1) 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,