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Dr. Cook's infamous "lost box"
Close up of letter to New York Times

If the box made it back to America on Peary's ship then Cook could forever claim that his "proofs" were stolen or tampered with by Peary. Peary, wisely, did not fall for this obvious trick.

2) If Peary refused to transport the box on his ship (that is what happened) then Cook could forever blame Peary if it became lost (that is what happened). In any event, Cook realized he could always claim others had tampered with it.

3) The box was, in fact, lost. Whitney, a complete stranger to whom Cook supposedly entrusted his North Pole "proof", said he buried the box in an Eskimo village.

Cook actually had nothing to prove he reached the Pole simply because it was all a hoax anyway. His McKinley hoax had begun to unravel before the North Pole hoax was announced, now the reporters were all over him. Cook's credibility was sinking rapidly. He never dispatched a ship to Greenland for obvious reasons; the box was simply another hoax.

Yet to this day Cook descendents blame Peary for not letting Whitney bring that box on his ship. See how clever Cook was? If Peary had taken the box, then it would have been worse—to this day he would be blamed for destroying or tampering with Cook's "North Pole proofs"—as this writer had already realized.
New York Times, September 27, 1909.

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