Toronto, Sep 11 (): One of two British expedition ships that disappeared about 170 years ago in the Arctic during a mission to discover the remarkable Northwest Passage has been found out, prime minister of Canada announced on Tuesday. The discovery could reveal one of biggest mysteries of history and increase the pride of Canada.
The British expedition ships, HMS Terror and HMS Erebus, were last seen in 1840s, when they were under the command of Sir John Franklin. They have been among the long time most sought-after ships in marine archaeology and in the course of time they also became the subject of novels, songs and poems.
A statement from the office of Prime Minister Stephen Harper said the wreck of one of the vehicle was found on Sunday at about 11 meters (yards) below the surface. A underwater vehicle operated remotely was used to find out the ship.
Harper said it is not clear which vessel was found, however the sonar images have given enough data to confirm it as one of the pair.
He said the finding is a historic pride for Canada truly. The vanishing of the vessels has been an inordinate Canadian mystery and story and it also became the subject of singers, scientists, historians and writers, he said and also the day of finding the vessel will become an important day in mapping the history of their country. Further, Harper says the discovery would bring light on what happened to the crew of Franklin.
In 1846, Franklin had set out along with 128 selected men and officers to find the Northwest Passage, which was thought as the shortcut passage to Asia that evidently ran from the Atlantic to the Pacific by way of the severe, ice-filled Arctic.
It was believed by the historians that the vessels vanished in 1848 near King William Island after they got locked in the ice. In 2008, Canada announced that it would search for the ships, and Harper’s government has spent millions into the project, with the prime minister himself taking part in the search.