AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: The Greely Expedition
Airs Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV
An epic story of adventure, abandonment and human tragedy.
Their destination was Lady Franklin Bay in the high Arctic, where they planned to collect a wealth of scientific data from a vast area of the world’s surface that had been described by a British admiral as a “sheer blank.”
Three years later, only six survivors returned, with a daunting story of shipwreck, starvation, mutiny and cannibalism.
Drawing on an impressive documentary record that includes scientific accounts, diaries, photographs and letters, the film reveals the nearly unbearable pressures experienced by the members of the expedition, and shows how poor planning, personality clashes, questionable decisions and pure bad luck conspired to turn a noble scientific mission into a human tragedy.
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