View topic - The journal of Moffatt-party participant Ed Lanouette

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PostPosted: January 29th, 2019, 5:01 pm 
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Perhaps I have missed it in the many pages of this report, my apologies if I have, but may I ask why you feel the need to defend Moffat on multiple fronts?

It seems that many people concur on one point anyway, and that is Moffat's inability to make hay while the sun shines, which was a direct contributor to his demise. A swim in that rapid three weeks earlier may have been just a swim, instead of having a tragic outcome.


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PostPosted: January 29th, 2019, 5:47 pm 
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Response to RHaslam.
Accusations of Arthur Moffatt were published first in 1959 and are known to have continued for 55 years.
The first defence of him was published by Pessl in 2014, but it was mostly implicit.
I feel the need to defend a person who is unable to do so himself.

EDIT.
I became interested in the Moffatt story when Aleks Gusev asked me to write a review of Skip Pessl's talk at the 2014 Luste lecture at the Canadian Canoe Museum. I could not refuse any request made by Aleks, but neither could I write a review. And so I decided to look into the Moffatt story and the evidence. Except for a few months spent in the documentation of canoe and kayak routes, that effort continues to the present day.
Very early in my research, I noticed problems with the accusatory literature. The main problem was that it consisted then, indeed consists largely now, of assertions rather than evidence.

Perhaps truth should be decided by evidence, not by a plurality of those choosing to express an opinion.
In this connection, I refer the reader to the comment regarding fifty million people made by Anatole France.
https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Anatole_France

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PostPosted: January 29th, 2019, 7:41 pm 
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PostPosted: January 29th, 2019, 8:28 pm 
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Thanks for the response Alan. I guess the problem is in the interpretation of the evidence. Based on the evidence you have presented, I seemed to have reached a different conclusion than you. I guess that's how the subjective nature of human cognition works; we often strive to see things the way we want to, and enter into states of motivated reasoning. Your conclusion is correct for you, mine is different, although perhaps not correct. Who knows in the end, it's not rocket surgery after all.

One of your central arguments seems to be that Tyrrell was at fault for providing bad info, and that this exonerated Moffat. My interpretation is that as trip leader, Moffat should have known better than to rely on someone else's account.

Also, it is difficult to deny that lollygagging on a remote Northern trip where the good days are numbered is probably not a sound idea, unless one is filthy rich with a Sat phone, as some do in today's era of wilderness excursions. The stakes were high in 1955, probably a lot more so than today.

In any case, I don't think your evidence will change my opinion, in fact, your evidence has created my opinion, and caused me to part with some money in further readings which have enhanced my understanding of the evidence presented by you. Thanks for providing me with some interesting reading on a subject I knew very little about!


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PostPosted: January 29th, 2019, 11:22 pm 
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PostPosted: January 30th, 2019, 6:49 am 
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PostPosted: January 30th, 2019, 7:56 am 
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Quote:
I would grant we all are expressions of ineptitude to one degree or another and that chance has a place in events. Skill and experience are the forces that mitigate against such happenings.


Well said Sir, that is perhaps the best description I have read of the misery of the human condition.


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PostPosted: January 30th, 2019, 9:05 am 
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Thanks to RHaslam for his kind and gentle response to my latest post.
Thanks also to David for his comment "One of your central arguments seems to be that Tyrrell was at fault for providing bad info, " I do not adhere to the assertion that Tryell gave bad info.
And thanks to the many who have read these 13 pages.
These matters are subjective to some extent, and reasonable people acting in good faith can come to different conclusions.

I shall continue to provide the evidence as I know it, and provide my interpretations of it. Yet to be posted is full documentation of all the true accusations, a brief assessment of all the accusations, the evidence regarding the schedule, and perhaps other items.

Yours in paddling, Allan

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PostPosted: February 7th, 2019, 6:22 am 
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PostPosted: February 7th, 2019, 8:14 am 
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I believe that david demello referred here to Moffatt's Prospectus, which gave the distance to be travelled as 900 miles. [Sports Illustrated article, p 71 (1959)].

But that is the distance from Black Lake to Chesterfield Inlet on Hudson Bay.

Before the trip began, Moffatt decided to exit rather at Baker Lake. My measurement at Toporama gave the distance from Black Lake to Baker Lake as 680 miles, in embarrassingly good agreement with David's figure. But the error in my figure is perhaps a few percent.

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A literal mind is a little mind. If it's not worth doing to excess, it's not worth doing at all. Good enough isn't.  None are so blind as those who choose not to see. (AJ)



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PostPosted: February 7th, 2019, 8:42 am 
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PostPosted: February 7th, 2019, 9:25 am 
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Not sure that I understand David's comment, but 2% of 680 miles is 14 miles.

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A literal mind is a little mind. If it's not worth doing to excess, it's not worth doing at all. Good enough isn't.  None are so blind as those who choose not to see. (AJ)



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PostPosted: February 7th, 2019, 9:45 am 
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My sources

Introduction.
When I announced the opening of my blog to public view, a CCR member asked how I knew what had happened, for I wasn’t there. http://www.myccr.com/phpbbforum/viewtop ... 16&t=45362
Aside. The same person found LOL-amusing the discussion of the cause of the death of a fellow paddler. http://www.myccr.com/phpbbforum/viewtop ... 4&start=15

Over the almost 60 years of the Moffatt literature, the participant evidence available consisted of that provided in only three publications.
1. Edited excerpts from Moffatt’s journal, plus a faithful condensation of Lanouette’s journal for the day of Moffatt’s death, both published in the Sports Illustrated article of 1959.
2. Grinnell’s Canoe article of 1988.
3. Grinnell’s book (1996 edition; those of 2006 and 2010 went unnoticed).
Too late to influence the accusatory literature were published
Kesselheim’s article of 2012, which contains comments of Pessl,
Pessl’s article of 2013, and
Pessl’s book of 2014, which contains also excerpts from the journal of Franck.
For sticklers, I note that Kingsley (2014) mentioned Pessl’s comment People revealed themselves as imperfect in Kesselheim’s article.

The abovementioned CCR member was not aware that if the same criterion (being present) were to be applied, then the following would have to be ignored:
the bulk of the Sports Illustrated article (1959),
the book of Inglis (1978),
accusations made prior to the publication of Grinnell’s book (1996), as quoted there by Luste on pages 293 and 294,
the articles of Murphy and MacDonald (1996),
Mahler’s article (2005), which contains also material from Thum and Bose,
and Kingsley’s articles (2012 and 2013) and book (2014).

A recent post at CCR.
Introduction. I posted the following in response to what I recall to be a question (posted on 30 January 2019) by another member, something like why did I continue to defend Moffatt in the face of so CCR assertions to the contrary.
http://www.myccr.com/phpbbforum/viewtop ... &start=180
My response to the above. I became interested in the Moffatt story when Aleks Gusev asked me to write a review of Skip Pessl's talk at the 2014 Luste lecture at the Canadian Canoe Museum. I could not refuse any request made by Aleks, but neither could I write a review. And so I decided to look into the Moffatt story and the evidence. Except for a few months spent in the documentation of canoe and kayak routes, that effort continues to the present day.
Very early in my research, I noticed problems with the accusatory literature. The main problem was that it consisted then, indeed consists largely now, of assertions rather than evidence.
Perhaps truth should be decided by evidence, not by a plurality of those choosing to express an opinion.
In this connection, I refer the reader to the comment regarding “fifty million people” made by Anatole France. https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Anatole_France

But I must have been mistaken, for a recent check found no such question.

The evidence of the Tyrrell brothers.
In 1955, Moffatt set out to retrace the central portion of the Tyrrell expedition of 1893. This was the reach from Black Lake on the Fond du Lac River, up the Chipman River, over the height of land to the Dubawnt River, down it to its junction with the Thelon River, and down the latter to Baker Lake.
To guide him, he had accessed the books of J B Tyrrell and J W Tyrrell, the journal of JBT, and JBT’s maps; and he had corresponded with JBT.
I possess copies of the relevant material from both books, the maps of J B Tyrrell, and (thanks to Pessl) Moffatt’s two letters to J B Tyrrell.
My best efforts failed to obtain either JBT’s response (known to have been made to Moffatt’s first letter) or JBT’s journal. Both are known to contain important material not otherwise available, especially regarding the cause of Moffatt’s death.
Reference. <a href="http://defence-arthurmoffatt.ca/2017/06/02/ancillary-7-the-moffatt-tyrrell-correspondence/">Ancillary 7. Moffatt’s Tyrrell sources.</a>

The evidence of Moffatt’s journal.
I possess edited excerpts provided in Sports Illustrated, issues of
9 March 1959 Man against the barrens grounds (pp 68-76) and
16 March 1959 Danger and Sacrifice (pp 80-88).
I possess also unedited excerpts for several days, as kindly provided by Pessl.

The evidence of Lanouette, Moffatt’s bowperson.
1. What I assess from the next item to be a faithful condensation of his journal entry for the day of Moffatt’s death was published in Sports Illustrated (1959. pp 85-87].
Aside. Unfortunately for the reputation of a dead man, Grinnell redacted three key sentences from that condensation, replacing them with an ellipsis. [book (1996), top of p 202)]
2. Early in my research, Lanouette provided his full journal for that day and a portion for the next day. That material is posted in my blog.
3. His full journal for the trip was kindly transcribed and provided by his daughter Elizabeth Emge. I published it at CCR (where the limit of 60,000 characters required 8 posts).
Post 1. 16 June to 1 July.
http://www.myccr.com/phpbbforum/viewtop ... 81&t=46535
Post 2. 2 July to 16 July.
http://www.myccr.com/phpbbforum/viewtop ... 81&t=46555
Post 3. 17 July to 28 July.
http://www.myccr.com/phpbbforum/viewtop ... 81&t=46557
Post 4. 29 July to 7 August.
http://www.myccr.com/phpbbforum/viewtop ... 81&t=46561
Post 5. 8 August to 20 August.
http://www.myccr.com/phpbbforum/viewtop ... 81&t=46610
Post 6. 21 August to 2 September.
http://www.myccr.com/phpbbforum/viewtop ... 81&t=46696
Post 7. 3 September to 10 September.
http://www.myccr.com/phpbbforum/viewtop ... 81&t=46737
Post 8. 11 September to 16 September.
http://www.myccr.com/phpbbforum/viewtop ... 81&t=46738
4. Private correspondence (minor in number, crucial in importance).

The evidence of Grinnell.
I possess the following items.
1. Art Moffatt’s Wilderness Way to Enlightenment. Canoe, July 1988, pp 18-21 & 56.
2. A Death on the Barrens. A True Story. Northern Books, Toronto (1996). The publisher (not the editor), was George Luste. Contents include much personal material, plus comments by Luste.
Reviews. Undesired images pop up and so I don’t provide URLs for those that I found, namely those at goodreads.com, northatlanticbooks.com, readingforsanity.ca, Amazon (1556438826), etc.
3. A True Story of Courage and Tragedy in the Canadian Arctic. North Atlantic Books, Berkeley (2010). I made only superficial use of this edition, namely to examine his version of the condensation of Lanouette’s journal for 14 September. I possess no evidence that either it or the second edition (Heron Dance Press, 2006; not in my possession), influenced the Moffatt literature.
4. His post at my blog.
5. Private correspondence (one message).

The evidence of Pessl, Moffatt’s second.
For completeness (I know nothing of the contents), I mention Three Canoes. 1.46 Bold Journey. Prod. no. 474. ABC Broadcast of Monday 8 July, 1957.
1. Comments published in Kesselheim’s article 57 years Ago. Canoe &amp; Kayak, May 2012, starting on p 46. The article appeared too late to influence the Moffatt literature, except for incidental use of one comment by Kingsley (2014).
2. The Fateful 1955 Dubawnt River Trip. Nastawgan. Summer 2013. Vol 70, No 2.
http://www.myccr.com/sites/default/file ... mer_13.pdf
I found no mention of the article in the later literature.
3. Barren Grounds. The Story of the Tragic Moffatt Canoe Trip. Dartmouth College Press (2014). Contents include excerpts from his journal and that of Franck, plus comments on the previous literature. I found no mention of the book in the later literature.
4. Private correspondence, many in number, crucial in importance, beginning in the fall of 2014 and continuing to the present.

The evidence of Franck.
Excerpts from his journal, as provided in Pessl’s book of 2014.

The evidence of LeFavour.
I possess the third of his four Evening Recorder articles (1955). It is not publicly available and so did not influence the Moffatt literature prior to my mention of it in 2016.
Private correspondence, minor in number, crucial in importance.

Mathieu Sabourin,
(Library and Archives, Canada) kindly responded to my request for information regarding Grinnell’s assertion that an inquest had been held into Moffatt’s death. He found no evidence that such inquest had been held.

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A literal mind is a little mind. If it's not worth doing to excess, it's not worth doing at all. Good enough isn't.  None are so blind as those who choose not to see. (AJ)



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PostPosted: February 7th, 2019, 10:49 am 
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PostPosted: February 7th, 2019, 10:54 am 
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