The Great Polar Fraud: Cook, Peary, and Byrd¿How Three American Heroes Duped the World into Thinking They Had Reached the North Pole

The Great Polar Fraud: Cook, Peary, and Byrd¿How Three American Heroes Duped the World into Thinking They Had Reached the North Pole

by Anthony Galvin


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In 1910 Roald Amundsen set off from Oslo toward the North Pole but soon received word that two Americans—Frederick Cook and Robert Peary—each claimed to have reached the Pole ahead of him. Devastated, Amundsen famously went south. For years Cook and Peary tried to convince the world of their claims. Finally the National Geographic Society endorsed Peary, and the matter seemed settled. In May 1926 an American airman, Richard Byrd, flew north in a three-engine plane, and returned with a log showing that he had flow exactly over the geographical North Pole, becoming the third man to reach that mythical spot. National Geographic again supported the claim.

However, it is now obvious that Peary claimed distances he could not possibly have achieved, and it is doubtful that Cooke, who had a history of fraud, ever got even close to the pole. Byrd flew further north than anyone before, but he did not have the fuel to have made the journey he claimed—his log was falsified. Just three days after Byrd’s flight, Amundsen reenters the story on an airship traveling across the pole from Svalbard to Alaska, unknowingly passing directly over the pole, becoming the true first to reach it—just as he had been the first at the South Pole. The Great Polar Fraud explores the history of the three men who claimed the pole, their claims, and the subsequent doubts of those claims, effectively rewriting the history of polar exploration and putting Amundsen center stage as the rightful conqueror of both poles.

Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade imprint, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in history—books about World War II, the Third Reich, Hitler and his henchmen, the JFK assassination, conspiracies, the American Civil War, the American Revolution, gladiators, Vikings, ancient Rome, medieval times, the old West, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781629145044
Publisher: Skyhorse
Publication date: 11/18/2014
Pages: 368
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Anthony Galvin is the author of several historic books, mainly focusing on crime and the darker side of the human experience. He has had a lifelong obsession with the polar regions, and has spent the last fifteen winters in the Arctic. He has also trekked and climbed in the Himalayas and is currently training to take part in the 2015 North Pole marathon.

Table of Contents

Introduction vii

1 Peary's Early Life 1

2 Cook's Childhood 7

3 Amundsen-The Napoleon of the North Makes His Entrance 15

4 Peary Gets the Exploration Bug 25

5 Getting Back to Greenland 29

6 Peary Meets Cook 35

7 Peary Travels North 49

8 Home From Greenland 61

9 Byrd's Early Steps 69

10 Mixed Fortunes on the Ice 75

11 Peary's Third Greenland Expedition 79

12 Cook's Second Greenland Expedition 83

13 Peary Searches for Shooting Stars 87

14 The Doldrums 95

15 Cook and Amundsen in the Antarctic 101

16 Peary and the Meteorites 115

17 Cook Climbs Toward the Top of the Continent 127

18 Amundsen on the Northwest Passage 135

19 Peary's Penultimate Expedition, 1904-1906 149

20 Cook Returns to McKinley 159

21 Peary and Cook Meet Again 165

22 Cook Plans for the Pole 169

23 Amundsen Eyes the Pole 175

24 Cook Heads North 183

25 Peary Leaves for the Pole 189

26 Peary Vents his Rage on Cook's Companion 195

27 Cook Reaches for the Pole 201

28 Peary Heads North 213

29 A Curious Newspaper Headline 225

30 Cook Returns 227

31 Cook Reaches Europe 233

32 Amundsen Sets Out for the North Pole 237

33 Peary Reaches the Pole? 241

34 Peary Returns 249

35 Amundsen Changes His Mind 253

36 Peary Reacts to Cook Claim 261

37 Race for the South Pole 269

38 Cook and Peary at War 283

39 Amundsen After the South Pole 291

40 Byrd Spreads His Wings 299

41 Amundsen Makes Further Flights 307

42 The Race Is On 315

43 Wings Near the Pole 323

44 The Pole at Last-Thoroughly at Peace with all the World 333

Epilogue 339

Selected Bibliography 346

Index 347

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The Great Polar Fraud: Cook, Peary, and Byrd--How Three American Heroes Duped the World into Thinking They Had Reached the North Pole 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He sighed, grooming his pelt watching them from afar.