TEST 2

Ancillary 1. The accusatory literature.

Introduction.

In the afternoon of 14 September 1955, Arthur Moffatt died of hypothermia after his canoe overturned in rapids on the Dubawnt River in what is now Nunavut. False assertions regarding the cause of his death were published first in 1959 and continued to 2014. The paddling community, including senior and highly respected members of it, became convinced that the cause was general incompetence on his part.
On the other hand, 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
The following confronts the accusations made of Moffatt with the evidence, especially that of the trip participants.
I conclude that a dead man was falsely accused for almost six decades, in many instances knowingly.

Classification of the accusatory literature.

What I call the primary accusatory literature consists of publications whose authors had direct access to at least one publication of a participant, and who redacted exculpatory evidence, ignored exculpatory evidence, published falsehoods, published fabrications, and consciously misrepresented known evidence. Some of those authors deserve fully the appellation defamer.
The secondary accusatory literature consists rather of publications whose authors acted in good faith but who were misled by the primary literature.

The true accusations.

Lest they be lost in the literally dozens of the other variety, I document here all seven true accusations found in my four years of research into the cause of Moffatt’s death; these are full versions of the précis provided in my Main text.

True accusation 1. The spare paddles.
The source. The three spare canoe paddles had been left behind in Stony Rapids. [Sports Illustrated (1959), p 72]
Repeated without mention of the source by Inglis (1978) and independently by Kingsley (2012 and 2014).
Response. The spares were delivered the very next day, and so the start was delayed by one day, only.
Suggestion. The SI mention was documentary rather than accusatory.
Opinion. Picking of the little red fruit by both Inglis and Kingsley.

True accusation 2. The radio.
The source. We carried no radio. [Grinnell book (1996), p 11, two instances].
The assertion of Kingsley. …they didn’t even bring a radio. (2013)
Response. Moffatt requested, but was refused, permission to carry a radio. And it bears explicit mention that possession of a radio would not have averted his death.
Opinion. Documentation by Grinnell, picking of the little red fruit by Kingsley.

True accusation 3. Moffatt’s provisioning and the supply of fat.
Aside.
As best I know, freeze-dried foods came into public use only in the late 50s – early 60s. Before then, canoe parties relied on provisions, fish and chance encounters with wildlife.
Reference. http://www.myccr.com/phpbbforum/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=46868
Background.
Based on his considerable experience in outfitting trips, Moffatt had cause to believe that the initial supply of provisions (which contained no fat) would meet the food needs of the party for the entire trip; indeed, he expressed that opinion in his first letter to J B Tyrrell. In this, he was severely mistaken, perhaps because he had underestimated the effort required to make the portages, carrying all that food.
But Moffatt did not place full reliance on provisions, for the party carried two rifles and fishing gear.
Comment 1 of Luste.
…it is evident that not enough food, or specifically, food with high caloric comment, such fat, was purchased for the trip. This long, on short food rations, would have consumed much, if not all, of the body fat their bodies started with. [Grinnell book, middle of p 286]
Response. The phrases purchased and would have lead me to conclude that the comment refers only to Moffatt’s provisions (which contained no fat), specifically not to the supply of food on the trip.
Comment 2 of Luste.
The Moffatt party was woefully short of provisions and caloric energy sustenance… [Grinnell book, top of p 288]
Response. Given the evidence provided below regarding food acquired on the trip (especially that provided in Grinnell’s book), I conclude that Comment 2 also refers solely to the initial supply of provisions.
The comment of Kingsley.
The Moffatt expedition was clearly unprepared in the material sense. Not enough food–neither in quantity nor quality. [Kingsley. Back and Beyond. Lake. Issue 6 (2013); p 14].
I assume this to be a paraphrase of Luste’s remarks.
Given that Kingsley referred only to Moffatt’s provisioning (his preparations), explicitly not to the supply of food available on the trip, I agree completely.
Summary of food acquired on the trip, in the six weeks before Moffatt’s death.
Five caribou, many fish, many ptarmigan, blueberries and mushrooms, plus a major resupply of provisions (this on 7 September). Details are provided below.
The supply of fat.
Lacking both the background in nutrition science and the knowledge of how much fat was obtained from the caribou and the fish, I am unable to make an informed reply. But Pessl comes to the rescue.
1. Our standard daily meals were generally minimal, approximately 2,400 calories for an oatmeal breakfast with milk and sugar, lunch of pilot biscuit, cheese, jam, and peanut butter, and a glop dinner. This basic menu was frequently, but not regularly, augmented by instant pudding dessert, berries with milk, a johnny cake treat, mushrooms, chocolate, caribou organs and meat, ptarmigan, fish and roe. But even with these additions we were probably well short of the recommended 4,000 calories per day. … The lack of fat in our diet, on the other hand, probably contributed to a serious caloric deficiency that may have exacerbated our discomfort in the cold, wet season and may have resulted in reduced energy and endurance. [book, p 162]
I note that Pessl does not suggest that the quality of the food played a role in Moffatt’s death.
2. We made a curious mistake early in the trip in not taking advantage of the Canada goose as a ready source of fat… With respect to the later part of the trip, he provided the following. Cooking a sturdy goose on a smouldering heather/twig fire on a wet, windy day in the Barrens would probably have been a real challenge, no matter how much we craved the fat. [book, top of p 163]

Some details regarding the food supply in the six weeks before Moffatt’s death.
I document below the
13 participant evidences known to Moffatt’s accusers from the SI article (1959) and from Grinnell’s book (1996), plus
four participant evidences (published later) that were known to no accuser.
These 17 items evince that the Moffatt party ate well on the whole in those weeks.
The evidence of participant LeFavour,
which became available only a few years ago, is especially relevant to the accusations that a lack/shortage of food played a role in Moffatt’s death; the point is lunchtime on the day of Moffatt’s death.
Up to that point we had shot five caribou and by doing so had saved enough meat to see us through. Now it was not even necessary to spend time hunting. [Evening Recorder, Amsterdam NY. Part 3 of 4, page 8, 29 December (1955).]
Conclusion.
Neither the quantity nor the quality of the food played a role in Moffatt’s death.

A request.
Given the evidence provided above, especially that of LeFavour, I ask that the reader consider the truth of the following assertions:
1. lack of food…contributed to Moffatt’s death. [Murphy]
2. the caribou were long gone. [Kingsley]

References regarding the cause of Moffatt’s death.
The evidence presented at the beginning of Main text, and also in the following:
Appendix 8. Rapids in general.
Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.

True accusation 4. The supply of sugar and its distribution.

The evidence of Grinnell regarding the supply.
Evidence 1. A week later Pessl announced that we had consumed half our sugar supply while covering less than one-third the distance to Baker Lake. [Grinnell article, top of right column, p 20; undated]
Evidence 2. Skip took the opportunity to check our supplies. After dinner, he announced that if we continued consuming sugar at the current rate, we would run out before the trip was half over. [Grinnell book, pp 34&35, undated]
Aside 1. Undated material related to the sugar supply is provided also on pages 35-37 of Grinnell’s book.
Aside 2. We stopped early that afternoon to unpack and dry out the provisions from the grey canoe; and while we waited, Skip took the opportunity to check our supplies once again. At dinner, he announced that we had consumed more sugar after going on Art’s “honor system” than we had before. [Grinnell book, top of p 80 to the middle of p 81; undated]
I possess no evidence regarding this one.

The evidence of Pessl regarding the supply.
1. Had a grumpy outbreak over the sugar situation. We are now 1/2 through the supply and only about 1/3 of the distance to Baker Lake. After much discussion, we decided to give each man a 5-day ration from each 5-lb bag, thus allowing about 1/6 lb/day. Each will carry his own supply and use it according to his taste. Hope it works. [Pessl, 29 July, p 56; Hinde Lake]
Comments. Pessl is a faithful witness, and so I accept that half the sugar supply had been consumed by 29 July, as asserted in Grinnell’s article.
2. Doled out the sugar ration into six small cans. The four guys seem somewhat in love with the idea of individual rations… Not sure how Art feels about all this. [Pessl, 30 July, pp 56&57]
Aside. The sugar shortage was, I think, more a matter of self-discipline (or the lack thereof) than a serious health or energy issue. It did, however, contribute significantly to tension and group conflict. [Pessl, bottom of p 162]

The evidence regarding the distribution of the sugar supply.
1. Grinnell asserted several times that Moffatt was taking more than his share of the sugar. [book: pp 34-37 and 80&81)]
2. Confirmation. Once, Pessl caught his mentor, Moffatt, stealing extra sugar from the bag. [Kesselheim, Alan. 57 years Ago. Canoe & Kayak, May 2012, p 46].

Conclusion.
Given that no further mention was made either of the supply of sugar or its distribution, the solution each will carry his own supply worked thereafter.

Aside regarding the distance remaining.
I trust Pessl completely and so I accept that, on 29 July, the party had covered only about 1/3 of the distance from Black Lake to Baker Lake. But I fuss, and so I’ll measure that distance at Toporama, one fine day.

Aside regarding the time remaining.
Given that the early part of the trip (the ascent of the Chipman River from Black Lake to Selwyn Lake and so to the basin of the Dubawnt River) was difficult and consequently slow, perhaps the more important measure is the time, rather than the distance, remaining.
Analysis.
(a) The trip began on 29 June, and so the party was 31 days into it on 29 July.
(b) The party was scheduled to arrive in Baker Lake on 15 September, but with a grace period of seven days, for a maximum of 87 days.
Conclusion. He didn’t intend such, but Pessl’s one-third accurately measures the time elapsed.

True accusation 5. Moffatt’s bowl and his extra portions.
The size of Moffatt’s bowl.
Evidence 1. …Moffatt had his own special dishes, which were considerably larger than ours. [Grinnell article (1988), p 21, middle of the left column]
Evidence 2. Moffatt ate out of a larger bowl than the rest of us. [Grinnell book (1996), middle of p 25]
Evidence 3. …the extra large dishes he ate from… [Grinnell book, bottom of p 31]
Evidence 4. Pessl [book, caption to the photo on p 85].
Evidence 5. Franck [Pessl book, top of p 86].
Evidence 6. Lanouette journal (below).
The resolution. On August 22, Moffatt came to breakfast and picked up one of the standard bowls… [Grinnell article, p 21, middle of the left column] And I found no further mention of the matter.
Moffatt’s extra portions.
Evidence 1. Grinnell book, pp 123 & 124.
Evidence 2. Art was also caught by Bruce taking 7 serving spoons of glop to our 5 ½ and, that from now on, we are going to watch him with eagle eyes. Art has a special aluminum pannikin which holds a lot more than our bowls. [Lanouette journal for 10 August]
The resolution. I found no further mention of the matter.

True accusation 6. running scared.
Sources. Sports Illustrated (1959) [middle of right column, p 82]; Kingsley (2012).
Reminder. The SI editor possessed Moffatt’s journal in its entirety.
My search revealed the editor’s source to have been the following.

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

Analysis.
The relevant items are everybody running scared now and can’t risk an upset now.
Asides.
1. The falls above Wharton Lake (the Uksurlajuaq Rapids at Toporama) were portaged in their entirely. Reference. Appendix 8. Rapids in general.
2. Moffatt’s about 200 miles is his value for the distance from an unknown point on the Dubawnt River down to its junction with the Thelon River and thence to Baker Lake. After his death, the survivors decided to portage from the north end of Marjorie Lake over to Aberdeen Lake on the Thelon. [Pessl, private correspondence]
3. The portage certainly saved distance; my to-do list contains a note to measure it.
4. More importantly, the portage avoided the heavy rapids (J B Tyrrell’s London rapids) known to lie on the Dubawnt above its junction with the Thelon.
Reference. https://barrenlands.library.utoronto.ca/content/zone-6-1893
This must be Pessl’s another dangerous rapid before Beverly Lake [book, middle of p 133],
5. J B Tyrrell’s values for the elevations of Marjorie Lake and Aberdeen Lake are respectively 260 and 130 feet; I assume that they were obtained by means of an altimeter, which measures barometric pressure. My point is that the reach between them accounts for half the remaining descent to Hudson Bay, suggesting that the rapids so avoided are hazardous and hence that the decision was a wise one.
6. Present-day values for the elevations are respectively 139 m (456 ft) and 79 m (259 ft) [Toporama]. I don’t understand the reason for the large differences from Tyrrell’s values. But the main point is again that the reach between Marjorie and Aberdeen accounts for about half that descent.

The Sports Illustrated version of Moffatt’s journal for 10 September.
It snowed again. Everything is frozen, and more snow clouds are solid in the sky. Wind still strong. But we are going on anyway. There is no time now to sit around waiting for the niceties of the weather. We’re all running scared. This is the third day of snow. There is a strong north wind. It has been freezing all day. Frozen feet are becoming a real worry, our torn boots being as porous as blotting paper.
In spite of the heavy winds and snow squalls, we made it, with the help of a strong current, down to a 10-foot falls above Wharton Lake. But there was ice on the paddles, the hills were still white, and there was no sun.
Skip was exhausted tonight. His cramped tent last night made him sleepless. Ten days’ sugar supply left, about same amount of hardtack, 10 days’ oats, five days’cornmeal. Joe broke two of three remaining peanut butter jars tonight on portage. Even a little item like that is becoming vitally important to us. The food situation is poor, but we mean to get out of here as fast as possible now. About 200 miles to go.
[SI article, bottom of right column, p 82]

Comparison of the two versions.
The Sports Illustrated editor published the phrase running scared, but not the phrase can’t risk an upset now.
I point out that the first reflects badly on the Moffatt party, whereas the second reflects badly on the following editorial assertions regarding the cause of Moffatt’s death.
1. Already nine days behind schedule, the Moffatt party races against winter on the Barren Grounds. The days grow colder, provisions dwindle, game grows scarce. In desperate haste, they take an ultimate chance. [Sports Illustrated, p 76, lower right, 15/16 August].
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, p 82, top right, 7/8 September].

Assessments.
Malicious redaction of exculpatory evidence by the Sports Illustrated editor.
Picking of the little red fruit by Kingsley.

True accusation 7. The rapids where Moffatt died had not been scouted.
References.
The evidence presented at the top of Main text.
Appendix 8. Rapids in general.
Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.

The journals of the participants.

The journal of Moffatt.
He is known to have kept one, and it must contain vitally important information, but my best efforts failed to obtain a full copy.
Grinnell, Pessl and the Sports Illustrated editor are known to have possessed full copies.
The SI editor and Grinnell published selected and edited items for several days.
Pessl provided me with full entries for several days, enabling me to compare them with those of the SI editor and Grinnell.
The journal of Lanouette, Moffatt’s bowperson.
A faithful condensation of the entry for 14 September (the day of Moffatt’s death) was published in the SI article (1959, pp 85-87). I must caution that the corresponding version provided in Grinnell’s book (1996, p 202) is unfaithful.
His full journal for that day (provided by him in private correspondence) is provided in
Ancillary 2. Lanouette excerpt.
Thanks to him and his daughter Elizabeth Emge, his full journal for the trip up to and including 16 September is now available at http://www.myccr.com/phpbbforum/viewtopic.php?f=181&t=46535 et seq.
The journal of Grinnell.
An incomplete search found only two items regarding his recording of events.
Early in the trip, I had traded my ration of chocolate bars, which Art sometimes distributed at lunch, for paper to write on. [book, p 26].
I retired to my tent and wrote in my journal a diatribe against self-righteous “altruists” in general and Skip in particular. [book, p 84].
I am aware of the apparent contradiction, but other evidence leads me to conclude that Grinnell did not keep a journal.
The journals of Pessl and Franck.
Both kept journals, but I lack direct access to them. Pessl’s book (2014) contains excerpts from both, up to and including 8 September.
The journal of LeFavour.
I possess no evidence that he kept one.

Other evidence of the participants.

I possess the following items.

1. Moffatt’s correspondence with J B Tyrrell.
Thanks to Pessl, I possess copies of Moffatt’s two letters to JBT. My best efforts failed to obtain JBT’s response (known to have been made and believed to contain important information) to the first.
Reference. Ancillary 7. Moffatt’s Tyrrell sources.
2. Grinnell’s Canoe article (1988).
3. Grinnell’s book. Only the 1996 edition was used in the accusatory literature. I did not access the 2006 edition, and I made only cursory use of the 2010 edition.
4. The third (the key item) of participant LeFavour’s four articles (1955).
5. Kesselheim’s Canoe&Kayak article (2012) contains comments of Pessl. It was noticed only by Kingsley [Paddle North, top of p 202], who mentioned only Pessl’s comment People revealed themselves as imperfect… [top of left column, p 52].
6. Pessl’s Nastawgan article (2013) appeared too late to influence the Moffatt literature.
7. Pessl’s book (2014) contains excerpts from his journal and that of participant Franck, plus Pessl evidence. It too appeared too late to influence the literature.
8. Correspondence with participants Grinnell (two in number, one important), Lanouette (minor in number, crucial in importance), LeFavour (minor in number, crucial in importance), and Pessl (many in number, crucial in importance, beginning in the fall of 2014 and continuing to the present).

The publications of the primary accusatory literature.

1. The Sports Illustrated article (1959).
2. The book of Inglis (1978).
3. The Canoe article (1988) of participant Grinnell.
4. Accusations made prior to the publication of Grinnell’s book (1996), as quoted there by Luste on pages 293 and 294.
5. Grinnell’s book (1996 edition). The editions of 2006 and 2010 went unnoticed in that literature.
6. The articles of Murphy and MacDonald (1996).
7. Mahler’s article (2005), which contains comments of Thum.
8. Kingsley’s articles (2012 and 2013) and book (2014).
Opinion.
The most influential of these are the SI article, Grinnell’s book, and the Murphy-MacDonald reviews of that book.

The evidentiary basis of the accusatory literature.

Only three publications contain evidence of the participants and are known to have influenced the accusatory literature, even to late 2018. And so the sole evidentiary basis of the entire accusatory literature (primary and secondary alike) of those 55 years consists of the following items.
1. The Sports Illustrated article (1959). Contents include edited excerpts from Moffatt’s journal, plus a faithfully condensed version of Lanouette’s journal for the day of Moffatt’s death.
2. The Canoe article (1988) of participant Grinnell.
3. The 1996 edition of Grinnell’s book.
Other publications of the participants.
For excellent reasons, and with one minor exception, the following went unmentioned in the Moffatt literature.
4. LeFavour’s four articles (1955) are even now not available to the public. Thanks to him, I possess (and made generally available here, for the first time) only the crucial one (the third), that which describes the events of 13 and 14 September.
5. Pessl’s three publications (his book of 2014 contains also evidence of Franck) appeared too late to influence the literature. The exception noted above is incidental mention by Kingsley of material provided in Kesselheim’s Canoe&Kayak article (2012).
Preview of my conclusions.
The SI article, Grinnell’s article and Grinnell’s book are replete with falsehoods, fabrications and conscious misrepresentations of known evidence.
As well, both the SI editor (twice) and Grinnell (once) redacted exculpatory evidence regarding Moffatt’s decision to run the fatal rapids without a scout.
Given that these three publications form the entire evidentiary basis of the 55 years of the accusatory literature, the consequences for the credibility of that literature (primary and so also secondary) could not be more dire.

The Sports Illustrated article (1959).

Issues of 9 March (pp 68-76) and 16 March (pp 80-88).
Contents
include edited excerpts from Moffatt’s journal, Moffatt’s Prospectus for the trip, photographs of the participants and thumbnails of them, a map of the party’s route, an excerpt from the New York Times (regarding the party’s failure to arrive on time in Baker Lake), a condensation (a faithful one) of Lanouette’s journal for the day of the tragedy, and an Epilogue (which contains items provided by Grinnell), plus editorial assertions, interjections and the like.
The evidentiary basis of the article (as distinct from its contents) consists of the following three items.
Moffatt’s full handwritten journal.
The handwritten journal of Lanouette (Moffatt’s bowperson) for the day of Moffatt’s death.
Material provided by participant Grinnell. I mentioned above his contributions to the Epilogue. Given that he had met in person with the editor or a representative, I expect that he had contributed to the article in other ways, but I lack knowledge of such items.
Opinion.
The SI article stands second only to Grinnell’s book in its influence on the accusatory literature.

Background material

provided at the beginning of the SI article, some of which is provided also above. The following serve also to document sources of some assertions made by Moffatt’s accusers.
Item 1.
I felt sad, apprehensive and gloomy about the summer. The train was late. We stood on the platform talking. I held her soft arm. Then the train was leaving, a kiss, and I was too. Carol fell behind on the platform, walking in the same direction as the train, a small figure in a turquoise dress, my wife and the mother of my two small children. [SI article. 16 June; top of left column, p 72]
Pessl provided the following comment,
which convinces me that the I felt…gloomy quote is a faithful one, and
which provides the background: …that quote was from Art’s journal entry for June 16 … in which he describes his feelings as he stands on the station platform … at White River Junction, Vermont… [Pessl, pp 164-165].
Aside. Referring to the events at Black Lake (not in Vermont), Grinnell provided the following version of the above. “I felt sad, apprehensive and gloomy,” Art wrote on the eve of our departure, while the rest of us followed him around with smiles on our faces, believing he would carry us through all adversity. [Grinnell book, p 10]. My point (perhaps also Pessl’s) is not that the SI editor got it right, but rather that Grinnell, who possessed both Moffatt’s journal and the SI article, got it wrong.
Item 2.
The food supplies ordered by Moffatt had not arrived and so he had to purchase what he could from the HBC store in Stony Rapids. [top of right column, p 72]
Item 3.
The three spare paddles had been left behind in Stony Rapids. But they were brought in the next day. [top of right column, p 72]
Item 4.
I took the 86-pound camera box… The tump pulling on my neck was too much to take for more than 100 yards at a time… To rest, I had to find a rock high enough to set the box on. I could never have gotten it up by myself. [4 July; bottom of right column on p 72, and top of left column on p 73]
Item 5.
I have never made such tough portages, had such sore feet, sore back, tired neck. Can’t recapture confident, carefree air of first Albany trip in 1937. [6 July, top of right column, p 73]
Moffatt refers here to the brutal portages up the Chipman River, which provides access to Selwyn Lake and so to the height-of-land portage (completed on 7 July) to the basin of the Dubawnt River. [middle of right column, p 73]
Item 6.
Day was very windy, so we made it a day of rest. [8 July, middle of right column, p 73]
Item 7.
Moffatt thought that he might have a hernia and considered turning back.
He provided also the comment We are only about one-quarter of the way to Baker Lake, if that far. [21 July, bottom of right column, p 74]

Responsibility for the content of the Sports Illustrated article.

I possess no evidence that the SI editor personally took the actions that I ascribe to her/him, and so the reader may wish to replace editor by editorial staff (Pessls’s staff writers) in what follows. But who knows what actions were expected by the SI editor of her/his staff? And, in the final analysis, is not the editor responsible for all content of the article?

The credibility of the Sports Illustrated article.

Introduction.

Moffatt’s family provided copies of his journal to both the SI editor and Pessl.
Grinnell also possessed a copy, likely from the SI editor; I doubt Grinnell’s assertion that he had obtained a copy directly from the Moffatt family.
That matter aside, the Moffatt family has not made his journal easily available.
The point. Unaware at that time that Grinnell possessed a copy of Moffatt’s journal, I wrote to Pessl concerning Grinnell’s source for Passages 1 and 2 quoted below. In this connection, I refer the reader to the passage Your previous inquiry re the source… in Pessl’s second response.
Passage 1. August 15 th: …All along we could see it was a very heavy current and big waves. We were hungry. It was late now and I was tired. I knew this to be no time to make a decision. [Grinnell book, bottom of p 132]
Passage 2. August 20 th: …Today we shot a couple of heavy but short rapids, only the second of which I looked over. Not very smart of me. I probably should have been more careful. [Grinnell book, p 133]
Grinnell’s sources were respectively the SI passages provided in the middle of the right column on p 76, and in the middle of the left column on p 80.
Aside regarding the locations.
Dubawnt Lake was entered on 21 August. [Pessl book, pp 97&98].

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

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

A request.
I ask the reader to reflect on the light that Pessl’s evidence sheds
in general on the credibility of the article, and
in particular on the credibility of the following assertions of the SI editor regarding the rapids where Moffatt died.
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 of right column of p 76; appearing between the Moffatt journal entries for 15 and 18 August].
Increasingly, the men were taking chances. They now shot down churning chutes of white water which, a month earlier, they would have scrutinized with a doubtful eye. [SI article, top right column of p 82; 7/8 September].
These assertions are addressed in detail below. If I may get well ahead of the story, the evidence leads me to conclude that all parts of both accusations are abject falsehoods or fabrications or conscious misrepresentations of known evidence, with but two exceptions:
1. The Moffatt party was travelling in the Barren Grounds.
2. The days were growing colder on average.

Introductory material provided in the Sports Illustrated article.

1. The bulk of the party arrived in Stony Rapids on 20 June. [p 72; left column.]
2. For a week, the Moffatt expedition waited. George Grinnell, the last man to join the party, arrived at Stony Rapids on June 27 on schedule, but food supplies, which were supposed to accompany him on the Hudson’s Bay company boat, were left off the manifest. Moffatt canceled the order, took what supplies he could from the Hudson’s Bay Company post at Stony Rapids and set off by truck over 15 miles of rugged road for the jumping-off place at Black Lake.
[The party arrived in beautiful, not to say auspicious, weather only to discover that three canoe paddles had been left behind. When the paddles were finally located and brought up the next day, the weather closed in.
[p 72; bottom of left column and top of right column]
Aside. The matter of the spare paddles is discussed above, under True accusation 1.
3. In the days that immediately followed, the expedition made good time despite erratic winds and rain, the back-stiffening portages and missed routes. The maps the party used—they were the only ones in existence—were never precise enough, and there were many times when, after long wearying hours of working up a stream, the canoeists had to admit their mistake and painfully retreat… The men tired of their diet of imported stores and wanted to hunt, but Moffatt, mindful of the dangers of expending ammunition, clamped down on shooting. On July 15 he wrote “The sharp talk at supper made everyone edgy. Heretofore we have all been equals. Now I have assumed the sergeant’s position. But someone has to stop the foolishness before it goes too far.” [p 73, bottom of the right column; after 8 July]
4. George Grinnell agitated for earlier starts in the morning and fewer stops. [p 74, middle of the right column]
5. On Moffatt’s 10th wedding anniversary, he suspected that he had a hernia. And he provided also the following. We are only about a quarter of the way to Baker Lake, if that far. [p 74, bottom of the right column; 21 July]
5. The weather, as anticipated was turning bad. [p 75, top of the left column; 22 July]
6. Still blowing like hell. [p 75, top of left column; 23 July]
7. …decided we were a quarter mile south of the Dubawnt River. We rounded a point, and the river was indeed there…
Then on to a swift place where the current ran like a highway…between two walls of boulders, piled straight up by the winter ice. After two of these places, we came to a real rapid, small but quite rough.
The rapid began with a swift chute… I got down with no trouble, but Pete hit a boulder head on…Skip ran through with no trouble…
We celebrated that night with a tremendous dinner of a two-pound grayling per man, mashed potatoes and pudding.
[p 75, middle of left column; 26 July]
Perhaps more, later.

Assertion 1 of the Sports Illustrated editor.

Referring to the early weeks of July, s/he provided the following.
…during this early period–as they were to discover when they looked back on it at the journey’s end—the men were lulled into a sense of almost infinite security by the beauties of the country they travelled in. They stopped to take pictures and movies. They took side trips, studying the birds and animal life and searching for Indian artifacts. … Or Moffatt would record a bird count. [top of p 74]
Response 1.
As did later accusers (especially the regrettable Mahler and Thum), the editor failed to understand the mission of the Moffatt party, namely to document the barrenlands, before taking up the pen against him. And so the party stopped as the occasion arose
to take pictures and movies,
to take side trips and
to document the birds and animal life and also the artifacts of the native people.
Does the SI editor suggest here that the pace (required by the mission) played a role in Moffatt’s death?
Response 2.
Who looked back? Certainly not Moffatt!
The editor provided no such evidence, and my four years of research found no supporting evidence in the writings of any survivor.
Conclusion.
The assertion …the men were lulled…they travelled in is a fabrication of SI editor.

Assertion 2 of the Sports Illustrated editor.

[On August 8 the Moffatt party reached Cairn Point, a turning point in the journey. Moffatt wrote in his diary. “All of us getting a little on each other’s nerves. We’re out six weeks now—a long time.”
[Among other things, the expedition’s provisions were beginning to run low. There were only 15 packs of cigarettes left and a half can of roll-your-own. The sugar ration was proving woefully inadequate.
] [SI article, right column, p 75]
Comment. By provisions the editor referred only to the supplies of tobacco and sugar on 8 August. If I may be explicit, the reference was not to the supply of provisions in general.

Response regarding the supply of tobacco.
Background. Each participant had his own supply.
My search revealed the editor’s source for the passage …only 15 packs of cigarettes…half can of roll-your-own to have been the following passage in Moffatt’s journal.
Only 15 packs of cigarettes left and 1/2 can of roll-your-own. [pp 85-87].
I ask the reader to note that, in writing this, Moffatt referred to his personal supply, only.
Opinion. A shortage of tobacco is scarcely a life-threatening matter, scarcely one worthy of such special mention. Indeed, in retrospect, such shortage might be argued to be beneficial, albeit in the long term.
Conclusion. The SI editor falsely and knowingly represented Moffatt’s concern with his personal supply of tobacco as a concern of the party as a whole.

Response regarding the sugar ration.
Background. In contrast to the supply of tobacco, that of sugar was communal.
Item 1. The initial provision of sugar had indeed proved to be woefully inadequate; indeed, that shortage had caused friction early in the trip.
Item 2. As I documented above (under True accusation 4) the sugar dispute was resolved on 29 July, seven weeks before Moffatt’s death: After much discussion, we decided to give each man a 5-day ration from each 5-lb bag, thus allowing about 1/6 lb/day. Each will carry his own supply and use it according to his taste. [Pessl book, p 56].
I lack access to Moffatt’s journal for that day, but I should be much surprised if he too had not documented that the matter of the sugar ration had been resolved.
Conclusion. The assertion faithfully represents the supply of sugar.
A request. I ask that the reader reflect on the editor’s motivation for
on the one hand for commenting on the supplies of tobacco and sugar on 8 August, and
on the other for failing to mention the shooting of the first caribou three days earlier, more generally for omitting mention of four of the five shot over the course of the trip.

Assertion 3 of the Sports Illustrated editor.

From Tyrrell’s log, Moffatt knew that Tyrrell had been at Cairn Point on August 2, 1893. He was a week behind Tyrrell’s schedule, and the end of the short August summer was not far off. There were still some 400 miles to go. Moffatt wrote on the back of the geographers’ note: “Moffatt party, August 8, 1955. First all-white party to follow Tyrrell’s route from Athabaska and Black Lake to Baker Lake – or at least this far. All is well–enough food–or almost enough.” Food was becoming the question now. [SI article, top of the left column on page 76; 8 August].
Aside. I note significant overlap with the contents of Assertions 2 and 4, but felt that I must provide a full response to Assertion 3.

The matter of the schedule.
The origin of the phrase a week behind Tyrrell’s schedule.
This is the part of the route where Tyrrell had constant rain and cold, also patches of old snow everywhere. But for us it has been very pleasant—this despite the fact that we are more than a week behind Tyrrell’s schedule. [SI article, top of left column, p 80; 18 August; alleged to be an excerpt from Moffatt’s journal]
The interpretation of Moffatt’s remark is clear: His party had experienced weather milder than of the Tyrrell party at the same geographical point on the route, not at the same time of the year.
What interpretation of the editor’s phrase a week behind Tyrrell’s schedule is possible but
(a) that Moffatt was following Tyrrell’s schedule to some extent, and
(b) that he was a week behind it on 8 August?
Responses.
1. No barrenlands party ever had or ever could have had anything as prescriptive as a daily schedule for travel there. The barrenlands are not Algonquin or Temagami or the BWCAW, where a day-by-day schedule verges on being mandatory. More conclusively, the weather (especially the wind) forced even the Tyrrell party of 1893 to stay in camp on occasion.
2. Contrary to the assertion of the SI editor, Moffatt was not following the schedule of the Tyrrell party or anything close to it. In this connection, I find it necessary to point out to the editor that the Tyrrell party reached Baker Lake on 2 September, whereas Moffatt had planned to arrive there on 15 September. With respect to the latter, I refer the editor to the New York Times item that the Moffatt party was a week overdue [SI article, p 71, dated 24 September, 1955]. In fairness though, perhaps the SI editor had not read her/his own article.
3. The Moffatt party had not even one waypoint to be reached by a specified date. The sole item in its schedule was a date for arrival in Baker Lake, but even this was elastic to a week.
Reference. Appendix 7. Schedule.
Conclusion. The Sports Illustrated editor falsely and knowingly represented the schedule of the Moffatt party (1955) to be that of the Tyrrell party (1893).

The food supply on 8 August.
Reminder 1.
The relevant quote (alleged) from Moffatt’s journal for that day is All is well–enough food–or almost enough.
Interpretation. Moffatt believed the food already on board would come close to meeting the party’s needs for the remainder of the trip, in other words that little food from the land would be needed after 8 August.
But this comment was followed immediately by the editorial assertion Food was becoming the question now. What question? What was going on in such excuse for a mind?
Reminder 2.
On 8 August, the Moffatt party was still consuming the caribou shot three days earlier.
I suggest it to be no accident
that the editor omitted mention of that shooting, and more generally
that the editor mentioned only one of the five caribou shot (that of 11 August).
Conclusion. It is a falsehood that food was becoming the question now.
Reference. Appendix 6. Food.

The distance remaining on 8 August.
I refer here to the phrase some 400 miles to go.
The editor, like others, was likely misled by the distance 900 miles given in Moffatt’s Prospectus [SI article, p 71].
But that is the distance from Black Lake to Chesterfield Inlet on Hudson Bay. Before the trip began, Moffatt decided to exit rather at Baker Lake, thereby shortening the trip to 680 miles. The distance to go on 8 August was then the more modest 180 miles, not 400.
Aside. One fine day, I’ll measure the distance from Cairn Point to Baker Lake and report the result here.
Reference. Ancillary 4. Distances.

Assertion 4 of the Sports Illustrated editor.

The editor asserted the following to be excerpts from Moffatt’s journal.
Passage 1.
Most conversation revolves around food. Running low on staples, only 30 days’ supply left. [SI article, middle of the left column on page 76. 14 August.]
Comment. 30 days after 14 August gets one to 13 September. Moffatt had scheduled arrival in Baker Lake for 15 September, with a grace period of a week before the air search was started.
Interpretation. Moffatt was concerned that no significant amount of food from the land would be obtained in the remainder of the trip, and so the food provisions on hand would have to be rationed, but only slightly.
But three more caribou were shot after 14 August, many fish were caught, many ptarmigan were shot or otherwise obtained, blueberries and mushrooms were harvested earlier, and a major resupply of provisions was obtained on 7 September.
Passage 2.
…then began a painful discussion—salt running low, milk running low. How to save it? [SI article, right column, p 76, 15 August]
As documented in the SI article itself, the Moffatt party had shot a caribou three days earlier, on 11 August. That fact, plus the explicit references to staples such as salt and milk, leads me to conclude that by food Moffatt referred here to the supply of provisions, only.
Given the nature of the accusatory literature, perhaps it bears explicit mention that shortages of salt and milk are not life-threatening.
And I repeat that a major resupply of provisions was obtained on 7 September.

Assessment of Assertion 4.
Moffatt continued his meticulous evaluation of the food supply.
The Sports Illustrated editor acted in good faith.

Assertion 5 of the Sports Illustrated editor.

Already nine days behind schedule, the Moffatt party races against winter on the Barren Grounds. The days grow colder, provisions dwindle, game grows scarce. In desperate haste, they take an ultimate chance. [SI article, bottom of right column, p 76. Appearing between the Moffatt journal entries for 15 and 18 August].

Preliminary response.
Yes, the Moffatt party was travelling in the Barren Grounds.
Yes, the days grew colder, on average, as winter approached.
But the evidence leads me to conclude that all other content of Assertion 5 is falsified by evidence known to the Sports Illustrated editor.

Response 1. The schedule.
Comment.
The phrase Already nine days behind schedule is a continuation of the SI editor’s a week behind Tyrrell’s schedule. [SI article, top of left column, page 76].
As also noted above, the context of the phrase a week behind Tyrrell’s schedule was that the Moffatt party was experiencing milder weather than that experienced by the Tyrrell party at the same point on the river, NOT at the same time of the year. In short, the context had nothing to do with the schedule of the Tyrrell party.
Aside.
Page 129 of Pessl’s book provides the following enter-exit dates for Dubawnt Lake.
The Tyrrell party of 1893. 7-17 August.
The Moffatt party of 1955. 21-27 August.
Conjecture. The Tyrrell-Moffatt dates for exiting Dubawnt Lake were the unspecified source for the editor’s nine days.
Discussion.
1. No canoe party ever had or ever could have had, a day-by-day schedule for travel in the barrenlands. The reason is simple. There are no trees to provide shelter from the wind; when it is up, travel is out. Even the Tyrrell party of 1893 was forced to stay camp on occasion.
2. The Moffatt party was not following the track of the Tyrrell party.
One item suffices to make the point: The Tyrrell party reached Baker Lake on 2 September, whereas Moffatt had planned arrival there on 15 September (with a grace period of a week before the air search was begun).
3. The Moffatt party had not even one waypoint to be reached by a specified date.
4. But it had all that it could have had, and all that counts, namely a schedule for arrival in Baker Lake, as attested by the eleven independent sources provided in Appendix 7. Schedule.

Response 2. The provisions.
Aside. In passing, I provide the related comment food stocks low. [SI article, top of p 80; the corresponding date is likely late August]
Response 1. I suggest that no great insight is required to comment that provisions dwindle as they are consumed. The consequence is obvious: The party had to conserve provisions, lest no significant amount of food be obtained from the land in the remainder of the trip.
But surely the question is whether the SI editor faithfully represented the supply of food (rather solely the supply of provisions) on or about August 8. And so I point out that the first caribou was shot on 5 August, as documented in Moffatt’s journal itself (which the editor possessed in toto), so relieving the dependence on provisions. But the editor made no mention of that event; indeed, the editor mentioned the shooting of only of the five caribou.
Question. Why the editor conceal the shooting of four of the five caribou, if not to contribute to her/his fabrication of a case against a dead man?
Response 2. And I point out to the editor that a major resupply of provisions was obtained on 7 September, as documented in the SI article itself: We…got to top of Grant Lake, then saw red gas cans and something white that looked like a tent on the east shore. We paddled over to lee of the sand point, landed and found that the white thing was no tent but a small piece of muslin covering 24 one-pound tins of dried Beardmore vegetables—carrots, beans, spinach, cabbage and beets. The guys went crazy…We took the stuff, figuring it had been left for us by Ray Moore…we celebrated with a huge mess of vegetables and caribou glop, carrots and beans mixed. Supper was wonderful. [7 September. Moffatt journal (as reported in the SI article), p 82, lower left and top right columns.]
But perhaps the editor did not read her/his own article.
Conjecture. The supply of provisions on hand in the evening of 7 September was greater than that on ~17 August, the date corresponding to Assertion 5.
Aside. Much less reliance on provisions was required in the six weeks between 5 August and Moffatt’s death on 14 September. In that period, the party shot five caribou, caught many fish, obtained many ptarmigan by various means, and harvested unknown amounts of blueberries and mushrooms. With respect to the caribou, I refer the reader to the evidence presented in the next paragraph.

Response 3. The game.
I refer here to the SI editor’s assertion game grows scarce.
Initial response.
The editor provided no evidence in support of the assertion that game grew scarce for the excellent reason that no such evidence exists.
The evidence regarding the caribou.
Moffatt’s journal (possessed in full by the editor) documents the shooting of five caribou, the dates being 5 August, 11 August, 20 August, 26 August and 5 September.
And so the SI editor asserted that game grew scarce after 19 August, in full knowledge that three caribou were shot after that date.
Again, and more generally, the SI editor mentioned only the caribou shot on 11 August.
Additional evidence 1.
Moffatt’s journal documents also that many ptarmigan were shot or otherwise acquired.
The SI editor provided only the Moffatt quote: Ptarmigan plentiful here… [top of right column, p 80].
Additional evidence 2.
I don’t know that they qualify as game, but Moffatt’s journal documents also that the party caught many fish (lake trout, grayling and arctic char) throughout the trip.
The editor mentioned none of this evidence.
Additional evidence 3.
Moffatt’s journal documents also the party acquired also blueberries and mushrooms (these only earlier in those six weeks).
The editor mentioned none of this evidence.
Four food-related evidences known to no accuser in the matter of the food supply.
22 August. I was not feeling too well today, probably from eating too much caribou yesterday, … [Franck, in Pessl, p 99].
28 August. We … were so full we could hardly move. [Franck, in Pessl, p 108]
30 August. …I had prepared such a huge breakfast that none of us could have moved much further than the tents anyway. I felt as if I would have crashed right through the bottom of the canoe and sunk like a stone if we would have been loading. [Pessl, p 110]
And both Grinnell and LeFavour document the catching of a 20 lb lake trout a few hours before Moffatt’s death.
14 September (immediately before Moffatt’s death). Up to that point we had shot five caribou and by doing so had saved enough meat to see us through. Now it was not even necessary to spend time hunting. [LeFavour. Evening Recorder, Amsterdam NY. Part 3 of 4, page 8, 29 December (1955).]
Opinion. Some scarce!
Conclusion. The editor’s assertion game grows scarce is a falsehood.
Reference. Appendix 6. Food.

Response 4. …the Moffatt party races against winter…In desperate haste, they take an ultimate chance.
Interpretation.
The editor suggests that the Moffatt party realised only very late that winter was coming on and so had to hurry in order to reach Baker Lake, all but asserting that the onset of winter caused the party to race down the river and so to take chances, one of which resulted in Moffatt’s death.
1. The editor provided no evidence in support of any part of the assertion, for the excellent reason that no such evidence exists.
2. The evidence of participant LeFavour. Referring to the days immediately before Moffatt’s death, he provided the following: We traveled, and traveled hard. … Hurrying as we were, no foolish chances were taken. [1955].
Conclusion. The ultimate chance part of the editor’s assertion is a falsehood.
3. In mid-September 1955, the weather was certainly very cold at times, at others verging on comfortable (fortunately immediately after Moffatt’s death). But it was certainly never life-threatening. I refer the reader to the evidence of the participants, especially that provided in Pessl’s book.
4. Aside. An interpretation (the editor declined to be specific) of the phrases races against winter, desperate haste, and take an ultimate chance:
The Moffatt party realised only very late that winter was coming on and so had to throw abandon caution in order to reach Baker Lake before freeze-up.
Line 1 of enquiry regarding the possibility of freeze-up.
I examined thoroughly the books of J B Tyrrell and J W Tyrrell (both possessed by Moffatt) regarding freeze-up. References. Bibliography.
Summary. Without encountering any ice, the Tyrrell party reached salt water (tidal water from Chesterfield Inlet) downstream from Baker Lake in the evening of 6 September 1893 [J B Tyrrell book, p 78F, lower part].
An argument, only. Given that the Thelon River is reported to be a race course for many km above Baker Lake, I think it unlikely that it could have frozen above Baker Lake by 22 September, any year.
Conclusion. The evidence from the Tyrrell trip of 1893 does not illuminate the matter.
Line 2 of enquiry regarding the possibility of freeze-up.
I return to the matter of the schedule.
Again, the RCMP detachment at Baker Lake had agreed to begin an air search on 22 September should the Moffatt party not have arrived by that date. Indeed, the air search commenced that very day, as evinced by the New York Times article. [SI article, top left of p 71]
Given that Moffatt had made these arrangements, does the SI editor really expect us to believe that the RCMP detachment there did not know that freeze-up was possible by 22 September? Or does the editor rather expect us to believe that the RCMP knew that freeze-up was possible by that date but failed to inform Moffatt of the fact?
Conclusion. Freeze-up would not occur until well after 22 September.
Summary.
Given the evidence of the Tyrrell brothers, the Moffatt party certainly knew that winter was coming on, but it exercised due caution at all times, in particular on the day of Moffatt’s death.
Aside.
It bears repetition that the SI editor redacted
both the phrase can’t risk an upset now from Moffatt’s journal entry for 10 September,
and the phrase Following Tyrrell’s route from his last journal entry, that for 13 September.
Conclusion.
It is a falsehood the passage …the Moffatt party races against winter…In desperate haste, they take an ultimate chance.
References regarding the cause of Moffatt’s death.
The beginning of the Main text.
Appendix 8. Rapids in general.
Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.

Assessment of Assertion 5, repeated for the reader’s convenience.
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
Conclusion. All content of the assertion is falsehood, fabrication or conscious misrepresentation of known evidence, save only
that the Moffatt party was travelling on the Barren Grounds, and
that the days were growing colder on average.

Aside regarding the food supply in late August.

Only about 20 days’ food left. Lean caribou is temporarily filling, but doesn’t stay with you. We get five meals out of the caribou – four quarters and back meat, plus heart, tongue and liver. Neck and spareribs for lunch meat. Unfortunately, we do not have enough firewood to make soup. No more onions, dried vegetables. [SI article, p 80, bottom of the left column and top of the right one; alleged to be an excerpt from Moffatt’s journal for 21 August]
Interpretation and comments.
1. Moffatt continues his meticulous assessment of the provisions and other food on board that day. He assumed that the party would acquire no significant amount of food from land in the remainder of the trip. The party had enough firewood to cook the caribou but not the provisions.
2. 20 days after 21 August gets one to 10 September, I assume at full rations. Arrival in Baker Lake was scheduled for 15 September, with a grace period of a week.
3. On 7 September, the party acquired a major resupply of provisions from the cache, adding to the supply of same already on board. As well, on the day that Moffatt died, it had enough caribou meat on board that it had no more need to hunt.
Question. Could the party have cooked the food available?

Assertion 6 of the Sports Illustrated editor.

Increasingly, the men were taking chances. They now shot down churning chutes of white water which, a month earlier, they would have scrutinized with a doubtful eye. [SI article, p 82, top of right column, 7/8 September].
Interpretation. The editor all but asserts that Moffatt’s death resulted from taking a chance.
Initial response.
The editor provided no evidence in support of the assertion, for the excellent reason that no such evidence exists.
More importantly, evidence known to the editor falsifies all content of Assertion 6.

Background.
Moffatt possessed J B Tyrrell’s his book, his journal and his maps; as well, he had corresponded with JBT.
Reference. Ancillary 7. Moffatt’s Tyrrell sources.
Moffatt’s journal (possessed in full by the editor) evinces that Moffatt exercised great caution in running all rapids; after all, the film and the photographs were the very reasons for undertaking the trip.
And I need repeat that the party had suffered not one dump, not one pin, and but one swamp prior to 14 September.

Preliminaries.
Given the date of 7/8 September, Assertion 6 applies to
neither to the reach between Nicholson Lake (exited by the Moffatt party on 15 August) and Dubawnt Lake (entered on 21 August),
nor to the reach between Dubawnt Lake (exited on 27 August) and Grant Lake (entered on 6 September).

On to the point.
Candidate 1 for the churning chutes is the falls (the Uksurlajuaq Rapids at Toporama) immediately above Wharton Lake (entered on 11 September). But these were portaged in their entirety, and so they were not shot down.
Candidate 2 is the rapids with descents of 15 and 6 feet immediately below Wharton Lake, on the south branch of the river. But these were run without incident on 13 September.
Candidate 3, the only remaining one, is the rapids where Moffatt died on 14 September.
Summary. The Sports Illustrated editor expects us to believe that Moffatt, having that very morning completed a portage, changed his mind a few hours later and in suddenly acquired desperate haste, decided to risk the film, the photographs and the lives of all six participants.

The truth begs leave to differ with the Sports Illustrated editor.
1. Every rapid (including in particular those where Moffatt died) known from Tyrrell’s guide to be dangerous was portaged.
2. The Moffatt party took no chances any time, in particular on the day that he died.
Again, J B Tyrrell’s advice had previously proved so reliable that the party had experienced but one swamp, not one pin and not one dump in eleven weeks prior to Moffatt’s death on 14 September. Indeed, the only two dumps of the entire trip occurred in the rapids where he died.
3. LeFavour’s evidence regarding the events of 13 and 14 September.
Hurrying as we were, no foolish chances were taken.
4. Participant evidence regarding the events of 14 September.
(a) 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 [Lanouette].
(b) Tyrrell had indicated by his neglect that the rapid was an easy one, and it seemed to be just that. [LeFavour]
(c) Tyrrell’s river descriptions had proven dependable previously and indicated benign conditions entering Marjorie Lake following the last portage. [Pessl]
5. The evidence of Luste. Art Moffatt, following Tyrrell’s notes, was not expecting the rapid in which he swamped and then died. [Grinnell book, p 284].
As I remark also elsewhere, this evidence was ignored in all the subsequent literature, most egregiously of all in what were alleged to be reviews of Grinnell’s book by James Murphy and Andrew MacDonald.
Conclusion.
The Sports Illustrated editor’s Assertion 6 (Increasingly, the men were taking chances…a doubtful eye) is falsehood from first word to last.
Pessl’s conclusion.
As is his wont, he put it in a more gentlemanly fashion: unsubstantiated nonsense. [private correspondence]
References.
The beginning of Main text,
Appendix 8. Rapids in general.
Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.

The Sports Illustrated editor’s omission.

I repeat the Lanouette 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 [Sports Illustrated, middle of p 85]
Again, what interpretation of the surprised comment, in particular, is possible but that Moffatt had been misled regarding the severity of the rapids where he died? That is, I believe the passage to be exculpatory.
But the SI editor made no explicit mention of this evidence.
And so I ask why not, unless to buttress the SI editor’s case against a dead man?

The Sports Illustrated editor’s redactions.

Having discussed the Sports Illustrated editor’s assertions 5 & 6 and
her/his failure to mention the exculpatory evidence of Lanouette,
I turn my attention to editor’s redactions of evidence regarding the cause of Moffatt’s death.

Redaction 1.
Reminder. Under True accusation 6 running scared (above), I provide Moffatt’s full journal entry for 10 September. The items relevant to the present discussion are the two phrases running scared and can’t risk an upset now.
I repeat that the Sports Illustrated editor
published the phrase running scared (which reflects badly on Moffatt), but
redacted the phrase can’t risk an upset now (which reflects badly on the editor’s assertions regarding the cause of Moffatt’s death).

Redaction 2.
Moffatt’s last journal entry (that for 13 September) is provided in Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.
The key item there is the phrase Following Tyrrell’s route.
What interpretation of that phrase is possible but that Moffatt possessed route advice from Tyrrell (J B, not J W), and that he was following it on 13 September. It is perhaps no great stretch to suggest that Moffatt continued to follow Tyrrell’s route advice the very next day, when he died.
And so I suggest that the phrase Following Tyrrell’s route is exculpatory, for it provides the vitally important evidence that Moffatt died because he had been misled by the rapids advice of J B Tyrrell, advice that had proved so reliable that the first and only dumps of the entire trip occurred in the rapids where Moffatt died. Indeed, the evidence of LeFavour is that such is the case. I refer here in particular to his comment Tyrrell had indicated by his neglect that the rapid was an easy one, and it seemed to be just that.
On comparing Moffatt’s full journal for that day with the SI condensation of it [bottom of right column, p 82], one sees that the SI editor redacted the phrase Following Tyrrell’s route.

A request.
I ask that the reader consider the light that these two redactions made by the editor shed on the following two assertions of the editor.
1. Already nine days behind schedule, the Moffatt party races against winter on the Barren Grounds. The days grow colder, provisions dwindle, game grows scarce. In desperate haste, they take an ultimate chance. [Sports Illustrated, p 76, lower right, 15/16 August].
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, p 82, top right, 7/8 September].

Question.
Who is so credulous as to believe that two redactions of exculpatory evidence on the same topic (the cause of Moffatt’s death), made by the same person, to have been accidents?
To me, no interpretation of these actions is credible but that the SI editor had set out to deceive her/his readers regarding the cause of Moffatt’s death.

Closing remarks regarding the Sports Illustrated article.
1. Given that the SI editor
redacted two exculpatory evidences from Moffatt’s journal,
omitted mention of the exculpatory Lanouette passage This surprised us…the real beginning of the first rapids, and
published so many falsehoods,
I conclude that no content of the SI article is to be trusted prima facie.
2. In all the 55 years of the accusatory literature, the SI editor’s falsehoods game grows scarce…desperate haste…ultimate chance and Increasingly, the men were taking chances…a doubtful eye
are comparable in malice, magnitude and consequence only
to Grinnell’s redaction of the three-sentence 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 Lanouette’s journal for the day of Moffatt’s death, and
to Murphy’s triple-header falsehood Lack of food, proper equipment and most importantly, lack of a planned itinerary, contributed to his (Moffatt’s) demise.
Shame on all three.
3. Given the SI editor’s actions as documented above, I wonder whether other evidence important for the understanding of Moffatt’s death is contained elsewhere in his journal but went unpublished by the editor. Only it can enlighten us, but it is not available.
4. In fairness, I point out that the SI article contains two true items, the New York Times article and the condensation of Lanouette’s journal for 14 September.

Conclusions.
The Sports Illustrated editor set out to defame a dead man.
Her/his article poisoned the Moffatt literature (primary and secondary alike) for 55 years.
Together with George Grinnell and James Murphy, the Sports Illustrated editor bears primary responsibility for the defamation of Arthur Moffatt.

The book of Inglis.

Inglis, Alex. Northern Vagabond. The Life and Career of J B Tyrrell – the Man Who Conquered the Canadian North. McClelland and Stewart. (1978).
Thanks to Mike Gray for informing me of the book and for lending his copy.
Introduction.
The book is primarily a biography of J B Tyrrell, but Inglis devotes pages 52 and 54 to accusations of Moffatt. Understandably, this material escaped mention in all the Moffatt literature, and so the reader may wish to fastforward to the next item, namely Grinnell’s article of 1988.
But, lest they appear later in the accusatory literature, I felt that I must provide an analysis of Inglis’s accusations.

Inglis’s source for the professional part of his book

was Tyrrell, Joseph Burr. Report on the Doobaunt, Kazan and Ferguson Rivers and the north-west coast of Hudson Bay and on two overland routes from Hudson Bay to Lake Winnipeg. S E Dawson, Ottawa (1897).
Thanks to the helpful staff of the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library (University of Toronto), I possess a copy of all pages for the reach from Black Lake to Chesterfield Inlet.
It is important for the later discussion that J B Tyrrell’s book makes no mention of the rapids where Moffatt died. For that matter, neither does the book of J W Tyrrell, also possessed by Moffatt.
Reference. Ancillary 3. Tyrrell excerpt.
Aside.
In his Epilogue (pp 246&247), Inglis refers to the Tyrrell Papers held in the Thomas Fisher Rare Books Library of the University of Toronto: These papers contain Tyrrell’s correspondence….
I possess evidence that some of the Tyrrell-Moffatt correspondence (in particular JBT’s response to Moffatt’s first letter) had been held there at one time, but my thorough search of mid-2017 found none of it.

Inglis’s source for the remainder of the book.

Inglis failed to mention his source, and so some sleuthing was required.

Assertion 1 of Inglis.
…when Moffatt was overdue by five days planes went out in search of his party. [p 54]
Identification of Inglis’s source.
There being nothing else extant in 1978, Inglis’s undocumented source was the New York Times article, reported on page 71 of the Sports Illustrated article of 1959.
A trivial correction to the NYT article.
The air search began on 22 September, at the end of the seven-day grace period arranged by Moffatt with the RCMP detachment at Baker Lake.
Opinion. Inglis deserves credit for mentioning the schedule-related evidence of the NYT article. Moffatt’s principal defamers (Murphy, MacDonald and Mahler) in the matter of the schedule declined to do so.

Assertion 2 of Inglis.
Referring to the differences between the Tyrrell and Moffatt parties, he provided the following.
… Never during the Tyrrell expedition were depression and anxiety allowed to dominate. … the luxury of self-pity was never permitted. From the first Moffatt’s diary has words like “apprehensive” and “gloomy”. Then it degenerates into “worrying”, “edgy” and “angry”. At the outset paddles were left behind. In the middle, arguments raged. And in the end, on September 14, 1955, misjudging Tyrrell’s descriptions of the rapids they would encounter before entering Marjorie Lake, the Moffatt diary is silent. [p 54]

Identification of Inglis’s source for Assertion 2.
1. There being nothing else extant in 1978, the reference to Moffatt’s diary was to the edited excerpts of his journal, as provided in the Sports Illustrated article.
2. Inglis’s apprehensive and gloomy appear in that order on pages 68 and 72 of that article. And his angry appears on page 80 (middle of the left column).
Aside. What is the name of that little red fruit?
3. The only source available to Inglis for the paddles comment was the remark three canoe paddles had been left behind. [SI article, top of right column on p 72]
As well, some Inglis comments mirror closely some in that article. And so I thought it unnecessary to identify Inglis’s source for worrying and edgy.

Conclusion. Inglis’s source for the non-professional content was the SI article.
Aside. I note that Inglis’s INDEX (pp 248-256), which functions also as a bibliography, does not mention the SI article. But I can understand that a person pretending to be a historian would be loath to admit (even by mentioning it in her/his bibliography) that a publication like Sports Illustrated had played a role in her/his research.

The fatal rapids.
For the convenience of the reader, I repeat the Inglis assertion …on September 14, 1955, misjudging Tyrrell’s descriptions of the rapids they would encounter before entering Marjorie Lake, the Moffatt diary is silent. [Inglis book, p 54]
Paraphrase. Moffatt died because he had misjudged the content of J B Tyrrell’s book.
Response.
It is important to repeat that Inglis’s primary source was the book of J B Tyrrell, and so I provide that evidence.
Below Wharton Lake the river flows at first eastward, and then southward, for four miles to a small lake, in which distance it rushes down two rapids with descents respectively of 15 and 6 feet… Five miles below the small lake is a rapid with a descent of twenty feet, past the lower part of which a portage 400 yards long was made… At the foot of this rapid the river turns at right angles and flows northward for seven miles as a wide shallow rapid stream…Marjorie Lake…was entered at the south end.
Reference. Ancillary 3. Tyrrell excerpt.
Review of the evidence.
On 13 September, the Moffatt party ran without incident the rapids with descents of 15 and 6 feet and began the portage. The next day, the party completed the portage and continued downstream; Moffatt died in the reach downstream from the sharp turn to the north, the reach described by Tyrrell only as a wide shallow rapid stream.
The question. Given that Tyrrell mentions no rapids in the reach where Moffatt died, what rapids did Moffatt misjudge?
Conclusion.
Inglis falsely and knowingly asserted that Moffatt died because he had misjudged Tyrrell’s descriptions of the rapids they would encounter before entering Marjorie Lake.
Aside 1.
J B Tyrrell’s map (possessed by Moffatt but not known to have been possessed by Inglis) shows the rapids with descents of 15 and 6 feet, the portage, the sharp turn to the north, but again no rapids in the reach where Moffatt died.
https://barrenlands.library.utoronto.ca/content/zone-6-1893
Aside 2.
On page 243, Inglis provided the following. The biographer claiming otherwise and pretending, God-like, to weigh the life in the balance of eternity…
I ask the reader to consider how Inglis acted with respect to Moffatt.

Summary and comments.
The evidence leads me to conclude that Inglis set out to defame a dead man.
What a wretched excuse for a historian is Alex Inglis.
Is this not an instance of professional misconduct?
Nothing written by him is to be trusted.
Let a prominent place in the history hall of shame be reserved for him.

Undated accusations made prior to 1996.

Being reluctant to insert a break between my discussion of the contents of Grinnell’s article (1988) and those of his book (1996), I discuss next accusations documented by Luste in that book.
I possess no evidence regarding Luste’s sources, the identities of the authors, their sources, dates, or whether the accusations were published elsewhere.

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

[Grinnell book (1996), pp 293&294].

Luste’s opinion of these representations.
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.
Personal comment. I knew Luste well both professionally and personally, and so I place full trust in his assessment of the credibility of the above assertions.

Asides.
1. As best I know, these accusations are mentioned only in Grinnell’s book.
2. Because few accusers identified source(s), it is unknown to what extent if any these representations influenced the later literature.
3. The fourth appears to be inspired by the second.
4. The unidentified source for the last item (the passage canoeists…mistake) was likely the passage George and Pete went after our packs first. [condensation of Lanouette’s journal, Sports Illustrated, p 86].

A regret.
In his book, where these representations were published, Grinnell failed to take the opportunity to address these accusations of a dead man, his partner, his mentor. Had he done so, the later accusatory literature might have differed significantly, thereby sparing Moffatt’s family more grief.

The publications of participant Grinnell.

His article.

Grinnell, George J. Art Moffatt’s Wilderness Way to Enlightenment. Canoe, July 1988, pp 18-21 & 56.
In my possession.

The first edition of his book.

Grinnell, George James. A Death on the Barrens. A true story. Northern Books, Toronto (1996).
In my possession. Believed to have been the only edition to have figured in the accusatory literature. The publisher, not the editor, was George Luste.
A Pessl comment. It has taken me a long time now to act on my conviction that Grinnell’s narrative is seriously flawed and that I have a responsibility to provide an alternative account… attempt to provide an objective record of that experience… [Nastawgan, Summer 2013 issue (Vol. 40, No. 2); left column on p 2].

The second edition of his book.

A Death on the Barrens. Heron Dance Press (2006).
Not accessed by me; I make no more mention of it.

The third edition of his book.

Death on the Barrens. A True Story of Courage and Tragedy in the Canadian Arctic. North Atlantic Books, Berkeley (2010).
In my possession.
Comments.
As noted also by Pessl, there are indeed differences from the 1996 edition.
I read no farther when I saw that, as in the 1996 edition, Grinnell had redacted also here (and replaced with an ellipsis) the following passage from the faithful Sports Illustrated condensation of Lanouette’s journal entry for the day of Moffatt’s death.
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. [top of p 207]
Reviews. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7189250-death-on-the-barrens
I make no more mention of this edition.

Grinnell passages alleged to be from Moffatt’s journal.

Grinnell possessed a copy of Moffatt’s journal, but I don’t. And so I caution that the following passages may have been edited, in particular that exculpatory items may have been redacted.
Passage 1.
Art put a brave face on our situation, but inwardly he was not laughing.
“I felt sad, apprehensive and gloomy,” Art wrote on the eve of our departure, while the rest of us followed him around with smiles on our faces, believing he would carry us through all adversity.
[book, p 10].
Grinnell alleges that the statement was made at most a few days before 3 July, when the party was finally able to begin the trip by paddling out onto Black Lake.
Passage 2.
…The tump pulling on my neck…the flies are terrible… [book, pp 19 & 20. “4 July”]
Passage 3.
Can’t recapture confident, carefree air of first Albany trip in 1937… [book, bottom of p 20]
Passage 4.
July 8 th:…Spent morning sewing up pants, burned midnight oil discussing philosophy with George. [book, top of p 21]
Passage 5.
July 21st, Anniversary day: Carol and I have been married for ten years … Still the thing might not get worse. If it doesn’t everything will be all right. [book, pp 47&48]
Comment. The thing is a possible hernia.
Passage 6.
“Skip says my pannikin is causing grumbling among the men since they think I’m getting more than they are,” Art wrote in his diary. “Could be. Will use bowl from now on.” [Grinnell book, p 133]
Perhaps more, later.

Introduction to Grinnell’s publications.

I provide later a full discussion of the contents of his article and his book.
Aside. I suggest that Grinnell, rather than demonstrate his erudition so often, could have made better use of the space available to him by providing evidence in support of his accusations of Moffatt, who was unable to respond. On the other hand, he knew that task to be well beyond his abilities.
Preamble. In the following (as elsewhere in the blog), I document that Grinnell redacted exculpatory evidence regarding the cause of Moffatt’s death. The reader may well then decide to fastforward to the next item, namely what were alleged to be reviews of that book by Murphy and MacDonald.

Reminder of the evidence of Lanouette.
After a fine lunch of fish chowder, we shoved off again at around 2:30. The weather was still dismal although the wind had dropped. In a few minutes we heard and saw rapids on the horizon. This surprised us. Art had figured we had already shot the last two rapids before Marjorie Lake. Actually, what we had gone down were only riffles, and what lay ahead was the real beginning of the first rapids. At the top, the rapids looked as though they would be easy going, a few small waves, rocks, nothing serious. [SI article, middle of p 85]
Q. Why were Moffatt and Lanouette surprised?
A. Because J B Tyrrell had advised Moffatt that there were no rapids of significance in that reach, the reach where Moffatt died.

Grinnell’s version of the above passage.
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.
[Grinnell book, top of p 202]

Comparison of the two versions
reveals that Grinnell redacted, and replaced with an ellipsis, the three sentences
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.
Question 1.
What interpretation of that passage is possible but that Moffatt and Lanouette had been misled by the rapids advice of J B Tyrrell, advice that had previously proved so reliable that the Moffatt party had previously experienced not one dump, not one pin and but one swamp. That is, the cause of Moffatt’s death was faulty advice from J B Tyrrell.
Question 2.
What interpretation of his redaction of that passage is possible but Grinnell intended to conceal exculpatory evidence the cause of Moffatt’s death?
Other evidences regarding the cause of Moffatt’s death are provided in the following.
The beginning of Main text,
Appendix 8. Rapids in general.
Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.

Summary.
Given that Grinnell redacted exculpatory regarding the cause of Moffatt’s death, nothing written by him can be believed.
Independently, Pessl came to the same opinion regarding Grinnell’s credibility. Like most of the stuff he writes about the ’55 Dubawnt trip, I don’t believe any of it unless corroborated by a reliable other source. [private correspondence, 17 July 2018]
Aside. This was written with respect to Grinnell’s discussion of his frozen fingers and tending the cook fire. [Grinnell book, middle of p 242]

Conclusions.
Grinnell set out to defame a dead man; in other words, Grinnell betrayed Moffatt.
It bears mention that Grinnell betrayed also Luste, without whom his book would not have been published. I refer here
first to the Luste comments provided in the paragraph at the bottom of page iii of Grinnell’s book, and
second to the passage that Grinnell’s manuscript had been previously been rejected by seven publishers [Grinnell book, p 305]

Opinion.
Together with the Sports Illustrated editor and Murphy, Grinnell bears primary responsibility for the defamation of Arthur Moffatt.

The credibility of the accusatory literature.

Review of the published evidence of the participants.
1. Entirely understandably, the articles of LeFavour (1955) went unmentioned until, thanks to him, I was able to publish excerpts.
2. The Sports Illustrated article (1959) contains edited excerpts from Moffatt’s journal, plus a faithfully condensed version of the journal of Lanouette (Moffatt’s bowperson) for the day of Moffatt’s death. The latter went unnoticed except by Grinnell.
3. Grinnell’s Canoe article (1988).
4. Grinnell’s book (1996). The editions of 2006 and 2010 went unmentioned in the Moffatt literature, but I note that a review of the 2006 edition was published.
5. The evidence of Pessl, as published in Kesselheim’s Canoe&Kayak article (2012). That article went unnoticed except by Kingsley, who made only incidental mention of one Pessl comment.
6. Pessl’s Nastawgan article (2013) appeared too late to influence the literature, as did his book (2014), which includes excerpts from Franck’s journal.
Summary.

The evidentiary basis of the entire 55 years of the accusatory literature consists of three publications.
1. The SI article (1959).
2. Grinnell’s article (1988).
3. Grinnell’s book (1996 edition).
But I documented above
that the SI editor (twice) and Grinnell redacted exculpatory evidence regarding the cause of Moffatt’s death, and also
that both knowingly published multiple false accusations of a dead man.
Conclusion.
The entire accusatory literature of those 55 years, primary and so also secondary, has no more substance of a house of cards.

The publications of Grinnell.

Background.
Before 1996 (which saw the publication of the first edition of Grinnell’s book), the Sports Illustrated article (1959) (which contains edited excerpts from Moffatt’s journal), went unmentioned by all except Inglis (1978). In turn, and entirely understandably, Inglis’s book went unmentioned until Mike Gray informed me of it and I documented it here 40 years later.
As best I recall, Grinnell’s Canoe article (1988) was noticed only after publication of his book.
As best I know, the prior assertions documented in Grinnell’s 1996 book by Luste made their first public appearance there.
Conclusion.
Grinnell’s book of 1996 was the first publication of the accusatory literature to attract the general attention of the paddling community. Not surprisingly, it is the most influential publication of all the 55 years of the accusatory literature.
Aside.
As best I know, the 2006 and 2010 editions of his book went unmentioned in the Moffatt literature, except for mention in reviews.

Pessl comments regarding Grinnell’s publications.
1. There’s a fine line between poetic license and documentation. Unfortunately, I think Grinnell crossed that line with fabrications and misrepresentations. It’s too bad that Art’s reputation was based on that. [Canoe&Kayak, p 52 (2012)]
Aside. At the time, Pessl did not know that Grinnell had redacted that exculpatory passage from Lanouette’s journal for the day of Moffatt’s death.
2. In reference to a particular Grinnell assertion, he provided the following.
Like most of the stuff he writes about the ’55 Dubawnt trip, I don’t believe any of it unless corroborated by a reliable other source. [private correspondence]

Contact between the Sports Illustrated editor and Grinnell.
Evidence 1.
Death by exposure, contrary to the popular myth, is not an easy thing. George Grinnell, writing later of the ordeal in the water, noted that “one does not simply go to sleep. He passes out from pain… [SI article (1959), p 88].
Evidence 2.
The Epilogue of the SI article contains material regarding events after Moffatt’s death (the traverse of Aberdeen Lake, the encounter with the Inuit family, etc); the only possible source for that information is Grinnell.
Conclusion.
The SI editor and Grinnell had been in contact before publication of the SI article.
Conjecture.
Grinnell had contributed also to the main text of that article; indeed, the evidence suggests that such is the case.

Grinnell’s actions
related to the Soprts Illustrated article.
1. In neither his article nor his book did Grinnell defend Moffatt from any of the many falsehoods and the fabrications published in the SI article.
2. In neither publication did Grinnell object to the SI editor’s redactions of those two exculpatory passages from Moffatt’s journal.
3. And so I see the need to repeat that Grinnell redacted the following passage from Lanouette’s journal, as provided in the SI article:.
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.
Again, what interpretation of the surprised comment is plausible but that Moffatt had been misled (by J B Tyrrell) regarding the severity of the rapids where he died?
Again, what interpretation of his redaction of that passage is plausible but that Grinnell intended to conceal evidence that the cause of Moffatt’s death was faulty advice from J B Tyrrell?
4. I need to repeat also that Grinnell had cooperated in the writing of the Epilogue of the SI article.
Opinion. The SI editor and Grinnell had collaborated to defame Moffatt.

Grinnell assertion set 1.

The following addresses all assertions made in his article, plus related ones made also in his book. Assertions made solely in the book are documented below, under Grinnell assertion set 2.

Assertion 1 of the article. The purpose of the trip.
As his family grew, Moffatt’s need to earn a living and his need to retire to the wilderness came into conflict. In the winters, Moffatt worked as an editor of Ski magazine. In the summers he picked up a little money guiding young men down the Albany River, but it was not much of a living, and Moffatt’s wife, Carol, became less and less enthusiastic about him taking off for the bush each summer. They agreed that he would make one last trip, a big one, to see if he could establish himself as a wildlife photographer and thereby earn a living while still being outdoors. [GG article, p 18, middle column]
Response. Grinnell provided no evidence for any part of the assertion, and I found none in the writings of the other participants.
Conclusion. Given especially his redaction of that exculpatory evidence from Lanouette’s journal, Assertion 1 is at best a fabrication.

Assertion 2 of the article. Holidays.
In both his article and his book, Grinnell asserted that the party had taken an excessive number of holidays, Holy Daysand other variants. My incomplete search found four instances in his article, plus 24 in his book.
Comment. Grinnell provided no evidence for any part of the assertion, and I found none in the writings of the other participants.
Assessment. The evidence of Pessl reveals Assertion 2 to be a falsehood.
Reference. Appendix 2. Holidays and Inquest.

Assertion 3 of the article. The schedule.
The article provides an editorial assertion that there was a prescriptive schedule (something more than an arrival date). On the other hand, Grinnell’s text provides what I assess to be weak evidence of that was no such schedule.
Opinion. The evidence of a participant is to be preferred.
Reference. Appendix 7. Schedule.

Assertion 4 of the article. The sugar supply.
A week later, Pessl announced that we had consumed half our sugar supply while covering less than one-third the distance to Baker Lake. It was clear that we would run out of sugar before reaching our destination unless either we rationed the sugar or adopted a more rigorous schedule of travel.
Pessl had brought up the sugar question a few weeks earlier and we bowmen had lobbied for individual rations, but Moffatt had been opposed… We now had our own sugar ration
[Grinnell article; middle of the right column, p 20 (undated); also middle of the left column, p 21 (undated)].
Related material provided in Grinnell’s book. At lunch, Skip divided up the sugar and gave us each our week’s supply in the empty jam jars which Peter had provided. [p 83 (undated)]
Summary. The sugar dispute was resolved on 29 July, seven weeks before Moffatt’s death.

Assertion 5 of the article. Powdered milk.
1. The next fight was over how the powdered milk was mixed…Moffatt always helped himself first before calling the rest of us to dinner, and so the question of the way the powdered got mixed had something to do with Moffatt helping himself first and the possibility that none would be left by the time the sixth man got his. [Grinnell article, p 21, top of left column; undated].
2. …the powdered milk was mixed in the democratic fashion we advocated, even though it was so watery we could hardly tell the difference between it and the lake… [p 21, middle of the left column; undated but included in the paragraph beginning On August 22].
Assessment. If indeed one had existed, the fight…over how the powdered milk was mixed was settled by ~22 August.
Aside. I didn’t deem this matter worth mention elsewhere, not least because Pessl didn’t mention it.
Opinion. One source (of four) for the Kingsley assertion Group dynamics became increasingly strained, and the men grew suspicious of each other. [Lake, middle of p 13 (2013]

Assertion 6 of the article. Control of the food, etc.
Moffatt had the rather cynical attitude, “He who controls the food, controls the men”… Moffatt always helped himself first before calling the rest of us to dinner…the possibility that none would be left by the time the sixth man got his. [Grinnell article, middle of the left column, p 21; also Grinnell book, top of p 7 and top of p 17]
Response. Grinnell provided no evidence, and I found none in the writings of the other participants, to support his assertion either that Moffatt had such an attitude, or that he always helped himself first.
Conclusion. Given Grinnell’s failure to provide supporting evidence, and especially his redaction of exculpatory evidence from Lanouette’s journal for the day on Moffatt’s death, I conclude that the entire passage Moffatt had…sixth man got his is a fabrication.
Aside. Kingsley later added the embellishment he said with a sardonic smile. [Up Here, p 90, middle column (2012).
Opinion. One source (of four) for the Kingsley assertion Group dynamics became increasingly strained, and the men grew suspicious of each other. [Lake, middle of p 13 (2013)]

Assertion 7 of the article. The size of Moffatt’s bowl/dishes, and Moffatt’s taking of extra portions.
I provide also related material from Grinnell’s book and from Pessl’s book.
Item 1. Then there was the oatmeal question. LeFavour took to counting the number of spoonfuls of oatmeal we each took every morning. This did not vary much from bowl to bowl for the rest of us because we each had the same size bowl and always filled it as full as we could get it, but Moffatt had his own special dishes, which were considerably larger than ours. [Grinnell article, top of the left column, p 21; undated but 22 August from other evidence]
Item 2. Art…ate out of a larger bowl than the rest of us. [Grinnell book, middle of p 25]
Item 3. …the extra large dishes he ate from… [Grinnell book, bottom of p 31]
Item 4. “Skip says my pannikin is causing grumbling among the men since they think I’m getting more than they are,”Art wrote in his diary. “Could be. Will use bowl from now on.” [Grinnell book, p 133].
Item 5. The Pessl comment …Art…filling his controversial pannikin provided in the caption to the photo on p 85 of his book.
Item 6. The Franck comment (abbreviated) …he fills his pannikin, which is larger than our bowls and gets more that way. [Pessl book, top of p 86]
Item 7. …He uses a special aluminum pannikin instead of the common bowl, thus causing suspicion of larger portions. When frying meat, he always fries his separately, thus implying special pieces and extra preparation… [Pessl book, bottom of p 86]
Item 8. Art was also caught by Bruce taking 7 serving spoons of glop to our 5 ½ and, that from now on, we are going to watch him with eagle eyes. Art has a special aluminum pannikin which holds a lot more than our bowls. [Lanouette journal for 10 August]
Comment. The first part asserts that Moffatt was taking extra portions using the same size spoon, the second that he was using a larger bowl.
Aside. I trust Lanouette completely.
Resolution.
1. On August 22, Moffatt came to breakfast and picked up one of the standard bowls… [Grinnell article, p 21, middle of the left column].
2. Much to everyone’s surprise, when Art came down to breakfast the following morning, he left his aluminum pannikin in the pot box and picked up the sixth, beige bakelite bowl which was identical to the ones the rest of us ate out of. [Grinnell book, pp 133&134].
3. I saw no further mention that Moffatt had been taking extra portions, and so I assume that the matter was resolved before the end of August.
Opinion.
The size of Moffatt’s dishes is one of four sources for Kingsley’s assertion that Group dynamics became increasingly strained, and the men grew suspicious of each other.

Assertion 8 of the article.
We had one last dispute over the schedule in which we, of course, won as we outnumbered him five to one, and Art’s status as leader and guru was for all intents and purposes terminated… [article, p 21, middle of the left column].
Aside.
The remark was made in connection with Grinnell’s assertion regarding the United Bowmen’s Association. I refer the reader to the corresponding joke evidence of LeFavour, as provided below.
Response.
At no time did there exist a dispute over the schedule, for all participants knew well before the trip started that the party was scheduled to arrive in Baker Lake on 15 September, with a grace period of a week before the air seach was initiated.
Reference. Appendix 7. Schedule.

Assertion 9 of the article.
In the last days of August…we took more holidays than Moffatt had ever contemplated, averaging one every other day [p 21, bottom of the left column].
Assessment. A falsehood from first word to last.
Reference. Appendix 2. Holidays and Inquest.

Assertion 10 of the article.
When we reached the end of Dubawnt Lake, we took another holiday to celebrate. [article, p 21, bottom of the left column. Incorrectly dated 28 August; in this connection, I note again that Grinnell did not keep a journal].
The corresponding evidence of Pessl. The leisurely breakfast of another “day off”… [book, bottom of p 108; 29 August]
The corresponding evidence of Franck. Windy this morning, so we stayed put. [Pessl book, bottom of p 109]
Conclusion. A wind-forced layover day, and so certainly not a holiday.
Assessment. A conscious misrepresentation of known evidence.
Reference. Appendix 2. Holidays and Inquest.

Assertion 11 of the article.
It snowed during the first four days of September, and we took holidays on all four of them. [article, p 21, top of right column]
Response.
A preposterous use of the word holiday, given
that no party could have travelled in the storms of the first three days,
worse yet that the Moffatt party travelled on the fourth. [Pessl, pp 115-120]
Aside. More evidence that Grinnell did not keep a journal.
Assessment. A conscious misrepresentation of known evidence.
Reference. Appendix 2. Holidays and Inquest.

Assertion 12 of the article.
On September 9 we were hit by a blizzard that ripped to shreds the tent I was in. [Grinnell article, p 21, bottom of the right column]
Assessment. Confirmed by Pessl [book, top of p 129].

Assertion 13 of the article. Inquest, holidays and reality.
The text of the assertion.
At the inquest held by the mounties, it was disclosed that we had taken holidays on more than half the days of the trip. One Mountie commented that we had “lost our sense of reality.” [Grinnell article, p 56, top of right column]
It need be said that Grinnell provided no evidence in support of any part of the assertion.
Response regarding the inquest.
In response to my email message, Mathieu Sabourin (Library and Archives, Canada) responded as follows, in part: I did not locate any specific file related to Mr. Moffatt.
Response regarding holidays.
Pessl’s book documents that not one “holiday” (in the too-lazy-to-paddle sense) was taken in the entire trip.
Response regarding “lost…sense of reality”.
It suffices to note
first that Grinnell provided no supporting evidence,
second that I have learned to trust nothing written by him that is not confirmed by a reliable source.
Conclusions.
It is a falsehood that an inquest had been held into Moffatt’s death.
It is a falsehood that the party had taken holidays on more than half the days of the trip.
With the possible exception of Grinnell, it is a fabrication that any member of the Moffatt party had lost…sense of reality at any time.
References.
Appendix 1. Reality and Delusion.
Appendix 2. Holidays and Inquest.

Closing remarks regarding Grinnell’s article.
Summary.
I believe that I documented above all assertions/accusations made in his article. To avoid repetition, I included related ones provided also in his book.
Given so many falsehoods, fabrications and conscious misrepresentations of known evidence, I am convinced that no content of Grinnell’s article, and by extension no content of his book, is to be trusted. The reader may well then decide to fastforward through my discussion of the latter.
Conclusion. Grinnell set out to fabricate a case against a dead man.
Opinion. Grinnell betrayed Moffatt.

Digression. Participant evidences regarding the food supply

in the six weeks prior to 14 September.
Rather than digress later, I provide here the evidences provided in Grinnell’s book (and also those in the later publications of Pessl, Franck and LeFavour) regarding assertions that a shortage of food (indeed a lack of food) in that period contributed to Moffatt’s death. One fine day, I shall document also the evidences provided in Grinnell’s article, and those of Moffatt and Lanouette.
Comments.
Evidences 1 through 13 (those provided in Grinnell’s book) were known to Murphy, Mahler, Thum and Kingsley, but not to the SI editor and Inglis.
Evidences 14 through 17 (those of Pessl, Franck and LeFavour) were known to no Moffatt accuser.

The 13 food-related evidences of Grinnell’s book for the six weeks before Moffatt’s death.
Evidence 1. Caribou! … hundreds of caribou, then thousands more. … The hunters returned to lead me to their kill… We carried the butchered caribou back to camp and that evening gratefully ate forty-two steaks. [5 August. pp 97&98].
Evidence 2. Full bellies… [undated. p 113].
Evidence 3. Skip, Joe and Art picked blueberries… Art baked up a delicious blueberry “Johnny Cake” …caribou soup… dehydrated mashed potatoes …freshly butchered caribou steaks …full bellies [12 August. p 115].
Evidence 4. A second full bellies. [undated. p 116]
Evidence 5. …we took a holiday to kill our second caribou… [11 August. p 127].
Evidence 6. Dinner was a splendid affair: delicious trout Peter had caught, … , the best cuts of meat from the caribou Bruce had shot, savory mushrooms, … buckets of blueberries …. [after 20 August. p 135].
Evidence 7. 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. [undated. p 146].
Evidence 8. I picked up my .22 and went to shoot a ptarmigan I had spotted. [undated. p 147].
Evidence 9. Over the ensuing weeks… we killed our third, fourth and fifth caribous… [undated, but after 5 September. p 156].
Evidence 10. … 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].
Evidence 11. …we began to spend more and more time hunting, fishing and gathering berries.. [undated. p 158]
Evidence 12. As it grew dark at the end of the day, we saw an unfamiliar object ahead… It was a stack of cardboard boxes with cans of dehydrated vegetables inside… We…raided the dump…. [7 September. pp 180&181]
Confirmation. …24 one-pound tins of dried Beardmore vegetables—carrots, beans, spinach, cabbage and beets. The guys went crazy. [Sports Illustrated, lower left column, p 82]
Evidence 13. At the lunch stop on the day of Moffatt’s death, …Pete latched onto a 17 ½-pound orange-fleshed lake trout and wrestled with him for 20 minutes. [14 September. top of p 202].
Confirmed by LeFavour, who gives the weight as 20 lb. [The Evening Recorder, Amsterdam NY. Part 3 of 4, p 8; 29 December (1955)].

The four evidences of Franck, Pessl and LeFavour for the period from 5 August to 14 September.
I repeat that none of these was known to any of Moffatt’s accusers.
Evidence 14. I was not feeling too well today, probably from eating too much caribou yesterday, … [22 August. Franck, in Pessl (2014), p 99].
Evidence 15. We … were so full we could hardly move. [28 August. Franck, in Pessl, p 108]
Evidence 16. …I had prepared such a huge breakfast that none of us could have moved much further than the tents anyway. I felt as if I would have crashed right through the bottom of the canoe and sunk like a stone if we would have been loading. [30 August. Pessl, p 110]
Evidence 17. As we sped through Wharton Lake… Up to that point we had shot five caribou and by doing so had saved enough meat to see us through. Now it was not even necessary to spend time hunting. [13 September. The Evening Recorder, Amsterdam NY. Part 3 of 4, p 8; 29 December (1955)].

End digression.

Grinnell assertion set 2.

These comprise assertions published solely in his book of 1996. Again, assertions made in both his article and his book are addressed above.

Item 1. Grinnell’s sources.
I repeat that Grinnell had full access to the Sports Illustrated article, as evinced by his Acknowledgements [p 308] and his reference there to Quotes.
As well, Grinnell had corresponded with the SI editor, as evinced by the Epilogue of the SI article [p 88]. Evidence available to me has it that the two had met in person or through a representative of the editor; the importance of this item will become clear later.
As well, I have cause to believe that Grinnell possessed Moffatt’s full journal.

Item 2. Some assertions of the Sports Illustrated editor, and Grinnell’s response to them.
1. Food was becoming the question now. [SI article (1959), top left of p 76, 8 or 9 August].
2. Already nine days behind schedule, the Moffatt party races against winter on the Barren Grounds. The days grow colder, provisions dwindle, game grows scarce. In desperate haste, they take an ultimate chance. [SI article, bottom right of p 76, for the period after 16/17 August].
3. Increasingly, the men were taking chances. They now shot down churning chutes of white water which, a month earlier, they would have scrutinized with a doubtful eye. [SI article, top right of p 82, 7/8 September].
Comment.
Given first that Grinnell had assisted in the writing of the Epilogue of SI article (1959), and second that his article and his book were published in 1988 and 1996 respectively, I suggest it not credible that he did not know of these assertions of the editor.
But Grinnell knew all three assertions to be falsehoods, and he had the opportunity (to some the responsibility) to defend Moffatt. Unfortunately for the reputation of the person who accepted him for the trip, he failed to do so in either his article or his book.

Item 3. The Sports Illustrated editor’s redactions.
Neither did Grinnell object to the editor’s redaction of the exculpatory phrases
1. can’t risk an upset now from Moffatt’s journal entry for 10 September phrases [SI, middle of the right column, p 82] and
2. Following Tyrrell’s route… from Moffatt’s journal entry for 13 September. [SI, lower right column, p 82].
And I repeat that Grinnell followed suit by redacting that exculpatory passage of Lanouette regarding the cause of Moffatt’s death. [Item 8, below].

Item 4. Luste comment 1.
Grinnell’s book includes Luste’s Introduction (pp iii to v) and his Thoughts on the Moffatt Tragedy, Wilderness Canoeing, and Safety (pp 279-302).
Luste comment 1. Art Moffatt, following Tyrrell’s notes, was not expecting the rapid in which he swamped and then died. [Grinnell book, p 284. Luste’s source is not known].
Aside regarding Tyrrell’s notes. Moffatt is known to have possessed a copy of J B Tyrrell’s journal, a copy of his book, copies of his maps, and also to have corresponded with JBT. I was able to access JBT’s book and his maps, but the journal not at all, and the correspondence only insufficiently. My point is that neither the book nor the relevant map mentions the rapids where Moffatt died.
Reference. Ancillary 7. Moffatt’s Tyrrell sources.
Interpretation of Luste’s comment.
Moffatt possessed information (from J B Tyrrell) regarding rapids on the Dubawnt, and
that information told him that the rapids where he died were not worth a scout.
To me, that comment of Luste, alone and in itself, is exculpatory, for it evinces that Moffatt had only followed JBT’s advice when he chose to run those rapids without a scout. That is, Moffatt followed J B Tyrrell’s advice to his death.
Comments.
1. Grinnell had the opportunity to clear Moffatt’s reputation by pointing out this evidence, but he failed to do so.
2. In what were alleged to be reviews of Grinnell’s book, Murphy and MacDonald also ignored this evidence of Luste. Rather, Murphy asserted that Moffatt’s death resulted from lack of food and lack of proper equipment, and both Murphy and MacDonald asserted that a cause was lack of a schedule.
3. More generally, this evidence of Luste was ignored in every later publication of the Moffatt literature, primary and secondary alike, for 20 years and counting.

Item 5. Luste comment 2.
As noted also above, Luste expressed the following opinion of accusations made prior to 1996.
It seems as if a liberal amount of imagination has been invoked by these writers to change the facts so they fit their preoccupations and desires for culpability. [Grinnell book, p 294].
For reasons known only to them, this evidence of Luste went unmentioned by every Moffatt accuser, for most of whom Grinnell’s book was their primary source. Again deserving of explicit mention are Murphy and MacDonald, who ignored that comment in what were alleged to be reviews of Grinnell’s book.

Item 6. Other Grinnell actions.
In both his article and his book, Grinnell made unfortunate statements, and made unfortunate omissions, regarding important matters; most of his actions are prejudicial to Moffatt. Of greatest concern to me is Grinnell’s redaction (documented in Item 8 below) of an exculpatory passage from Lanouette’s journal for 14 September.
Pessl devotes pages 163-174 of his book to addressing multiple accusations made by Grinnell of Moffatt (who, it need be said, was unable to respond to them).
My Main text and my Appendices address other troubling statements made and actions taken by Grinnell; some are addressed below.
An aside regarding Grinnell’s credibility. With respect to Grinnell’s discussion of his frozen fingers and tending the cook fire, Pessl expressed the opinion Pure bullshit as far as I’m concerned.
References. Grinnell book, p 242; Pessl, private correspondence.

Item 7. Grinnell’s food-related evidence for the six weeks prior to Moffatt’s death.
Essential for our understanding of assertions that a cause of Moffatt’s death was a shortage of food (indeed a lack of food [Murphy]) is the evidence of Grinnell’s book for the period from the shooting of the first caribou (5 August) to Moffatt’s death (14 September). In the sake of brevity, I document here only four of the 17 published evidences. Full documentation is provided above, under the heading Some food-related evidence of the participants for the six weeks before Moffatt’s death.
1. Caribou! … hundreds of caribou, then thousands more. … The hunters returned to lead me to their kill… We carried the butchered caribou back to camp and that evening gratefully ate forty-two steaks. [Grinnell book, pp 97&98; 5 August].
2. Over the ensuing weeks… we killed our third, fourth and fifth caribous… [Grinnell book, p 156].
3. I omit also Grinnell evidence regarding other food from the land: many ptarmigan, many fish (three species), blueberries and mushrooms.
4. As it grew dark at the end of the day, we saw an unfamiliar object ahead, …It was a stack of cardboard boxes with cans of dehydrated vegetables inside… We…raided the dump. [Grinnell book, p 180; 7 September]
Comment.
This evidence of Grinnell that food (both from the land and from provisions) was abundant in the six weeks before the tragedy was ignored by every accuser who wrote later on the topic of food, notably by several whose primary source was that book.
Case 1 in point. In what he alleged to be a review of Grinnell’s book, Murphy asserted that Lack of food…contributed to his[Moffatt’s] demise.
Case 2 in point. Kingsley, whose primary source was Grinnell’s book, asserted that the caribou were long gone.
Conclusions.
The above assertion of Murphy is a falsehood.
The above assertion of Kingsley is a falsehood.
Reference. Appendix 6. Food.

Item 8. Grinnell’s redaction of exculpatory evidence.
Aside. I recognise that I documented this item previously, but I felt that it merited repetition here.
Background.
Neither J B Tyrrell’s book nor J W Tyrrell’s, both possessed by Moffatt, mentions the rapids where he died, those a hundred meters or so above Marjorie Lake. Aside. Those rapids are shown at both http://www.mytopo.com/maps/ and Toporama, resources not available in 1955.
Moffatt possessed also J B Tyrrell’s map for the reach between Wharton Lake and what is now called Marjorie Lake. The reader will verify that no mention is made there of the rapids where Moffatt died, those on southmost channel, just upstream from Marjorie.
Reference. https://barrenlands.library.utoronto.ca/content/zone-6-1893
Moffatt possessed also JBT’s journal (known to differ from his book); as well, the two had corresponded. But my best efforts failed to obtain access either to JBT’s journal or to his response to Moffatt’s first letter.
Reference. Ancillary 3. Tyrrell items and the fatal rapids.

Introduction. More repetition.
Over the previous 11 weeks on a demanding, indeed dangerous, river, Moffatt had followed the rapids advice of J B Tyrrell. In that period, the party had experienced not one dump, not one pin and but one swamp.
In the morning of 14 September, the party completed the portage marked on JBT’s map (URL provided above) and proceeded downstream, stopping for lunch (at which point a 20 lb lake trout was added to the already considerable food supply on board).
That afternoon, Moffatt continued to follow JBT’s advice. The only two dumps of the entire trip occurred in the reach between the lunch stop and Marjorie Lake.
References (also repeated).
The beginning of Main text,
Appendix 8. Rapids in general.
Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.
More repetition.
1. The complete journal of Lanouette (Moffatt’s bowperson) for 14 September is provided in Ancillary 2. Lanouette excerpt.
2. The following provides the Sports Illustrated condensation of Lanouette’s journal regarding the events of the afternoon of 14 September. The reader will verify that the condensation is a faithful one.
After a fine lunch of fish chowder, we shoved off again at around 2:30. The weather was still dismal, although the wind had dropped. In a few minutes we heard and saw rapids on the horizon. This surprised us. Art had figured we had already shot the last two rapids before Marjorie Lake. Actually, what we had gone down were only riffles, and what lay ahead was the real beginning of the first rapids. At the top, the rapids looked as though they would be easy going, a few small waves, rocks—nothing serious. We didn’t even haul to shore to have a look, as we usually did. The river was straight and we could see both the top and foot of the rough water quite clearly, or we thought we could. We barreled happily along. We bounced over a couple of fair-sized waves and took in a couple of splashes, but I didn’t mind, as I had made an apron of my poncho and remained dry enough. I was looking a few feet in front of the canoe for submerged rocks when Art suddenly shouted “Paddle.” [Sports Illustrated, 16 March 1959, p 85].
Comment. Moffatt knew there to be two rapids below the portage but he believed them to have already been shot; these were the riffles.
3. Grinnell’s version of the above Lanouette passage.
After a fine lunch of fish chowder, we shoved off again at around 2:30. The weather was still dismal, although the wind had dropped. In a few minutes we heard and saw rapids on the horizon. …
At the top, the rapids looked as though they would be easy going, a few small waves, rocks—nothing serious. We didn’t even haul to shore to have a look, as we usually did. The river was straight and we could see both the top and foot of the rough water quite clearly, or we thought we could. We barreled happily along. We bounced over a couple of fair-sized waves and took in a couple of splashes, but I didn’t mind, as I had made an apron of my poncho and remained dry enough. I was looking a few feet in front of the canoe for submerged rocks when Art suddenly shouted “Paddle.”
[Grinnell book, top of p 202]
4. Comparison reveals that Grinnell reproduced completely the contents of the SI version, but for one difference:
He redacted 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
and replaced it with an ellipsis.
To my mind, the redacted passage, especially the surprised comment, is the key to understanding the cause of Moffatt’s death, for it evinces
first that Moffatt possessed prior information regarding the fatal rapids, and
second that such information had proved to be incorrect.
That passage told me that Moffatt, in choosing to run the fatal rapids without a scout, was only following J B Tyrrell’s guide to rapids on the Dubawnt; surely Moffatt would not have followed Tyrrell’s advice that day, had it proved unreliable even once in the previous 11 weeks.
The question.
Exists there a rational mind that believes Grinnell’s redaction of that passage to have been an accident, a slip of the pen?
Conclusions.
Grinnell made a conscious decision to conceal evidence that Moffatt had been misled when he decided to run those rapids without a scout. That redaction, alone and in itself, convinces me that Grinnell set out to fabricate a case against Moffatt; and it deceived the entire paddling community for 20 years regarding the cause of Moffatt’s death.
Opinion.
Also reprehensible is that Grinnell deceived Luste into making the comments on p iii of his book. It bears mention that Grinnell’s manuscript had been previously been rejected by seven publishers [Grinnell book, pp 304 & 305]. That is, Grinnell’s book would not have been published but for Luste’s efforts. Some way to thank Luste!

Item 9. Death from hypothermia,
also known as freezing to death and death from exposure.
The assertion.
Contrary to popular opinion, freezing to death is not a pleasant way to die. It is so painful, in fact, that I desperately wanted to pass out, to go crazy (or failing that) to die as quickly as possible. [Grinnell book, bottom of p 212]
Response.
Having learned to trust nothing written by Grinnell, I checked him out.
Two reliable sources mention nothing about pain.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypothermia
https://www.ranker.com/list/what-happens-to-your-body-when-you-freeze-to-death/katherine-ripley
As well, not one person who responded to my CCR post mentioned pain as a cause.
http://www.myccr.com/phpbbforum/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=46833
Conclusion.
Grinnell’s assertion regarding death from hypothermia is a fabrication.

Item 10. Was Moffatt suicidal?
Comment. Other noteworthy items in Grinnell’s book are multiple suggestions, thinly veiled, that Moffatt was suicidal. Perhaps, one fine day, I’ll document them; at the moment, I provide only Pessl’s comments.
Pessl comment 1.
(a) Art Moffatt was not suicidal as Grinnell suggests. Throughout the summer he made frequent reference to plans for the future and the anticipated pleasure of seeing his family again. On July 23, Peter’s journal describes a conversation in which he and Art discussed Art’s plan for an outdoor film project in the Sierra two years after the Dubawnt project.
(b) On August 12, Moffatt wrote: “Cold too, now, but I love these evenings alone by the fire, later at night and early in the morning I smoke, drink tea, think of home, Carol, Creigh, Debbo…of my new study and of the children there with me when I get back, and the stories I’ll be able to tell them about all my adventures in the North…shooting rapids and the time I saw the wolves, white ones, and the caribou and moose and fish and birds.”
Certainly not a suicidal state of mind.
And I cannot imagine ever having said, “You were right all along, George.”

[Pessl, Nastawgan article, pp 8&9]
Comments. The last item (“You…George”) refers to page 224 of Grinnell’s book.
Opinion. Another dig at Pessl.
Pessl comment 2.
On the end pages of his journal book Art compiled a to-do list of plans and chores upon his return:
“Wire Carol from Churchill or Winnipeg, probably Winnipeg, after seeing Wilson of the Beaver. Sell him an article or two, plus a cover and talk to him about film. Ask Carol to come to Mount Royal, Windsor or Laurentides…get reservations, bring me clothes. Have a long weekend up there… If I get Toronto in a.m., can see Star during day… see John Coleman, CNR public relations…suggest press conference. Get him to notify Time-Life Bureau, or do it myself.”
Clearly, these are not the thoughts of a man who has abandoned hope and does not expect to see his family or associates again.
[Pessl, p 166]
Clarification. The Beaver is the former name of the magazine Canada’s History.
http://www.canadashistory.ca/Community/PresidentsMessage/February-2010/Happy-90th-Birthday-Beaver-magazine.aspx
Interpretation. Wilson and Moffatt had arranged to meet in Winnipeg, on Moffatt’s way home, in order to discuss a Beaver article describing the trip.
Pessl comment 3.
Before we left the States,… Art and Carol had recently completed a remodel of their…home…He was anxious to return from the Dubawnt journey with as much raw material as possible and then get started with the professional preparation of his journey accounts. [Pessl book, p 167]
Conclusion.
Another Grinnell fabrication.

Item 11. Filming and photography.
1. The movie was not working out. To be a good wildlife photographer, one has to sit and wait like a hunter; and we did not have time to sit and wait. If we waited, we would be caught in the autumn freeze-up. …Art had not captured on film anything that would pay enough to feed his family when the expedition was over. [Grinnell book, p 50]
2. Winter was closing in; and as yet, Art had captured on film nothing that would feed his family. … His only hope was to stall around waiting for something to photograph. The more he stalled, the more likely he would be able to feed his family one way or another, for he had doubled his life insurance before coming on the trip: and what people pay money to watch on television is not so much life as death. … The movie provided hope for Art, …but failing that, he preferred death in the wilderness to life in the rat race [book, p 176]
3. If his movie failed, he was as good as dead anyway. [book, p 180]
Pessl responds.
Grinnell’s suggestion that “the movie was not working out: and that …Art had not captured on film anything that would pay enough to feed his family” is curious and seriously misunderstands the objectives of the film project. Our photographic mission was not to film wildlife in the traditional professional strategy of sitting concealed, waiting for the perfect shot as Grinnell asserts. We were filming a canoe journey along a transect that reflected remarkable changes in the wildlife and natural history of the region. It was the journey that mattered and it was the context of that journey that we were committed to record. As even the most amateur moviemaker knows, exposed raw film footage is just the beginning of the moviemaking process. It is true that we didn’t get a shot of a grizzly’s ear or some other spectacular wildlife close-up, but to suggest therefore that the film was a failure and thereby contributed to some deadly depression is absurd.
More importantly, the unsupported assertion that Art was consciously “stalling” so that he could chance on some remarkable wildlife photography is outrageous. Art and I were transparently committed to filming the entire journey; we were not “waiting for something to photograph”. Art was out with the camera whenever he had the opportunity, often in the morning before others were up, or while I was cooking breakfast. And throughout the day, traveling or not, our priority was to get that shot, record that moment, preserve that feeling of being on this amazing adventure. To suggest that Art was stalling is unpardonable.
[Pessl book, pp 166-167]
Question.
Where is the evidence,
first that Moffatt had captured nothing yet (Grinnell provides no date),
second that Moffatt was stalling, waiting for something to photograph (also no date),
third, and by far most important, that Moffatt had pinned his entire life to the success of the film and so that he preferred to die rather than return empty-handed?
Answer.
None exists. In fact, Pessl provides evidence that refutes all three.
Opinion.
A dead man (a trip companion no less) surely deserved the truth.
Conclusion.
One of Grinnell’s more rabid fabrications.

Item 12. sad, apprehensive and gloomy.
Art put a brave face on our situation, but inwardly he was not laughing. “I felt sad, apprehensive and gloomy,” Art wrote on the eve of our departure, while the rest of us followed him around with smiles on our faces, believing he would carry us through all adversity. [Grinnell book, p 10].
Mentioned also above.
Clarifications.
1. Grinnell’s unidentified source was the passage I felt sad, apprehensive and gloomy about the summer. [SI article, top of the left column, p 72]
2. Grinnell had met Moffatt in person first in Stony Rapids (from where the party departed to Black Lake by truck).
Pessl’s response.
Actually that quote was from Art’s journal entry for June 16 … in which he describes his feelings as he stands on the station platform … at White River Junction, Vermont… The quote had nothing to do with our situation at Black Lake. [Pessl, pp 164-165]
Conclusion. Grinnell got it wrong.

Item 13. The canoe.
This less-than-important item is provided only for completeness.
Referring to Moffatt, Grinnell wrote the following
”Rather a clear dream,” he had written in his diary.
The day he had had the dream of his broken canoe resting on the bottom among caribou bones, we were camped before another gorge…
[Grinnell book, pp 176 & 177]
Pessl responds.
Grinnell’s account of the dream sequence that Art had described in his journal entry of September 2—“and in the clear water below, I could see a gray canoe (mine?) broken and resting on the bottom among caribou bones”—ends with a positive statement: “Must get out of here soon and will.” But that statement was not part of the dream. It was written the following day, September 3, expressing concern about the cold and another nontravel day, clearly a positive commitment in the face of deteriorating weather and in spite of the previous night’s dream. [Pessl, p 164]
Conclusion. Another Grinnell fabrication.

Item 14. The toll.
Art dreamed that there was at toll at the end of the lake which he could not afford to pay. [Grinnell, p 11]
Comment. Grinnell provided no source for the above statement.
The evidence of Pessl. There is no mention of this “dream” in Art’s journal. [book, p 164]
Conclusion. Another Grinnell fabrication.

Aside regarding Items 13 and 14.
Yet more evidence that Grinnell had obtained access to Moffatt’s journal.

Item 15. The swamping on 26 August.
Skip was furious…the contents of his capsized canoe on top of him. [Grinnell book, p 139]
In both his Nastawgan article [p 9] and his book [pp 168-169], Pessl rejects Grinnell’s version of the event.
Interpretation. This one was intended to settle scores with Pessl. In this connection, I refer the reader to Grinnell’s multiple references to Pessl’s alleged lectures on group consideration and altruistic behavior.
Conclusion. Another Grinnell fabrication.

Item 16. The encounter with the grizzly.
Grinnell’s book [pages 178-180] provides a very different account of the grizzly encounter (on 6 September) from those provided
in Pessl’s Nastawgan article [p 9] and
in Pessl’s book [his pages 170-172 provide both his account of the event and Moffatt’s].
Especially noteworthy are the differences regarding shooting the bear.
Conclusion. Another Grinnell fabrication.

Item 17. Franck’s stammering.
In his book, Grinnell quotes multiple instances of Franck’s stammering [two on p 38, top of p 70, bottom of p 80, top of p 179, two on p 185, two on p 187, p 188; search incomplete].
Pessl’s response. I cannot recall a single instance in which Peter [Franck] stammered. Peter’s wife, Fay, insists that she never heard Peter stammer, “not even an ‘um’ or an ‘er’”. [Pessl book, p 168].
On page 8 of his Nastawgan article, Pessl makes similar remarks.
Conclusion. Another Grinnell fabrication.

Item 18. The exit date.
It is necessary to repeat that Grinnell did not keep a journal.
He repeatedly gives the scheduled exit date as 2 September [book, p 58 and many places elsewhere], whereas multiple independent sources give 15 September, with a week’s grace period before the air search was begun; indeed, the search began on 22 September.
Appendix 7. Schedule.
Grinnell’s source for 2 September.
In private correspondence, Pessl pointed out to me that the Tyrrell party arrived in Baker Lake that day. Aside. Referring to Franck, Grinnell provided also the following: Because Peter had planned to enter his sophomore year at Harvard that Autumn, the September 2nd date was particularly important to him. [book, pp 162&163]. The evidence suggests that this remark was intended as a diversion.
Comment.
Surely the schedule for arrival in Baker Lake was discussed throughout the trip, especially in early September when it must have seemed certain that the party would not arrive on time.
Conclusion.
Grinnell knowingly misrepresented the schedule-related evidence known to him.
Aside. The assertion is known to have deceived one accuser.
Reference. Kingsley assertion 10, below.

Item 19. The United Bowmen’s Association.
Grinnell’s assertions.
1. On July 18th, we bowmen formed the United Bowmen’s Association and threatened to go on strike if we were not provided with a schedule… We bowmen went on strike… [article, top of right column, p 20]
2. After crossing the Height of Land, we [the bow paddlers] formed a union and went into revolt. [book, p 53]
3. Up in the bow, we felt totally ignored. By the end of lunch, we bowmen had formed the “United Bowmen’s Association” and had agreed to go on strike if Art and the other two sternmen did not comply with our demands. [book, p 58]
4. By the time we bowmen had lost our fear of the wilderness and had taken effective control of the expedition… [book, p 164]
Responses.
1. LeFavour, a bowman like Grinnell (the third was Lanouette) provided the following.
…the bowmen neither individually nor as a group ever contemplated taking over the leadership of the expedition. The very idea is ridiculous. Rather, as I remember it, the name and the extremely loose organization was a joke, a way for us to vent our frustrations with some of Art’s actions. …The UBA was simply a way for the three of us to bitch among ourselves and thereby relieve some tensions, not in any way a revolt. [LeFavour, private communication to Pessl; bottom of the right column on p 8 of Pessl’s Nastawgan article, Vol 40, No.2 (2013). Also Pessl book, p 168].
2. I have no recollection of the UBA and did not mention it in my journal… [Pessl book, p 168]
3. Peter [Franck, who sterned one canoe] makes no mention the UBA in his journal. [Pessl book, p 168]
Conclusion. Another Grinnell fabrication.

Item 20. The broken cup.
Passage 1. With his broken tea cup lying shattered at his feet, Art became convinced that he would never see his wife and children again, and so he sat, and so we waited.” [Grinnell book, p 50]
Passage 2. …his sacred tea cup (the one that Carol had given him…) had broken on a rock, Art had had his first premonition of his approaching death… [Grinnell book, p 175]
Pessl response 1.
The suggestion that Art was suicidal and indifferent to the well-being of the other party members…has been expressed by some reviewers and correspondents within the wilderness community. This assumption of Art’s mental instability, I believe, derives from Grinnell’s brief description of Art’s reaction to his broken tea cup. [Pessl book, p 163]
Aside. One of those correspondents was Larry Osgood, in his communication of February 1996. [Pessl, p 179]
Pessl response 2.
I know of no evidence in support of this analysis of Art’s mental condition. How did Grinnell get into Art’s head to know what Art was “convinced” of? Actually, Art considered the incident of the broken tea cup as an “omen of bad luck” (journal entry, June 21), not as a moment of final abandonment. [Pessl book, p 164]
Conclusion. Another Grinnell fabrication.

Item 21. The insurance policy.
Before coming on the trip, Art had been faced with three choices. He needed money to feed his family. He could either go down to New York and do as others in Western Civilization were doing…; or he could double his life insurance policy and buy a one-way ticket to the Great Beyond; or he could gamble on a wildlife film. He chose the last two. [book, p 49].
It seems necessary to state Grinnell provided no evidence in support of this item either.
Pessl response 1.
Many people increase life insurance coverage anticipating some special travel or experience. The presence of insurance policy kiosks at major airports suggests that this is a fairly common transaction. I have no evidence that Art did, indeed, increase his life insurance coverage prior to the Dubawnt trip… [Pessl book, p 164]
Pessl response 2.
There is no mention in Art’s journal of an increase in life insurance and I have no idea what policy company he may have used. [private correspondence, 7 August 2016]
Aside. My opinion of Grinnell’s buy a one-way ticket to the Great Beyond.
So flippantly to speak of the death of your trip companion (your leader, your mentor, perhaps your friend), the person who accepted you for the trip, with whom for over two months you shared meals, hardship, hunger (at times), danger (including a storm of perhaps hurricane force), and, perhaps most of all, the beauty of the barrens: “The reality I had discovered was the reality of the Garden of Eden, the most beautiful reality I have ever experienced.” [book, p 156]).
Conclusion. It is Grinnell fabrication that Moffatt had doubled his life insurance policy.

Item 22. The cache.
On page 180 of his book, Grinnell represented the acquisition of a considerable resupply of provisions as a fortuitous discovery.
LeFavour provided a rather different account of that event, plus a similar one of the encounter with the grizzly. Before leaving for the Dubawnt, Moffatt had been in contact with the head of a survey team who had promised to leave us any extra supplies…in a cache…our route… [Evening Recorder, 29 December 1955, p 8]
Grinnell’s account of that event: Skip admonished us for disturbing the “cache”, because “caches” in the wilderness…were sacred and must never be touched… We…ignored Skip and raided the dump.
You might well think that Grinnell had doctored the evidence in order to get in a dig at Pessl, but I couldn’t possibly comment.

Item 23. The dispute with Pessl.
Item 1. Grinnell made multiple, unsubstantiated references to Pessl’s alleged lectures on group consideration and altruistic behavior. [An example: book, middle of p 135]
Item 2. Skip was self-righteous … and becoming more and more intolerant of us. Towards the end of August, his anger flared out not just at me, but also at the others with increasing frequency: and on the day of the big waves, his rage exploded at Art. [book, middle of p 142]
Item 3. Skip found himself in the difficult position of having become second-in-command to a cup of tea. [book, top of p 146]
Item 4. You were right all along, George. [book, p 224; alleged to be a Pessl comment].
Pessl’s response. …I cannot imagine ever having said, “You were right all along, George.”
[Nastawgan article, pp 8&9]
Opinion.
Independent of the truth (which I much doubt) of these remarks, they evince a petty, vengeful mind.

Item 24. Frozen fingers.
Although I had lost all feeling in my hands, and they were yellow and swollen, I suffered more from burns than from frostbite. Earlier in the cold weather, my hands had frozen and thawed, frozen and thawed, but now they just stayed numb all the time. Earlier the paddling had thawed them out, and when feeling returned, it returned with great pain. The pain was gone, and my fingers remained on my hands. The swelling seemed to be insulating the vital functions beneath the skin. [book, p 242]
Pessl responds. Pure bullshit… [private correspondence]
Conclusion. Another Grinnell fabrication.

A caution regarding Grinnell’s publications.
Although the evidence convinces me that Grinnell set out to defame a dead man, some of his assertions are confirmed by the evidences of the other five participants, for example that the Moffatt party enjoyed a plethora of food in the six weeks before Moffatt’s death.
And so I suggest that the reader not reject every Grinnell assertion out of hand, rather that s/he first examine the evidence of the other participants.

The Sports Illustrated article, Grinnell’s publications and the fatal rapids.

The Sports Illustrated article.
1. As documented above, the editor redacted the phrase can’t risk an upset now from Moffatt’s journal entry for 10 September. What interpretation of that phrase is possible but that Moffatt’s approach to running rapids was cautious?
2. Also as documented above, 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 the Moffatt possessed route advice from Tyrrell and was following it?
3. And so I ask the reader to reflect on the light shed by these redactions on the Sports Illustrated assertions regarding the cause of Moffatt’s death
(a) …the Moffatt party races against winter on the Barren Grounds…In desperate haste, they take an ultimate chance. [SI article, bottom right of p 76, after 16/17 August], and
(b) Increasingly, the men were taking chances. They now shot down churning chutes of white water which, a month earlier, they would have scrutinized with a doubtful eye. [SI article, top right of p 82, 7/8 September].
Question. What excuse for a mind could believe these two redactions to have been accidents?

Grinnell’s publications.
In neither his article (1988) nor his book (1996) did Grinnell address the falsehoods, the fabrications and the redactions of Sports Illustrated editor, especially the two provided immediately above. That is, Grinnell had the opportunity (to some the responsibility) to rescue Moffatt’s reputation but he failed to do so.
Yet worse, Grinnell participated in the defamation of a dead man by redacting the exculpatory passage
This surprised us. Art had figured we had already shot the last two rapids before Marjorie Lake. Actually, what we had gone down were only riffles, and what lay ahead was the real beginning of the first rapids
from Lanouette’s journal entry for 14 September, as faithfully condensed in the SI article.
What excuse for a mind could believe this redaction to have been an accident?
As well, in both his article and his book Grinnell falsely and knowingly made multiple assertions of Moffatt, who it need be said was unable to defend himself.
Aside. Lacking at the moment a convenient place for the following, I provide next Pessl’s opinion of Grinnell’s comments regarding the crossing of Aberdeen Lake, as provided in the Epilogue of SI article. [p 88, right column].
…the account of our south to north traverse of Aberdeen Lake is … in error. A map of the lake shows a N-S oriented peninsula extending from the south shore, effectively dividing the lake into a west basin and an east basin. The only exposed, open water passage separating the two basins is less than 3 mi. wide. During our crossing we initially hugged the eastern shore of the peninsula, protected and ready to go ashore if conditions became adverse which they didn’t…
The epilogue account of this crossing is just … melodramatic b…t! Grinnell?? Curiously, there is no mention of our Aberdeen crossing in the 1st edition of “Death…”, only in the later editions.
[Pessl, private correspondence]
A related comment. With a strong south wind at our tail, we managed to reach the north shore of the lake before dusk.” [Pessl book, 19 September, p 136].

Summary.
Both the SI editor and Grinnell made multiple false assertions on all sorts of matters. And they had met in person or through intermediaries before the publication of the SI article.
As well, both redacted exculpatory passages regarding Moffatt’s decision to run the fatal rapids without a scout.
By these actions, the SI editor and Grinnell deceived the paddling community for two decades regarding the cause of Moffatt’s death.

Collusion.

Introduction.
The evidence presented below leads me to conclude that the Sports Illustrated editor and Grinnell had colluded to defame Arthur Moffatt.

Background.
1. Both the Sports Illustrated editor and Grinnell redacted exculpatory evidence regarding Moffatt’s decision to run the fatal rapids without a scout.
2. I possess evidence that they had met (in New York) during the preparation of the SI article (1959), in person or through an intermediary.
3. Grinnell’s only external sources were the SI article and contacts with its editor, plus Moffatt’s journal.
4. Grinnell asserted that his source for Moffatt’s journal was Moffatt’s daughter Creigh.
Reference. Other Acknowledgements and his reference there to Quotes from Arthur Moffatt’s Journal. [book, p 308]
Comment. I am attempting to obtain conclusive evidence, but I have due cause to doubt this assertion. I believe rather that Grinnell’s source for Moffatt’s journal was rather the SI editor.
5. In this connection, I note that the SI editor and Grinnell had been in contact before publication of the SI article, as evinced by the following items provided in the Epilogue on page 88 of that article.
Excerpt 1. George Grinnell, writing later of the ordeal in the water, noted that “one does not simply go to sleep…” Comment. Confirmation that the editor’s source was Grinnell.
Excerpt 2. On the afternoon of 15 September the sun came out for the first time in 9 days.
Excerpt 3. The five abandoned an earlier plan, arrived at desperately in the wake of tragedy, to send Pessl and Franck for help. They would now make the trip together.
Excerpt 4. Sticking timidly to the shore, they outlined every cove and inlet, often portaging where they would have canoed. It was thus that they came to Aberdeen Lake, 18 miles across at its widest point.
Excerpt 5. On September 20 the expedition met several families of Eskimos. Comment. Confirmed by Pessl, p 138.
Excerpt 6. On September 21 they reached the Thelon River.
Correction. Aberdeen Lake (reached on 19 September [Pessl book, p 136]) lies on the Thelon.
Excerpt 7. On September 24 the five men put ashore at Baker.

Some assertions of the Sports Illustrated editor, and Grinnell’s response to them.
Given that Grinnell had assisted in the writing of the Epilogue of SI article (1959), and that his article and his book were published in 1988 and 1996 respectively, I suggest it not credible that he did not know of these assertions of the editor.
And so Grinnell had the opportunity (some might say that he had the responsibility) to defend Moffatt from these assertions. Unfortunately for the reputation of a dead man, Grinnell failed to do so in either publication.
Assertion 1. Food was becoming the question now. [SI article, top left of p 76, 8 or 9 August].
What question? The first caribou was shot on 5 August (at most 4 days earlier), the second on 11 August, and five in all (the last on 5 September). All are documented in Moffatt’s journal, which the editor possessed. Of the five, the editor mentioned only the second.
And a major resupply of provisions was obtained on 7 September, as documented in the SI article itself.
Unfortunately for the reputation of a dead man, Grinnell failed to object.
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 (1959), bottom right of p 76, after 16/17 August].
Response. It is true that the Moffatt party was travelling in the barrenlands and that days were growing colder on average, but the remainder of the item is falsehood. Grinnell knew such to be the case, but he failed to object to the assertion.
Assertion 3. Increasingly, the men were taking chances. They now shot down churning chutes of white water which, a month earlier, they would have scrutinized with a doubtful eye. [SI article, top right of p 82, 7/8 September].
Grinnell knew this assertion to be a falsehood from start to finish, but he failed to object.

The redactions of exculpatory evidence.
In neither his article nor his book did Grinnell object to the editor’s redaction of the exculpatory phrases
can’t risk an upset now from Moffatt’s journal entry for 10 September phrases [SI, middle of the right column, p 82] and
Following Tyrrell’s route… from Moffatt’s journal entry for 13 September. [SI, lower right column, p 82].
In his book, Grinnell redacted the exculpatory passage
This surprised us. Art had figured we had already shot the last two rapids before Marjorie Lake. Actually, what we had gone down were only riffles, and what lay ahead was the real beginning of the first rapids and replaced it with an ellipsis.
Q1. Why were Moffatt and Lanouette surprised?
A. Because J B Tyrrell had advised Moffatt that the rapids where he died were of no concern.
Q2. What excuse for a mind could believe this redaction to have been an accident, a slip of the pen?
Opinion. The three redactions were coordinated.

Luste’s comment regarding the cause of Moffatt’s death.
Art Moffatt, following Tyrrell’s notes, was not expecting the rapid in which he swamped and then died. [Grinnell book, p 284].
In his book, Grinnell had the opportunity/responsibility to clear Moffatt’s reputation by pointing out this exculpatory evidence of Luste, but he failed to do so. In this matter, he led the way for every later accuser regarding the cause of Moffatt’s death. Deserving of explicit mention here are Murphy and MacDonald, who ignored that evidence in what were alleged to be reviews of Grinnell’s book.

Pessl’s comments.
Pessl devotes pages 163-174 of his book to addressing Grinnell’s accusations of Moffatt (who, it need be said, was unable to respond to them). Of special concern regarding the cause of Moffatt’s death is Grinnell’s suggestion that Moffatt was suicidal.

The food supply.
Essential for our assessment of assertions that a cause of Moffatt’s death was a shortage of food (indeed a lack of food [Murphy]) is the 17 evidences (provided above) of the participants regarding the food supply in the period from 5 August to 14 September. The conclusion is clear: The Moffatt party was well fed in those six weeks.
In contrast, the SI editor asserted the following.
Food was becoming the question now [SI article, top left of p 76, 8 or 9 August], and
…provisions dwindle, game grows scarce [SI article, bottom right of p 76, for the period after 16/17 August]. Aside, as I document elsewhere, both assertions are falsehoods.
Unfortunately for the reputation of a dead man, Grinnell failed to object to these assertions, especially because they are falsified by the 13 food-related evidences published in his own book.
Given that Grinnell and the SI editor had been in close contact even prior to the publication of the latter’s article, what conclusion can be drawn from Grinnell’s failure to act in this matter but that he was cooperating in the defamation of Moffatt?

The exit date.
In his book, Grinnell asserts repeatedly that the Moffatt party was scheduled to arrive in Baker Lake on 2 September.
An example. 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. [book, p 58].
But ten or so independent sources give 15 September for the arrival date, with a week’s grace before the air search was begun; indeed, that search was begun on 22 September.
Reference. Appendix 7. Schedule.
How could a participant not have known from the very beginning that arrival was scheduled for 15 September? And surely the participants discussed repeatedly the possibility of arriving on schedule, especially as the days wore on.
Conclusion. Grinnell’s date of 2 September for arrival in Baker Lake is a fabrication.
Comment 1. The likely origin for Grinnell’s 2 September
Is that the Tyrrell party arrived in Baker Lake that day. [Pessl, private correspondence] But, as documented above, the Moffatt party was not following the schedule of the Tyrrell party!
Comment 2. Referring to Franck, Grinnell provided also the following.
Because Peter had planned to enter his sophomore year at Harvard that Autumn, the September 2nd date was particularly important to him. [book, pp 162&163]
But this comment makes no sense, for Franck knew at the very beginning of the trip that arrival in Baker Lake was scheduled for 15 September.
And so I ask the reader to reflect on Grinnell’s motivation in providing the item Because Peter…important to him, if not to muddy the waters.
Conjecture. Grinnell’s falsehoods regarding the arrival date were intended to buttress the Sports Illustrated editor’s falsehoods
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].
In this connection, I repeat that Grinnell had cooperated in the writing of the Epilogue of the SI article.

Conclusion.
The Sports Illustrated editor and Grinnell had colluded to defame a dead man.

The primary evidentiary basis of the accusatory literature.

Opinion. That basis is the publications of the trip participants. 1955. LeFavour’s articles.
As has been the case for over 60 years, his four newspaper articles are yet inaccessible, with the consequence that no Moffatt accuser knew of them; indeed, I learned of them only through LeFavour and Pessl. And so those articles did not figure in the Moffatt literature until I published much of the third, that which describes the events of 13 and 14 September.
1959. The Sports Illustrated article.
Contents include edited versions of Moffatt’s journal, plus a faithful condensation of the journal of Lanouette (Moffatt’s bowperson) for the day of Moffatt’s death.
1988. Grinnell’s Canoe article.
1996. Grinnell’s book, first edition.
Contents include comments of Luste, Grinnell’s publisher (not his editor).
The editions of 2006 and 2010 appeared too late to influence the Moffatt literature.
2012. Kesselheim’s Canoe&Kayak article (which contains comments of Pessl) appeared too late to influence that literature, except for incidental mention by Kingsley of a Pessl comment.
2013. Pessl’s Nastawgan article appeared too late to influence the Moffatt literature.
2014. Pessl’s book, which contains excerpts from Franck’s, also appeared too late.
Summary.
The evidentiary basis (publications that contain evidence of the participants) of the entire 55 years of accusatory literature consists solely of the following.
1. The SI article (1959),
2. Grinnell’s article (1988), and
3. Grinnell’s book (1996).

The tipping point.
Opinion. The accusatory literature would have terminated in 1996, had Murphy and MacDonald not published what were alleged to reviews of Grinnell’s book.
Unfortunately for the reputation of a dead man,
Murphy falsely and knowingly asserted that causes of Moffatt’s death were lack of food and lack of proper equipment, and
both Murphy and MacDonald falsely and knowingly asserted that a cause was lack of a schedule.
Conclusion. The tipping point of the accusatory literature came with the articles of Murphy and MacDonald.

The assertions of Murphy and MacDonald.

Source. Che-Mun, Canoelit section. Moffatt, Myth & Mysticism. Spring 1996, pp 5 & 11.
The full text of Murphy’s article is available online at
http://www.canoe.ca/AllAboutCanoes/book_deathbarrens.html
It appears that MacDonald’s is available only in print form.
Aside. I possess no evidence that either had pre-publication knowledge of the contents of other’s article.

Their sources.

Like every other accuser, neither knew of the Inglis book (1978).
l document below that Murphy possessed the Sports Illustrated article (1959); on the other hand, he made only incidental use of it.
I possess no evidence that either knew of Grinnell’s Canoe article (1988).
But some might consider this failure to make
more use of the SI article, and any use at all of Grinnell’s article,
as reflecting on the diligence of Murphy and MacDonald, indeed on their commitment to give a dead man (a fellow paddler to both) a fair hearing before publishing accusations of him.

Introduction.

Let me begin by quoting the following comment of their publisher/editor. Referring to Grinnell’s book (1996 edition), s/he provided the following: This publication prompted two thoughtful reviews from Che-Mun readers and we decided to present you with these two views on this disturbing and landmark canoe journey. The corresponding prefaces: Reviewed by James Murphy and Reviewed by Andrew MacDonald.
Preview.
Unfortunately for the reputation of a dead man, both Murphy and MacDonald went beyond publishing reviews of Grinnell’s book, for both gratuitously expressed highly negative opinions of Moffatt and his competence, opinions that have no basis in the contents of that book, indeed no basis in truth.
I must state explicitly that their editor was unaware
that both Murphy and MacDonald had falsely and knowingly asserted that a cause of Moffatt’s death was lack of a schedule, and
that Murphy had falsely and knowingly asserted that other causes were lack of food and lack of proper equipment.

Aside. The evidences of George Luste.
Both were provided in Grinnell’s book (the very subject of the Murphy-MacDonald reviews), and I assess both to be exculpatory. I ask that the reader forgive my repetition of the following.
Evidence 1. Luste’s comment regarding the pre-1996 accusatory literature.
It seems as if a liberal amount of imagination has been invoked by these writers to change the facts so they fit their preoccupations and desires for culpability. [Grinnell book, p 294]
Evidence 2. Luste’s comment regarding the cause of Moffatt’s death.
Art Moffatt, following Tyrrell’s notes, was not expecting the rapid in which he swamped and then died. [Grinnell book, p 284]
What interpretation of the latter passage is possible but the cause of Moffatt’s death was misleading rapids advice from Tyrrell (J B, not J W)? In short, this passage of Luste is exculpatory. Summary.
Unfortunately for the reputation of a dead man, in what were alleged to be reviews of Grinnell’s book, both Murphy and MacDonald ignored both evidences of Luste, scarcely an untrustworthy or obscure source. I confess my inability to imagine that these failures were oversights.

Aside.
The remarks of Murphy and MacDonald are not entirely germane to the matter (the cause of Moffatt’s death), for
Murphy devoted an entire paragraph to a discussion of whether Moffatt was a bodhisatva, and
MacDonald described Grinnell’s talk at the Wilderness and Canoeing Symposium of 1996.
I suggest that a better use of the space available to them would have been to provide evidence for their accusations of a dead man. On the other hand, that task was well beyond their capabilities.

Aside. Gratuitious actions of MacDonald.

Before I get to the meat of the matter, namely the assertions of Murphy and MacDonald regarding the causes of Moffatt’s death, let me get some relatively minor matters out of the way.

MacDonald action 1.
He provided the following quotation (an accurate one) from Grinnell’s book: 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. [top of p 91].
But MacDonald failed to mention anywhere in his article, any of the following food-related evidences provided in Grinnell’s book for the six weeks before Moffatt’s death.
Evidence 1. Caribou! … hundreds of caribou, then thousands more. … The hunters returned to lead me to their kill… We carried the butchered caribou back to camp and that evening gratefully ate forty-two steaks. [5 August. pp 97&98].
Evidence 2. Full bellies… [undated. p 113].
Evidence 3. Skip, Joe and Art picked blueberries… Art baked up a delicious blueberry “Johnny Cake” …caribou soup… dehydrated mashed potatoes …freshly butchered caribou steaks …full bellies [12 August. p 115].
Evidence 4. A second full bellies. [undated. p 116]
Evidence 5. …we took a holiday to kill our second caribou… [11 August. p 127].
Evidence 6. Dinner was a splendid affair: delicious trout Peter had caught, … , the best cuts of meat from the caribou Bruce had shot, savory mushrooms, … buckets of blueberries …. [after 20 August. p 135].
Evidence 7. 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. [undated. p 146].
Evidence 8. I picked up my .22 and went to shoot a ptarmigan I had spotted. [undated. p 147].
Evidence 9. Over the ensuing weeks… we killed our third, fourth and fifth caribous… [undated, but after 5 September. p 156].
Evidence 10. … 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].
Evidence 11. …we began to spend more and more time hunting, fishing and gathering berries.. [undated. p 158]
Evidence 12. As it grew dark at the end of the day, we saw an unfamiliar object ahead… It was a stack of cardboard boxes with cans of dehydrated vegetables inside… We…raided the dump…. [7 September. pp 180&181]
Confirmation. …24 one-pound tins of dried Beardmore vegetables—carrots, beans, spinach, cabbage and beets. The guys went crazy. [Sports Illustrated, lower left column, p 82]
Evidence 13. At the lunch stop on the day of Moffatt’s death, …Pete latched onto a 17 ½-pound orange-fleshed lake trout and wrestled with him for 20 minutes. [14 September. top of p 202].
Confirmed by LeFavour, who gives the weight as 20 lb. [The Evening Recorder, Amsterdam NY. Part 3 of 4, p 8; 29 December (1955)].

Response.
I confess my inability to understand why MacDonald
provided the passage Our only hope of survival…death by starvation from Grinnell’s book (the very subject of his review) claimed to have reviewed), but
omitted mention of the 13 contrary evidences provided in the very book,
unless his intention was to buttress Murphy’s assertion that lack of food contributed to Moffatt’s death.
Conclusion. The matter of his motivation aside, this action of MacDonald is a conscious misrepresentation of evidence known to him regarding the food supply.
Reference. Appendix 6. Food.

MacDonald action 2.
Referring to Grinnell, he provided 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.”
Comment 1. The passage Skip found….cup of tea is a faithful quotation of that provided in Grinnell’s book [1996, top of p 146].
But I ask that the reader reflect on MacDonald’s motivation in providing this passage.
Comment 2. MacDonald provided no evidence, and I found none in Grinnell’s book or anywhere else (for example in Pessl’s book) for his assertions either
that Moffatt had abdicated leadership of the party, or
that his actions had paralyzed the pace of the trip.
Such courage on the part of MacDonald, to make damaging and unsubstantiated assertions of a dead man.
Comment 3. A more observant person, perhaps one less intent of fabricating a case against Moffatt, might well have noticed
Grinnell’s multiple references to Pessl’s alleged lectures on group consideration and altruistic behavior, and also
his many references (by the way also fabrications) to Franck’s stammering,
and so have wondered whether Grinnell had it in for other participants, perhaps also Moffatt. Unfortunately for the reputation of a dead man, MacDonald was not up to the task.
Suggestion.
Better use of the space available to MacDonald would have been to provide evidence in support for his assertion that Moffatt died due to lack of a schedule.
On the other hand, MacDonald knew such a task to be beyond him.
Conclusions.
It is a MacDonald fabrication that Moffatt had abdicated leadership of the party.
It is a MacDonald fabrication that Moffatt’s actions had paralyzed the pace of the trip.

Summary.
On the one hand, MacDonald had read Grinnell’s book carefully enough to quote the two passages
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], and
“Skip found himself in the difficult position of having become second-in-command to a cup of tea” [Grinnell book, top of p 146].
On the other hand, MacDonald failed to mention Luste’s exculpatory comment Art Moffatt, following Tyrrell’s notes, was not expecting the rapid in which he swamped and then died. [Grinnell book, p 284]. And so one is perhaps entitled to ask why not?, unless MacDonald’s motivation was to fabricate a case against a dead man.

The assertions of James Murphy.

These were made in what was alleged to be a review of Grinnell’s book.

Assertion 1 of Murphy.
Slightly giddy from lack of food, a profound quietude and serenity has settled on your spirit. Logically you know you shouldn’t tarry but you linger there for weeks, entranced, as if moving would break some spell, disturbing your reverie. Danger lurks, yet you can’t seem to focus on it. [p 5, left column, first paragraph]
Response. Murphy provided no corresponding evidence for any part of the assertion, and I found no such evidence in Grinnell’s book or elsewhere. Especially objectionable to me is the phrase slightly giddy from lack of food, for Grinnell’s book (the very subject of Murphy’s review) documents a plethora of food, on the whole, in the six weeks before Moffatt’s death. I refer the reader, and especially Murphy, to the 13 evidences provided below.
Conclusions.
The passage giddy from lack of food is a Murphy falsehood.
The passage a profound quietude…can’t seem to focus on it is a Murphy fabrication.

Assertion 2 of Murphy.
Grinnell and four other young men were led on a poorly planned and lackadaisically executed trip by Arthur Moffatt, an older and more experienced canoeist…Lack of food, proper equipment and most importantly, lack of a planned itinerary contributed to his (Moffatt’s) demise. > [p 5, left column, second paragraph]
Response 1.
I tracked down Murphy’s source for the passage poorly planned and lackadaisically executed to have been the passage …as a remote sub-arctic canoe expedition it was poorly planned and irresponsibly executed… [Luste, Grinnell book, p iii].
But I point out that Luste published also the passage
Art Moffatt, following Tyrrell’s notes, was not expecting the rapid in which he swamped and then died. [Grinnell book, p 284], which both Murphy and MacDonald ignored.
Conjecture. These actions of Murphy and MacDonald are responsible for every later failure to mention that passage.
Response 2.
I found no evidence (in Grinnell’s book or elsewhere in the literature) that supports any other part of Assertion 2.
Summary.
The evidence presented below leads me to conclude that all three parts of the assertion Lack of food, proper equipment and most importantly, lack of a planned itinerary contributed to Moffatt’s death are falsehoods.

Assertion 3 of Murphy.
It is not hard to see why at least some of them were lulled by the beauty of the tundra into a false sense of ease and security. [third paragraph, p 5]
I tracked down Murphy’s source for this item to have been the passage:
…during this early period–as they were to discover when they looked back on it at the journey’s end—the men were lulled into a sense of almost infinite security by the beauties of the country they travelled in. They stopped to take pictures and movies. They took side trips, studying the birds and animal life and searching for Indian artifacts. … Or Moffatt would record a bird count. [SI article (1959), top of p 74]
Conclusion. Given the words (and variants) lulled, beauty and security appear in both publications (indeed in that same order), Murphy had accessed also the SI article.
Aside. This passage is both the first accusatory item and the mildest such of the many provided in SI article. And so it appears that Murphy missed the boat here.

Assertion 4 of Murphy.
And now to the meat of the matter. Referring to Moffatt, Murphy provided the following.
Lack of food, proper equipment and most importantly, lack of a planned itinerary, contributed to his demise. As a canoeist, I enjoy cautionary tales and would recommend this one as an excellent example of how not to conduct a canoe trip.
Clarification. His editor explained later that by a planned itinerary Murphy meant a schedule.
Comment. Murphy provided no evidence in support of any of the three lackparts of his assertion, for the excellent reason that no such evidence exists in Grinnell’s book or elsewhere in the Moffatt literature.
Aside. Pessl compared Murphy’s an excellent example…a canoe trip to Thum’s arrogant remarks. [book, p 162]
Foretaste. The evidence presented below leads me to conclude that all three parts (food, equipment and schedule) of Assertion 3 are Murphy falsehoods.

The assertions of Andrew MacDonald.

In what was alleged to be a review of Grinnell’s book, he provided the following items, both of which refer only to the schedule.

Assertion 1 of 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.

Response. The only account known to have been used by MacDonald was Grinnell’s book (which BTW is not daily), but I found no support there for the passage anxiousness and impending climax…the daily accounts.
Summary. The evidence leads me to conclude that Assertion 1 of MacDonald is a fabrication.

Assertion 2 of MacDonald.
One of the implications of a quasi-religious resistance to a pragmatic plan of travel was the death of Arthur Moffatt.
Clarification. His editor explained later that by a pragmatic plan of travel, MacDonald meant a schedule. And so MacDonald and Murphy agree on this point.
Response. MacDonald provided no evidence in support of his assertion that lack of a schedule contributed to Moffatt’s death, for the excellent reason that no such evidence exists in Grinnell’s book or anywhere else in the Moffatt literature.
Summary. The evidence leads me to conclude that Assertion 2 of MacDonald is a falsehood.

The assertion of Murphy regarding the food supply.

Reminder. Murphy asserted that lack of food contributed to Moffatt’s death.
The food-related evidences of Grinnell’s book.

First, let me remind Murphy of the corresponding evidences provided in the book (Grinnell’s) alleged to have been reviewed by him. In the cause of brevity, I provide only items regarding the food supply in the six weeks before Moffatt’s death on 14 September.
Evidence 1. Caribou! … hundreds of caribou, then thousands more. … The hunters returned to lead me to their kill… We carried the butchered caribou back to camp and that evening gratefully ate forty-two steaks. [5 August. pp 97&98].
Evidence 2. Full bellies… [undated. p 113].
Evidence 3. Skip, Joe and Art picked blueberries… Art baked up a delicious blueberry “Johnny Cake” …caribou soup… dehydrated mashed potatoes …freshly butchered caribou steaks …full bellies [12 August. p 115].
Evidence 4. A second full bellies. [undated. p 116]
Evidence 5. …we took a holiday to kill our second caribou… [11 August. p 127].
Evidence 6. Dinner was a splendid affair: delicious trout Peter had caught, … , the best cuts of meat from the caribou Bruce had shot, savory mushrooms, … buckets of blueberries …. [after 20 August. p 135].
Evidence 7. 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. [undated. p 146].
Evidence 8. I picked up my .22 and went to shoot a ptarmigan I had spotted. [undated. p 147].
Evidence 9. Over the ensuing weeks… we killed our third, fourth and fifth caribous… [undated, but after 5 September. p 156].
Evidence 10. … 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].
Evidence 11. …we began to spend more and more time hunting, fishing and gathering berries.. [undated. p 158]
Evidence 12. As it grew dark at the end of the day, we saw an unfamiliar object ahead… It was a stack of cardboard boxes with cans of dehydrated vegetables inside… We…raided the dump…. [7 September. pp 180&181]
Confirmed by a source not used by Murphy. …24 one-pound tins of dried Beardmore vegetables—carrots, beans, spinach, cabbage and beets. The guys went crazy. [Sports Illustrated, lower left column, p 82]
Evidence 13. At the lunch stop on the day of Moffatt’s death, …Pete latched onto a 17 ½-pound orange-fleshed lake trout and wrestled with him for 20 minutes. [14 September. top of p 202].
Confirmed by LeFavour, who gives the weight as 20 lb. [The Evening Recorder, Amsterdam NY. Part 3 of 4, p 8; 29 December (1955)].

The food-related evidences of other participants.

Second, let me inform Murphy of four evidences known to no accuser.
Evidence 14. I was not feeling too well today, probably from eating too much caribou yesterday, … [22 August. Franck, in Pessl (2014), p 99].
Evidence 15. We … were so full we could hardly move. [28 August. Franck, in Pessl, p 108]
Evidence 16. …I had prepared such a huge breakfast that none of us could have moved much further than the tents anyway. I felt as if I would have crashed right through the bottom of the canoe and sunk like a stone if we would have been loading. [30 August. Pessl, p 110]
Evidence 17. As we sped through Wharton Lake… Up to that point we had shot five caribou and by doing so had saved enough meat to see us through. Now it was not even necessary to spend time hunting. [LeFavour. 13 September. The Evening Recorder, Amsterdam NY. Part 3 of 4, p 8; 29 December (1955)].

Summary.
The evidence of Grinnell’s book, the very subject of Murphy’s review, begs leave to differ with Murphy, for it documents (on the whole) a plethora of food from the land as well from provisions, in the crucial six weeks before Moffatt’s death. I say on the whole because at times the party would have liked to have had more to eat, at others it was gorged.

Conclusion.
Murphy’s assertion that lack of food…contributed to Moffatt’s death is a falsehood.
Reference. Appendix 6. Food.

The equipment.

I believe that George Luste, whom I knew reasonably well, would have been much angered had he known that his equipment recommendations for paddlers circa 1996 had been used by Murphy to defame Moffatt, who died 41 years earlier.

Conclusion.
Murphy’s assertion that lack of proper equipment…contributed to Moffatt’s death is a fabrication.
Reference. Appendix 3. Equipment.

The schedule.

Reminder.</strong Neither Murphy nor MacDonald provided any evidence in support of their assertions that lack of a schedule contributed to Moffatt’s death.

Introduction.
The term schedule could mean only a date for arrival in Baker Lake, or a day-by-day schedule, or something between those extremes (such as a waypoint to be reached by a certain date).
But the distinction is vitally important for an informed discussion
of the evidence of Grinnell’s book, and
of the assertions made by Murphy and MacDonald in their reviews of that book, and also
of Mahler’s later plodding pace.
And so I use the terms
arrival schedule for a date to arrive in Baker Lake (nothing more), and
prescriptive schedule for a plan that includes something in addition to an arrival date, be it ever so humble (say only a date for exiting Dubawnt Lake, not that the Moffatt party had such).
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 followed that tradition.

The schedule-related evidence provided in Grinnell’s article (1988).

No accuser is known to have noticed that material, but in fairness I report my assessment that it provides weak evidence that there was no schedule.
Reference. Appendix 7. Schedule.

The schedule-related evidence provided in Grinnell’s book (1996).

Background item 1.
The wind in particular forbids any barrenlands party to have a highly prescriptive schedule, the extreme case being a day-by-day one. Even the Tyrrell party of 1893 was forced to stay in camp on occasion.
Further, given the mission of the Moffatt party (to document the barrenlands), it had to pause on occasion, and so it could not have had a highly prescriptive schedule. Indeed, the Moffatt party had not even one waypoint to be reached by a specified date.
But it had what counts, namely a schedule for arrival in Baker Lake, as documented by eleven independent sources, especially Grinnell’s book.
It is then perhaps relevant that MacDonald had paddled in the barrenlands.
Reference. Appendix 7. Schedule.

Background item 2.
Even before setting out from the US, every member of the Moffatt party knew that arrival in Baker Lake was scheduled for 15 September, with a grace period of a week before the air search was begun. Indeed, The New York Times article evinces that the search began on or about 22 September. And surely the party’s progress was discussed during the trip, especially as the season advanced.
Nevertheless, Grinnell asserted repeatedly that arrival was scheduled for 2 September. An example: 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. [book, 58].
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 represented Moffatt’s schedule as the record of the Tyrrell party of 1893; I now believe such to be the case.
Question.
Why did Grinnell knowingly misrepresent evidence known to him regarding Moffatt’s schedule?
Opinion.
He did so in order to buttress 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].
Further, given that Grinnell knew both to be fabrications, it is perhaps no great reach to suggest that Grinnell and the SI editor had colluded to defame Moffatt with respect to the schedule of his party.

The evidence of Grinnell’s book.
Caution. I found no confirmation of some of the following items in the writings of the other participants. Given his redaction of exculpatory evidence from Lanouette’s journal for 14 September), I suggest that they not be accepted as truthful. Nevertheless, I must provide and comment on them, for they reflect on the truth of the Murphy-MacDonald assertions, in what were alleged to be reviews of Grinnell’s book, that lack of a schedule contributed to the Moffatt’s death.
Item 1.
Although we were far behind schedule right from the beginning… [Grinnell book, p 17].
Interpretation. There was a schedule more prescriptive than an arrival date right from the beginning of the trip.
But wait! What then is one to make of his We demanded a schedule. [Grinnell article, p 20, top right]? Do the evidences of Grinnell’s book and his article then not refute one another?
Item 2.
…I wanted a more definite schedule. [Grinnell book, p 55]
Interpretation. The existing schedule consisted only of an arrival date.
Item 3.
(a) …what are your thoughts about Art’s schedule? [LeFavour. Grinnell book, p 57].
(b) What schedule! [Lanouette. Same source].
Interpretations. LeFavour suggested that there existed a prescriptive schedule, but the party was not sticking to it; Lanouette was being sarcastic.
Item 4.
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]. Interpretation. There was only a date for arrival in Baker Lake, but Grinnell wanted something more prescriptive.
Item 5a.
…we bowmen…would go on strike if we were not given a schedule. [p 62].
Interpretation. Given that all party members (especially Grinnell) knew there to a schedule for arrival in Baker Lake, no prescriptive schedule.
Item 5b.
We bowmen were tired of being governed by the anarchy of wind and rain… [p 62].
Comment. The anarchy of wind is exactly what Moffatt meant by his remark …the wind did not blow on schedule…. Everyone (for example MacDonald) who has paddled in the barrens knows that fact and its consequence: When the wind is up, we stay in camp, as did the Tyrrell party.
Item 6.
The following is included only for completeness.
On Art’s previous Albany trips, things had been run on schedule. [p 68].
Comment. Grinnell provided no evidence in support of this assertion; if one accepts it, then Moffatt had used a prescriptive schedule previously.
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].
The question. What interpretation of this passage is possible but that the Moffatt party had a prescriptive schedule? The lesser matter is that it was about a month behind schedule.
Aside. If the reference is to the remark in Item 1 above [p 17; 18 July], 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 here?
The main point. a month behind schedule is well outside any constraint imposed by reality on a rational mind. Even with time lost due to Moffatt’s death and to the weather, the survivors reached Baker Lake on 24 September, 9 days later than scheduled and two days after the end of the grace period, and somewhat less than a month.
Item 9.
…in the early days of the trip, when it first became apparent that we were falling behind schedule… [p 163].
Interpretation. 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].
Get a grip, George! Only after Moffatt’s death on 14 September became it obvious that he had been misled by the advice of J B Tyrrell, which advice that had proved worthy of his trust for the previous eleven weeks.
Reference. Appendix 9. Fatal rapids.

Review of the evidence.
Item 1. A prescriptive schedule in Grinnell’s book, but refuted in his article.
Item 2. Likely only an arrival date.
Item 3. Weak evidence for a prescriptive schedule.
Items 4 and 5. An arrival date only.
Item 6. Irrelevant to the matter.
Item 7. An arrival date only.
Items 8 and 9. A prescriptive schedule.
Items 10 and 11. Irrelevant to the matter.

Summary.
The evidence of Grinnell’s book is (not surprisingly) confused and garbled (indeed contradictory) with respect to the existence of a prescriptive schedule.
But it is unequivocal that the Moffatt party had a schedule for arrival in Baker Lake.
And I suggest it not to be beside the point that ten independent sources agree.
Reference. Appendix 7. Schedule.

Conclusions regarding the assertions of Murphy and MacDonald.

It is a falsehood that a cause of Moffatt’s death was lack of food. [Murphy]
It is a falsehood that a cause was lack of proper equipment. [Murphy]
It is a falsehood that a cause was lack of a schedule. [Murphy and MacDonald]
Opinions.

Murphy set out to defame a dead man.
MacDonald set out to fabricate a case against a dead man.

The article/s of Charlie Mahler (2005).

Articles identical to the extent that both include the comment Che-Mun tracked down the first men to paddle the length of the Dubawnt after Moffatt’s group were published in Che-Mun and also at canoeing.com.
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.

Down a Dead Man’s River


In the following, I refer only to the Che-Mun article.
Contents include assertions made by Mahler and also those made by Thum and Bose (two of those first men). I know neither whether the latter assertions were made in person or in writing, nor whether Thum or Bose approved or commented on any of Mahler’s text.
Sources. Mahler identified his to have been the Sports Illustrated article (1959) and Grinnell’s book (1996). As best I recall, he is the only Moffatt accuser to have made such effort over the 55 years of the accusatory literature.

The assertions of Charlie Mahler.

Assertion 1 of Charlie Mahler.
Fifty years after Arthur Moffatt’s death on the Dubawnt River — a canoeing tragedy that still echoes in the minds of today’s barrenlands travelers — Che-Mun tracked down the first men to paddle the length of the Dubawnt after Moffatt’s group. In contrast to Moffatt, theirs is a story of preparation, competence, self-assurance, and success in the pioneering days of tundra-river paddling. [Che-Man, p 4, top of left column].

Response 1. Preparation.
Mahler provided no evidence in support of the assertion that the Moffatt party was poorly prepared, for the excellent reason that no such evidence exists.
The only party containing members of European descent previously to paddle any reach of the Dubawnt was that of the Tyrrell brothers in 1893. Moffatt had accessed both their books, he possessed the maps of J B Tyrrell, and he had corresponded with J B Tyrrell.
Assessment. Moffatt was as well prepared as he could have been.
Conclusion. A Mahler fabrication.

Response 2. Competence.
Mahler provided no evidence that the Moffatt party as a whole, or any member of it, lacked competence, for the excellent reason that no such evidence exists.
The evidence begs leave to differ.
In the eleven weeks prior to Moffatt’s death, his party had experienced but one swamp, not one pin and not one dump on a dangerous river. Indeed, the only dumps (two of them) of the entire trip occurred in the rapids where Moffatt died.
A question for Mahler.
Did it not require considerable competence for the Moffatt party to have done so?
Conclusion. A second Mahler fabrication.

Response 3. Self-assurance.
Thum was indeed self-assured, to the point of being arrogant [Pessl book, top of p 162].
Conclusion. A Mahler truth.

Response 4. Success.
Yes, given that Moffatt died, his party was not a success.
But Mahler failed to mention that the Thum party was successful largely because it knew from Moffatt’s death that the rapids just above Marjorie Lake are dangerous in the extreme. I ask both Mahler and the reader to consider what might well have happened had the Thum party depended solely on the information provided in J B Tyrrell’s book, which mentions those rapids not at all. For that matter, neither does J B Tyrrell’s map (possessed by Moffatt, likely not by Thum).
Conclusion. A conscious misrepresentation of evidence known to Mahler.
Reference. Ancillary 3. Tyrrell evidence and the fatal rapids.

Response 5. The pioneering days of tundra-river paddling.
Mahler commented that the Thum party, along with paddlers like Stewart Coffin, John Lentz and Eric Morse pioneered recreational canoeing in the far north and showed how tundra river paddling, though fraught with inherent perils, could be done safely and happily. [left column, paragraph 3, p 4]
Stewart Coffin.
https://www.dundurn.com/authors/Stewart-Coffin
https://www.amazon.com/Black-Spruce-Journals-Canoe-Tripping-Northern/dp/1933937408
http://www.ottertooth.com/che-mun/Outfits/Chemun131.pdf
http://www.alstirt.com/Canoeing/Pages/McPhadyenRiver.html
etc.
John Lentz.
https://www.wcsymposium.com/content/2013-luste-lecture-john-w-lentz

John Lentz, FE63: 1936-2015


http://www.ottertooth.com/che-mun/108/108-1.htm
etc.
Eric Morse.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_W._Morse
https://www.amazon.com/Trade-Canoe-Routes-Canada-Then/dp/B002H51FGO
https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/eric-morse
http://parkscanadahistory.com/publications/fur-trade-canoe-routes.pdf
etc.
Question.
Is it not a bit of a reach for Mahler to place the Thum party in the same class as the parties of Coffin, Lentz and Morse?
Previous barrenlands trips not mentioned by Mahler.
J Hornby (1908-1927). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Hornby
G Douglas (1911-1912). http://www.landsforlorn.org/about.html
E Oberholtzer and B Magee (1912). https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4198791-the-old-way-north
Some might consider all three, and no doubt others, to be more pioneering than Thum’s party of 1966.
In particular was the Moffatt expedition not more pioneering than Thum’s? In this connection, I point out to Mahler that Thum learned only from Moffatt’s death that the rapids immediately above Marjorie Lake are highly dangerous. Dare I ask Mahler to consider the possible result had Thum followed, as did Moffatt, J B Tyrrell’s advice regarding those rapids?
Conclusion. Fawning.
References.
Ancillary 3. Tyrrell evidence and the fatal rapids.
Ancillary 7. Moffatt’s Tyrrell sources.
J B Tyrrell’s map for the reach where Moffatt died. https://barrenlands.library.utoronto.ca/content/zone-6-1893
Appendix 8. Rapids in general.
Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.

Assertion 2 of Charlie Mahler.
If a 75-day, 1,150 mile wilderness canoe trip can be summarized with a single fact, consider this one: Paddling a river descended only twice in the previous 70 years, and one that took the life of the leader of its most recent passage, four young men, completing the most remote section of their trip, arrived at the Inuit community of Baker Lake on exactly the day they planned—August 6, 1966.
Bob Thum, his younger brother Carl, Tom Bose, and David Wilson did not die on the Dubawnt River. Their trip was smooth to the point of being punctual. The four college students, “Voyageurs Canadiens” as they dubbed themselves, paddled from Uranium City on Lake Athabaska to Chesterfield Inlet on Hudson Bay efficiently, safely and without re-supply…
[p 4, top of the left column]
Begin aside. Thum party’s designation of themselves as Voyageurs Canadiens.
The young, especially those from another country, are to be excused for calling themselves such, but the reality was not glamourous.
Despite the fame surrounding the voyageur, their life was one of toil and not nearly as glorious as folk tales make it out to be. For example, they had to be able to carry two 90-pound (41 kg) bundles of fur over a portage. Some carried up to four or five, and there is a report of a voyageur carrying seven for half of a mile. Hernias were common and frequently caused death. Most voyageurs would start working when they were twenty-two and they would continue working until they were in their sixties. They never made enough money to consider an early retirement from what was a physically grueling lifestyle. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voyageurs
An aside within an aside. I recall that a voyageur graveyard was located on a hill (on river left) beside the first rapids (Recollet Falls) downstream from the present Hwy 69 bridge; I regret that not once I did not stop to look for it.
End aside.
Response to the other content of Assertion 2.
Yes, the Thum party was successful, for all its members survived.
But I ask the reader to consider what could have happened had Thum paddled the Dubawnt with only J B Tyrrell’s book to guide him, for that book makes no mention of the rapids where Moffatt died.
It is then perhaps not unreasonable to suggest that Mahler overstated the matter.
Reference.
Ancillary 3. Tyrrell evidence and the fatal rapids

Assertion 3 of Charlie Mahler.
The contrasts between the Moffatt trip, as gleaned from the 1959 Sports Illustrated story and from the 1996 book “A Death on the Barrens” by Moffatt party member George Grinnell, and that of the Voyageurs Canadiens could hardly be more stark. While the Moffatt story unfolds as a tragedy just waiting to happen – indifferent leadership, an inexperienced party, short rations, bad chemistry, a plodding pace, and an apparent apathy toward the season closing on them, — the Voyageurs Canadiens trip plays out like the final stage of the methodical, multi-year build-up that it was. [middle of the right column, p 4]

Response 1. The contrasts.
Moffatt’s motivation for his Dubawnt trip. My purpose in going is to make a film in color, for lecture purposes—and I believe that with luck we shall have something unlike anything that has been done before. [letter to J B Tyrrell (14 December, 1954)]
Thum’s motivation for his Dubawnt trip. Moffatt is precisely why we took the trip…I thought experienced trippers could cover Tyrrell’s route safely and skillfully, which we did.
Summary. The sole purpose of the Thum trip was to show up a dead man, respect for the wilderness be danged.
Comment. Moffatt respected the land. He 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 not to experience it but rather with something to prove. [Grinnell article, p 20, left column; Grinnell book, pp 18-19]. In this respect alone, the contrasts between the Moffatt and Thum trips could hardly be more stark
Conclusion. Mahler got this one right, but not in the way that he intended, for he blundered into asserting a truth regarding the contrasts

Response 2. a tragedy just waiting to happen.
Mahler provided no evidence in support of his assertion that the Moffatt trip was a tragedy just waiting to happen for the excellent reason that none exists.
The evidence begs leave to differ with Mahler. The sole cause of Moffatt’s death was that the rapids advice of J B Tyrrell (which had proved so reliable that the party had previously experienced but one swamp, not one pin and not one dump) failed him in the afternoon of 14 September.
Conclusion. It is a fabrication that the Moffatt trip was a tragedy just waiting to happen.

Response 3. indifferent leadership.
Every paddler worthy of the name knows that leadership takes many forms, from the dictatorial, through consensus, to just let it happen.
Mahler provided no evidence in support of his assertion that Moffatt’s leadership was indifferent, for the excellent reason that none exists.
Conclusion. It is a fabrication that Moffatt’s leadership was indifferent.
Reference. Appendix 4. Experience and Leadership.

Response 4. an inexperienced party.
Mahler provided no evidence in support of his assertion that the Moffatt party was inexperienced, for the excellent reason that no such evidence exists.
First, some members of the party were reasonably well experienced even at the beginning of the trip.
More importantly, I point out to Charlie Mahler that only one swamp, not one pin and not one dump had occurred (on a dangerous river) in the 11 weeks prior to Moffatt’s death on 14 September. In fact, the only two dumps of the entire trip occurred in the rapids where Moffatt died. Surely it took considerable experience (likely some acquired on the trip) to obtain such a result.
Conclusion. It is a fabrication that the Moffatt party was inexperienced.
Reference. Appendix 4. Experience and Leadership.

Response 5. short rations.
Reminder. Mahler’s sole sources were the Sports Illustrated article (1959) and Grinnell’s book (1996), and so the evidence of those publications is essential for an assessment of Mahler’s assertion that short rations were a cause of Moffatt’s death

Response 5a. Food in the period before 5 August.
Moffatt had believed that the party could live entirely off the initial supply of provisions; as I document elsewhere, his personal experience was that such could be done even on such a long trip. But he had severely underestimated the appetites of his party.
Some food (especially fish) had been obtained from the land before 5 August, but it was insufficient.
Summary. In the period before 5 August (when the first caribou was shot) rations were indeed short on the whole.

Response 5b. Food in the period from 5 August to 14 September.
I see the need to remind Charlie Mahler of the 13 following evidences of his only two sources, namely the Sports Illustrated article (1959) and Grinnell’s book (1996).
Evidence 1. Caribou! … hundreds of caribou, then thousands more. … The hunters returned to lead me to their kill… We carried the butchered caribou back to camp and that evening gratefully ate forty-two steaks. [5 August. pp 97&98].
Evidence 2. Full bellies… [undated. p 113].
Evidence 3. Skip, Joe and Art picked blueberries… Art baked up a delicious blueberry “Johnny Cake” …caribou soup… dehydrated mashed potatoes …freshly butchered caribou steaks …full bellies [12 August. p 115].
Evidence 4. A second full bellies. [undated. p 116]
Evidence 5. …we took a holiday to kill our second caribou… [11 August. p 127].
Evidence 6. Dinner was a splendid affair: delicious trout Peter had caught, … , the best cuts of meat from the caribou Bruce had shot, savory mushrooms, … buckets of blueberries …. [after 20 August. p 135].
Evidence 7. 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. [undated. p 146].
Evidence 8. I picked up my .22 and went to shoot a ptarmigan I had spotted. [undated. p 147].
Evidence 9. Over the ensuing weeks… we killed our third, fourth and fifth caribous… [undated, but after 5 September. p 156].
Evidence 10. … 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].
Evidence 11. …we began to spend more and more time hunting, fishing and gathering berries.. [undated. p 158]
Evidence 12. As it grew dark at the end of the day, we saw an unfamiliar object ahead. It was a stack of cardboard boxes with cans of dehydrated vegetables inside. … We…raided the dump. … We found some gasoline left in the big blue drum, so we topped up our five gallon tank… [Grinnell book (1996), 7 September, pp 180 & 181].
Confirmation. …24 one-pound tins of dried Beardmore vegetables—carrots, beans, spinach, cabbage and beets. The guys went crazy. [Moffatt’s journal, as reported in Sports Illustrated, lower left column on p 82]
Evidence 13. At the lunch stop on the day of Moffatt’s death, …Pete latched onto a 17 ½-pound orange-fleshed lake trout and wrestled with him for 20 minutes. [14 September. top of p 202].
Confirmation. LeFavour gives the weight as 20 lb. [The Evening Recorder, Amsterdam NY. Part 3 of 4, p 8; 29 December (1955)].

Evidences of other participants.
And let me inform Mahler of four evidences known to no accuser.
Evidence 14. I was not feeling too well today, probably from eating too much caribou yesterday, … [22 August. Franck, in Pessl (2014), p 99].
Evidence 15. We … were so full we could hardly move. [28 August. Franck, in Pessl, p 108]
Evidence 16. …I had prepared such a huge breakfast that none of us could have moved much further than the tents anyway. I felt as if I would have crashed right through the bottom of the canoe and sunk like a stone if we would have been loading. [30 August. Pessl, p 110]
Evidence 17. As we sped through Wharton Lake… Up to that point we had shot five caribou and by doing so had saved enough meat to see us through. Now it was not even necessary to spend time hunting. [LeFavour. 13 September. The Evening Recorder, Amsterdam NY. Part 3 of 4, p 8; 29 December (1955)].

Conclusion.
It is a falsehood that short rations contributed to Moffatt’s death.
Reference. Appendix 6. Food.

Response 6. bad chemistry.
Mahler provided no evidence in support of his assertion that bad chemistry played a role in Moffatt’s death, for the excellent reason that no such evidence exists.
Yes, there were disputes on the Moffatt trip. But I expect that most paddlers have experienced such, especially on tough trips. And so it is perhaps reasonable to question whether Mahler had ever taken a tough trip, perhaps a trip of any kind.
But surely the question is how did bad chemistry cause Moffatt to trust J B Tyrrell’s erroneous advice regarding the rapids where he died?
Conclusion. Another Mahler fabrication.

Response 7. a plodding pace.
Mahler provided no evidence in support of his assertion that a plodding pace played a role in Moffatt’s death, for the excellent reason that no such evidence exists.
The early pace of the Moffatt party was certainly slow,
because of the difficulty of upstream travel on the Chipman River, and
because time had been spent in accomplishing the very mission of the party, namely to document the barrenlands by film, photos and journal/s.
On 3 August, however, the party decided unanimously to hurry up, and the pace was not plodding thereafter; on the other hand, neither was it recklessly hurried, especially on 14 September.
But Mahler failed to mention that decision, which was documented in Grinnell’s book (pp 90&91), Mahler’s primary source. I refer the reader also to pages 65&66 of Pessl’s book.
Conclusion. Another Mahler fabrication.

Response 8. an apparent apathy toward the season closing on them.
Mahler provided no evidence in support of his assertion that the Moffatt party was apathetic to the onset of winter, for the excellent reason that no such evidence exists.
Moffatt possessed the books of both Tyrrell brothers and the journal of J B Tyrrell, and he had corresponded with J B Tyrrell, and so he was fully aware that winter was on the way. BTW, he knew also that the Tyrrell party had reached Chesterfield Inlet (well downstream from Baker Lake, the terminus of his trip) in the evening of 6 September), and that it had reached the mouth of the Churchill River by paddling down the coast.
The weather experienced by the Moffatt party was indeed uncomfortably cold in September, but freeze-up would not have occurred until well into October.
Conclusion. Another Mahler fabrication.

Conclusions regarding Assertion 3 of Charlie Mahler.
In each of the eight matters comprising the assertion, namely
the contrasts between the Moffatt trip and Thum’s,
a tragedy just waiting to happen,
indifferent leadership,
an inexperienced party,
short rations
bad chemistry
a plodding pace, and
an apparent apathy toward the season closing on them,
Mahler falsely and knowingly misrepresented the cause of Moffatt’s death.
References.
Ancillary 3. Tyrrell evidence and the fatal rapids.
Ancillary 7. Moffatt’s Tyrrell sources.
Appendix 4. Experience and Leadership.
Appendix 5. Pace and weather.
Appendix 6. Food.
Appendix 8. Rapids in general.
Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.
J B Tyrrell’s map for the reach where Moffatt died. https://barrenlands.library.utoronto.ca/content/zone-6-1893

Summary.
Mahler knowingly made false statements knowingly made of a dead man and fawning ones made of a live man; to put the latter another way, Mahler is lickspittle to Thum.
Given that all parts of all three of his assertions are falsified by the evidence (especially that provided in Grinnell’s book, his primary source), it follows that nothing written by Mahler can be trusted.

Conclusion.
Mahler set out to defame a dead man.

The assertions of Bob Thum.

Assertion 1.

Moffatt is precisely why we took the trip… I thought experienced trippers could cover Tyrrell’s route safely and skillfully, which we did.
Those guys had no business being up there… They were a bunch of guys who didn’t know what they were doing and led by a guy with poor leadership skills. They fooled around and did a lot of crap and it finally came back to bite them. This was simply a group of novices led by someone more interested in film than travel, which squandered its time and resources and then made some tragic mistakes.
[Che-Mun, p 4, lower part of the middle column and top of the right column].
Aside. A Pessl comment regarding this passage: arrogant remarks. [book, p 162]

Condensation of the above.
Item 1. Moffatt is precisely why we took the trip.
Item 2. The Moffatt party was inexperienced,
and it was was a group of novices whose members
didn’t know what they were doing
had fooled around and did a lot of crap and
had no business being up there.
Item 3. Moffatt’s leadership was poor.
Item 4. Moffatt was more interested in film than travel.
Item 5. His party had squandered its time and resources.
Item 6. His party had made tragic mistakes.
Item 7. The Thum party had covered Moffatt’s route safely and skillfully.

Summary of my conclusions.
None of Items 1 through 6 is encumbered by truth.
With respect to Item 7, it is true that the Thum party had covered Moffatt’s route safely and skillfully. But I document below the only skill required of Thum and his companions regarding the rapids where Moffatt died was the ability to read at an early primary-school level.

Item 1. The purpose of the Thum trip.
Reminder of the assertion.</strong
Moffatt is precisely why we took the trip.
Response. Such grace, such courage, such fine spirit, such respect for the land,
to take a trip precisely to upstage a dead man.

Item 2. Experience.
Reminder of the assertions.
The Moffatt party was inexperienced,
its members had no business being up there,
its members didn’t know what they were doing,
its members fooled around and did a lot of crap, and
it was was a group of novices.
The evidence.
Moffatt had paddled the Albany River six times, once solo. And he had paddled the Allagash, Androscoggin and Penobscot Rivers in Maine. I submit that none of these is suitable for a novice.
Neither were Pessl and Franck were novices, for both had participated in those Albany trips. And Pessl had paddled much elsewhere.
At the beginning of the trip, only the bowpersons Grinnell, Lanouette and LeFavour were novices, or inexperienced, or close to the same.
A request of Mr Thum.
Please explain how a a group of novices had paddled a dangerous river for 11 weeks and had experienced one swamp, not one pin and not one dump prior to Moffatt’s death, indeed that the only two dumps of the trip occurred that day.
Conclusions.
It is a fabrication that the Moffatt party was a group of novices at the beginning of the trip.
It is a falsehood that the party was a group of novices on the day that Moffatt died.
Reference. Appendix 4. Experience and Leadership.

Item 3. Leadership.
Reminder of the assertion. Moffatt’s leadership was poor.
Response. Thum provided no evidence in support of the assertion, for the excellent reason that none exists.
Conclusion. It is a fabrication that Moffatt’s leadership was poor.
Reference.
Appendix 4. Experience and Leadership.

Item 4. Film and travel.
Reminder of the assertion. Moffatt was more interested in film than travel.
Response.
Thum failed to understand that Moffatt’s mission was to document the barrenlands by film, photos and journal/s; the consequence is that its pace had to be moderate.
On the other hand, Thum’s mission was to prove himself a hero in his mind and those of others by retracing Moffatt’s route as rapidly as possible, respect for the land be danged.
Conclusion. It is a fabrication that Moffatt was more interested in film than travel.

Item 5. Time and resources.
Reminder of the assertion. The Moffatt party had squandered its time and resources.
Time.
Thum provided no evidence that the Moffatt party had squandered its time, for the excellent reason that no such evidence exists.
Until Moffatt’s death, his party was perhaps on track to reach its destination (Baker Lake) within the grace period arranged with the RCMP detachment there. Indeed, despite the events of 14 September and those that followed, it arrived on 22 September, two days after the end of that period.
Resources.
Thum declined to be specific regarding which resources the Moffatt party had squandered, but what could he have meant but the supply of food?
The evidence regarding food from provisions.
1. …24 one-pound tins of dried Beardmore vegetables—carrots, beans, spinach, cabbage and beets. The guys went crazy. [Sports Illustrated , lower left column on p 82; alleged to be an excerpt from Moffatt’s journal]
2. As it grew dark at the end of the day, we saw an unfamiliar object ahead. It was a stack of cardboard boxes with cans of dehydrated vegetables inside. … We…raided the dump. … We found some gasoline left in the big blue drum, so we topped up our five gallon tank… [Grinnell book, pp 180 & 181. 7 September].
The evidence regarding food from the land, not a resource, but certainly an important item.
In his book, certainly possessed by Mahler (as evinced by his Assertion 3) and likely also by Thum, Grinnell documents that, in the crucial six weeks before Moffatt’s death, many fish (lake trout, grayling and arctic char) were caught, many ptarmigan were obtained by various means, and blueberries and mushrooms were harvested (the latter two only early in the period).
Rather than repeat material provided above, I refer the reader to the 13 Grinnell evidences provided above, and also to the four evidences of Franck, Pessl and LeFavour, known to no Moffatt accuser.
Conclusion 1.
It is a falsehood that the Moffatt party had squandered its time.
Reference. Appendix 7. Schedule.
Conclusion 2.
It is a falsehood that the Moffatt party had squandered its resources.
Reference.
Appendix 6. Food.

Item 6. Tragic mistakes.
Reminder of the assertion. The Moffatt party had made some tragic mistakes.
Evidence 1.
Thum knew that Moffatt had died in rapids in the reach between the end of portage (completed by his party in the morning of 14 September) and Marjorie Lake.
Evidence 2.
Thum possessed a copy of J B Tyrrell’s book, which makes no mention of rapids in that reach.
Evidence 3.
Thum knew also that JBT’s book was possessed by Moffatt, and also that it was a major source for Moffatt, especially regarding rapids.
Summary.
Thum knew full well that the cause of Moffatt’s death was faulty advice from J B Tyrrell.
Nevertheless, Thum expects us believe that it was a mistake on Moffatt’s part to continue to trust JBT’s advice, advice that had proved so reliable that over the previous 11 weeks of the trip that the party had experienced but one swamp, not one pin and not one dump.
Conclusion. It is a Thum falsehood that Moffatt made a mistake in the afternoon of 14 September.
References.
Ancillary 3. Tyrrell evidence and the fatal rapids.
That presented at the beginning of Main text.
Appendix 8. Rapids in general.
Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.

Item 7. Safely and skillfully.
Reminder of the assertion. The Thum party had covered Moffatt’s route safely and skillfully.
Comment. Given that all members of the Thum party survived, the safely part of the assertion is true as stated. And so I turn my attention to the skillfully part.
Question 1. What did the Thum party when it arrived at the head of the rapids where Moffatt died, those immediately above Marjorie Lake?
Answer. Thum didn’t say.
Opinion. Had Thum run them successfully, I expect that he would have gloated about the accomplishment.
Conclusion. The Thum party portaged the rapids where Moffatt died.
Question 2. Why did the Thum party portage those rapids?
Reminder. J B Tyrrell’s book, one of two Thum’s sources, makes no mention of rapids in the reach between the end of the portage and Marjorie Lake.
Answer. Thum knew from Moffatt’s death, and only from Moffatt’s death, that those rapids are hazardous in the extreme. Had Thum paddled the Dubawnt with only J B Tyrrell’s book (possessed by him) as a guide, his trip too could easily have ended in tragedy; I say this because JBT’s book mentions no rapids in that reach.
Summary.
The only skill required of Thum regarding the rapids where Moffatt died was the ability to read at an early primary-school level.
Conclusion.
It is a conscious misrepresentation of known evidence that the Thum party had covered Moffatt’s route safely and skillfully.
Reference 1. https://www.scholastic.com/parents/books-and-reading/reading-resources/language-and-literacy-milestones/reading-to-learn-upper-elementary-reading-skills.html
Reference 2. Ancillary 3. Tyrrell evidence and the fatal rapids.

Summary.
Assertion 1 is replete with falsehoods, fabrications and conscious misrepresentations of known evidence.

Assertion 2 of Thum.

That was kind of our approach to the trip—to get a lot of miles under the belt, get a lot of experience—and prepare ourselves accordingly… We wanted to avoid the situation that Moffatt got himself in where he had some experience, but not much. And he went with a bunch of guys that had very little experience. I think he’d gone down the Albany maybe two or three times. That’s a nice river, but not a terribly difficult trip. [p 4, lower right column]
Response 1.
…Art Moffatt was already an accomplished adventurer when other boys were still tying their first Boy Scout knots. At 17, he embarked on a major expedition, 700 miles down the Albany River from Sioux Lookout in western Ontario to the lower part of Hudson Bay. Incredibly, he made the trip alone. …
From 1950 to 1954, he led yearly trips down the Albany, studying the region’s geology and wild life as he went.
[Sports Illustrated, p 71, left column].
Response 2.
As well, Moffatt had paddled the Allagash, Androscoggin and Penobscot Rivers in Maine. [Reference to be provided]. Surely Moffatt must have known what he was doing, first to have made such demanding trips, second to have come through them unscathed.
Conclusion. It is a fabrication that Moffatt…had some experience, but not much.
Response 3.
Pessl had made two Albany trips with Moffatt. With others, he had paddled the following: the Manistee River in northwestern Michigan, …the Michipicoten River–Whitefish Lake drainage in the Algoma country of northern Ontario, the Manuan-Vermillion Rivers, and the Chibougamau-Mistassini Lakes region of southern Quebec. [Pessl, p XIV] Aside. I was unable to locate the Manuan River at either Toporama or mytopo, but I note that the latter gives Manuan Lake and Lac Manouane.
Franck had tripped with Moffatt on the Albany. Grinnell had paddled but not tripped. Lanouette and LeFavour were young outdoorsmen but with no canoeing experience. [Pessl, p XIV].
Conclusion A cowardly fabrication on Thum’s party, likely to puff himself up by running down a dead man.
Reference. Appendix 4. Experience and Leadership.

Assertion 3 of Thum.

We didn’t take a lot of chances… When we got on the Dubawnt trip, we took even fewer chances. … There’s lots of opportunities to screw up there, and when you screw up like Moffatt did, when the water’s that cold, that can be the end of you. [p 5, middle column]
Response 1. Did a member of Thum’s party not screw up on the Churchill River, by making the classic mistake documented above? [middle column, p5].
Response 2. The cause of Moffatt’s death was not a screw up on his part. It was rather faulty rapids advice from J B Tyrrell, advice that had proved worthy of his trust, for the Moffatt party had experienced but one swamp, not one pin and not one dump before the afternoon of 14 September.
Conclusion.
It is a falsehood that Moffatt had taken chances and so had screwed up.
References.
That presented at the beginning of Main text, and also in the following.
Appendix 8. Rapids in general.
Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.

Assertion 4 of Thum.

There was nobody you could rely on… I had two things I could look to on the Dubawnt. One was Moffatt, and you couldn’t really get anything out of that, and the other was Tyrrell. I got a copy of his 1893 report and you could actually get a great deal of assistance out of his writing. And that was it. [p 5, top of right column]

Response regarding Tyrrell.
Aside. By Tyrrell’s 1893 report, Thum means J B Tyrrell’s book, not J W Tyrrell’s.
I note that Moffatt, as well as Thum, had obtained a great deal of assistance from that book.
Being a lawyer, however, Thum must have learned to read very carefully indeed. And so it beggars belief that he failed to notice that JBT’s book makes no mention of the rapids where Moffatt died. Rather, Thum asserted that Moffatt had screwed up.
Assessment. A conscious misrepresentation of exculpatory evidence.
References.

Thum, Robert


Ancillary 3. Tyrrell evidence and the fatal rapids.

Response regarding Moffatt.
The only relevant Moffatt evidence extant in 1966 (the year of the Thum trip) was that provided in the Sports Illustrated article of 1959. The main text of that article indeed provides little information on the Dubawnt River, especially regarding its rapids. But the excerpt (a faithfully edited one) from Lanouette’s journal documents that Moffatt died in rapids just upstream from Marjorie Lake.
Q1. What did Thum do when he came to the rapids where Moffatt died? He didn’t say. If he had run them successfully, I expect that he would have crowed to the heavens about the feat.
A1. The Thum party portaged them.
Q2. Why did it party portage them? After all, J B Tyrrell’s book makes no mention of them, as the Moffatt party so sadly learned.
A2. From the SI article (only), Thum knew those to be highly dangerous only because Moffatt had died in them. To put the matter another way, had Thum paddled the Dubawnt with only Tyrrell’s book to guide him, he too might have easily died in those rapids.
Question. Other things being equal, did not Moffatt’s death save Thum’s life?
Conclusion. It is a falsehood that Thum got nothing from his Moffatt source, namely the SI article.
References regarding the rapids where Moffatt died.
That presented at the beginning of Main text, and also in the following:
Appendix 8. Rapids in general. Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.

Assertion 5 of Thum.

In preparing for his 1966 retracing of Moffatt’s 1955 trip, Thum approached some members of the Moffatt party. Graciously as always, he expressed the following opinion of them.
I didn’t view them as being any kind of a model for a tripper. Because of the historical perspective, I wanted to talk to them. Moffatt was gone. I found several of them. I tried to get a perspective of what they had done. [p 10, top of the left column]
Q. This is humility? [p 10, right column, fourth last paragraph]
Thum did not identify which members of the Moffatt party he had approached. By means documented below, I was able to determine that Thum had been in contact with Lanouette and Pessl; I possess no evidence regarding contact with the other survivors (Franck, Grinnell and LeFavour).

Thum and the evidence of Lanouette.
Contact 1. Speaking of himself, Thum provided the following. I … had read Joe Lanouette’s complete diary at his DC home in the spring of 1966… [Johnston, Brian (editor). On Top of a Boulder. Notes from Tyrrell’s Cairn., Johnston Pursuits (2014); p 21]
Contact 2. Lanouette recalls meeting with Thum in person, but not details of the conversation. [private correspondence, January 2018]
I note that Lanouette’s complete journal (his diary, kindly supplied by him) for 14 September is provided in Ancillary 2. Lanouette excerpt. What I assess to be a faithful condensation of the entry for that day is provided on pages 85-87 of the Sports Illustrated article (1959).
As remarked earlier, Lanouette’s complete journal (his diary) for the trip is now available at http://www.myccr.com/phpbbforum/viewtopic.php?f=181&t=46535 et seq.
My to-do list contains a note to go over the journal thoroughly in order to assess various assertions (including Thum’s) in the light of the evidence provided there, and also to post his journal here.

Thum and the evidence of Pessl.
Thum’s letter of 3 October 1965 to Pessl contains 34 question marks in its two single-spaced pages (~70 lines).
Pessl’s response of 26 November 1965 spreads over three and a half single-spaced pages.
Because of their length, I provide both items in Sub-Appendix 2. The Thum – Pessl correspondence.
Conclusions.
It is a falsehood that Thum obtained only a a historical perspective from Pessl.
I am unable to assess what Thum obtained from Lanouette.
Aside. Sub-Appendix 3 provides my personal opinion of Thum.

The assertion of Tom Bose.

We did not take chances. We shot plenty of rapids, but they were rapids we should have been shooting. That was Moffatt’s lesson. [p 10, bottom of the middle column and top of the right column]
Response. One might have expected a former Rhodes Scholar [p 10, bottom of the left column] to examine the evidence before making such an assertion of a dead man, but this one was undeserving of the honour.

Miscellany.
I expect that James Murphy would not approve of the Thum party’s decision not to use spray covers. [Bose, bottom of middle column, p 10]
Reference. Appendix 3. Equipment.
Thum does not accept that some of us paddle for reasons other than to prove themselves to themselves and others, that some of us actually respect the land.
Moffatt’s goal was to document the barrenlands. Ego had no place in his mind. I respect Moffatt.
Reference. Main text.

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

Conclusions.
I trust nothing written by Thum.
Thum set out to defame a dead man.

The missions of the three Dubawnt parties.
Tyrrell (1893). To explore and document lands never before seen by those of European descent.
Moffatt (1955). To document the barrenlands, by film, photos and journal/s.
Thum (1966). To show up a dead man.

Kingsley’s publications

regarding the Moffatt trip consist of two articles and a book.
Article 1. In a most dreadful sort of paradise. Up Here. May 2012.
http://www.jenniferkingsley.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/looking-back-May-2012-Moffatt-pdf-.pdf
Moffatt material is provided on pages 88, 90 & 91.
Article 2. Back and Beyond. Lake. Issue 6 (2013).
http://www.jenniferkingsley.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Lake_Back-and-Beyond_2011pdf.pdf
Most of the article describes the author’s Bailey-Back trip of 2005; a part is devoted to an incident involving the loss of a canoe by a Widjiwagan party that year. Moffatt material is provided on pages 12-14.
Book.
Paddle North. Adventure, Resilience and Renewal in the Arctic Wild. Greystone Books, Vancouver/Berkeley (2014).
Both Endnotes and a Bibliography are provided. Moffatt material is provided on pages 185-189 & 220
Aside.
Some material appears in more than one Kingsley publication.
Kingsley’s sources.
As did nearly every other accuser, Kingsley cited no source. Inspection of Kingsley’s publications and of the previous literature reveals them to have been the following (ordered by importance).
1. Grinnell’s book (1996). Kingsley’s primary source, by a considerable margin.
2. The Sports Illustrated article (1959), this in part from the running scared quote that appears in SI article [entry for 10 September, middle of the right column, p 82] and also in Kingsley’s Up Here article [toward the top of p 91].
3. Grinnell’s Canoe article, this from Kingsley’s assertions regarding holidays.
4. Kesselheim’s Canoe&Kayakarticle (2012), this from the following.
(a) ”People revealed themselves as imperfect,” Pessl says. ”We all did.” [Canoe&Kayak, top left of p 52].
(b) People revealed themselves as imperfect. We all did. [Kingsley book, top of p 220]
But Kingsley made no other use of this item.

Kingsley assertion 1. Group dynamics.
The text of the assertion. Group dynamics became increasingly strained, and the men grew suspicious of each other. [Lake, p 13]
Aside. Perhaps the reader has been on a trip where group dynamics became…strained at one time or another. But Kingsley provided no evidence that they became increasingly so.
Kingsley’s sources for the assertion.
My inspection of the literature suggests that Kingsley’s sources were
1. Grinnell’s assertion that Moffatt controlled the food in order to control the men, and
2. Grinnell’s comments regarding the supply of sugar, the supply of powdered milk, and Moffatt’s larger bowl/dishes.
I refer the reader to the four paragraphs provided above.
Conclusion.
Given that all four items were resolved by 22 August, group dynamics played no role in Moffatt’s death on 14 September.
A request. And so I ask that the reader reflect on Kingsley’s motivation in publishing such material.

Kingsley assertion 2. Running scared.
On September 10, he [Moffatt] wrote “We’re all running scared.”. [Up Here, middle of p 91].
My inspection of the literature revealed Kingsley’s source to have been the Sports Illustrated article (1959). In turn, the SI source for the phrase running scared was Moffatt’s journal entry for 10 September. Aside. I must repeat that the same entry contains also the phrase can’t risk an upset now, which was redacted by the SI editor.
Opinion. Picking of the little red fruit by Kingsley.
A request. I ask that the reader reflect on Kingsley’s motivation in publishing such material.

Kingsley assertion 3. Land of plenty…plenty wrong.
The text of the assertion.
When Arthur Moffatt set off for the Barrenlands, he envisioned a land of plenty. He was plenty wrong. [Up Here heading, left column on p 88].
I point out that Kingsley provided neither source nor evidence for this remarkable insight (by the way a nice turn of phrase) into the workings of Moffatt’s mind.

Moffatt’s planning.
An excerpt from his letter of 14 January 1955 to J B Tyrrell.
I believe that by restricting our diet to oatmeal, hardtack, bully beef, dried potatoes and macaroni, we ought to be able to feed four men well enough for the three months we expect to be on the barrens. I’ve eaten worse food longer and survived.
Reference. Ancillary 7. The Moffatt-Tyrrell correspondence.
Summary.
Moffatt had believed that the party live entirely off the initial supply of provisions; that is, he had believed that no food from the land would be required. But the assumption was very wrong, for the appetites of the party well exceeded his expectations.
Conclusion.
It is a Kingsley fabrication that Moffatt had envisioned a land of plenty.

The supply of food in the period before 5 August.
His experience in outfitting trips had led Moffatt to believe that the initial supply of provisions would suffice for the duration of the trip. For reasons that are unclear, he had severely underestimated appetites. Some food from the land was obtained in that period, but it was insufficient. Given no assurance that a significant amount of food from the land would be obtained later, rations had to be conserved. But all changed when the first caribou was shot on 5 August.
References. Appendix 6. Food.
1. My sources regarding the food supply.
2. Sub-Appendix 1. Preparations.
3. Sub-Appendix 2. Fat and other food with high caloric content.
4. Sub-Appendix 3. Food in the period from the start to 5 August.

The supply of food in the period from 5 August to 14 September.
On the whole, food was bountiful in the six weeks before Moffatt’s death. Five caribou were shot, many ptarmigan were obtained by various means, three species of fish (lake trout, grayling and arctic char) were caught, and blueberries and mushrooms were harvested (these two only earlier).
As well, a major resupply of provisions was obtained on 7 September.
5. Introduction to the evidence of the participants regarding the food supply in the period from 5 August to 14 September.
6. Sub-Appendix 4a. The evidence of Moffatt.
7. Sub-Appendix 4b. The evidence of Grinnell.
8. Sub-Appendix 4c. The evidences of Franck, Lanouette, LeFavour and Pessl.

The supply of food in the six weeks before Moffatt’s death, as documented in Kingsley’s primary sources, Grinnell’s book and theSI article.
Evidence 1. Caribou! … hundreds of caribou, then thousands more. … The hunters returned to lead me to their kill… We carried the butchered caribou back to camp and that evening gratefully ate forty-two steaks. [5 August. Grinnell book, pp 97&98].
Evidence 2. Full bellies… [several days after 5 August. Grinnell book, p 113].
Evidence 3. …Skip, Joe and Art picked blueberries… Art baked up a delicious blueberry “Johnny Cake” …caribou soup… dehydrated mashed potatoes …freshly butchered caribou steaks …full bellies [12 August. Grinnell book, p 115].
Evidence 4. A second full bellies. [“12 August”, Grinnell book, p 116]
Evidence 5. …we took a holiday to kill our second caribou… [11 August, Grinnell book, p 127].
Evidence 6. Dinner was a splendid affair: delicious trout Peter had caught, … , the best cuts of meat from the caribou Bruce had shot, savory mushrooms, … buckets of blueberries … . [after 20 August, Grinnell book, p 135].
Evidence 7. 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. [Grinnell book, p 146].
Evidence 8. I picked up my .22 and went to shoot a ptarmigan I had spotted. [Grinnell book, p 147].
Evidence 9. Over the ensuing weeks… we killed our third, fourth and fifth caribous… [Grinnell book, p 156].
Evidence 10. … I went to hunt ptarmigan. I killed five with my .22 before running out of ammunition, then killed two more with my hunting knife. [28 August, Grinnell book, pp 156 & 157].
Evidence 11. …we began to spend more and more time hunting, fishing and gathering berries.. [Grinnell book, p 158]
Evidence 12a. As it grew dark at the end of the day, we saw an unfamiliar object ahead… It was a stack of cardboard boxes with cans of dehydrated vegetables inside… We…raided the dump…. [7 September, Grinnell book, pp 180&181]
Evidence 12b. …24 one-pound tins of dried Beardmore vegetables—carrots, beans, spinach, cabbage and beets. The guys went crazy. [Moffatt’s journal, as reported in Sports Illustrated, lower left column on p 82]
Evidence 13. At the lunch stop on the day of Moffatt’s death, …Pete latched onto a 17 ½-pound orange-fleshed lake trout and wrestled with him for 20 minutes. [14 September, Grinnell book, top of p 202]
Aside. Confirmed by LeFavour, who gives the weight as 20 lb. [The Evening Recorder, Amsterdam NY. Part 3 of 4, p 8; 29 December (1955)].
Summary. Unfortunately for the reputation of a dead man, Kingsley mentioned none of these 13 items, all of which were provided in her/his sources (the SI article and Grinnell’s book). Especially egregious is Kingsley’s failure to mention the shooting of even one caribou.
In short, had Moffatt indeed envisioned a land of plenty, he would have been plenty right, rather than plenty wrong.
Conclusion. Kingsley who done the envisioning, this into the contents of Moffatt’s mind.

Aside. Four evidences known to no accuser, here Kingsley.
Evidence 14. I was not feeling too well today, probably from eating too much caribou yesterday, … [22 August; Franck, in Pessl, p 99].
Evidence 15. We … were so full we could hardly move. [28 August; Franck, in Pessl, p 108]
Evidence 16. …I had prepared such a huge breakfast that none of us could have moved much further than the tents anyway. I felt as if I would have crashed right through the bottom of the canoe and sunk like a stone if we would have been loading. [30 August; Pessl, p 110]
Evidence 17. Up to that point (13 September) we had shot five caribou and by doing so had saved enough meat to see us through. Now it was not even necessary to spend time hunting. [The Evening Recorder, Amsterdam NY. Part 3 of 4, page 8, 29 December (1955)].

Conclusions.
The assertion that Moffatt had envisioned a land of plenty is a fabrication.
The implicit assertion that the land had not been one of plenty is a falsehood.

Kingsley assertion 4. grew hungry…every meal.
Variant 1.
After the first two weeks, the crew grew hungry before, during and after every meal. [Up Here, upper right column on p 90].
Variant 2.
As the summer wore on, the men grew hungry before, during and after every meal. Hunting kept the party fed through August as supplies ran down. [Lake, p 13]
Comments.
The contents differ, but I assume that the second is a clarification/expansion of the first, and so I deal only with it.
Aside. How could the men be hungry after every meal when hunting kept the party fed? Assumption. Poor phrasing.
Admission. I am unable to reconcile the two Kingsley assertions
hunting kept the party fed through August as supplies ran down. [Lake, p 13], and
the caribou were long gone [Up Here, lower right column on p 90; Paddle North, middle of p 188]
Kingsley’s sources
were not identified and so I provide the following.
The source for the passage As the summer…every meal: As the days passed into weeks, we burned off the fatty lining from our oesophagi so that we felt hungry before, after, and during meals. The hunger began to express itself with a friendly rivalry to be first in line… was Grinnell’s book, p 23.
The source for the passage Hunting…through August was the following:
Over the ensuing weeks… we killed our third, fourth and fifth caribous… [Grinnell book, p 156]. Aside. The last was shot on 5 September.

Response regarding food from supplies.
Yes, supplies run down as they are consumed.
But in none of Kingsley’s three publications (Lake, Up Here and Paddle North), will the reader find that mention that a major resupply of provisions was acquired from the cache on 7 September. Such evidence is documented in both of Kingsley’s primary sources, the Sports Illustrated article and Grinnell’s book, as follows.
1. …24 one-pound tins of dried Beardmore vegetables—carrots, beans, spinach, cabbage and beets. The guys went crazy…We took the stuff, figuring it had been left for us by Ray Moore…we celebrated with a huge mess of vegetables and caribou glop, carrots and beans mixed. Supper was wonderful. [Moffatt’s journal, as reported in the SI article, p 82, lower left and top right columns.]
2. As it grew dark at the end of the day, we saw an unfamiliar object ahead, …It was a stack of cardboard boxes with cans of dehydrated vegetables inside… We…raided the dump. [Grinnell book, p 180]
A request.
I ask that the reader reflect on Kingsley’s motivation in omitting mention of this evidence of a major addition to the food supply of the Moffatt party.
Aside.
Given that food from the land was abundant (on the whole) in the six weeks before Moffatt’s death, the provisions on hand at noon on 14 September were perhaps comparable in amount to those on hand in the morning of 7 September.

Comment regarding food from the land.
In his book, Grinnell documents also the shooting of five caribou, plus the acquisition of many ptarmigan, many fish (three species), blueberries and mushrooms (these two only earlier) in the crucial six weeks before Moffatt’s death.

Summary.
Kingsley’s assertion that the Moffatt party grew hungry before, during and after every meal
is a fair representation of the food supply in the period before 5 August, but
is a falsehood regarding the supply in the six weeks before Moffatt’s death.

Conclusion.
Given that Kingsley failed to distinguish between the two periods, Assertion 4 is a falsehood.
Reference. Appendix 6. Food.

Kingsley assertion 5. Hunger…lack of provisions…caribou migration…rouse.
Statement of the assertion. It seems nothing – neither hunger, lack of provisions, increasingly cold nights nor the caribou’s southward migration – could rouse him. [Up Here, lower part of the right column on p 90].

Item 1. Hunger.
In the six weeks before Moffatt’s death, bellies were not full on occasion, but there was no hunger worthy of the name. Lest the reader have scrolled down to this point, I repeat four of the 17 items provided above.
I was not feeling too well today, probably from eating too much caribou yesterday, … [22 August. Franck, in Pessl, p 99].
We … were so full we could hardly move. [28 August. Franck, in Pessl, p 108]
…I had prepared such a huge breakfast that none of us could have moved much further than the tents anyway. I felt as if I would have crashed right through the bottom of the canoe and sunk like a stone if we would have been loading. [30 August. Pessl, p 110]
Up to that point (13 September) we had shot five caribou and by doing so had saved enough meat to see us through. Now it was not even necessary to spend time hunting. [The Evening Recorder, Amsterdam NY. Part 3 of 4, page 8, 29 December (1955).
Reference. Appendix 6. Food.
Conclusion. It is a fabrication that the Moffatt party suffered from hunger in the weeks before Moffatt’s death.

Item 2. Lack of provisions.
Lest the reader have scrolled down to this point, I repeat the evidence of Kingsley’s two primary sources, the Sports Illustrated article and Grinnell’s book.
Evidence 1. …got to top of Grant Lake, then saw red gas cans and something white that looked like a tent on the east shore.
We paddled over to lee of the sand point, landed and found that the white thing was no tent but a small piece of muslin covering 24 one-pound tins of dried Beardmore vegetables—carrots, beans, spinach, cabbage and beets. The guys went crazy…We took the stuff, figuring it had been left for us by Ray Moore…we celebrated with a huge mess of vegetables and caribou glop, carrots and beans mixed. Supper was wonderful.
[7 September. Moffatt journal, as reported in the SI article, p 82, lower left and top right columns.]
Evidence 2. As it grew dark at the end of the day, we saw an unfamiliar object ahead, …It was a stack of cardboard boxes with cans of dehydrated vegetables inside… We…raided the dump. [7 September. Grinnell book, p 180]
Conclusion. It is a falsehood that the Moffatt party suffered from a lack of provisions.

Item 3. The caribou.
Yes, the caribou migrate southward as winter approaches. Nevertheless, there were still enough around that the Moffatt party shot five of them, the last on 5 September.
I refer Kingsley to the following: Over the ensuing weeks… we killed our third, fourth and fifth caribous… [Grinnell book, p 156].
Conclusion. The caribou part of the assertion is a conscious misrepresentation of known evidence.
Reference. Appendix 6. Food.
Evidence not known to Kingsley: On the very day (14 September) that Moffatt died, the party had so much caribou meat on board that it had no more need to hunt. [LeFavour].

Item 4. rouse him.
Moffatt was fully aware that winter was approaching, for he possessed the book of J W Tyrrell, both the book and the journal of J B Tyrrell, and he had corresponded with JBT.
Kingsley failed to understand that the mission of the Moffatt party was to document the barrenlands, not merely to travel them. And so the party stopped to film and photograph, as the occasion demanded. On the other hand, the sole mission of the Kingsley party was to paddle the Baillie-Back.
No evidence known to me suggests that Moffatt needed to be roused, and Kingsley provided none.
I point out that only four of the 87 days that the party spent on the water, were voluntary nontravel days; they were imposed for reasons of fatigue or other activities, hunting and photography for example. [Pessl, private correspondence]
Conclusion. The assertion that nothing could rouse him is a fabrication.
Reference. Appendix 2. Holidays.

Conclusion regarding Assertion 5.
Apart from the remark regarding cold nights, all content of the assertion
It seems nothing – neither hunger, lack of provisions, increasingly cold nights nor the caribou’s southward migration – could rouse him is fabrication.

Kingsley assertion 6. Control of the food; sardonic smile.
The text. “He who controls the food controls the men,” he said with a sardonic smile.[Up Here, middle column, p 90]
Response 1. My search of the literature revealed Kingsley’s source for the controls the men part to have been Grinnell’s article [p 21, top of left column] and his book [top of p 7 and top of p 17]. I perceive the need to express again my conclusion that nothing written by Grinnell is to be trusted.
Response 2.
Kingsley provided neither evidence nor a source for the sardonic smile remark, and my four years of research found no supporting evidence.
Conclusion. Kingsley’s add-on remarkhe said with a sardonic smile is a fabrication.
Request.
I ask the reader to reflect on Kingsley’s motivation in providing this item.

Kingsley assertion 7. The quantity and the quality of the initial food supply.
The text. The Moffatt expedition was clearly unprepared in the material sense. Not enough food–neither in quantity nor quality. [Lake, p 14]
My search of the literature revealed Kingsley’s sources to have been the following comments of Luste.
Item 1. …it is evident that not enough food, or specifically, food with high caloric comment, such fat, was purchased for the trip. This long, on short food rations, would have consumed much, if not all, of the body fat their bodies started with. [Grinnell book, middle of p 286]
Item 2. The Moffatt party was woefully short of provisions and caloric energy sustenance… [Grinnell book, top of p 288]
I remind the reader that the initial food supply consisted only of provisions, which indeed provide little if any high caloric content, aka quality.
Comment.
I knew Luste reasonably well and so am sure that he would have read Grinnell’s book carefully. Indeed, he was Grinnell’s publisher and he attempted to influence the content to some extent. And so he surely would have noticed Grinnell’s evidence that a plethora of food was obtained from the land (and also from the cache) in the crucial six weeks before Moffatt’s death.
Conclusion. Item 2 refers to the initial supply of food, only.
Background.
Based on his experience (which was considerable, Thum to the contrary) in outfitting trips, Moffatt had cause to believe that the provisions on board from the beginning would suffice for the entire trip.
Aside 1. The party started out with as much in the way of provisions as it could carry, given the need to carry the film and the camera equipment (filming and photography were the very reasons that the trip was taken), not to mention stay afloat. But he had severely underestimated appetites and so the party certainly lacked enough food in the period before the first caribou was shot on 5 August. On the other hand, as remarked also above, food was abundant in the weeks before Moffatt’s death.
Aside 2. That the boats could have carried little more of anything at the outset was recognised by Kingsley. The weather kicked up, and the overloaded canoes took on water every time the group tried to embark. [Up Here, p 88, top of right column; Paddle North, top of p 185].
Response to Assertion 7. From use of the word unprepared, it is clear that Kingsley referred only to the initial supply of food, explicitly not to the food supply on the trip.
Conclusion.
I agree completely with Kingsley’s remarks. But I caution that they refer to the initial supply only, and so it would misrepresent the evidence should they be applied to the supply in the six weeks before Moffatt’s death. I say this because the party acquired in that period a plethora of food from the land (five caribou, many fish, many ptarmigan, plus blueberries and mushrooms), and also a major resupply of provisions. Indeed, as I document elsewhere, the paddlers were gorged with food on three known occasions.
Comment.
Luste did not suggest here or elsewhere that a cause of Moffatt’s death was a shortage of food, in either quality or quantity.
Kingsley did not do so here, but s/he asserted elsewhere that the caribou were long gone.
Reference.
Appendix 6. Food.
Sub-Appendix 1 of Appendix 6. Food planning and supply.
Sub-Appendix 2 of Appendix 6. Fat and other food with high caloric content.
Sub-Appendix 3 of Appendix 6. Food in the period from the start to 5 August.
Sub-Appendices 4a, 4b and 4 of Appendix 6. Food in the six weeks before Moffatt’s death.

Kingsley assertion 8. The spare paddles.
Variant 1. Then they forgot three paddles and had to go back to town for them. [Up Here (2012), bottom of the left column on p 88].
Variant 2. …they forgot three paddles and had to go back for them. [Paddle North (2014), first paragraph on p 185].
Kingsley’s sources are identified to have been
the passage three canoe paddles had been left behind [SI article, p 72, top of the right column], and
the passages regarding spare paddles at the bottom of page 9 of Grinnell’s book.
Response. The three spare paddles did not arrive at Black Lake with the paddlers and the rest of their gear; indeed, the evidence convinces that they had been forgotten.
Follow-up.
The spares were delivered the very next day (30 June), as part of a supply trip to Camp Grayling on Black Lake. [Grinnell book, pp 9&10. Pessl book (pp 22-24, 2014. Lanouette journal], and so the cost to the Moffatt party was one day.
Request.
I ask that the reader reflect on Kingsley’s motivation in providing this item.

Kingsley assertion 9. The radio.
…they didn’t even bring a radio. [Lake, top of p 14 (2013)]
Kingsley’s source is easily identified to have been We carried no radio. [Grinnell book, two instances on p 11]
Aside.
Kingsley did not suggest the same, but I caution that the lack of a radio played no role in Moffatt’s death.
Response.
Lest it be suggested that Moffatt was negligent in not taking a radio, his request for permission to carry a transmit-receive radio was refused by the Canadian government, even though they recognize the increase in safety such a set would give our party. [Pessl, p 13].
Further, what would possession of a radio have achieved? It could have alerted the Baker Lake detachment of the RCMP of the party’s progress down was slower than expected. As well (had it survived the dump) it could have brought in assistance.
Request.
I ask that the reader reflect on Kingsley’s motivation in providing this item.

Kingsley assertion 10. Every possible day.
They would need every possible day if they were going to make it down the Dubawnt River to Baker Lake, 1,400 kilometers distant, before cold and hunger overtook them. [Up Here, p 88. Paddle North, middle of p 185.]
Response.
The assertion They would need every possible day is juvenile hyperbole.
Even with the days spent filming and photography, even with the bad weather and so the forced layover days, and even with Moffatt’s death, the party reached Baker Lake on 24 September, two days after the limit set by him before the air search would begin.
Reference Appendix 7. Schedule.
Aside.
The distance of 1,400 kilometers is too large by ~300 km, as I document in Ancillary 4. Distances.
But no fault attaches to Kingsley, who was doubly misled here.
The distance remaining.
The incorrect figure of 900 miles (~1,400 km) appears in the New York Times article [SI article, top of p 71], in Moffatt’s Prospectus [SI article proper, right column, p 71], and elsewhere.
Moffatt had planned to continue down the Thelon River (past Baker Lake) to Chesterfield Inlet, a distance of ~900 miles (my measurement gave ~860 miles, ~1,380 km). But, well before the trip started, he decided to exit instead at Baker Lake. The distance to be travelled was then ~680 miles (~1,100 km).
The time remaining.
Kingsley was misled also by Grinnell’s frequent and false statements that the party was scheduled to arrive in Baker Lake on 2 September. It was known to all members of the party (including Grinnell) that Moffatt had scheduled arrival in Baker Lake on 15 September, with a grace period of seven days.
Conclusion. Kingsley was misled by the SI article with respect to the distance remaining, and deceived by Grinnell with respect to the time remaining.
Request.
But I ask the reader to reflect on Kingsley’s motivation in providing this item.

Kingsley assertion 11. The challenge.
Privately, he [Moffatt] wondered if his group was up to the challenge. [Up Here, p 88. Paddle North, lower part of p 185].
Response.
Kingsley identified no source for this remarkable insight into the workings of Moffatt’s mind, and I found no corroborating evidence in three-plus years of research.
Conclusion. The assertion is a fabrication.
Request.
I ask that the reader reflect on Kingsley’s motivation in providing this item.

Kingsley assertion 12. The insurance policy.
Before he (Moffatt) had kissed his wife and two daughters goodbye for the summer, he had doubled his life insurance policy. [Up Here, middle of the right column, p 88. Paddle North, middle of p 186]
Kingsley’s source is easily identified to have been the corresponding remark in Grinnell’s book, p 176.
Comments.
Grinnell provided no supporting evidence in support of this remark, made in connection with his heinous suggestion that Moffatt was suicidal. And I found none in all my reading.
Pessl objected vigourously to Grinnell’s assertion. [book, middle of p 164]
I have learned to trust nothing written by Grinnell, in the first instance.
Conclusion. Kingsley was misled by Grinnell.
Request.
I ask the reader to reflect on Kingsley’s motivation in providing this item.

Kingsley assertion 13. Hunger.
They weren’t far from Black Lake … when the hunger began. [Up Here, top of the left column on p 90. Paddle North, bottom of p 186].
Response 1. In the period before 5 August, the Moffatt party was indeed hungry at times, but the hunger was never serious.
Response 2. Grinnell’s book (Kingsley’s primary source) documents that five caribou were shot in the period between 5 August and 14 September, and that a plethora of other food was obtained from the land: many fish (three species), many ptarmigan, and blueberries and mushrooms (these two obtained only earlier in those six weeks).
But Kingsley mentioned none of this evidence.
Response 3.. In none of Kingsley’s three publications is it mentioned that a major supply of provisions was obtained from the cache, this on 7 September. That evidence was documented in both Kingsley’s major sources, namely the SI article and Grinnell’s book.
Response 4.. In those crucial six weeks before Moffatt’s death, at times bellies were not full, at others they were stuffed.
The stuffed evidence of Pessl’s book (not available to Kingsley).
I was not feeling too well today, probably from eating too much caribou yesterday, … [22 August. Franck, in Pessl, p 99].
We … were so full we could hardly move. [28 August. Franck, in Pessl, p 108]
…I had prepared such a huge breakfast that none of us could have moved much further than the tents anyway. I felt as if I would have crashed right through the bottom of the canoe and sunk like a stone if we would have been loading. [30 August. Pessl, p 110]
This is hunger?
Reference. Appendix 6. Food
Request.
I ask the reader to reflect on Kingsley’s motivation in providing this item.

Kingsley assertion 14. The paradise delusion.
Kingsley’s source.
My search of the literature revealed the source for the assertions that follow to have been the passage …death in this beautiful paradise had seemed preferable to life in the seven deadly sins of civilization; or at least that is how I represented my feelings to myself in the morning. [Grinnell book, middle of p 168].
Question.
What is one to make of the passage at least that is how I represented my feelings to myself in the morning but that Grinnell was speaking of himself, only?
Part 1 of Assertion 14.
By August, Grinnell and most of the others had succumbed to a sort of delusion. They felt they were in paradise. [Paddle North, bottom of p 187; Up Here, middle of right column on p 90]
Part 2 of Assertion 14.
He [Grinnell] wrote that “Death in paradise seemed preferable to life in civilization. [Up Here, top of p 91].
Response to parts 1 and 2.
One sees that Kingsley redacted the key passage that is how I represented my feelings to myself in the morning.
Summary. Kingsley falsely and knowingly represented Grinnell’s feelings about himself as the feelings of most of the other members of the party, one assumes including Moffatt.
Part 3 of Assertion 14.
Referring to Moffatt, Kingsley wrote He’d passed though paradise and found something darker on the other side. [Paddle North, top of p 189; also Up Here, middle of p 91].
Assumption. A gratuitous reference to Moffatt’s death.
Opinion.
If any person succumbed to a sort of delusion in this matter, it was no member of the Moffatt party.
Conclusion.
It is a falsehood that Grinnell and most of the others had succumbed to a sort of delusion. They felt they were in paradise.

Kingsley assertion 15. Holidays.
For half of August, they voted to take “holidays” and went nowhere. [Up Here, lower right column on p 90. Paddle North, middle of p 188].
My search of the literature revealed Kingsley’s source to have been Grinnell’s article (1988). The above is an amalgam, albeit a strange one, of the following comments:
(a) In the last days of August…we took more holidays than Moffatt had ever contemplated, averaging one every other day [Grinnell article, p 21, left column].
(b) At the inquest held by the mounties, it was disclosed that we had holidays on more than half the days of the trip. [Grinnell article, p 56, right column].
Response.
The evidence of the other participants has it that not one holiday (in the too-lazy-to-paddle sense) was taken on the entire trip. Every non-paddling day
was occasioned by the weather, or
was taken to rest or recover, or
was taken to accomplish the very purpose of the trip, namely to document the barrenlands.
Conclusion. Kingsley was deceived by Grinnell.
Question. Why did Kingsley publish this item, if not to contribute to Kingsley’s fabrication of a case against a dead man?
References.
Appendix 2. Holidays and Inquest and especially Pessl’s book (pp 181&182).

Kingsley assertion 16. Distance, time, dreams of plenty, the caribou were long gone, etc.
Variant 1. By August 29th, three days before they were due to arrive in Baker Lake, they had travelled barely half the length of the Dubawnt. The men were hungry and hundreds of miles from their destination. [Lake, p 13]
Variant 2. By August 29, three days before they’d planned to complete the trip, they had travelled barely half the distance. The caribou were long gone, the weather changed overnight, and the men were trapped on the land. Dreams of plenty were a thing of the past. [Up Here, lower right column on p 90. Paddle North, middle of p 188.] .
Comment. Kingsley provided no evidence in support of the content of either variant.

Response 1. The time remaining, namely three days on 29 August.
One Kingsley source (Grinnell’s book) contains repeated (false) assertions that arrival in Baker Lake was scheduled for 2 September, in agreement with Kingsley’s three days.
Kingsley’s other source evinces (truthfully) that arrival was scheduled for 15 September. I refer here to the New York Times article provided on 71 of the SI article.
Reference. Appendix 7. Schedule.

Response 2. The distance remaining on 29 August.
Aside. On that day, the party was 15 miles upstream from the end of Dubawnt Lake. [Franck, in Pessl (p 109]
Several sources (for example and especially Moffatt’s Prospectus [SI article, p 71]) assert incorrectly that the distance to be covered by the party was 900 miles (1,400 km). But that is the distance from Black Lake to Chesterfield Inlet, as first planned by Moffatt. Before the trip started, he decided rather to exit rather at Baker Lake, thereby shortening the distance to 680 miles (1,100 km).
Conclusion.
The distance yet to be travelled on 29 August was ~255 miles (still a formidable one), rather than the ~450 miles justly believed by Kingsley.
Aside 1.
After Moffatt’s death, the party portaged from the north end of Marjorie Lake to Aberdeen Lake on the Thelon River, rather than continue down the Dubawnt to its junction with the Thelon. My measurement at Toporama gave 10 km for portage along the straight-line path between the bay at the top of Marjorie Lake and the south end of the east part of Aberdeen Lake.
Aside 2.
Grinnell estimated that the portage had saved us about a hundred miles of river travel [book, middle of p 236]. Later, he gave the distance from the island on which Art lay dead at noon on September 16 th to Baker Lake as 250 miles [book, middle of p 238].
I have yet to measure the distance saved, but thereby the party avoided the severe rapids (J B Tyrrell’s London Rapids) known to lie on the Dubawnt above its junction with the Thelon.

Response 3. Hunger on 29 August.
Bruce and I cut up the caribou meat and cooked dinner for Art as he was still out with his camera. [29 August. Pessl, p 110]
What more need be said?

Response 4. Dreams of plenty.
At no time in his preparations did Moffatt dream that the land would be one of plenty. Rather, he had expected (incorrectly) that the provisions on board from the beginning would suffice for the entire trip.
Contrary to that expectation (indeed fortunately), the land turned out to be one of plenty in the six weeks before his death: five caribou, many ptarmigan, three species of fish (lake trout, grayling and arctic char) and blueberries and mushrooms, all as documented in Grinnell’s book. Indeed (as I document below), the party was gorged with food on three known occasions.
Conclusion.
It is a Kingsley fabrication that Moffatt had had dreams of plenty.
But, had he done so, he would have been plenty right, rather than plenty wrong.

Response 5. The caribou were long gone.
1. The evidence of Grinnell, Kingsley’s primary source: < em>Over the ensuing weeks… we killed our third, fourth and fifth caribous… [p 156]. The last was shot on 5 September, nine days before Moffatt’s death.
2. The caribou evidences (not available to Kingsley) of participants Franck and LeFavour.
22 August. I was not feeling too well today, probably from eating too much caribou yesterday, … [Franck, in Pessl, p 99].
13 September. Up to that point we had shot five caribou and by doing so had saved enough meat to see us through. Now it was not even necessary to spend time hunting. [LeFavour, The Evening Recorder, Amsterdam NY. Part 3 of 4, page 8, 29 December (1955).
Conclusion.
It is a falsehood that the caribou were long gone.

Response 6. trapped on the land.
…the men were trapped on the land… [Up Here, lower right column on p 90. Paddle North, middle of p 188]
Q. If they were trapped on the land, how did the survivors to get to Baker Lake by canoe?
Conclusion.
A minor misrepresention of the evidence.

Response 7. Food from the cache.
Both Kingsley sources document the acquisition of a major resupply of provisions of the cache on 7 September.
24 one-pound tins of dried Beardmore vegetables… The guys went crazy. [SI article, bottom of left column, p 82]
As it grew dark at the end of the day, we saw an unfamiliar object ahead, …It was a stack of cardboard boxes with cans of dehydrated vegetables inside… We…raided the dump. [Grinnell book, p 180&181]
But Kingsley mentioned neither evidence of this major addition to the food supply.
And so I ask that the reader reflect on Kingsley’s motivation in so acting.
Reference. Appendix 6. Food.

Summary.
1. Kingsley chose Grinnell’s exit date of 2 September over that of the SI article, namely 15 September.
2. Kingsley was misled regarding the distance remaining on 29 August.
3. It is a fabrication that the men were hungry on 29 August.
4. It is a fabrication that Moffatt had had dreams of plenty.
5. It is a falsehood that the caribou were long gone
6. It is a fabrication that the men were trapped on the land.
7. The failure to mention the acquisition of the major resupply of food from the cache is a conscious misrepresentation of known evidence.

Kingsley assertion 18. Taking blame.
He [Moffatt] refused to take blame for their food situation. [Paddle North, p 188]
Question 1.
Moffatt refused to take blame for the plethora of food (five caribou, many ptarmigan, many fish, blueberries and mushrooms) obtained from the land in the six weeks before the tragedy?
Kingsley made no mention of this bounty, which was documented in Kingsley’s primary source (Grinnell’s book).
Question 2.
Moffatt refused to take blame for the major resupply of provisions obtained from the cache on 7 September?
Kingsley made no mention of this acquisition, which was documented in both Kingsley sources (the SI article and Grinnell’s book).
Conclusion.
Assertion 18 is a conscious misrepresentation of known evidence.

Kingsley assertion 19. The death of Arthur Moffatt.
Variant 1. …All three boats plunged over a waterfall the paddlers hadn’t bothered to scout. [Up Here, middle of p 91]
Variant 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…. [Paddle North, top of p 189 (2014)]
Comment. It is a truth that the rapids where Moffatt died had not been scouted.
Reminder.
Kingsley’s sources were the Sports Illustrated article and Grinnell’s book.
I repeat that the SI editor redacted the exculpatory phrases
can’t risk an upset now from Moffatt’s journal for 10 September, and
Following Tyrrell’s route from Moffatt’s journal for 13 September.
And I repeat that Grinnell redacted the exculpatory passage This surprised us. Art had figured we had already shot the last two rapids before Marjorie Lake. Actually, what we had gone down were only riffles, and what lay ahead was the real beginning of the first rapids. from Lanouette’s journal for 14 September.
Suggestion. Kingsley was misled by these malicious redactions of exculpatory evidence made by the SI editor and by Grinnell.

Response 1.
It is a truth that the rapids where Moffatt died had not been scouted.
On the other hand, Kingsley provided no evidence that the men…took…more risks, for the excellent reason that no such evidence exists.
Conclusion. It is a Kingsley fabrication that his party took more risks, in particular on the day that Moffatt died, more generally that it did so at any time.

Response 2.
Kingsley (like every other accuser) failed to mention the following Luste evidence provided in her/his primary source. Art Moffatt, following Tyrrell’s notes, was not expecting the rapid in which he swamped and then died [Grinnell book, p 284].
What interpretation of this passage is possible but that the cause of Moffatt’s death was faulty advice provided by J B Tyrrell?
Reference. Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.

Conclusion.
It is a conscious misrepresentation of known evidence that all three boats plunged over two sets of waterfalls the paddlers hadn’t bothered to scout….

Kingsley assertion 20. The insurance policy.
The assertion. Before he left home, Moffatt had doubled his life insurance policy [Paddle North, p 186].
My search revealed Kingsley’s source to have been the corresponding remark in Grinnell’s book [p 176].
Aside.
Grinnell’s remark was made in connection with his false suggestions that Moffatt was suicidal.
Response.
Grinnell presented no evidence in support of the assertion. I have learned to trust nothing written by Grinnell unless it is confirmed by a reliable source, and I possess no such confirmation.
Conclusion. Kingsley was deceived by Grinnell.
Opinion. Picking of the litte red fruit by Kingsley.

Kingsley assertion 21. Holidays.
The assertion. For half of August, they voted to take “holidays” and went nowhere. [Up Here, bottom of the right column on p 90. Paddle North, middle of p 188].
My search revealed Kingsley’s source to have been remarks in Grinnell’s article (1988) and in his book (1996).
Conclusion. Kingsley was deceived by Grinnell.
Opinion. More picking of the little red fruit by Kingsley.
Reference. Appendix 2. Holidays and Inquest.

Kingsley assertion 22. Reality.
The assertion.
When the five young men stumbled into Baker Lake, an RCMP officer made a quick assessment. “So”, he said, “you lost your sense of reality.” [Up Here, bottom of p 91. Paddle North, bottom of p 189].
My search revealed Kingsley’s sources to have been the following three comments.
1. One Mountie commented that we had “lost our sense of reality.” [Grinnell article, p 56, right column].
2. The young Mountie who interviewed me was friendly and encouraging as I spoke. At the end he concluded: ”So you lost your sense of reality.” [Grinnell book, top of p 2].
3. The Mountie stared at me, as if waiting for an answer. “…so you lost your sense of reality.” [Grinnell book, p 44].
Summary. Given
that Grinnell presented no evidence in support of these comments, and
that I found none in all my reading, and
that Grinnell redacted that exculpatory passage from Lanouette’s journal,
I conclude that all three comments are fabrications.
Opinions.
1. If any participant lost sense of reality, it was Grinnell.
2. Yet more picking of the little red fruit by Kingsley.
Reference. Appendix 1. Reality and Delusion.

Kingsley assertion 23.
The remaining caribou steaks were “full of grubs and cysts of one kind or another…”[Paddle North, middle of p 188].
Kingsley’s undocumented source was Moffatt’s We cut up the loins for steaks. They were full of grubs and cysts of one kind or another, but who cares about tapeworm or worse when fresh meat as good as this is on hand and has not been for 30 days? [12 August, Sports Illustrated, p 76, left column].
Opinions. Tacky food. Tacky mention of the item.
Comment. The 30 days is an exaggeration on Moffatt’s part, given that the first caribou was shot seven days earlier, on 5 August.
Reference. Appendix 6. Food.

Closing remarks.
1. In fairness, I note that Kingsley omitted mention of the passage …the impending disaster which Art and the rest of us were so obviously courting [Grinnell book, p 167]
2. Although Kingsley’s publications have yet to impact the accusatory literature, I thought it necessary to address them in full, lest they be accepted as truthful.

Summary.
The evidence leads me to conclude that Kingsley set out to fabricate a case against a dead man.

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

Thum’s letter to Pessl (3 October 1965).
I counted 34 question marks in the two pages (~70 lines) of the letter.
Dear Mr. Pessl,
You might remember that I contacted you several times in early 1964 concerning a proposed canoe trip down the Dubawnt River. I had originally planned to take the expedition with three other men in the summer of 64, but it was postponed several years. Since that time we have tripped 1000 miles along the English-Albany Rivers (1964) and 1900 miles from Lake Athabasca down to Lake Superior (1965). Both these expeditions were very long and quite involved and we have consequently laid a firm foundation of tripping knowledge and techniques with which to tackle the Dubawnt River.
This summer we plan to retrace the whole route of J. B. Tyrrell from Fort McMurray on the Athabasca River to Chesterfield Inlet on Hudson’s Bay. Because of the time limit it will be impossible to cross the 600 mile segment down Hudson’s Bay to Churchill, Man. The expedition will cover 1500 miles, however, and the travelling time should be no more than 80 days. As you well know, this will entail hard moving and precise planning so that we will encounter little of the trouble that you experienced ten years ago. Therefore, I have several questions below that I would like you to answer if at all possible. It will ease the planning multi-fold.
1) Do you have a set of precise trip notes (other than Tyrrell’s 1893 account) detailing rapids, portages, campsites, etc? If not, do you know of anyone else who has made the trip and might have such? Can you give me a general description of the transition territory from woodlands into the barrens and of the barrens itself. How cold is the water once over the height of land (Selwyn Lake) separating the Arctic and Hudson’s Bay watersheds? Are the Barren Grounds continually frozen on the surface or is there a great amount of bog and wet ground?
2) Exactly how much wood is there above the tree line at Boyd Lake? Tyrrell’s map indicates certain groves of trees before Dubawnt Lake and none afterwards? After the last grove before Dubawnt is there enough wood lying on the ground to build adequate fires, or is I sparse and wet? Will we have to carry along gas and stoves to cook our meals? If so, at what point along the river will these stoves be necessary? What stoves did you take along, and how much gas was needed?
3) What are the general weather conditions during the summer months? Is there a great amount of rain? At what point in the calendar did the early winter rains set in? When did it start to get cold in the mornings and evenings? during the daytime? and how cold did it get to be? When did your first snow fall and how steadily did it continue afterwards?
Did you have much trouble with high winds and consistent long storms; about how many days in the summer were you wind-storm bound and not able to move from your campsite?
4) We are, of course, very concerned with the availability of fish and game in the 800 mile segment from Stony Rapids to Baker Lake. Plan to cover this area in a little over 40 days and must plan our food supplies in the minutest details. First of all, how can we (and at what general expense) ship our special foods up to Stony Rapids. Secondly, can we count on a consistent supply of fish long the Chipman and Dubawnt for our meals: what kinds in particular? Thirdly, can we rely, if necessary, on caribou meat on the barrens? How large are the roaming herds and how often were they sighted? Will we loose much time hunting them?
5) How much aerial coverage was there over the Dubawnt? Recently, there have been new 4:1 maps covering some of the area up to Dubawnt Lake. Did you find the 8:1 maps to be inaccurate and difficult to follow? What aerial photographs did you use and were they of any service in finding your way through tough sections? By the way, are there any planes flying over the Dubawnt territory that we might be able to signal in case of accident or sickness? If so, how regularly do these planes pass over?
6) What was the airline that you took from Baker Lake to Churchill and approximately what was the cost?
7) In regard to general equipment: what did you take along in the way of parkas and underwear, and was this satisfactory for the weather conditions you encountered? What type of rifles and cartridges did you use?
8) Will we need travelling permits in the Northwest Territories? Did you contact the Mounties at Baker Lake before you set off? From whom can we get equipment and gun permits and was this difficult for you? If we can not get a hunting permit, can we smuggle in the gun and hunt anyway?

That pretty well takes care of the initial problems that come into my head. If you could possibly answer all these for me I would greatly appreciate it. Please reply at your earliest convenience to my Princeton. N.J. address. Thank you very much.
Sincerely yours,
Robert Thum.

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

Summary.
Perhaps I should have let the reader decide whether Pessl’s response provides more than a historical perspective.
But I note that the …contrasts between
Thum’s version of his correspondence with Pessl on the one hand and
that of the
correspondence itself on the other could hardly be more stark.

Sub-Appendix 2. My Thum rant.
I ask the reader to excuse the following, which was occasioned in part by the immediate above but mostly by Thum’s Moffatt is precisely why we took the trip…I thought experienced trippers could cover Tyrrell’s route safely and skillfully, which we did.
Let us admire, nay praise, the eco-paddler, the forthright, the frank, the generous, the gentle, the gracious, the honest, the humble, the kind, the magnanimous, the man, the meek, the mild, the modest, the renowned, the self-effacing, the unsmug, he with nothing to prove, the legend in every paddler’s mind, he sans pareil, the Voyageur Canadien, Mr Robert (please, call me Bob) Thum.
Robert Thum, Robert Thum,
Brave, courageous and bold,
Long live his fame and long live his glory,
And long may his story be told.

And let us not forget his sycophant (his dupe?) Charlie Mahler.

Conclusion.

Given the evidence documented above, I have learned to trust (in the first instance)
no content of the Sports Illustrated article,
nothing written by A Inglis,
nothing written by G Grinnell,
nothing written by J Murphy,
nothing written by A MacDonald,
nothing written by C Mahler,
nothing written by B Thum and T Bose, and
nothing written by J Kingsley.

The secondary accusatory literature.

Introduction.
This literature is based on the primary accusatory literature, explicitly not on the evidence of the participants. It consists of publications in which the Moffatt trip is mentioned only incidentally.
The efforts of Moffatt’s defamers were highly successful, for their redactions of exculpatory evidence, their ignoring of exculpatory evidence, their falsehoods, their fabrications and their conscious misrepresentations of known evidence misled the entire paddling community, especially many prominent members of it, for 55 years regarding the cause of his death.
Let there be no misunderstanding.
Morse,
Luste,
Peake,
O’Hara,
Jacobson,
Kesselheim, and
MacGregor
all acted in good faith.
Unfortunately for the reputation of a dead man, many Moffatt defamers chose not to do so. Deserving of explicit mention in this respect are the Sports Illustrated editor, Grinnell and Murphy.

Morse, Eric W.
Freshwater Saga. Memoirs of a Lifetime of Wilderness Canoeing in Canada. University of Toronto Press (1987).
Morse’s source was not identified explicitly, but the only publication then extant was the Sports Illustrated article of 1959.
Excerpt. …we had an example before us of what happens without a proper schedule, for at Baker Lake we would be seeing the grave of Arthur Moffatt who, leading a group of young Americans, let the days slip away too easily on the Dubawnt River in 1955, later forcing the party into risks that proved fatal. [p 84].
As well, incidental mention is made of the party’s visit to Moffatt’s grave. [p 104]
Conclusion. Morse was misled by the falsehoods of the SI editor.

Luste, George.
The 1955 canoe story can be viewed from either of two extreme perspectives. The first view is the practical and dismissive observation that as a remote sub-arctic canoe expedition it was poorly planned and irresponsibly executed, and that its tragic conclusion was a natural consequence of that folly. It is, however, a truthful story about a real canoe trip, with all its petty human interactions and problems. Many of the trip’s problems arise from the gnawing reality of incessant hunger, resulting from an inadequate food ration. [Grinnell book (1996), p iii].
Comment.
Let me record the passage Finally George Luste said that if all alse failed, he would publish it… maybe the manuscript needed to be rejected by seven publishers… [Grinnell book, p 305].
Conclusion.
Grinnell’s book was published only because Luste did so.
Reminder.
In the Main text, I concluded that Grinnell had betrayed Moffatt by several means, above all by redacting that three-sentence passage from Lanouette’s journal for the day of Moffatt’s death.
Opinion.
Not content with betraying Moffatt, Grinnell betrayed also Luste, this by deceiving him to make comments quoted above. Some way to thank Luste!

Peake, Michael.
Publication 1.
1955: A Tale of Two Trips. [Che-Mun, Outfit 99, Winter 2000].
http://www.canoe.ca/che-mun/99two.html
…it was the worst of trips…Arthur Moffatt and his crew of young men…set out to paddle the Dubawnt River in its entirety over the course of the summer…American Moffatt, 36, a relatively experienced outdoorsman took along a group of young men, most barely out of their teens. They were his minions. He was the Leader of the trip down to the fact that he even had a much larger eating bowl than everyone else. He called the shots, decided the route, menu and travel schedule… It was some time before a book by one of the Moffatt team appeared. George Grinnell penned A Death on the Barrens in 1996. Grinnell’s polemic, begins on the beauty of the Barrens but descends into a tortured and cynical view of the world. Of course, the Moffatt trip is now best remembered for the death of its leader. Arthur Moffatt drowned on September 14 on a rapid they had no business running that late in the year. He is buried in Baker Lake. The trip schedule seemed non-existent. The weeks had flown by during the brief Arctic summer as they dawdled across the landscape…Moffatt’s crew, were no doubt spellbound by the Barrens, but perhaps their leader found it too intoxicating. [p 4]
Publication 2.
The Tragic Trips…1955 – The Moffat Dubawnt River trip.
1955 – The Moffatt Dubawnt River trip. Arthur Moffatt, 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. He is buried in Baker Lake. [pp 5&6]
Google images.
https://www.google.ca/search?q=arthur+moffatt+canoe&espv=2&biw=1360&bih=667&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=P5wKVfDyBonBgwTLuoDQBw&ved=0CDAQsAQ&dpr=1
Opinion. Peake was misled by the falsehoods of Murphy and MacDonald.

Johnson, Alissa.
Meet Bob O’Hara. http://canoeing.com/meet-bob-ohara/ (undated).
Item 1.
Referring to the book Canoeing with the Cree [Eric Sevareid; MacMillan (1935)], the staff of canoeing.com provided the following:
O’Hara and his friends were so inspired they embarked on a trip of their own in 1967, paddling from Norway House, a Northwest Fur Trading Company outpost on the northeast shore of Lake Winnipeg, to York Factory on Hudson Bay. Disregarding warnings of flood stage waters and advice from local authorities to scrap their plans, the inexperienced whitewater paddlers set out with 1:250,000 scale maps. False starts and wrong turns set the tone right from the start, but these minor occurrences were quickly eclipsed by water so high that an entire island – an island with a portage around a waterfall, no less – had disappeared. In the excitement that ensued from this discovery, O’Hara swamped his canoe above the falls.
With respect to that incident, canoeing.com staff provided the following O’Hara quote:
It’s amazing how fast you can think sometimes. I instinctively grabbed the canoe, rolled toward it, and tucked my feet up. I thought hey, my legs are going to be dangling down and I don’t want them to get snagged. So I tucked them up and went over. Got my feet onto a gravel bar and pulled us to shore.
Item 2.
With respect to Moffatt’s death, the staff of canoeing.com provided the following.
O’Hara credits a 1955 Sports Illustrated article detailing the death of Arthur Moffatt on the Dubawnt River with scaring everybody off. The canoeist’s party started their trip late in the season, and they grew careless scouting rapids as they raced winter to the end of the river. After swamping his canoe, Moffatt died of hypothermia.
Let there be no misunderstanding./strong>
Responsibility for publishing the falsehood that the Moffatt party grew careless scouting rapids as they raced winter to the end of the river rests entirely with the staff of canoeing.com.

Jacobson, Cliff.
Expedition Canoeing. A Guide to Canoeing Wild Rivers in North America.
Chapter 4. Loose Threads; p 22, left column. Falcon / Globe-Pequot Press (2005).
I have not examined the 2015 edition Canoeing Wild Rivers.
Comment. Unfortunately, the source for some Jacobson comments was not the faithful condensation of Lanouette’s journal for 14 September, as provided in the Sports Illustrated article (1959) [pp 85-87]. His source was rather the redacted version of that condensation, as provided in Grinnell’s book (1996) [pp 201-204]; please note the ellipsis near the top of p 202. To be explicit, Grinnell redacted the 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.
Opinion.
The redacted material is exculpatory.
Conclusion.
Such was Grinnell’s motivation for making the redaction.

Kesselheim, Alan.
57 years Ago. Canoe & Kayak, May 2012, starting on p 46.
Six men. Seventy five days out. Food almost gone, weather desperate. The end of the expedition more than a week away.
Aside. Pessl’s contributions to the article are listed elsewhere.
Opinion.
Kesselheim was misled by Moffatt’s defamers in the matter of the food supply.

MacGregor, Roy.
Canoe Country. The Making of Canada. Random House Canada, first edition (2015). pp 48&49.
…The Far North held many lessons of what could befall the unprepared. Perhaps the best known of all folly expeditions was the Moffatt expedition of 1955, which today stands an example of what not to do when heading into the northern wilderness. Arthur Moffatt, a thirty-six-year-old filmmaker and Dartmouth College graduate, talked five young Americans–two of them still teenagers—to join him on a paddle down the Dubawnt River, which runs through the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. The Dubawnt is considered a very difficult, even dangerous river. Two of the five had limited experience; one had never paddled a canoe.
Ill-prepared and poorly supplied, the six paddlers ran into terrible weather and fought and argued their way along the nearly impossible journey. Short of food and faced with snowy weather, arguing their time was limited, they tried to make up time by running a long rapid without first scouting it. Two of the canoes went over. Moffatt froze to death on the banks while waiting for the others to be rescued.

Opinion. Like so many others, MacGregor was misled by Moffatt’s defamers.

Other Moffatt literature.

These items are provided solely for completeness; that is, they are no part of the accusatory literature.

Hodgins, Bruce W; and Gwyneth Hoyle.
Canoeing North into the Unknown: A Record of River Travel, 1874 to 1974. [Dundurn, 1997]
In passing, I note the references to
Moffatt’s 1936 solo trip down the Albany River from Sioux Lookout to James Bay [p 47], and
his 1948 trip down the same river with his wife Carol [p 48].
1955. A party of Americans led by Arthur Moffatt, including George Grinnell, Peter Franck, Joe Lanouette, Bruce LeFavour and Skip Pessl canoed from Black Lake to Selwyn Lake and down the Dubawnt River and across Dubawnt Lake. Following an accident in the rapids entering Marjorie Lake, Moffatt died of exposure and is buried in Baker Lake. The rest of the group completed the trip down the Dubawnt and Thelon in late September.
Sources were the Sports Illustrated article (1959), a personal communication from Grinnell, and Grinnell’s Canoe article (1988).
Opinion. A completely faithful representation of the evidence.

Jennings, John. Bruce W Hodgins and Doreen Small (editors).
The Canoe in Canadian Cultures. Natural Heritage Books (1999).
At the moment, I am unable to access the book and so am unable to provide page numbers, excerpts and an opinion.
ALLAN!

Anonymous.
Report of an interview with Peter Franck.
Soph Describes Fatal Canoe Mishap. Canadian Accident.
The Harvard Crimson. September 29, 1955. “NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED.”
http://www.thecrimson.com/article/1955/9/29/soph-describes-fatal-canoe-mishap-ppeter/

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 and Delusion.
Appendix 2. Holidays and Inquest.
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 6 December 2018.

Bibliography

Renovations continue. Thanks for your patience.

Bibliography.

Introduction.

In 1893, brothers Joseph Burr Tyrrell and James Williams Tyrrell (of the Geological Survey of Canada) led the first documented exploration of the barrenlands of northern Canada.
In 1955, Arthur Moffatt set out to retrace and document the central portion of that trip. He is known to have accessed both their books and to have possessed other material (for example JBT’s maps), and he had corresponded with JBT. I was able to access much of this material, but my best efforts failed to find two important items, namely JBT’s journal and his response to Moffatt’s first letter.
Reference. Ancillary 7. Tyrrell sources, Moffatt’s and mine,

Guide and comments.
Guide to the literature. I split the results of my literature search into five categories.
The primary accusatory literature.
The secondary accusatory literature (which is based on the above).
The primary Moffatt literature.
The secondary Moffatt literature.
The Tyrrell literature.
Comments regarding the accusatory literature.
A virtually universal feature of that literature is the failure to cite evidence, even so much as provide a source beyond the obvious. And so some sleuthing was required; I did what I could.
Some items are listed more than once.
A peripheral item, listed only for completeness.
Osgood, Larry. Letter to George Luste (23 February 1996).

The primary accusatory literature.

The following lists items with primary basis in the publications of the participants.
Publications based on those items are listed in what I call the secondary accusatory literature.
The order is chronological.

The Sports Illustrated article.
Issues of
9 March Man against the barrens 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 edited material from Moffatt’s journal, plus much accusatory material.

Inglis, Alex.
Northern Vagabond. The Life and Career of J B Tyrrell – the Man Who Conquered the Canadian North. McClelland and Stewart. (1978).
Thanks to Mike Gray for informing me of it and for lending his copy.
Quite understandably, Inglis’s book went unmentioned in the other Moffatt literature.

Grinnell, George J.
Art Moffatt’s Wilderness Way to Enlightenment, Canoe, July 1988, pp 18-21 & 56.
Written by a participant. Listed in both the primary accusatory literature and the primary Moffatt literature.

Anonymous.
Assertions made by unidentified persons in or before 1996.
Quoted by George Luste in Grinnell’s book (first edition, next reference).

Grinnell, George (James).
First edition, in my possession.
A Death on the Barrens. A true story. Northern Books, Toronto (1996).
The publisher (NOT the editor) was George Luste.
Contents include much personal, introspective material, plus comments by Luste.
Listed in both the primary accusatory literature and the primary Moffatt literature.
Reviews.
Unwanted images pop up and so I don’t provide URLs for the reviews that I found, namely those at goodreads.com, northatlanticbooks.com, readingforsanity.ca, Amazon (1556438826), etc.
Second edition, not in my possession.
A Death on the Barrens. Heron Dance Press (2006).
Third edition, in my possession. Death on the Barrens. A True Story of Courage and Tragedy in the Canadian Arctic. North Atlantic Books, Berkeley (2010).

Murphy and MacDonald.
Articles by James Murphy and Andrew MacDonald, asserted to be reviews of Grinnell’s book (1996 edition).
Che-Mun. Canoelit section. Moffatt, Myth & Mysticism. Outfit?, Spring 1996, pp 5 & 11]
Murphy’s article is available online http://www.canoe.ca/AllAboutCanoes/book_deathbarrens.html ,
MacDonald’s apparently not.

Mahler, Charlie.
Comments from Bob Thum and others are included.
Publication 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
Publication 2, believed identical to the above.
Feature Story in the Advanced Paddler section at canoeing.com.
The URL that was active when I announced the opening of the blog to public view.
http://www.canoeing.com/advanced/feature/deadmansriver.htm

Kingsley, Jennifer.
Article 1.
In a most dreadful sort of paradise. Up Here. May 2012; pp 88, 90 & 91.
http://www.jenniferkingsley.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/looking-back-May-2012-Moffatt-pdf-.pdf
Article 2.
Back and Beyond. Lake. Issue 6 (2013); pp 12-14.
http://www.jenniferkingsley.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Lake_Back-and-Beyond_2011pdf.pdf
Book.
Paddle North. Adventure, Resilience and Renewal in the Arctic Wild. Greystone Books, Vancouver/Berkeley (2014).
Reviews are provided at Amazon.ca, goodreads.com, canoekayak.com, timirvin.com, goodreads.com and likely elsewhere.
Aside. Not to be confused with Paddle North: Canoeing the Boundary Waters-Quetico Wilderness, Greg Breining, publisher? (2010).

The primary Moffatt literature.

The following lists all known participant publications, available to me or not. For lack of a better place, I include also the evidence of George Luste and that of my previous Moffatt publications and posts.
The order is sort of chronological.

Moffatt, Arthur.
Moffatt’s journal.
Edited excerpts were published in the Sports Illustrated article (1959).
Pessl kindly supplied several complete entries; those for 4 August, 5 August, 10 September and 13 September come immediately to mind.
Moffatt’s correspondence with J B Tyrrell.
Thanks to Pessl, I possess copies of his two letters to JBT. But I lack JBT’s response (known to have been made) to the first; I had thought the response to be held at the Dartmouth College library, but the kind and helpful staff there were unable to find it.
Aside. I lack also JBT’s journal, known to have been possessed by Moffatt. Dartmouth staff were unable to find it either.
The evidence suggests that both items would provide a deeper understanding of Moffatt’s preparations, most importantly the circumstances that led to his death.

Lanouette, Ed.
Aside. Lanouette was Moffatt’s bowperson.
Item 1. A faithfully condensed version of his journal for 14 September was published in the Sports Illustrated article of 1959.
Item 2. Later, Lanouette kindly provided me with his full journal for that day and assisted in the transcription of it. Ancillary 2. Lanouette excerpt.
Item 3. Private correspondence.
Item 4. His daughter Elizabeth Emge transcribed and provided his full journal for the trip. It is now posted at Canadian Canoe Routes. When I find time, I’ll convert the htmls and post the result here, in a separate Ancillary.
Post 1 of 8. 16 June to 1 July.
http://www.myccr.com/phpbbforum/viewtopic.php?f=181&t=46535
Post 2 of 8. 2 July to 16 July.
http://www.myccr.com/phpbbforum/viewtopic.php?f=181&t=46555
Post 3 of 8. 17 July to 28 July.
http://www.myccr.com/phpbbforum/viewtopic.php?f=181&t=46557
Post 4 of 8. 29 July to 7 August.
http://www.myccr.com/phpbbforum/viewtopic.php?f=181&t=46561
Post 5 of 8. 8 August to 20 August.
http://www.myccr.com/phpbbforum/viewtopic.php?f=181&t=46610
Post 6 of 8. 21 August to 2 September.
http://www.myccr.com/phpbbforum/viewtopic.php?f=181&t=46696
Post 7 of 8. 3 September to 10 September.
http://www.myccr.com/phpbbforum/viewtopic.php?f=181&t=46737
Post 8 of 8. 11 September to 16 September.
http://www.myccr.com/phpbbforum/viewtopic.php?f=181&t=46738

LeFavour, Bruce.
Item 1. Material based on his journal was published in four articles (27 through 30 December, 1955), Evening Recorder, Amsterdam NY. I possess only the third, kindly and generously supplied by him. It provides what I assess to be exculpatory evidence (the advice provided by J B Tyrrell) regarding the cause of Moffatt’s death.
Item 2. Private correspondence.

Grinnell, George (James).
For the convenience of the reader, I repeat some items provided above.
1. Grinnell’s Canoe article.
Art Moffatt’s Wilderness Way to Enlightenment. Canoe, July 1988, pp 18-21 & 56.
In my possession.
2. Grinnell’s book, first edition.
A Death on the Barrens. A true story. Northern Books, Toronto (1996).
In my possession. Contents include much personal, introspective material, plus comments by George Luste. I emphasise that Luste was the publisher, not the editor.
Listed in both the primary accusatory literature and the primary Moffatt literature.
Opinion. The most influential component of all the 55 years of the accusatory literature.
Reviews. Unwanted images pop up and so I don’t provide URLs for those that I found: goodreads.com, northatlanticbooks.com, readingforsanity.ca, Amazon (1556438826), etc.
3. Grinnell’s book, second edition.
A Death on the Barrens. Heron Dance Press (2006).
Not accessed.
Comment. It appears not to have influenced the Moffatt literature.
4. Grinnell’s book, third edition.
Death on the Barrens. A True Story of Courage and Tragedy in the Canadian Arctic.
North Atlantic Books, Berkeley (2010).
In my possession.
Comment. It too appears not to have influenced the Moffatt literature.
5. His post at the blog
Foreword and Forum.
6. An email message.

Pessl, Fred (“Skip”).
Item 1. Three Canoes. 1.46 Bold Journey. Prod. no. 474. ABC Broadcast of Monday 8 July, 1957. Hosted by John Stephenson.
Not available to me.
Synopsis. Fred Pessl, Jr. narrates the films of a canoe trip from Athabaska Lake in southwest Saskatchewan to Hudson Bay. He and five other explorers spent three months working their way through a region rarely visited by white men. In the last rapids the leader of the expedition, Arthur Moffat was thrown from his canoe and died of exposure in the icy waters. [RF]
Item 2. Kesselheim’s Canoe&Kayak article (2012).
Contents include an interview with Pessl, plus the latter’s comments regarding the tragedy and the resulting literature (in particular Grinnell’s contributions thereto).
Item 3. 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
Item 4. Barren Grounds. The Story of the Tragic Moffatt Canoe Trip. Dartmouth College Press (2014).
Contents include excerpts from the journals of Pessl and Franck, photographs (many in colour), an account of events following the tragedy, an Epilogue, a timeline comparing the progress of the Tyrrell and Moffatt trips, and Endnotes [pp 178-180].
Item 5. Copious private correspondence beginning in the fall of 2014 and continuing.

Luste, George.
Item 1. Art Moffatt, following Tyrrell’s notes, was not expecting the rapid in which he swamped and then died [Grinnell book, p 284]
Item 2. Referring to unpublished accusations made prior to the publication of Grinnell’s book (1996), Luste wrote the following. 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, pp 293&294].
Aside. These two Luste evidences (which I assess to be exculpatory) were mentioned in none of the accusatory literature that followed. Deserving of explicit mention here are what James Murphy and Andrew MacDonald alleged to be reviews of Grinnell’s book.
Item 3. Private correspondence and conversations.

Jacobs, Allan.
Article 1. The Second Annual Luste Lecture.
Nastawgan. Vol 41, Winter 2014, pp 16-19.
http://www.myccr.com/sites/default/files/storage/CCR%20pdf/Nastawgan/winter_2014.pdf
Contents include a review (requested by the editor) of Pessl’s lecture given at the Canadian Canoe Museum on 25 October 2014.
Comments and corrections.
I was unable to access the Sports Illustrated article by the deadline date, and so this first attempt of mine to understand the tragedy is seriously incomplete.
Kesselheim’s Moffatt … a name that, in canoe-tripping circles became synonymous with incompetence is a statement of the perception; it is decidedly not an accusation of incompetence, as I unfortunately suggested on p 17 (left column, item 3a).
Only one tent was destroyed by the storm; and I scrambled some references.
CCR announcement of the opening of the blog.
http://www.myccr.com/phpbbforum/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=45362
Aside. It was opened a few days previously, so that I could provide advance notice to several persons whose names appear there.
Article 2. Announcement of the opening of the blog, accompanied by an incomplete list of not-so items from the accusatory literature, and a photograph of Arthur Moffatt. Nastawgan, Vol 43, Summer/Fall 2016, p 9.
Article 3. A second announcement, plus a summary of accusations made of Moffatt. Nastawgan, Vol 44, Summer 2017, p 19.

The secondary accusatory literature.

This literature is based on the primary accusatory literature, rather than directly on the evidence of the participants. It consists of publications in which the Moffatt trip is mentioned only incidentally.
The efforts of Moffatt’s defamers were highly successful, for their redactions of exculpatory evidence, their falsehoods, their fabrications and their deceits misled the entire paddling community, including many prominent members of it, for 55 years regarding the cause of his death.
Let me be explicit, let me express my conviction that
Jacobson,
Jennings, Hodgins and Small,
O’Hara,
Kesselheim,
MacGregor,
Morse, and
Peake
all acted in good faith.

Jacobson, Cliff.
Expedition Canoeing. A Guide to Canoeing Wild Rivers in North America.
Chapter 4. Loose Threads; p 22, left column. Falcon / Globe-Pequot Press (2005).
I have not examined the 2015 edition Canoeing Wild Rivers.
Comment. Unfortunately, the source for some Jacobson comments was not the faithful condensation of Lanouette’s journal for 14 September, as provided in the Sports Illustrated article (1959) [pp 85-87]. His source was rather the redacted version of that condensation, as provided in Grinnell’s book (1996) [pp 201-204]; please note the ellipsis near the top of p 202. To be explicit, Grinnell redacted the 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.
Opinion. The redacted material is exculpatory, and such was Grinnell’s motivation for the redaction.

Jennings, John. Bruce W Hodgins and Doreen Small (editors).
The Canoe in Canadian Cultures. Natural Heritage Books (1999).
Unfinished business. Page numbers will be provided.

Johnson, Alissa.
Meet Bob O’Hara. http://canoeing.com/meet-bob-ohara/ (undated).
Referring to Canoeing with the Cree [Eric Sevareid; MacMillan (1935)], the staff of canoeing.com provided the following.
O’Hara and his friends were so inspired they embarked on a trip of their own in 1967, paddling from Norway House, a Northwest Fur Trading Company outpost on the northeast shore of Lake Winnipeg, to York Factory on Hudson Bay. Disregarding warnings of flood stage waters and advice from local authorities to scrap their plans, the inexperienced whitewater paddlers set out with 1:250,000 scale maps. False starts and wrong turns set the tone right from the start, but these minor occurrences were quickly eclipsed by water so high that an entire island – an island with a portage around a waterfall, no less – had disappeared. In the excitement that ensued from this discovery, O’Hara swamped his canoe above the falls.
With respect to that incident, canoeing.com staff provided the following quote from O’Hara: It’s amazing how fast you can think sometimes. I instinctively grabbed the canoe, rolled toward it, and tucked my feet up. I thought hey, my legs are going to be dangling down and I don’t want them to get snagged. So I tucked them up and went over. Got my feet onto a gravel bar and pulled us to shore.
With respect to Moffatt’s death, the staff of canoeing.com provided the following: O’Hara credits a 1955 Sports Illustrated article detailing the death of Arthur Moffatt on the Dubawnt River with scaring everybody off. The canoeist’s party started their trip late in the season, and they grew careless scouting rapids as they raced winter to the end of the river. After swamping his canoe, Moffatt died of hypothermia.
Let there be no doubt. The assertion that the Moffatt party grew careless scouting rapids as they raced winter to the end of the river is a falsehood. But full responsibility for it attaches to the staff at canoeing.com, explicitly none to O’Hara.

Kesselheim, Alan.
57 years Ago. Canoe & Kayak, May 2012, starting on p 46.
Six men. Seventy five days out. Food almost gone, weather desperate. The end of the expedition more than a week away.
Aside. Pessl’s contributions to the article are listed elsewhere.
With respect to the assertion that food was almost gone, I believe that Kesselheim was misled by Moffatt’s defamers in the matter.

MacGregor, Roy.
Canoe Country. The Making of Canada. Random House Canada, first edition (2015). pp 48&49.
…The Far North held many lessons of what could befall the unprepared. Perhaps the best known of all folly expeditions was the Moffatt expedition of 1955, which today stands an example of what not to do when heading into the northern wilderness. Arthur Moffatt, a thirty-six-year-old filmmaker and Dartmouth College graduate, talked five young Americans–two of them still teenagers—to join him on a paddle down the Dubawnt River, which runs through the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. The Dubawnt is considered a very difficult, even dangerous river. Two of the five had limited experience; one had never paddled a canoe.
Ill-prepared and poorly supplied, the six paddlers ran into terrible weather and fought and argued their way along the nearly impossible journey. Short of food and faced with snowy weather, arguing their time was limited, they tried to make up time by running a long rapid without first scouting it. Two of the canoes went over. Moffatt froze to death on the banks while waiting for the others to be rescued.

Opinion. Like so many others, MacGregor was misled by Moffatt’s defamers.

Morse, Eric W.
Freshwater Saga. Memoirs of a Lifetime of Wilderness Canoeing in Canada. University of Toronto Press (1987).
…we had an example before us of what happens without a proper schedule, for at Baker Lake we would be seeing the grave of Arthur Moffatt who, leading a group of young Americans, let the days slip away too easily on the Dubawnt River in 1955, later forcing the party into risks that proved fatal. [p 84].
As well, incidental mention is made of the party’s visit to Moffatt’s grave. [p 104]
Comment. Morse did not identify a source, but the only publication available at the time was the Sports Illustrated article of 1959.

Peake, Michael.
1955: A Tale of Two Trips. [Che-Mun, Outfit 99, Winter 2000].
Item 1. “…the Moffatt trip is now best remembered for the death of its leader. Arthur Moffatt drowned on September 14 on a rapid they had no business running that late in the year. He is buried in Baker Lake. [p 4]
Item 2. The Tragic Trips…1955 – The Moffat Dubawnt River trip.
“1955 – The Moffatt Dubawnt River trip. Arthur Moffatt, 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. He is buried in Baker Lake.” [pp 5&6]
http://www.canoe.ca/che-mun/99two.html
Google images.
https://www.google.ca/search?q=arthur+moffatt+canoe&espv=2&biw=1360&bih=667&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=P5wKVfDyBonBgwTLuoDQBw&ved=0CDAQsAQ&dpr=1
Opinion. Peake was misled by the falsehoods of Murphy and MacDonald.

The secondary Moffatt literature.

Items provided for completeness.

Anonymous.
Report of an interview with Peter Franck.
Soph Describes Fatal Canoe Mishap. Canadian Accident.
The Harvard Crimson. September 29, 1955. “NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED.”
http://www.thecrimson.com/article/1955/9/29/soph-describes-fatal-canoe-mishap-ppeter/

Harp, Elmer Jr.
The Moffatt Archeological Collection from the Dubawnt Country, Canada.
Item 1.
Only the first page (412) is available for viewing by the general public.
http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/276602?sid=21106167779013&uid=4&uid=3737720&uid=3739448&uid=2
Item 2.
Harp’s interest in the Moffatt expedition is mentioned on page 128 of Pessl’s book.
Before we left the States, Art had arranged that Elmer Harp, Dartmouth College Archaeology Faculty, would have a look at whatever we could collect…
Item 3.
Professor Elmer Harp of Dartmouth College made an archaeological collection at Grant Lake on the Dubawnt. [Lentz, North, 1970] [Hodgins and Hoyle, p 107]

Hodgins, Bruce W; and Gwyneth Hoyle.
Canoeing North into the Unknown: A Record of River Travel, 1874 to 1974. [Dundurn, 1997]
A party of Americans led by Arthur Moffatt…canoed from Black Lake to Selwyn Lake and down the Dubawnt River and across Dubawnt Lake. Following an accident in the rapids entering Marjorie Lake, Moffatt died of exposure and is buried in Baker Lake. The rest of the group completed the trip down the Dubawnt and Thelon in late September. [p 107]
Sources were the Sports Illustrated article (1959), a personal communication from Grinnell, and Grinnell’s Canoe article (1988).
Opinion. A completely faithful representation of the evidence.

Moffatt and the J B Tyrrell literature.

The following provides references to J B Tyrrell literature in which incidental reference is made to Moffatt’s death.
Inglis, Alex.
Northern Vagabond. The Life and Career of J B Tyrrell – the Man Who Conquered the Canadian North. McClelland and Stewart. (1978).
Primarily a biography of J B Tyrrell, the book is mentioned also above, under Primary accusatory literature.
Robertson, Heather.
Measuring Mother Earth. How Joe the Kid Became Tyrrell of the North. McClelland and Stewart, Toronto (2007).
URL. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heather_Robertson
A second biography of Joseph Burr Tyrrell. The Tyrrell-Tyrrell expedition of 1893 is described, starting with Chapter 8 (p 136). I provide two excerpts regarding the Moffatt trip.
Excerpt 1. …in 1955, an American, Arthur Moffatt, died running a rapid on the Dubawnt River… [p 315].
Excerpt 2. A Death on the Barrens, by George James Grinnell, Northern Books, Toronto, 1996, tells the haunting story of Arthur Moffatt’s death in the context of Grinnell’s own existential crisis as one of the six men on Moffatt’s expedition. [p 333].
Opinion. A completely faithful representation of the evidence.

Appendix. Material related to Pessl’s book.
URLs of reviews.
http://www.upne.com/1611685336.html

http://www.dartmouth.org/classes/55/images/dart_news_oct_14.pdf
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18988880-barren-grounds
A Review of Barren Grounds: The Story of the Tragic Moffatt Canoe Trip by Fred “Skip” Pessl
Texts of some reviews.
Source. The back cover of the book.
1. Skip Pessl delivers a vivid on-the-ground account of northern canoe adventure, from a time before GPS, composite boats, sat phones, and expedition blogs. His riveting day-by-day chronicle fires up the youthful exhilaration and fierce joy of traditional expedition life in the Far North. It also reveals, with refreshing honesty and humility, the fear and tragedy survived by the Moffatt party. Pessl brings a lifetime of contemplation to bear in his analysis of that awful, mortal moment on the cold river, far from help. Essential reading for those who warm to the flame of northern adventure. [Alan Kesselheim, author of Let Them Paddle.]
2. Skip Pessl’s book…is needed, welcome and superb. I’m saying this as someone who canoed the same arctic Dubawant River in 1969 and was involved in an earlier book about this trip. Skip’s account focuses on reality and evidence, not on personal opinion or mythology. To repeat, this new book is needed and sincerely welcome. [G. J. Luste, Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of Toronto, and founder of the Wilderness & Canoeing Symposium.]
3. Skip Pessl’s candid and long-overdue account of the ’55 Dubawnt trip gives us a balanced view of this historic event. In “Barren Grounds”, Skip faces some of the toughest moments of his life with courage and tenacity. This book is welcome closure for anyone affected by Art Moffatt’s tragic story. [Aleks Gusev, editor of Nastawgan Journal.]
4. Skip Pessl provides a rich and nuanced account of the Moffatt expedition. Drawing on his extensive journals and those of expedition member Peter Franck, Pessl shares a mesmerizing tale of exploration and discovery, of friendship and loss, the stark beauty and utter indifference of the North. [Jeff Moag, editor of Canoe & Kayak magazine.
Emendations.
The headings Wharton Lake for the Pessl/Franck entries of 8 September [pp 127&128] are incorrect. Wharton Lake was reached on 11 September, as evinced by the following excerpts from Moffatt’s journal, kindly, immediately and generously provided by Pessl,
10 September.
In spite of strong winds and snow squalls, made it with help of strong current down to the falls above Wharton Lake. Ice on paddles, hills still white.
11 September.
Shot last run of rapid below falls, rough at first, green water over boulders; then shallow, wide channel, hard to see in poor light, another rapid, and Wharton Lake.
Comments.
I emphasise that the contents are correct [Pessl, private correspondence]; it is only the headings that are not.
Correspondingly, the entry for Moffatt, 1955 in the table on p 129 should read September 11.

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.
EDIT!!!
Bibliography.

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

Edition of 16 June 2018.

Ancillary 11. Canoe and Kayak manuscript

Renovations continue. Thanks for your patience.

Failed attempt to publish the first version of
In Defence of Arthur Moffatt.

April 2015.
After consultation with the editor of Canoe&Kayak, I submitted the following eight items: Main text (both print and digital editions), Bibliography and five Appendices.
This version, which omitted accusers’ names, was accepted for publication.
Later, at the request of the editor, I added accusers’ names.
As well, I provided ~eight of Pessl’s photos.
June 2015.
What were to have been the print and digital editions of the Main text were posted online
http://www.canoekayak.com/canoe/in-defense-of-arthur-moffatt/#5UIXv2RETJtWMQwt.97 ,

In Defense of Arthur Moffatt (Unabridged Version)


The subtitle of both. Allan Jacobs on why the conventional wisdom about Arthur Moffatt is wrong.
Aside. The software occasionally displays material from these two URLs; if it continues to do so, I might mangle them.
18 October 2015.
All eight items were submitted in final form. No response was received.
28 January 2016.
Text of my message. Just wondering how things are going.
No response was received.
9 June 2016.
Given
that the Bibliography and none of the Appendices had not been published in any form, and
that I had received no reply to my enquiry (that of 28 January) regarding the publication status of the remaining items, and
that the contents were now hopelessly outdated by the results of my further research,
I withdrew all items from consideration for publication.
I received no response to my withdrawal notice.
In fairness, both the print and the digital versions of the main text were available online when last I looked.

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 14 March 2018.

Ancillary 13. Timeline of the primary Moffatt literature

Renovations continue. Thanks for your patience.

Ancillary 13. 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.
Items of what I call the secondary Moffatt literature are listed in the corresponding part of the Bibliography.
The accusations are addressed in Ancillary 1. Accusations.

1955.
Publication of participant 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 LeFavour evidence.

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 some comments.
I agree with Pessl [private correspondence] that the 2010 edition differs significantly from that of 1996. But the two agree regarding the evidence presented regarding Lanouette’s evidence for 14 September.
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.
If the reader will excuse a comment, both Murphy and MacDonald provided more than reviews.

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
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.
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

Comments regarding the 2012-2014 literature.
1. Kingsley knew of Pessl’s contribution to Kesselheim’s article of 2012, but made only incidental mention of it. I possess no evidence, and I doubt, that Kingsley knew of either Pessl’s Nastawgan article (2013) or his book (2014).
2. I possess no evidence, and I doubt, that Pessl knew of any Kingsley publication.

2015 and 2016. A personal item.
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. A second personal item.
Announcement at Canadian Canoe Routes of the opening of my blog In Defence of Arthur Moffatt to public view.
http://www.myccr.com/phpbbforum/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=45362
A few days earlier, I had informed several interested parties that the blog was open for viewing.

Ancillary 12. Acknowledgements.

Ancillary 12. Acknowledgements.

I am profoundly grateful to trip participants Fred “Skip” Pessl, Ed “Joe” Lanouette and Bruce LeFavour for their generous and extensive assistance with my research. They kindly and most patiently informed me, without guiding me, as I stumbled along the path to understand the tragedy. They supplied copies of much of the source material cited in my bibliography; I would have had considerable difficulty otherwise. Indeed, I would not have so much as known of the existence of some material.
In more detail:
Pessl provided excerpts from Moffatt’s journal.
Lanouette provided his full journal for 14 September (only a condensation was provided in the SI article of 1959). And he gave permission to post his full journal, as transcribed his daughter Elizabeth Emge.
LeFavour provided the third of his four newspaper articles.
As well, all three corresponded privately as well.
I hope that I have honoured the trust that they placed in me.
But responsibility for all errors, especially those of judgment, belongs to me alone.

Thanks also to the following.
George Luste provided keen insights into the tragedy, this early in my research; I much regret that I did not speak more with him while still I could.
Bruce Buttimore assisted in setting up the blog and suggested an important clarification.
Mike Gray loaned his two books regarding the Moffatt expedition.
Elizabeth Emge provided excerpts from the journal of participant Lanouette (her father). And she is now providing his complete journal.
Mathieu Sabourin (Library and Archives, Canada) provided a highly informative response to my request for information regarding the alleged inquest into Moffatt’s death.
The staff of the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library (University of Toronto) made exceptional efforts to assist my access to Tyrrell material.
Lee Sessions provided much needed and much appreciated advice regarding the presentation of the evidence.
Michael Pitt corresponded regarding the fatal rapids.
George Grinnell (participant) corresponded frankly regarding the Epilogue of the Sports Illustrated article. And he responded at the Forum. Foreword and Forum.
David DeMello corresponded regarding the Moffatt route from Wharton Lake to Marjorie Lake, and he posted information at Canadian Canoe Routes regarding the Marjorie-Aberdeen portage.
Les Wilcox suggested an important clarification and provided correspondence regarding the Tyrrell-Moffatt route from Wharton Lake to Marjorie Lake.
Ken McGoogan suggested a more effective introduction to the evidence of Appendix 9.
CCR’s recped pointed out an incorrect URL.

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 12 March 2018.

Ancillary 10. My sources.

Renovations continue. Thanks for your patience.

Ancillary 10. My sources.

Tyrrell material.
Items possessed.
The relevant material from the books of J B Tyrrell and J W Tyrrell,
the maps of J B Tyrrell, and
Moffatt’s two letters to J B Tyrrell.
Missing items.
My best efforts failed to obtain the following.
JBT’s response (known to have been made) to Moffatt’s first letter.
JBT’s journal (known to have been possessed by Moffatt and to differ substantially from his book).
Reference.
Ancillary 7. Moffatt’s Tyrrell sources.

Participant material.
Moffatt, Arthur.
1. Edited excerpts from his journal, as provided in Sports Illustrated. Issues of 9 March 1959 Man against the barrens grounds (pp 68-76) and 16 March 1959 Danger and Sacrifice (pp 80-88).
2. Unedited excerpts provided by Pessl.
Lanouette, Ed “Joe”.
1. His full journal for 14 September 1955 and a portion for the next day.
2. The condensation (I believe it to be a faithful one) of the entry for 14 September, as published in the Sports Illustrated article (pp 85-87).
3. Private correspondence.
4. In progress. His full journal for the trip, as kindly provided by his daughter Elizabeth Emge.
LeFavour, Bruce.
1. The third (only) of his four Evening Recorder articles (1955). It is not publicly available and so did not influence the Moffatt literature prior to my mention of it in 2016.
2. Private correspondence.
Grinnell, George.
1. Art Moffatt’s Wilderness Way to Enlightenment. Canoe (1988). pp 18-21 & 56.
2. A Death on the Barrens. A True Story. Northern Books (1996).
3. A True Story of Courage and Tragedy in the Canadian Arctic. North Atlantic Books (2010). I possess it but made only superficial use of it, this to examine his version of the condensation of Lanouette’s journal for 14 September.
I possess no evidence that the Moffatt literature made of either the 2005 or the 2010 edition.
4. His post at the blog.
5. Private correspondence (one message).
Pessl, Fred “Skip”.
1. Three Canoes. 1.46 Bold Journey. Prod. no. 474. ABC Broadcast of Monday 8 July, 1957. I possess only a summary, but decided to list it, for completeness.
2. Comments published in Kesselheim’s article 57 years Ago. Canoe & Kayak, May 2012, starting on p 46.
As best I know, the article appeared too late to influence the Moffatt literature, except for incidental use by Kingsley.
3. 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
As best I know, the article appeared too late to influence the Moffatt literature.
4. Barren Grounds. The Story of the Tragic Moffatt Canoe Trip. Dartmouth College Press (2014). Excerpts from his journal and that of Franck, plus comments on the previous literature.
As best I know, the book appeared too late to influence the Moffatt literature.
5. Private correspondence.
Franck, Peter.
Excerpts from his journal, as provided in Pessl’s book.

Other sources.
Mathieu Sabourin (Library and Archives, Canada) kindly responded to my request regarding Grinnell’s assertion that an inquest had been held into the death of Arthur Moffatt.

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 10 April 2018.

Main text

Until mid-December or so, my efforts will concentrate on other items.

In Defence of Arthur Moffatt.

Introduction.

Arthur Moffatt died of hypothermia in the afternoon of 14 September 1955, after his canoe capsized in rapids on the Dubawnt River in what is now Nunavut. Accusations of him began 1959 and continued to 2014. The result was that much of the paddling community, and likely also members of the general public, became convinced that he died due to his incompetence.
But 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
I conclude that a dead man was falsely accused for 55 years, in many instances knowingly.

My sources.
Aside.
When I announced the opening of the blog to public view,
http://www.myccr.com/phpbbforum/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=45362
one CCR member asked how I knew what happened, for I wasn’t there.
Response. That same consideration did not deter many persons from publishing accusations of a dead man.
Tyrrell sources in my possession.
In the summer of 1955, Arthur Moffatt set out to retrace the central portion of the Tyrrell (Joseph Burr and James Williams) expedition of 1893. To guide him, he had consulted both their books; as well, he had obtained JBT’s maps and his journal, and he had corresponded with JBT.
I possess copies of JWT’s book, JBT’s book, and JBT’s maps.
I lack JBT’s journal (a key item), known to have been possessed by Moffatt.
I possess copies of Moffatt’s two letters to J B Tyrrell. I lack JBT’s response (a key item) to the first.
Reference. Ancillary 3. Tyrrell evidence and the fatal rapids.
Participant publications in my possession.
The key third article (of four) of LeFavour (1955).
The Sports Illustrated article (1959). Contents edited excerpts from Moffatt’s journal, and a faithful condensation of the journal of Lanouette (Moffatt’s bowperson) for the day of Moffatt’s death.
The article (1988) and the book (1996) of Grinnell.
The two articles (2012 and 2013) and the book (2014) of Pessl. The latter contains also excerpts from the journal of Franck.
The full journal of Lanouette. Thanks to him and his daughter Elizabeth Emge, I recently published it at CCR.
http://www.myccr.com/phpbbforum/viewtopic.php?f=181&t=46535 et seqq.
My correspondence with the participants.
Extensive with Pessl, much less with Lanouette, yet less with LeFavour, only incidentally with Grinnell.

Summary.

The evidence reveals every accusation made of Moffatt to be false, save the seven documented immediately below. Of these, the sole one of substance (that regarding the rapids where Moffatt died) is addressed immediately below.
The techniques used by Moffatt’s accusers:
1. Redactions of exculpatory evidence.
2. Ignoring of exculpatory evidence.
3. Falsehoods, aka alternative facts: accusations falsified by evidence known to the accuser.
4. Fabrications: accusations with no basis in evidence, in short dreamed-up.
5. Deceits: conscious misrepresentations of known evidence.
And I suggest it not beside the point that the dead are easy targets for bullies.

Contrary to what so many succeeded so well in convincing so many to believe, the cause of Moffatt’s death was not incompetence on his part. The cause was rather faulty advice from a source that had proved so reliable that the party had previously experienced not one dump, not one pin and but one swamp on a dangerous river.
The efforts of Moffatt’s defamers were outstandingly successful, for the entire paddling community (including senior and highly respected members of it), plus the general public, was deceived for 55 years regarding the cause of his death.

Conclusion. We wuz had.
Reference. The primary portion of Bibliography documents the publications of Moffatt’s accusers, the secondary portion the publications of those whom they deceived.

The cause of Moffatt’s death.

On 14 September 1955, Arthur Moffatt died of hypothermia after his canoe capsized in rapids on the Dubawnt River in what is now Nunavut. One of the seven true accusations made of him is that those rapids had not been scouted.
But is it not the question whether that decision was justified by the information available to Moffatt at the time? And so I ask that the reader refrain from judging him until s/he has gone over the twelve evidences that I now present.

Evidence 1.
Although reaches of the Dubawnt river above the fatal rapids are highly dangerous, the Moffatt party had experienced not one dump, not one pin and but one swamp in the eleven weeks prior to Moffatt’s death in the afternoon of 14 September 1955. Indeed, the only two dumps of the entire trip occurred in the rapids where he died.
Opinion. This prior success testifies to both
1. the skill and the caution of the members of the Moffatt party, and
2. the accuracy of the rapids advice provided by J B Tyrrell to Moffatt.
Unfortunately, JBT’s advice failed Moffatt that afternoon.

Evidence 2.
List of major features documented on J B Tyrrell’s map (possessed by Moffatt) for the reach between Wharton Lake and what is now called Marjorie Lake.
Wharton Lake, two rapids (with descents of 15 and 6 feet), a small lake, a rapid with a portage of 18 chains, a turn to the north, a featureless reach (explicitly one devoid of rapids), Lady Marjorie Lake.
Comment. Arthur Moffatt died in the reach between the turn and Marjorie Lake.
Reference. https://barrenlands.library.utoronto.ca/content/zone-6-1893

Evidence 3.
The relevant passage in J B Tyrrell’s book (also possessed by Moffatt).
Below Wharton Lake the river flows at first eastward, and then southward, for four miles to a small lake, in which distance it rushes down two rapids with descents respectively of 15 and 6 feet. …Five miles below the small lake is a rapid with a descent of twenty feet, past the lower part of which a portage 400 yards long was made over a hill of boulders… At the foot of this rapid the river turns at right angles and flows northward for seven miles as a wide shallow rapid stream, through low country… Lady Marjorie Lake…was entered at the south end….
Comment. Not surprisingly, Tyrrell’s map and his book agree regarding the features; I note only that 18 chains = 400 yards (close enough).
Reference. Ancillary 3. Tyrrell evidence and the fatal rapids.

Aside.
Neither JBT’s book nor his map documents rapids in the reach between the end of the portage and what is now called Marjorie Lake. It was in this reach that Moffatt died.

Evidence 4.
Moffatt’s journal for 10 September (four days before his death) includes the passage can’t risk an upset now.
To me, that passage evinces a cautious approach to rapids and so is exculpatory.
Reference. Moffatt’s full journal for 10 September is provided in Ancillary 1. Accusations.

Evidence 5.
On 13 September, the Moffatt party ran without incident the two rapids with descents respectively of 15 and 6 feet, traversed the small lake, then began the portage 400 yards long.

Evidence 6.
The full content of Moffatt’s journal for 13 September (the day before his death) is provided in Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.
Opinion. The key item provided there is the phrase Following Tyrrell’s route. What interpretation of that phrase is credible but that Moffatt had route advice from Tyrrell (J B, not J W) and was following it? That is, I believe the passage to be exculpatory.

Intermediate summary.
With respect to the reach from Wharton Lake to the end of the portage completed in the morning of 14 September, Moffatt had found all features to have been as described by J B Tyrrell, in Evidences 2 and 3.
The question. Should Moffatt have trusted JBT’s advice that afternoon?

Evidence 7.
Background material related to the events of 13 and 14 September.
The river between Wharton and Marjorie Lakes…had been traveled by Tyrrell in his trip 60 years before and was described in his journal: there were five rapids, the first two rough but shootable, the third long and heavy requiring a portage of a mile and the last two apparently easy for they were mentioned only as “rapids”. Because this route was described we took it, being careful to look over the first two which were indeed rough. Hurrying as we were, no foolish chances were taken. [LeFavour. The Evening Recorder, Amsterdam NY. Part 3, page 8, 29 December (1955)].
Aside 1. LeFavour refers to J B Tyrrell’s journal (contents unknown) as the source. And so the source was not JBT’s response (contents also unknown) to Moffatt’s letter of 18 December 1954.
Aside 2. I documented above that neither JBT’s book nor his map (both possessed by Moffatt) mentions the rapids where Moffatt died.
Comment. On 13 September, the Moffatt party ran without incident the first two rough but shootable rapids. These are the rapids with descents of 15 and 6 feet mentioned in JBT’s book and shown on his map. That same day, the Moffatt party began the portage of 400 yards around the long and heavy rapids. That portage was completed in the morning of 14 September. That afternoon, Moffatt died in the two apparently easy rapids that followed.
Intermediate summary.
LeFavour’s remarks regarding these first three features (the rapids with descents of 15 and 6 feet and the portage) agree completely with those of J B Tyrrell (both in his book and on his map), except for the length of the portage.

Evidence 8.
The events of 14 September.
After completing the portage of 400 yards in the morning, the Moffatt party continued downstream, stopping for lunch.
A few hours later, the canoe carrying Lanouette and Moffatt overturned, as did that carrying Pessl and Franck, this in the reach described in J B Tyrrell’s book only as a wide shallow rapid stream, and shown on his map as featureless.
Luste commented as follows. …one is struck by how close all six came to perishing in the cold water… If the one canoe had not managed to stay afloat while going over the second drop, nobody would have survived. If Peter Franck had not had the skill (or luck) to keep the last canoe upright when George fell in, it is difficult to imagine how any of them would have survived… [Grinnell book, p 295].

Foretaste.
In the next item, participant LeFavour provides key evidence (not mentioned in JBT’s book, nor shown on his map) regarding the reach that Moffatt died, that below the portage.

Evidence 9.
That of LeFavour for 14 September.
At 3 p.m. we were again on the river…we hoped to get a good way up Marjorie Lake in the calm before dark. A mile downriver the roar of the next rapid reached our ears… As we coasted into the top of it all appeared to be well. You could see the bottom, the water, though white, was apparently shootable. Tyrrell had indicated by his neglect that the rapid was an easy one, and it seemed to be just that. [The Evening Recorder, Amsterdam NY. Part 3, page 8, 29 December (1955)].
Opinion.
The key passage is Tyrrell had indicated by his neglect that the rapid was an easy one.
It was in this rapid (and the one that followed) that Moffatt died.

Evidence 10.
That of Lanouette for 14 September.
Background. Ancillary 2. Lanouette evidence and the fatal rapids provides the full journal of Moffatt’s bowperson for the day of Moffatt’s death, as kindly provided by him. The Sports Illustrated article provided what I assess to be a faithful condensation of it. The following passage appears in both the original and the 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 before Marjorie Lake. Actually, what we had gone down were only riffles, and what lay ahead was the real beginning of the first rapids. At the top, the rapids looked as though they would be easy going, a few small waves, rocks—nothing serious. We didn’t even haul to shore to have a look, as we usually did. The river was straight and we could see both the top and foot of the rough water quite clearly, or we thought we could. We barreled happily along. We bounced over a couple of fair-sized waves and took in a couple of splashes but I didn’t mind because I had made an apron of my poncho and remained dry enough. I was looking a few feet in front of the canoe for submerged rocks when suddenly Art shouted “Paddle”.
I took up the beat, at the same time looking farther ahead to see what we were trying to avoid. It was surprised to see two lines of white. I looked at them in helpless fascination. It was too late to pull for shore.
[SI article, p 85 (1959)].
The key passage (provided in both Lanouette’s journal and the SI condensation) is the three sentences
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.
Interpretation. Moffatt knew there to be two rapids below the portage, but Lanouette’s surprised comment evinces that he had been incorrectly advised (by J B Tyrrell) regarding their severity. Only when it was too late to pull for shore did Moffatt realise that JBT’s advice (which had proved worthy of his trust for the previous 11 weeks of the trip) had failed him in the afternoon of 14 September 1955. He could only tough it out.
Opinion. That three-sentence passage is the key to understanding the cause of Moffatt’s death, for it evinces that he had been misled by J B Tyrrell’s advice. But not one Moffatt accuser (in desperate haste to publish?) mentioned it over those 55 years.

Evidence 11.
That of Pessl.
We were following Tyrrell’s journal description of the river conditions approaching Marjorie Lake. Tyrrell’s river descriptions had proven dependable previously and indicated benign conditions entering Marjorie Lake following the last portage. [private correspondence]
Note. The last portage is the one completed in the morning of 14 September.

Evidence 12.
That of George Luste.
Aside. I regret that I did not ask him about his sources for the following.
A general comment.
Referring to accusations extant at the time, he provided the following
Over the years, a number of unfounded versions or representations of the Moffatt accident have made their way into the canoeing literature… It seems as if a liberal amount of imagination has been invoked by these writers to change the facts so they fit their preoccupations and desires for culpability. [Grinnell book (1996), pp 293&294]
A specific comment.
Art Moffatt, following Tyrrell’s notes, was not expecting the rapid in which he swamped and then died. [Grinnell book, p 284].
What interpretation of this passage is possible but that Moffatt had been misled by the advice of Tyrrell (J B) regarding the severity of the rapids where he died?
Summary.
Both these evidences were provided in Grinnell’s book, the primary source for Moffatt’s accusers.
Unfortunately for the reputation of a dead man, both were ignored in every publication of the accusatory literature, primary and secondary alike, for 55 years. Worth explicit mention is that Murphy and MacDonald ignored these evidences in what they alleged to be reviews of Grinnell’s book.
References.
Appendix 8. Rapids in general.
Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.

Aside.
Present-day evidence regarding the location of the fatal rapids.
At http://www.mytopo.com/maps/ , click on Canada and enter Wharton Lake Keewatin. The rapids are marked by a double bar just upstream from Marjorie Lake.
At Toporama, start at http://atlas.gc.ca/toporama/en/index.html , enter Wharton Lake, Nunavut and follow the south exit. At low magnification, on sees a +; on zooming in, one sees whorls in the last 250 m or so.

An opportunity?
In the light of the evidences provided above, the reader may wish to assess the following assertions regarding the rapids where Moffatt died.
1. …the Moffatt party races against winter …In desperate haste, they take an ultimate chance. [Sports Illustrated, bottom of right column, p 76 (1959)]
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. [SI, top of right column, p 82]
3. …misjudging Tyrrell’s descriptions of the rapids they would encounter before entering Marjorie Lake… [Inglis, 1979]
4. …Moffatt died of exposure after they dumped in a large rapid they did not scout. [Che-Mun, Outfit 99, Winter 2000].
5. 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, Paddle North, top of p 189, 2014]
6. The Moffatt party grew careless scouting rapids as they raced winter to the end of the river. [canoeing.com writer/editor. http://canoeing.com/meet-bob-ohara/]
Conjecture. Assertions 3 through 6 were inspired by those of the SI editor.
References.
Appendix 8. Rapids in general.
Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.

Aside regarding blind probes.
My meagre understanding of such matters has it that the running of rapids without a scout is so common as to have acquired a title, namely making a blind probe.
Many parties made such and got through successfully, but many others dumped. Indeed, two accusers had the courage and the integrity to state that they had dumped as a result.
Reference 1. Murphy, James. Moffatt, Myth and Mysticism [Che-Mun, Canoelit section. Outfit unknown. Spring 1996, pp 5 & 11]
Reference 2. Thum, Bob. In Down a Dead Man’s River. [Charlie Mahler. Che-Mun. Outfit 122, Autumn 2005, starting on page 4].
http://www.ottertooth.com/che-mun/122/chemun122.pdf
But Moffatt did not make a blind probe!
As I documented above, his dump resulted solely from incorrect advice provided by a source that he had learned to trust over the previous eleven weeks. To repeat, J B Tyrrell had advised Moffatt 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.

How did it go so badly wrong,

that Arthur Moffatt was falsely accused for 55 years regarding the running of the rapids where he died?
It bears explicit mention that the Sports Illustrated article (1959), Grinnell’s article (1988) and Grinnell’s book (1996) constitute the entire evidentiary basis (that provided in publications of the participants) for all those years.
The evidence leads me to conclude that the primary cause was three redactions of exculpatory evidence, two made by the SI editor and one made by Grinnell.
And so it disturbs me considerably that Grinnell had participated in the writing of the SI article.

Redaction 1 made by the Sports Illustrated editor,

that from Moffatt’s journal entry for 10 September.
0. The following provides the full documentation relevant to Evidence 4, above.
1. Moffatt’s full journal entry for that day is provided in Ancillary 1. Accusations.
2. The Moffatt passage provided there and relevant to the abovementioned items running scared and can’t risk an upset now:
Finished portage across sand beach about 200 yds, this am by 10:30. Then on – everybody running scared now; third day of snow, strong north wind, freezing all day. Frozen feet a real worry, our boots being porous as blotting paper.
… Finished portage 5:30, I cooked caribou, beets, pudding + tea. Made portage north side – should be on south but this side easier to get to–can’t risk an upset now.

3. The Sports Illustrated version of this passage.
We’re all running scared. This is the third day of snow. There is a strong north wind. It has been freezing all day. Frozen feet are becoming a real worry, our torn boots being as porous as blotting paper. [SI article, p 82, middle of right column]
4. Comparison of the two versions. The SI editor
published the passage running scared (which is detrimental to Moffatt), but
redacted the passage can’t risk an upset now (which is favourable to Moffatt).
Opinion. What interpretation of these actions is plausible but that the SI editor intended to deceive the reader regarding the cause of Moffatt’s death?

Redaction 2 made by the Sports Illustrated editor,

that from Moffatt’s journal entry for 13 September.
0. The following provides the full documentation relevant to Evidence 6, above.
1. Moffatt’s full journal entry for that day is provided in Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.
What interpretation of the phrase Following Tyrrell’s route contained there is possible but that Moffatt had possessed route advice from Tyrrell (J B, not J W) and that he was following it the next day, when he died?
2. A version of that entry was published in the Sports Illustrated article (1959) [lower right column, p 82]. Comparison of the two versions reveals that the SI editor redacted the phrase Following Tyrrell’s route.
3. And so I ask that reader reflect on the light shed by the phrase Following Tyrrell’s route on the following assertions of the SI editor.
1. …the Moffatt party races against winter on the Barren Grounds …In desperate haste, they take an ultimate chance. [SI article, 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. [SI article, top of right column, p 82]
Opinion. Given that the phrase Following Tyrrell’s route calls into question the truth of both these assertions, such was the editor’s motivation for redacting it.

Summary.
The Sports Illustrated editor redacted two exculpatory evidences from Moffatt’s journal. One such redaction could have been an accident, but surely not two such.
Yet worse, the editor published the two falsehoods documented above.

Conclusion.
The Sports Illustrated editor set out to defame a dead man.

The redaction made by participant Grinnell.

The evidence of participant Lanouette.

For the convenience of the reader, I repeat the relevant part of the SI condensation (a faithful one) of Lanouette’s journal for 14 September.
In a few minutes we heard and saw rapids on the horizon. This surprised us. Art had figured we had already shot the last two rapids before Marjorie Lake. Actually, what we had gone down were only riffles, and what lay ahead was the real beginning of the first rapids. At the top, the rapids looked as though they would be easy going, a few small waves, rocks—nothing serious. We didn’t even haul to shore to have a look, as we usually did.
shore. [SI article, p 85 (1959)].
Opinion, also repeated for the reader’s convenience.
The key item is the three sentences 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.
What interpretation of this passage is possible but that Moffatt had been misled (by J B Tyrrell’s advice) regarding the danger posed by the rapids where he died? In more detail, Lanouette and Moffatt were surprised because J B Tyrrell had advised Moffatt that there were no significant rapids in the reach between the portage (completed in the morning of 14 September) and Marjorie Lake.
Opinion. That three-sentence passage is exculpatory, for it evinces that J B Tyrrell’s advice had proved to be incorrect.
Reference. The evidences provided at the beginning of the Main text.

Grinnell’s version of the above passage.
In a few minutes we heard and saw rapids on the horizon…
At the top, the rapids looked as though they would be easy going, a few small waves, rocks—nothing serious. We didn’t even haul to shore to have a look, as we usually did.
[Grinnell book (1996), top of p 202].

Comparison of the two versions
reveals that Grinnell redacted 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 and it replaced with an ellipsis.
As I remarked above, to me that passage is exculpatory, for it evinces that the cause of Moffatt’s death was incorrect advice provided by J B Tyrrell.
Question. What interpretation of his redaction of this passage is plausible but that Grinnell intended to conceal exculpatory evidence regarding the cause of Moffatt’s death?

Additional remarks.
In addition to this redaction of this exculpatory evidence, Grinnell failed to object to both to the falsehoods published, and to the redactions made, by the SI editor.
As well, Grinnell himself published a plethora of falsehoods and fabrications prejudicial to Moffatt, for example those regarding holidays and the inquest.
Had Grinnell chosen to tell the truth, Moffatt’s reputation might well have escaped untarnished. Had his family not suffered enough already?
Aside. Grinnell had participated in the writing of the SI article.

Summary.
Grinnell’s book (which is anything but the true story alleged in the subtitle) ignited the flames of the accusatory literature (both primary and secondary) that burned for another 18 years.
In fairness though, much of the later defamation of a dead man resulted from the independent falsehoods published by Murphy and MacDonald, in what they alleged to be reviews of Grinnell’s book.

Conclusions.
Grinnell set out to defame a dead man.
Grinnell betrayed Moffatt.

The collaboration of the Sports Illustrated editor and Grinnell.

1. I need repeat that Grinnell, in both his article (1988) and his book (1996), had the opportunity to object to the falsehoods and the fabrications of the SI editor (1959). But he failed to do so, and so those items polluted the Moffatt literature for another two generations.
2. I need repeat also that both the SI editor (twice) and Grinnell (once) redacted exculpatory evidence regarding Moffatt’s decision to run without a scout the rapids where he died.
3. I bring now to the reader’s attention that Grinnell had collaborated in the writing of the SI article, specifically the Epilogue. I refer here to Grinnell’s comments regarding death by hypothermia, the rescues, the revised plan to reach Baker Lake, the crossing of Aberdeen Lake, etc.
Given that Grinnell’s first publication (his Canoe article of 1988) appeared 29 years later, he and the SI editor must have corresponded, at the very least. Indeed, I have cause to believe that they had met through intermediaries, perhaps even in person.
Conclusion 1. The SI editor and Grinnell colluded to defame a dead man, yet more evidence that Grinnell betrayed Moffatt.
Conclusion 2. Grinnell betrayed also George Luste, without whose intervention his book would not have been published; indeed, it had previously been rejected by seven publishers. [Grinnell book, pp 304&305]

Assessment of the evidentiary basis of the accusatory literature.

I define that basis to be publications that contain original evidence of the participants.
It consists of three items only: The Sports Illustrated article (1959), Grinnell’s Canoe article (1988) and Grinnell’s book (1996).

The evidence of Moffatt’s journal.
The only evidence available to his accusers was a few edited excerpts provided in the Sports Illustrated article (1959).
Aside. The faithful excerpts provided in Pessl’s book (2014) appeared too late to influence the literature.
As I document elsewhere, the SI editor redacted the exculpatory phrases
(a) can’t risk an upset now from Moffatt’s journal for 10 September, and
(b) Following Tyrrell’s route from Moffatt’s last journal entry (that for 13 September).
Opinion.
One redaction of exculpatory evidence could have been an accident, surely not two.
Conclusion.
No content of the SI article can be trusted.

The evidence of Lanouette.
Opinion. I have learned to trust everything written by Lanouette.
Reminder. Sports Illustrated published a faithful condensation of the journal of Moffatt’s bowperson for the day of Moffatt’s death.
Aside. Only the condensation was available to the public until Lanouette provided the original, assisted in its transcription, and gave me permission to publish it. Reference. Ancillary 2. Lanouette evidence and the fatal rapids.
The key passage, provided in both the original and the condensation, is the following three sentences.
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. [SI article, middle of p 85 (1959)]
As I document fully elsewhere, Moffatt and Lanouette were surprised because J B Tyrrell had advised Moffatt that the last two rapids, those where Moffatt died, were of no concern.
A request.
I ask that the reader assess, in the light of this evidence (published in the SI article itself), the truth of the SI editor’s accusations (mentioned also above):
1. …the Moffatt party races against winter …In desperate haste, they take an ultimate chance. [SI article, bottom of right column, p 76] and
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. [SI article, top of right column, p 82]
Conclusion.
The SI editor set out to fabricate a case against Moffatt.
It follows, as surely as the night the day, that no content of the SI article is credible.
Aside.
Unfortunately for Moffatt’s reputation, this exculpatory evidence of Lanouette was ignored in all the accusatory literature (primary and secondary alike) of the next 55 years, except by Grinnell.
The gentlest interpretation. The failure to mention this exculpatory evidence of Lanouette speaks to the diligence of Moffatt’s accusers, many of whom are known to have accessed the SI article.

The evidence of Grinnell.
I remind the reader that Grinnell (in his book) redacted the 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 and replaced it with an ellipsis.
Again, to me, that passage is exculpatory, for it evinces that Moffatt and Lanouette had been misled by the rapids advice of J B Tyrrell, advice that had proved so reliable that the party had experienced but one swamp, not one pin, and not one dump in the previous 11 weeks.
The redaction of this exculpatory evidence, alone and in itself, convinces me
that no publication of Grinnell can be trusted, more generally
that Grinnell had set out to fabricate a case against Moffatt.
Aside. I have yet to document fully, even so much as to count, the accusations made by Grinnell, many of which are known to be false in one way or another. Should that task (which is on my to-do list) be completed, the result will be posted in Ancillary 1. Accusations.

The evidence of LeFavour
is completely worthy of the reader’s trust. But it was unavailable until he provided me with the key third of his four articles and gave permission to publish its contents.
1. The first key LeFavour passage, namely no foolish chances were taken,
has particular relevance to the accusation
In desperate haste, they take an ultimate chance. [SI article, bottom of right column, p 76]
2. The second key LeFavour passage (recorded the day before Moffatt’s death) namely Up to that point we had shot five caribou and by doing so had saved enough meat to see us through. Now it was not even necessary to spend time hunting,
has particular relevance to the accusations
game grows scarce [SI article, bottom of right column, p 76], and
the caribou were long gone. [Kingsley book, middle of p 188; Up Here, lower right column on p 90].

The evidence of Pessl and Franck
is completely worthy of the reader’s trust.
But it appeared too late to influence the literature, with the following exception:
Kingsley [Paddle North, top of p 202 (2014)] made incidental mention of the Pessl comment People revealed themselves as imperfect [Kesselheim, Canoe & Kayak (2012)].

Summary.
With the exception of that trivial item provided in Kesselheim’s article, the evidentiary basis of the entire 55 years of the accusatory literature consists solely of material provided in the Sports Illustrated article (1959), Grinnell’s article (1988) and Grinnell’s book (1996). These are what I call the three pillars of the accusatory literature.
But I documented above that both the SI editor and Grinnell, among other actions, redacted exculpatory evidence regarding Moffatt’s decision to run those rapids without a scout.

Conclusion.
The entire paddling community (and so likely also many members of the general public) was deceived for 55 years by the Sports Illustrated editor and Grinnell, believed to have acted in concert, regarding the cause of Moffatt’s death.
More succinctly, the entire accusatory literature (primary and secondary alike) has no more substance than a house of cards.

The character of the Moffatt literature and the accusations made of him.

Aside. In all the publications made over those 55 years, in not one instance was evidence provided in support of an accusation. In short, the entire accusatory literature (primary and secondary alike) consists of nothing but assertions.
Given that Moffatt was dead and so unable to defend himself, his defamers had free rein. The evidence leads me to conclude that many took maximal advantage of that fact.
That matter aside, the Moffatt literature is replete with false accusations, many knowingly made; two persons alone each made two dozen such, largely independent. Many such are documented at the end of this entry.
Lest they be lost in this filth, I provide here all the true assertions. My four years of research into the cause of Moffatt’s death found seven such. Précis of them follow; full responses are provided in Ancillary 1. Accusations.

True accusation 1. The paddles.
Source. The three spare paddles had been left behind in Stony Rapids. [Sports Illustrated, p 72 (1959)].
Repeated without mention of the source by Inglis (1978), then by Kingsley (2012 and 2014).
Response. The spares were delivered the very next day.
Assessment. Perhaps a documentary assertion by the editor. Picking of the little red fruit by Inglis and Kingsley.

True accusation 2. The radio.
Source. We carried no radio. [Two instances on p 11 of Grinnell’s book (1996)].
Repeated without mention of the source as follows. …they didn’t even bring a radio. [Kingsley (2013)]
Response. Moffatt requested, but was refused, permission to carry a radio. And it bears explicit mention that possession of a radio would not have averted his death.
Assessment. Picking of the little red fruit by Kingsley.

True accusation 3. Provisions and fat.
The assertions of Luste.
1. …it is evident that not enough food, or specifically, food with high caloric comment, such fat, was purchased for the trip. This long, on short food rations, would have consumed much, if not all, of the body fat their bodies started with. [Grinnell book, middle of p 286]
2. The Moffatt party was woefully short of provisions and caloric energy sustenance… [Grinnell book, top of p 288].
Provisions. Moffatt had cause to believe that the initial supply of provisions would suffice for the entire trip, but he was seriously mistaken in this. On the other hand, a major resupply of provisions was obtained on 7 September.
Fat. The initial food supply contained none.
Reference. Moffatt’s first letter to J B Tyrrell, as provided in
Ancillary 15. Moffatt’s preparations.
Likely little fat was obtained from fish in the six weeks from the start to 5 August. In the six weeks before Moffatt’s death, considerable fat was obtained from the five caribou, and perhaps some from the fish and the ptarmigan.
The assertion of Kingsley.
The Moffatt expedition was clearly unprepared in the material sense. Not enough food–neither in quantity nor quality. [Kingsley. Back and Beyond. Lake, Issue 6 (2013); p 14].
Assumption. This is a paraphrase of Luste’s comment.
The evidence of Pessl.
I lack the background in nutrition science to assess the quality, but Pessl commented as follows:
The lack of fat in our diet, on the other hand, probably contributed to a serious caloric deficiency that may have exacerbated our discomfort in the cold, wet season and may have resulted in reduced energy and endurance. [p 162]
But Pessl does not suggest that lack of fat played a role in the events of 14 September.

True accusation 4. The supply of sugar and its distribution.
The supply.
1. A week later Pessl announced that we had consumed half our sugar supply while covering less than one-third the distance to Baker Lake. [Grinnell article (1988), p 20, top of right column; undated]
2. Confirmation. Had a grumpy outbreak over the sugar situation. We are now 1/2 through the supply and only about 1/3 of the distance to Baker Lake. After much discussion, we decided to give each man a 5-day ration from each 5-lb bag, thus allowing about 1/6 lb/day. Each will carry his own supply and use it according to his taste. Hope it works. [Pessl, 29 July, p 56; Hinde Lake]
3. Aside. It is on my to-do list to measure the distance remaining. But, given that the early part of the trip (the ascent of the Chipman River to the basin of the Dubawnt) was slow, perhaps the more important measure is the time. The dates provided in the journals lead me to conclude that Pessl’s one-third is an accurate measure of the time elapsed.
The distribution.
1. Grinnell asserted several times that Moffatt was taking more than his share of the sugar. [Grinnell book: pp 34-37 and 80&81)]
2. Confirmation. Once, Pessl caught his mentor, Moffatt, stealing extra sugar from the bag. [Kesselheim, Alan. 57 years Ago. Canoe & Kayak, May 2012, starting on p 46].
Summary.
Both the supply of sugar and its distribution were resolved on 29 July.

True accusation 5. Moffatt had used a larger bowl, and he had been taking extra portions.
Sources. Grinnell (both article and book), Pessl, Franck and Lanouette (and through him LeFavour).
Summary.
From 22 August on, Moffatt used a bowl of the same size as the others.
I saw only two mentions of extra portions. Grinnell’s is undated; Lanouette’s is dated 10 August. I assume that the matter was settled well before the end of August.

True accusation 6. running scared
Source. Sports Illustrated (1959). Repeated by Kingsley (2012).
My search revealed the SI editor’s source to have been the passage we’re all running scared in Moffatt’s journal entry for 10 September.
That passage reflects badly on Moffatt in particular. But Moffatt’s journal for that same day contains also the passage can’t risk an upset now, which the editor redacted, and which reflects badly on the editor’s assertions
(a) that the rapids where Moffatt died had been run in desperate haste and
(b) 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.
Summary. The SI editor reported evidence prejudicial to Moffatt, but redacted evidence favourable to him.

True accusation 7. The rapids where Moffatt died had not been scouted.
I refer the reader to the evidence presented at the top of this text, more completely in the following.
Appendix 8. Rapids in general.
Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.

Digression. The character of Arthur Moffatt.
Although a US citizen, he joined the British 8th army shortly after graduation from college, months before December 1941. For four years, he served in the campaigns in Africa and Italy. But he was not a combatant, for he was a pacifist. Rather, he was an ambulance driver who took the wounded and the dying from the very front of the battles to the aid stations in the rear, no job for a coward. Let the reader compare his character with that of those who knowingly made false accusations of him.

The mission of the Moffatt party.
In 1955, Moffatt set out to retrace 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). To guide him, he possessed multiple evidences of the Tyrrell brothers. References. Ancillary 3. Tyrrell items and the fatal rapids, plus other sources.
His was one of first modern trips to paddle the barrenlands; even Eric Morse’s group did not venture there until years later. His was certainly the first party composed entirely of those of European descent to travel any part of the Dubawnt River.
His mission was to document (by film, photos and journal/s) the barrenlands of the Dubawnt/Thelon basin of what is now Nunavut; his camera pack weighed 86 pounds. This was not a recreational trip like that taken by most paddlers, and so I suggest that it not be judged by such standards.
An example. In order to accomplish its mission, the Moffatt party paused as opportunities arose (for example to photograph the caribou and the artefacts left by the native people), and so it could not possibly have had a highly prescriptive schedule. And it had no even one waypoint to be reached by a specified date. But 11 independent sources (especially Grinnell’s book) attest that the Moffatt party had what matters, namely a schedule for arrival in Baker Lake. The reader will see two accusers did with that evidence, in what they alleged to be reviews of Grinnell’s book.
Reference. Appendix 7. Schedule.

The corresponding evidences of participant Pessl.
1. Moffatt 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 book, p 165]
2. We were filming a canoe journey along a transect that reflected remarkable changes in the wildlife and natural history of the region. It was the journey that mattered and it was the context of that journey that we were committed to record. [book, p 166].
3. In a very different context, he referred to Moffatt’s intention to provide the basis for a coherent, artistic expression of this classic journey… [book, p 167].

The tipping point.

1. I repeat
both that the SI editor redacted two exculpatory phrases from Moffatt’s journal,
and my conclusion that the editor’s two accusations regarding the cause of Moffatt’s death are falsehoods.
But this second most important publication of the accusatory literature would have vanished into obscurity but for later publications.
2. I possess no evidence that any accuser knew of the falsehoods and the fabrications published by Inglis.
3. The falsehoods, etc, contained in Grinnell’s article (1988) would almost certainly have gone unnoticed but for later publications.
4. Accusations made prior to the publication of Grinnell’s book (1966), as listed there by Luste, went unmentioned in the later literature even until 2014.
5. A strong candidate for the tipping point is Grinnell’s book (1996). As documented elsewhere, it contains a maliciously redacted version of Lanouette’s journal for the day of Moffatt’s death, and it is replete with falsehoods, fabrications and conscious misrepresentations of known evidence. But I question whether it would have had any impact had its existence not been made widely known by the next item.
Opinion.
The tipping point of the accusatory literature came with the publication of the Murphy-MacDonald articles (1996), which were alleged to be reviews of Grinnell’s book. But both Murphy and MacDonald went well such, for they knowingly made false accusations of a dead man.
That matter aside, their articles broke the dyke; the ensuing flood of accusations continued until 2014, and perhaps counting.
Bibliography.

The assertions of Murphy and MacDonald

are contained in companion articles published in both
Che-Mun. Outfit 122, Autumn 2005, starting on page 4.
http://www.ottertooth.com/che-mun/122/chemun122.pdf and
Feature Story in the Advanced Paddler section at canoeing.com.

Down a Dead Man’s River


I note that the two publications are identical.

The triple-header assertion of Murphy
Lack of food, proper equipment and most importantly, lack of a planned itinerary, contributed to his [Moffatt’s] demise is available online at
http://www.canoe.ca/AllAboutCanoes/book_deathbarrens.html
Aside. Murphy stated also that Moffatt was Slightly giddy from lack of food….

The two assertions of MacDonald are apparently not available online.
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.
2. One of the implications of a quasi-religious resistance to a pragmatic plan of travel was the death of Arthur Moffat.

Directory.
Preliminary discussion of the Murphy’s triple-header follows immediately, as does preliminary discussion of MacDonald’s two accusations.
Full discussions of all are provided in Ancillary 1. Accusations

Preliminary 1. Murphy’s assertion regarding lack of food.
Murphy provided no evidence in support of his assertion that lack of food contributed to Moffatt’s death, for the excellent reason that it is falsified by evidence known to Murphy.
I remind Murphy of (and I refer the reader to) the 13 evidences provided in Grinnell’s book (and provided below), beginning with
1. Caribou! … hundreds of caribou, then thousands more. … The hunters returned to lead me to their kill… We carried the butchered caribou back to camp and that evening gratefully ate forty-two steaks. [5 August. pp 97&98],
and concluding with
13. As it grew dark at the end of the day, we saw an unfamiliar object ahead… It was a stack of cardboard boxes with cans of dehydrated vegetables inside… We…raided the dump…. [7 September. pp 180&181]
And I point out also the later evidences numbers 14 through 17, documented below and known to no Moffatt accuser.
Assessment. It is a falsehood that lack of food contributed to Moffatt’s death.
References.
Ancillary 1. Accusations.
Appendix 6. Food.

Preliminary 2. Murphy’s assertion regarding lack of proper equipment.
Murphy provided no evidence in support of his accusation that lack of…proper equipment contributed to Moffatt’s death, for the excellent reason that it is falsified by evidence known to Murphy, namely that of Luste, as provided in Grinnell’s book, which he claimed to have reviewed.
Assessment. It is a falsehood that lack of proper equipment contributed to Moffatt’s death.
References.
Ancillary 1. Accusations.
Appendix 3. Equipment.

Preliminary 3. Murphy’s assertion regarding lack of a planned itinerary.
Clarification. His editor explained later that a planned itinerary Murphy meant a schedule.
Response. Murphy provided no evidence in support of his accusation that lack of a schedule contributed to Moffatt’s death, for the excellent reason that it is falsified by evidence known to Murphy. Neither does such evidence exist anywhere in the Moffatt literature.
The evidence. In his book, the very subject of Murphy’s review, Grinnell wanders mindlessly between asserting that the Moffatt party had a highly prescriptive schedule of some undefined sort (the extreme case being a day-by-day schedule), and asserting that it possessed only a schedule for arrival in Baker Lake. But he consistently and repeatedly and truthfully asserted the latter.
References.
Ancillary 1. Accusations.
Appendix 7. Schedule.

Preliminary 4. MacDonald’s assertion regarding lack of a pragmatic plan of travel.
Clarification. His editor explained later that by a pragmatic plan of travel MacDonald meant a schedule.
Response. MacDonald provided no evidence in support of his accusation that lack of a schedule contributed to Moffatt’s death, for the excellent reason that it is falsified by evidence known to MacDonald.
I refer the reader to the evidences and the references provided above regarding the corresponding assertion of Murphy.

Summary.
It is a falsehood that lack of food contributed to Moffatt’s death. [Murphy]
It is a falsehood that lack of proper equipment contributed to Moffatt’s death. [Murphy]
It is a falsehood that lack of a schedule contributed to Moffatt’s death. [Murphy]
It is a falsehood that lack of a schedule contributed to Moffatt’s death. [MacDonald]

The primary accusatory literature.

At the beginning of this document, I provided the evidence related to the rapids where Moffatt died, and I mentioned the related accusations. And I just mentioned the influential accusations of Murphy and MacDonald. But the primary accusatory literature is far larger, for it consists of the following publications.
1. The Sports Illustrated article (1959).
2. The book of Inglis (1978).
3. Grinnell’s Canoe article (1988).
4. Accusations made prior to 1996, as quoted by Luste in Grinnell’s book of that year.
5. Grinnell’s book (1996 edition).
6. The Murphy-MacDonald reviews of Grinnell’s book (1996).
7. The Mahler-Thum article/s (2005).
8. Kingsley’s articles (2012 and 2013) and book (2014).
I refer the reader to Ancillary 1. Accusations for my discussion of all these items.

Review of the accusatory literature.

From its inception in 1959 to and including 2014, the accusatory literature consists of nothing but accusations, opinions, and edited versions of previous accusations.
Exculpatory evidence regarding the cause of Moffatt’s death was redacted twice by the Sports Illustrated editor and once by Grinnell, who had collaborated in the writing of the SI article.
The exculpatory evidence of George Luste Art Moffatt, following Tyrrell’s notes, was not expecting the rapid in which he swamped and then died [Grinnell book (1996), p 284] was ignored in every publication of the accusatory literature, primary and secondary alike; in particular, Murphy and MacDonald ignored that evidence in what they alleged to be reviews of Grinnell’s book.
Exculpatory evidence was consciously misrepresented.
Selective use (cherry-picking) was made of evidence prejudicial to Moffatt, especially by two defamers.
Falsehoods, fabrications and deceits were represented as evidence, mindlessly accepted as such and promulgated, indeed embellished.
Over those 55 years, in all those publications of the accusatory literature, not once was evidence provided, not once was evidence sought before the accusatory pen was taken up. Neither could any such evidence have been provided in many instances, for the source was the accuser’s imagination.
In short, the entire accusatory literature consists of little but gossip.
I documented the seven true accusations made over those 55 years. I have not counted the false ones, and likely shall not, but I repeat that two persons each made two dozen accusations.
Opinion. Such courage, such grace, such integrity, to bully a dead man for almost three generations.

Opinion.

Primary responsibility for the defamation of a dead man belongs to the odious triumvirate of the Sports Illustrated editor, Grinnell, and Murphy.
The Sports Illustrated editor
1. redacted exculpatory evidence from Moffatt’s journal of 10 September,
2. redacted exculpatory evidence from Moffatt’s journal of 13 September,
3. published the falsehood that the rapids where Moffatt died had been run in desperate haste, and
4. published the falsehood 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.
Grinnell
1. redacted exculpatory evidence from the condensation of Lanouette’s journal for the day of Moffatt’s death,
2. failed to object to the many falsehoods of the Sports Illustrated editor; in this connection, it bears repetition that Grinnell had collaborated in the writing of the Epilogue of the SI article,
3. published multiple falsehoods, fabrications and conscious misrepresentations of evidence, and
4. in general betrayed Moffatt (and also Luste, without whom his book would not have been published).
Murphy
published the influential, triple-header falsehood
Lack of food, proper equipment and most importantly, lack of a planned itinerary, contributed to his [Moffatt’s] demise. [Che-Mun, Spring 1996, pp 5&11]

Summary.

At the beginning of this document, I provided all the evidence known to me regarding the cause of Moffatt’s death. To me, the evidence is conclusive: The sole cause was incorrect advice from a source that he had learned to trust over the previous 11 weeks of the trip, indeed in the very morning of the day that he died.
Over the 55 years of the accusatory literature, a variety of means was used to defame a dead man. With the sole exception of some comments made by Pessl in his book (2014), no attempt was made to address these efforts; more or less by chance, that task has fallen to me.
The redactions of exculpatory evidence.
The Sports Illustrated editor redacted both
the phrase can’t risk an upset now from Moffatt’s journal of 10 September, and
the phrase Following Tyrrell’s route from Moffatt’s journal of 13 September.
Participant Grinnell redacted the 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 journal of Lanouette (Moffatt’s bowperson) for the day of Moffatt’s death.
It bears explicit mention that Grinnell had participated in the writing of the SI article.
The ignoring of exculpatory evidence.
George Luste’s comment Art Moffatt, following Tyrrell’s notes, was not expecting the rapid in which he swamped and then died [Grinnell book, p 284] was ignored in every publication of the 55 years of the accusatory literature, primary and secondary alike.
Deserving of explicit mention here are Murphy and MacDonald, who ignored that evidence in what they alleged to be reviews of Grinnell’s book.

Conclusions regarding the accusations.
Toward the beginning of this document, I listed and discussed briefly the seven true accusations made of Moffatt and his companions. I didn’t deem it worth mention there that Grinnell’s tent was destroyed in the storm of 9 September. [Grinnell article, p 21]
I now turn my attention to accusations of the other variety. The following conclusions were reached after studying the evidence for four years; full discussions are provided in Ancillary 1. Accusations.

Given GG’s redaction of that three-sentence exculpatory passage from Lanouette’s journal entry for the day of Moffatt’s death, I conclude it to be
a fabrication that Moffatt and his wife had agreed that he would make one last trip, a big one, to see if he could establish himself as a wildlife photographer and thereby earn a living while still being outdoors,
a fabrication that Moffatt had doubled his life insurance before setting out,
a fabrication that if Moffatt’s movie failed, he was as good as dead anyway, and
a fabrication that Art dreamed that there was at toll at the end of the lake which he could not afford to pay.
It is a fabrication that the bowmen had taken effective control of the expedition. [GG]
It is a fabrication that the chemistry on the Moffatt trip was bad. [CM]
It is a fabrication that Moffatt had wondered if his group was up to the challenge. [JK]
It is a falsehood that GG’s book is A true story.
It is a falsehood that Moffatt was suicidal. [GG]
It is a falsehood that Franck stammered. [GG]
It is a falsehood that Pessl had not provided more than three single-spaced pages of valuable information to BT prior to the latter’s 1966 retracing of the Moffatt route. The consequence for BT’s assertion that he had learned nothing from Pessl need not be stated. [Sub-Appendix 1 of Ancillary 1. Accusations.]

It is a fabrication that The men were lulled into a sense of almost infinite security by the beauties of the country they travelled in. [SI]
It is a fabrication that the hypothermic lose consciousness due to pain. [GG]
It is a fabrication that the Moffatt party as a whole, or any member of it, had lost…sense of reality at any time. [GG]
It is a falsehood that Grinnell and most of the others had succumbed to a sort of delusion. They felt they were in paradise. [JK]
Reference. Appendix 1. Reality and Delusion.

It is a fabrication that an inquest had been held into Moffatt’s death. [GG]
It is a falsehood that In the last days of August…we took more holidays than Moffatt had ever contemplated, averaging one every other day [GG]
It is a falsehood that the Moffatt party had taken holidays on more than half the days of the trip. [GG]
Reference. Appendix 3. Equipment.

It is a fabrication that Moffatt had abdicated leadership of the party. [AM]
It is a fabrication that Moffatt’s leadership was poor. [CM]
It is a fabrication that Moffatt was a guy with poor leadership skills. [BT]
It is a fabrication that the Moffatt party was inexperienced, even at the start of the trip. [CM]
It is a fabrication that the Moffatt party had squandered its time and resources. [BT]
It is a falsehood that the Moffatt party was a group of novices…who didn’t know what they were doing and had no business being up there. [BT]
It is a falsehood that Moffatt…had some experience, but not much. [BT]
Reference. Appendix 4. Leadership and Experience.

It is a fabrication that Moffatt’s actions had paralyzed the pace of the trip. [AM]
It is a fabrication that the pace of the party was plodding. [CM]
It is a fabrication that the Moffatt party was apathetic toward the season closing on them. [CM]
It is a falsehood that the Moffatt party raced down the river in desperate haste to escape the onset of winter, and so could not afford time to scout the rapids where he died. [SI]
Reference. Appendix 5. Pace and weather.

It is a truth that Moffatt’s provisioning had proved to be inadequate in both quantity and quality. [Luste, JK]
It is a truth that the sugar supply had proved to be inadequate. [SI, GG, Pessl] It is a second that Moffatt had been taking more than his share.[GG, Pessl] It is a third that sugar rationing was begun on 30 July, and so that the latter was resolved then. [GG, Pessl]
It is a truth that Moffatt’s bowl was larger than the others until 22 August. [GG, Pessl, Franck]
It is a truth that a major resupply of provisions was obtained on 7 September. [SI, Grinnell, Pessl]
It is a truth that the Moffatt party shot five caribou in all (the first on 5 August, the last on 5 September). [Grinnell, Pessl]
It is a truth that, a few hours before Moffatt’s death, the party had saved enough meat to see us through. Now it was not even necessary to spend time hunting. [LeFavour]
It is a conscious misrepresentation of known evidence that there were only 15 packs of cigarettes left and a half can of roll-your-own. [SI]
Given that a major resupply of provisions was obtained on 7 September (as documented in the SI article itself), the assertions provisions dwindle and provisions were beginning to run low of SI are conscious misrepresentations of known evidence.
It is a fabrication that Moffatt had said He who controls the food controls the men. [GG]
It is a fabrication the later embellishment He said with a sardonic smile. [JK]
It is a fabrication that the Moffatt party suffered from hunger in the six weeks before Moffatt’s death, a second that Moffatt refused to take blame for their food situation [JK], for food was bountiful in that period.
It is a falsehood that game grows scarce. [SI]
It is a falsehood that Food was becoming the question now. [SI]
It is a falsehood that Moffatt died due to lack of food. [JM]
It is a falsehood that As the summer wore on, the men grew hungry before, during, and after each meal. [JK]
It is a falsehood that the Moffatt party suffered from a lack of provisions. [JK}
It is a fabrication the first sentence of When Arthur Moffatt set off for the Barrenlands, he envisioned a land of plenty. He was plenty wrong. [JK] It is a falsehood the second sentence, for the land was one of plenty in the six weeks before Moffatt’s death.
It is a falsehood that short rations contributed to Moffatt’s death. [CM]
It is a falsehood that the caribou were long gone. [JK]
Appendix 6. Food.

As evidenced by 11 independent sources, it is a truth that the Moffatt party was scheduled to arrive in Baker Lake on 15 September, with a grace period of seven days before the air search was begun.
It is a fabrication that the party was scheduled to arrive there on 2 September. [GG]
It is a falsehood that the party was following the schedule of the Tyrrell party of 1893. [SI]
It is a falsehood that Moffatt died due to lack of a planned itinerary, aka lack of a schedule. [JM]
It is a falsehood that Moffatt died due to lack of a pragmatic plan of travel, aka lack of a schedule. [AM]
Appendix 7. Schedule.

It is a conscious misrepresentation of known evidence that BT got nothing from the SI article. I refer here to Lanouette’s evidence (reported below) regarding the rapids where Moffatt died, and so that those rapids need to be portaged. As well, BT omitted mention of the evidence of J B Tyrrell’s book (also a Moffatt source), which makes no mention of those rapids.
It is a fabrication that the Moffatt trip was poorly planned and lackadaisically executed [JM]
It is a fabrication that the Moffatt story unfolds as a tragedy just waiting to happen. [CM]
It is a fabrication that Moffatt had screwed up. [BT]
It is a fabrication that the Moffatt party had made some tragic mistakes. [BT]
It is a fabrication that it had squandered its time and resources. [BT]
It is a fabrication that the Moffatt party had fooled around and did a lot of crap. [BT]
It is a fabrication that Moffatt’s death resulted from taking chances. [TB]
It is a fabrication that the Moffatt party grew careless scouting rapids as they raced winter to the end of the river. [c***m]
It is a fabrication that the members of the Moffatt party took more risks. [JK}
It is a falsehood that BT got nothing from his contacts with Lanouette and Pessl.
It is a falsehood …the Moffatt party races against winter on the Barren Grounds. … In desperate haste, they take an ultimate chance. [SI]
It is a falsehood that Increasingly, the men were taking chances. They now shot down churning chutes of white water, which, a month earlier, they would have scrutinized with a doubtful eye. [SI]
It is a falsehood that Moffatt died as a result of misjudging Tyrrell’s descriptions of the rapids they would encounter before entering Marjorie Lake [AI]
It is a truth that Moffatt’s journal for 10 September contains the phrase running scared, which was published by SI.
It is a truth that his journal for that same day contains also the phrase can’t risk an upset now, which was redacted by SI.
It is a truth that Moffatt’s last journal entry (that for 13 September) contains the phrase Following Tyrrell’s route. It is a truth that this phrase was redacted by SI.
It is a truth that Lanouette’s journal for 14 September (the day of Moffatt’s death) contains the following passage referring to the rapids where Moffatt died. 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.
It is a truth that GG redacted those three sentences.
It is a truth that Grinnell’s book contains the Luste passage Art Moffatt, following Tyrrell’s notes, was not expecting the rapid in which he swamped and then died [p 284]
It is a truth that this passage was ignored in every publication of the literature that followed, especially by JM and AM in what they alleged to be reviews of Grinnell’s book.
It is a truth that the rapids advice provided by J B Tyrrell had proved so reliable that the Moffatt party had experienced but one swamp, not one pin and not one dump in the 11 weeks prior to Moffatt’s death.
It is a truth that the rapids where Moffatt died had not been scouted.
It is a truth that they were not scouted because JBT had advised Moffatt, implicitly, that they need not be.
It is a truth that LeFavour published the passage hurrying as we were, no foolish chances were taken, this in reference to the rapids where Moffatt died.
Appendix 8. Rapids in general.
Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.
Opinion. Fully deserving the appellation defamer are SI, GG, JM, CM and BT.

Two summaries of the primary accusatory literature.
…it ain’t so. http://www.thisdayinquotes.com/2009/09/it-ain-so-joe-actually-wasnt-so.html
Oh, what a tangled web we weave
When first we practise to deceive!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marmion_(poem)

Personal reflections.
Arthur 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 served for four years in the British army (starting months before December 1941) at the very front of the battles in North Africa and Italy, driving the wounded and the dying to the aid stations in the rear, had no need to prove anything to anyone.
Rather, Moffatt set out to document the barrenlands by means of film, photos and journals. Perhaps he wanted 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, to others and perhaps also to themselves. 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; and he referred me to the passage 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.
Whatever his motivation, 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
Response 1.
And so the purpose of the Thum trip was precisely to show up a dead man. Such courage, such grace!
Response 2.
It certainly took considerable skill on Thum’s part and that of his companions to get safely through the many dangerous rapids above those where Moffatt died. But such skill had been exhibited previously by the Moffatt party, to the extent that it had experienced but one swamp, no one pin and not one dump in that reach. Indeed, the only dumps of the entire trip occurred in the rapids where he died.
Response 3.
With respect to those rapids, Thum does not say whether he ran or portaged them. Given his apparent need to prove himself to himself and to others, had he run them he surely would have announced the fact, proudly and loudly. So why did he portage them? After all, J B Tyrrell’s book (possessed by Thum) makes no mention of rapids in the reach where Moffatt died.
Conclusion. Thum portaged those rapids because he knew from Moffatt’s death that they are hazardous in the extreme. And so the only skill required of Thum with respect to those rapids was literacy at an early primary-school level.
Opinions.
Arthur Moffatt deserves our respect.
He and his family did not deserve the redactions of exculpatory evidence, the ignoring of exculpatory evidence, the falsehoods, the fabrications and the conscious misrepresentations of known evidence that appeared in the 55 years of the Moffatt literature.
Retractions are in order.

Comments.
Those wishing to learn more about the trip and Moffatt’s death are suggested to start with Pessl’s book. Barren Grounds. The Story of the Tragic Moffatt Canoe Trip. Dartmouth College Press (2014).
With every primary accusation refuted by the evidence (especially that of the participants other than Grinnell), the way is clear for a new chapter in the Moffatt literature, namely an extended appreciation of him. Such would be rather late in the game, but perhaps someone will take on the job.

A little about Arthur Moffatt, the person.
First of all and above 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, person.
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, 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 in Kesselheim, Alan. Canoe & Kayak, May 2012, starting on p 46.]
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 book, p 165]

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].

Closing comments.
The survivors lost their leader, their mentor, their companion, their friend. And so I express one last time my thanks to Pessl, Lanouette and LeFavour for their assistance.
The Moffatt family lost a husband and a father. The malicious falsehoods, the fabrications, the redactions of exculpatory evidence, the ignoring of exculpatory evidence, and the abusive, contemptuous comments of the 55 years of the accusatory literature likely inflicted much pain on them. Had they not already suffered enough already?
Shame!

Opinions.
That 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 on his page 162; thanks to him for providing a copy.
Mine.
This mob assault of 55 years on a dead man is the most shameful chapter in the outdoor literature known to me. Even John Hornby (Thelon River, 1927) was treated gently in comparison.
Of such ability to distinguish assertion from evidence, such caution, such charity, such compassion, such courage, such diligence, such grace, such humanity, such integrity, such judgement, such scholarship, such thought, and above all such commitment to truth, was destroyed the reputation of an innocent person unable to respond, a fellow paddler to many of his accusers/defamers.

The last word.
George Luste and I were professional colleagues for forty years. I regarded him as a friend. He helped me get started with serious tripping and he provided much valuable advice. I helped him with the Wilderness and Canoeing Symposium for several years.
He expressed the following opinion of some who defamed Moffatt prior to 1996. Given his personality, especially his commitment to truth, I expect that he would have written even more scathingly of those who later joined the mob attack on a dead man.
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, p 294]

URLs of the items at the blog.

Some are presently inactive.
Foreword and Forum.
Main text.
Appendix 1. Reality and Delusion.
Appendix 3. Equipment.
Appendix 4. Experience and Leadership.
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 evidence and the fatal rapids.
Ancillary 3. Tyrrell evidence and the fatal rapids.
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.
Ancillary 13. Timeline of the primary Moffatt literature.
Ancillary 14. Opinions.
Ancillary 15. Moffatt’s preparations.
Bibliography.

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

Edition of 11 November 2018.

Ancillary 8. Evidence regarding the tragedy.

Renovations continue. Thanks for your patience.

Ancillary 8. Evidence regarding the tragedy.

Introduction.
This Ancillary provides all known evidence related to the death of Arthur Moffatt.
So that the reader may assess that evidence unencumbered by my interpretations of it,
I refrain from making comments except as deemed necessary for clarity.
Consequences.
no quotes of accusations, no references to them, no responses to them;
no mention of redactions, no references to them, no responses to them.
The reader will find the omitted items in the Appendices and in the other Ancillaries; the corresponding Internal URLs are provided at the end of this document.

List of Moffatt’s sources.
1. The book of James W Tyrrell.
2. The book of Joseph B Tyrrell.
3. The journal/report of J B Tyrrell.
4. Correspondence with J B Tyrrell.
Reference for these items. Ancillary 7. Moffatt’s Tyrrell sources.
5. The maps of J B Tyrrell.
Reference. The Appendix provided at the end of this document.

The book of James W Tyrrell.
Moffatt had accessed J W Tyrrell’s book Across the Sub-Arctics of Canada (Toronto, 1908).
With the help of the kind and patient staff at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library (University of Toronto), I obtained a copy of every page for the entire reach from Black Lake to Baker Lake to Chesterfield Inlet.
The book makes little mention of rapids in general, and none of rapids in the reach where Moffatt died.
This Ancillary makes no further mention of it.

The book of Joseph B Tyrrell.
As evinced for example by Moffatt’s Prospectus on page 71 of the Sports Illustrated article, Moffatt had accessed J B Tyrrell’s book of the 1893 expedition.
Report on the Doobaunt, Kazan and Ferguson Rivers and the north-west coast of Hudson Bay and on two overland routes from Hudson Bay to Lake Winnipeg. S E Dawson, Ottawa (1897).
With the help of the kind and patient staff at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library (University of Toronto), I obtained a copy of every page for the entire reach from Black Lake to Chesterfield Inlet. If I may be indulged a comment, the remainder is harrowing reading.
Ancillary 3. Tyrrell excerpt provides the complete excerpt for the reach (Wharton Lake to Marjorie Lake) where Moffatt died.

The journal/report of Joseph B Tyrrell.
Moffatt had also obtained access to J B Tyrrell’s journal (aka his report) for the 1893 expedition. I was unable to access JBT’s journal; I note though that excerpts from the journals of Moffatt and Pessl document that it contains material not mentioned elsewhere.

The Moffatt – J B Tyrrell correspondence.
Thanks to Pessl, I have copies of Moffatt’s letters of 18 December 1954 and 14 January 1955 to J B Tyrrell.
A thorough search at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library (University of Toronto) failed to find JBT’s reply to the first, known to have been made. I possess no evidence that JBT replied to the second.
Reference. Sub-Appendix 1. Tyrrell sources of Appendix 9.
Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.

The evidence of J B Tyrrell’s book, for the reach from Wharton Lake to Marjorie Lake.
The following provides the text (deletions are marked by ellipses) for the entire reach from Wharton Lake to Marjorie Lake; Moffatt died in rapids not far above the latter.
Below Wharton Lake the river flows at first eastward, and then southward, for four miles to a small lake, in which distance it rushes down two rapids with descents respectively of 15 and 6 feet.
The small lake seems to be everywhere shallow, though the water is very clear. On its south side is a sand ridge or (esker
[character apparently an italic l, which makes no sense to me]) about 300 feet high, trending east-and-west, on the side of which the three terraces seen at the quartzite hill are well shown. Towards the west end of the ridge are scarped banks of sand almost eighty feet high. On the north side of the lake is a cluster of low islands, composed of boulders of red gneiss, covered with moss and grass. Low hills of boulders continue eastward, along the course of the river, for the next five miles. The stream has no well-defined channel, but flows around and between these hills with a current of from five to eight miles an hour. Five miles below the small lake is a rapid with a descent of twenty feet, past the lower part of which a portage 400 yards long was made over a hill of boulders, and we embarked from a sheet of ice that, on the 23rd of August, was still frozen to the bank. Above the rapid a gravel plain extends a long distance back from the river. At the foot of this rapid the river turns at right angles and flows northward for seven miles as a wide shallow rapid stream, through low country, composed of small morainic or drumlin-like hills of boulders of light-gray well foliated gneiss.
Lady Marjorie Lake, so named as a mark of respect… , was entered at the south end, …

Noteworthy items.
1. two rapids with descents respectively of 15 and 6 feet.
2. the small lake below these rapids.
3. Five miles below the small lake is a rapid with a descent of twenty feet, past the lower part of which a portage 400 yards long was made,
4. At the foot of this rapid the river turns at right angles and flows northward for seven miles to what is now called Marjorie Lake.
5. No rapids are mentioned in the northward reach to Marjorie Lake. Moffatt died in rapids in this reach, not far upstream from Marjorie Lake.

Comparison of the evidences of J B Tyrrell’s book and that of his map, for the Wharton-Marjorie reach.
I compare, in downstream order, the features described in JBT’s book with those provided on his map at https://barrenlands.library.utoronto.ca/content/zone-6-1893 .
Item 1.
Book. two rapids with descents respectively of 15 and 6 feet.
Map. Two Rapids.
Item 2.
Book. small lake.
Map. A small unnamed lake.
Item 3.
Book. A rapid with a descent of twenty feet, with a portage of length 400 yards around the lower part.
Map. A Rapid with a Por. 18c around it.
Comment. 18 chains = 400 yards. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chain_(unit) .
Item 4.
Book. the river turns at right angles and flows northward for seven miles to Lady Marjorie Lake.
Map. A sharp turn to the north.
Conclusion.
J B Tyrrell’s book and his map agree completely regarding the essentials of the features between Wharton Lake and what is now called Marjorie Lake. The book provides more detail, but the map is clearer.
Again, Moffatt possessed both the book and the map.

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

Comment. This was Moffatt’s last journal entry.
Noteworthy items.
1. The phrase Following Tyrrell’s route.
This phrase was redacted by the Sports Illustrated editor.
2. The references to the 15 ft and 6 ft rapids.
These were run without incident on 13 September.
3. The portage made around the last very rough + rocky part of rapid. This is the Rapid with a Por. 18c around it, aka the rapid with a descent of twenty feet. The portage was begun on 13 September and completed in the morning of 14 September.
Summary.
All features (the 15 ft and 6 ft rapids, and the portage) were found to be as described by Tyrrell.

The evidence of participant Lanouette for the afternoon of 14 September.
His journal is not published and so I express my gratitude to Lanouette (Moffatt’s bowperson) for providing it; I hope that the padding community as a whole is similarly grateful for this contribution to our understanding to the events of 14 September 1955.
Lanouette’s full journal for 14 September is provided in Ancillary 2. Lanouette excerpt.
After completing the portage in the morning of 14 September, the party continued downstream, then stopped for lunch.
We had a rather satisfying lunch of chowder and three hardtacks (or ‘tacks) apiece and were ready to shove on again around 2:30 or 3:00. The weather was still dismal, although the wind had dropped (I think) almost to a complete calm.
The river flowed on rather swiftly and it was but a few minutes before we heard and saw another rapids on the horizon. (Notes – at this time, Art figured we had shot the last 2 rapids into Lady Marjorie and so we were not anticipating anything more along this line – actually, what we had taken for rapids were only riffles and what lay ahead was the real beginning of the first rapids). At the top, these rapids looked as though they would be very easy going – a few small waves, rocks … nothing serious – so much so that we didn’t even haul over to shore to look it over before proceeding as was customary. The river at this point was straight and we could see both the top and foot of the rapids quite clearly – however, although we didn’t realize it, we couldn’t see the middle, even though we thought we could – at any rate we barrelled happily along. We bounced over a couple of fair-sized waves and took in a couple of splashes but I didn’t mind, as I had made an apron of my poncho and remained dry enough. I, as was my habit, was looking a few feet in front of the canoe, looking for submerged rocks – suddenly, Art shouted “Paddle” – I responded and took up the beat, at the same time looking farther ahead to see what it was we were trying to avoid – to my complete surprise, what I saw were two lines of white, parallel to one another and coming closer with every passing instant – I looked at them in helpless fascination, not altering my stroke any. The lines of white were the crests of two huge waves formed by the water as it crashed over 2, 3 or 4’ ledges or falls). Note: it was too late to pull for shore – all we could was to pick what seemed to be the least turbulent spots and head for them.

The evidence of participant LeFavour.
Thanks to LeFavour for providing the following.
…As we sped through Wharton Lake only the occasional snow flurry fell, an incentive not a deterrent. Up to that point we had shot five caribou and by doing so had saved enough meat to see us through. Now it was not even necessary to spend time hunting. We traveled, and traveled hard.
The river between Wharton and Marjorie Lakes split up into three channels. The longest of these
[the east/rightmost] had been traveled by Tyrrell in his trip 60 years before and was described in his journal: there were five rapids, the first two rough but shootable, the third long and heavy requiring a portage of a mile [“400 yards” in Tyrrell’s book] and the last two apparently easy for they were mentioned only as “rapids”. Because this route was described we took it, being careful to look over the first two which were indeed rough. Hurrying as we were, no foolish chances were taken.
Please note that LeFavour mentions all features encountered on both 13 and 14 September by the Moffatt party.
13 September.
The first two rapids, those rough but shootable, are the 15 ft and 6 ft rapids run by the Moffatt party that day, when it began the portage.
Comment. Tyrrell’s remarks and those of LeFavour agree regarding these two rapids and the portage, except that LeFavour gives a greater length for the portage.
14 September.
The Moffatt party completed the portage in the morning of that day and continued downstream, stopping for lunch. Some time later, it encountered the last two apparently easy for they were mentioned only as “rapids” mentioned above.
Excerpt from LeFavour’s article for the afternoon of 14 September.
At 3 p.m. we were again on the river. Gone was the wind, and we hoped to get a good way up Marjorie Lake in the calm before dark. A mile downriver the roar of the next rapid reached our ears, a roar which had become familiar and comforting in this quiet land, a roar which in the past had promised excitement. As we coasted into the top of it all appeared to be well. You could see the bottom, the water, though white, was apparently shootable. Tyrrell had indicated by his neglect that the rapid was an easy one, and it seemed to be just that.
A flock of ptarmigan on the shore caught my eye, but soon we were past them and out in midstream. It was then that Skip and I noticed that Art and Joe in the lead canoe were having trouble. They were over! We saw the two huge waves, walls of white water which seemed almost five feet high. Pete and George had made the one, were heading for the second, and then we saw nothing but the unavoidable waves. We were into it!

Source. Appendix 9. The fatal rapids.
Analysis.
I remind the reader that Tyrrell’s book (possessed by Moffatt) makes no mention of these rapids
Ancillary 3. Tyrrell excerpt.
and also that they are not marked on Tyrrell’s map (also possessed by Moffatt).
https://barrenlands.library.utoronto.ca/content/zone-6-1893
The source for this additional information can be only Tyrrell’s journal/report or the Moffatt-Tyrrell correspondence, neither of which I have been unable to access.
References. http://defence-arthurmoffatt.ca/2017/06/02/ancillary-7-the-moffatt-tyrrell-correspondence/
Private correspondence from LeFavour.
His [Tyrrell’s] journal had been accurate to that point, namely lunch time on 14 September, prior to the running of the fatal rapids. [2015].

The evidence of participant Pessl.
Passage 1.
After completing a short portage, loaded the canoes and continued our dash down the river. It was cold and windy, the sky was overcast and we stopped at frequent intervals to warm our feet and legs.
[We] approached what we thought must be the last rapids with confidence and impatience. Art stood up … looked ahead, and … drove his canoe for the middle of the flow. … The next thing I saw as we shot around the bend was a white wall of huge waves. … Beyond the thundering waves, the yellow camera box and Art’s gray canoe bobbed crazily in the rapids below.
[Canoe&Kayak, May 2012 issue, p 48, right column].
Comment. The short portage is the 400-yarder completed in the morning of 14 September.
Passage 2.
That’s the other lesson I learned, says Pessl. To be patient. If we had just been patient and confident, if we hadn’t been in such a headlong rush that we didn’t stop to scout the rapid, we would have been fine. It’s very hard to do that, in the grip of panic, but it would have made all the difference. Art would have been with us, his life …. Pessl pauses. When it comes down to it, even with everything that happened, we were so close. [Canoe&Kayak, May 2012 issue, p 102?, left column].
Passage 3.
The tragedy of September 14, when Art Moffatt died, occurred, in my opinion, … , because Art and I tried to concurrently accomplish two mutually exclusive objectives: canoe travel and documentary filming of that journey. The demands of these opposing goals delayed and distracted our commitment to river miles. Art and I remained tragically stubborn in our commitment to filming the journey, even in the face of serious and obvious deterioration of the weather. [Nastawgan, Summer issue, 2013, p 5].
Passage 4.
The weather grew harsh. Freezing temperatures, wind-driven snow, dwindling food supplies, and deteriorating equipment pushed us hard to travel faster and more efficiently, and ultimately we made a fatal mistake. We approached the rapids entering Marjorie Lake with caution, but without an onshore look. Standing up in our canoes as we floated toward the rapids, we saw a modest current sweeping toward a right-hand bend and drove our canoes into that initial current V. [Pessl book, p XVII.]
Passage 5.
The tragedy of September 14 occurred, in my opinion, not because of Art’s alleged mental instability or some sort of Zen nonsense, but because Art and I failed to accurately translate our collective Albany River experiences to northern big-river conditions, especially into late-season, freezing conditions, and because we tried to concurrently accomplish two mutually exclusive objectives: travel and film. …we did not differentiate between what worked on the Albany River and what would not work in late season on the Dubawnt.
The deteriorating weather…changed our modus operandi from cautious land-based scouting of rapids to a floating assessment as we were sucked into the headwater Vs of each successive rapid. It worked for several days and many rapids, except for one.
Somewhere between the robotic distance grinds of… and the tragic disregard for time, distance, and season of the Moffatt leadership (and I include myself I that category), there must be a reasonable balance for wilderness canoeists on long journeys…
[Pessl book, pp 172&173].
Passage 6.
Pessl (kindly and most frankly, both as ever) responded as follows regarding an email message of mine.
I understand the confusion, contradiction that the two quotes may create. The quote attributed to me [Excerpt 2] is accurate and comes from a conversation I had with Al Kesselheim when he was preparing to write his C&K article on the Moffatt Dubawnt journey (May 2012). It was a very emotional interview for me; the first time in many years that I shared some of my feelings about Dubawnt ’55. The quote expresses my remorse over Art’s death and my belief, in retrospect, that we should have scouted the Marjorie rapids. My use of the term “panic” was inaccurate, too strong and I regret that. Bruce’s phrase is much more accurate.
But our individual and collective state of mind during those early September days is pretty much conjecture and perhaps mostly semantic after so many years. The much more important question, clearly answered by your detailed research, is WHY we didn’t scout the rapids? And the answer: because we were following Tyrrell’s journal description of the river conditions approaching Marjorie Lake. Tyrrell’s river descriptions had proven dependable previously and indicated benign conditions entering Marjorie Lake following the last portage.
[Pessl, private correspondence].

The evidence of George Luste.
I mention that Luste identified no source for either item.
Item 1.
Art Moffatt, following Tyrrell’s notes, was not expecting the rapid in which he swamped and then died.
Source. Page 284 of Grinnell’s book (1996).
Item 2.
Over the years, a number of unfounded versions or representations of the Moffatt accident have made their way into the canoeing literature. I’ve read statements like
“After some discussion there came a momentous decision. To save time the party would run any rapid which looked safe from the top.” and
“Everyone was rescued quickly so there should have been no problems.” or
“Increasing desperation made them run rapids without careful checking,” or
“…to speed progress they would run any rapid that looked passable from the top…” and
“On Moffatt’s trip, the canoeists surviving the mid-September swamping first picked up all the packs, then the swamped members, a fatal mistake.”

Source. Pages 293 and 294 of Grinnell’s book (1996).

Summary.
Given my introductory remark I refrain from…for clarity, it would be inappropriate to provide a summary.

Appendix. The maps of Joseph B Tyrrell.
At the Thomas Fisher library, I found the URLs (provided below) for his maps for the 1893 expedition, for the reach from Black Lake to the mouth of the Churchill River on Hudson Bay.
The evidence convinces me that Moffatt had obtained copies of these maps. Of special interest is the map (number 6) for the reach from Wharton Lake to what is now called Marjorie Lake, for it was in this reach that Moffatt died. I provide above a full discussion of its contents.
J B Tyrrell’s annotated maps.
Black Lake to south of Selwyn Lake.
https://barrenlands.library.utoronto.ca/content/zone-1-1893
Continuation to past Wholdiah/Daly Lake.
https://barrenlands.library.utoronto.ca/content/zone-2-1893
Continuation to past Boyd Lake.
https://barrenlands.library.utoronto.ca/content/zone-3-1893
Continuation to the middle of Nicholson Lake.
https://barrenlands.library.utoronto.ca/content/zone-4-1893
Continuation to the middle of Grant Lake.
https://barrenlands.library.utoronto.ca/content/zone-5-1893
Continuation to past Aberdeen Lake.
https://barrenlands.library.utoronto.ca/content/zone-6-1893
Continuation to Baker Lake.
https://barrenlands.library.utoronto.ca/content/zone-7-1893
Continuations to the mouth of the Churchill River.
https://barrenlands.library.utoronto.ca/content/zone-8-1893
https://barrenlands.library.utoronto.ca/content/zone-9-1893
https://barrenlands.library.utoronto.ca/content/zone-10-1893
https://barrenlands.library.utoronto.ca/content/zone-11-1893
https://barrenlands.library.utoronto.ca/content/zone-12-1893
https://barrenlands.library.utoronto.ca/content/zone-13-1893
https://barrenlands.library.utoronto.ca/content/zone-14-1893

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 14 March 2018.

Ancillary 7. Moffatt’s Tyrrell sources.

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

Ancillary 7. Moffatt’s Tyrrell sources.

Introduction.

The Moffatt trip of 1955 retraced the central portion of the Tyrrell-Tyrrell exploratory trip of 1893, specifically the reach from Black Lake on the Fond du Lac River to Baker Lake on the Thelon River.
The books of both Tyrrell brothers (Joseph Burr and James Williams) are available, and I have obtained copies thereof for the reach from Black Lake to Chesterfield Inlet (the mouth of the Thelon River on Hudson Bay). Moffatt is known to have accessed both books.
Given that both brothers wrote books, both must have kept journals, but neither journal is publicly available to my knowledge. It is known that Moffatt had obtained access to JBT’s journal, aka his report. I possess no evidence that he accessed JWT’s.

The evidence of James Williams Tyrrell.
0. I possess no evidence that Moffatt had corresponded with JWT.
1. Across the Sub-Arctics of Canada (Toronto, 1908).
Not accessed by me. Thought to be identical to the following.
2. Through the Barren Lands: An Exploration Line of 3,200 Miles. Geological Survey of Canada (1896).
Thanks to the kind and excessively helpful staff at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library at the University of Toronto, I was able to obtain a copy for the entire reach from Black Lake to Chesterfield Inlet.
Little mention is made of river features; in particular, this book does not help us to understand the tragedy.
3. In Moffatt’s first letter to J B Tyrrell, he refers to the information provided in your report and in the book by your brother. And so Moffatt had obtained access to the book of J W Tyrrell, but I don’t know to which of the items 1 and 2, if indeed they differ.

The evidence of Joseph Burr Tyrrell.
1. Geographical Journal, v 4, no 5, Nov 1894.
Not known to have been accessed by Moffatt. Not accessed by me.
2. Report on the Doobaunt, Kazan and Ferguson Rivers and the north-west coast of Hudson Bay and on two overland routes from Hudson Bay to Lake Winnipeg. S E Dawson, Ottawa (1897).
The book is known to have been accessed by Moffatt, as evinced by the following passage.
Moffatt “…became fascinated with the forbidding wilderness still further north and determined to go there after reading Report on the Dubawnt, Kazan and Ferguson Rivers, written in 1896 by a Canadian geological surveyor, Dr. J. B. Tyrrell…” [Sports Illustrated, p 71, filed under Art Moffatt’s Prospectus]
Thanks to the kind and excessively helpful staff at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library at the University of Toronto, I was able to obtain a copy for the entire reach from Black Lake to Chesterfield Inlet.
It is far from beside the point that J B Tyrrell provides the following passage regarding the reach between Wharton Lake and Marjorie Lake.
Below Wharton Lake the river flows at first eastward, and then southward, for four miles to a small lake, in which distance it rushes down two rapids with descents respectively of 15 and 6 feet. …Five miles below the small lake is a rapid with a descent of twenty feet, past the lower part of which a portage 400 yards long was made … At the foot of this rapid the river turns at right angles and flows northward for seven miles as a wide shallow rapid stream …Lady Marjorie Lake…was entered at the south end…
The complete passage from J B Tyrrell’s book is provided in Ancillary 3. Tyrrell excerpt.
Like the Tyrrell party of 1893, the Moffatt party of 1955 ran the rapids with descents of 15 and 6 feet, this on 13 September 1955, when it began the portage of 400 yards around the rapid with a descent of twenty feet. That portage was completed in the morning of 14 September.
Moffatt died later that same day, in the apparently featureless wide shallow rapid stream in the reach the sharp turn to the north and Marjorie Lake. Of course, my point is that J B Tyrrell made no mention of rapids in the reach where Moffatt died.
3. As I document below, Moffatt had obtained further information from J B Tyrrell, specifically
JBT’s journal (Moffatt calls it his report) for the 1893 trip,
JBT’s maps for the 1893 trip, and
correspondence with JBT.

The evidence of the Sports Illustrated article.
With respect to the upstream reach from Black Lake to the basin of the Dubawnt River, the SI editor wrote the following.
In the days that immediately followed, the expedition made good time despite erratic winds and rain, the back-stiffening portages and missed routes. The maps the party used – they were the only ones in existence – were never precise enough, and there were many times when, after long wearying hours of working up a stream, the canoeists would have to admit their mistake and painfully retreat. [SI article, bottom of right column, p 73]
Response.
The maps could be
either the government-issue maps of the time (not available to me)
or (more likely?) J B Tyrrell’s maps; those for the reach from Black Lake to Selwyn Lake are the following.
https://barrenlands.library.utoronto.ca/zone.cfm?ID=1893&zone=1
https://barrenlands.library.utoronto.ca/zone.cfm?ID=1893&zone=2

The journal of J B Tyrrell.
JBT’s journal (sometimes Moffatt calls it his report) is not publicly available; it is known to differ substantially from JBT’s book. Unfortunately, my best efforts failed to access it; but Moffatt was more successful.
Evidence 1.
Tyrrell…had constant rain and cold, also patches of old snow everywhere. But for us it has been very pleasant… [Moffatt, 16 August, top left of p 80 of the SI article].
Evidence 2.
Throughout Tyrrell’s journal, he speaks of seeing patches of snow well to the south and he suffered his first snow storm on August 10. [Pessl book, 28 August, bottom of p 107].
Evidence 3.
Following Tyrrell’s route… [Moffatt journal for 13 September, as provided by Pessl.
Evidence 4.
… I have spent considerable time reviewing the various pertinent journals and following the maps with the journal descriptions … [Moffatt journal, pp 140-141; passage kindly provided by Pessl].
Response. The phrase the various pertinent journals is unclear. One journal was certainly that of JBT. But Moffatt’s use of the plural suggests he possessed also the journal of JWT. Adding to the confusion (at least in my mind) is that Moffatt possessed the books of both brothers.
Aside. The reference to maps is likely to both the 8 mi. to the inch maps and JBT’s maps; Moffatt had access to both.
Evidence 5.
His [Tyrrell’s] journal had been accurate to that point, namely lunch time on 14 September, just prior to the running of the fatal rapids. [LeFavour, private correspondence, 2015].
Evidence 6.
…he [Pessl] and Art had studied them carefully before setting out and notations from the journals had been made on Art’s maps. [Lanouette, private correspondence, 17 January 2015].

The maps of J B Tyrrell.
I note that the Moffatt party possessed government-issue 8 mi. to the inch maps [18 July. Franck, in Pessl, p 44]). I made no attempt to access such maps available in 1955.
But the party possessed also maps from another source.

Passage 1. 10 August. The maps are very inaccurate in placing the rapids for the most part. [Franck, in Pessl, p 78]
Response. The reference was perhaps to the government-issue maps. Let me drop the matter.

Passage 2. 13 August. …went on down to where the 15-ft. falls is marked on the map. Actually this is an error. There was nothing there but a very easy rapid. [Franck, in Pessl, p 85]
Aside. Franck and Pessl agree on the date, namely 13 August.
Response.
The key item is the reference to the 15-ft. falls, for falls of that same height are shown on J B Tyrrell’s map 4.
https://barrenlands.library.utoronto.ca/zone.cfm?ID=1893&zone=4
Those falls lie between Carey Lake (Franck’s POND ABOVE MARKHAM LAKE. [Pessl, p 85]) and Markham Lake.
And so the location of those falls, as given by Franck, agrees with that given by Tyrrell’s map 4.
Conclusion.
On both counts, namely the height of the falls and their location, the evidence of participant Franck and the evidence of Tyrrell’s map 4 are in complete agreement.
The obvious conclusion is that Moffatt had obtained access to at least one of JBT’s maps, namely number 4.
The obvious implication is that Moffatt had obtained access to all of JBT’s maps.
Especially important for our understanding of the tragedy is the map
https://barrenlands.library.utoronto.ca/zone.cfm?ID=1893&zone=6 .
That map shows no rapids in the northward reach between the portage (Por. 18 c completed in the morning of 14 September) and Marjorie Lake. It was in these unmarked rapids that Moffatt died later that very day.
And I suggest it not beside the point that neither does J B Tyrrell’s book mention those same rapids.
Ancillary 3. Tyrrell excerpt.

Passage 3. For completeness only, I provide the following.
16 August. After dinner, Art got out the maps and looked over our situation. [Franck, in Pessl, p 91].
Comment. My far than thorough search found no more references to maps in Pessl’s book.

Intermediate summary.
I have documented that Moffatt had accessed
J W Tyrrell’s book,
J B Tyrrell’s book,
J B Tyrrell’s journal, and
J B Tyrrell’s maps.
But Moffatt had also corresponded with J B Tyrrell, as I now document.

Moffatt’s correspondence with J B Tyrrell.
Moffatt wrote twice to J B Tyrrell, who replied to the first; but my best efforts failed to find that reply. I possess no evidence that JBT replied to the second.

Moffatt’s letter of 18 December 1954 to J B Tyrrell.
Comment. Copy provided by Pessl; address information deleted.
Dear Dr. Tyrrell:
At the suggestion of Dr. Lincoln Washburn, Professor of Geology at Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, I am writing to tell you of my plans to follow your route from Stony Rapids on Lake Athabaska via the Dubawnt River to Chesterfield Inlet this coming summer.
Since your exploration of that route in 1893 no other canoe parties seem to have made the trip, and if we did not have your excellent report to guide us, I doubt that we should attempt it. My purpose in going is to make a film in color, for lecture purposes—and I believe that with luck we shall have something unlike anything that has been done before.
You may wonder what my qualifications for making such a trip are; I list them briefly: In 1937 I paddled alone from Sioux Lookout, Ontario, to the Albany River and down it to James Bay. Since 1950 I have led parties of five young men of college age down the Albany every summer. In 1952 and ’53 I made a 3000 ft color film of the Albany trip, with which I have been lecturing, and it now seems to be time to attempt a more difficult trip—your route down the Dubawnt.
I plan to use two 18 foot Chestnut Prospector canoes, one paddled by Skip Pessl, a young man who has made the Albany trip with me twice and who is this year a senior at Dartmouth College; and the other paddled by myself. We have not yet selected our two bow paddlers, and in this connection Dr. Washburn thought you might like to send along someone from your mining company to look the country over once again.
We expect to leave from here as close to June 13 as we can, and to remain on the Dubawnt until about September 1. We anticipate several difficulties we have never encountered along the Albany, first the absence of fuel and second, the difficulty of crossing the frozen expanse of Dubawnt Lake—if you are able to give us any advice on coping with these two problems we shall certainly appreciate it.
Of great importance also is the fact that we must carry sufficient supplies for the entire trip—the administration of the Northwest Territories will allow us to carry a rifle, but it is only to be used if we are in danger of starvation—which we feel is rather late in the game to begin living off the country. Nevertheless, we are prepared to travel under these conditions.
To revert briefly to the matter of fuel: Stefansson, in his Arctic Manual, indicates that most Arctic rivers are lined with willows and alders; but in your report and in the book by your brother, I find small mention of such a source of wood for fires. Were they indeed absent along the Dubawnt, or were they too green to burn—or is the country too generally soaked with rain to use them?
I hope you will find it interesting that we will be travelling the Dubawnt this summer, and I also hope that you can give us some advice to help us complete the journey successfully. In any case, I hope that I may have the pleasure of hearing from you.
Sincerely, Arthur R. Moffatt

Comment.
Please note the passage if we did not have your excellent report to guide us, I doubt that we should attempt it. I interpret the reference to the report to be to J B Tyrrell’s journal.

J B Tyrrell’s response to Moffatt’s letter of 18 December 1954.
As evinced by the passage (quoted below), it is known JBT had replied, but my search at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library (University of Toronto) failed, as I describe below. With respect to the date of the response, I know only that it lay between 18 December and 14 January.
Lacking an alternative explanation for the following passage, I suggest that some of its contents are provided in Art Moffatt’s Prospectus, published on page 71 of the Sports Illustrated article.
…In our journey north we will pass into the hunting and trapping grounds of the Chipewyan Indians and out into the Barren Grounds, beyond the northern limit of the trees. This is the summer range of the vast herds of caribou. The lakes and streams are reported to be full of trout up to 25 pounds in weight.

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

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

Assumption.
JBT’s report is what I call also his journal.

The evidence of the participants regarding the fatal rapids.
Introduction.
The only possible sources for the following evidences regarding the fatal rapids are J B Tyrrell’s journal (aka his report), his maps, and his correspondence with Moffatt. I say this because neither book of the Tyrrell brothers mentions those rapids.
The evidence available to me has it that J B Tyrrell’s rapids advice had proved accurate for the previous 11 weeks or so of the trip. I refer in particular to the three candidates for the Sports illustrated editor’s churning chutes of white water [SI article, top of right column on p 82], namely the rapids immediately below Nicholson Lake, those immediately below Dubawnt Lake, and those immediately above Wharton Lake.
Argument. Had JBT’s rapids advice proved inaccurate even once in the previous 11 weeks, surely Moffatt would not have followed it in the afternoon of 14 September 1955.
The evidence of Lanouette.
Referring to the rapids where Moffatt died, his bow person wrote the following: 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. [Sports Illustrated (1959), p 85]
The evidence of LeFavour.
Referring to the rapids between Wharton Lake and Marjorie Lake, he wrote the following: … there were five rapids, the first two rough but shootable, the third long and heavy requiring a portage of a mile [“400 yards” in Tyrrell’s book] and the last two apparently easy for they were mentioned only as “rapids”. Because this route was described we took it, being careful to look over the first two which were indeed rough. Hurrying as we were, no foolish chances were taken. [Evening Recorder, 29 December 1955, Amsterdam NY]
The evidence of Pessl.
…we were following Tyrrell’s journal description of the river conditions approaching Marjorie Lake. Tyrrell’s river descriptions had proven dependable previously and indicated benign conditions entering Marjorie Lake following the last portage. [private correspondence]
Analysis.
Perhaps the key passage is LeFavour’s …the last two apparently easy for they were mentioned only as “rapids”, for it was in these rapids that Moffatt died.

The evidence of John Lentz regarding the Moffatt-Tyrrell correspondence.
The following was kindly supplied by Pessl [private correspondence, May 2017].
Begin Pessl material.
Through Bush and Barrens. North, May-June, 1970, p.22-29.
p.22. He (Moffatt) wrote to Tyrrell who replied that the river, “is a succession of lakes separated by wild rivers.” The old man warned of hazards of these rapids, and suggested the following equipment, “high powered rifles so that you can shoot game at long range, otherwise starvation is likely to threaten very early in your journey.”
This quote attributed by Lentz: “Tyrrell’s letter courtesy Rare Books Department, University of Toronto Library.”
Perhaps there is additional reference in John’s papers/correspondence, maybe available at CCM or the Lentz estate.
End Pessl material.
My comments.
0. I failed to find online access to the North article.
1. Lentz had obtained access to the Moffatt-Tyrrell correspondence.
2. I failed to find the Tyrrell’s letter at the Thomas Fisher Rare Books Library of the University of Toronto.
3. I note that the rifles part of Lentz’s quote duplicates material provided in Moffatt’s Prospectus [Sports Illustrated article, p 71].

The evidence of Fred Gaskin regarding the Moffatt-Tyrrell correspondence.
The following was kindly supplied by Pessl (private correspondence, May 2017).
Begin Pessl material.
Retracing Tyrrell’s journey into the Barren Lands. Canadian Geographical Journal, v.93, n.3, Dec. 1976/Jan. 1977, p. 46-53.
p.50: “When preparing for his trip, Moffatt had corresponded in 1953 with J.B. Tyrrell who was then 95 years old and living in Toronto. The old man warned Moffatt of the dangers of the rapids and the risks of starvation.”
End Pessl material.
My comments.
0. I failed to find online access to Gaskin’s article.
1. Given that Moffatt’s letter of 18 December 1954 was clearly his first contact with J B Tyrrell, Gaskin’s date of 1953 must be incorrect.
2. I don’t know Gaskin’s source for this material, which differs little from that provided by Lentz.

Summary.
The evidence of Moffatt’s journal.
My best efforts failed to obtain full access to that journal, which would almost certainly provide important evidence regarding rapids in general. With regard to the rapids where he died, I possess only the phrase Following Tyrrell’s route… of his last journal entry, that for 13 September.
The evidence of James Williams Tyrrell.
Moffatt had accessed JWT’s book, which provides little information regarding rapids in general, nothing regarding the rapids where Moffatt died in particular.
I possess no evidence that Moffatt had corresponded with JWT.
The evidence of Joseph Burr Tyrrell.
Moffatt’s sources are known to have been the following four items.
1. JBT’s maps. I have provided URLs for the entire reach covered by the Moffatt party. The map for the reach where Moffatt died shows no rapids.
Reference. https://barrenlands.library.utoronto.ca/zone.cfm?ID=1893&zone=6
2. JBT’s book. I possess a copy for the entire reach (Black Lake to Baker Lake) covered by the Moffatt party. The book describes the three candidates that I identified for the SI editor’s churning chutes (namely the rapids below Nicholson Lake, those below immediately below Dubawnt Lake, and those immediately above Wharton Lake), but it makes no mention of the rapids where Moffatt died.
Reference. Ancillary 3. Tyrrell excerpt.
3. JBT’s journal (aka his report). I was unable to access it and so am unable to comment on its contents.
4. Moffatt’s correspondence with JBT. Thanks to Pessl, I was able to provide copies of Moffatt’s two letters to JBT. I was unable to document JBT’s reply (known to have made) to the first. I possess no evidence that JBT had replied to the second.

Conclusions.
1. All known sources state, implicitly, that there were no rapids of significance in the reach where Moffatt died.
2. In particular, Moffatt had good reason to trust JBT’s advice, for Tyrrell’s river descriptions had proven dependable previously and indicated benign conditions entering Marjorie Lake. [Pessl]
3. But J B Tyrrell’s advice failed Moffatt in the afternoon of 14 September 1955.

Appendix. Tyrrell items at the University of Toronto Library.
All known items are held at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, located on the second floor of the Robarts Library, at the corner of St George and Harbord. Access is by permission only; I had a U of T library card, but I believe that a driver’s licence will suffice.
Thanks to the kind, helpful and excessively patient staff at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library of the University of Toronto for their assistance throughout my visits.

Item 1. Joseph B Tyrrell’s book.
Report on the Doobaunt, Kazan and Ferguson Rivers and the north-west coast of Hudson Bay and on two overland routes from Hudson Bay to Lake Winnipeg. S E Dawson, Ottawa (1897).
I possess copies of all pages for the entire reach from Baker Lake to Chesterfield Inlet.

Item 2. Joseph B Tyrrell’s correspondence
is divided, but only roughly, into professional and personal items.
The largely professional items of interest are provided in two boxes, one for 1951-1953 and one for 1954-1955. I read all material for 1953, 1954 and 1955 but found nothing referring to Moffatt. I did not find the 1953 letter mentioned by Lentz (I believe that he got the date incorrectly).
The largely personal items are provided in a single box. I found nothing referring to Moffatt.
Perhaps I should add that another box contains items related to Tyrrell’s apple orchard in what is now the Toronto suburb of Agincourt.

Item 3. J B Tyrrell, Explorer and Adventurer. The Geological Survey Years 1881-1898.
A Catalogue prepared by Katherine Martyn.
The Catalogue was prepared for an exhibition at the library (3 April to 30 July 1993). The 1893 trip is described in Across the Barren Lands: 1893. [pp 23-30]. Two photos are provided, plus maps for the 1893 Dubawnt and 1894 Kazan trips, the former as described in item 4.
https://fisher.library.utoronto.ca/tyrrell-explorer-and-adventurer
http://link.library.utoronto.ca/Tyrrell/overview.cfm?ID=1893

Item 4. Joseph B Tyrrell’s maps for the reach from Black Lake to Chesterfield Inlet and beyond.
His maps for the 1893 expedition show features (rapids, falls, portages, etc), for the following reaches.
Black Lake to south of Selwyn Lake.
https://barrenlands.library.utoronto.ca/zone.cfm?ID=1893&zone=1
Continuation to past Wholdiah/Daly Lake.
https://barrenlands.library.utoronto.ca/zone.cfm?ID=1893&zone=2
Continuation to past Boyd Lake.
https://barrenlands.library.utoronto.ca/zone.cfm?ID=1893&zone=3
Continuation to the middle of Nicholson Lake.
https://barrenlands.library.utoronto.ca/zone.cfm?ID=1893&zone=4
Continuation to the middle of Grant Lake.
https://barrenlands.library.utoronto.ca/zone.cfm?ID=1893&zone=5
Continuation to past Aberdeen Lake.
https://barrenlands.library.utoronto.ca/zone.cfm?ID=1893&zone=6
Continuation to Baker Lake.
https://barrenlands.library.utoronto.ca/zone.cfm?ID=1893&zone=7
etc.
Discussion.
Moffatt certainly possessed map 4, and so almost certainly all maps, especially the vitally important map 6. The Rapid shown shortly below Wharton Lake on that map is the one portaged on 13 and 14 September by the Moffatt party. The important point is that map 6 shows no rapid/s from the end of that portage all the way downstream to Marjorie Lake.
Conclusion.
The rapids where Moffatt died are not shown on J B Tyrrell’s maps.

Item 5. James W Tyrrell’s book/s.
Through the Barren Lands: An Exploration Line of 3,200 Miles. Geological Survey of Canada (1896). Not accessed; believed identical to the following.
Across the Sub-Arctics of Canada (Toronto, 1908).
Comments.
I possess copies of all pages for the entire reach from Baker Lake to Chesterfield Inlet.
The material (especially that regarding ethnography) provided by JWT is fascinating (to me) but it sheds no light on the conditions that led to Moffatt’s death.

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.