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.

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