The second of two British explorer ships that vanished in the Arctic nearly 170 years ago during an expedition to find the fabled Northwest Passage has been found.
The crew of the Arctic Research Foundation’s Martin Bergmann research vessel found the shipwreck, with all three masts standing and almost all hatches closed, on September 3.
“Resting proud on 24 metres of water, we found HMS Terror — 203 years old, it is perfectly preserved in the frigid waters of the Northwest Passage,” Arctic Research Foundation spokesman Adrian Schimnowski says in the video.
John Geiger, the CEO of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, congratulated the crew of the Martin Bergmann in a statement.
“This is tremendously exciting news,” said Geiger. “After the discovery of HMS Erebus two years ago, the Terror remained the largest missing piece of the puzzle. Together, these discoveries have the potential to alter forever our understanding of the Franklin expedition’s disastrous end,” Arctic Research Foundation spokesman Adrian Schimnowski says in the video.
Last seen in the 1840s while under the command of Sir John Franklin, HMS Erebus – which was found in 2014 and HMS Terror have inspired marine archaeologists and have been the subject of songs, poems and novels.
In 1846 Sir John, born in Spilsby, hand-picked 128 officers and men and set out to find the Northwest Passage, the long-sought shortcut to Asia that supposedly ran from the Atlantic to the Pacific by way of the harsh, ice-choked Arctic.
HMS Terror was found in Nunavut’s Terror Bay, north of where the wreck of HMS Erebus – the expedition’s flagship- was found.