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Renovations continue. Thanks for your patience.

In Defence of Arthur Moffatt.

If everyone agrees what the story was, then it is certainly not true.
[Kenn Harper, Wilderness and Canoeing Symposium (Toronto, February 2018); paraphrased]. https://www.wcsymposium.com/sites/default/files/2018_wcs_program_v10.pdf

Introduction.

In 1955, Arthur Moffatt set out to document (by film, photos and journal) part of the barrenlands of northern Canada. I emphasise that this was not a recreational trip like that taken by most paddlers, and so I suggest that it not be judged by such standards, in particular with respect to the schedule.
Likely because documentation was readily available, Moffatt chose to repeat the central portion of the 1893 Tyrrell-Tyrrell (Joseph Burr and James Williams) expedition of the Geological Survey of Canada; this was the reach from Black Lake (on the Fond du Lac River) to Baker Lake (on the Thelon River).
It bears explicit mention that his was one of first modern trips to paddle the barrenlands; even Eric Morse’s group did not venture there until years later. Moffatt’s was certainly the first party composed entirely of those of European descent to travel any part of the Dubawnt River since 1893.

Moffatt’s preparations, and my Tyrrell sources.
To guide him, Moffatt possessed J W Tyrrell’s book, and
also J B Tyrrell’s book, his journal and his maps; as well, Moffatt had corresponded with JBT.
Reference. Ancillary 7. Moffatt’s Tyrrell sources.
J W Tyrrell.
I possess his book; it provides nothing of interest regarding the rapids where Moffatt died.
J B Tyrrell.
I possess his book and his maps; I lack his journal (which is known to differ from his book). All three items provide material related to the fatal rapids.
I possess also Moffatt’s two letters to JBT, but not JBT’s response to the first (which may relate to those rapids).

The events of 13 and 14 September 1955.
The following was written for those who decide to consider the evidence regarding the death of Arthur Moffatt, before they decide to judge him, before they assert that he was incompetent as so many did for 55 years.
The relevant excerpt from J B Tyrrell’s book is provided in Ancillary 3. Tyrrell excerpt.
The map of J B Tyrrell for the reach where Moffatt died is provided in https://barrenlands.library.utoronto.ca/content/zone-6-1893
The book and the map agree completely regarding the relevant features on the reach where Moffatt died.
Prior to Moffatt’s death on 14 September, J B Tyrrell’s rapids advice had proved so reliable that the party had experienced not one dump and but one swamp. The day before, the party had run without incident the two rapids (those with descents…of 15 and 6 feet) between Wharton Lake and the small lake, and had begun the portage of 18 chains (400 yards). The portage was completed in the morning of 14 September, and the party made the turn to the north, as shown on JBT’s map. Moffatt died on that reach, just upstream from what is now called Marjorie Lake.
JBT’s book describes that reach as a wide shallow rapid stream; no mention is made there of rapids in that reach, in particular the rapids where Moffatt died.
Participant LeFavour provided the following. His [Tyrrell’s] journal had been accurate to that point, namely lunch time on 14 September, immediately prior to the running of the fatal rapids.
But there is more to the matter, for Moffatt knew there to be features of some sort below the turn to the north. He certainly possessed JBT’s journal (known to differ from his book), perhaps also JBT’s response to Moffatt’s first letter; my best efforts failed to access either.

Evidence 1 regarding the additional information.
I ask that the reader note the passage Following Tyrrell’s route in Moffatt’s last journal entry, that for 13 September.
The question. What interpretation of that passage is possible but that Moffatt had route information from Tyrrell (JB) and that he was following it?
Reference. Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.
Unfortunately for our understanding of the circumstances that led to Moffatt’s death, the Sports Illustrated editor redacted that very passage in her/his condensation of Moffatt’s last journal entry. [SI article; bottom of the right column on p 82]

Evidence 2 regarding the additional information.
I ask that the reader note also the passage This surprised us. Art had figured we had already shot the last two rapids into Marjorie Lake. Actually, what we had gone down were only riffles, and what lay ahead was the real beginning of the first rapids. [SI article, middle of p 85]
Opinion. This is a faithful condensation of the relevant passage in Lanouette’s journal entry for 14 September. Reference. Ancillary 2. Lanouette excerpt.
The question. What interpretation of that passage is possible but that J B Tyrrell’s advice had proved to be inaccurate?
Unfortunately for our understanding of the circumstances that led to Moffatt’s death, Grinnell redacted that very three-sentence passage This surprised us…of the first rapids and replaced it with an ellipsis.
It is perhaps relevant that this is the sole change made by Grinnell to the condensation.

Concern 1.
Both the SI editor and Grinnell redacted evidence that Moffatt had been misled by J B Tyrrell’s advice regarding the rapids where he died.

Concern 2.
The SI editor and Grinnell had certainly corresponded, as evinced for example by Grinnell’s contributions to the Appendix of the SI article. I possess also evidence that had met through intermediaries, possibly in person.

Conclusions.
The sole cause of Moffatt’s death was incorrect advice provided by J B Tyrrell, whose advice had proved worthy of his trust over the previous 11 weeks.
The SI editor and Grinnell redacted the corresponding evidence.
Every assertion regarding the cause of his death is false.
Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.

Aside.
An open question is whether the river had changed in the 62 years between the Tyrrell and Moffatt trips. But what if they had? Surely Moffatt would still have been justified in acting as he did.

Comments regarding the accusatory literature.
It bears explicit mention that Moffatt was unable to defend himself.
Over the 55 years from the first accusation (1959) to the last known one (2014), in all those many publications, in not one instance was supporting evidence provided. That is, the entire accusatory literature consists of nothing but assertions.
In many cases, the accuser failed to identify a source, even implicitly. Indeed, all too often the source can have been only a fertile imagination.
Many accusations were not only false but also knowingly made.
Especially egregious examples, in the matter of the food supply alone, are that Moffatt died due to lack of food, and that the caribou were long gone. Perhaps one rebuttal will suffice: At the lunch stop on the day of Moffatt’s death, the party had so much caribou on board that it had no more need to hunt.
Reference. Appendix 6. Food.

The true accusations.
Several dozen accusations were made in the 55 years of the Moffatt literature; one person made more than 20.
In over three years spent researching the Moffatt tragedy, I found only five true assertions (plus one possibly true).
Assertion 1. The three spare paddles had been left behind in Stony Rapids.
Response. They were delivered the very next day.
Assertion 2. The party did not take a radio.
Response. Moffatt requested, but was refused, permission to carry a radio; moreover, possession of one would not have averted his death.
Assertion 3. There was a dispute regarding the sugar supply.
Response. The matter was resolved on 29 July.
Assertion 4. There was possibly a dispute regarding the supply of powdered milk.
Response. If indeed there existed one, it was resolved by 22 August.
Assertion 5. Moffatt’s bowl was larger than the others.
Response. Beginning on 22 August, he used a bowl of the same size as the others.
Assertion 6. The rapids where Moffatt died had not been scouted.
I refer the reader to the previous paragraph.

The evidence of the participants.

Opinion. In the first instance, the reader’s trust should be placed
in the evidence provided in the writings of the participants, rather than
in the representations of Moffatt’s accusers.
I caution though
that the contents of the Sports Illustrated article (I refer to what are alleged to be excerpts from Moffatt’s journal, explicitly not to the condensation of Lanouette’s journal) are not to be trusted, and
that no content of Grinnell’s publications is to be trusted.

The evidence of Moffatt .
1. Items alleged to be excerpts from Moffatt’s journal were provided in the Sports Illustrated article (1959).
Opinions.
1. Given that the SI editor redacted the key passage Following Tyrrell’s route from Moffatt’s journal entry for 13 September, I trust no content of the SI article. More generally, I do not trust that any entry alleged to be an excerpt from Moffatt’s journal is indeed such. Neither do I trust that any such entry is faithful. Should a particular entry indeed be faithful, I question whether it is representative.
The possibility occurred to me that the editor had set out to construct a case against Moffatt.
2. Pessl’s book (2014) provides several excerpts from Moffatt’s journal. As well, Pessl kindly provided more excerpts, on request. I have learned to trust everything provided by Pessl.

The evidence of Lanouette .
The edited excerpt (I assess it to be a faithful one) from his journal for 14 September was published in the SI article (1959). This evidence went unmentioned in the Moffatt literature, with the unfortunate exception of Grinnell’s book, as documented below.
As well, Lanouette and I have corresponded privately.
Aside. His full journal is being transcribed by his daughter Elizabeth Emge; when complete, it will be published both here and at Canadian Canoe Routes.
Opinion. I trust all evidence of Lanouette.

The evidence of LeFavour.
His four articles of 1955 are even now not publicly available and so did not influence the Moffatt literature prior to my efforts; but he kindly provided the crucial third article, which documents the events of 13 and 14 September. And we corresponded privately.
For brevity, I did not mention this evidence above.
Opinion. I trust all evidence of LeFavour.

The evidence of Grinnell.
Unfortunately for Moffatt’s reputation, Grinnell chose to redact what I believe to the key passage
This surprised us. Art had figured we had already shot the last two rapids before Marjorie Lake. Actually, what we had gone down were only riffles, and what lay ahead was the real beginning of the first rapids from the version provided on page 202 of his book (1996 edition). The same passage was redacted also from the 2010 edition.
To my mind, this passage evinces that Moffatt had some knowledge of the rapids where he died; it is perhaps no great stretch to suggest that Moffatt believed them to be only riffles.
Given this redaction alone (other evidence leads me to the same conclusion), I trust nothing written by Grinnell, explicitly his Canoe article of 1988 and all three editions (1996, 2005 and 2010) of his book.
The possibility occurred to me that Grinnell had set out to construct a case against Moffatt.

The evidence of Pessl.
1. Only incidental mention was made of his contribution to Kesselheim’s article of 2012.
2. His Nastawgan article (2013) appeared too late to influence the Moffatt literature.
3. Also too late to influence that literature became available the excerpts (which I trust completely) from his journal, as provided by Pessl in his book (2014) which contains also evidence of participant Franck.
Opinion. Again, I trust all evidence of Pessl, and through him that of Franck.

Summary.
Given
that the evidence of Lanouette (that of the condensation of his journal) was either overlooked or severely edited, and
that the publications of Pessl (his book contains also the evidence of Franck’s journal) appeared too late to influence the literature, and
than the evidence of LeFavour (his third article of 1955) is even now inaccessible,
it follows that the evidentiary basis (defined as the publications of participants) of the entire Moffatt literature (primary and secondary alike) consists of only three publications.
1. The edited excerpts from Moffatt’s journal as provided in the Sports Illustrated article (1959).
2. Grinnell’s article (1988).
3. Grinnell’s book (1996).

Conclusion.
Given
that the entire accusatory literature has its sole basis in the these three publications, and
that the evidence has caused me to trust, in the first instance, no content of any of the three,
I am led to conclude that the entire accusatory literature, primary and secondary alike, has no more substance than a house of cards.

The accusations and the evidence.
Accusations regarding the cause of Moffatt’s death appeared first in 1959 and continued to at least 2014.
It seems necessary to point out that Moffatt was unable to respond to any accusation. That is, Moffatt’s accusers had free rein; let the reader decide whether they exercised it.
Over those 55 years, the cause was asserted (in not one case was a source explicitly identified, in not one case was supporting evidence provided) to be one or more of the following.
Accusation 1a.
The Moffatt party had lost sense of reality.
Accusation 1b. Some members of the party had succumbed to a sort of delusion. They felt they were in paradise.
The evidence. Appendix 1. Reality and Delusion.
Accusation 2. The party took many holidays early, forcing it to take chances later in order to escape the onset of winter. Associated is the false assertion that an inquest had been held into Moffatt’s death.
The evidence. Appendix 3. Equipment.
Accusation 4.
The party lacked experience. Moffatt was a poor leader.
The evidence. Appendix 4. Experience.
Accusation 5.
The early pace was plodding, forcing the party to take chances later.
The evidence. Appendix 5. Pace and Weather.
Accusation 6.
Examples. The party lacked (sic) food. The caribou were long gone (sic).
The evidence. Appendix 6. Food.
Accusation 7.
The party lacked a schedule.
The evidence. Appendix 7. Schedule.
Accusation 8.
The fatal rapids were run in desperate haste in order to escape the onset of winter. Moffatt took the ultimate chance by running them without a scout.
The evidence.
Appendix 8. Rapids in general.
Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.
General reference regarding the accusations.
Ancillary 1. Accusations.
Conclusion.
Arthur Moffatt, who was unable to defend himself, was falsely accused for 55 years, in cases knowingly.

Timeline of the primary Moffatt literature.

Items listed below include the publications of the trip participants, the publications of Moffatt’s primary accusers, and two personal items (a reference to my first attempt to address the accusations, plus the announcement of the opening of the blog to public view).
Items of what I call the secondary Moffatt literature are listed in the corresponding part of the Bibliography.
The accusations themselves are addressed in Ancillary 1. Accusations.

1955.
Publication of participant Bruce LeFavour’s four articles in the Evening Recorder, Amsterdam NY, 27 through 30 December (1955).
The articles are not accessible to the public. I possess only the third (thanks to him), which provides evidence regarding both the fatal rapids and the food on board on 14 September.
If the reader will excuse a comment. As best I know, no Moffatt accuser was aware of any of LeFavour’s articles.

1959.
Publication of the Sports Illustrated article.
Part 1, 9 March. Man against the Barren Grounds. [pp 68-76].
Part 2, 16 March. Danger and Sacrifice. [pp 80-88].
Reader responses to both parts were posted at
http://www.si.com/vault/1959/04/06/604104/19th-hole-the-readers-take-over
The editor had full access to Moffatt’s journal, edited excerpts from which comprise much of the article.
Other contents include Moffatt’s prospectus for the trip, photographs of the participants and thumbnails of them, a map of the route, the New York Times article regarding arrival in Baker Lake, a condensation of Lanouette’s journal for the day of the tragedy, and an Epilogue (which contains major contributions from participant Grinnell).

1978.
Publication of the book of Alex Inglis.
Northern Vagabond. The Life and Career of J B Tyrrell – the Man Who Conquered the Canadian North. McClelland and Stewart. (1978).
If the reader will excuse a comment. The book went unnoticed in the subsequent literature.

1988.
Publication of participant Grinnell’s article.
Canoe. July 1988, pp 18-21 and 56.

Undated assertions made prior to 1996.
The only known source regarding these assertions is George Luste’s comments in Grinnell’s book [pp 293&294].
If the reader will excuse two comments. I possess
no information regarding when the assertions were made, or their authors, or their source/s, and
no evidence that the assertions influenced the later literature.

1996.
Publication of participant Grinnell’s book.
Grinnell, George J. A Death on the Barrens. A True Story.
Recently, I purchased the 2010 edition; I have not looked at the 2005 edition.
If the reader will excuse three comments.
I agree with Pessl [private correspondence] that the 2010 edition differs significantly from that of 1996.
As best I know, the Moffatt literature is based entirely on the 1996 edition, and so all my comments in the following are based on it alone.
Opinion. The book is the most important publication of the accusatory literature.

1996.
Publication of reviews of Grinnell’s book by James Murphy and Andrew MacDonald.
Che-Mun Canoelit section. Moffatt, Myth & Mysticism. Spring 1996, pp 5 & 11.

2000.
Publication of two short articles regarding the Moffatt trip.
Peake, Michael.
Che-Mun, Outfit 99, Winter 2000.
1. 1955: A Tale of Two Trips. p 4.
http://www.canoe.ca/che-mun/99two.html
2. The Tragic Trips…1955 – The Moffat Dubawnt River trip. pp 5&6.

2005.
Publication of the two Mahler-Thum articles, identical at first glance.
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

2012.
1. Publication of Kesselheim’s article in Canoe&Kayak; it contains contributions from participant Pessl. Follow-up material was published in the issues of July 2012 (p 14) and August 2012 (p 12).
2. Publication of Kingsley’s first online article.
In a most dreadful sort of paradise. Up Here. May 2012; pp 88, 90 & 91.
http://www.jenniferkingsley.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/looking-back-May-2012-Moffatt-pdf-.pdf

2013.
1. Publication of Kingsley’s second online article.
Back and Beyond. Lake. Issue 6 (2013); pp 12-14.
http://www.jenniferkingsley.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Lake_Back-and-Beyond_2011pdf.pdf
If the reader will excuse a comment. Kingsley was aware of Pessl material provided in Kesselheim’s article (2012), but made only incidental reference to it either here or in the book of 2014.
2. Publication of participant Pessl’s article.
The Fateful 1955 Dubawnt River Trip. Nastawgan. Summer 2013. Vol 70, No 2.
http://www.myccr.com/sites/default/files/storage/CCR%20pdf/Nastawgan/summer_13.pdf

2014.
1. Publication of Kingsley’s book.
Paddle North. Adventure, Resilience and Renewal in the Arctic Wild. Greystone Books, Vancouver/Berkeley (2014).
Moffatt material is confined to pages 185-189 and 220.
I possess no evidence that Kingsley knew of either Pessl’s Nastawgan article (2013) or his book (2014).
2. Publication of Pessl’s book.
Barren Grounds. The Story of the Tragic Moffatt Canoe Trip. Dartmouth College Press, Hanover, NH (2014).
Pessl provides copious amounts of new evidence, notes on trip planning, excerpts from his journal and that of fellow participant Peter Franck, a comparison with the progress of the Tyrrell-Tyrrell trip of 1893, an Epilogue and a list of nontravel days.
I possess no evidence that Pessl knew of any Kingsley publication.
3. Pessl’s talk (the Second Annual Luste Lecture, 13 November; unpublished) at the Canadian Canoe Museum.
http://www.canoemuseum.ca/blog/2014/11/13/highlights-of-the-2014-luste-lecture
4. Publication of my Nastawgan article (Winter issue, 2014, pp 16-19). It contains a review of that Pessl talk, plus related material.
http://www.myccr.com/sites/default/files/storage/CCR%20pdf/Nastawgan/winter_2014.pdf

2015 and 2016.
Failed attempt on my part to publish the first version of In Defence of Arthur Moffatt.
Reference. Ancillary 11. Canoe&Kayak manuscript.

19 September 2016.
Announcement at Canadian Canoe Routes
http://www.myccr.com/phpbbforum/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=45362
of the opening of my blog In Defence of Arthur Moffatt to public view.
A few days earlier, I had informed several interested parties that the blog was open for viewing.

The evidentiary basis of the Moffatt literature.

Definition. The evidentiary basis consists of the publications of the trip participants.
Item 1. The Sports Illustrated article.
Issues of 9 March 1959 Man against the barrens grounds (pp 68-76) and 16 March 1959 Danger and Sacrifice (pp 80-88).
The evidentiary material consists of selections (in cases edited significantly) from Moffatt’s journal,
plus a condensation (I assess it to be a faithful one) of Lanouette’s journal for 14 September 1955.
Item 2. Grinnell’s article Art Moffatt’s Wilderness Way to Enlightenment.
Canoe, July 1988, pp 18-21 & 56.
Item 3. Grinnell’s book A Death on the Barrens. A True Story. (1996) The editions of 2005 and 2010 played no known role in the Moffatt literature.
Item 4. Pessl’s contribution to Kesselheim’s Canoe & Kayak article (2012).
Summary.
Given that Pessl’s Nastawgan article (2013) was published too late to influence the Moffatt literature, as was his book (2014), which contains also evidence of Franck,
one sees that the entire evidentiary basis of the Moffatt literature consists of three items:
the edited excerpts from Moffatt’s journal, as provided in the SI article (1959), Grinnell’s article (1988) and
Grinnell’s book (1996).
Comments.
The next three paragraphs examine some assertions made in these primary sources.
I note that much of the accusatory literature is not based on these sources, but rather on previous publications of that literature.

The Sports Illustrated article.
This is the second most influential item of the accusatory literature; only Grinnell’s book (1996) surpasses it in this respect.
It will prove significant that the SI editor had full access to Moffatt’s journal.

Item 1. The food-related assertions of the Sports Illustrated editor.
Assertion 1. Food was becoming the question now. [top left of p 76, date 8/9 August].
Assertion 2. provisions dwindle, game grows scarce. [bottom right of p 76, for the period after 16/17 August]
The evidence regarding provisions.
I suggest it to be no great insight that provisions dwindle as they are consumed.
But the SI editor failed to mention that a massive resupply of provisions was obtained from the cache, on 7 September, as documented in her/his own article! 24 one-pound tins of dried Beardmore vegetables—carrots, beans, spinach, cabbage and beets. The guys went crazy…We took the stuff…. [SI article, p 82]
The evidence regarding the caribou.
1. Moffatt’s journal (possessed in full by the SI editor), documents that the first caribou was shot on 5 August, at most four days before the editor’s assertion Food was becoming the question now.
Unfortunately for Moffatt’s reputation, the SI editor made no mention of this event.
2. The second caribou was shot on 11 August, as documented in both Moffatt’s journal and the SI article.
3. As documented in Moffatt’s journal, three caribou were shot after 16/17 August, the date of the editor’s assertion that game grows scarce; the dates are 20 August, 26 August and 5 September.
Unfortunately for Moffatt’s reputation, the SI editor made no mention of these events.
4. Evidence not known to the editor: On the day of Moffatt’s death, 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 a few hours before Moffatt died. [LeFavour].
The evidence regarding other food from the land.
Moffatt’s journal documents also
that many ptarmigan were killed,
that many fish were caught, and
that blueberries and mushrooms were harvested.
Unfortunately for Moffatt’s reputation, the SI editor made next to no mention of these items.
Reference regarding the food supply
Appendix 6. Food.

Item 2. The schedule-related assertions of the Sports Illustrated editor.
Assertion 1. The Moffatt party was a week behind…schedule [SI article, upper right column on page 76; dated 8 August]
Assertion 2. Later, the party was nine days behind schedule. [bottom right of p 76; appearing between the Moffatt journal entries for 15 and 16 August].
Interpretation. The SI editor suggests
either that the Moffatt party had a day-by-day schedule,
or that it was following the day-by-day track of the Tyrrell party (1893).
Response. As anyone who has paddled there knows all too well, a day-by-day schedule is not possible for travel in the barrenlands. The weather, especially the wind, forbids travel on many days. In particular, the Moffatt party had no-day-by-day schedule; and it had not even one waypoint to be reached by a specified date. Indeed, even the Tyrrell party of 1893 was unable to travel on occasion.
Reference. Appendix 7. Schedule.

Item 3. The rapids-related assertions of the Sports Illustrated editor.
Assertion 1. The Moffatt party races against winter on the Barren Grounds… In desperate haste, they take an ultimate chance. [bottom right of p 76, for the period after 16/17 August].
Assertion 2. Increasingly, the men were taking chances. They now shot down churning chutes of white water which, a month earlier, they would have scrutinized with a doubtful eye. [top right of p 82, 7/8 September].
Response 1. Neither item is encumbered by any evidence, particularly that of a participant.
Response 2. No member of the party took chances at any time, most particularly on the day that Moffatt died.
Response 3. The only two dumps of the entire trip occurred in the rapids where Moffatt died.
Conclusion. Both assertions are false.
References.
Appendix 8. Rapids in general.
Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.

Item 4. The redaction made by the Sports Illustrated editor.
Worthy of explicit mention is that the editor redacted the phrase Following Tyrrell’s route from Moffatt’s last journal entry, that for 13 September.
What interpretation of that phrase is possible but
first that Moffatt had obtained route advice from J B Tyrrell and
second that he was following Tyrrell’s advice?
And what interpretation of the redaction is possible but that the editor intended to conceal this evidence?
Reference. Particulars 2 and 3 of Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.

Conclusion.
I trust no content of the Sports Illustrated article that is not supported by evidence from a credible source.

Grinnell’s Canoe article.
Art Moffatt’s Wilderness Way to Enlightenment. Canoe, July 1988, pp 18-21 & 56.
1. The article is the source of the accusation that the Moffatt party had lost sense of reality early and so later had to race down the river to catchup on time.
Reference. Appendix 1. Reality.
2. Together with his book, Grinnell’s article is the source of accusations that the Moffatt party had taken an excessive number of holidays early and so later had to race down the river, in desperate haste to reach Baker Lake before the onset of winter.
As well, Grinnell falsely asserted that an inquest had been held into Moffatt’s death.
Reference. Grinnell’s book (1996).
Opinion. This is the most influential item of all the accusatory literature.
This paragraph would grow to unreasonable length were I to document all my objections to the contents of the book. Let me content myself to provide here only an item regarding Moffatt’s death.
1. Lanouette’s full journal for the day of the tragedy is provided in
Ancillary 2. Lanouette excerpt.
2. The rapids part of that journal for 14 September is provided in Particular 4 of Appendix 9 (The fatal rapids). Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.
3. The Sports Illustrated article provided what I consider to be a faithful condensation of that article [SI article, p 85].
The rapids part of the SI condensation is provided in Particular 5 of Appendix 9.
4. On page 202 of his book (1996 edition), Grinnell provided a version of the SI condensation. The rapids part is provided in Particular 6 of Appendix 9.
5. On comparing the original version (Particular 5 of Appendix 9) with Grinnell’s version of the condensation (Particular 6) one sees that the two are identical but for one difference.
The sole difference is that Grinnell redacted (and replaced with an ellipsis) the three-sentence passage This surprised us. Art had figured we had already shot the last two rapids before Marjorie Lake. Actually, what we had gone down were only riffles, and what lay ahead was the real beginning of the first rapids from the condensation of Lanouette’s journal [Sports Illustrated, p 85, middle of right column].
What conclusion can be drawn from that passage but that Moffatt had reason to believe that there were no rapids worthy of the name in the reach where he died, namely the reach between the portage (that completed in the morning of 14 September) and Marjorie Lake?
And what conclusion can be drawn from the redaction but that Grinnell intended to conceal evidence that Moffatt had been misled (by J B Tyrrell) into running the fatal rapids without a scout?
Reference. Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.
Conclusion. I trust no content of Grinnell’s book that is not supported by evidence from a credible source.

Concerns.
1. To some extent, Grinnell had cooperated in the writing of the SI article. For example, he provided material (for example death from hypothermia) for the editor’s Appendix An Epilogue to Tragedy.
That is, the SI editor and Grinnell had cooperated to some extent in the writing of that article. Indeed, I possess evidence that they had met through intermediaries, perhaps in person.
2. In neither his article (1988) nor his book (1996) did Grinnell express concern with the representations of the SI editor.
3. Both the SI editor and Grinnell redacted what I consider to be exculpatory evidence regarding the cause of Moffatt’s death.

ALLAN Repetitious.
MOVE the following

The accusations and the evidence.

The nine Appendices (Internal URLs are provided below) hold all the evidence known to me related to the corresponding primary accusations, plus some of my responses. Full responses are provided in Ancillary 1. Accusations.

The evidence regarding Moffatt’s death on 14 September 1955.
Because of the overriding importance of the matter, I provide here some evidence regarding the rapids where Arthur Moffatt died, then some accusations made of someone unable to respond.

Introduction.
Prior to 13 September, the Moffatt party had gotten down a dangerous river without one dump, and with but one swamp. That success was due in large part to the rapids advice provided by J B Tyrrell.
On 13 September, the two rapids immediately below Wharton Lake were run without incident; the party then began the portage of 400 yards (18 chains). These features are provided on JBT’s map.
On 14 September, the party completed the portage and continued downstream. Only when it was too late did Moffatt realise that Tyrrell’s advice had failed him that day. His canoe and a second overturned and he died of hypothermia an hour or so later.
Reference 1. https://barrenlands.library.utoronto.ca/content/zone-6-1893
Moffatt died in rapids just above what is now called Marjorie Lake; the reader will not find those rapids on Tyrrell’s map.
Reference 2. Appendix 8. Rapids in general.
The following provides some of the evidence of the participants.

Item 1. The evidence of Moffatt.
The evidence of Lanouette, Moffatt’s bowperson.
Item 1. The SI condensation of Lanouette’s journal for the day of the tragedy. [SI article, pp 85&86, 1959].
Aside. The evidence of Ancillary 2. Lanouette excerpt convinces me that the SI condensation is a faithful one.
For present purposes, the key item in the condensation is the passage
This surprised us. Art had figured we had already shot the last two rapids into Marjorie Lake. Actually, what we had gone down were only riffles, and what lay ahead was the real beginning of the first rapids.
What is one to make of this passage but
first that the party had prior information (it came from J B Tyrrell) regarding the rapids where Moffatt died, and
second that that information had proved incorrect?
That is, I suggest that the passage is exculpatory.
Unfortunately, that passage went unmentioned by every Moffatt accuser, in particular the SI editor, in whose article the passage was published.

Item 2. What are alleged to be excerpts from Moffatt’s journal, as published in the Sports Illustrated article (1959).
Aside. My best efforts failed to obtain full access to Moffatt’s journal.
The SI article does indeed contain excerpts from Moffatt’s journal, but many appear to be of the little-red-fruit variety; that is they appear to have been selected to make points detrimental to Moffatt.
More importantly, some excerpts from the journal were edited, in cases severely. The most important instance was the editor’s redaction of the phrase Following Tyrrell’s route from Moffatt’s journal entry for 13 September. What interpretation of this phrase is possible but that Moffatt had route information from Tyrrell and was following it on 14 September when he decided to run the fatal rapids without a scout?
A request. I ask that the reader reflect on the editor’s motivation in making that redaction.
Conclusion.
I am unable to trust any content of the Sports Illustrated article that is not verified by a source known to be reliable.

Items 3 and 4 are
Grinnell’s article in Canoe&Kayak, pp 18-21&56 (1988), and
Grinnell’s book A Death on the Barrens, Northern Books (1996); the editions of 2005 and 2010 appear not to figure in the literature.
In his book, Grinnell redacted the three-sentence passage mentioned above, namely
This surprised us. Art had figured we had already shot the last two rapids into Marjorie Lake. Actually, what we had gone down were only riffles, and what lay ahead was the real beginning of the first rapids. from Lanouette’s journal for the day of Moffatt’s death.
Again, what is one to make of this passage but
first that the party had prior information (it came from J B Tyrrell) regarding the rapids where Moffatt died, and
second that that information had proved incorrect?
That is, I suggest that the passage is exculpatory.
A request.
I ask that the reader reflect on Grinnell’s motivation in redacting that passage.
Conclusion.
I trust no content of Grinnell’s book that is not verified by a source known to be reliable.

Reliable sources.
I trust the publications of the Tyrrell brothers, J B Tyrrell’s maps, Moffatt’s letters to J B Tyrrell, excerpts from Moffatt’s journal (but only as provided by Pessl, explicitly not those provided in the SI article), Pessl’s book (which contains also the evidence of Franck), and the publications of (and correspondence with) Lanouette and LeFavour.

RESUME HERE

The information available to Moffatt.
As I document in Ancillary 7. Moffatt’s Tyrrell sources, Moffatt possessed J W Tyrrell’s book, plus J B Tyrrell’s maps, his book and his journal.
Moffatt possessed also evidence regarding the rapids where he died; I describe that evidence below.
A request.
In view of the Sports Illustrated editor’s assertion that the fatal rapids were run in desperate haste, I ask that the reader reflect on the following items and their significance regarding Moffatt’s death.
1. The only two dumps of the entire trip occurred in the rapids where Moffatt died.
2. On 13 September, the party ran without incident the first two rapids below Wharton Lake.
3. The next obstacle was a set of rapids that was portaged by the Tyrrell party in 1893. The Moffatt party completed the portage around those rapids in the morning of 14 September, a few hours before Moffatt’s death.
4. The rapids where Moffatt died are not mentioned in JWT’s book, JBT’s book, or JBT’s maps.
It is known, however, that Moffatt possessed some information regarding those rapids. The source can have been only
either JBT’s journal (aka his report)
or JBT’s response to Moffatt’s letter of 14 December 1954,
neither of which I have been able to access.

The evidence of participant LeFavour.
Referring to the reach below the portage (completed in the morning of 14 September), and so to the rapids where Moffatt died, participant LeFavour provided the following: the last two apparently easy for they were mentioned only as “rapids” [LeFavour article, 1955].
Summary.
Moffatt knew there to be rapids below the portage, but he had cause to believe them to be easy.
Some readers might then conclude that he was justified in running the fatal rapids without a scout.

The evidence of Moffatt’s bowperson Lanouette.
The complete (uncondensed) journal entry of Lanouette for 14 September is provided in Ancillary 2. Lanouette excerpt.
Pages 85-87 of the Sports Illustrated article (1959) provide what I consider to be a faithful condensation of that entry. The relevant passage from that condensation:
After a fine lunch of fish chowder, we shoved off again at around 2:30. The weather was still dismal, although the wind had dropped. In a few minutes we heard and saw rapids on the horizon. This surprised us. Art had figured we had already shot the last two rapids into Marjorie Lake. Actually, what we had gone down were only riffles, and what lay ahead was the real beginning of the first rapids.
At the top, the rapids looked as though they would be easy going, a few small waves, rocks—nothing serious. We didn’t even haul over to shore, as we usually did.
[SI article, p 85]
For present purposes, the important passage is the following: In a few minutes we heard and saw rapids on the horizon. This surprised us. Art had figured we had already shot the last two rapids into Marjorie Lake. Actually, what we had gone down were only riffles, and what lay ahead was the real
beginning of the first rapids.

Remarks.
What interpretation of this passage is possible but
first that the Moffatt party had prior information regarding rapids in the reach above Marjorie Lake, and
second that that information had proved incorrect?
To me, the significance of this passage is the evidence is that Lanouette and Moffatt were surprised by the sudden appearance of the rapids on the horizon.
Conclusion.
J B Tyrrell had informed Moffatt, at least implicitly, that were no rapids of significance in the reach where he died.

Grinnell’s version of the relevant part of the condensation of Lanouette’s journal.
After a fine lunch of fish chowder, we shoved off again at around 2:30. The weather was still dismal, although the wind had dropped. In a few minutes we heard and saw rapids on the horizon. …
At the top, the rapids looked as though they would be easy going, a few small waves, rocks—nothing serious. We didn’t even haul over to shore, as we usually did.
[Grinnell book, p 202]

Comparison of the two versions.
One sees that Grinnell redacted, and replaced by an ellipsis, the passage
This surprised us. Art had figured we had already shot the last two rapids into Marjorie Lake. Actually, what we had gone down were only riffles, and what lay ahead was the real beginning of the first rapids
from his otherwise complete version of the SI condensation of participant Lanouette’s journal for 14 September.
A request.
I ask the reader to consider what motivated Grinnell to redacted this passage (and only it), especially the surprised comment), if not to conceal evidence that Moffatt had been incorrectly advised by J B Tyrrell.

The redaction made by the Sports Illustrated editor.
As I document elsewhere, the editor redacted the passage Following Tyrrell’s route from Moffatt’s last journal entry, that for 13 September.
A request.
I ask that the reader consider
first what interpretation of this passage is possible but that Moffatt had route information from J B Tyrrell and was following it?
second what interpretation of the redaction is possible but that the editor intended to conceal this evidence?

A coincidence?
1. The Appendix of the Sports Illustrated article (1959),
especially Grinnell’s remarks (first published 37 years later, in 1996) regarding death due to hypothermia, the traverse of Aberdeen Lake, the encounter with the Inuit family, etc,
evinces that Grinnell and the SI editor had been in written contact (at least) before the article was published.
2. As well, Grinnell had spoken in person with SI staff (perhaps with the editor her/himself) as the article was being prepared. [Private correspondence, 21 December 2016].
3. Is it a coincidence that both the SI editor and Grinnell redacted evidence regarding Moffatt’s decision to run the fatal rapids without a scout?

The assertions of the Sports Illustrated editor.
1. …the Moffatt party races against winter …In desperate haste, they take an ultimate chance. [Sports Illustrated, bottom of right column, p 76]
2. Increasingly, the men were taking chances. They now shot down churning chutes of white water which, a month earlier, they would have scrutinized with a doubtful eye. [Sports Illustrated, top of right column, p 82]
Comment. Given that no evidence was ever presented in support of these accusations, the paddling community could easily have rejected them out-of-hand. Unfortunately, the very opposite occurred; the accusations were accepted in toto, without written dissent as best I know.
Question.
Who is so credulous as to believe that (only a few hours after completing that the portage documented by J B Tyrrell) Moffatt, in suddenly acquired desperate haste, chose to take the ultimate chance by running those rapids without a scout?

The secondary accusations
are believed to have been inspired by those of the SI editor.
1. …Moffatt died of exposure after they dumped in a large rapid they did not scout. [Che-Mun, Outfit 99, Winter 2000].
2. The men talked less and took more risks. On September 14th,… all three boats plunged over two sets of waterfalls the paddlers hadn’t bothered to scout…. [Kingsley book, top of p 189, 2014]

Response to the rapids parts of these four assertions.
I expect that most river paddlers have run rapids without scouting them. Indeed, that act is so common as to have acquired a title, namely making a blind probe. Countless parties have made blind probes and have dumped as a result. Indeed, two of Moffatt’s primary accusers (James Murphy and Bob Thum) had the courage and the integrity to state that they had done so.
Conclusion.
If a dump resulting from a blind probe is proof of incompetence, then Murphy and Thum are incompetent, as are perhaps many reading this.

But Arthur Moffatt did not make a blind probe!
As documented above, he had been informed by J B Tyrrell that there were no significant rapids in the reach remaining above Marjorie Lake, and so he led the way down them, without a scout, to his death.

A request. I ask that the reader reflect on the light that the evidence of Lanouette and LeFavour sheds on the SI editor’s assertions, repeated for the reader’s convenience.
Increasingly, the men were taking chances. They now shot down churning chutes of white water which, a month earlier, they would have scrutinized with a doubtful eye. [Sports Illustrated, top of right column, p 82] and
…the Moffatt party races against winter on the Barren Grounds …In desperate haste, they take an ultimate chance. [Sports Illustrated, bottom of right column, p 76]
Further, given that the evidence of Lanouette was provided in the SI article itself, I ask whether the SI editor had read her/his own article.

The evidence of George Luste regarding the fatal rapids.
Art Moffatt, following Tyrrell’s notes, was not expecting the rapid in which he swamped and then died. [Grinnell book, p 284].
Not one accuser (all of whom, save the SI editor, are known to have accessed Grinnell’s book) in the matter of Moffatt’s death mentioned this evidence of Luste, even though most of them used material in Grinnell’s book in making their accusations of Moffatt.
Worthy of explicit mention here are Grinnell himself and James Murphy (in what he alleged to be a review of Grinnell’s book).

Comments regarding the Moffatt literature.

From its inception in 1959 to and including 2014, the accusatory literature consists of little but assertions, opinion pieces, and copy-cat versions of previous accusations.
In not one of several dozen publications of that literature was supporting evidence provided, even a citation.
Accusations were accepted and promulgated, indeed embellished, without thought to whether they were true, indeed without thought to whether they were credible.
Exculpatory evidence was ignored; indeed, it was redacted on two documented occasions.
Qualifying evidence was omitted.
Evidence was misrepresented.
Fabrications were represented as evidence.
All too many assertions are untruths made knowingly.
The little red fruit was picked repeatedly.
The basis for some accusations lies only in the imagination of the defamer.
All this of someone unable to defend himself.

The cause of Moffatt’s death

was none of those alleged by so many over 55 years.
1. No member of the party lost…sense of reality. No member of the party succumbed to a sort of delusion.
Appendix 1. Reality and Delusion.
2. The party did not take too many holidays early in the trip, forcing it to race later in order to catchup on time. As well, no inquest was held into the death of Arthur Moffatt.
Appendix 3. Equipment.
4. The party was not inexperienced; the leadership was not poor.
Appendix 4. Experience.
5. The party did not race down the river in order to escape the onset of winter.
Appendix 5. Pace and weather.
6. Arthur Moffatt did not die due to lack of food. The caribou were not long gone.
Appendix 6. Food.
7. Arthur Moffatt did not die due to lack of schedule. Eleven independent sources attest the Moffatt party had a schedule for arrival in Baker Lake.
Appendix 7. Schedule.
8. The fatal rapids were not run in desperate haste. Moffatt did not take the ultimate chance in running them.
Appendix 8. Rapids in general.
Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.

Summary.

After presenting every accusation known to have been made over those 55 years, I exposed each of them to the light of the evidence of the participants, as follows.

Source 1.
Excerpts from Moffatt’s journal, as provided in the Sports Illustrated article (1959).
Cautions.
(a) Some excerpts appear to have been selected to make points detrimental to Moffatt.
(b) Others were severely edited.
(c) Items alleged/suggested to be excerpts have no evidentiary basis in his journal.
(d) Evidence that I believe to be exculpatory was omitted.
Example. Five caribou were shot, not one.
(e) Evidence that I believe to be exculpatory was redacted.
Example. Moffatt’s comment Following Tyrrell’s route, made in his journal for 13 September, the day before his death.
(f) Assertions were made that have no basis in any evidence of Moffatt’s journal or any other trusted source.
Example. The Moffatt party was nine days behind schedule.
Conclusion.
I trust no content of the SI article that is not confirmed by a source known to be reliable.

Source 2.
Excerpts from Moffatt’s journal, as provided by Pessl (ever helpful).
Conclusion.
The evidence leads me to conclude that Pessl’s excerpts are both fair and representative.

Source 3. LeFavour.
(a) His third article (1955). I lack access to the other three.
(b) Private correspondence.
Conclusion.
I trust both sources.

Source 4. Grinnell’s article (1988).
His assertions regarding holidays and the inquest into Moffatt’s death are addressed in Ancillary 2. Lanouette excerpt and private correspondence.
Conclusion.
I trust everything written by Lanouette.

Source 6. Pessl.
Pessl material provided in Kesselheim’s Canoe article (2012).
His Nastawgan article (2013).
His book (2014), which contains also excerpts from Franck’s journal.
Private correspondence, 2014-2017.
Conclusion.
I trust everything written by Pessl.

Reminder of the true assertions.
In more than three years of research into Moffatt’s death, I found at most six true assertions to have been made in the 55 years of the accusatory literature.
Assertion 1. The three spare paddles had been left behind in Stony Rapids.
Response. They were delivered the very next day.
Assertion 2. The party did not take a radio.
Response. Moffatt requested, but was refused, permission to carry a radio; moreover, possession of one would not have averted his death.
Assertion 3. There was a dispute regarding the sugar supply.
Response. The matter was resolved on 29 July.
Assertion 4. There was possibly a dispute regarding the supply of powdered milk.
Response. If indeed there existed one, it was resolved by 22 August.
Assertion 5. Moffatt’s bowl was larger than the others.
Response. Beginning on 22 August, he used a bowl of the same size as the others.
Assertion 6. The rapids where Moffatt died had not been scouted.

Conclusion.
Perhaps it bears explicit mention that Moffatt was unable to respond to any accusation made of him over those 55 years.
Perhaps testing the reader’s patience, I repeat that (with the exception of the assertions discussed in the previous paragraph) the entire accusatory literature has no more substance than a house of cards.
By the standards of a civilised and intelligent society, Moffatt is therefore innocent, and so I say that
Moffatt’s incompetence is nothing but a myth.
And a myth, even one presented as fact by so many over so many years as to become generally perceived as fact, no matter how frequently it is stated, no matter who states it, remains nothing but a myth.
More specifically, the myth of Moffatt’s incompetence is a conglomerate of the myths addressed in the Appendices 1 through 9.
Reference. Ancillary 1. Accusations.

Summary.
Until the appearance of Pessl’s evidence (and so that of Franck) every person (perhaps a score of them) who wrote about the matter got wrong the cause of Moffatt’s death.

How did it go so terribly wrong,
that Moffatt was falsely accused for 55 years?
Opinion.
Assertions were accepted as evidence. They were passed on, indeed embellished, without thought to whether they had a basis in evidence, even without thought to whether they were credible.
The rumour mill ground away. Gossip, credulity and gullibility reigned supreme.
Evidence refuting accusations went unmentioned.
alternative facts made a significant contribution.
Over those 55 years, not one accuser accepted the responsibility to examine the evidence before joining the assault on Moffatt, who was unable to respond.
Question.
Did a dead person, indeed a fellow paddler, not deserve better?

Personal reflections.
Moffatt did not paddle the Dubawnt in order to build his self-esteem by proving himself to himself or to anyone else. An American pacifist who volunteered to serve as an ambulance driver (in the British Eighth Army) at the very front of the battles in Africa and Italy has no need to prove anything to anyone.
Rather, Moffatt set out to document the barrenlands by means of film, photos and journals. Perhaps he went also to experience the barrens, to immerse himself in it, to understand it at least in part, to appreciate it. Perhaps he had hoped to establish himself as a wilderness writer. Perhaps he already had the idea of protecting the barrens. Perhaps he took the trip in part out of respect for the wilderness.
Whatever his motivation, Moffatt was the very antithesis of the conquer-the-wilderness types, the ego-trippers, the self-promoters, the peak-baggers, the river-baggers, in short all those go into the wild with something to prove. He would never have said The real adventure pits man against nature, as alleged in the Sports Illustrated article [top of p 71]. In private correspondence, Pessl confirmed that such a comment is totally out of character for Moffatt; he referred me to the following passage from Grinnell’s book. How ridiculous to “assault a mountain”! How pretentious to plant a flag! How arrogant to stand on top for fifteen minutes and talk of “conquest!” [Grinnell book, p 19]. A similar remark was made in Grinnell’s article [lower left column, p 20]. In both instances, the context was a conversation about the then recent ascent of Everest.
Moffatt was the very antithesis of Bob Thum, who provided the following motivation for his Dubawnt trip of 1966. Moffatt is precisely why we took the trip…I thought experienced trippers could cover Tyrrell’s route safely and skillfully, which we did. [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 If I may, I suggest that the Thum party covered Tyrrell’s route safely and skillfully in large part because Thum knew the rapids where Moffatt died to be exceptionally dangerous. More generally, such courage, such grace, to defame a dead man.
Comment. I did my best, or close to it, but Arthur Moffatt would have defended himself much better, had he been able to do so.
Opinions.
Arthur Moffatt deserves our respect.
He and his family did not deserve the false, often abusive, accusations made over 55 years by so many, especially by fellow paddlers.

Suggestions.
Those wishing to learn more about the trip and the tragedy might begin with Pessl’s book.
Pessl, Fred (Skip). Barren Grounds. The Story of the Tragic Moffatt Canoe Trip. Dartmouth College Press (2014).
With all primary accusations shown to have no basis in the evidence, the way is clear for a new chapter in the Moffatt literature, namely an extended appreciation of him. Such would be rather late (he died sixty years ago), but perhaps someone will take on the job.
Perhaps multiple retractions are in order.

A little about Arthur Moffatt, the person.
First of all, he was not the bungling, incompetent fool that so many so successfully portrayed him to be for 55 years.
From the little that I know of him, he was a thoughtful, decent, responsible, indeed admirable, being.
(a) Arthur Moffatt was born in 1919, the son of a stable worker on a Long Island estate. At 17, he’d paddled the Albany River in Northern Ontario alone, 500 miles from Sioux Lookout to Hudson’s Bay. He attended Dartmouth College—his father’s employer paid his tuition—and immediately after graduating in 1941 (Interjection. Grinnell’s article gives 1939), he joined the American Field Service, a volunteer ambulance corps attached to the British Eighth Army. A committed pacifist, Moffatt witnessed some of the bloodiest campaigns of World War II, but never carried a weapon. [Pessl, as reported by Kesselheim, Alan. Canoe & Kayak, May 2012, starting on p 46.]
(b) … he joined the British Eighth Army in Africa, which is notable for two reasons: one, Moffatt was an American not British, and, two, he was a pacifist. For six years, he carried dead and wounded back from the front. On both adventures (the first was his solo trip on the Albany River in 1938) he said he had been scared to death, but after the war he had only felt the stupidity of it all. [Grinnell article, p 18]
(c) During the Second World War, as a professed pacifist from America and a volunteer with the American Field Service, a Quaker organization, Art had been allowed by the British High Command to carry no weapons, just the wounded and dying soldiers back from the front… [Grinnell book, p 15].
(d) He was a quietly principled man who from an early age lived as best he could, consistent with his principles. … He was a pacifist and volunteered for the American Field service as an ambulance driver, serving in Africa and Italy during World War II. [Pessl book, p 165]
Why did he choose the Dubawnt River?
He had …the grand concept of retracing J. B. Tyrrell’s epic 1893 journey down the Dubawnt River, creating a film documentary about the journey and sharing that experience in print with the wilderness adventure community. [Pessl, p 165]

In what respects are we the lesser for Moffatt’s passing?
An appreciation of Arthur Moffatt.
Even after these many years, I grieve Art Moffatt’s death. He was more than my mentor; he was perhaps a second father even though he was only fourteen years older than I. His pacifism, his principled lifestyle, and his view of the world, natural and international, opened my mind, challenged my thoughts, and gave me insight and courage to pursue my own dreams.
I wonder what would have been the future had he survived the Dubawnt and fully developed professionally as an outdoor writer and voice for wild spaces, indigenous peoples, habitat protection, and restraint in Arctic resources development. I believe his impact on our awareness and understanding of the Barrens would have been profound. How might we have better valued the vastness and uniqueness of that ecosystem? How different our understanding and vision of the far north might be today had our Dubawnt adventure ended in celebration instead of tragedy?
Certainly, we would be better informed, perhaps more compassionate in causes of peace, and probably more courageous in advocating to protect and conserve our northern heritage.
[Pessl, p 178].

Comments.
The Moffatt family lost a husband and a father.
The survivors lost their leader, their mentor, their companion, their friend.
The false, abusive accusations of the 55 years that followed likely inflicted much pain on both family and survivors, all of whom no doubt already suffered considerably from the loss. And so I express one last time my thanks to Pessl (and through him Franck), Lanouette and LeFavour for their assistance.

Opinions.
The Moffatt story is perhaps the most shameful chapter in the entire outdoor literature. Even John Hornby (Thelon River, 1927) was treated mildly in comparison.
Of such scholarship, diligence, grace, thought, integrity, humanity, caution, charity, courage, compassion and above all commitment to evidence, is destroyed the reputations of the defenceless innocent, here a fellow paddler.
The opinion of Stewart Coffin.
The Moffatt Expedition stands as the pioneering venture in modern recreational canoe travel through the subarctic tundra of northern Canada. [Appalachia Journal. 15 December, 1996.] Mentioned by Pessl (his page 162); thanks to him for providing a copy.

The last word.
George Luste and I were professional colleagues for forty years. I regarded him as a friend. He got me started with serious tripping and provided much valuable advice. I helped him with the Wilderness and Canoeing Symposium for several years.
He expressed the following opinion of Moffatt’s defamers. Perhaps he would have written even more scathingly of those who wrote after 1996.
Let him have the last word.
It seems as if a liberal amount of imagination has been invoked by these writers to change the facts so they fit their preoccupations and desires for culpability. [Grinnell book, 1996, p 294]

Internal URLs.

These URLs are provided for navigation within the blog.
URLs for accessing the following items from outside the blog are provided elsewhere.
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.
Ancillary 10. My sources.
Ancillary 11. Canoe&Kayak manuscript.
Ancillary 12. Acknowledgements.
Bibliography.

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

Edition of 30 March 2018.

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