Irvin Hentzel


Explanation of Materials Found in Valley


Thanks for your prompt reply.=20

Sorry for my poor English but I am sure that we could understand between you and me...

(* I am so happy to talk with someone about AKPATOK.

Your English is Fine *)

(* Yes, I meant the 1982 camp valley. That was a luscious green valley with a nice stream running through it. *)

1) Which valley ? If you think the 1982 camp valley. The answer in No. We saw some bones and probably partial skull bones (probably sea mammals)on the west side of the island in the mouth of samll ravine not too far from the old oil camp in 1982. We stayed in the oil camp 2 days waiting the coast guard helicopter to transfert our material to the south colony. (* I think this ravine south of the oil camp was where we found the two partial skull caps. There was also a polar bear den there, but deserted. *)

2) We never went in this direction in 1981 and 1982. The crash involved a Canadian Coast Guard helicopter.

3)Possible, but I did not read this book. You say that you saw some =AB new =BB cairns. Those are probably ours. We identified each our study plots with a rock pile for the future = researchers. Not sure but probably 8-10 cairns near the cliff between = 1981 and 1982 camps.

(* The cairns seemed to be along the edge of the clif, like they were markers to identity the path. There were also some "very old cairns" way in the south end. Beyond the big valley on the far south end. They were up on the high ground south of the valley along the coast *)

I agree with you. When you go in this island we will hope to return on it. Each year, I see the island from the shore by helicopter (I band Canada goose along the Ungava coast). BUT, may be next year to take photos of two colonies to know population trend for a couple of days. Not for 2 months I am too old to do that !!!!!!!!! (* sounds marvelous to go back, even for a couple of days. *)

I am a bit curious. What was the main goal of your travel? There is so many interesting things to talk about. First, I read two books by Sydney Montague. He was a Canadian Mounted Police who was in the Cape Chidley station for three years. This included the air survey over winter to see if the grain shipments from Churchill could get through. He visited the island twice. Once by boat and once by airplane. The boat landed on the east coast. The plane landed on the west side, probably in the same ravine you described south of the Oil site.

He said that the Eskimos were scared to death of the island and would not set foot on the island. Apparantly the people on the island were canabals and they left the island in 1900 and went to the mainland at Kangersuk. But this was just a generation later, 30 years and the fear was still there. He described landing at one site, probably Cannibal cove, and then landing further south, probably Omiak cove. He said he was suprised to find a well worn path up the cliff. He said it looked like a thousand men had used it. On top he walked a while and then went down a ravine. At the bottom of the ravine were round rocks that were all over the island, but in the ravine they were white, and in the rest of the island they were black. Then at the bottom he saw they were skulls. There were many many skulls.

He took two of them back. He thought they were white man's skulls. The eskimos were afraid to have stuff from the island on the boat. But when he said they were white man's skulls, it make the eskimos less afraid. He said he eventually buried them near the base at cape chidley.

The question was, "What happened to the people of Greenland?" There is a certified Greenland colony on the west side of Newfoundland, near the top of the island. I read that the Norse would not go to Ungava bay because there is not grazing for their cows. but Polunin described the valley at the south end as "having grass good enough to graze cattle on."

Polunin also went to the Norse site in Greenland and took samples of non native plants. He was going to match these plants to plants in America and thereby locate Vinland. Once, when he was on the mainland shore, near Akpatok, he said he saw the exact plant, but when he looked very closely, he say that it was not identical. But maybe the exact plant would be on Akpatok.

There was some anthropologist who found massive stone structures on the mainland, several hundred miles up some river (maybe leaf river). He claimed they were built by the Norse and gave several reasons why this settlement was not Eskimo. One was the "garbage pits" and another was the "fire pits". Reading literature at this time, the Canadians were starved to get research funding and were really stabbing other scientists in the back. This fellow tried to raise money by giving public lectures. His fellow researchers said he was popularizing the area and that his research was therefore no good.

There are Norse "liar's sagas" which describe an inpenetrable fortress in the land of fog. That makes me think of Akpatok. I read that Akapatok is the one place where you can have gale winds and fog at the same time. With the high cliffs, it could be described as inpenetrable.

So all of this seemed to indicate that there was perhaps Norse colony on Akpatok.

Is Medical Dr. Tremblay a french canadian? Norman Tremblay is a french canadian. He is a medical doctor. Everybody thinks very highly of him. We were lucky to have him along. We got special treatment because of him. He retired from being a doctor, and now is a hospital administrator somewhere, maybe Kuujjuac.

If you need more information on our stays. Don't hesitate to ask me Pierre -----Message d'origine----- De : Irvin R Hentzel []=20 Envoy=E9 : 27 novembre 2007 13:27 =C0 : Brousseau,Pierre [SteFoy] Objet :=20

Dear Pierre Brousseau

Thank you very much for the information. I have wondered=20 very much how those two-by-fours got there. Yes, I do have some questions.

(1) Did you see any skulls in that valley? From the book by Montague, that valley seems=20 to be the most reasonable place that he could=20 have been in when he described finding skulls. =20 I did not see any there, but I could have missed=20 something.

(2) Between the helicopter crash site and the Umiak Cove, the big cove to the north, Polunin=20 said he found a lot of polar bear skulls. He said that the polar bears seem to come here to die. I did not see any skulls as I walked across that field. But I had not read that passage at that time and was not looking for polar bear skulls.

(3) My current explanation is that Montague may=20 have seen the polar bear skulls, and called them human skulls to make a better story. If this was the case, it was more liberal with the truth than was his usual pattern. All of the other things he mentioned turned out to be actual happenings, but they did not happen to him, and/or=20 they happened somewhere else, and he included them in his account.

I still am very fond of Akpatok. I envy you getting to spend all that time on the island. In fact, my tent blew down also, actually bent the metal tent poles. I was camped in the big valley in the far bottom of the island, the one south of the valley with the two-by-fours.=20