Parks Canada archaeologists dove the wreck of HMS Investigator and explored McClure’s cache, then continued search for Franklin’s lost vessels
In July 2010, Parks Canada’s terrestrial and underwater archaeologists travelled to Aulavik National Park, Northwest Territories, where their survey efforts delivered a number of exciting discoveries, including the shipwreck of HMS Investigator and the gravesites of three crewmen. Later that summer, the underwater archaeology team then continued with the second year of a three-year project to search for Franklin’s lost ships: HMS Erebus and HMS Terror , in Nunavut.
In the summer of 2011 Parks Canada archaeologists again embarked on this two-phased Arctic expedition; first, to further document the land sites and dive the wreck of HMS Investigator, then to continue the search for the Franklin vessels. Diving HMS Investigator for the first time, the marine team collected spectacular underwater imagery of this hidden gem, while the land team comprehensively documented the land sites related to the wreck. Members of the marine team then moved further to the east to search for Franklin’s lost vessels, covering more than 140 km of the Arctic’s vast and uncharted waters.
The Government of Canada is the proud steward of Aulavik National Park of Canada, one of our most northern and unique protected landscapes, and the designated federal custodian of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror National Historic Site of Canada, two vessels of paramount importance to the Arctic's history.
Given the physical and logistical challenges associated with travelling and working in the Arctic, few Canadians experience first-hand the beauty and history of our most northerly places. Parks Canada is pleased to bring this to you through our web content and social media opportunities. Be a part of the search and follow our progress as we continue our attempts at solving the mystery of Franklin’s lost ships, conduct further follow-up work on HMS Investigator and its related sites, such as McClure’s Cache, and learn more about how early Arctic exploration and the search for the Northwest Passage shaped the development of our country.
The illustrious search for the Northwest Passage has captured public imagination for more than 400 years. Parks Canada invites you to continue following the fascinating work of our archaeologists and learn about the history surrounding this epic part of Canada's past. Visit our site often, as updates will be added regularly as more information comes available.