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"We found a note!"

Sir John Franklin and his Northwest Passage seeking expedition set out from England on May 19, 1845, and the last sighting of his ships was on June 25th of that same year. The only knowledge we have of the ships' whereabouts after that is from clues found by numerous searchers sent to find the lost ships.

One such clue was the document shown above. It was left behind by Franklin's men and it contains two separate messages.

The first note is dated May 28, 1847 and says that the expedition spent its first winter (1845-46) at Beechey Island and the second winter (1846-47) off the northwest coast of King William Island.

Around the margin is a second message written almost a year later. It tells how Franklin's ships, the Erebus" and the "Terror", had been trapped in the ice since September 12, 1846.

The ships were finally deserted on April 26, 1848 - nearly three years after they had set sail from England. The 105 men who were still alive planned to walk south.

Neither those men, or their ships, have ever been found. Where did they go?

MAP: + Last known location of the "Terror" and "Erebus".

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