Lost Ship Buried in Ice | COLOSSAL MYSTERIES


– [Narrator] In 1848,
two massive vessels named the HMS Erebus
and the HMS Terror disappeared with
hundreds of men aboard in the frozen Arctic waters,
never to be heard from again. So, what happened? Could modern tech help
us discover the fate of these two missing
ships and their crew? Let’s find out in
today’s episode of… Colossal Mysteries. On the 19th of May, 1845, two ships left port from
England with 128 souls aboard. They were under the command
of Captain Sir John Franklin. Their mission was to
locate a passageway through the icy
maze north of Canada known as the Northwest Passage. If found, the Northwest Passage would allow ships to travel
from the Atlantic to the Pacific without needing to sail all
the way around South America. Franklin’s expedition
was outfitted with state-of-the-art
equipment and their two ships, nicknamed the HMS Erebus
and the HMS Terror, were ice-strengthened and
reinforced with heavy beams and plates of iron to withstand even extreme Arctic conditions. About two months
after setting sail, both ships were seen entering
the Northwest Passage and vanishing into
the icy tangle. All 128 of the brave people
onboard were never seen again. So, what happened? Why did such advanced ships
disappear without a trace? And what happened
to the doomed crew of the Franklin Expedition? After several years without
word from either ship, a group led by Sir
John Franklin’s wife pressed the English government
to launch a search party, which they finally did three years after the
expedition first launched. In several different spots, they found clues that only
added to the intrigue. Three graves, an abandoned
sled, two skeletons, some strange hard-to-read
letters, and one key hint: a note written by the crew that declared Franklin
and 23 other men dead. It also said that the ship
had been trapped in the ice for well over a year and the survivors were
planning to abandon ship and try to find their way
across the Arctic tundra. Six years later, a Scottish
explorer named John Rae made a discovery that
added another layer to this morbid mystery. While exploring uncharted
areas of northern Canada, John Rae met several
local Inuit families who told him terrible
tales about the grim fate of the Franklin party. They said that four winters ago, they had seen at least
40 non-Inuit people dragging a small boat full of
supplies south across the ice. Using hand gestures, the
haggard men told them that their ships had
been crushed by ice and they were heading south
in search of animals to hunt. When the Inuits came
back in the spring, they found at least 30 of
the men frozen and dead. For the next 160 years, these stories were the
only evidence experts had as to what might’ve happened to Franklin and his
doomed expedition. But in 2014, all of that changed when Canadian search
teams discovered the
wreckage of Erebus hidden deep in Arctic waters. Two years later, the wreck
of Terror was found as well in near-perfect condition. So, sadly, it seems as
though Franklin and his crew slowly died off one by
one as they tried in vain to trudge their way
through unforgiving terrain in search of safety. But we’ll never know for sure. There’s always a chance that they could have
found a way to survive. (light playful music)

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