (1893).
That matter aside, the assertion that the Moffatt party was nine days behind schedule has no basis in truth.
Reference. Appendix 7. Schedule.

Accusation 2b of the Sports Illustrated editor.
The assertion (only that, since the editor provided no evidence for it):
provisions dwindle. [bottom right of p 76, for the period after 16/17 August].
Response.
I suggest it to be no great insight that provisions dwindle as they are consumed.
But the SI editor failed to mention here that, as documented in her/his own article, the supply of provisions was augmented considerably by those from the cache, as evinced by the passage 24 one-pound tins of dried Beardmore vegetables… The guys went crazy. [SI article, 7 September, bottom of left column, p 82]
Conjecture.
The supply of provisions in the evening of 7 September was greater than that on 16/17 August, the date corresponding to Accusation 2b.
Conclusion.
The editor’s provisions dwindle misrepresents the evidence regarding the supply of provisions.
Reference.
Appendix 6. Food.

Accusation 2c of the Sports Illustrated editor.
The assertion (only that, since the editor provided no evidence for it):
game grows scarce [bottom right of p 76, for the period after 16/17 August].
Response 1.
Moffatt’s journal, available to the editor in its totality, documents that caribou were shot on 5 August, 11 August, 20 August, 26 August and 5 September, for a total of five. And many ptarmigan were killed. As well, other food (three species of fish, blueberries and mushrooms) was obtained from the land.
Response 2.
At lunch on 14 September (the day of the tragedy), the party had on board enough caribou meat that it no longer had need to hunt; as well it caught 20 lb of trout at lunch. [LeFavour].
Conclusion.
The game grows scarce part of Accusation 2 is an untruth.
Reference.
Appendix 6. Food.

Accusation 2d of the Sports Illustrated editor.
The assertion. …the Moffatt party races against winter on the Barren Grounds… In desperate haste, they take an ultimate chance. [bottom right of p 76, for the period after 16/17 August].
Responses.
1. The passage is an assertion only, for the Sports Illustrated editor provided no evidence in support of it.
2. In mid-September 1955, the weather was certainly cold at times, at others comfortable. But it was certainly not life-threatening at any time. I refer the reader to the evidence of the participants, especially that provided in Pessl’s book.

3. Lest the passage be interpreted as an assertion that the party was behind schedule [SI article, bottom right of page 76], I point out that, on 14 September, the Moffatt party was on track to reach Baker Lake on about 22 September (when the air search was started); indeed, despite the tragedy, it reached Baker Lake on 24 September.
4. One interpretation (the editor declined to be specific) of the phrases races against winter, desperate haste, and take an ultimate chance is that the Moffatt party realised only very late that winter was coming on and so had to hurry in order to reach Baker Lake before freeze-up.
Line 1 of enquiry regarding the possibility of freeze-up.
I examined the record of the Tyrrell-Tyrrell trip for evidence regarding freeze-up.
Without encountering any ice, the party reached salt water (tidal water from Chesterfield Inlet) downstream from Baker Lake in the evening of 6 September 1893 [J B Tyrrell book, p 78F, lower part].
But it is possible that the river could have frozen above Baker Lake by 22 September, some year; this is unlikely, given that the Thelon is reported to be a race course for many km above Baker Lake, but a possibility nevertheless.
Conclusion. The evidence from the 1893 trip does not illuminate the matter.
Line 2 of enquiry.
I return to the matter of the schedule.
Again, the RCMP detachment at Baker Lake had agreed to begin an air search on 22 September should the Moffatt party not have arrived by that date.
Are we to believe that the RCMP detachment there did not know that freeze-up was possible by 22 September?
Or are we rather to believe that it knew that freeze-up was possible by that date but did not inform Moffatt of the fact?
5. The evidence of participant LeFavour.
Referring to the period immediately before the tragedy, he commented as follows.
We traveled, and traveled hard. … Hurrying as we were, no foolish chances were taken.

Conclusion.
Given that there was no chance that the river would freeze before 22 September, I conclude that the assertion the Moffatt party races against winter on the Barren Grounds… In desperate haste, they take an ultimate chance has no basis in truth.
I suggest that the editor’s redaction of the phrase Following Tyrrell’s route… from Moffatt’s last journal entry (that for 13 September) is perhaps relevant here.
Reference.
Appendix 9. Fatal rapids.

Summary of the evidence regarding Accusation 2.
(a) The accusation regarding the schedule has no basis in truth.
Reference. Appendix 7. Schedule.
(b) The accusation regarding the supply of provisions is misrepresents of the evidence.
(c) The accusation regarding the availability of game has no basis in truth.
References for (b) and (c). Appendix 6. Food
(d) The editor’s races against winter, desperate haste, and an ultimate chance have no basis in truth.
References.
Appendix 8. Rapids in general.
Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.

Accusation 3 of the Sports Illustrated editor.
Increasingly, the men were taking chances. They now shot down churning chutes of white water which, a month earlier, they would have scrutinized with a doubtful eye. [top right of p 82, 7/8 September].
Comments.
0. The accusation was likely intended to prepare the reader’s mind for the fatal rapids.
1. That matter aside, given the date of 7/8 September, the reference is to rapids above the fatal ones.
2. The accusation is falsified by the evidence of the participants, especially that of Moffatt himself, whose journal was possessed in its entirety by the Sports Illustrated editor.
3. The truth is rather that the Moffatt party exercised great caution in its approach to rapids on the Dubawnt, in every instance.
4. I repeat that Moffatt possessed J B Tyrrell’s guide to Dubawnt rapids, and that he followed it without exception. Every rapid (no exception) known from Tyrrell’s guide to be dangerous was portaged.
5. Early on 14 September (after 11 weeks on the water), the party had passed many rapids on the Dubawnt (some highly dangerous) without a wrap, without a dump, but with two swamps (only one in rapids).
6. The first and last dumps of the entire trip occurred in the fatal rapids.
7. A minor point in comparison, but still a major one. The evidence of Moffatt’s journal (which the editor possessed in full) is clear: Moffatt exercised extreme caution in running rapids (in part to protect the film and the photographs, the very reasons for undertaking the trip).
Particulars.
Given the context, there are three and only three candidates for the editor’s churning chutes. As I document in Appendix 8. Other rapids, they are
1. The rapids below Nicholson Lake.
The party spent literally days scouting them, before running them.
2. The rapids (indeed a gorge, not just a chute) immediately below Dubawnt Lake.
The party spent literally days scouting and portaging them. Most of the party ran the last reach; Moffatt portaged that reach, in part to protect the film and cameras.
3. The falls above Wharton Lake.
The party portaged the falls in its entirety, I believe without a scout.
Conclusion.
Accusation 3 is falsified by the evidence of Moffatt’s journal, the Sports Illustrated editor’s only source.
Reference. Appendix 8. Other rapids

Comment regarding Moffatt’s We’re all running scared.
This Moffatt quote appears on page 82 (middle of the right column) of the SI article. It was repeated by Kingsley, whose undocumented source can have been only that article.
In the following, I provide Pessl’s transcription of Moffatt’s journal entry for 10 September, the day that the party entered Wharton Lake. The question and quotation marks are his insertions. I deleted some personal material. Pessl kindly provided also a copy of the original.
Finished portage across sand beach about 200 yds. this am by 10:30. Then on – everybody running scared now; third day of snow, strong north wind, freezing all day. Frozen feet a real worry, our boots being porous as blotting paper.
By noon, across lake + in river again, lunch on north shore opposite place where Tyrrell met 1st eskimo. Brewed tea, …
[personal material deleted].
In spite of strong winds + snow squalls, made it with help of strong current, down to (?) falls above Wharton Lake, ice on paddles, hills still white, no sun.
Finished portage 5:30, I cooked caribou, beets, pudding + tea, Made portage north side – should be on south but this side easier to get to–can’t risk an upset now.
Saw caribou mother + calf swim icy river ahead of us today, also one rough leg hawk, 1 (?) loon, several herring gull, small birds “abent”?
Several signs of eskimo about – stones piled one on another mainly.
Skip exhausted tonight – cramped tent made him sleepless last night.
10 days sugar left, about same amt hardtack, 10 days oats, 5 days cornmeal, Joe broke 2 of 3 remaining peanut butter jars tonight on portage.
Food situation poor, but we mean to get out of here fast as possible now, about 200 miles to go.
Piss calls at night tough to (?) in this bitter, freezing weather.
Still snow squalls tonight
Hope tomorrow clear, warm + sunny – could get past Wharton Lake with good break in weather.

Comment.
Moffatt’s handwriting can be difficult to interpret. The first letter of the word that the editor transcribed as “scared” could equally be an “r” or an “n”, but neither of these makes sense in the context of the letters that follow. In short, I see no plausible alternative to “scared”.
A request.
Please note the passage Made portage north side – should be on south but this side easier to get to–can’t risk an upset now and consider its significance regarding the Sports Illustrated editor’s assertion …the Moffatt party races against winter on the Barren Grounds. … In desperate haste, they take an ultimate chance.
Given that the above passage was written four days before Moffatt died, is it then likely that, on 14 September, he decided to risk an upset, to take the ultimate chance in desperate haste to reach Baker Lake

Conclusions regarding the Sports Illustrated article.
1. All three major accusations made by the SI editor are falsified by the evidence; I found literally no support for any of them in all the evidence known to me.
2. The Sports Illustrated editor) possessed Moffatt’s journal and so its evidence that food was plentiful in the six weeks before the tragedy. In particular, the editor redacted mention of the shooting of the first caribou and of three others, thereby severely misrepresenting the supply of food in the six weeks before the tragedy.
3. The editor redacted the phrase Following Tyrrell’s route… from Moffatt’s last journal entry, that for 13 September.
4. Given the editor’s actions as described above, I conclude that I must not trust any content of that article unless it is confirmed by another source.
That is, I consider Moffatt to the author of the article in name only.
5. Lacking full access to Moffatt’s journal, I am unable to state whether it contains other exculpatory evidence. But I think it likely that the editor would have reported any evidence of Moffatt’s guilt in any matter.
6. In fairness, I point out that the article does contain two truthful items.
(a) The New York Times article.
(b) The faithful condensation of Lanouette’s journal for 14 September.
7. Perhaps a more important consideration.
Given the editor’s actions, I am led to wonder whether other evidence important for the understanding of tragedy, especially evidence of Moffatt’s innocence, is contained elsewhere in Moffatt’s journal but was redacted/omitted by the Sports Illustrated editor.
Only Moffatt’s journal can enlighten us on this matter, but it is not available.
Conclusions.
The evidence convinces me that Sports Illustrated editor set out to fabricate a case against Moffatt.
Whatever the intention, the actions of the editor poisoned the Moffatt literature for 55 years, and counting.

Inglis’s book (1978).

Inglis, Alex. Northern Vagabond. The Life and Career of J B Tyrrell – the Man Who Conquered the Canadian North. McClelland and Stewart. (1978).

Inglis’s source for the professional part of the book.
Comment 1.
Inglis’s primary source was obviously J B Tyrrell’s book for the trip of 1893.
Tyrrell, Joseph Burr. Report on the Doobaunt, Kazan and Ferguson Rivers and the north-west coast of Hudson Bay and on two overland routes from Hudson Bay to Lake Winnipeg. S E Dawson, Ottawa (1897).
Ancillary 3. Tyrrell excerpt provides the relevant text for the rapids where Moffatt died; my point is that Tyrrell’s journal makes no mention of those rapids.
Thanks to the helpful staff of the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library (University of Toronto), I possess a copy of all pages for the reach from Black Lake to Chesterfield Inlet. I provide excerpts as appropriate.
Comment 2.
In his Epilogue (pp 246&247), Inglis refers to the Tyrrell Papers held in the Thomas Fisher Rare Books Library of the University of Toronto. These papers contain Tyrrell’s correspondence….
I possess evidence that some of the Tyrrell-Moffatt correspondence known to have occurred had been held there at one time, but my thorough search of mid-2017 found none of it.

The Inglis book and Moffatt’s death, Introduction.
1. The Inglis book, and so his remarks regarding Moffatt, escaped mention in all the Moffatt literature. I thank Mike Gray for informing me of it.
2. Inglis’s primary source was, of course, J B Tyrrell’s book. His comments regarding the Moffatt expedition are confined to his pages 52 and 54.
3. But Inglis omitted mention of his second source, namely the Sports Illustrated article of 1959. In particular, his INDEX does not mention that article; I suggest later a reason that he failed to identify this second source.
There existing nothing else publicly available in 1978, Inglis’s only possible source regarding Moffatt’s death was the SI article. In confirmation, I note that Inglis mentions Moffatt’s diary (I call it his journal), which even now is inaccessible to the public.
4. In the following passage, Inglis confirms that Moffatt had a schedule for arrival in Baker Lake:
…when Moffatt was overdue by five days planes went out in search of his party. [p 54]
The only possible source for Inglis’s overdue is the New York Times article reproduced on page 71 of the SI article.
Comment. I consider this item worthy of explicit mention because several Moffatt defamers asserted that he had no such schedule. That is, the truth regarding the schedule was known in 1978.
A trivial correction. The air search began on 22 September, at the end of the seven-day grace period allowed by Moffatt.

The accusations of Inglis, confronted by the evidence.
And so to the meat of the matter.
Referring to differences between Tyrrell’s party and Moffatt’s, Inglis states … Never during the Tyrrell expedition were depression and anxiety allowed to dominate. … the luxury of self-pity was never permitted. From the first Moffatt’s diary has words like “apprehensive” and “gloomy”. Then it degenerates into “worrying”, “edgy” and “angry”. At the outset paddles were left behind. In the middle, arguments raged. And in the end, on September 14, 1955, misjudging Tyrrell’s descriptions of the rapids they would encounter before entering Marjorie Lake, the Moffatt diary is silent. [p 54]
Response 1.
What is the name of that little red fruit?
Response 2.
Inglis declined to provide his source for the passage Never during the Tyrrell expedition…the Moffatt diary is silent.
The source is easily seen to have been the SI article. I say this because Inglis’s “apprehensive” and “gloomy” appear (in that order), on pages 68 and 72 of that article. His “angry” appears on page 80 (middle of the left column). As well, the only source known to me (and available to Inglis in 1978) for the paddles comment is the SI article, this on page 72. And so I thought it unnecessary to attempt to identify explicitly Inglis’s source for “worrying” and “edgy”.
As well, some Inglis comments mirror closely (aka parrot) those of the SI article.
Conclusion. Inglis’s unidentified source for his remarks regarding the Moffatt expedition was the SI article.
Response 3.
And so I think it worthy of explicit comment that Inglis omitted mention of the SI article in his INDEX (which functions also as a Bibliography) [pp 248-256].
Comment. I can understand that a professional historian would be reluctant to mention that a publication like Sports Illustrated had played a significant role in his research.
Response 4.
Inglis’s remark Tyrrell’s descriptions of the rapids verifies that Moffatt had possessed J B Tyrrell’s descriptions of the rapids they would encounter before entering Marjorie Lake, and so likely all Dubawnt rapids. That crucial piece of evidence went unmentioned by every defamer, in particular
(a) by the SI editor (who possessed Moffatt’s journal in full), and
(b) by Grinnell;
in fact, both the SI editor and Grinnell redacted the corresponding evidence.
Response 5.
I consider it necessary to repeat that Inglis had full access to J B Tyrrell’s book. The evidence of that book regarding the rapids they would encounter before entering Marjorie Lake is provided in Ancillary 3. Tyrrell excerpt.
My point is that Tyrrell’s book makes no mention at all of the rapids where Moffatt died. I suggest Inglis’s omission of that fact to have been a conscious one.
Inglis went yet further. He not only failed to acknowledge that truth, he also asserted that Moffatt had misjudged Tyrrell’s descriptions of the rapids they would encounter before entering Marjorie Lake, this in full knowledge that Tyrrell had made no mention at all of the rapids where Moffatt died.
On 14 September, Moffatt followed faithfully Tyrrell’s descriptions of rapids on Dubawnt (as he had done throughout the trip). That is Inglis’s misjudged assertion is falsified by evidence known to him.
A comment.
On page 243, Inglis provided the following. The biographer claiming otherwise and pretending, God-like, to weigh the life in the balance of eternity…
Perhaps Inglis acted in God-like fashion in judging Moffatt.

Conclusions.

Inglis concealed the identity of his source for his cherry-picking comments regarding Moffatt, namely the Sports Illustrated article. I can understand that a professional historian would be loath to admit having used such a source.
More importantly, Inglis knowingly misrepresented the evidence, by concealing the fact that Tyrrell had made no mention at all of the rapids where Moffatt died. That is, Moffatt had only followed J B Tyrrell’s advice he ran the fatal rapids without a scout.
That is, Inglis’s assertion misjudging Tyrrell’s descriptions of the rapids they would encounter before entering Marjorie Lake has no basis in truth.
The evidence leads me to conclude that Inglis set out to fabricate a case against Moffatt; perhaps this is behaviour inappropriate for a professional historian.

Recommendation.

Let a special place in the history hall of shame be reserved for Alex Inglis, who knowingly misrepresented the evidence regarding the death of Arthur Moffatt.

Grinnell’s Canoe article (1988).

Grinnell, George J. Art Moffatt’s Wilderness Way to Enlightenment.
Canoe, July 1988, pp 18-21 & 56.
Comments.
1. In his book of 1996, Grinnell repeats some accusations made in his article of 1988; the corresponding accusations are addressed later. That is, I discuss here accusations made only in the article.
2. That matter aside, the article belongs to the accusatory literature because of the inquest/holidays assertion quoted below.
3. As best I know, the article escaped the attention of all but Kingsley, who mangled Grinnell’s text in the paragraph that follows, asserting instead that For half of August, they voted to take “holidays” and went nowhere.

The inquest/holidays assertion.
At the inquest held by the mounties, it was disclosed that we had taken holidays on more than half the days of the trip.. [Grinnell article, p 56, right column]
Grinnell’s assertion has two parts:
(a) That the RCMP had held an inquest (at some unspecified place and date) into Moffatt’s death.
(b) That the Moffatt party had taken holidays on more than half the days of the trip.

Summary.
The evidence presented in Appendix 2. Holidays is conclusive.
1. Grinnell’s statement regarding the inquest is pure fabrication. On the other hand, I found no evidence that it influenced the later accusatory literature.
2. Not a single “holiday” (in the too-lazy-to-paddle sense) was taken. Given that Grinnell’s holidays statement was the basis for Kingsley’s accusation (that is, it contaminated the later literature), I state explicitly it is falsified by the evidence.
3. As a result of this experience alone (the reader will find other examples), I trust only material (in both Grinnell’s article and his book) that is verified by independent evidence.
4. More generally, I consider Grinnell to be an untrustworthy witness. This assessment of his credibility is fully justified by his later behavior. The most egregious of all his acts was the redaction (in his book) of Lanouette’s exculpatory evidence regarding the running of the fatal rapids.

Conclusion regarding Grinnell’s article.
The evidence suggests that Grinnell set out to fabricate a case against Moffatt.
The content of his book is discussed below.

Undated accusations quoted and commented on by Luste.

Source. Grinnell book, pp 293&294, 1996.
Comments.
1. I know not
authors’ names,
or dates when the accusations were made,
or whether the accusations are documented elsewhere,
or to what extent (if any) they were influenced by the Sports Illustrated article,
or to what extent (if any) they influenced the later literature (because not even one defamer cited a source).
2. Given Inglis’s diligence, I doubt that he knew of the following. Indeed, had he done so, he surely would have used them in his campaign.
3. I use a separate paragraph to state that I have no reason to believe that Luste knew of the Inglis book when he wrote the following.
The accusations.
Over the years, a number of unfounded versions or representations of the Moffatt accident have made their way into the canoeing literature. I’ve read statements like
“After some discussion, there came a momentous decision. To save time the party would run any rapid which looked safe from the top.” and
“Everyone was rescued quickly so there should have been no problems.” or
“Increasing desperation made them run rapids without careful checking,” or
“…to speed progress they would run any rapid that looked passable from the top…” and
“On Moffatt’s trip, the canoeists surviving the mid-September swamping first picked up all the packs, then the swamped members, a fatal mistake.”

Luste’s opinion of these accusations.
It seems as if a liberal amount of imagination has been invoked by these writers to change the facts so they fit their preoccupations and desires for culpability.
Comments.
Luste did not provide defamers’ names. Neither are their sources known.
These representations have no basis in truth, but they contain too much detail for them to have been fabricated in toto. Given that neither the Sports Illustrated article (1959) nor Grinnell’s article (1988) provides such information, the authors of the representations must have had access to a trip participant, perhaps his writings; I can only speculate regarding that person’s identity.
Because not one Moffatt defamer identified a source, it is unknown whether these accusations influenced the later accusatory literature.
Opinion.
Both the unfounded and the representations remarks of Luste apply equally well to nearly every assault made on Moffatt, beginning with the Sports Illustrated article of 1959 and continuing to 2014, inclusive.
Assessment of the accusations.
The accusation To save time the party would run any rapid which looked safe from the top
has no basis in truth.
The accusation Increasing desperation made them run rapids without careful checking has no basis in truth.
The accusation …to speed progress they would run any rapid that looked passable from the top… has no basis in truth.
Conclusion.
The evidence convinces me that the authors of these accusations set out to present a case against Moffatt.
References.
Appendix 8. Rapids in general.
Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.

Grinnell’s book (1996).

Grinnell, George. A Death on the Barrens. A true story. Northern Books,
Toronto (1996).

Introductory comments.
The reader might reflect on the fact that Grinnell’s book appeared 41 years after Moffatt’s death.
No bibliography is provided.
Contents include much personal material, plus important comments by George Luste.
My research is based entirely on the 1996 edition. In private correspondence, Pessl mentioned editions of 2005 and 2010, and remarked that there exist differences from that of 1996. Moffatt’s defamers don’t identify their sources and so I don’t know whether any of them used the later editions.
I recently purchased the 2010 edition.
Grinnell, George. Death on the Barrens. A True Story of Courage and Tragedy in the Canadian Arctic. North Atlantic Books, Berkeley (2010).
No bibliography is provided here either.
As noted by Pessl, there are indeed differences from the 1996 edition.
I lost interest in reading further when I saw that Grinnell had redacted also in the 2010 edition (p 207) the exculpatory passage This surprised us … the first rapids and replaced it by an ellipsis.
Reviews of the 2010 edition.
https://www.amazon.ca/Death-Barrens-Courage-Tragedy-Canadian/dp/1556438826

Item 1.
The evidence tells me that Grinnell did not keep a journal; that is, he relied on memory when writing the book. For that reason alone, I advise caution in reading it. A lesser consequence is that his dates are unreliable.
The evidence regarding Grinnell’s keeping of a journal.
An incomplete search found only two comments regarding Grinnell’s recording of events.
Early in the trip, I had traded my ration of chocolate bars, which Art sometimes distributed at lunch, for paper to write on. [book, p 26].
I retired to my tent and wrote in my journal a diatribe against self-righteous “altruists” in general and Skip in particular. [book, p 84].
Comment. I am aware of the apparent contradiction.
Further evidence that Grinnell did not keep a journal is provided in Appendix 2. Holidays. I refer here to differences between his dates and those of Pessl (whose book provides thorough documentation of the trip, except for later events).

Item 2. The comments of Luste.
Grinnell’s book includes Luste’s Introduction (pp iii to v) and his Thoughts on the Moffatt Tragedy, Wilderness Canoeing, and Safety (pp 279-302).
It includes also the following Luste comment (quoted also above) regarding the pre-1996 accusatory literature. It seems as if a liberal amount of imagination has been invoked by these writers to change the facts so they fit their preoccupations and desires for culpability. [Grinnell book, p 294].
Unfortunately, this first known defence of Moffatt was ignored in the flood of accusatory literature that followed publication of Grinnell’s book.
Also ignored in that flood was Luste’s comment Art Moffatt, following Tyrrell’s notes, was not expecting the rapid in which he swamped and then died. [Grinnell book, p 284]. The source of Luste’s information is not known.
Interpretation of the latter Luste comment.
Moffatt possessed information regarding the fatal rapids, and that information had told him that the rapids were not worth a scout.
To me, that comment, alone and in itself, falsifies every accusation regarding running of the fatal rapids without a scout.
Summary.
Had Moffatt’s defamers not ignored both these comments of Luste, had they not so eagerly joined the mob attack on a dead man, likely the later literature would have differed considerably. Moffatt’s family might thereby have been spared two more decades of abusive literature.

Item 3.
Grinnell had access to the Sports Illustrated article, as evinced by his acknowledgements [p 308] and his reference there to Quotes.
As best I know, Grinnell lacked access to Moffatt’s journal per se, only to the excerpts published in the SI article.
Unfortunately for Moffatt’s reputation, Grinnell did not address the following accusations made by the SI editor.
1. Food was becoming the question now. [top left of p 76, date 8/9 August].
2. Already nine days behind schedule, the Moffatt party races against winter on the Barren Grounds. The days grow colder, provisions dwindle, game grows scarce. In desperate haste, they take an ultimate chance. [bottom right of p 76, for the period after 16/17 August].
3. Increasingly, the men were taking chances. They now shot down churning chutes of white water which, a month earlier, they would have scrutinized with a doubtful eye. [top right of p 82, 7/8 September].
Summary.
Grinnell had the opportunity to defend Moffatt from accusations that he knew to be false, but he chose not to do so.
Neither did Grinnell object to the editor’s redaction of the phrase Following Tyrrell’s route… from Moffatt’s journal entry for 13 September [Sport Illustrated, page 82, lower right column].
And so it concerns me that Grinnell and the SI editor had certainly been in contact (perhaps even met in person), as evinced by the Epilogue on page 88 of the SI article; I refer in particular to the discussion of death from hypothermia.

Item 4.
In his book (and also in his article), Grinnell made unfortunate statements, and made unfortunate omissions, regarding important matters; most of his actions are highly prejudicial to Moffatt.
On pages 163-174 of his book, Pessl addresses multiple unsubstantiated and damaging accusations made by Grinnell of Moffatt (who, I need say, was unable to respond to them).
My Main text and my Appendices address other troubling statements made / actions taken by Grinnell; some are addressed below.
Of greatest concern to me is his redaction of an exculpatory passage from Lanouette’s journal for 14 September, as I document in the next paragraph.

Item 5.
I provide first the full relevant passage from the Sports Illustrated condensation of Lanouette’s journal for 14 September. That condensation is a faithful one, as one can verify by consulting Lanouette’s full journal for that day, as provided in Ancillary 2. Lanouette excerpt.
Then I provide the full relevant portion of Grinnell’s book.
Then I compare the two versions, then comment.
1. The full relevant passage from the Sports Illustrated condensation of Lanouette’s journal.
After a fine lunch of fish chowder, we shoved off again at around 2:30. The weather was still dismal, although the wind had dropped. In a few minutes we heard and saw rapids on the horizon. This surprised us. Art had figured we had already shot the last two rapids before Marjorie Lake. Actually, what we had gone down were only riffles, and what lay ahead was the real beginning of the first rapids. At the top, the rapids looked as though they would be easy going, a few small waves, rocks—nothing serious. We didn’t even haul to shore to have a look, as we usually did. The river was straight and we could see both the top and foot of the rough water quite clearly, or we thought we could. We barreled happily along. We bounced over a couple of fair-sized waves and took in a couple of splashes, but I didn’t mind, as I had made an apron of my poncho and remained dry enough. I was looking a few feet in front of the canoe for submerged rocks when Art suddenly shouted “Paddle.” [Sports Illustrated, p 85].
Comment 1. The above is a faithful condensation of the passage in Lanouette’s journal, as I document in
Ancillary 2. Lanouette excerpt.
Comment 2. Please note in particular the passage
This surprised us. Art had figured we had already shot the last two rapids into Marjorie Lake. Actually, what we had gone down were only riffles, and what lay ahead was the real beginning of the first rapids.
2. The full relevant passage from Grinnell’s book.
After a fine lunch of fish chowder, we shoved off again at around 2:30. The weather was still dismal, although the wind had dropped. In a few minutes we heard and saw rapids on the horizon….
At the top, the rapids looked as though they would be easy going, a few small waves, rocks—nothing serious. We didn’t even haul to shore to have a look, as we usually did. The river was straight and we could see both the top and foot of the rough water quite clearly, or we thought we could. We barreled happily along. We bounced over a couple of fair-sized waves and took in a couple of splashes, but I didn’t mind, as I had made an apron of my poncho and remained dry enough. I was looking a few feet in front of the canoe for submerged rocks when Art suddenly shouted “Paddle.”
[Grinnell book, 1996 edition, p 202]
3. Comparison of the two versions.
One sees that Grinnell redacted the three-sentence passage
This surprised us… real beginning of the first rapids and replaced it with an ellipsis.
Analysis.
To my mind, the redacted passage is the key to understanding the tragedy, for it demonstrates
first that the Moffatt party had prior information regarding the fatal rapids, and
second that that prior information was incorrect.
That passage told me that Moffatt, in choosing to run the fatal rapids without a scout, was only following J B Tyrrell’s guide to rapids on the Dubawnt. Surely Moffatt would not have followed Tyrrell’s advice that day, had it proved unreliable at any time in the previous 10 or so weeks.
Does any rational mind believe Grinnell’s redaction of that passage to have been an accident, a slip of the pen?
Consequences of Grinnell’s redaction.
Jacobson was misled for sure.
So was Luste, specifically into making the comments on Grinnell’s p iii.
It is then not surprising that later writers continued in the same vein.
Conclusion.
Grinnell redacted exculpatory evidence (three key sentences) from Lanouette’s journal (condensed version) for the day of Moffatt’s death.
The later accusatory literature might have differed considerably had that redaction not have been made.
Opinion.
The subtitle A true story of Grinnell’s book has no basis in truth.

Item 6.
The pace of the accusatory literature accelerated markedly with the publication of Grinnell’s book, for three reasons, as I see things.
(a) It was the first publication of a trip participant to attract the broad attention of the paddling community; Grinnell’s article of 1988 did not do that.
(b) It provided a rich source of material for accusations of Moffatt; indeed, the flood of accusations based on it ebbed only in 2014 (perhaps only temporarily even then).
(c) It is no fault of Grinnell, but false accusations made by reviewers Murphy and MacDonald of his book were uncritically accepted and promulgated, even embellished.
(i) No part of reviewer Murphy’s triple-header assertion Lack of food, proper equipment and most importantly, lack of a planned itinerary, contributed to his Moffatt’s demise is encumbered by a basis in truth.
(ii) Reviewer MacDonald asserted first that there was a schedule, then that there wasn’t one; the latter is falsified by the evidence.

Item 7.
Important for our understanding of the tragedy is Grinnell’s food-related evidence for the period immediately before the tragedy.
Example 1. Caribou! … hundreds of caribou, then thousands more. … The hunters returned to lead me to their kill… We carried the butchered caribou back to camp and that evening gratefully ate forty-two steaks. [5 August, Grinnell book, pp 97&98].
Example 2. Over the ensuing weeks… we killed our third, fourth and fifth caribous… [p 156].
Grinnell’s evidence that food (both from the land and from provisions) was abundant in the six weeks before the tragedy was ignored by every accuser who wrote later on the topic of food, including those whose only source was Grinnell’s book.
Case 1 in point.
Worthy of special mention in this respect is James Murphy, who (in his review of Grinnell’s book no less), asserted that Lack of food…contributed to his demise. The truth is rather that the land was one plenty in the six weeks before Moffatt’s death, as evinced in Grinnell’s book itself.
Case 2 in point.
Kingsley (whose major source was Grinnell’s book) nevertheless asserted that the caribou were long gone, this when Grinnell documented the shooting of five caribou in the period from 5 August to 14 September. [Grinnell book, p 156].
Summary.
Had Grinnell’s evidence regarding food not been ignored (the possibility that it was willfully ignored deserves consideration), the later Moffatt literature regarding that item would have differed considerably.
Reference. Appendix 6. Food.

Interjection.
Because more important matters need the reader’s attention, I refer her/him to the section Lesser statements by Grinnell. provided at the end of this Ancillary.

Summary.
1. An opinion. Grinnell’s book is the most important contribution to the accusatory literature; only the Sports Illustrated article comes close in that respect
2. Again, I contest the subtitle a true story of the book.
3. Grinnell failed to address the Sports Illustrated editor’s actions in either his article or his book. That is, Grinnell had the opportunity to rescue Moffatt’s reputation but he did not do so. Instead, he made multiple false accusations of Moffatt.
4. Grinnell redacted exculpatory evidence that Moffatt was only following Tyrrell’s advice when he did not scout the fatal rapids. I refer here to Grinnell’s version of Lanouette’s journal for the day of the tragedy and the ellipsis therein. [Grinnell book, p 202].
5. A general comment by Pessl.
There’s a fine line between poetic license and documentation. Unfortunately, I think Grinnell crossed that line with fabrications and misrepresentations. It’s too bad that Art’s reputation was based on that. [Pessl, in Canoe&Kayak, p 52 (2012)]
6. Given Grinnell’s redaction of key evidence in Lanouette’s journal, and his other actions, I trust only content in his book that is verified by independent evidence. That is, in the first instance, I believe nothing that Grinnell writes unless it is independently confirmed.
7. But some of Grinnell’s evidence is independently confirmed, in particular that regarding the food supply in the period from 5 August to 14 September. For example, he mentions the shooting of five caribou in that period, as does Pessl. And so I make much use of Grinnell’s evidence in
Appendix 6. Food, for it is much shorter than the evidence of Pessl, Franck and Lanouette (which I provide also, but in a Sub-Appendix).
Conclusion.
The evidence (especially the redaction of that exculpatory passage from Lanouette’s journal) convinces me that Grinnell set out to fabricate a case against Moffatt.
A personal comment.
Grinnell comes across as a highly intelligent individual with a fertile imagination, but perhaps haunted by personal tragedy, namely the loss of two sons and their companions on James Bay in 1988 [Grinnell book, pp 272&273].

The Sports Illustrated article, Grinnell’s book and the fatal rapids.
The Sports Illustrated article.
1. The editor redacted the phrase Following Tyrrell’s route in Moffatt’s last journal entry (that for 13 September). As discussed above, the interpretation of that phrase is problematic.
It could mean Moffatt possessed detailed information from J B Tyrrell, and that he followed it when he chose to run the fatal rapids without a scout. It could mean only that Moffatt chose the east/rightmost exit from Wharton Lake.
Exists there anyone, anywhere, who believes the redaction of those three words to have been an accident?
Why was this redaction made unless it was part of a campaign to discredit Moffatt?
I suggest that the same applies to Inglis’s later failure to mention the same passage.
2. I document above the following accusations of the editor, all major parts of which are demonstrated by the evidence to have no basis in truth; I agree though that the Moffatt party was travelling in the Barren Grounds, that the days were growing colder on average, and that provisions dwindle as they are consumed.
(a) Food was becoming the question now. [top left of p 76, date 8/9 August].
(b) Already nine days behind schedule, the Moffatt party races against winter on the Barren Grounds. The days grow colder, provisions dwindle, game grows scarce. In desperate haste, they take an ultimate chance. [bottom right of p 76, for the period after 16/17 August].
(c) Increasingly, the men were taking chances. They now shot down churning chutes of white water which, a month earlier, they would have scrutinized with a doubtful eye. [top right of p 82, 7/8 September].
3. Conclusion. The totality of the evidence convinces me that the editor set out to fabricate a case against Moffatt.
Grinnell’s book.
As I documented above, Grinnell redacted the exculpatory passage
This surprised us. Art had figured we had already shot the last two rapids before Marjorie Lake. Actually, what we had gone down were only riffles, and what lay ahead was the real beginning of the first rapids from Lanouette’s journal entry for 14 September, as faithfully condensed in the SI article.
This redaction, together with much other material in Grinnell’s book, convinces me that Grinnell set out to fabricate a case against Moffatt.
The Sports Illustrated editor and Grinnell.
1. To repeat, it was no accident, no slip of the pen, that the Sports Illustrated editor redacted the phrase Following Tyrrell’s route from Moffatt’s last journal entry (that for 13 September). The only interpretation that occurs to me is that the redaction was a conscious effort to discredit Moffatt.
2. Again, it was no accident, no slip of the pen, that Grinnell redacted three sentences of exculpatory evidence (from the condensation of Lanouette’s journal) regarding the running of the fatal rapids without a scout. The only interpretation that occurs to me is that the redaction was a conscious effort to discredit Moffatt.
3. I possess no evidence that the two redactions were not independent events.
4. I possess no evidence that Grinnell had any knowledge of the bulk of the Sports Illustrated at any time prior to its publication.
5. But Grinnell, whose first Moffatt publication appeared in 1988, certainly contributed to the Epilogue of the Sports Illustrated article of 1959, as I now document.
Evidence 1.
Death by exposure, contrary to the popular myth, is not an easy thing. George Grinnell, writing later of the ordeal in the water, noted that “one does not simply go to sleep. He passes out from pain… [Epilogue on page 88 of SI article].
Evidence 2.
The Epilogue contains also material regarding events after the tragedy, namely the traverse of Aberdeen Lake, the encounter with the Inuit family, etc. The only plausible source for that information is Grinnell.
Aside. Pessl’s comments regarding the crossing of Aberdeen Lake; the reference is to the Epilogue of the SI article.
Pessl comment 1 regarding the traverse. …the account of our south to north traverse of Aberdeen Lake is … in error. A map of the lake shows a N-S oriented peninsula extending from the south shore, effectively dividing the lake into a west basin and an east basin. The only exposed, open water passage separating the two basins is less than 3 mi. wide. During our crossing we initially hugged the eastern shore of the peninsula, protected and ready to go ashore if conditions became adverse which they didn’t…
The epilogue account of this crossing is just … melodramatic b…t! Grinnell?? Curiously, there is no mention of our Aberdeen crossing in the 1st edition of “Death…”, only in the later editions.
[Pessl, private correspondence]
Pessl comment 2 regarding the traverse. With a strong south wind at our tail, we managed to reach the north shore of the lake before dusk.” [Pessl book, 19 September, p 136].
Summary.
The Sports Illustrated editor and Grinnell had certainly corresponded, perhaps met in person, before the publication of the SI article.
I possess no evidence that they had acted in concert regarding the redactions.
Their redactions may have misled the paddling community for decades regarding Moffatt’s decision to run the fatal rapids without a scout.
References.
Appendix 8. Other rapids.
Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.

The tipping point.
The publication of Grinnell’s book in 1996 marked the tipping point for the accusatory literature, not least because his book provided fresh and bountiful material for accusations.
But his book provided also much evidence of Moffatt’s innocence regarding accusations made later as well as before.
A prime example of the latter is his documentation of an abundance of food in the six weeks before the tragedy, especially the shooting of five caribou in that period. Over the ensuing weeks… we killed our third, fourth and fifth caribous…, the last on 5 September [Grinnell book, p 156]. In full defiance of that evidence, one defamer (whose primary source was Grinnell’s book) nevertheless asserted that The caribou were long gone.
Perhaps it bears repeating that the exculpatory evidence of Lanouette (as provided in the SI article) regarding Moffatt’s death was ignored
most notably by the SI editor her/himself,
indeed by every defamer who wrote later.
These matters aside, the Moffatt literature took off after the publication of Grinnell’s book.
Opinion.
The evidence suggests to me that it was both the content per se of Grinnell’s book, and also the accusatory reviews made of that book by James Murphy and Andrew MacDonald, that are largely responsible for much of the defamatory material that appeared in the years from 1996 to the present.

Summary of the evidentiary basis of the accusatory literature.

Opinion.
To me, the only material meriting the term evidence, reliable or not, indeed truthful or not, is that provided by the trip participants. The remainder is hearsay at best, unfortunately often less than such.

1955.
The exculpatory evidence of participant LeFavour was published in four newspaper articles. I possess only the third; I have full confidence in its contents. As has been the case for over 60 years, these articles are still inaccessible to the general public. That is, no Moffatt accuser could not have been expected to know of this evidence; indeed, I learned of them only through LeFavour and Pessl.
In short, LeFavour’s articles made no appearance in the Moffatt literature until I was able to publish contents of the third.
Summary. The accusatory literature has no evidentiary basis in LeFavour’s publications, which indeed exonerate Moffatt.

1959.
Given the SI editor’s actions documented only in part above (especially the redaction of the phrase Following Tyrrell’s route from Moffatt’s last journal entry), I have learned to place no confidence in any content of the SIarticle, except as verified in sources known to be reliable.
I comment that even passages alleged to be quotations from Moffatt’s journal cannot be trusted. Indeed, elsewhere I compare such passages with the originals, as provided by Pessl; to put the matter gently, the editor’s versions all too frequently fail to survive confrontation with the truth.

1959.
Some evidence of participant Lanouette was provided in the form of the condensation of his journal for 14 September 1955. [Sports Illustrated, p 85].
Given that (thanks to Lanouette) I possess his full journal for that day, I have full confidence in the SI condensation.
But not one defamer, most noteworthy of all the Sports Illustratededitor, mentioned this exculpatory evidence of Lanouette.
Summary.
The accusatory literature has no evidentiary basis in Lanouette’s journal, which indeed exonerates Moffatt.

1988.
Publication of Grinnell’s Canoe article.
Summary.
Given his actions as documented only in part above, I have learned to place no confidence in any content of Grinnell’s article, except as verified in sources known to be reliable. Indeed, much content of the article fades away to nothing when exposed to the light of the truth.

1996.
The publication of Grinnell’s book marked the tipping point in the accusatory literature, for it provided an abundance of material on which to build accusations. Even more so than in his article, truth is intermingled there with fabrication.
Moffatt’s later defamers made much use of the latter, little or none of the former.
Summary.
Given Grinnell’s actions as documented only in part above, I have learned to place no confidence in any content of that book, except as verified in sources known to be reliable. Indeed, too much content of his book fades away to nothing when exposed to the light of the truth.

1996.
But Grinnell’s book provided also the following two evidences of George Luste, who is a reliable source by any standard.
Item 1.
Moffatt’s later defamers ignored the following Luste comment (quoted also above) regarding the pre-1996 accusatory literature.
It seems as if a liberal amount of imagination has been invoked by these writers to change the facts so they fit their preoccupations and desires for culpability. [Grinnell book, p 294].
Comment. This is the first known defence of Moffatt regarding the running of the fatal rapids.
Item 2.
Moffatt’s later defamers ignored also the following Luste comment, an exculpatory one, regarding the running of the fatal rapids without a scout.
Art Moffatt, following Tyrrell’s notes, was not expecting the rapid in which he swamped and then died. [Grinnell book, p 284].
Comment regarding item 2. I suggest that Luste’s comment It seems as if a liberal amount of imagination…desires for culpability applies equally well to much of the post-Grinnell accusatory literature regarding the fatal rapids.
Question.
How would the later Moffatt literature have differed had these two Luste comments not been ignored?

2012, 2013 and 2014.
Publication of Kesselheim’s Canoe&Kayak article (with contributions from Pessl), Pessl’s Nastawgan article, and
Pessl’s book (which contains also the evidence of participant Franck).
I have learned to place full confidence in the evidence of both Pessl and Franck.
I believe that these three items appeared too late to influence the Moffatt literature.

Conclusion.
Given that the entire evidentiary basis of the accusatory literature (primary and secondary alike) consists of only the SI article (1959), Grinnell’s article (1988) and Grinnell’s book (1996),
and given that I have no confidence in any of the three (in the first instance),
it follows that I have no confidence in any of the accusatory literature (in the first instance).
In passing, I note that some Moffatt defamers made liberal use of their imaginations and of alternative facts.

Opinion.
Given the conclusion provided above, I suggest that the entire accusatory literature (primary and secondary alike) has no more substance than a house of cards.

The Murphy-MacDonald reviews of Grinnell’s book (1996).

Che-Mun, Canoelit section. Moffatt, Myth & Mysticism. Spring 1996, pp 5 & 11.
Comment.
These are not reviews in the usual sense, in that their authors express personal and highly negative opinions of Moffatt and his competence. And their remarks are not entirely relevant to the matter, in that reviewer Murphy devotes an entire paragraph to a discussion of whether Moffatt was a bodhisatva.
More importantly, much content of the Murphy-MacDonald “reviews” has no basis in evidence; indeed, much of that content has no basis in truth.

The assertions of James Murphy.
Grinnell and four other young men were led on a poorly planned and lackadaisically executed trip by Arthur Moffatt, an old and more experienced canoeist … Lack of food, proper equipment and most importantly, lack of a planned itinerary, contributed to his demise. As a canoeist, I enjoy cautionary tales and would recommend this one as an excellent example of how not to conduct a canoe trip.
[Che-Mun, Canoelit section. Moffatt, Myth & Mysticism. Spring 1996, pp 5 & 11.
Online version. http://www.canoe.ca/AllAboutCanoes/book_deathbarrens.html ]
1. Murphy’s assertion regarding food.
The evidence of all six trip participants (including Grinnell) regarding the food supply is provided in Appendix 6. Food.
Grinnell’s book (Murphy’s only source), it alone, documents a plethora of food (from the land as well from provisions) in the six weeks before Moffatt’s death.
Conclusion.
2. Murphy’s assertion that Lack of food contributed to Moffatt’s death has no basis in truth.
Murphy’s assertion regarding equipment.
The evidence is provided in Appendix 3. Equipment.
Personal comment. I believe that Luste, whom I knew reasonably well, would have been much angered had he known that his equipment recommendations for paddlers circa 1996 had been used to defame Moffatt, who died in 1955.
Conclusion.
Murphy’s assertion that lack of proper equipment contributed to Moffatt’s death has no basis in truth.
3. Murphy’s assertion regarding schedule (aka planned itinerary).
The corresponding evidence is provided in Appendix 7. Schedule.
Conclusion.
Murphy’s assertion that lack of a planned itinerary contributed to Moffatt’s death has no basis in truth.

The assertions of Andrew MacDonald.
Both assertions concern only the schedule (aka a pragmatic plan of travel).
Assertion 1.
As the summer-length trip wore on, and the progress of their three Chestnut canoes lapsed further and further behind schedule…
[Che-Mun, Canoelit section. Moffatt, Myth & Mysticism. Spring 1996, bottom of p 5.]
Assertion 2.
One of the implications of a quasi-religious resistance to a pragmatic plan of travel was the death of Arthur Moffatt.
Che-Mun, Canoelit section. Moffatt, Myth & Mysticism. Spring 1996, pp 5 & 11.
Comment.
I interpret MacDonald’s first passage as a statement that the Moffatt party had a schedule, the second that it did not. Given the apparent self-contradiction, I suppose that I could have dropped the matter, but I decided that I must address the second, lest it be accepted by the paddling community.
The corresponding evidence is provided in Appendix 7. Schedule.
Conclusion.
The assertionOne of the implications of a quasi-religious resistance to a pragmatic plan of travel was the death of Arthur Moffatt has no basis in evidence.

The Mahler – Thum articles (2005).

Texts identical at first glance were published both in
1. Che-Mun. Outfit 122, Autumn 2005, starting on page 4.
http://www.ottertooth.com/che-mun/122/chemun122.pdf
and in
2. Feature Story in the Advanced Paddler section at canoeing.com.
http://www.canoeing.com/advanced/feature/deadmansriver.htm
Comments.
In the following, Charlie Mahler (the author of the article/s) quotes comments of Thum. I don’t know whether those comments were made orally or in writing; neither do I know whether Thum approved the text.
For no particular reason, I quote passages from the Che-Mun version.

The Mahler-Thum sources.
Mahler (I consider him to be Thum’s sychophant) made no mention of sources.
Thum (the primary defamer here) provided the following.
There was nobody you could rely on… I had two things I could look forward to on the Dubawnt. One was Moffatt, and you couldn’t really get anything out of that, and the other was Tyrrell. I got a copy of his 1893 report and you could actually get a great deal of assistance out of his writing. And that was it. [p 5, lower middle and top right columns]
1. It is unclear what Thum meant by Moffatt.
Was he was referring to the Sports Illustrated article or to Moffatt’s journal (which survived the trip)? In response to Thum’s request for information, Pessl gave him the address of Carol Moffatt and suggested that he write her for a copy [Pessl, private correspondence]. I don’t know whether Thum followed through on Pessl’s suggestion.
Interpretation. Thum meant the Moffatt excerpts provided in the Sports Illustrated article.
2. It is unclear also what Thum meant by Tyrrell’s 1893 report.
I assume
first that Thum refers to Joseph Burr Tyrrell’s book (rather than James Williams Tyrrell’s book),
second that Thum had obtained a copy of JBT’s book (not easily accessible but much more accessible than JBT’s journal, which is known to contain important material not provided in the book; I refer especially his comment regarding the fatal rapids).

Thum, excerpt 1.
“Moffatt is precisely why we took the trip…I thought experienced trippers could cover Tyrrell’s route safely and skillfully, which we did.
Those guys had no business being up there… They were a bunch of guys who didn’t know what they were doing and led by a guy with poor leadership skills. They fooled around and did a lot of crap and it finally came back to bite them. This was simply a group of novices led by someone more interested in film than travel, which squandered its time and resources and then made some tragic mistakes…
[p 4, lower middle column and top right column]

Thum, excerpt 2.
That was kind of our approach to the trip—to get a lot of miles under the belt, get a lot of experience—and prepare ourselves accordingly… We wanted to avoid the situation that Moffatt got himself in where he had some experience, but not much. And he went with a bunch of guys that had very little experience. I think he’d gone down the Albany maybe two or three times. That’s a nice river, but not a terribly difficult trip. [p 4, lower right column]

Responses to excerpts 1 and 2.
1. From Moffatt is precisely why we took the trip, one gathers that Thum’s sole motivation in making the trip was to show up a dead man. If the reader will excuse a comment: such grace, such courage.
2. Moffatt was no novice, given that he had paddled the Albany six times (he guided five trips on it). As well, he had paddled the Allagash, Androscoggin and Penobscot rivers.
Neither were Pessl and Franck, for both had participated in those Albany trips.
Independent of their previous experience, was the party still a group of novices after having spent 11 weeks on a challenging river?
3. I suggest it relevant that the first and only dumps of the entire trip occurred in the rapids where Moffatt died.
4. The matters of experience and leadership are more fully addressed in Appendix 4. Experience.
Conclusion.
Thum’s gratuitous remarks no business being up there, some experience, but not much, poor leadership skills, group of novices and squandered its time and resources and then made some tragic mistakes misrepresented the cause of Moffatt’s death.

Thum, excerpt 3.
One of the canoes went over a rapids on the Churchill… We hadn’t scouted—a classic mistake—and there was a ledge that went about three-quarters of the way across the river. One boat went over. I thought that’s a pretty good lesson as far as not feeling better than the woods. [p 5, middle column]
Comment. I respect Thum for acknowledging the classic mistake</em; it was unnecessary for him to do so and it took guts.

Thum, excerpt 4.
We didn’t take a lot of chances… When we got on the Dubawnt trip, we took even fewer chances … There’s lots of opportunities to screw up there, and when you screw up like Moffatt did, when the water’s that cold, that can be the end of you…
There was nobody you could rely on… I had two things I could look forward to on the Dubawnt. One was Moffatt, and you couldn’t really get anything out of that, and the other was Tyrrell. I got a copy of his 1893 report and you could actually get a great deal of assistance out of his writing. And that was it.
[p 5, lower middle and top right columns]
Response 1.
As I remarked above, I assume that Tyrrell…1893 report, Thum means J B Tyrrell’s book.
Comment. Thum, being a lawyer, must have learned to read very carefully indeed. And so it beggars belief that Thum did not notice that Tyrrell’s book makes no mention of the rapids where Moffatt died. In the full face of that evidence, Thum nevertheless wrote when you screw up like Moffatt did.
Reference. Ancillary 3. Tyrrell excerpt.
Response 2.
As I remark above, I assume that the second Moffatt refers to the SI article.
Indeed, that article provides little information on the Dubawnt river, especially rapids.
But Thum learned there that the rapids just above Marjorie Lake are dangerous in the extreme, for Moffatt died in them. Had Thum paddled the Dubawnt with only Tyrrell’s book to guide him, he might have easily died in those rapids, just as did Moffatt.
Conclusions.
1. Given that Moffatt was misled by Tyrrell, Thum’s screw up accusation has no basis in truth.
2. It is perhaps no accident that Thum omitted mention of the fact that Moffatt died because he had been misled by Tyrrell.

Thum, excerpt 5.
Comment. Thum also approached members of the Moffatt group.
Graciously as always, Thum wrote I didn’t view them [the members of the Moffatt group] as being any kind of model for a tripper. Because of the historical perspective, I wanted to talk to them. Moffatt was gone. I found several of them. I tried to get a perspective on what they had done. [p 10, left column].
Background.
Thum failed to specify which members of the Moffatt party he had approached. As I document in the following, he had certainly been in contact with Lanouette and Pessl.
Lanouette.
Thum speaks to the matter. I … had read Joe Lanouette’s complete diary at his DC home in the spring of 1966… [Johnston, Brian (editor). On Top of a Boulder. Notes from Tyrrell’s Cairn., Johnston Pursuits (2014); p 21]
Response. Given Lanouette’s meticulous documentation of events even in the exceptionally trying circumstances on the day of Moffatt’s death, I (perhaps also the reader) should be much surprised if Lanouette’s complete diary had not provided Thum with like information for the entire trip.
Reference. Ancillary 2. Lanouette excerpt.
Pessl.
Because of its length (three and a half single-spaced pages), I provide below Pessl’s written response below, in Sub-Appendix 1.
Summary.
It was more than disingenuous of Thum to claim to have obtained only a historical perspective from Lanouette and Pessl.
Sub-Appendix 2 provides a personal opinion of Thum.

Mahler.
The contrasts between the Moffatt trip, as gleaned from the 1959 Sports Illustrated story and from the 1996 book “A Death on the Barrens” by Moffatt party member George Grinnell, and that of the Voyageurs Canadiens [sic!], could hardly be more stark. While the Moffatt story unfolds as a tragedy just waiting to happen – indifferent leadership, an inexperienced party, short rations, bad chemistry, a plodding pace, and an apparent apathy toward the season closing on them, — the Voyageurs Canadiens trip plays out like the final stage of the methodical, multi-year build-up that it was. [p 4, right column]

Response 1.
Mahler provided no evidence in support of either accusation indifferent leadership and an inexperienced party. The evidence presented in Appendix 4. Experience leads me to conclude that neither accusation is encumbered by a basis in truth.
With respect to experience, I mention explicitly only that the only two dumps of the entire trip occurred in the rapids where Moffatt died.

Response 2.
rations, in the form of both food from the land and provisions, were indeed short in the period from 3 July to 5 August, for two reasons.
(a) Moffatt had intended that the party live entirely off the initial supply of provisions (as I document elsewhere, his personal experience was that this could be done even on such a long trip).
(b) But he had severely underestimated the appetites of the five younger men.
The caribou.
Mahler made no mention of the fact that five caribou were shot in the crucial period from 5 August to 14 September, as documented in one of his two primary sources, namely the 1996 book “A Death on the Barrens” by Moffatt party member George Grinnell.
Other food from the land.
Neither did Mahler mention that many ptarmigan were shot, many fish were caught, and blueberries and mushrooms were harvested, in that crucial period, again all as documented in Grinnell’s book.
The following was not known to Mahler.
On 14 September, the party had so much caribou meat on board that it had no more need to hunt; as well, at lunch that same day, it caught 20 lb of lake trout.
Summary.
Mahler’s assertion regarding food has no basis in truth with respect to the cause of Moffatt’s death.
Reference.
Appendix 6. Food.

Response 3.
The accusation regarding pace is addressed in Appendix 5. Pace and weather.
I note here only that, on 14 September, the Moffatt party was on track to reach Baker Lake on or about 22 September (when the air search would have begun, indeed began).

Response 4.
Mahler provided no evidence to support his accusation regarding apathy.
The accusation has no basis in any evidence known to me.
Again, I refer the reader to Appendix 5. Pace and weather.
Perhaps I should mention explicitly that freeze-up would not occurred until well into October, as evinced in Appendix 5.

Response 5.
(a) I agree completely with Mahler on one point, namely that
The contrasts between the Moffatt trip on the one hand and that of the Thum trip on the other could hardly be more stark.
(b) Let Moffatt speak regarding why he chose to retrace the central portion of the Tyrrell-Tyrrell trip of 1893.
My purpose in going is to make a film in color, for lecture purposes—and I believe that with luck we shall have something unlike anything that has been done before. [Moffatt letter to J B Tyrrell, 14 December, 1954]
(c) Let Thum speak regarding why he chose to repeat the Moffatt trip.
Moffatt is precisely why we took the trip…I thought experienced trippers could cover Tyrrell’s route safely and skillfully, which we did.
Conclusion.
Thum’s sole purpose in making the trip was to show up a dead man.
Such grace, such courage!
(d) Moffatt was the very antithesis of the conquer-the-wilderness types, the ego-trippers, the self-promoters, the peak-baggers, the river-baggers, in short all those go into the wild with something to prove. [Grinnell article, p 20, left column; Grinnell book, pp 18-19].
Moffatt respected the land.
Moffatt was the very antithesis of Bob Thum.

Response 6.
Most importantly of all, Mahler got the cause of the tragedy completely wrong, as I document in Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.

Miscellaneous responses.
1. I expect that James Murphy would not approve of Thum’s decision not to use spray covers. Best that I not record my conjecture regarding Murphy’s possible response had that decision proved to be fatal.
Reference. Appendix 3. Equipment.
2. Thum does not accept that some of us paddle for reasons other than to prove themselves to themselves and others, that some of us actually respect the land. Moffatt, a pacifist who volunteered to serve in the war as an ambulance driver in a combat zone, had nothing but contempt for the likes of Thum, as I document in the Main text.
3. Moffatt’s goal was rather to document the barrenlands, perhaps to protect it, perhaps to establish himself as a writer and photographer. Unlike Thum, ego had no place in Moffatt’s thinking. Each was the very antithesis of the other. I respect Moffatt highly.

Summary of Mahler’s comments.
False accusations made of a dead man, fawning statements made of a live one.

The matter of Moffatt’s note at the cairn on Carey Lake.
Comment. This matter is addressed here in order not to break the flow of what follows.
Reference. Johnston, Brian (editor). On Top of a Boulder. Notes from Tyrrell’s Cairn., Johnston Pursuits (2014); p 21.
Begin Johnston passage, gently edited.
On the back side of the “Operation Thelon” note Moffatt wrote, “Moffatt party, August 8, 1955. First all-white party to follow Tyrrell’s route from Athabasca and Black Lake to Baker Lake—or at least this far. All is well—enough food—or almost enough.” [Sports Illustrated, top left of p 76],
Robert Thum’s 1966 first-hand experience recorded in his journal differs. Nearly 50 years later, Thum stated.
“I am certain that there was no writing on the Armstrong/Eade note other than what I copied into my diary. Given the care with which we generally proceeded and my close familiarity with details of Moffatt’s trip (I knew the SI article well and had read Joe Lanouette’s diary at his DC home in the spring of 1966), I would have surely photographed it and copied the text down in my diary. If, as the SI says, he wrote his note on the reverse side of Armstrong’s note then it had faded into oblivion by the time we arrived. More likely, I suspect, is that SI was wrong. Moffatt’s note was not mentioned in Lanouette’s diary or, for that matter, in George Grinnell’s later book.
End Johnston passage.
Pessl responds to Thum’s comment.
I am still troubled by Thum’s quote: “More likely, I suspect, SI was wrong.” Is he suggesting that the Moffatt party did not stop at the cairn? I have several minutes of 16mm. color film recording our visit, writing the note, just in case Thum has inspired doubt in the minds of some readers. [Pessl, private correspondence].

Thum and the fatal rapids.
1. What did Thum do when he came to those rapids above Marjorie Lake, the ones where Moffatt died?
He didn’t say.
2. If Thum had run those rapids successfully, I expect that, given his personality, he would have announced the fact, proudly and loudly.
He must have portaged them.
3. Why did Thum portage those rapids? After all, Tyrrell’s book says nothing about them, as the Moffatt party so sadly learned. Reference. Ancillary 3. Tyrrell excerpt.
He must have known them to be dangerous.
4. How did Thum know them to be dangerous?
Because Moffatt died in them.
Conclusion.
Given that Moffatt’s death perhaps saved his life, Thum was less than forthright when he accused Moffatt of incompetence.

Conclusions.
The evidence suggests to me that Mahler set out to construct a case against Moffatt.
The evidence convinces me that Thum set out to construct a case against Moffatt.
Neither Mahler nor Thum is a credible source with respect to the Moffatt story.

Kingsley’s publications and sources.

Preliminary comments.
Kingsley published two articles plus a book in which the Moffatt trip is mentioned.
None of three provides or refers to evidence in support of the accusations; that is, all contain nothing but selected phrases and assertions.
Some content appears in more than one of the three publications. I such instances, I file it and my response/s under the later publication only.
Kingsley’s publications.
Publication 1.
In a most dreadful sort of paradise. Up Here. May 2012; pp 88, 90 & 91.
http://www.jenniferkingsley.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/looking-back-May-2012-Moffatt-pdf-.pdf
Publication 2.
Back and Beyond. Lake. Issue 6 (2013); pp 12-14.
http://www.jenniferkingsley.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Lake_Back-and-Beyond_2011pdf.pdf
Publication 3.
Paddle North. Adventure, Resilience and Renewal in the Arctic Wild. Greystone Books, Vancouver/Berkeley (2014).
Kingsley’s sources.
Sources were not identified in any of the three publications.
The primary source is easily identified to have been Grinnell’s book (1996).
The second source was the Sports Illustrated article (1959), this from the running scared quote that appears in SI article [entry for 10 September, middle of the right column, p 82] and also in Kingsley’s Up Here article [toward the top of p 91].
The third source was Grinnell’s Canoe article (1988), this primarily from Kingsley’s assertions regarding holidays.
The fourth source, a minor one, was Kesselheim’s Canoe&Kayakarticle (2012), this from the remark at the top of p 220 of Kingsley’s book.

Kingsley’s Up Here article.

Source. In a most dreadful sort of paradise. Up Here. May 2012; pp 88, 90 & 91.
http://www.jenniferkingsley.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/looking-back-May-2012-Moffatt-pdf-.pdf

Up Here. Assertion 1.
When Arthur Moffatt set off for the Barrenlands, he envisioned a land of plenty. He was plenty wrong. [Up Here heading, left column on p 88].
Comment.
Kingsley provided neither source nor evidence for the assertion that Moffatt had envisioned a land of plenty.
Rebuttal 1. Moffatt’s planning.
The following is excerpted from Moffatt’s letter of 14 January 1955 to J B Tyrrell.
I believe that by restricting our diet to oatmeal, hardtack, bully beef, dried potatoes and macaroni, we ought to be able to feed four men well enough for the three months we expect to be on the barrens. I’ve eaten worse food longer and survived.
Reference. Ancillary 7. The Moffatt-Tyrrell correspondence.
That is, Moffatt had planned to obtain no food at all from the land.
Comment. Although fish were caught, food was often short in the period before 5 August (when the first caribou was shot), the main reason being that Moffatt had severely underestimated the appetites of the youngsters.
Rebuttal 2. Food from the land after 5 August.
Although short at times, food from the land was abundant on the whole in the period from 5 August to 14 September. I refer the reader to the evidence of participants Moffatt, Grinnell, Lanouette, Pessl and Franck, as provided in Sub-Appendices 4a, 4b and 4c of Appendix 6. Food.
In particular, Grinnell’s book (Kingsley’s primary source) documents the shooting of five caribou (the first on 5 August, the last on 5 September), plus a plethora of other food (three species of fish, many ptarmigan, mushrooms and blueberries) from the land, in this period.
But Kingsley made no mention of Grinnell’s documentation of this copious supply of food from the land. Indeed, Kingsley asserted elsewhere that the caribou were long gone.
Rebuttal 3. Provisions.
The need to conserve provisions for the entire trip of ~11 weeks is the very reason for the many concerns regarding provisions that Moffatt expressed in his journal, as reported in the Sports Illustrated article (possessed by Kingsley).
That need to conserve provisions for the entire trip is of course one reason that food was short in the period before 5 August, when the first caribou was shot; the other is that Moffatt had underestimated the appetites of his five younger companions.
The need to conserve provisions vanished on 7 September, when the cache was discovered and its considerable contents (24 one-pound tins) were added to the supply.
This addition in the supply is documented in both the SI article (lower left column on p 82) and in Grinnell’s book (p 180).
But Kingsley, who possessed both the SI article and Grinnell’s book, made no mention of this major addition to the supply of provisions.
Summary.
1. A reminder of Kingsley’s assertion 1.
When Arthur Moffatt set off for the Barrenlands, he envisioned a land of plenty. He was plenty wrong.
Response 1. Moffatt had planned to obtain no food at all from the land.
Response 2. Nevertheless, the Moffatt party found the land to be indeed one of plenty, on the whole, in the six weeks before 14 September, as evinced by both of Kingsley’s primary sources, namely Grinnell’s book and the Sports Illustrated article.
But Kingsley made no mention of this plethora of food from the land. Indeed, Kingsley asserted the very opposite, as I document also in Assertion 2 (especially regarding the caribou) below.
2. Moffatt did not expect the major resupply of provisions obtained on 7 September, as documented in Grinnell’s book [pp 180-181], Kingsley’s primary source.
But Kingsley made no mention of this resupply of provisions.
Conclusion.
Neither part of Kingsley’s assertion When Arthur Moffatt set off for the Barrenlands, he envisioned a land of plenty. He was plenty wrong is encumbered by a basis in truth.

Up Here. Assertion 2.
After the first two weeks, the crew grew hungry before, during and after each meal. [upper right column on p 90].
Response.
I refer the reader to my discussion (below) of the similar passage in Kingsley’s Lake article (Assertion 1 there, at last count).

Up Here. Assertions 3a and 3b.
Assertion 3a.
I refer the reader to the paragraph (above) Up Here, assertion 1. for a discussion of the comment regarding lack of provisions [lower right column on p 90].
Conclusion.
Assertion 3a is unencumbered by a basis in truth.
Assertion 3b.
I refer the reader to the paragraph (below) Paddle North. Assertion 7… for a discussion of the assertion The caribou were long gone [lower right column on p 90].
Conclusion.
Assertion 3b is unencumbered by a basis in truth.

Up Here. Assertion 4.
On September 10, he [Moffatt] wrote “We’re all running scared.”. [Up Here, middle of p 91].
Responses.
1. Kingsley did not identify the source, which was the Sports Illustrated article, page 82 (middle of the right column).
2. The quote is faithful but the interpretation of it is unclear, as I document in the paragraph Comment regarding Moffatt’s We’re all running scared. of Ancillary 1.
3. As remarked also above, the quote evinces that Kingsley had access to the SI article as well as to Grinnell’s book.

Kingsley’s Lake article.

Comments.
No Bibliography was provided.
Most of the article describes the author’s Bailey-Back trip of 2005; a part is devoted to an incident involving the loss of a canoe by a Widjiwagan party that year.
Comments regarding the Moffatt trip appear on pages 12-14; the unspecified source for them can be only Grinnell’s book.

Lake. Assertion 1.
As the summer wore on, the men grew hungry before, during and after every meal. Hunting kept the party fed through August as supplies ran down. [Lake, p 13; a variant is given in Up Here, top of right column on p 90]
Response 1.
The statement As the summer…each meal. is a faithful but unreferenced version of the passage As the days passed into weeks…we felt hungry before, after, and during meals. [Grinnell book, p 23].
Response 2.
This remark of Grinnell was made with reference to the period before 5 August, when the first caribou was shot. In that period, food was indeed short, first because Moffatt had planned to complete the entire trip solely with provisions on board from the very first day, second because he had underestimated the appetites of the five younger men.
Response 3.
But from 5 August to 14 September, food from the land (five caribou, many ptarmigan, many fish, blueberries and mushrooms) was bountiful on the whole in the six weeks before the tragedy.
But Kingsley omitted all mention of this evidence of Grinnell’s book.
Response 4.
Provisions (aka supplies) indeed ran down as they were consumed; they could scarcely do otherwise. But Kingsley omitted mention of the bounty of provisions obtained from the cache, this on 7 September, this evinced in Kingsley’s primary source, Grinnell’s book [p 180].
Summary.
Kingsley suggests that a shortage of food was responsible in part for Moffatt’s death.
In rather sharp contrast, Grinnell’s book (Kingsley’s primary source) evinces that food, in the form of both provisions and food from the land, was bountiful in the six weeks before the tragedy.
Aside./strong>
The following was not known by Kingsley, nor could it have been known, but at lunch on 14 September the party had so much caribou meat on board that it had no need to hunt again; and, to that supply, it added 20 lb of trout.
Conclusion.
Kingsley misrepresented the evidence regarding the food supply (both from the land and from provisions) in the crucial six weeks before Moffatt’s death.

Lake. Assertion 2.
Group dynamics became increasingly strained, and the men grew suspicious of each other. [Lake, p 13]
Response 1.
Because food was short (due to the need to conserve provisions) in the period before the shooting of the first caribou on 5 August, I think it entirely fair to state that relations were strained in that early period.
Response 2.
But I know no evidence that relations were strained in the vital period between 5 August and 14 September.
Response 3.
Perhaps many readers have been on trips where group dynamics became strained at one time or another.
Conclusion.
Should it be applied to the crucial period between 5 August and 14 September, Assertion 2 misrepresents the evidence.

Lake. Assertion 3.
By August 29th, three days before they were due to arrive in Baker Lake, they had travelled barely half the length of the Dubawnt. The men were hungry and hundreds of miles from their destination. [Kingsley, in Lake, p 13]
The evidence regarding hunger on that very day.
Bruce and I cut up the caribou meat and cooked dinner for Art as he was still out with his camera. [Franck, 29 August; in Pessl, p 110].
General response regarding hunger in the six weeks before Moffatt’s death.
I refer the reader to Appendix 6. Food for the evidence, in particular that of Grinnell’s book (Kingsley’s primary source) that food was plentiful in those weeks.
Response regarding the time remaining.
In his book (Kingsley’s primary source), Grinnell asserted repeatedly and incorrectly (perhaps knowingly) that arrival in Baker Lake was scheduled for 2 September.
But Kingsley made no mention of contrary evidence in her/his secondary source, namely the Sports Illustrated article. I refer here to the evidence of the New York Times article, namely that the party had been expected to arrive in Baker Lake on or about 15 September.
Reference. Appendix 7. Schedule.
Response regarding the distance remaining.
Kingsley was misled by multiple incorrect statements that the length of the trip from Black Lake to Baker Lake was almost 900 miles; that distance was actually ~680 miles (~1,100 km).
The prime example of the incorrect value is Moffatt’s Prospectus [Sports Illustrated, p 71]
In fact, the distance yet to be travelled on 29 August was ~255 miles, rather than the ~450 miles justly believed by Kingsley.
Reference. Ancillary 4. Distances.

Lake. Assertion 4.
The Moffatt expedition was clearly unprepared in the material sense. Not enough food–neither in quantity nor quality. [Lake, p 14]
Conjecture.
The unspecified inspiration for the passage Not enough food–neither in quantity nor quality was Luste’s comment The Moffatt party was woefully short of provisions and caloric energy sustenance… [Grinnell book, p 288].
The quantity of the food.
Provisions.
The Moffatt party started out with as much in the way of provisions as it could carry, given the need to carry the film and the camera equipment (filming and photography were the very reasons that the trip was undertaken!), not to mention stay afloat. Based on his experience (which was considerable, the assertion of defamer Bob Thum to the contrary) in outfitting trips, Moffatt had reason to believe that the provisions on board from the beginning would suffice for the entire trip.
I believe that by restricting our diet to oatmeal, hardtack, bully beef, dried potatoes and macaroni, we ought to be able to feed four men well enough for the three months we expect to be on the barrens. I’ve eaten worse food longer and survived. [Moffatt letter to J B Tyrrell, 14 January 1955]
That is, Moffatt had reason to believe that he had provided enough in the way of food for the entire trip. But in this he was indeed plenty wrong, for the appetites of the five younger men far exceeded his expectations. I address this matter below, in Sub-Appendix 1. Food planning and supply, plus general remarks.
And so Kingsley is correct in stating that not enough provisions had been provided initially. The boats could have carried little more in the way of provisions, as indeed recognized by Kingsley. The weather kicked up, and the overloaded canoes took on water every time the group tried to embark. [Kingsley book, top of p 185; also Up Here, p 88, top of right column].
In the period before 5 August, provisions were rationed and food from the land, though acquired, was insufficient to make up the difference. That is, before 5 August, members of the party were just plain hungry much of the time.
But, in all three publications (the two articles and the book), Kingsley made no mention of the massive resupply of provisions from the cache on 7 September, as documented in both of Kingsley’s major sources, the Sports Illustrated article and Grinnell’s book.
I suggest this to be an important omission.
Food from the land.
Nowhere in those three publications did Kingsley mention the massive supply of food (five caribou, many fish, many ptarmigan, blueberries and mushrooms) acquired from the land in the period from 5 August to 14 September, all as documented in Kingsley’s primary source, namely Grinnell’s book.
I suggest this to be an important omission.
Conclusion regarding the quantity of the food.
The quantity part of Kingsley’s assertion Not enough food… has no basis in evidence.
The quality of the food.
Kingsley doesn’t enlighten us in what respect the food was insufficient in quality. In the evidence known to me, I see nothing at all clear regarding the quality of the food.
Let me speculate that Kingsley alleges a lack of fat.
Reference. Sub-Appendix 2. Fat and other food with high caloric content of
Appendix 6. Food.
Comments.
I doubt that the provisions provided much in the way of caloric energy sustenance.
I don’t know that the importance of fat was known to paddlers in 1955.
I lack the background in nutrition science to assess whether sufficient fat was obtained from these sources.
I don’t know whether Kingsley has the professional qualifications to judge the matter.
I don’t know whether early expeditions, for example the Tyrrell-Tyrrell trip of 1893, suffered from lack of fat.
In the period from 3 July to 4 August, the Moffatt party caught a good many fish. More importantly, in the period from 5 August to 14 September, it obtained many more fish and it shot five caribou. Certainly some fat was obtained from those sources.
Conclusion regarding the quality of the food.
The quality part of Kingsley’s assertion Not enough food… has no basis in evidence.
Conclusion.
No part of Kingsley’s assertion The Moffatt expedition was clearly unprepared in the material sense. Not enough food–neither in quantity nor quality has a basis in evidence.
The question.
Why did Kingsley make this assertion if not to suggest that both lacks played a role in Moffatt death?
The sole cause of the tragedy was rather incorrect information provided by J B Tyrrell.
Reference. Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.

Kingsley’s book of 2014.

Paddle North. Adventure, Resilience and Renewal in the Arctic Wild. Greystone Books, Vancouver/Berkeley (2014).
Both Endnotes and a Bibliography are provided. Remarks regarding the Moffatt expedition are confined to pages 185-189 and page 220.
Again, Kingsley’s sources were the Sports Illustrated article (1959), Grinnell’s Canoe article (1988), Grinnell’s book (1996), and Kesselheim’s Canoe&Kayakarticle (2012).

Paddle North. Assertion 1. Every possible day.
They would need every possible day if they were going to make it down the Dubawnt River to Baker Lake, 1,400 kilometers distant, before cold and hunger overtook them. [Kingsley book, middle of p 185]; also Up Here, p 88].
Responses.
1. The assertion They would need every possible day is but hyperbole. Even with the days spent filming and photography, even with the bad weather and so the forced layover days, even with the tragedy, the party reached Baker Lake on 24 September, two days after the outer limit set by Moffatt, as I document in Appendix 7. Schedule.
2. The distance of 1,400 kilometers is too large by ~300 km, as I document in Ancillary 4. Distances.
But no fault attaches to Kingsley, who was doubly misled here.
(i) The incorrect figure of 900 miles (~1,400 km) appears in both the New York Times article and Moffatt’s Prospectus [Sports Illustrated, p 71], and elsewhere. Moffatt had originally intended to continue down the Thelon River (past Baker Lake) to Chesterfield Inlet, a distance of ~900 miles (my measurement gave ~860 miles, ~1,380 km). But, well before the trip started, he decided to exit instead at Baker Lake. The distance to be travelled was then ~680 miles (~1,100 km).
(ii) Kingsley was misled also by Grinnell’s frequent and false statements that the party was scheduled to arrive in Baker Lake on 2 September. It was well known to all members of the party (including Grinnell) that Moffatt had scheduled arrival in Baker Lake on 15 September, with a grace period of seven days.

Paddle North. Assertion 2. The challenge.
Privately, he [Moffatt] wondered if his group was up to the challenge. [Kingsley book, lower part of p 185; also Up Here, p 88].
Response. Kingsley identified no source for this remarkable insight into the workings of Moffatt’s mind, and I found no corroborating evidence in all my reading.
Conclusion..
Excessive imagination.

Paddle North. Assertion 3. The insurance policy.
The remark he had doubled his life insurance policy [Kingsley book, p 186] is an unevinced assertion for which Grinnell is entirely responsible, this in connection with his suggestions that Moffatt was suicidal.
The assertion is addressed in the paragraph Lesser statements by Grinnell, below.

Paddle North. Assertion 4. Hunger.
They weren’t far from Black Lake … when the hunger began. [Kingsley book, bottom of p 186; also Up Here, top of the left column on p 90].
Responses.
1. The Moffatt party was indeed hungry from the start of the trip (or very close to it) until 5 August, but the hunger was never serious.
2. But Kingsley failed to mention that the hunger all but ceased on 5 August, when the first caribou was shot. As documented in Grinnell’s book (Kingsley’s primary source), five caribou were shot in the six weeks between 5 August and 14 September, and a plethora of other food (fish, ptarmigan, blueberries, mushrooms) was obtained from the land.
3. And Kingsley failed to mention also that a bountiful supply of provisions was obtained from the cache, this on 7 September. That evidence was documented in both Kingsley’s major sources, Grinnell’s book and the SI article.
4(a). The party suffered from hunger on 22 August?
I was not feeling too well today, probably from eating too much caribou yesterday, … [Franck, in Pessl, p 99].
4(b). The party suffered from hunger on 28 August?
We … were so full we could hardly move. [Franck, in Pessl, p 108]
4(c). The party suffered from hunger on 30 August?
…I had prepared such a huge breakfast that none of us could have moved much further than the tents anyway. I felt as if I would have crashed right through the bottom of the canoe and sunk like a stone if we would have been loading. [Pessl, p 110]
5. But there were times when bellies were not full in the period between 5 August and 14 September.
6. Hunger returned after the tragedy, for most of the plentiful supply of food on board was lost then; thereafter, food was short and less than appetizing until the Inuit party gracefully provided caribou stew.
Request.
Let the reader to decide whether the evidence of Appendix 6. Food is fairly represented by Kingsley’s They weren’t far from Black Lake … when the hunger began.

Paddle North. Assertion 5. Paradise.
Assertion 5a.
By August, Grinnell and most of the others had succumbed to a sort of delusion. They felt they were in paradise. [Kingsley book (bottom of p 187); also Up Here (middle of right column on p 90)].
Assertion 5b.
He [Grinnell] wrote that “Death in paradise seemed preferable to life in civilization.” [Up Here, top of p 91].
Kingsley’s source
for both items can have been only the passage …death in this beautiful paradise had seemed preferable to life in the seven deadly sins of civilization… [Grinnell book, middle of p 168]
Response to Assertions 5a and 5b.
Perhaps, perhaps not, Grinnell had succumbed to a sort of delusion.
But Kingsley provided no evidence to support the assertion that most of the others, especially Moffatt, had done so. Indeed, that assertion has no known basis in truth. Should delusion exist, it lies not with Moffatt.
Assertion 5c.
Referring to Moffatt, Kingsley wrote He’d passed though paradise and found something darker on the other side. [Kingsley book, top of p 189; also Up Here, middle of p 91].
Response 1 to Assertion 5c.
Given that Kingsley provided neither source nor evidence for this remarkable insight into the workings of Moffatt’s mind, and that I have found none in all my reading, I conclude that Assertion 5c has no known basis in truth.
Response 2 to Assertion 5c.
Should the source have been The reality I had discovered was the reality of the Garden of Eden, the most beautiful reality I have ever experienced [Grinnell book, p 156], I point out that these are the words of Grinnell, referring to himself. I suggest it to misrepresent the evidence to suggest that they are the words of Moffatt, referring to himself.
Reference. Appendix 1. Reality.

Paddle North. Assertion 6. Holidays.
For half of August, they voted to take “holidays” and went nowhere. [Kingsley book, middle of p 188; also Up Here, lower right column on p 90].
Kingsley’s unidentified source is likely to have been Grinnell’s article (1988). The assertion appears to be an amalgam (albeit a strange one) of the following comments:
(a) …last days of August…averaging one every other day [Grinnell article, p 21, left column] and
(b) holidays on more than half the days of the trip. [Grinnell article, p 56, right column].
Comments.
The evidence of Pessl falsifies both Grinnell accusations, and so falsifies Assertion 6.
The truth is rather that not a single holiday, in the too-lazy-to-paddle sense, was taken on the entire trip. Every non-paddling day was occasioned by the weather or was taken to accomplish the very purpose of the trip, namely to document the barrenlands.
Conclusion.
Kingsley was misled by Grinnell.
References.
Appendix 2. Holidays and also Pessl’s book, pp 181&182.

Paddle North. Assertion 7. three days…half the distance.
By August 29, three days before they’d planned to complete the trip, they had travelled barely half the distance. The caribou were long gone, the weather changed overnight, and the men were trapped on the land. Dreams of plenty were a thing of the past. [Kingsley book, middle of p 188; also Up Here, lower right column on p 90 ].
This is a major expansion of Kingsley’s statement in Lake, middle of p 13.
(a) For a discussion of the passage three days…half the distance, I refer the reader to my discussion of Kingsley’s assertion 3.
With respect to the time, Kingsley was misled by assertions of Grinnell. I mention though the evidence of the New York Times article (in Kingsley’s secondary source, the Sports Illustrated article), that the party had been expected to arrive in Baker Lake on or about 15 September.
The distance.
Kingsley was misled by assorted such statements in the literature, including that in Moffatt’s Prospectus (as published in the SI article).
(b) Kingsley’s primary source was Grinnell’s book. There, he records the shooting of five caribou in the six weeks before the tragedy: Over the ensuing weeks… we killed our third, fourth and fifth caribous…, the last on 5 September [Grinnell book, p 156].
Conclusion. Kingsley’s assertion that The caribou were long gone has no basis in truth.
(c) More generally, Grinnell’s book (again, Kingsley’s primary source) documents that the land was indeed one of plenty (caribou, ptarmigan, three species of fish, blueberries and mushrooms) in the six weeks before the tragedy.
(d) The Moffatt party still had provisions left over from the initial supply, and it acquired more from the cache on 7 September [Grinnell book, p 180].
But Kingsley made no mention of this acquisition in her/his primary source.
(e) Kingsley did not know the following. At lunch on 14 September, the party enough caribou meat on board that it had no need to hunt again; as well, it added 20 lb of lake trout at that time. [LeFavour, Sub-Appendix 4c of Appendix 6].
Reference. Appendix 6. Food.
(f) A minor item. That the men were trapped on the land is gratuitous hyperbole.

Paddle North. Assertion 8. grubs and cysts.
The remaining caribou steaks were “full of grubs and cysts of one kind or another…”[Kingsley book, p 188].
The unidentified source.
We cut up the loins for steaks. They were full of grubs and cysts of one kind or another, but who cares about tapeworm or worse when fresh meat as good as this is on hand and has not been for 30 days?” [12 August, Sports Illustrated, p 76, left column].
A minor point. Kingsley’s August 29 is incorrect.
Response.
I agree completely with Kingsley; that is tacky food indeed.
Interpretation.
Given that the second caribou was shot on 11 August, Moffatt must refer here to the first (shot on 5 August); I gather that it had not aged gracefully.
Opinion.
The 30 days is an exaggeration on Moffatt’s part, given that the first caribou (shot on 5 August) must have tasted mighty good.
For the record,
caribou were shot on 5 August, 11 August, 20 August, 26 August and 5 September.
Reference. Appendix 6. Food.

Paddle North. Assertion 9. Taking blame.
He [Moffatt] refused to take blame for their food situation. [Kingsley book, later on p 188]
Response 1.
Moffatt refused to take blame
for the plethora of food obtained from the land in the six weeks before the tragedy? [Kingsley’s primary source, Grinnell book, p 156, etc.]
Response 2.
Moffatt refused to take blame
for the massive resupply of provisions obtained from the cache on 7 September?
Kingsley omitted all mention of this resupply, which was documented in both Kingsley primary sources, Grinnell’s book (pp 180 & 181) and the Sports Illustrated article (p 82].
Response 3.
Moffatt refused to take blame
for the fact that, on the day that he died, the party had so much caribou meat on board that it had no need to hunt again? And, for good measure, the party caught 20 lb of lake trout at lunchtime. [LeFavour, private correspondence, 2015].
In fairness, I point out that Kingsley could not have known of this evidence of LeFavour.
Reference. Appendix 6. Food.

Paddle North. Assertion 10. The death of Arthur Moffatt.
(a) …All three boats plunged over a waterfall the paddlers hadn’t bothered to scout. [Kingsley Up Here article, middle of p 91, 2012]
(b) The men talked less and took more risks. On September 14th,… all three boats plunged over two sets of waterfalls the paddlers hadn’t bothered to scout…. [Kingsley book, top of p 189, 2014]
Comment.
In fairness, I mention the possibility that Kingsley was misled by Grinnell (who redacted those three key sentences from Lanouette’s journal) and by the SI editor (who redacted the phrase Following Tyrrell’s route from Moffatt’s journal for 13 September).
Kingsley possessed both these sources.
Response 1.
Nevertheless, Kingsley (whose primary source was Grinnell’s book) made no mention of the following exculpatory comment of Luste.
Art Moffatt, following Tyrrell’s notes, was not expecting the rapid in which he swamped and then died [Grinnell book, p 284]
Response 2.
Nevertheless, Kingsley made no mention either of Luste’s opinion of accusations made of Moffatt, this also with respect to the fatal rapids, this also in Grinnell’s book (again, Kingsley’s primary source).
It seems as if a liberal amount of imagination has been invoked by these writers to change the facts so they fit their preoccupations and desires for culpability. [Grinnell book, p 294].
Reference. Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.

Paddle North. Assertion 11. Reality.
When the five young men stumbled into Baker Lake, an RCMP officer made a quick assessment. “So”, he said, “you lost your sense of reality.” [Kingsley book, bottom of p 189; also Up Here, bottom of p 91].
Responses.
The passage is a faithfully edited (but unreferenced) version of Grinnell’s remarks in both his article [1988, p 56) and his book (1996, pp 2 & 44)].
But the context (omitted by Kingsley) is significant. In particular, contrary to what one might conclude from the quote, no member of the Moffatt party lost…sense of reality at any time.
The evidence provided in Appendix 1. Reality suggests that it is a misrepresentation to quote the phrase lost…sense of reality out of the context provided in Grinnell’s publications.

Closing remarks.
1. Although Kingsley’s publications have yet to impact the accusatory literature, I thought it necessary to address them in full, lest they be accepted and used by later defamers.
2. In fairness, I point out that Kingsley made no mention of the passage …the impending disaster which Art and the rest of us were so obviously courting [Grinnell book, p 167]

Conclusion.
Both the number and the character of the accusations convince me that Kingsley, in both articles and also in the book, made a conscious effort to construct a case against Moffatt.

Lesser statements by Grinnell.

General items.

A general comment by Pessl regarding accusations in Grinnell’s book.
There’s a fine line between poetic license and documentation. Unfortunately, I think Grinnell crossed that line with fabrications and misrepresentations. It’s too bad that Art’s reputation was based on that. [Pessl, in Canoe&Kayak, p 52 (2012)]
Jacobs comment.
Grinnell’s redaction (this not known by Pessl; documented above) of exculpatory evidence in Lanouette’s journal is considerably more serious than a fabrication or a misrepresentation.

Was Moffatt suicidal?
Noteworthy items in Grinnell’s book are multiple suggestions, thinly veiled, that Moffatt was suicidal.

General response 1 by Pessl.
(a) Art Moffatt was not suicidal as Grinnell suggests. Throughout the summer he made frequent reference to plans for the future and the anticipated pleasure of seeing his family again. On July 23, Peter’s journal describes a conversation in which he and Art discussed Art’s plan for an outdoor film project in the Sierra two years after the Dubawnt project.
(b) On August 12, Moffatt wrote: “Cold too, now, but I love these evenings alone by the fire, later at night and early in the morning I smoke, drink tea, think of home, Carol, Creigh, Debbo…of my new study and of the children there with me when I get back, and the stories I’ll be able to tell them about all my adventures in the North…shooting rapids and the time I saw the wolves, white ones, and the caribou and moose and fish and birds.”
Certainly not a suicidal state of mind.
And I cannot imagine ever having said, “You were right all along, George.”

[Pessl’s Nastawgan article, pp 8&9]
Comment. The last item (“You…George”) refers to page 224 of Grinnell’s book.

General response 2 by Pessl.
On the end pages of his journal book Art compiled a to-do list of plans and chores upon his return:
“Wire Carol from Churchill or Winnipeg, probably Winnipeg, after seeing Wilson of the Beaver. Sell him an article or two, plus a cover and talk to him about film. Ask Carol to come to Mount Royal, Windsor or Laurentides…get reservations, bring me clothes. Have a long weekend up there… If I get Toronto in a.m., can see Star during day… see John Coleman, CNR public relations…suggest press conference. Get him to notify Time-Life Bureau, or do it myself.”
Clearly, these are not the thoughts of a man who has abandoned hope and does not expect to see his family or associates again.

[Pessl book, p 166]
Jacobs comment. The Beaver is the former name of what is now the magazine Canada’s History.
http://www.canadashistory.ca/Community/PresidentsMessage/February-2010/Happy-90th-Birthday-Beaver-magazine.aspx
Jacobs speculation. Wilson and Moffatt had arranged to meet in Winnipeg, on Moffatt’s way home, and discuss a Beaver article describing the trip.

General response 3 by Pessl.
Before we left the States,…Art and Carol had recently completed a remodel of their…home…He was anxious to return from the Dubawnt journey with as much raw material as possible and then get started with the professional preparation of his journey accounts.
[Pessl book, p 167]

The filming/photography.

Grinnell’s comments.
1. The movie was not working out. To be a good wildlife photographer, one has to sit and wait like a hunter; and we did not have time to sit and wait. If we waited, we would be caught in the autumn freeze-up. …Art had not captured on film anything that would pay enough to feed his family when the expedition was over. [Grinnell book, p 50]
2. Winter was closing in; and as yet, Art had captured on film nothing that would feed his family. … His only hope was to stall around waiting for something to photograph. The more he stalled, the more likely he would be able to feed his family one way or another, for he had doubled his life insurance before coming on the trip: and what people pay money to watch on television is not so much life as death. … The movie provided hope for Art, …but failing that, he preferred death in the wilderness to life in the rat race [book, p 176]
3. If his movie failed, he was as good as dead anyway. [book, p 180]

Pessl’s response.
Grinnell’s suggestion that “the movie was not working out: and that …Art had not captured on film anything that would pay enough to feed his family” is curious and seriously misunderstands the objectives of the film project. Our photographic mission was not to film wildlife in the traditional professional strategy of sitting concealed, waiting for the perfect shot as Grinnell asserts. We were filming a canoe journey along a transect that reflected remarkable changes in the wildlife and natural history of the region. It was the journey that mattered and it was the context of that journey that we were committed to record. As even the most amateur moviemaker knows, exposed raw film footage is just the beginning of the moviemaking process. It is true that we didn’t get a shot of a grizzly’s ear or some other spectacular wildlife close-up, but to suggest therefore that the film was a failure and thereby contributed to some deadly depression is absurd.
More importantly, the unsupported assertion that Art was consciously “stalling” so that he could chance on some remarkable wildlife photography is outrageous. Art and I were transparently committed to filming the entire journey; we were not “waiting for something to photograph”. Art was out with the camera whenever he had the opportunity, often in the morning before others were up, or while I was cooking breakfast. And throughout the day, traveling or not, our priority was to get that shot, record that moment, preserve that feeling of being on this amazing adventure. To suggest that Art was stalling is unpardonable.
[Pessl book, pp 166-167]

Jacobs response.
Where is the evidence,
first that Moffatt had captured nothing yet (Grinnell provides no date),
second that Moffatt was stalling, waiting for something to photograph (also no date),
third, and by far most important, that Moffatt had pinned his entire life to the success of the film and so that he preferred to die rather than return empty-handed?
Did not a dead man (a trip companion no less!) deserve better than these gratuitous assertions? Did he not deserve that some evidence be provided for them?

Response.
There exists no evidence to support the three accusations
(a) The movie not working out,
(b) His only hope was to stall around waiting for something to photograph…he preferred death in the wilderness to life in the rat race and
(c) If his movie failed, he was as good as dead anyway.
In fact, Pessl provides evidence that falsifies them. I must add however that they had no known effect on the later accusatory literature.
In short, the evidence leads me to conclude that all three accusations have no basis in truth.

Other items in Grinnell’s book.

Item 1.
Art put a brave face on our situation, but inwardly he was not laughing.
“I felt sad, apprehensive and gloomy,” Art wrote on the eve of our departure, while the rest of us followed him around with smiles on our faces, believing he would carry us through all adversity.
[Grinnell book, p 10. The date must have been 2 July, for the party started out on 3 July, as evinced on p 27 of Pessl’s book]
Pessl’s response.
Actually that quote was from Art’s journal entry for June 16 … in which he describes his feelings as he stands on the station platform … at White River Junction, Vermont… The quote had nothing to do with our situation at Black Lake. [Pessl, pp 164-165]

Item 2. The canoe.
Comment. This not-so-important item is mentioned only for completeness.
The passage from Grinnell’s book.
”Rather a clear dream,” he had written in his diary.
The day he had had the dream of his broken canoe resting on the bottom among caribou bones, we were camped before another gorge…
[Grinnell book, pp 176 & 177]
Comment.
Here, he refers to Moffatt.
Pessl’s response.
Grinnell’s account of the dream sequence that Art had described in his journal entry of September 2—“and in the clear water below, I could see a gray canoe (mine?) broken and resting on the bottom among caribou bones”—ends with a positive statement: “Must get out of here soon and will.” But that statement was not part of the dream. It was written the following day, September 3, expressing concern about the cold and another nontravel day, clearly a positive commitment in the face of deteriorating weather and in spite of the previous night’s dream. [Pessl, p 164]

Comment regarding Items 1 and 2.
And so Grinnell had access to Moffatt’s journal by at least 1996, when Grinnell’s book was published.
But Moffatt’s journal was never published and even today it is not publicly available.
What was his source if not the Sports Illustrated editor, who possessed that journal? This is yet more evidence (another is the Epilogue of the SI article) that Grinnell and the SI editor had at least corresponded, perhaps even met in person, before that article was published.

3. The toll.
Art dreamed that there was at toll at the end of the lake which he could not afford to pay. [Grinnell, p 11]
Comment.
Grinnell provided no source for the above statement.
Pessl responds.
There is no mention of this “dream” in Art’s journal. [p 164]

4. The swamping on 26 August.
In both his Nastawgan article [p 9] and his book [pp 168-169], Pessl rejects Grinnell’s version [his book, p 139] of the event.

5. The bear.
Grinnell’s book [pages 178-180] provides a very different account of the grizzly encounter (on 6 September) from those provided
in Pessl’s Nastawgan article [p 9] and
in Pessl’s book [his pages 170-172 provide both his account of the event and Moffatt’s].
Especially noteworthy are the differences regarding shooting the bear.

6. Franck’s stammering.
Grinnell quotes multiple instances of Franck’s stammering [two on p 38, top of p 70, bottom of p 80, top of p 179, two on p 185, two on p 187, p 188; search incomplete].
Pessl’s response. I cannot recall a single instance in which Peter [Franck] stammered. Peter’s wife, Fay, insists that she never heard Peter stammer, “not even an ‘um’ or an ‘er’”. [book, p 168].
On page 8 of his Nastawgan article, Pessl makes similar remarks.

7. The exit date.
Grinnell gives the scheduled exit date as 2 September [p 58 and many places elsewhere].
The origin of 2 September: The Tyrrell party arrived in Baker Lake that day [Pessl, private correspondence]
Response. I do not understand why Grinnell disagrees with the ten other sources (which give 15 September, with a week’s grace period), as provided in Appendix 7. Schedule.
Comment.
Given that Grinnell’s statements regarding the exit date are falsified by the evidence
and given that they that they misled later accusers (Kingsley in particular),
I suggest it fair to consider them to be a significant misrepresentation of the evidence.

8. The United Bowmen’s Association.
(a) In his article of 1988, Grinnell remarks We bowmen went on strike… [right column, p 20].
(b) In his book of 1996, Grinnell devotes much of Chapter Seven. The United Bowmen’s Association to the UBA. [pp 53-64].
Pessl’s responses (from his p 168).
(a) He had no memory of the UBA.
(b) Franck (who sterned one canoe) doesn’t mention the UBA in his journal.
(c) LeFavour (a bowman like Grinnell; the third such was Lanouette) responded at follows: The very idea [of the UBA] is ridiculous. …the name…was a joke, a way for us to vent our frustrations with some of Art’s actions. [LeFavour, private communication to Pessl].
Similarly, Pessl rejects Grinnell’s claim that we bowmen … had taken effective control of the expedition… [Reference lost, to be found].
On page 8 of his Nastawgan article, Pessl makes similar remarks.
Conclusion. The The United Bowmen’s Association never existed.
Comment. Given that Grinnell’s remarks regarding the UBA are falsified by the evidence and that they misled several later accusers, I suggest it fair to consider them to be a significant misrepresentation of the evidence.

9. The broken cup.
The suggestion that Art was suicidal and indifferent to the well-being of the other party members…has been expressed by some reviewers and correspondents within the wilderness community. This assumption of Art’s mental instability, I believe, derives from Grinnell’s brief description of Art’s reaction to his broken tea cup. [Pessl book, p 163]
Grinnell’s assertion 1.
“With his broken tea cup lying shattered at his feet, Art became convinced that he would never see his wife and children again, and so he sat, and so we waited.” [Grinnell book, p 50]
Grinnell book, passage 2 p 175).
Grinnell’s assertion 2.
…his sacred tea cup (the one that Carol had given him…) had broken on a rock, Art had had his first premonition of his approaching death… [Grinnell book, p 175]
Pessl’s response to both assertions.
I know of no evidence in support of this analysis of Art’s mental condition. How did Grinnell get into Art’s head to know what Art was “convinced” of? Actually, Art considered the incident of the broken tea cup as an “omen of bad luck” (journal entry, June 21), not as a moment of final abandonment. [Pessl book, p 164]

10. The insurance policy.
Before coming on the trip, Art had been faced with three choices. He needed money to feed his family. He could either go down to New York and do as others in Western Civilization were doing…; or he could double his life insurance policy and buy a one-way ticket to the Great Beyond; or he could gamble on a wildlife film. He chose the last two. [Grinnell, p 49].
A later defamer parroted part of the accusation: Before he had kissed his wife and two daughters goodbye for the summer, he had doubled his life insurance policy.
Pessl’s response.
Many people increase life insurance coverage anticipating some special travel or experience. The presence of insurance policy kiosks at major airports suggests that this is a fairly common transaction. I have no evidence that Art did, indeed, increase his life insurance coverage prior to the Dubawnt trip…[Pessl, p 164]
In later private correspondence (7 August 2016), Pessl remarked
There is no mention in Art’s journal of an increase in life insurance and I have no idea what policy company he may have used.
Jacobs’ response.
Given
(a) that Grinnell provides no evidence to support his assertion that Moffatt had doubled his insurance policy, and
(b) that the evidence of Pessl negates that assertion, and
(c) that a later accuser used that assertion to discredit Moffatt,
it is perhaps fair to consider Grinnell’s assertion to be a significant misrepresentation of the evidence.
A comment regarding Grinnell’s
He chose…to buy a one-way ticket to the Great Beyond.
So flippantly to speak of the death of your trip companion (your leader, your mentor, perhaps your friend), the person who accepted you for the trip, with whom for over two months you shared meals, hardship, hunger (at times), danger (including a storm of perhaps hurricane force), and, most of all, the beauty of the barrens (“The reality I had discovered was the reality of the Garden of Eden, the most beautiful reality I have ever experienced” [Grinnell book, p 156]).

Sub-Appendix 1. The Thum – Pessl correspondence.
The item is presented here solely because its bulk would have disrupted the flow of the main text.
The context (provided also above) for the item.
I didn’t view them [the members of the Moffatt group] as being any kind of model for a tripper. Because of the historical perspective, I wanted to talk to them. Moffatt was gone. I found several of them. I tried to get a perspective on what they had done. [Che-Mun, p 10, left column].
Again as documented above, Thum had corresponded with Pessl and he had read Lanouette’s journal.

Thum’s letter to Pessl.
Comment. I counted 34 question marks in the two pages (~70 lines) of Thum’s letter of 3 October 1965. One passage suffices to document the level of the information requested.
What are the general weather conditions during the summer months? Is there a great amount of rain? At what point in the calendar did the early winter rains set in? When did it start to get cold in the mornings and evenings? during the daytime? and how cold did it get to be? When did your first snow fall and how steadily did it continue afterwards?
Did you have much trouble with high winds and consistent long storms; about how many days in the summer were you wind-storm bound and not able to move from your campsite?

Pessl’s reply of 26 November 1965.
Dear Bob:
I am very pleased to hear that you are still interested in the Dubawnt trip, and especially that you and your friends have accumulated such an impressive history of successful long distance canoeing. You are certainly far better prepared now than the Moffatt party was in 1955. Your questions also reflect experience and concern for careful planning, so crucial for such an effort as tracing Tyrrell’s route.
I was sorry to have missed Dave Wilson in Boston, but just recently received your letter after having been out of touch with my office while doing field work in Connecticut, and, during the first week of November, attending a conference in Kansas City. However, I strongly advise that we try to arrange a meeting in Boston sometime this winter to discuss at leisure and at length the many questions that you pose, and to view the Moffatt expedition films. From 1 Dec, until April or May ’66 I will be stationed in Boston and would be happy to accommodate your schedule for a visit to Boston. In the meantime I will try to answer some of your questions, or indicate other sources of information.
The best source of “precise trip notes” is the journal that Art Moffatt kept during the 1955 trip. It contains, in addition to more subjective musings, notations of portages, rapids, campsites, wood supply, food lists, equipment needs, etc. If you would like to see this document, I would be happy to write Mrs. Moffatt and ask her permission.
For detailed weather and freeze-up data the Meteorological Branch of the Dept. of Transport is an excellent source. Mean daily air temperatures and spring break-up, autumn freeze-up data are readily available. A resume of temperature normal, averages, and extremes in NWT, 1931-1960 is also available. The address for inquiry is:
[Address omitted, being from 1965]
The specifics of wood supply are best learned from Moffatt’s journal, but in general sporadic stands of stunted alder and pine extend much farther north along the major drainages than is usually shown on vegetation distribution maps. These northerly stands, however, are neither consistent enough nor large enough to supply a large party on a daily basis. Driftwood is not sufficient to supply fuel for continual use. Thus a stove (or stoves) with sufficient fuel is necessary. The Moffatt party used one twin burner Coleman stove with five gals. of fuel. In our experience, the stove was sufficient for cooking needs, but the fuel supply proved insufficient (partly due to a small leak in the fuel can). From the 1955 experience and subsequent experiences in high latitudes, I would suggest taking 2 or 3 Primus stoves and ca. 10 gals. of fuel. These stoves have certain advantages over a two burner Coleman, namely:
1) they can be used individually in tents for heating and drying equipment.
2) they are collapsible and hence more easily packed.
3) they can be carried in separate canoes to minimize the possible loss of all stoves.
4) they are of the most simple construction, thus facilitating repair and cleaning.
5) they are universally used in the Arctic, thus fuel is easily available.
Wind does occasionally constitute a problem with the stoves, but this usually can be overcome with a stone or sod windscreen, or by using an overturned canoe or a cook box similarly.
Fish are continuously available throughout the canoe route (pike and wall-eyes in the southern lakes; grayling trout, char in the northern river and lakes). The successful meat producer was a dare-devil type lure or similar spoon or spinner. In the shallow riffles and tributaries trout and grayling took flies readily. One caution: during the late season freezing air temperatures frequently clog fishing reels with ice (from water droplets on the fishing line); hence some sort of hand line for manual retrieving of the lure is necessary.
For the latest information concerning aerial photo coverage of the Dubawnt river route write [Contact information outdated and hence omitted]
I advise securing as much photo coverage as you can afford (stereo coverage is probably not worth the considerable extra expense). Index maps of photo coverage are available at $1.50 per index map. From these you can select appropriate flight lines. Contact prints of individual photos cost $.60 each.
The 8:1 maps re only marginally useful for canoe navigation in areas of complex river channels and where many large islands obscure the distant lake outlets. I would advise using 4:1 maps wherever possible. Scheduled air flights are of circumpolar nature and usually are at altitudes too great for ground to air contact. Unscheduled bush pilot flights probably exist, but coordination is most difficult. Best bet in this regard is to inform all parties concerned of your route and schedule, and request that air checks be made when possible. This is uncertain to be sure but just might make a crucial difference in case of emergency.
General equipment needs fall into two categories, summer and winter. I presume from your past experiences that summer equipment need are well known. For the cold weather some sort of insulated, but light weight, foot gear is important. For extended periods in a canoe at near freezing temperatures, the lower body must be specially protected. Thus insulated underwear and some sort of wind-proof trouser are crucial to reasonable comfort (we used caribou skins as lap robes). While on the river an occasional stop for exercise along the shore helps circulation in legs and feet. Light weight insulated parkas should be included and some sort of protection for the hands devised. The frequent wetting of the lower hand on a paddle is a pleasant sensation during the summer, but a serious mistake in freezing conditions. For sleeping comfort I would advise a foam mattress rather than the usual air mattress (foam is a much better protection against ground cold than is the rubber of an air mattress).
The Moffatt party carried both a 30/30 and a 30/06 rifle. Both were sufficient for killing caribou. If only one rifle is carried by your party, I would advise using the lighter 30/06 with Magnum loads (the Magnum loads as insurance against the difficulties with an aggressive grizzly). This firearm proved successful in Greenland where we were similarly concerned with polar bear. One or two Magnum loads in a clip provide adequate protective firepower while not being expended for every caribou kill. Ducks and geese were plentiful in 1955 and a light shotgun would certainly provide additional variety to the menu. The Moffatt party carried firearms under the condition that they be used only when “starvation was “imminent”. This condition was rather subjectively defined and was invoked in something other than the ultimate deprivation. In any case this is probably the most liberal condition under which you will be able to carry firearms.
A Scientists and Explorers License is required for travel in NWT. This can be obtained from [Contact information outdated and hence omitted].
The Moffatt party also carried a separate Scientific Collection permit, obtained from the National Museum in Ottawa.
I strongly advise contacting the RCMP authorities at Stony Rapids and Baker Lake. Also notify the agent for the Hudson Bay Co at Stony and Baker; invaluable for logistical support and public relations, to say nothing of the only source of assistance in case of emergency.
To ship supplies to Stony Rapids, I think your best bet is to contact the Hudson Bay Co. agent at Stony Rapids and work back from there according to his advice.
I know this doesn’t hit all the questions you pose in your letter, Bob, but it is a starter and I hope it will provide a basis for future conversations. Let me know if you and/or some of your party can visit Boston sometime this winter.
Sincerely yours,
Fred Pessl Jr.

Summary.
Let the reader decide whether Pessl’s letter provides more than the historical perspective claimed by Thum.

Sub-Appendix 2. Thum rant.
I ask the reader to excuse the following.
Let us admire, nay praise, the courageous, the forthright, the frank, the generous, the gentle, the gracious, the honest, the humble, the kind, the meek, the modest, the unsmug, he with nothing to prove, in short the renowned eco-paddler sans pareil Mr Robert (please, call me Bob) Thum, the legend in his own mind, the self-proclaimed Voyageur Canadien.
Long live his fame, and long live his glory, and long may his story be told.

Internal URLs.

Foreword and Forum.
Main text.
Appendix 1. Reality.
Appendix 2. Holidays.
Appendix 3. Equipment.
Appendix 4. Experience.
Appendix 5. Pace and weather.
Appendix 6. Food.
Appendix 7. Schedule.
Appendix 8. Rapids in general.
Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.
Ancillary 1. Accusations.
Ancillary 2. Lanouette excerpt.
Ancillary 3. Tyrrell excerpt.
Ancillary 4. Distances.
Ancillary 5. Loose ends and the future.
Ancillary 6. Addenda.
Ancillary 7. The Moffatt-Tyrrell correspondence.
Ancillary 8. Evidence regarding the tragedy.
Bibliography.

Notice.
With the exception of quoted material, copyright to the above belongs to Allan Jacobs.

Ancillary 2. Lanouette excerpt.

Major renovations were completed in early November 2017 but I expect that warts remain.
Thanks for your patience. Allan

Ancillary 2. Lanouette excerpt.

Lanouette’s journal entry for 14 September.

Introduction.
1. Lanouette kindly and generously provided copies of pages 114 through 127 inclusive of his handwritten journal. As well, he helped with the transcription of his journal, which is partly illegible from having been immersed; indeed, it is remarkable that the journal survived at all in some form.
2. The transcribed material that follows starts in the morning of 14 September (the lower third of page 118) and continues to the afternoon of 15 September (the upper half of page 127).
3. What follows has not been edited in any way in the process of transcription from the journal.
4. Readers should judge for themselves, but I view the Sports Illustrated condensation as faithfully reflecting the content of Lanouette’s journal.
Given the redaction of the phrase Following Tyrrell’s route, I do not say the same of the SI condensation of Moffatt’s journal.
5. I am struck by Lanouette’s ability to document such events, given that he almost died from hypothermia. I refrain from further comment except to express my gratitude, indeed my admiration, for his courage in making such highly personal information available to the paddling community, and so enabling us better to understand this tragic event; in this, I hope that I speak for the community as a whole.

Wed., Sept. 14 – Camp #51 (2 miles S. Lady Marjorie L).

Today has been the most harrowing and frightening day I can ever recall having spent! Today, one member of our party, Arthur Roy Moffatt met his end at the hand of nature – Today I too came within a hair of not writing this entry, or any others.
This Day, Wednesday, September 14, 1955 started like many others we have been having recently. Complete and dismal cloud coverage when we arose around 7:30 AM for our much looked forward to dish of boiled prunes, oats and tea. It was below freezing this morning and the sand was dry and crunchy and hard from its layer of frost and ice. We broke camp soon after breakfast and made the short portage to the sandy, shallow bay where we could float our canoes.
As we were getting ready to leave, I noticed 2 white wolves on a ridge about half a mile away and made the remark that “It’s a good thing the sun isn’t out, or Art’d be scrambling all over the hills trying to get them to pose for him”.
After loading, we shoved out into the bay, and were pleasantly surprised to have no trouble in reaching the river (we thought the water might be too shallow to navigate in a couple of spots).
Once on the river, the pleasant sandy esker country dropped rapidly behind and we were again on a river with very poorly defined banks and a rather indolent drainage system. Here and there we passed low islands of gray rock –in some places the river was fairly swift and its broad, gray surface was wrinkled with currents and cross-currents as it swerved and wallowed down into Lady Marjorie Lake.
A wind, which had again shifted back to the NW, was blowing and the low gently rolling banks afforded us little real protection in most spots.
We paddled along, no one saying much of anything (none of us are conversational giants once we get into the canoe) – finally, just as I was toying with the idea of fainting from hunger, we washed around a bend in the river and pulled into a gravelly bay for lunch. As is our present policy, George, Bruce, and I scurried around looking for wood scraps, Art started heating a kettle with wood gleaned the day before to make chicken noodle soup, and Skip and Pete began fishing from the shore. Almost immediately, Pete latched onto a “monster of the deep.” A beautiful 17 ½ lb, orange-fleshed lake trout (no roe) and wrestled with him for over 20 minutes – Skip caught 2 smaller fish which he cleaned and put into the warming water – we found no wood to speak of and I wound up cleaning the big fish.
We had a rather satisfying lunch of chowder and three hardtacks (or ‘tacks) apiece and were ready to shove on again around 2:30 or 3:00. The weather was still dismal, although the wind had dropped (I think) almost to a complete calm. The river flowed on rather swiftly and it was but a few minutes before we heard and saw another rapids on the horizon. (Notes – at this time, Art figured we had shot the last 2 rapids into Lady Marjorie and so we were not anticipating anything more along this line – actually, what we had taken for rapids were only riffles and what lay ahead was the real beginning of the first rapids). At the top, these rapids looked as though they would be very easy going – a few small waves, rocks … nothing serious – so much so that we didn’t even haul over to shore to look it over before proceeding as was customary. The river at this point was straight and we could see both the top and foot of the rapids quite clearly – however, although we didn’t realize it, we couldn’t see the middle, even though we thought we could – at any rate we barrelled happily along. We bounced over a couple of fair-sized waves and took in a couple of splashes but I didn’t mind, as I had made an apron of my poncho and remained dry enough. I, as was my habit, was looking a few feet in front of the canoe, looking for submerged rocks – suddenly, Art shouted “Paddle” – I responded and took up the beat, at the same time looking farther ahead to see what it was we were trying to avoid – to my complete surprise, what I saw were two lines of white, parallel to one another and coming closer with every passing instant – I looked at them in helpless fascination, not altering my stroke any. The lines of white were the crests of two huge waves formed by the water as it crashed over 2, 3 or 4’ ledges or falls). Note: it was too late to pull for shore – all we could was to pick what seemed to be the least turbulent spots and head for them. I remember swearing (mentally) at Art for not having looked over the rapids – the feeling I had was not one of fright, but rather an empty, sinking “its-all-over-now” feeling – we went over the falls and plunged directly into the four-foot wave – the bow sliced right in and a sheet of foaming green engulfed me – the canoe yawed, slowed – the current caught it once again and plunged it onward toward the next falls a few hundred feet away – we were still afloat though had little control over the craft – by some miracle, Art straightened the canoe out a little, but we were still slightly broadside to the second wave as we went over the second falls. This time the bow didn’t even bother to come up again – the quartering wave filled us to the brim, and I could feel the canoe begin to roll over under me. I swore and jumped overboard, being careful to retain a hold on the right gunwale – then I got spun around and the next few seconds became blurred into a vivid recollection of water all around me, foam and clutching currents pulling me along with the canoe which had by this time rolled bottom up – I remember clipping a sunken boulder with my leg – … then … the foaming roar stopped … the current lessened … Art and I were clinging to the canoe – packs, boxes, paddles were all bobbing along in the water with us – the seriousness of our position had not yet fully made itself felt and I swore at Art for being the cause of my having gotten soaked. At first the water didn’t feel too uncomfortable. – My heavy parka was still full of air in between its layers and I was quite buoyant – By now we had drifted several hundred yards downstream and were more or less in a big eddy formed by several small islands – I tried to touch bottom without any luck – Art was half draped over the stern of the canoe and he yelled at me to do the same up at the bow. I did so, but felt foolish and helpless just hanging on, so I began kicking toward what I thought was the nearest shore, although this did no good whatever, actually.
The next thing was aware of was George and Pete in the red canoe as they paddled furiously by us, heading for shore. I watched them as they leaped out, dumped all their packs out, emptied their canoe and headed back toward us.
Then, as the current twisted our canoe around, I was faced back up toward the rapids and saw that Bruce and Skip too had dumped … I remember feeling relieved to know that someone else was “in our boat”.
Packs floating all around – I was surprised that they floated. Even Art’s 86 lb camera box was afloat – he was holding onto the canoe with one arm, and was clutching my personal pack and the camera box with the other hand – our yellow food box was floating nearby, so I swam out, got it, and brought it back toward the canoe … I saw Art’s personal pack floating off in another direction and swam a few yards after it, but by this time my parka was soaked, so I came back to the canoe (eventually, we “caught up” with Art’s pack and I grabbed it). I informed Art in a dry, disinterested voice that we had just pulled a damned fool stunt and that this would most likely be the end of us – he assured me through chattering teeth that this was not the case and that, although it would be hard, we would pull through in good shape – I didn’t believe him and insisted several times that we were all washed up. Then we lapsed into silence for a while and just hung on waiting for George and Pete to pick us up.
Note: Looking back, I am surprised to find that during this entire incident I was not the least bit afraid or panicky – I realized that all our clothes and sleeping bags were soaking – that the temperature was below freezing, and that even if we made it to shore, we might still freeze to death because George & Pete would not have clothes to outfit four soaked people. I remember thinking that death either by drowning or freezing was inevitable yet managed to look upon it quite impersonally and almost dryly). I made one or two attempts to shove the canoe ashore, but getting nowhere I gave up – at one time I toyed with the idea of swimming to shore alone but by this time my limbs were too numb to swim- at no time did I even consider taking off a stitch of clothing, as I knew that without every thread of clothing our chances, if we got ashore, we would eventually freeze.
At one point, George & Pete paddled up and asked if we could hold on – we both replied “yes” and told them to get our personal packs aboard first (they had since drifted quite far away). They left us to get the packs. Then, to our horror, as George was struggling to haul my soaked pack into the canoe, he lost his balance and toppled overboard – with a lunge, he tried to haul himself back aboard – I cheered him on quite merrily – Pete was half crouched, half standing … the red canoe almost turned over but instead took in a good amount of water – George made several more attempts to haul himself out of the water, but each attempt was weaker than the last and finally Pete had to paddle to shore, dragging George along. Once again they dumped the water out and came back – this time they managed to drag Bruce and Skip to a small, rocky island and leave them there. At one point, I thought that maybe if we righted our canoe we could put some of our packs in it and thus keep them from drifting about all over the place. I told Art of my plan and flipped the canoe. To my dismal surprise, it kept on rolling until once again it came to a rest – bottom-side-up. I was about to try again, but Art told me that if I were to perform this maneuver again he would not be able to hang onto the canoe and would drown, so I had to be content with holding onto the bow.
By now, I was almost completely inactivated by the cold water – my greatest desire was to quit fooling around and get the hell to shore – yet, I could not make a move to do so.
Bruce and Skip (who had not been rescued as yet, began shouting “Hurry up” to George and Pete. Their voices sounded very far off and faint (I never really saw them from the time that we turned over until late that evening). – Art took up the cry, and soon so did I – it seemed the thing to do, so I went at it with gusto – soon all four of us were chanting “hurry up” every few seconds.
From here on in, things became really foggy – the next thing I was aware of was Pete shouting to me to grab ahold of the canoe – this I did … at the same time I was holding both Art’s and my personal packs – also (and this I didn’t realize) the bowline from our canoe was entangled in my legs and George and Pete had to drag both Art and I plus the packs and the gray canoe to shore – we seemed to be getting nowhere, although both George and Pete were paddling like fiends After a while Pete yelled to me to let go of the canoe. I thought he meant his canoe so I told him to go to hell. Once, I lost my grip on Pete’s gunwale and shouted for him to come back or I would drown – he stopped paddling … I grabbed onto the red canoe once again …
The next thing I remember was feeling my feet scraping over the rocks near shore … I took one or two steps, using every single remaining ounce of strength I had, then collapsed unconscious on the rock and moss shore.
While semi conscious, I remember having a nightmare about something overwhelmingly green (it later turned out that I was lying on my face in a patch of moss).
My next recollection, hazy as it is, is one of being in a sleeping bag and of George giving me a brisk rubdown – he kept saying “how are you doing, Joe”, and I kept telling him that I was doing fine and to quit pounding me – I remember that I felt warm and comfortable all over except for my feet, which seemed abnormally cold – I passed out again.
When I came around next, I was surprised to feel that I was completely naked and in a tent – I couldn’t figure out why the hell this should be so. I sat bolt upright – it was dark out – someone thrust a large can under my nose and told me to take 5 swigs – I did so – then Skip came into the tent, undressed, and got into a sleeping bag – Bruce poked his head into the tent, handed Skip the can and said that he and I were both to take 7 handfulls – we did this – I was hungry as hell and really gobbled my share down (It was beets mixed with chicken soup). The mixture tasted very good and I was damned tempted to just sit there and eat the whole works.
Finally, I went out of the tent for a piss call – a bright red streak on the horizon was all that could be seen of the setting sun – the rest was a mass of gray clouds. I came back inside the tent, now fully aware of what had happened and casually asked Skip where Art was – he replied that Art was outside – we lay in silence- finally I asked what the hell would Art be doing outside. Skip replied, “You might as well know, Art is dead.”
I said, “Oh,” and lay back – It suddenly dawned on me that Skip was pulling my leg and accused him of doing so – he assured me that this was no joking matter, and with no greater emotion than if someone had told me that bat-shit was blue, I fell asleep congratulating myself for being still alive and kicking.
One by one the others crowded into the tent, until all 5 of us were crammed and jammed into Art’s and my tent (the other had been lost, along with the green canoe). Somehow we found room – George and I were squeezed into his sleeping bag – Bruce was alone at the left of the tent in Skip’s – Skip and Pete, head toward the door, were in Pete’s bag.
Before finally sacking out, Bruce brought in a cheese which I sliced up 5 ways and passed around. The shock of Art’s death had not yet made itself fully realized and we were all in pretty good spirits once we were crammed into place and passed our share of cheese – my feet were still cold as ice cubes – Bruce, at intervals throughout the night, was wracked by such spasmodic chills that he woke us all up by shivering violently and chattering – I slept soundly, or fairly so this night, although I must admit I got rather cramped from lying in one position for so long.
.

Thurs,. Sept 15 – Camp #51 (same).

Since Pete was the only one of the group to have a complete set of dry clothes, it was he who finally left the crowded tent to go and see what he could for some sort of breakfast. It was with great joy that he announced that it looked as though we were going to have a sunny day. This extremely fortunate break in the weather caused great rejoicing in the tent – a sunny day would, most probably, mean above freezing temperatures and a much needed chance to dry out sleeping bags, clothes and parkas. I hate to think of what would have happened to us if we had not had a day like this one!

Comment. The remainder of what I have for 15 September deals with plans for reaching Baker Lake.

Summary.

1. This evidence of Lanouette (which lay on plain view in the Sports Illustrated article), alone and in itself, refutes every accusation that the fatal rapids were run in desperate haste and the like.
2. Unfortunately, this evidence of Lanouette went unmentioned by every Moffatt defamer, most notably the Sports Illustrated editor her/himself.

Internal URLs.

Foreword and Forum.
Main text.
Appendix 1. Reality.
Appendix 3. Equipment.
Appendix 4. Experience.
Appendix 5. Pace and weather.
Appendix 6. Food.
Appendix 7. Schedule.
Appendix 8. Rapids in general.
Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.
Ancillary 1. Accusations.
Ancillary 2. Lanouette excerpt.
Ancillary 3. Tyrrell excerpt.
Ancillary 4. Distances.
Ancillary 5. Loose ends and the future.
Ancillary 6. Addenda.
Ancillary 7. Moffatt’s Tyrrell sources.
Ancillary 8. Evidence regarding the tragedy.
Bibliography.

Notice.
Copyright to Lanouette’s journal belongs to him.
Copyright to other material in the Ancillary belongs to Allan Jacobs.

Ancillary 3. Tyrrell excerpt.

Major renovations were completed in early November 2017 but I expect that warts remain.
Thanks for your patience. Allan

Ancillary 3. Tyrrell excerpt.

Introduction.
This Ancillary provides an excerpt from J B Tyrrell’s book
Tyrrell, Joseph Burr. Report on the Doobaunt, Kazan and Ferguson Rivers and the north-west coast of Hudson Bay and on two overland routes from Hudson Bay to Lake Winnipeg. S E Dawson, Ottawa (1897).
I accessed the book at the library of the University of Toronto, with the kind and generous help of the staff there. I possess a copy for the entire reach from Baker Lake to Chesterfield Inlet.
The following, which relates to the reach of the Dubawnt River where Moffatt died, was excerpted from page 66F.
The reader will note that Tyrrell makes no mention of rapids in the reach below the portage 400 yards long (the Moffatt party completed this portage in the morning on 14 September) all the way to (Lady) Marjorie Lake. It was in this reach that Arthur Moffatt died.

The excerpt.
Comment. I take up the story from the beginning of the first full paragraph on page 66 F. I omitted no text until that following mark of respect.
Below Wharton Lake the river flows at first eastward, and then southward, for four miles to a small lake, in which distance it rushes down two rapids with descents respectively of 15 and 6 feet.
The small lake seems to be everywhere shallow, though the water is very clear. On its south side is a sand ridge or (esker [character apparently an italic l, which makes no sense to me]
) about 300 feet high, trending east-and-west, on the side of which the three terraces seen at the quartzite hill are well shown. Towards the west end of the ridge are scarped banks of sand almost eighty feet high. On the north side of the lake is a cluster of low islands, composed of boulders of red gneiss, covered with moss and grass. Low hills of boulders continue eastward, along the course of the river, for the next five miles. The stream has no well-defined channel, but flows around and between these hills with a current of from five to eight miles an hour. Five miles below the small lake is a rapid with a descent of twenty feet, past the lower part of which a portage 400 yards long was made over a hill of boulders, and we embarked from a sheet of ice that, on the 23rd of August, was still frozen to the bank. Above the rapid a gravel plain extends a long distance back from the river. At the foot of this rapid the river turns at right angles and flows northward for seven miles as a wide shallow rapid stream, through low country, composed of small morainic or drumlin-like hills of boulders of light-gray well foliated gneiss.
Lady Marjorie Lake, so named as a mark of respect… , was entered at the south end, …

The channel taken by the Tyrrell and Moffatt parties.
I consulted both toporama and my topo (likely identical sources).
http://atlas.gc.ca/toporama/en/index.html
http://www.mytopo.com/maps/index.cfm
Both sources show two exits from Wharton Lake (leading to Marjorie Lake). But some water from the leftmost exit flows into the rightmost one; this is the reason for the three channels in LeFavour’s comment The river between Wharton and Marjorie Lakes split up into three channels…
Both sources mark the rightmost channel as the Dubawnt River.
As one sees easily from inspection of the topos, Tyrrell’s sequence eastward…southward…small lake…south side…esker…right angles…northward identifies the rightmost channel as that taken by his party and therefore Moffatt’s.

Comment 1.
Tyrrell’s book mentions two rapids (15 and 6 feet), then one with a descent of twenty feet that required a portage. The rapids of 15 and 6 feet were run by Moffatt’s party on 13 September.
The next day, Moffatt’s party completed the portage over a hill of boulders and had lunch. The tragedy occurred after lunch, on the reach from the end of the portage to the entrance to Marjorie Lake, for which reach Tyrrell’s book mentions no rapids.

Comment 2. Please compare Tyrrell’s description above with the following excerpt from LeFavour’s article for 14 September.
The river between Wharton and Marjorie Lakes split up into three channels. The longest of these had been traveled by Tyrrell in his trip 60 years before and was described in his journal: there were five rapids, the first two rough but shootable, the third long and heavy requiring a portage of a mile and the last two apparently easy for they were mentioned only as “rapids”. Because this route was described we took it, being careful to look over the first two which were indeed rough. Hurrying as we were, no foolish chances were taken. …
Comment. The reference to J B Tyrrell’s journal is significant, for Tyrrell’s book makes no mention of the last two. Ancillary 3. Tyrrell excerpt.

Conclusions.
1. The Moffatt party possessed information, not provided in J B Tyrrell’s book, regarding the rapids below the portage; I refer here to LeFavour’s passage the last two apparently easy for they were mentioned only as “rapids”.
2. LeFavour identifies the source to have J B Tyrrell’sjournal, rather than JBT’s book (which, as I document here, makes no mention of those rapids) or the Moffatt-Tyrrell correspondence (known to have occurred but not publicly available).
3. The vital point. Those rapids were apparently easy for they were mentioned only as “rapids”.
4. That is, Moffatt followed Tyrrell’s advice faithfully, to his death.

Summary regarding the fatal rapids.
1. J B Tyrrell’s book contains no mention of those rapids, as I document above.
2. But the evidence of Lanouette’s journal, as provided both in
the condensation of the Sports Illustrated’s article, and in
the full text of Ancillary 2 (Lanouette excerpt; the URL is provided at the end of this document),
demonstrates that the Moffatt party had detailed information regarding Dubawnt rapids, including the fatal ones.
LeFavour identifies that source to be Tyrrell’s journal and states that it had earlier proved reliable. I don’t know whether like information was provided also in the Tyrrell-Moffatt correspondence.
3. The important point. Tyrrell had informed Moffatt that the fatal rapids were not serious.
4. The reliability of Tyrrell’s advice.
His [Tyrrell’s] journal had been accurate to that point. [LeFavour]
5. And so, trusting Tyrrell’s advice (as it had full reason to do), the Moffatt party continued downstream from the portage without scouting the fatal rapids.
Conclusion. Every assertion that Moffatt died because he foolishly decided to run those rapids without a scout has no basis in any evidence known to me.

Internal URLs.

Foreword and Forum.
Main text.
Appendix 1. Reality.
Appendix 3. Equipment.
Appendix 4. Experience.
Appendix 5. Pace and weather.
Appendix 6. Food.
Appendix 7. Schedule.
Appendix 8. Rapids in general.
Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.
Ancillary 1. Accusations.
Ancillary 2. Lanouette excerpt.
Ancillary 3. Tyrrell excerpt.
Ancillary 4. Distances.
Ancillary 5. Loose ends and the future.
Ancillary 6. Addenda.
Ancillary 7. Moffatt’s Tyrrell sources.
Ancillary 8. Evidence regarding the tragedy.
Bibliography.

Notice.
With the exception of quoted material, copyright to the above belongs to Allan Jacobs.

Ancillary 4. Distances.

Major renovations were completed in early November 2017 but I expect that warts remain.
Thanks for your patience. Allan

Ancillary 4. Distances.

Introduction.

1. This Ancillary provides the results of my distance measurements from the end of the road at Black Lake, up the Chipman River to the Dubawnt River, down the Dubawnt to its junction with the Thelon River, and on through Baker Lake to Chesterfield Inlet on Hudson Bay.
2. Moffatt’s original plan was to paddle that entire reach (Black Lake to Hudson Bay), which was the central segment of the Tyrrell-Tyrrell trip of 1893. For it, he gave the distance as almost 900 miles [his Prospectus on p 71 of the SI article, p 71]. Moffatt’s source was likely J B Tyrrell (whose book and journal he possessed and with whom he had corresponded). Perhaps I should mention that JBT belonged to the Geological Survey of Canada and so almost certainly have recorded locations and distances on a regular basis.
As I document below, I measured the distance from Black Lake to Chesterfield Inlet to be ~860 miles (~1,380 km), in good enough agreement with Moffatt’s figure of almost 900 miles.
3. The New York Times article (at the top of page 71 of the SI article) gives 900 miles for the same distance. That distance appears also at the top of p 80 of the SI article.
4. The editor’s introduction to Grinnell’s Canoe article (1988) gives the distance as 1,000 miles [p 18].
5. Pessl gives the distance from Black Lake to Baker Lake to be 900 miles. [Nastawgan, 2013, page 2, bottom of the right column].
6. Sometime before the trip started (I don’t know when the decision was made), Moffatt decided to exit instead at Baker Lake. The conclusive evidence that Baker Lake was the terminus is that the RCMP detachment there expected the party to arrive on 15 September (with a grace period of seven days before a search was started).
As I document below, omission of the Baker-Chesterfield reach shortened the trip by ~177 miles (~285 km), to ~680 miles (~1,100 km).
7. And so I don’t understand Moffatt’s comment, made while on the trip: Well, but what if we rush to the coast and don’t come back with anything? [Pessl, p XVII].

The question, the answer, etc.

The question.
While on the trip, did Moffatt believe that the distance to be travelled was ~900 miles?
Comment. It appears that several accusers believed this to be case, and accordingly made highly negative comments regarding the pace.
Preliminary to the answer.
Moffatt’s journal, as provided in the SI article, records at least once (that’s good enough for the purpose) the distance yet to be travelled to Baker Lake. To be specific, he gives 400 miles for the reach from Cairn Point on Carey Lake to Baker Lake, [p 76, upper left column].
The evidence of Toporama.
For the reach from the north end of Carey Lake to Baker Lake, my measurement at Toporama gave ~650 km, or ~400 miles (as described below; embarrassingly close to Moffatt’s value).
The answer.
Before the trip began, Moffatt had corrected the distance for deletion of the reach from Baker Lake to Chesterfield Inlet.
Consequence.
The distance to be covered was ~200 miles shorter than believed and so the pace was not as desultory as asserted in the accusatory literature.
Addendum.
I did not inspect the rest of either Moffatt’s journal or Pessl’s book for other distance figures. The question having been answered, namely whether Moffatt had used the correct figure while on the trip, these tasks have vanishingly small priority.

Appendix. Distance measurements.

I used the measuring feature at Toporama to obtain the following results.
1. For the reach from Black Lake to Baker Lake (the reach travelled by the Moffatt party), I used 18 overlapping pages, with several legs for each page (especially on river segments). The result was ~1,095 km (accurate to within, I believe, 40 km), or ~680 miles.
2. An independent measurement gave the distance from Baker Lake to Chesterfield inlet to be ~285 km, or ~177 miles.
3. The result for the distance from Black Lake to Chesterfield inlet is then ~1,380 km (~860 miles), close enough to Moffatt’s original figure of almost 900 miles.
4. Another independent measurement gave the river distance from the campsite on 29 August to Baker Lake to be ~410 km (~255 miles).
A consequence is that Kingsley was misled to state By August 29, …they had travelled barely half the distance or ~700 km (~450 miles). [Kingsley book, middle of p 188; also Up Here, lower right column on p 90].

Internal URLs.

Foreword and Forum.
Main text.
Appendix 1. Reality.
Appendix 3. Equipment.
Appendix 4. Experience.
Appendix 5. Pace and weather.
Appendix 6. Food.
Appendix 7. Schedule.
Appendix 8. Rapids in general.
Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.
Ancillary 1. Accusations.
Ancillary 2. Lanouette excerpt.
Ancillary 3. Tyrrell excerpt.
Ancillary 4. Distances.
Ancillary 5. Loose ends and the future.
Ancillary 6. Addenda.
Ancillary 7. Moffatt’s Tyrrell sources.
Ancillary 8. Evidence regarding the tragedy.
Bibliography.

Notice.
With the exception of quoted material, copyright to the above belongs to Allan Jacobs.

Ancillary 5. Loose ends and the future.

Major renovations were completed in early November 2017 but I expect that warts remain.
Thanks for your patience. Allan

Ancillary 5. Loose ends and the future.

Foreword.
For the most part, this Ancillary lists missing items that should provide more insight into the Moffatt trip.

Loose ends.

Introduction.
All is neat and tidy in the accusatory literature: Moffatt was incompetent, period.
A particular example: Those guys had no business being up there. … They were a bunch of guys who didn’t know what they were doing and led by a guy with poor leadership skills. They fooled around and did a lot of crap and it finally came back to bite them. This was simply a group of novices led by someone more interested in film than travel, which squandered its time and resources and then made some tragic mistakes. … [Thum, in Mahler-Thum, 2005].
My limited experience is that documentary literature is not always neat and tidy. There are frequently poorly answered questions, questions that should have been asked but were not, sources that were missed, evidence that was missed, perhaps questionable decisions regarding which material to include and which to omit, errors in judgement, and so on.
And so I ask the reader to notify me of like items in my documentation of the Moffatt tragedy. I should welcome being notified of such and I promise to do what I can to resolve them.
At this time though, I know of no major remaining questions in the Moffatt story. To my mind, his innocence has been established beyond reasonable doubt (a necessary reversal of the customary procedure, given the volume and the quality of the accusatory literature).
But the following questions, some minor ones at first glance, have occurred to me.

Loose end 1. The Sports Illustrated article.
1. The identity of the SI editor.
2. The means by which s/he came into possession of both Moffatt’s journal for the trip, and Lanouette’s journal for 14 September.
3. More importantly, whether the editor’s selections responsibly represent the content of the journal. But I hold to my conclusion that the editor fabricated her/his case against Moffatt.
4. The background related to the following accusations, for none of which the editor provided evidence, all of which are refuted by the evidence (some of it in Moffatt’s journal itself).
(a) Food was becoming the question now. [8-9 August; p 76, top of left column].
(b) Already nine days behind schedule, the Moffatt party races against winter on the Barren Grounds. The days grow colder, provisions dwindle, game grows scarce. In desperate haste, they take an ultimate chance. [15-16 August; p 76, bottom of right column].
(c) Increasingly, the men were taking chances. They now shot down churning chutes of white water, which, a month earlier, they would have scrutinized with a doubtful eye. [7-9 September; p 82, top of right column.]
5. The background related to the Epilogue on page 88.
Grinnell, being quoted in the first paragraph, is clearly a source for some of the material. I believe him to be the source for most of the remainder.
In this connection, much of the material in the paragraph beginning In the aftermath is incorrect [Pessl, private correspondence].
6. The role, if any, played by Grinnell in the preparation of the SI> article. But Grinnell and the editor certainly corresponded, perhaps met in person.

Loose end 2. Accusations made prior to the publication of Grinnell’s book.
On pages 293 and 294 of Grinnell’s book (1996 edition), Luste provides the following.
Over the years, a number of unfounded versions or representations of the Moffatt accident have made their way into the canoeing literature. I’ve read statements like
“After some discussion there came a momentous decision. To save time the party would run any rapid which looked safe from the top.” and
“Everyone was rescued quickly so there should have been no problems.” or
“Increasing desperation made them run rapids without careful checking,” or
“…to speed progress they would run any rapid that looked passable from the top…” and
“On Moffatt’s trip, the canoeists surviving the mid-September swamping first picked up all the packs, then the swamped members, a fatal mistake.”

1. These representations contain too much detail for them to have been based on the Sports Illustrated article, or to have been fabricated. Did their authors have access to a trip participant or his writings?
Information (not provided by Luste) regarding authors’ names, dates and publication information (if any) would almost certainly further our understanding of the Moffatt literature, perhaps even our understanding of the tragedy.
I did what I could to access relevant material.
2. In 1996, Luste already knew accusations of reckless running of the fatal rapids to be unfounded. How did Luste know that? Given Grinnell’s redaction of Lanouette’s evidence, Grinnell is an unlikely candidate.
3. What influence, if any, did these accusations have on the Moffatt literature post 1996? I saw no mention of them.

Loose end 3. J B Tyrrell’s journal.
The evidence is conclusive that Moffatt had obtained access to JBT’s journal, aka his report.
1. I refer first to the passage Throughout Tyrrell’s journal, he speaks of seeing patches of snow well to the south and he suffered his first snow storm on August 10. [Pessl, 28 August, bottom of p 107]. I say that the evidence is conclusive because no such passage appears in J B Tyrrell’s book, as I document in Appendix 5. Pace and weather.
2. That Moffatt had access to Tyrrell’s journal (not publicly available) is evinced also by the Moffatt-Tyrrell correspondence.

Loose end 4. The Moffatt – J B Tyrrell correspondence.
With regard to the tragedy, the evidence is conclusive that Moffatt had obtained rapids information from J B Tyrrell beyond that provided in the latter’s book; I refer the reader especially to the LeFavour passage …the last two apparently easy for they were mentioned only as “rapids”.
Sources for that additional rapids information are
1. J B Tyrrell’s journal, to which Moffatt is known to have had access; I refer the reader to the passage quoted in Loose End 4.
2. The Moffatt-Tyrrell correspondence (access to which would assist also our understanding of Moffatt’s preparations for the trip). Both my efforts to access that correspondence were unsuccessful; one was correspondence with the Moffatt family, the other inspection of the J B Tyrrell files at the Thomas Fisher Library of the University of Toronto. With respect to the latter, in May 2017 I spent the better part of two days searching the J B Tyrell files at that library. Those files contain both professional and personal correspondence, not completely separated. With the kind, indeed generous and patient, assistance of the library staff, I searched the entire professional files for 1953, 1954 and 1955, plus the entire relevant personal files, but I found none of the correspondence between them. In short, I did what I could.
Next, I provide Moffatt’s two letters to J B Tyrrell (Source Pessl); my only changes were the deletion of dates, of addresses and of blank lines between paragraphs and elsewhere.
Again, I was unable to access the reply (known to have been made) to the first; I possess no evidence that JBT replied to the second.

Moffatt’s letter of 18 December 1954.
Dear Dr. Tyrrell:
At the suggestion of Dr. Lincoln Washburn, Professor of Geology at Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, I am writing to tell you of my plans to follow your route from Stony Rapids on Lake Athabaska via the Dubawnt River to Chesterfield Inlet this coming summer.
Since your exploration of that route in 1893 no other canoe parties seem to have made the trip, and if we did not have your excellent report to guide us, I doubt that we should attempt it. My purpose in going is to make a film in color, for lecture purposes — and I believe with luck we shall have something unlike anything that has been done before.
You may wonder what my qualifications for making such a trip are; I list them briefly: In 1937 I paddled alone from Sioux Lookout, Ontario, to the Albany River and down it to James Bay. Since 1950 I have led parties of five young men of college age down the Albany every summer. In 1952 and ’53 I made a 3000 foot color film of the Albany trip, with which I have been lecturing, and it now seems time to attempt a more difficult and unusual trip – your route down the Dubawnt.
I plan to use two 18 foot Chestnut Prospector canoes, one paddled by Skip Pessl, a young man who has made the Albany trip with me twice and who is this year a senior at Dartmouth College; and the other paddled by myself. We have not yet selected our two bow paddlers, and in this connection Dr. Washburn thought that you might like to send along someone from your company to look the country over once again.
We expect to leave here as close to June 15 as we can and to remain on the Dubawnt until about September 1. We anticipate several difficulties we have never encountered along the Albany, first the absence of fuel and second the difficulty of crossing the frozen expanse of Dubawnt Lake – if you are able to give us any advice on coping with these two problems we shall certainly appreciate it.
Of great importance also is the fact that we must carry sufficient supplies for the entire trip – the administration of the Northwest Territories will allow us to carry only a rifle, but it is only to be used if we are in danger of starvation – which we feel is rather late in the game to begin living off the country. Nevertheless, we are prepared to travel under these conditions.
We shall, of course, attempt to take as many fish as we can, and here again we should appreciate any specific information about the kinds of fish we shall encounter, places where they may be taken, and methods used in taking them.
To revert briefly to the matter of fuel: Stefansson, in his Arctic Manual, indicates that most Arctic rivers are lined with willows and alders; but in your report and in the book of your brother, I find small mention of such a source of wood for fires. Were they indeed absent along the Dubawnt, or were they too green to burn – or is the country too generally soaked with rain to use them?
I hope you find it interesting that we will be travelling the Dubawnt this summer, and I also hope that you can give me some advice to help us complete the journey successfully. In any case, I hope I may have the pleasure of hearing from you.
Sincerely, Arthur R. Moffatt

Interpretation.
Given that Moffatt refers to J W Tyrrell’s book, his use of report (two places) suggests a source other than J B Tyrrell’s book.
But what then is one to make of the passage tried without success to obtain copies of your report in the letter that follows? Is there a third document?

Moffatt’s letter of 14 January 1955.
Dear Dr. Tyrrell:
Thank you very much for your kind reply to my letter of December 18, in which I asked you several questions about the Dubawnt River.
I have tried without success to obtain copies of your report from Mr. Amtmann and from Dora Hood, but Mr. Amtmann referred me to Miss Wills, Librarian of the Geological Survey, who was kind enough to send me, on loan until September 30, 1955, a copy of your report.
I have written Miss Wills of the possible damage that may be done to the report on a trip by canoe down the Dubawnt, and I am waiting now to see if she really means that I should take it with me to the Barrens. I certainly hope she does – after all, it will be our only guide.
Your suggestion that we will face starvation unless we have good rifles is certainly to the point, and I wish the Administration of the Northwest Territories realised that in forbidding us to use rifles until we are in imminent danger of starvation they are putting us in a very difficult position. However, if those are the terms on which we may enter the country, we will to face them or stay home. I believe that by restricting our diet to oatmeal, hardtack, bully beef, dried potatoes and macaroni, we ought to be able to feed four men well enough for the three months we expect to be on the Barrens. I’ve eaten worse food longer and survived.
Our search for two bow paddlers is not yet over, and in asking you whether your mining company might not like to send a geologist with us who could also pull his weight in a canoe and on the portages, I was acting on the advice of Dr. Washburn, who thought your company might find it to its advantage to do some prospecting along the Dubawnt.
You may be interested to hear that I showed your letter to Dr. Vilhjalmur Stefansson who i asked if he might have the letter for his library, which is a now a part of the Dartmouth College Library at Hanover, New Hampshire.
I want to thank you again for your interest in my proposed trip, and I wish you a very Happy New Year.
Sincerely, Arthur R. Moffatt

Loose end 5. Luste’s comment regarding the fatal rapids.
I should like to know the source of the following Luste comment.
Art Moffatt, following Tyrrell’s notes, was not expecting the rapid in which he swamped and then died. [Grinnell book, 1996, p 284].
The question.
How did Luste know that Moffatt had possessed J B Tyrrell’s notes regarding Dubawnt rapids in general?
Not by the way, Luste was not one to make things up.
As I discuss in the Main text and in Appendix 8. Other rapids Luste’s source was neither the Sports Illustrated article nor Grinnell’s publications.

Loose end 6. The journals of the trip participants.
Those concerned willing, establish a repository to hold the journals of the participants and related material.
Moffatt’s journal is of course by far the most important item.
Given that the Sports Illustrated editor
(a) made the accusations 1, 2 and 3 described in Ancillary 1 (Accusations), and
(b) redacted the key phrase Following Tyrrell’s route from Moffatt’s journal,
it seems important to examine Moffatt’s journal for the evidence regarding his character and his judgment.
More generally, access to his journal might reveal errors (and worse) in the written record as it stands.
Perhaps most important of all, his journal should provide much insight into the character of a shamefully maligned fellow paddler.
His journal is held at the Dartmouth College library, but viewing is restricted, perhaps understandably given the actions of the Sports Illustrated editor. Only a few excerpts are publicly available at present.

The future.

As things stand, given
the actions of the Sports Illustrated editor, and
the damage (much of it willful) that so many defamers did to Moffatt’s reputation over 55 years,
should we expect to see soon Moffatt’s journal and other material important for a deeper understanding of the tragedy?
Perhaps the response to this blog will decide the matter.
Since the announcement of the opening of the blog in late September 2016, I have received only Grinnell’s one-liner.

Internal URLs.

Foreword and Forum.
Main text.
Appendix 1. Reality.
Appendix 3. Equipment.
Appendix 4. Experience.
Appendix 5. Pace and weather.
Appendix 6. Food.
Appendix 7. Schedule.
Appendix 8. Rapids in general.
Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.
Ancillary 1. Accusations.
Ancillary 2. Lanouette excerpt.
Ancillary 3. Tyrrell excerpt.
Ancillary 4. Distances.
Ancillary 5. Loose ends and the future.
Ancillary 6. Addenda.
Ancillary 7. Moffatt’s Tyrrell sources.
Ancillary 8. Evidence regarding the tragedy.
Bibliography.

Notice.
With the exception of quoted material, copyright to the above belongs to Allan Jacobs.

Ancillary 6. Addenda.

Major renovations were completed in early November 2017 but I expect that warts remain.
Thanks for your patience. Allan

Ancillary 6. Addenda.

Foreword.
This Ancillary provides items that don’t fit elsewhere.

Item 1. Tom McCloud’s review of Pessl’s book.

BARREN GROUNDS – The Story of the Tragic Moffatt Canoe Trip.
Fred “Skip” Pessl, Dartmouth College Press (2014).
The review was posted here on 19 September 2016.

Students of canoeing in the far north of Canada have heard of the 1955 expedition lead by Art Moffatt to the Dubawnt River, a major drainage to the northwest of Hudson Bay. After 51 days on the river, following a major storm with snowfall, the group of 6 young men in 3 Chestnut wood/canvas canoes entered a long rapid in a section of river with islands partly obscuring the view. Big waves at the bottom of the rapid filled and rolled 2 canoes, the third half-filled. The four swimmers were pulled to shore, severely hypothermic, with Moffatt never awakening.

There have been previous magazine articles and one book (“A Death on The Barrens” by George Grinnell, one of the paddlers) recounting this accident, second-guessing, and often criticizing. Skip Pessl had done previous wilderness trips with Moffatt, so was the second most experienced and, de-facto, second in-charge. Because he strongly disagrees with what others have written, this book is Pessl’s contribution to ‘setting the record straight’. It consists of transcriptions of both Skip’s and Peter Francks’ day-by-day diary entries. They recorded the wildlife they saw, the rapids they ran or portaged, the food they ate, the weather and how cold and wet they were – typical of any northern trip. Skip and Peter were neither tent-mates nor canoe-mates, so where their accounts are similar, they corroborate each other, yet each has his own viewpoint. Using these texts, Pessl forcefully rebuts what others, particularly Grinnell, have written about the tragic accident and its cause. Having had nearly 60 years to ruminate, Pessl concludes the root cause was that Moffatt, and he himself, did not fully appreciate the considerable differences and greater difficulties, between their previous trips on the Albany and the much longer and further north Dubawnt.

If you are interested in the literature of far north paddling, you should have Barren Grounds on your bookshelf. It makes available at lot more first-hand information concerning the 1955 trip and the Dubawnt river, but will not stop the speculation, recrimination or second-guessing. It would be very interesting to spend a long evening around the campfire talking with Skip Pessl.

Thanks to Tom for permission to reproduce the above. The original was published in Coastal VA News, Fall 2015 issue; newsletter of the Coastal Canoeists of Virginia.

Item 2. …paved…paradise…parking lot.

Grinnell passage 1.
The expression, “paved over paradise with a parking lot”, was common at Berkeley…between 1962-1967. Creigh Moffatt reminded me that its origin probably lies with Joni Mitchell: “…paved paradise and put up a parking lot.” [Grinnell book, p 308]

Grinnell passage 2.
…part of the Creation, and paving over the rest with a parking lot. [Grinnell book, p 258]

Big Yellow Taxi, excerpt.
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot
With a pink hotel, a boutique
And a swinging hot spot
Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got
‘Till it’s gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot…

https://www.google.ca/search?rlz=1C1NHXL_enCA756CA756&q=joni+mitchell+big+yellow+taxi&stick=H4sIAAAAAAAAAONgFuLRT9c3LDTNSjLMTTZQAvOKDUxLzHItKrS0spOt9HNLizOT9YtSk_OLUjLz0uOTc0qLS1KLrPJLMlKLFMpSi4oz8_OKAbVkaOlKAAAA&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwirqsnnqePVAhUh0YMKHaEZATYQri4ISjAI&biw=1366&bih=662

Comment. I don’t understand why Grinnell gives the dates 1962-1967, given that the song is stated to have been composed only in 1970.
“Big Yellow Taxi” is a song written, composed, and originally recorded by Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell in 1970, and originally released on her album “Ladies of the Canyon”.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Yellow_Taxi

Internal URLs.

Main text.
Appendix 1. Reality.
Appendix 3. Equipment.
Appendix 4. Experience.
Appendix 5. Pace and weather.
Appendix 6. Food.
Appendix 7. Schedule.
Appendix 8. Rapids in general.
Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.
Ancillary 1. Accusations.
Ancillary 2. Lanouette excerpt.
Ancillary 3. Tyrrell excerpt.
Ancillary 4. Distances.
Ancillary 5. Loose ends and the future.
Ancillary 6. Addenda.
Ancillary 7. Moffatt’s Tyrrell sources.
Ancillary 8. Evidence regarding the tragedy.
Bibliography.

Notice.
With the exception of quoted material, copyright to the above belongs to Allan Jacobs.