Has TV adventurer discovered Franklin's lost Arctic expedition?

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London, Sept 19 (ANI): TV adventurer Bear Grylls may have solved a long standing puzzle - Admiral Sir John Franklin's legendary but failed 1845 expedition to find the North-west Passage - when he stumbled across human bones, the remains of fires and whalebone tools on a remote Canadian island.

Grylls and his crew claim to have found human bones, the remnants of huge fires built from ship timber, and tools carved from whale bone, which may help to explain the fate of the famous explorer, his 129 men and their two ships.

They stumbled across the remains on a small island in Wellington Strait, just to the east of King William Island, Canada.

"It is certainly interesting. Every discovery relating to Franklin and his crew is important," the Independent quoted Marc-Andre Bernier, chief of underwater exploration for the Canadian government agency Parks Canada, as saying.

Franklin's voyage to map the passage was to be his fourth and final mission to the Arctic. The expedition's two vessels, the Erebus and the Terror, were never seen again. Following the incident, several search attempts were launched, but failed miserably.

But Grylls' mission was entirely different - a 13-day trip to raise awareness of the effects of climate change on the planet.

"We sought shelter from the strong northerly wind behind a tiny rocky island and where in turn we stumbled by accident on our discovery of the graves, human remains, rotting mast and a large area of charred rock where some serious wood burning had gone on. There are no trees for hundreds of miles from there," he said.

Earlier this month a box, which may contain records of Franklin's expedition, was excavated from beneath an Arctic cairn. It is currently being analysed by the Canadian Conservation Institute.

Since global warming is making the region more accessible, now a new cruise, run by the local Inuit, will take tourists on the trail of the 19th-century explorers. (ANI)

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