The Search for Franklin’s Ships with Jonathan Moore

October 25, 2016

7:00 pm

In May 1845 Sir John Franklin sailed from England with HMS Erebus and HMS Terror in search of the Northwest Passage. Both ships were abandoned in 1848, and their crews perished in a desperate southward retreat. In the decades that followed, searchers found relics, human remains and a terse message from the expedition. Its grim fate, and the fact that the ships had sunk, were confirmed by interviews with Inuit. Nevertheless the precise final resting places of the ships remained a mystery – until one of them was found in 2014.

The discovery of HMS Erebus in September 2014 was the result of collaborative search effort led by Parks Canada, providing archaeologists with an unprecedented opportunity to shed new light on the Franklin expedition. Three recent expeditions between 2014 and 2015 have given us a first look at this impressive shipwreck and the future promises one of the most challenging yet fascinating underwater archaeological projects ever to be conducted in Canada.

Jonathan Moore, a Senior Underwater Archaeologist with Parks Canada, will present the shipwreck of HMS Erebus and explain the challenges the underwater archaeologists face as they begin an in-depth study of this unique site.

JONATHAN MOORE grew up in Kingston where he got his start in both land and underwater archaeology. He learned to dive in 1988 and completed a Bachelor’s degree in Classical Studies at Queen's University in 1991 and a Master’s degree in Maritime Studies at the University of St. Andrews (Scotland) in 1992. In 1994, Jonathan joined Parks Canada’s Underwater Archaeology Team based in Ottawa. For almost a decade he has been part of the Parks Canada-led team searching for the missing ships HMS Erebus and HMS Terror from the 1845 Franklin Expedition. He was one of the first people to dive on the wreck of HMS Erebus when the team discovered it in September 2014. Since then he has participated in two return archaeological expeditions to the Erebus, first in April 2015 (when the team dived under two meters of sea ice to reach the wreck) and most recently this past August and September.

This event is co-sponsored by the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic and our colleagues at Parks Canada


For additional information:
Richard MacMichael