LONDON, Feb. 4 (UPI) -- A new study has revealed that explorer Henry Stanley may never have said the words famously attributed to him -- "Doctor Livingstone, I presume."
Tim Jeal, Stanley's biographer, says he has uncovered the truth about the encounter between Stanley and Dr. David Livingstone -- who had been sent to Africa to search for the lost missionary two years before they eventually met.
The meeting occurred in 1871 in what is now western Tanzania. Stanley's diaries, detailing their first encounter, refer to Livingstone as "a pale-looking white man in a faded blue cap," London's Observer reported.
Jeal's biography -- "Stanley: The Impossible Life of Africa's Greatest Explorer" -- is not an attempt to tarnish the reputation of the adventurer, the newspaper said. Jeal reportedly had unprecedented access to the Stanley family archives for his research.
"He was our greatest land explorer," Jeal said. "And I can say that as I am Livingstone's biographer too. The essential picture of Stanley is wrong. It is sad and ridiculous that this inane comment is known by millions, whereas his work as an explorer and cartographer in the Congo has been forgotten."