OTTAWA, Sept. 9 (UPI) -- With the discovery of a sunken ship in the Arctic, announced Tuesday, one of Canada's greatest mysteries is solved, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said.
A Royal Navy ship, part of Sir John Franklin's ill-fated 1845 expedition to find a Northwest Passage, or maritime route in the Arctic, was discovered Sept. 9, and confirmed Tuesday, in water west of King William Island in Canada's Nunavut Territory. All 128 crew members died, although evidence suggests several survived for a number of years, and 19th century searches for the ships of the Franklin Expedition came up empty.
Researchers of Parks Canada are not certain if the ship they found, using an underwater vehicle, is the HMS Erebus or the HMS Terror, two ships lost in 1846, but photographs from the scene, and artifacts collected, make it clear the ship on the ocean floor is from the expedition.
"This is a great historic event. For more than a century this has been a great Canadian story. It's been the subject of scientists and historians and writers and singers. And so I think we have a really important day in mapping together the history of our country," Harper said.