In 1848 Captain Sir James Clark Ross sailed for the Arctic with the two ships HMS Investigator and HMS Enterprise. His mission was to resupply and relieve the Expedition under his old friend Captain Sir John Franklin, which had sailed three years before and had yet to return.
He found no trace of the Franklin Expedition and, as the world knows, no one else has since. Ross' old friend Sir John and his 128 shipmates disappeared. Unwittingly, Ross had started the longest and largest search and rescue mission in the history of humanity - one which continues to this day, 164 years later.
But the search continues and I was heartened to see this story here by the well-informed Canadian journalist Randy Boswell that "an announcement about resuming the search for Franklin’s lost ships could come during next week’s visit to the Arctic by Prime Minister Stephen Harper". Boswell refers to "Parks Canada’s 2010 discovery of the Investigator near Banks Island in the northwest corner of Arctic Canada [which] fuelled excitement ... that similar searches might soon lead the agency’s archaeologists to Franklin’s ships."
It really has been long enough for this mystery to remain - let us all hope that archaeology can eventually bring some sort of closure to this long-running tragedy.