Appendix 7. Schedule

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

Appendix 7. Schedule.

Summary.
The assertions of the Sports Illustrated editor, James Murphy, Andrew MacDonald and Charlie Mahler, namely that Arthur Moffatt died due to lack of schedule (and the like), have no basis in any evidence known to me.
The cause of Moffatt’s death is documented in Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.

Introduction.
1. The editor of Sports Illustrated article (1959) asserted (provided no evidence) that the Moffatt party had a day-by-day schedule, but was days behind it. And so Moffatt was forced to run the fatal rapids without a scout in desperate haste, to take the ultimate chance, in order to escape the onset of winter.
2. In what were alleged to be reviews of participant Grinnell’s book (1996), James Murphy and Andrew MacDonald asserted that Arthur Moffatt died due to lack of schedule and the like. But Grinnell, in that very book, asserted truthfully, repeatedly and consistently that Moffatt had scheduled a date for arrival in Baker Lake (the terminus of the trip).
3. Charlie Mahler asserted that a plodding pace was in part responsible for Moffatt’s death.
4. Eleven independent sources evince that Moffatt had a schedule for arrival in Baker Lake: The New York Times, the Manchester Ledger, the Boston Sunday Advertiser, the Winnipeg Tribune, the RCAF, the RCMP, the Baker Lake detachment of the RCMP, the Moffatt family (especially his wife Carol), participant Grinnell (in his book, not his article), participant Lanouette, and participant Pessl.
Absent from this list is the Sports Illustrated article as such.
5. More generally, no barrenlands party (even the Tyrrell 1893 party, whose track Moffatt followed in part) ever had, indeed no such party could have had, a highly prescriptive schedule (the extreme case being a day-by-day schedule). The whims of the weather forbid such; even the Tyrrell party was sidelined on more than one occasion.

Summary.
The evidence, the bulk of which was available to his accusers at the time, begs leave to differ with the assertions of the Sports Illustrated editor, James Murphy, Andrew MacDonald and Charlie Mahler, namely that Arthur Moffatt died due to lack of schedule and the like.
The cause of Moffatt’s death is documented in Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.

Timeline of the schedule-related Moffatt literature.
1959.
Publication of the Sports Illustrated articles. Issues of
9 March 1959 Man against the Barren Grounds (pp 68-76) and
16 March 1959 Danger and Sacrifice (pp 80-88).
Reader responses were posted at
http://www.si.com/vault/1959/04/06/604104/19th-hole-the-readers-take-over
Contents include the New York Times article of 24 September 1955.
1988.
Publication of Grinnell’s article.
Grinnell, George J. Art Moffatt’s Wilderness Way to Enlightenment. Canoe, July 1988, pp 18-21 & 56.
1996.
Publication of Grinnell’s book (first edition).
Grinnell, George. A Death on the Barrens. A true story. Northern Books, Toronto (1996).
The editions of 2005 and 2010 are believed not to have been used in the Moffatt literature.
1996.
Reviews of Grinnell’s book by James Murphy and Andrew MacDonald.
Che-Mun, Canoelit section. Moffatt, Myth & Mysticism. Spring 1996, pp 5 & 11.
Online version of Murphy’s review. http://www.canoe.ca/AllAboutCanoes/book_deathbarrens.html
2000.
The Tragic Trips…1955 – The Moffat Dubawnt River trip..
Che-Mun, Outfit 99, Winter 2000, pp 5&6.
2005.
Publication of two articles (identical at first glance) by Charlie Mahler. Contents include comments of Bob Thum and others.
Article 1. Down a Dead Man’s River, Che-Mun. Outfit 122, Autumn 2005, starting on page 4.
http://www.ottertooth.com/che-mun/122/chemun122.pdf
Article 2. Feature Story in the Advanced Paddler section at canoeing.com.
The formerly active URL (provided just in case).
http://www.canoeing.com/advanced/feature/deadmansriver.htm

Paddling in the barrenlands.
1. The purpose of the Tyrrell-Tyrrell party of 1893 was to explore and document lands not before seen by those of European descent.
2. These days, the purpose of most recreational parties is to experience the barrenlands. But some who paddle there do so rather in order to prove something, an act that those who respect the land find distasteful; I provide an example later.
3. The purpose of the Moffatt party of 1955 was none of these. Moffatt went there in order to document the barrenlands, by film, photos and journals. And so the party ad-libed, stopping to photograph the caribou and the artifacts left by the native people, to film the running of rapids, etc, as the occasion arose.
4. Moffatt was fully aware that the party could not dally, for he possessed the weather-related evidence of the books of the Tyrrell brothers, plus other documents.
5. With respect to the schedule, Moffatt had only a tentative arrival date in Baker Lake. It was 15 September, with a grace period of seven days before the air search was started; indeed, the search began on 22 September.
With one eye on the accusatory literature, I mention that Moffatt had chosen not one waypoint to be reached by a particular date.
6. The barrenlands are not Algonquin or Temagami or the BWCAW, for example, where a day-by-day schedule verges on being mandatory. No party paddling in the barrenlands ever had or could have had anything as detailed as a day-by-day schedule. Even the Tyrrell party of 1893 could not paddle every day; inclement weather forced even it to lay over on occasion.
When the wind is up, everyone stays in camp, especially tourists like us.
And so I ask that the reader reflect on the assertions (documented later) of the Sports Illustrated editor, James Murphy, Andrew MacDonald and Charlie Mahler that Moffatt died because of he had no schedule.
7. The Moffatt party had no day-by day schedule, nor could it have had one. But it did have the one essential ingredient, namely a schedule for arrival in Baker Lake, as evinced by the eleven independent sources documented above.
8. Additional material is provided in Sub-Appendix 3. Barrenlands paddling in general and the Moffatt party’s response to the wind.
9. Perhaps the reader is already able to assess assertions that Moffatt died due to lack of schedule and the like.

Moffatt’s preparations.
Moffatt possessed the books of both Joseph B Tyrrell and James W Tyrrell, and
he had obtained copies of JBT’s maps (which show many features, including many rapids and falls), and
he had corresponded with JBT, and
he had obtained a copy of JBT’s journal (which differs from his book; likely the same as his report).
And so I am perhaps justified to conclude that Moffatt was well prepared for the 1955 trip; in particular, I suggest that he knew what to expect of mid-September weather.
Reference. Ancillary 7. Moffatt’s Tyrrell sources.
Moffatt had told the RCMP representative in Baker Lake to expect the party on 15 September, with a grace period of a week before the air search was begun. I possess no evidence regarding what, if any, information Moffatt had obtained from the RCMP there.

Comparison of dates for the Tyrrell and Moffatt parties.
Sources. Pessl’s book, at the tops of his pages 17, 41, 69, 129 and 144.
1. Entry-exit dates for Dubawnt Lake.
Tyrrell. 7-17 August, 1893
Moffatt. 21-27 August, 1955.
Other dates for the parties are provided in Sub-Appendix 1.
2. Dates for arrival in Baker Lake.
The Tyrrell party arrived on 2 September [Robertson, p 162], continued to the coast of Hudson Bay (at Chesterfield Inlet), then went down it to Churchill (the last part by sled) and beyond. Aside. Pessl [private communication] suggested this to be the source for Grinnell’s false assertion that the Moffatt party was scheduled to arrive there on 2 September.
As noted above, Moffatt’s arrival was scheduled for 15 September, with a grace period of seven days; the survivors arrived on 24 September.

Paddling the barrenlands and proving something.
1. Moffatt.
He was an American pacifist (a Quaker) who volunteered before December 1941 to serve in the British army as an ambulance driver. Under fire in both Africa and Italy, literally for years, he took the wounded and the dying from the front of the battles to the aid stations.
Let the reader decide whether Moffatt had anything to prove when he chose to paddle the Dubawnt.
2. Thum.
Let Bob Thum describe the mission of his 1966 party.
Moffatt is precisely why we took the trip… I thought experienced trippers could cover Tyrrell’s route safely and skillfully, which we did… Those guys had no business being up there… [Thum, in Che-Mun, Outfit 122, Autumn 2005]
Response 1.
To me, it is no great reach to conclude that the mission of the Thum party was to show up a dead man. Opinion. Such grace, such courage.
Response 2.
With respect to Thum’s safely and skillfully, which we did, it is perhaps not beside the point that Thum possessed information not available to Moffatt. In particular, Thum knew the rapids where Moffatt died (those above Marjorie Lake) to be dangerous in the extreme.

Summary of the evidence available to Moffatt’s accusers in the matter of the schedule.
Of special interest for the assessment of assertions that Arthur Moffatt died due to lack of schedule are the following four publications, all of which were available to every accuser in the matter of the schedule.

Publication 1. The New York Times article (1959).
Planes flew over the tundra…looking for a trace of a six-man expedition. The group was a week overdue… [New York Times article, dated 24 September 1955. SI article, top left of p 71]
A question.
How might the later assertions of Murphy, MacDonald and others (that Moffatt died due to lack of schedule) have differed had they read the Sports Illustrated article?

Publication 2. The Sports Illustrated article (1959).
Passage 1.
a week behind…schedule [SI article, upper right column on page 76; dated 8 August]
Passage 2.
nine days behind schedule [SI article, lower right column on p 76; dated between 15 and 18 August].
A question.
How might the later assertions of Murphy, MacDonald and others (that Moffatt died due to lack of schedule) have differed had they read the Sports Illustrated article?

Publication 3. Grinnell’s Canoe article (1988).
The introduction contains the passage late in the season and behind schedule. The passage is almost certainly due to the editor, rather than to Grinnell. The source for the part behind schedule is likely the similar remark in the SI article (not referenced in Grinnell’s article).
A question.
How might the later assertions of Murphy, MacDonald and others (that Moffatt died due to lack of schedule) have differed had they read Grinnell’s Canoe article?

Publication 4. Grinnell’s book (1996).
Especially important is the evidence provided in Grinnell’s book, for the most influential schedule-related accusations were published in what were alleged to be reviews (by Murphy and MacDonald) of that book.
In his book, Grinnell wanders aimlessly between assertions
that there was only a schedule for arrival in Baker Lake and
that there was a schedule more prescriptive than an arrival date (say a date for exiting Dubawnt Lake, not that the Moffatt part had such).
But he repeatedly and consistently asserts that the party had a date for arrival in Baker Lake; indeed, he gave the date for that arrival, though incorrectly.
A request.
I ask that the reader assess, in the light of this evidence of Grinnell’s book, the assertions of Murphy and MacDonald that Moffatt died due to lack of schedule, this in what both alleged to be reviews of Grinnell’s book.

Summary of the evidence available to Moffatt’s accusers in the matter of the schedule.
A schedule for arrival in Baker Lake was documented in all four of the earliest publications regarding Moffatt’s death. All four were available to every accuser in the matter of Moffatt’s schedule.
The evidence of Grinnell’s book is of particular importance, for the accusations of Murphy and MacDonald were made in what were alleged to be reviews of that very book.
Unfortunately for the reputation of a person unable to respond, the assertions of Murphy and MacDonald were accepted, indeed promulgated, in the accusatory literature that followed.

The New York Times article (1955).
Comment. The following is the full text of the summary provided above.
On Sept. 24, 1955, the following dispatch appeared in “The New York Times”:
“PRINCE ALBERT, SASK. Planes flew over the tundra of the Arctic region today looking for a trace of a six-man expedition. The group was a week overdue on a 900-mile canoe trip.
Led by a veteran woodsman, Arthur Moffatt, 36, of Norwich, Vt., the explorers had provisions for 80 days. They have been gone 85 days, but officials said there were deer and elk in the area that the men could shoot for food.
The group left Stony Rapids, Sask., en route to Baker Lake, 150 miles south of the Arctic Circle.
[Sports Illustrated article of 1959, top of p 71]
Question 1. What interpretation of the passage The group was a week overdue… is possible but that the Moffatt party had a schedule for arrival in Baker Lake, but was a week or more late in arriving there?
Question 2. Does not this evidence of the New York Times, alone and in itself, refute every assertion (especially those of Murphy and MacDonald) that the Moffatt party had no schedule for arrival in Baker Lake?
Lesser matters.
1. 24 September is the publication date of the NYT article, not necessarily the date when it was written. By chance, it is also the date when the survivors reached Baker Lake.
2. Arrival in Baker Lake was scheduled for 15 September, with a grace period of a week before an air search was begun. Indeed, that search was begun on 22 September.
3. A minor point regarding the trip distance (the 900 miles).
Before the trip started (but after writing his Prospectus, provided on page 71 of the SI article), Moffatt decided to exit at Baker Lake (rather than continue to Chesterfield Inlet), thereby shortening the trip by ~200 miles (~300 km). That is, the figure of 900 miles for the distance between Black Lake and Baker Lake (given in the NYT article and elsewhere in the Moffatt literature) is incorrect.
Reference. Ancillary 4. Distances.
4. Even lesser items: deer means caribou; elk is risible.

The Sports Illustrated article.
Passage 1. a week behind…schedule [upper right column on page 76; 8 August].
Passage 2. nine days behind schedule [lower right column on p 76; between 15 and 18 August].
Interpretation.
What is one to make of these passages but
first that the Moffatt party had a day-by-day schedule, and
second that it was days behind it on two documented occasions?
The evidence.
Nowhere in Moffatt’s journal (possessed in full by the SI editor) exists there a reference to a day-by-day schedule, even so much as a waypoint to be reached by some date (even an approximate one).
Moffatt’s journal documents only that the party was scheduled to arrive in Baker Lake on 15 September, but even this had a grace period of a week.
Again, barrenlands weather forbids a day-by-day schedule.
Again, even the Tyrrell party of 1893 had to stay in camp on occasion.
Comment.
Given its mission to document the barrenlands, the Moffatt party paused in order to photograph the caribou and the items left by the native people, to film the running of rapids, etc. And so, even apart from the constraints imposed by the weather, the Moffatt party could not have had a day-by-day schedule.
A request.
I ask that the reader reflect on the credibility of the Sports Illustrated article.

The assertions of the Sports Illustrated editor.
Assertion 1.
He [Moffatt] was a week behind Tyrrell’s schedule. [SI article, upper right column on p 76, 8 August].
Discussion is provided below.
Assertion 2.
Already nine days behind schedule, the Moffatt party races against winter on the Barren Grounds. The days grow colder, provisions dwindle, game grows scarce. In desperate haste, they take an ultimate chance. [SI article; bottom right of page 76, appearing between the Moffatt journal entries for 15 and 18 August].
Comment 1.
I agree that the days were growing colder (on average), and also that the Moffatt party was travelling in the barrenlands.
Comment 2.
The items provisions dwindle and game grows scarce are addressed in
Appendix 6. Food.
Comment 3.
The items races against winter, desperate haste and ultimate chance are addressed in the following.
Appendix 8. Rapids in general
Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.
Comment 4.
And so we are left with the nine days behind schedule part of the assertion.

Discussion of the schedule-related parts of Assertions 1 and 2.
I have no quarrel with statements that Moffatt knew the record of the Tyrrell party (1893), for such is indeed the case. Reference. Ancillary 7. Moffatt’s Tyrrell sources.
Key passage 1.
He [Moffatt] was a week behind Tyrrell’s schedule. [Assertion 1]
Interpretation.
The Moffatt party had reached some unspecified waypoint (the entrance to a lake, the exit from one, an esker, or some other prominent feature) on 8 August, ~seven days later than the Tyrrell party.
Key passage 2.
Already nine days behind schedule. [Assertion 2]
Interpretation.
The schedule can be only that of Tyrrell party of 1893.
The main point of the editor’s remark is that the Moffatt party was nine days behind schedule in reaching a second waypoint, also unspecified.
Response to both passages.
The participants beg leave to differ with the Sports Illustrated editor.
The Moffatt party had not even one waypoint to be reached by some date.
It had only a schedule for arrival in Baker Lake, but even this was elastic.

Summary of the schedule-related parts of Assertions 1 and 2 of the Sports Illustrated editor.
Given
first that the Moffatt party had no day-by-day schedule (indeed it could not have had one; even the Tyrrell party of 1893 had none), and
second that the Moffatt party had not even one waypoint to be reached by some date (it had only an arrival date),
the evidence suggests that the Sports Illustrated editor knowingly and falsely represented the track of the Tyrrell party (1893) to be the schedule of the Moffatt party (1955).
It is then perhaps not beside the point that the SI editor redacted the phrase Following Tyrrell’s route from Moffatt’s journal entry for 13 September. [Sports Illustrated, page 82, lower right column].
General comments.
My best efforts failed to obtain full access to Moffatt’s journal; only excerpts are available to me.
But I found that some excerpts provided in the SI article had been severely edited, and that others had been selected to make points detrimental to Moffatt.
Conclusion.
I am unable to trust any content in the SI article that is not confirmed by a source known to be reliable; those sources are identified in the paragraph that follows.
Foretaste.
If I may get ahead of the story considerably, the SI editor redacted the key phrase Following Tyrrell’s route from Moffatt’s last journal entry, that for 13 September.

General comments regarding the evidence of the participants.
The evidence of Moffatt.
I have learned to trust completely the excerpts from Moffatt’s journal as provided by Pessl (in his book and in private correspondence).
I have learned to trust, in the first instance, no corresponding contents of the Sports Illustrated article.
The evidence of participants Franck, Lanouette, LeFavour and Pessl.
I have learned to trust completely the published evidence of all four, and also the contents of private correspondence from them
The evidence of participant Grinnell,
as published in his article (1988) and his book (1996 edition).
I regret to state that I have learned to trust, in the first instance, no content of either Grinnell publication.

Grinnell’s publications and the matter of a schedule.
0. Apart from the Sports Illustrated article (which contains edited excerpts from Moffatt’s journal), Grinnell’s article and his book were the only primary sources (the writing of participants) available for material regarding the schedule.
1. I must repeat that I trust nothing written by Grinnell unless it is confirmed by sources that I know to be reliable.
2. As best I can tell (he is remarkably uninformative regarding the matter), Grinnell uses the term schedule in three senses:
(a) a date only for arrival in Baker Lake,
(b) an arrival date plus something more prescriptive (say even as little as a date to exit Dubawnt Lake),
(c) participant Franck’s registration date.
But he fails to distinguish between them. As best I recall at the moment, he does not refer to the record of the Tyrrell trip of 1893.
3. Grinnell, like Murphy and MacDonald who wrote later, failed to explain what he meant by the term schedule. And that failure matters, for schedule could have several interpretations, as discussed elsewhere.
But Grinnell repeatedly and consistently asserted that the Moffatt party had scheduled a date for arrival in Baker Lake. And, at times, he had in mind something more prescriptive.
The reader will soon see what Murphy and MacDonald made of Grinnell’s evidence.

Interjection. The evidentiary basis of the Moffatt literature.
The publications of participant Pessl (his book includes excerpts from the journal of participant Franck) appeared too late to influence that literature (except in the trivial matter noted elsewhere).
The publications of participant LeFavour are not generally available.
The sole published evidence of participant Lanouette is the edited excerpt (I consider it to be a faithful one) from his journal for 14 September, as published in the SI article. The unfaithful version of that excerpt provided in Grinnell’s book went unmentioned in the accusatory literature.
Summary. The entire accusatory literature is based on three items:
the edited excerpts from Moffatt’s journal as provided in the SI article,
Grinnell’s article, and
Grinnell’s book.
Conclusion. Given that I learned to trust no content of these three publications unless it is confirmed by the evidence of participants Moffatt (but only in journal excerpts provided by Pessl), Franck, Lanouette, LeFavour and Pessl,
it follows that I do not trust, in the first instance, any content of the accusatory literature.

The evidence of Grinnell’s Canoe article (1988).
Grinnell, George J.
Art Moffatt’s Wilderness Way to Enlightenment. Canoe, July 1988, pp 18-21 & 56.

Excerpt 1.
…late in the season and behind schedule, they met disaster. [p 18]
Comment. This assertion appears in the Canoe editor’s Introduction to Grinnell’s article. Also appearing there is a reference to the Sports Illustrated article.
Aside. The Canoe editor was familiar with the contents of the SI article, but s/he made no mention of those contents as they affect the contents of Grinnell’s article.
Conclusion. The unidentified source for the behind schedule part of the Canoe editor’s assertion was the SI editor’s remarks a week behind Tyrrell’s schedule and nine days behind schedule, both of which I discuss above.

Excerpt 2.
We demanded a schedule. Moffatt’s idea of learning to live with nature meant traveling at a rather leisurely pace, but on July 18th, we bowmen…threatened to go on strike if we weren’t provided with a schedule. Moffatt replied that the wind did not blow on schedule. [p 20, top right].
Aside.
Moffatt’s wind remark is addressed below.
Response 1.
Upstream travel on the Chipman River was brutal and so Grinnell’s assertion that the pace was leisurely on that leg is, I gotta say it, absurd. And how could any party, ever, have had a schedule for that leg?
Response 2.
Given that the height of land was crossed only on 17 July [Pessl, p 43], Grinnell’s assertion that, on the very next day (18 July), the bowmen…threatened to go on strike if we weren’t provided with a schedule is well beyond strange, to me anyway.
Again, how was a detailed schedule possible for that reach? And how could the party have gone much faster in the difficult, trying circumstances up to and including 17 July?
Response 3.
Thereafter (until 3 August, when the group held a meeting and decided unanimously to increase the pace), the pace was not leisurely, so that Moffatt could learn to live with nature, as asserted by Grinnell.
Rather, travel was slow in this leg largely so that Moffatt and Pessl could film and photograph; these were the very purposes of the trip!
And it is not beside the point that, on 3 August, the party decided unanimously to increase the pace.
Reference. Appendix 5. Pace.

Excerpt 3.
… we had one last dispute over the schedule…. [p 21, middle of the left column].

Summary.
Excerpt 1 (an editorial insertion) asserts that there was a schedule
Excerpt 2 (due to Grinnell) asserts that there was no schedule.
Excerpt 3 (due to Grinnell) is ambiguous.

Conclusion.
Grinnell’s article provides
both the editorial assertion that there was a schedule,
and what I assess to be weak evidence of Grinnell that there was no schedule.

The evidence of Grinnell’s book (1996).
Comment 1.
Again, the term schedule is far too vague, for it could mean only a date for arrival in Baker Lake, or a day-by-day schedule, or anything between those extremes.
But the distinction is vitally important for an informed discussion
both of the evidence of Grinnell’s book
and of the accusations made by Murphy and MacDonald in their reviews of that book.
I use the term arrival schedule for a date to arrive in Baker Lake, nothing more.
And I use the term prescriptive schedule for a plan that includes something in addition to an arrival date (a waypoint if you like), be it ever so humble (say only a date for exiting Dubawnt Lake, not that the Moffatt party had any such date).
In both his article and his book, Grinnell unnecessarily contributed to the confusion by failing to distinguish possible interpretations of the term schedule. In their reviews of his book, Murphy and MacDonald continued that tradition.
Comment 2.
I had thought that everyone who had paddled in the barrenlands (as had one of Moffatt’s accusers in the matter) knew that the weather (especially the wind) forbids the extreme case of a prescriptive schedule, namely a day-by-day schedule. Even the Tyrrell party of 1893 was forced to stay in camp on several occasions.
Caution.
In the writings of the other participants, I found no confirmation of the following 11 comments of Grinnell. Again, I have learned to place no confidence in anything he writes unless it is confirmed by reliable sources. But, although I distrust all Grinnell statements that follow, I must provide them because were the only items (I hesitate to call them evidence) used by Murphy and MacDonald in making their accusations of Moffatt.
Item 1.
Although we were far behind schedule right from the beginning… [Grinnell book, p 17].
And so there was a prescriptive schedule right from the beginning of the trip.
But wait! What then is one to make of Grinnell’s We demanded a schedule. [Grinnell article, p 20, top right]?
Does the evidence of Grinnell’s book then not refute an assertion of his own article?
Item 2.
(a) …what are your thoughts about Art’s schedule? [Grinnell book, p 57, LeFavour speaking].
(b) What schedule! [Lanouette’s reply].
Interpretation. LeFavour suggested that there existed a prescriptive schedule, but the party was not sticking to it; Lanouette was being sarcastic.
Item 3.
I wanted the assurance that we would eventually reach … Baker Lake on September 2nd, as planned, and a schedule seemed to me to be the best way of guaranteeing that. [p 58].
(a) Interpretation. Grinnell has changed his tune. Now there was no prescriptive schedule, only a planned date for arrival in Baker Lake. Grinnell wanted something more prescriptive.
Aside. 2 September is off by 13 days.
(b) Pessl’s question Is it just a coincidence that Tyrrell arrived Baker Lake on Sept. 2? [private correspondence] alerted me to the possibility that Grinnell had confused (in his writing) dates for the Tyrrell trip with dates for the Moffatt trip; I now believe such to be the case. But I insist that the Moffatt party had a date for arrival in Baker Lake, namely 15 September, as I describe below, in detail.
(c) The main point is Grinnell’s statement that there was a schedule for arrival in Baker Lake.
Item 4.
…we bowmen…would go on strike if we were not given a schedule. [p 62].
Interpretation. No prescriptive schedule.
Item 5.
We bowmen were tired of being governed by the anarchy of wind and rain… [p 62].
The anarchy of wind is exactly what Moffatt meant by his remark …the wind did not blow on schedule…. Everyone who has paddled in the barrens (as had at least one accuser in the matter of the schedule) knows that fact and its consequence: When the wind is up, you stay in camp.
Item 6.
This remark, which has no relevance to the Moffatt trip, is included only for completeness.
On Art’s previous Albany trips, things had been run on schedule. [p 68].
Comment. I know of no evidence that supports this assertion of Grinnell. But if one accepts it, then
Moffatt had used a something like a prescriptive schedule previously.
Again, Moffatt could not possibly have had such a schedule for the Dubawnt trip; barrenlands trips differ considerably from those farther south (like the Albany), because no trees means no shelter from the wind.
Item 7.
Skip…seemed to have desired a more civilized schedule, something along the lines of shift work at General Motors…but Art only smiled sweetly and sipped his tea. [p 146].
Interpretation. Pessl wanted a more prescriptive schedule but Moffatt did not have one.
Item 8.
In the last two months, we had fallen about a month behind schedule. [p 162, ~29 August].
Comment. Grinnell changed his tune again. Now there was again a prescriptive schedule, for the party had fallen…behind schedule..
The reference is likely to the remark in item 3 above [p 17; 18 July], but I fail to understand why it was made on ~29 August. To put the matter another way, how are Grinnell’s remarks of ~six weeks earlier relevant on ~29 August?
A relatively minor point. The month estimate is far outside any constraint imposed by reality. Even with time lost due to the tragedy and to the weather, the party arrived in Baker Lake on 24 September, 9 days later than scheduled (two days after the end of the grace period), somewhat less than the month claimed by Grinnell.
Item 9.
…in the early days of the trip, when it first became apparent that we were falling behind schedule… [p 163].
Again. There was a prescriptive schedule from the very beginning of the trip.
Item 10.
On p 166, Grinnell again mentions (indirectly, again incorrectly) an arrival date of 2 September.
Item 11.
…the impending disaster which Art and the rest of us were so obviously courting. [p 167].
Comment. Get a grip, George! There was nothing obvious about the tragedy, even afterward.
Reference. The assertions of James Murphy and Andrew MacDonald.
Murphy. Lack of food, proper equipment and most importantly, lack of a planned itinerary, contributed to his [Moffatt’s] demise.
MacDonald 1.
As the summer-length trip wore on, and the progress of their three Chestnut canoes lapsed further and further behind schedule, anxiousness and impending climax accompanies the daily accounts.
MacDonald 2.
One of the implications of a quasi-religious resistance to a pragmatic plan of travel was the death of Arthur Moffat.
Source for these assertions. Che-Mun, Canoelit section. Moffatt, Myth & Mysticism. Spring 1996, pp 5 & 11.

Introduction. The schedule-related evidence available to Murphy and MacDonald.
Given that I document fully above the evidence available to Murphy and MacDonald, perhaps I may be excused if I provide here only a few excerpts.
1. The Sports Illustrated article of 1959 provides the two passages
(a) He [Moffatt] was a week behind Tyrrell’s schedule [SI article, upper right column on page 76, 8 August] and
(b) Already nine days behind schedule [SI article, bottom right column on p 76, 15-18 August].
What interpretation of these two passages is possible but that the Moffatt party had a day-by-day schedule or something very close to one?
2. The New York Times article of 24 September 1955 provides the passage Planes flew over the tundra…looking for a trace of a six-man expedition. The group was a week overdue on a 900-mile canoe trip.
What interpretation of this passage is possible but that the Moffatt party had a schedule for arrival in Baker Lake?
3. Grinnell’s Canoe article (1988) provides
weak evidence that there was no schedule, but also
the editorial assertion behind schedule, which evinces that there was a prescriptive schedule at some level.
4. Grinnell’s book provides the passage In the last two months, we had fallen about a month behind schedule. [p 162, ~29 August].
5. Conclusion.
Before writing their reviews of Grinnell’s book, Murphy and MacDonald did not consult
the New York Times article (1955), or
the Sports Illustrated article (1959), or
Grinnell’s Canoe article (1988).
Worse, they failed to read Grinnell’s book carefully enough to notice his In the last two months, we had fallen about a month behind schedule.
A request.
I ask that the reader reflect on the extent to which these failures attest
to the diligence of Murphy and MacDonald,
to their commitment to get the facts straight,
before making their accusations of Moffatt (a fellow paddler), who (need it be said?) was unable to respond.
5. The evidence of Grinnell’s book.

As documented above, Grinnell asserted
first that there was a prescriptive schedule (something in addition to an arrival date in Baker Lake),
then that there was only a schedule for arrival in Baker Lake, and
finally that there was again a prescriptive schedule.
And so the evidence of Grinnell’s book is garbled, indeed self-contradictory, regarding the existence of a prescriptive schedule.
But Grinnell never wavered in one respect. He repeatedly and consistently asserted that was a schedule for arrival in Baker Lake.
Next, we see what Murphy and MacDonald made of this evidence of Grinnell’s book, in what were asserted to be reviews of that very book.

The assertion of James Murphy.
Lack of food, proper equipment and most importantly, lack of a planned itinerary, contributed to his [Moffatt’s] demise. [Che-Mun, Canoelit section. Moffatt, Myth & Mysticism. Spring 1996, pp 5 & 11.
This was made in what was alleged to be a review of the book Grinnell, George. A Death on the Barrens. A true story. Northern Books, Toronto (1996).
I call this an assertion because Murphy provided no evidence in support of any of its three parts; perhaps I may be indulged for noting that Moffatt was unable to respond to it.
My use of the term alleged is conscious, given that Murphy went well beyond reviewing that book, by making the above assertion regarding the causes of Moffatt’s death.

1. Lack of food.
I ask the reader (come to think of it, I ask also Murphy) to assess Murphy’s assertion that Moffatt died due to lack of food, this made in his review of Grinnell’s book, in the light of the following food-related evidence provided (in Grinnell’s book itself) for the crucial seven weeks (5 August to 14 September) before Moffatt’s death:
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. [Grinnell book, 5 August, pp 97&98].
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].
…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].
… 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].
…we began to spend more and more time hunting, fishing and gathering berries.. [p 158]
The acquisition of the supplies from the cache, this on 7 September.
As it grew dark…we saw an unfamiliar object ahead. It was a stack of cardboard boxes with cans of dehydrated vegetables inside. …We found some gasoline left in the big blue drum, so we topped up our five gallon tank… [pp 180 & 181].
The reader may wish to consult
Appendix 6. Food for the full evidence regarding the Moffatt party’s supply of food.

2. Lack of proper equipment.
I refer the reader to Appendix 3. Equipment for the evidence regarding Murphy’s assertion that Moffatt died due to lack of proper equipment.
I record here only my belief that George Luste, whom I knew reasonably well, would have been much angered had he known that Murphy had used his recommendations for paddlers circa 1996 to defame Moffatt, who died forty-one years earlier.

3. In passing, I note that Murphy, in his review of Grinnell’s book, devoted much of a paragraph to a discussion of whether Moffatt was a bodhisatva.
At best, Moffatt was a cracked bodhisatva, a partially enlightened being with a fatal flaw. One who is doomed to repeat his mistakes in an endless cycle….
Opinion.
Better use of that space would have been for Murphy to provide evidence in support of his assertions of Arthur Moffatt, who, it seems necessary to say, was unable to respond to them.

4. Demystification.
Later, Murphy’s editor explained that by lack of a planned itinerary, Murphy meant what most of us would lack of schedule. [Che-Mun, Outfit 99, Winter 2000, pp 5&6].

A request.
I ask that the reader assess Murphy’s assertion that Arthur Moffatt died due to lack of schedule in the light of his only documented source, namely Grinnell’s book:
first there was a prescriptive schedule (something in addition to an arrival date in Baker Lake),
then there was only a schedule for arrival in Baker Lake, and
finally there was again a prescriptive schedule.
But Grinnell never wavered in one respect: He repeatedly and consistently asserted that was a schedule for arrival in Baker Lake.

The assertions of Andrew MacDonald.
Both assertions were made in what was alleged to be a review of the book Grinnell, George. A Death on the Barrens. A true story. Northern Books, Toronto (1996).
My use of the term alleged is conscious, for MacDonald went beyond reviewing Grinnell’s book, in that he asserted that Moffatt died due to lack of schedule.

Begin aside.
In passing, I note that MacDonald reproduced two passages from Grinnell’s book, both of which I thought deserving of replies.
MacDonald, passage 1.
Referring to Grinnell, he offered the following:
This sense of humour is exhibited in a comment on Art Moffatt’s abdication of leadership, whose apparent quest for inner peace paralyzed the pace of the trip, and left a void unfilled: “Skip found himself in the difficult position of having become second-in-command to a cup of tea.” [Grinnell book, top of p 146]
Response. Pessl’s book documents that Moffatt did not abdicate leadership at any time. Perhaps MacDonald would have made better use of this space to provide evidence for his assertion that Moffatt died due to lack of schedule.
MacDonald, passage 2.
Our only hope of survival lay in living off the land. If we were lucky to run across a herd of caribou, we would probably survive. If not, we should expect the same fate as Hornby, Adlard and Christian, death by starvation. [Grinnell book, top of p 91; the date (not provided) must have been before 4 August, when the first caribou was sighted].
Response. The quote Our only hope of survival…by starvation. is entirely accurate as it stands. But MacDonald omitted mention of the contrary food-related evidence of Grinnell’s book, the very subject of his review. I refer the reader, and particularly MacDonald, to the evidence presented above in my response to the food-related assertion of Murphy.
1. An example of food from the land. 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. [Grinnell book, 5 August, pp 97&98].
2. Food from provisions. As it grew dark…we saw an unfamiliar object ahead. It was a stack of cardboard boxes with cans of dehydrated vegetables inside. …We found some gasoline left in the big blue drum, so we topped up our five gallon tank… [Grinnell book, 7 September, pp 180 & 181].
Reference. Appendix 6. Food.
Suggestion regarding both MacDonald passages.
Perhaps better use of the space available to MacDonald would have been provide evidence in support of his accusations of Moffatt.
End aside.

Assertion 1 of Andrew MacDonald.
As the summer-length trip wore on, and the progress of their three Chestnut canoes lapsed further and further behind schedule, anxiousness and impending climax accompanies the daily accounts. [Che-Mun, Canoelit section. Moffatt, Myth & Mysticism. Spring 1996, bottom of p 5.]
Comment. I use the term assertion because MacDonald provided neither source nor supporting evidence.
Question.
What interpretation of this passage is possible but that the Moffatt party possessed a schedule more detailed than a mere date for arrival in Baker Lake?
But wait! What then is one to make of the following MacDonald assertion that Moffatt died due to lack of a pragmatic plan of travel, aka a schedule?

Assertion 2 of Andrew MacDonald.
One of the implications of a quasi-religious resistance to a pragmatic plan of travel was the death of Arthur Moffat. [Che-Mun, Canoelit section. Moffatt, Myth & Mysticism. Spring 1996, last paragraph on p 11.]
Comment. I use the term assertion because MacDonald provided neither source nor supporting evidence.

Demystification. Later, his editor explained that by lack of a pragmatic plan of travel, MacDonald meant lack of schedule. [Che-Mun, Outfit 99, Winter 2000, pp 5&6].
Rephrasing.
MacDonald asserted that Moffatt died due to lack of schedule.

Discussion of MacDonald’s assertions.
1. What is one to make of MacDonald’s passage the progress of their three Chestnut canoes lapsed further and further behind schedule…
but first that the Moffatt party had a schedule more prescriptive than a date for arrival in Baker Lake,
and second that the party was not adhering to it?
2. And what is one to make of MacDonald’s passage One of the implications of a quasi-religious resistance to a pragmatic plan of travel was the death of Arthur Moffat
but that Arthur Moffatt died due to a lack of schedule?
3. Admission. My best efforts have failed to reconcile the two passages.

Discussion of the schedule-related assertions of Murphy and MacDonald.
Item 1. What evidence did Murphy and MacDonald provide to substantiate their claims that Moffatt died because the party lacked a planned itinerary or a pragmatic plan of travel or a schedule?
The answer: None. Murphy and MacDonald made only assertions.
And so I ask. Did Moffatt, the leader of the trip (and a fellow paddler), being unable to defend himself, not deserve that evidence be presented to support the suggestion that he was guilty of his own death?
Item 2. The articles of Murphy and MacDonald were made in what were alleged to be reviews of Grinnell’s book (1996).
I use the term alleged because both went beyond writing reviews, for they asserted that Arthur Moffatt died because of lack of schedule. But the reader will find, in Grinnell’s very book, repeated and consistent references to a schedule for arrival in Baker Lake. Indeed, Grinnell asserts there several times that the Moffatt party had a schedule more prescriptive than an arrival date.
Item 3. Murphy and MacDonald used the term schedule vaguely and loosely, failing to distinguish possibilities such as
(i) Something like we’ll arrive in Baker Lake when we get there.
(ii) Only a date for arrival for arrival in Baker Lake.
(iii) A day-by-day schedule such as many parties use in Algonquin, Temagami, the BWCAW and the like.
(iv) Something between the extremes of items (ii) and (iii); examples: perhaps a week-by-week schedule, or a date to enter Dubawnt Lake….
(v) Or whatever else that was in their minds (they declined to be specific).
Item 4. With respect to the possibility of a day-by-day schedule, I mention yet again that no party (recreational, professional, whatever), ever had or ever could have had such a highly prescriptive schedule for travel in the barrenlands. The vagaries of the weather, especially the wind, forbid any such schedule. Even the Tyrrell party of 1893 had no schedule; even it was weather-bound on occasion.
In this connection, the reader might reflect on the fact that one defamer in the matter of the schedule had paddled the Morse River (a tributary of the Back River) and so was no stranger to the barrenlands and its winds.
Item 5. Evidence available to Murphy and MacDonald but not mentioned by them.
(a) The New York Times article states that the Moffatt party was a week overdue in arriving at Baker Lake.
(b) The Sports Illustrated article contains the phrases a week behind Tyrrell’s schedule and Already nine days behind schedule.
(c) Grinnell’s Canoe article contains the editorial comment that the party was behind schedule.
(d) Most importantly of all, in his book (the very subject of the reviews of Murphy and MacDonald), Grinnell asserts repeatedly and consistently that the Moffatt party had a schedule for arrival in Baker Lake.
And so I ask the reader to consider the schedule-related assertions of Murphy and MacDonald in the light of this evidence of their only source, namely Grinnell’s book.
Item 6. Surely an essential ingredient of a schedule is a date for arrival in Baker Lake. By asserting that the Moffatt party lacked a schedule, do not Murphy and MacDonald then assert that Moffatt’s schedule amounted to something like “we’ll arrive in Baker Lake when we get there”?
Hmmm. The New York Times, the Manchester Ledger, the Boston Sunday Advertiser, the Winnipeg Tribune, the RCAF, the RCMP, the Baker Lake detachment of the RCMP, the Moffatt family (especially his wife Carol), participant Grinnell, participant Lanouette, and participant Pessl, beg leave to differ with Murphy and MacDonald.
Every one of the eleven attests that the Moffatt party had a schedule for arrival in Baker Lake. Perhaps one example suffices: The New York Times documents the beginning of the air search.
Item 7. More generally, what did Murphy and MacDonald mean (they did not explain) when they asserted that Arthur Moffatt died due to lack of schedule?
Were they asserting that the party had no schedule of any kind (not even a schedule for arrival in Baker Lake), and that the lack thereof was responsible for Moffatt’s death? If so, they are quite wrong, as evinced by the above.
Or were they asserting that the lack of a highly prescriptive schedule (the extreme case is a day-by-day one) was responsible for Moffatt’s death? If so, they are quite wrong, for Moffatt died because he had been misled by the advice of J B Tyrrell.
Or did Murphy and MacDonald prefer to make vague, unsubstantiated accusations that lack of planning was responsible for Moffatt’s death? Only they can inform us of their intentions; they didn’t do so at the time and they are unlikely to help us now.
A request.
I ask that the reader assess the assertions of Murphy and MacDonald, namely that Arthur Moffatt died due to lack of schedule, in the light of these evidences, in particular the evidence of Grinnell’s book, the very subject of their reviews.
An unfortunate consequence.
Murphy and MacDonald misled their own editor to assert the following:
Moffat, a seasoned traveller, took a group of young men on a slow and undisciplined trip down the Dubawnt. Their lack of schedule meant they took risks to catchup on time and Moffatt died of exposure after they dumped in a large rapid they did not scout. [Che-Mun, Outfit 99, Winter 2000, pp 5&6].
The tragedy is mentioned also on p 4, but with a slip of the pen.
The cause of Moffatt’s death.
Contrary to the assertions of Murphy and MacDonald, the matter of the schedule played no role in the death of Arthur Moffatt.
Reference. Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.

QUESTION. IS THE FOLLOWING NECESSARY?

Review of the Murphy-MacDonald assertions regarding the cause of Moffatt’s death.
Murphy’s assertion that Moffatt died due to lack of proper equipment is addressed in Appendix 3. Equipment.
Murphy’s assertion that Moffatt died due to lack of food is addressed in Appendix 6. Food.
The assertions in question are then the following.
Murphy. lack of a planned itinerary, contributed to his [Moffatt’s] demise.
MacDonald 1. As the summer-length trip wore on, and the progress of their three Chestnut canoes lapsed further and further behind schedule…
MacDonald 2. One of the implications of a quasi-religious resistance to a pragmatic plan of travel was the death of Arthur Moffatt.

The schedule-related assertions of Murphy and Macdonald, confronted by the evidence of Grinnell’s book.
Reminder. Grinnell’s book was the sole source used by both Murphy and MacDonald.
Reminder. Murphy’s assertions that lack of food and lack of proper equipment were also responsible for Moffatt’s death are addressed in the following.
Appendix 6. Food.
Appendix 3. Equipment.
Summary of the schedule-related evidence of Grinnell’s book.
As I document in the paragraph The evidence of Grinnell’s book (1996) (above),
Grinnell asserted
first that there was a prescriptive schedule (something in addition to an arrival date in Baker Lake),
then that there was only a schedule for arrival in Baker Lake,
finally that there was again a prescriptive schedule.
And so the evidence of Grinnell’s book is garbled, indeed self-contradictory, regarding the existence of a prescriptive schedule.
But Grinnell never wavered in one respect. He repeatedly and consistently asserted that was a schedule for arrival in Baker Lake.
Nevertheless, in their reviews of that very book, Murphy and MacDonald asserted (that is provided no evidence) that Arthur Moffatt died due to lack of schedule.

Discussion of the schedule-related assertions made by James Murphy and Andrew MacDonald.
1. The unstated but clear substance of their schedule-related accusations (I omit discussion here of Murphy’s accusations regarding lack of food and lack of proper equipment) is
that the Moffatt party wasted time early in the trip,
that Moffatt realised only very late that the party had get out fast in order to escape the onset of winter,
and so he threw caution to the winds, being unable to afford time to scout the rapids where he died. That is, both suggest that Moffatt was entirely responsible for his own death, due to his alleged lack of schedule.
In rebuttal, I point out to Murphy and MacDonald that Grinnell’s book (their only source) documents repeatedly and consistently that the Moffatt party had a schedule for arrival in Baker Lake.
Their accusations are called into question also by the evidence regarding Moffatt’s preparations for the trip. From the books of the Tyrrell brothers (and likely also from correspondence with J B Tyrrell), Moffatt was well aware of the weather to be expected in September, as reported in Ancillary 7. Moffatt’s Tyrrell sources.
2. Neither Murphy nor MacDonald referred to the schedule-related evidence of three previous publications in which Moffatt’s death is mentioned:
the New York Times article (1955),
the Sports Illustrated article (1959), and
Grinnell’s Canoe article (1988).
On the whole, the contents of these three publications refute the Murphy-MacDonald assertions that Moffatt died because of lack of schedule.
3. More seriously, the assertions of Murphy and MacDonald are refuted by the evidence of their only source, namely Grinnell’s book (1996). I refer the reader to the evidence provided in the previous paragraph.
4. Even today, twenty years after the publication of the Murphy-MacDonald articles, no evidence (as distinct from assertions) has surfaced that the Moffatt party took risks to catchup on time. The evidence continues to accumulate that Moffatt died for a reason unrelated to the lack of schedule alleged by Murphy and MacDonald; I refer here to J B Tyrrell’s maps.
5. Opinion. Given that Moffatt was dead and so unable to respond, perhaps he deserved that Murphy and MacDonald evince their accusations, rather than assert them.
6. Who are Murphy and MacDonald, that they assume the right to judge Moffatt?

Conclusions.
Eleven sources attest that the Moffatt party had a schedule for arrival in Baker Lake. I refer the reader to the paragraph The Moffatt party had no schedule for arrival in Baker Lake? below.
In particular, in his book (the sole source used by Murphy and MacDonald), Grinnell asserts repeatedly that the Moffatt party had a schedule for arrival in Baker Lake. As well, he asserts several times that the party had a schedule more prescriptive than an arrival date.
Nevertheless, Murphy and MacDonald (in their reviews of that very book), denied that the party had a schedule of any kind, one gathers even so much as an arrival date.
The Moffatt party did not take risks to catchup on time because of a lack of schedule as asserted by Murphy and MacDonald. In particular, the Moffatt party did not panic and so run the fatal rapids without a scout. Indeed, as I remark also elsewhere, the only two dumps of the entire trip occurred in the fatal rapids. And, on the very day that he died, the party completed the portage around the entire rapids immediately above the fatal rapids. Do Murphy and MacDonald (and many others) really expect us to believe that, a few hours later, Moffatt suddenly realised that winter was fast approaching and so decided to forgo a scout?
The cause of Moffatt’s death was not lack of a planned itinerary, or lack of a pragmatic plan of travel, or lack of schedule, as alleged by Murphy and MacDonald. For that matter, neither was the cause lack of food or lack of proper equipment as alleged also by Murphy.
The evidence is rather that Moffatt party exercised due caution at all times, for example in the rapids below Nicholson Lake, those immediately below Dubawnt Lake, those immediately above Wharton Lake, and in particular those between Wharton Lake and Marjorie Lake.
The evidence is rather that the fatal rapids were run without a scout for one reason and one reason only. It is that J B Tyrrell had advised Moffatt that the fatal rapids were of no concern. And I suggest it not beside the point that that rapids advice of Tyrrell had proved reliable for eleven weeks previously. But JBT’s advice failed Moffatt on 14 September 1995.
Reference. Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.

Murphy and MacDonald suggest that, due to lack of schedule, Moffatt realised only very late in the game that he had to get off the river pdq, and so he threw caution to the winds and ran the fatal rapids in desperate haste without scouting them.
The evidence of Grinnell (as provided particularly in his book), and that of the other participants, begs leave to differ.
Comment.
I find it a considerable temptation, but assess it to be an excerise in futility, to speculate how the Murphy-MacDonald reviews of Grinnell’s book might have differed had either consulted any of the previous literature, namely
the 1959 Sports Illustrated article (with its two references to the schedule of the Moffatt party),
the 1959 New York Times article (with its reference to the start of the air search on 22 September), and
Grinnell’s 1988 Canoe article (which contains the passage late in the season and behind schedule).
On the other hand, perhaps we need not speculate, perhaps the answer is provided already in how Murphy and MacDonald treated the evidence of their only source, namely Grinnell’s book.
References to the cause.
Appendix 8. Rapids in general.
Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.

Summary.
Contrary to the assertions of Murphy and MacDonald, Moffatt had scheduled a date (it was 15 September) for arrival in Baker Lake, as evinced by the eleven sources listed in my paragraph The Moffatt party had no schedule for arrival in Baker Lake? Included in that list is Grinnell’s book, the only source used by Murphy and MacDonald.
The Moffatt trip was not of the irresponsible We’ll arrive in Baker Lake when we get there variety, as Murphy and MacDonald suggest.
Given both the vagaries of the weather and the very purpose of the trip (namely to document the barrenlands), Moffatt could not have had, and did not have, a highly prescriptive schedule.
The cause of Moffatt’s death was not lack of schedule as asserted by Murphy and MacDonald. The cause was rather incorrect information provided by J B Tyrrell; his advice had proved correct for something like eleven weeks previously and so Moffatt followed it in the afternoon of 14 September.
Murphy and MacDonald failed Moffatt and the paddling community as a whole, for they made no mention of the contrary evidence (of both the New York Times article and the Sports Illustrated article) that Moffatt had a schedule for arrival in Baker Lake.
General comments.
1. Are we are to believe that Moffatt left his wife Carol and their two children for months without telling her when he planned to arrive in Baker Lake? Of course he told her. [Carol Moffatt’s telegram to Peter Franck’s father. Pessl, p 141]
2. Are we are to believe that Moffatt did not tell the RCMP of his plan. Of course he told the RCMP. Had he not done so, why was the air search was started on 22 September? [New York Times article, on p 71 of the Sports Illustrated article]
3. Assertions (in particular those made by Murphy and MacDonald) that there existed no schedule for arrival in Baker Lake are refuted by multiple, independent sources. And I suggest it not beside the point that assertions of Murphy and MacDonald were made in reviews of Grinnell’s book, which evidence refutes those assertions.
4. More generally, eleven independent sources evince that there was a schedule for arrival in Baker Lake; all but Grinnell (need it be said) agree that the date was 15 September, with a week’s grace period.
5. Those Moffatt accusers who knew the evidence failed to mention that the Moffatt party had portaged the rapids immediately above the fatal ones.
Is anyone so credulous as to believe that, having that very morning completed a portage, only a few hours later Moffatt was in such desperate haste to reach Baker Lake before freeze-up that he chose to run the fatal rapids without a scout, thereby risking the film, photos and camera, not to mention the lives of all six participants?

References.
Appendix 8. Other rapids.
Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.

END OF QUESTION

The matter of the schedule and Moffatt’s death.

Introduction.
Every accuser (some only implicitly) in the matter of the schedule agrees with the assertion Their lack of schedule meant they took risks to catchup on time….
Interpretation. Moffatt was in such a hurry (indeed, desperate haste according to the Sports Illustrated editor) to reach Baker Lake before the weather closed in that he chose to run the fatal rapids without a scout.
The evidence begs leave to differ.
1. Throughout the trip, Moffatt exercised great care in running rapids, not least to protect the film and cameras. Indeed, he portaged at least one set of rapids (those above Grant Lake) run by the others in order to protect those two items, for which the very trip was undertaken.
2. That care is demonstrated elsewhere, for example in his caution regarding the rapids below Nicholson Lake, the gorge below Dubawnt Lake, and the falls above Wharton Lake.
3. The only two dumps of the entire trip occurred in the fatal rapids.
4. More importantly, in the very morning of the day that Moffatt died, the party completed the portage around the rapids immediately above those where he died.
Do the Sports Illustrated editor, Murphy, MacDonald, Mahler and others really expect us to believe that, no more than a few hours later, Moffatt suddenly realised that the party had get out ASAP, that he panicked and so decided to risk everything, lives included, by running those rapids without a scout, in desperate haste, taking the the ultimate chance in so doing?
The evidence has it that the fatal rapids were run without a scout for one reason and one reason only: J B Tyrrell had advised Moffatt that they were of no concern.
Reference. Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.

Summary.
Murphy and MacDonald omitted all mention of the schedule-related evidences of
the New York Times article,
the Sports Illustrated article (two items),
Grinnell’s Canoe article,
and most importantly of all, Grinnell’s book (the very subject of their reviews).
Opinion 1. The evidences of these sources refute their assertions that Arthur Moffatt died due to lack of schedule and the like.
Opinion 2. So is destroyed the reputations of defenceless innocents.
On the other hand, perhaps I am being overly judgemental here. Rather, perhaps we have here the ingredients for an opera buffa.

The assertion of Charlie Mahler.

…the Moffatt story unfolds as a tragedy just waiting to happen – indifferent leadership, an inexperienced party, bad chemistry, a plodding pace, and an apparent apathy toward the season closing on them…
References, identical at first sight.
1. Che-Mun. Outfit 122, Autumn 2005, starting on page 4.
http://www.ottertooth.com/che-mun/122/chemun122.pdf
2. Feature Story in the Advanced Paddler section at canoeing.com.
http://www.canoeing.com/advanced/feature/deadmansriver.htm
Comments.
I deal here only with Mahler’s assertion of a plodding pace, which is clearly related to the matter of the Moffatt party’s schedule.
I call this an assertion because Mahler provided no evidence in support of it.
The assertion is addressed also in Appendix 5. Pace and weather, as is the assertion apparent apathy toward the season closing on them…
The evidence.
The pace was certainly slow until 3 August,
in part because of the difficulty of upstream travel on the Chipman River,
in part because time had been spent in documenting the land (the very purpose of the trip).
On that day though, the party decided unanimously to hurry up, and the pace was not plodding thereafter.
Indeed, the evidence suggests to me that, on 14 September, the Moffatt party was on schedule to reach Baker Lake on or about 22 September (when the air search would have begun, indeed did begin).
Reference. Appendix 7. Schedule.
Conclusion.
Contrary to the assertion of Charlie Mahler, the pace was not plodding after 3 August.
Contrary to the suggestion of Charlie Mahler, pace played no role in Moffatt’s death. The cause is identified in Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.

Summary.

The Moffatt party had no schedule for arrival in Baker Lake?
Hmmm,
the New York Times,
the Manchester Ledger,
the Boston Sunday Advertiser,
the Winnipeg Tribune,
the RCAF,
the RCMP,
the Baker Lake detachment of the RCMP,
the Moffatt family (especially his wife Carol),
participant Grinnell,
participant Lanouette, and
participant Pessl,
all eleven of them, respectfully request permission to disagree.

The Sports Illustrated article.
Item 1.
The schedule evidence of the New York Times article was published in the Sports Illustrated article itself. Some may find it amusing that the SI editor made no mention of that item.
Item 2.
Let me remind the reader of the SI editor’s assertions
a week behind…schedule [SI article, upper right column on page 76; dated 8 August] and nine days behind schedule [SI article, lower right column on p 76; dated between 15 and 18 August].
Given that there exists no evidence that the Moffatt party had no day-by-day schedule, the only possible explanation of these assertions is that the Sports Illustrated editor represented the record of Moffatt party (1955) to be the schedule of the Tyrrell party (1893).
The evidence begs leave to differ.
1. The Moffatt party was not following the day-by-day record of the Tyrrell party (1893).
2. As is obvious from even a cursory reading of the evidence (I recommend that of Pessl’s book), the Moffatt party had no day-by-day schedule.
3. Indeed, no barrenlands party, ever, had a day-by day schedule. Even the Tyrrell party was sidelined on occasion.

The schedule-related assertions of James Murphy and Andrew MacDonald.
Opinion. Murphy’s assertion Lack … of a planned itinerary, contributed to his demise, this made in a review of Grinnell’s book, is refuted by the evidence of Grinnell’s book alone and in itself.
Opinion. MacDonald’s assertion One of the implications of a quasi-religious resistance to a pragmatic plan of travel was the death of Arthur Moffatt, this made in a review of Grinnell’s book, is refuted by the evidence of Grinnell’s book, alone and in itself.

The cause of Moffatt’s death.
The cause was not lack of schedule, as asserted by both James Murphy and Andrew MacDonald.
The cause was not lack of food, as asserted by James Murphy.
The cause was not lack of proper equipment, as asserted by James Murphy.
The cause was not a plodding pace as asserted by Charlie Mahler.
Over the course of 55 years (and perhaps counting), every person who wrote regarding the cause of Moffatt’s death got it completely wrong.
Reference. Sub-Appendices.

Sub-Appendix 1. Dates for the Tyrrell and Moffatt parties.
At the tops of his pages 17, 41, 69, 129 and 144, Pessl provides the following
Black Lake. 7 July (Tyrrell); 2 July (Moffatt).
Selwyn Lake. 16 July; 12-16 July.
Wholdaia Lake. 20 July; 17-25 July.
Hinde Lake. 22-26 July; 28 July.
Boyd Lake. 27 July; 1-3 August.
Carey Lake. 29 July-2 August; 7-8 August.
Dubawnt Lake. 7-17 August; 21-27 August.
Wharton Lake. 22 August; 8 September.
Schultz Lake. 29 August; 22 September.
One fine day, I may attempt to meld these evidences with the other records.

Sub-Appendix 2. 2 September vs 15 September for arrival in Baker Lake.
1. I do not understand why Grinnell does not give 15 September as the planned arrival date in Baker Lake, as given by ten other sources, why instead he repeatedly asserts the arrival date to be rather 2 September (likely not coincidentally the date that the Tyrrell party arrived in Baker Lake [Pessl, private correspondence]).
2. As I document below, Moffatt provided the date of 15 September to his wife, to the other five participants (including Grinnell!) and to the RCMP.
3. Certainly Kingsley was misled by Grinnell’s date of 2 September.
By August 29, three days before they’d planned to complete the trip, they’d travelled half the distance. [Kingsley book, middle of p 188; also Kingsley Up Here article, lower right column on p 90].
Response 1. At the campsite on 29 August, the Moffatt party was 15 miles (25 km) upstream from the end of Dubawnt Lake. On 30 August, it re-entered the river and continued downstream for an unknown distance before camping again. [Pessl, p 111].
Response 2.
Kingsley was misled also by multiple incorrect statement that the Moffatt trip was 900 miles long. I measured
the distance along the Moffatt route (Black Lake to Baker Lake) to be 1095 km (680 miles), and
the distance from the end of Dubawnt Lake to Baker Lake to be 375 km (233 miles).
References.
Ancillary 4. Distances.
The distance from the campsite on 29 August to Baker Lake is then ~250 miles; of course, my point is that 250 miles is much less than half of 900 miles.
Summary. Entirely due to incorrect information provided by others, Kingsley’s statement is incorrect with respect to both time and distance.
4. Sept. 2 certainly had no relevance in terms of expedition planning or announced Baker Lake arrival expectations. [Pessl, private correspondence].
5. Further confusing the issue, in Grinnell’s book only of course, is that 2 September was important for Franck’s registration at Harvard [Grinnell, p 162; Pessl, p 105]. I find Grinnell a bit unclear here: Because Peter had planned to enter his sophomore year at Harvard that Autumn, the September 2nd date was particularly important to him. He would have to travel to Cambridge, Massachusetts and register for classes within a few days of our return.
6. I ‘fess up. I am unable to understand why Grinnell insists that the scheduled arrival date was 2 September rather than 15 September, as given by ten other sources.
7. The only possibility that occurs to me, strange as it no doubt seems.
Was Grinnell being mischievous here, trying to see how many people he could fool,
just as perhaps he was in providing the yes/no/yes evidence regarding a prescriptive schedule,
just as I believe he was just as he was when he claimed I was not the least experienced canoeist, but the most experienced.
I suggest that this possibility not be rejected outright.

Sub-Appendix 3. The Moffatt party’s response to the wind.
1. Moffatt replied that the wind did not blow on schedule [Grinnell article, p 20, top right]. I believe that every recreational paddler with experience on the barrens will agree with Moffatt.
When the wind is up on the barrens, we stay put, for there are no trees to provide shelter. Bring reading material and hiking boots, spend the day cleaning up, repairing gear, resting, telling stories, in short do anything but try to paddle. Of course one can have a week-by-week schedule, or something even less prescriptive. But a day-by-day schedule for travel in the barrenlands is impossible for anyone.
Even the Tyrrell party of 1893 was unable to travel some days. On my to-do list is an examination of the Tyrrell journals, in an attempt to estimate the fraction of days that they did not travel.
2. Lanouette speaks to the matter. Of course we had no day to day plan. Weather played a crucial role in our travels and made such planning impossible. [Private correspondence].
3. The Moffatt party adjusted to the wind by getting up early, especially on Dubawnt Lake, as Pessl and Franck describe in the following passages.
(a) 23 August (on Dubawnt Lake). …we have once again decided on emergency scheduling and will get up at 4 AM if the wind is down, paddle until 8 or so, have breakfast and continue paddling until the wind stops us again. It is interesting to note that these measures initially come from one of the gang, seldom from Art. In any case, I am confident that we will arrive in Baker Lake with plenty of meat on our bones. [Pessl, p 101]
(b) 24 August. Heavy frost … as we shivered out of the sack at 4 A.M. … paddling the entire day with a break at 9 AM for breakfast and another at 2 PM for lunch. Now at 6 PM we have made camp. [Pessl, p 101]
(c) 26 August. Left camp at 5 AM after breakfast… [Pessl, p 103]
(d) 27 August. Questionable winds and general early morning reluctance combined to form another beautiful day in camp. [Pessl, p 104]
(e) 27 August. Another good day, but still a breeze from the south. We could have travelled, but Art declared a day of rest because he wanted to go over to the mainland and see what it was like; what animals he could get pictures of… [Franck, in Pessl, p 105]
(f) 28 August. A fine breakfast … an open water journey … The wind freshened at noon…wait for the wind to lessen… We paddled continuously until 9 PM. [Pessl, p 107]
(g) 29 August. …another “day off” [Pessl, p 108]
(h) 29 August. Windy this morning, so we stayed put. [Franck, in Pessl, p 108]
(i) 30 August. Heavy wind and rain squalls chased us back into the tents this morning… After lunch, skies cleared and we enjoyed one more rare “shirts off” day as we padded the remaining 15 miles across the bay to the outlet of the lake… We are back on the river now… [Pessl, pp 110&111]

Sub-Appendix 4. Evidences regarding the existence of a schedule for arrival in Baker Lake.
Comment. The complete list of evidences is provided above, in the paragraph The Moffatt party had no schedule for arrival in Baker Lake? I provide here comments and text for some items.
Source 1. The New York Times article.
As I discussed above, the NYT article evinces that the party was scheduled to arrive in Baker Lake on 15 September, with a grace period of seven days.
Source 2. The Manchester Ledger.
Article of 23 September 1955.
Six Explorers Missing in Northwest Territory.
Dartmouth college said today six men are more than a week overdue on a 900-mile canoe trip to the barren wastelands of the Canadian North. … Concern was expressed for their safety when they did not check in September 15 as scheduled at a lonely outpost of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. A search was organized.
Comment. Thanks to Lanouette for a copy of the article.
Source 3. Boston Sunday Advertiser.
Article of 25 September 1955.
Six Canoeists Safe in Wilds.
Six canoeists, objects of a wide air search in Canada’s barren eastern Northwest Territories, turned up yesterday in good health at the destination they announced when they set out three months ago on their adventurous journey.
The canoeists…arrived at Baker Lake…yesterday afternoon, the Royal Canadian Air Force announced.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police and RCAF had undertaken search flights along the 700-mile route mapped out by the canoeists at the outset of their journey.
The canoeists left Stony Rapids, Saskatchewan, June 29, … They had expected to reach Baker Lake by Sept. 15.
Moffatt had left a note with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police at Stony Rapids in northern Saskatchewan, giving the party’s projected route. Since then the only clue to the whereabouts was the discovery of a supply cache half way along the proposed route at Dubawnt Lake. The RCMP at Prince Albert, Sask., were notified of the find Friday.
… Details of the canoeists’ adventures and the cause of their being almost 10 days overdue at their destination were not immediately available.

Comment 1. We all wish that the title had been accurate.
Comment 2. Thanks to Lanouette for a copy of the article.
Source 4. Carol Moffatt’s telegram.
Sent on 22 September to Thomas Franck (Peter’s father).
MOFFATT EXPEDITION HOPED TO REACH BAKER SEPT 15. … [Pessl, p 141].
Comment. That the telegram was sent seven days after 15 September suggests that Moffatt told her to be concerned only if she had not heard from him by a week later. The suggestion that Moffatt had arranged a grace period of seven days is confirmed by other sources.
Source 5. Lanouette, private correspondence.
Our ETA Baker Lake: Sept. 15. This in July 1 letter to Carol Moffatt and also verbal to RCMP officer in Stony Rapids.
Winnipeg Tribune of Sat. Sept. 24 headlines missing canoeists. Same paper Monday Sept. 26 says canoeists found; 1 dead, 5 okay. I assume Skip, Bruce or George have actual arrival dates.
Carol M. notified RCMP after we were overdue by several days. Also Lowell Thomas, the most distinguished news commentator of his time, broadcast our tardiness.
At no time in our journey did we hear search planes, but evidently, according to the Winnipeg Tribune, at least one float plane was sent out from Stony Rapids around Sept 23 or 24.
[Lanouette, private correspondence].
Comment. Pessl confirmed that date, also in private correspondence.
Source 6. Grinnell’s book.
As I describe above, in his book Grinnell asserts repeatedly that there was a planned date for arrival in Baker Lake. Nevertheless, Murphy and MacDonald, in their reviews of that of very book, asserted that Moffatt died due to lack of schedule.
Source 7. Pessl’s book.
(a) His …about 25 days left gives 17 September or so (in agreement with 15 September) for the intended arrival date [p 100, 23 August].
(b) On the party’s arrival in Baker lake on 24 September, We were met by Corporal Clair Dent of the RCMP … and were quickly informed that the Air Force and local authorities were to have started a search for us this very day. [p 144].
Comment. Given that the RCMP and the RCAF had already started searches, Dent’s local authorities must refer to an initiative of the RCMP detachment at Baker Lake.

Sub-Appendix 5. Arrival in Baker Lake by the due date?
The evidence suggests to me that, in late August, the Moffatt party was on track to reach Baker Lake within the grace period arranged by Moffatt with the RCMP (that is by 22 September), perhaps even by the planned and announced date of 15 September.
The evidence, part 1.
On 29 August, the party reached Outlet Bay of Dubawnt Lake [Pessl, p 108; also Franck in Pessl, p 109]
To arrive early on the scheduled date of 15 September, the party would have had to travel the remaining 255 miles or so in 16 days; the average of 16 miles (30 km) per day is not such a demanding pace. In fairness though, the party should have expected conditions to deteriorate. In fact, it was weather-bound on 1, 2 and 3 September, and again on 7 and 8 September. On the other hand, it certainly had no reason to expect anything like the storm of 9 September; according to the Sports Illustrated article [p 82, top of right column] (far from the most reliable of sources) hurricane-force winds were recorded in Churchill.
The evidence, part 2.
Even with three travelling days lost due to the foul weather of 1-3 September, three lost due to the storm of 7-9 September and two lost due to the tragedy, the party arrived on 24 September, two days after the expiry of the grace period.
And so I think it likely that, in the morning of 14 September, the party could have reasonably expected to reach Baker Lake within the grace period, that is by 22 September, while at the same time exercising due caution.
A question.
Barrenlands paddlers know now (I believe) to exit well before mid-September.
Should the Moffatt party have expected foul weather in early September? Apart from the storm of 9 September, I believe the answer to be yes, as I document in
Appendix 5. Pace and weather.

Internal URLs.

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

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

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