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The Franklin Conspiracy: Cover-up, Betrayal, and the Astonishing Secret Behind the Lost Arctic Expedition

by Jeffrey Blair Latta

In The Franklin Conspiracy, popular-science writer and playwright Jeffrey Blair Latta attempts to add John Franklin’s lost 1845 Arctic expedition to the list of conspiracy theories that include the Roswell aliens and the assassination of John Kennedy.

The mystery of what happened to Franklin, his two ships, and his 128 crew members has long fascinated researchers. Murder, infected food, lead poisoning, and plain bad luck have all been suggested as causes for the tragedy. The hard data – a few graves, some bones, a cryptic weathered note left behind by the expedition at Victory Point, and some poorly recorded Inuit stories – are so sparse that the temptation to resort to the extraordinary to explain what happened is immense. It is a temptation that has drawn Latta in.

The Franklin Conspiracy postulates that there was a scheme at the highest levels of the British Admiralty from 1818 to 1859 to hide the existence in the Canadian Arctic of a race of giants with knowledge of radiation and the power to levitate entire ships. Latta makes no attempt to explain who these giants were, what they were doing in northern Canada, and where they went. Nonetheless, his theories are plausible – if you believe in aliens and/or vanished super races. What is completely implausible is that the ordinary, flawed mortals of the British Admiralty were capable of orchestrating such a massive and effective conspiracy for more than 40 years.

Having said this, The Franklin Conspiracy is fun to read and well written. There are only a few minor factual errors (there were no previous complaints about the supplier of Franklin’s canned food), and some of the interpretations of the data are novel and valuable (Latta draws some interesting conclusions from the Victory Point note). These high points will unfortunately only serve to draw the gullible and uninformed into the more hare-brained of the author’s theories.


Reviewer: John Wilson

Publisher: Dundurn Press


Price: $22.99

Page Count: 284 pp

Format: Paper

ISBN: 0-88882-234-0

Released: June

Issue Date: 2001-7

Categories: History